Tuesday, November 22, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Witching Hour


So, this time around Stormi and I tried a new series.  I read the entire trilogy when I was in high school/college and loved it so much. I'm pretty sure I've been on to Stormi for several years to read it.  Well, we finally did - or should I say we tried.  Read on to see my thoughts.  In order to make it a tad more interesting, I'm doing my review in the form of a conversation between Past Me (PM) and Current Me (CM).  Then hop over and see what Stormi thought at Storm Reads  ... and if she is still talking to me.

TITLE: The WItching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
AUTHOR: Anne Rice
PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 1990
PAGES: 965

FROM GOODREADS: Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches—a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.

On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking... and The Witching Hour begins.

It begins in our time with a rescue at sea.  Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery—aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches—finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life.  He is Michael Curry, who was born in New Orleans and orphaned in childhood by fire on Christmas Eve, who pulled himself up from poverty, and who now, in his brief interval of death, has acquired a sensory power that mystifies and frightens him.

As these two, fiercely drawn to each other, fall in love and—in passionate alliance—set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift, the novel moves backward and forward in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and a ch√Ęteau in the France of Louis XIV.  An intricate tale of evil unfolds—an evil unleashed in seventeenth-century Scotland, where the first "witch," Suzanne of the Mayfair, conjures up the spirit she names Lasher... a creation that spells her own destruction and torments each of her descendants in turn.

From the coffee plantations of Port au Prince, where the great Mayfair fortune is made and the legacy of their dark power is almost destroyed, to Civil War New Orleans, as Julien—the clan's only male to be endowed with occult powers—provides for the dynasty its foothold in America, the dark, luminous story encompasses dramas of seduction and death, episodes of tenderness and healing.  And always—through peril and escape, tension and release—there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death.  With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths, to the present and Rowan's increasingly inspired and risky moves in the merciless game that binds her to her heritage. And in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, this strangest of family sagas is brought to its startling climax.

Man, I loved this book.  It's so great everyone should read it.  The witches, the New Orleans atmosphere, the creepy characters.  It's all so great I'm sure it's gonna be one of my all-time favorite reads.  I carried this book around in my car for years I loved it so much.

CM:  Yea, it was an all-time favorite until you tried to read it again.  You were in college when you read this.  Are you sure you weren't influenced by something else?  And as for it being in the car for years, I'm pretty sure it was in the trunk from where you moved and you just left it there.

PM:  No, Anne Rice is a wonderful writer.  I'm going to read everything she comes out with. The woman is a genius. 

CM: In all honestly, you've read three books from her in the past 30 years, she can't be THAT much of a favorite.  And as for her being the best???  Do you know how many other books you are going to read in your lifetime? You should probably hold back on making judgement calls after falling in love with one book.  And I'm pretty sure she's weird.

PM: Well, more people definitely need to read this and man, it's so good, they should make a series.  I'm so glad it was almost 1000 pages long.  More pages equal more to love.

CM:  Yea, that Anne Rice sure was a wordy woman.  And you didn't even manage to make it past 400 pages this time around.  If it wasn't for the fact that you finished "Little Heaven" which she DNF'ed, I'd say Stormi might not do any more buddy reads with you.  How did you convince her to read such drivel? How much description do one really need about the Louisiana heat and the decrepit porch or the growing kudzu?  That guy should have hit his head when he went off the bank into the ocean and died.  Book over.

PM:  You don't know what you're talking about.  You're so lucky they finally are making a series.  And the relationship between Michael and Rowan is so romantic.

CM:  Pretty sure you had a pretty low bar for romance back then.  Yep I'm lucky alright.  I can't even bring myself to watch the new Vampire series after being scarred by Tom Cruise as a would-be romantic bloodsucker years ago.  I'm not so sure I'll be tuning in to the witch one.  On the other hand, it might be somewhat better than the book but seeing as how I didn't finish it this time around, I'll probably never know!  I still think you were on something.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Wild Man Creek (Virgin River #12)


If you would have told me the one series Stormi and I would have continued on with when we started this project would be the Virgin River series, I would have thought you were nuts.  This was really NEVER on my radar until Netflix released the show, but I've really come to love both the books and the Netflix adaptation. So this month we read another one and we actually have 2 slated for December.  So read on to see what I thought and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her's.

TITLE: Wild Man Creek (Virgin River #12)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHING DATE: January 25, 2011
PAGES: 361
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it's his art that truly soothes his troubled soul.

Stung personally and professionally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock has rented an old Victorian with a promising garden in Virgin River. She's looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.

Both are looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives, but when Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there's an instant connection. And in Virgin River, sometimes love is the simplest choice of all….

MY THOUGHTS: This installment continues on with the book's exploration of the Riordan brothers.  We've seen glimpses of all of them in the past few books and now it's Colin's time to shine.  COlin is still recovering from a major military air crash which left both his spirit and body broken.  He goes to Virgin River to plan his next steps and ends up meeting Jillian.  Jill is coming off a bad corporate work experience and trying to find her way as well.  Her way ends up in a garden and one day she stumbles across Colin who is painting on her property.  She encourages him to explore his art and he encourages her to explore her love of all things garden related and as they say, the rest is history.  

As far as the series goes, the relationship in this book was almost smoother than most of the others.  Yes, they both had their issues and yes, it was not going to be easy all the time, but it wasn't so much drama that it sent me off the deep end.  The book also has a good side story of Jack and Denny but for the most part, not many of our old faves pop up. Which might be good because as much as I love Mel, her name has been synonmous with drama the past book or two.

My only real complaint in this book is that the author really goes overkill on talking about all of Jill's gardening, planting and harvesting.  It got a bit old but overall, I still loved this book.  The author is also pretty good at setting up the next book and I have my suspicions on who it will focus on.  Virgin River is a series that keeps on giving and the cozy reads I need from time to time.