Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Review- The Most Wanted Witch: Tales of Xest #3 By Donna Augustine

 Today I'm reviewing The Most Wanted Witch, #3 in fave Donna Augustine's Tales of Xest where Tippi's got her hands full.
Enjoy!

ASIN: B08SQ4ZDDG
Publisher: Strong Hold Publishing
Release Date: 1-15-2021
Length: 260pp
Source: Author for review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

Overview:



A darkness has settled over Xest, as roaming hordes of grouslies prey on the vulnerable. Witches and warlocks fear walking the streets, as lines are being drawn, and sides are taken. There’s only one way to stop the destruction coming, but tracking down an evil that doesn’t want to be found isn’t easy.

When a demon from hell shows, threatening to take over a Xest on the brink of destruction, I only have one option: get in the way. My sacrifice, offering myself as collateral to buy us time, is driving a larger divide between me and a furious Hawk. Meanwhile, finding the origin of the evil destroying our world means delving into my own inner demons. The closer I get to the truth, the closer I get to losing Hawk, my newfound family and everything I’ve fought for.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Showcase-Blood Vigil by Matt Coyle Oceanview Publishing

 Today I'm showcasing Blind Vigil by Matt Coyle, in book #7 Matt has his protagonist Rick Cahill recovering from a gunshot wound and looking to make a fresh new start.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 978-1608094004
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: 12-1-2020
Length: 336pp
Rick Cahill #7
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

Overview:


Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly and John Sandford

Blinded by a gunshot wound to the face while working as a private investigator nine months ago, Rick Cahill is now sure of only one thing: he has to start a new life and leave his old one behind. He’s still trying to figure out what that life is when his onetime partner, Moira MacFarlane, asks for his help on a case she’s taken for Rick’s former best friend.

The case is simple and Moira only needs Rick for one interview, but Rick is wary of waking sleeping demons. Ultimately, he goes against his gut and takes the case which quickly turns deadly. Rick’s old compulsion of finding the truth no matter the cost—the same compulsion that cost him his eyesight and almost his life—battles against his desire to escape his past.

The stakes are raised when Rick’s friend is implicated in murder and needs his help. Can he help the friend he no longer trusts while questioning his own lessened capabilities? His life depends on the answer as a shadowy killer lurks in the darkness.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Review - Bad Love Strikes by Kevin Schewe, MD. FACRO

This book was written Kevin Schewe, a health care hero, a practicing oncologist in Denver, and my oldest daughter's (who we lost in December to cancer) uncle. She gave me this book to read and
I really enjoyed it, it's a combo of coming of age and time travel and am looking forward to reading the next adventure the Bad Love gang goes on.
Here's a shout out to all the Health Care Heroes!!!
Enjoy!

ASIN:  B07XFT5C7L
Publisher: 
Release Date: 9-16-2019
Length: 201pp
Buy It: Amazon

 

Overview:



In October 1939, Albert Einstein warns President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Nazi Germany is actively pursuing an atomic bomb and urges him to make sure that the United States develops the bomb first. Roosevelt heeds the warning and launches the “Manhattan Project” in June 1942.
In October 1942, Roosevelt tells Einstein that prudence calls for the U.S. to have a back-up plan to the Manhattan Project in case Hitler gets the bomb first. Roosevelt commissions Einstein to secretly construct a usable time travel machine code named the “White Hole Project.”
In June 1974, an adventurous group of teenage friends, who call themselves the “Bad Love Gang,” discover a tunnel leading to the White Hole Project. They learn how to use the time machine and become the first known humans to travel back in time and return. Their mission is to save Jews and Gypsies from the Holocaust in November 1944 by using a U.S. Air Force B-17 bomber that was known as “The Phantom Fortress.”

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Showcase Bait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders

Today I'm showcasing the first in a new cozy paranormal series, Bait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders perfect for all of us lovers of cozies with a little woo woo. I can't wait to read my copy.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 9781496728746
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: 12-29-2020
Length: 336pp
Witch Way Librarian Mysteries #1
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/ indieBound


Overview:


Librarian Josie Way moved to small-town Oregon to lay low. Instead, thanks to newfound magic abilities—and a killer on the loose—she’s leapt out of the frying pan and into a cauldron of trouble . . .

Josie Way loved working among the Library of Congress’s leather-scented stacks—until she uncovered corruption and made herself a target. As Wilfred, Oregon’s new librarian, Josie can stay undercover until the case goes to court. But life in this little town isn’t as subdued as she expected. The library, housed in a a Victorian mansion, is slated to be bulldozed. Still digesting the news that her safe haven is about to become scrap lumber, Josie discovers a body in the woods . . .

Almost as shocking, Josie learns that she’s descended from a long line of witches—and her powers have suddenly sprung to life. With help from a spoiled alley cat who just may be her familiar, Josie’s thumbing through a catalog of suspects, hoping she can conjure a way to save her library—and her life...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Showcase Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw Oceanview Publishing

Today I'm showcasing Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw a new release by Oceanview Publishing and debut in a new series set in the Island paradise of Hawaii. I'm told it's perfect for fans of Michael Connelly.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 978-1608094035
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: 1-5-2021
Length: 352pp
Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery #1
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:



On Hawaiʻi Island, an anonymous 911 caller reports a body at Pōhakuloa, the Army’s live-fire training area. Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kāne, a cop with his own secret criminal past, finds a mutilated corpse—bearing all the hallmarks of ancient ritual sacrifice.

Koa encounters a host of obstacles as he pursues the murderer—an incompetent local medical examiner, hostility from both haoles (Westerners) and sovereignty advocates, and a myriad of lies. Nothing is what is seems, and Koa must rely on instinct and guile to zero in on the truth.

From untouched royal burial vaults to the world’s largest astronomical telescopes high atop the Mauna Kea volcano, the bizarre case draws Koa deep into his own Hawaiian roots. As Koa probes the victim’s past, he confronts a rich roster of suspects—grave robbers, native activists, thieves, and stargazers.

Koa races to discover whether the victim stumbled upon a gang of high-tech archaeological thieves, or learned a secret so shocking it cost him his life and put others in mortal danger. Will Hilo’s most respected detective stop this sadistic fiend—or will the Pōhakuloa killer strike again—with even deadlier consequences?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sophia Rose reviews: Mindful Willpower: Powerful Mindful Practices to Increase Self-Control, Get Motivated, and Build Good Habits by Samara Serotkin, PsyD

Happy Tuesday, what better way to start the day than with a self help review from Sophia Rose. See why she recommends this helpful book.
Enjoy!

Mindful Willpower: Powerful Mindfulness Practices to Increase Self-Control, Get Motivated, and Build Good Habits by Samara Serotkin, PsyD

Self Help, Health

Publisher:  Rockridge Press

Published:  12.22.20

Page:  147

Rating: 5

Format: eARC

Source:  Callisto Publishing

Sellers:  Amazon

Add To: GoodReads


GoodReads Blurb:

Find the strength to achieve your goals—strategies for building willpower with mindfulness

It’s not easy to make big, lasting changes to your habits, but Mindful Willpower can show you the way. This simple, actionable guide will help you reclaim your sense of self-control with practices based on mindfulness—the act of fully experiencing just one moment at a time. Whether you’re trying to eat healthier, save money, get organized, reduce your screen time, or anything else that takes a bit of mental fortitude, you’ll find the tools you need to clear space in your mind and commit to success in this book.

Develop your willpower gradually and sustainably with:

Healthy habits—Explore a variety of exercises for using mindfulness meditations to disengage from bad habits, replace them with better ones, and stay focused on the lasting changes you want to make in your life.
Fast and easy techniques—Practice quick, mindset-altering exercises for controlling impulses, managing procrastination, delaying gratification, and more that you can use no matter where you are.
Research-based advice—Discover a concise overview of the psychology and science behind willpower, so you can understand exactly how and why these strategies work.

Get focused, build better habits, and increase your self-control with Mindful Willpower.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Review The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris

 Happy Monday today I'm so happy to be bringing you my review of The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris. Back in December I did a showcase and giveaway and I can't wait to see what my pal Sophia Rose, who won the copy, thinks of this novel. Those of you who love Brit-Lit don't walk run to collect your copy and those who love an interesting cover well need I say more.
Thanks to Gallery Books a division of Simon and Schuster for the review copy.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 978-1982126896
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books
Release Date: 11-3-2020
Length: 336pp
Source: Publisher for review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:


“Moving.” —Booklist (starred review)


At Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World, where the animals never age but time takes its toll, one woman must find the courage to overcome the greatest loss of her life.

Four years after her husband Richard’s death, Cate Morris is let go from her teaching job and unable to pay rent on the London flat she shares with her son, Leo. With nowhere else to turn, they pack up and venture to Richard’s ancestral Victorian museum in the small town of Crouch-on-Sea.

Despite growing pains and a grouchy caretaker, Cate begins to fall in love with the quirky taxidermy exhibits and sprawling grounds, and she makes it her mission to revive them. But threats from both inside and outside the museum derail her plans and send her spiraling into self-doubt.

As Cate becomes more invested in Hatters, she must finally confront the reality of Richard’s death—and the role she played in it—in order to reimagine her future. Perfect for fans of Katherine Center and Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Showcase: Truth Lies and Second Dates MaryJanice Davidson St. Martin's Press

Today I'm showcasing Truth Lies and Second Dates by MaryJanice Davidson a recent release from St. Martin's Press
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 9781250053176
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 12-15-2020
Length: 320pp
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overivew:

Truth, Lies, and Second Dates is a sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.

Captain Ava Capp has been flying from her past for a decade. She’d much rather leave it, and her home state, behind forever. But when she finds herself back in Minnesota, against her better judgment, everything goes sideways in a way she never expected it to.

M.E. Dr. Tom Baker has never forgotten Ava and the cold case she ran away from. When she shows up unexpectedly in town, in spite of himself, sparks fly. Which is terrible because he can’t stop his growing attraction to her. Can these two Type-A’s let their guards down and work together to put Ava’s tragic past behind her for good? And keep their hands off each other at the same time?

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sophia Rose Reviews: Taken in Nuala by Harriet Steel

Today Sophia Rose is back to review a WWII historical mystery
Enjoy!

Taken in Nuala by Harriet Steel

#8 Inspector de Silva Mystery

Historical Mystery

Publisher:  Self

Published: 4.18.20

Pages:  224

ASIN : B085QN99LF

Rating: 4

Format: ebook

Source:  borrowed

Sellers:  Amazon


Add To: GoodReads

 

Blurb:

When an American millionaire and his glamorous daughter visit Nuala, the splendour they bring to the town’s high society is soon tragically tarnished by a vicious crime.

With many avenues of inquiry to follow, including the involvement of a mysterious fortune teller, Inspector de Silva will need all his resources to unravel the evidence and avert further disaster.

A gripping mystery with lots of twists and turns set in the colourful and fascinating world of 1930s Ceylon.

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

#GIVEAWAY Showcase: Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso Banner a Partners in Crime virtual blog tour

Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso Banner

 

 

Up the Creek

by Alissa Grosso

January 11 - March 12, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso

An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.

Caitlin Walker hasn't had a dream in nine years. But now nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son's nightmares threaten to reveal.

In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town's notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.

How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Thriller
Published by: Glitter Pigeon Press
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 356
ISBN: 9781949852080
Series: Culver Creek Series, Book 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Showcase Boone: Eternity Springs: Emily March St. Martin's Press

Today I'm showcasing Emily March's latest Eternity Spring novel, Boone. 
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 9781250314956
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: 12-29-2020
Length: 304pp
Eternity Springs #18: The McBrides of Texas #3
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:


In Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas, New York Times bestselling author Emily March presents a brand new arc set in the Lone Star State that features a family-linked trilogy within the author's romantic series.

With his smooth talk, rugged good looks, and deep pockets, native Texan Boone McBride appears to be a man who has it all. Few people know about the heartbreak behind his decision to leave home, family, and career for the isolation of a small town in the Colorado Rockies. Luckily, time and life in Eternity Springs has worked its healing magic upon his wounded soul, so when he meets obviously troubled Hannah Dupree, Boone sees a chance to pay his good fortune forward. The last thing he anticipates is tumbling into love.

Tragedy has taken everything Hannah loves, and her will to keep going is failing. So when Boone strides into her life determined to save her, it’s easier to go along with him than to resist. Soon she is drawn into the fabric of life in Eternity Springs, and as her spirit begins to heal, her strength returns, and she’s able to go toe-to-toe with this hardheaded, big-hearted Texan. But just when love blooms and happiness is within their grasp, shadows from the past threaten. Hannah and Boone must stand strong and united in order to defeat old ghosts—if they are to create a brand-new life together.

Monday, January 11, 2021

#MacmillanAudio Review: The Awakening by Nora Roberts

There is no author who can tell a story like Nora Roberts and her new epic fantasy trilogy's debut is a testament to that. 
Enjoy!

ISBN-13:  9781250770301
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 11-24-2020
Length: 15hrs-27mins
Source: Publisher for Review
The Dragon Heart Legacy #1
Buy It: Audible

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:


#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts begins a new trilogy of adventure, romance, and magick in The Awakening.

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

Friday, January 8, 2021

Sophia Rose Reviews: The Longbourn Quarantine by Don Jacobson, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman

 Welcome to Sophia Rose's first review of 2021, today she's reviewing a historical romance on Audible, The Longbourn Quarantine by Don Jacobson narrated by Stevie Zimmerman.
Sophia Will be visiting with thoughts on novels on a regular basis so be sure and stop by to check them out.
Enjoy!

The Longbourn Quarantine by Don Jacobson, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman

Historical Romance

Publisher:  Meryton Press

Published:  11.26.20

ASIN:  B08P5D4WHX

Time:  3 hours 50 minutes

Rating: 5

Format: Audible

Source: Author

Sellers:  Amazon /Audible /Barnesand Noble



Add To: GoodReads

Good Reads Blurb:

Refugees flood the roads. A feared specter has escaped London’s grimy docklands and now threatens the wealthy districts. Amongst that ragged stream is a single carriage jostling its way toward Meryton. Inside are the Darcy siblings along with Charles and Caroline Bingley. They desperately seek the safety of Netherfield Park.
For all their riches, they could not evade the epidemic’s dark hand. Bingley’s leasehold had been reduced to rubble as roving bands raped, pillaged, and burned. The only sanctuary was Longbourn where, once installed, the Darcys and Bingleys were barred from leaving by a fortnight’s quarantine.
Events converge with disease in The Longbourn Quarantine. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy abandon old prejudices to face grief and mourning. Pride is set aside as Death hovers nearby. The couple forges ahead. knowing that love unexplored is love lost: that words must be said lest they remain unspoken in the time of smallpox.

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Showcase- FERDINAND, THE MAN WITH THE KIND HEART by IRMGARD KEUN Translated by MICHAEL HOFMANN

Today I'm showcasing yet another fantastic offering by fave indie publisher Other Press, Ferdinand, The Man with the Kind Heart set in post WWII Germany.
Enjoy!\
Enjoy!

ISBN-13: 978-1-63542-035-7
Publisher: Other Press
Release Date: 12-08-2020
Length: 256pp
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS    

Overview:


The last novel from the acclaimed author of The Artificial Silk Girl, this 1950 classic paints a delightfully shrewd portrait of postwar German society.

Upon his release from a prisoner-of-war camp, Ferdinand Timpe returns somewhat uneasily to civilian life in Cologne. Having survived against the odds, he is now faced with a very different sort of dilemma: How to get rid of his fiancée? Although he certainly doesn’t love the mild-mannered Luise, Ferdinand is too considerate to break off the engagement himself, so he sets about finding her a suitable replacement husband—no easy task given Luise’s high standards and those of her father, formerly a proud middle-ranking Nazi official.
Featuring a lively cast of characters—from Ferdinand’s unscrupulous landlady with her black-market schemes to his beguiling cousin Johanna and the many loves of her life—Ferdinand captures a distinct moment in Germany’s history, when its people were coming to terms with World War II and searching for a way forward. In Irmgard Keun’s effervescent prose, the story feels remarkably modern.


Read an excerpt:

I have an article to write

I am puzzled each time anyone supposes I have money. It began with the pickpocket. The most recent instance was Heinrich, who couldn’t believe I wanted an advance for the article he wanted me to write.
I have never written an article in my life, but Heinrich was insistent, and I don’t like to say no. For the past week, Heinrich has been the editor of an apolitical weekly paper called Red Dawn, and he is a mild and blameless person.
With my fifty marks, I bought a pack of Belgian cigarettes and a bottle of Moselle and settled down in my room to compose. Frau Stabhorn, my landlady, supported my efforts with a stub of pencil and the tattered exercise book of one of her grandchildren. Now the paper is willing, but the spirit is weak. What on earth am I going to write?
The Moselle tastes as flaccid and murky as the decayed philanthropy of an unhappily married vintner. The Belgian cigarettes taste of rancid hay. I wasn’t in Belgium during the war and have never harmed a hair on the head of any Belgian. In the event that these Belgian cigarettes don’t constitute collective punishment but some individual act of revenge, then it seems to me this is another case of the wrong person catching it. A grey melancholy lames my mind. And there I was, promising myself stimulation through the use of . . . stimulants.
My room at Frau Stabhorn’s—Emmy Stabhorn, née Baske, widow—isn’t a proper room at all, but the passageway between her kitchen–living room and her bedroom. It has the feeling of a stretch coffin. The kitchen door was purloined during the last month of the war by the neighbor, Lydia Krake, and chopped up for firewood. Said Lydia straightaway came under suspicion, and this was duly confirmed by the one-eyed seer on Engelbert-strasse. In spite of which Lydia Krake and Frau Stabhorn remained on-again, off-again besties.
Prior to the currency reform, they were both engaged in diverse black-market schemes, which they pursued with the nervous tenacity that imparts the fiery gleam of sexual sunset to the financial machinations of aging ladies.
Lydia Krake was the occasional supplier of fresh meat whose provenance remained, at least as far as I was concerned, obscure and unexplained. I was trusted, but never let into the secret. To be more precise, I wasn’t taken seriously.
Because I was hungry, I was offered some of the meat. Probably it was so that they might see how its consumption would affect the human organism. Acts of impulsive charity were not in the nature of Frau Krake or Frau Stabhorn. The meat perked me up and seemed to do me no harm. It wasn’t a varietal I had previously encountered. Perhaps it came from exotic animals that had perished in one of the zoos. I only hope it wasn’t human. Eating human flesh carries adverse long-term consequences.
The one-eyed seer was also involved in the trade, till one day found him in ugly opposition to the ladies. To their profound satisfaction he had to go to prison later for falsification of ration cards. On the day of his arrest, his two antagonists were all sweetness and light. They laid cards for each other, a wistful return to the habits of their fortune-telling mothers. Shortly afterwards, though, they were once more sundered, this time over a mild-mannered theology-student-cum-spiv, to whom Frau Stabhorn had given a hundred elastic corsets on commission. Lydia Krake had sunk some of her precious capital in the corsets. The theology student vanished without trace. God knows what he did with the corsets. Not long ago I ran into him outside a stall that sold potato pancakes. He informed me that he had changed horses and was now a law student.
The little Stabhorns stream into the kitchen through the door that isn’t a door. They like to swing on the sticky curtain that separates my room from their grandmother’s bedroom. At night, I hear Frau Stabhorn snoring. By day, the curtain gives way every two or three hours. It is among my tasks to reattach it.
The ceiling of my room is all holes. The house suffers from age and natural decay. It’s like a gouty pensioner, who has no more reason to shave or smell nice.
Even in its youth, it won’t have had much in the way of charm. No traces persist of onetime beauty—not like the old ladies in fin de siècle novels. What it does bear are traces of bomb damage.
I have tried several times to plaster over the holes in the ceiling. Probably the plaster is no good, because it keeps falling out—to the delight of the children, who use it to mark hopscotch boxes on the floor.
The Stabhorn family consists of Frau Stabhorn and numerous grandchildren. From time to time various daughters and sons-in-law appear, to greet the existing children with noisy affection and drop off another one. The Stabhorn breed is vigorous and prolific.
I know that a dislike of children exposes one to the horrified contempt of all political parties and the main religious and atheistical philosophies. Children are the bonny little blossoms in the moldering garden of life. As I write, a couple of the bonny little blossoms are trying to spread a mixture of jam and plaster of paris all over my arms and legs.
Among other things, Frau Stabhorn dealt in illicit jam. One of her sons-in-law seems to be sitting on the source of an inexhaustible supply of it. There are buckets of it all over, the whole flat is sticky with it. After the currency reform, the flood of jam dried up for a while. Jammy traces on furniture and infants started to congeal and lost some of their stickiness. But now things are as they were. Jam everywhere. A sweet, red, toxic jam. A decidedly malignant jam, the enjoyment of which is followed by repentance.
If it looked anything like it tasted, the jam would have to be green—a lurid poison green like absinthe, or maybe turquoise with a contrary touch of purple, like the nightmare vision of one of those degenerate painters.
You’re prepared to eat many things if you’re hungry, but I think for myself that if this jam were green instead of red I wouldn’t be able to get it down. Though, actually, why not? What’s wrong with a blue tomato? Or a lemon-yellow veal chop? Isn’t it all acculturation and biological conservatism? I wonder how many more prejudices I’d find myself guilty of if I thought seriously?
At this point, I could write either a forensic disquisition or a surrealist elegy on jam. But I think Heinrich would say his readers weren’t interested in anything so depressing. Or I’d have to turn the jam story into something incomprehensible, like late Hölderlin or early Rilke. The incomprehensible always gets a free pass from the reader. He imagines he understands it, and that makes him feel good about himself.
Every now and again Frau Stabhorn comes skipping through my room. Her semilegal existence hasn’t worn her down; on the contrary it’s kept her vitally trim. Sometimes I think hateful thoughts and wish that instead of giving her grandchildren jam to play with she would give them a hearty spanking. But she’s not a spanker. She’s chirrupy and excited and she skips. Earlier she used to skip around my bed. Not from any carnal motive, but because she kept her stock of black-market cigarettes under my mattress. I don’t know what about the Widow Stabhorn might be enviable aside from her cheerfulness, but I know her to be widely envied. Envious neighbors, so she claims anyway, denounce her to the police. Then I have to lie in bed and play the poor, invalid returnee. The Widow Stabhorn would shed compassionate tears when she told the policeman about me. My bed has never been searched for contraband or substandard goods. It has been known for policemen to offer me cigarettes from the supply with which they had just been bribed.
I suppose I could write about my bed. At the head and foot it has bars of lamentable metal. I wonder who came up with that idea, and why? Why the waste of metal? If the bars were at the sides, that would at least have the effect of preventing a sufferer from nightmares from falling out. But show me the person who ever fell out of bed via the head end or the foot end. So why the bars? As an ornament? Who would take an imitation of prison bars for ornamentation? So, no, I don’t want to write about that. I’m sure readers would have zero interest in an account of prison bars, broken springs, and the damaged psychology of bed manufacturers.
Why do I have to write something anyway?
It all began with the pickpocket. I was standing outside the opera, waiting for the tram to take me to my cousin Johanna.
The November day was as grey as a whole wagonload of Prayer and Repentance days. May God forgive me, but I have something against Prayer and Repentance Day. It offends my democratic sense of freedom to be told to repent by some external authority that has no business in my inner life. Given our terrible climate, November is wall-to-wall expiation anyway. Everything ought to be done to cheer people up this month. Fountains of red wine should spring up on street corners, airplanes should scatter flowering lilac boughs from the skies, bands of jolly musicians should process through the town. Municipal, tax, and post offices should be decked out with red lights, public officials should wear parrot feathers and garlands, and prosecutors and judges should punctuate legal proceedings with nifty little dances. Heads of state, finance ministers, and the like should be kept from giving speeches or from taking a position on any of the important matters of the day—at best, they might be allowed to run a carousel for the free use of disadvantaged youngsters.
Such a profligate mode of life would require the approval of the relevant ministries. But November and fog and grey and morality and repentance—that’s too much. It gnaws at the marrow of the hardworking citizen, it saps the will to live, it’s enough to lay low the most resistant elector.
So I was standing at the tram stop in the grey mizzle thinking all kinds of colorful thoughts in an effort to animate my inner landscape. A damp chill was making its way up through my leaky soles.
When the tram arrived, there was a sudden crush, as though they were handing out thousand-mark notes inside. The people surged forward as though it was a matter of getting to their loved-one’s deathbed or on board the last aerial lifeboat to Mars.
I find it hard to believe that these grim elbowers and pushers were only trying to get home. Or to work. Or to some task or other. Their elbows were pointed, their muscles taut, their lips compressed with resolve. The look in their eyes became steely and hard. Ancient crones fought for a place in the sun with muscular factory workers, with pallidly resolute clerks, with grimly furious housewives.
Children wailed, dragged into close-quarters combat by their berserk mothers. Satchel-toting youths insinuated themselves into the crush—their flailing technique gave them a great advantage. They pressed past everyone except one single old lady. She would not give way, would not step aside, she rammed her shopping bag full of earthy carrots into the hair and faces of the oncomers. She stood up on the running board, holding the balustrade with her free hand, her felt hat was skew-whiff—she pushed on, she had captured the platform, she was within sniffing distance of the conductor’s armpit. She had won! She looked wildly about her, panting. Perhaps she was in training for the next Olympics.
The justification for such lethal barging, at least for any rational being, could only be paradise. Inasmuch as one can imagine any sort of paradise on earth. I think of it differently every day. Today my vision is of a mild bed of clouds in smiling light, in blue sky. Somewhere there are orange balls and velvety silver leaves and dark green. A pink flamingo flies with the pinions an old eagle has developed in wise solitude, singing with the gentleness of a newly opened cowslip on the forest edge. Like a nightingale.
It occurs to me I have never heard a nightingale. The nightingale is the most important bird in literature. No mediocre poem without its nightingale, no good poem either. The nightingale sobs, the nightingale cries, the nightingale toots and whistles. For hundreds of years, poets have been dining off nightingales. I have read and heard so much about nightingales, I really believed I knew nightingales. And I have never heard a nightingale. That shows you how well publicity works, and I always thought I would never fall for publicity. Do nightingales even exist?
You never know if you’ll live to see another day. If I’m spared till next summer, then I’ll go and listen to a nightingale. I hope I don’t forget. There’s so much you forget to do or neglect to do. I wonder if any of the poets who wrote and sang about nightingales ever with their own ears heard a nightingale?
But nightingales here or there, I don’t want to write my piece about them, even though the daily press likes it when authors write about a thing of which they have no knowledge. Profound ignorance persuades great circles of readers; others find it sympathetic. Never mind the critical remnant, they feel strengthened in their self-confidence, confirmed in their superiority, and empowered in their protests, which keep their intellectual muscle from dwindling away. I assume too that the subject of nightingales has been green-lighted and would not be censored by the greater part of our current German dictatorships. For reasons of morality, a lot of things are censored today. Dictatorships are always very strict about what they understand as morals and public ethics. Our former unlamented German dictatorship has, in the way of lower life-forms, procreated by simple fission, and is now called democracy.
At the tram stop, I refrain from barging. I have oodles of time, and what one has, one ought to enjoy mindfully. As I stood there, mindfully, I suddenly felt a hand scrabbling about in my pocket. I reached for the hand and gripped it firmly by the wrist. A man in his middle years had been attempting to rob me. Poor fellow. All I had was a multiple ticket with one ride left on it, and that was in my other pocket. “Walk slowly, don’t run, in your calling it’s best to avoid drawing attention to oneself,” I said to the man, and let go of his wrist. He ran like the clappers across Rudolfplatz. A beginner, I daresay, an amateur.
I felt flattered that the man had thought me worth robbing. You see, I wear neither hat nor coat, just a rather curious jerkin, with small natty skirts. It’s sort of New Look, I tailored it myself from a lady’s coat with history, back when I was released from the POW camp. My cousin Johanna likes to say I look like a hurdy-gurdy man’s monkey when I’m wearing it. Hurdy-gurdy men’s monkeys are sweet creatures, no doubt about it. I wouldn’t mind looking a little more imposing, though.

Reviews:


“[A] marvelous writer…infused with [Keun’s] trademark wit, candor, and emotional intensity…[Ferdinand] comprises a series of tightly packed vignettes and quietly captivating portraits…the prose has bite and charm.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Keun (1905–1982) shows a sure hand in this biting sendup of postwar Germany, full of absurd moments and amusing foibles. It’s a genuinely funny, ambling story full of sharp character studies.” —Publishers Weekly

“A decidedly unusual and often quite funny picture of a defeated people about to dust themselves off and become an economic power. Fans of Günter Grass will find Keun a kindred spirit in the meeting of the picaresque and the cynical.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Few postwar novelists were able to capture the mood of Germany as it recovered from its ‘former unlamented dictatorship’ as precisely and vigorously as Irmgard Keun. In Ferdinand, we’re led through Cologne’s ruins by a most engaging (and angst-ridden) tour guide who raves and rages and pinches our funny bone on nearly every page and who, in the end, makes us wonder if wars aren’t mere exercises in futility after all.” —David Abrams, author of Fobbit and Brave Deeds

“Keun’s novel is a captivating look at post–World War II Germany. The novel seems dreamy until you realize it’s the smoke from war creating the distortion. At the heart of the story is Ferdinand’s shockingly relevant tour of a society trying to cope with its altering identities and wrestling with the question: How do you adjust to your surroundings when your surroundings are adjusting to some new world order?” —Devin Murphy, bestselling author of The Boat Runner

Praise for Irmgard Keun:

“I want to tell everyone about Irmgard Keun…A great writer.” —Ali Smith

“Keun was possessed of a spectacular talent. She managed to convey the political horrors she lived through with the lightest possible touch, even flashes of humor.” —The Millions

“A formidable literary talent.” —Irish Times

About the author:
Irmgard Keun was born in Berlin in 1905. She published her first novel, Gilgi, One of Us, in 1931. Her second novel, The Artificial Silk Girl, became an instant bestseller in 1932, but was then blacklisted by the Nazis. Eventually sentenced to death, she fled the country and staged her own suicide before sneaking back into Germany, where she lived undercover for the duration of the war. She later resumed writing under the name of Charlotte Tralow, enjoying only modest success until her early works were rediscovered and reissued in the late 1970s. She died in Cologne in 1982.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Showcase Proustian Uncertainties

There are many things that didn't get done during the time I took off for mourning, I will start working on my best of list soon but I did want to get this out there for all to see and I know once you learn a bit about this book it will be high on your shelf like it is on mine. Proustian Uncertainties is a book where historian Saul Friedlander revisits Proust's In Search of Lost Time.
Enjoy!

ISBN-13:  978-1-59051-911-0
Publisher: Other Press
Release Date: 12-08-2020
Length: 176pp
Source: Publisher for Review (look for my review soon)
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/ IndieBound

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:


A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian revisits Marcel Proust’s masterpiece in this essay on literature and memory, exploring the question of identity—that of the novel’s narrator and Proust’s own.

This engaging reexamination of In Search of Lost Time considers how the narrator defines himself, how this compares to what we know of Proust himself, and what the significance is of these various points of commonality and divergence. We know, for example, that the author did not hide his homosexuality, but the narrator did. Why the difference? We know that the narrator tried to marginalize his part-Jewish background. Does this reflect the author’s position, and how does the narrator handle what he tries, but does not manage, to dismiss? These are major questions raised by the text and reflected in the text, to which the author’s life doesn’t give obvious answers. The narrator’s reflections on time, on death, on memory, and on love are as many paths leading to the image of self that he projects.

In Proustian Uncertainties, Saul Friedländer draws on his personal experience from a life spent investigating the ties between history and memory to offer a fresh perspective on the seminal work.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Showcase Griffin's Heart- Mourning your Pet with No Apology- Interview with author/actress Reagan Pasternak

 Welcome to 2021 I hope you all had a good Holiday Season. Now let's get back to work!
For the first post of the year I've chosen Griffin's Heart by actress Reagan Pasternak, a sort of grief guide she wrote when she couldn't find any help when she herself lost her beloved dog Griffin. This book will resonate with anyone who loved and lost a pet.
Enjoy!


ISBN-13: 978-0578704463
Publisher: Creatures Align Press; 1st edition
Release Date: 01-01-2021
Length: 242 pp
Buy It: Amazon

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:


A Memoir, Healing Journal and Keepsake

Losing a pet can be devastating and isolating. The trauma and grief that ensues is often trivialized or misunderstood by friends and family but it is unyielding and must be attended to. Griffin's Heart is an interactive guide to loss and navigating the grief process. Through journaling, healing exercises, and contributions, readers will find an outlet for their pain while creating a keepsake filled with beautiful memories. Reagan’s own story unfolds as the pages progress, reminding readers that they are not alone in their sorrow and that hope exists for all of us. Griffin's Heart teaches us to embrace and explore our darkest feelings and transform them into wisdom and strength while commemorating the pet we loved so much.