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Giulia

Giulia

Dead Ringer

Dead Ringer - Jan Toom This was a well-done, well-edited fun, interesting story until the very end. The character of Paula was constructed solidly and was believable. The character of Catherine, who came into the future when Paula went 100 years into the past, was less well-defined and, I thought, lacked the depth that the author skillfully provided for Paula. This was a case where the author appeared to favor the character of Paula over Catherine, and it was evident. I actually found myself preferring Catherine.

It also appeared that Ms. Toon wanted to deal with the life of the person in the past, Paula, more than she wanted to deal with the person in the present, Catherine. She did that well, but I would have liked a more in-depth picture of Catherine's reaction to present-day San Diego.

The ending for Paula was satisfying and not exactly what I expected (that was good). The ending for Catherine was brutally abrupt. Totally unsatisfying. It was almost as though the author just didn't want to or know how to deal with Catherine in the end. That's the reason I gave book 3 stars instead of 4.

This was, otherwise, a good book. This new author shows real talent. At the end, though, I got the feeling that she just wanted to finish it. 10 - 20% more text at the end would have rounded it out much better.

Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger Not my favorite book, but I've found myself considering it many years after I read it.

I think this book should be read by EVERY parent or parent-to-be. It's a wonderful example of what can happen when children are exposed to all religions, with no editorialization about where they should hang their hat.

It's important to have a code of ethics. But just pick one code - whatever one (whatever religion) and raise the child in that. Then let he or she find their own way from there. An important lesson from this book.

Maginaugh

Maginaugh - J. Ellyne This is an intensely beautiful book in an idyllic setting. The detail and lushness of the milieu makes it all the more poignant when it’s peace is ripped apart by outsiders, most of whom are bent on its subjugation and destruction. The reader can’t escape the anguish of these good people as the world they’ve tried to make their own is caught up in the perverted lust that the jealous, outside hordes openly exhibit towards them.

In a plot reminiscent of the folk song “One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack),” and just as stirring, sad and moving, J. Ellyne weaves an epic tale of the Magin and the Pewa – two fair, just, innocent (Magin) and practical (Pewa) societies in what could only be prehistoric times. The plot centers around the reaction of these two near-utopian societies to the baseness of the world around them.

There is a lovely, warm, moving theme of bisexuality that ripples gently throughout the tale. Its presentation provides a poignant insight into the love of a woman for a man and another woman and of two women for each other. No reader, regardless of personal orientation, can help but be touched by the open innocence, joy, and true love of the characters for those most intimately important to them. The scenes are both emotive and tasteful.

You will feel the happiness, excitement, and sometimes despair of the characters as you rarely do in a novel.

The story is told with deep insight into the (very real) area where it takes place which will continuously amaze the reader. J. Ellyne exhibits an astute understanding of the knowledge and skills available to the natives and how they use what they know to exist in a primitive world. The author seems to be intimately connected to this almost mythical land surrounded and bounded by three Great Lakes.

I urge you to buy and read this moving novel. It will take you places, and expose feelings in you that will make the investment of time more than worth your while. Outstanding!

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger Very good use of time travel to complicate the plot. The ending both satisfied me and broke my heart at the same time.

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown Almost creepy beyond belief, but a fun read. Makes you wonder if this kind of thing goes on within and around the church. Who's in control, after all? A great read. Whether you believe it or not, excellent research on the part of the author, and a neat job twisting the research to tell a great story!

Stinger

Stinger - Robert R. McCammon Riveting! Scared the s#$% out of me! One of the best horror books I've read. Great story, creepy setting, frightening, evil presence!

Little White Lies

Little White Lies - Aimee Laine A fun but challenging read. The author has an interesting writing style that took me a while to get used to. She assumes that the reader can "fill in the blanks" to some extent, and leaves a lot unsaid.

The story was creative, interesting and the characters were fun. I did get a little impatient with all the "secrets" that the main character was keeping to herself. Since the story was told both from the perspective of this character and her male interest, I kept thinking that the main character wasn't letting me in on what was happening, even though I was supposed to be following her.

I would have liked a little more detail on the shapeshifting, because the author did such a good job creating a [mostly] believable shapeshifting milieu for the story. There was a chance for some erotica there too.

I give this 4 instead of 5 stars because I think there were a few missed opportunities. However, the book was very enjoyable. I'm certainly up for the sequel. I recommend this well-edited work without reservations.

Threaded Through Time, Book Two

Threaded Through Time, Book Two - Sarah Ettritch A worthy sequel to book 1. This is a very well-written story told with sensitivity and imagination. It perfectly balances the various themes: love, friwndship, time displacement and adjustment to a new world. I wish there were a book 3. Gonna miss these characters.

Another White Slave for the Sheik

Another White Slave for the Sheik - Allan Aldiss Hot, hot, hot! BDSM at its erotic best. Couldn't put it down.

Have to say this, though. The editing was very poor. It almost seemed that their Kindle converter kept throwing in random words or phrases. My publisher, Global Jele, would never let this get by.

The Milk Bitch Trilogy

The Milk Bitch Trilogy - Frances Gaines Bennett Well, it WAS wierd. But it stretched your imagination some. If you're into way-out-there female body mods, this may be the book for you.

There was one scene of what can only be described as mutilation of a "Grace Kelly-like" girl, which was surprisingly erotic. I found myself uncomfortable about liking it, but like it I did. That's why I gave this book 3 stars instead of 2. OK - I've admitted it. Enough said.

Slave Wife

Slave Wife - Frances Gaines Bennett Heavy on dom-sub, sometimes without rhyme or reason (maybe that's the way the author sees it, which I suppose is valid) - just to please the male character(s) I guess. Some erotic scenes that involved piercing were done well, but were S&M and imposed on the female and not written in a way where she was heart-and-soul into it, or committed at some point in the past.

Head-in-a-cage restriction is just dumb - but that's my opinion. Also, it looks stupid. There are so much more creative ways to get to the same place.

Overall, there's probably much better out there, but this book wasn't awful.

Jason To Jessica

Jason To Jessica - Starfox Howl I don't like to give negative reviews, but I didn't like this novel. First off, I thought the book was poorly edited. Indies (and I'm one) really need to be careful with that. The writing was fine, but I found the story "icky." I think I was completely turned off by the main character being changed to a woman, but still having some of her/his own "junk." Or something close to his junk. I guess hermaphrodites, or sort-of hermaphrodites just don't float my boat. That was enough to just plain turn me off.

The idea was clever. A virus that morphs young people from what they started as to something else was creative. But for my tastes, I didn't like how it developed.

Threaded Through Time, Book One

Threaded Through Time, Book One - Sarah Ettritch A very nice story. I like reading about the reaction of visitors from the past to the present and how they react. This book did a better than usual job at that. I thought the handling of the lesbian theme subplot was very well done. The author writes with a sensitivity that makes this book a pleasure to read. Very well defined and believable characters.

The Five

The Five - Robert R. McCammon Sort of a modern day "The Committments" in a horror setting. Tense, riviting at times, but leaves you with a feeling that more should have been said. I was unsatisfied when I finally reached the last page.

Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas - Dean Koontz What an unexpectedly great character! Fun, insightful, creepy, and both human and superhuman at the same time!

Dance on the Volcano: A Teenage Girl in Nazi Germany

Dance on the Volcano: A Teenage Girl in Nazi Germany - Renata Zerner Worth reading, but I couldn't overcome the feeling that the author was reliving her past through the goggles she wears today. I.e., a look at Nazi Germany from a former inhabitant now thoroughly entrenched in American culture.

As a result, I came across fith few new insights into this awful period in German history. More of a blow-by-blow, than insights into why things went the way they did.