Saturday, June 25, 2016

Involvement in Reading and Emotion

Sometimes when reading I find myself laughing out loud, not often, not as often as I've suddenly felt tears dampening my cheeks, or felt my stomach tied in knows from overwhelming tension, or my mind reeling in curiosity. When it happens, I know the story was well worth the read.

I love reading a good story, but each 'good' story reaches me on a different level. Sometimes it's because I immediately identify with a character or the character's untenable situation. Sometimes it's because the storyline makes me think, or whet's my curiosity, or because the story takes me somewhere in time or space I've never been. The major link tying these together is the emotional one, which often involves bonding with a character. With the characters who catch my mind, I laugh, cry, feel their pain, their doubts, their regrets, and breath with deep satisfaction at their triumphs. These are the stories I remember best because of that emotional identification.

I don't mean to imply that I want only what would be classified as a morally impeccable character. The main characters I like can begin as troubled or injured people, but their road to redemption must be lined with believable problems and setbacks. There are a few situations where I have trouble suspending my disbelief to get into the story.

I'm reading a book right now where the hero leaves me ambivalent. Yes, there is a reason for his immoral behavior: survival in the mean streets of one of America's cities. And yes, he grew up with a horribly abusive parent. He has finally caused the death of someone whom he considered a friend and thinks his own death is near until the unobtainable woman he loves arrives.

Sorry, I'm having a real hard time bonding with this character or the heroine who will forgive him anything. While I know he is going to try and redeem himself for this woman, I don't buy it. Not yet, at least. Maybe the author will surprise me.

Stories about  guys or gals in tough times can be very emotional; however, I also believe continual criminal or cruel behavior changes the tenor of a mind making it impossible to change without colossal cost of some kind. Nor can I identify with a character who is just too good to be true; I don't believe them. I guess what I'm saying is the more human the character in respects to how I view people, the more real they feel, the more emotionally involved I become in their story. Without that, for me, there is no reason to read.

So I know the bounds of my emotional relationship with characters, and while I can make that tie and enjoy it, it does have its limits.

Visit the following authors and read their opinions on the topic!

Skye Taylor
Anne Stenhouse 
Marci Baun 
Heather Haven
Victoria Chatham
Dr. Bob Rich
Diane Bator
Beverley Bateman
Rachael Kosinski
Connie Vines 
Margaret Fieland

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Last Good Girl -- Allison Leotta

Anna Curtis Series – Book 5
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6111-4
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6113-8
May 2016

Detroit, Michigan – The Present

Anna Curtis is a successful U.S. Attorney in the Washing ton D.C. Sex Crimes Division. After her fiancé’s missing wife turned up, and Jody, Anna’s sister, called needing her as a lawyer for a murder accusation, she returned to her home state of Michigan. There she met Cooper Bolden, a veteran with PTSD, and other scars including a missing leg. After Jody’s house burned, Cooper invited them to move into the old Detroit mansion he has restored. He is urban farmer growing apples. His goal is the restoration of the distressed city. Jody has a new baby, and Anna for the first time thinks of becoming a mother. Her and Jody’s father abused their mother, and both daughters have trouble dealing with their past. Things have been going well, but then Anna receives a call from Jack, her former fiancé. He is in Michigan investigating college sex crimes. He wants her to help on the disappearance of the daughter of Tower University’s president. She accepts the job. She will be working with FBI Agent Samantha Randazzo.

Emily Shapiro was a freshman at Towers, an event she has looked forward to since a child, but even her father’s position won’t save her from an encounter at a prestigious fraternity’s party. There she meets Dylan Brooks. What Emily doesn’t know is this fraternity is often disparaged as ‘the Rape Factory.’ By her second day on campus as a student, a rohypnol-laced drink has made naïve Emily another statistic. She thought her father’s position would help her, but that is just another disappointment Emily must bear. Even with all the betrayal, hateful remarks, and shamming aimed at her, she remains determined to gain justice. However, the father of her rapist is a big donor to the Tower and a highly placed elected official in Michigan. After posting some vlogs about her rape online, neighborhood cameras show Dylan chasing Emily late at night, making him the last person to see her before she disappeared.

This volume follows A GOOD KILLING (2015), which I also gave a Perfect 10. If a book keeps me up all night, it deserves that award. Although it is a continuation, readers needn’t have read A GOOD KILLING to understand the action, but will want to. In THE LAST GOOD GIRL the interactions between all of the characters are superb and the triangle set up between Anna, Cooper, and Jack adds to the dynamics. The investigative and legal procedures are very realistic, and campus rape is a very current issue. Oh, and Cooper’s brother is pledging Dylan’s fraternity! Living with abusive or neglectful parents, and how the kids deal with it, is another sub theme. These elements all add up to perfection. Loved this story!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dragoon's Journey

You can pre-order Dragoons' Journey for $2.99 during the month of June! Take advantage of the offer while you can.

A snippet about the villain:

Rictor’s instructions required him to finish the task begun so long ago: destroy Habitat Lakeesh. It must die for Colonial Pact's success. It had been the easiest habitat to infiltrate. The former Lord Ado had been a pathologically greedy, narcissistic sociopath, easily bought and manipulated, which had made the job easier. Since Hilliard had also protected Rictor from discovery as another Colonial Pact advisor, albeit for an impressive sum, Rictor felt some small obligation for Hilliard’s welfare.