Book Review – Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead as a Doornail

Author: Christine Harris

Format: Hardback

Published: 2005

 

When I pick up a Sookie Stackhouse novel, many time I feel like I’m putting on warm fuzzy bunny slippers.  There is a familiar comfort to the cadence and the flow of these books that I simply enjoy.  When I read Charlaine’s books I simply just sit back, enjoy the ride and maybe live a little vicariously through Sookie seeing as she gets to be around the types of beings I only get to dream of, vampires and werewolves and the like.

 

While I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books and they all have that familiar comfort this book felt a little outside of the norm.  I enjoyed the read and it was just as cozy as I described above but it was lacking at the same time.  In picking up one of these novels I’ve come to expect a good bit of mystery and intrigue, Sookie’s life to be in danger on more than one occasion and for there to be some rather sexy moments between Sookie and a supernatural male of choice.  Sadly this was not the case with the book. It had promise it had intrigue – Sookie’s life was in danger but not in such thrilling ways where I was on the edge of my seat.

 

Sookie also spent most of her time swinging from one even to the next trying to keep her head afloat and not really digging into any mysterious events or deaths even though there was a serial killer roaming around trying to kill shifters.  It was kind of clear at least to me who did the shooting long before Sookie even pieced any of it together and honestly the discovery of who did it was merely by chance.  Additionally the only sexy moment was when Sookie was getting her leg licked by a newly introduced shifter.  It sounds kinky and weird I admit but given the situation it was less kinky and more logical and a bit sexual.

 

Honestly this book in the series was akin to the second movie in a trilogy, lot of important information and filler but a bit lacking in the action.  I will admit it made a lot of sense for Sookie as a character to not get too romantically involved with anyone given everything that had happened in her life.  She had recently been through a lot of drama in the previous books and most people like Sookie would need a break and would sort of swing from event to event as it played in the book – so I can credit Charlene Harris for her use of character development in this book but it was still highly disappointing when you are expecting something a little more both romantically and mystery wise.  I am hoping the next book will pick back up with the romantic interludes and mysterious intrigue.  With that said I’ll have to give this book a 3 out of 5 pages – it is not worth skipping but you don’t want to expect to get much out of this book.

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Book Review – Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Title: Club Dead

Author: Charlaine Harris

Format: Hardback

Published: 2003

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read another Sookie Stackhouse Novel, or at least reviewed it.  After one horrific novel that plays at Vampires I decided to chase that off with something a bit better.  Now I’ll be the first to say that I don’t find the Stackhouse novels to be the end all of Vampires, but they do a better job than the book that shall not be named or as I like to call it ‘the book of dimples’.

Club Dead is the third book in at least a nine book series (I haven’t looked to see if there are even more or not).  This book take a different turn than the first two and wasn’t a classic murder mystery romance story of Sookie with her Vampire boyfriend Bill.  In this book (sorry I will spoil you some)  not everything is perfect in paradise for Sookie and Bill.

In the story we learn more about the Vampire world and the world of Werewolves an shifters as Sookie travels with a Werewolf named Alcide to Mississippi to save Bill’s life as his vampiric life is in danger and she is the only one who can possibly save him by using her mind reading abilities to find him.  Of course, she is having to enter dangerous waters as it is most likely the Vampire King of Missippi that has Bill.   Louisana vampires cannot help as they are tied with the Vampire Queen of Lousiana and a war would break out if things get too involved.  Thus Alcide is hired to help Sookie.

Over all, the tension of the book was decent from the worry and conflict over Bill, as he was ready to just up and leave Sookie high and dry without even properly breaking up with her to be with an old lover.  To a lot of the sexual tension felt as Sookie found herself highly attracted to Alcide and his animal magnetism as a werewolf.  I admit while very little occurred between Sookie and Alcide, it was very appealing to me to read as I have always been quite fond of Werewolves.

This book takes the Sookie character in new directions and really develops her as a person and I admit I’m intrigued to see how much of that will carry into the next books.  Over all the book was a decent read.  The mystery wasn’t too heavy this time around like it was in past books but there were a few driving questions that helped pull the book together.  In the end I will say that while the writing may not be to perfection for some people Charlaine Harris has a way of drawing you in as a reader and making you not want to stop reading till the end.  With such a writing style and ‘romance’ found in the book I honestly enjoyed myself with the book.  As such I will have to give it a 4 out of 5 pages.  If I was rating the story on mystery though I would have to knock things down a peg as again the mystery aspect of the story wasn’t as strong.

Book Review – Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Title: Living Dead in Dallas

Author: Charlaine Harris

Format: Hardback

Published: 2002

 

After reading the first Sookie Stackhouse book (as most people call it) I knew I wanted to read the second and shortly after reading and reviewing the first book I found myself rushing to the library to get the next book.  Unfortunately like took some unexpected turns and I was forced to stop reading it for a time and the conditions that caused me to stop reading caused me to not want to read the book.  Yet the completest in me very much wanted to finish the book so after a few failed attempts to borrow the book I picked it back up thinking I was hardly half way through the story to discover I was more than half way and finished in in a couple of hours.

 

The general story starts with Sookie discovering the death of a friend that was being pinned on Bill Compton who wasn’t to blame even if he isn’t her favorite person.  Of course while this is the setting for a good mystery there is more to the story than just that, in addition to this, Sookie and her abilities are are being sold and rendered to a Coven in Dallas where things take a turn for the ugly as she is forced to meet and face the anti-vampire community as they are involved with the disappearance of a Dallas Vampire.  Of course that disappearance is another mystery to be figured out by Sookie as she is a human and can investigate in day light hours.  Toss into this the fact that Sookie is having trouble with certain vampire characteristics of Bill’s creating some tension and there is also a maenad names Callisto causing some trouble as well.

 

In short, there is a lot going on in this book, though majority of it is set in Dallas where Sookie faces the Dallas coven followed by dealing with the anti-vampire community known as the Fellowship of Light.  In the end everything kind of ties itself up once Sookie is returned home and honestly I felt the conclusion of the death we see at the start of the book and some of the other issues was a bit rushed and trite – not to say that the general story wasn’t good.  I stayed at work extra just to finish the last chapter so it couldn’t be all that bad.  Also, if I hadn’t stopped and picked the book back up I may not have noticed this issue as much, so I will kindly give this book a 4 out of 5 pages and state that I do look forward to finding the time to read the next book in the series despite the fact that I have other books currently in my bag that need to be read first.

Writer Wednesday – Valerie Bowen

Valerie Bowen is a NaNo novelist working her way towards a dozen books in print, including a series where a portion of the proceeds go to charity.  But, as she’s told me nothing else about her, that’s all I’ve got by way of introduction. This is her…

Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
I’ m a versatile writer with eight books under my belt. I love writing stories that can pull the reader into the characters world and make them feel the same emotions whether it’s love or terror.

Tell us (briefly) about you…
…and a bit about what you’ve written…
I have written two three book series, the popular For the Sake of Amelia series and the psychological thriller series titled Mind of a Madman. I would also like to mention I recently released The Drifter, another thriller and Shattered which is a novel based on a true story of psychological abuse.

…and what you’re working on right now.
I’m currently working on a novel titled The Enchanted Oasis which is also a thriller. The most exciting news, I’ve been offered the opportunity to write another based on a true story. This novel is about the very dangerous life of a well known individual…that’s all I can say at this time.

What are your earliest book-related memories?
I have always been an avid reader, and the earliest memory would have to be the Dick, Jane, and Sally books the children of the sixties had to read in the classroom.

What are your three favorite books?
Asking me to name my three favorite books really isn’t a fair question. I have so many novels that I have loved over the years. Since the question was asked, I’ll try to whittle it down. The first I would have to say is Swan Loch by Randy Mixter. Another favorite of mine, is The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. Finally I would have to add The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris.

How many books to do you read at any given time? What are you reading now?
I have been known to read four or five at a time, but currently I’m only reading one.

Finish this sentence; When I curl up with a book, I __
dive into a world of imagination leaving the day’s aggravation behind.

To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.
There have been many books that I have read and re-read.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
I try to read every novel that has been suggested to me. Although, I do have to admit some have been far less than what I would call interesting and leave them before I have a chance to finish.

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
I recommend novels all the time. I have a blog, I have to be honest I haven’t kept up on, where I post reviews of novels that have been suggested .

What do you look for in a good book?
To me a good book has to pull me in and hold me there. If an author can drag his/her reader in within the first chapter or two, I’ll stay with it to the end.

Why do you write?
I write because the stories in my head need to be told. Every character has a voice and wants to be put down on paper.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
I’m an architectural designer by trade, so I would continue on that path.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
All my novels have a part of me. All the characters, even the villains, are pulled from people I have come across in my life. So to answer this question simply, I have to say my stories contain emotions and people I have encountered over the course of my life.

What has writing taught you about yourself?
LOL writing has taught me, I’ve had far to many nasty people in my life. Face it if I can write about psychological murderer and get his emotions and feelings on paper and believable…well I guess I’ve encountered some mean and nasty people.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
The people in my life rarely read my novels. The reason being, I make the scenes, all scenes life like. My friends and family aren’t into the true to life murders I write. I’m constantly being asked to write a novel without violence, you know a love and sweet romance…I just can’t bring myself to do it at this point in my life.

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
In every field there are typical stereotypes, and writers are no exception to the rule. I would classify a true novelist as a loner, happy in the worlds they create. True peace can be found within the comfort of one’s mind even if murder and mayhem are there.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
The biggest hurdle for writers, whether just starting out or if they’ve had a few novels published, is marketing. It’s tough trying to get people to take the chance on a new writer. Once your stories are introduced and you have a following, it tends to get easier.

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
Everyone makes mistakes along the way. I myself try to research and ask questions. I have spoken to numerous law enforcement officials when I was writing the Mind of a Madman series. I’m sure not every cop operates in the same manner, so in the end I’m sure someone is likely to say I’ve written something wrong. Just make sure if you’re writing ay a historical romance, do your homework.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
Well that’s a great question. As I stated above, I’m currently in the talk stages of writing a novel, based on the true life of an important individual. This would be my dream work.

How do you deal with your fan base?
Fans are great! Whenever I get an e-mail or a comment from a fan I’m elated. There are a few people I consider my biggest fans, and I always go above and beyond to make them happy. After all, fans are what drives the author in us all.

Finish this sentence; My fans would be surprised to know __
I’m more of a loner than they could imagine. Although I choose to be alone, I’m far from lonely.

Anything else we should know?
To read the available chapters for all my books: http://www.opusnpen.com and http://www.valeriebowen.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=valerie+bowen

Face book author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Valerie-Bowen/140274682715104?ref=hl
Email: val2262001@yahoo.com

I also do anything to help. I offer cover designs at a very reasonable price. To take a look at my work or to inquire go to http://opusnpenblog.weebly.com/cover-designs.html

I also create book trailers and am willing to do them or assist in awy way I can. You can see my work on my site http://www.valeriebowen.com/book-trailers.html

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