Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review: Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) 
by Laurell K. Hamilton 

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (December 4, 2003)
Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Edition

File Size: 766 KB
Print Length: 560 pages
Publisher: Jove (April 1, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.'
Amazon Kindle Link


Ratings: ★ ★

My thoughts:

It has been a month since I started this, had to DNF, can't stand Anita's kinky sex life. It was cool at first. Anita went back to being a normal human - Anita as an animator/necromancer and a private investigator. Had fun reading about the investigation involving the RPIT gang but once in a while, sh*t like ardeur would happen and I'd skip. I was halfway thru the book when I realized I've been skipping too many pages, so I decided to DNF. 



As you can see, I have these two more Anita books which I bought years ago when I was sooooo addicted to the series. The last Anita books I read were  Blue Moon (Jan 2011) and Obsidian Butterfly (Oct 2011), followed by Narcissus in Chains just last month (August 2014). I guess it's time to say goodbye to this once-awesome-series. ;(

About the book:

Cerulean Sins, the eleventh entry in the hugely-popular Anita Blake series, finds everyone’s favorite vampire hunter keeping house and kicking butt.

Anita Blake is trying to get her life back to “normal” after a break-up with her werewolf lover. She has settled into a pattern of domesticity, which means that the new man in her life, the leopard shapeshifter Micah, has no problem sharing her with Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City. Things are as peaceful as they ever get for someone who raises the dead, when Jean-Claude receives an unexpected and unwelcome visitor: Musette, the very beautiful, very twisted representative of the European Council of Vampires. Anita soon finds herself caught up in a dangerous game of vampire power politics.

To add to her troubles, she is asked to consult on a series of brutal killings, which seem to be the work of something un-human. The investigation leads her to Cerulean Sins, a vampire-run establishment that deals in erotic videos, videos that cater to very specific tastes. Anita knows one creature of the night who has such interests — Jean-Claude’s visitor. But if Anita brings Musette down, the repercussions could cost her everything she holds dear.

Once a sworn enemy of all monsters, Anita is now the human consort of both Master Vampire Jean Claude and leopard shapeshifter Micah. When a centuries-old vampire hits St. Louis, Anita finds herself needing all the dark forces her passion can muster to save the ones she loves.


Anita Blake returns to find hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.

About the author



Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Book Spotlight with : Imperfect Paradise by Dan Dembiczak

Imperfect Paradise
by Dan Dembiczak

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 16, 2014)
Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Edition

File Size: 3472 KB
Print Length: 193 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1493742590
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link


Synopsis:

Imperfect Paradise tells a story of internal awakening and delivers a powerful message about hope, happiness, and finding your place in the world. A classic romance with a contemporary twist, it is sure to appeal to fans of modern, liberating fiction.

For thirty-two-year-old Sarah Chizeck, marriage was not an option, but an expectation. She was raised to believe that a woman’s main focus is to get married and start a family, and she put everything on hold to accomplish this goal.


When she finally marries her boyfriend of five years, Michael—a smart, successful and charismatic dream—her family is ecstatic; but is Sarah? Underneath Sarah’s smiles, feelings begin to surface.


Sarah’s career and personal interests were not all she put on hold to pursue marriage. She also put her feelings on the backburner and buried her emotions. When she reluctantly goes to Hawai’i for her honeymoon, the raw beauty of where she is and who she is surrounded by drudges up passions, and she is both pleased and alarmed by the sensory experiences she encounters.

Terrified by her attraction to a handsome young concierge, Sarah is forced to confront her emotional state, as well as emotions she previously ignored, and she ultimately comes to surprising revelations about her upbringing, marriage, and future.


Chapter 1

This is a beautiful room, I think—one that I’m sure has been filled many times over with passion and promise. I especially love this writing desk by the television— simple, stately, sophisticated. I look down at the hotel stationery and consider writing it all down instead. It would be easier, but only in the short term. Instead, I rip a sheet off and fold it twice before tucking it in the pocket of my shirt. Souvenir.

With the exception of recent events, it can honestly be said that I always do the right thing. I mail my taxes in early March. I never put tampons in the toilet. I even tip my dry cleaner. It’s this history of perfect behavior that led me to this island. But now the cranks and wheels that once kept me moving in the right direction are broken. I am veering off to the roads of frightening exposure. The skin on my face is raw—the plaster dried and chiseled away.

There is a nice breeze reminding me where I still am, this place of dolphins and dreams. He’ll be here soon; I know it. Just hold on a few more minutes. I think about the lotion in the bathroom. Should I go get it? Then, I could sit at this perfect vanity and moisturize to make the moment more pleasant. Pleasant. There’s nothing wrong with the word, really. Who wouldn’t want a pleasant cup of tea or a pleasant weekend in the mountains? Or pleasant conversation?

I want to call my sister to tell her what’s going on, about my decision. This needs to be mine, though. I open the drawer of the desk, expecting to see a Bible radiating judgment. Instead, there are flyers for exciting activities like scuba diving, swimming with manta rays, zip line tours, botanical gardens, even lunch at a vanilla farm. I see the faces of beaming children and their loving parents. The cruise with the water slide and cocktails might be fun, I think. I close the drawer and wait.

Where the hell is he? He said only nine holes. Maybe the train isn’t working. Yes, there is a train in our hotel. It’s a theme park, actually. For the rich and responsible. It’s not like I’m not used to waiting. I’d order a tray of pastries if my craving for sugar hadn’t suddenly disappeared. I bet, if I do something ridiculous, he’ll fly right through the door. I could change into my bikini and attempt the hula. Or I could order an adult movie. Or empty the minibar. I can see his face. His gleaming white teeth, that smart smile. I feel his stubble against my shoulder when we embrace. I taste the sweat on his neck. Suddenly, I long for the familiar. I want to be in my frayed pajamas and Berkeley sweatshirt watching Home & Garden Television and not talking. I want to look up and notice something new about him.

I smell pancakes coated in coconut. Breakfast is served late into the afternoon at the resort. I wonder what I’ll have tomorrow for breakfast. Or the next day. What will it taste like? Will I prepare it myself? Or maybe I’ll skip it entirely again.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Author: Justin Forest

She and I On The Beachfront 

I often teach Sherman Alexie’s video interview where he says that writing is a very self-conscious profession, and I know all too well that feeling. I was told that if you think of a story that was never told, either you hit the jackpot or there is a reason why the story was never told.  In my case, I hope for about fifty percent of each. 

No matter what one writes, truly great writers write with passion not with mechanics. After studying taboo subjects of children and sexuality, I decided that there was a story never told.  I read Lolita. I read Tiger, Tiger, and I read The End of Alice. I listened to many songs while growing up that make sexual references to young girls, but the offenders of these books seemed mostly the worst kind. Yet we adore Lewis Carroll, who adored little girls, and we have a culture that sexualizes young girls and teaches them to be noticed at all costs. Maybe part of us is the monster we are terrified of, and we are actually more afraid of the truth. No, my book would be different.  I would tell the story of a boy trapped in the world of victim-offender. He would say exactly what he thought in unflinching detail. 
I thought I had the perfect story, but then the attacks came. The book became about me, the pariah. I was attacked from every angle, and I gave up writing nearly ten times. Somehow, I returned.  I brought the book to agents, and the ones that read it said, “Hey this is good, poetic; it has strong voice, but I am not sure of audience.”  Hey, who is going to like it?   Then I learned that if I did publish traditionally, everyone else would be messing with my “baby” and my art, and my vision.  I decided to go Indy. 

I was going to cast the book as the enigma. It is what it is not and that is truer to life than anything else. It will defy category, as the devil would not serve; but its message would be altruistic. I was going to tell the story of a boy who was a victim of abuse that watched those he knew get compromised by abuse. But that is not the politically correct story, for Glen has attraction toward girls as well as women. He lives in fear every moment and that fear makes him angry and a bit over the top. You love him, hate him, and cry for him. If anyone can understand what would help our girls avoid danger, Glen would. 

But great stories have to be written well, and I worked with many editors and looked at over ten Galleys before clicking “publish.” But I had to say “no” to some editors and stick to my guns.  If you want convention, go elsewhere. If you want a ride, then fasten your seatbelts. Morality depends on how hungry you are. Then the true work began.

Books don’t sell themselves, and I had given birth to a child that was warring with every possible would-be reader. She was a lone soldier storming the stormy beachhead of Normandy with only a snake as her weapon. She was the nameless child model carrying the world of adult taboo. She, like I, broke all the rules.

Publicists rejected her, media outlets ignored her, and Facebook all but shut her down. For every step she took, she was hit even further backwards, but passion is passion. Her greatest fans would be silent, hiding in secret to avoid discovery and her critics the loudest. 

Yet, I found a publicist who believed in my art as much as I believed in it, and together helped the book fight through. As Winston Churchill said, “If you are in hell, walk through it.”  As one solder said to the others in the Normandy invasion. You can either die here on the beach or die further up. 

I choose dying further up. That’s progress.

 Then something happened, people started to notice. Of all the people who read my book, most say that Glen is likeable. My test readers, some of which were victims of sex abuse said that the book is “serious literature on sex abuse,” and some of my readers who are past offenders say exactly the same thing.  Past victim and abuser agree. Is this a spot for healing?  I don’t know, but I and she will die further up the beach trying.

About the author:

Justin Forest has five college degrees, including a MLSt in taboo studies and a PhD in literature and criticism. He has compiled information for the United Nations on the anti-child sex trafficking movement and has since transitioned to sexuality research. He's a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and teaches themes of girlhood and sexuality. His debut novel, Lolita in the Lion's Den, was published in September 2014. 

For more info, visit: www.lolitalion.com

Lolita in the Lion's Den or Pre-Tween
Juxtaposition: 
From Sexual Abuse to Empowerment 
by Justin Forest

Kindle Edition
File Size: 3019 KB
Print Length: 186 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

About the book:

A young man must overcome a horrific past in order to release his inner demons in Justin Forest’s shocking new novel, Lolita in the Lion’s Den or Pre-Tween Juxtaposition.

Glen has fought for years to escape a brutal home life, one in which he acts as his mother’s only friend and to accept that his father has been molesting his sister for over a decade.

But after dropping out of high school and spending years working aimless jobs, Glen finally turns a new chapter when he enters the thrill of college life.

But with that freedom comes disturbing sexual desires and inclinations. Having become increasingly reliant on his own fantasy world, Glen soon finds himself mired in the world of adult pornography and struggling with his attraction to both women and girls.

Haunted by the damage his father’s actions wrought on his family and other victims, Glen must come to terms with his admiration for the exact thing his father so actively destroyed.

More relevant than ever in today’s hypersexualized world, Lolita in the Lion’s Den or Pre-Tween Juxtaposition is an emotionally provocative read that gets to the heart of some of society’s most pressing issues.
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