Book Review: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


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Wow! I do not know what to say about this book. First, I will say that this is the first book that I read by this author. She is very hyped. I tried to read Song of Solomon first, but everyone persuaded me to this book. This book pissed me off. I felt so bad for the characters of Claudia, Penola and even their mother. I won’t disclose too much about what the book is focused on, but I will say it was so sad for me. This book contains race, molestation and rape, so WARNING!

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was a great topic read, but I did not care for the story as much. Maybe because I used to have color complex issues as a child and I could relate to Pecola. I think the mother was as dysfunctional as her husband and se allowed so many things that me personally I would not have. This book was just okay for me. I gave it a 3 star review.

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


The Diviners

Wow! This tome here was excellent! Okay, I read this book for the TomeTopple readadathon that is going to be over on August 17th! I read this with a buddy named Kaylee who I met on twitter! She’s a great person and loves books just as much as I do. Any whoo, Libba Bray has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is so captivating and the worlds she brings to life makes me want to go there. This tome or big book was over 500 pages and we finished it in just a week. This book is about a girl named Evie O’Neil who has a supernatural gift. She is able to see what others have been through just by touching something that is meaningful to them like a shirt or a pen. She is what you call a Diviner and others are like her in New York City. She lives with her uncle due to getting in trouble. But, as I was reading this book I wanted to know what came next. Libba Bray has really outdone herself with this one. Now, I will not give any spoilers, but I will say that the ending was not favorite, but I still recommend this book. In fact. I am reading the second book in this series right now and it is a tome as well coming in at 618 pages. I know I will fly by it since it is just that good.

Author Interview: Ed Duncan, Pigeon-Blood Red


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Hey readers! Meet my writer friend, Ed Duncan! He has a new book out and I wanted you guys to have the SCOOP of how his latest book , ” Pigeon-Blood Red” was all about. Be sure to read up until the end of the interview so you can check out his social media!

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

 

Pigeon Blood Red at 238 pages, is not particularly long as books go, but Duncan packs a lot of story into those pages. Readers in search of a tight, well written, good guy versus bad guy, crime/action/adventure will find Pigeon Blood Red by Ed E. Duncan, an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” Mike Siedschlag

 

Let The Interview Begin…

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  1. What got you started with writing?

I’ve always wanted to write but I postponed jumping in with both feet because I was always too busy with my legal practice.  I probably got the bug at least as early as the eleventh grade in high school when my English teacher wrote on my term paper that my writing was seldom if ever equaled among her students.  That really knocked me off my feet and I never forgot those words, which I filed away in the back of my mind.  Alas, I became a lawyer rather than a writer, but I always read for pleasure and for many years I was a member of a book club.

After I had been in practice of a short time, I purchased from my book club a one volume collection called The Novels of Dashiell Hammett, which included Hammett’s masterpiece, The Maltese Falcon.  I fell in love with the novel and it rekindled my interest in writing,  Still, I didn’t act on my impulse to write fiction until many years later when the idea for Pigeon-Blood Red popped into my mind while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  I started working on the novel at night and on weekends, but I could never devote enough time to it until I retired a couple of years early in 2012.  Meanwhile, I wrote a legal treatise in 2008 called Ohio Insurance Coverage, and that whetted my appetite to finish Pigeon-Blood Red.

2. As a writer, it’s always good to read.  What kinds of books do you read?  What’s your reading schedule?

One thing I learned after writing Pigeon-Blood Red is that writers have to devote almost as much time to publicizing and promoting their work as they spend on writing.  This includes keeping abreast of and contributing to social media, which can be time-consuming.  Also, there is also the next book to think about and ultimately write (Pigeon-Blood Red is the first in a trilogy).  In short, I don’t have enough time to to devote to reading as I’d like.  That said, I read every installment of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.  I usually bring one of these novels with me on vacation.  I’m an insomniac so I often read to help me fall asleep.  I recently read Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley and A Deadly Shade of Gold by John D. MacDonald, as well as Sun, Sand, Murder and Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed by new author and friend John Keyse-Walker.  I also read nonfiction and literary fiction when I get a chance.  I just read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly and I reread The Stranger by Albert Camus.  I’m currently reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

  1. Your book Pigeon-Blood Red, what gave you the idea for the book?  Is it based on any true events in your life?

As I mentioned, the idea for the book came to me out of nowhere while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  That was sometime in the mid-90’s, which is an indication of how long it took for me to find the time to finish it.  In my mind’s eye I saw a beautiful woman traveling alone and carrying something valuable that dangerous people were trying to get their hands on, and I saw a lawyer (like me!) coming to her rescue.  Over the years that followed, I filled in details, many of which changed as a result of the many drafts and redrafts.  The title also changed.  It was originally Murder in Paradise. The “something” the woman was carrying became a pigeon-blood red ruby necklace worth millions.  The phrase “pigeon-blood red” was coined centuries ago by Indian gem dealers.  It describes the color of the rarest and most valuable rubies in the world, the same color as the first few drops of blood that trickle from the nostrils of a freshly killed pigeon.

Paul Elliott, one of the two main characters, is a lawyer.  He is a highly idealized version of my younger self.  Everything about him is fictional, however, except for two very small details that aren’t pivotal to the narrative.  At one point, Paul recalls a childhood fight with another boy and at another point he recalls a court case he handled when another lawyer was unable to do so.  Those two events actually happened.

  1. Regarding the writing of this book and future books, what is your writing process?

I write the first draft in long hand (actually I print) on a legal pad.  I then make changes to that draft in long hand.  By the time I’m finished, no one except me could possibly read what I’ve written.  I then transfer that draft to my computer and do several additional drafts on the computer.

  1. I see you studied law.  Do you use any of that knowledge in your writing?  If so, how much of it is involved?

So far I’ve not used any of my legal training in my novels.  The case to which a passing reference is made in Pigeon-Blood Red is fleshed out a little in The Last Straw, the next novel in the trilogy, which I’ve just finished.  It becomes the focal point of an argument between Paul and his girlfriend Evelyn and reveals a little about their respective characters.  Also, in that novel a teen commits a crime for which he may have to stand trial, and there is an issue concerning whether a witness will have to testify at a trial.  However, the legal issues are very basic and didn’t require any legal training to imagine or write.  I’ve consciously avoided writing legal thrillers.  Perhaps in the future I’ll find a way to weave my legal knowledge into one of my plots.

  1. For new writers, it is hard for them to get started with the process.  What advice would you have for them?

First of all, read widely.  Second, do multiple drafts and don’t be discouraged by the first draft.  Even the most polished writers will admit that their first drafts are awful.  If sending queries to agents or publishers, don’t be discouraged by rejections.  Everybody (well, almost everybody) has gotten them.  If self-publishing, hire an editor.  It will be money well spent.  No one can edit himself.  Finally, consider hiring a publicist.  Some people can do what a publicist does on their own but even if they can, the time spent probably could be better spent writing.

  1. What do you want your readers to get out of this book?

I want the readers to identify with the struggles of the main characters and feel that the characters were well drawn.  No matter where they happen to be in the novel, I want readers to look forward to reading the next page.  I want readers not to want the novel to end and I want them to eagerly await the next installment in the trilogy.  In short, I want readers to enjoy the novel immensely.

  1. Do you have a particular place that you like to write at?  What are some writing do’s and don’ts that you are willing to share?

When the muse arrives, I can write almost anywhere, at least until the muse departs.  Generally, though, I write at a table that separates my den from my kitchen.  When I transfer the first drafts to the computer, I write upstairs where my desk, files, and computer are located.

Regarding writing do’s and don’ts, I think each writer has or will develop his or her own, depending upon what is comfortable.  For instance, it is often said that a writer must write something, no matter how much, every day (or at least every weekday) or that he must force himself to write a certain number of words or pages whenever he sits down to write.  I disagree.  I think those kinds of strictures are necessary for some writers but not for all.  Another old saw is that you should write only what you know.  With the advent of the internet, that is much less true today than perhaps it used to be.  I think you should should write what you like to write.  If the subject matter interests you, you will be willing to do the necessary research so that by the time you start writing, you are in fact writing what you know.

  1. For writers who love crime, what do you have in the vault for the future?  Any series?  Standalones?

As mentioned, I just finished The Last Straw, which is the second in the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red.   I have to decide whether to self-publish it or to try to publish it traditionally.  The third in the trilogy has already been written as a screenplay (unproduced), so I just have to convert it to a novel.  The title of the screenplay is Rico Stays, which I intend to use for the novel.  I don’t currently have a standalone in mind but I am not ruling it out.  Also, it’s possible that I’ll expand the trilogy.

  1. What events are coming up for you? The only event I have coming up is an appearance before the Thrillers and Chillers Book Club at the Henderson Memorial Public Library in Jefferson, Ohio on August 26 at 1:00 p.m.

About The Author:

 Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

How Often Do You DNF A Book?


Tuesday

Good morning! I hope that everyone is doing fabulous on this great Tuesday! I have so many books on my TBR shelf and that I am currently reading it is a shame. But, I still have my July TBR and Booktubeathon starts next week. Not to mention the books that I got in the mail that need to be reviewed. Where does one find the time? Any who, I wanted to get your guys opinion on DNF’ing a book. Is there really a proper way to stop reading something that is no longer interesting to you? How many pages do you give it? Sure, they can be some good parts and bad parts, but for you what do you do when you are like, ” Okay, I am not finishing this, I will be DNF’ng it.”

I have read many books that are slow and does not pick up fast enough for me. Granted, I read slow already, but if the book looses interest so do I. Does that make sense? If I read a book,I want it to be enjoyable from the beginning to end. On the other hand, I start to wonder if a part of the book is slow and then it just starts to pick up and still turns out good. You never know unless you read the entire book. One of my goals this year is to not DNF books so much.

What I DNF’D This Year:

I know that some of you maybe thinking, what?! Let me explain. Home going is a book that was making me cry with every page that I was reading. The book is sad, but real. Unfortunately for me, the sad and gruesome parts overwhelmed me. An Ember In The Ashes, was good, I was listening to that book on audiobook. I still have it and can always go back to it, but it started to be slow as well. I want a book that is fast paced and if it is slow, i want to be slow because it is building the world or the characters POV ( point of view).  I can always pick both back up, but as for now I am going to read and try to get through other books. Tell me in the comment, what books have you currently DNF’d thus far?

My Current Reads


Reading Pace

Just like readers, read, writers have to read also! I am reading my behind off in order to be a better writer and reader. My last book that I completed was Bared To You by Sylvia Day. I really enjoyed it. Now, I am reading something a little more serious and real. Check it out.

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My Thoughts:   This story thus far, is VERY different from anything that I have read. I am really enjoying it so far. It’s about a girl named Effia, who lives in Nigera ( I believe) and she marries a man out of her will. Meaning, her family sold her to him, but it’s tradition for all women to be sold by either white men or powerful men in their village. This book is teaching me a lot about what really went on during those times. I’m only 37 pages in so I have yet to really get into the heart of the story. This book doesn’t have chapters,yet, it is based on different characters from different point of views. I look forward to continue the book and get know all of the characters.

Stay Tuned for the review!

RoseBlood by A. G Howard

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My Thoughts: For this book, it is a slow read for me. Not because it’s boring, but I don’t want to finish it fast. I LOVE Phantom Of The Opera and this re-telling is just everything right now. This book is about a musical genius ( singer) named Rune who has the gift of music inside of her. She used to sing with her father, but her mother believes she’s cursed in some way. Rune does believe in superstition and believes that she seems the phantom in her new school that is just for music majors. She believes that the school is haunted with the phantom inside. Her voice is so powerful that every time she sings, it’s like something or someone is taking over her body. She has the angel of music. I look forward to seeing if the rest of the book will hold up to the hype! Stay tuned for my review!

Getting Back In The Game


Your turn

It’s been a while since I have written anything. Now, I have my mojo back I am ready to start a new book! This book will not be self-published as my other ones have been. I am really excited to tell this story. As any writer, you want your best work out there and want the readers to love it just the same. Can this be done? Absolutely! Will it take hard work? Hell yes! You guys know I keep it real with you. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it definitely was beautiful once completed, right?

Your Turn:

Now, the dice represents taking a risk and going for something that you may have never thought you could do. Writing a book is something many wish that they can do, but only few take the plunge and win. I’m here to tell you that YOU can be a winner! Take a stand and put in your mind that you are going to write this novel! Trust me, I do it every time I write. Get an idea and write it down. Flesh out all of the details of what you want in a story. Then, slowly start to tell it as if no one knows about it. Oh wait, they don’t know about it! See, you are already on a roll.

My Writing Process

I am the type of writer that strictly writes from my laptop. There are other writers who have to write in a notebook first, and then transfer to a laptop. Hey, whatever works for you as long as you are writing. Go for it! Make a schedule if that helps you or write when the spirit and creativity moves you. As for me, I’m going to TRY to keep a daily schedule starting today. Let’s see how this goes. If you’d like please tell me in the comments what your book is about.

My Current Read


HappySaturdayTweety

Happy Saturday! I have been reading this one book very slowly. I’m excited and nervous to see how it will end. Does that ever happen to you? It’s not that the book is slow, it’s just that it’s good you literally want to take your time with reading it. Im also listening to a book on audiobook as well and it’s a good-slow read for me as well. What are you currently reading? Do you will think you will finish by this weekend?

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This what I’m currently listening to on audible and I MUST say, I hope she finds her brother Darin.

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This is what I’m currently reading as a physical book. I am wondering what the two girls will do once they meet again after about 17 years.

My new buys!

Every Little Step

I’m a HUGE BB fan and NE fan. I am intrigued to see what his side of the story will bring.

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This book is VERY popular on book tube and in the world right now. I look forward to reading it soon. Have you read this one?

Book Review: Mindset: Te New Psychology of Success by Carl S. Dweck, PhD.


Mindset

Publisher: Penguin Group

Page Count:245

Genre: Motivational/Self-Help

 

Date Started; 2/20/16

Date Ended: 3/o1/17

Purchased: 9th Street Book Shop (Located in Delaware)

Rating: Plot 4 stars, Characters, 4 stars, Ease of reading 4 stars.

Quote from Book: ” You have to decide what kind relationships you want”

My Review:

This was a good book. In fact, it was so good it took me almost two years to finish it. Who wants to read a book about change when are stubborn to do so? After reading this book I realize that I had changed some for the better and there are still some areas of improvement.

Book Review: Mini Van Man by John S. Semis II


Mini Van Man

Publisher: Amazon

Page Count: 22

Genre: Thriller

Date Started; 2/18//17

Date Ended: 2/18/17

Purchased: Amazon Kindle

Rating: Plot 5 stars, Characters, 5 stars, Ease of reading 5 stars.

Quote from Book: ” Sorry I missed our date.”

My Review:

I really enjoyed this short story. It makes me not want to date online ever again. This story was very suspenseful and crazy at the same time. I had no clue what was going to happen. I subscribe to a lot of authors on YouTube and I have always been a fan of John’s page, so when he wrote this story, I just had to have it. Now, he’s writing a novel and I can’t wait to read it. Please subscribe to ” Johnthebookishgnome” you won’t regret it.

Book Review: Love The One You’re With By: Emily Griffin


Love The One You're With

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Page Count: 330

Genre: Chick Lit

Date Started; 2/24/17

Date Ended: 2/28/17

Purchased: Library Book Sale

Rating: Plot 5 stars, Characters, 5 stars, Ease of reading 5 stars.

Quote from Book: ” Just think, if all goes well, the family already likes you.”

My Review:

My friend Becky on book tube aka YouTube ( subscribe to Becky Ford)  recommended that I read this book. I am really glad that she did. This was my first book written by this author and I must say that I loved it! It was interesting to see how one can be married, but still think about an ex boyfriend. The ending of this book really got because I wasn’t expecting someone to do what he did. I recommend this book to anyone.