Chasing Magic – Stacia Kane

Chasing Magic – Stacia KaneChasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) by Stacia Kane
Also by this author: City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #3), Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)
Also in this series: City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #3), Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Series: Downside Ghosts #5
Published by Del Rey on June 26th 2012
ISBN: 0345527526
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 376
Goodreads






Format: Audiobook, e-Book
Source: Borrowed from friend

A DEADLY HIGH   Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.   As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2014 Reading Challenge

February Book Group – Jemima J by Jane Green

The first book for February as chosen by the group is Jemima J by Jane Green.

Product Description

Jemima Jones is overweight. About seven stone overweight.

Treated like a slave by her thin and bitchy flatmates, lorded over at the Kilburn Herald by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented, better paid), her only consolation is food. That and a passion for her charming, sexy colleague Ben. Her life needs to change and soon.

But can Jemima reinvent herself? And should she?

About the Author

Jane Green is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman’s account of being single in the city. That account became Jane’s first novel, Straight Talking. A huge success, Straight Talking was followed by ten more bestselling novels: Jemima JMr MaybeBookendsBabyvilleSpellboundthe Other WomanLife SwapSecond Chance, The Beach Houseand Girl Friday. Jane lives with her husband and children in Connecticut.
Please join us to read and discuss this book, discussion starting soon.

January Book Group – The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

We are always a bit tardy in getting started in the New Year so here is our first book discussion book for 2012 – The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

From the Back Cover

Set in the Puritanical society of Boston in the middle years of the seventeenth century, ‘The Scarlet Letter’ is the story of Hester Prynne, a married woman who has an affair and gives birth to a daughter. Condemned by society for her adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet A (for Adulteress) on her dress for the rest of her life. Hester refuses to name her lover; but when her estranged husband appears unexpectedly, after having been captive by Indians, he determines to discover the man’s identity. Hester bears her shame with dignity, and attitudes towards her soften as time passes; but her lover is steadily consumed by his guilt, and her husband is destroyed by his determination to discover the lover’s identity.

Originally published in 1850, ‘The Scarlet Letter’ is a powerful study of bigotry, persecution, obsession and hypocrisy.

 

Please join us to read and discuss this classic tale, discussion starting very soon.

October Book 3 – Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Welcome to Halloween Month! The votes are counted and this month we have three spooky books for you this month.

The third book we will be reading with the group is Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.   Your host for this discussion is still being decided.

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. Oskar is a 12 year old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city’s edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he’s frightened. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn’t go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200 year old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood. John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.


About the Author
John Lindqvist is a Swedish author, born 1968, grew up in Blackeberg, a suburb to Stockholm. He wanted to become something awful and fantastic. First he became a conjurer and came in second in the Nordic card trick championship, then he was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. John Ajvide Lindqvist has written great parts of the TV series Reuter & Skoog as well as stage plays and TV drama. Let the Right One In is his first novel

Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

October Book 2 – Anno Dracula – Kim Newman

Welcome to Halloween Month! The votes are counted and this month we have three spooky books for you this month.

The second book we will be reading with the group is Anno Dracula by Kim Newman.   Your host for this discussion is SG.

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
“Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula is back in print, and we must celebrate. It was the first mash-up of literature, history and vampires, and now, in a world in which vampires are everywhere, it’s still the best, and its bite is just as sharp. Compulsory reading, commentary, and mindgame: glorious.” – Neil Gaiman

“Politics, horror, and romance are woven together in this brilliantly imagined and realized novel. Newman’s prose is a delight, his attention to detail is spellbinding.” – Time Out

“Stephen King assumes we hate vampires; Anne Rice makes it safe to love them, because they hate themselves. Kim Newman suspects that most of us live with them… Anno Dracula is the definitive account of that post-modern species, the self-obsessed undead.” – New York Times

“Anno Dracula will leave you breathless… one of the most creative novels of the year.” – Seattle Times

“Powerful… compelling entertainment… a fiendishly clever banquet of dark treats.” – San Francisco Chronicle

‘A ripping yarn, an adventure romp of the best blood, and a satisfying… read’ – Washington Post Book World

“The most comprehensive, brilliant, dazzlingly audacious vampire novel to date. ‘Ultimate’ seems an apt description… Anno Dracula is at once playful, horrific, intelligent, and revelatory.” – Locus

“A marvelous marriage of political satire, melodramatic intrigue, gothic horror, and alternative history. Not to be missed.” – The Independent

“Once you start reading this Victorian-era thriller, you will not be satiated until you reach the end.” – Ain’t It Cool

“Anno Dracula is the smart, hip Year Zero of the vampire genre’s ongoing revolution.” – Paul McAuley

“Kim Newman brings Dracula back home in the granddaddy of all vampire adventures. Anno Dracula couldn’t be more fun if Bram Stoker had scripted it for Hammer. It’s a beautifully constructed Gothic epic that knocks almost every other vampire novel out for the count.” – Christopher Fowler
“The most interesting take on the Dracula story… to date. Recommending this one to all those that love Dracula and historical fiction!” – RexRobotReviews

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London.

This brand-new edition of the bestselling novel contains unique bonus material, including a new afterword from Kim Newman, annotations, articles and alternate endings to the original novel.


About the Author
Kim Newman is a well known author: he has won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction Awards and been nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. He is also a renowned movie critic. His reviews appear often in Empire Magazine and he has written for The Guardian, Time Out and many others. He makes frequent appearances on radio and TV.

Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

October Book 1 – The Shining – Stephen King

Welcome to Halloween Month! The votes are counted and this month we have three spooky books for you this month.

The first book we will be reading with the group is The Shining by Stephen King.   Your host for this discussion is Ginger.

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
“YOU’RE THE CARETAKER, SIR. YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER. I SHOULD KNOW, SIR. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE….”
— DELBERT GRADY OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

THE SHINING

First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel’s past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendaryStanley Kubrick — featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson –The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.


About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are Full Dark No Stars, Blockade Billy, Under the Dome, Just After Sunset, the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything’s Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Lisey’s Story and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was recently re-released in a tenth anniversary edition. King was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007 he was inducted as a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

Sept Book 3 – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Welcome to Banned Books Month! The votes are counted and this month we are attempting to do all three of the books that got the most votes. It should be doable as the books are not large volumes.

The third book we will be reading with the group is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.   Your host for this discussion is Janien.

fahrenheit 451

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, ‘Fahrenheit 451’ stands alongside Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

About the Author
Ray Bradbury has published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old. Among his many famous works are ‘Fahrenheit 451’, ‘The Illustrated Man’ and ‘The Martian Chronicles’.

There is a 1966 adaptation of the book starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie that is worth checking out – especially for the Sixties idea of the future!  It was directed by François Truffaut.

The group discussion will start on September 1st and run all month. Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

Sept Book 2 – Jean Rhys – The Wide Sargasso Sea

Welcome to Banned Books Month! The votes are counted and this month we are attempting to do all three of the books that got the most votes. It should be doable as the books are not large volumes.

The second book we will be reading with the group is The Wide Sargasso Seas by Jean Rhys.   Your host for this discussion is Janien.

wide sargasso sea

 

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
Jean Rhys’s late, literary masterpiece Wide Sargasso Sea was inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and is set in the lush, beguiling landscape of Jamaica in the 1830s. Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty. After their marriage the rumours begin, poisoning her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is driven towards madness.


About the Author
Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in Paris in the late ’20s. After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie was written in 1930. Her early novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966. She died in 1979.

There is a very good BBC TV adaptation of this book from 2006 that I recommend.  It stars Rafe Spall as Rochester and Rebecca Hall as Antoinette.

The group discussion will start on September 1st and run all month. Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

Sept Book 1 – Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita

Welcome to Banned Books Month! The votes are counted and this month we are attempting to do all three of the books that got the most votes. It should be doable as the books are not large volumes.

The first book we will be reading with the group is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.   Your host for this discussion is Janien.

lolita

Here’s some info about the book:

Product Description
Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he’ll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? …Or is he all of these?


About the Author
Vladimir Nabokov was born in St Petersburg in 1899, but he left Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power. His family moved to England for a brief spell and finally settled in Berlin. His first novel in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, published in 1941. His other books include Ada, Laughter in the Dark, Details of a Sunset and Lolita, his best-known novel. Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland in 1977.

There are two film versions of this book that are worth checking out; one is the 1962 version starring James Mason as Humbert Humbert and the second is the 1997 version starring Jeremy Irons in the same role.  There is also an audio version of the book which is narrated by Jeremy Irons¬

The group discussion will start on September 1st and run all month. Please join us if you can!  Discussion takes place in the Book Group section of the forum.

GBH Book Group September *Banned Books Month* – voting

The suggestions are in, the poll is open for voting, and you have seven whole days to decide what two books you want to read and discuss with the group next month.

What all of these books have in common of course is that they have all been banned and/or challenged at some point, somewhere.  September is Banned Books Month so we asked our members to suggest some banned or challenged books for this month.   What are banned books?  Here’s the short answer from wikipedia:

Banned books are books to which free access is not permitted. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, and often has political, religious or moral motivations.

Bans on books can be enacted at the national or subnational level, and can carry legal penalties for their infraction. Books may also be challenged at a local, community level. As a result, books can be removed from schools or libraries, although these bans do not extend outside of that area. Similarly, religions may issue lists of banned books – a historical example being the Roman Catholic Church‘s Index Librorum Prohibitorum– which do not always carry legal force.

Here are the choices on offer for September book group:

Jean Rhys – The Wide Sargasso Sea
Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
Orlando, by Virginia Woolf
A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Night Chills By Dean Koontz
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – DH Lawrence
Bridge to Teribithia – Katherine Paterson
The Giver – Lois Lowry
The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian
Dream of Ding Village – Yan Lianke

How to vote:  Please log into the forum and visit this thread to cast your vote.

Aug Book Group 2 – Watership Down – Richard Adams

watership down
The second book we have chosen for August, is Watership Down by Richard Adams.   This discussion will take place in mid-August after we have finished with the first August book.  Here’s some info about the book:

 

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren – he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver’s sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver’s vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all…

 Published in 1972 Watership Down is an epic journey, a stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival against the odds.

 

There is also an animated movie, made in 1978, that was based on the book.

Please join us to discuss this book in the second half of August.

 

Buy the book from Amazon.com
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