Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review: MISERY by Stephen King

Stephen King

Bestselling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health—his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery, and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel—his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house...and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants...


MISERY by Stephen King was first published in 1987. And everyone knows about this story, right? If not from the book, then from the 1990 film starring Kathy Bates. So why bother posting a review here?

Believe or not, until I picked up a copy of MISERY a few months back, I had never read a Stephen King novel. I know. Shocking. But he is the master of horror and suspense, and over the past couple of years I've been writing a horror novel of my own and I really wanted to know what makes King so great. What is it about his writing that has elicited such fierce loyalty from millions of fans the world over, loyalty that has lasted for decades and more publications than I care to count? What is his secret?

So, what did I learn...

I learned that King deserves all the accolades he gets. Every single one of them. I learned that he hooks readers not by surprising them, but by telling them up front what horrible things are going to happen and then dragging out every agonizing moment, making us wait for it!

MISERY is a masterpiece! I could not put it down. Loved every page. It was deliciously terrifying and gruesome. I could totally read it all over again. I did make the mistake of actually watching the film once I'd finished the book. What a disappointment. Yes, Kathy Bates is amazing as Annie Wilkes, the crazed, serial killer nurse, but why the heck did the movie makers NOT go all the way? I mean, there are so many gory, terrifying moments in the book that would have been amazing on screen! Having never seen the movie before, I really expected to see them. Can't say them here in case you haven't read the book yet. But instead showing what Annie does in the book, which is so over the top and insane, the movie played it safe. Annie breaks the guy's feet. She shoots the cop. If you've seen the movie but haven't read the book, for heaven sake, read the dang thing! You'll never be the same again!

One of the best books I've read in a long time. Not since the HANNIBAL LECTER series have I enjoyed death and torture so much.


Profanity:  High
Sexuality:  Low
Violence:  Extremely High

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book Review: THE HAMILTON AFFAIR by Elizabeth Cobbs

Elizabeth Cobbs
Arcade Publishing
Audio Recording

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of legendary characters, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from passionate and tender beginnings to his fateful duel on the banks of the Hudson River.

Hamilton was a bastard and orphan, raised in the Caribbean and desperate for legitimacy, who became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and improbable—heroes. Admired by George Washington, scorned by Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the new nation. Elizabeth was the wealthy, beautiful, adventurous daughter of the respectable Schuyler clan—and a pioneering advocate for women. Together, the unlikely couple braved the dangers of war, the perils of seduction, the anguish of infidelity, and the scourge of partisanship that menaced their family and the country itself.


I recently became enamored by the Tony Award winning musical HAMILTON. Shortly thereafter, I was browsing for audio books in Barnes & Noble and spotted Elizabeth Cobbs' historical novel, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR. I knew very little about our nation's founding father, Alexander Hamilton, other than he was shot and killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. So I figured, why not?

I learned a lot about Hamilton from this book. I also learned a great deal more about the early years of our great nation, The United States of America, and the political turmoil that existed even then. By the end of the book, I had grown to respect the man Hamilton and his contributions to democracy and our single united country, which may have become something very different if not for him and several other prominent early leaders.

As a novel itself, however, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR started off a little slow. It naturally begins with Hamilton's youth. Told from both his point of view and the point of view of his wife, Elizabeth, the story at times lags. At other times, the story leaps over years of history with only a cursory mention. I recognize that writing an accurate historical yet fictional portrayal of such well know figures must be a daunting task, I just wish it was a tad more interesting. In defense of the book, though, part of why the story felt sluggish was the narration. I listened to this on audio CD, and the narrator lacked enthusiasm. So it was probably a combination of the text and the narration.

Overall, the book succeeded in its aim, which I believe was to inform the reader about Hamilton's life in a format that was more engaging than a textbook. Is it worth reading? Absolutely. I'm so glad I invested nine hours to listen to it. Worth the $10 I paid for it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cover Reveal: SHADOWS OF THE FOREST by Emma Michaels

Emma Michaels
Publication date: November 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…

Author Bio:
Emma Michaels is the award winning author of the Society of Feathers series with over 15 publications under her belt. With a love for all things story-telling this bibliophile plans to take over the world one cup of coffee at a time. A rule breaker who isn’t afraid to have uncommon opinions she is an avid lover of mathematics and stand out fiction which transcends both its genre and format whether books, games, movies, or otherwise. A good story is a good story. When she isn’t online she is out dancing in the Washington rain or seeking new adventures.


Friday, September 16, 2016


About the Book

Title: Beyond the Lines | Autho r: Claudia Whitsitt | Publisher: Claudia Whitsitt Publication Date: February 27, 2016 | Genre: Middle Grade Fiction |  Number of Pages: 260

Book Description: The Dream Girls — Hattie, Crackers, and Beverly Jo — are back with the same determination and resolve they dis played in Between the Lines. This time, it's Crackers who has a dream. S he has oodles of talent, can outshoot any guy, and she wants to be the first girl on the boys' basketball team. Everybody knows she's the best player at school. The pr oblem is, the rules say: No girls allowed on the team. Ever. But the Dream Girls have chall enged old-fashioned notions before, and they're not about to give up now. Beverly Jo ro cks the world with an ingenious plan, Hattie sets the wheels in motion, and Crackers gives her all. For this threesome, nothing is impossible.

What others are saying...

"BEYOND THE LINES is a refreshing story of true friendshi p." - Lori (Amazon)

"A delightful story of true friendship" - David (Ama zon)

"Great characters, superlative writing and the sense o f being dropped into the mist of a Dream Girls meeting makes "Beyond The Lines" a won derful book." - DJ (Amazon)

"Beyond the lines is a beautiful story of friendship."< /em> - (Amazon)

About the Author

Claudia Whitsitt spent a lifetime teaching special educa tion and writing before becoming a full-time author. She believes in the power of f riendship, small acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Nothing makes her happier tha n spending time with her children, which includes not only the five she raised but the c ountless students who touched her life over the years.


Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: September 27, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Raffl ecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be ra ndomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a n ew winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associate d with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Claudia Whitsitt a nd is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to


Four months ago, I thought my life was over. But just look at me now. I’ve gone from a Catholic school kid to a public school student and from a knock-kneed scaredy-cat to a mostly brave girl. Not only that, but I’ve made the best friends ever. Beverly Jo is not just the smartest girl I know, but the friendliest, and Crackers, well, she’s the life of the party, whether there’s a party or not. 

Which brings me to our 5th grade holiday break celebra­tion, a sleepover at my house. The aromas wafting down the basement stairs right now awaken me in the best possible way—with a gigantic grin on my face. There’s not a better smell in the world than bread frying in a custard of milk, eggs and butter, crackling bacon, and warm maple syrup.

I stretch my arms over my head and untangle my sleeping bag from the cocoon its coiled around my legs, peeking out to see if either of my friends’ peepers are blinking yet.