First book of 2012

What book should I read first in 2012? If we are slow tonight at work – which that is doubtful but it always slows down some after bars close – which book should I start?  Here are the ones I’m considering:

      

OMG, I could kill WORDPRESS – it deleted everything after this! I swear it is the most aggravating program I have ever encountered!

I actually started the latter one last night but then started thinking maybe the label of being the “last” book of 2011, squeezed in at the last moment to get my 2011 numbers up, would hurt the author’s feelings.  Who wouldn’t rather be known as the FIRST book of the new year? The one I couldn’t wait to read so I took it to work with me in hopes of reading a chapter or two in between arrests? Numero Uno.

So I put the book aside and figured I wouldn’t read anything more the rest of the night other than blogs.  I checked out Jeff Strand’s blog and have to say, I’m still processing it and think I might be scarred for life.  LOL

Books that would have made the decision easier had they been available to me are:

  and

However, I loaned the first one to my niece and I don’t own the second one yet.  The first book in the Mayhem series was not a “lend me” book so I couldn’t lend it to her but she wanted the second one anyway.  I keep recommending Wolf Hunt to people but don’t know how many have taken the time to read it yet.  The first Shadowing book is excellent as well – yes, I know they are YA books but still…

Such decisions…I honestly don’t know what I will decide on.  Should I finish Ice Hunt since I have already read the first ten or so pages? Or should I try one of the other two?   🙂

You know, the mermaid picture is actually animated – wish it would show up that way on my blog.

2011 BEST READS

I can’t believe WordPress didn’t save all that!!! OMG! I’m so mad! Just when I thought WordPress was getting better so I quit saving the drafts!!

Best of 2011 reads – sorry, I am not adding all the commentary I had originally put in – it is too exhausting to do this entire post over!  I hate WordPress!

1.   The Shadowing: Hunted by Adam Slater

2.   Wolf Hunt by Jeff Strand

3.   A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

4.   The Relic by Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child

5.    The House Next Door by Anne Siddons

6.    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

7.     Kindred by Octavia Butler

8.     Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

9      Graverobbers Wanted by Jeff Strand

10.   Subterranean by James Rollins

11.    The Pumpkin Man by John Everson

12.    Mile 81 by Stephen King

There were so many books to choose from and I won’t say I got this in “best to 2nd best” order as I wrote them down off the top of my head but still – I loved these books!

2012 has a lot to offer and I’ve already started my list of “coming soon” for releases coming out in the spring.  I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year and to write 3 including the one I’m working on now.  Mine may never see the light of day but I sure enjoy writing them!

Happy New Year thoughts…

Most of us are spending time today reflecting over the year that is quickly coming to a close.  We have had good times in 2011 and there have been bad.  Some of us will be heaving a heavy sigh of relief when 12:01 arrives while others will tearfully say goodbye to perhaps the best year of their lives thus far.

As I sit here, I was thinking how life can be compared to a stream such as the one in the photo above.  We all have a source we start out from and travel a ways on our own.  But soon we are meeting up with rivers (friends) and we move on together for miles and miles.  The way is not always easy.  Sometimes there are small waterfalls (hurdles) which seem a breeze to get over but other times it seems like there is such a long way to fall with the bigger challenges in our path.

Sometimes a dam is in our way and it seems like it takes FOREVER for us to find our way through to the other side where we can bubble along happily again.  Along the way, some of the rivers we met up with early on decide to veer off and go another exciting way (K’rae) and we wish them well as we continue our journey.

Eventually, we all reach the big oneness with our world and society in general.  We will be free of banks and know ourselves so well that we are finally able to relax and just BE.

2011 had many hurdles for me ~ I will not shed a tear at its passing.  My eyes are set on the horizon ~ on the new things to come.  2012 fills me with tentacles of possibility, hope and optimism.  Thank you all who visit me on the pages of this blog.  May 2012 be a fantastic, dream-realizing year for each of you!

Finally Friday

Wow, it is Finally Friday and I bet several people thought, as did I, that this past week drug on forever! Work has been excruciatingly slow and I can’t say I’ve done much productive other than read, write and hang out.

I did get over 4000 words written on my Snow Demon story – it is coming along nicely and over half done.  While I’m enjoying Koontz’s book – I must say that this is an idea I had and was working on (see Fanstory’s entry from last week) so now I’m wondering if I should bother.  I can’t do the story as well as Koontz and who will want yet another ghost story based on an old building? I don’t know – I may shelve it for a while.

Nothing more to really report other than I have spent $45 on books this past week! Considering I already have 1000 books on my computer, it seems a bit extravagant but it all came from gift cards so I’m good.  I can pick one or two more books as I have $15 left on the card but figured I’d wait to see what strikes me this weekend.  I have a long list of books yet to buy.  Several of the books are not available in Nook format yet so will have to wait on them.

I really do feel that this next year is going to be a fantastic year! Of course, I was just as optimistic last time this year but whatever…the year got off course and then my sister died which made it permanently a sucky year.  Next year is full of sparkling promise and good intentions so will see how it pans out.  Hopefully it won’t go as fast as this year!!

OK, I know you come to my blog for my books so let me add this one to my wish list:

Believe me, you should be glad I checked Goodreads for a different cover to this book because the one on B&N was sickening.  I like this cover – it looks so innocent yet you know if it is Brian’s, it is going to be strange and unusual.

Goodreads describes it as:

As night falls, five demonic, shadowy figures descend on Brinkley Springs to feed as they have for centuries, in a feast of carnage and murder. Before the night is through the town will be decimated, and terror-and blood-will run in the streets. 

Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Probably more than a little weird but those are the kinds of books I like.  Yes, I like the occasional social issue book and plan on reading the following based on a friend’s review on Goodreads:

Goodreads describes it as:

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

So I’m not totally beyond reading things worthwhile instead of bizarre and just for fun. 🙂

77 Shadow Street review

I have completed this book and before I start my review, let me share what Goodreads says about it:

I am the One, the all and the only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton’s history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground. . . . The Pendleton stands on the summit of Shadow Hill at the highest point of an old heartland city, a Gilded Age palace built in the late 1800s as a tycoon’s dream home. Almost from the beginning, its grandeur has been scarred by episodes of  madness, suicide, mass murder, and whispers of things far worse. But since its rechristening in the 1970s as a luxury apartment building, the Pendleton has been at peace. For its fortunate residents—among them a successful songwriter and her young son, a disgraced ex-senator, a widowed attorney, and a driven money manager—the Pendleton’s magnificent quarters are a sanctuary, its dark past all but forgotten. But now inexplicable shadows caper across walls, security cameras relay impossible images, phantom voices mutter in strange tongues, not-quite-human figures lurk in the basement, elevators plunge  into unknown depths. With each passing hour, a terrifying certainty grows: Whatever drove the Pendleton’s past occupants to their unspeakable fates is at work again. Soon, all those within its boundaries will be engulfed by a dark tide from which few have escaped.

I was so excited to get this book and start reading it.  The anticipation over its release had made me sure, positive, that it would be written by Koontz-of-Old instead of the New-and-Improved-Koontz.  You may ask me what the difference is between the two…well, let me see if I can explain.

My favorite books of Koontz are “Watchers”, “Whispers”, “Phantoms”, “Midnight”, etc.  These were all books that were spooky and quick on the action.  He did not spend numerous pages describing things that took one’s focus off the storyline.  I understand he does it to bring the reader more into his world – we can understand each character’s intimate life which I suppose is to make us feel like we know them.  The first books, before he improved himself, were full of action, fun and supernatural.  These are the types of books I loved and was hoping beyond hope that this one was like that.  Sigh.

Let me say the book is NOT horrible by any means but he does jump from character to character a lot – sometimes having 50 or more pages elapse before you find out what was going on with the person who was in the grips of the demon.  It was all delayed, drawn out and involved.

At first I thought it would be more like the Shining but it wasn’t.  I think Koontz kind of meant it to be but if lacked the eeriness of the Shining.  The writing is good, every room in the building is seared to your brain not only because he describes them (both current and how they looked 35 years earlier) but because he also has floor plans so you can really get the essence of the place.

I am sure there are those that will herald this as a great masterpiece and maybe it is.  But I am a simple reader who enjoys simple things.  This book was at the extreme opposite of “simple” on the complexity scale.  By the middle, I felt I was plodding through with no hope of seeing the ending.

However, just because the book did not impress me, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good story.  Though Koontz has slipped further down on my top 100 authors list, I still list him in the top 20.

Because this book repeatedly drowned me in extraneous details, I give it a C.

Ever feel like…

Do you ever feel like some writers spend too much time in irrelevant details? There were four pages describing a room in the book I’m reading.  I mean, really, do I care that much what type of wallpaper it had or how grubby the floors looked? Does it have anything to do with the storyline…no.  Are they trying to boost word count? It makes me so tired.

Thriller Thursday!!

Let me tell you about a fun thriller I am reading now.  I kind of hate to because it gives it away that I bought it this week, but it is too good not to share on Thriller Thursday!

This is the story of a large condo building that is haunted not by previous owners but by spirits from the depths of hell.  I have to say, I do not like books/movies based on heaven and hell – usually won’t read them.  However, I don’t think this one comes out and actually says that is what its about either – talks about coming from “down there” and what not.  Plus one of the little kids in the book is always described as such an angel that I imagine he will be the one to defeat the spirit.  Let me say, that gets a little old too – King did that a lot and I don’t care for a little kid being the great savior.   Koontz is known to murder off the children so guess I will have to see what happens.

There are 23 condos in the building and several people have already seen ghosts and specters.  It says every 35 years, the evil in the house intensifies so this is that year.  We already know people will die – someone dies in the first chapter (or at least disappears).

But the book is holding my interest and making me anxious to see what is going to happen next which is the sign, in my opinion, of a good book.  I’m not even halfway through yet so what could happen is still very up in the air.  🙂

“For the first time since his days in the Marine Corps, Bailey sensed mortal and imminent danger.  Wasting not an instant second-guessing his instinct, he turned, pressed his palms flat atop the coping, and levered himself out of the pool, onto his knees.  Behind him, someone seized his left ankle.  He would have been pulled back into the water if he hadn’t kicked furiously with his right foot and struck what seemed to be his assailant’s face.

Released, Bailey scrambled to his feet, staggered two steps on the matte-finish tile, and turned, suddenly breathless, overcome by the irrational fear that he was in the presence of something inhuman, one mythical monster or another that was not merely mythical anymore.  Nothing confronted him.”