Tuesday, June 17, 2014

THE LINE by J.D. Horn

Have you ever read a story so real that you fall in-love with the city where the story takes place? Only three writers have been able to do that to me, Howard Fast with his San Francisco-based Immigrant series, Anne Rice with New Orleans and now J.D. Horn with Savannah.

In his debut novel, THE LINE, the city of Savannah becomes just as much a character as any other. Savannah is soft and warm like a mother and just as clingy in her desire to never "give up her dead."

This novel, this story, is also about the Taylors, Savannah's dominant family of witches. It's about their conflicts, loyalties and manipulations, and then it's about THE LINE, the powerful ley line that runs through Savannah. The Taylors have been maintaining that line for as long as anyone can remember.

When the Taylor Matriarch is murdered, another powerful witch must take her place. THE LINE wants Mercy Taylor, but she's not a witch. Born with none of her family's witch magic, all Mercy has going for her is gut instinct and the determination to survive and thrive in a family that too often see her as a liability. No, Mercy's not a witch, so why would THE LINE choose her?

I first heard about J.D. Horn when I caught his interview on BlogTalkRadio. The interaction between the host and the author piqued my curiosity, leaving me with an urgent desire to read this book. 

In many respects, J.D. Horn's writing reads like a cross between Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. It has all the southern charm and quick wit of a Sookie Stackhouse with the imagination and intensity that attracts me to Anne Rice. It's a great blend and if Mr. Horn's other novels are this good, he's got a fan for life.

For more on Witching Savannah and J.D. Horn, please go to witchingsavannah.com. 




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mad House by Clea Simon

This is an old review, but as I go through this transition of moving from my blog to another, I am also moving my reviews to this site.

My review of Mad House by Clea Simon:

Being a bibliophile from an early age, I read incessantly!  Well, I finished a book last night that I just have to share, Mad House by Clea Simon. This book is the author's personal account of living with two older, mentally-ill siblings suffering from schizophrenia.

Clea's writing is insightful and intimately personal as she tells of her experiences  and impressions as a child, a teenager and finally as an adult coming to terms with their impact on her life. Clea also shares the practical advice she has learned over the years, giving hope to others trying to make sense of their own realities.

If you have mentally ill family members or just want to have a more personal account of living with the mentally ill, I recommend this book. On a personal note, Clea's words helped me find the peace and understanding that I have been needing in my own life.

On a side note, Clea is also the author of several amazing mysteries. My personal favorites are Dogs Don't Lie and Cats Can't Shoot in the Pru Marlowe series.

Thanks for reading!
Ingrid

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vulnerability - Revisited

As I slowly incorporate my old blog with my new, below is a post I wrote in 2009, but my thoughts are still fresh as I stay the course I started in 2007...

Our secrets, the ones we hold deep within us, afraid to reveal, those are our biggest stumbling blocks. There is a part of us that so deeply wants to be free of that intense mass of pain and regret. If only a safe, merciful avenue of empathetic exposure were found, our vulnerability would be allowed. To lie naked and exposed before others, friends and strangers, that is the hardest act of bravery one could ever do.

I applaud those who are that brave. Not afraid to allow their writing to reveal their deepest, most life-shattering revelations. But what about the rest of us? We need that release just as much. We need the knots to become unwound. We need the wound to be open to fresh air. In doing so, we, too, can heal.

To these poor souls, I say one word, fiction. If our secrets are too profound. If our memories are too hurtful to ourselves or others, why not write in such a manner that allows us to reveal the pain but not expose our reality?

That is the path other writers have followed and for them it has been most healing. For it allows the pain to be handled in smaller doses and displays our memories at a safe distance rather than up close and personal.

To those who have and will endeavor on both the nonfiction and fictional routes, a warm smile, a big hug and a compassionate as well as empathetic, “Go in peace,” to you my friends, my fellow travelers. I am on that path with you. It can be a dark, scary place. But with the love and comfort of friends, we can get through it and be the better for it, on the other side.

All the best, always,

Ingrid

To All of You Who Are Motherly!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are motherly! Mother's Day has always been an enigma to me and every year I am puzzled as to...