Monday, October 17, 2011

Review Death Is a Relative Thing by Holly Patrone

Death is a Relative Thing

Death is A Relative Thing by Holly Patrone
Paperback194 pages TAG Publishing

*I was given a copy of this book for review. The opinions expressed are my true feelings. No compensation for this review was received*

April Serao's love life is much like a desert, dry, dusty and a little cracked. Six years ago, her husband Sal died while having sex.
That was bad, but he was with her, so it could have been worse, however he hadn't finished renovating the kitchen, so it really could have been better. Now April's raising their three sons alone.
Word got around about how Sal met his unfortunate demise which has earned April a "killer good" reputation. Because of it, most men put a considerable amount of distance between her and them.
Her mother Marie takes April to see a local celebrity psychic, convinced Sal will talk to them. April knows Sal hasn't held up his end of a conversation in a long time but goes anyway because her mother is wiry tough, sports Cherry Cola #17 red hair and is a force to be reckoned with. She's also a "Sicilian Guilt Trip" ninja, and April knows she won't win the battle.
April works as a Technical Support Engineer at a company called Tin Cup Software. Her co workers and occasional partners in crime are Rob and Marley. Rob has a hologram perfect family and Marley passes the time by tweezing chin hairs while talking to customers.
She lives with a large multicolored parrot named Rodney that she believes is going through teenage angst.
An out of state business associate asks April on her first date since Sal's death and she soon finds herself struggling to balance her past, her children and friends and the possibility of new love. Her life, further complicated by a dead musician, a little latex and a few bad guys becomes a rollicking laugh out loud read that you won't want to miss.


My review:
I was disappointed. Disappointed this book ended and there was no sequel for me! I had so much fun reading this book. When I started reading the book I had no intention of really sitting down and reading at that moment. Mostly because I was doing other things. However once I began I could not stop until I got to the end. The plot was interesting, funny, and snarky. I love this author's sense of humor! The characters were everyday people who were delightful to be around. I wanted to read more about April, her sons, her mother and the 2 men in her life, (one live and one dead). Holly Patrone has written a captivating and hilarious book. I found it highly entertaining and cannot wait for more from her. 

Excerpts: 
 My husband Sal died six years ago while engaged in sex, which, as an aside, was part of my fortieth birthday present. The good news is that he was having sex with me, we both managed to finish the job before he checked out, and I didn’t have to fight for custody of the kids. The bad news? Well, besides the fact that he was no help around the house, we got along well and truly liked each other, which is more than you can say for most married people. It took a long time for me and the boys to work through his death, but we’ve done ok.
Of course, people do talk and word got around about how Sal met his unfortunate demise, so dating has been on the slow side. Actually, it’s been nonexistent. Men make sure they put physical distance between me and them as if WHAM! they’ll have an orgasm right on the spot and keel over if they are within five feet of me. 
Kindle Locations 13-20



Our food came, which was a good thing because conversation is allowed to stop, or at least slow down, to allow for chewing. I mean, who wants to be seen talking with a wad of flounder in her mouth? It gave me a few minutes to think. What was happening here? Why did I think I was hearing Sal? Again, I am a little paranoid and a little more than neurotic, so I was beginning to worry that some of the more creative drugs I had taken in the Seventies were doing some dance in my system and I was experiencing a flashback. I hoped this wasn’t the case because the last time I did anything psychedelic I stripped naked and streaked the upstate campus of New Paltz College in broad daylight through two dorms, a jam-packed gymnasium, and the campus food court at high noon. A repeat of that deed with my current body would be a highly regrettable act. 
“Hey, April, we need to talk.” 
“Huh?” I said to Jack.
 “I didn’t say anything.” Ewwww, a food wad. 
“April look, I need your help. Can you get rid of the yahoo over there so we can talk?” 
I punched myself again. Jack was beginning to look a bit alarmed so I felt he was owed an explanation. In this case, I thought a fake one would be preferable to the truth, which was that I seemed to be holding a conversation with my dead husband.
Kindle Locations 532-544



About the Author:

International prizewinning author, Holly Patrone, won her first fiction award in the fourth grade. She lives on the eastern end of Long Island with her husband, the two youngest of her five children and three Boston Terriers. Holly’s convinced the dogs love her best because they jump up and down for ten minutes when she comes home. Everyone else just wants dinner. She eats dark chocolate and shrimp though usually not at the same time. Mostly she writes.



For more on Holly Patrone please visit her at: 



Please leave comments. I love them!

Review of Well With My Soul - Gregory G Allen

HALLOWEEN FUN BOOK GIVEAWAY ENTRY
(books in the giveaway are not necessarily books being reviewed)

Well With My Soul

Well With My Soul by Gregory G. Allen 
Paperback336 pages - ASD Publishing

*I received this book from the author with a request for review. I did not promise a good review nor was one requested. I received no compensation for this review. This review is part of Virtual Book Tours* 

Jacob and Noah Garrett are brothers harboring a lifelong resentment towards each other while dealing with their own compulsive obsessions. One is a liberal gay man who forsakes his family and moves to New York City from Tennessee where he travels deep into a labyrinth of sex and drugs while fighting the fear over his homosexuality. The other is a southern conservative who is left at home holding the proverbial family bag. The story follows their loosely intertwined lives through the wild times of the late seventies and the restraint of the Reagan years in which one brother ends up becoming a minister and preaching his doctrine while the other believes there are some things people are born with and not meant to change. Well with My Soul is told through the perspective of both brothers and shows how misguided choices can drastically affect those around you for years to come; and family may be all that one has when looking for peace to stifle the embers that smolder beneath the surface.

This is not a book for everyone - it contains alcohol use, drug abuse, sexual situations including those of same sex and HIV/AIDS in the early days of the disease. But for those who choose to read it, it is a powerful book. I was captivated by this book. The two brothers with the competition for their mother's love, the relationship between them; filled with love, loathing, jealousy, understanding, forgiveness and heartbreak, the search for God and truth. Their story is real and unflinching. It is a book that makes you search your beliefs and one you want someone else to read just so you can discuss it with them. Well With My Soul is a journey and not an easy one. It is a book you will not forget. You will find yourself thinking on it, the choices everyone in the book made, the choices you make in your life and the beliefs you hold.It is a story that challenges you to search what you believe, look hard at choices you make and the affects of those choices on your life. Ultimately it stresses the importance of knowing yourself and being at peace with your beliefs, especially those dealing with religion. This is a heart-wrenching book. I am not one to cry easily at a book but this one moved me to tears. Actually it moved me beyond tears and to outright crying. Regardless of your religion or your beliefs and feelings about homosexuality, I recommend this book to you. It may or may not change the way you believe or feel but will have you examining the choices you made regarding them. If you have read this book, or read it in the future, I would really like to hear your thoughts on it. If you are uncomfortable writing them in the comment section I invite you to email me them, (cristina@alaskanbookcafe.com). 

Gregory did an excellent job writing this book. The plot was compelling and honest. The characters are so well developed  you not only know the main characters but you know the supporting cast as well. I give this book 5 stars. 
Please leave a comment, (or email me one). 

Halloween Fun with Natasha Larry


Confessions of a Sociopathic Astral Traveler
A Character Guest Blog With Clarissa Fletcher
         


          When Mason stepped down and I became Vice President of the Gramm Institute in Gurley, Alabama most everything we did centered in Jonesborough. All those ancient buildings on Main Street attract as many spectral beings as tourists. The town is a breeding ground for everything from vampires to angels and, of course, ghosts. I always wondered why John just didn’t set up shop there… isn’t it funny? The people of Jonesborough are actually friendly toward ghosts… proud to be the most haunted town in America. It worked out perfectly as a place to raise a superhuman kid… people know there is something weird about Mason and the brat. They know Blondie is something else as well, but, and of course, with psychic manipulation, they ignore it. Over the years, there has been a lot to ignore.

After awhile, going there to fight off demons and drive away spirits got old.  Jonesborough ghosts are stubborn. Not that every sighting was real. Sometimes it was my astral form. I had a little Halloween tradition, namely, I’d use my astral form during the annual storytelling festivals.  I’d like to scare the piss out of visitors and screw with ghost hunters for entertainment, especially when they brought all that ridiculous equipment.

Before I talk about the trouble I caused, I suppose I should explain what astral traveling is.  Simply put it’s using psychic energy to leave your physical body. Just like projection machines do. True astral travel requires the ability to see all events at any given time. Remote viewing. It also requires enough power to push every inch of your mind outward.

Mason can pull this off to an extent. The difference is he uses the brain waves around him to see where he needs to go. Most people can pull off a lesser form of this. A normal human brain can use image streaming, or meditation to trick the brain into thinking it has left the body. It isn’t real astral travel. It’s an insight that occurs as the brain attempts to see its potential.

Anyway, my astral form is invisible to most people, unless I want to spook them, in which case they see whatever I want them to see.

Back to the swarms of people that flow into Main street each year. All of them to hear the ghost tales at the international story telling center…

Well, I got so bored about hearing of President Jackson trolling Main Street; I decided to add to the ghost legends of Main Street. This story is actually a part of the Washington County Archives, only because John found me out…

The following article from the Jonesboro Herald and Tribune has been reparagraphed and partially repunctuaded for easier reading.

It has been reported for a number of years by different families who have resided in the ‘Jackson House,’ situated south of the railroad and near the corporation of Jonesboro, that the house was haunted.

Our citizens gave the report but little attention as they believed it was imaginary and not real with those who made the report.

It may be proper to state that it is a large brick house with many rooms. It is located on a large hill surrounded by trees and shrubbery.

In that house now live Mr. Nathan Morrell and family, who are well-known to many of our citizens. They are honest [and] hard-working with a respectable family. They have never, until recently, believed in haunts or hobgoblins. In fact, they say they were taught by their parents, when children, not to believe any such reports, as it was all imaginary and not real.

Being anxious to know the particulars of what might be seen and heard at the house, we inquired of Mr. Morrell as to the truth of the report that is being circulated in regard to the mysterious knocking, walking, crying, and groaning. He said he was going to stop talking about the mystery, especially to those who had the audacity to doubt the truthfulness of what he said in regard to it.

We assured him that we had the utmost confidence in him as a truthful and honest gentleman, and desired him to state to us all he knew about it.

After having assured him of our earnestness and confidence in him, he proceeded to say that often at night they could hear the strange and mysterious noise in one of the rooms upstairs which sounded like a man walking with a cane, and they could hear him coming down and going up the stair steps, and that he would, after many a time, pound upon the door and turn the knob of the lock as though he was trying to enter the room the family occupies.

At other times, they could hear groaning and crying which sounded like a woman in distress.

They have often tried to find the cause of these mysterious doings but, as yet, have never been able to see anything that would give them light or information.

Mr. Elbert Morrell, who resides in the country, visited his father last Monday, at which time; he heard a very strange noise that appeared to be in the wall of the house. He was also alarmed by his chair, in which he was sitting, raising up suddenly several inches, accompanied by a loud rapport as though it had been struck by a plank or board.

Many persons still doubt the correctness, while there are others who believe them and would not be willing to join a company and watch for and, if possible, catch the ‘bugaboo’.

Should any new developments take place in the future, we will take pleasure in publishing them for the pleasure of the reader.

The moaning and crying was me, in my astral form, having a little fun. The old man truly did haunt the home but, he never had any interest in entering the family room until I told him that his wife was in there. And the business with the young man’s chair was just plain hilarious. 

Natasha Larry is the author of Darwin's Children. You can read my review of Darwin's Children here

Darwin's Children (Volume 1)

Enter to win a signed copy  at Good Reads Giveaway  until October 29, 2011.


I just received the cover photo of Unnatural Law: Darwin's Children Book 2 . Check it out!



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