Saturday, November 9, 2013
I just finished reading Pocket Full of Posies by Julie Coulter Bellon and I loved it! I loved the writing style and fell in love with the characters, even the bad guys. Sometimes the good guys & the bad guys can get blurred in a story because there is good in all of us, even when we are making bad choices. I’m not sure if this was an underlying message that Julie intended to share, but it was an impression I took away from the story. Although I was able to predict the ending, there were a lot of neat little twists & turns in the plot that took me along the characters’ journey. I liked how Julie bounced back and forth between Bart’s perspective and Lucy’s perspective. It was a bit like reading Twilight & Midnight Sun at the same time (which I’ve done and found it to be very fun! Do you think Stephanie Meyer will ever finish writing Midnight Sun?!) I’m not going to tell you much about who the main characters are in Pocket Full of Posies, or I will give away the plot before you have a chance to read it. Suffice it to say that it is obvious to the reader from the first time Bart hears Lucy’s name that they will fall in love. I like it that it took a lot of back & forth struggle between their circumstances, their personalities, what they think about one another’s lifestyles, and their own stubbornness before they finally admit their feelings…but not too long! I liked it that Julie allowed the reader to experience the two character’s attraction to one another and that there were a lot of little bits of romance leading up to a dramatic first kiss. I love first kisses! And they should be dramatic. Wasn’t your first kiss dramatic? My husband kissed me on our first date…on my forehead. It was amazingly frustrating! And I’ll never forget the way it made me feel. But, back to the book; I’m getting all off track! I liked taking a peak into the world of drug lords and terrorists and corruption and tropical island paradises. These are worlds I’ll never see in real life. Maybe a tropical island paradise someday, I don’t know. It seems far away from my little paradise in central Michigan, so I’m glad to have the chance to be transported there through Julie’s words. I think I’ll read this book again very soon. This is the kind of book I’d love to see made into a movie! Have you read Pocket Full of Posies yet? What's your opinion? –Julie Spencer
Other books by Julie Coulter Bellon:
Read my book review of All Fall Down here.
Read the whole Hostage Negotiation series:
Want to read about the first kiss that some of my characters have had in my books The Cove and The Farmer's Daughter? Check them out here:
First Kiss...Excerpt from The Cove.
Excerpt from The Farmer's Daughter...I told you that I tip well.
Read more excerpts from my novels here:
Excerpts from My Novels.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Sarah M. Eden is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! What a sweet story. I loved reading Seeking Persephone from the first page to the end. As it is with most books that I read, it was a bit predictable. But it didn’t in any way detract from my enjoyment. The story quickly launches into the wedding and then weaves the character descriptions into the story rather than starting with character development. I liked that. Persephone is from a family of very limited means and felt it was in her best interest to accept a marriage proposal from a wealthy Duke named Adam who had never so much as seen her face nor heard her name. He began criticizing her before the wedding was even completed. When he finds out that her name is Persephone, he thinks that it is a ridiculous name and tells her as much. When he discovers that she is young and beautiful, he is not happy and makes his feelings obvious. Because she doesn’t understand the underlying reason why he’s not happy, she assumes that he considers her ugly and beneath him. What she doesn’t realize is that he never really wanted a wife to begin with, but felt pressured to produce an heir to carry on the family name. He had one of his staff choose him a wife who was desperate for a way out of her current situation so that she would appreciate him rescuing her. He had hoped for an older, ugly woman who wouldn’t be tempted to leave him because she knew that she would never have the chance to marry anyone else. Adam was used to being feared and used to commanding everyone around him to do as he says. But he has visible scars from a series of surgeries in his youth, and underlying scars because of rejection from his mother and his peers. He despises being pitied and loses respect for those who feel sorry for him. When Persephone figures this out, she stands up to him and treats him like she would any other man, and he gains immediate respect for her because of it. She refuses to let him bully her and goes out of her way to weave herself into his sheltered, private world. Gradually he grows to like her, feels a strong need to protect her, and eventually realizes that he loves her – although he fights it to the end. While the story begins as a Beauty & the Beast type of tale, it ends as a sweet love story with a prince and his true love ready to take on the world side-by-side with confidence. I loved it, I couldn’t put it down, and I would read it again – which is a good sign. Have you read Seeking Persephone? What’s your opinion? –Julie
Other books by Sarah M. Eden:
Check out my book review of Glimmer of Hope here.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I was in attendance at the very first Tea Party in Michigan where I laid a tea bag on the steps of the Capitol building in Lansing along with several thousand other individuals on April 15th, 2009 (tax day). I can only tell you MY opinion of what it means to attend a Tea Party rally. We are NOT Republican/Democrat/Liberal/Conservative or any other political party. We are Americans who feel that we should be free to live our lives without government interference. TEA has come to represent the phrase Taxed Enough Already, but the original movement began because we, the people didn't feel as if the government was representing us (all of us). We want to return to the fundamentals of what this country was founded to achieve, basically freedom from controlling government and representation from the people who do serve in the government offices. We are NOT radicals and are not trying to take down the framework of the government. On the contrary, we want to peacefully demonstrate the way that our government has strayed from its original intent. Trying to associate the Tea Party with the Republican party is pretty silly, since most of us disagree with many things the Republicans are doing (just like we disagree with what the Democrats are doing). So few people in the government actually listen to what the Tea Party patriots say that most of them will probably be thrown out in the next election. If people criticize the Tea Party but have never actually attended a Tea Party rally, they are not seeing the whole picture; they are only seeing what the main-stream media wants them to see. I challenge you to learn more about what we represent rather than associate us with what is being done in Washington D.C. or what is being portrayed in the media. Have you ever attended a Tea Party rally? What's your opinion? -Julie
Monday, October 14, 2013
As a whole, I liked The Overton Window by Glenn Beck. It took me a little while to get into it, but about half way through it I got to the point where I couldn’t put it down and looked forward to getting home from work so that I could take a few minutes to read. That’s one of the ways I judge a book. One of the other ways I judge a book (or movie) is whether I can predict the ending. Unfortunately, this was a pretty predictable book. That being said, I do look forward to reading the sequel, The Eye of Moloch by Glenn Beck. This was the original reason why I read The Overton Window in the first place. I heard a radio interview where Glenn was talking to someone about his new book and I was drawn to it immediately. When I got The Eye of Moloch, I realized that it was a sequel, so I had to go out and get The Overton Window.
I liked Noah Gardner, the main character. He was a likeable guy who (predictably) falls for the main female character, Molly Ross who is a patriot activist and part of a group of people who are trying to change the world. Or save the world, depending on how you look at it. Noah bounces back and forth between the life of luxury he is accustomed to, and the world where Molly lives. He is torn (briefly) between what his father is trying to accomplish and what Molly is passionate about. It seems that Noah has already become disillusioned by his father’s business, and although he seems entrenched in it, he really isn’t. Near the beginning of the book it is obvious that he is more of a glorified gopher within his father’s business, and is truly unaware of just how corrupt his father is. It doesn’t take a lot of prodding for the manipulative patriot to convince Noah to take her straight to his father’s office and hack into the system to show her all of his father’s secrets. This seemed a little far-fetched to me. Most people wouldn’t break into someone else’s office for any reason, even for a pretty girl.
The cover describes The Overton Window as a Thriller. I certainly didn’t agree with this statement until I got about half way through it. The inside of the jacket cover also describes how an “unprecedented attack on U.S. soil shakes the country to the core…” Well, the attack didn’t happen until right at the end of the book and took place out in the middle of the desert where no one really knew about it. The book even describes how no one got a picture of it and that the mushroom cloud had to be hand-drawn by reporters in order to share the story.
The reader feels the pull between the two worlds of the very, very rich and the patriots. It is never implied that the patriots are poor in any way, more that they are not ultra wealthy. There is an underlying theme that the rich can pretty much do anything they want or get anything they want just by calling the right people and flashing a little money around. Noah learns that being rich allows him the ability to help his new ‘friends’ in advancing their cause. I once read a book written by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki called Why We Want You to Be Rich wherein it is taught that it is much easier to help others if you have money yourself. Think about it, when was the last time someone on welfare was able to offer you a job at the business he just started? Whereas, if you are rich and have the capital to start a business, you can offer that person on welfare a job, thus lifting him up and helping him get off welfare. It’s a powerful upward cycle. The rich provide jobs and purchase goods & services, helping others to earn money and then those people can purchase goods & services, helping other businesses earn money, and the cycle goes on and on. Also, if you are rich, you are able to donate to causes you believe in, participate in local school fundraisers, give to the local library or art museum, support a local politician, etc. But it’s very difficult to support causes you believe in if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and can barely take care of yourself and your family. One of these days I’ll have to write a book review on Why We Want You to Be Rich! But in the book The Overton Window, the rich people are ultimately portrayed as the bad guys and, dare I say, the evil guys. This is an extreme example though, and obviously fiction. Let’s hope so anyway!
Like I said, all in all I liked the book and would probably read it again. That’s a good sign! There were a lot of unanswered questions and a bit of a cliff hanger at the end making me all the more excited to read The Eye of Moloch. Have you read The Overton Window? What’s your opinion? –Julie
Other books by Glenn Beck:
Sunday, October 13, 2013
I just finished reading All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon and I must say that I liked it quite a lot. It was the kind of book that I looked forward to reading. The kind of book that I wanted to leave work early so that I could get home and read some more. I liked the writing style and the story was engaging. I also have a soft spot in my heart for military men & women willing to put their lives on the line to protect Americans, and the main characters were mostly military men and one strong female detective. I liked her. Claire Michaels was in my mind a cross between Detective Joss Carter in the television series Person of Interest, and Detective Teresa Lisbon in the television series The Mentalist (two of my favorite television shows). Claire is tough and strong, yet has a sensitive side that she doesn’t want to show, especially to the men who surround her. The male lead in the story, Rafe Kelly reminded me immediately of Channing Tatum’s portrayal of the character John Tyree in the movie version of the novel Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. If you’ve ever seen or read Dear John, you would know that John is a very desirable, yet mysterious and guarded man. The story in All Fall Down is a wild chase trying to outrun several government officials in two different countries, and trying to elude an enemy who is veiled and mysterious. One of the initial characters warns Rafe not to trust anyone and it ultimately predicts the antagonist, a man who turns out to be just vulnerable enough to make the reader feel sorry for him even as he is putting the rest of the team in perilous danger. On a side note, All Fall Down was a little predictable and cliché, but most books/movies are for me. Unfortunately, I tend to judge a book, not by its cover, but by its predictability. If a book or movie can shock me with a twist or surprise ending, that’s impressive. This one did not, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. I’d read it again, and that’s a good sign. Have you read All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon? What’s your opinion? –Julie
In case you've never read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, here are a couple of links to the book and movie:
Here are some other books by Julie Coulter Bellon: