Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Elevation by Shephen King

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

My Thoughts 
 I'm not sure how I feel about this book - I'm personally not seeing the point to this story.  
I'm lost as to why the main character, Scott, is wasting away and there is no reason why?  Not to be a spoiler but it's NEVER said!  What the heck?
I've never read a book by Stephen King and truthfully this story is not making me jump on the bandwagon.  
Aside from the main plot, the characters around the town of Castle Rock are well written and interesting but it doesn't truthfully help with my confusion and lost state.

Drink Selection
 I need a few drinks of something (no idea what) to wrap my head around what is happening in this story!


About Stephen 
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

My Thoughts 
 What an AWESOME book!  I loved everything about this book especially the fact that I was completely snowballed all the way to the very end!
The fact that many of you may not have read this story yet now crosses my mind so I will NOT spoil it for you.
But I will say that I 1000% did not see this ending and I love when a story can shock me that much.
Pammie drives me COMPLETELY crazy throughout this book and I can honesty say that if I were Emily and Pammie was a boyfriend/husband's mom I would be getting a divorce ASAP.  I can only handle so much and she surpassed my limits FOR SURE.
I can secretly say I was happy when Adam's brother treated her well BUT THEN I remembered they are from the same mother and thought she should RUN!
But then bits and pieces started creeping in and you can see the controlling nature out and that is never ok!
This story will grab from the beginning and have your mind spinning at the end.

Drink Selection
I needed a bottle to get through this book!  WOW!  Riesling hands down!

About Sandie 

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Florida by Lauren Groff

The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

My Thoughts 
I have not read a collection of short stories before - this was a great book to introduce that type of read. A few of the stories didn't particularly interest me, but others were very riveting and attention grabbing.
I loved the attention to detail that Lauren gave each and every story.   What an amazing picture she paints as well as intricate stories she weaves.
I won't give away too many details to each story but I will list those that attracted my attention; the stories regarding the abandoned sisters, a lonely boy with snakes and a searching homeless woman.  They grabbed my attention and had me wanting to know more!
For my first set of short stories, I was intrigued and will seek out more books of this type.

Drink Selection
I would pair this read with a warm applied cider or mulled wine, perfect for this time of year.


Lauren Groff
 About Lauren
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, N.Y. and grew up one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Hobart, and Five Points as well as in the anthologies Best American Short Stories 2007, Pushcart Prize XXXII, and Best New American Voices 2008.

She was awarded the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville, and has had residencies and fellowships at Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center.

She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband, Clay, and her dog, Cooper.

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The World Breaks Everyone by Lauren Clark


A Gripping Cat-and-Mouse Suspense Novel

Every day, I wake up certain of only three things:

I am responsible for my mother’s death.
My father has vanished.
Someone wants me dead.

I’m on the run. It’s me against the world.
I cannot let it break me.

When sixteen-year-old Olivia Jacobs and her celebrity chef father are brutally attacked after his French Quarter restaurant opening, the shell-shocked Olivia finds herself on the run on the streets of New Orleans.

Who wants her dead? And why?

My Thoughts 
This book was a little slow to start for me and pieces were slightly confusing to figure out (characterization) but once the action get going, I couldn't put the book down.
The main character Olivia is juggling so many things on her plate - death of a parent, her father being kidnapped and someone threatening to kill her.  What 16 year old could manage that life?  Certainly not my children!
This book is high energy, high stakes, action packed and will have you guessing all the way to the end. 
For those who are looking for an action packed page turner this would be the perfect read this winter!

Drink Selection
  I would pair this story with a hot glass of mulled cider on a cold winter night!


Laura McNeill
 About Laura 

*Laura McNeill also writes under the pen name "Lauren Clark" (The World Breaks Everyone" (August 2018 release, suspense)*


"A bold and poignant look into an imploding marriage, told in a chorus of assured voices. Center of Gravity is a compelling, fierce, and ultimately hopeful tale, and McNeill is a writer to watch."
- Josilyn Jackson, author of Someone Else's Love Story

“McNeill’s debut is a heart stopping, nail-biting suspense novel that held me captive until I read the last page."
--Colleen Coble, author of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and the Hope Beach novels

"A breathless, gut-wrenching, satisfying page turner about the real superheroes of the world who stand up to evil and won’t back down."
--Erin Healy, author of The Baker's Wife

Laura McNeill has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. Center of Gravity is her first novel with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson.

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