Thursday, May 31, 2012

LGBT Pride Month

On June 1, 2009 the President proclaimed June LGBT Pride Month:

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 1, 2009

- - - - - - -

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

The full proclamation can be found here:

We here at the Cotton Patch would like to show our support to the LGBT community by sharing some of our favorite LGBT literature.

Here is a wonderful YA coming of age novel that I gave 4 out of 5 stars.

Sebastian the Great


Inspired by Les Miserables and The Cider House Rules, this serious coming-of-age story of a Jesus loving gay teen athlete will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions— from laughter to crying and back again.

This one is on the other end of the age spectrum but it is my absolute favorite love story that received a 5 star rating.

Henry and Jim


A bittersweet short story about a lifetime love affair. Henry and Jim have spent a life in love, from the very first date arranged by Henry's sister, through the rocky times they worked to make ends meet, and into their twilight years. Old men now, Henry reminisces about the love they've shared as he learns to cope with Jim's fading memory and his own fear of being forgotten by the only man he's ever loved. This story appears in the anthologies "Best Gay Romance 2008" published by Cleis Press and "Best Gay Stories 2009" published by Lethe Press, as well as in my print collection "So In Love."

There are two books that I love in the Sci Fic catagory. One is a classic by Ursula K LeGuin. This is the first work in her Hainish Cycle series. This book I also rated 5 stars as I found it so original.

The Left Hand of Darkness


Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

The other is a bit more recent but just as powerful. This book I gave a 5 star rating as well. I found it so moving and thought that it touched on so many issues.

Amaranth & Ash


Amaranth is a vasai, born with both male and female characteristics, and a soul that can reach out and touch the souls of others in order to heal them. But a vasai's services are only for the Elai, and they demand sexual satisfaction as well as healing from their beautiful servants. Frustrated with these constraints, Amaranth wants to use his talent to help those who really need it.

Ash is a chel. Considered devoid of souls, chel are the lowest of the low. Not content with his lot, Ash steals from the middle class pel. One night he's caught and brutally punished.

A soul in agony calls out to Amaranth from across the city. When he discovers that it belongs to a chel, it only confirms his worst suspicions about the lies of the Elai. Amaranth takes Ash home and heals him, an act of rebellion that could cost both their lives.

This last book is a wonderful work of historical fiction. I gave it 5 stars as well, I love the journey of the main character to find herself and come to love who she is.

Tipping the Velvet


"Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England" (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.
When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.
Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson,Sarah Waters's novel is a feast for the senses - an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful literature from the LGBT community that covers all genre and age groups. What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In The Mailbox

Here are a couple more that have been added to my To-Read list:



Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.

An Uncommon Whore


Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn't let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Ian Fleming

Happy Birthday Ian Fleming creator who was born on this day in 1908, was the creator of the well known Bond, James Bond. Bond was intruded with the publication of published in 1953.

Without the creations of Mr. Fleming movies and literature would be missing such great characters as Mr. Big, Dr. No, and Goldfinger. Not to mentions all the lovely ladies and all those wonderful gadgets.

Mr. Fleming also wrote one childrens book

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I remember reading this book as a kid and loving it. It inspired me to read alot more sci fi/fantasy and definitely broadened my love of literature. Who among us has not been touched by one or another of Flemings creations. So we at the Cotton Patch wish you a Happy Birthday and say thanks for all that you have created for our enjoyment.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was probably a book best saved for closer to Halloween because it is such a good ghost story. The creepy factor was definitely high. However, this wasn't a book that got overly thrilled over, hence the three stars.

Cas is a ghosthunter as his dad was before him. His dad, who was killed by a ghost, passed on his legacy and his anthame to him. His mother is Wiccan and uses her gifts to protect him as best she can. The arrive in Thunder Bay Ontario pursuing the legend of Anna dressed in blood. And while here things don't really go as planned.

Cas is a strong character, however he kinda has this James Dean loner bad boy thing going on. He seems full of himself and it seems like he is so wrapped up in his work with the dead that he is missing life. He has no interest in pursuing anything to do with the living or enjoying life. The girls that he interacts with are simply a means to an end and nothing more. He thinks friendships only get in the way of his work. Anna, the dead girl, is the other strong character in the story. Her story is tragic and the things she is capable of is horrible. But after their encounter the change is very realisic and their romance is a bit necrophilic. Just another example of how Cas is not interested in the living.

Carmel and Thomas are side characters altho very important to the story. Along with the jocks that are part of the story, they all seem very stereotypical. And it seems like nobody questions anything they just accept that Cas kills ghosts (which seems like overkill to me)

But the story of Anna isn't the real mystery that plays out in this story. Cas has been searching since his dad was murdered to find out what happened. As things progess with Anna, Cas finds out the true reason he was drawn to Thunder Bay.

Overall, it was a creepy ghost story with not so realisic characters and ghosts that are more like the living than the dead. I gave it 3 stars because altho I wasn't overly impressed, it was a fun read especially for those that enjoy YA reads.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 25, 2012

In The Mailbox

Here are somes titles that I have acquired along the way this week.

And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide, #6)

And Another Thing . . . is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese.

Sweet Surrender (Sweet, #1)


Dallas cop Gray Montgomery is on a mission: find the guy who killed his partner and bring him to justice. So far, he's found a link between the killer and Faith - and if Gray has to get close to he to catch the killer, so be it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


CloakedCloaked by Alex Flinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun, light, easy read! Its an amalgam of several different fairy tales told in a modern day setting.

Johnny works in his parents shoe repair shop when he's not in school and he is drawn into a quest to save a prince that's been turned into a frog. He lives with his mother, his dad having disappeared years before, and he hopes to marry the princess if he solves the quest in order to get them out of debt. Along the way he meets other fairytale creatures that are transformed humans and has a unique adventure to say the least. Johnny learns alot about himself, his life, and his true love as well.

This is fun read that has alot of action and adventure. Its definitely one for those that love modern day fairy tales and those of us that are young at heart.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beauty is a Beast

Beauty Is a Beast  (Zombie Fairy Tales #5)

Beauty Is a Beast (Zombie Fairy Tales #5)

by Kevin Richey (Goodreads Author)

4.00 stars

Beauty is a Beast is a classic fairy tale with a creepy zombie twist. It follows Belle as she is sold to the “Woman in Black” to cover her father’s various debts.  The servants bath and prepare Belle to meet the “Master”. What Belle doesn’t know is that the “Master” is in a cell deep in the basement of the castle…..or that the “Master” is a zombie.  Once taken down to meet the “Master”, the servants discover that the “Master” will not eat Belle and instead he seems to be very fond of her. Once Belle learns to trust the beast, they form a plan to escape not only the cage but the castle as well. Working together the unlikely pair make a rope out of bones and pieces of clothes from the previous victims. After they escape the dungeon Belle is killed by the “Woman in Black” and in an effort to save her life, the beast cuts out his own heart and put it in Belles chest. In the end, Belle is turned into a zombie and realizes that she is in love with the “Master.”

Although, this is a twist on a classic fairy tale, it definitely is not the tale that most children watched.  There is no dancing furniture and no singing tableware. This is a fairy tale that has basic elements of the classic tale (Belles golden ball gown, the red roses, and the beasts blue coat) interwoven with horror elements.

As someone who is not a huge fan of zombie books, I loved the dark twist on a story that is normally a happy story.  I loved the fact that the beast had a personality….even though he was unable to talk.

Kevin Richey, spins a tail about an unlikely team determined to survive and regain their freedom.  I would recommend this story to anyone who liked dark fairy tales.  If you’re a fan of the classic story you will be able to appreciate the “happily ever after” twist that Beauty is a Beast has.  Personally, I thought the ending was very romantic, but tragic at the same time.

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Let's Talk Murder!

With Jim Bronyaur -

Hey there everyone!  I’m glad to be here, blogging away, and talking about murder.  Of course the murder I talk about is fictional murder, the ones appearing in my cozy mystery series, the Minivan Mom Mystery Series.
Starting with the first book was pretty easy for me as I had the entire story outlined, ready to go, minus a few details that my wife stepped in and helped me with.  When I decided to write the second book, I didn’t want to fall into a trap and have the same book be written over and over.  I needed the same characters and the same setting (for the most part), but what I needed differently was the murder.  That’s the one part of the story I fully control and enjoy.  After that, the characters take over – along with my wife.  Getting my main character, Eve, involved with the story is a pivotal part too, but let’s talk about murder. 
In the first book, If Errands Could Kill, I had Eve Bailey trying to help a person she knew.  The ending result is that Eve sees the woman get murdered.  The murder is done by gunshot as a black Lincoln pulls up next to the woman’s car.  This pulls Eve right into the mix of things as she can’t believe something so sinister has happened in her town, not to mention the rumors that start flying around town about the murdered woman. 
When I sat down for the second book, I wanted something totally different.  I wanted to entertain my readers again but with a new story.  But I had to get Eve involved… but how?
If you haven’t read the second book, A Mess to Die For, you should because it’s a wild ride.  The murder finally came to me… it’s a normal Friday night and when Eve goes to check on her street, she sees a pair of headlights in the distance, swerving.  The car coming down the road is erratic, running a stop sign, thus prompting Eve to think it’s a drunk driver.  When the car comes to a stop, Eve wants to confront the driver and guess what she finds?  A murdered man in the car.
The murder is different because it’s done with a knife, and the man to Eve is unknown.  This is a complete opposite from the first book.  Now, you may be asking, why does Eve get involved then?  What’s the catch?  Well, I’m not going to give it away… you’ll have to read to find out!
But back to murder…
I believe that in a good cozy mystery, the murder should be present but not graphic.  To me, dead is dead, let it be and move on.  The story follows Eve as she tries to piece together what exactly has happened on her street.  Who would stab a man?  Why was that man on her street?  Before long, Eve is now in the middle of the inner workings of a dysfunctional family who just may be the key to the murder.
I liked creating a different murder because it gave the story a new twist for me to write – and for you to read.  I didn’t want the same old dead body to just show up in the same old setting.  After what happened in the first book, Eve is just looking for a little peace and quiet.  But she gets the exact opposite.
People have already starting to ask me about a third book… and while there is talk about a third book before the end of 2012, I can promise you that the murder and setup in that book will be different and original.  I don’t condone murder in real life, but in fiction, have some fun with it!  The best part too is that you need gore and blood to make murder effective.  Sometimes the best part is the story around the murder and what put someone in a position to make such a deadly decision.
Hope you all take the time to read and enjoy the Minivan Mom Mystery Series!  Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter @JimBronyaur

If Errands Could Kill AND A Mess to Die For are both available on Amazon!

If Errands Could Kill -

Up at sunrise to enjoy the quiet of a sleeping household, Eve Bailey gets her coffee, prepares breakfast for her three children, and has a spare tie ready knowing that her husband, Ben, will definitely spill something on the one he is wearing. Their oldest daughter, Delaney, is one game away from moving onto the soccer championships, their son, Cody, skipped school yesterday, and innocent 7 year old Penny is trying to communicate with her goldfish. Eve’s days are that of a typical stay at home mom.

Her typical day changes drastically after she drives Cody to school as part of his punishment for skipping school. Cody’s creepy science teacher, Mr. Jackson, approaches Eve to let her know that her check for Cody’s field trip had bounced. Knowing it had to be an error, Eve heads to the bank to figure it out. While in line, she chats with her mother in law who works at the bank. Then she notices Janet, another bank employee and self-made town outcast, acting very strange at the back counter.

Eve’s concern grows when she is leaving the bank and sees Janet open the gas tank door and then drives away. Against her better judgment, Eve follows Janet. What happens next is something unheard of in quiet Marysville, Pennsylvania.
Janet is murdered in front of Eve’s eyes, and the police find drugs in her car.

Murder and drugs? It doesn’t make sense. Eve is now a witness and determined to disprove the “drug deal gone wrong” theory. 

Can she convince the police that she knows who the killer is, save her family, and make it to Delaney’s big soccer game in time?

Get your copy!

A Mess to Die For -

It seems that Eve Bailey has the worst luck and timing. Just like every night, Eve opens her front door to check her street before locking up for the night. However, on Friday evening, there is a swerving car heading right down the Bailey’s street. It finally comes to a rest when it collides with a stop sign on Eve’s corner. Assuming it is a drunk driver, Eve yells for her husband, Ben, to call police as she heads out to confront the ignorant person. What she finds instead is a man dead from a stab wound in his stomach. 
Even though it is not the first dead body she has ever seen, Eve is more bothered by the particular knife sticking out of the man’s gut. The dead man turns out to be the owner of the new casino from the town over. Police investigate and all ties seem to point to a mob hit. Eve starts to believe it also… until someone from her past is suddenly attacked while the suspects are in custody. Now, she must remember where she has seen that knife before. 
On top of trying to track down a killer in Marysville, Eve must clean up her own family’s messes. Ben is ashamed to be associated with the new casino. Cody is in trouble at school, again. Delaney has lost her favorite soccer medal, and Penny is faced with a bully at school. 

Can Eve possibly solve all of their problems and find the killer before someone else becomes a victim?

Grab your copy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

We here at the Cotton Patch would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle without whome the literary world would be missing great literature. Born on this day in 1859, he was the creator of one of the greatest investigators the world has known, Sherlock Holmes of course. Who among us is not familiar with this character who has inspired numerous television shows as well as movies. So we say thank you Sir Doyle for without you literature would be a duller place.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Priest

The Priest (The Ginecean Chronicles)The Priest by Monica La Porta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for review.

This book was amazing! One of the best that I have read in quite some time.

Mauricio lives in a world where men are slaves and women rule. The women are divided into two classes: those that give birth to women and those that give birth two men (these are fathered women who are little better than slaves). The religion of this world has brainwashed everyone into believing that men are not required for procreation when in reality it is all done in the labratories with certain male slaves as sperm donors. Rosie is the President's daughter and she has come to the temple to get pregnant and while she is there she meets and falls in love with Mauricio. This, of course, is not acceptable.

This book covers so many topics. Slavery of any race or sex is horrible in whatever form it takes. We see the brutality of this as this story is told thru Maurice's eyes. To never be given a kind word or treated as little more than an animal is so emotionally painful. The topic of same sex marriage is also dealt with as we see the other extreme in this society. Marriage between a man and a woman is not acceptable at all here and is seen as perverse. Women are only allowed to marry and men have no rights at all. Even when the City of Men is established this societal norm wasn't easy to change.

The characters of Maurice and Rosie are so vivid. It was heartbreaking to see them part and how Maurice never got over her. The story is told from Mauricio's point of view. We really come to understand how the emotional abuse and the isolation affects him so much more than the physical abuse he suffers. How he longs for a kind word or some form of positive human contact. Its very heartwrenching to know what he goes thru.

I loved this book and it definitely goes on my list to re-read in the future and I hope that there are other books set in this world. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dystopia but definitely not for kids as it has some very adult themes altho not because of sex or language.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interview With Author Kevis Hendrickson

The Fall of Ithar

Hi Kevis, Thanks so much to agreeing to do the Q&A. I warn you, you are the first to be subjected to an interview. But I promise to be gentle.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share a bit about myself with the readers of your blog. Being the first author to be interviewed by you makes it even more special. My name is Kevis Hendrickson, a writer of speculative fiction, musician, illustrator, and aspiring filmmaker. I've been authoring books for a few years now and am one of the early pioneers of the indie author movement who used the opportunities presented by the advances in digital technology to introduce my books to readers around the world.

How long have you been writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I've been writing stories ever since I was a child. Writing is the outlet to my very active imagination which used to get me into quite a bit of trouble when I was younger as many of my grade school teachers can attest! My mind is crammed with all these wonderful characters and adventures and writing became the principal means by which I could bring them to life.

When I was reading The Fall of Ithar I was reminded of Tolkien's story of Beren and Luthien. Has Tolkien's work been an inspiration for you or are there other literary influences?

J.R.R. Tolkien has been a great influence on my work. The scope of his tales is beyond anything I've read in modern fiction and impressed upon me not only the power of the imagination, but also the written word, especially archaic languages. I consider myself an heir to the legacy he created and am proud to carry on the tradition of writing old school fantasy.

I noticed that the names of the characters in The Fall of Ithar were a bit unusual. What languages or cultures were these taken from?

One of the pitfalls many fantasy writers succumb to is spewing gobbledygook when trying to invent fanciful names. Like many readers, the quickest way to make me toss a fantasy book across the room is to bombard me with unpronounceable character names and places.

The Fall of Ithar, like most of the fantasy books I write, takes place in a quasi-medieval setting. The character names and lands used in my book are the result of years of studying linguistic structures. In this case, I constructed the names for my book using a mish mash of languages, including ancient Greek, Welsh, and Old Norse. Hopefully, the hard work I put into creating the names will add to the richness of my story as opposed to causing readers migraine headaches.

It seems like there is a great potential for making this into a much longer work. Is this something that you are considering for the future?

The Fall of Ithar is a condensed version of a much longer tale I wrote a few years ago. That tale is part of a collection of stories and myths that comprise the history of the world of Arva which is the setting for my fantasy works. Sometime in the future, I would like to publish that longer story, as part of the collection, or as a stand-alone story so readers can get the full scope of the events that take place in The Fall of Ithar and the lives of the characters that appear in it.

I really love the cover art on your book. Did you design that or did you have someone else do that?

It's wonderful to hear how much you like the cover for The Fall of Ithar. Although I'm an artist, the honors for designing the cover goes to Char Marie Adles, my new cover designer. She created two other book covers for me (The Grey Elk and The Blue Witch (paperback edition), but I think it may be the best one she's done for me so far.. Char's an amazing talent. I was really lucky to find her. She really knows how to take the basic premise of any book and put together a cover that not only draws the reader into the world of the book, but wows them even at thumbnail size. She's a gem and is proving herself to be indispensable to my career right now. Hopefully, we'll be joined at the hip for years to come.

Are there other books that you are working on at the moment?

I have a laundry list of books I'm currently working on, not the least of which is a reboot of my flagship science fiction book series entitled Rogue Hunter. It's a series about the adventures of an intergalactic bounty hunter named Zyra Zanr. Of all my projects, it's the most demanding. Fortunately, I'm working with a team of very talented authors, editors, and illustrators who are helping me to make sure the series can compete with the best stuff out there. The first of the new Rogue Hunter books is called Alliance and will make its debut later this year.

One last question just for fun: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book what would it be and why?

This probably won't come as a surprise, but I would say it would have to be The Silmarillion. It's such an incredible book and I never tire of reading it. Outside of ancient mythology or The Bible, there really isn't anything else like it in literature. Most people consider The Lord of the Rings as Professor Tolkien's best work. For me, it's The Silmarillion.

I agree completely with your view of The Silmarillion. Its one of my favorite books as well and I also think it was Tolkein's best work.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

The Fall of Ithar will be published at Amazon on June 1st, 2012 and will have its debut at other online bookstores shortly afterwards. I invite fans of epic fantasy (or just a plain ol' good read) to download their copy. Hopefully, they'll check out the rest of my books as well.

Once again, thanks so much for doing this. I really enjoyed The Fall of Ithar and I certainly hope you do decide to expand it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Talisman of El

Talisman of El (Talisman of El, #1)Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Talisman of El was a truly enjoyable story even tho I can't say that it was original. Alecia Stone did a wonderful job of taking thread from fantasy and mythology and religion as well as other stories and weaving them together to create something that stands as its own story.

We meet Charlie who is an orphan that has been moved around alot with different homes who finds out that there is another world that he is a part of (reminiscent of Harry Potter) He finds some wonderful friends and an end of the world mystery that is left to him to solve. Charlie and his friends find themselves at the center of the world meeting up with angels and demons and other mythological creatures. Charlie finds that life is not as he thinks.

This is an awesome adventure, fantasy, coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages but particulary those of middle school age to young adult. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series I would suggest that you give this one a try. There's alot of similarities but it is a story all its own. This is definitely a series that I will continue and I am looking forward to the next book.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Blogger Jim Bronyaur

We here at the Cotton Patch are pleased to welcome Jim Bronyaur as a guest blogger on Wednesday May 23. Mr. Bronyaur is the author of The Minivan Mom Series

If Errands Could Kill (Minivan Mom Mystery Series)

as well as

In the Corner The Failed and The Devil's Weekend

just to name a few.

Mr. Bronyaur will be here talking about his life, his inpiration for his work, as well as his upcoming book

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Fall of Ithar

The Fall of ItharThe Fall of Ithar by Kevis Hendrickson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a science fiction short story that reminds me alot of The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The kingdom of Ithar is assaulted by the forces of evil and the king and one of his sons is slain. The other son realizing that he is the reason that the kingdom is under attack flees with his wife. They escape into the caves where they meet their doom. This short tells what befalls them and how their fate is met.

This is a story of love and glory of battle. We see the honor and deeds of men as they fight their foes and the evil that comes. I would love to see this story expanded into a much longer novel and read what happens before the battle with the quests of the prince as well as the life of the queen before her fate is met.

Overall, if you enjoy sci fiction, especially Tolkein type stories, you should give this one a try. But I warn you this is a tragedy, no happy ending this time. But it definitely fits the story. Its definitely one I shall re-read. Not to mention, I love the cover art.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


AsylumAsylum by Kristen Selleck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really creepy read. I wish that I had saved this one for Halloween becuase its such a great ghost story.

Sam and Chloe end up as roommates in college. Both are trying to leave behind bad experiences in highshool and at home but are dealing with their problems very differently. Chloe had issues with mental illness while in high school and is trying to move forward and leave it behind. However, she discovers that the college dorm was built to be a mental hospital before the school was founded. School begins pretty normally with college freshmen doing as most do alot of drinking and partying and foolish dares. Sam and Chloe were dared to take a Ouija board to the bell tower and thats where the ghost was first contacted. Things tend to take a turn for the weird at this point. Alot of strange things start happening like writing appearing on the walls and lights turning on and off. Chloe's new boyfriend, Seth, doesn't believe in the paranormal and tries to explain it all away til he's forced to see what is really going on.

As with anything, there were things that I liked and didn't like about this book. It was definitely a fun easy read. It was a eerie ghost story with a dash of romance thrown in. The characters themselves were not all that strong, however. I kept expecting them to run away screaming and not look back. Chloe was the weakest of the three and there were times you just wanted her to open her eyes and not be so down on herself. Sam was also quite a mess. She drank way too much and thought the worst in everybody, especially men. So this story didn't start out with a strong female character, altho I guess that's not a requirement for a good book. But toward the end Chloe did get a bit stronger and started to see what life is really about.

You really learn alot about the treatment of mental illness today as well as throughout history. The author did a really good job of weaving a ghost story around this as well. This really added to the creepiness of the story as we hear about the tortures that took place in the old asylums.

Overall, I did really enjoy the book. The editing did need some work, I found alot of spelling error and one spot a name was completely different from what it should have been. But these errors didn't really take away from the story. The ending was a bit on the hollywood side. It seemed a bit out of place from the rest of the story and more like what you might see in a movie. However, even with a Hollywood ending I am still curious to see how this will continue in the next book. I will definitely continue this series, at least for now.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In The Mail Box

Here are a couple of new books that I have added to my ever growing to read list.

The Priest (The Ginecean Chronicles)


Mauricio is a slave. Like any man born on Ginecea, he is but a number for the pure breed women who rule over him with cruel hands. Imprisoned inside the Temple since birth, Mauricio has never been outside, never felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. He lives a life devoid of hopes and desires. Then one day, he hears Rosie sing. He risks everything for one look at her and his life is changed, forever. An impossible friendship blossoms into affection deemed sinful and perverted in a society where the only rightful union is between women. Love is born where only hate has roots and leads Mauricio to uncover a truth that could destroy Ginecea.

The Fall of Ithar

I absolutely love the cover art for this one. And if his last book is any indication, I am sure to enjoy this one as well.

The Fall of Ithar recounts the events of the great war fought to protect the last kingdom of Men from the dreaded hosts of the Shadow-Kings. It is a tale of epic heroes and fearsome villains. Journey to a time when the gods walked among Men and heroes lived and died by their courage!

Outcasts: Short Stories by Tom C. Underhill

Unwilling saviors, fumbling gods, speechless leaders, helpless villains, misguided detectives, abandoned heroes, misled daughters, repentant adulterers, murdered authors, jilted conquerors...

These are my outcasts.

And these are their stories.

Happy Birthday L. Frank Baum

The great author L. Frank Baum was born on this day in 1856. Without whom there would be no The Wizard of Oz. This was not only my favorite book as a child but also the first one I ever read on my own. It inspired me with a love of reading that has stayed with me all these years and I'm sure I can't be the only one.

The Wizard of Oz

We here at the Cotton Patch remember you on this day and show our appreciation for your works which have inspired not only us but others throughout the world. Happy Birthday L. Frank Baum!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Maze of Bones

This is book one in the 39 Clues series.

The Maze of Bones  (The 39 Clues, #1)The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will. Family members were given the option of a quest for something unknown or one million dollars. Amy and Dan, two kids whose parents died under mysterious circumstances, opted for the quest to get away from the Aunt who has custody who only wants their money. Pitted against other ruthless family members they are in a race to find a treasure.

This is a fun read for someone in middle grade. Its very much like the movie National Treasure and is certainly not original or unpredictable. The characters are not deep or endearing so you didn't really care when something happened to them. You just though "Hmm, ok" and continued reading. Having said that, I thought it was a great way to get kids interested in reading and in history. And the aspect of the quest and puzzles is a great way to keep the story going and a kids interest.

I gave it three stars instead of less not only because of its appeal to younger readers, but it actually is a fun read. Its definitely a light fast read that doesn't require alot of thinking and sometimes thats a good thing. I am likely to continue reading the series just because I'm curious to see where this quest goes.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Reading Is Fun Week

The second full week of May is designated as reading is fun week by Reading is Fundamental Literacy organization. When my girls were little and just learning to read we would find books to read together. This was a great way to spend time together and instilled in them a love of books. One of the main sets of books that really got them intersted was

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

And of course we continued to read the rest of the series and discuss them as they got older.

All of us have our favorite reads we remember from our own childhoods. Such as Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. I also remember The Wizard of Oz as well as The Three Investigators Series What books do you remember from your childhood that you share now with your children?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wishing Everyone a Happy Mother's Day

Sending out wonderful wishes to all women on Mother's day! I am greatful to my own mother for without her this blog actually wouldn't be possible as she instilled in me a love of books from a very young age. This was something that I have also passed on to my own daughters and granddaughters.

With tomorrow being Mother's Day I thought it would be a good time to highlight a few books that tend to be a bit more appealing to women (chick-lit) that I really enjoyed.

Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival


Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

This book, although rather short, has a wonderful message. Despite age everyone is important and all can be useful.

The Red Tent


Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

The Secret Life of Bees


Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

What other books do you enjoy that are centered around women and family?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Love and World Eaters

Love and World EatersLove and World Eaters by Tom C. Underhill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for review.

This was certainly a unique perspective on a very old mystery. Aliah, a young woman working in a museum, is affected by a bone fragment from an artifact. Through its workings she is able to see the history of any object she touches and finds herself immersed in the mystery of who killed the father of Alexander the Great. During her sessions with the artifact we are shown scenes of such detail and emotion that we feel as if we are seeing them which really brings this story to life.

The character of Aliah is revealed gradually over the course of the story. We learn about her as she is learning about herself. The insights into the history of the artifact give her an understanding of her own history and her own family issues.

I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone that loves a good historical fiction with a bit of sci fi thrown in for good measure.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas BenedictThe Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my introduction to the Mysterious Benedict Society and I must say that I'm hooked. I shall definitely seek out more of these books.

Nicholas Benedict is an orphan with more problems than most. He suffers from narcolepsy and he's a genious. In the begining of the story he comes to Child's End from another orphanage, he's been in orphanages most of his life, and here he finds a mystery. Nicholas soon discovers that there is a treasure to be found that was hidden by the previous owners of the mansion, the Rothchilds, and he is determined to find it.

This was a wonderful story that was full of mystery and adventure, great characters, and lessons learned along the way. Nicholas finds freinds, defeats bullies, learns alot about himself as well as teaches the adults a bit about life. This was a story that I was completely engrossed in from the very begining. Its great for jr high age or any of us that are kids at heart.

View all my reviews

New In the Mailbox

Here are a couple of books that I have received this week and added to my ever growing to-read list:

Red Leaves and the Living Token


Doctors tell Raj that his son Emret won't survive his illness. As Raj struggles to prepare himself and Emret for the inevitable, he's confronted by Moslin, his son's nurse, who’s been filling Emret’s head with fairytales about heroic quests and powerful disease curing miracles. Emret now thinks that all he has to do is find the mythical Red Tree from the nurse's stories, and he'll live.

In an attempt to protect his son from further emotional damage, Raj asks Moslin to stay away from Emret. He returns hours later to find them both missing.

Now, he has to dig into the loathed fairytales to figure out where they may have gone. He’d also like to know why he keeps blacking out and having visions of a temple on a mountain with a vat of glowing weapons, a vaporous black creature emerging from a lightning storm, himself in glowing armor leading an army, and the same mythical Red Tree hidden in a dense forest.

Morning Star (Ethos, #1)

When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world

New Blogger

While my eldest daughter is on summer breakk from college she is going to be guest blogging for The Cotton Patch. I'm sure her contributions to the Cotton Patch will be invaluable and all her efforts are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Here's a new book that sound really great and is getting really good reviews. I hope to get the chance to read and review this soon. I would love to hear your thoughts if you have read this one.

Morning Star (Ethos, #1)


When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…

R.I.P Maurice Sendak

I just saw on Yahoo news that the beloved children's author Maurice Sendak has passed away. I remember when I was little that Where the Wild Things Are was one of my favorite books and now I read it to my granddaughter who loves it as well. He certainly touched alot of young hearts and will be missed.

Where the Wild Things Are

The New Death and Others

No longer free on Amazon

The New Death and others


Death gets a roommate...

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No whiny vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?

ebook, 102 pages
Published September 28th 2011 (first published September 27th 2011)

ISBN 9781465720

Altho no longer free on it is still well worth the 99 cent price tag! This is an awesome collection of short stories and poems. You can find my full review in my archives or posted on

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Children's Book Week

May 7-13 is designated as Children's Book Week and I thought I would take this opportunity to recommend a few books that are great for kids or those of us that are kids at heart.

Too Many CursesToo Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was probably one of the most enjoyable, fun reads that I have read in quite some time. Nessy is a kobold (similar to a dog but with human intelligence) who's job is to tend the castle of the evil wizard Margle. Margle's castle is full of beings under strange curses that require full time attention. One day Margle meets an unusual fate and Nessy is left to take charge of things. This was a quick fun read that was full of silliness and humor and characters that touch the heart. Nessy is small but she shows that its not always size that makes the hero and that even the smallest of us can make a difference. I would recommend this to anyone that needs a good laugh, enjoys a fun read, or is generally a kid at heart. Loved it and shall keep this to read again sometime.

View all my reviews

The Black Book of Secrets (Tales From The Sinister City, #1)The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an intriguing little book that I quite enjoyed. Written for the younger end of the spectrum of young adult or even for those of us that are young at heart, most anyone will enjoy this one. There is much that even though set in the past is relevent to today. We see, as is true in life, that we all have done things that we aren't proud of. Everyone has things in their past that they don't want others to know about. And this doesn't make them bad people, only human. Even those people that are prominent citizens or little old ladies that own book shops are not perfect. This was a fun book full of all kinds of characters and their very own secrets that we learn along the way. Am hoping there is more to come from the Secret Pawnbrokers.

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The Inquisitor's ApprenticeThe Inquisitor's Apprentice by Chris Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy thru Firstread and I appreciate getting the opportunity to review it.

This was such a fun read! Sacha is a Jewish boy living in a New York where magic is the norm and he has discovered that he can see magic. Recruited by the police department that works against magical crime he finds himself embroiled in a mystery that could result in his demise or worse. This book is full of interesting characters, fun history and unusual sci-fiction. It definitely draws you in from the begining and keeps you hanging on every word. The ending definitely leaves room for a sequel and I certainly hope that there is one.

View all my reviews

What are your favorite reads to share with the kids in your life or to enjoy when you are feeling like a kid at heart?


Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a word: AWESOME!!! I enjoyed this one as much or more than the first one. It picks up right where Divergent leaves off. I actually wish that I had taken the time to re-read Divergent before begining this one but it didn't take long before I was able to put the pieces together. There is so much that I liked about this book. I loved that the pace picked up so quickly in the begining. There wasn't any remembering about the past it just simply went forward. The characters were so alive and flawed as people are. Tris is such a strong female character but at the same time we are reminded that she is 16 and acts like a teenager that often acts on her emotions and makes mistakes. Tobias is also a strong character and we see how the issues from his dysfunctional family have affected him. And like all of us, we want to be wanted by our parents. The pain of rejection from a parent is evident and you can feel that it is almost too much to bear at times.

On top of all this wonderful character development is this wonderful mystery of what is really going on. What is really at the root of this conspiracy theory. We see the pieces unfold as to what the government is keeping from the people and how that information is not only used to control the masses but who will kill for it or how it can be used to start a war. Nothing is black and white in this story. People make decisions because of how they think things should best be handled not necessarily out of malice but because they believe they are right and their way should be undertaken using whatever means. However, the ends do not always justify the means.

Without giving out any spoilers I will say that the ending is an awesome cliffhanger. I admit, that I partially saw it coming. The hints about the cause of all that ills this society were there but I can hardly wait for the final book to see how it all works out. I definitely loved this one and anyone who liked Divergent will find this one a must read.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Recent Additions

Here are a couple books that I have received for review this week.



News reporters scrambled. This was the biggest story to come along in weeks.
They called it a blackout.
The last one was in New York City in 2003, but this one was different, special, because the grids in six major cities across the country had been fried, kaput, see-you-next-Sunday. Everyone with some jurisdiction blamed each other, and when there was no one left to blame, terrorism rode in on its gallant steed.
It was the media’s fault. They were so busy stuffing fanatical Muslims with a penchant for Allah and decapitations down the American citizen’s throat, that they never saw it coming. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on them.
They were partially right.
It was terror after all, but a whole new kind. And when the lights came back on, things had changed.

The dark had brought us visitors.

Talisman of El (Talisman of El, #1) Synopsis WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE? One Planet. Two Worlds. Population: Human ... 7 billion. Others ... unknown. When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died. Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. He belongs with the others.
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