fairy tale

Book Review: The Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains

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The Cracked AltarThe Cracked Altar by Timothy J. R. Rains
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cracked Altar, a fantasy novel by Timothy J. R. Rains, first interested me because of its intriguing title. Would it have a religious theme? What dastardly action would happen, as when something says cracked, it usually has a clever twist. As soon as I dove in, Hinkle’s near-capture captivated me. I’m not typically a reader in this genre, but the more I sample some works, I find myself becoming a fan.

Hinkle’s family tree is complex. We immediately learn that her mother is gone. She’s been living with a grandmother in a world where her family has suffered. There’s an uncle who’s a mystery and aunt who’s either a pious nun or a nefarious witch. Which will it be? Hinkle is rescued by her own special brand of knight, and her grandmother engineers a solution that will benefit them all in the future. It’s a powerful scene and sets a fantastic tone for the book. We follow Hinkle’s path with her new protector only to learn nothing we’ve thought true is indeed accurate. In this world, what’s gray is more important than what’s black and white.

Rains builds a fascinating and well-developed world where the rich are rich, and the poor are poor. Part-fairy tale and part mystical quest, the novel will engage your visual senses as each scene and action are vividly described. The battle scenes were strong but not over-the-top. The secrets were revealed at timely moments. And the clues were in abundance. The story is gripping, and I’m hopeful there will be a sequel. Kudos to the author for gaining a new fan in the fantasy genre.

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Book Review: The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

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Earlier this year, I read and adored Candace Robinson‘s first book in the Glass Vault series. When the author’s second book, The Bride of Glass, was published this summer, I had to jump on it. What imagination and creativity lurks in her mind!

glass

Combining fantasies and fairy tales, this series expands upon everything we thought we knew about the stories of yesteryear and injects them with a twisty punch. Perrie is stuck in Quinsey Wolfe’s crazy glass vault, but she’s no longer Perrie. He’s transformed his bride into something very different, yet memories surface and push her to figure out the truth. Vale keeps a strong hold on her, but her friends are very persistent. Will she be rescued? Will he go back to the underworld? What happens to their strange and addictive love?

What I loved the most about this book was learning the back stories of all the characters who’ve been previously turned into storybook characters… from Little Red Riding Hood to Jack the Ripper, we now understand how Vale transported them into his frozen world, and how they can be turned into glass. The most fantastic part is Vale’s history… who his parents are, what happened to him as a child, and what he really wants from life.

Robinson has built a stellar cast with strong appeal. We root for the bad guys to turn good, yet we dislike some of the things some must to do get there. The world is grey… not black and white. It’s a nice gut punch of passion and fear. To be in her mind while creating this would be quite comical and inspiring. It’s such an easy-reading style full of imagery and thought-provoking concepts. I definitely look forward to reading more from her… this was my third book and I’m sure they will continue to amaze and entertain me. Thanks for this great series… perhaps one day, there could be a third Quinsey Wolfe installment?

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 60 – Charming

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Charming: pleasant, attractive, polite, friendly, and likable

Ah, my friends… I am the epitome of charming. If you saw me, or knew me, you’d immediately think… he’s my prince riding in on a white horse with an amazing smile, a wonderful sense of humor, beautiful eyes, an exquisitely-tailored suit, bags of money in his saddle, perfectly-coiffed hair, and… oh, wait, wrong blog! Sorry… got confused there for a moment. Thought I was writing a chapter in my fairy tale novel…

What the #$#@@? No… I was not stretching out my ego in that first paragraph, nor was I beginning a post on the non-existence of the quintessential Prince Charming. And I wasn’t about to dive into the tragic sexist interpretations that every girl (or boy) is searching for this perfect man, as some are searching for the perfect woman or whatever tickles their fancy. But in all sincerity… I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman referred to as “charming” when it comes to romanticism; it seems, at least in my experience, to be a word used to describe a man. Anyone have a good use of when it described a woman in a courtship / romantic sort of notion? I’m curious…

The real intention behind today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is how although I mostly fit the definition, I would not consider myself a charming person. To me… although there always has been a small part of me who (1) kinda am that little boy looking to be rescued, (2) loves all those fairy tale movies and their re-interpretations where Cinderella (or Cinder… fella?) find their perfect partner after dropping a shoe that fits no other, and (3) believes in the magic of changing one’s life at the snap of a wand. To me…

Charming is very difficult to maintain as a characteristic one demonstrates for most of his/her life. Charming is more “point in time” or “momentary” … as in … he was so charming that first night, she was a charming hostess during those first few months (ooh, I came up with an example)! No one can be charming 24/7. We all get irritable. We all are tired. We all are jealous. To truly be charming all your life, you’d have to never exhibit those qualities, which seems quite impossible, or rare, at the very least. Let’s tackle those 5 words:

pleasant – seems a bit weak of a word as part of the way to describe charming. If you are charming, you better be a whole lot more than just pleasant. You better show me something unique, above standards… it should be natural and unknown to you… something almost ethereal where you exude a seductive yet innocent aura

attractive – yes, probably quite necessary, but again… a bit weak. You better be God or Goddess-like if you are the stereotypical Prince or Princess Charming

polite – true, you would have to be kind and nice… but I’d expect full-on royal-treatment and going an extra step to convince me you’re charming

friendly – yes, absolutely, but again, go overboard — make it seem so you are friendly to everyone but with me, you are the very best of intimate attraction

likable – doesn’t this mean the same thing as the above words… yes, I suppose that’s the point in a definition… maybe the Interwebs steered me in the wrong direction with this definition…

OK, so what have I learned here… the definition of the word charming doesn’t quite meet my expectation of the connotation and denotation of the word I imagine it to be. Let’s see how I do/don’t fit into it:

  • I work hard (although it is innate) to disappear into my surroundings and the crowd. I do not want to stand out among others.
  • My humor is an acquired taste, one in which it is a bit offbeat and rare to see.
  • I consider myself the epitome of average; and this pleases me.
  • I get too caught up in what others are thinking, rather than casual enough to just go about myself without a care.

So right out of the gate, I really wouldn’t consider myself charming. I’ve met a few people I considered charming… more of a passing fancy… momentary, as I noted. What about you? An example of a charming man or woman? But let’s be clear — is this is a fictional character or real-life person you’ve met? Inquiring minds would like to know who believes in the word charming… and what your definition would be…

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.