karensdifferentcorners

Treat everyday as a new adventure

Reading, Reviews, Reviewers

I want to stick to the reading theme for a couple more blog posts. I am still reading, just not as much as I was, or at least I thought I haven’t been reading as much. :-)

Currently I am reading two books. The first is; “You, Inc.” by Burke Hedges, which is a self-help book about being successful. I haven’t a clue as to why I am reading it, considering that I am already successful. Ha! It’s an interesting read. I think my ex boss must have read it because I see a lot of her ways in it.

The second book is titled, “Suppose” by Kathy Steinemann. Kathy was having a giveaway and I won a signed copy! Thank you, Kathy. It is a compilation of drabbles, flash fiction, and short stories. It also has stories in it by Amber Hayward, A.L. Kaplan, and Donna Milward. So far I am enjoying it and am on page 81. I’ll review it when I finish.

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I’ve also read, in the past couple of weeks, “Silken Prey” by John Sandford. “Imperfect Strangers” by Stuart Woods. And “Deeply Odd” by Dean Koontz. Now I am not going to do detailed reviews of these novels (They were all entertaining) but I want to talk about Dean Koontz for a minute. I like his writing and I like his stories, but his endings always seem to fall flat to me. They just seem to fizzle out. Has anyone else noticed that? He starts out great in the beginning and stays strong through the middle, but it’s like he’s tired of the story and worn out, so he just throws together the ending to be done with it. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I mean he ties everything up, gives you a happily ever after or not, but forgets the Bang!

One of the more interesting things that I have found while doing all of this reading is the reviews, but not really the reviews but the reviewers. If you pick up a Dean Koontz novel you will find 5 or 6 pages of reviews and who did the review! So I started researching the reviewers. In one book alone, I found 32 different reviewers. Now in researching them, I found some that haven’t posted a review (Or anything else) on their site since 2009, 2011, 2013, so I crossed them out. As also the ones who state that they no longer review self-published authors. Why, what’s wrong with us? And of course I crossed out the ones who charge for reviews. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay $300 for a review. But I did find some real gems so I thought I’d share a few of the more promising ones.

http://booklife.com/

http://www.nightsandweekends.com/

http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/

http://alwayswithabook.blogspot.com/

http://thereviewbroads.com/

http://bookloons.com/

Okay, so get busy writing, do some reading, and check out these sites! :-)

I am heading to Barnes and Nobles. It’s James Patterson day and it’s a buy one, get one, free day for his novels!

I’ll let you know what I get but I’m thinking one of them will be “ZOO”

So till then; HUGS!

Good Morning!

Good morning and Happy Saturday to you. We had an earthquake this morning. It would have been the best wake-up call, if I had been asleep. Better than a ringing phone or a buzzing alarm clock. Earthquakes don’t scare me but scared the crap out of my dogs though. Felt like something slammed into the underside of the house, followed by things rattling on shelves.

I thought someone had let the Kraken loose underneath my house. :-)

And every time there’s a disturbance in the force I think of this song,

No damage here, but it makes you think that you should really get prepared for the BIG one. I actually went to the store 2 days ago, so we’d survive at least a week. LOL!

Oh, and if you want to know how strong it was, it was a 4.3

Shake, rattle, and roll! Have a great weekend everyone!

Talk to you soon. Hugs till then!

 

 

 

Houses Without Doors A Review

I know Peter Straub has co-authored with Stephen King, so when I found “Houses Without Doors” by Peter Straub at the book exchange, I thought, “Why not?” And now I wished I hadn’t.

“Houses Without Doors” is a collection of thirteen short stories, two of which I found quite disturbing.

None of the stories had any rhyme or reason to them. There were no endings, happy or otherwise.

“Blue Rose” was one of the main stories. It was about a dysfunctional family, to say the least. A mother who was a nurse and a child abuser, very demanding and domineering. The father was a drunk and they had 5 sons, two of which had enlisted in the service and moved out. The three remaining sons were, Rocky age thirteen, Harry age nine, and Little Eddie age six. They lived in poverty but I’m not sure they really had to. The nine year old, Harry, found a book on hypnotism in the attic, which the boys weren’t supposed to be in the attic since that is where the mom stored everything she treasured, (Fancy furniture, clothing that she never wore, pictures, books, etc.) and decided that he would hypnotize his little brother. The first time wasn’t bad, but the second and third time he tortured him and when little Eddie lost control the third time (because Harry had taken him back in time) and ran amok in the attic damaging much of their mom’s stuff, Harry decided to hypnotize Little Eddie to have a seizure and die. And except for dad, nobody seemed to miss him. Sad, really sad. Anyway, the story ended with Harry all grown up and in the service. He was writing a letter to his girlfriend back home telling her that when he got back that they would be together, etc. And then it says he never sent the letter. The end. No ending per say. No reason why, just; the end.

“The Juniper Tree” Was about a seven year old boy who would go to the movies instead of the daycare at the school like he was supposed to. One day he met a pedophile there, and the details were a little too much for me. He grew up. Never told anyone about the movies and there was no logical reason for this story. And no ending.

“The Buffalo Hunter” was strange and a little wordy, but made a little more sense than the others and it actually had an ending! Woohoo!

“Mrs. God”  Weird. I thought it was going along okay and then we came to the ending and then I was in the dark as to what the story was really about.

The rest of the stories were either one or two pages long and really weren’t stories at all.

I cannot recommend this book to anyone. I don’t think I’ll read any more books by him. The man is…

That’s the end of my review. :-)

You can read other’s reviews for, “Houses Without Doors” Here

Have you read it? Have you read other books by Peter Straub? I’d like to know your thoughts.

Hope to see you soon. Till then: HUGS!

Please Leave a Message After The Beep…

BEEP!!!

I can bet that we all have at least one of those family members and friends that love to call just to chat. You know the ones… They tell you the past 6 months of their life story… Even though you just talked to them yesterday… Yeah, them! That’s the ones! See I knew you’d know who I was talking about. Not too many people call my house and most of the time it’s telemarketers trying to sell me something and I know how to handle them, “I’m on the freakin’ do not call list! Don’t call me again!” Click. No, I’m actually quite civil when they call. “I’m sorry I’m not interested.” Click. I do not give them a chance to respond. It’s for the best that I don’t. Excuse me for a minute, my phone’s ringing.

“Hello.”

Joyce: The Veterans left a message on my phone. They are trying to reach dad. It is a 951 #. Can you call them and see what they want?”

Me: “Okay, give me their number.”

Joyce: “I can’t see it. Can’t you just call.”

Me: Not without a number.”

Joyce: Well, I am only on a short break. I’ll text it to you.”

Me: “Okay.”

Now if you read my last post you know I have been in a funk lately. Not writing. Not blog posting. Etc. So when I do get motivated and my muse wakes up, phone calls can be a big distraction. Especially when it’s my dad calling.

I’m writing and the phone rings.

“Hello”

Dad: “Write this number down. ”

Me: Okay. Go ahead.”

Dad: 951-555-000

Me: “You’re missing a number.”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “You. Are. Missing. A. Number. It needs another number.” (Dad’s a little hard of hearing.)

Dad: Sh*t. I’ll call you back.” Click.

Now I know the minute I start writing again, the phone’s going to ring. So I wait. 5 minutes…10 minutes… Start pacing the room. Stare at the phone. “Ring already.” 20 minutes…My muse is threatening to go back to her room…Open up WIP and…Ringgggg. Repeatedly bangs head on table.

“Hello.”

Dad: “Hello”

Me: “What took you so long?”

Dad: “Well, I had to run to the market and get a quart of milk, so Jinny could have her cereal.”

Me: “So what’s the number and who is this that I’m calling?”

Dad: “I don’t know. They called and I couldn’t understand them.”

Me: “Okay.  Give me the number and I’ll call and find out.”

Dad: “951-555-0000″

Me: “Okay, I’ll call you right back.” So I dial the number.

“Please press one for English. If this is a medical emergency, hang up and dial 911. Please press 2 for…00000000, Me: “Just answer the dang phone already!”

Them: Dr. so and so’s office. How may I help you?”

Me: “My dad received a call from your office and I need to find out what you wanted.”

Them: “What’s his name? His social security number? His birth date?”

Me: Blah, blah, blah…”

Them: “We just wanted to confirm his appointment for tomorrow at 10:30.”

Me: “Fine, I’ll let him know.” Click

Dial Dad’s number.

Dad: “Who is it?”

Me: “Dad, it’s me.”

Dad: “I can’t hear you! Dammit, Virginia next time you answer the phone. I can’t hear them.” Click.

Bangs head on table. Scares Muse off to her room, where she promptly locks the door and yells, “I’m never coming out again!”

Dad is 91 and except for the fact that he can be very demanding, hard of hearing, and a grouchy old bear, he really is a big sweetheart and no matter what I’m doing, he expects me to drop it and take care of whatever he needs and I usually do. LOL!

I don’t have a set time to write like other writers do. (Maybe I should) I write when the mood strikes, when my motivation is present, and when I can coax my muse to unlock her door and come out from her room.

So what do you do when the phone rings? Do you let the machine get it? Do you have a special message for everyone?

“I can’t come to the phone right now. I am in my cave, writing. If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 911. If it’s not an emergency, leave me a message and I’ll call you as soon as my muse locks herself back in her room. Thank you and wait for the beep!”

I’ll call you back! Hugs till then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update to Reading!

I have been in a funk lately. Can’t seem to write. Can’t seem to get any blog posts done. Haven’t been keeping up with Twitter. And I barely post on Facebook.  And I can hear people saying, “Oh, you sound like you’re depressed.” But I’m not. (I think it’s an aversion to the computer, or self-doubt, who knows, but the one thing I have been doing is; READING! In fact, I have been devouring books right and left since December 26th, 2014. :-)

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Here’s the list.

  • Eden Baylee “Stranger at Sunset”
  • James Smith “The Shoe Box “A collection of short stories
  • Stephen King “Joyland”
  • Dean Koontz (Dean R. Koontz) “Midnight”, “The Bad Place”, “Strangers”,”The Door to December”, “Cold Fire”
  • Clive Cussler “Night Probe”
  • John Saul “Shadows”, “The Unwanted”
  • Michael Connelly “The Fifth Witness”, “The Black Box”, “The Scarecrow”
  • James Patterson “First to Die”, “Cat and Mouse”
  • James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge “I, Michael Bennett”. “Step on a Crack”
  • James Patterson and Mark Sullivan “Private Games”, “Private Berlin”
  • James Patterson and Maxine Paetro “Private #1 Suspect”
  • James Patterson and David Ellis “Guilty Wives”
  • Plus 2 Readers Digest “Select Editions” Which contained 4 short stories each. And I’m almost finished with a 3rd one.

That is a grand total of 24 (almost25) books.

Now to tell the truth I’m getting burned out from reading. :-) At least reading too much and I am finally getting back to writing (YAY!) and blogging.

Will see you soon! Hugs till then!

I forgot to say that all, (except) for a given few) books will be donated to the Veterans Hospital in Loma Linda, CA.

If you have books sitting around that you’ve read and that are collecting dust, check with your local Veterans Hospital and see if they have book exchange shelves that you can donate to.

Reading!

I have read three novels, starting on Christmas day and finishing on new year’s day. A total of 1,111 pages! (I like that number) If I had made any resolutions, one would have been, pace yourself. :-) I’d like to attempt reading one novel a week to get caught up, but…We will see how that works out. Okay, well on to the three books and what I thought.

But wait! I have to introduce my reading companions.

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First off they were all crime thrillers/mystery novels. Whodunits, so to speak.

First one, “First to Die” By James Patterson.

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You know what?  This was the first book that I have read written by James Patterson? I enjoyed it! Now I’ll need to get another one. In fact, I was just reading the Happy New Year email from Mr. Patterson and it had a link titled the only calendar you’ll need this year, and he has 16 books being released in 2015! Geez! That’s a lot. How many are you planning on releasing? :-)

The second book was, “Joyland” by Mr. Stephen King. :-) I wasn’t too sure about this one before I read it, but it turned out to be a fantastic read. It wasn’t scary or gory at all and fell more into a murder mystery category.

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And last, but not least I read “Stranger at Sunset” By the lovely and talented Eden Baylee. This was Eden’s first attempt at writing a full length thriller novel.

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I will do the review of “Stranger at Sunset” separately.  You can find “Stranger at Sunset HERE!

And don’t forget to follow Eden here on twitter, and facebook, and her website.

See you soon! And till then, HUGS!

 

Look what I got!

I had asked for a graphic tablet for Christmas, but didn’t get it until my birthday. Anyway, I got the Wacom Intuos.

 

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Anyway, I am fascinated by the puddles in my back yard and I wanted it so that I could create the pictures that I see in the puddles. Can you see the witch in the puddle?

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How about now?

 

 

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Or now?

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I know, I need some practice, but… :-)

How about this one? What do you see?

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I see a cow. :-) A funny looking one, but a cow just the same. Or maybe you see a dog?

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Another neat thing about it….

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It also works with Microsoft Word. When I start a story, I grab a notebook and an ink pen. I love the feel of writing by hand. This is a little slower, especially since I keep having to look at the screen to see what I am writing, but I was surprised by its accuracy whether I was printing or writing in cursive. Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of a 1-5 scale.

Do you have one? Do you use it? What do you use it for, drawing or writing? What do you think?

I will be back in a couple of days to share a review of three books that I read the last week of December. (Yeah, I know, I’m a little behind. :-) )

Till then; HUGS!

 

 

Catching Up!

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog and I apologize. Been so busy just chasing my tail. LOL!

Actually, I am in the middle of spring cleaning and minor repairs, but I have also been doing some reading, watching new TV shows and catching a few movies.

I’ve also been doing some knitting, crocheting, sewing, and playing around with the new gadget I got for my birthday.  I’ve been missing the creative side of my gift shop (that I closed down in 2011) and have been considering getting back into designing custom gift baskets and party sets to sell on Etsy.

As for writing….Hmm…I’ve got a dozen or more projects started, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I decided I should do some reviews and today I will start with a new TV show called,

   “Last man on earth.”

Did you watch it? What did you think?

   Last man on earth is a comedy about, you guessed it, the last man on earth. It takes place in 2020 and there’s a virus that wipes out all of civilization.  PHIL MILLER played by Will Forte drives around the U.S. in a giant R.V. looking for any signs of life before settling in a mansion in AZ, which he fills with expensive art and whatever he pleases. Last man on earth had its funny parts, but not a lot of substance. In fact the entire hour long premiere could have been made into a movie and done with.

   Working on a post-apocalyptic novel myself for the past two years, I found, Last man on earth, left me with a lot of questions and not many answers.

   First, the story felt rushed. The character’s were a bit flat and predictable. Characters, you ask? Yes. Phil stumbles upon a crazy woman named Carol, played by Kristen Schaal. I would have liked Phil’s ordeal dealt with in more detail before they introduced Carol, but then I didn’t write the script.

  Second, there were a couple of things that just didn’t make sense to me. How did Phil drive all around the U.S. in a giant RV, which doesn’t get good gas mileage, without stopping for gas? I know you’re saying, “How do you know he didn’t stop for gas?” Hold that thought.

   Why were there no dead bodies? If this was caused by a virus, wouldn’t there be bodies lying around?

   Why was there no water or electricity? Did someone shut everything off before they died and disappeared?

   Back to the gas question, you can’t pump gas without electricity. :-) The pumps won’t work.

   The Walking Dead is more plausible, even with Zombies.

   I can’t say yay or nay at this point. I’ll watch one more episode and see how it goes.

Now some questions for you.

If you found yourself the last man, or woman, on earth, what would you do?

Would you find the fanciest house to live in?

Would you become a daredevil trying things you wouldn’t have tried before?

Or would you be more careful knowing that there weren’t others to help you if you got sick or injured?

Would you lock all the doors even though you are supposedly the last person?

I’ll be sharing another review in a day or two about a gift I received for my birthday.

Till then… HUGS!

Happy 2015!

Well, the holidays are pretty much over. Phew! They make me happy and sad. The end of the year always brings me down. First it hits you. You’re getting older! Another year has come and gone. What did I accomplish? What did I miss? What should I have done? So many questions, without many answers.

So now on to a new year. New adventures. New quests. New goals.

I don’t make new year resolutions. To me they are like broken promises and rules that are made to be broken. I’d rather wing it! :-)

I have set some goals for my writing, though. I have so many things in the works and last year I just couldn’t seem to get it in gear and move forward.

So a toast to the new year and to moving forward!

Happy New Year, everyone! May it grace you with love, kindness, compassion, and prosperity!

Trick or Treat!

I love Halloween. The costumes. The decorations. The wind. The smells. The trick or treating. :-) And THE CANDY!

I also love the scary stories.

Give me anything by Stephen King and you’ll lose me for hours, not to mention that I’ll keep you up all night listening for things that go bump in the night. :-)

My house is haunted so there are plenty of noises.

Anyway, since this is the last day of the month and Halloween, and I wanted to share a few books for your enjoyment.

My favorite by Stephen King is “Cell”

But there are plenty of books by new and indie authors that will keep you up at night! Check out the slide show below.

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And a paragraph from one of my short stories that will be in my collection, “Prompted by a Photo”,

“Tag You’re It!” 

   With arms wrapped around each other, the giggling girls wave goodbye to the old witch and walk along the path towards town. They see the old man in tattered clothes step out from behind the rotting oak tree. His once black fedora, now dingy and gray, sets cockeyed on his balding head. Deep lines etch his face and his scraggly white beard almost reaches his belt. Curious the girls follow him as he moves into the clearing, the dead leaves crackling under their feet. He turns and lifts a gnarled finger to his cracked, dry lips and in a raspy voice he whispers, “What took you so long? Did you talk to her?”

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Still a ways to go and I will be doing some revising, but hopefully I will have the book out before the end of the year!

Now, Go put on your costume and get out there, Trick or Treating, whichever is your pleasure. :-)

See you soon and till then; HUGS!

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