"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review of Mercy

Joshua Grover-David Patterson
Kindle Edition

   Georgina Fulci is on a mission trip in Ethiopia where she and her husband, Rob, adopted their little girl six years before. She is on a plane back to the states trying to figure out what to write in a journal that her husband insisted that she keep while away. She is awakened by some commotion on the plane in time to see a woman being bitten by the pilot. The next thing she knows, the plane has crashed on an uncharted island. There are four other survivors plus herself; two men, a flight attendant and a young girl. This is the story of their life on the island while fighting off a horde of undead, a ship of Mexicans rescuing them and their return to the United States.
   This is not your typical zombie read. The undead are there, but they are not the soul focus of this book. The story is told in a journal format primarily through the eyes of Georgina. She did this with the hopes of her husband and daughter knowing why she is delayed returning home. The story focuses on how the surviving crew members survive  or not survive their ordeal. It shows the friendship between them and what lengths that people will go to in order to survive. The storyline was quite good and flowed very well; but there were points where the story seemed to go on forever and I just wanted it to move along. Georgina was, by process of elimination, made the leader. She didn't want the role; but somehow she managed to relish the role. Since she was the narrator of the book, she was the obvious choice. Leroy was my favorite character in the story. He was the protector and safety person. For a long time in the beginning, he never said anything. Once he thought everything through, he wouldn't stop talking. Even so, he struck me as the strongest and the most level headed of the group.
   All in all this was a good read and I recommend it to everyone. Even if you are into the blood and gore zombie story, I think you will enjoy this one.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated for writing the review.

I give Mercy 4 out of 5 stars 

Interview with Jim Bronyaur and a Review of his book If Errands Could Kill

It is my pleasure to introduce Jim Bronyaur, author of If Errands Could Kill (Minivan Mom Mystery Series), among other works. He has graciously agreed to stop by today and answer some questions about his new book. Let's get started.

1- Tell us a little bit about your book If Errands Could Kill.

The book follows stay-at-home mom, Eve Bailey, as she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a murder.  She notices a fellow resident leaves her gas tank open on her car and Eve remembers when she did that last summer, the check engine light in her van came on.  She follows the woman, Janet, hoping to tell her of the error, but Janet ends up driving onto a dirt road, where she meets with a black car and is shot and killed.
The police prefer Eve to stay out of the investigation and when they come up with the theory that it was a drug deal gone wrong, Eve can’t accept that.  She doesn’t believe that Janet was involved with drugs and before Eve knows it, she’s becomes the next target… in the mix of all this, she takes care of her house, her husband, and her three kids… her son, Cody, is in trouble at school for skipping, her youngest daughter, Penny, is convinced she could talk to a goldfish by learning how to speak bubbles, and her oldest daughter, Delaney, is preparing for a championship soccer game.  The only question is will Eve survive to see Delaney’s soccer game?

2- How did you come up with the idea for the book? This is different then your other works.

I had tons of help from my wife.  I’ve always read mysteries – and loved them.  I’m an avid fan of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the like.  I love reading the quick, cozy mysteries, especially ones with themes in them.  I’ve written short mystery stories before – most were more crime based with a touch of thriller in them – so it just came natural to create a mystery series. 
I had the idea for a mystery series and my wife helped me develop the character that became Eve Bailey and we decided to have her as a stay-at-home mom who always finds herself involved with murder. 

3- How many books are you considering for the series?

Right now, we have four books planned.  I’m sure the series will be longer, but right now, we have four in the works.

4- Is Eve Bailey going to be the central character in the other books or will other people come into play?

I’m not sure about this yet, which is why I say we have four books planned.  I know that some series start to feel stale or cliché as they go on, so it almost feels natural to bring someone new in.  I’m afraid though that by the time I get done with the fourth book, I won’t be able to say goodbye to Eve.  That’s the hardest part about writing these books… finding new ways to get Eve involved and keep the suspense without repeating the same story.  I want all these books to be organic… I want them believable.

5- This may sound like an unusual question since Eve is a female. I know you are a stay at home dad. Is the character of Eve loosely based on you?

Well, Eve is based on my wife.  When I’m down in the basement writing, I hear the house alive upstairs.  I know what she goes through to take care of our two sons – and there are plenty days where I’m the stay-at-home dad to the kids, so I get it too.  It’s a tough job raising the kids and taking care of the house. 

6- I know you are a music person. Do you use any particular music to get in the mood for the minivan books? If so, what?

My problem with music, being a music person, is that I sometimes get involved with the music… I’ll start tapping my hands, playing drums on the desk, and before I know it, I’m playing guitar.  If I do listen to music while writing, I keep it low or I listen to something like classical music.  Usually though, I have the television on in the background.  For the first book in the series, If Errands Could Kill, I really wrote it in silence because the story was just there in my mind.  I couldn’t get it out of my head… all the scenes, etc. so I just wrote and wrote.

7- Tell us a little bit about Jim Bronyaur and what makes him tick.

Jim Bronyaur loves words. 

I love writing, that’s all there is to it.  I feel like I’ve been given this chance to break out and write what I want, so that’s what I’m doing.  I’m able to write horror and thriller, and now mystery.  I’m able to create these characters and series and share them with the world.  And so far, the response has been great.  People are asking for the second book – and funny story real quick… we posted the cover for the second book and a bunch of people hurried to Amazon thinking the book was out!  I felt terrible telling them they had to a wait just a little longer.

As far as what makes me tick… life does.  Sometimes it can be fun, sometimes it can be scary, sometimes it can beautiful, but no matter what, it’s always interesting.

8- What does Jim do for fun and relaxation?

For fun, I write more!  I have my serious projects with serious deadlines and when I want to relax a little, I’ll tinker on the side with other projects. 
Aside from writing, there’s always music, which is huge in my life.  Beyond that, exercise… I love to run, lift weights, and most important, play with my two sons.  They inspire me so much with the things they do and say.  But I fully believe that exercising and taking care of your body is important to allow your mind to work properly.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a breakthrough while running or working out. 

If Errands Could Kill
Jim Bronyaur
Kindle Edition 2012

   Eve is at the bank one day and notices one of the employees she knows is leaving and has left her gas cap open. She follows her so she can tell her and finds herself on a dirt road. A black car pulls alongside Janet and shoots her though the open window. This all unfolds with Eve as a witness.
   Eve calls the police to report the crime. Drugs are found in Janet's car; but Eve doesn't believe she is involved with drugs. Eve turns into an amateur sleuth against the advice of the police and her husband. Of course, she is doing this while taking care of her house and family which includes three children. Eve becomes a target herself. Will she survive to see her oldest daughter's soccer championship game?
   This is a well written story of a stay at home mom who is much to honest and caring, in some ways, for her own good. It is not actually a funny story; but it is funny in the respect of following Eve and her determination to solve the murder of Janet. The things she does and the way she behaves just had me shaking my head. On the other hand, that is what makes the story what it is. The story is well developed and everything just fits into place. I found it a bit scary that this woman feels it is okay to go off on her own trying to solve the murder and that the police do nothing to stop her. Eve is a strong willed individual and I don't think she would have stopped short of being locked up in jail. Despite her husband being an attorney, he has little influence over what she does.
   This is the first book in the minivan mom mystery series. In this episode, we have drugs, murder, kidnapping and bombing. What a way to start a series. If you enjoy mysteries or just a good book for an afternoon read, you can't go wrong with this one. I highly recommend it. I will definitely be watching for the next one in the series.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give If Errands Could Kill 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, March 26, 2012

Interview with Marty Martins and Review of his book The Blizzard

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Marty Martins to my blog today. He is here to answer some of my questions and to give us some background on his book, The Blizzard. So, without further ado, lets get started.

1- How did you go from being a rodeo star to being a prosecutor?
Well, “star” is over-inflating it by half a universe, but I was in the pro rodeo business for 19 years.  Mostly bareback bronc riding and then, towards the end, some saddle bronc riding.  I didn’t care for bull riding.  Got on 12 and rode six.  A former champion who saw me ride one time told me that was the event I should be in because I was (his words) a “natural.”   But I never liked bulls’ even when I rode them I got hurt.  I was always a student of the sport and when a buddy of mine started his own rodeo production company, he asked me to announce for him, so I became a rodeo announcer the last four years (while still competing in saddle bronc riding).  All the travel cost me my first marriage (you ever heard “Amarillo By Morning”?) and in trying to get back together, my wife said I’d have to quit rodeo.  I always was interested in the law (my Dad was a cop and his father and grandfather were lawyers), so I told her I’d become a lawyer, but before I finished law school she married someone else.  While in law school I decided I wanted to be a prosecutor and was lucky enough to get that wish.

2- How did you become involved with Teen Violence?
When I was a boy in grade school, my mother saw me hit a girl.  Right away, she called me inside and told me, and later my brothers, that “boys don’t hit girls.”  I never did again.  Also, I never liked bullies and came to realize that’s what men who hit women are.  Pick on someone your own size, you coward!  After I became a prosecutor and saw the end results of domestic violence, it just made me angry.  From there, and having two daughters and seven granddaughters certainly helped, combating dating violence was a natural progression.

3- Tell us a little bit about your book, The Blizzard.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I know something about snowstorms.  I think I was a senior in high school when I thought of a story of a boy and girl in a woods who get stuck in a storm and take refuge in a little cabin (probably daydreaming about my high school sweetheart!) and didn’t think about it again for years.  Every now and then over the years, something would remind of it. In December of 2008, while my wife was going thorough chemotherapy, I came down with a cold.  Due to her suppressed immune system, I was sleeping in the guest bedroom to reduce the risk of her catching it.  Well, one night, I woke up and couldn’t fall back to sleep.  Out of nowhere I thought about the cabin in the snowstorm story and started working on a plot.  By morning, I had it all worked out in my head.  Over the next 12 days, writing at night (I was still working then) and on weekends, I wrote nearly the whole story.  Later, upon the advice of my avid reader and schoolteacher mother, I added a prologue and two chapters to the front to provide more background, followed by months of editing and proofreading.
            The story is about Chet, a boy who has to change schools for his senior year, while his dad is overseas in the Marine Corps.  Right away, he becomes enamored with Melanie, a popular cheerleader who isn’t at all interested in him.  Although she knows he’s smart from being in some of the same classes, she thinks he’s a little weird.  After a sledding party that winter, Melanie accepts a ride home from one of the football players, but he stops and tries to come onto her.  When she finally slaps him to rebuff a sexual assault, he punches her.  Melanie jumps out and runs off into a snowstorm to escape, only to end up falling into a frozen lake.  Of course, who do you think is the only one out in the woods that day?  Chet gets her out of the water and to a small cabin he knows about.  The rest of the story might be an example of the old saying “No good turns goes unpunished,” but everything gets resolved in the end.

4- I know there is a sequel coming about Chet and Melanie. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes. I already have 85,000 words down on the sequel, which will be a full-size adult (not YA) novel.  I wish my muse was as helpful on this one as she was on The Blizzard!  The sequel starts with Chet and Melanie in their senior of college, still together, but not for much longer.  The story goes on for about three years, including twice when their paths intersect, and ends with a dramatic finish.

5- What has been the most satisfying part of your various careers?
I competed in my first rodeo the day after I graduated from high school and was hooked.  Rodeo is a great sport and America’s only home-grown sport.  And contrary to what some radicals would like people to believe, is not abusive to animals.  Cowboys respect animals and love horses and wouldn’t stand for them being abused, not to mention how darn valuable they are.  Anyway, rodeo was a great life.  It’s a unique subculture with its own clothes, own lingo, own code, and while very nomadic, builds long and true friendships.  I finished college at Cal Poly-Pomona on a rodeo scholarship and won two varsity letters.  (Yes, there is high school and college rodeo, too.)  After I was married, my wife and daughters came along.  The kids had been in 22 states before first grade.  Do you think they have any trouble with U.S. geography?  I remember when was I 23 my Dad telling me I should quit because I was going to get arthritis.  I had to laugh (respectfully, of course) and said, “Dad, I already have arthritis.”  People ask me if I would do it again and my truthful answer is always the same, I tell them, “No, I’d start sooner and go harder.”

Being hired as a Deputy District Attorney began a different chapter of my life, but it was another dream come true.  The prosecutor is not the victim’s lawyer.  He or she represents all the people of the state whose laws have been violated, but they are the ones who help individual victims get some sense of justice.  Believe me, there is a lot of satisfaction putting bad guys in prison.  I also had two of the best assignments during my time as a Deputy DA.  For five years I was in a drug and gang task force, where prosecutors and cops worked together building cases.  Under the terms of our grant, whenever the prosecutors weren’t in court, we were expected to be in the field with our cops.  It’s hard for a defense attorney to give the court some fable about what took place during a search or an arrest when the prosecutor was right there when it happened.  For nearly half my career I was the DA’s liaison to 12 law enforcement agencies, training police, being available to answer legal questions 24/7 (God bless my understanding wife!), and reviewing search warrants.

Now I’m a writer.  I guess I always have been, as I have written scores of articles for rodeo, police, and prosecutorial publications, but writing fiction is a different beast.  For example, even though The Blizzard is in the Young Adult genre, I refuse to be condescending and wrote it so adults could appreciate it, too.  I’m blown away by some of the comments from adult readers.  When a 40-something guy tells you he was surprised how emotionally invested he got in your book, an author can’t help but feel he did something worthwhile.

6- I know much of your legal career centered around prosecuting drug dealers, do you see a future book there?
Absolutely!  In fact, I already started and put it aside.  Sixteen thousand words in that draft already.  And, yes, there is a rodeo novel simmering on the back burner, too.

7- What does Marty do for fun and relaxation?
I love to snorkel and I love Hawaii, so I try to go there at least once a year.  I collect ancient Hawaiian artifacts, and have been learning the Hawaiian language for over a year.  Next fall, I hope to be a student at Kapi`olani  Community College on Oahu.  I also enjoy reading (every writer should be a reader, too).  Once a month I go to dinner with a bunch of other retired prosecutors, which is always a fun time.  I have two rescue dogs, which I walk daily about a mile and a half.  Even though they can be aggravating sometimes, I love them and they never fail to make me laugh at least once a day.

8- Who is your favorite author and why?
Vince Flynn.  Well, he’s a Catholic boy from the Midwest like me (even though he roots for the wrong NFL team) and he self-published his first novel, like me.  I read his first book, Term Limits, on friend’s recommendation and went hunting for more.  The Mitch Rapp series started and I devoured all the rest (except the brand new one) in order.  Besides having always liked political and international espionage thrillers, I like Flynn’s books because they are well-plotted, action-packed, suspenseful, and strongly pro-American.

You can reach Marty through the Contact link on his website at http://www.martymartins.com/ .

If you should have any questions for Marty, please don't hesitate to ask. I will pass them along so he can respond personally. Make sure to check back for your answer.

The Blizzard
Marty Martins
Mano Pa'ele Publishing 2010
ISBN 9780984568062

   Melanie Hondel is the cute girl in the graduating class. She is on the cheer leading squad and is involved in all sorts of school activities. The boys flock to her like bees to honey. Tommy is the tough guy on the football squad who has his sights set on Melanie. She doesn't really pay him much attention because he is the dumb jock. Chet is the new kid in town who also has his eye on Melanie; but even though he is kinda cute, she finds him a bit strange because he is so self-reliant.
   Melanie goes with a bunch of her friends sledding on a nearby property. When her friends decide to go home, Melanie stays and Tommy offers to take her home. On the way home. they get into a fight and Melanie flees the truck. She ends up getting lost and falls through the ice. Chet is out checking his traps and hears her calls for help. She is near frozen when he locates her. He ends up carrying her to an isolated cabin where they spend the night. They sleep in the nude wrapped in each others arms to stay warm. They are found the next morning by the local sheriff's department and Melanie's father. What ensues will change the course for all concerned.
   This is a wonderful YA coming of age novel that is sure to please young and adult alike. It is a story of learning to listen to your children and the need to trust in them if good values have been instilled into them. It is a story of developing romantic love and what it means. The storyline is well written and flows smoothly from beginning to end. The first chapter or two was a little slow; but once it started, I could not put the book down. Chet is an upstanding young man, who despite what he is put through, he maintains his dignity and respect for adults. Melanie is a well rounded young woman who is down to earth despite her popularity. Mr. Hondel is another story. He is a piece of work and I had no problem disliking him. If you are into young adult reads or just like an excellent story, I am sure you will enjoy this one. I highly recommend it. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to this book.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give The Blizzard 5 out of 5 stars


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cover Reveal by Entangled Publishing

An Entangled Publishing Cover Reveal! 

Book Releases June 2012     

Girl Three by Tracy March
Bioethicist Jessica Croft, estranged daughter of a federal judge, has avoided the players, power, and passions of Washington, DC. But when her sister Sam’s suspicious death is classified as natural, Jessie resolves to expose Sam’s murderer. Pursuing elite suspects on both sides of the stem-cell-research debate leads her to security consultant Michael Gillette, who seems to know more about Sam than he’s let on.
Michael has a vested interest in Jessie’s plight. Her sister died on his watch—while he wasn’t watching. His plan to find her murderer becomes complicated when Jessie’s father hires him to protect Jessie, and his interest turns from professional…to romantic.

Together Jessie and Michael must unravel a mystery rife with political agendas and deceit. When confidential papers reveal a fertility scandal surrounding the enigmatic Girl Three, the two realize the danger of exposing the truth. Who is Girl Three? And will the murderer kill again to keep a secret?

Review of Stored Treasures by Minnie Crane/Smader Belkind Gerson

Stored Treasures
A Memoir
Minnie Crane with Smader Belkind Gerson
LuLu.com 2012
ISBN 9781105363436

   This book is a collection of memories that Minnie started writing in her later years. Her grandson, Larry Bogdanow was the instigator of this project when he started giving her a journal for her birthday in her 60's and every year thereafter. It is the story of her family and life from the time she was born Menuche Kranowitz, in Russia in 1896 and emigrated to the USA in 1914 via Ellis Island where she remained until her death at age eighty-five. 
   This is a very unique book in that it was done as a labor of love in Minnie's memory. Her great-granddaughter, Smader, became obsessed with doing a genealogy of the family. She collected all the journals, family photos and documents, internet research and everything she could find in order to bring this book to fruition. Finally twenty-nine years after her death, the labor of love was completed and published. The book contains the writings of Minnie, photos galore of family, documents, death, marriage and birth certificates. The author did not do much editing other then clarifying things that may not have been understood by the reader. The end result was an attempt to keep it as true to her great grandmother as possible. There may be times the reader remembers reading something before. This is because Minnie already wrote about it before. Join Minnie as she lives through two world wars, a pandemic and the Great Depression. 
   If you are interested in learning some history first hand and enjoy photos as much as I do, then you will certainly enjoy this book of memoirs. If you just like a good read, then you can't go wrong. It is a fast moving journey through the life of Minnie Crane and her family.
   I wish to thank Smader Belkind Gerson for providing me with a copy of the book for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Stored Treasures 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review of Redemption Day

Redemption Day
Steve O'Brien
A and N Publishing 2012
ISBN 9780982073520

   Nick James is fired from his contract job with the US government where he worked as a terrorism analyst. Within a span of twenty-four hours he becomes the most wanted man in America. Caught between the US government and  a terrorist group, he has no where to turn.
   A supreme court judge, Silvio Caprelli, is kidnapped during an attack on the Washington parkway. The investigators on the case, along with the media, suspect international terrorists; but no one comes forward right away to claim they are responsible. Then, all of a sudden, everyone is taking the credit. Nick suspects an anti-government group, Posse Comitatus, is holding the judge. Unfortunately, there is no proof.
   This is a fast paced government thriller that keeps you guessing from the beginning. It is based on an anti-government militia group from the 1980's which tried to convince farmers that the government could not foreclose on their property. The storyline moves along quickly, but is a bit choppy. There were several occasions where I was not certain where I was or who I was with. Our main character, Nick was not well developed in what his actual role was in the government. The part I found a bit unbelievable was that he goes from being fired, wanted, and captured to helping on the case. Not only that, he had a relationship with the attorney, Kate, on the task force. Then we have Wesley, an investigating officer, who fights tooth and nail against Nick and Kate and is constantly giving Javier problems. Overall, this is not a bad read and I would recommend it especially if you like fast paced thrillers. Just be prepared for mediocre character development.
   I wish to thank the Cadence Group for providing me a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Redemption Day 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review of Sama Sutra

For those of you that find erotic art and poetry offensive, please do not read or look any further. If you are open to the delights of the human body, leave your comfort zone and bask in the magnificent art and poetry found in the Sama Sutra .

Sama Sutra
The Art of Sexual Positions 
Art by Samarel/Poetry by Deni

   Whenever Samarel approached me about reviewing his book of art and poetry, I first looked at the video above. The artwork captured my eye immediately and  I jumped at the opportunity. After a day chewing on it. I asked myself why I did such a thing. I am no art critic, nor am I a connoisseur of fine art. On the other hand, I do know what I like and what I don't like. So, I decided I would give this a go. My only concern, I will not be able to do this book justice. 
   My first impression was that the artwork is amazing. Cliche as that may sound, my opinion remains the same. It is absolutely amazing. The colors are vibrant and the entire scheme is pleasing to the eye. Since I am not an artist and cannot even draw an acceptable stick figure, I have to go with what I see. The pictures have a liquid silver type effect which makes them very tastefully done even though they are considered hardcore erotica. My understanding from what I have read from Samarel's website and an interview with him, he is considered a digital artist that uses a digital pen that is sort of like drawing on the screen. His pictures in this book feature men and women in different sexual positions. Each individual piece of art has a title such as Entwined, Back Love, and Giving Him. The art is wild, passionate and quite explicit. It is obvious what the artist sees in his mind comes to life on the screen.
   The poetry was written by an American female writer by the name of Deni.  Each picture has a corresponding poem. It is as if the writer was able to climb into the head of the artist, and set to paper that which is going on in the canvas. Titles such as 'So Deep' and 'Bridging' are just a couple of the representations in the book. A small excerpt from the poem called 'My Tommie' was my favorite. 
"I Love you sweetheart," he whispers softly
I smile at him, my eyes fill with desire
He kisses me then, lips as soft as rain
His gentle softness stokes my fire.
   If you are interested in what you have seen here, check out Samarel's website at http://www.samarelart.com/.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy of his book to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review. 

I give Sama Sutra 5+ out of 5 stars

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review of Liquid Fear

Liquid Fear 

Liquid Fear
Scott Nicholson
Haunted Computer Books 2011
ISBN 9781452494715

   A ten year old pharmaceutical experiment by Dr. Briggs is suddenly brought back to life. Like all good thrillers, this experiment is done for the good of human kind. Dr. Briggs has been testing two new drug, Seethe and Halcyon, that will help with PTSD and help soldiers in war. Seethe will bring out the hard edged person in you and Halcyon will make you forget. 
  In the initial part of the experiment, the drugs were tested on six very different individuals. As our story commences, we have five of the six who are drawn back into a game of cat and mouse with the goal being to bring them all back to The Monkey House.
   I am not a big horror/thriller fan; but I have made an exception for Scott Nicholson. He writes with such depth and imagination that it is hard to not like his books. This psychological thriller is no different. He keeps you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. If you are not familiar with the author, he tends to confuse you in the beginning and in small steps along the way, unravels the plot. In this book , he has quite the cast of characters that are unique and vulnerable. Some strong, some weak, but all are able to show their dark, evil side that lies underneath the surface. Dr. Briggs is like the devil incarnate and the mad scientist all wrapped into one greedy, over-bearing package.
   You see the ugly side of the the government and the pharmaceutical industry. Greed, lust for fame, fortune, and the flesh all wrapped into one engaging story that is sure to please. I will let you decide how much may be true and how much is a figment of the authors imagination. Would you be able to resist the need? You decide if you would be strong enough to "Take one every four hours or else!" 
   Disclosure: I received this book from the author.

I give Liquid Fear 5 out of 5 stars 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Winner Is.......

Congratulations to Kerry from Musings of a Bookworm for winning the ebook copy of Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. Thank you to all who stopped by my blog and entered the contest. I will be sending your info to Christine and she will be sending you your book. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review of The Unfinished Song Book 1 Initiate

The Unfinished Song Book 1
Tara Maya
Misque Press 2010
ISBN 9780983107316

  The Initiation ceremony is the key to the ultimate power or could it mean death? Dindi is determined to become part of the Tavaedi, but she does everything wrong. This could be due to the fact she spends most of her time dancing with the pixies instead of doing what she is supposed to do. The secret magics she needs are revealed during the Initiation ceremony. Unfortunately, no one in her clan has ever passed the test. Her grandmother died trying.
   An exiled warrior in Faearth, the most powerful warrior dancer, Kavio, was forced from his clan for a crime he did not commit. He decides to leave his old life behind and escape his father's shadow and the curse of his mother. When he rescues Dindi, he finds himself drawn into much more then he may have bargained for.
   This is a wonderful story that is part fairy tale, part myth, part ancient, part new and part old. According to the author, she put in a mix of bits of everything. This is the first book in the series with much adventure to come. It is almost impossible to categorize this into one place when there is so much involved. I have to tell you, even after completing the book, I do not have all the clans straight. I do know there are seven in all; but I am certain of their individual standings. I don't even think that is important in the scheme of things. 
   There is much action and adventure going on here. I can foresee a love story coming.  We have already seen pixies, sorcery, fairies and the like. We have a cross between a fairy tale and paranormal/fantasy going on. I have to say, I was a bit nervous when the author ask me to review all four of the books that are published thus far. What if I don't like the first one? My fears were for naught because this book is well worth the read and I will be anxious to delve into Book 2 Taboo. The only thing I would have liked to seen in this book would have been a guide to unfamiliar terms and a bit of an explanation of the clans to help keep them straight. The author has quite an imagination and builds a world that is unique in it's own right. I would be remiss if I did not mention the cover. The cover is gorgeous and one of the nicest I have seen. The author is to be commended.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Book 1 Initiate 4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review of Tourniquet Countdown to Eternity

Tourniquet Countdown to Eternity
Richard D. Monson
Author House 2010
ISBN 9781452080307

   Tourniquet is a gripping tale about the age-old problem in the Middle East. In this tale, the Middle East is connected to the flash-point of the American border and Mexico. You will meet the Israeli Air Force Major Daniel Kaplan as he protects the area from the drug lord, Osvaldo Sabino. You will discover the U.S. President's big plan to control unlawful traffic to the states in his "Tourniquet." You will meet cotton grower, AE Smith and see his struggle and inner conflict as he gets to know the architect of Tourniquet, Alicia Roth. All of this and more in Tourniquet Countdown to Eternity
   This book is written in a journal type format that was very well done. The setting is in the near future starting in 2015 and ending in 2020. The storyline was fast moving and maintains your interest. There is little room for things to be dull because the story moves so quickly and a large amount of territory is covered. The characters are very down to earth and human. You see the shady side of the government and the "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" mentality. The only problem I had with the story was the way so many characters carried on a conversation with themselves throughout the book. It wasn't just isolated places but all through the book. This very well could be this authors particular style; but I found it to be a bit distracting. This was one person's take on the struggle with keeping illegals from crossing the border and allowing them to become self sufficient in their own right. We also get a view of what can transpire if the problems in the Middle East go unchecked. The one thing I really liked about this book, I could enjoy the story involving the government without all the long technical explanations that so many political thrillers seem to load you down with. All in all, this was an excellent read and I recommend it if you like an interesting, fast moving story.
   Disclosure: I was provided this book by Bohlsen PR.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review& Ebook Giveaway of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge
Christine Nolfi
Kindle Edition

   A savage rape years ago is buried by the towns most influential people. Ourania  is working at the Fagan mansion where long buried secrets just may come back to haunt when major construction is started at the mansion. Ourania is the only female on the job site and the men don't want her there. The construction boss, non other then Troy Fagan doesn't want her there either.  Memories buried long ago are sure to surface with her working there. It is easier to hound her, just like when they were kids, then give in to that which is forbidden.
   Ourania has taken on two foster children who she does not want. Her mother has played the guilt card, just like always, and Ourania has no choice but to comply. A nasty, brutal man working on the job turns out to be her foster children's father. Despite Ourania's attempts at remaining aloof, she finds herself falling for the children and ends up protecting them from their father, no matter the cost.
   This is a wonderful story of love and forgiveness. Numerous secrets are buried in this tale of mystery and intrigue. Ourania and Fagan continue their struggles that they had as teenagers. Both are carrying guilt that has only festered over the years.  Eventually they have to come to an understanding in order to work together in some kind of harmony. Both of them are hard edged and have trouble showing their true feelings. Both are from the same type of stalk and both are carrying baggage. I do have a bit of an issue with Ourania when she discovers some information concerning Troy. I feel she takes too much upon herself when she tells him what she has found. I truly felt it was not her place to open this Pandora's box. 
   This story is a prime example of the over-worked and over- stressed family services. Despite the systems best intention, the law does not consider the children as it should. Being with biological parents is not always in a child's best interest. There were a couple of instances where their was not a smooth transition between chapters and they felt at loose ends. All in all, this was a wonderful story that is sure to please. I highly recommend it.
   I wish to thank the author for giving me a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars

The author has generously offered to giveaway an ebook of her new book The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. To enter just leave a comment along with your email address. The contest will remain open until midnight EST on Saturday, March 17, 2012. The contest is open to everyone.

Interview With Editor Dennis DeRose

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I welcome my first editor interview with Dennis DeRose. If anyone has questions for Dennis, feel free to ask and I will make certain that Dennis sees them and answers for you.

1- Please tell the readers a little about yourself and how you came to be an editor.
My family and I live in Middletown New York., I’m a counselor in a New York state prison and I’m looking to retire this year. I became an editor just by being the type of person I am. I began by reviewing books for a wonderful lady in Kentucky. She liked my reviews so much that she asked me to edit every review submitted on her website; I agreed. While reading a book for review, I have a habit of recording events and errors that I find. I asked her to submit the errors I found to the writer. I did the same thing to his next book; he was so impressed that he asked me to edit his next manuscript. And I did and so it began and has continued for over two years, nonstop.

 2- Do you usually edit the same genre? If so, why?
I prefer to edit fiction because that’s what I like to read. I have edited a few nonfiction to date, but it’s not my preference.

3- Do you edit only hard copy books or do you also edit ebooks? Why or why not?
I will not edit a hardcopy manuscript. It takes too long and it would be too costly, besides most manuscripts are sent to editors in Word these days.

4- Do you have any special projects going at the moment? If so, what?
Right now I am editing a book(a romance) for a local writer. I have writers lined up waiting for me to finish this one. I'm also editing an anthology of short stories and poetry for a wonderful lady. She has graciously consented to include my only poem,”That`s Chuck, he`s my Friend,” and it's the first poem in the book. I'm really excited. I'm also editing a short story for a young boy, a future author extraordinaire.

5- Do you edit on a full time basis? What does a usual day's schedule look like?
I edit part-time only at present after I get home from work. I spend one or two hours doing that and take the rest the time to unwind, to get ready for another day. I expect to retire this year and intend to devote much more time to my newish editing career.

6- What is the average time it takes to edit a book?
I have edited a book in as short as two weeks; but it's not advisable. Please don't expect an editor to do that for you. It's a mistake. Most of my books take about a month. As the saying goes, the slow turtle wins the race.

7- What is the hardest part of your work as an editor?
When I know a writer could have done a better job but, for some reason, just hasn’t done so and I have to try to pick up the pieces. That becomes difficult and costly to the writer. More than once, I've been blamed for a writer's ineptitude. After all, it's not my book. I just try to make it better.

8- What is the most frustrating thing you`ve encountered as an editor?
The most frustrating thing I've encountered happened recently. I edited a book for a writer three times (I only charged him once). He said I did a great job. A year later he got back to me and told me he had to hire another editor and spend a lot more money. I asked him what the problem was, he refused to answer me. I feel cheated and that I've been taken advantage of. Perhaps I have; live and learn.

9- Who is your favorite author and why?
I have edited over 20 books but I really can’t say that I have a favorite one. I think all of my writers have done a super job and I hope that I have helped them, in some small way, to make their books better than they were before.

10-What's the best advice you could give to a new writer?
Please take your time. Don't rush; it doesn't pay. In fact, it will cost you more in the long run. I know, I've seen it happen many times. Send your book to your editor (hopefully me) only when you know you are absolutely ready and you have done everything possible to make your book shine. I'll do my absolute best to help it shine even more. After all, “We are not done until you're happy!” Remember, you and your editor should become a team. Work closely together and communicate as often as it takes. Again, the slow turtle wins the race.

"We're not done until you're happy!"

Thank you again for agreeing to stop by my blog today Dennis. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Twilight's Ashes

Twilight's Ashes
Auler Ivis
iUniverse Inc 2010
ISBN 9781450245494

   The story takes place in the year 635,039 AD and the world has descended into an ice age. Humans no longer rule on Earth and the population is low. In the chaos, a strange race of humans are bent on destroying the rest of the humans and taking control of the planet. A prophecy of the Seventh Shepherd is their only hope.
   Jebden Gale lives in an isolated village that is covered by the new ice sheet that has formed. He has the ability to communicate with a higher power; but he resents being able to do it. Can he possibly be the prophesied, Seventh Shepherd?
   Time is running out for the human race. The creatures are destroying the remaining humans. The higher powers are forging a partnership with those who remain in hopes of guiding their chosen one. Will Jeb be able to discover his destiny or will the human race be gone forever?
   The is the first book in the As Heaven Fades series. I have to say I was a bit blown away by the book. I was lost almost from the beginning. There are so many different characters with unusual similar sounding names and some of the language just threw me for a loop. I can't say much about the storyline because I was not following much of what was going on. Our main character, Jebden's mother is kidnapped, creatures attack their village and they have to go into hiding, bits of mythology comes into play, along with, modern day religion and I get further and further behind in the story. Then we have Leafhopper who is supposed to guide Jeb from the spirit world and Dalle, who is I assume like the mother of god. I am not even certain I have that correct. I can't even say for certain I am a good one to give my opinion on this book since I was so totally lost that I found myself skimming over parts of it. If you are into post-apocalyptic stories, I am sure you would be interested in this one. Unfortunately, it was too far off the charts for me.
   I received this book through Bohlsen PR for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated except for receiving the book to review.

I give Twilight's Ashes 2 out of 5 stars

Review of The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg
Doug Bremner
Night Publishing 2011
Ebook Edition

   In 2001 Hoffman-La Roche was selling billions in the new drug, Accutane, for the treatment of severe acne. Dr. Bremner was approached about doing research on the drug for the possible side affects of depression that leads to suicide. This is the story of Dr. Bremner's journey and the resulting struggles with the Roche company and all the legal proceedings that were encountered in the process. 
   As a medical professional, I was anxious to read this story because I am all too aware that drug companies peddle their wares on the public all in the name of good. Despite the good that many drugs accomplish, it is a well known fact that many drugs cause more harm then good. Drug companies boast the benefits to human welfare, but the bottom line is the all mighty dollar. This is a prime example of the lengths that companies will go to in order to turn a profit, no matter the cost.
   I was disappointed in the book from the beginning. The information concerning the Roche company only reinforced what I have always known. That part was quite fascinating in the respect that it showed what lengths these companies go to preserve the bottom line. The problem I had with the book, it was quite disjointed and the story did not flow smoothly. There was a story inside of a story going on. There were some major issues with the death of the author's mother when he was very small. I am still not certain why this was involved with the story of a drug company. All of a sudden, we have emailing with a former girlfriend and the next thing you know we have family issues and  counseling going on. It all made for a ping pong effect and nothing came together very well. It turned out to be nothing like I had expected. If you are interested in seeing the workings of a drug company looking at losing money, this would be a good read for you. From my perspective, I was very disappointed.
   Disclosure: I was provided a copy by the author for reading and reviewing purposes.

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review of The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart
Dale Cramer
Bethany House 2012
ISBN 9780764208393

   This is the second year for the Bender family in Mexico. Life is not getting any easier for them and their growing Amish community. They are being ravaged by disease and preyed upon by ruthless and unfeeling bandits. No matter what happens, they are determined to live by their faith and remain true to their convictions.
   Miriam is almost past marrying age according to the Amish way. Her heart is taking her on a dangerous path. She has feelings for the native, Domingo. According to Domingo's sister, he is a gentle man and would do anything for the ones he loves. Is Miriam that someone?
   The native has shown he is a man of principle; but to love him would come at a tremendous price. Miriam would have to sacrifice all to be with him. Miriam has a continuing dream where she is dressed as a peasant, standing on a ridge, searching. She cannot quite figure out the dream until she is there. Is she searching for the one forbidden thing, Domingo?
   This is the second book in The Daughter's of Caleb Bender series that is based on actual events. This is a wonderful  story based on family values, love of God, tradition, and faith. Miriam has a strong faith and values her God and family above all else; but it is difficult when your heart is telling you something. Domingo is a man of high principles and will not willingly go into territory where he should not go. Only Miriam's sister, Rachel, knows her true feelings. The storyline flows smoothly from the beginning until the end where it leaves you wanting for more. I enjoyed this installment much more then the first and will be anxiously waiting to see what happens next. If you love Amish fiction or just like a good, clean story of faith and love, I highly recommend this book. It would be possible to read this one without having read the first; but I do suggest reading the first one Paradise Valley first. I don't think you will be disappointed.
   I wish to thank Bethany House for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give The Captive Heart 5 out of 5 stars 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review of Cravings

William LK
Sci-fi-cafe.com 2011
Kindle Edition

   Liam is a vampire from the old school. His lover, Elise, has betrayed him. She has taken a mortal lover and given him her heart. Liam cannot forgive and will not tolerate what she has done. Before he left, he promised to make her a full fledged vampire upon his return. Unfortunately, her betrayal is not without consequences. No amount of begging or pleading on her part will get her back in Liam's good graces. What are the consequences of her actions?
   This is a different and unique take on the vampire genre. This is William LK's first stab at the vampire genre and I think he has something here. My only complaint is that it was not long enough. I could easily see a full length novel with these characters. You don't see alot of fighting and fang biting in this story. Some have mentioned the romance. I didn't get romance from the story. I saw more lust especially on Elise's part and it seemed to be in an attempt to get what she wanted. The storyline flowed very nicely from the beginning to the end until reaching a surprise ending. This was a short, fast read that is easily read in one sitting. If you are into the vampire genre or just like a quick read, this is the book for you. 
   I wish to thank the author for loaning me the book to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for being provided the book to review.

I give Cravings 4 out of 5 stars