Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, December 4, 2016

This Shop Has the Ugly Christmas Sweaters of Your Dreams!

Etsy Alert. Sweater Zoo out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has more than 100 great sweaters, including many designs that will make your holidays cozy and bright. Prices on Sweater Zoo's wares are mostly in the $20-$30 range, and there are sweater vests priced at $18. Order now to get your ugly Christmas sweaters early!

France. Mystery. Two of my favorite things in one book!

I heard about this book on the amazing French Word-a-Day site.

From the Amazon page:
ll that Professor Claire Somerset expects when she arrives in Provence during the summer of 1978 is a restful visit with friends as she finishes sabbatical research on Surrealist poets involved in WWII resistance. Instead, the attraction between her and vineyard owner Maurice Laurent sets off a series of events that turn her life upside down. Claire is given an anonymous journal that describes a family whose members played different roles during the Occupation: pacifist, collaborator, member of the Resistance, prisoner of war, Nazi officer's lover....and murderer of a fellow family member. The codes and initials used in the journal match the Laurent family. Did the Laurents know of their quiet, simple cousin's part in the Resistance? Did the murderer ever confess what happened? How many more secrets is Maurice's family hiding? Fictional characters and their activities revolve among real people and events leading up to the liberation of Southern France. Each is influenced by writers who kept the idea of liberty alive under the threat of capture, torture and death--such as Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, André Malraux, Louis Aragon and René Char, the Surrealist poet who organized parachute drops around Mont Ventoux. The importance of the wine industry--war or no war--is woven throughout as the Laurents' disguised cellar hides both refugees and barrels of their best vintages.

If you're intrigued, order the book here.https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1517688167/mdj-20

the Ice Child--another for the TBR pile

This Nordic Noir, part of a series by Swedish crime writer Camilla Lackberg, comes highly recommended to me. It drew my attention in part because of the eerie parallels between its plot and the increasingly odd abduction tale of sherri Papini. (And if you're fascinated by true crime, the chilling details of the "Emerald Triangle" and the many people who have gone missing there will fascinate you.) I can't wait to dive into The Ice Child.

That's also a stunning cover, isn't it? Great use of black and white with a slash of blood red.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

An ad that will change your perspective

If it's one thing I've learned, it's that nobody is going to change their minds about something until something changes the way they look at things. This is an ad that could very well do that. In a clever way, it forces a change in perspective. and after you see it, I don't think you'll be able to look at the issue of gun violence the same way. Check out the story behind the video here.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Free Fantasy and Science Fiction (and horror) Book Promotion


Once again, multi-genre best-selling author Patty Jansen has put together a freebie promotion, and this one is a doozy. Some of the goodies you can snag include Kate Danley's beautiful Queen Mab, and Chosen, the first of USA Today best-selling author Christine Pope's Djinn Wars series. My retelling of Beauty and the Beast (The Summer Garden) is also on offer, so I'm in great company. Click here to go to the promo and choose your favorite reading platform.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz, a review



In Lisa Lutz’ novel The Passenger, a woman running from her past and accusations of murder receives help from a VERY unexpected person.

TANYA DUBOIS was in the shower when her husband FRANK fell down the stairs in their house and died. She tried moving his body but only smeared the blood around his head. (He’s put on more than a few pounds.) Without really thinking about it, she grabs the money he kept in his toolbox (his gambling stash), packs a bag and takes off. There are only two people she regrets  leaving behind, CAROL at the bar where she works and DR. MIKE, her chiropractor and part-time lover. She can’t bother Carol—she’ll wake her kids—but she drives by Dr. Mike’s house and lets herself in with the key under a fake rock. He asks her if she needs an “adjustment” (their little joke) and after they have sex, he realizes that it’s the last time. She kisses him goodbye and gets on the road.

This is a character study of a woman who is trying to outrun her past and her “self” and ends up tripping over that past at every turn—and sometimes it’s not even her own past, as when a man shows up looking for another woman entirely. Tanya is a practical woman who has her limits and has her priorities, but we see that she’s capable of meanness—and downright cruelty—at times. In the end, after all the changes she goes through, Tanya has to figure out WHO she really is. But as much time as we’ve spent with her, we really don’t know that much about her ourselves. (Lutz puts us in Tanya’s head via copious internal monologue, but it still feels a little superficial.)

In the end, the big secret feels a bit familiar (and even predictable), but the story is a page turner up until then.


The Resistance Reads: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," said George Santayana, who died in 1952 when American troops were still occupying Germany. A lot of people have shied away from the comparison of the neo-Nazi/alt-right's rise in America to the Nazi party's rise in Germany but if you've read William Shirer's sobering The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a History of Nazi Germany, you will not have the luxury of being able to deny the clear parallels. the 50th anniversary edition was published five years ago, and available in all formats.
It's pretty much all there--mass rallies? Check. Demonizing a religion? Check. Restricting freedom of the press and assembly? Check and double check.
Find the book here.