• Book Review: The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido
    Book Review: The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido
  • Book Review: The Soul of the World by Joshua Silverman
    Book Review: The Soul of the World by Joshua Silverman
  • Book Review: The Shoemaker by Kathryn Cottam
    Book Review: The Shoemaker by Kathryn Cottam
  • Book Review: Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
    Book Review: Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Book Review: Hellbound by Tim Hawken
    Book Review: Hellbound by Tim Hawken

Six Reasons You Should Consider Having an Adult Massage

Massages can come in a variety of forms, with one of them being erotic massage Toronto. In the past, adult massages were not very popular, but over the recent times, their popularity has grown tremendously. The reason for this is because of their many benefits, some of which are listed below.

1. Improves relationships

Exchanging erotic massages with your partner is an ideal way of strengthening the bond between you two. Not only will it improve your partner’s physical well-being, but it will also enhance your emotional bond. Consider dedicating a few nights a week to pamper your partner with sensational touches that will surely lead to a stronger and long-lasting relationship.

2. Health benefits

An adult massage is a good technique that you can utilize to incorporate some sense of touch to your bedroom activities. Couples from around the world use it as a way to achieve great connection with their partners and also a way to feel better. During the massage, your body muscles are made flexible thus enhancing your health.

3. Increases stamina

One of the best-known benefits of massage is the enhanced circulation to the limbs. Increased circulation is good for everybody, especially those looking forward to better sex life. The reason for this is that with enough blood supply in all body parts, one has more energy to engage in sexual activities.

4. Boosts mood

After a massage session, one feels relaxed and in high spirits. This is because massage has a positive impact on an individual’s mental capacity. Research has shown that erotic massage helps lower the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone by 53 percent. Also, massage has an effect of increasing the feel good hormones which are dopamine and serotonin. With better moods, you can easily carry on with your day to day activities.

5. Awakens senses

A well-performed adult massage can have the effect of activating whole body healing. Giving and receiving an erotic massage is a good way of exploring new kinds of pleasure in creative ways. You can touch your partner while maintaining eye contact thus creating a deep connection with each other. When done appropriately, it can terminate any separation between the partners; and instead create a sense of oneness.

6. Headache relief

It is estimated that close to 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, according to research by the National Headache Foundation. Usually, migraines are triggered or accelerated by poor sleep or stress. Various studies have pointed out that individuals who participate in erotic massages tend to sleep better, thus have fewer instances of headaches as compared to those who do not get massages often. Research that was published in the Annals Behavioral medicine went ahead to point out that these effects could even last up to three weeks. You can find more resources available at the Allure Massage website.

Posted by : Gerald

What You Should Know About Erotic Massages

Now that we have several different massage variations, it is easy for a person to get confused between the types. Although these variations have all kinds of names and titles, including exotic and erotic massage, they are commonly referred to as the different modalities of massage. Over the years, a few have grown in popularity. While they are all based on traditional massage techniques, most have been modified to suit modern day purposes in a special or unique manner. As a result, most people don’t have a clear idea about what the variations entail and how they work. Knowing the application and purpose of a particular variation is therefore important.

When the talk turns to adult massage therapies, many people jump to conclusions. In fact, most think that adult massages are immoral. As a result, the situation surrounding erotic massages is usually hush-hush, yet people are open to other forms of massage.

What is erotic massage?
Also known as tantric massage, erotic massage is probably the most controversial type of massage. Of all kinds, erotic is the most sexual. It has been around for many centuries. The main difference between erotic and standard massage is the areas of focus. To learn more information, please visit the TorontoMassage.me for their additional online resources.

Compared to other types of massage, there is a greater level of intimacy between adult massage therapists and clients. In this form of massage, therapists work on the parts that trigger sexual excitation. During this massage, the therapist focuses on the receiver’s erogenous zones with arousal being the primary objective. While it’s undeniable that the genitals are sexual tools, erotic massages do not always have to end in sexual satisfaction. Thanks to the presence of several nerve endings, the genital area is arguably the most sensitive part of the human body, which is why touching this area often results in arousal. One of the techniques employed involves the therapist and client rubbing their bodies against each other softly and sensually. Additionally, effective lubricating oils are often applied to the body and rubbed sensually to create a sense of sexual arousal.

Health benefits
Not many people are aware that erotic massages can improve our health. Although erotic massages are usually performed for pleasure, they have various health benefits including:
• Erotic massages can help regulate blood flow. Friction with another body works to rejuvenate the cells, and this, in turn, stimulates the blood vessels.
• Erotic massages can help treat sexual health issues. The heated sexual arousal and enticing encounters can help those who take too long to ejaculate or suffer from premature ejaculation. Every session boosts their chances of frequent orgasms.

In addition to the fact that an adult massage is a legitimate form of massage, it’s also important to understand that most of the related businesses aren’t a cover for shady practices.

Posted by : Gerald
Couple Erotic Massage

Spice Up Your Love Life With An Erotic Massage

Whether you are looking for a way to reconnect with your partner, or if you are just looking for something a little spicy to bring to the bedroom, you’ll find that an erotic massage Toronto is a fantastic way to get things started. You don’t have to be a massage genius to try this technique, and you’ll find that it can bring you and your lover much closer together.

Sensual, Not Sexual Touch

A massage lets you take your time. Unlike other forms of foreplay, where sexual activity is imminent, you’ll find that an erotic massage allows you to slow things down. You can create tension very slowly and very carefully, and this can be much more relaxing and more satisfying than simply rushing through to the conclusion. This creates a deeper erotic spell around the both of you as one partner works with the others skin and muscle and the other lies still and enjoys their touch. If you have felt that your lovemaking is too hurried, this is one way to help slow it down.

Greater Intimacy

No matter how much you love your partner and no matter how excited you are by their body, it is very possible for things to fall into a rut. You establish patterns that are pleasurable for you both, but then you simply repeat them over and over again. After a certain amount of time, this can lead to a situation where you feel bored, even if you are technically satisfied by the encounter. When you slow down to try massages, you’ll find that the increased touching gives you more opportunity to relearn each others bodies and to become close again. This is something that can make a huge difference to how you and your significant other move forward.

Easy to Begin

Unlike other sensual techniques, massage does not require a lot of forethought, training or equipment. You can simply start by picking up a bottle of massage oil online or at a health store. Massage oil allows your hands to glide over the skin while lubricating the skin as you do so, and it might be odorless or it might have a scent that you both enjoy. You can strip to the skin and simply start trading massages. This is a very low-investment experiment to try with your lover, and it can open the door to more sexual activities, or it can simply be used as a reconnection exercise for the both of you.


When we get stressed out, many of us shut down sexually. Suddenly we don’t have the energy to be sexual or sensual with our partners. A massage gives you the chance to touch each other, and this in turn will relax you. Many couples use erotic massage as a precursor to sex, but you can simply also use it to be intimate and gentle with your partner.

If you are someone who is invested in keeping things interesting in the bedroom, be sure to consider what sensual, erotic massage can do for you.

Posted by : Gerald

Book Review: Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Goodreads Synopsis

In 1983, when a teen boy is found dead, emptied of blood, Oskar, 12, hopes revenge has come at last against all the school bullies who harass him. More important is the new girl next door. Eli has never seen a Rubik’s cube, but solves it at once. They become friends and more. Something is wrong with her, and she only comes out at night.

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When I first heard of Let Me In, I was watching the trailer for the American version of the movie – which, by the way, is way far from the novel’s story; the version which follows closely the book is the original one, entitled ‘Let the Right One In’. Now back to John Ajvide Lindqvist’s book, I have mixed feelings about it.
The novel begins slowly, introducing several characters through an interwoven narrative thread: it’s like watching different images flashing for a moment before your eyes, enough for your brain to understand who each new character is, and then a new one appears. At first I wondered why there were so many characters, thinking that it was useless to cram so many names in the beginning of the story (and a part of them were, indeed, useless), but most of the characters played an important role in the novel: by following them, their actions, and their fate, the reader gets to know more about Eli.
Now, Eli is a vampire. A child who is approximately twelve years old. Eli is a girl. Or not? At a certain point I was so confused, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. And I liked it; I think it’s a great thing for an author to keep you guessing, to set your brain on fire, maintaining your interest alive. Depending on the writer’s technique, you can either be fully engaged or bored to death. John Ajvide Lindqvist is part of the former group of writers – he definitely knows how to keep you racing through the pages.
Although the beginning of Let Me In was slow, the rest of the novel was fast-paced and intriguing. You want to learn more about the characters and what happens to them, so you race through the entire thing as fast as you possibly can. But this is where the magic stops. Despite being engaging, Lindqvist’s book is too grotesque for my taste. The sickest scene of them all is Hakan in the basement raping Eli. I won’t give you anymore details, but let’s just say that it was… well, sick. Imagine a man reduced to a cold, mutilated body, only one eye on his acid-burnt face, lying on top of a child, grunting in pleasure. Ugh… While I’m fully aware that this is a work of fiction, I still find it disturbing.
So now I find myself in a place where I can’t decide whether I liked the novel or not. While I enjoyed the fast-paced, gripping story (at least up to a certain point), I think the author went a bit too far in creating a horror/sick/call-it-as-you-may story. I give Let Me In only three compasses. Maybe some of you enjoy this kind of story progression and characters, so hey, try it out and see for yourselves. I’m still working on getting that basement scene out of my mind.

Book Review: Pentimento by Cameron Jace

Goodreads Synopsis
The day Iris Beaumont turns seventeen, she is threatened to be taken by the Beasts, the rulers of the new America. After the destruction of the world, the Beasts provide citizens with whatever they need in exchange for the one teenage girl they enslave every week. They call them the Brides, and they never comes back. Iris isn’t the worrying type though; she’s been defying the system since she was ten and never cared for the Beast’s rules.

Then she meets Colton Ray, who is not like any other boy she’s ever seen. His confidence and dominance are otherworldly she can’t rationalize the attraction she feels for him. Colton had one slight problem though. It’s rumored he is one of the Beast, and Iris could be the next on the Beast’s list.
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I hate myself. Do you know why? Because I was supposed to write the review for this book a week ago. No, not because I was on a deadline, but because I loved it so much that I should have written the review immediately, when my impressions and emotions were fresh. On the other hand, maybe it is better that I’m reviewing it now. I might actually be able to explain why it was such a good read. Anyway, first things first: I started reading it at about 8 PM, I read one or two chapters, then I took a break because I was supposed to finish some work, and then I picked it up again, and I stayed awake until 3 AM because I couldn’t put it down. That’s right. I couldn’t go to bed and wait a couple of hours to continue the story. I had to find out how it ended right then.

The action takes place in a dystopian world, where people live in a city made of metal, in a country called the Second United States. The Second is ruled by the Beasts, who, it seems, have saved the Earth from destruction, and now they keep everyone safe by watching them from above, their space ships looming over the city just out of people’s sight. In exchange for their protection, the Beasts demand that one seventeen-year-old girl is sent to them every one or two weeks. The girl becomes a Bride for the Beasts, and she is never seen again. Iris Beaumont is one of the few who dare to speak against the Beasts. She often breaks the rules, she skips school, and, once in a while, she goes beyond the Great Wall to see the Ruins of the world that was, and practice her secret hobby – Pentimento.

Iris is very easy to like as a character. She is curious, she’s not willing to take everything as it is, and she’s constantly looking for answers. She is the only one who is brave enough to defy the Beasts, and when her best friend, Zoe, is taken by them, she is ready to do absolutely anything to save her. She doesn’t even care that by rebelling against the Beasts she won’t be able to see Colton anymore, the boy she is in love with. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always liked the characters that don’t consider love the most important thing in the world. When so much is at stake, Iris knows that hiding in Colton’s arms and enjoying the short time she can still spend with him is not an option.

Of course, it’s Cameron Jace’s style to introduce a huge twist when you least expect it. Because it’s not the first book I’ve read by him, I was sure something like that would happen, and somehow I was ready. Still, he did it in a very clever way. Practically, you realize what’s actually happening when you reach the last two or three pages. Until then, you can’t be quite sure.

The ending was what I liked best about Pentimento. I thought it was perfect. Once again, Iris’s actions prove she has a strong personality, and that she will never let herself influenced by anyone. Compared to Zoe, Iris stands her ground even when she understands that things have always been completely upside down. She will never give up on her beliefs, and, most importantly, she will never accept anyone’s pity, something that all the other girls who were turned into Brides did.

At the end of the book the author says that his intention was for Pentimento to be a stand-alone, thinking that it doesn’t need a sequel. To some extent, I believe the ending was perfect, and a second book might ruin the whole thing if it’s not done properly. But, on the other hand, I would love to read more about Iris and what she’ll do now that she knows the truth. I sense a nice love triangle, one that would probably develop in a good way, not in a cheesy, clichéd way as it does in most YA novels. So, yes, I do want a sequel! I am ok with open endings, really. But this one is too open. It demands a sequel!




Book Review: The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido

Goodreads Synopsis
After his grandfather dies, avid scholar and budding forensic investigator Cí Song begrudgingly gives up his studies to help his family. But when another tragedy strikes, he’s forced to run and also deemed a fugitive. Dishonored, he has no choice but to accept work as a lowly gravedigger, a position that allows him to sharpen his corpse-reading skills. Soon, he can deduce whether a person killed himself—or was murdered.


His prowess earns him notoriety, and Cí receives orders to unearth the perpetrator of a horrific series of mutilations and deaths at the Imperial Court. Cí’s gruesome investigation quickly grows complicated thanks to old loyalties and the presence of an alluring, enigmatic woman. But he remains driven by his passion for truth—especially once the killings threaten to take down the Emperor himself.

Inspired by Song Cí, considered to be the founding father of CSI-style forensic science, this harrowing novel set during the thirteenth-century Tsong Dynasty draws readers into a multilayered, ingenious plot as disturbing as it is fascinating.

In 2012, The Corpse Reader received the Zaragoza International Prize for best historical novel published in Spain (Premio Internacional de Novela Histórica Ciudad de Zaragoza).

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I received The Corpse Reader as Christmas gift (December, 2013) from my parents after having looked at its cover for months – it’s just so beautiful! I’m not referring to the cover of the English edition, but to that of the Romanian one. Just look at it:
As I’ve admitted before, I’m one of those who judge books by their cover, no matter how hard they try not to do it. Guilty as charged! But seriously speaking, when a cover looks really good, it simply draws me to it, making me curious and eager to read it. I know I’m not the only one, after all human-beings are visual creatures.
Now, to talk about the novel a bit. The Corpse Reader is a promising book at a first glance, and it is, indeed, an interesting read which offers a well-painted image of the Chinese court and culture of that time. I really admire a writer who takes the time to thoroughly research the subject about which he or she is going to write. Antonio Garrido went to conferences, read books, scrolls, etc. in order to get a better idea about how the Chinese society looked like under the Tsong Dynasty.
The novel opens at a slow pace, but about a third into the story, things start to move faster. Personally, I’ve found the first half of the novel to be pretty boring because the author used the same trick over and over again: the hero is confronted with hardships at every turn. While this would be okay for a children’s story, in a novel targeted at a mature audience this literary device gets old pretty fast.
When Ci runs away from home, he is accused of stealing money from a landowner. He finally embarks on a boat to take him to Lin’an, but then he is fooled by a “flower” (term of that period referring to prostitutes) and the boat is stolen from him. He gets to Lin’an, but Kao is after him so he can’t pursue his dream of studying at the Academy. He gets a job at the cemetery, but he is found by Kao and then blackmailed by a co-worker, named Xi. He gets into the Ming Academy, but his dormitory mate is a cocky, rich boy who makes his life a living-hell. And so on and so on… Quite boring after a while, isn’t it?
However, the second part of the novel changes a bit, both in pace and in setting. Ci spends his time at the Imperial Court, where he has been called to solve several murders. Here he learns more about the nobles’ lifestyle, their women, the ceremonies and rituals that the Emperor must perform regularly, and a whole new world – rich, beautiful, enticing – opens before his eyes. This was really pleasant to read, plus the intrigues at the Court further complicate things, making you wonder Who the heck did it?!
The Corpse Reader has been a great read from one point of view, but a tad boring and repetitive from another. The protagonist goes through a lot, yet due to the author’s writing technique, it becomes really difficult to empathize with Ci. Still, I think it is a worth-reading book.
Posted by : Gerald

Book Review: The Soul of the World (Legends of Amun Ra #2) by Joshua Silverman

Goodreads Synopsis
The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.

But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.

In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.

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Disclosure: My copy was offered by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t know where to start with this review. Last year I read the first book in the Legends of Amun Ra series, The Emerald Tablet, and I had mixed feelings about it. Even though the author’s writing has improved greatly in the second book, well… I still ended up with mixed feelings. There were things I liked, but there were also things I could do without. It took me forever to finish it. I’m sorry, but it did. I can be a fast reader. I can read a book in one day, but it has to keep me glued to the pages. It has to be so intense that I can’t put it down. It has to be fast-paced. I cannot read a book for many hours if it’s not fast-paced, if I’m not strongly attached to the characters, and if every single word that is used does not push the action forward. But, let’s start with the good part.

Just like in the first book, Joshua Silverman amazes the reader with the complexity of the world and mythology he created. I found the first few chapters fascinating thanks to the history behind The Brotherhood of the Black Rose, and the whole process of becoming a god. In the first book, Leoros thought he killed Kem, but Shirin saved him, and now they have been ruling over Thoth for two years. Because Kem has been chosen by the Staff of Hermes, the Brotherhood brings him the Book of Breathings, which contains the secret to immortality. If Kem obtains the power of a god, then Potara is lost forever. And, to make things worse, Leoros is trapped on Earth – an orphan thought crazy because of his stories about Potara, who cannot find a way of going back to his friends. Amazing premise, right?

As I said, the author’s writing has improved greatly. The characters are more complex and realistic, and they grow with every chapter. The book is better structured than the first one, each chapter focusing on one character. Unfortunately, in my opinion, not all of them had something to say. My heart was with Leoros and Atlantia when I read their points of view, but the other ones… they just made the action drag, with some exceptions. I’m not very fond of Shirin, but in her case I am perfectly aware it’s just me. I think many people will find her interesting and intriguing. She’s strong, determined, and so dark – I’ll give her that. If I were to choose between her and Kem, I’d always choose her. She is a driving force compared to weak Kem, who always seems to do what he’s told. So, why is Kem pushed to the front? I understand he needed a point of view because he is a main character and he’s the one who goes after the Air of the Gods, but other than that, he didn’t say much to me.

On to the other points of view: Dio and Axios. I loved Dio in the first book, but in the second one she was such a disappointment. Yes, I get it: that was the whole point – to see her defeated. When she failed to stop Kem, her pride was so wounded that she became an alcoholic. And I say “pride” because I didn’t feel like Dio was hurting because some of her friends died, or because Shirin and Kem are now terrorizing Thoth, or because Leoros is gone. No. She was hurting because she had lost her self-respect. As much as I loved Dio in the first book, in the second one she was pathetic and nothing more. Somehow, I felt that for her everything was about herself. Every chapter that was focused on her was just emphasizing that, and not once did I feel sorry for what she had become. I swear I was like: “Woman, pull yourself together, and if you can’t, just get out of the book because your self-doubt, self-pity, and lack of self-respect are getting old.”

Axios… well, all I can say is that Axios is a good guy and he deserves much more than what he got in this book. I admire him for never giving up on Dio.

What else can I say about The Soul of the World? The first two or three chapters pulled me into the story, I loved Atlantia’s and Leoros’ points of view, and somewhere during the second half of the book the action picked up enough to make me read more at once. I’m waiting for the third book in the series, hoping that the characters will be more likeable this time.




Posted by : Gerald

Book Review: Hellbound by Tim Hawken

Goodreads Synopsis
“You look very confused when I say I’m just trying to help these lost souls make their way to Heaven,” he said. “The reason you’re confused is that you think I’m speaking metaphorically. Well, my dear friend, take it very literally. You see, I may have introduced myself as Asmodeus, but let me run off a few of my more well known aliases. Now, let’s see, we have Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, Bafomet, Iblis, The Fallen One, Lucifer, The Morning Star, Lord of the Dark, The Devil, oh and my favorite; Satan.” 
Face to face with Satan, Michael has awoken in the bowels of Hell with no memory of who he is, or why he has been damned. Hell, however, isn’t what he expected. Rather than the fires of torment, he finds a hedonistic city of gambling, sex, murder and revenge. With the Devil as his guide, Michael embarks on a quest of self-discovery and self redemption. But will he get a second chance at salvation? And why is Satan helping him? 
Hellbound is a contemporary view of Hell, exploring today’s idea of sin and religion, through witty dialogue and bursts of descriptive prose. Dark, funny and philosophical.
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Disclosure: My copy was offered by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Now… why did I wait so much time to read this novel? I read it in two sittings, which says a lot about how much a liked it. I think I should turn this into a criterion after which I rate my reads – how many times I had to pick up the book until I finished it. If I read it in one or two sittings, then it deserves a 5-compasses review. More than three sittings… oh well. It might get difficult with books that have more than 400 pages.

Back to Hellbound! I liked it way more than I expected to like it. By the end of it, I realized I liked it more than I had expected to like it after going through the first half. It was just getting better, and I loved how everything was wrapped up. Let me try to explain. First of all, Tim Hawken showed a lot of imagination and creativity in building his vision of Hell. I must admit I was a bit concerned at first that Hell would end up drowned in clichés, but it didn’t happen. I liked the author’s idea of Heaven, Hell, and the Creation. The fact that Hell is a place destined to the rehabilitation of corrupted souls was interesting and unique. The “system” the author imagined made every bit of sense, and I liked that my questions about it were answered in the end. The Devil’s city is the perfect image of fun, sin, debauchery, and total freedom to do as one pleases. It’s not a surprise that many souls fall even deeper into sin, surrender to it, and become demons. However, the Devil has a weapon that helps him make sure Hell doesn’t become overcrowded: The Guilt. Every hour, the souls are torn apart by their guilt, and are forced to remember the terrible things they did on Earth. This torture makes them regret their sins, obtain forgiveness, and eventually go to Heaven.

The main character is Michael, an ex-fighter who ends up in Hell after being killed by a God fanatic. But I can’t say I liked Michael that much. Actually, my favorite character was the Devil. That may be because I’m always curious to see how authors depict the Devil, and I was glad to see that Tim Hawken made him a fun, witty, and tricky character. He helps Michael get revenge, but, of course, he has his own agenda. It was great to follow this character and try to guess what he really wanted. I mean, yes, he obviously wanted to find out God’s secret and throw him off his throne (he even said so), but I could feel there was more than that.

I usually take notes when I read a book and a certain thing draws my attention. For instance, in the second half of the book I was annoyed that the Devil was contradicting himself. One moment he says that he hates God for trapping him in Hell and that God created humans for his own amusement, and the next he says that God is love, and His love and forgiveness are what truly make life on Earth matter. I mean… what?! Bipolar much? Oh yes, and he had a good reason for it! This is one of the things I loved most about this book: every detail made sense, even those that didn’t at first.

I can’t wait to read the next books in the trilogy. I hope they are at least as good as the first one. If I didn’t know what to expect from Hellbound, now I sure know what to expect from I Am Satan and Deicide.




Book Review: The Shoemaker: A Tale of Love, Magic & Unnatural Acts by Kathryn Cottam

Goodreads Synopsis
Once Upon A Time…
Is how the fairy tales go. But this is no child’s story.
This is the tale of Edward Cordwainer, dissatisfied with his position as a lowly shoemaker in the remote village of Houndstooth. Then one night during a surprise erotic encounter, Edward makes a wish to become the most famous man in all the Kingdom.
When his wish is granted, Edward experiences wealth greater than he could ever imagine, a lascivious relationship with the Princess and renown throughout the Kingdom.
But magic is a tricky lover.
The more Edward takes for himself, the more darkness he inflicts upon his wife, his lovers, and the townspeople of Houndstooth. As his one simple wish threatens to destroy his world, Edward must choose between his carnal desires and saving his soul.
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Disclosure: My copy was offered by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I finished reading this book two days ago, and I read it in two sittings. I started it one evening, telling myself I’d only read a chapter or two before I went to sleep to see what it was about, but I found it impossible to put down. I had to, eventually, because my eyes couldn’t focus anymore. Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Why, oh why? I do have a theory, actually, but I’ll leave it for the end of the review. Until then, let me just tell you this: The Shoemaker: A Tale of Love, Magic & Unnatural Acts is a gem.
The inside of this book is so pretty! The illustrations for each chapter are lovely, and they reminded me of classic fairytale books. I also took the time to study the map, just because I am so crazy about maps. Oh, and the story… You might think that it is predictable because it’s written like a fairytale, and we all know how fairytales are constructed. Usually, they follow a certain pattern, and if you’ve read enough fairytales and fairytale retellings, then you’re able to guess what the characters are up to and how the whole thing will end. Well, I was surprised to see that The Shoemaker took a completely different turn than I was expecting, and even hoping for. It wasn’t a wrong turn, though.
I loved the characters the second I met them. Anastasia is such a sweet and innocent girl, but she has a strong personality, and I hoped until the last moment that her good heart would win Edward over and determine him to change. I even liked Edward, and I could see the good in him. The author was incredible with developing these characters. Yes, this is a fairytale-like story, and there is magic in it, but the characters are all very realistic and believable. I could understand Edward, and I could relate to his frustrations. I could understand that feeling he was going through every morning, when he woke up and couldn’t bring himself to go into his workshop and start making shoes even though the night before he had promised himself he would make an effort. He hated his job and that sucked every bit of motivation out of him. However, I was hoping that he would eventually overcome this period of depression and confusion, especially because he had Anastasia to support him. It didn’t happen. And even though I was a bit disappointed that my vision of Anastasia helping Edward out of his misery was shattered to pieces, I could see where the author was coming from with her turn of events. Some people just don’t rise up. They sink lower.
This is NOT a fairytale for children. Don’t let yourself tricked by the pretty cover. This is a fairytale for adults. It has romance, lots of erotic scenes and references, and even violence. Oh, and about the cover… Yes, the cover was one of the reasons I didn’t read the book sooner. I said that it is pretty. It is too pretty, actually, and it doesn’t hint at all to the well-crafted story and the solid writing hidden underneath it. It is too simple. It gives the impression of a cute, fluffy, light-hearted fairytale, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Shoemaker is a serious story, with well-fleshed out characters, and some very serious ideas. It’s a story about shattered dreams, corruption, avarice, about people who blame others for their misfortune, and about trying to find the easy way out only to fall into a trap. I’m sorry, but the cover doesn’t do this book justice. It doesn’t make it stand out, and it doesn’t recommend the story for what it truly is. And the description is not much either… Why isn’t Anastasia mentioned? She’s such an important character. The description makes it sound like the book is all about Edward and his wish to become the most famous man in the kingdom. “Edward must choose between his carnal desires and saving his soul”? That’s all? Classic… cliché… not strong enough to hint at his inner struggle, at his impossibility to see straight, and at his slow descent into insanity (which was marvelously carried out, by the way).
Kathryn Cottam is a good author, believe me. She has a way with words. She knows how to tell a story. I can’t believe this is her debut novel. It is so neatly written, and the plot is so carefully built. I’m glad I got the chance to read this book, and I hope she won’t stop here and she’ll write more.



Posted by : Gerald

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Insanity by Cameron Jace



by Cameron Jace
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamonds, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.
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Q&A about Insanity


Q: Is Insanity an Alice in Wonderland retelling where fact and fiction intermingle like in your previous series, The Grimm Diaries?
A: It’s not quite a retelling of Alice in Wonderland as much as it is inspired by it. It has all the whimsical and nonsensical wonderland fantasy parts, but it’s more grounded to reality because it happens in our time. Fact and fiction do walk side by side in this book. For instance, Lewis Carroll is present as character himself.
Q: Why did you call it Insanity?
A: Well, insanity is the main theme of the book. All that Alice has seen could be interpreted as madness in many ways. Also, when you read the book, it’s insane. I mean like really insane. You will either love it or hate it. I don’t think there is a middle zone.
Q: Is the story told from many points of view like The Grimm Diaries?
A: Just a few, but most of the story is Alice’s personal journey.
Q: The Grimm Diaries was filled with research, how much did you put in Insanity?
A: I think the research in Insanity is even greater than in The Grimm Diaries. The book is also more action oriented. Alice travels from Oxford, London, Vatican City, then Belgium in a couple of days. Each city had to be researched and connected with Lewis Carroll and his books.
Q: The blurb says Alice’s sanity can only be proved through Lewis Carroll’s photography and writing. We thought this is about Wonderland.
A: It’s about Wonderland. The idea is that all puzzles, action scenes, and even romance have a Lewis Carroll background to them. The main reason why this book came to my mind is my fascination with both Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll himself. If you learn the reasons behind each character and location in his book, you will love Alice in Wonderland even more. It’s no coincidence that we all relate to the book. It’s a masterpiece.
Q: You said Insanity is more of a TV pilot. How so?
A: I did write it as a novel but also as a TV pilot. The reason is that once you get the idea of the book, the possibilities are infinite, and incredibly amusing. When outlining my plot, I found out it would take books and books to write it. So I wrote one story with a beginning, middle, and end. It’s satisfying on its own, but if I succeeded in peaking your interest you should like to read the next books. The beauty of it is that once you read one book, each other book will be a story of its own. It’s very much like a TV series.
Q: Anything you want to add?
A: I wish everyone and awesome Christmas and a Fantabulous new year. And if I messed with you childhood memories of Alice in Wonderland a bit, don’t hate me. Lol.


About the Author
Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters. I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV – it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.


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Posted by : Gerald