Author Archives: Annie

Book Review! “Dawning” by Olivia Stocum

 PERSONAL RATING SYSTEM:

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT – *****
PLOT   – ****
FLOW – ***
GRAMMAR/EDITING *****

ON A REVIEW SITE:
 4 STARS

I couldn’t wait to read this as soon as I added it to my “To Be Read” list. It sounded amazing, and it held true to my expectations!

Triona MacAlastair is in love with Ronan. Unfortunately, her father is not as convinced as she is.

Her true love, Ronan, decided to leave for two years and come back a better man. Finally worthy of his Triona.

However, two years turns into three……and then four. Triona loses hope and begins to move on.

I felt that the struggles between Ronan and Triona were very real. I am pretty sure me and my husband have had similar fights. 
Overall, it was a great book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance. I am giving it four stars because there was a some repetition that could have been cleaned up, but it really didn’t detract from the story at all.

The end left me waiting impatiently for a sequel!

 

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BLURB:

Scotland, 1599. He abandoned her… She had failed to be enough for him. The empty space he left behind hollowed out her heart, and she wondered what to do with the rest of her life… 

When Ronan leaves the clan to seek his fortune, Triona MacAlastair fears she will never see him again. Four years later, a threat against her life forces her to depend on a mysterious, cloaked rogue known as Blackhawk. 

She knows he is capable of protecting her, but what is he hiding? Why does he refuse to show his face?

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FREE Kindle Book! “The Sky Between Two Worlds” by Glen E. Books

“  The Sky Between Two Worlds is a thought provoking and well researched novel. ” – C Poor

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A novel of intrigue, love, battle and survival in a future world of titanic East-West conflict. In 2027, fate tosses Kantak Johnson and friends into the struggle when he and another separately recognize how to make stealth warplanes undetectable. Kantak discloses it in the West; the other secretly discloses it to a hostile East. Thus two nuclear powers each develop bombers that the other cannot detect. Then the hostility over oil ratchets up….

 

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Book Review! “Tournament” by Jennifer Goebel & Dagmar Jacisinova

 Personal Rating System:

Character Development – ****
Plot   – *****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing ****

On a review site:
5 stars

As soon as I found out about this book I knew I had to read it! I looooove soccer. It is the only sport I have ever played and the ONLY one I can watch. (Hey, I even know what off-sides is :P)

In this post-apocalyptic book soccer is *the* game.
In 2014 a nuclear war takes out most of the world. Alaska is the place where any survivors from the United States gather. There is a one world government and all the remaining countries have a soccer tournament to decide who the next world leader is.

I was hooked right from the start, because I just so happen to personally live under Norad….and I have always known with all the military bases and Norad being so close I would NEVER survive a nuclear war. This book just so happened to drive that point home.
I’m sure I will be able to sleep at night now >.<

The characters were awesome. I have twin nephews, and I can imagine them growing up to be a lot like Jason and Nate. One of my nephews even has a scar by his eye!
Definitely can’t forget Cassie. I love it when books have strong female characters. Girls that age sure need them!
The interactions were very real to life between all the characters as well. 

It was a great read for any young adult (or, um, adult!) ESPECIALLY if they like soccer…and even if they don’t.

The ending left you wanting more. Another book please! =)

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BLURB:

In 2014, a worldwide nuclear war demolishes a wide swath of the planet. Alaska, the only part left of the United States, joins with the other surviving countries to set up a Global Government. Its primary responsibility is to prevent another devastating war. Leadership changes every two years, based on the outcome of the only competitive outlet the survivors can agree on: a worldwide soccer tournament.

In 2044, 17-year-old twin soccer stars Jason and Nate are ready to play the game of their lives. But they soon discover that Alaska’s new president has some very special plans and winning the Tournament is the least of their worries.

For more details and to read the first chapter visit www.Tournament2044.com

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Spotlight Book! “Fallen Men” by Brian O’Hare

I read this book in virtually one sitting. Do not be put of by the genre of Religios fiction, it is not…it is just a darn good read and character driven .  – Amazon Reviewer

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A young priest’s life spirals out of control when long-submerged memories of childhood abuse begin to surface.Fallen Men touches on some dark themes but it is ultimately a novel of redemption. It is also a heartrending love story and the book has won the Amazon IDB Award in January, 2013.

Some significant critics have this to say about the book:

“Great story…I could not put it down when I got to the second half. Well written, great characters. The psychological aspects are key.” Stephen Frankini, Publisher, Tumblar House Books.

“O’Hare has a pleasant, easy-to-read writing style. I have written five books and edited five others, so I realize the hard work and effort that go into writing a full length novel…There are aspects of this book that I thoroughly appreciated. The topic of sexual abuse is dealt with sensitively. There are no attention-seeking graphic descriptions. The flashbacks of child sex abuse and the depictions of the depression, guilt and breakdown after a rushed abortion are particularly well done. I found the court sequences to be believable and compelling. This is definitely an author with natural storytelling ability.”
Ellen Gable Hrkach, Reviewer, Catholic Fiction

“A story that is both current and gripping. It has distinctive and credible dialogue and beautifully forged characters. It is clear that the writer is a keen observer of human nature. I genuinely enjoyed reading this book.” John Anthony, Publisher, Pink Cloud.

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Book Review! “Ting and I” by Douglas Winslow Cooper

 Personal Rating System:

Story – ****
Flow – **
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
4 stars

This memoir was a great read! I was looking forward to reading it since I first saw it.

Douglas and his second wife meet in college.  They are soon tore apart by parents and social pressures.
Reunited years later after both having divorced their their first spouse they finally find marital happiness.

Unfortunately by the time they were married, they only had a few good years before Tings MS started getting the best of her. After beating death several times (one time in particular) she is now  bedridden and highly handicapped.

This is a TRUE story of love and devotion. These two people love each other through thick and thin. Through the whole book you can just feel it.

I am only giving this book 4 stars because toward the end I felt it was a bit unfocused.
An example of how it was so unfocused, but still good: Douglas mentions  that Ting shares her mother in laws birthday. I’m not really sure why this was shared, something about astrological signs (yet, that still doesn’t make sense).
HOWEVER, I was glad he put it in the book because my husband shares my dads birthday. I can only hope that means we will be as devoted to each other as this amazing couple!

Overall I recommend it to anyone who is a TRUE romantic, and wants to read what REAL love looks like. Not the fluff Hollywood sells us on.

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BLURB:

Love conquers separation,
prejudice, and quadriplegia

Tina Su and Doug Cooper met in a Chinese class at Cornell University in 1963. They fell in love, later married and lived happily ever after. Actually, it was not quite that simple. With both sets of parents opposing an interracial marriage, the couple separated and did not meet again for nineteen years. Tina went off to grad school at Harvard, married a scientist from China, edited for the Encyclopedia Britannica, had two sons, and felt trapped in a difficult marriage. Doug was drafted into the army, and afterward earned his master’s in physics from Penn State and a Ph.D. in engineering from Harvard. His first marriage (to a Caucasian woman who resembled Tina) failed. Eventually Doug contacted Tina, and the two declared their love. Interracial issues were no longer a problem; but her multiple sclerosis, with its likelihood of increasing disability, would cast a shadow on their prospects. Tina—with great difficulty and pain—left her marriage. Now together for more than twenty-five years, Tina and Doug have learned that while love may not conquer all, it has been crucial in successfully meeting the challenges of Tina’s progressive immobility, ultimately her quadriplegia and near death from an MS-caused pneumonia. More than a love story, this wry memoir has reflections on love and marriage, faith, professional ethics, at-home intensive nursing care, medical insurance, finances, and the exceptional character of a brave woman, written by the man who loves her, with tributes from those who admire her.

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Book Review! “The Sol of Jupiter” by Thaddeus J.

 Personal Rating System:

Character Development – *****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
  5 stars

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I started reading this book, as I have never read anything like it before…

It was so good! I can’t begin to describe how well written and flawless the story was.

Michaels, who has known he was gay since elementary school feels an undeniable attraction to his friend Sozio. The question is, does Sozio feel the same way? Or maybe more importantly, are they willing to put everything on the line for their relationship?

It was one of the best romances I have read it awhile. The characters and plot were perfect. If you want a book that has it all. Romance. Drama. Controversy. Did I mention drama? Then check out this book!

Some of the scenes you couldn’t make up, like when Sozio accidentally throws a knife into Michaels arm!

The end had me in tears. Especially when they mentioned their friend Kyle.

Loved it! Don’t miss out on this one.

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BLURB:

Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship.

Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

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FREE Kindle Book! “How To Braid Hair” by Karen A. Reid

*Books are free for a LIMITED time. Be sure to check price before checkout.*

Download “How to Braid Hair” NOW!

Discover how to do the most beautiful and popular hair braiding styles to date.

Easy to follow step by step instructions, including colorful instructional images.

 

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Book Review! “Finding My Way” by Linda Brown

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – ***
Flow – ***
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
 4 stars

This book is different than anything I have ever read before. I guess it is because the author opens up and shares her story with no reservations.

It will make you want to cry for the author when she was a child and reach through time to give her a heartfelt hug.

The other thing that is unique is even though I do not personally know the author in real life, after reading this book I feel like she is one of my close friends. (Of course, she probably doesn’t feel the same way!)

True stories always bring things to another level for me, and this book was no exception.
If you want to be inspired by one persons true story of how she rose above her situation and bettered herself then this is the book for you.

This an an unforgettable book, and I am sure I will be reading it again. I will DEFINITELY be on the lookout for other books by this author.

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BLURB:

Simply put this is my story. I have led a life filled with tragedy, neglect abuse and more. I have decided to lift the veil. Family secrets are told, skeletons taken out and the story told. Originally I began this project for myself. I had no intentions of publishing or doing anything with it. Then the more I thought about it the more I realized my story could help someone else. I decided to share my story with the hopes it could bring strength, inspiration or hope to someone else. If nothing else maybe someone may read and feel they are not the only ones or that they are not alone. Each of us has our own story to tell. I am choosing to tell my story to the world. Writing this book has been a journey. Many memories I had to relive while writing. Once again feeling the hurt and anger. But through this process I realized many things and have come full circle. When I began I thought my experiences are what made me the person I am. In the end I realized we are who we allow ourselves to be. We are not defined by our experiences. Reviews: as a reviewer, I would say, that the book offers a sometimes sad, sometime amusing, and often inspiring look at the tragic struggle than so many children face when raised by incapable, indifferent parents, those adults imbued with a sort of structural selfishness imposed by condition, society, and inability. What then makes this story most significant, is its demonstration of how this structureal selfishness, this inheirtance of poor and cruel parenting, and insect like survival can be spontaneously broken — whether it be by intelligence and insight, higher evolved empathy, or the foturne of the right combination of influences. In this regard, the book illuminates the depth of the pain and struggle, and the meanness of the adults in the main character’s young life, all the while reminding us through her first person narrative that instead of identifying with her aggressors, instead of passing on the parenting skills she was taught by example, she reached perhaps into her books, into examples of other lives encountered, but most definitely into her self to find a better way.I can read (and write) the most skin-crawling fiction without flinching, Linda, but when I peruse a true life account of an abusive childhood it always makes me weep – I’m a big softie, I guess, and a sucker for maltreated kids and underdogs of all kinds. In this case it was where little you was caged in with Uncle Bastard that brought the tears of anger, sympathy and empathy rolled into one..**
This is so moving. You convey your experiences and feelings as a neglected and abused child so well. **Linda, wow! It’s a great, tragic, but compelling story all the more compelling because it’s true. I loved this and will go straight on to the next chapter. **This shows the strength of human nature and I can’t help feeling the overwhelming sense of accomplishment you must have for writing your story. Not only can it help others to remember that they’re NOT alone. I have so much admiration for you, it’s impossible to put into words, but suffice to say that your gritty determination to endure and make sense of your early years shines through the entire story. You are an inspiration.**Wow, if you had told me this I couldn’t even have begun to imagine what things would have been like for you, but reading just one chapter of your soon to be novel opened up a whole new perspective for me.**This is really well written. There’s so much insight and depth of feeling, of being there. Its authenticity is undeniable and this allows the reader to bond with your story. The voice is pitched perfectly and while it’s filled with sadness, there’s that feeling that the narrator is going places with grades to match and dreams to conjure. Brilliant.**I am very impressed with your writing. It is poignant, sadly true to life situations,and yet interesting enough to read in spite of the worrying moments.**Keep it coming, I think you have a fan club here!

 

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Book Review “After Death” by Eric J. Guignard

Personal Rating System:
PlotS  – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
4 stars

Wow. This book of Anthologies is intense! Who hasn’t wondered what happens to us after death? Does our soul go on? Are we reborn? Is it just endless emptiness?

It seemed I was always reading this at night. In the dark. I guess I like to torture myself, because some of the anthologies are just plain creepy. Like “Boy 7” by Alvaro Rodriguez doesn’t sit well right before bed.

Most of the anthologies were good, some not as good as others. Of course, what I found insightful or scary you might find boring and vice versa, so that is the good thing about having such a great variety of stories.

Some of them were so good that I thought a whole novel could be written around the storyline. The two that come to mind are “The Resurrection Policy” by Lisa Morton and “Acclimation Package” by Joe McKinney

Overall, it is such a great collection I can’t imagine being without it. This is the type of book you could easily gift at Christmas (or Chrismahannaqwansika :P) to any book lover.

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BLURB:

Death. Who has not considered their own mortality and wondered at what awaits, once our frail human shell expires? What occurs after the heart stops beating, after the last breath is drawn, after life as we know it terminates?

Does our spirit remain on Earth while the mortal body rots? Do remnants of our soul transcend to a celestial Heaven or sink to Hell’s torment? Are we offered choices in an individualized afterlife? Can we die again in the hereafter? Is life merely a cosmic joke, or is it an experiment for something greater?

Included within this critically acclaimed anthology are answers to these queries alongside tales and suppositions relating from traditional ghosts to the afterlife of e-coli. Explore the afterworld of an Australian cowboy. Discover what the white light really means to the recently departed. Consider the impact of modern, or future, technology on the dead. Follow the karmic path of reincarnation. Travel from the 999th level of Fengdu’s Hell to the gates of Robot Heaven.

Enclosed are thirty-four all-new dark and speculative fiction stories, individually illustrated by Audra Phillips, and exploring the possibilities “after death.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction by Eric J. Guignard
Someone to Remember by Andrew S. Williams
Boy, 7 by Alvaro Rodriguez
Sea of Trees by Edward M. Erdelac
The Last Moments Before Bed by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Resurrection Policy by Lisa Morton
High Places by John M. Floyd
Circling the Stones at Fulcrum’s Low by Kelda Crich
I Will Remain by David Steffen
Tree of Life by Aaron J. French
The Reckless Alternative by Sanford Allen & Josh Rountree
The Thousandth Hell by Brad C. Hodson
Mall Rats by James S. Dorr
Afterword by Ray Cluley
Like a Bat out of Hell by Jonathan Shipley
The Overlander by Jacob Edwards
Forever by John Palisano
My Father Knew Douglas MacArthur by Bentley Little
Robot Heaven by Jamie Lackey
Beyond the Veil by Robert B. Marcus, Jr.
Prisoner of Peace by David Tallerman
A Feast of Meat and Mead by Christine Morgan
Be Quiet At The Back by William Meikle
Cages by Peter Giglio
Hammerhead by Simon Clark
Marvel at the Face of Forever by Kelly Dunn
The Unfinished Lunch by Trevor Denyer
I Was The Walrus by Steve Cameron
The Devil’s Backbone by Larry Hodges
The Death of E. Coli by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
Final Testament of a Weapons Engineer by Emily C. Skaftun
Acclimation Package by Joe McKinney
Hellevator by Josh Strnad
In and Out the Window by Allan Izen
With Max Barry in the Nearer Precincts by John Langan

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Book Review! “Prodigy of Rainbow Tower” by Charles E. Yallowitz

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing ****

On a review site:
5 stars

This is the second installment for this series, you can read my review of the first book  HERE

I have always loved reading a series more than standalone books, and a series like this just reminds me why. I love to fall in love with characters and go on looong journeys with them.
I missed Luke and all of his friends in between reading the two books. Especially Fizzle! I love Fizzle =)

In this book Luke has graduated the Academy and is off on his first adventure. Nyx joins the crew to add extra spark to the group. I personally loved Nyx and hope maybe her and Luke will eventually end up together….hint hint…

In the first book Luke was very immature and I commented that I hoped the author planned to mature his character through the series. I am happy to report I was right! Luke has grown so much over the past two books.

The books themselves seem to be maturing as well. This book has much better fight scenes and seems to be a little more on the mature side than the first book.
Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!

Overall, this is a series I am happy to be adding to my library and I can’t wait until the next one is out! I also can’t believe what a steal they are. Both books are only .99 cents. I am not sure if this is permanent or temporary so go get them while you can.

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BLURB:

The action-packed, humor-filled, dramatic sequel to ‘Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero’.

Battling through a demonic assassin and an army of monsters, Luke Callindor has survived his time at Hamilton Military Academy. Now, Luke and his friends must leave the safety of the academy to escort Duke Solomon’s heir down the L’dandrin River and into the safety of the city of Gods’ Voice. Joining them for this journey is Nyx, a powerful caster apprentice of Rainbow Tower. With her talent for combat magic and her short temper, Nyx will prove to be a challenge for Luke and all of their enemies.

Who will survive the harrowing trip down the L’dandrin River? And, who will be the one to break Luke’s trust?

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