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Alisa McCune RSS Feed (Chicago, IL USA)

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Price: $10.79
35 used & new from $4.83

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this, January 3, 2010
This review is from: Hospice (Audio CD)
I had a stroke this past June. When I listen to this album it moves me to tears. I cannot get the music out of my head. I am just blown away. I am moved to tears. Feeling hopeless and alone in a hospital is a horrid thing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2012 9:15 AM PST

The Bridge
The Bridge
DVD ~ Eric Geleynse
Price: $17.59
13 used & new from $10.71

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and Soul, June 16, 2007
This review is from: The Bridge (DVD)
I saw this movie many months ago and the images are still in my head. What haunts me is the finality of it all. What makes a person plunge off a bridge to an almost certain death? Why do people on the bridge just ignore those who look like they are in need? What does that say about us a people?

The Bridge is a movie I think everyone should see. Suicide is not glorified in the movie, instead you see and hear the devestation in those who were left behind.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2009 2:05 AM PST

Haunted (Women of the Otherworld)
Haunted (Women of the Otherworld)
by Kelley Armstrong
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
195 used & new from $0.01

71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, June 1, 2005
Haunted by Kelley Armstrong, is another fantastic adventure in the Women of the Otherworld series. Haunted has a very unusual main character - Eve Levine, Savannah's mother and a ghost. Eve was a black witch and a half-demon when alive. She believed witch magic had been corrupted and diluted, as Paige discovers in Dime Store Magic. Eve has done many murky things to gain sorcerer and witch spells that she was able to use. This quest for greater power made Eve careless, which lead to her death before the events of Stolen occurred. While her death was a peripheral plot line in the series, the consequences where far reaching for Savannah. Much of Dime Store Magic was the result of Savannah coming to terms with her mother's death.

Haunted gives a great deal of insight into how Eve and Savannah are so much alike. Eve will not let go of Savannah and spends a great of her time in the afterlife checking up on her. Eve has been reunited with Kristof, Savannah's father, but will not allow him to be more then a friend. Kristoff is not your average Cabal sorcerer. He has regretted not pursing Eve and Savannah for 15 years and is determined not to make the same mistake a second time.

The Fates, overseers of the supernatural afterlife, have decided to call in the favor that Eve garnered at the conclusion of Industrial Magic. Eve is being sent on a mission to track a Nix, a Germanic demi-demon nymph who feeds off chaos. This particular Nix has been jumping from woman to woman giving them the necessary drive to murder. The Nix feeds off the chaos and anguish these murders create. Eventually she grows weary of her partner and devises a way for them to be caught and create even more chaos. The Fates have sent three previous hunters to catch the Nix and return her to hell. Each has failed leaving the Nix to continue her reign of terror.

The Fates hope Eve, with her unusual talents will be successful is catching the Nix. With the help of Kirstof, an angel named Trsiel, and the infamous necromancer Jamie Vegas, Eve sets out on a course that changes everything.

Haunted starts out slow and is hard to relate to at first since all the main characters are not corporal beings. Once the plot with the Nix begins to unfold, the characters transcend death and the afterlife they live in begins to make sense. Kelley Armstrong is author to be lauded. Instead of cranking out another adventure using werewolves, witches, or sorcerers, she has created an entire mythological inspired afterlife that exists as another layer to the series. The world Eve and Kristoff inhabit is fascinating to read about. The living and the afterlife are connected, but the dead cannot touch, feel, or communicate directly (except through a necromancer) with the living. Eve has been desperately searching for a way to influence and protect Savannah - at the cost of her sense of purpose. The afterlife is supposed to be a nice retirement of the worries of the living. Eve is definitely not ready for any sort of retirement.

Haunted is well worth reading. Kelley Armstrong has created an entertaining novel and stretched her wings. Many writers in her position simply rest on their laurels, but Kelley has instead decided to create something entirely different. And it works as an entreating piece of fiction.

Kelley Armstrong currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her family. She has published five books in the Women of the Otherworld series; Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, and Haunted. The sixth in the series, Broken, will revisit Elena, Clay, and the werewolves and is to be released in May 2006. A mainstream novel titled Exit Strategy is forthcoming in 2006. She has an extensive website at [...] Her website contains original novellas and short stories from the Women of the Otherworld series.

Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 5)
Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 5)
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.63
204 used & new from $0.01

132 of 143 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, May 3, 2005
Dead as a Doornail is the fifth installment in Charlaine Harris' dynamic Sookie Stackhouse series. Sookie, the buxom, blond, barmaid from Bon Temps is once again thrust into things that she should not be. Her psychic abilities make her a magnet for the supernatural world.

At the conclusion of the Dead to the World, Eric has regained his self, but remembers nothing of his time with Sookie. Jason, Sookie's brother has been found, but is now a werepanther. Dead as a Doornail opens with Jason experiencing his first full moon as a werepanther. Amazingly enough, Jason embraces his new life and enjoys shifting. As much of a relief as this is for Sookie, trouble is looming. Someone is killing shifters and Jason is the prime suspect. To add to Sookie's turmoil, Eric does not remember his time with Sookie, but knows something important happened. In another twist, Debbie's family is desperately searching for her. This search finds its way to Sookie's doorstep once again.

In Dead as a Doornail we get a much clearer picture of the shifter communities - the werewolves and werepanthers. Sookie is drawn into the political struggles within the werewolf pack structure. The outcome is not a happy ending for Sookie or werewolves. Calvin Norris, the head of the werepanthers in Hot Shot continues to attempt to woo Sookie. Another love interest is most certainly not something Sookie needs in her already complicated love life.

I enjoyed reading Dead as a Doornail immensely. Sookie and her adventures are always a treat. The only drawback to this book is that Sookie and the reader become very disappointed when knowledge of certain character defects becomes evident within those close to Sookie. All of the characters, old and new, add flavor to the series and make Sookie's madcap adventures even more entertaining. On the whole, Dead as a Doornail is a fun read.

Charlaine Harris is the author of four previous Sookie Stackhouse novels; Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, and Dead to the World. She is also the author of two popular mystery novel series, the Aurora Tegarden series and the Lily Bard Shakespeare series. Dead as a Doornail will be published May 3, 2005.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2011 5:30 AM PDT

Dreams Made Flesh (Black Jewels, Book 5)
Dreams Made Flesh (Black Jewels, Book 5)
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Paperback
113 used & new from $0.01

172 of 176 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, April 28, 2005
Dreams Made Flesh is a wonderful addition to the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. The four stories contained in the anthology are "Weaver of Dreams," "the Prince of Ebon Rih," "Zuulaman," and "Kaeleer's Heart."

"Weaver of Dreams" is a brief history of the creation of the Spinner of Dreams, spiders. The evocative, rich, mythological inspiration for Draca's relationship to the spiders is fascinating to read about.

"The Prince of Ebon Rih" is Lucivar Yaslana and Marian's story. Many of the customs of Eyrien race are explored along with the intricate love between Lucivar and Marian. This story takes place at the conclusion of Heir to the Shadows.

"Zuulaman" is the story of the lengths Hekatah went to try and control Saetan. We learn a great deal about Hayll's Hundred Families and how Saetan became the ruler of the Dhemlan Territories. This story of treachery shows just how far Hekatah was willing to go to get her way.

"Kaeleer's Heart" is the long awaited story of what happened after the conclusion of Queen of Darkness. Janelle is healing, but not fast enough for Daemon. The real question is if Janelle wants to be all that she once was. Also addressed is the significance of Twilights Dawn, the jewel Janelle now wears. Many of the vibrant characters seen in the Black Jewels Trilogy make appearances in the story.

Dreams Made Flesh is a nice addition to the Black Jewels Trilogy. "Zuulaman" explains much of Saetan and Hekatah. "Kaeleer's Heart" puts a wonderful spin on the ending to the Queen of Darkness and gives a much more satisfying end to the series. The weakness of this anthology is that is not a stand alone. This book is primarily for fans of the series.

Anne Bishop is the author numerous fantasy books, the Black Jewels Trilogy; Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of Darkness. Invisible Ring is set in the same world as the Black Jewels Trilogy. She is also the author the World of the Fae series; Pillars of the World, the Shadows and the Light, and the House of Gaian. Bishop won the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for the Black Jewels Trilogy. Please visit her website, [...] for more information.

A Stroke of Midnight (Meredith Gentry, Book 4)
A Stroke of Midnight (Meredith Gentry, Book 4)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
216 used & new from $0.01

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, April 28, 2005
Title: A Stroke of Midnight

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton


Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0-345-44357-8

Release Date: April 12, 2005

Format: HC

Pages: 366

Price: $23.95

Cover Artist: Judy York

A Stroke of Midnight is Laurell K. Hamilton's fifth installed in the Merry Gentry series. While the plot-line moves forward in the series, A Stroke of Midnight is not a strong piece on its own.

At the conclusion of Seduced by Moonlight, Merry and her guards have survived numerous assassinations, violent encounters with other Fae, and lots of sex. Merry should be ready for sleep, but instead she is the focus of a press conference. It would appear the media is very interested in her life - each and every titillating tidbit they can glean from Merry herself and those around her. During the press conference, a double homicide occurs - a lesser Fae and a human reporter. Merry insists that a human investigation be done, and manipulates Queen Andais to this end. The importance of this investigation is never completely clear, other then as a way for Merry to avenge her father's murder.

A Stroke of Midnight has a great deal going on when the characters are not engaged in sexual encounters. We learn much about Merry's father and how his death affected her. With each Fae that Merry brings into godhead, the Sithern Farie Mound begins to regain its power and renew life. The story takes place during one night, but the Sithern has altered time so one night lasts a very long time.

In the scope of the book, A Stroke of Midnight is much stronger then Seduced by Moonlight. The plot is continued, but much is left out. Too many characters are introduced with not enough time for the reader to become attached to them. The sex scenes are less numerous then previous books, but they are not erotic. Merry is a woman who can do things a Tijuana whore would be unable to do. While I recognize this is fantasy and hence anything can happen, I wish for a little more realism. The sex acts themselves dominate so much storyline, it is impossible not to wish for more character development. A Stroke of Midnight will satisfy those Hamilton fans that have embraced the sexual tone of her recent works.

Laurell K. Hamilton is the St. Louis author of twelve Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series books and four novels in the Meredith Gentry series; A Kiss of Shadows, a Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, and A Stroke of Midnight. She has published numerous short stories and novellas in various anthologies along with a novel which was recently re-released, Nightseer.

The Autumn Castle
The Autumn Castle
by Kim Wilkins
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $22.94
86 used & new from $0.01

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, February 18, 2005
The Autumn Castle, first in the Europa series is a very fascinating urban fantasy from Australian author Kim Wilkins. I highly recommend this wonderfully imaginative series.

The Autumn Castle introduces use to a group of artist who are currently working under a fellowship which allows them to live at the Hotel Mandy Z. in Berlin, Germany. The fellowship is through a very eccentric artist, Immanuel Zweigler whom everyone calls Mandy Z. Jude, one of the artists, lives with his girlfriend, Christine Starlight. Christine is an American who lived in Berlin as a child. The artists are rounded out by Gerda, Pete, and Fabiyan.

Christine has had a very difficult life. While living in Berlin, she befriended a neighbor child everyone called little May. May and Christine were inseparable. One night, May disappeared and was presumed dead. Christine and her parents moved back to America shortly after May's disappearance. In 1989, she lost her parents in a horrific car accident that left her with horrid injuries. The car accident was caused by another driver who never even paused to see if anyone survived. Life was bleak for Christine until Jude appeared in her life like a knight in shinning armor.

Mandy Z. is a very complex and creepy man. He is a world renowned sculptor and is also color blind. Along with being incredibly wealthy, he is also an insane sociopath. He is secretly working on a bizarre sculpture he calls the Bone Wife. This sculpture is not made of marble or any other stone, but of fairy bones. Mandy Z. has a unique gift that allows him to know when a person is really a Fairy.

One fateful day, Christine injures herself and is transported to Ewigkreis, Fairyland. In this strange land, Christine encounters a talking fox named Eisengrimm and the Fairy Queen. Queen Mayfridh is Christine's childhood friend, May. As children, they preformed a `blood bond' that allowed Christine to enter Ewigkreis. One characteristic of Fairyland is residents forget about humans and our world once the seasons change. Queen Mayfridh is amazed and intrigued to be reunited with her friend Christine. After Christine returns to the real world, Mayfridh longs for all she lost when she entered Ewigkreis. Soon a plan is hatched to allow Mayfridh to visit the world she left as a child.

The residents of Hotel Mandy Z. are on a collision course with Mayfridh. She brings out many dark secrets and tempts Mandy Z. to commit unspeakable acts. Mayfridh's visit brings all these horrors and more to pass. Christine, Jude, and the rest are never the same again.

Kim Wilkins has created an incredible tale of morality and madness to delight. Her characters are rich and multidimensional. The plot does seem to lag at times, but that is a result of dealing with character development. We get to know the residents of Hotel Mandy Z. and Ewigkreis very intimately. The twists and turns created in the plot are amazing in their ingenuity. This is not a typical Fairytale nor is it a typical fantasy. At the end, Wilkins treats us to a real Fairytale that closes the plot in such a way that you crave more.

Kim Wilkins lives in Australia and is the author of numerous books. Her Europa series continues with the Giants of the Frost - available in Australia, and the Snow Witch - to be released July, 2005 in Australia. For more information, visit her website at


Sister of the Dead (The Noble Dead)
Sister of the Dead (The Noble Dead)
by Barb Hendee
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
194 used & new from $0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, February 16, 2005
Sister of the Dead is Barb & J.C. Hendee's third book in the Noble Dead series. Once again, we join Magiere and Leesil on their journey for the truth - no matter where it takes them. Wynn, an apprentice sage, and Chap, a Fay spirit in dog form, round out this intrepid traveling group.

Magiere is a dhampir, half-human and half-vampire. She is a hybrid created for unknown reasons. In Dhampir, Magiere was introduced to Welstiel Massing, a Noble Dead (vampire) who told her she was created to kill other Noble Dead. In Thief of Lives, Welstiel is unmasked and Magiere learns his true intentions - to force her to find an artifact that will allow Welstiel to become human again. Needless to say, Magiere is not one to appreciate being manipulated and has vowed to never help Welstiel in his quest.

At the conclusion of Thief of Lives, Magiere and Leesil have decided two different treks are in order. Leesil, half-elf and half-human, has just found out that his elvish mother, Nein'a is still alive. Leesil has vowed to find out her fate. He believed his parents were executed after he deserted employment as an assassin to a powerful lord.

Magiere seeks to find out why she was created. Her mother, Magelia was impregnated by a Noble Dead with Magiere the result. Magelia died shortly after Magiere's birth and she was raised by her Aunt Bieja in the small village of Chemestúk in the country of Droevinka. Life was hard for Magiere as the other villagers never accepted her.

Leesil and Magiere decide to head to Chemestúk first as it is closer. This decision brings about much knowledge and even more questions. The events around Magiere's birth are even more complex then anyone had previously considered. The journey is arduous for all and much is revealed.

Sister of the Dead is a wonderful addition to the Noble Dead series. While certain mysterious are answered, even more are created. Leesil and Magiere's relationship deepens. We learn more about Chap and what his intentions are. Sister of the Dead leads us on an amazing adventure that will keep you engrossed until the final chapter.

The Noble Dead series is a mix of high-fantasy and traditional vampire fiction. This makes the series unique and interesting. The fantasy elements are interwoven with the vampire lore. Magiere is a hybrid and as such struggles with her nature. Leesil has similar struggles as he is also a hybrid. The two together present both sides of the mixed genres. This is a series that will appeal to both horror and fantasy fans.

Barb & J.C. Hendee are a husband/wife pair of writers. Dhampir is the first in the Noble Dead series, followed by Thief of Lives, and Sister of the Dead. Traitor to the Blood, fourth in the series, is scheduled to be published in January, 2006. Barb Hendee is the author of another vampire novel, Blood Memories published in 1999. Both authors have written many short stories. They have a website at [...] with many extras for the series.

Elphame's Choice (Luna)
Elphame's Choice (Luna)
by P. C. Cast
Edition: Paperback
64 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, February 9, 2005
Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast is a wonderful follow-up to Cast's first novel, Goddess by Mistake. Elphame's Choice is set in the same world, Partholon about 125 years after the events in Goddess by Mistake.

Elphame, the great-granddaughter of Rhiannon and the daughter of Etain, the current Goddess Incarnate is struggling to find her way. Born part-human and part-centaur, she is worshiped by the people of Partholon and she hates it. Elphame is a woman - not a goddess. Epona, the Goddess, has never directly spoken to Elphame. As a matter of fact, Elphame has never experienced anything magical except her hybrid looks.

MacCallan Castle, according to Goddess by Mistake was the site of a terrible atrocity. The Fomorians, vampire-like demons attacked the castle, murdered all the men and used the woman as incubators for their children. Fomorians had lost the ability to reproduce and had discovered that human woman could be used for children. These women died a horrible death at the birth of these Fomorian off-spring. With the help of Rhiannon and Epona, the Fomorians were defeated and driven into the Wastelands. MacCallan Castle was destroyed when it was used a funeral pyre for the dead.

Elphame has decided MacCallan Castle should be rebuilt. She hopes those who join her endeavor will accept her just as a woman and not a goddess. To assist her in rebuilding the castle are her brother, Cuchulainn, Danann, Stonemaster and centaur, Brighid, a Huntress and centaur, Brenna, a Healer, and many others. This band of young people are hopeful that MacCallan Castle will be a place for them to start over and have a better way of life.

The Fomorians are not done with Partholon. While the original Fomorians have long since died off of a plague, their children have survived. Epona, in her infinite wisdom, allowed some of the mothers to survive. These mothers loved their children, even though they where fathered by Fomorians. These hybrid children raised by loving mothers fight a constant battle to retain their humanity. Lochlan, their leader, believes in a prophecy told to him by his mother - the hybrid Fomorians will gain salvation from madness with the blood of a dying Goddess. Lochlan believes this to be Elphame - who is also his lifemate.

P.C. Cast has created a wonderful and rich mythology for Elphame's Choice. The intricate characterizations make the book very interesting to read. This is not just as standard romantic fantasy. There are no buxom heroines in distress. Elphame is strong in both character and body. While some parts of the story are traditional romance, most is not. The storyline has a few twists that are not anticipated. The fantasy element of the book is what dominates the storyline. The ending will even surprise most. It is not your typical `happy ever after.' I enjoyed reading this book.

P.C. Cast is a professional teacher and speaker. Her first book, Goddess by Mistake won the Holt Medallion in the category of best paranormal romance, The Prism Award, and the Laurel Wreath Award for Excellence in Published Romance Fiction. Goddess by Mistake will be re-released by Luna entitled Partholon by Mistake in the fall of 2005. Her other works include Goddess of Spring, Goddess of the Sea, and Goddess of Light. For more information, please visit her website at [...] .

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, Book 2)
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, Book 2)
by Kim Harrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
282 used & new from $0.01

28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reviewer and Reader, January 31, 2005
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead is Kim Harrison's follow-up to Dead Witch Walking. The world of this duo is a future Cincinnati which has survived a genetically engineered tomato plague that has exposed `supernaturals' to the world. The supernaturals have staked out a community called the Hallows. To humans, the Hollows is like Vegas or New Orleans during Mardi Gras - a definite walk on the wild side and tourist trap.

Rachel is back with a vengeance along with Jenks, her pixie sidekick, and Ivy, the living vamp. The story begins about a month after the conclusion of Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is still struggling to earn her half of expenses at the church with Ivy. Rachel's new association with FIB - the Federal Inderlander Bureau, police force for humans, finally pans out. On the surface the case appears simple - Sara Jane's warlock boyfriend has disappeared. Normally IS, police force for supernaturals, would handle the case, but they have a 72 hour waiting period. Rachel jumps at the chance to be involved for the money and Sara Jane is Trent Kalamack's secretary.

As normal, nothing is as it seems. Dan, Sara Jane's boyfriend, may be one in a string of grisly murders of ley line witches. Ley line witches tap into the Ever-After using ley lines for their power. Rachel is at a disadvantage as she failed the ley line witch class she took in college. She is also very leery of the Ever-After due to the demon attack in Dead Witch Walking and the death of her father. Rachel finds many links to Trent, but is unable to find hard proof to satisfy Detective Edden of the FIB.

The Hallows is the incredible world created by Kim Harrison. The alternate world of the Ever-After with a demon city is very interesting. Rachel finally takes us to Pizza Piscary and we get to meet the master vampire Piscary himself. Kist and his motorcycle are back to torment Rachel. During the course of the novel, we finally get a much clearer picture of what Trent Kalamack is and what his motives are.

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead far exceeded my expectations after Dead Witch Walking. The storyline branches out in many directions that are unexpected and thrilling to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and am anxiously awaiting the third installment, Every Which Way But Dead due out in July of 2005.

Kim Harrison describes herself as born in the Midwest. She has been called a witch, among other things, but has never seen a vampire (that she knows of). She loves graveyards and midnight jazz, and wears too much black. Please be sure to visit her website at: [...]

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