Monday, June 23, 2008

Duma Key by Stephen King

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is in the style of Dolores Claiborne and Gerald's Game, where King concentrates mainly on his characters and not as much on the supernatural/evil things that are happening to them.

It's an entertaining story about a man who survives a horrible accident, and as part of his therapy retires to Florida's Duma Key in order to paint - At first his paintings are just paintings but they soon become connected to a tragic story that occurred in the Key's past.

The painter's attempts to discover the connection and solve the mystery result in tragedy for his friends and family. Pretty classic King.

View all my reviews.

edited by Sarra at 08:28 AM 06/23/2008


Kafka a Fraud?!?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hehe, in the wake of all the recent memoir debunkings this is pretty funny: (link shortened)

edited by Sarra at 10:23 AM 03/10/2008


Sampler Week 1

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I've started a new stitching project, I took a class with The Tudor Rose Sampler Guild last year on my birthday.  I did the little bit of stitching that I could in class then put it away in order to finish up my Chatelaine Sampler piece.  This past week I finally pulled it out again and have started stitching in earnest.  This is the Maria Antoni Sampler from The Essamplaire.  I'm dying to buy about half of the rest of her catalog and sign up for the online class but I must control myself.

When I picked it up, it had the black lines on the top square done and about half of a row of the black satin stitch of the next square.  The rest I filled in this past week, this project has been moving along really quickly so far and I'm really enjoying working on it.   


edited by Sarra at 02:40 PM 03/08/2008


Should I worry?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Should I be worried that my husband emailed me this morning and said this cartoon reminded him of me?


The cartoon is from Cat and Girl and it's good stuff. I laughed my self silly over "The opposite of peanut butter is vaseline" and "America out of the toilet in 2008"

Check it out!

edited by Sarra at 04:42 PM 03/04/2008


People in Order

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

100 people in the U.K., each in a different location (on the beach, at home, in bed), announcing their age and hitting a drum — though some just hit the drum (and, in the case of one rollicking 44-year-old, really just hit the drum).

From the Portable Film Festival  an annual online film festival presenting the best in short film and internet video culture.

edited by Sarra at 04:33 PM 02/26/2008


Book Review

Friday, February 22, 2008


Deadly Vision
By Rick R. Reed

Rick R. Reed has been writing his brand of gender bending horror for some time now.  He’s been called the “Stephen King of gay horror” by Unzipped magazine, and author Douglas Clegg has called his stories  "a harrowing ride through cutting-edge psychological horror”, which is no small praise. Each one of Reed’s books get better and more polished, and each one tells a different and new story. A welcome departure from several currently popular authors where each book is virtually indistinguishable from the last.

In Deadly Vision, Reed gives us Cass D’Angelo, a single, lesbian mom trying to do right by her son in a small, peaceful town.  Her lover ran off some years back so Cass is going it alone, with a little help from her parents, who vividly remember that Cass used to be a bit of a “hellraiser” and aren’t ready to let her forget how they feel about those days.   

After suffering a head injury during a storm, Cass wakes up in a hospital bed able to see and know things that she shouldn’t, like her nurse is lusting after her daughter’s boyfriend, or that her doctor is new in town and lonely.  Cass assumes that she’s imagining things, or that it is a side effect of the concussion and it will pass.  The visions only get stronger and clearer, until Cass is reluctantly forced to involve herself in a series of brutal murders, because she just can’t stop seeing the victims, and her desire to give the parents closure is driving her batty.

Once she reveals herself as a psychic, she’s really in for it.  The parents of the missing girls don’t altogether believe her, nor do the police, really the only person who takes her seriously is the killer, and the killer doesn’t like it one bit.  In fact, the killer wants to silence Cass by taking away her most precious possession – her beloved son Max.  Now the race is on, use her hated visions to find her son, or lose him forever.
In his blog author Rick Reed says that one of the things he gets asked is “"Hey, gay boy, what makes you so smart you think you can write about lesbians?"  His answer to that is “that, in many ways, gay men, lesbian women, straights, transgendered people, and human beings in general have many universal feelings, such as the desire for love and acceptance, and the importance of family.” This book is successful, not because it has a lesbian heroine, but because it strikes a chord that resonates in the mind of anyone who has ever loved another person as much as Cass loves her son.   It is a scary, page turning tale of dark suspense, but it is also a story about love and the bonds of family.  

Reviewed by Sarra Borne for Front Street Reviews

edited by Sarra at 11:22 AM 02/22/2008


Book Review

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Villenspell: City of Wizards
By Crystalwizard
Published by Cyberwizard Productions

Villenspell: City of Wizards
picks up immediately after Wizard’s Bane (2004), the first book in the series ends.  It follows Dale and his misfit band of travelers who are fated to save the world on the immediate quest to remove a binding spell and works toward setting up more events that will come into play in later books.  The group stops in Villenspell, a large magical city and home of the world’s wizard’s college, to get Jarl freed from his spell, restock supplies and rest. While they are there, Dale and Jarl manage to save the city from certain disaster, break up the local assassin’s guild and discover the identity of their archnemesis.

This book has moments of maturity, especially the scene where Dale is suffering over his growing attraction to Aerline who he thinks loves another, but the majority reads like a teen novel.   Perhaps this is because more and more of the developing characters are teenagers.  The author would have been better served with a little less character development and a little more action.  Most of the story takes place in the city, shopping and eating and horsing around, and very little goes on that relates to the underlying quest of “saving the world from certain doom” until the last few chapters.

It is as though this book was written merely as filler, a way for three of the main characters from the previous book to pick up apprentices, and for one of the original party to break away from the group. Some of the events are interesting, but the lack of action is disappointing and anticlimactic.  If the last few chapters are any indication though, it looks like the action is stepped up in book three Wizards and Wanderers (2006).

Even the addition of the new characters gets predictable after a time, except for the one which grows out of a plate of pancake syrup, each is saved from a bad situation and has to take a binding oath of loyalty which he or she does without question.  An expedient way to move the plot along to be sure, but not entirely realistic.  All in all though, readers who enjoyed the first novel will find much to work with here. Crystalwizard has written some interesting and engaging characters which keep the pages turning and the reader wanting to know how it all ends.

Reviewed by Sarra Borne for Front Street Reviews.

edited by Sarra at 11:23 AM 02/22/2008


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey
Published by William Morrow

Usually this is the place where a reviewer would discuss a little bit about the plot of a book. With Atomic Lobster that’s just not going to happen.  The plot points are so convoluted, and the story is told in such a non-linear way that it would be impossible to do without major spoilers. This is one of those books that the reader just has to pick up and read for themselves without relying on a review to tell them what the book is about.  Let’s just say it’s got Florida, and cruise ships, and a Clowns vs. Mimes version of Fight Club, and tourist statues, and the world’s biggest bong and if that doesn’t grab you I don’t know what will.

The 10th in a series of books featuring Serge Storms and his sidekick Coleman, Atomic Lobster can be read as a stand alone novel but it does refer to past events so it can be a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with Dorsey’s previous works and repeat characters.   Serge is a spree killer, a nice enough guy, but he has problems with anger management and if crossed the offender will likely end up dead in any number of ingenious and inventive ways.  How does one choose between pulling off one’s own head or being hit by a speeding train?    

This book is hilarious, it’s one of those books where you’ll have the urge to read out the funny bits to your spouse, partner, guy sitting next to you on the train.  Expect to get a lot of weird glances where people are wondering why you’re making those choking noises when trying not to burst out laughing at inappropriate moments.  

Reviewed by Sarra Borne

edited by Sarra at 01:13 PM 02/16/2008


Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Now You See Him
by Eli Gottlieb
William Morrow Publishers  

Now You See Him starts out with the deaths of a semi-famous writer, Rob Castor, and his estranged girlfriend in a murder/suicide, but quickly veers off into a laundry list of the problems currently being faced by a close friend of the writer. The book is not about Castor’s death, instead it is a character study of the people who are left behind by the tragedy, their feelings and coping strategies.

Nick Framingham was one of Rob’s best friends from childhood, he grew up almost as part of the Castor family, dated Rob’s sister Belinda, and knew Rob better than anyone else. Or so he thought, as the revelation that his friend was a murderer is almost more than he can bear. Nick’s marriage, already on shaky ground, really begins to founder when Nick immerses himself in his own misery. As media attention awakens, and the interviews begin Nick finds himself facing one unwanted revelation after another. He learns things about Rob, about Belinda, and most importantly about himself and his family. There are so many layers upon layers of secrets to this story that turning the pages is like peeling an onion.

Ann Patchett the author of the award winning Bel Canto (2001) calls Now You See Him “a true literary page-turner in which a string of startling revelations unfold within the constructs of lush and beautiful prose. It is at turns both heartbreaking and breathtaking." Little more needs to be said, other than that this book is a fantastic journey into the human psyche, which is all the more fascinating because the characters feel so real.

Reviewed by Sarra Borne

edited by Sarra at 05:05 PM 02/05/2008


In the Blood

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

In the Blood
By Rick R. Reed
Published by Quest Books
Reviewed by Sarra Borne

“The one thing in the lives of you mortals you can never change, no matter how hard you try to deny it, is your desire for love”

Switching back and forth between present day and fifty years in the past In the Blood  tells the parallel stories of Elise and Edward.  Both are talented artists, both are struggling to survive, and both looking for that one thing that will push them over the edge into recognition.
By night Elise sells her body on a seedy street corner, a dangerous occupation  in which nightly she faces the possibility of death.  But never so closely as when she is picked up by Terence, one of a trio of vampires.  He is all set to devour her when he discovers the brutal images of death and dismemberment that she paints in chilling detail.  Terrence is immediately captivated by her talent and allows her to live so that he can introduce her to the rest of his menage a trois – Maria and Edward.
Maria, exotic and impossibly beautiful, winds Elise around her little finger.  Elise thinks of nothing but Maria, and when offered a place at her side for eternity, she must choose between immortality and the very real possibility of losing her artistic spark.  Is her love for Maria strong enough to surpass dreams of making it as an artist? 
Edward has been the one most recently converted to the vampire lifestyle, and is still human enough to remember what he has lost, as well as what he has gained by his transformation.  He attempts to counsel Elise but is she listening or is she simply too besotted to comprehend?
In the Blood is a love story, albeit a dark and foreboding one.  Suspenseful and gripping, it will keep the reader turning page after page until the surprising climax.  Erotically charged and also containing detailed accounts of gruesome murders, this book isn’t for the faint of heart.   Highly recommended to the reader who wants a different and refreshing take on the vampire story.
Author Rick R. Reed has been called the “Stephen King of gay horror” by Unzipped magazine.  His previous works include the serial killer/horror novel IM, which has recently been optioned for film by Panic Productions.

Reviewed for Front Street Books


I'm excited!  I just found out that Rick Reed has another book coming out later this month and I've been asked by Front Street to review it for them.  I really enjoy his books and I'm thrilled to be able to do another one.  I've also got a request in with William Morrow for the upcoming Tim Dorsey book Atomic Lobster and am waiting to see if my favorite sales rep can get me a review copy.

edited by Sarra at 10:13 PM 01/08/2008

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