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A. Ketterhagen RSS Feed (Racine, WI USA)

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Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)
Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)
by Deborah Harkness
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.20
201 used & new from $1.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to see how it ends., July 20, 2012
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In the previous book of this trilogy, Diana Bishop, orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, and Matthew de Cleremont, a fifteen hundred year old vampire married, breaking a thousand year covenant forged between Witches, Vampires, and Daemons forbidding the intermingling of the creatures.

The breaking of the covenant and Diana being the only creature in over 150 years to put her hands on the Ashmole 782, a book believed to contain the secret of the origin of Vampires, Witches, and Daemons, has enemies coming after them at every turn.

Diana has the makings to be the most powerful witch history can remember, but can't control her powers, making her dangerous to herself and anyone around her. There's no one strong enough in the 21st century to teach her what she needs to know, so she and Matthew Time Walk to 1590, Elizabethan England, where witches were stronger, to find her the teacher she needs. At the same time, they would look for the Ashmole 782, to read it before it was damaged by the removal of the first three pages. That's were the previous book - A Discovery of Witches left off.

Shadow of Night picks up with Matthew and Diana landing in Matthew's home at the Old Lodge. The beautifully simple plan they created in A Discovery of Witches started showing strain from the very first minute they arrived.

The plan...
1. Find a teacher
2. Learn witch stuff
3. Get the book.
4. See what it says
(Ok, I'm paraphrasing, but essentially that's what they were aiming for.)

It turned into...
1. Find a teacher. Not as easy as it seems with witch hunts currently going on to the north in Scotland, and the previous witch hunts in England making witches hesitant to put their necks out. Not to mention the broken covenant and ingrained prejudice preventing a would be teacher from going near a witch associated with a vampire. Add to it, the daemon Kit, Christopher Marlowe, out of distrust and jealousy, stirring up anyone who will listen. And it's not easy fitting in lessons when you're being pulled from one place to the next, from the Old Lodge to Sept-Tours to Prague to London, due to the demands of family, the Queen, and following the book.

2. Learn witch stuff. Tougher than it sounds when only a few witches exist with her talents, even back then. It turns out she's a weaver, which means she doesn't have the ability to do other spells that exist, she creates her own.

3. Get the book. It seemed like a great idea in A Discovery of Witches: go back to a time where the book wasn't as sought after and find out its secrets before the pages were taken out. Well, it turns out the book is just as coveted now, and just as difficult to get their hands on. It's not only sought after by witches, daemons and vampires, but human Rulers as well, after some bozo let it be said that the book contains the alchemical recipe to produce the Philosopher's Stone, an agent that would give the user everlasting life.

4. See what it says. Well, when they did get a look at it while it was whole, and Diana did have some skill at turning the language that no one has ever seen before into images that might be understood, but later that night when they liberated it from the Emperor, the first three pages had been removed, causing it to be illegible again.

You get to meet Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Riley, Queen Elizabeth, and a lot of other famous people from the past that mean next to nothing to me, but will be nice gems for readers who are historians like the author. They were introduced into the storyline smoothly and realistically, never detracting from the flow of the book.

Diana and Matthew's relationship gains more depth when you see how they interact with his sixteenth century life. The visit to Sept-Tours is my favorite part of the book.

In the end, Diana does comes across a great teacher who knows exactly what she's going through, as a weaver, and learns the rudiments she needs to know to use and control her magic. They then make their way back to the twenty first century looking forward to reuniting with friends and family, while at the same time, wondering what changes their seven months in the past created in the present.

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Extra Small, Ruled, Brilliant Violet, Hard Cover (2.5 x 4) (Classic Notebooks)
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Extra Small, Ruled, Brilliant Violet, Hard Cover (2.5 x 4) (Classic Notebooks)
by Moleskine
Edition: Diary
Price: $9.95
43 used & new from $4.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, the other review warned me, July 13, 2012
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I should have paid attention to the other review; my fault there. The book I got was only 2.5" x 4.25" as well. I do not like the size. I needed it to be the 3.5" x 5.5" that product description said it was.

The notebook itself is well made. The pages are sewn in, so when I flatten out the cover completely to write on the first page, I can tell that it will hold together no matter how much use and abuse it takes from me. The elastic strap that closes over the book is attached to the back cover, and when writing on the last couple of pages, your pen never feels it. I like that it has a ribbon book mark as well.

It has a paper pocket in the inside back cover, about the weight of an index card. It folds out a in a "V" shape, with the opening facing the spine of the notebook. The hinges that help the "V" shape are made of the same weight card stock, but they're covered with a light fabric to minimize the wear and tear. It will work well for business cards, receipts, and all of those other small pieces of paper that I have cluttering up my wallet.

One small issue... the top line of each page is half the height of a normal line. (normally, a lined notebook will have a half line only on the bottom) It sounds minor, but the effect is that every time I start a new page, it feels like I've got the book opened upside down. I hope I get used to it because I really like the notebook well enough to buy more of them - in the correct size next time.

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.39
1427 used & new from $0.01

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's 17 years old, April 6, 2012
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I'm a happy ending kid of gal. I want good to triumph over evil, I want love to conquer all, and I want hope to shine through despair. I saw the passionately mixed reviews prior to reading this book, and I figured the only way I was going to get through it was to strip away any expectations I had. From the terrible reviews, I was prepared for the worst. From the good reviews, I had hope for the best.

Bottom line... it's more subtle than I'm used to, and I feel like I had to crawl through fire ants to get there, but I got the happy ending. Good did triumph over evil, love did conquer all, and hope did shine through despair. There's a taint to it, from all they've been through, but it makes it even more meaningful. It's also clear to me that the sacrifices have not been in vain. Panem is changed, and the realities of life that Katniss, Peeta, and Gale had to live through, first hand, the new generation only has to read about in schoolbooks.

It helped me, when reading this book, to keep in mind that Katniss is just 17. She's not a warrior. She's not an activist. She's not a politician. She's doesn't relate well to others. She's just a 17 year old girl... with strong self preservation instincts.

Only one thing surprised me... I thought for sure, after reading the reviews, that the series had gone too far and was no longer suitable for young adults. I'm glad to say that's not the case. I would recommend it to all readers from 12 to 112.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 11, 2012 7:15 PM PDT

Plus Guard Your Id Roller Stamp, White
Plus Guard Your Id Roller Stamp, White
Price: $12.76
4 used & new from $12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted this to work., March 29, 2012
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What started out as 5 stars is not just 3 because it wipes off glossy paper, with very little effort... even after letting it dry overnight. On regular paper, the ink goes on very dark and covers wonderfully, but it lightens up a lot after drying, and a lot of my personal info is still legible.

It's a great concept. I love how easily it rolls on, and I'm still going to keep trying to see how I can make it work better for me. If I figure out the magic solution, I'll let you know.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2012 11:25 AM PDT

Take Me Tonight (The Bullet Catchers, Book 3)
Take Me Tonight (The Bullet Catchers, Book 3)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $7.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, March 29, 2012
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I thought this would be an interesting read, a girl who's investigating a kidnapping fantasy company that her roommate uncharacteristically signed up for, right before commiting suicide. Convinced she'd been murdered, the heroine wasn't going to stop investigating until she uncovered the truth. Enter our Hero. He's there to protect her; she thinks he's a rescuer from the fantasy company. He's holding firmly to his cover, while trying to figure out her story. The first quarter of the book was fine.

I don't like writing bad reviews, but I don't like finishing a book and immediately tossing it into the recycle bin either. Please save your money.

I don't mind contrived plots, in fact, as a lover of the romance genre, I kind of expect some contrived moments, and I don't mind there being characters who are basically caricatures of the type of person they represent. I'm a laid back reader who forgives a lot. That said, I do mind Ridiculously contrived plots, and Every character being a caricature.

Heroine - Sage - the intrepid reporter who won't stop at anything to get to the truth. With dogged determination, she's going to push every person she comes across, without any sense of healthy paranoia. She's not going to let caution or careful planning get in her way; in fact, the first chance she gets to ditch her protector, she'll do it because the truth is the only important thing, and whatever happens she's going to dive in head first because her name is Sage - named for wisdom - meaning she's smart enough to be the only one to figure out her roommate didn't kill herself, but too stupid to see all the other dangers smacking her in the face.

Hero - Johnny - once upon a time, almost the head of a major Italian crime family who hates who he was in the past so much that he's still conflicted when thinking about it, but wears his "Italian" like a blinking neon sign. He cooks like an Italian grandmother, making Italian dishes that are Magnifico, and can't have any kind of conversation that doesn't include Italian food or using Italian food like it's an experience. Did I bring up Italian a lot? Well, so does the author.

Villain #1 - psychotic controlling beotch riding her NBA dancer girls so ridiculously hard that it makes it hard to believe that her motivation for setting her girls up for awfullness was that she was desperate to be a mommy again herself.

Villain #2 - husband of villian 1, and I'm still not sure what he was all about. Maybe he was just there to be another villian to debate over. I couldn't tell if he was conflicted over the dancers not sleeping with him or if he was pining for a baby too, or maybe him writing Whore on the walls of the victims was his main reason for existing... to add to the... uhm.... suspense? It's hard to build suspense when you don't care about the caricatures, oops, I mean the characters.

Villain #3 - the obvious bad guy who's the pillar of the community. He's cracked in the head because he's not able to have kids. So he's figured out a way to kidnap ladies and steal their eggs, or just kill them if there's a chance his crazy might get exposed.

Yep, all of the Villains are nasty awful people hurting, terrorizing, and killing innocent people because they are missing the joy of children in their lives.

There are so many more examples I could give, but I've given too much time to this book already.

If you're wondering why I didn't call out Spoiler Alerts prior to my review, it's because if you don't read the book, then nothing's been spoiled. If you do read the book, you've only spoiled your precious spare time... and money. Please save your money.

Silent Mercy
Silent Mercy
by Linda Fairstein
Edition: Hardcover
246 used & new from $0.01

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I found myself skimming, June 13, 2011
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This review is from: Silent Mercy (Hardcover)
I've read all of the books in this series, and have been a fan from the begining. I love how the setting becomes another character in all of her books. I really appreciate all the research she puts into her work, and the backstage tour she gives us of New York. This book was no exception on the research and the back history.

I gave it 3 stars because I'm finding it hard to care about the main characters as much as I used to. I pre-ordered this when it first came out, and it's been sitting on my shelf for the last couple of months because I started feeling this disappointment when I read the previous book, and didn't want to feel that way about this one., About midway through I just started skimming to get to the end. There have been about a dozen books in this series, and the characters have worked together for over 10 years, but they haven't changed at all. About the only difference I see, is that Chapman's good-natured ribbing is taking on a much snarkier edge.

It would be nice to see more about the characters personally, and it would be nice to see them relating to others more. We know that Mercer's married with a son; we got a brief glimpse of them in the last book, but that was it. It's obvious that Cooper is married to her job, but I need to see she's not all about work. I thought after a dozen books, we might have seen her in situations where she would have to struggle to balance work and personal, like most women have to. She's never put anything before work, nor does it look like she ever will, and that's boring to me.

And don't hold Luc up as an argument for her having a social life. All of her boyfriends have been like him, long distance, fly in, fly out, meet here, meet there, blah, blah, blah. Those aren't real relationships. A real relationship is a guy she's seeing that has to kick Mercer and Mike out of the apartment because they've had her for 12 hours that day, and he wants to be a part of her life too. A real relationship is someone she has to actually share herself with, and I don't see that happening.

The characters are nicely drawn, and they don't detract from the stories, so I'll read the next book and know I'll be glad I did, but I've lowered my expectations on character growth.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2011 3:33 PM PDT

Sanford(R) Uni-Ball(R) Vision Exact(TM) Liquid Rollerball Pens, Fine Point, 0.7 mm - Set of 12 green ink pens
Sanford(R) Uni-Ball(R) Vision Exact(TM) Liquid Rollerball Pens, Fine Point, 0.7 mm - Set of 12 green ink pens

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Pens, December 27, 2010
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Firstly, I saw the reviews where some people received the box with just one pen in it, the most recent being just a couple of months ago. I'm guessing whatever the issue was, it's been resolved. I got a full box of 12 pens.

Secondly, I love these pens. I have paperwork, with my job, that requires clear writing on lines that are about an eighth of an inch tall. This paperwork then gets e-mailed or faxed. Ball points degrade with each transmission, so I need a liquid ink with a fine point that doesn't feel like it's going to rip through the paper.

I use blue and black micro points for all of my professional work that directly involves my customers. The green is for all of my other paperwork. It faxes and scans as darkly as the black and blue, so I can use the fun color for anything I want.

Naked Heat (Nikki Heat)
Naked Heat (Nikki Heat)
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.73
249 used & new from $0.01

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Castle for Me, October 6, 2010
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I love it. I can hear Richard Castle's voice when Jameson Rook speaks, and I can see Detective Beckett's mannerisms every time Nikki Heat gets defensive or kicks butt. It's like I have two Castles. I have the one on TV, and I have the alternate-universe Castle and Beckett in the book - although they go by the names Rook and Heat. I say alternate-universe because In Naked Heat, the author takes Rook and Heat and sends them down a path that resembles parts of the show, but has enough difference in the storyline that it's very easy to keep the show and the book separated in one's mind. I'm already looking forward to the next book, with Rook and Heat continuing down the path of their storyline as Castle and Beckett move further down their similar but different path, giving us two versions of Castle to follow. It feels like Christmas has come early.

If I had picked this up off the shelf, knowing nothing about the tv show, I would have still loved it just as much, and would be looking for more from this author. It has great visual writing, and the dialogue is witty and interesting - much like the show, of course. There are a lot of characters who walk through the pages of Naked Heat, but they are really easy to keep track of, and it keeps you from figuring all of it out before the end.

You won't go away disappointed, and you'll come away with a couple of interesting extras... like Victoria St Clair.

Heat Wave (Nikki Heat)
Heat Wave (Nikki Heat)
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.49
244 used & new from $0.01

844 of 920 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ABC Dropped the Ball, October 8, 2009
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This review is from: Heat Wave (Nikki Heat) (Hardcover)
First the good... It was a great fast paced little book. The writing was tight, the dialog fast paced, and the characters really jumped off the pages. Very visual. Reading this, was like watching a great movie in my head. There are a ton of characters, and somehow none of them get lost in the shuffle. The writer really did a good job of keeping everything moving along.

Now the bad... As soon as I heard that ABC was bringing out the Nikki Heat books that Richard Castle was writing, I thought it was Brilliant to piggy back the books on top of the show's success. I read the first 3 chapters on line, and I was out of my skin excited. I was picturing a novel about the size of the other Richard Castle books Detective Beckett handed out to her fellow detectives in the pilot episode, to help them track down the murderer who'd been copy-catting murders from the books. I really expected it to be the type of book worthy of Richard Castle's name, a celebrated author who'd had 26 best sellers. Instead, it ended up being almost a book form of an episode.

If you really stop and think about what this book is supposed to represent, the beginning of a new character and series for Richard Castle based on a dynamic New York City Detective, you'll see what I'm trying to say. This book would have a hard time standing on it's own without the show, and that's where I think ABC dropped the ball. I think ABC could have given us a lot more credit for being able to read a full sized novel with strong characters based on Beckett and Castle and not confuse them with the characters on screen. They could have made the characters varied enough that we would have seen the parallels and still been able to differentiate between Castle and Beckett and Rook and Heat. And, given us the depth that can only be found in a novel.

After falling in love with Richard Castle on screen, I really wanted to read one of his books. I wanted to see what kept him on the best selling list for 26 books. I wanted to see the writing that Detective Beckett fell in love with and helped her heal after her mother's death.

Will I read the next one that comes out? Yep. I will. Mainly because I'm a weak weak woman who's fallen in love with this irrepressible novelist, and will take whatever scraps are pushed my way. I won't like myself because of it and will know that I'm settling, but alas, what's a girl to do?
Comment Comments (33) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2015 11:59 AM PDT

by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.41
101 used & new from $7.57

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown Away, August 2, 2005
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This review is from: Outlander (Hardcover)
This book came highly recommended to me. That was the only reason I would have considered picking it up. I was still hesitant to read it because it didn't seem to fit into any of the normal genres I read. Diana Gabaldon seems to have created her own new genre. I'm glad I got over my initial hesitation. I was blown away.

Words of WARNING! Only purchase The Outlander - and the others in the series - if you want to read possibly the most incredible story you could ever imagine!

I don't say that lightly. I have read thousands of books.

Some books have great character developement.

Some books have incredible detail to background research.

Some books have original story lines.

Some books are cutting edge when it comes to character interaction.

Some books are written vividly - so you can see the story play out in your mind as if one was watching it in real life.

Some books manage to suprise you.

Some books even have a nice combination of of some of the above.

The Outlander has ALL of the above.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. I don't care what kind of books you typically read. This book - and the others in the series - is for every reader. This kind of talent only comes around once in a lifetime.

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