Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
A hauntingly strange and powerfully affecting debut novel that heralds the arrival of a unique and captivating literary voice, Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex darkness infecting a damaged psyche in a small Southern town.
Not long after his own mother's death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies—whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing brother is a constant threat—take control of Samuel's every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children. But to do so, he must rein in his darkest impulses as he undergoes a profound transformation from motherless boy to self-defined man—because sometimes the most terrible monsters are those that live inside us all.
When I first read the description I was expecting a dark, Southern-Gothic type tale, perhaps along the same line as the short story Children of the Corn by Stephen King.
The book actually reminds me more of another King short story titled The Body.(Many of you will recall that novella was later made into a movie titled Stand By Me.)
Unlike the King story which focused on the coming of age of 4 friends, Sang Pak's novel hone's in on the loneliness and depression of one young boy on the brink of adulthood.
Sixteen year-old Samuel Polk lost his mother to cancer, and has neatly compartmentalized his life in the year since her death.
He lives with his father who although loving, is obviously dealing with his own grief, and there is a mostly absentee older brother named Jim who is away at college, and avoids the family.
It becomes obvious that this is a family that is simply going through the motions, and that no one has really come to terms with losing the mother.
Samuel is carrying around a load of guilt to boot, because he feels that he let his mother down during one of her final requests.
It is during a school project that Samuel discovers the Greenan babies-a set of triplets with profound birth-defects, whose own mother believes them to have been "immaculately conceived". What enfolds from this meeting is a sequence of events that evolves into Samuel's own soul-searching journey to salvation.
This is the first novel by Sang Pak and I found it haunting in his descriptions of the rural south and the characters were not unlike people from my own past.
For better or worse, we all grew up knowing about a family similar to the Greenans.
This story evoked memories of whispered secrets behind old ladies fans after Sunday School, and I appreciate Mr. Pak's portrait of teenage angst verging on adulthood.
This was a thoughtful, engaging book, and I look forward to more by this talented young author. A special thanks to Harper Collins for sending me this ARC. This book has a scheduled release date of August 4th
About the Author:
Sang Pak is a Georgia-raised writer with English and psychology degrees from the University of Georgia. He is currently on hiatus from New York University's graduate program in psychology. He divides his time between Georgia, southern California, and Seoul. Wait Until Twilight is his first novel
To learn more about this book and author, visit his website by clicking HERE.
Posted by Dixie at 4:21 PM
Saturday, July 25, 2009
My friend sent me a copy of this photo.
As I studied it I was reminded of why I will only get on the back of a Harley
as opposed to the back of a "Crotch Rocket".
On a Harley you can sit back just like you are in the saddle, with your knees bent, lightly embracing the driver.
The contoured seat makes for good posture,
thus greatly reducing road fatigue as you tool about the countryside.
Now riding a Crotch Rocket, while although "breezy looking" appears rather painful.
I think it would bother my back to be all hunched forward like that.
And what about the driver of this machine?
Notice how his or her body is bent forward with his or her upper torso engulfed in hanging bosom, and their spindly little legs are bent forward?
But who am I to judge?
I could be all wrong.
Maybe it all made for an enjoyable, comfortable ride.
I'm glad to see that they observed the helmet law.
Posted by Dixie at 5:20 AM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I won this title from a giveaway, and I dived right in with relish a couple days ago when it arrived.
I have always enjoyed a good suspense thriller, but lately I've felt immune to a lot of them, probably because I've read so much True-Crime, and the sheer ugliness of how one human being can treat another has left me numb and a little detached.
Now that in itself must be some kind of defense mechanism-probably so I don't wind up having nightmares.
Well, enough of my amateur self-psychoanalysis.
I want to tell you about this book.
It's main character is a career Navy Intelligence Officer named Ryan Evans, who after witnessing brutality of the most barbaric kind in Iraq, has returned to the States a broken and changed man. He is determined to win back the affections of the wife and daughter that he had emotionally abandoned years before.
Too bad, so sad though.
He is too late. His wife Celine, has moved on, and his daughter Bethany totally rejects him.
Not exactly a hero's welcome home.
Enter the Boneman.
At least, that is what the press has dubbed him due to the fact that he tortures and kills his victims by methodically breaking practically every single bone in their bodies without so much as breaking the skin.
So far he has claimed six victims and has set his sights on the daughter of Officer Evans as his next.
Ironically, Evans himself has become the FBI's prime suspect for the slayings, due to the methods of torture he endured in the desert of Iraq.
The real thrills begin when Evans is forced to go on the run from the Law while at the same time trying to track down the madman who has his daughter before it's too late. In this he becomes both the Hunter and the Prey.
This book was gripping. It had the psychological edge that I think makes for a great page-turner.
Now of course I'll have to read something light and fluffy before I can tackle another thriller. You know, kind of like cleansing the palette.
And those are my thoughts.
Posted by Dixie at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This is for everyone who wears prescription eyeglasses.
There are a couple of great deals going on right now that I'd like to tell you about.
At 39dollar Glasses.com you can get $20 off a pair of glasses right now.
If you wear single vision glasses they will only cost you $19 bucks plus shipping.
Or even if you wear bifocals or progressives like some of us, the same discount applies. Grab your prescription and use this LINK.
Hurry because it expires Friday 7/24 at midnight.
Now at Eyebuy Direct.com they're having a buy one, get one sale until Sunday at midnight 7/26. Use this LINK to check it out.
For those of you who have never bought prescription eyewear online,
and are still throwing away hundred's of dollars at the brick and mortar stores,
I can personally vouch for how easy it is.
And how inexpensive! Buying glasses is like buying shoes-seriously-no need to walk around in out-dated or patched together frames because new glasses are so expensive.
Sarah Palin would be so jealous if she could see my eyeglass wardrobe.;-)
All you need is your current prescription.(and just so you know-your optometrist is required to provide you with a copy of this-it's the law).
Don't just take my word for it though.
You can read more testimonials by visiting GlassyEyes.com.
It's a great site started by a guy named Ira who is dedicated to helping consumers like you and me make informed decisions when it comes to eyewear.
Posted by Dixie at 8:34 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
From FSB Media
Two middle-aged misfits and a love that should not be as complicated as it seems
It started in a cemetery, where they begrudgingly share a bench. "Shrimp," the childless young widow and librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order, meets Benny, the gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village's Old Bachelor. Both driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks, they can't escape the powerful attraction between them.
But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother's cross-stitch? And how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist's waiting room?
An international sensation now available for the first time in the United States, this quirky, humorous, completely readable novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love
This book delighted me in so many ways.
I love that the author let's each character tell their stories from their own perspective. Each narrative flows seamlessly along and switches back and forth with ease.
I love how it begins.
First you have two lonely people meeting in of all places, a cemetery.
They are both in their 30's and set in their ways-and as they size each other up, and began to enumerate the many reasons in their own minds why they don't find each other attractive,(Benny refers to Shrimp as "The beige woman"
and she describes Benny as "funny smelling with three fingers on one hand")
This story is told in such a way that
as the reader, I felt the chemistry that was there before the characters did.
When they finally get together, they are like teenagers with that first powerful, all-consuming "true love", totally immersed with discovering and delighting in every new thing they learn about each other.
Yet as the flush fades from passion, and the differences began to annoy each other, I felt sadness that "love does not conquer all" as I sensed the end coming.
But as Tina Turner once sang
"What's love got to do with it"?
And the surprising ending reminded me of why I can now look back on my own first love with fondness and no regrets.
I found this story sweet, poignant, and funny.
I loved it.
Thank you to Caitlin from FSB Media for this review copy.
Katarina Mazetti was nominated for the Prix Cevennes in France in 2007, and has worked as a journalist, teacher, and author of books for readers of all ages. For twenty years she lived on a small farm in northern Sweden, an experience that became the basis for Benny & Shrimp, her first adult novel.
For more about this novel, including an exerpt and other reviews click HERE.
Posted by Dixie at 1:04 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Last night I sat up and read the debut novel, A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi.
I started the book yesterday and thought I'd read a while before bedtime as is my habit.
I did not stop until the end.
This engrossing story captured me, and I must say held me until the final page.
It began with the gruesome abduction and murder of a young girl in Newbury,Connecticut, but this was not your usual 'Investigate and solve the crime' tale.
Central to the story are the characters of Dr. Peter Gram, a pediatric psychiatrist,
and another little girl named Naya, who is haunted by nightmares that have resulted in terrifying her parents to the point, that they have brought her into Dr. Gram's emergency room.
Dr. Gram finds himself faced with a scenario that challenges his learned medical training, and his perceived notions of diagnostic reasoning.
Indeed, he learns that sometimes there are no pat, textbook answers.
This book is a quickly engaging, psychological thriller, with a touch of the paranormal. I don't want to give too much away, but this story is chilling,
and I don't mean just the murder at the beginning either.
I found it to be a quick read, and am looking forward to more from this author who writes on the subject of child psychiatry with the clarity and authority of one who knows his subject matter well.
My thanks to Dr.Grandhi for sending me this review copy.
About the author:
Preetham Grandhi, M.D. immigrated to the United States from Bangalore, India. A graduate of Yale, he has been the chief of service for House 5 at Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center.
A Circle of Souls is his first novel.
You can read more about this book at Dr. Grandhi's website A Circle of Souls
Posted by Dixie at 5:29 AM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Are you a fashion blogger?
I love fashion but my blog sure as hell couldn't be called a "Fashion Blog" by any stretch of the imagination-
unless of course you include my Granny Panties and Padded Bra posts-but I digress.
I wanted to give you Fashion Savvy gals a heads-up today, on for what could be a super opportunity for you and your readers!
I've done promo posts for a company called Twisted Silver before, usually as part of my own entry into one of their jewelry giveaways at other blogs.
Their jewelry is trendy, fun, fabulous and well...twisted! But aren't we all just a little?;-)
Right now they are looking for "Insiders" to share in promoting their Fall/Winter Salvage line.
14 lucky Fashion-based bloggers will get this amazing opportunity.
Not only will you receive free items of their fantastic jewelry line to wear and keep forever, but you will also be afforded the opportunity to have your own reviews and giveaways sponsored by Twisted Silver.
I told you that this was an amazing opportunity.
Check out all of the details HERE at the Twisted Blog on how to apply.
Get your application's in by August 17th!
Posted by Dixie at 2:11 AM
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Just For Me and You has yet another amazing handbag giveaway going on.
This time you can win your choice of any bag you want at GabbyGale Bags.com
Talk about feeding your handbag fetish!
Get over there and get your entries in ladies 'coz this one expires on July 16th at midnight.
Posted by Dixie at 5:21 AM
Who doesn't love cute, affordable handbags?
Handbag Heaven has loads of them starting at just $15 and all under $75.
If that isn't enough incentive to get you to click their link, then how about FREE?
Yep-you could win your choice -(well up to $50 that is) if you hurry on over to the
Just for Me and You blog and get your entry in.
That's right. She's having a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to Handbag Heaven.
But you need to hurry because this contest will end on July 13th at midnight.
Posted by Dixie at 4:06 AM
Monday, July 6, 2009
Having spent the better part of the past thirty years in New England
may have faded my southern drawl a bit, but not my appetite for Southern cooking.
I grew up in a family of ten children, and my Mama had to be thrifty when it came to feeding all of us. We didn't always have meat on the table, but we always had plenty of beans and black eyed peas.
We ate a lot of pinto beans at our house.
Big cast-iron pots of beans that were soaked and simmered for hours with huge chunks of salt-pork that everybody called "fatback".
She'd ladle these up with huge wedges of golden, buttery cornbread, and garnish them with plenty of chopped sweet onions and bowls of her pickled beets that she and my aunt put up and canned themselves. There were usually some collard greens simmered in a delicious vinegary/salt-pork potlikker as well, or string beans with new potatoes that she raised in her own vegetable garden.
We'd wash this down with tall jelly glasses filled with sweet iced tea that was brewed so dark you couldn't hardly see through it. Mama wouldn't drink tea with us though. She loved chicory-laced coffee,(a brand called
Luzianne) and that is what she drank all day long.
We just called this simple meal "Soupbeans"
Sometimes, usually on a Sunday, there would be a plate of crispy fried chicken and a dessert of old-fashioned banana pudding, thick with high golden peaks of real meringue, or best of all, my Mama's own decadent chocolate fudge cake, rich with frosting that she perfected herself, and I've never come even close to duplicating.
Lord knows, I've tried.
Finding the pinto beans and black eyed peas was easy.
It took me almost five years to get the meat department at my grocery store to carry ham hocks-seriously, I had to tell them what they were.
I gave up trying to get good salt-pork.
I gave up on collard greens too-they are just impossible to find up here-I've learned to make do with whatever dark, leafy greens I can find in the produce aisle.
Stop and Shop does carry Vidalia onions when they can get them, and occasionally I'll find some juicy, Ugly tomatoes-I scoop those when they are available.
I love to drink fresh churned, ice-cold buttermilk.
When I was growing up, there was a lady down the road from us who used to make it and she'd sell it for seventy-five cents a gallon, (but Mama always gave her a dollar because the lady had half a dozen kids herself to feed.)She had a little hand-painted sign on her door, advertising it for sale.
I refuse to drink store-bought buttermilk-it does not even come close in taste or appearance.
I'll use it in recipes but that is about all it is good for.
There are some things you do have to go home for.
I've tried over the years to instill in my children a taste for Southern cuisine that is after all, a part of their heritage, but I'm afraid it hasn't worked out too well.
Whenever I got the urge to cook 'Ala Dixie', they would usually run to their father when he came home, announcing "Daddy, she's cooked that Georgia food again, we're hungry-can we get pizza?"
Sigh...damn little Yankee heathens.
Posted by Dixie at 7:50 AM