Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Hunter and His Witch

In the days when powerful witches used their magic to shield humanity from demons, their allies and guardians were a group of men gifted with preternatural abilities of their own-- the witch guardians. But when a band of witches traded their humanity for demonic power, the ancient bond was broken, and the guardians became the hunters.

Darcy MacAlister knows nothing of demons or magic. But this beautiful young woman is about to discover the truth about her past… and her future. For she is a witch-- not just aby witch, but the key to breaking the curse that has plagued witches and the men who hunt them. For if a hunter kills an innocent witch by mistake, the price is no less than a piece of his soul.

Axel Locke, gorgeous leader of the Wing Slayer Hunters, has sworn never to shed the blood of the earth witches who have resisted the temptation of demonic power. But when his sister is cursed by a demon witch, he discovers that Darcy MacAlister may hold the cure-- if she can master her newfound powers in time. When the chase begins and Axel and Darcy come face-to-face, this hunter must weigh his soul against his honor-- and against his heart.
Title: Blood Magic
Author: Jennifer Lyon
Series: Wing Slayer Hunters, Book 1
Start & Finished: 1/26/10- 1/27/10
Published: February 24, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 364
Genre: Romance- Paranormal

Messanger, protector, and visionary are all symbols that the hawk stands for so it’s only fitting that Axel Locke; a witch hunter that was branded with mysterious hawk wings tattoo, is one of the main characters in Jennifer Lyon’s (also known as Jennifer Apodaca, a romance author) first book in her Wing Slayer Hunters series called Blood Magic.

Vaguely similar to J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, Ms. Lyons has introduced a somewhat complicated yet unique new series where the heroes only want to keep their souls. “They had been born witch hunters, a breed of men with a centuries-long and honorable history of protection and justice. They’d been immortal and unstoppable guardians of the earth witches [(which is what Darcy is)], highly evolved women with powers drawn from the earth’s elements to protect, heal, and assist mortals while hunting down and killing demon witches. Now, thanks to a thirty-year-old blood-and-sex curse, [the men featured in Blood Magic now] fought a dark, soul-destroying compulsion for witch blood.”

Axel Locke is a born leader and most definitely an alpha male which makes him very intriguing and his fellow Wing Slayer Hunters are interesting as well so I’m glad the author will be writing their stories in the forthcoming books. Tormented heroes are a common plot conception in romances but this series is still fun and unique enough that Soul Magic is one of the next books I plan on buying. I’m so glad I accidentally stumbled across this series!

The author said that her "men had to be worthy of the very special witches that would become their heroines. No matter what I threw at the men—demonic curses, soul destroying cravings or gut wrenching betrayals—they had to remain strong and just. And unlike Darrin [from Bewitched, which partly inspired the author], these men not only love and respect their witch’s magic, but they become an intricate part of it"

Wing Slayer Hunters
Blood Magic (2009)
Soul Magic (2009)

First Sentence: The whispers were nothing new.

Jennifer Lyon contributes to the author run blog Murder She Writes.
Book Excerpt

With character Axel
Paranormal Romance

Author interviews herself
Romance Bandits
Mayhem & Magic

Source: Borrowed from local library for the Take a Chance Challenge

Picture Explanations
Hawk: Holds special signficance for Darcy since she has always dreamed of a hawk that protected her as a child and it’s also the tattoo of Axel.
Moonlight on a Beach: Darcy uses the elements such as the moon to sort of “recharge” her powers

Thursday, January 28, 2010

She’s a Salty Sea Sailor

Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jack Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.

There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use ever bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life- if only she doesn’t get caught…

Title: Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy
Author: L.A. Meyer
Series: Bloody Jack, Book 1
Start & Finished: 1/20/10-1/25/10
Published: September 1, 2002
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Pages: 290
Genre: YA- Adventure

Starting in the dirty streets of London and ending up on the ship Dolphin sailing the seas and searching for pirates, L.A. Meyer’s Jacky goes through all kinds of scrapes and adventures in the first book of the Bloody Jack series: Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. She quickly learns that “it's easier bein' a boy, 'cause no one remarks upon me bein' alone. Lots of boys are alone but girls never are.”

A girl from the 1700’s; back when ladies were expected to behave as dolls, decides to pull a Deception and pretend to be a boy yet not for reasons I had expected. She’s an orphan who has always wanted to go to sea so one day she “connives to get on board a British warship just to eat regularly and have a place to stay.” The author said he was inspired be the old British and Celtic traditional songs such as Jackaroe which is about a young girl following her beau out to sea but Mr. Meyer wanted something a bit more to the story and that’s how Bloody Jack came to be.

The main character is not a warrior-type at all though, more of a “peaceful sort of a coward” but she’s “only brave as she needs to be in order to protect herself and her friends, and no more.“ Jacky states several times throughout the book that she is a coward yet it seems she is actually remarkably brave for a girl from that period (the author does such a good job capturing the era too). Especially since she had the pluck to better her situation. I know there were women pirates back then and I've always assumed that some ladies passed for men when women were still looked upon as far inferior to men so I'm always curious about stories like this one.

Once someone else learned of The Deception I struggled a little with keeping my attention on the story. However, wanting to know what Jacky was going to do next whether it be resourceful, cunning, or clever is why I still finished Bloody Jack. The first half of the book was my favorite however such as when Jacky says, “I have to look down all shy and I hear a few mutters of Bloody Jack and I guess I ain't never gonna get rid of that, especially if I keep on killing people.” I do want to know if Jacky’s premonition of her future is correct (“A girl what’s born for hangin’ ain’t likely to be drowned.”) so I may have to read more books in this series.

Bloody Jack Adventures
1. Bloody Jack (2002)
2. Curse of the Blue Tattoo (2004)
3. Under the Jolly Roger (2005)
4. In the Belly of the Bloodhound (2006)
5. Mississippi Jack (2007)
6. My Bonny Light Horseman (2008)
7. Rapture of the Deep (2009)

First Paragraph: My name is Jacky Faber and in London I was born, but no, I wasn't born with that name. Well, the Faber part, yes, the Jacky part, no, but they call me Jacky now and it's fine with me. They also call me Jack-o and Jock and the Jackeroe, too, and, aye, it's true I've been called Bloody Jack a few times, but that wasn't all my fault. Mostly, though, they just call me Jacky.

Livejournal fan blog
Book Wikipedia
Author Wikipedia


Fan Made Trailer

Source: Borrowed from local library

Picture Explanations
Ship: A good representation of the HMS Dolphin
Noose: Jacky believes one day she will be hanged
Mizzentop: Where Jacky and the rest of the Brotherhood play

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trouble in Toontown

It's 1947 Hollywood and Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a down-on-his-luck detective, is hired to find proof that Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown, is playing hanky-panky with femme fatale Jessica Rabbit, wife of Maroon Cartoon superstar, Roger Rabbit. When Acme is found murdered, all fingers point to Roger, and the sinister, power-hungry Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) is on a mission to bring Roger to justice. Roger begs the Toon-hating Valiant to find the real evildoer and the plot thickens as Eddie uncovers scandal after scandal and realizes the very existence of Toontown is at stake! Who Framed Roger Rabbit is deliciously outrageous fun the whole family will enjoy.

Title: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Release: June 22, 1988
Genre: Family- Animation & Live Action
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Based On: Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf
Writer: Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Music By: Alan Silvestri
Produced By: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, & Robert Watts
Distributed By: Amblin Entertainment, Silver Screen, & Touchstone Pictures.
Run Time: 103 minutes

Animation, live action, and a little film noir thrown in for good measure, Disney and Amblin’s multiple Oscar winning picture Who Framed Roger Rabbit is still better made than some films today 20 years later. That’s despite the fact that this was made before any computers or digital imaging that makes up so many of today’s animated films. It still took the crew two years to complete this film, which is loosely based on Gary K. Wolf’s book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (the author later sued Disney over royalties) but mostly just pays homage to all the old animators of those great cartoons and movies.

Technically, “[this film is] three gigantic movies in one. You had a 48-minute animation movie, which is just a little under what an animated feature runs. You had a live action period movie with giant stunts and giant sets and vehicles and guns and that all stuff, and you had this huge special effects movie where there were 1500-some composite shots.” The whole Redcar/Cloverleaf debacle was actually based on the real conspiracy “where the tire companies and auto companies conspired to get rid of the trolley cars in Los Angeles cause the car was the future.”

“The thing that was interesting about this movie, and of course, historic about this movie was that it [was] the first time that all the studios who owned cartoon characters allowed them to be in a competing studio’s movie. So obviously, they were able to get all the Disney characters being because it was a Disney movie but it was Steven’s [Spielberg] main contribution to the production of this movie was he personally went and acquired these competing cartoon characters from other studios. You’ll probably never see this again with the Warner’s cartoon characters in with the Disney characters.”

The little animation in the film is based on the Tex Avery style even though Disney animator Richard Williams (who was actually mentored by the great Milt Kahl) was the animation director. Williams described Roger Rabbit as having a "Tex Avery's cashew nut-shaped head, the swatch of red Droopy's, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's overalls, Porky Pig's bow tie and Mickey Mouse's gloves." The character himself acts sort of Charlie Chaplin-esque which plays off wonderfully with Bob Hoskins straight-guy performance. If it weren’t for Hoskin’s performance that is so believable the whole film would have fell apart. You truly believe he’s picking that rabbit up by the ears or talking to him when he’s actually looking at air. Another terrific actor in this film was Christopher Lloyd whose character Judge Doom is one of his best performances. He never blinks! Now that takes dedication.

”A lot of people think this movie’s a cartoon, it’s actually about civil rights” and to be honest, I actually like Who Framed Roger Rabbit more now than I did as a kid. I love how the toon music blends so well with the sort of jazz-like sounds and it’s just perfect for this picture. Charles Fleischer, Mel Blanc, and all the other voice actors of the film also did a marvelous job adding so much character to an already good film making it a great and timeless film.

Magazine Article Scans
Fan Blog

Don Hahn-animator
Don Hahn
Andreas Dejas-animator

Sunday, January 17, 2010

They All Want to Be Found

"While Tolliver slept. I wondered if it was possible that Cameron was still alive... At first, I'd thought she'd been abducted by a gang, sold into slavery, something lurid and horrible. Then I'd wondered if maybe she'd simply been fed up with her life: the tawdry parents and the tacky trailer, the sister who limped and looked abstracted, the baby sisters who never seemed to stay clean. Most days, though, I was sure she was dead."

Lightening-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface...

To make matters worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants nothing to do with the man-- but he may not have a choice in the matter.

Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before.

And what she finds out will change her world forever...

Title: Grave Secret
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Harper Connelly, Book 4
Start & Finished: 1/15/10- 1/16/10
Published: October 27, 2009
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 306
Genre: Mystery-Suspense

It’s been two years since Charlaine Harris; the bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse (aka True Blood) series has published a full-length book that didn’t feature her telepathic barmaid… until now. Ms. Harris has finally concluded her Harper Connelly mystery series with the fourth story Grave Secret. These books are about a woman with an unusual “gift” of being able to find corpses and know how they died caused by being struck by lightening when she was 15. From the very first book Grave Sight, there was a mystery established that Harper had a sister who went missing several years ago and with the final story, everything is finally revealed.

Despite the fact that Harper has an ability that could be considered supernatural, you certainly won’t find any werewolves or vampires within these pages! The Harper books are more like a grittier version of Charlaine Harris’ earlier books such as her Aurora Teagarden series with just as dash of mysticism thrown in. Its Harper’s ability that has always drawn me back to this series though: “I walked to the next one, rested for a moment until the buzzing impelled me: that was the call of the bones, the remains. They wanted me to know about them, what had killed them, what their final moments had been like.”

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have devoured the series regardless though since I’ve been a fan of this author for about five years now. However, I have a few issues with the main character that I’ve never encountered in any other Harris book or short story. The main problem I have is Harper’s relationship with her stepbrother Tolliver and ever the author said, “’I will be the first to admit: it's kind of icky," Harris says of Harper's "love affair". On the other hand, "they're not related to each other. They are just dependent . . . Every now and then someone gets totally squeaked out about it but that's OK." Most people, she says, accept it and are happy for them. ” Sorry, four books later and it still squicks me out. Even Harper still thinks “of him as my brother, though I was trying to catch myself when I called him that out loud. [Since they have] a much different relationship now.”

Maybe because since it’s been so long between books but I just wasn’t quite as pulled in by these characters as I remember being with the previous books. Several times, I felt like Grave Secret was being pulled in too many directions with too much filler thrown in. True, there were two mysteries simultaneously going on; each connected to the past, and I was pleased and a little shocked with how they both turned out, it was the journey getting there that felt too drawn out. All in all, though I enjoyed the story and felt like it was a fitting end to a truly unique series.

Harper Connelly
1. Grave Sight (2005)
2. Grave Surprise (2006)
3. An Ice Cold Grave (2007)
4. Grave Secret (2009)

First Paragraph: "All right," said the straw-haired woman in the denim jacket. "Do your thing." Her accent made the words sound more like "Dew yore thang." Her hawklike face was eager, the anticipatory look of someone who is ready to taste an unknown food.

Sydney Morning Herald

Picture Explanations
Shot Window: Several people get shot in Grave Secret
Culvert: Harper finds a body in one of these
Roller Skating: Tolliver & Harper take their sisters skating

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Star Studded Alice

The 1933 film version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was an all-star Paramount Pictures undertaking. It is mostly live-action, except for The Walrus and The Carpenter, which was animated by Max Fleischer's studio.

Stars featured in the film included Charlotte Henry as Alice, W. C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty, Edna May Oliver as the Red Queen, Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle, Gary Cooper as the White Knight, Edward Everett Horton as The Mad Hatter, Charles Ruggles as the March Hare, and Baby LeRoy as The Joker.

Title: Alice in Wonderland
Release: December 22, 1933
Genre: Family-Fantasy
MPAA Rating: G
Based On: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Writer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz & William Cameron Menzies
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Music By: Dimitru Tiomkin
Produced By: Louis D. Lighton
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 90-77 minutes
Site About the Movie

One of the few of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland adaptations that isn’t a musical, Paramount’s 1933 all-star cast that includes Gary Cooper, W.C. Fields, and Cary Grant among the actors playing these mad characters. Oft compared to the Eva Le Gallienne stage production, this was in fact inspired a good deal by it. This Paramount adaptation has the distinction of being the fifth Wonderland film ever made of this wonderful story.

At the time of its release, the star billing is mainly what attracted audiences but unfortunately, it’s hard to distinguish who is who under those bulky costumes (it was rumored that the actors in the full-body costumes weren’t even in them, they just did voice-overs, which is why this film did so poorly at the box office). Time hasn’t changed things much since I could only pick out the actors with very distinct voiced such as W.C. Fields (Humpty Dumpty), Stanley Holloway (the Frog here, later the Cheshire Cat in Disney’s animated version), and of course Cary Grant (Mock Turtle). I will note however that a good majority of the costumes look like they’re right out of Tenniel’s original illustrations though.

While I thought parts of the film were unique (such as starting with the beginning of Through the Looking Glass and then shifting back and forth between the two), the fact that the story bounces around so much is enough to make one's attention start to wander. At one point I found myself more worried about the way Charlotte Henry; (a mostly unknown actress) who plays Alice, was holding her flamingo (yes, it was real too) than about the croquet scene! Parts of the film just felt plopped into to me too such as when Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum recite The Walrus and the Carpenter, they open a little window onto a Harman and Ising cartoon that could have been the highlight of this film and yet, it too was less than inspiring.

Find Alice in Wonderland Online

Cary Grant Fan Page
Article about actress Charlotte Henry

ALICE in Wonderland 1933 #1

Related Reviews
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Visitors from Oz by Martin Gardner
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor

Cary Grant- Mock Turtle
Houseboat (1958)- Tom Winters
His Girl Friday (1940)- Walter Burns
Bringing Up Baby (1938)- Dr. David Huxley
Sterling Holloway- Frog

The Jungle Book (1967)- 'Kaa' the Snake
Alice in Wonderland (1951)- Cheshire Cat
Mickey and the Beanstalk aka Fun and Fancy Free (1947)- Narrator
Make Mine Music (1946)- Narrator (segment "Peter and the Wolf")
The Three Caballeros (1944)- Narrator for 'The Cold-Blooded Penguin'/Professor Holloway
Bambi (1942)- Adult Thumper
Dumbo (1941)- Mr. Stork
Roscoe Karns- Tweedledee
His Girl Friday (1940)- McCue
May Robson- Queen of Hearts
Bringing Up Baby (1938)- Aunt Elizabeth Random
Charles Ruggles- March Hare
Bringing Up Baby (1938)- Maj. Horace Applegate
Billy Bevan- Two of Spades (uncredited)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)- Joe, Bartender (uncredited)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ghosts in Charleston Don't Rest Easy

There was a time when Melanie's dysfunctional family was out of sight and mind, and her only worries were her monthly sales figures, what shade of beige to paint her low-maintenance condo, and whether she was ready to make charming journalist Jack Trenholm a permanent fixture in her life. Those days are over.

After receiving a deadly premonition, Melanie's mother, who deserted her more than thirty years ago, suddenly returns to Charleston to protect her. But all Ginnette Prioleau Middleton does is remind Melanie of how little they have in common--except for their ability to communicate with ghosts...

And now Ginnette is moving into their ancestral home on Legare Street, and she needs Melanie's advice on restoring it and her sixth sense to talk to the dead that inhabit it. But Ginnette's return has awakened a dark spirit--whose strength has been growing for decades--and who is ready for revenge. With Jack's help, Melanie and her mother must find a way to work together to fight its malevolent presence and save what's left of their family.
Title: The Girl on Legare Street
Author: Karen White
Series: Tradd Street, Book 2
Start & Finished: 1/3/10- 1/5/10
Published: November 3, 2009
Publisher: New American Library
Pages: 335
Genre: Women’s Fiction- Southern/ Paranormal

The award-winning novel The House on Tradd Street started Melanie Middleton in the restoring of historic homes as well as doing something about the malicious spirits haunting these places she’s living. In the sequel The Girl on Legare Street, Melanie is finally going back to her childhood home where an old family mystery awaits. A sort of “Moonlighting meets The Sixth Sense meets National Treasure,” this book has everything you could ever need in a novel.

The house that seemed almost a character unto itself in the first novel is left out in the cold for most of The Girl on Legare Street and Melanie doesn’t even stay in the house, instead she’s living with her estranged mother in the house she grew up in which was only recently bought back. Due to the previous owner’s appalling lack of taste (can anyone actually paint circus-like colors in a historic home?); they have a lot of work to do. However, unlike the previous book, this house doesn’t become quite as important as the ghosts inside are. Karen White can certainly write good ghosts!

She can also write a good cold case mystery involving said ghosts. Ms. White is an incredibly talented award-winning and bestselling author and I’m so glad that there will be two more books involving these characters. I have to admit being a tad disappointed that all the progress that Melanie made in The House on Tradd Street seems to have completely disappeared (especially that with Jack) though. However, Mellie is still a great character and I’m hoping she’ll stop being so afraid and take a chance (hopefully in the progress kicking that reporter Rebecca’s rear end) on Jack in the future books. Though I’ve never been to Charleston, South Carolina myself, I believe Karen White portrays this beautiful city steeped in history throughout this novel accurately.

Tradd Street Series:
1. The House on Tradd Street (2008)
2. The Girl On Legare Street (2009)

First Paragraph: The milky glow of winter sun behind a sky rubbed the color of an old nickel failed in its feeble attempt to warm the November morning. I shuddered in my wool coat, my Charleston blood unaccustomed to the infrequent blasts of frigid air that descend on the Holy City from time to time to send yet another reminder of why we choose to live in the beautiful city, whose inhabitants-- both living and dead-- coexist like light and shadow.

Author’s Blog Guest Posts:
Peeking Between the Pages
Review from Here

War Through the Generations
The Tome Traveller
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Savvy Verse & Wit

In Bed With Books

Diary of an Eccentric (Examiner)
Savvy Verse & Wit (Examiner)

Source: Won via Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit’s contest

Picture Explanations
Kitchen Ghost: There’s an extremely malevolent ghost in the kitchen on Legare Street.
Cemetery: Though she hates cemeteries (the ghosts start coming out), Melanie goes to where her grandmother is buried when she learns her tombstone was disturbed.
Locket: Hugely popular during the Victorian era, they're a part of the mystery in the story.
Miles Brewton House: One of the supposedly haunted houses on Legare Street and as you can probably see, it's on the cover of this book.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Story of Reinvention

After her boss in a high-powered Washington public relations firm is caught in a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father's offer to help refurbish Birdsong, the old family place her recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. All it will take, he tells her, is a little paint and some TLC to turn the fading Victorian mansion into a real-estate cash cow.

But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise when she arrives in Guthrie. "Bird Droppings" would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol-pink dump with duct-taped windows and a driveway full of junk. There's also a murderously grumpy old lady, one of Dempsey's distant relations, who has claimed squatter's rights and isn't moving out. Ever.

Furthermore, everyone in Guthrie seems to know Dempsey's business, from a smooth-talking real-estate agent to a cute lawyer who owns the local newspaper. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the pesky FBR agents who show up on Dempsey's doorstep, hoping to pry information about her ex-boss from her.

All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected- back home again.

Title: The Fixer-Upper
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Start & Finished: 1/1/10- 1/2/10
Published: June 23, 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 422
Genre: Women’s Fiction-Southern

A political scandal of “Hoddergate” proportions is the kick off for Mary Kay Andrews’ (also known as Kathy Hogan Trocheck) 2009 release The Fixer Upper. All of the books published by this author are set in the Peach State- that’s Georgia to those not in the know- but the southern background is always folded gently into the stories and this was no exception. Many of Andrews’ stories have things in common such as the fact that all the heroines are feisty and stubborn (of course Dempsey is no exception), there’s a sweet guy as a love interest, the secondary characters are just as awesome as the main ones, and every book is always very, very good.

The author commented in an interview that it’s what she loves to write about, “Women whose lives are turned upside down by something and how they manage to right themselves. And if you can throw in a little decorator porn along the way, so much the better!” She throws more than a ‘little’ into The Fixer Upper but surprisingly the story wasn’t really about slapping new paint on, stripping and sanding floors and cupboards, or tiling counters even though Dempsey does all of these things. It was mostly about the main character finding herself and of course dealing with her crotchety roommate (and distant relative) who reminded me of my Meme (great-grandmother) more than a little at times!

This book was actually written while the author was remodeling a run-down house herself. It wasn't the antebellum beauty of Birdsong but a little cottage; now named The Breeze Inn, which has its own special charm so the author was able to draw a lot from her own experiences. In doing so she helps make the house almost a character unto itself, which is probably a good reason, why a game is being made based on the story.

The only complaints I had with this novel was that Dempsey’s relationship with Tee moved a lot faster than I expected and the ending because it ended! I do wish Mary Kay Andrews would have at least included an epilogue but I’m hoping one day that she’ll decide to write another book with these fabulous characters. I’m going to miss grumpy old Ella Kate, plus I’d like to catch up with the others too and since the author left one or two plot threads loose enough so the story doesn’t end in a perfect pink bow, I’m really hoping for that sequel one day soon.

Related Reviews
Deep Dish (2008)

First Paragraph: At the end of the very worst day in my life up until that point, my roommates and I sat in a back booth at the Filibuster, a crappy bar on a crappy street on the outskirts of Georgetown, as the endless news footage of my public demise played itself out again and again on the television set mounted on the wall directly in front of us.


  • Mary Kay Andrews now has a Twitter account
  • Amazon asked the author several questions about her favorite books, movie, renovating tips, etc.

Better World Books (podcast)


Source: Borrowed from local library

Picture Explanations
Wooden Floors: Dempsey digs these out from under linoleum: "Bobby says this house is made of heart pine. He says these old boards are like iron, and not even the toughest termite could chew through them."
Ice Storm: There is a sudden ice storm in the novel and a couple of characters are caught in it.
FBI: Agents Harrell and Allgood are really on Dempsey's case!

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