Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review - Hard Day's Knight: The Black Knight Chronicles Volume One by John G. Hartness

Meet 20 somethings Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood, two private investigators who live in Charlotte, North Carolina. They solve cases that no one else would even deign to touch and are your typical geeks who play XBox, World of Warcraft (FAVE!) and they have yet to find girlfriends.

Oh yeah, one other thing - they are both vampires.

Welcome to Hard Day's Knight by the ever talented and awesome author John Hartness.



I met Hartness several years ago at a convention and ended up purchasing several of his books that sat in my library for quite some time. Finally, I decided to read one of his books and I'm glad that I did. Not only do you have two bumbling yet well meaning vampire private investigators, but you also have a fallen angel who owns a strip club, a not so innocent priest who is the vampires' best friend, a police detective who is all bark AND bite, and, of course, Lilith, whose blood is better than anything imaginable.  I won't go into the actual case that takes up most of the novel; all I can say is that with such a colourful cast of characters, how could anyone go wrong in reading this book? I began reading this novel with a big laugh during the opening scene; these guys are not your typical suave and fashionably well dressed "creatures of the night", which makes them even more personal and realistic than any other vampire I have read. So it is that, while Jimmy is chained to a chair by a young and scrawny guy who desperately wants to be turned, his partner Greg comes crashing through the roof and attempts to look menacing with his cape that immediately turns hilarious. Yeah, it's like that.

Hartness has his own style of pacing while creating well thought out characters, and a voice that makes you believe you are right there with Jimmy and Greg as they do their best to correct a major wrong in their beloved city. Hartness' writing is strong and needs no added preservatives or fillers to make the story work. It just simply tells itself and the reader can't help but dive right in with a toothy grin on their face.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this book; I guarantee a good time will be had by all.

If you happen to see Hartness at a convention, shake his hand, buy his books and tell him that the Goth Librarian sent you. 


HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

~voices~



The voices were always there but it was not until she turned 28 that she began to hear them. They carried the weight of air, fluttering through her mind like disoriented moths in search of a murderous light. When she first heard them, she wanted an explanation of each entity; their backgrounds, lifestyles and tales of love. The voices, happy that they found an understandable host, gave all of their essence to her since someone finally took notice of them. They gave her new words for colours and presented sounds unheard of by the rest of mankind. In her mind, the voices locked hands and formed a dancing chain, singing off key in a melancholy sort of way. She was now content for peace had finally entered her mind.


(copyright 2008 Kimberly B. Richardson)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

~coldness~




she spoke to me while I read her novel
in the form of crimes committed
and lovers dashed on rocks.
she saw my heart as black as hers;
it made us sisters
in a world of coldness.

never have I felt more alone.









Saturday, March 15, 2014

Creativity






When people ask me, "Kimberly, where do you get your ideas from?", I always tell them that my mind never shuts down and is always processing and creating. The ideas I had for two new short stories today were so vivid that it felt like bubbles in my brain. Being creative is unlike any experience out there and I know I am "stuck" with this for the rest of my life. Although it can be seen as both a blessing and a curse, I am lucky to have it in my life.

In the past seven years, I have befriended many artists, writers, photographers and other creative folk who are just like me: brain working overtime as they get "that feeling" when a new idea captures them. They have to get it out, no matter the form, no matter the situation. I have seen artist friends actually get a glazed look in their eyes when a new idea strikes them. They immediately look for pen and paper and when they do receive their materials, go off into their own world.

Same with us writers: getting an idea in our heads turns into pages, chapters, words that make so sense yet we understand it. We thrive from our words. It is what fuels us. The more we write, the more we create.

Creativity - a dangerous deity that loves its servants.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Martha Graham



“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”



 - Martha Graham

(photo copyright 2014 Kimberly B. Richardson)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Review - The American Painter Emma Dial by Samantha Peale

The American Painter Emma Dial by Samantha Peale is a perfect example of a "slice of life" - the book truly has no definite beginning nor end of a person's life, yet we are able to enjoy a brief moment of it.

Emma Dial is a woman who has gone prematurely grey, adding to her "artsy" look as she lives and breathes art in New York City. She is the assistant to Michael Freiburg, a well known and well connected art dealer, and she spends her time painting pieces for people who have much money to spend with little concern. Yet, the more she lives out her artistic dreams for the sake of others, the more she becomes concerned about living out her life for herself, thus beginning an internal struggle that will forever impact her life.



While reading this novel, I was amazed to figure out that I did not care about Emma; she seemed like a character that would soon be naturally erased from my mind. She seemed to live out her days and nights in a mixture of doing drugs, painting, meeting up with friends, visiting old apartments, having sex with her boss and later Philip Cleary, her artistic idol, and smoking too many cigarettes. Yet, the more I read and wanted to forget her, the more I found that I could not. She stood in the middle of the circle while everything else revolved around her. She made decisions, whether she knew it or not, and I both loved and hated her for it. I could actually hear her voice - somewhat flat tinged with an eccentric air that smelled of too many cigarettes - speak to me as I turned the pages. She reminded me of a friend in whom I always knew would make it big as creative professional yet once I ran into her on the street, I would try to forget immediately. In short, a confusing relationship that I loved even more for no specific reason.

To date, I do not think Samantha Peale has written anything since Emma Dial yet I hope she does; The American Painter Emma Dial was a delight to read and a book that I know will remain in my mind for quite a long time. For the record, if you do read this book, play some jazz in the background. The music compliments the book quite nicely!

Happy Reading!