Book Review: Duma Key (Part Two)

duma key

As I said before, I consider the second half of the book to be after Edgar’s art show. The action starts pretty quickly after that fateful night and, like many of King’s books, once the endgame starts it moves fast.

Once the paintings and sketches are sold, the people who bought them are in danger and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of those people die. One of them, however, pushes Edgar past his breaking point and he takes Wireman and Jack to the original Heron’s Roost to find and defeat the evil that has woken up again.

The ruin of Elizabeth Eastlake’s childhood home is creepy in and of itself, but the creatures that live in the overgrown jungle around it make it all the creepier. Birds lying upside down, moving lawn jockeys, and the local non-supernatural fauna make for a terrifying trip down memory lane for the three men, and that’s all before it gets dark and the real horrors show up.

When Edgar reveals what happened at Heron’s Roost and the real hero of the 1920’s horror invasion, it gets very sad. Thanks to them, though, he has the power to finally defeat Perse and put the evil back to sleep.

I unapologetically love this book. There are a lot of people that I talk to that roll their eyes when I tell them I like it but I love it. It’s good and creepy, I had to leave the lights on after I read about the big boy, and the setting-up chapters moved quickly. I got really attached to the characters in a way I usually don’t with Stephen King books and enjoyed the ending. If you’re a fan of Stephen King and haven’t read this one, give it a go. At the very least it’s an entertaining 600 pages, unlike Bag of Bones. Don’t get me started on that one.

As far as Stephen King goes, I’m considering giving the Dark Tower series a shot again. My husband gently shoves them at me every time I finish a King book and this time I might let him. Provided he buys me a bagel sandwich first.

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Book Review: Duma Key (Part One)

duma keySix months after a crane crushes his pickup truck and his body self-made millionaire Edgar Freemantle launches into a new life. . He leaves Minnesota for Duma Key, a stunningly beautiful, eerily remote stretch of the Florida coast where he has rented a house. All of the land on Duma Key, and the few houses, are owned by Elizabeth Eastlake, an octogenarian whose tragic and mysterious past unfolds perilously. When Edgar begins to paint, his formidable talent seems to come from someplace outside him, and the paintings, many of them, have a power that cannot be controlled.

Because I felt like reading something older, I picked Duma Key up again because it’s become one of my favorite Stephen King books. I first read it a few years back when illness kept me from working for a period, and I wanted another dose of the creepiness that entranced me the first time I read it.

I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was in middle school and sneaking around with The Dark Half and Misery, and I’ve been disappointed in some of his more recent work. An old friend recommended Duma Key to me and I loved it.

Like a lot of Stephen King books it takes a while to get to the good stuff. Most of the first part of the book is dedicated to Edgar Freemantle’s unfortunate construction site accident that takes his arm, his marriage, and a large chunk of his ability to remember words and phrases. He goes through rehab, moves out to their lake house, visits his daughters. Pretty mundane stuff, right up until his daughter comes to visit him on Duma Key.

The island itself is good and creepy right from the start. The shells under the house “talk” to Edgar and half of the island is covered in jungle-like flora that has no business being there. He meets Wireman and Elizabeth soon after, and slowly his paintings become more surreal and he feels them take on a life of their own.

I love Edgar’s progression from suicidal to comfortable to genius artist. I feel it’s very genuine, and when the old Stephen King supernatural element comes into play it happens gradually, ramping up until you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next.

Personally, I consider the first half of the book to be up until Edgar’s art show. You suspect a bit of the supernatural presence that has been hinted at, but it’s not until the show that the cover is thrown back by a terrified Elizabeth. After that, things pretty much get full-blown frightening.

Next week: Part Two

Book Review: Run Away Charlotte

Run Away Charlotte

Trusting and depending on others has never suited nineteen-year-old Charlotte Cooper, who believes she’s unworthy of a happily ever after. She’s fiercely loyal to one – her BFF Joe. Afterall, Joe’s the only one who knows everything about Charlotte and he’s sworn to protect her heart, and her deep dark secrets.

Until Andrew Wagner walks into her life.

When it comes to matters of the heart and mind, which direction do you follow? Love or Logic?

Run Away Charlotte is the precursor to Ask Me Again, which I received from the author in exchange for a review, and I loved it so much that I bought this one.

It was interesting to see how Charlotte and Andrew came to meet and be together, and how much they meant to each other. You could definitely tell they were in love from the start in Ask Me Again but I got to see every little detail that was alluded to in it. Having read the previous book I couldn’t help shouting “No, no, stay away from Jack!” the first time they met.

While this book was really good, I feel like the author hit her stride with the second book. I could tell that she learned a lot more about pacing by that time, and there were parts in Run Away Charlotte where the pace lagged. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, just that I felt that Ask Me Again had worked out some of the kinks.

That being said, when there was excitement or something big happening to Charlotte (so much happened to poor Charlotte!), the pages seemed to turn themselves and I had a hard time putting it down.

I highly recommend both of H.M. Shander’s books. While you don’t have to have read this one to understand and follow the second, I do recommend you read them in order so you can fully appreciate Andrew and Charlotte’s love.

Release Week Wrap Up

It’s finally the end of my release week and I am super tired. Everything has been really good and I’ve made more sales than I expected, especially being a new author who doesn’t exactly have a following yet. I hope at least half the people leave reviews because that’s what we’re all about these days. Sales are nice but reviews will make potential new readers take notice.

Because I’m super tired now, I’m going to put a couple of links up for you to take a look at instead of a post.

Em Shotwell, author of my current favorite book Blackbird Summer, did a little blog post about my book! http://www.emshotwell.com/2016/03/book-spotlight-detectives-brother.html

Ropin Romance has an interview with me from the Passion in the Pages event, wherein I reveal an unusual choice in dinner dates.

Passion in the Pages Author Interview – Rebecca Lovell

And here’s where you can buy your very own copy of The Detective’s Brother! Paperbacks are now available as well as the ebooks, but the books are on sale until April 11th so grab your copy at $0.99 while you can. Don’t forget to leave a review!

http://www.amazon.com/Detectives-Brother-Rebecca-Lovell-ebook/dp/B01DECEIJ4

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-detectives-brother-rebecca-lovell/1123584366

Now I’m going to go back to my writing cave and work on my contemporary. Right after I take a nap.

Success!

Detective's Brother

I am super excited for two big reasons today!

First, the Passion in the Pages event went really well! I was super nervous about it, to the point where I was worrying about it all morning and had to take a nap. I’d never done an event like this so I didn’t know what to expect or even if anyone would come and interact with me.

I had everything set up ahead of time as far as writing posts so all I had to do was copy and paste them when it was time. Chelsea, my book manager, had a helpful timeline for me to follow and I had to expand it a little since the slot was an hour and I only have one book. But it went really well, and I kind of had a hard time keeping up with replying to everyone but I made sure I didn’t ignore anyone! I even got a couple of new likes on my page and several ladies wishlisted the book. As a bonus, I pulled back the curtain on my personal Facebook page and one of my friends bought it immediately.

Which brings me to my other good news – The Detective’s Brother is live on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! It was originally planned for tomorrow but somehow it went up Friday. Super exciting! Here are some links you can use!

Amazon.com – The Detective’s Brother

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – The Detective’s Brother

Remember, if you buy either of them for $0.99 for the first two weeks and visit my Facebook author page to comment on the pinned post with proof of purchase, you are entered to win an autographed copy!

No matter how you get your hands on it, please leave me a review! Good or bad, I love hearing what people think about my writing. Speaking of which, I’d also like to leave you with a couple of lines from the book. Hope to see you back tomorrow for a walk down memory lane!

detective's brother

 

 

Book Review: Ask Me Again

Ask Me Again

It’s been more than 13 years since Andrew and Charlotte broke up, but that doesn’t mean the past is forgotten.

Through death, lies and betrayals, Charlotte leans on Andrew, finding solace in the fact that she never needs to hide herself from him. When a huge loss pushes her to the edge and makes her question everything, she has to decide if she should stay in the life she’s created and make the best of it, or risk it all for a second chance at true happiness.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of HM Shander’s Ask Me Again, a follow up to her previous novel Run Away Charlotte. She told me that I didn’t need to have read the first book to follow along, but now that I’ve finished Ask Me Again I definitely want to pick up Run Away Charlotte to see how it all began.

From the very beginning we got hints of how bad Charlotte’s life was with her husband, but it seemed like it could all be put down to a couple who was falling out of love with one another. Once we got a glimpse of who Jack really was, I was hoping that she’d leave him and every time she talked herself into staying I was frustrated.

Shander really portrays the character of a woman who is a victim of domestic violence, both verbal and physical, honestly. While it made the story hard to read at times it felt very real and I was frightened for Charlotte on a lot of occasions. Everything seemed to happen to the poor woman, from a flood in her kitchen to the death of someone very dear to her, and I didn’t blame her one bit for trying to escape into the past with Andrew.
Andrew, the man she never really fell out of love with, was everything Jack wasn’t and he was a breath of fresh air. I loved how relaxed Charlotte was able to be when she was with him, and it made her going back to her husband all the sadder. When things came to a head later, I honestly wasn’t sure who she would choose and for that I give Shander a huge thumbs-up.

All in all, I really enjoyed Ask Me Again. The characters were flawed but likeable (except Jack, who was just the worst), the story was paced really well, and when I was able to let out the breath I’d been holding for two chapters the ending was satisfying. Charlotte really grew as a person and I was proud of her. Definitely recommend this book to fans of women’s fiction and romance.

You can pick it up at Amazon to read for yourself!

Author Interview: Em Shotwell

Blackbird SummerToday I’m super excited to have Em Shotwell, the author of Blackbird Summer here with me! As I’m sure you know from yesterday’s review, it has the distinction of being the best book I’ve read in a long time (and there’s some stuff competition!) so I’m thrilled she took the time to answer some of my questions.

Where did you get your inspiration for Blackbird Summer?

I don’t even know, lol! The story has changed so much since my first idea, which was about a couple of sisters who lived on the wrong side of the tracks in a hateful little town. The original story didn’t have magic-but somehow it kept working its way into the story. Along  the way, the Caibre family kept getting stranger, the town kept getting meaner, and the magic kept growing until the basis for Blackbird Summer took hold.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

I love to hate Myrtle Delacroix. She’s such a trashy busy-body, and we all know someone like her in real life. But my favorite character is probably Tallulah. I know that’s cheating since she’s the main character- but she grows so much throughout the book. In the beginning she doesn’t know who she is or even who she wants to be, but by the end she is kicking ass.

Is Brooklyn inspired by a real town?

Not really. I’ve moved quite a bit, starting when I was a kid on into adulthood, and I think some of the best and worst or the towns I’ve lived in have give to the fictional town of Brooklyn, Mississippi. There is actually a post on my blog about this if you want to check it out- www.EmShotwell.com

Is The Chans a real thing or something from your amazing imagination?

First- thanks for such an awesome compliment!

The word is a real word, but as far as what it means in the Blackbird Summer universe, I made it up. 🙂 Logan had to be a special guy to fall for Tallulah and all her crazy baggage. In order to so readily believe in magic, he needed a little inexplicable magic of his own, so that’s where the Chans came in.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a women’s fiction novel that I adore! It has a tiny touch of magic- but nothing like Blackbird Summer. I’m almost complete and then I’ll get to work drafting the Blackbird Summer sequel. It should be out the beginning of next year.

What other books have you written?

Blackbird Summer is my debut novel. I’m always writing short stories, and have a couple of truly awful plays I wrote in high school that will never see the light of day. I have a weird west short story that I’m editing and hope to find a home for soon. It’s called Vigilante Skin and you can read the synopsis on my website.

What is your favorite genre to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I read everything. I’m mostly drawn to magical realism, light fantasy, and anything kind of weird. I also adore women’s fiction with grit. I’m a sucker for a flawed hero.

I will read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson, or Patricia Briggs. I also absolutely adore Octavia Butler. Her book, Lilith’s Brood is the weirdest thing I’ve ever read- but also one of the best things I’ve ever read.

Where can readers find you?

Being creepy at the corner table of the library! Lol TOTALLY JOKING! Find me online at www.EmShotwell.com. On Twitter at @MamaCrazySocks

Facebook- www.facebook.com/emshotwellauthor

Instagram- @blackbird_summer

Thank you so much for joining me today, Em! I can’t wait to read the rest of your work. I’ll be keeping an eye on that corner table to make sure you’re getting your words in!