Teaser Tuesday: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

realswellblog.com
realswellblog.com

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teaser comes from the recently released adult fantasy novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

“I had a dream in that house, that night. I woke myself in the darkness, and I knew only that a dream had scared me so badly that I had to wake up or die, and yet, try as I might, I could not remember what I had dreamed. The dream was haunting me: standing behind me, present and yet invisible, like the back of my head, simultaneously there and not there.”

Advertisement

Musical Mondays – When I’m Gone (Cups) by Anna Kendrick

Over the weekend I had a house full of giggly 8-year-old girls spend the night for my daughter’s birthday party. It was a splash/spa theme where they spent the afternoon on the water slide and then were pampered by me and a couple of my friends. They got the royal treatment with manicures, pedicures, and hair chalk while sipping out of plastic champagne glasses filled with sparkling cider.

What I didn’t expect was to get a treat in return. After practicing for half an hour or so they performed the song, When I’m Gone. All five sang and one of my daughter’s friends played the cups. It was adorable and I’ve had the song stuck in my head since so that is the song for this Musical Monday.

Blogger Quote of the Week: AJ Adwen

The Blogger Quote of the Week for the week ending July 20th comes from the post Why I Write Fiction from author A.J. Adwen.

“Maybe this makes me crazy, but to me, the line that separates fact from fiction is very blurry when it comes to a story that you love and that inspires you.”

I think most writers can relate to that statement. Many of us have stories that have lived within us for years, sometimes our entire lives, waiting (even nagging) to be told. We spend so much time with these stories that they become real to us and writing about the characters is like spending time with a close friend. Our biggest fear is whether we can do the story justice. How well can we translate the story in our head to paper? Our greatest hope is that readers will love the story and be inspired by it as much as we are.

Mark your calendars, A.J.’s first novel, Othrinia’s Rain, is scheduled for release September 3rd.

Book Review: The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit

TheStormandtheDarkness_ebook(1)I received an ARC of The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit in exchange for an honest review and am happy to oblige.

The author prefaced Chapter One with the following quote by Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

This is a brilliant move by the author because you immediately know from this opening quote that the main character, Ana Deschanel, will be on a journey of self-discovery.

Opening sentence: “All I’m saying is, Deliverance was based on a true story.”

Beginning the book with dialogue is another brilliant move by the author because it provides the setting and tone for the story in a single sentence. So much is said with this one word: deliverance. If you have read the book or watched the movie Deliverance, then how can you NOT keep reading? In the book Deliverance, four businessmen set out to explore the Georgia wilderness. They expect it to be a fun escape from their day job and are not prepared for the horror that awaits them in the remote backwoods.

It is the same for Ana. She expects to escape her troubles in New Orleans and find clarity in the solitude of Summer Island. Just as the backwoods of Georgia is unfamiliar territory for the characters in Deliverance, Summer Island is unknown territory for Ana; one full of danger where even the weather can be life-threatening for the ill-prepared. This small island off the coast of Maine, where the locals disapprove of temporary residents, especially one from the wealthy Deschanel family, is not the picturesque setting she expected, nor are the people she meets.

Alex, the caretaker, is friendly and helpful. The St. Andrews brothers, Finn and Jon, are her neighbors and despite having the same last name, they are polar opposites. Finn is the outgoing, ruggedly handsome outdoorsy type. He is a fisherman with a reputation as a player (the exact type Ana has a weakness for but cannot emotionally relate to). Jon is dark and brooding and socially awkward, finding it difficult to relate to people. He is a veterinarian who prefers to use his medical skills to help animals rather than people. He shares many character traits with Ana. She is wary of both but for different reasons but eventually finds herself caught in the middle, attracted to both.

Both Ana and Jon are gifted with the ability to heal people. Ana possesses a supernatural ability to heal people but can only seem to heal herself despite her best efforts otherwise. Jon came by his gift naturally and trained to be a doctor, but turned away from that profession and chose instead to heal animals. Both of their gifts will be put to the test.

This book is written from multiple points of view with each chapter offering a glimpse into the mind of a different character. You won’t find a Mary Sue or Marty Stu in this book. Each character is flawed in some way and each is faced with internal and external conflicts that push them beyond their comfort zone.  The characters are skillfully developed with differences in dialect and dialogue. The author’s use of dialogue is so skillful that I wished she had employed it even more in the story.

This book was full of suspense, and with hints of romance and the paranormal, it was a real page-turner. I stayed up late to finish reading it and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series! Great job Sarah!

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Teaser Tuesday: The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit

realswellblog.com
realswellblog.com

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teaser comes from The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit.  I received an advanced copy of this book and had planned to read it while on vacation but unfortunately the laptop never made it to the beach.  I just started reading this today and I must tell you that I was hooked with the first sentence. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 7:

“Jon’s breaths were coming short and forced and his whole body was hot, his pulse throbbing so hard he thought his heart might burst right through his chest. This was {name removed} on the table, not just some patient.” ~Sarah Cradit. The Storm and the Darkness (Kindle Locations 634-636).

How’s that for a teaser? You’ll definitely want to add this to your TBR list so click on the link provided above and get your copy today!

Musical Monday: Knee Deep by The Zac Brown Band

This song seems appropriate since I was…knee-deep in the water somewhere. Got the blue sky breeze and it don’t seem fair, only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair. Now it’s back to life, back to reality. Wait, that’s another song 🙂

“Knee Deep”
(feat. Jimmy Buffett)

Gonna put the the world away for a minute
Pretend I don’t live in it
Sunshine gonna wash my blues away

Had sweet love but I lost it
She got too close so I fought her
Now I’m lost in the world trying to find me a better way

Wishing I was knee-deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don’t seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there’s a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

Wrote a note said be back in a minute
Bought a boat and I sailed off in it
Don’t think anybody gonna miss me anyway

Mind on a permanent vacation
The ocean is my only medication
Wishing my condition ain’t ever gonna go away

Cause now I’m knee-deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there’s a fire in the sky

Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

This champagne shore washing over me
It’s a sweet sweet life living by the salty sea
One day you could be as lost as me
Change you’re geography
Maybe you might be

Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there’s a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

Come on in the water it’s nice
Find yourself a little slice
Grab a backpack of lies
You never know until you try
When you lose yourself
You find the key to paradise

Blogger Quote of the Week: Destiny Allison

Okay, I’m late with this post again. I’ve been a busy little bee lately, helping my sister plan my niece’s wedding but the big day is almost here!

The Blogger Quote of the Week for the week ending June 30th comes from the post titled You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees by Destiny Allison.

She is the author of the recently released dystopian novel Pipe Dreams and the award-winning autobiography Shaping Destiny.

This post struck a chord with me since it focuses on a topic that I’ve struggled with as well. I’ve been blogging since March and am finding it difficult to balance the demands of it with the other aspects of my life and my desire to be a published author. This post has inspired me to step out of the trees and weed out the things that are choking my forest. Thank you for the words of wisdom, Destiny.

“When we drove on Sunday through the recent burn, I experienced a revelation of sorts. The blackened earth, scorched trees, and absolute lack of chaos were a precursor to recovery and eventual health. I started thinking about how creatives operate most of the time. The soil in our minds is fertile, primed for growth. Teeming with nutrients, different seeds take root, each competing with the other for room, water, and sun. Over time, our minds become cluttered, chaotic, and rough. The white firs choke out the old growth thoughts. A story prompt takes us away from our WIP. A blog insists we belong on Pinterest. As the seeds sprout, we lose integrity in relationship to ourselves. Then, our work is clumsy, noisy, and irrelevant, part of a teeming whole out of balance with itself.”

Now I’m off to play Just Dance with the cute little seven-year-old girl sitting at my side. 🙂

Musical Mondays: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

As a writer I’m inspired by many things and music is one of them. It seems to bring ideas to life, to give them wings as Plato so eloquently stated.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ~ Plato

Music communicates something that words alone cannot. This post is the first in a series I’ll title Musical Mondays where I’ll share music that has inspired me. This inaugural post is in honor of my twelve-year-old son who inspires me daily. His baseball season ended this past weekend and the song “Radioactive” is one of his favorites. According to him, “This would be a cool walk-up song.”

“Radioactive”

Whoa, whoa, whoa Whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa

I’m waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I’m breathing in the chemicals

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive

I raise my flags, don my clothes
It’s a revolution, I suppose
We’re painted red to fit right in
Whoa

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive

All systems go, the sun hasn’t died
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m radioactive, radioactive