Poetry Madness

Find Books

Read the City

Win Free Books!


Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld

Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Enchanted

    Rene Denfeld 9780062285508


Customer Comments

Sheila Deeth has commented on (162) products.

Bella Maura by Dawn Dyson
Bella Maura

Sheila Deeth, April 7, 2014

Long languid sentences characterize this complex tale of fast romance and slow attention to detail. Super-successful author meets once-successful musician in a chance encounter that might have been engineered by God. The author’s former friend, now addicted to drugs and alcohol, can’t even remember asking for help. Meanwhile the musician’s daughter dreams dreams and colors strangely disturbing pictures as she draws, a Christian gift that the establishment fears and denies.

Faith, care for others, and respect for the unknown underpin this novel. The established church might sometimes reject its lost and refuse to listen to the personal voice of God, but Sienna and Jonathan have been drawn together for a purpose. They’re bound and protected by the prayers of a child, and they’re ready to fight for what’s right.

The story’s slow, and pages can pass in the gap between opening a door and entering a room. Meanwhile romance blooms in the space between paragraphs. Poetically written, filled with description, intensely serious, and heart-breakingly real with its tales of real hurts behind broken lives, Bella Maura offers a long read, a complex tale, and an intriguing insight into faith, as it sets the scene for more books in the author's Justice series.

Disclosure: I won a free copy from the author during her blog tour.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Lacey Took a Holiday by Lazarus M. Barnhill
Lacey Took a Holiday

Sheila Deeth, April 7, 2014

Good-hearted farmer falls in love with fallen woman and offers a new life. It’s been written a hundred times before, but not like this. Here the farmer’s as wounded as the woman he loves. The woman’s the one with a care (albeit fairly distant) for church and its trimmings, while the country farmer finds no solace there. Bad guys might be good. Good guys might sin. And the demon drink’s no more evil than any other human failing.

The characters feel genuinely real and conflicted in this tale. Miscommunications are a side-effect of honest care, not defined by the plot. And simple solutions are too complex for real emotion. The dialog’s peppered with genuine humor and fun. The tragedy’s seasoned with hope. And the future beckons in a story that’s quick and easy to read, pleasing to digest, and enjoyably different and real. America just after WWI has never seemed so vivid or so real.

Disclosure: I bought a copy of this a while ago and it languished on my to-read shelf. I’m just sorry I didn’t lift it down sooner, because it’s a really good book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Slow... by Digonta Bordoloi

Sheila Deeth, April 7, 2014

Digonta Bordoloi’s Slow breaks all the rules to create a really intriguing, absorbing read. An initial narrator opens the story from the womb, but he is slow to arrive, slow to study, slow to change. He’d rather talk and play with his dog than learn to walk to school. And he lives in a wonderfully rural India, filled with scents, sounds, tastes and smells, enjoyed with friends and neighbors and extended families.

Foreign words spice the text in just the right proportion, adding flavor to this literary feast. And the voices of multiple narrators, all told in first person, blend into a convincing world where a village raises the child and relates his tale. But Baba’s world is expanding. His father’s job leads the family to move away again. Trains cross the land. And slowly dreams grow to adulthood.

Beautifully authentic, told with wonderful detail, gorgeous language, and perfect imagery, this story builds to a surprising climax then suddenly changes direction. Time leaps and the world trades slowness for modernity. But Baba’s now-distant viewpoint still remembers what really matters, and his loyalty will keep him close.

The second part of this novel is strangely different. History, old and new, invites the reader in. But the false speed and fake light of modern life seem a dark disguise. Then, slowly, Baba invites a change of pace. And a wholly satisfying ending makes the whole tale settle into place.

I really enjoyed this novel. I never knew where it was going, but I was content to follow along, waiting and wondering, and taking pleasure in the journey, caught in the dreams, scents and sounds of it all.

Disclosure: The author kindly gave me a free ecopy when I invited him to be a guest on my blog.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

An Agreement with Hell by Dru Pagliassotti
An Agreement with Hell

Sheila Deeth, April 4, 2014

A classic horror novel, Dru Pagliassotti’s An Agreement with Hell blends science, spirit and magic into a multiverse tale of horrific leviathan vs angels, demons and more. Teen college students are shocked when earthquakes destroy their campus. But the night is dark, and horrors rise from the pit where construction workers removed the seal from an ancient tomb. This horror’s neither demonic nor natural, and a strange alliance might be needed to send it back where it belongs.

An aging former priest and his magickian friend have received an angelic vision (with delightful hints of Biblical munching on scrolls). Meanwhile the Walker, balanced between worlds, and his demon have read the signs. And earth hangs in the balance.

Blending fascinating theological concepts, well-argued pauses for thought, and haunting glimpses of Biblical imagery, Dru Pagliassotti’s horrors are extra-dimensional, his angels and demons are dangerously detached from a world that’s not entirely real to them, and redeeming power is pleasingly real but well-hidden.

Teen bravery, blood and fire, together with the inevitable "no, don’t go there," anchor this story firmly in the realms of traditional horror. But theological debate and the Walker’s strange paths "between" offer readers a unique and haunting viewpoint, making the story much more than it seems.

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to get a free copy and I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Demon by Laura Deluca

Sheila Deeth, April 4, 2014

Second in the Dark Musicals trilogy, Laura DeLuca’s Demon takes off from where Phantom ended. Teen life, now in college instead of high school, is set to imitate art again, as Becca and Justyn try out for parts in the tale of the Demon Barber. The classic story combines with college life to form a vivid backdrop to a tale of psychological horror and real danger. Meanwhile imagined lyrics offer a pleasingly musical and consistent feel.

Justyn and Becca seem to have it all at the start of this tale. With scholarships and on-campus work to finance themselves, plus a nice apartment off-campus where they live as man and wife in all but name, what could possibly go wrong? But danger lurks, and soon this psychological horror story blends with a heart-felt exploration of recovery as Becca tries to regain her balance and her love. Justyn’s Wiccan faith offers healing, with practices well-explained and not so alien as outsiders might imagine---spiritual love, it seems, is the same in all disciplines.

The show must go on, of course, until a scary twist ends the tale, and love wins through. It’s a fast-paced story, slowed by some odd word-choices, buoyed by interesting insights into spiritual life, and blessed with plenty of mystery. More new-adult than young-adult, at least to my mind, it forms a pleasing part two to the author’s trilogy.

Disclosure: I won a free ecopy.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

1-5 of 162next
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.