June 11, 2009

Review Rewind of: Jaclyn's Ghost

Last month Dorlana Vann's book Jaclyn's Ghost was published, along with her book Passage to Mesentia, in paperback. To help celebrate I thought I would re-post my review of Jaclyn's Ghost which I read while I was blogging in 2008. What follows is my review and an interview with Dorlana.

Jaclyn's Ghost is a very well written love story about Jaclyn Jade and Logan Smith. At the beginning of the story Jaclyn realizes, with the help of Logan, that she is dead. More specifically, she's a ghost. Logan died in the 1920s when the site of Sunset Apartments was a hotel. Dorlana Vann lends a great twist to the question of "where do we go when we die". "Hell" is really Earth, were we repeat our past mistakes or learn from them with each subsequent life. I really liked this take on it, of course I already think that our souls live more than one life on this planet. I've given Jaclyn's Ghost 'only' 4 stars out of 5 because with the paranormal and mystery elements it's not for everyone.

"Jaclyn stared at the stranger. Nothing made sense. He wore a black jacket over a double-breasted vest and dress pants. Clearly bought off the rack, but still, it was a bit much for a burglar. She wondered why he hadn't left when he had the chance."

Dorlana Vann was kind enough to let me interview her. Here are my (probably silly) questions and her answers. Nothing was cut or edited in any way except (!) where I have things written in [ ]s. That is stuff I have added as I typed this. =)

~Kylee's Book Blog: I read in your interview on Studio 3B Author Spotlight that you get a good chunk of your writing done in the early mornings. Do you have any superstitions or rituals when you are writing? Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
Dorlana Vann: All I need is a cup of strong coffee and complete quiet. My inspirations simply come from the types of stories that I like; I enjoy adventures, fairy tales, love stories, the supernatural, suspense ancient civilizations and treasure hunts.

KBB: If you had to describe your writing to someone in only 3 words, what would they be?
DV: Quirky, Supernatural, Fun

KBB: What does your family think of your writing?
DV: They are my biggest fans and my biggest critics. I can always count on them to tell me exactly what they think – even if it isn’t pretty. They are very supportive and helpful.

KBB: What kinds of TV shows do you watch?
DV: I’m kind of a reality show junkie: American Idol, American’s Next Top Model, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and The Apprentice are my favorites. My all time favorite TV show is Angel – vampires and great dialogue, what more could you ask for? I hated to see it go.

KBB: What is the one item that you could not live without? What is your favoite junk/comfort food?
DV: At this point it would have to be my computer. I know it's the obvious anwer, but so true. And I love dark chocolate and cake... any kind of cake.

KBB: Where can my readers buy your books?
DV: http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook66597.htm?cache [to make it easier, I have linked the image of Jaclyn's Ghost, both in this review and in the Featured Selections, to this address]

KBB: What are you working on currently?
DV: I’m working on my next book, Passage to Mesentia. It is another paranormal mystery, but it is a little darker than Jaclyn’s Ghost. It will be released in ebook Jan 2009 and then will be in a 2 volume print book under Tease Publications Dark Tarot Series for the Death Card around March 2009. Here is a blurb:

After Wade and Bella find Bella’s archaeologist parents murdered, they are approached by a mysterious stranger who is searching for an amulet. He claims Bella’s parents smuggled it out of Cairo for him and convinces them to follow her parent’s clues to its whereabouts before its ancient curse is used for evil.

KBB: Any other plug you would like me to give? [I think all new writers deserve a lot of chances to advertise their groups and such]

DV: My writers group, Humble Fiction CafĂ©, has just release our first anthology, Split. You can find all the information and read one of my short stories from the book on my website – www.dorlanavann.com

Visit my blog (www.dorlana.blogspot.com ) Supernatural Fairy Tales, to read fairy tale inspired short stories, poems, and articles.

What are you paranormal and mystery fans waiting for? Click and buy!

Buy Death: Passage to Mesentia and Jaclyn's Ghost by Dorlana Vann:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

June 3, 2009

Review of: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Author: Katherine Howe
ISBN: 9781401340902
Pages: 371
Published by: Hyperion Voice (June 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Grade: A
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09 - Spring Reading Thing 2009 - 2009 Pub Challenge

Please note: All quotes and page numbers come from the ARC and there fore may vary from the completed, finished version. I waited until the last minute to try to verify them with the publisher and was unable to verify them so close to the date I promised my review would be up.

Part love story, part mystery, part historical fiction... I loved (!!!) The Physick book of Deliverance Dane by new author Katherine Howe.

The Physick book of Deliverance Dane follows graduate student Connie Goodwin and her dog Arlo in the 1990's, Deliverance Dane and a few of her descendants. In the 1690's Deliverance is accused of being a witch.

While Connie is attempting to clean out her deceased grandmother's home in Marblehead Massachusetts she finds a key hidden in an old Bible belonging to the family. It isn't just a plain, old key though.
It was a key. Antique, about three inches long, with an ornate handle and hollow shaft, probably designed for a door or a substantial chest. She turned the key over in the soft light from the lamp, wondering why it had been hidden in the Bible. It seemed too bulky for a bookmark. As she warmed the small metal object in her hands, puzzling about what it could mean, she noticed the tiniest shred of paper protruding from the end of the hollow shaft.
After finding the key with the slip of paper inside (a slip of paper containing nothing except the words "Deliverance Dane") Connie begins investigating what her advisor thinks maybe the name of a person. Connie comes across not a few obstacles on her journey, including meeting Sam the architectural preservationist she can't stop thinking about. Sam becomes more help than hindrance though.

I'd like to share with you one bit from The Physick book of Deliverance Dane that really struck a chord with me:
"Yeah, but it speaks to how alienated we all are from history," Connie grumbled, blue eyes darkening. "For generations the witch trials were such an embarrassment that no one would discuss them. A proper history of them wasn't even written until the end of the nineteenth century. Now look at it -- it's a carnival."
Connie looked around at the relaxed people milling about the esplanade, gazing into the windows of costume shops and card readers. She tried to imagine other violent, oppressive periods of history that had similarly been transformed into a source of amusment and tourism but could not think of any. Did Spain have Inquisition wax museums, showing effigies of people broken on the rack?

This one is going on my "Keeper" shelf and I hope to have the money to buy the finished book once it comes out June 9th!

Buy The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

IMPORTANT: Kylee's Journal Disclosure

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kylee's Journal would like everyone to know that the books reviewed on my blog were either provided to me by the publisher/the author for free OR were purchased by me OR were borrowed from the library. Books recieved for free do not get special treatment, if I don't like something, I either will not finish it (DNF) or I will struggle through to the end; both get reviews posted here.