Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Feature - Shadow of the Witte Wieven - Debbie Peterson

Shadow of The Witte Wieven
Synopsis:  Despite a contract on her head, lone Drug Enforcement Agent, Aliyana Montijo must ferret out a mole and stop the assassination of top DEA officials, as so ordered by the Colombian drug lord she seeks to take down. The task is a daunting one, for there is no one she can trust. No one that is, until she encounters a most unlikely ally.

Former seventeenth century captain of the Dutch West Indies Company, Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness, now from a parallel dimension, encounters the beautiful agent during an unearthly storm in the Bermuda triangle. Drawn to the Spanish beauty he rescues, he pledges his assistance, despite her reluctance to accept either his help or his heart.

Can Wolf bridge both space and time to claim the woman he loves?

Aliyana nodded as she released a breath and said, “Yes, as a matter of fact they did. Hank has demanded a tour of Mercado’s empire. He said that he wants to see the way they produce cocaine from start to finish. By so doing, he could point out their faults and help them improve production. According to Ortiz, Hank had the audacity to boast about his knowledge of the latest in drug manufacturing technology as if they were a bunch of ignorant ‘campesinos.’ As you can imagine, this rankled them a bit.”
“I’m surprised they aren’t going to use this outing as an excuse to kill him,” Cornelius remarked.
Aliyana shrugged as she cast a brief glance downward. “They actually mentioned that. However, as much as Mercado would like to permanently get rid of the man, he’s going to show a bit of restraint and allow the ‘pig’ to live—for now.”
“Did they mention whether or not Mercado planned to comply with this requested tour?” asked Cornelius.
“He is going to comply, but not in the way Hank intends,” she replied. “Mercado is going to take him much farther south, to a factory and lab he no longer uses. He is sending some of his employees ahead to clean the place up and make ready for their visit. Emil wants everything to look as if the lab is in full swing.”
“So Mercado is conducting the tour personally then?” asked Wolf.
“Yes, he is. He doesn’t trust Hank. Therefore, he wants to observe his every movement, personally.”
“How long will it take them to get to this lab?”
“If it’s the one I think it is, about three, maybe four hours. Why do you ask?”
Wolf brushed a hand against his beard as he contemplated this unexpected opportunity. “How many such places could he possibly take Morris?”
“I only know of two,” she said.
“How long would it take to get to other one?”
Aliyana shook her head as she lifted a shoulder. “Oh, I don’t know—perhaps an additional half an hour or so. That’s why I think he’ll opt for the closest one.”
“Did they say when they intend to conduct this tour?”
“Day after tomorrow. Hank is supposed to arrive at dawn. If you still want to follow the man, you will get your chance then.”
“So travel time, to and from is at least six hours, maybe more,” Wolf mused aloud. “The tour itself will take some time. What would you think, another hour maybe two for him to thoroughly inspect the facilities?”
“Every bit of that and then some,” Aliyana said as she knit her brows in consternation. “Wolf, why are you asking all of these questions?”
“With Mercado out of the way, I’m thinking this might be the perfect opportunity to escort you inside the man’s office so you can raid those files on his computer.”
“But we don’t have all of the numbers to his pass code yet,” Aliyana replied. “I can’t get inside without them.”
In response to the reminder, he allowed a slight smile to emerge and for several long moments, he held her gaze without saying a word. Her confusion finally gave way to understanding. He could see it. She drew in a sharp breath as a burst of anger exploded onto her cheeks.
“You have the ability to get me inside that office anytime you want to, don’t you Captain Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness,” she spat.
Wolf folded his arms against his chest, flashed a full-fledged grin, and bounced his brows.
“I can’t believe you would withhold that information from me,” she seethed as her eyes shot lethal daggers into his person. “And you just let me keep watching that screen for hours on end when such a need didn’t exist—”
“Oh come on, Aliyana,” Wolf laughingly protested. “You surely didn’t think I’d allow you to go in there until the safest possible moment, did you?”
His humor did nothing to improve her anger. If anything, it only served to fuel it. She shook her head then and let him have it--with both barrels blazing--in Spanish, of course. And he enjoyed every minute of the delightful display.
Debbie Peterson
Author Bio:  Debbie Peterson, author of “Spirit of the Rebellion,” is about to release her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven,” through InkSpell Publishing. This paranormal romance combines a seventeenth century sea captain, a modern DEA agent, and the Bermuda Triangle to send you on an incredible adventure, filled with intrigue and romance.

Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. She incorporates these aspects into all of the paranormal stories she writes. When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, she spends time with the beloved members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history and all things ancient and historic.

You can connect with her:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Game App Review for Kindle - Sliding Tiles - Grabarchuk Puzzles

Sliding Tiles
Title:    Sliding Tiles (Kindle Game App.)

Maker:  Grabarchuk Puzzles

Review:  This is a fun digital version of the old plastic sliding tile game.  It reminded me of when we were kids and we got a little plastic square game in our stockings.  The EASY version was fun and it didn’t take much brain power, but the next level brought it up and I struggled.  I moved the tiles and then moved them back and back again.  There is a hint button to help you along if you get confused what tile to move next.  I used that a bit on the harder levels.

The HARD and MASTER levels are above me and yet interesting to try and think about.  My kids have tried the EASY level and enjoyed the fun of figuring out which tile to move where.  One of them laughed at me because they figured out a HARD puzzle before I could.  This is a fun interactive game that really gets your brain evolved.  My daughter is a visual learner and she had no problem with the MEDIUM level and is now working on the HARD level. 

The only issue I have with the game is learning how to use the 5 way controller, on my Kindle with the keyboard, it was a challenge to know if you were moving the tile or just on the tile.  I would rather just move the tiles my cursor is on without having to push the button twice to hold the tile you want to move.  Practice makes perfect I guess, so other than that the game is quite enjoyable.

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Copyright: 2012

File Size: 1.8 MB

ASIN: B007P058Q4

Quick Review: 41/2 Stars out of 5. 

Where Did I Get the Game:  Sent by the designer for review.

Synopsis:   Here is one of the most original collection of sliders, comprising 100 hand-crafted puzzles with unique and fun gameplay.
Sliders (aka sliding block puzzles) are dynamic and compact puzzles first popularized in the 19th century. We have constantly been creating this collection of sliders during the past 20 years as physical and interactive toys.
- 100 hand-crafted sliders!
- 4 difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Master.
- Need help? Use hints.
- Time counter with pause option.
- Earn stars for each solved puzzle.
- Advanced score system.

Other Reviews:  Amazon Reviews

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review -Stuck in Estrogen Funhouse - Shayna Gier

Stuck in Estrogen's Funhouse
Title:  Stuck in Estrogen’s FunHouse

Author: Shayna Gier

Review:   At first, I was very excited to read a book titled Stuck in Estrogen's Fun House. As a woman, Estrogen has taken control of my life and I sometimes feel like I am living in a fun house.

I have a really hard time giving this book a review because it is not the type of book I generally enjoy reading.  I feel that if I say I do not like it and give it few stars it wouldn't be doing it justice because there are quite of few people who love this book but I found the book to be really light and very easy read although without much substance.  Marti is a bartender at one of the hottest clubs in town. Marti talks about different styles of drinks for the first 1\2 of the book and tells us all about how she feels like she is pregnant but the test and doctors say no.  Crystal, Marti's best friend, is there to offer support but when a new bartender is hired and when Marti finds him attractive, Crystal reminds her she is married. However, at the same time, she doesn't stand in the way when Marti begins flirting with the bartender. While Marti's life slowly spins out of control due to the Estrogen, her best friend finds the one true person she had been missing in her life. The book is all about relationships and how a man is stuck in the middle between the woman he loves and the hormones that drive her crazy.  When the hormones take control, Marti and her husband try to figure out whether their marriage is worth saving and if he can forgive her for the fantasizing and flirting she has been doing with the male bartender.

I was bothered that during the 2 months she doesn't know she is pregnant Marti continues to drink heavily while working at the bar.

There were several pages that seem to repeat the same things over and over again which caused me as a reader to get either confused or bored.

I was hoping for Stuck in Estrogen's Funhouse to be a laugh out read but for me it was more like reading a personal journal. There were several grammatical errors that could be fixed with a good editor.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Publisher:  Published June 26th 2011 by Beyond Normality Ink

ISBN: 9781463615826

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 272

Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Sent by the author for review.

Synopsis: Marti is a bartender at a local nightclub who is often said to be the best around. When she's not chatting up the locals and pouring drinks, she's spending time with her husband, Spencer. But lately Marti has been feeling very off. She's tired, moody (or so her husband says), and goes through random intense aversion to food and then intense cravings. And on top of it all, despite being happily married she finds herself falling for the young college upper-grad student who decides to take up bar tending as supplement income next to the work he does for his sister's photography. With everything being so out of control the last thing she needs is for her marriage to fall apart too.
Shayna Gier 
Author Biography: Shayna lives in Ferrelview, Missouri with her husband Matt, and works full-time at a bank.

This is her first completed work of original fiction, though she has many more in the works.

She loves reading and writing young adult books

Other Reviews:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review - The Litigators - John Grisham

The Litigators
Title: The Litigators

Author: John Grisham

Review: Sometimes when I read Grisham I get a serious legal drama really tearing into some piece of the law. It makes me reconsider some of my preconceived notions as a legal novice. Then you also get the lighthearted Grisham who is merely trying to entertain. This book read like a movie, a dramedy. And that is not a bad thing. Grisham has a track record of writing some really good movie plots.

The characters that interact with our hero are in place to create laughs, to remind us not to take the tension too seriously. The divorced and broken law partners to the sassy secretary. All are there for the straight man to play off of. And for the most part they do it pretty well. The whole time I kept seeing the film playing in my head with the requisite laughter present.

But underneath I liked the serious message being shared. Money will not fix what is wrong with your life if you don’t like what you are doing. In Judd Apatow’s interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in which he shared he loved his job. He would still be doing what he does living in a crap apartment if he never made it big because he absolutely loves what he does. The money is just icing, not cake.

If you are truly doing what you want the money will follow, or at least enough to get by. People run into trouble when they begin to love what the money brings to the table more than what they are doing. They start making compromises and then they are prisoners to the system, a system they themselves built. Living your dreams is a scary thing to do, especially as you progress down other paths and get responsibility heaped upon you. Very scary indeed.

Our hero manages it and since this is a comedy, everything works out for him in the end. If only we all could be so lucky. It reminds be of Daniel Gilbert’s work a little. Happiness is where you find it, and most people will say getting fired ultimately was the greatest thing that ever happened to them. We just have to ride through those waves first.

Thanks to T Stevens for this review.

Publisher: Doubleday
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 385
ISBN: 978-0-385-53513-7
Quick Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5.
Why I Read it: Big John Grisham fan
Where I Obtained the Book: My local library.

Synopsis: The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.

With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.

A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!

It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is.

The Litigators is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham America’s favorite storyteller.
John Grisham
Author Biography: "Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, and The Broker) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marks his first foray into non-fiction.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

TLC Book Tour - Book Review - Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood - Gary Buslik

Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood

Title:    Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood

Author:  Gary Buslik

Review: It is extremely hard to write a funny book.  Comedy relies a lot on timing, inflection, and visual expression for full impact.  That is why I am always delighted when an author manages to get it right, especially after so many get it wrong. With this book Buslik has joined the ranks of Christopher Moore and Dave Barry.

The author begins his story with a wide cast of characters, from the hated dictators of our time, a woefully overblown liberal college professor and his estranged far right daughter, and even rampant porcine loving termites.  Slowly we begin visiting each character in-turn to advance the plot ever so slightly.  But the story builds in ever tightening spirals and the characters begin overlapping, creating a fast paced and fun climax.

My favorite character was Les Fenwich, a prime example of what can be wrong with modern academia. A professor of English who believes the more confusing he can make the language through the use of large words the more intelligent he is.  Who is contrarian as a matter of course rather than conscious.  I am grateful I have never met anyone so completely like Les in real life, but I see shadows of him everywhere.

Buslik has created a farce of the highest order that will forever change your view of the matzo ball and its lethal potential.  A comedy that manages to be funny, and it manages to see the humorous side of violent death to boot.  Plus, who knew the president of Iran was such a good dancer?

Publisher:  Travelers' Tales/Solas House (December 20, 2011)

Copyright: 2011

Pages:  370

ISBN:    978-1609520694

Quick Review: 4 Stars out of 5. 

Where Did I Get the Book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:   Iranian president Akhmed teams up with the leaders of Venezuela and Cuba and their American intelligence agents to smuggle radioactive matzo balls into Miami Beach. But intelligence being as slippery a concept to these nincompoops as chicken fat on linoleum, when each member of the gang decides to ladle out his own personal nuke soup, holy terror Akhmed is left steaming. Will his plan to destroy America float like a fly or sink like a lead dumpling?
Star-crossed lovers, conniving academics, and blustery social climbers collide with ravenous termites, international do-badders, and multi-level marketing in a plot as fast-paced and hilarious as a runaway mountain bus. Radioactivity has never been so much fun.
Author Biography: Gary Buslik is an American novelist, short story writer, travel writer, and essayist. His work has appeared in many literary and commercial magazines and anthologies. His travel-essay collection A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean (Travelers' Tales, 2008) won the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Book Award. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and earned his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Other Reviews:  Simply Jews, Amazon Reviews

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review - Temp-An Accidential Fariytale - A E Mayer

Title:    Temp:  An Accidental Fairly Tale.

Author:  A E Mayer

Review:  At first this book confused me a bit(as may this review confuse you), I wasn’t sure what was going on with the Door situation and the Collision...strange creatures...magic eyes...unicorns...?  As I kept reading, it became clearer, but still a little confusing.  Reading on I found more strange things going on and more things that were new and unfamiliar to me.  But, as I kept reading, the story took shape and I started to get what was going on and was finally interested enough to keep reading until I finished.  I have to say that if the beginning of the book had been as captivating as the end I would have finished it much faster than I did.

So much is going on in this book and you meet many, many different and unique characters that will be good  to re-visit if there is a sequel.  A bit more information in the beginning to set the stage may have helped me understand the rest of the story better. Doors, payper use, paper doors, one-way doors and return doors.... monsters, vampires with rules, animals that talk...all of that...well....I didn't get until the end(most of it anyway).  Great characters, once you realized what was going on and the story flowed better the closer to the end it got.  The Door talk at the beginning was just strange and I didn’t really get what was happening, but looking back from the end I understand it better and wish it had been clearer at the first so I could have enjoyed the book more.

This is a good story as it builds and I’m not sure how to improve the beginning, but I look forward to seeing if the author writes another.  3 for the beginning and a 4 for the end so 3 1/2 stars.

Publisher:  Published June 6th 2011 by Cricket Ink

Copyright: 2011

Pages:  238

ISBN:    9780983606901

Quick Review:  3 1/2 Stars out of 5. 

Where Did I Read the Book:  Sent by the author for review.

Synopsis:   You might imagine the Collision that catapulted magical creatures to Earth would make every moment miraculous. But jobs were just as dull, and life could be just as boring. Traffic still stunk, only now with dragon Flyways above highways, the stink was worse than ever.
Jackson Bee Belle Elders (Bee for short) is a promising Magical Sciences major who ends up smack in the middle of the Southern home town she tried to escape. Her lofty dreams of adventure only land her under fluorescent lights as she turfs creatures to temp jobs for Beveled Star Magical Staffing (B.S. for short).
But everything changes when the cautious temp meets a friend who will dramatically alter her holiday weekend and her life. Nevermind that the friend is a wolf working for a despicable djinn who might use him to destroy the planet and everyone in it. Nevermind that the wolf can talk, but no human except Bee can hear him. Bee has a lot of secrets—some she knows about, and some she doesn’t.
Fizzing with wit and adventure, Temp is a tale for anyone who has ever fantasized about a more magical life.
A.E. Mayer
Author Biography:  A.E. Mayer was born in Atlanta, Ga. She lived in Florida, Virginia, Boston and Alabama before deciding to settle in north Georgia with her husband and itty bitty dog. Mayer graduated from Washington and Lee University where she majored in print journalism with a side of literature and studio art and a minor in long walks and napping. Before writing books, she worked as a movie store clerk, trade show booth slinger, receptionist, executive assistant, travel magazine journalist, public relations writer and marketing consultant. She currently writes fiction, urban fantasy, and kiddie lit from her headquarters in north Georgia, and she loves every minute of it. For more information on Mayer and her books, please visit

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review - The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny - Michael Mullin

The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny
Title:  The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny

Review:   I read and reviewed Michael’s short story, 8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf, and enjoyed it (see review here.)    This short story was a bit more confusing in verse then 8.  I had to read quite a few lines over and over to figure out what was going on in the story.  Rhyming verse is a cute way to write and it worked for 8, but I don’t think it really works well with this little tale.    More is going on in this story and with it being an original fairy tale, I had not read it or anything like it before and so it was harder to follow along and read the rhymes.  If I have to work while I read I lose the enjoyment and put the book down more often losing the flow.  Reading that takes work, is not a relaxing activity that I enjoy.

This little tale may read better not in verse and appeal to a wider audience that way.  I think this author is talented and should keep writing.  I look forward to his next endeavor.

Publisher:  Published February 22nd 2012 by Gemiknight Studios, LLC

ISBN: 9780985188405

Copyright: 2012

Pages: Kindle Edition

Quick Review: 2 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Sent by the author for review.

Synopsis: From the author of "8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf" comes an original fairy tale about a teenage princess who hires the witch from "The Frog Prince" to get revenge on a Mean Girl at school. (Intended for YA readers and up.)
Michael Mullin
Author Biography: Michael Mullin is a native New Englander living in Los Angeles. He is the author of the TaleSpins™ books, "8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf" and "The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny". He is also the co-author of John Skewes' successful "Larry Gets Lost" children's book series. His screenplay "Zooing Time" was recognized by the WGA's Written By magazine. Before all this writing, he taught preschool and college (two positions he found disconcertingly similar).

Other Reviews:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday in our mailbox

What we got in the mail this week for review. What are you reading?

Told from the tender perspective of a young girl who comes of age amid the Cambodian killing fields, this searing first novel—based on the author’s personal story—has been hailed by Little Bee author Chris Cleave as “a masterpiece…utterly heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful.”For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
The Summer Nights Never EndYou may know Robert James Waller as the man who brought the world to Iowa’s storied covered bridges. What you may not realize is that before and since becoming an internationally acclaimed novelist, Waller has grappled with a very real puzzle: How can an individual, a group, and/or a society cut through the confusion of everyday life to successfully navigate its pitfalls and traps? Through intense reflection, shrewd reasoning, and not a little trial and error, the reclusive author has developed a unique and inventive paradigm for thinking clearly and logically. In The Summer Nights Never End … Until they Do, Waller shares a methodology that can be applied to everything from governmental gaffs and immigration reform to losing weight and financial freedom.
Like so many things that make sense, Waller’s words are complex in their simplicity, turn from the madness of short-term, quick fixes and toward time-tested, reasonable goals. The devil is in the details. So, too, are the answers.
Martina “Marti” MacCale, bartender extraordinaire at Flash Point, the best bar in town, is happily married to her best friend, Spencer and having the time of her life… until without warning, her own body rudely sets out to destroy her happiness. Pregnancy tests negative, she becomes a whirlwind of emotion and confusion. And amidst the unexplained mood swings and strange food cravings, she finds herself craving someone who is not her husband… What’s a girl to do when not even a good old-fashioned Sex on the Beach can soothe the ache?
Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and MotherhoodIranian president Akhmed teams up with the leaders of Venezuela and Cuba and their American intelligence agents to smuggle radioactive matzo balls into Miami Beach. But intelligence being as slippery a concept to these nincompoops as chicken fat on linoleum, when each member of the gang decides to ladle out his own personal nuke soup, holy terror Akhmed is left steaming. Will his plan to destroy America float like a fly or sink like a lead dumpling?

Star-crossed lovers, conniving academics, and blustery social climbers collide with ravenous termites, international do-badders, and multi-level marketing in a plot as fast-paced and hilarious as a runaway mountain bus. Radioactivity has never been so much fun.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review - Rebellion of Silence: The Adon Series - Brittney Martin

Author: Brittney Martin

Review: The plot involves rebels fighting in a city against a corrupt government and both are also fighting against some creatures called Rahion. The main characters are Sier and Avarrah, both of whom are teenage children of the government/military called Legians, and have now joined the rebellion called Silence-because no one is allowed to talk about it. Both characters appear to have special powers, Sier from "governmental" experiments and no one knows why Avarrah has them including her.

At this point I would probably rate this book 2-3 stars.

If your a fan of gritty sci-fi, it might be worth the effort, because it will be an effort. The author has an excellent imagination. I assume that the novel takes place on another planet in the future, although it's never clearly stated. In fact, a major flaw in the writing is that very little is ever clearly stated. The reader is frequently left to infer much about the setting, the characters, and even the plot. Also, the writer should take some writing classes because she makes several Writing 101 mistakes such describing dialog using every word under the sun except "said" which is the correct word. Also, the writer uses the thesaurus and not the dictionary. The best example of this is the use of the word "smirk". Apparently, early in the novel, as the characters are being introduced to the reader, they smirk at one another repeatedly. In a thesaurus, smirk and smile are synonyms. In a dictionary, a smile is friendly and a smirk is snotty.

Warning: Bad word usage abounds.

On the plus side, these are technical writing gaffs that can easily be remedied. The author can easily improve her technical writing skills which will add much to the readers experience.

Thanks go to Melissa Seltun for this review...she is a new reviewer.

Publisher: Outskirts Press (February 1, 2012)

ISBN: 978-1432786250

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 286

Quick Review: 2 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis: "We are in a war against a bloodthirsty race of creatures, the Rahion, set on destroying everything this world has given us. Yet, within the city walls we fight against ourselves." Pain, loss, and suffering were the first memories Avarah felt when her eyes reopened to life in the self destructing city of Kirave. With her reality shattered and her past forgotten, she risks all to join Silence, the rebellion whose followers are determined to bring justice before the end. In order to survive, Avarah must place all her trust into the hands of Sier, an Infectual whose veins pulse with the blood of the Rahion creatures. The anxiety burdened heroine quickly accepts her new fate fighting for truth, vengeance, and love despite knowing she could lose her life. But what if opposition means the lives of others? When society screams out for mercy, how many must die for the price of freedom?
Author Biography: Brittney Martin’s interest in literary arts was kindled at a young age by her family. Her fiery passion to write, however, was ignited during her first year of high school where various school projects encouraged her imagination to take flight. Brittney Martin is now continuing her education at college with the love and support she receives from her family and friends.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.