Thursday, 25 September 2014

Review #16 - Love Spirits (What Happens in Venice, Book 1) + GUEST Post! ¦ TOUR STOP!

Title: Love Spirits (What Happens in Venice, Book 1)
Author: Diana Cachey
Publisher: CreateSpace
Published: 2014
Genres: Romance, Paranormal

A brief synopsis;
Louisa Mangotti is a gorgeous American lawyer and Interpol expert who, after being offered a job working with the international crime unit in Venice, receives a mysterious postcard from the Venetian Ghosts, the ancient protectors of the Republic. But Louisa assumes her bad-boy ex, Matteo, sent it in a quixotic attempt to gain her attention.
Louisa may have dismissed the ghosts, but the ghosts aren't quite done with her. When the bodies of two glassmakers wash up on Murano Island, the cryptic messages persist. 
Reluctantly, Louisa calls upon Matteo to help decipher the clues. And before she knows it, a flame that was never fully extinguished is rekindled.
Sensing that her sister is in over her head, Barbara Mangotti rushes to the rescue, only to be lured away by two handsome Venetian men. 
With time running out, can the two beauties solve a crime that could threaten the city of Venice itself?

About the author;

Diana Cachey is a licensed attorney, published academic, and former adjunct law professor. She also holds a BA in English, and while in law school, she was the first female editor-in-chief of her university's law review.

The author of the novels Love Spirits and Lagoon Lure, Cachey trained with several New York Times best-selling writers whose sales total more than 70 million books. She has built a social media platform with over one hundred thousand Twitter users, and her popular YouTube channel featuring secret Venice locations has received over five hundred thousand views.

For more than a decade, Cachey has traveled to Venice, the setting of her novels, on extended trips several times a year. The cafés, restaurants, and many other haunts of Venice play a prominent role in her sexy paranormal mystery-romance series about a beautiful American lawyer guided by the Ghosts of Venice in the investigation of a hushed-up crime.

You can find Diana at her website, YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook page and profile.

Scroll down to the bottom for an exclusive guest post from Diana herself!

From the Top of Our Great Bell Tower Saint Mark Square Venice, Italy 
Dear wide-eyed tourist, Don’t go to Venice.            
But if you do, don’t fall in -- in a canal, in love or into Venice itself. As if you have a choice. Hear us cackling?        
Listen. We came to warn you about La Serenissima, the Most Serene One, as Venice has been called since before the Middle Ages. You will not heed our warning and you will come looking for us. How do we know? It happens every time a Venetian ghost story is told.   
As ancient protectors of the Venetian republic, we ghosts guard her virtues of which she has many. One reason we love her, and you will too, is that she is stuck in time. Did you know Venice functions without motorcars or trucks? We don’t like motorcars or trucks. Hundreds of tiny islands sewn together by foot bridges leaves no need for noisy, fume-spewing vehicles, thankfully.           
We prefer floating.     
Our classic transport is the gondola. Mostly reserved for you tourists now, gondolas are and always have been helmed by the most prestigious oarsmen in the world -- highly trained gondoliers who stand while rowing through the labyrinth of canals. They don’t mind when we ride with or without you while they serenade us with opera, Frank Sinatra songs and romantic favorites.   
Ah yes, romance. As one visitor put it, “It’s their schtick, a Venetian ploy, an act to get sexy with you.” It is true. Venice equals romance equals sex.        
If the shadows of Venice frighten you or you feel like you’re in a dream, have fun with it, float with us. We are watching over you. We want to further your journey to a more magical life because we think a person is charmed by a trip to La Serenissima.    
It could change your soul forever. Just ignore this cautionary tale.  We remain in your service, The Venetian Ghosts.

My Review:

Well, it is slightly disconcerting, this book, because I happen to be friends with a guy named Matteo, who, coincidently, lives in Venice. He's not an ex, though. And I don't think he's involved with the paranormal, either- at least, I certainly hope not.

I have to say, at the beginning, I was not a fan.

This book uses a lot of repetition. Now, whilst repetition can be justified in its use since it reinforces structural points, all of the ethos and everything, I do not think the repetition in this novel was justified at all. There was absolutely no meaning for it, because it was literally this: "My American yard, that was American." Okay, obviously it wasn't literally that, but that was the context in which the repetition was used. It just wasn't justified, and it got on my nerves so much because it detracted from the story.

I don't think that feature improved through out the story, which is why I think I hated the main character so much. She just wasn't likeable, because she was poorly written- she was never consistent. I don't know if it was deliberate or not, because it could well have been, but for me that was a bad choice.

But enough criticism. Let's talk about the plot. The plot I actually enjoyed. It had a lot of nice shining points to it - I won't divulge, because I know how sacred the art of not-spoiling is - and so I can't keep complaining. It kept me entertained- it's like, I read this quote somewhere, but I'm afraid I don't know who wrote it, and it goes something like this:
'A strong plot can go on with bad characters, but strong character's can't carry a weak plot,'

Something like that, but it was basically saying you needed always needed a strong plot, even if the characters weren't the best. I think that's the case in this book.

Guest Post:

Best Stephen King Books -- A Tribute
He wove seamless threads of characters and situations in over fifty spellbinding bestsellers. From this vast vault of horror, I chose my favorites:
Can’t sleep? Don’t you hate when that happens? So does the character. For a long, long time.

Rabid dog. You’re a child in a car with your mom. Trapped. ‘Nuff said? 

Any King books as good as Dead Zone? Some fans don’t think so but let’s take Misery, in which an insane nurse thinks swearing is evil but kidnapping, torture and murder are okay. And after Pet Semetary, you won’t bury pets in the backyard, will you? Maybe those children of the corn would?
Did Carrie, or another King thrill fest, make you want to be a writer? His book on writing will help you BE a writer. It won’t let you give up because he didn’t, why should you? Writing is work. Go. Sit on your butt. Work. Write. Love it or leave it. Pages of good advice decorate this loving, caring, candid, practical take on how to write wonderful books. He finished this tome on the craft while in a wheelchair and in excruciating pain after some idiot going out for “those marses-bars” ran him over and almost killed him! GreatFull.
Jack Nicholson immortalized one of our favorite characters in the movie but Shining-movie-lite doesn’t do justice to what full-strength King can do to your mind when you read the book. STOP repeating the phrase “honey, I’m home” when you know after The Shining its not good news. But you can’t stop saying it? Run, scream in vain, only to return for more? Open it again, slowly. Pray “please no, no” with eyes shut. He answers “yes” like we know he will. Buy it. Lock the doors. Finish it in one sleepless night.
He had me at paragraph one: “I have never been what you’d call a crying man.” Know right off, gonna be lots of crying. Sobbing. By men. Even diehard fans.
By the time King wrote this book, he conquered the genre, hit home runs every time with countless butt-kickers. A sane person would rest. Maybe enjoy the money from millions of loyal fans? Not King. He is not sane. He writes another epic. Thank God Stephen King is not sane.
Epic. Epic. Epic. Epic brilliance, an actual epic.
Carrie was a hard act to follow. Yet, Stephen King did it over (and over) with eerie gut-wrenching tales. Legions can’t be wrong. The Stand is a monstrosity, the best kind -- with no monsters, just people who blow up, poison, destroy, and survive the other monstrosities. Somehow, as always, we root for them.

Exclamation points, OMGs & WTFs -- that’s what every high school kid should be texting about this classic blood & guts revenge story! It deserves a rebirth, a cult, a viral internet campaign. His first published novel, Carrie, is nothing short of genius. Induction. Hall of Fame. Immediate.
My stomach flips, skin flushes, anger boils when I read for the umpteenth time one unforgettable line: “Pig’s blood for a pig,” said to poor Carrie before her classmates dump a bucketful of it on her head while she stands onstage as mock prom queen.  Makes ya want to roll up sleeves for a fight, like with the b**tch who says those words. YOU, DIE, NOW.
Carrie kills him/her/all the bullies with psychic ability that whips-up anything not tied-down then lassos everything that IS tied-down. She hurls it all straight at those punks. When bullied that bad, throwing one thing isn’t enough. Throw the entire barn and its contents. Burn the city down. She does. They get the message.
Only a maestro of storytelling and character development could create a world that makes us do a fist-pump chant “Carrie, Carrie” as we read about how she slaughters, without moving a muscle, her high school tormenters then takes out her abusive mother.
Yet we do chant for Carrie.  Always will, every time that b**tch pours blood on our presumed helpless Carrie standing doe-eyed in her virginal prom dress. GO CARRIE GO!
Dude, Carrie kicked ass. She wins first place. 
And Stephen King is my man-in-the-basement muse, so from the dark part of my heart, death to them marses-bars. 

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