Month: February 2017

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Originally posted January 17, 2010

One of the requirements of my horror-writing education is to read every story listed on pages 18 – 22 of ON WRITING HORROR by the Horror Writers Association

ROSEMARY’S BABY by Ira Levin is on this list.

As a child sitting on the sofa between my two older sisters and often through the cracks between my fingers, I watched the movie ROSEMARY’S BABY. To this day I still have a vivid recollection of semi-naked old people and the black bassinet that gave me nightmares for weeks to come. But, in spite of those memories, I was determined to fulfill my horror-education requirements. So, yes, not only did I read the book, but I loved it.

Ira Levin is truly one of the greatest writers I have ever read. He has the rare gift of horrifying you one minute and making you laugh hysterically the next. In truth, as I sit here, six years later, revising this blog post, Rosemary’s Baby is still on of my favorite books of any genre and one I am sure I will read again and again.

Mr. Levin’s main character, Rosemary Woodhouse, is a naive mid-western Catholic girl transplanted into the big city with her actor husband. As in all good suspense stories, there were subtle clues dropped here and there as the story unfolded. Rosemary was everything a woman in her situation should have been. The rape scene midway through the book was intense, the result of ultimate betrayal by her devious husband.

Ira Levin wrote his story at a time when everything was in question, including religion. Mr. Levin accurately portrayed society’s mindset during the 1960s with a conclusion grounded in the most basic of human relationships, the bond between a mother and her child.

On a personal note, I think reading Stephen King’s Introduction, though profoundly well-written, may have been too in-depth a read prior to the story itself.  Because the information given was so complete I do not believe I enjoyed the story as much as I may have if I had read the story first before the Introduction.

Other books on the list from ON WRITING HORROR:

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

DRACULA by Bram Stoker

I AM LEGEND and HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson

….and many others

Author Barbara Wood, Historical Thrillers!

Author Barbara Wood, Historical Thrillers!

Like most writers, I’m an avid reader and when I’m lucky, I stumble upon an author who has not only written an enjoyable story but has also inspired me. Some books are just to meant to touch your life, as if by fate. For me, two books by Author Barbara Wood have done just that. First, The Prophetess which I read back in the in the early years of this century and now, The Divining.

If you enjoyed Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and prefer stories about strong woman, Barbara Wood’s The Prophetess, is the perfect book for you. I first read The Prophetess back in 2001 and it immediately became a favorite.

The story centers around a young archeologist who finds a series of papyrus scrolls in what may be the Well of Miriam, the Prophet Moses’ sister. For me, the story ignited the idea that the women in the Bible, though for the most part supporting characters in the male-dominated Word of God, had truly made more of an impact upon our history than what we are led to believe.

There’s so much more to this historical thriller that I enjoyed reading long before I’d ever heard of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. But if you enjoyed Dan Brown’s amazing thriller, you’ll love The Prophetess with it’s non-stop action, adventure, and conspiracies!

From BarbaraWood.com:

The Divining

While doing research for my Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, I developed an insatiable appetite for all things Germania. It was then by a stroke of good fortune that I found The Divining by Barbara Wood.

The Divining takes place during the 1st century AD when the western world was ruled by Rome and trade with China was still a dream. The main character is Ulrika, a young, amazing but naive woman who, through trying to find herself, leaves the security of Rome to learn more about her mysterious and absent father in Germania. From page one, I was absorbed into a different time and place in history. A time when the early Christian Church was a small group of Christ’s followers meeting in secret and healers and seers were still esteemed by the rich and powerful.

About The Divining (Amazon): And that, dear readers, is my author focus for this week. Thanks for reading!

Next week, I will be focusing on another favorite author from my bookshelf, Clea Simon.

Never Settle for Second Best

Never Settle for Second Best

Years ago, at seventeen, I sought an outlet. Something, anything, that would allow me to give voice to my thoughts, a way to “visualize” the pictures and the “movies,” that ran through my head. The medium I chose was what came naturally to me, words.

With words I could paint a picture, with words I could share my thoughts, my ideas and explore the unknown universe within my mind…with words I could stretch and expand my creativity, thus providing the outlet I so badly needed.

…and so, a love affair began, my love affair with words.

Today, I was reminded of why I can never settle for second best when it comes to my own creativity. This movie, this delightful and entertaining movie, Words & Pictures, reminded me of why I started writing. It reminded of that innermost desire to paint with words.

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