Friday, August 31, 2012

{Blog Tour/Review} Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn

Welcome to Literary R&R's stop on Jerome Charyn's Back to Bataan blog tour, hosted by Tribute Books!

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature."

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac," and the Los Angeles Times described him as "absolutely unique among American writers."

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

ISBN #: 978-1476119076
Page Count: 98
Copyright: July 1, 2012
Publisher: Tribute Books

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

New York City, 1943.

War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight ...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

Mandy's Review:


Although I like this cover, I do have a slight issue with it ... assuming that the people on the cover are representatives of Jack and "Coco." The Jack and "Coco" on this cover look to mature to be the Jack and "Coco" portrayed in the story. I like the Jack and "Coco" representatives on the original cover (below).

Plot/Main Character

Jack's father was a soldier who died in Bataan during the war. His mother now has to work in a parachute factory to try and keep food on the table, Jack in school, and clothes on Jack's back. All Jack can think of, though, is becoming a soldier and fighting with MacArthur as his father did.

When Jack tells his plans of quitting school and becoming a soldier to his mother and his fiancee, Mauricette, they both become upset with him and basically tell him how foolish he's being. So, Jack writes a composition to tell about his feelings and reads it aloud in school the next day.

From there ensues changes to Jack's life that he hadn't planned on: His beloved "Coco" breaking up with him, his becoming a firebug and a thief, and his running away from home and joining up with a group of hobos.

Will Jack be able to return the life he left or will his pride keep him from going back and making amends?


To be around 100 pages, this book has a lot going on. The writing and emotions conveyed is impeccable, as is par for the course with a Charyn work. Although the technicalities of the work is excellent, I'm afraid I wasn't as drawn into this story as I usually am with Jerome's work. I am still a huge fan of Jerome Charyn and his books remain automatic must-reads for me, but this is not one that I enjoyed as much as others.

If you're looking for a quick read concerning the war during the early 1940s from a pre-teen's perspective, then this novella is for you.

*An ecopy of this book was provided by Tribute Books for the purposes of this tour and in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

{Review} Teaching Algebra to Chickens by Don Peckham

ISBN #: 978-0615420929
Page Count: 147
Copyright: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Donald E. Peckham

(Taken from back cover)

Have you ever stopped to wonder how the universe can go on forever? How once upon a time there was nothingness and yet everything that now exists was somehow created out of that nothingness? Have you ever wondered if there's a master designer God, the universe, the Force, or whatever you'd like to call it that made everything? And if this ultimate being made everything, then who made him?

And then there's the smaller stuff: How does our brain work? Why are we so different from animals or are we? Do gender differences really matter? Why is there war? What will happen to humans if we destroy our environment? What happens when we die?

The fact is that life is filled with endless unanswerable questions, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask them. Join author Don Peckham as he ponders those things in life that defy explanation and the things that seem beyond our comprehension. While we think we may know the answers, Don will challenge you to look past those beliefs that you readily accept and question their validity. We may not be able to answer every question that life raises any better than a chicken can learn algebra, but we can open our awareness to a place of wonder and respect for the unanswerable.

Charlene's Review:

As a self-professed "octogenarian," Mr. Peckham brings his life experience to the pages of this book, in a memoir of sorts, that brings to the forefront all the unanswerable questions of the universe. Some are humorous, some are controversial, and many are just good old-fashioned common sense. This is a man with a no-holds-barred mentality, that gives it to you as he sees it.

By far, I appreciated his humor the most. When speaking of the galaxies around us, he says, "There is a googol more galaxies out there. And what is a googol? No, it's not an internet search engine." I also enjoyed his Prodigy version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." "Scintillate, scintillate, globular vivific..."

On controversy: "If we don't try to learn with open minds we'll never discover the answer and we'll end up fighting and hating each other forever. What's the good in that?" He also says, " ... one thing we have proven beyond a doubt is that 'as far as we know' often doesn't go far enough."

I enjoyed seeing things from a new perspective and thought this was an enlightening book. As to the title, Mr. Peckham sums his book up with these words:

"For in the end, if we don't ask questions, we really are nothing more than chickens who can't learn algebra."

*A physical copy of this book was supplied through the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{Review} A Rendezvous to Die For by Betty McMahon

ISBN #: 978-1257931323
Page Count: 272
Copyright: November 11, 2011

(Taken from back cover)

All photographer Cassandra Cassidy wanted to do was settle into the peaceful Minnesota countryside and lick her New York-inflicted emotional wounds. But a photo gig she couldn't pass up has her up to her f-stops trying to get to the bottom of a gruesome hatchet job that left her nemesis dead and left her near the top of the suspect list. Smoking out the real killer will lead the mystery world's new reluctant sleuth deep into the colorful re-enactor culture and into dangerous political intrigue at the Indian reservation.

See what develops as Cassandra uses her non-existent detecting skills - and short list of acquaintances - to track down the real killer before she becomes more valuable to him dead or alive.

Charlene's Review:

Cassandra takes a morning drive to photograph a local Rendezvous, or re-enactment ceremony at a local Indian Reservation. A pleasurable morning takes a sudden turn when she finds the dead body of an acquaintance. The very same man she was see arguing with just minutes before.

Now, as suspect number one, Cassandra is on a mission to uncover who is really behind the murder. As she investigates, she uncovers plenty of motives, especially surrounding a land development company that proposed a housing development on Indian land. Soon, she finds herself not only the suspect, but if she's not careful, the next victim.

A mystery rich in possible suspects, motives, and Indian politics. Ms. McMahon does a wonderful job keeping the suspense building, with wild chases and non-stop action. The development of her characters is as rich as the story surrounding them. Cassandra, while initially unassuming, blossoms as a character as she finds she must trust only herself. I found this to be an enjoyable novel that reads quickly.

Although I guessed more than once at who the killer might be, the ending is a surprise. I would gladly read any other stories written by Ms. McMahon, especially if the heroine, Cassandra, is involved.

Imaginative and entertaining, A Rendezvous to Die For is simply "to die for!"

*A paperback copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

{Review} The Blue Poppy by Robert W. Welkos

ISBN #: 978-1470153830
Page Count: 402
Copyright: May 23, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

A treasure trove of Tibetan religious artifacts, known only as the Blue Poppy, has disappeared. Only one man may know its whereabouts. He is former FBI agent Robert Frazier, convicted of espionage and now imprisoned at a high-security federal penitentiary in Colorado known as "Supermax." His one hope for freedom may lie with Dr. Colleen Gale, the psychiatrist hired to help win him a new trial on appeal. But her access to the prisoner also makes her a target, and as the prisoner's story unfolds, she finds herself not only drawn to Frazier, but entangled in the inner circles of the rare art world, and of greed and obsession that reaches all the way to the White House Cabinet.

When a prison break designed to abduct Frazier goes array, he and Colleen find themselves running for their lives - hunted by an international art smuggler and assassin known as the Ghost, and by federal marshals who have seen six of their own slaughtered during the mayhem.

Kathy's Review:

This book reminds me of one of the bestsellers written by Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Michael Baldacci, etc. Robert Frazier is in prison and Colleen Gale is trying to uncover whether or not he was set up. She stumbles into a cover-up that goes all the way to the top and becomes a target. Tons of action help keep up the fast pace of this plot.

Although this was a 400-page book, once I got into it, I flew through it in a couple of days, reading 100 pages in a sitting. It's well-written, with moments of intense drama and high emotion. The characters are easy to get to know. I believed Robert's claim that he was set up because of the way his character was written to seem like a nice guy. Colleen, who is the main character in the story, has an interesting backstory that we get to see in bits and pieces.

My only complaints with the book are that I don't quite get the leap of Colleen and Robert falling in love. The dots don't seem to connect there. And finally, the book summary itself divulges a huge spoiler: the prison break, which doesn't happen until almost page 300. The summary on the back of the book focuses even more on the prison break, making me think that it was a misprint until I got to that point in the book. I think this gives too much away to the reader and does an injustice to the climax of the story.

Otherwise, this is a thriller that would be a great accompaniment on a vacation, on a plane ride or any time you can lose yourself in a story for a few hours. Looking forward to this author's next work!

*A physical copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

{Review} Seeker of Shadows by Nancy Gideon

ISBN #: 978-1439199510
Page Count: 387
Copyright: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

His town.

Susanna Duchamps came to New Orleans to settle a debt and to temporarily escape the controlled constraints of her life among the Chosen. What she finds is an opportunity to make miraculous strides with her research into Shifter genetics ... and an unexpected, but never forgotten, man from her complicated past.

Her rules.

Shifter club owner Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he longs for the mate he lost ... until the enticingly familiar presence of a mysterious stranger from the north ignites a primal, nearly uncontrollable need to release the untamed beast inside him.

Their last chance.

Susanna dares not tell Jacques it was she who sacrificed his past and her future years ago, to protect him and the secret she carried. But her arrival in New Orleans comes with consequences. When a bloody confrontation erupts between their enemy clans, will she betray her lover once again - or throw her own life on the line so they can finish what they started?

Mandy's Review:

When I first began to read this book, I did not realize that it was the sixth book in this series. Seeker of Shadows can be read on its own, but I could kind of tell which characters may have been portrayed in the previous five books.

Susanna is the type of woman that gets on my nerves, but yet I understood why she thought the way she did. She has decided to cohabitate with a guy from her clan whom she feels is the best protector of her and her daughter. Damien knows her sordid background and has magnanimously decided to provide a familial facade for her to hide behind. Susanna goes along with this because she thinks that Damien really has her and her daughter's, Pearl, best interests at heart.

When she's requested to help with a secret mission in New Orleans, Susanna decides to help without telling Damien where she's going or what she's working on. She entrusts Pearl's care to Damien. While she's in New Orleans, Susanna not only sees her past lover but she also encounters Damien's true nature.

Being in the bright, creative, vibrant setting of New Orleans has Susanna wishing she could take Pearl and move away from her bland, cold, strict Chicago atmosphere. Will she give in to her feelings and stay with her true mate or will she succumb to duty and return to the man who threatens her future?

Seeker of Shadows is a wildly sexy story. The element of Damien's power-hungry control add to the darkness in the story, which will pull you in and sweep you along. I recommend this book to all paranormal romance lovers out there.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

{Review} Chasing Paris by Jen Carter

ISBN #: 978-1478258537
Page Count: 268
Copyright: July 16, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

Amy Winthrow is shocked when her grandmother dies - not because Elizabeth Hathaway's death is unexpected but because her existence had always been hidden. Ever-inquisitive and prone to letting her imagination get the best of her, Amy embarks upon a journey with an unlikely friend to unravel the mysteries of the elusive Lizzie Hathaway.

As she follows the trail of broken dreams and promises of her grandmother's life, Amy finds herself on a path of accidental self-discovery - a path that she chases all the way to Paris where Lizzie's story ends and Amy's begins.

Charlene's Review:

When Amy receives a letter in the mail from a grandmother she never knew, her life as she knows it is turned upside down. Her family asks her to forget it, get her inheritance and let it go, but Amy can't seem to get the mystery of this never-spoken-of grandmother out of her mind.

Meanwhile, Amy misplaces a treasured book that is found by a complete stranger. This stranger, Will, begins a search to return the book to the poetic girl that lost it. In doing so, he soon becomes a major player in the quest that Amy sets out upon to find out the details behind her family's secrets.

With nods to classic literature, Chasing Paris pulled me from cover to cover without effort. Amy, a disillusioned dreamer, finds new passion in tracking down the secrets of her newly found, and lost, grandmother. This is an amazing adventure, with romance and emotionally appealing characters. The family and their emotional investment in keeping the past hidden especially enriched the plot, as the reader can see the raw emotion of the ones involved and how their pain changed their lives, and of those to come. Highly recommend this heartfelt tale.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Blogger Hop #14

Welcome to Literary R&R's post for this week's Book Blogger Hop! If you're interested to see who else has posted, just click here to view the linky list over at Crazy For Books.

This week's question:

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Mandy's Answer:

Well, I started this blog with the intention of just getting my thoughts down about all the books that I read. As it grew to what it is now, I've enjoyed meeting all of the other book bloggers out there as well as hearing about various literary expos, which I never knew existed before I began blogging. So, basically, my favorite thing is still meeting everyone and getting my opinions out there into the blogosphere.

I've told you mine, now tell me yours by leaving me a comment below and thanks for stopping by! =)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

{Review} The Five O'Clock Follies by Theasa Tuohy

ISBN #: 978-0984779918
Publisher: Calliope Press

(As provided on the Press Release)

Longtime daily journalist Theasa Tuohy captures the essence of what drives those who go to war armed only with a camera, notebook, and pen. In the fast pace of explosive romance and gritty adventure, The Five O'Clock Follies explores the serious issues of the Vietnam War, the role of the press and what a long way female correspondents have come in forty years.

Charlene's Review:

On the downside of a broken marriage, Angela Martinelli is out to make a name for herself, and a new start. When she lands in the oppressive heat of Saigon during the Vietnam War as a Freelance Journalist, she is met with much prejudice. The war is no place for a lady. But she quickly turns her heels in for jungle boots and meets the challenge.

Facing situations most tough guys avoid, Angela fights to get her story and prove her worth in the man's world of journalism. Arranging flights for herself into battle to capture the real stories, visiting field hospitals and seeing for herself the ravages of war, and the horrid stench of gangrene, she eventually becomes a prisoner of the Viet Cong. But Angela isn't done yet, and soon the "mans war" that's being fought makes room for one tough bird.

I had a hard time believing this was a fictional book, as the writing and detail were so great. With the Vietnam War being such a controversial war, this book handled it, warts and all. It never came across as political, although there were some definite political slants. It is the story of the soldiers, the people, and the journalists, as they fought to cover a thankless war. Totally engrossing, occasionally grandiose, but immensely entertaining.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

{Review} The Chroma by Jake Farrow

ISBN#: 978-0741435620
Page Count: 207
Copyright: January 6, 2012
Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

The Chroma can't be seen while its bloodshadow is visible. Likewise, the bloodshadow can't be seen while the Chroma is visible. Characterized by such contradictions, the Chroma generates reactive panic.

CJ's Review:

This book is termed as a Psychological Horror/Thriller. I would give it the genre of a Twisted Mind F%&k Psycho Babble Documentary.

Mr. Jake Farrow has written a book that definitely reflects his obviously twisted mind. Not sure where he gets some of these ideas, but to say that they are beyond most people's comprehension would be an understatement. The book itself has a good storyline that can be easily followed. The fault I find in the book is with some of the dialogue. It reminds me of high school banter between two dorks that are trying to be cool.

The book is about a Chroma, or a bloodshadow (which is how it is described in the book). This bloodshadow can do pretty much whatever it wants to; i.e. inhabit anything living and make it do what it wants, create illusions in your mind and so on and so forth. It kills people and things for the pleasure of it. The story is about some friends that travel to the Canadian wilderness for a camping trip. The Chroma takes advantage of a weakling named John. It helps to kill a few people and eventually is killed itself. The weakling John is left pretty much as a mindless dumbass who is scared of his own shadow.

Look ... this book was just okay for me. I'm not really a "Hey, this psycho story is cool!" kinda guy, but it did have somewhat of a plot. The author did a good job of making me say, "What the hell just happened?"

There seems to be a reoccurring theme as I read many of these books. I am beginning to think that I am a simpleton. Here lately, every book has just confused me instead of interested me.

I will give the author one note of credit: He has a very sick mind. I guess that's good for horror books, right? Stephen King probably has a sick mind.

I'll give The Chroma 2 stars out of 5; just wish I could have gotten more into the storyline.

*A physical copy of the book was provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{Teaser Tuesday}

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading. To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

Kathy's Teaser (#1):

"Do you know what this is, Samson?" Pokey asked.

"Looks like a medicine bundle. Ain't you supposed to sing a song when you open it?"

"Don't have to with this one. Nobody ever had medicine like this. I ain't never showed it to anyone before."

"What are those teeth?"

"Coyote teeth. Coyote claws, coyote fur. I don't tell people about it anymore because they all say I'm crazy, but my spirit helper is Old Man Coyote."

"He's just in stories," Sam said. "There isn't any Old Man Coyote."

Coyote Blue, Page 28
Author: Christopher Moore
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Kathy's Teaser (#2):

"Robert, I got a phone call from some lady named Dr. Gale who said she wanted to talk to me. She said she is your psychiatrist. I have debated talking to the lady. If I do, I will tell her all I know about you. Not to save you, understand? Just to clear the air. This being the last time I ever discuss you with anyone."

The Blue Poppy, Page 168
Author: Robert W. Welkos
Release Date: May 23, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

Monday, August 20, 2012

{Review} The Journey by Dan O'Brien

File Size: 173 KB
Page Count: 95
Copyright: September 10, 2011
Publisher: The Dan O'Brien Project; 2nd Edition

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure.

Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, The Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all.

CJ's Review:

The Journey starts with Th'bid, a man or not a man, that either dies or doesn't die and travels in his mind or not in his mind to find the meaning of life, or death, or neither, or both.

Confusing? Yeah, join the freaking club.

Evidently, our author, Mr. O'Brien, likes to make sure that you don't have a damn clue as to what you're reading, let alone understanding. Through the course of reading this book, I felt my sanity slipping ever so slowly away. I'm not sure if this was intentional by the author or not, but it worked ... or didn't work.

Just as an overview: From what I gather, this dude dies and goes on a trip in the "afterlife" or "purgatory." He has no idea what his name is and has no idea where he is going. He travels through time or space or a galaxy or ... who the hell knows. He visits five beings (get a load of these names): the Frozen Man, the Burning Man, the Wicker Man, the Translucent Man, and the Keeper. The whole book centers on his quest to find the meaning of who he is and what he is there for.

I won't spoil the ending for you, but, needless to say, I was lost for almost the entire book. I think Mr. O'Brien is far more intellectual than I am. I had no idea what I was supposed to learn from the book. Congrats Dan, this was a real winner. Only for smart people, anyone out there with a 150 IQ or better, let me know if you want to read this. Then, maybe, you can put it in redneck terms I can understand.

Note for future books, O'Brien ... try to make it so hillbillies can understand your work. You might reach a broader audience that way.

*A physical copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

{Review} Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

ISBN #: 978-1595547934
Page Count: 336
Copyright: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it's only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.

But one day, Sam sees these thugs harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.

Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the devil, and death. And here's the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies - prophecies of something terrible that's going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.

With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.

Mandy's Review:

I was surprised by this book. I thought for sure that it would be a cheesy Christian novel about demons. It was not.

Sam is a 16-year-old high school student who's training to join the track team at his high school. Although he's the son of a preacher, his smart mouth lands him in favor with the bad boys of the high school. At first Sam thinks this is cool because he's tired of people not being normal around him just because of him being a preacher's kid. Especially Zoe, a girl who only has eyes for Mark, the high school track star and Jennifer's older brother.

Jennifer hears voices that she believes to be demons. She only hears them at night when it's dark and she's all alone in bed. Along with the voices are the strange visions she has. When she meets Sam, she's out looking for the devil.

Through some strange circumstances, Sam befriends Jennifer causing him to get an "in" with Mark and the cool crowd. During his friendship with Jennifer, Sam considers Jennifer's crazy talk and realizes that there may be something to it.

Although Sam's a preacher's kid and is held to a higher standard of conduct than most, he steals a car, breaks into a hospital, breaks out with a patient and runs from the police ... all to save a huge crowd of people and to prove the truth behind Jennifer's visions. A truth that is shocking and completely unexpected.

Crazy Dangerous is definitely crazy, but a great read. The majority of the novel is from Sam's perspective with the remaining parts from Jennifer's perspective. Reading her rendition of the voices she hears and the visions she sees can be heart-pounding. Andrew Klavan has proven that you can have a suspensefully thrilling novel without any vulgarity or crude language. Well done, Mr. Klavan. I am now a fan of your work.

*An ecopy of this book was provided by BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

{Review} Forever A-Men by John Trevillian

ISBN #: 978-1780880907
Page Count: 354
Copyright: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

Book Summary:
(Taken from dustjacket flap)

The Nowhereman: Weak and alone, Jack wakes to find himself trapped within the pages of his faerie tale book, now made horribly real. Still wracked with grief at Esther's death, he is pulled into a war between mortals and gods that threatens to destroy Forevermore. Accompanied by his aide, Graysmark, Jack joins forces with the Amen against his arch-nemesis Maleore, aware that his only chance at victory is to return to the place where the whole story began.

Pure: Still reeling from their miraculous rescue from the freezing waters of the Surabian Ocean, Susannah and Dingo the Wonder Dog return to the bloodshot streets of Dead City. Working as mercenaries for the highest bidder, they're sent to gatecrash the largest comeback party in the history of the fallen megalopolis: the grand reopening of the infamous Werehouse.

Dingo the Wonder Dog: As Pure's reluctant sidekick, Elliott is dragged into rescuing abducted pop sensations Hell's Belles from the clutches of the Gonks 'R' Us streetgang. Yet securing tickets to the one-night-only party is gonna take every gramme of superhero stealth and cunning the canine crossbreed has amassed since his escape from the RuZu Dome.

Lord Midwinter: Blind private investigator Arken Ellis Winterman uses his innate psychometric powers to read objects, people and places as part of unsolved crime investigations. And now he's hired by Orizon's Tarun Ishana Macmillan to discover why USSA citizens have started dying in their sleep - a case that brings him face to face with a sinister construct known only as The Forest that threatens each and every one of the thirteen moons.

D'Alessandro: Having supplanted the near-space ruling sentience, Nathaniel Raymond Glass discovers that the realisation of his dream to be a god is still fraught with problems. Split into two battling entities, he is forced to beseech Jack to help solve the paradox of good and evil before the thirteen kingdoms are lost forever ...

Mandy's Review:

Forever A-Men is the third, and final, installment of The A-Men series. John has definitely saved the best for last. I dreaded seeing this book come to an end, but I couldn't stop myself from reading its pages.

Jack finally acknowledges and accepts his position in the faerie tale as king. He is one of the most unorthodox kings I have ever read. His language is foul and his actions can be abominable, but his heart is good. He tries his best to take the path that will cause a minimal amount of damage to those he cares about. Often times, though, his plan of action is looked upon as crazy and insane.

Susannah re-enters Jack's life, which neither of them expected ... seeing as how Susannah thought she had killed him. Jack rescues Susannah from her marriage to an evil faerie king and they fall back in love. They fight together until the very end.

Elliott is a whiz when is comes to computers and technology. He finally gets his chance to play the hero when he enters Jack's faerie tale.

This entire book is a portrayal of the ultimate fight between good and evil; between gods and mortals; between the ultimate God and men who believe themselves to be gods. The fight scenes, and there are many, are graphic and nail-biting.

Forever A-Men deftly ties up all the loose ends from the first two novels. All of the questions or wonderings I had while reading The A-Men and The A-Men Return were answered in this novel. I had quite a few "Aha!" moments.

Fans of science-fiction have to get John Trevillian's The A-Men series. I can easily see this becoming a show on the SyFy channel or even a series of movies on the big screen. Yes, this series is just that good, but you've got to read it for yourself to see what I mean. I don't have the adequate words to describe just how good these books really are.

*A hardcopy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Blogger Hop

I know it's been awhile since we've participated in this hop and I am excited for us to get back into it!!!! The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. To read the history and rules for this hop, simply click here and it'll tell you all about it.

This week's question is:

"What is the one genre you will NEVER read?"

Mandy's Response:

I used to say that I would never ever read science-fiction. I used to equate science fiction to the Star Wars movies, which I absolutely loathe. However, over the course of reviewing several self-published authors, I have been swayed by some really awesome science-fiction authors.

So, again, the question begs to be answered: Which genre would I NEVER read?



This has also happened over the course of my reading self-published authors ... I will never read another self-help book again. I do have one or two that I previously agreed to review that I will honor, but after those ... that's it. I know self-help authors need promoting like any other author, but I want to be able to escape into a fake world when I read. I don't want to "fix" me. I like me. I have some rough spots, but overall I think I'm pretty great. Reading self-help books has just turned into a bore for me, which tells me it's time for me to stop reading them.

Sorry, authors.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

{Blog Tour/Guest Post & Excerpt} Can Books Teach Kids to Overcome Peer Pressure?

Welcome to our stop on Steve Theunissen's Through Angel's Eyes blog tour, hosted by ABG Reads Book Tours!

Below you will find book info, book summary and Steve's post with a small excerpt. Enjoy!

ISBN #: 978-1618973740
Page Count: 208
Copyright: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Alabama, 1963 - A world is about to explode ... Angel Dunbar's life is about to be engulfed by the flames. She'll be humiliated, spat upon, beaten and left for dead. And she'll fall in love - with a dangerous twist. Want to know what really happened when Birmingham exploded? Then you've just got to live it ... Through Angel's Eyes.

Guest Post: Can Books Teach Kids to Overcome Peer Pressure?

As a middle school teacher I see children with sharp minds and oodles of potential daily being sidetracked by that great evil of society, peer pressure - and it breaks my heart. The urge to conform among kids is so strong that they seem all too willing to betray their true selves in order to gain, if not popularity, then at least acceptance by their peers. Yet, isn't it individuality rather than conformity that is the mark of a productive member of society?

That is why I believe that resistance to peer pressure is one of the greatest lessons that we can teach our children. But how? It has been my experience that good books with strong role models can have a powerful influence on children. It was that realization that spurred me on to write my first novel 'Through Angel's Eyes.' I wanted to put in front of my students a hero drawn from real life who faced up to and overcame seemingly unendurable pressure from all sides, without denying the beauty of her inner self. At the same time I wanted to share with them the timeless wisdom of a man who had so much to teach us all about overcoming peer pressure - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By walking in the shoes of Angel Dunbar, I figured, students would be able to make the hard choices in their own lives, especially with Dr. King's words ringing in their ears.

Here's one example of Angel overcoming peer pressure in Through Angel's Eyes ...

There, comin' up the street was that old black beast of a car that I'd come to hate. The car that I'd heard at Fred's meetin' that time. The car that I'd sat in on the way to that dreadful other meetin'. The car that stood for everythin' I was trying to get Ronny away from. "Damn!" I whispered. Ronny squeezed my hand. It was those same two guys as last time sittin' in front. As they got closer, the guy in the passenger seat leaned out an' yelled, "We caught the love birds!"

The other guy let out a loud "Hurrah!" an' then they both repeated it together, "We've caught the lovebirds!"

"Ronny, they've been drinkin'!" I whispered.

"It's alright, Angel," he tried to comfort me. The car pulled up alongside us, an' they both spilled out, stumblin' onto the pavement.

"Hoping we'd come across you, Ronny boy," the one who'd been drivin' mumbled. His breath was all over us, that sick smell o' hard liquor.

"Ain't got time for no mushy stuff, now boy," he babbled. "We got biznes to do."

"What's up?" Ronny asked.

"Serious, Ronny," the other one spoke now. "Klan's been doin' some serious crap, man. Bombed King's house, bombed the Gaston. We gotta do somethin' 'bout those fascist pigs, boy!"

I looked at Ronny.

Now's the time Ronny, I thought. Now's the time to prove this to me. All the talk in the world don't mean nothin' if you don't stand up now.

"What ya gonna do?" Ronny asked.

No, Ronny, I thought. Don't even go there.

"Jus' gonna go cruising, Ronny," the driver slurred. "But, boy, who knows what we gonna find?"

He winked at me then, an' I gave him a look that made it clear I wasn't gonna play along.

"Now, you gonna drop off your woman first or she comin' too?" He smirked back at me.

"Ronny!" I whispered, grabbin' his arm.

"You guys are drunk," Ronny said, pulling away from me. "You'll drive us to our death 'fore we even see the Klan."

"Drunk!" the driver roared. "Boy, I ain't never been more sober. Now if you's too chicken to mix it with the big boys, don't come up with no wimpy excuses 'bout us bein' drunk!"

"I ain't chicken," Ronny shot back.

Oh, Ronny, I thought, you've played right into this fool's hand. I had to jump in.

"But he ain't stupid, either," I said.

The driver turned to me, an amazed look on his face.

"What the hell is this, Ronny?" he yelled. "Your tart standing up for ya. Where's your pride, boy?"

I waited for Ronny to let him have it then - to put that drunk fool in his place for callin' me a tart.

But he never did. Instead he shot an annoyed look at me.

"Shut up, Angel!" he said.

I felt foolish then. Ronny'd let me down - left me stranded. All the nice words - the dreamin' while we were alone, the promises - all that'd jus' disappeared. But it was worse than that. They were gonna do somethin' crazy tonight an' I knew now that Ronny was goin' with them. Without me, he'd be led into whatever stupid thing they did. I knew I had to save him.

The three of 'em were piling into the car.

"You can walk home from here," Ronny nodded at me. His words were harsh soundin', nothin' like the sweet, comfortin' way he'd been speakin' jus' a few minutes ago, before these two'd turned up.

"No," I glared at him. "I'm comin' with you."

The driver let out a hoot an' cried out, "Got you a feisty one there, boy!"

As I climbed into the back o' that horrible black car I jus' knew that somethin' terrible was gonna happen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

{Review} The Tail of Gigi: Gigi Finds A Home by Maureen Skaggs

ISBN #: 978-1935766346
Page Count: 20
Copyright: 2012
Publisher: Windy City Publishers

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Gigi has a happy home.

It wasn't always that way. At one time, she was a lonely and scared puppy and lived in the streets.

But when a nice man found Gigi and took her to an animal shelter, her life began to change.

Adopted by a new family, Gigi finally found the love she was looking for.

Mandy's Review:

The Tail of Gigi is a cute story about a little dog named Gigi who used to be a stray. She was caught and taken to an animal shelter where she was cleaned up and prepared for adoption. Soon Gigi was adopted by a loving family and now lives happily.

This is a cute little children's book that would be perfect for either a boy or a girl; however, the coloring on the cover may persuade parents and children that it's meant more for girls. Although the graphics are not "professionally" done, they are whimsical and sweet with their hand-drawn lines. The Tail of Gigi would be a great addition to any child's cache of books.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

{Teaser Tuesday}

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading. To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

Kate's Teaser:

He offered me a thin smile. I wanted him to know it was me who killed him. The Keepers have never been good at knowing who we are when we're wolves.


But I was a warrior, and love's scars weren't so different from battle scars.

Bloodrose, Pages 174 & 368 respectively
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: August 7, 2012 (Reprint Edition)
Publisher: Speak

Mandy's Teaser:

Damien couldn't erase what had happened but he was determined to do whatever he could to crush out all reminders. By removing their child from her arms. By replacing Pearl with his own progeny. By controlling every aspect of her days and nights.

He was trapping her in a cold, soulless hell to serve his own selfish purpose.

And seeing the flicker of horror she couldn't quite hide, he smiled in satisfaction.

Seeker of Shadows, Page 241
Author: Nancy Gideon
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books

Monday, August 13, 2012

{Review} The Shakespeare Guru's Guide to Getting Shakespeare Alive! (And Letting Go of Getting it RIGHT) by Martha Mendenhall

ISBN #: 978-1621370352
Page Count: 213
Copyright: June 18, 2012

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

The Shakespeare Guru's Guide to Getting Shakespeare Alive! is meant to blow the dust off Shakespeare's scripts by providing useful tips and strategies for classroom or rehearsal work. You'll get practical, concrete assistance with overcoming stumbling blocks such as:
  • Fear of the language
  • Belief that the plays are antiquated relics of the 16th century
  • Over-reliance upon "translations" or lexicons
  • Misinformation about performance practices of Shakespeare's theatre
  • Insistence upon deferring to the "experts" in an attempt to get the plays "right"
Complete with a 60-minute (100% Shakespeare) script of Romeo and Juliet, the Guru's Guide encourages you to trust your own instincts, to get the text up on its feet and, by all means, to have fun with Shakespeare. They don't call them plays for nothing!

Mandy's Review:

Although I have loved to read for years, the most dreaded moment in my high school English classes were when the teacher decided we needed to read Shakespeare. I generally understood the context of Shakespeare's plays, but the language was always a detriment to my full, complete understanding. I can handle a few Old English words and phrases, but Shakespeare's characters always seemed to, for lack of a better phrase, go around their ass to get to their elbow when they were trying to make a point. Perhaps if we had a copy of The Shakespeare Guru's Guide to Getting Shakespeare Alive! we could've enjoyed this part of the class more.

It's apparent that the author, Martha Mendenhall, has studied Shakespeare and the time period in which he lived. She has an uncanny knack for breaking down Shakespeare (his life, the time period, his intent and his writing) and making it relatable to a person of any intelligence level.

The Shakespeare Guru's Guide to Getting Shakespeare Alive! should be part of the required reading in high school before any of Shakespeare's play are taken on.

*A physical copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

{Review} Fourteen Interviews by Barbara Bayes

File Size: 296 KB
Page Count: 176

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Martha, having given up on her less than successful art career, is desperate to find work. Though no one said it would be easy, she is ill-prepared for the bizarre roller coaster ride that ensues. Her long, sometimes funny, sometimes painful, journey through fourteen job interviews, changes her in ways she could never have imagined.

An eccentric dowager looking for a chauffeur, a recalcitrant dog who needs a walker, a coffee shop owner with a horrifying past, a pair of dysfunctional siblings who run an art gallery, a controlling mother looking for a nanny, the bully who tortured her as a child - these are just a few of the many characters she meets on her journey who bring her to a new understanding of herself.

Kathy's Review:

Everyone's had a job interview where they leave scratching their head. I'll share mine: a potential employer had me draw a diagram on a white board having something to do with left brain and right brain, and then when I finished, all he said was "Hmm!" Then, he promptly erased the diagram and moved on to his next question. Even more curious: I was hired!

In Fourteen Interviews, former artist Martha is in search of that perfect job, but in the process, encounters some not-so-perfect potential employers. Broken into chapters, the interviews are for a wide variety of jobs, each with an interviewer with a unique personality and interview style. Some are more hands-on than others, for example, the Dog Walker position which has her doing battle with a stubborn pooch who has it out for her, or the Window Dresser position where she wrestles with a mannequin while the store employees look on. These situations will have you laughing out loud - and maybe empathizing with Martha because it's all too similar to your own experience in a job search. Not only are these stories within themselves, but we learn more and more about Martha as it moves along. I like how the author wove in these details in such a subtle manner. I like how Martha's journey through the interview process also changes her as a person and helps her to learn about herself.

There are a couple minor typos and such, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I loved the humor throughout, and Martha's character development is handled expertly.

Whether you're happily employed, job searching or recently hired, there's something everyone can relate to in Fourteen Interviews. Give it a whirl!

*An ecopy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

{Review} The Concubine's Gift by K. Ford K.

ISBN #: 978-1466287570
Page Count: 230
Copyright: December 29, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace

Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

Bernice Babbitt, a sexually inhibited, thirty-nine-year-old woman, leads a peaceful life in the tiny resort town of Valentine, Nevada. Living only two miles from the famed bordello, The Honey Bunny Ranch, she can't imagine what goes on behind its closed doors.

Things begin to change when Bernice buys an old, black-laquer makeup case in an antique shop. The case once belonged to Blissful Night, the most famous and powerful concubine in Hong Kong. According to legend, Blissful Night could give a man more pleasure in one night than he would have experienced in an entire lifetime.

Inside the makeup case, Bernice discovers a forgotten jar of face powder, the secret to Blissful Night's success. Thinking the face powder is an herbal concoction that will beautify her skin, Bernice begins to use it, only to find that the powder causes her to see visions of other people's sex lives.

Bernice is horrified to discover that the only way she can rid herself of the visions is to blurt out sexual advice. Soon the entire town is in an uproar. But it isn't until Bernice learns more about Blissful Night's past that she knows what she must do.

The Concubine's Gift is a delightfully sexy novel in which Bernice Babbitt is drawn into a seductive world she never knew existed. A provocative and entertaining Pandora's Box of a tale!

Kathy's Review:

So you would think that living near a bordello, the citizens would be pretty open-minded. Not the case in Valentine. Most of the people there are pretty sheltered, including Bernice. What a perfect name for the main character - I think of an aunt who always tried to kiss my cheek when I was a child, and I would squirm away from at all costs. OK, her name wasn't really Bernice, but that's the image that comes to mind with that name.

Oh! The book!

Surprisingly, I thought this book was really sweet, for lack of a better word. I say "surprisingly" because the book is about a woman who finds a magical jar of face powder which allows her to see very intimate visions of people around her. Yes, the book does go into some detail about the visions she sees, but I wouldn't say it's that raunchy. It's written about in a tasteful and respectful way. Bernice gives advice to the people in her visions and their lives are better for it. In doing so, Bernice herself is transformed and becomes more confident in herself.

I liked the underlying story of Blissful Night, which is revealed slowly as the story progresses. Actually, I would have liked to see more of her story, to be honest!

Overall, I'd say this is one worth reading. It kind of reminds me of a mini soap opera with all the colorful characters in town. And like I said, while there is some adult content in there, it's no 50 Shades of Grey.

*A paperback copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 10, 2012

{Review} The Accidental Don by Guy J. Tirondola

ISBN #: 978-1470101046
Page Count: 232
Copyright: March 6, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

Locals in a small southern coastal village come to fear Donato De Luca, the stranger who has settled among them, whom they wrongly surmise to be a Mafia don. Donato, a bar owner from Newark, on the run, falsely accused of stealing money from the mob, uses his new-found evil identity as a force for good, combating hatred, bigotry, superstition, and finally confronting the mob boss who has arrived to kill him. Donato's journey reveals that some men are born wicked, some men achieve wickedness, and some men have wickedness thrust upon them.

Charlene's Review:

When Donato De Luca caters a dinner at a known Mafia house, he is accused of stealing from the mob. He takes his family and goes on the run, eventually settling in South Carolina. Local gossip soon has him figured for a Mafia Don, and he uses the assumptions to earn respect, and ultimately, his safety. Interwoven in the Mafia plot are issues synonymous with the 1950's south; racism and segregation, witchcraft, and the KKK, as well as controversial topics in the 50's, such as unwed pregnancy and homosexuality. With sympathetic characters, beautifully depicted scenery, and a gift for writing, this is a 5-star book.

I read this from cover to cover in one evening. It is quickly and totally engaging, and while it deals with some sensitive subjects, Mr. Tirondola handles them effortlessly and with tremendous grace. The De Luca family is delightful and family friend, Israel, a story in and of himself. I actually hated to see the end come, as I fell in love with these people. The Accidental Don was a surprisingly great story by a very talented writer. Mr. Tirondola, I want more!!

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

{Review} Her Dark Destiny (Hunters of the Dark #1) by Dave Ferraro

ASIN #: B004W0IEU2
File Size: 549 KB
Page Count: 414
Copyright: April 9, 2011
Publisher: Dave Ferraro

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Teenager Shanna Hunt has been hunting demons since her parents were murdered by them. She's used to doing things alone, her own way, but one fateful night throws her into the company of a team of hunters, each specializing in a particular kind of monster: vampires, werewolves, witches, shape-shifters ... This newly-formed team should be an unstoppable force for whatever is out there picking off individual hunters across the globe, but their first battle together against the monsters of the night could be their last.

Mandy's Review:

Her Dark Destiny is a refreshing addition to the paranormal genre. Shanna is realistically portrayed. Even though she's a hunter and a fighter, she's insecure, emotional, unsure of herself, and shy when it comes to dealing with people.

Her hunting started when her parents were murdered, but it really went full-force when her best friend was murdered. After that night, she joined The Agency with a group of other hunters. Each hunter hunts a different type of paranormal entity: werewolves, vampires, giants, witches, etc. It seems as if the hunter's prey is chosen based on that hunter's past events and personal experiences. The variance makes for an interesting back-story. The main focus, of course, is on Shanna.

As I was reading this novel, I was trying to think of comparisons but could not come up with any. It is a unique storyline to any that I have read before. Not all the guys in the novel want the main female character (THANK YOU, DAVE!!!), but she does have to decide between a bad boy and a good one.

Overall, this novel was well-written with relatable characters and a unique storyline that maintains a reader's interest. You, my dear Mr. Ferraro, receive five stars from me for that. I cannot wait to read what happens next.

*An ecopy was gifted through Amazon from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

{Review} Barefoot Girls by Tara McTiernan

ISBN #: 978-1477684108
Page Count: 402
Copyright: July 2, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace

Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

When her hometown newspaper reviews Hannah O'Brien's newly released novel, the nature of her book is called into question when the reviewer suggests it is a memoir depicting her neglectful alcoholic mother - Keeley O'Brien Cohen, the most beloved of the Barefoot Girls - a little too accurately for fiction, citing rumors rather than sources.

Deeply hurt and betrayed, Keeley cuts Hannah out of her life. Desperate, Hannah does everything she can to apologize and explain, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the rest of Hannah's life starts to unravel, pushing her to risk her engagement to Daniel, the one man who had been able to scale the high walls around her heart. At the eleventh hour, the Barefoot Girls are able to convince Keeley to send Hannah the keys to the Barefooter house, the home and heart of their friendship. Barred from their clubhouse since she was twelve, Hannah grabs the chance to visit the little shack filled with memories and perched at the tip of Captain's Island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York.

As Hannah battles to come to terms with her equally blessed and troubled childhood and understand her mother and her sister-close friends, she's confronted with the power of forgiveness and the dangers of holding on to the past.

Kathy's Review:

I'm not typically a chick-lit kind of chick. I soooooo expected not to like this book. I had a chip on my shoulder from the get-go when I started Barefoot Girls. I thought, here comes a ripoff of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a book which I read many years ago and don't remember being all that enthralled with. I even went back and read the summary of that book and there are a lot of similarities. But make no mistake - this is a totally original work and not at all like Rebecca Wells' book.

And then a funny thing happened. This book grew on me. It was a bit slow-going, it took me a while to warm to the characters. At first, the four Barefoot Girls, Keeley, Zooey, Amy and Pam, seemed like one entity to me. I still feel like I don't know much about Amy or Pam at the end of the story, but Keeley and Zooey get fleshed out a bit more. Hannah, Keeley's daughter, seemed like a bit of a brat to me at first. She's got a great fiance, a book on a best-selling list and a great place to live. Sounds like a pretty good life. But as the layers of her relationship with Keeley peel away, it becomes an interesting story.

The history of the Barefoot Girls is the story-within-the-story. Their rivalry with another island girl, Rose, is what really hooked me. Rose, as an adult, is mentally unstable, to say the least.

Give this book a chance, especially if you are into the chick-lit genre. This is a sometimes funny, sometimes gut-wrenching story about the bond between friends as well as between mother and daughter that withstands even the toughest of situations and revelations. It's a bit on the long side but if you are drawn into it like I was, the pages will fly by.

*An ecopy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{Teaser Tuesday}

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading. To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

Kate's Teaser:

"You're starving," he whispered.

"We don't have enough food to survive the winter," the man said with a hopeless shrug. "We petitioned the Population Police for help, but they said it was our own fault, our own problem. We made a pact after that, that we would not listen to them anymore. We would not be ... weak."

"You're giving up," Luke said in disbelief.

"We're free," the man replied.

Among the Free, last book in the Shadow Children series
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Release Date: July 24, 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Kathy's Teaser (1):

"In contrast, all I can say is that I'm the Queen of the Vampires. Though I wisely left that out on my application. Well, actually, I'm not the Queen of the Vampires, but if anyone asked, it's easier to explain if I said that, except I'd have to kill them afterwards."

Pure Healing, Ebook location 16/4042
Author: Aja James
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Publisher: Aja James

Kathy's Teaser (2):

"Sprinkle! Sprinkle! No! Bad Dog! No!" the owner chastised while she pulled at the small body, stretching Martha's pant leg to incredible lengths in the process. Martha wondered what her own reaction should be as she watched the five percent spandex of her pants reach its limit. She knew there was a lot at stake here, that her reaction to this crisis was everything.

Fourteen Interviews, Ebook location 131/2350
Author: Barbara Bayes
Release Date: May 30, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

{Review} A Tainted Dawn: The Great War by B. N. Peacock

ISBN #: 978-1611792126
Page Count: 352
Copyright: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Fireship Press

(Taken from back cover)

August 1789. The Rights of Man. Liberty. Equality. Idealism. Patriotism.

A new age dawns.

And yet, old hostilities persist: England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths -- the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, and the son of a French court tailor -- meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives thereafter. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to erupt in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other.

Will the dawn of the boys' young manhood remain bright with hope? Or will it become tainted with their countrymen's spilt blood?

Charlene's Review:

Best described as Historic Naval Fiction, A Tainted Dawn depicts the time period exceptionally. From the mannerisms and social class differences to the dialogue, this novel was written with a clear passion for the history involved. We meet French Revolutionary Louis, Aristocratic Englishman, Edward, and a poor English boy, Jemmy, who ran away from home. Each tries to prove himself amid the struggles surrounding the French Revolution, and upcoming war.

Although written with an obvious passion, I had a difficult time keeping up with the many characters, and especially the colorful dialogue. Not being particularly familiar with this time period, this may contribute to my difficulty, but I found this to be a tedious read. I just couldn't get "lost in this story," as I found myself LOST in the story. I wish the author the best, and fans of this time period will enjoy it, I'm sure, but this was not for me.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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