Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shelf Candy Saturday #147: A Wizard of Earthsea (Original Cover)

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
simply go HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

A Wizard of Earthsea 
(Earthsea Cycle #1)
Hardcover, 205 pages
Parnassus Press
November, 1968
Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is the book's original cover, and I love it just as much as the one I featured last week!

The style  of this image is completely different from the more realistic cover in my previous post. This one is less realistic, and more abstract. The artist is here concerned with the overall design, with the rhythmic, repetitious flow of lines. The lines of the young man's hair are repeated in the landscape behind him -- in the waves of the sea, and what I assume are rolling clouds above. The color scheme is very simple, too. This is a very bold composition.

There's something about this cover that reminds me of Britain's famous Bayeux Tapestry. The image itself has echoes of the type of figures appearing on the tapestry. This is reinforced by the medieval-looking font used for the book's title.

The Battle of Hastings
(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The brilliant illustrator for this book is credited right on the cover -- Ruth Robbins. She is also mentioned in the Wikipedia article about this novel, which features the 1968 edition.

Robbins is a published author, as well as an illustrator of children's books. Some of her own books include: Baboushka and the Three Kings, which is her own retelling of a Russian fairy tale (ironically, she did not create the illustrations for this book), Literary Feminisms, Subjectivity, and Key Concepts in Literary Theory, which she co-authored with Julian Wolfreys and Kenneth Womack.

Perhaps, if I get lucky, I'll be able to purchase this treasure from either Alibris or Abebooks!    


Online Links for Ruth Robbins


What do you think of my 
choice this week?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Book Lover's Den #21: Books About Conspiracy Theories, Part II -- The JFK Assassination

Welcome to my Friday feature!

In each weekly post, I explore 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.

For my second post about this topic, I have chosen an event that was a national trauma, one that has also led to the wildest theories about who was really behind it. Those who remember the day have definitely never forgotten it. It was a day in which the brilliant promise of a man's dreams  for the future of a nation died right along with him. Everything associated with that day, as well as the days following it, still haunt all of us Americans, no matter what our political affiliation, or lack thereof. This one event has remained as a blight on our history, much as Lincoln's assassination has,

Although a suspect was caught and arrested, he would not live long enough to give a grieving nation any answers, as he himself was killed not long thereafter. Lee Harvey Oswald, who was apprehended the day after the tragedy, had bought a .38 revolver and a rifle with a telescopic sight months before that fateful day in Dallas. He also killed a policeman, Officer J.D. Tippit, less than an hour after killing Kennedy. Jack Ruby, the man who later killed Oswald, had some minor connections to organized crime. He claimed that he had killed Oswald because he was so grieved by the JFK assassination. However, this event was the catalyst for one of the first conspiracy theories, which claimed that Ruby killed Oswald in order to silence him, and that he was hired by whoever did not want the truth to come out -- most likely the Mafia.

In 1964, the Warren Commission Report ruled out the possibility that either Oswald or Ruby were part of a conspiracy, whether within or outside the United States. However, in 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations put forth the tentative conclusion that it might have been possible that Kennedy was killed because of a conspiracy masterminded by organized crime. The committee also concluded that there might have been more than one shooter.

According to the Time Magazine website, a 2003 ABC News poll "found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy's death was the result of a broader plot." Among the conspiracy theories mentioned in their article, there's one stating that Kennedy was killed by CIA agents who were furious with him because of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Other theories claim that his murder was ordered by the KGB, while yet another claims that the Mafia had him killed in retaliation for the investigations of organized crime being conducted by Robert Kennedy at the time. One very disturbing theory states that Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy's Vice President, plotted the assassination.

The USA Today website lists six conspiracy theories, and they are the very same ones mentioned on the Time Magazine website, except that they add another -- "the umbrella man theory", which states that a man shot a dart at Kennedy's neck from the tip of his umbrella. This theory was debunked in the 1970s, though.

Recently, I encountered a rather unusual, but fascinating theory on Amazon -- that Kennedy was indeed assassinated by the CIA, but the reason was because he had been trying to "force the CIA to share classified UFO information with other government agencies". This theory is the subject of a book titled Kennedy's Last Stand: Eisenhower, UFOs, MJ-12, and JFK's Assassination, written by Michael E. Salla, and published in October of 2013. This book ties in very nicely with the UFO conspiracy theories I mentioned in last week's "The Book Lover's Den".

According to the CNN website, Dave Perry, who is a retired former insurance agent, has been investigating the most common theories since 1976. Perry does not believe the LBJ theory, saying that it was created by Texans who didn't like Johnson. 

I am certainly very glad that Perry has stated this theory is untrue; I just find it very hard to believe that Kennedy's Vice President would have done something like that.

There's one theory, Perry says, that he has been unable to debunk -- the one dealing with the CIA (not related to UFOs). For further information, please see the links at the end of this post.

Naturally, I am most interested in reading the Salla book, but I'm also interested in the books that mention more mundane theories. In fact, this subject has been in the back of my mind for years now, because of the huge impact it had on our national history. The same goes for the 911 tragedy, which is another event that has sparked several conspiracy theories, although, to my knowledge, none have involved UFOs or extraterrestrials.

Here are the books I would like to read on this very sad, yet fascinating topic:

What are your thoughts on
 this subject?
Please leave me a comment
and let me know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #127: Magic Shifts, by Ilona Andrews

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

Magic Shifts 
(Kate Daniels #8)
Ace Books 
August 4, 2015
Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy

In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Why I'm waiting on this one!!

This book is yet another in the 
famous Kate Daniels series,
one that I want to read very, very badly!
There are, as we bookworms
know all too  well, SO many terrific
books out there to read.....
But I promise myself to start reading
this series. I totally MUST.
After all, I wish I were half as kick-butt
as Kate Daniels, so I can
at least dream, can't I?

What do you think of my choice?
What fascinating book(s) are 
you longing for this week?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Mini-Review, Excerpt!! Destiny, by S.M. Spencer

Welcome to this stop in the
Destiny Blog Tour, sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

I am featuring an excerpt, 
plus my mini-review!!

(Absent Shadows Trilogy, Book 1)
S.M. Spencer
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Cover Artist: BookPOD
October 4, 2014
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, 
Young Adult Fiction

When nineteen year-old Lili McIntyre decides to trade in her California summer for a mid-winter visit to Australia, it's in hope of finding inspiration and direction in the country where her father was born.

But when she arrives in Melbourne, the first thing she finds is the last thing she's looking for--a brooding man who makes her heart race every time she sees him.

Against her better judgement, Lili finds herself drawn into a relationship that tests her very beliefs about life, reality and fantasy. But the real test is how to follow her destiny as she faces some of the hardest decisions of her life.

Using a modern theme, the author tells an old- fashioned love story that you won't want to put down, even when you've finished the last page.


The excerpt below is a very short but highly intriguing one! Of course, I know exactly what type of paranormal being Sam is.....
From the very first sentence, Spencer grabbed my attention, and I was hooked! Since this scene is just a snippet, after reading it, I immediately headed over to Amazon so I could preview more of this book on the online reader. I was rewarded with an engaging selection of chapters from the book that, again, pulled me in right away! I learned more about Lili and her past, and also met Claire, who befriended Lili on the flight to Melbourne.
Ms. Spencer's writing is great to read, and her characters are deftly drawn. The story has the right paranormal flavor, as well! 
What else can I say? Just this: I like what I read SO much, I've already bought this book!!  I know I'm going to devour it! My only hope now is that Ms. Spencer will decide to release a print edition sometime soon, because I do prefer printed books. If she does, I will definitely buy that one, too!!  

Sometimes, when something bad happens, time seems to slow to a crawl.

Like that time I was running to visit my friend who lived down the street. I was only about ten at the time, but it seemed like it was yesterday. I remember exactly how it felt as I ran down that street toward her house. And how, when I was only part way there, I stepped on an acorn and my foot rolled out from under me. As I fell, the pavement got closer and closer to my face—in horrible slow-motion. I hit the ground with my hands stretched out in front of me, scraping the skin off both palms. They barely bled but man, they hurt like crazy.Yes, I could replay that memory like a slow-motion movie in my head even now—years later.

But this … well, this wasn’t like that.

What happened next was like a series of still photos. Tom flew out of the bedroom in a blur, but stopped just long enough for the image of his face to be burnt into my mind. His eyes were no longer soft brown, but were instead a glowing red, and his normally tanned complexion was now pallid grey. But what really stood out was the blood that ran down from the corner of his mouth.

Then I heard Sam’s voice—loud and harsh. ‘Go!'

Tom was gone and I heard the door slam.

I closed my eyes for no more than a long blink—it couldn’t have been more than a second—but when I opened them, Sam was in the bedroom, bending over Claire. Was he doing something to her neck? She was so still.

I ran to the doorway but stopped short of going in. I couldn’t draw a breath to scream or talk. I just stood there, frozen.

S. M. Spencer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As a young teenager, her mother introduced her to the world of romantic suspense by encouraging her to read the works of authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books stirred a passion in her that would last a lifetime—to become a writer.
Feeling the need to experience life before embarking on a writing career, Ms. Spencer completed a business degree. Her career eventually landed her in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived ever since. Yet her true passion to be a writer never abated.
S.M. Spencer now writes from her home in the outskirts of Melbourne, where she lives with her husband, horses, cats, and dogs. 

Be sure to check out the rest of 
the tour stops!
You can access the complete 
schedule by simply
clicking on the button below!