Monday, April 29, 2013

The Right Wrong Number - Pick of the Month Book Review

The Right Wrong Number
by Barbara Delinsky
Genre: Romance

     This was a very cute story, a little creepy in a stalker kind of way though. Two strangers that hit it off after a chance meeting and what they will go through in order to find each other again. While I was aware this was a short story, I wasn't prepared for the fact that more than half of this file was actually an excerpt for another of the author's novels.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Night of The Soul Stealer - Serial Sunday Review

Night of the Soul Stealer
by Joseph Delaney
The Last Apprentice #3
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal,
   Young Adult

     Thomas Ward returns, in this third installment of the series, to finish his first year as a Spook's apprentice. Old Gregory leads Thomas and Alice towards his winter home, dropping Alice off at a nearby farm as he still doesn't trust her. At Anglezarke we get to meet Meg, the lamia witch that Gregory couldn't bear to throw in a pit because he had fallen in love with her. She is as exceedingly beautiful as we would expect her to be as she has managed to capture a Spook's heart. In this adventure the Spook and his apprentice will have to face an evil mage, lamia witches, and a beast with such great power that it had been perceived as a god by ancient people. Will they be up to the task or will Tom be the last apprentice merely because Gregory will meet his match long before Tom can finish his training?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flying Soup - Fun Read Friday Book Review

book cover art for Flying Soup by Bobby Aldair Flying Soup
by Bobby Adair
Genres: Fiction, Humor, Satire

     According to the author's forward, this book was conceived and written long before the days of YouTube, but sat unmarketed, yet it depicts a concept that is quite similar. What began as a cyclist who was tired of feeling bullied by motorists ... correction - his roommate was tired of hearing the complaints Christian often returned home with ... a personal surveillance camera system was affixed to his bike and helmet to capture on film proof of the rudeness of humanity. But once proof was acquired what could be done with it? There were no laws broken so there wasn't anything the police could do. The three roommates decided to start a website to make such videos publicized, where other users could upload their own videos of similar experiences in the hopes that a little public ostracism and humiliation would spotlight such actions and make people think twice before being rude to some anonymous person simply because they could get away with it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Samurai Strategy - Featured Author Book Review

Samurai Strategy
by Thomas Hoover
Genre: Thriller

     Samurai have a deep instilled philosophy of discipline, commitment to training, and above all honor. While you won’t find too many sword wielding warriors in today’s political skirmishes, there are still many followers of this way of life. Modern day Samurai choose their own battlefields. Matsuo Noda studied the terrain, he planned his strategy carefully, and for his battleground he chose Wall Street.

     To read my entire review, please visit A Goddess of Frugality.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Syndrome - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art for Syndrome by Thomas Hoover Syndrome
by Thomas Hoover
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

     Dr. Karl van der Vliet is an undisputed genius who's medical research results in the ability to work miracles. He realizes a way to use adult stem cells that when injected into unhealthy organs, they can rebuild, regenerate and basically fix themselves. This process is the proverbial fountain of youth that can keep diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cirrhosis at bay indefinitely. Enter Alexa, she suffered an illness as a child that resulted in scar tissue in her ventricle which has been getting worse over the years. Her mother has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's and her brother Grant, the black sheep in the family, is pushing Alexa to join the clinical trials which could heal them both.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bonded - Pick of the Month Book Review

book cover art of Bonded by Nicky Charles Bonded
Law of the Lycans #.5
by Nicky Charles
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

     Brandi is just days away from graduating from the Lycan equivalent of college when she finds herself volunteered for a demonstration of basic self defense ... even though she only received a mercy pass in her own self defense class because the instructor felt she had tried her best at least. The icing on the cake of this experience is that she has been crushing on Reno, the instructor, since she first noticed him on campus and is mortified of looking like a fool. Brandi's roommate had offered her up as a sacrifice for this position because she thought it was a perfect opportunity for Brandi to meet Reno. She had no idea just how right she was.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Curse of the Bane - Serial Sunday Review

Curse of the Bane
by Joseph Delaney
The Last Apprentice #2
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
   Young Adult

     Thomas Ward returns as the Spook's last apprentice to continue his education in dealing with things that go bump in the night. In this adventure they encounter a creature even more dangerous than previously faced. While the bane has been trapped in the catacombs deep within the city of Priesttown, it still has the power to influence those living above ground. As it grows in power by feeding on the blood and life force of hapless animals that wander into the catacombs it spreads its evil to even the priests. The most corrupted of the bane's victims is the Quisitor, a man who tortures and kills accused witches and Spooks more for his own pleasure than for any sense of cleansing the world of darkness.

     I'm still not overly impressed with this series. I do enjoy the books fairly well while reading them but they don't seem to hold a candle to all the hype in my opinion. I've known people to say the same about the Twilight series as well. I think that maybe the thing that disturbs me most about this series is the fact that Ward is constantly disobeying his mentor, the Spook. Since this series is written for children, it seems to have an underlying lesson that it is OK to not do as instructed as long as the ends justify the means ... provided that one is lucky enough for everything to turn out as planned and not just end up making an even bigger mess in the end.

I give it 3 star review graphic 3 stars.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guest Post by Thomas Hoover - Featured Author

I'm so happy to announce that Thomas Hoover, this month's featured author, was kind enough to agree to writing a guest post! Please give a round of applause to welcome him! Thanks Tom!

Why Do We Write by Thomas Hoover

     Why do we write? I think it's the original Facebook. We want to share ourselves with other people. I've published ten books without ever really knowing why. But here's how I went about it.

     I grew up in a state you've heard of surrounded by horses and cows. My high school graduating class had six (6) people. I practically rode a horse to school. My dream was to be a scientist. There was a school career test in my junior year about what you wanted to do in life and it came out I wanted to be a writer. I showed it to my dad and said what a crummy test. ( A lifetime later I put my books up on Amazon for free and SYNDROME was the 14th most downloaded book in the world for about a week.) So what we're talking about here is a small gap in self-knowledge.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Project Cyclops - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art of Project Cyclops by Thomas Hoover Project Cyclops
by Thomas Hoover
Second Book in series
Genres: Action Adventure, Thriller

     This story is reminiscent of Die Hard in the fact that there is one rogue good guy working behind the scenes to foil an entire group of terrorists. Enter our hero, Michael Vance, whom we were originally introduced to in Project Daedalus and seems to have a profound talent for showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time ... or maybe fate has decided that it was the right place at the right time, since without his efforts the world as we know it would be terminally altered. Unlike Die Hard these terrorists are not looking to procure finances through theft, but by taking over a private experimental facility. This facility is history in the making, using a new technology to launch satellites into orbit. The head of this terrorist cell doesn't have to be a scientific genius - though he is - to realize that what goes up must come down. He plans to use the facility's capabilities to launch a nuclear bomb that can be delivered anywhere in the world and use this strategy as nuclear blackmail in an attempt to demand 800 million dollars from the President of the United States.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Seventh Seal - Pick of the Month Book Review

The Seventh Seal by J. Thorn The Seventh Seal
by J. Thorn
Book #1 in series
Genres: Action Adventure, Dystopia,

     John is drugged at a Halloween party and awakes days later to both personal and global horrors. Only the fluke - or was it divine intervention? - of his wearing a priest's costume saved his life. Religious zealots have some how taken over the military to kill off the entire population of those it deems as sinful and unworthy as they initiate their own coming of Revelations.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch - Serial Sunday Review

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch
by Joseph Delaney
#1 in The Last Apprentice series
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult

     My friend's daughter had brought this book home from her school library. I had commented that I'd heard it was really good and asked her opinion of it. She bubbled over with praise and foisted the book at me telling me to read it. I did, in one night. It isn't quite as compelling as Harry Potter as I'd heard that it was, but it is still an interesting premise.

     Thomas Ward is the 7th son of a 7th son. The number 7 holds very strong meaning within the mystical world and holding this place within a family tree suggests that the person would have an aptitude towards the paranormal. Thomas's mother recognizes this and arranges for him to become the apprentice of Old Gregory, the local Spook. She had even gone so far as to boast to the Spook that Thomas would be his last apprentice. Apparently it has been hard for him to find good help as Thomas is the 30th boy that Gregory has attempted to train.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Exodus Lost - Fun Read Friday Review

book cover art for Exodus Lost by S.C. Compton Exodus Lost
by S.C. Compton
Genres: History, Nonfiction

     You may be thinking, "a historical nonfiction book as a Fun Read Friday? You've got to be joking!" But I'm not. History doesn't have to be dull and boring, that is entirely up to the author and subject matter. The Olmecs were an ancient people that just suddenly appeared in Mexico. There has been no archeological findings of them developing their technology. They arrived with this knowledge and subsequently influenced both the Mayan and Aztec cultures. But where did they come from?

     Due to high acidity levels in the soil and the rain forest environment, archeologists don't have much to work with. Human remains and even most ceramics haven't survived these harsh conditions. Compton hypothesizes that this society migrated from Egypt. He goes to great lengths comparing many aspects of Egyptian culture to what is known of the Olmecs. Religion, funerary beliefs, sacrificial traditions, architecture, even clothing is similar and lends credence to his theory. How could two cultures, separated by an ocean be so similar without being related somehow?

     Compton points out that the Olmecs sacrificed to a rain god. He ponders as to why a society in a rain forest would offer sacrifices to appease a god that is most traditionally worshiped by desert people who pray for rain. While it is most likely that he is correct with his conclusion that this rain god was "grandfathered" into the Olmec society from their desert dwelling ancestors, another aspect occurred to me. Now I don't profess to be an expert on ancient gods, but it seems to me that an angry rain god has two extreme options to punish his subjects, drought or flood. I ponder if it is likely that while the Olmecs adopted this god from their ancestors they may have wanted to appease him in times of great storms to stop the rain and not that they were praying for rain to come. It has been raining here for three days now, I might be willing to sacrifice a goat in the hopes that the rain would stop.

     While the author is describing Egyptian times, he also touches on biblical stories. Truth be told, I'm not a very religious person. I was raised in parochial school and am familiar with various biblical stories but again, I am no expert. However, I find it fascinating when archaeology and historians find proof that the Bible is not just a story but actual history. Compton cites cases of tree circles and polar cap borings that support the story of Joseph's seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, as well as credible explanations and hypotheses of additional biblical stories.

     I found this book interesting on so many levels. Those with a Kindle Fire can enjoy the multitude of pictures and drawings in full color. Readers that own an e-reader with a touch screen can easily access the end notes as they are referenced, which I highly suggest. The footnotes contain more than just information that cites the books being referenced but also sometimes contains the exact quote from said book as well as further clarification of the point being made.

     I highly recommend this book to anyone with even the remotest interest in ancient history, Egyptian history, or even biblical history.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project Daedalus - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art for Project Daedalus by Thomas Hoover Project Daedalus
by Thomas Hoover
Genres: Action Adventure,
   Suspense, Thriller

     What happens when the new Soviet government that has the engineers to develop a hypersonic airplane secretly gets in bed with the Japanese mafia who have the technology to create said airplane? Something that members of the CIA, NSA, and KGB are very determined to figure out and put a stop to. Add into the mix a rogue Russian test pilot, a freelance money launderer, and several double deals and you have one heck of an intriguing plot.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bubba and the Dead Woman

book cover art for Bubba and the Dead Woman by CL Bevill Bubba and the Dead Woman
Bubba Snoddy #1
by C.L. Bevill
Genres: Mystery, Humor, Suspense

     This is a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover, or its title. The cover art isn't flashy or too terribly eye catching. The title is hardly promising a classy novel that will be discussed in the best social circles. But this book is Funny. Bubba is your fairly typical good ol' southern boy born and raised in Texas. But that is where the normalcy ends. His mother operates a weekly floating poker game and claims to have killed her late husband, in many different ways. An intruder breaks into their southern plantation home while wearing a sheet and pretending to be a ghost. There is so much more that befalls poor Bubba, he just is not having a very good week at all.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ice Country Release!

Ice Country (The Country Saga #2)
by David Estes.

Book Synopsis

Dazz, a hard-edged, fun-loving Icer, likes fighting, particularly while at his favorite watering hole. However, while recovering from a particularly bad break up, his decision to engage in a brutal pubroom brawl leads to a series of events that thrust him into a dark and mysterious scandal involving King Goff, the ice country ruler.
When his seven-year-old sister is abducted in the dark of night, Dazz pledges to do whatever it takes to get her back, embarking on a quest that threatens to rip apart the very fabric that's barely holding his shattered family together.
Along the way he meets a group of unlikely allies in the form of a travelling group of fire country natives. Can Dazz, when joined with his best friend, Buff, and new tan-skinned friends, defeat the King and his guards before it's too late for his sister?

My Review:

     In this installation of David Estes' Country Series we meet Dazz and Buff, two residents of Ice Country that do their best to raise themselves, managing to be as responsible as you can expect 17 year olds to be when left to their own devices. The boys find themselves set upon a journey where they learn responsibility, leadership, teamwork, and just how badly their society is corrupted.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Blood - Featured Author Review

book cover art for Life Blood by Thomas Hoover Life Blood
by Thomas Hoover
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

     Morgan James is producing a movie on adoption. The red tape, the pit falls, the suspense, disappointment, and sometimes the reward of finally having a child to call your own. This is a topic that is close to her heart that she has experience in, as she has personally run the gamut of fertility tests and pharmaceuticals in her own quest for a baby. She stumbles across a woman who adopted a beautiful baby within 3 months, she'd had to pay a hefty price but the red tape and paperwork had been minimal. During her research into this new source of adoption, Morgan finds much more than she was looking for.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Thomas Hoover - Featured Author April 2013

picture of author Thomas Hoover

Thomas Hoover

Main genres:
  Mystery & Thriller, Nonfiction

     I don't really have much of a system for choosing a featured author. I have a list of authors which I have four or more books on my "to read" list. Many of these authors are scheduled on their birth month when possible. When I found that I had no author scheduled for this month I went searching on Amazon and found Thomas Hoover. The synopsis of his books sound interesting and what I have read of his work so far is very entertaining. Most of his ebooks are free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and his website.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monthly Picks for April 2013

     I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday and don't fall victim to too many practical jokes today. I'm going to make this short and sweet as I'm already late getting this post up. The free ebooks from Amazon that I intend to read this month:

book cover art for Bubba and the Dead Woman by  C.L. Bevill
The Seventh Seal by J. Thorn
Science Fiction
book cover art of Bonded by Nicky Charles
Paranormal Romance
book cover art for The Right Wrong Number by Barbara Delinsky