November 30th News & Update

Hello, world! SSV has some news to share with our readers and would like to give you a little reminder of what we do here on Silk Screen Views.

General News

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Silk Screen Views is growing fast as ideas burst into life and fires up our inspiration! We’ve created new sections to the site and reconstructed to expand our wings and share our thoughts and news. Two parts that will help you find what you want on SSV. Don’t forget the Search Bar–that’s helpful too!

  1. Site Map:  Unfamiliar with SSV? Want to know the bare bones of what we have to share? Look at the site map for up to date information on what SSV has to offer and a description of what each section is about.
  2. Review Directory:  Relocated under Nexus, this page is an alphabetical listing of all our book reviews on SSV. Books that do not have a current link are placed to show reviews that are to come.

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EDITING & GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES

The SSV crew loves the book community and wants to add another dimension to our involvement. We’ve put together a list of services that can help with bringing a fresh viewpoint to a project, add a marketable polish and highlight it to give it the best starting point in a venture. Check out what we offer and see if it fits your needs. Contact us if you have any questions or need more information. Email ~ SilkScreenViews@gmail.com

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SILK SCREEN VIEWS WANTS YOU!

Authors:

  1. Silk Screen Views is open to Author Review Requests. Please check out SSV’s Review Policy.
  2. SSV is looking to host/post/re-post interesting articles about writing that you have written. If you would like to share your articles here on SSV, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

Bloggers – Reviewers – Authors: 

SSV embraces vibrant, unique perspectives and diversity. We are looking for people to write thought provoking, emotion raging articles in our Rambling and Rampage sections. If you have something uniquely you to share and interested in joining SSV’s adventures, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

WANTED:  Reviewers to Join SSV!

Due to the rapid growth of the site, we’re looking to add new people to the team! If you love to read, like to share your opinions on everything and anything beneath the sun–take a look at our Reviewers Wanted Post. If it looks like something you’re interested in, please apply!

Note that you must become familiar with SSV Goals, Review Policy and what the site offers. Experience is not necessary but we do require that you have basic writing skills.

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–*SNEAK PEEK*–

Author Interview & Review Series began in order to celebrate our 100th Book Review post and to start adventures that will let readers get a closer look into the authors and stories we consume readily. We aim to bring you entertaining, candid interviews with the author and a unique perspective on the book. Curious about what other authors are coming up in SSV’s AI&R series? Keep an eye on the Calendar.

We have lots of new and exciting things planned for 2014! Keep an eye out and join us on our adventures!

SSV would be nothing without the people who help to run it.

THANK YOU–the awesome SSV Crew!

We would be bored without people who read our posts, the authors who write & publish their stories and the netizens who interact with us on the site.

You have our gracious thanks as well!

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SSV Staff aka the Best!

What is Silk Screen Views?
SSV is a blog about books, writing, authors, literary related entertainment and hobbies that perk our interest. I started this blog at the end of February of 2013 on a whim to do something I have not yet done, and it quickly grew into a larger entity with goals and ideas that everyone on SSV shares.

This little blog would not be possible without the wonderful staff members that make up Silk Screen Views. If it wasn’t for the amazing crew, SSV would have died off when I became engrossed in other parts of my life. Thanksgiving just passed and I feel that this post is perfect way to wrap up this week.

Silk Screen Views’ Crew is the Best!!!

Thank you from the bottom of my silly heart! I know I haven’t said thank you enough for everything you guys have done over the past several months. I may be the founder, but all I’ve been for the past few months is a glorified posting director. SSV would not be what it is without you guys sharing your love of books and writing. It would be nothing without you all putting in drafts for me to publish.

I love the fact that each of us are wildly different and yet we share a love of books, writing and diverse passions with zeal. I think it’s great that we can all read a book and have really different outlooks on it. We may all have loved reading it but it isn’t necessarily for the same reasons.

Thank you for being the best group of individuals, being a part of what makes SSV tick and putting up with me when I’m not entirely present. I promise to make more time for our little piece of the net.

Darth Val ~ You and I share a brand of geekdom in our love of comics. Though you are more mainstream and American than I. I grew up on Asian comics and read more manga. Yet, I am a fan of western delights like Sandman, X-Men, Superman, Batman and others. Thanks for being someone that I can count on.

Snarktastic Sonja ~ We love so many of the same books and series! Yet our reasons for loving them can be vastly different beyond the surface. I love that! You say you’re picky. You say that you don’t like to read a certain type of story that has certain elements and yet I’ll totally be surprised by you reading stuff I wouldn’t think you would touch. Some of them you love and some you dislike with utmost contempt. Just admit it, you’re an adventurer at heart and you’ll dive into anything if it seems interesting.

Irate Izzy ~ You’re my best friend, my sister from another mother/father, my partner in crime and a pain in my ass! No matter what, I’ll be there for you buddy! Even if you are the laziest staff member on SSV. This is true. Even she will say so. =P

Emma, the Greedy Reader ~ Despite some challenges due to electronics and sore fingers, Emma has been a trooper and totally great about sharing her love of stories. You should keep an eye out for her. She’s an up and coming author in her own right. We’re lucky to have her on SSV.

Bookaholic Olga ~ Not only is Olga a writer and a talented woman with interesting views, she is a prolific reader that reminds me to go back and re-read old loves. Books I haven’t thought about for years, I’ve gone in search of to read again because of reviews she’s posted here. She’s a woman with pretty cool accomplishments but you wouldn’t know that from just talking to her because she’s really down to earth.

Contrary Erica ~ Pssst! Erica, we are most likely the most rambunctiously opinionated on SSV. Not counting Mark. We’re the ones to more likely to be brassy in our remarks. I know I am in real life. I am a bit more tactful when I write but sometimes, I’m just blaringly blunt. Sorry to spill the secret. grins We also share a love of reading erotica. I am not alone! Thanks for sharing your writing, thoughts and awesomely bright self here on SSV.

Marathon Mark ~ Mark is the ONLY male on SSV staff. The only one! There are lots of male readers and writers out there but only one to join SSV’s dark forces. He has a way of spinning his views and thoughts in a way that makes really cool images in my mind. Usually, I love it. Sometimes, I wish it wasn’t that vivid. Some things just shouldn’t be visualized. You would think that I would know that lesson well by now. I’ve lived long enough! I love reading his reviews. Intentionally or not, I end up grinning or laughing a lot when I read Mark’s posts.

Thank you! Thank you for being amazing individuals with varied talents, a love of books & writing, and being a part of what makes Silk Screen Views a great blog. I love ya’ll! Bunches and bunches!

If you would like to get to know the crew better, check out Silhouette to get a look at SSV and look up our rowdy bunch by looking at SSV Reviewers and Guest Reviewers pages. Curious about Silk Screen Views? Check out the Nexus and explore!

A Shire Romance Contents – Story by Erica Dakin

NOTE:  Erica’s story A Shire Romance has come to an end. It’s a bit of a shock to me that I won’t be seeing a new segment released each week! I’m actually sad that’s it’s over. In honor of Erica’s story, I’ve made this contents page to help readers easily find the segments and read it in order. I hope you enjoy it!

~Soo the Instigator

A classic romance with a Hobbit twist!

When Tamsyn left for Somerset that morning, little did she realise that she’d end the day somewhere she didn’t even realise existed. Nor did Perry know when he set out for a stroll that day that his life would be utterly changed. Thrown together by chance and torn apart by their responsibilities, their future lies in Tamsyn’s hands.

Note from Author:  This is the first full-length novel I ever wrote. It’s a few years old, and I know it’s far from perfect. That was never the intention either, since it isn’t something I can publish traditionally due to copyright issues. I like the story, however, so I hope people reading this will enjoy it on those terms. Please be aware it contains explicit language and scenes.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 – How It All Began
Chapter 2 – Perry
Chapter 3 – A Kiss or Two
Chapter 4 – Perry’s Family
Chapter 5 – Hobbit Psychology
Chapter 6 – Cooking for Hobbits
Chapter 7 – Dinner and Roses
Chapter 8 – Judo
Chapter 9 – The Melon Patch
Chapter 10 – The White Tree
Chapter 11 – The Chat with Faramir
Chapter 12 – Radagast’s Explanation
Chapter 13 – Desire
Chapter 14 – Sword Practice
Chapter 15 – Alderick’s Party
Chapter 16 – Trouble
Chapter 17 – Aftermath
Chapter 18 – The Story of Isadora Bolger
Chapter 19 – One Night Together
Chapter 20 – Goodbye to the Shire
Chapter 21 – Back in England
Chapter 22 – Catch Up
Chapter 23 – Trouble Ahead
Chapter 24 – The Board Meeting
Chapter 25 – Radagast’s Magic
Chapter 26 – Now What?
Chapter 27 – Tamsyn’s Plan
Chapter 28 – Back to the Shire
Chapter 29 – Reunion
Chapter 30 – Welcome Back
Chapter 31 – The Wedding
Chapter 32 – The Epilogue


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A Shire Romance was written by Erica Dakin. You can find out more about Contrary Erica on the Guest Reviewers page and check out her website to find out more information about her work.

Bridge of Birds ~ Barry Hughart

  • Title: Bridge of Birds
  • Author: Barry Hughart
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own
  • Reviewed by: Olga Godim
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them. He found master Li Kao, a scholar with a slight flaw in his character. Together, they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure.

The quest led them to a host of truly memorable characters, multiple wonders, incredible adventures—and strange coincidences, which were really not coincidences at all. And it involved them in an ancient crime that still perturbed the serenity of Heaven. Simply and charmingly told, this is a wry tale, a sly tale, and a story of wisdom delightfully askew. Once read, its marvels and beauty will not easily fade from the mind.

The author claims that this is a novel of an ancient China that never was. But, oh…it should have been!

Review: 

This is a unique book. A blend of myth and fable, it’s unlike any fantasy novel I’ve read so far.
On the other hand, according to the protagonist

… fable has strong shoulders that carry far more truth than fact can.

Full of flowery passages and exotic quasi-Chinese descriptions, this novel resembles a slide show, a series of beautiful but static pictures, with the slow-moving narrative that might bore you to tears, especially at first. But if you stick with the book, you’ll soon find out that underneath all those ornate, overblown accounts hides a real story – a noble quest, undertaken by two mismatched heroes: a young man Ox and an old sage (and scoundrel) Li Kao.

Ox is an incarnation of the third son from Western fairy tales. At first glance, he doesn’t seem very bright, but he is trustworthy and tenacious and very kind. He cares about people and disregards his own comforts to help others. He is goodness personified, a simple village guy with a heart of gold. It would’ve been a dull tale, if his virtuosity wasn’t counterbalanced by the wily actions of Li Kao.

Li Kao is a wise man “with a slight flaw in his character.” A much more multifaceted personage than Ox, Li Kao is a scholar and a trickster, a conman and a fount of knowledge, with a decided propensity for wine. His crafty escapades and cunning solutions to the problems this unlikely duo encounters never failed to make me laugh. The comedic aspect of this novel – which is very pronounced – is entirely Li Kao’s doing.

Together they embark on a junket across China, or rather the metaphorical China of the writer’s imagination, to save their village children. Later their journey morphs into something bigger – a quest for divine justice, and to achieve their goals, they don’t shy from practical jokes or chicanery. Their victims are invariably rich, greedy, and cruel, and the heroes exploit their marks’ every folly for their altruistic needs. In a way, their every hoax and ruse is a punishment for the villains.

I think the Chinese flavor of this lighthearted tale is only surface deep, although esthetic and elaborate like a lacquer Chinese vase. The roots reside deep in the Western traditions. Fairy tales of many European cultures mesh in this book, but it probably owes its most profound influence to the medieval picaresque fiction of Spain and France, with their roguish but charming protagonists.

And like the medieval capers it approximates, this novel doesn’t boast deep emotional bond with the characters. They are unchanging throughout the story, symbols more than real men. They fall down the cliffs but never break a bone. Wounds are just words to them, with no underlying pain, and death isn’t really frightening. The readers are not required to emphasize with the characters, just admire their inventiveness, laugh at their pranks, and follow the plot to its sweet and triumphant conclusion.

The writing is clean but convoluted, decorated with Oriental-style verbal arabesques and infused with sparkling humor, which sometimes conceals it penetrating sagacity. Here, Li Kao tells a story about someone – a man named Procopius – he tricked in the past.

‘O great and mighty Master Li, pray impart to me the Secret of Wisdom!’ he bawled…
To my great credit I never batted an eyelash. ‘Take a large bowl,’ I said. ‘Fill it with equal measures of fact, fantasy, history, mythology, science, superstition, logic, and lunacy. Darken the mixture with bitter tears, brighten it with howls of laughter, toss in three thousand years of civilization, bellow kan pei—which means “dry cup”—and drink to the dregs.’
Procopius stared at me. ‘And I will be wise?’ he asked.
‘Better,’ I said. ‘You will be Chinese.’

<

p>On the whole, I enjoyed this book, but I doubt I’ll ever read it again.

Scarlet ~ Marissa Meyer

  • Title: Scarlet
  • Author: Marissa Meyer
  • Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
  • Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Source: Library
  • Reviewed by: DarthVal
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description:  The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Scarlet picks up right where Cinder left off, but follows parallel plots featuring different groups of characters. The primary plot features Scarlet, a young woman in France who searching for her missing grandmother. She teams up with the mysterious Wolf, when evidence indicates his former gang may have Grand’Mere. Meanwhile, back in New Beijing, Cinder’s storyline is focused on her escape from prison with the aid of a dashing fellow prisoner, Captain Thorn.

The level of adventure is much higher in this book. While the first book was set in a scenario with a threat of danger, in this second book the danger has arrived. I found my heart racing and I could not stop reading (er, listening). Would they capture Cinder? Can Scarlet really trust Wolf? Is the Lunar Queen going to attack Earth? Well, my dear reader, those are things your will need to discover for yourself.

The world building in this series is so vivid. I like the soft feel of the science fiction fabric woven by Meyer. She gives us just enough description to accept the technology without having it intrude upon the story itself. This gives her much more room to focus not just on the intrigue (of which there is plenty), but also on the development a great characters.

Scarlet is both soft and strong, determined, yet compassionate. She is the perfect foil for our flawed hero, Wolf. Dear Wolf, so fierce and hard, yet he unable to deny his warm heart. My favorite new character, however, has to be Captain Thorn. His arrogant, yet charming demeanor brings a smile to my face. It is also refreshing to see that Cinder and Kai do not just become caricatures, as is often the case when the leads from the first book appear in the sophomore book of a series.

A growing cast of characters and plot lines can often result in an unwieldy storyline. Not in this case. Meyer masterfully weaves these threads together in a book that is exciting and satisfying. My only disappointment is that I have to wait several months until the release of the next book.

*Foot note: I want to also give a shout out to the narrator for this series, Rebecca Soler. She does a great job of creating distinct voices for her characters and capturing their emotions as appropriate. I also give major props to the cover artist. the covers for this series are simply awesome. The pop of red on each cover draws the eye, while the fairy tale font and the primary image hint at the fairy tale being adapted in each book.

Tall, Dark and Kilted ~ Lizzie Lamb

  • Title: Tall, Dark and Kilted
  • Author: Lizzie Lamb
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: own copy
  • Reviewed by: Erica
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen . . . Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill she loses her job and with it her dream of one day being her own boss. When she’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, she grabs it with both hands. But there’s a catch – the centre lies five hundred miles away – in Wester Ross, Scotland. Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by hunky Men in Kilts is soon shattered when she has an up close and very personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate – starting with Fliss. Faced with the dole queue once more, Fliss resolves to make sexy, infuriating Ruairi revise his unflattering opinion of her, turn the therapy centre around and sort out the dysfunctional Urquhart family. Will Fliss tame the Monarch of the Glen and find the happiness she deserves? Read Tall, Dark and Kilted to find out

Review: While I enjoyed this book overall, it also frustrated me a little at times.

Fliss Bagshawe is a holistic beauty therapist scraping together a living in London. One of her customers, Isla Urquhart, approaches her about running a therapy centre up in the Highlands of Scotland for her mother, which would be a step up to better things for Fliss. However, the plans might be in danger from Isla’s half-brother Ruairi, the laird of their ancestral estate, who is a difficult man by all accounts, and who may not be willing to support the often fleeting fancies of Isla’s mother.

Let’s start with the good bits. I loved the Highland setting, which makes a nice change from the city-living protagonists you usually tend to get. The descriptions of the Highland landscape are wonderfully evocative, and they made me want to go back there, since it’s far too long since I visited that gorgeous part of the world. I also liked the inclusion of Gaelic and various Scottish traditions, and it is clear that the author did her homework on this. I’m not entirely sure that Gaelic is still really spoken even in the Highlands (I thought the last remnants lived on in the Outer Hebrides, but maybe there’s been a recent resurgence), but it certainly adds flavour to both the novel and our hero.

Within that setting, the book is very contemporary. The pop-culture references fly by hard and fast, and while I haven’t necessarily seen or read everything mentioned, I have at least heard of it, which is all good.

I like the names. Ruairi is a good, Scottish name, and Fliss is unusual without being ridiculous. I find names very important, and it’s nice to see a good middle road between ordinary and overly extraordinary.

That said, there were bits that niggled, such as the reference throughout to Ruairi’s sisters as his stepsisters. I double-checked, and they were born to his father’s second wife, which makes them his half-sisters, not his stepsisters. It may be a little thing, but it niggled at me. Also, the eldest of these sisters, Isla, is a nasty piece of work. That’s fine, antagonistic characters are needed, but Fliss seems to constantly make excuses for her, or be nice to her, when Isla gives her no reason whatsoever to do so. Fliss covers for her on one occasion because that’s what you do for a mate, but I didn’t understand why she would consider Isla a mate. A ticket to something better, yes, but Isla would have worn my patience thin long before Fliss even starts thinking about it, and every nice thing Fliss does for Isla is repaid with more bitchery and backstabbing. Maybe that just makes Fliss a nicer person than me, but even her thoughts didn’t really judge Isla the way she deserved.

There were a few other bits, but they didn’t detract from the story. This was a light, fluffy read which neither blew me away nor annoyed me into putting it down.