Posts Tagged Ghosts

Death Has a Name – Jerry Hanel

Storyline: Gah! I have no puns! Death Has a Name by the talented Jerry Hanel is great – puns or no puns!

Poor Brodie Wade. He’s had a rough go with life. From being taken from his mother to institutionalized to dealing with his psychic abilities. The Truth (as Brodie knows it) is always trying to tell him its story and guide him into helping those around him.

After a couple of beheadings, he and Det. Dawson must work together to figure out if the Midnight Killer is back from the grave or if this is a whole new set of problems. What is the meaning behind the mysterious writing on the wall? What do the necklaces have to do with the murders? Does the Angel of Death really exist? And can it be stopped?!

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor spelling errors. I’d suggest another read through by a beta reader.

Character Development: As you all know, I was able to interview Brodie before I read his story and wow…what a character. Brodie is as every bit paranoid and nervous in the book as he is in his interview. He seems to cope pretty well for someone who can see The Truth manifesting everywhere and around everybody. (Not sure if I’d be that “calm.” I’d probably fixate on my cat too.) I am curious to know more about his relationship with his mother – if he was even able to maintain one after they took him from her for the alleged child abuse. Maybe Mr. Hanel will let us in on more of poor Brodie’s life story as the series progresses.

Writing Style: The writing style is wonderful and moves a great pace. I started reading this right when I first got to work (around 8 a.m. or so) and finished up right after lunch and I didn’t even notice that much time has passed! I loved Mr. Hanel’s attention to detail and the idea that normal – though specially trained – every day people are standing between humanity and the Angel of Death was pretty awesome. A tad unnerving – but still a very cool concept.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 5+

With a title like, Death Has a Name, I was unable to think of any clever puns, but that does not take away from the well written and thoroughly entertaining story. Mr. Jerry Hanel has created a unique and endearing character with Brodie.

Mr. Hanel also included a preview for Thaloc Has a Body and I’m almost positive that it will be as enjoyable as Death Has a Name.

An indepth interview with Brodie Wade, Psychic Detective from Death has a Name, concerning his relationship with his author Jerry Hanel.

Celia: How did you first meet your writer?

Brodie:  What? Oh, Lord. No… no, no. I’m hearing questions in my head again. Make them stop… make them stop…. Just answer them, Brodie.. just answer them. The Truth just wants to be known. (* deep breath *) Ummm…. My Writer? Jerry? He said that he enjoyed mysteries as a kid, and really likes thinking “outside the box” when it comes to paranormal and such. Through a series of coincidences, and a little too much caffeine, we ran into each other.

Celia:  Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Brodie:  (* Looks to make sure no one is watching him speak to himself, then whispers *) No. You wrote all of this down? Even the parts where I freak out? Please… don’t send me back to the institution.

Celia:  What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?

Brodie:  I remember when I was thirteen, in the institution. That’s in the book, and I appreciate how it shows why I am what I am… It was when I first realized that The Truth isn’t purposely trying to kill me. It’s trying to warn those around me about things in their own lives. I still hate the Truth, but over the years I’ve come to accept it.

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Brodie:  No. I’m having a hard time convincing him to stop writing. He wants to write more about me, but the more he writes about me, the more people will see how I spend most of the day talking to myself, and to The Truth, which no one else can see. I’m afraid of what people might think if they saw. What if they knew? They’d send me away for good.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Brodie:  No… my own head is freaky enough.

Celia:  What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Brodie:  I like to read. There’s an Escher’s dilemma for you… What would happen if I were to read about me reading??? (* ponders the thought deeply while holding his head between his hands. *)

Celia:  Are you currently engaged in a relationship?

Brodie:  No. No, no no no no no… no. No one would want me. I’m… damaged goods, as they say. Jerry says he’s going to fix me up with someone soon, but I can’t see myself loving anyone.

Celia:  Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Brodie:  Yes and no. The Truth and the paranormal world I have to deal with is all I’ve ever known, even as a little child. But I would do anything to give it up. I want — more than anything — to be “normal” … whatever that is.

Celia:  If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

Brodie:  I didn’t write a book. Oh… in Jerry’s book? Probably me getting shot. Yeah. That hurt.

Celia:  Do you like the way the book ended?

Brodie:  Yes. But I promised not to give away the ending, so I can’t say more than that.

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Brodie:  Interested? No. Will what I want deter him? No.

Celia:  Do you believe that you are suitable portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Brodie:  I would prefer the world wasn’t aware of me at all… but if Jerry has his way, it will probably be primarily electronic, with a paper offering sometime later this year.

Celia:  Did you have any input into the book cover design?

Brodie:  (* shudders *) No. Just the sight of it makes me want to hold my cat close and wish it away.

Celia:  What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Brodie:  My stupid cigarettes. I just wanted ONE more, but no… he would’t write a single one into the pages for me.

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Brodie:  I already have one. I want to get rid of it. Make it go away. Please?

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We Interrupt This Date – L.C. Evans

Storyline: We Interrupt This Date written by L.C. Evans is a thoroughly and wholly accurate depiction of all of the things that are great and terrible about a family. Especially a southern family.

Susan is a well-mannered, freshly divorced southern woman with a well-meaning and overbearing mother who is constantly meddling in her life and an utterly spoiled and self-centered younger sister. Not to mention, Susan also hates her job and her terrible boss. She is also a recent “empty nester” with her son off at college in Virginia.

Susan is now at a cross-road: she feels trapped by her job, by her family and by her own divorce. She must make some changes or she will surely lose her what’s left of her sanity. And when an old friend moves back to town, things really start to heat up. Whatever shall a delicate, southern belle do?!

We Interrupt This Date is a quick, easy and light-hearted read with frustrating to the point of endearing friends and family that anyone should be able to easily relate to.

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor typos sprinkled throughout the book. A once over with spell-check or another beta reader would take of those issues.

Character Development: I’m from the south myself and Ms. Evans really nailed down the typical genteel southern lady with Susan’s mother, Ms. Caraway. She is perpetually meddling in only the way that a mother can and to top it off, she’s retired leaving her plenty of time to “help” Susan out in ways that she couldn’t possibly appreciate. I have a grandmother who is very nearly Ms. Caraway in the flesh. She means well, but goodness! Things can’t possibly be that awful all of the time!

Writing Style: Ms. Evans’ style is simple and flows nicely. Somehow, even with all of the chattering of an intrusive mother at the very beginning, she pulls the reader in during the first few pages and keeps them hooked until the end.

Continuity:  I noticed no issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4

I really enjoyed We Interrupt This Date and look forward to more well-written books from Ms. Evans. She whipped up a sweet romance, folded in some family insanity and served it up in a hilarious novel. I would recommend this to just about anyone as this is a light hearted story without any heavy language or adult situations.

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The View From Here – Rachel Howzell

Storyline: Rachel, I don’t know HOWzell you did it! But, somehow you took a potentially depressing premise and made it both very entertaining and enjoyable.

Nicole and Truman are quickly approaching their 11 year anniversary. They have a beautiful house in the hills, take trips all over the world and have great jobs. Even with all of this, the two of them have grown apart and the rift is getting wider and deeper as time goes on.

Truman has become somewhat of an adrenaline junkie and in preparation for one his latest adventures, there’s an accident and he’s gone missing. She’s haunted by her choices and her past with Truman and her possible her future without Truman.

Or is he really gone…?

Nicole must fight her inner demons and overcome her grief before it destroys her…

Grammar/Spelling: There were no issues with the grammar and spelling.

Character Development: I have not had the unfortunate experience (*knocks on wood*) of losing anyone that is near and dear to me in real life, but I truly felt it with Nicole’s experience. I could see that she was an average woman, one who felt betrayed by her husband and who was lonely; Nicole wasn’t a super hero capable of leaping over devastation and pain in a single bound. Nicole went through the stages of grief like any normal person would and asked the same questions that anybody else would. “Why did this happen? How can you people move on like he was never here?!”

Writing Style: The writing style was smooth and engaging. I really felt like I connected with Nicole and her loneliness, depression and grief. I could also feel the pain, frustration and sadness of that her best friends felt as they watched their friend fall through the emotional floor of depression.

I really liked that Ms. Howzell used a series of flashbacks to develop the relationship between Nicole and Truman to show that they really did have a wonderful relationship and, like any other couple, had their ups and downs.

Continuity:  No issues at all with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4+

I really and truly enjoyed The View from Here by the lovely Ms. Rachel Howzell. Even as Nicole spirals downward and out of control, it would be incredibly easy for anyone to relate to her pain and loss. I believe The View From Here would be a wonderfully therapeutic read for someone who has recently lost a loved one and it’s definitely a great read for everyone else!

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