Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hades by Candice Fox




Archer & Bennett Vol 1

Synopsis
A dark, compelling and original thriller that will have you spellbound from its atmospheric opening pages to its shocking climax. Hades is the debut of a stunning new talent in crime fiction. 

Hades Archer, the man they call the Lord of the Underworld, surrounds himself with the things others leave behind. Their trash becomes the twisted sculptures that line his junkyard. The bodies they want disposed of become his problem for a fee. Then one night a man arrives on his doorstep, clutching a small bundle that he wants 'lost'. And Hades makes a decision that will change everything...

Twenty years later, homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But there's something strange about Eden and her brother, Eric. Something he can't quite put his finger on. When the two detectives are called to the scene of an attempted drowning, they find a traumatised victim telling a story that's hard to believe - until the divers start bringing up bodies. 

Frank is now on the hunt for a very different kind of serial killer: one who offers the sick and dying hope at murderous cost. At first, his partner's sharp instincts come in handy. Soon, he's wondering if she's as dangerous as the man they hunt.

Impressions
Grabbing! A great page turner with an original plot.

The reviews were full of praise promising me a really compelling thriller. I'm always suspicious but the synopsis was interesting and eye catching.
I'm bored lately with stories that can't really keep my interest so I was very surprised to be hooked from the start.

A police investigation with a bit of Dexter in it as well as very darker characters.
Nobody is black and white. Try somber colors to define and understand the power of a trouble past or a tragedy…

I've enjoyed Hades darkness and strange fragility. Eric made me really uncomfortable. From the start, he is lethal, disturbing and on the knife's edge.
Eden is more difficult to understand but she lure you with her personality and her past. As for Frank, I've enjoyed following his adventure.

Can't tell you the ending but it was brilliant. Haven't see it coming. I was thinking and hoping something terribly dark and awful but I wasn't on the good road. And I really like when an author is catching me off guard with a plot.


This thriller is original, very well written in the nuances of black. Emptiness of emotions, calculation, manipulation, monsters way of thinking, trouble past and difficult choice... I've loved this story. Can't wait to read the sequel and to know more about the personages…

Good one!

Quotes
"People Care for as long as it's socially appropriate to care," he said finally. "They love and they hate and they share and they feel guilt as long as they need to, and not a second longer."

"You can't punish all the evil in the world. You wouldn't get any further than yourself."

"She was like a flame. I had to get away in order to understand how I really felt about her, what I wanted from this helpless attraction. You have to do that, get away from women in order to think about them. Close up, all you are is a slave to their rich fresh skin, to their honey voices, to the irresistible safety of their company."

"I don't like waste," he said. "Everything has potential. You have to be forgiving of the imperfections of things and find new life for them."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

500 Tangled Artworks by Beckah Krahula

A Showcase of Inspired Illustrated Designs 

Synopsis 
Become inspired by this vast collection of meditative drawing tiles known as tangles! 500 Tangled Art Works, curated by Beckah Krahula, author of the bestselling book, One Zentangle a Day, is the first book to feature a large and wide-ranging collection of exciting, beautiful, and experimental drawings. 

Tangles, a one to four stroke repetitive pattern used in a meditative art form called Zentangle(TM), are showing up all over the world in drawings, paintings, and many forms of mixed media art. With an introduction and history of this zen art form, 500 Tangled Art Works shares basic techniques, and features a cutting edge collection of the latest and greatest drawing from this contemporary movement. 

After seeing this amazing assortment of art, it will be easier than ever to start tangling on your own!


Reactions

To be honest, after reading and flipping the pages, I still don't know the difference between a Zentangle and a Mandala. :-(
It's a little bit obscure and this book hasn't helped me to discover the truth behind these doodles used for meditation.
They both look alike, when in a spheric form. They use abstract drawings in repetitive strokes. They help you both to focus and increase your creativity.

Probably not the point, because the book is essentially composed of pictures of tangles. But it would have been great to have a little more explanation about it...

Of course, the photos are cool and brought some calm when you turn the pages. It has even given me some desire to draw. Since these tangles look a lot like the ones, I'm spontaneously doing while I'm on the phone or in a meeting where I'm bored! :-))

So I guess, this book will be perfect, if you are into this kind of repetitive patterns to help you empty your mind after a long day while using a pen or a sharpie.

However, I would have loved some more words to accompany the pictures.

Quote
"Zentangle is not an art form for the masses. It is an art form by the masses."
Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe



Synopsis
A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern nation, a Japanese educator queried about the ethos of his people composed this seminal work, which with his numerous other writings in English made him the best, known Japanese writer in the West during his lifetime.

He found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control. His approach to his task was eclectic and far-reaching. On the one hand, he delved into the indigenous traditions, into Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and the moral guidelines handed down over hundreds of years by Japan's samurai and sages. On the other hand, he sought similarities and contrasts by citing not only Western philosophers and statesmen, but also the shapers of European and American thought and civilization going back to the Romans, the Greeks and Biblical times.

This book is a classic to which generations of scholars and laymen alike have long referred for insights into the character of the Japanese people. And all of its many readers in the past have been amply rewarded, as will be all those who turn to its pages in the next and future decades. 


Impression
I've always been interested by Japanese history and the Samurais. I've been fascinated by the honor, the courage, the self-control these men were displaying. Also the noble and respectful way they were fighting an enemy by killing while reciting poems on the battle field.

In this book you have very interesting details about chivalry and philosophical views about samurai life and death.
The author mix Buddhism, Greek time with western philosophers and even talk about the women condition.
Very great to have a very old fashion and modern points of view on the Bushido.

I was also very enlightening to see Seppuku through the eyes of Japanese. It has often seemed to me as a romantic and noble gesture. Barbaric and unbelievably unfair other times too.
Maybe because my view were based on a story or a movie.

In this book, I've learned the codes. Almost like a dance with a particular technique. It was beautiful in a morbid beauty.
The author also answered some of my questions about the easiness some men may have chosen to die in a trendy way instead of showing their courage through life.

A really interested and captivating read.


Quotes

"Bushido, then, is a code of moral principles which the knights were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code; at best it consists of a few maxims handed down from mouth to mouth or coming from the pen of some well-known warrior or savant."
"Things which are serious to ordinary people, may be but play to the valiant. Hence in old warfare it was not at all rare for the parties to a conflict to exchange repartee or to begin a rhetorical contest. Combat was not solely a matter of brute force; it was, as well, an intellectual engagement."

Friday, January 9, 2015

FATE: ADAM & EVETTE BY MAYA JAMES


Synopsis

Fate is a fast paced novella about two people from opposite ends of the country trying to support each other as friends while denying their instant attraction for one another.

Adam and Evette have both recently ended relationships that were never meant to last. Each of them is longing for something more intense and meaningful, and fate brings them together online in a support system for rebounding daters. The only problem—they’re perfect for each other but too far away to do anything about it.

Will they help each other find love with someone else, or will Fate completely take over their destiny? 


Impressions
The synopsis was the first thing that caught my eyes. I was in need of a sweet and cute story. A rebound body on a dating website was the perfecting plot of a mushy evening… :-)

To be honest I was not expected to really enjoy the story and be hooked. It was a lovely surprise. The flow of the words is easy, the characters are honest, fun and totally believable in their approach of the dating stage.

I'm also not really into novella. Always have the feeling that you couldn't really create a bond with the characters since it's too short. You always have something missing. Here, my only feeling was…"What? No no no, there has to be more…."
Maya James has created an atmosphere where you want to stay to follow the adventure of the characters.

I've really spend a great time with Evette. She is innocent, fun and in need of some ego boost; She needs to believe in herself and Adam is the perfect gentleman for the role.
As for Adam, he is not a billionaire with awesome cars and private jet. He is normal. That's what made him perfect and enjoyable.

And the ending is surprising. Haven't seen it coming. Adam last words and Evette phone call almost put some tears in my eyes. Couldn't believe it was the end…
I even went to the author website to see if a sequel will be provided. Not because it's bad, really because it's an awesome ending.

Easy to read, easy to like. Great story and definitively an author that piqued my interest.




Purchase links 


AUTHOR BIO
Indie Author of contemporary romance and suspense novels such as the Charity Series (Charity's Warrior, Charity’s Secrets, and Charity’s Passion) and a novella titled Fate: Adam & Evette. 

East coast born and raised, I'm married, extremely happily, with 4 kids, 3 of which are now young adults (not sure when that happened). 

I’m a COO in my technology-based "day job,” which requires a mix of technical and creative writing for both internal and client-facing materials, but it was not satisfying my artistic spirit. Writing the “Charity” series has been absolutely fulfilling and exciting. 

My favorite writing takes place on my phone while lying on the Southernmost Beach in Key West, where I try to go at least twice a year. 

AUTHOR MEDIA LINKS


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Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Many blessings, surprises and joy for the year to come!
Lucie

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay

Synopsis 
The history of art is inseparable from the history of color. And what a fascinating story they tell together: one that brims with an all-star cast of characters, eye-opening details, and unexpected detours through the annals of human civilization and scientific discovery. 


Enter critically acclaimed writer and popular journalist Victoria Finlay, who here takes readers across the globe and over the centuries on an unforgettable tour through the brilliant history of color in art. Written for newcomers to the subject and aspiring young artists alike, Finlay’s quest to uncover the origins and science of color will beguile readers of all ages with its warm and conversational style. Her rich narrative is illustrated in full color throughout with 166 major works of art—most from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

Readers of this book will revel in a treasure trove of fun-filled facts and anecdotes. Were it not for Cleopatra, for instance, purple might not have become the royal color of the Western world. Without Napoleon, the black graphite pencil might never have found its way into the hands of Cézanne. Without mango-eating cows, the sunsets of Turner might have lost their shimmering glow. And were it not for the pigment cobalt blue, the halls of museums worldwide might still be filled with forged Vermeers. 

Red ocher, green earth, Indian yellow, lead white—no pigment from the artist’s broad and diverse palette escapes Finlay’s shrewd eye in this breathtaking exploration. 

Quotes

"The left brain does the analytical thinking: itlikes words and numbers and lines and monochrome. It is the critic. The right brain is the chaotic, fun-loving, color-loving, visual, spontaneous side that can't organize its way out of a paper bag. I like to think of disegno as left brain and colorito as right brain. That still doesn't answer the question of which is better. Do you prefer creative order or organized chaos?"

"Pink once meant yellow"


"It was yellow and it came from India, but the name does not mention is that it was made from the urine of cows or buffalo fed mango leaves." 

"Mauve is a chemistry project gone wrong!"

"Blue only become the "traditional" color for boys in the 20th century. Before that pink was just as popular."

Reactions
An amazing read full of fun and serious informations about colors.

From the historical or scientific aspects, the author tells you a story about colors without being boring. 
You don't have to follow page by page, you can explore it according to your moods. You will browse through it and soon become engross in it without knowing it! :-)

It's really a wonderful way to discover more about pigments, dyeing processes while talking about the colors origin or learning about the latin references.

Fun, serious and interesting anecdotes are offered. The reader is also embarked on a journey around the world as well as a stroll through time. 

Flowers, rocks, mineral, bugs and modern colors, you will learn a lot.

A great book for the lovers of art.