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Book: Wrong Place, Wrong Time?
Author: Ann Jacobs
Rating: 4/5

Darlene’s NFL star husband is found murdered with a woman that Darlene assumes is her husband’s mistress. For the past few month’s Vlad (a Russian ex-soccer player turned FBI agent) has been posing as a kicker to find the killer that’s been killing women in the cities the team visits.

Okay, the plot is a little thin because it basically focuses on the budding relationship between the two characters, but I enjoyed it for what it’s worth. And the writer does have a way with words that makes the reading enjoyable.

Warning--this book does contain explicit sex scenes dealing with BDSM.
Book: Anatomy of Motive
Author(s): John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
Reader Rating: 4 out of 5)

This book is essentially written by John Douglas. I’m not sure what Mark Olshaker’s contribution to the book was, unless Douglas was giving him credit due to the research they’d done together. This book basically goes into details about the movtives, behavior, etc. of serial murders, rapists, career criminals, etc. Interesting read overall. I’ll have to read his book Mindhunter in the future.
Title: How to Read/Write a Dirty Story
Author: Susie Bright
Reader Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I read this more for the first part of the book, the “thinking” about sex part. I’m a woman who’s always been pretty frank about sexuality and sex. I’m comfortable with the subject, so Susie’s essays are right up my alley because I like essays on the subject that don’t come off as “childish.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to be all up in your face about sex and all that, but if you’re going to talk sex with me, you’d better be prepared to talk sex like an adult and not a blushing child. Otherwise, let’s talk about puppies! :D

Anyhow, I like Susie’s writing style. Even if she weren’t the “sex goddess” of erotica, I’d still read her books. Reading this book was like reading a letter from a friend. It has an intimacy about it.

Don’t think that means I fall down and worship her. There are some things she believes in that my opinions differ—such as her assertion that many stories lack because they don’t explore the sexuality of their characters more in the story. Yes, sex is a big part of who we are, but many writers can tell a story without delving into that area.

Pretty good read. I’m going to keep this one in my collection. I thought I might release it on bookcrossing, but I guess not.
12th-Jun-2006 09:26 pm - Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Book: Tao Te Ching
Author: Lao Tzu (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Reader Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Very refreshing and insightful read. I thought I would go through this slowly, but I found myself completely in love with this book after reading on the first few pages.

I will admit that it can be somewhat repetitive. I don’t know if that’s because of this particular translation or if Lao Tzu really was being repetitive.

It’s not a bad thing, though. It’s sort of like saying, “This is what you need to remember.” Repetition is a learning method—after all.

Some people I talked to about this while I was reading said this translation is “dry,” but after finding some of the other translations online, I believe this one speaks to me the most.
12th-Jun-2006 08:12 pm - [Non-book related]
Back into bookcrossing again after a long hiatus. If I still owe you a book (I know some of your on my f-list are from bookcrossing) please leave me a message, so I can get your book out to you. Life has been such an uproar, but things are relatively normal now.
First, let me apologize again for not updating this journal. 2005 was a helluva year for me, including the birth of my first child in October and the death of our computers. 2006 will be better.

Book: Dark Thirsts
Author: Angela C. Allen
Reader Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Finally, a vampire anthology that I can really sink my teeth into. No pun intended. This is a collection of vampire stories written about vampires of color by black authors. Lately, I've found myself mostly disappointed in vampire anthologies, but this one was well worth my time (and money). Even the foreword was fascinating, chronicling the black vampire through history.

The Ultimate Diet by Monica Jackson (5/5)
An overweight computer programmer who longs to be thin thinks she's finally found the perfect solution to her weight loss problem when her new neighbor moves in. This story was very funny. It almost seem parody-like, poking fun of the lengths some women will go to to be thin.

Vamp Noir by Angela C. Allen (5/5)
A vampire finds herself the enforcer of a mob family after being exiled from her clan. This was probably my favorite story because it combined two of my favorite things -- vampires and the mafia. There isn't much more I can say about the story without giving it all away.

Human Heat: The Confessions of an Addicted Vampire by Omar Tyree, writing as The Urban Griot (3/5)
This story revolves around a creole vampire who was turned in New Orleans. This vampire finds himself yearning the blood of virgins, which is particularly potent to vampires, making them do all kinds of crazy stuff to do it. This story was okay. I liked the vampire's back story more than his current day one.

Whispers During Still Moments by Linda Addison (5/5)
A vampire hunter who's half vampire is in the business of battling old vampires known as "The Firsts." Along the way, he meets another vampire hunter who he falls in love with and finds himself ready to tear all hell down for her. I really liked this story, 'nuff said.

The Touch Donna Hill (4/5)
A female vampire must find her human mate (who she has to turn) before her time runs out. You know, I liked this story not so much because it's a vampire story, but because the sense "touch" played a major part in the story, and the authoress did a wonderful job in expressing that.

The Family Business by Kevin S. Brockenbrough (5/5)
A story that takes place in the 'hood, ya'll. ;D It's basically about a family who has a supernatural secret that's passed down from generation to generation. The heroine of the story is dealing with a husband who's abusing his wife until sister girl gets raw and unleashes the beast. I loved this!

Overall, this was an excellent collection of vampire stories. Much better than many other vampire themed anthologies I own.
14th-Dec-2004 05:27 pm - Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Book: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Reader Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

I'm pretty sure most people know the story by now, but if you don't, here goes nothing. An eccentric millionaire finds the funding and technology to clone dinosaurs, which he plans on turning into a tourist attraction. The government is suspicious about his motives because of some biotechnology companies have been illegally testing different "products". To prove that Jurassic Park isn't a government threat, Hammond--the millionaire--opens up his park for inspection. During a visit (pre-opening) where he must prove that things are okay, things go wrong -- of course.

The movie was entertaining, but I never thought much about reading the book. The movie just never compelled me enough to hunt the book down. However, my friend loved it, and she shares reading interests similar to my own. I have a cold and didn't actually think I would finish with this book soon. Fooled myself. Dinosaurs still don't fascinate me, but the characters in this book did. The science behind creating something like Jurassic Park was interesting as well. But mainly, I really liked the characters and how they interacted with each other.

It was an interesting read. I will definitely look into the second book since the ending of this leaves everything up in the open really.
6th-Dec-2004 05:37 am - The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Title: A Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Reader Rating: 4 (out of 5)

Book 1 of the Series of Unfortunate Events. Read it in about an hour or so. The Baudelaire children find themselves in the care of a very distant (and cruel) relative after their parents' death. This is the beginning of their unfortunate adventures as orphans.

I was expecting something a lot different when I started reading this book. I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't what I expected it to be. I found it a little jarring how the omnipresent narrator would suddenly start defining words in the middle of sentence, but I can see how that would be important for children who have no interest in dictionaries.

The book was absorbing. The plot was a little thin, but I had to see what happened to the children. Yes, it is slightly despressing for a children's novel--morose, even--but it's an interesting read. I couldn't help hoping that something good happened to those children, but as we all know, this isn't the case. I'll defintely read the later books.
29th-Nov-2004 04:58 am - Meeting of the Waters by Kim McLarin
Firstly, I wanted to say sorry to everyone for making you all wait so long for an update. Hopefully, I’ll be updating regularly now. Things have been rather hectic since my marriage, but married life is treating me well. However, I’m sure you all don’t want to hear that. You want to hear about all the wonderful books I’ve read. I’ve read many books since March. I just hope I can remember them all. :)

Book: Meeting of the Waters
Author: Kim McLarin
Reader Rating: 4 (out of 5)

The meeting of the waters is an actual natural event that occurs in Brazil. It's where the water from the Solimões River (which is muddy) meets with the dark water from Rio Negro. They run side by side without mixing. I've seen pictures of it, but I hope to see it in person one day. The phenomenon is mentioned in the book and holds much significance to the story itself.

Porter Stockman, a white journalist from Philadelphia, goes to Los Angeles to get the story on the Rodney King riots. While there, he finds himself the target of a group of angry, black people. Fortunately, a black, female journalist, Lenora Page, saves him. When he finds out that she will be working at the same paper, he goes out of his way to show her his gratitude, which results in love.

I loved the characters in the book. You have Porter Stockman. His mother is overbearing. His father doesn’t seem to care about much, and his sister is a maverick. He spent his teenage years wondering what the hell he was going to do with his life. He likes to think of himself as a white person who doesn’t see race as an issue. He’s an all-around good guy. He’s believable, funny, and real. He doesn’t do all the right things, and he doesn’t do all the wrong things. He makes human decisions, which many authors tend to forget about.

Lenora is a very pro-black woman who can’t believe she’s falling for a white man. Her father left her family when she was young, and her mother is dealing with bi-polar. Her younger brother still longs to find their father, but she’s given up all hope. She’s very proud to be a black woman, and she’s quick to let everyone know. She’s independent, smart, and sassy. She loves herself, and honestly, a lot of women—of any race—could take a lesson from her.

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was Lenora’s preoccupation with race. I understand this was important to establish her character. She was trying to make Porter aware of the prejudices that people of color and biracial couples go through, but it turned into borderline obsessive after a while. Being a woman of color myself, it even drove me mad. I definitely understood how helpless Porter felt. I could see the wedge she was driving into their relationship with race. It was tiresome, even for me – the reader. She manages to break a really good man, and by the time she realizes her mistake, things are already broken. Then they must choose what they really want.

Other than that, I loved this book. It really makes its reader thing about race relations. One of the most important questions posed in the book is not about Porter and Lee’s relationship itself, but the question of what makes a person racist. It’s not just a typical romance where two of the characters happen to be a different race. It really gets the readers thinking about the politics behind race.
26th-Mar-2004 12:53 am - Update:
I know that I am long overdue for an update in this journal. I haven't forgotten about it. I have just been a little busy. I'm settling into a new job, and tomorrow, I get married, so hopefully, I'll be back to updating pretty regularly soon. I have tons of books to review. :) I will replace this entry with a book review, soon.

-t
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