Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wondrous Strange and Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Genre: Young Adult  Fantasy

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 336

Rating: 4 Crowns

Synopsis:17 year-old Kelly Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelly's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye. 

Review:  I stumbled upon this book through an ad on Goodreads where I could read it free online for a limited amount of time. I enjoyed this story from the very beginning because it's a very cool twist of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. With all of the faerie books out there aimed at the YA market this is one that truly captured my imagination. I like the main character Kelly...she came through as a real teen just looking to make it on her own in the Big Apple. Of course, there is always that handsome boy who steals your heart....I'm secretly in love with Sonny!!!! Very original story plot and great fun...I can't wait to get my hands on book #2 Darklight!

 Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Genre: Young Adult  Fantasy

Copyright: December 22, 2009

Pages: 312

Rating: 4 Crowns

Synopsis:"Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom...or part them forever. 

Review: Much has changed for Sonny and Kelley. They've been apart from each other for almost six months. Kelley can't stop thinking about Sonny and all she wants to do is let her power loose so that they can be together again. Unwittingly, she lets her guard down while walking through Central Park. There she is attacked by a mugger. In order to get away she summons help from one of the Janus crew and somehow cuts a portal into the Otherworld. She and Sonny meet back up and that is when they start to notice that an ancient magick is stirring and someone has plans for both Kelley and Sonny. The Winter King is sick and the faerie world is being threatened. Sonny is not who he thinks he is...nor does he have any clue. But Kelley does and she is forced to make a decision that will change both of their lives forever. Livingston has created another magical book with Darklight and I devoured this in one sitting. At times Otherworld is a bit difficult to understand...a lot of different characters with magical qualities and I'm never quite sure who is good and who is wicked!! But I guess that only adds to the fun with this series. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this series!!

Friday, April 9, 2010


After the shipwreck I was devastated and
cried for weeks. When I emerged from my
grief, I realized that my girlfriend's death
shouldn't be the end of me. I found someone
as pretty and nice as her and eventually I
invited her on a beach holiday. My old girlfriend
was washing up on the shore. She'd been cliinging 
to a plank for fourteen months, living on raw fish, 
rainwater and her love for me. I was
faced with a choice. My new girl won because
the old one was skinny and bedraggled, and
besides, the water had made her all crinkly.

The Pull of the Moon

  Not long ago, I saw a woman in a drugstore pick something up in her hand, delighted, and hold it out toward her husband. It was just a perfume bottle, but the shape of it was lovely. "See this, hon?" she said. And the man said, "yeah," but he had his back to her and was walking down the aisle away from her. The woman put the thing back, diminished.
p. 25
** I've felt like this on more than one occasion and after a while I wondered why I bother to show him anything that I find fascinating.

It feels like this is my time for coming into my own. Extraordinary to suddenly think of this as a time for gain. Martin used to say, imitating his funny old grandmother, "Oy, I can't vait to get home and take my goidle off." Well, my girdle's off. Flung into the wind. What luxury, the feel of one's true flesh beneath one's own hand.
**Why does it take so long for us to come into our own?

  What is comparable for you, Martin? Would you tell me if something were? Do you know how much I long for you to lift the rock, to tell me about your underside? You once said, "Women are all the time asking what men are thinking about. We're not thinking about anything!" Well, maybe that's true. But we are. We are thinking about things. It seems to me that the working minds and hearts of women are just so interesting, so full of color and life. And one of the most tragic things I've seen is the way that's been overlooked, the way that if you try to discover what the women were doing at any given time in history, you are hard-pressed to find out. Why? I want to say to you that we are not silly, that what we think about and what drives us to talk, talk, talk, this is vital?

Nan is traveling across America without a plan and when she sees women outside of their homes, in their yards, or on their porches, she pulls into their driveways and starts a dialogue.I've often wanted to do this. Just stop and talk to women and learn their stories. Are they where they wanted to be? doing what they envisioned???? Maybe that is why I felt so connected to Nan's story?

And it was the nudge that got me to find this journal, and get going on this trip. And now, in my own stillness, I hear something. "Where have you been?" my inside boy whispers to my outside one. Its sense of outrage is present, but dulled by the grief of abandonment. "I had ideas. There were things to do. Where did you go?"
  What can I answer? Oh, I had some errands to run. I had a few things to do. I needed to get married and have a child and go underground for twenty-five years, be pleasantly suffocated. I meant to come back. But the bread crumbs got blown away.
  Now I'm away. And leaving no bread crumbs behind me.
 Well. Perhaps I will be a bit of an archaeologist after all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Girl Who Chased the Moon

  When Sawyer's stomach growled, he laughed. "I haven't had anything to eat since the cake I had for lunch," he said sheepishly.
  "You had cake for lunch?"
  "I'd have cake all the time if I could. You're going to laugh at this, but I'll tell you anyway. You know how some people have a sweet tooth? Well, I have a sweet sense. When I was a little boy, I could be playing across town and know exactly when my mother took a cake out of the oven. I could see the scent, how it floated through the air. All I had to do was follow it home. I will fiercely deny that if you ever say anything.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hate List: A Novel

"Do you think I would've done it?" I cried at one point. "If I had a gun, would I have shot Christy? Because when Nick said, "Let's go get this finished," and I thought he was going to, I don't know, embarrass her or maybe beat the crap out of her or something, I felt so good. So, like, relieved, I wanted him to take care of her."


Slowly I dipped the brush into the black paint and made a stripe across the canvas, perpendicular to the purple.
"Hmmmm," she said, and then, "Ohhhh."
The best way I can describe the feeling was that it was miraculous. Or maybe soulful. Or maybe both. I don't know. All I know is that I couldn't stop at that one line or the next splotch or the tree-like dots I made along one border.


I heard Mom's voice, so staccato it didn't belong in the studio at all, float up the aisle at me: "Time's up, Valerie."
When I looked up, I was surprised to see that Bea was standing next to me with her hand on my shoulder. Time's never up," she whispered, not looking at me, but at my canvas. "Just like there's always time for pain, there's always time for healing. Of course there is."


"Will you ever forgive me? " I shot back, leveling my gaze directly into his eyes.
He stared into them for a few moments and then got up silently and headed for the door. He didn't turn around when he reached it. Just grabbed the doorknob and held it.
"No," he said, without facing me. "Maybe it makes me a bad parent, but I don't know if I can. No matter what the police found, you were involved in that shooting, Valerie. You wrote those names on that list. You wrote my name on that list. You had a good life here. You may not have pulled the trigger, but you helped cause the tragedy."


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Woman Strangled News at Ten

The van with Max and Tig rolled up beside them and slowed to a stop.
Tig powered the window halfway down. "Lucky the big dog got here in time."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, fist on hip.
"It means you're a Chihuahua-mix trying to enter yourself against Kennel Club purebreds. Look at you. you can't do the news looking like that."
"Already did."
Max wore the dumbfounded expression of a man who'd just thwarted a home invasion, only to be electrocuted as he grabbed a beer from the refrigerator to celebrate.
Tig's eyes blazed like black fire. "What's that supposed to mean?"
She pivoted on one bare foot, making barking noises ruff-ruff-ruff all the way back to where Reggie now stood beside the van. When she yanked open the door, she yelled, "And I'm not a Chihuahua, you big, overgrown, story-stealing Rottweiler. I'm an Irish Terrier and I'm about to become First in Show.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last Bridge

Two days after my father had a massive stroke my mother shot herself in the head. her suicide was a shock-not the fact that she killed herself but the way in which she did it. It was odd that my mother chose such a violent end to her own violent life. For someone who endured years of torture at my father's hand, I thought she would have choose a more quiet way of leaving. Perhaps she would take pills and put herself to bed in a silk nightgown, or she'd walk naked into the ocean at sunset. Instead, she cleaned the house, changed the linens, stuffed the freezer full of food, and blew her head off with my father's shotgun.


I didn't have to look at her face to know it was my mother. I didn't even have to look any farther than her left hand that was dangling off the metal table. I nodded and turned away.
"That's her," I said.
"How do you know?" the coroner asked.
"The wedding band," Hal answered, looking at me for confirmation.
"The tip of her ring finger," I said.
Both men looked closely. "Ah," they said in unison as they noticed my mother's finger was missing the first joint and nail bed.
"Was that a birth defect?" Hal said.
"No...marriage," I replied, searching my bag for a cigarette.
"My mother tried to leave my father once. He found her, brought her home, and cut the tip of her finger off. He told her if she ever tried to leave again, he would cut her hand off. Needless to say, she never left after that. Anybody have a light?"