Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Odd Apocalypse

Odd Apocalypse
Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Odd Apocalypse is one of my favorite Odd Thomas novels. Granted, I'd forgotten most of the last Odd Thomas tale, so this one came as a pleasant surprise.

The story picks up from where the last one ended. Odd Thomas and Annamaria are invited to a multimillionaire movie mogul's mansion. They go, because they need a place to stay, but more importantly, someone on the estate needs their help. Odd Thomas meets a woman in white, riding a Fresian stallion, both of whom are ghosts. With the woman's help, Odd finds a boy, held against his will.

Odd Apocalypse is full of interesting characters, to name a few: Alfred Hitchcock, Nikola Tesla, futuristic pig-beasts, vampire bats, an overweight chef who bakes a mean quiche but otherwise divulges very little information about the troubling surroundings, and Odd Thomas and his plain, but mysterious and pregnant friend Annamaria.

Thanks to Tesla's mad genius, all is not as it appears at the estate called Roseland, but the quick-witted fry cook with the gift of gab and the heart of gold is up to the challenge of unraveling the layers of mystery and horror that enshroud the idyllic place.

Temptation takes many forms in this tale, but when immortality beckons, will Odd Thomas succumb to its calling?

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Impulse

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Impulse. Ellen Hopkins uses a psychiatric hospital/bootcamp setting for a group of troubled teenagers who have each tried to commit suicide. Tony, a sexually abused and now confused young runaway who overdosed after his best friend/father-figure died of AIDS; Connor, a popular jock comes from a wealthy family, who finally succumbs to the pressures of the constant competition with his twin sister and shoots himself in the chest; and Vanessa, a cutter, who has been burned during her short lifetime by love, an absent father fighting in the Middle East, and a mentally ill mother.

Ellen Hopkins takes us along on the teens' journey of self discovery, and we cheer each new level of freedom that they achieve, as well as mourn their setback.

I found Impulse to be well worth the read. This novel, oddly enough given the shocking ending, has a more hopeful tone than some of Ms Hopkins other novels.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Down By Contact Blurb

Today I'm blurbing to celebrate the signing of my new sweet romance novella Down By Contact with Fine Form Press.


Miriame Van Housen is the brash twenty-five year old new owner of the New York Giants football team. Her team is heading to the playoffs thanks to the heroics of Dawson Drake, her star quarterback, who executes a last-second game-winning play before getting injured.

When Miriame learns that "Double D" will never again play football in the NFL, she takes matters into her own hands and heads to Winnemucca Nevada to tell the handsome jock that his career with her team is over. Under a windswept Nevada sky Miriame and Dawson soon discover that beneath her cold, business-like personality, Miriame longs to be loved.

That's it: A little NFL football, a little love.

Let me know what you think.


Monday, September 10, 2012


We've all got 'em. Some problems are more serious than others. Some of them, we hope, will resolve themselves, others it seems we have to be proactive because... they are just too important to us to not do anything about.

Today, as I reflected on a recent disturbing issue, something that just doesn't look as if it can have any happy resolution, I was reminded that Mary must have felt overwhelmed quite a few times in her life, especially during the Passion of her Son, Jesus.

Imagine giving birth to a beautiful baby, through miraculous means, and then thirty two years later helplessly watching that grown up baby be tortured unto death like a common criminal. Now imagine having been told that your baby would be the new Messiah. What would Mary have thought of Jesus' ministry on that Friday afternoon, looking up at her Son crucified, suffering, and dying? Would Gabriel's earlier promises have made any sense to her at that point? Probably not.

Yet she did not doubt God's word. Once again she needed to rely on her faith; and it took for Jesus to die, go down into Hell, and rise again, for God to fulfill His promise. But Mary never doubted, even though it had to seem to her on that horrible day that there was no possible way Jesus' ministry would continue. How could it: the man was dead or dying, nailed to a cross, and abandoned by just about all of his followers!

And yet... two thousand years after the "loss" of Jesus, we see how strong his ministry is.

We need to use that faith, especially when the world looks dire, when it doesn't seem likely that we'll get the desired results we'd hoped and prayed for. Let's keep in mind that once upon a time there was much more at stake than whatever small problem is troubling us today, but Mary did not lose faith, and God's will was done.

~ JT ~
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