Friday, September 23, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Grace Paley


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What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended burning   
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of   
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching 
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the 
   edge of which the birch trees   
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story 
by Chekhov   or my father 

What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended   burning 
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of 
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching   
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the   
   edge of which the birch trees 
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story by 
Chekhov or my father on 
   his own lawn   standing   
beside his own wood in 
   the United States of   
America   saying (in Russian) 
   this birch is a lovely 
tree   but among the others 
   somehow superficial 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#Tuesdaybookblog: Cover Reveal for Dying Breath, A Jesse Sullivan Novel

Dying Breath, the 6th Jesse Sullivan Novel
Coming November 29, 2016

*                         *                        *

Well...? What do you think?

Friday, September 16, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Max Ritvo

The Big Loser

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The guardian angel sits in the tree
above the black lip of street
the man walks down.
He calls the man Cargo.

The angel sees a pinewood box in place of the man,
and the street he walks is a boat,
the hull like a coal crater.

Somewhere in the real world there is such a boat and box.

The angels call these overlays dreams,
and believe they crop up because angels
can’t sleep but want to —

space falls apart when you have unlimited time.

The cargo is rattling in the boat.
Maybe it’s just the waves, maybe it’s rats.
What’s the difference? Either way: it’s the box.

The angel sends the man
a happy vision from his past — the time

he fed birthday cake
to his goldfish
after an unsuccessful party.

The angel thinks he’s applying lemon oil
to the creaky, wounded wood of the box.
He knows it’s palliative, but it’s beautiful.

The man reaches the end of the street. He’s a sick man
and he starts to ponder death
as he often does these days:

All of death is right here
— the gods, the dark, a moon.
Where was I expecting death
to take me if everywhere it is
is on earth?

At life’s close, you’re like the child whose parents
step out for a drive —

everyone else out on a trip,
but the child remains in the familiar bed,
feeling old lumps like new
in the mattress — the lights off —

not sleeping, for who can sleep
with the promise of a world beyond the door?

That night the child dreams
he’s inside the box.

It’s burning hot, the heat coming
from bugs and worms
raping and devouring one another.

He starts the hard work
of the imagination,
learning to minister to the new dream.

Perhaps all that’s needed is a little rain —
for everyone to drink and have a bath.

Outside: a car humming,
somewhere, his mother’s singing.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Read a poem Friday: Louise Erdrich #poetry #fridayreads

Turtle Mountain Reservation

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For Pat Gourneau, my grandfather
The heron makes a cross 
flying low over the marsh. 
Its heart is an old compass 
pointing off in four directions. 
It drags the world along, 
the world it becomes. 

My face surfaces in the green 
beveled glass above the washstand. 
My handprint in thick black powder 
on the bedroom shade. 
Home I could drink like thin fire 
that gathers 
like lead in my veins, 
heart’s armor, the coffee stains. 

In the dust of the double hollyhock, 
Theresa, one frail flame eating wind. 
One slim candle 
that snaps in the dry grass. 
Ascending tall ladders 
that walk to the edge of dusk. 
Riding a blue cricket 
through the tumult of the falling dawn. 

At dusk the gray owl walks the length of the roof, 
sharpening its talons on the shingles. 
Grandpa leans back 
between spoonfuls of canned soup 
and repeats to himself a word 
that belongs to a world 
no one else can remember. 

The day has not come 
when from sloughs, the great salamander 
lumbers through snow, salt, and fire 
to be with him, throws the hatchet 
of its head through the door of the three-room house 
and eats the blue roses that are peeling off the walls. 

Uncle Ray, drunk for three days 
behind the jagged window 
of a new government box, 
drapes himself in fallen curtains, and dreams that the odd 
beast seen near Cannonball, North Dakota, 
crouches moaning at the door to his body. The latch 
is the small hook and eye. 

of religion. Twenty nuns 
fall through clouds to park their butts 
on the metal hasp. Surely that 
would be considered miraculous almost anyplace, 

but here in the Turtle Mountains 
it is no more than common fact. 
Raymond wakes, 
but he can’t shrug them off. He is looking up 
dark tunnels of their sleeves, 
and into their frozen armpits, 
or is it heaven? He counts the points 
of their hairs like stars. 

One by one they blink out, 
and Theresa comes forth 
clothed in the lovely hair 
she has been washing all day. She smells 
like a hayfield, drifting pollen 
of birch trees. 
Her hair steals across her shoulders 
like a postcard sunset. 

All the boys tonight, goaded from below, 
will approach her in The Blazer, The Tomahawk, 
The White Roach Bar where everyone 
gets up to cut the rug, wagging everything they got, 
as the one bass drum of The Holy Greaseballs 
lights a depth 
charge through the smoke. 

Grandpa leans closer to the bingo. 
The small fortune his heart pumps for 
is hidden in the stained, dancing numbers. 
The Ping-Pong balls rise through colored lights, 
brief as sparrows 
God is in the sleight of the woman’s hand. 

He walks from Saint Ann’s, limp and crazy 
as the loon that calls its children 
across the lake 
in its broke, knowing laughter. 
Hitchhiking home from the Mission, if he sings, 
it is a loud, rasping wail 
that saws through the spine 
of Ira Comes Last, at the wheel. 

Drawn up through the neck ropes, 
drawn out of his stomach 
by the spirit of the stones that line 
the road and speak 
to him only in their old agreement. 
Ira knows the old man is nuts. 
Lets him out at the road that leads up 
over stars and the skulls of white cranes. 

And through the soft explosions of cattail 
and the scattering of seeds on still water, 
walks Grandpa, all the time that there is in his hands 
that have grown to be the twisted doubles 
of the burrows of mole and badger, 
that have come to be the absence 
of birds in a nest. 
Hands of earth, of this clay 
I’m also made from.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

#ThrillerThursday: Death at First Sight #ThriftyThursday

Hold onto your butts! (So sayeth Samuel Jackson in Jurassic Park). Because here is a brand new book by the fabulous Angela Roquet.

This is the second book in the Spero Heights series. If you want to know more about Book 1, Blood Moon, click here)

In Book 2, Death at First Sight, Lia James would give anything to be normal. 
Struck with horrific, daily visions of death isn’t what any sane person would consider gifted. Her only consolation is that Sheriff Saunders, her shady keeper, does what he can to change the outcome of her visions—at least, the ones that might lead to a swanky promotion. 

Christian Delph is not a normal doctor, and his patients’ maladies are not found in the average medical journal. As the head therapist of Orpheus House in Spero Heights, he sees everything—and usually before it happens. The one thing he didn’t see coming was Lia, and all the ways she would turn his fragile world inside out.

Kory's Review

I always enjoy Angela Roquet's books, so no surprise that I enjoyed the latest installment of this urban fantasy series. But there are several aspects in particular that I think were well done here. #1 The tension between Lia and her captor were especially well-drawn. The reader gets a clear sense of her emotional entanglement with this person and right away, we begin rooting for her escape.

#2 1 also love the town dynamic. For fans of Charlaine Harris' Midnight Crossroads series, they will find something similar in Spero Heights. Secrets, the supernatural, and a community that you wish you were part of. Personally, I enjoyed the Spero Heights novels more than the Harris novels. The pacing was better and the characters more intriguing. 

#3 I like the interconnected nature of the books. People we saw in the first book reappear and we get to learn what became of them after the adventures in Blood Moon. I hope the books continue to be interconnected, giving me a greater view of the mythology and history between these interesting people.

It's free for Kindle Unlimited users and $0.99 for the rest of us. Get your copy here.

Friday, September 2, 2016

#Fridayreads: September: A Poem by Joanne Kyger #poetry


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              The grasses are light brown
              and the ocean comes in
              long shimmering lines
              under the fleet from last night
              which dozes now in the early morning

Here and there horses graze
              on somebody’s acreage

                               Strangely, it was not my desire

that bade me speak in church to be released
         but memory of the way it used to be in
careless and exotic play 

               when characters were promises
      then recognitions.  The world of transformation
is real and not real but trusting.

                            Enough of these lessons?  I mean
didactic phrases to take you in and out of
love’s mysterious bonds?

                      Well I myself am not myself

           and which power of survival I speak
for is not made of houses.

          It is inner luxury, of golden figures
that breathe like mountains do
            and whose skin is made dusky by stars.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#Tuesdaybookblog: 5 Reasons to Love Charley Davidson @Darynda

I've been tearing through Darynda Jone's Charley Davidson series lately. I'd read the first couple before, and loved the series immediately. But I recently made a commitment to read them all in order to be up-to-date when the 11th novel, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight drops in January.

I don't like reviews that give spoilers, so instead, I will give you five reasons to love Charley Davidson, the heroine of the series.

1) She sees dead people.
Charley is the Grim Reaper and as a consequence, she can see the departed here on Earth. Who doesn't want a friend who can see dead people? 

2) She's an awesome P.I.
Her private investigation antics are always fun to watch. The excitement, the drama, oh my! I want a P.I. friend who is always running around, solving cases, saving lives and ordering mucho grande tacos. 

3) She has great friends. 
Cookie is her assistant/sidekick and she's lovely. Their conversations are fantastic. Witty. Engaging and it makes you want to put on pajamas and join in. Just don't let Cookie make the margaritas! Witty banter is always a selling point in a novel for me. But it is even better if I like both parties who are bantering. And in this case, I do!

4) Her boyfriend is super hot.
Okay, it might be the Son of Satan thing, but Reyes is smokin'. And I'm not even usually into dudes! Yet I want him as my book boyfriend--if that's not an endorsement for a certain six-pack of abs, I don't know what is. It always puts a smile on my face when he shows up. It's usually a sign that things are about to get reaaaaaaally good. 

5) Charley always saves the day.
No matter how many demons, how many criminals, how many ghosts and near brushes with death, Charley always wins. It's hard not to root for a girl who gives it her all and keeps coming out on top. It's been fun watching her powers grow and see her coming into her own. Just her character arc and development would be enough for me, even if she didn't come with the great friends, sassy attitude, mad skills and hot boyfriend.

Okay that's all you're getting from me for free! Go! Go pick up the series. (Now! Go! Go!) Binge read! And we can fangirl together until Moonlight rolls around!