Tour’s Books Blog

July 27, 2011

Four Super Short Reviews: Mixed Genre

Having a broken wrist caused a real bad attitude, and FINALLY, I’ve made it to therapy.  Now the ulnar nerve is having fits.  SIGH!  Back in the splint off and on, and I still have the problems with blood flow.  One stupid little fall.  A non-event.  What a pain in the rump.   Still, the enforced idleness came when a bunch of books I’d been waiting for got released.

  • Title: Dead on the Delta
  • Author:  Stacey Jay
  • Type:  Paranormal UF/alternate reality
  • Genre:  noir style paranormal mystery
  • Sub-genre:  killer faries, drug runners, and family secrets on the bayou
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Novel – about 90,000+ $7.99
  • Where Available:  Available at most bookstores
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

This was a semi-original story by a new author.  If certain backstory elements and world building had gelled just a bit better, this could have been an A.  The writing style and quality lacked some polish, but the atmosphere was there.  The story is centered around the murder of a small girl, thought to be one of a string of such murders, and it hits close to home for Annebelle.  Annabelle Lee, is seeking forgetfulness and oblivion at the bottom of the bottle way too often, but her unique talents – she’s one of the rare immunes who won’t die from mutant fairy bites – her affair with the too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, police detective Caine Cooper, and the appearance of ex-fiance Hitch as an FBI technical expert with his female partner/agent – who is his current fiance, was kind of too much coincidence for one book.

Annie keeps reminding herself she’s just a special kind of crime scene technician,med school dropout, and someone who deserves to be punished.  Her determined efforts at self-destruction for an incident in her past, are at odds with her unwanted sense of obligation to the murdered child.  the story unwinds rather like a choppy homemade movie, without smooth segues and criss-crossing various plot elements in a distracting style.  The ending brings an interesting twist, not so much to the crime, but to what happens to Annabelle and what she will become.

Was Dead on the Delta worth $7.99?  Yes – for any fan of the noir style.  The writing is no match for authors like Lawrence Sanders or Dennis Lehanne, but a decent read.  I just hope the authors style smooths out a bit in future. (more…)

July 8, 2011

Who Knew? And a strong recommended read

Filed under: Asleep at the wheel,General — toursbooks @ 4:21 pm

You know, in the great scheme of things, a broken wrist isn’t exactly some huge event, but wow, can it screw with your life.  After my emergency room treatment and twice having the wrist set and two hard casts put on, I figure, “OK, now in six weeks all will be well.”  HA!  Man plans and the gods laugh.

While still in a hard cast, the wrist broke again 10 days later.  It was – and remains – an ‘unstable fracture’.  So the orthopedic doctor sent me to a hand surgeon.  Saw him on a Wednesday and Thursday morning, 2 weeks after I broke the damn thing,  at some totally ungodly hour, I had a plate and screws put in my wrist to stabilize the fracture.  Let’s just say the whole thing had more drama than I’d care for, including recovery room issues and a whole lot of blood soaking everything, but a week later I was in a splint style ‘soft cast’.  I also learned that despite the plate and screws, the break was located in such a way that it wasn’t fully stabilized.  Oh good, all this for partial success.  The incision got infected – or I had some massive allergic reaction (2 doctors, 2 very different opinions) and I enjoyed a 10 days or so of complete misery and antibiotics.

Now I am willing to admit I am not the world’s best patient.  OK, so I’m in the bottom 20%.  I have a high pain threshold and a very low bullshit and attitude threshold.  I figure I endured two rounds of closed reduction setting, surgery, that infection/allergic reaction, and multiple visits to 2 different orthopedists, the family doctor, and 2 different hospitals, enough x-rays to glow in the dark, more attitude than enough and I was entitled to be better NOW!  Patience is not one of my virtues and frankly, turning a 20 minute shower into a 90 minute tour de force of wrapping, taping, bagging, taping, and then unwrapping and cutting tape to keep the lower arm dry, and then attempting to things like wash my hair one handed, got really old, really fast. Frustration was a constant companion.  Did I mention my complete lack of patience?

I am a klutz.  Well, obviously.  That’s how I ended up tripping in my own house and breaking the damn wrist to begin with!  Thing is, I am also ferociously independent.  Having to rely on others to drive me places drove me nuts.  Finally having enough control over my left hand, even with the splint, I was allowed to drive (ME: When can I drive?  DR: (Strange look)  Anytime you want.  ME:  I drive a stick shift.  DR:  (long pause followed by sarcastic)  Of course you do.  (eyeroll – then goes thru the motions of driving a shift and thinking about it.)  You should be able to drive since your right hand is OK and your left fingers can hold the wheel steady, but take it easy. [There is a notable lack of enthusiasm in this.]) it was HUGE.  Until the car battery died.  In a parking lot.  (Thank heavens I DIDN’T buy the ice cream!)  It was entitled.  It was really old.   The timing, however, sucked.  (I had a grey haired, pony-tail wearing biker guy in hysterics when I started swearing at the car when I managed to get it started 3 minutes after calling for a tow.  At least I made someone’s day.)  That was taken care of, but it kind of piled on the whole ‘fed-up with this crap’ thing I have going.

Well, I had work to do, (You know, the stuff you get PAID to do?), so I did it.  Now mostly I sit and type technical documents, talk panicked customers thru technical problems, or answer their questions – for the 4th or 5th time, and deal with various independent labs who have their own questions and problems.  Painstaking, and usually very long, it hours of meticulous work and requires a damn good memory for facts.  After several days of slaving away earning a living, (the self-employed don’t get paid sick days) I noticed a problem.   My left hand kept turning blue.  OK, the light tinge of blue didn’t bother me, but when it looked like I was joining a band of Pict warriors or just tattooed my hand denim, I got worried.  I called the surgeon’s office and got absolutely no response.  I figure, OK, I can deal. I know it’s a problem with arterial blood flow – hey, 30 years working in pharmaceuticals you learn a lot.  If it gets bad again, I’ll go to emergency because an orthopedist doesn’t deal with this anyway, a vascular surgeon would do the work.  I cannot tell how thrilled I was at the thought of ANOTHER DOCTOR!

Back in the stupid splint I go.  The blue gets better, but most mornings, it’s a scary dark blue again.  I sleep without the splint, but started putting it back on early mornings.  It seems to help.  Then 2 days ago I roll over in bed to my right side and use my left hand to pull the sheet over – a no stress kind of thing – and all of a sudden I hear CRACK – like I just stepped on a dry twig and pain flashes thru my wrist.  Two days of icing the thing down and it feels a bit better, but it’s obviously not as strong as it was.  Come Monday, I see the surgeon – who combines relative youth, minimal people skills, and a tendency to patronize,  just the thing to annoy a Maxine clone like me.   If you never hear from me again, look for the headlines about an irate patient being arrested for attacking her doctor.

Just in case, Grave Dance by Kalayna Price is EXCELLENT and gets a rare A- from me.  Complex world building, great characters, very original story line, and the writing is so good, it’s hard to put down.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   You absolutely MUST read Grave Witch first or you’ll be lost.  I’ve got a bunch of short reviews started and hopefully, next week, I’ll b able to start posting reviews again.  Unless I’m in jail.  Let’s hope for the best.

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