Monday, January 23, 2017

Waking Lazarus

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Title: Waking Lazarus

Author: D. J. Williams

Publisher: Forgotten Stories, LLC, 2016

Pages: 308

Genre: thriller, mystery

Obtained: from author in exchange for an honest review

Summary: Jake Harris has been battling alcoholism, attempting to change his wife's mind about getting a divorce, and hasn't seen his daughter in a very long time.  He does not remember his mother, and the relationship he has with his father is not a good one.  He is unemployed and out of money.  Finally, his life is about to turn around, or so he thinks.  He has been hired to ghostwrite a memoir for an old family friend.  Jake's life does take a dramatic turn after he agrees to ghostwrite the memoir, but not in the way he has imagined.

Thoughts:  This book starts with a prologue that does not discuss the protagonist of the story and is set in Mexico.  The writing is very dramatic and intense.  It sets a tone that I was not sure I was going to like.  I started the first chapter- major writing style and tone change.  The protagonist is introduced and the setting is now California.  I started liking this a bit more.  Then the writer starts to feed the reader a little information at a time.  Some of this information starts to tie in with other information and some is still questionable.  Then I was hooked. I wanted to know how the past and present were connected. As the story starts to unfold the twists and turns begin.  And the best part- the story was not predictable!  I did not always know what was going to happen!
      Waking Lazarus ended up being a face-paced, page turner that kept me guessing.  The settings were described well and the characters were developed.  The story did jump to and from the perspectives of different characters, but was well organized, so it was not confusing.  I was guessing at times what was really happening, but it is clear this was the author's intention, and added to the mystery and suspense.  This author has a talent for being able to set a mood.  As I was reading, it felt like a movie.  The only problem I had with this book was that I had to stop and figure out some of the abbreviations which I didn't want to take the time to do.  I realize that's how the characters in the book would talk and think, so this made the story more believable, but I was reading a suspenseful thriller!  Also, be aware, this is not a cozy mystery.  There is lots of bloodshed.
     This book is the second in The Guardian trilogy.  Usually I do not like reading a series out of order, but it felt okay not reading The Disillusioned first.  The way Waking Lazarus ended, however, I do feel that I will have to read the third in the series.  The story had an ending, but there was clearly more to come.
     There is a soundtrack by Jene Nicole Johnson that goes along with this book.  This really caught my attention.  You can hear some clips from the soundtrack here.  I thought this was so cool!  I listened to a couple of the clips.  Wonderful music!  Each song goes with specific chapters in the book.  As I mentioned, there were many different tones set expertly throughout the book by the author.  Listening to the music, I didn't always get the same feel as I had when reading the book, but I just loved this idea!  Just think about when it is hard to get into a book how much a well written soundtrack could help.
     D. J. Williams has agreed to do an interview with me, so please check back for more.  If you "follow" my blog by email, you will get new posts in you mailbox!


Company: Tea Forte

Tea: Blood Orange

Obtained: gift

     "Blood Orange" was the second tea that I sampled from the "Noir Single Steeps Sampler" from Tea Forte.  The sampler consisted of 15 single steeps that came in a pretty box.  There were five different flavors, three of each flavor.  The single steep package was very good quality and easy to open.  I would not hesitate to carry this in my bag or purse.  It is a very sturdy envelope.
     I emptied the envelope of tea into my teapot. The leaves were long and black with pieces of light brown leaves and orange peel mixed in.  The sweet orange scent was strong.  I poured 12 ounces of water over the leaves.  (I love that the tea is measured for 12 ounces of water, not eight.  I always feel like 8 ounces just isn't enough.)  I let this steep for three minutes.  The liquid was a beautiful orange brown color.  The scent of the liquid was faint orange and I could smell the tea leaves as well.  The taste of the tea was of tart oranges with a black tea taste in the background.  The finish was somewhat bitter and this taste lingered for some time.
     I was a bit disappointed with this tea.  I think when I smelled the sweet orange of the tea leaves, I was looking forward to this sweetness, even though I am not usually one for sweet teas.  I just wanted more sweetness to this tea without adding another flavor.  Also, I didn't really care for the bitter aftertaste.  I will drink my other two single steeps, but not when I am in the mood for something sweet.  This is more of a crisp, wake me up sort of tea.


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