Dark Places by Gillian Flynn was amazing

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title: Dark Places
author: Gillian Flynn
pages: 349
genre: crime thriller/mystery/suspense
published: 2009
first line:  I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
rated: 5 out of 5!
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Blurb:
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.

Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

my thoughts:
Sometimes you finish reading a book and you just don’t know what to do with yourself. That was how I felt after reading Dark Places.

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First of all, I breezed through the 349 pages in about one week which is alot of reading for me because I tend to take about two weeks to finish a book. Between work and everything else, there are days I can’t read a single page but Dark Places had me hooked. This is the kind of book that invades your sleep. I was up late the one Friday night reading “just one more chapter” before I finished it up Saturday morning over coffee and toast.
I dove into this one right after I finished Sharp Objects which was amazing as well.

Look at these first lines…

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp it.”

-p. 1, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

And then the story takes right off and twists and turns and doesn’t stop until the very end. I was left speechless and breathless during much of it. I thought about it long after I turned the final page.

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Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 12/9/18: Books and Christmas is Coming Etc.

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog…

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists….

Hello blog friends and happy Sunday. Oh my gosh, December is flying by. Christmas is coming soon and as always life is busy and hectic but I am trying not to get overwhelmed. It is cold by me, so very cold. It makes me want to stay inside as much as I can. I did some online Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday so that was good and the rest I’m doing at the mall one night this week. As of yesterday my tree is up and it smells so nice and piney. I enjoy relaxing in the living room and looking at the tree this time of year. Do you do the same?
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I haven’t holiday baked yet but soon I hope. I like to make sugar cookies using this recipe but the mood hasn’t stricken yet.
Aside from that I’ve been doing alot of crocheting and watching scary ghost documentaries on tv as per my usual. I will watch the occasional Hallmark Christmas movie here and there too.

Also, I’ve been blasting Queen music on my morning commute more often than not lately. By the way this gif also represents how I act when I finish crocheting a blanket and show it off to friends and family.
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Author Spotlight: Ivy Keating

Good morning everyone, today I am spotlighting author Ivy Keating. Her book is called Camouflage and after reading the blurb it reminds me a little bit of the X-Files. You can find Ivy on her website, on Goodreads and see the trailer for Camouflage here. First, here are the author’s thoughts on criticism and its being an opportunity….

Criticism
“One of the things that helped me the most on the way to finding a publisher was learning to love criticism. Not just accepting being told what doesn’t work but really looking for it.

Criticism is hard to hear because it’s usually given as a negative statement and nothing more. In life if you’re pleased with something the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you why it’s bad. But if you’re working on a book, the critic may have discovered something about your work that’s fallen short. It would then be up to you to explore what they said and potentially improve the story. So, I see it as an opportunity.
I’m grateful for all the criticism that I received during the writing process. It made ‘Camouflage’ a more thrilling story.”

About the book:

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Camouflage

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report
that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination
with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance,
makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a
local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no
sign of the missing man, but what they do find terrifies them to the core.
From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature
emerges. It attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In
the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists
to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this
remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by
what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all
be lost? A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New
England town mystery.
241 Pages * Science Fiction * ISBN 978-1-947128-54-5

Links of interest:
For more information or to arrange an interview, please email ivykeating@aol.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HM7WV76/
http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_product=734&controller=product
https://www.ivykeating.com/camouflage/
https://www.instagram.com/ivykeating/?hl=en
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42076080-camouflage

About the authors:
Motivated by nature’s mysteries and the complexity of human behaviour, Ivy Keating writes science fiction and fantasy novels exploring the relationship between mankind and the natural world. A master’s degree in social work helps her explore the nature of her characters and give them added depth as they grapple with the repercussions of their actions. This novel was inspired by the landscape and natural beauty of New England. An area that inspired the question… what if?

Scott Spotson, has written nine books, and specializes in science fiction and urban fantasy. His best-selling book, Life II, was twice selected by the largest independent on-line book discounter, Book Bub, as a recommended read.

Special thanks to Kim @ Caffeinated PR

Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 11/25/18: Vintage Things, Crochet and Random Updates

sunday (249x249)mm

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog…

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists….

Happy Sunday and happy weekend. I cannot believe we are nearing the end of November and that Thanksgiving is over here in the U.S. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving. We had a nice cozy one at home. I cooked this year for us and spent the day in my pajama’s. It was so nice not having to leave the house especially since the temps have been so low lately. I made the turkey and the sides and a pumpkin pie, I cheated with the pumpkin pie and bought frozen crust but it still came out yummy. I took Friday off so it’s been a nice 4 day weekend.

We had the first snowstorm of the season last week and that was a nightmarish commute home from work so I am glad it is over. I hope that’s not indicative of how this winter will be.

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Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

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source: free review copy via Meryl Moss Media
title: Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants: a novel in stories
author: Herb Freed
pages: 198
published: 2018
genre: fiction
first line: The top floor of the Rabbinical academy dormitory was the quietest place in Manhattan until six-fifteen in the morning when the clicking of high heels reverberated all the way down the marble-tiled hallway and woke Ben…

Blurb:
Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.

Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human.

My thoughts:
As Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants starts off it is 1969 and Ben Zelig is in Rabbi school in NYC. He is in the intern program and doing hands on work. The novella takes us through Ben’s life through 2007, we meet his family, friends and quirky characters like Uncle Joe, who is his mentor and advises him on everything from business deals to women. The story goes on as Ben goes on dates, trains to be a Rabbi and as he is there when his mom Bertha takes the test to become a U.S. citizen. It is mainly about Ben’s personal journey and how people and events tie in together and there is faith and hope within the pages as well. It all comes full circle at the end for Ben. I enjoyed some of the insightful writing like this passage…

“A soft rain began to fall, as it increased, Ben felt he was Adam banished from the garden. Where to go from here?”
p. 31, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

Most of the story was amusing and quirky and it was interesting getting a glimpse into Jewish culture. Ben was dramatic and I did feel that some of the dialogue was over the top for the time and place. Like this conversation which takes place at a club.

The Chasid leaned forward , his intense sad eyes trying to understand. He cupped his ear with one hand. “You don’t got a name?”

Ben didn’t know how or why it came out, but the words flowed from the depths of his soul. “I am Benjamin, son of Solomon, of the tribe of Levi,” he said proudly.

p.29, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

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