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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Benny and Shrimp

A book review for

Benny and Shrimp written by Katrina Mazetti

Once upon a time….

… and they all lived happily ever after.

Fairy tales are nice… sometimes. Sometimes though as readers we crave something a bit more honest, a bit more rough around the edges, a bit more Romance = washing he dishes and giving your significant other a nice foot massage.

Sometimes we don’t need a cliché storybook ending, we want something vital and real. We want something compelling and true.

It is in times like this that I would recommend a book like Benny and Shrimp.

The story is a classic Boy meets Girl… but that is where the cliché ends. This boy (Benny) and girl (the affectionately nicknamed Shrimp) meet at a graveside. And no, it isn’t morbid… it is sweet and somehow fitting. After a few causal glances at each other, they begin what amounts to two fish out of water stories and some endearing romantic comedy adventures.

But the book, and really the story, keep from being just.another run of the mill romance with the addition of a few key things. First, the narrative device of parallel structure is handled masterfully with the narration switching back and forth between our two main characters. It is worth noting that this tool is used to perfection… the reader never feels that they are getting more of one person’s side of the story and each of the very distinct voices is allowed to be showcased.

Another little tid bit is the fact that the book was originally written in Sweden. Surprisingly enough, this wasn’t as much of an issue as it was an occasional “oh yea, right… Sweden.” I loved the fact that the story itself was so well told that it could have taken place in the Midwest of America, England, or half a dozen other places and it still would have resonated.

Lastly, and I will be vague in an effort to not spoil anything for you, the problems of the love birds are both hauntingly realistic and classically endearing…. There doesn’t seem to be an easy clear cut answer…Because we feel for both of them, it is hard to find a solution. We just aren’t sure what is going to happen next. Much like life, that is what keeps us interested to the very end.

Again, I highly recommend this spirited, funny, poignant, realistic, and magical modern fairy tale.

(Oh… and I guess I should mention that it is tiny and simply a snap to read.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Wrote A Book

It is time.....

My book, Links, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com!!!!

The price is 11.95 (plus tax and shipping) and you can have it in your hot little hands as soon as next week!

How freakin’ sweet is that?

Copies are available for purchase on my website as well. (Initial supplies are limited and there is a bit of a delay for shipping… until we have the bugs worked out, I encourage you to use Amazon or send me an email at kayliametcalfe@gmail.com letting me know you want to be alerted once the process has been streamlined.)

Thank you all for your support and assistance in this project!

And just to whet your appetite, here is what the back of the book says:

A mother struggling to forge a connection with the daughter she lost years ago, the emptiness and frustration of a lonely marriage, a sweet sexual coming of age, a sisters' shared innocent rebellion, a surprising moment of horrific introspection, a moment of closure that shadows any hope for new beginnings...these stories and more showcase the links that everyday people struggle to create.

These are glimpses of successes, of failures, of hope. They travel deep into the hearts and minds of the regular people who embody our contemporary culture and remind us all of what it means to be human, to be linked.

Although the characters do not know each other, their common desire to find a connection reverberates throughout the collection, connecting each story with themes of loss, change, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Join these extraordinary voices as they weave together a chain of unforgettable Links.

Again, thank you everyone… this personal dream couldn’t have happened without the love and support of my family, my friends, my readers, and yes, even those wacky people on the morning train.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Between Me and the River

Book Review for Between Me and The River by Carrie Host.

This book was a haunting portrayal of a woman battling a rare and fatal form of cancer.

Sounds uplifting right? Well, no. It is about a woman with cancer, but it wasn’t depressing oddly. It wasn’t a litany of regrets or a weep-fest. It wasn’t full of anger. It wasn’t full of God.

It was full of honesty and poetry.

Carrie Host is truly a gifted writer. Her tone is simplistic and profound. Her words are beautiful and poignant. There are times that she gets a bit verbose, but she does have cancer after all.

What really touched me about Carrie’s story was the sheer poetry of her language. Her metaphors are well constructed. Her imagery is woven with the perfect blend of truth and sadness.

It is beautifully done.

What could have been simply a long run on of “woe is me” became a touching love letter from Carrie to her children, one of whom was an infant when she was diagnosed.

But it wasn’t just her remarkable ability to transcend her expierence into beautiful words and phrases. Carrie Host also told of her pain and suffering with an honesty and an attention to detail that makes the reader feel a part of her personal struggle.

Again, it was beautiful.

The book made me value my health, want to reach out to my mother, and learn more about carcinoid cancer.

Carrie Host is still alive, still writing, and her story is one that will touch and stay with you forever.

I highly recommend it.