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Now Available at a Library Near Me ...

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I was delighted to find out in  April that paperbacks of my urban fantasy novels are available for lending at two libraries in my county. It’s a dream come true for this indie author. Not only are there two more avenues for readers to find my books, but I personally love libraries. My father was an avid reader. When I was in primary school in Singapore (elementary school in the United States), my father would bring me to the public library with him every month. He’d leave me in the children’s section while he browsed the books in the adult section. I loved exploring the stacks and finding new books to read. It was in that same library that I discovered Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. That library was where I devoured the myths and legends of Greece, Rome, Norway and the United Kingdom. That library was where I found books by Enid Blyton, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones, George MacDonald, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Frances Hodgson Burnett and other c

Book Review: 'Zombie Complex: The Battle for Chattahoochee Run' by Alexander Pain

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Alexander Pain's Zombie Complex: The Battle for Chattahoochee Run is a fun take on the zombie apocalypse.  5 stars:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I had a blast reading this book. The story revolves around a very ordinary apartment complex in a very ordinary neighborhood in Atlanta. The residents must step up when the zombie apocalypse brings life as we know it to a standstill. Fortunately, the protagonists have a sizable gun collection and quite a lot of ammunition. Author Alexander Pain writes with a breezy style that is effortless to read, with believable, relatable and eminently likable characters. The book takes you on an adventure. It’s both fun and funny. The plot is fast-paced, with many exciting moments. I especially liked Pain’s social commentary on living and working with other cultures. My only criticism is the book ended too abruptly for me. I hope there will be a Book 2. There are so many promising threads here that a second book could pick up and further explore. This review was also po

Book Review: 'Wildflowers: A Horror Novel' by Vanessa Perry

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My review of Wildflowers: A Horror Novel by Vanessa Perry.  5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is such a gem of a book. It is at times horrific and at times heartbreaking as we follow Charlotte, the teenage protagonist, in her struggles to take care of her family after her father’s death. The horror in Wildflowers is not just paranormal. There are some genuinely creepy parts, but what I found most unsettling was the very real abuse she suffers as her mother grows increasingly distant and erratic. Kudos to author Vanessa Perry for giving Charlotte a voice of such clarity and honesty. It brings to life her love for her sisters, as well as her mounting unhappiness and despair. I also enjoyed how the author juxtaposes the book’s beautiful, woodsy surroundings with the dark events taking place inside Charlotte’s house. It gives the story the dreamlike feel of a Grimms’ fairy tale. What a promising debut! I look forward to reading more from this author. This review was also posted to Amazon and Goodr

Book Review: 'Tidepool' by Nicole Willson

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I've decided to add select book reviews to my blog in keeping with its themes of horror, fantasy and superheroes. I also usually post these reviews to Amazon and/or  Goodreads .  Here is my review of  Tidepool , a gothic horror novel by Nicole Willson.  5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tidepool pulled me in with the first sentence: “Tidepool looked like the kind of place where people went to die, not to live.” I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky story in which one Sorrow Hamilton sets out to the seaside town of Tidepool, Md., to find her missing brother. It turns out the sad little town’s horrible odor may be due to something more sinister than dead fish washing up on shore. I picked this book up because of its Lovecraftian undercurrents. Thankfully, however, author Nicole Willson doesn’t emulate H.P. Lovecraft’s overwrought writing. Instead, she describes the town, the atmosphere and the characters in spare but skillfully chosen words, bringing them alive in my mind. I thought her writing also was

Cracow Monsters, Myths and Memories

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I just watched the first season of Netflix’s Cracow Monsters . It’s been a treat, especially since my husband and I spent a few days in that lovely city in 2018 and I love folklore and mythology. In the series, a medical school student and her classmates investigate strange events involving missing and dead children, resurrected corpses, and ancient Polish gods. While the storyline was pretty run-of-the-mill urban fantasy, there were quite a few suspenseful and hair-raising moments. The acting and the production quality also were good. What I especially liked was how the makers of the series took care to film in many of Krakow’s most iconic landmarks. That includes the city's Main Market Square, which dates back to the 13 th century and is the largest medieval town square in Europe. I loved seeing the square, the Vistula River, Wanda’s Mound and, of course, the Wawel Dragon in the series. The Wawel Dragon You can’t talk about Krakow without touching upon the Wawel Dragon. Acc

The White Tiger and 'The Forgotten Guardian'

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The Forgotten Guardian , the second book in my Geomancer’s Apprentice series, features a white tiger. Such beasts hold a special place in Chinese mythology. In ancient China, the white tiger symbolized war and military might. The white tiger also is one of feng shui’s Five Guardians . The beast represents the west, the fall season, and the feng shui element of metal. Among other folklore surrounding the animal, it was said the white tiger would appear only if the Chinese emperor ruled with goodness, or if there was world peace. Another myth has it that a tiger’s tail would turn white when it reached 500 years of age. Some ancient Chinese peoples worshiped the white tiger as a god. Today, a few Chinese minority groups still claim they are descended from the white tiger. They believe that the star of the white tiger fell to earth and gave birth to their ancestors. In real life, white tigers are the result of a genetic mutation known as leucism. Leucism is akin to albinism. However,

Not Enough Ghostbusting in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

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I loved  Ghostbusters I  (1984) and  II   (1989). The iconic opening scene from the first movie, where the team investigates the New York Public Library, was enough to hook me in. Pure campy fun. And then there was the theme song. “Who’re you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!” You could not get away from it even if you wanted to. The movie was huge. Ghostbusters II was good as well, although perhaps not as good as the original. It was still fun to see the gang together. The chemistry between the actors was as remarkable as ever. Again, pure campy fun. Sony Pictures tried to revive the original franchise in 2016 with an all-female cast. The effort ultimately was … unmemorable.  Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of the talented female stars in the movie, including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Unfortunately, the reboot was slow and self-indulgent, and many of the jokes fell flat. For me, the best part of the movie was Chris Hemsworth’s character. So you can understand why I dragged my heel