Sunday, September 18, 2016

Featured Book: The Battle for Darracia: Books I - II - III by Michael Phillip Cash

The Battle for Darracia Books I, II, and III, are now combined into one epic novel!


On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world.

Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy.

Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?



About the author:

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror.

Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.

Connect with Michael on:
Facebook: facebook.com/michaelphillipcash
Twitter: twitter.com/michaelpcash
Web: www.michaelphillipcash.com
Email: michaelphillipcash@gmail.com




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Featured Book: The Checkmate Formula by Alan Sellers

This extraordinary book presents the powerful results of thirty years of observing and evaluating real-world success patterns of billionaires & visionaries. It unravels the intriguing mystery of how grandmasters in business achieve success, and presents a novel and compelling way to perceive the world of business. After reading it you may never view or approach business quite the same way again.

THE CHECKMATE FORMULA answers two questions: what are the essential factors in business that dictate success or failure, and how do serial winners win consistently? Revealing a pragmatic roadmap used by the greatest business minds, it shows how to perceive reality differently through techniques like The Great Awareness, think differently through approaches like The Great Enabler, and act differently using the greatest force multiplier of all -- The Decryption Key. It simplifies & deconstructs business into understandable truths, and reassembles them into practical guidelines for creative thinking and result-generation.

You’ll learn how to address major issues like capital raises, strategy and the customer acceptance riddle, and what it really means to understand the big picture -- with a generous dose of examples and insights from the business elite (including colorful analogies to chess and art). It’s an engaging read that will benefit entrepreneurs & executives wanting to “up” their game, and founders wanting to beat the odds.



About the author:

Alan Sellers has a history with members of the Forbes 400, and with multiple founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs and inventors at companies of all kinds – high and low tech, start-up and large, domestic and international. For decades he has observed and studied, first-hand, recurring patterns in the real business world. He has served in numerous C-level operating roles, including Chairman, CEO, Chief Legal Officer, CFO, and Chief Administrative Officer at NYSE ($5 Billion), NASDAQ ($25 Million), and private companies from start-up to mid-size. He practiced corporate law & accounting at internationally ranked firms, and brings partner-level private equity and venture capital experience. Alan received, with accolades, a degree in Economics from Yale, an MBA from The Wharton School, a CPA (New York), and a law degree from Columbia University. He is professor at a CEO Institute, and his interests include the military, politics, art and law enforcement.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

In an innovative new approach, Macmillan Audio and Steve Berry have produced an expanded, annotated writer's cut audiobook edition of The Patriot Threat.

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution legalized federal income tax, but what if there were problems with the 1913 ratification of that amendment? Secrets that call in to question decades of tax collecting. There is a surprising truth to this possibility-a truth wholly entertained by Steve Berry, a top-ten New York Times best-selling writer, in his new thriller, The Patriot Threat.

His protagonist, Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired. But when his former boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files - the kind that could force the United States to its knees - Malone is vaulted into a harrowing 24-hour chase that begins on the water in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, and a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Steve Berry's trademark mix of history and suspense is 90 percent fact and 10 percent exciting speculation, a provocative thriller that poses a dangerous question: What if the federal income tax is illegal?



From the library.

As soon as a new Steve Berry audiobook becomes available at my library I immediately add it to my requests so I can listen to it as soon as possible so I was quite excited to pick this up during my weekly visit.

While I enjoy the books I prefer to listen to them as audiobooks since Scott Brick does such an amazing job with his performance and this was no different.  Cotton, President Daniels, and Stephanie Nelle just aren't the same without his voice bringing them to life.

While I don't love Cotton as a person his adventures are always entertaining and I actually found this one more entertaining since it didn't feature his rather annoying girlfriend Cassiopeia Vitt *spoiler alert* whom he broke up with in the last novel.  There was a much more relaxed feel to this book and the story focused much more on the adventure without the distracting side story of their love affair, both of which made the book infinitely better than previous installments in the series.

The mystery itself was genuinely fascinating.  I'm sure no one would be at all surprised to discover that our government outright lied to us for almost a hundred years about how they are illegally taxing us.  While earlier volumes focused on issues that didn't directly affect most readers taxes sadly affect everyone and, as such, the discussion of their potential illegality was quite intriguing and, frankly, frustrating.  It was especially disheartening to discover that the original tax documents only called for the rich to be taxed and that the poor (who can least afford the weight of a tax burden) were not supposed to be taxed at all.  So, according to the original documentation 99% of us should not be being taxed at all, let alone at the crippling current rates.

The second half of the mystery regarding the (again) criminal actions of the blatant refusal to honor the nation's debts to Haym Salomon and his descendants was all too easily believable as well.  Sadly, the fact that readers can immediately go along with the fact that our government willfully mistreated such an amazing and generous human being and allowed him to die in poverty with not so much as a thank you (let alone repayment of even a portion of what he was owed) should be disturbing but it isn't.  It just disgusts me that a nation whose freedom was facilitated by generous loans from Solomon ignored, and continues to ignore, this debt.  The Founding Fathers slipped several notches in my regard after reading about their frankly criminal, let alone immoral and inhumane, actions regarding Solomon.

Overall, while this was quite interesting and the performance was excellent, it left me depressed and disheartened after finishing it.  It's just further confirmation that our government is corrupt to the core and has been since the country was founded.  I'm frankly a little less proud to be an American after reading it, since I now know how the government treated the people who gave it the tools to make it the great nation is is today.  The Machiavellian nature of the Founding Fathers is despicable.  This is a very, very good read and I certainly recommend it, but you should also prepare yourself to lose a large chunk of faith in your country by the time you finish it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Featured Book: The Willing by Gary Smith

At the age of Sixty-Five, a retired Warren Steelgrave is getting bored with life. He decides that unlike his friends of his age he is not going to sit around playing golf, waiting to die. He is going to Italy to start the last chapter of his life and find adventure.

Be careful what you wish for, adventure is what he finds. He falls in love with Cindy O’Brian a singer songwriter in his Italian language class in Florence Italy. Little did they realize the chain of events that would engulf them. Someone was watching, but who and why?

He discovers she might not be who she appears to be, but, still decides to help her flee Italy, and the chase begins.

Before it’s over there will be two dead bodies, a secret government file, a jealous husband, fake identities, a safe house, personal betrayal as the FBI is searching for them and others want to kill them both.






About the author:

Gary Smith was born in Hayward California. Gary Smith is a retired Electrical Contractor, photographer and writer who has family in the United States and Italy.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren’t adding up, and Stephanie can’t shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college—and it’s not just Zeta fraternity pranks.

As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it’s good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken’s killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve.



From the library.

I finally, finally got around to listening to this and I'm glad I didn't rush when it first came out since it wasn't really that great.

I know that all the Stephanie Plum books have a formula and that's why we like them.  They're comforting and you know there will be a) sexy times, b) humor, c) a bit of action, d) a happy ending.  However, this formula also leads to a bit of boredom since what used to be fun at the beginning of the series is now just yawn worthy.

The characters are just the same and everyone performs their roles flawlessly.  Stephanie continues to be bumbling yet inexplicably desirable to both Morelli and Ranger.  Ranger is still mysterious and hot.  Grandma is still out of control and smile worthy.  Lula is still wild and an amusing sidekick.  Morelli is the only one with a bit of character development this time around and that by perhaps only a half step.

The story was bland and the "mystery" boring and tedious.  I frankly didn't care what happened or when as long as it ended quickly.

The reader, Lorelei King, however was her usual amazing self.  She did a beautiful job making each character come to life and made listening to the story infinitely more enjoyable.

Overall, despite the excellent reader the book was just plain blah.  I didn't dislike it, but I didn't really like it either.  It was just sort of there like a glass of room temperature water.  If you've read the other books in the series it might be worth it to take a look at this as well but you won't be missing anything if you don't.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay




Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere.

But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .



From my personal collection.

This series was recommended by a friend who had heard good things about it before she read it so I picked up the set while shopping at Barnes & Noble one day.  I was actually rather surprised to find it in the romance section rather than the fantasy section where I'd initially looked for it.  Frankly, unless there is a giant 180 degree change in character personality in the next two books I genuinely have no idea how this could possibly ever become a romance.  Angry sex, sure, but romance, not so much.

The writing in the first couple chapters was slightly below expectations.  It was okay, but just that.  It wasn't bad enough to stop reading (think dollar store chocolate) but it certainly didn't draw you in and keep you wanting to read more (think Godiva truffle).  I'm not entirely sure if the writing actually improved over the course of the book or if I just stopped caring but by the end it didn't seem as much of a train wreck.  If the series hadn't been recommended to me I probably would have just shrugged, called it a loss, and abandoned it midway through the first chapter.

The author also clearly read Anne Rice's Beauty trilogy (quartet now, I suppose) and the similarities were beyond minimal.  Pleasure slaves - check.  Gold body paint - check.  Decorating the slaves with jewels - check.  Grooming and pampering of slaves with perfumed oils - check.

The sex scenes (all two of them) were rather yawn worthy.  Thankfully there were no "throbbing manhoods" but the vagueness of the wording left me wondering at points.  I actually had to remind myself in one scene that yes, the character was indeed receiving a blowjob.

The lack of descriptive detail was not restricted to the scenes with sexual content.  There was an instance where the author noted that "a ceramic" was broken.  She never did say what the ceramic was.  Was it a ceramic vase?  A ceramic dog?  A giant ceramic wall hanging ouroboros?  We'll never know because she never told us.  I actually found this inordinately distracting and zoned out wondering just what it could have been that was broken instead of focusing on the (supposedly) climactic scene.  Later, there was a scene where the author had a servant running under the belly of a horse which left me wondering for an unnecessarily long time just how big the horse was and how small the servant was and completely zoning out on the rest of the scene.

What concerned me the most, however, was the pedophilia that the author felt acceptable to include.  This wasn't just slightly underage seventeen year old with an eighteen year old, it was middle aged men with thirteen and fourteen year old boys.  It was like "Dude, really?  That's just not cool."  Thankfully that was not an issue with the main characters who were both of age but the mere inclusion was a bit unnecessary and distasteful.

Overall, this was a decent read.  Was it something I'd force on all my friends?  No.  But it didn't deserve Fahrenheit 451 treatment either.  I actually closed the book and felt completely neutral about it.  Do I want to read the second book?  Sure.  Did I feel the need to start it moments after I finished the first?  No.  Really, the best I can say about it is that it was good.  It was definitely a solid three and while I wouldn't say that I particularly recommend it I don't recommend against it either.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Featured Book: Cosmos Screen by Perry Kelly

Cosmos is a flower. Cosmos Screen is a patch of cosmos flowers observed at the age of five; iconic pleasant first memories for the author. It is from this screen that he relates the story of his life. It is also the screen beyond which he relates something of his ancestry.

The story follows the author from that cosmos screen in rural southern Alabama in 1930, through the Great Depression of the thirties, World War 11, his college years, then through his professional development as an artist educator, and describes his travels to forty-six countries.

Throughout all of this the author threads stories of his secret struggles to satisfy his sexual desires while maintaining the secret of his, and his older brother's, homosexual life. Religion, racism, homophobia and poverty are described as issues against which the author struggles along with the alienation that these issues develop for the author and for his brother. Intriguing stories told with analytical insight.



About the author:

The author is a retired university professor, who describes his struggles of life in a fundamentalist religious family, a homophobic and racist society, and rural southern poverty. He left home at the age of 18 and served three years in the United State Air Force. He attended the University of Hawaii, the University of Florida and George Peabody College of Education. He taught art and World Geography in junior and senior high school. He earned his doctor's degree in 1965 after which he became a university professor who obtained recognition as an acclaimed art educator. He is an artist, a photographer, a world traveler, an atheist and an advocate for racial and gay rights. He has lectured and exhibited in Denmark, Brazil and China. His travels have taken him to forty-six foreign countries with one trek along the Silk Route in the Gobi desert of China. He has enjoyed home stays in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Irkutsk, Russia as well as Kunming, China, Uzbekistan and Denmark. In this story, he relates the events of his life and examines them from an optimistic philosophical reference. His pain of having to live a secret life, his sexual explorations, his seeking companionship and love are described without blame. His family's economic struggles as a Southern sharecropper established a fear of poverty that permeates all other events. At the same time he credits effusively those who aided him or directed him on this journey. The Cosmos Screen is the backdrop against which he tells his story.




Saturday, September 10, 2016

Featured Book: Cave Kiddos: A Sunny Day by Eric Jay Cash

Cave Kiddos is a fun book about four Paleolithic children who share the experience of developing and learning important words and concepts.

Join Alk, Haha, Lala, and Zee as they discover the world around them.


About the author:

Eric Jay Cash became fascinated with speech and developmental learning when he worked with his children who are both delayed speakers. He lives in a cave on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and two cave kiddos.




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Featured Book: Being a Captain is Hard Work by Carole P. Roman

Captain No Beard is determined to travel to Dew Rite Volcano.

He won't listen when Mongo predicts a storm or Linus indicates they are headed in the wrong direction.

He insists Polly cook in the galley even though the seas are getting rough.

What's a crew to do with a stubborn, know-it-all captain?

Will they convince the captain he is barreling headlong into danger, or will Captain No Beard jeopardize both his safety and the crew’s with his single-minded determination to go where he wants?



About the author:

Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the much lauded children’s book Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life. Her experience as a former social studies teacher is wonderfully apparent in her popular If You Were Me and Lived in… series, which now includes more than sixteen books.



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Featured Book: If You Were Me and Lived in... Egypt by Carole P. Roman

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the stunning and exciting land of Egypt in the newest book of her informative series.

Learn why this ancient land often called "the cradle of civilization.”

Travel down the Nile to discover Egypt's fascinating history.

See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exotic place.

Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.



About the author:

Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the much lauded children’s book Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life. Her experience as a former social studies teacher is wonderfully apparent in her popular If You Were Me and Lived in… series, which now includes more than sixteen books.




Saturday, September 3, 2016

Featured Book: Betraying the Dragon by Robert G. Kay

In this sequel to “Pass Me The Rice,” retired Navy Lieutenant Kay accepts an Admiral’s invitation to return to Vietnam for a specific purpose.

When that task was completed and all the US Forces withdrew from Vietnam, Kay joins the Defense Attaché Office, Vietnam.

This organization replaced the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam and was responsible for managing the remaining US support for the Vietnamese government.

Kay describes the mounting dread that encompassed the South and the ensuing events that led up to the country’s collapse in April 1975.



About the author:

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey to parents of Greek-American descent, he enlisted in the Navy for four years. Attained the rate of Quartermaster-Signalman First Class and became UDT qualified. After the Navy, he attended the University of Minnesota receiving a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a BSME in Engineering. Upon graduation in 1963, attended Navy OCS and received a commission as an Ensign. In 1967, he volunteered for Vietnam duty and was assigned as Senior Advisor to Junk Force Coastal Group 41. Later transferred to Staff Headquarters, he established a monthly Advisor’s Newsletter that won the Chief of Naval Information’s Best Newsletter Award for 3rd Quarter ’67. He extended his tour to become Senior Advisor to VN River Assault Group 24. With less than two months to go, he was wounded and medevac’d home. After his leg was amputated below the knee, he retired from the Navy. Commander Naval Forces Vietnam, Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, requested that he return to Vietnam to head a unit to assist VN Navy Disabled Veterans. His Anthropology degree made him a natural Advisor. When the US Military withdrew from Vietnam in March 1973, he joined the Defense Attaché Office, Saigon as the Administrative Officer for the N-4 Logistics Office. After eight years in-country, he, his Vietnamese wife, and three-month-old daughter were evacuated to the States in late April 1975 when the North Vietnamese had surrounded Saigon. He then joined PERA (CRU-DES) in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard as the Repair Engineer for Battleships and Cruisers, and after twenty-two years of Civil Service, he retired. They now reside in Pensacola, FL where he works at his writing.




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Featured Book: Gramma Darling by Lissa Schroeder

It is truly extraordinary, the difference one woman can make in the life of a child. Beautifully written and stunningly illustrated, this delightful book for children, parents, and grandparents paints a nostalgic picture of unhurried summer days at a dear grandmother's house.

Seen and felt through the eyes of a child, every discovery is full of innocence and wonder; from an attic brimming with treasures to running through the fields at twilight catching fireflies. You will laugh and remember your own childhood and feel as though you are there sharing in all the small adventures of her little world; the baby birds, the gardening, the stormy days, and bedtime baths.

And through it all, in the background, is Gramma Darling and her laughter. You sense the atmosphere of nurturing, protection, and worth that she provides; and far more importantly, you get a glimpse into the wisdom of a woman whose genuine genius for simply loving, inspires wholehearted lifetime devotion. It will leave you uplifted and looking for ways to spend quality time with the little ones in your own life.






About the author:

Lissa Schroeder is a gifted teacher, an engaging public speaker, and a licensed minister. She has taught all over Alaska at youth conferences, ladies’ retreats, home school workshops, and more. A born storyteller, she paints vivid emotional pictures that are inspiring and hopeful, that make your heart soar and leave you smiling. Mostly, she has raised three awesome kids, homeschooling from preschool to med school. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, with her husband and youngest son, where she owns and runs a curriculum supply store.

Doron Ben-Ami is a freelance illustrator, photographer, and musician, living and working in Brookfield Connecticut. He has illustrated hundreds of book covers, advertisements, posters, children’s books, and calendars. He also creates illustrations for storyboards and animatics, assisting in the production of nationally broadcast TV commercials. Most recently he has expanded his professional offerings to video and animation. When not creating visual imagery, he performs in the western Connecticut area with his jazz band, and in a duo with his daughter. He has two grown children, and lives with his wife in Brookfield, Connecticut.




Sunday, August 28, 2016

Featured Book: Still Marching On by Lynda Stephenson

Frankilee Baxter is back! And she is as sassy and resolute as ever. In Still Marching On, Miss Baxter aspires to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, become editor of the Athena College newspaper, and marry Calvin Morris-and odds are, she'll make her dreams come true with sheer force of personality.

A witty young woman with nerve and verve, Frankilee is in no way the traditional Southern sorority girl, which brings disappointment and alarm to her family, as well as shock and dismay to Calvin's parents.

With humor and heart, this highly anticipated third novel by award-winning author Lynda Stephenson depicts the triumphs and the failures of a plucky girl determined not only to stand against the Southern customs she loathes but also to marry the man she loves.






About the author:

Lynda Stephenson was born and reared in the Texas Panhandle. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and then received her master’s degree and doctoral work in English from the University of Oklahoma. A former English professor at East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, she is a prolific writer of poetry, essays, and short stories. She currently lives with her husband, Gene, in Edmond, Oklahoma. Lynda is also the author of Dancing with Elvis and The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Featured Book: Turbulence by John W. Van Kleeff

This memoir is extraordinarily interesting.

It goes through a man's life from childhood-at six years old, John's father sent him away to Holland to live with foster parents, leaving lingering psychological scars on John and his mother)-until he retires from his last airline job.



About the author:

John has been in over fifty countries, lived and worked in at least nine, and dealt with many different cultures and languages. As an executive pilot, he also flew for people like the Bin Laden family, Adnan Kashoggi, the arms dealer, the Saudi Royal family, and many more celebrities around the world.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Featured Book: If You Were Me and Lived in... Elizabethan England by Carole P. Roman

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series.

Learn what kind of food you might eat in Elizabethan England, the complicated clothes you might wear, what might influence your parents to choose your name, and what children did for fun.

If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture.

So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.



About the author:

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.


Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Featured Book: Describing Color to the Blind by W Thomas Faucher

“The year was 1988. It was to be just a simple magazine article. Now…who knows? Even after all of these years, I’m not sure what really happened.”

With these words, skeptical reporter David Prescott begins to tell the story of Prissy Duke, a seemingly harmless old lady who has heard a voice guide her for seventy years.

But as the interview progresses Prescott realizes that no one who ever enters the world of Prissy Duke is ever the same again.

Describing Color to the Blind is a riveting tale of abuse, mystery, and a search for truth.


About the author:

W Thomas Faucher lives in Boise, Idaho. He is a well-known storyteller, author, architectural designer, and art critic, with over forty-four years of experience dealing with fascinating people.




Saturday, August 20, 2016

Featured Book: Just Breathe by JJ Fine

Kyle Matthews knows all too well about second chances and when she meets Trevor Michaels she realizes he may be the last true chance she wants to make.

Both successful in their own right and sure of themselves that they don't need anyone else.

Meeting Trevor in this small world ignites a fire in Kyle that was burned out due to tragedy.

Trevor plans to change that with his desire for Kyle.

When their pasts collide with their future, will their desire for one another be enough to hold them together?



About the author:

JJ Fine is new to writing. Her passion for reading and following her favorite authors gave her the courage to write. While she enjoys reading all kinds, her passion of writing is for contemporary romance.

JJ lives in small town Southwest Iowa with her husband and three boys. When not living her busy life with her family, you will find her typing away her imagination.




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Featured Book: If You Were Me and Lived in... Ancient Greece by Carole P. Roman

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series.

Learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the type of clothing you might wear what your name could be, and what children in the olden days did for fun.

If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture.

So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.



About the author:

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.


Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Featured Book: Meridian by Andrew Ceroni

It is the biggest of America's big secrets - MERIDIAN, the deepest black and most intensely protected program since the Atom Bomb. The MERIDIAN program contains the furthest leading edge of weapons technology and with origins more profoundly startling than the technology itself. Governments will stop at nothing to get it. Laszlo Csengerny, a Russian-controlled spy, a man haunted by demons from his past, has uncovered the key to destroying the program.

In this prequel to SNOW MEN, CIA agent Pete Novak is racing to Europe with orders to stop Laszlo, to kill him if that's what it takes. Several agents have already died trying. Novak's dedicated security escort, J.T. Brannon, former assassin unmatched in the art of killing, is leery of Novak's assignment and warns him of its danger. As Novak unravels the alarming secrets behind the MERIDIAN program and his path converges with Laszlo's desperate pursuit to annihilate his demons, Novak and his family are swept into the crosshairs of rogue Agency assassins. Only Brannon can save Novak's family, and he is committed to sacrificing his own life to do so. The final confrontation and profound revelation of MERIDIAN explode into a deadly struggle over what may be the very future of mankind itself.



About the author:

Award winning author Andrew Ceroni served a distinguished career as a special agent conducting global counterespionage and antiterrorism operations. He received his B.S. Degree from the US Air Force Academy; M.A. Degree from Case Western University; and studied several foreign languages at the University of Maryland. He lives in Colorado with his family.



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Featured Book: Morpheus Kane and the Sloboda Amulet by Kelly Scidmore-Sievers

As the Kane siblings race to fulfill their destinies, the evil surrounding them is destroying the land's allies one by one.

Czar Nefarious, The Fire In The Darkness, summons his armies and sets out to destroy the Kane legacy, thus ensuring his domination of Pulchritude Amity once and for all.

Together, Charlie and Kassie Kane find themselves at the center of an epic battle of magic and mayhem as they struggle to survive and free the land from the evil tyranny that would forever rule.


About the author:

Kelly’s lifelong love of reading and writing inspired her to see her imaginings in print. After many sleepless nights of scribing her thoughts onto paper, Charlie and Kassie Kane were born, and helped introduce an entire world of brave new characters. This is the third novel in the Kane series. Kelly is currently working on her magic writing while residing in Second City with her husband, three children, four wolves and several gnomes.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Featured Book: If You Were Me and Lived in... Colonial America by Carole P. Roman

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series.

Learn what kind of food you might eat in Colonial America, the complicated clothes you might wear, what might influence your parents to choose your name, and what children did for fun.

If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture.

So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.



About the author:

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.




Sunday, August 7, 2016

Featured Book: The Goddess' Vengeance by Alexander Maxwell

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Goddess Scorned. . .

After centuries of enslavement, the Egyptian goddess, Mafdet, is freed, with the aid of her old friend, "the man in black." After being freed, she ends up on Astraea, a world of magic, with monsters around every turn, yet she longs for vengeance against Ra, her captor, and maniacal brother.

She journeys across Astraea, aided by friends she meets along the way, such as Joshua Necrothane, the traveling merchant, to find the "man in black" and acquire his power to defeat Ra. However, the "man in black's" son reveals himself to Mafdet, and her friends, and vows to acquire the power for himself to become the new god of Astraea.

Now, Mafdet and company must face off against the mysterious Umber Nocht, and his team of monsters, and gods, in a race against time to see who truly deserves the unlimited powers of the "man in black." Will Mafdet gain the power, achieve her vengeance, or will she fall to Umber Nocht, setting into motion the end of the current Astraean world order?



About the author:

Alexander Maxwell is a reclusive young man that rarely ventures outside his bubble. As such, there is little to no personal information on him aside from the fact that he loves to write.




Saturday, August 6, 2016

Featured Book: Weapons of the Gods by Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern’s vast, world-wide audience is anxiously awaiting the chance to dive into his latest blockbuster, Weapons of the Gods: How Ancient Alien Civilizations Almost Destroyed the Earth.

Inside, he studies long-gone civilizations to answer the question: did previous cultures blossom, develop, and thrive, only to destroy themselves, tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago, with the same atomic technology as the bombs that decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Redfern reveals evidence of Armageddon-level events in the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the ancient Pakistani culture of Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan, and the Lonar Crater in India. In the epic Sanskrit texts of Ramayana and Mahabharata are descriptions of nuclear warfare that took place thousands of years ago.

Redfern argues that many previous civilizations cracked the secrets of the atom, only to become the victims of its terrifying power, while others may have been destroyed by hostile aliens with their own nuclear arsenals.



About the author:

Nick Redfern is the author of more than 30 books on UFOs, cryptozoology, and the world of the paranormal, including Bloodline of the Gods; Monster Files; Memoirs of a Monster Hunter; The Real Men in Black; The NASA Conspiracies; Keep Out!; The Pyramids and the Pentagon; Contactees; The World's Weirdest Places; For Nobody's Eyes Only; and Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind. He has appeared on more than 70 TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC's Out of This World; the SyFy Channel's Proof Positive; the Space Channel's Fields of Fear; the History Channel's Monster Quest, America's Book of Secrets, Ancient Aliens, and UFO Hunters; Science's The Unexplained Files; the National Geographic Channel's Paranatural; and MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Originally from the UK, Nick lives near Dallas, Texas.

He can be contacted at his blog: nickredfernfortean.blogspot.com.




Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review: Dead... If Only by Heather Haven

A man who should be dead isn't and Lee Alvarez's very
pregnant sister-in-law, Vicki, is about to be charged with a murder he recently committed in the Big Easy.

Aided by the rest of the Alvarez Family, Palo Alto's favorite P.I. kicks the Voodoo in the Who Do throughout New Orleans.

With only three days to clear Vicki's name, a child is kidnapped, two more people wind up dead, a hurricane hits, and the clock never stops ticking....


Received for review

Sadly, I did not have high hopes for this just from reading the back cover and my expectations were confirmed within the first few pages.

This tries to be a Stephanie Plum novel but it falls far, far short. There is no light, happy, snappy story. The dialogue is boring and drawn out. The characters are alternately boring and annoying. The mystery is lackluster. I actually had to force myself to even get past the first chapter.

In addition, the book is formatted strangely with a good two inches of space at the bottom of each page that contains nothing but an annoying black line and the page number. I gather that this spacing choice was to force the text onto more pages to make the book appear longer. It works to create more pages but it also creates a very frustrated reader since the formatting is incredibly distracting.

Overall, between the yawn worthy mystery, the sub par characters, and the unfortunate formatting this was a complete train wreck and I really cannot recommend it at all. I genuinely do not know how it is the fourth book in the series.

☆☆☆☆ = Didn't Like It




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Featured Book: If You Were Me and Lived in... Renaissance Italy by Carole P. Roman

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series.

Learn what kind of food you might eat in Florence, Italy, the clothes you wore in the 15th century, what your name could be, and what children did for fun.

If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture.

So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.



About the author:

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.




Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: Galloping to Freedom by Carol J. Walker

Playful. Protective. Dignified. Elegant and affectionate. Certainly beautiful. Above all else, loyal. These are the horses of Wyoming's famed Adobe Town herd, their stunning images caught in the wild by award-winning photographer Carol Walker. Especially remarkable are the snowcapped stallion that Walker thinks of as Bronze Warrior and his band of Appaloosa-marked mares and offspring. But their freedom was to be curtailed.

In the fall of 2014, the Adobe Town horses were rounded up, their bands divided. Bronze Warrior and his sons were shipped to Colorado, their mares to a holding facility in Wyoming, and their young sent to Carson City, Nevada.

Moved by the horse's strong family bonds in the wild, Walker joined with other advocates to intercede. This is the story captured in Walker's signature dramatic images of searching out, gathering together, and ultimately reuniting Bronze Warrior's extended family at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Galloping to Freedom: Reuniting the Adobe Town Appaloosas will engage your heart and forever change your view of America's wild horses.



Received for review

Obviously this is more of a coffee table book full of photographs which tell the story of the horses, and as such it is quite light on the text. However, this does not detract from the story and emotion at all. In fact, the beautiful photos give you insight into the journey the horses went in a way that words never fully could.  I read it once and returned to it over and over again just to admire the gorgeous horses.

Overall, between the stunning photographs and the poignant story this is a lovely read for any horse lover. General photography fans are also sure to appreciate it as well. I certainly highly recommend this.

★★★★★ = Loved It




Monday, August 1, 2016

Guest Post: Nick Redfern author of Bloodline of the Gods

Nick Redfern, author of Bloodline of the Gods, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.






Unravel the Mystery of the Human Blood Type to Reveal the Aliens Among Us
  • Are significant numbers of humanity the product of an ancient and advanced alien civilization?
  • Have we, across the millennia, been periodically modified and refined as a species?
  • Has our genetic make-up been manipulated by otherworldly beings that view human civilization as one big lab experiment?
These are controversial and thought-provoking questions. They are also questions that demand answers, answers that may very well be found by examining those people whose blood type is Rh negative.

The vast majority of humankind – 85 to 90 percent – is Rh positive, which means a person’s red blood cells contain a specific antigen, a protein that is found on the surface of cells and which are designed to combat bacteria and viruses.

We all have this protein in our bodies, except for the remaining 10 to 15 percent of humans. If the theory of evolution is valid – that each and every one of us is descended from ancient primates – shouldn’t we all be Rh positive?

Yes, we should. But, here’s something astonishing: we’re not all the same.

The negatives are unlike the rest of us. They are different. They are the unique individuals whose bloodline may have nothing less than extraterrestrial origins.

Nick Redfern’s book, Bloodline of the Gods, takes us on an amazing trip into the distant past and to a time when proto-humans were genetically manipulated by ETs, perceived by ancient man as nothing less than all-powerful gods.

Encompassing accounts of the legendary Anunnaki, alien abductions, hybrid children, secret and powerful societies, and an elite bloodline that holds significant sway over the planet and its people, Bloodline of the Gods reveals the shocking truth concerning those people who are not entirely human.




About the author:

Nick Redfern is the author of more than 30 books on UFOs, cryptozoology, and the world of the paranormal, including Bloodline of the Gods; Monster Files; Memoirs of a Monster Hunter; The Real Men in Black; The NASA Conspiracies; Keep Out!; The Pyramids and the Pentagon; Contactees; The World's Weirdest Places; For Nobody's Eyes Only; and Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind. He has appeared on more than 70 TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC's Out of This World; the SyFy Channel's Proof Positive; the Space Channel's Fields of Fear; the History Channel's Monster Quest, America's Book of Secrets, Ancient Aliens, and UFO Hunters; Science's The Unexplained Files; the National Geographic Channel's Paranatural; and MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Originally from the UK, Nick lives near Dallas, Texas.

He can be contacted at his blog: nickredfernfortean.blogspot.com.




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Featured Book: No Cold as Bitter as the Mind by James F. Vickery

James F. Vickery's poetry is a declaration that, however ordinary and average he was, non-invidiously that he's different, his heart may not be the same as others.

His poetry is a contemporary blue-collar work scene, and it is about an experience actually undergone by the poetic voice that seeks to capture that quality of unpremeditation that is illusory in part.

He hoped that even the reader will find a freshness here, a certain-dare he say it?-poetic unconventionality.

His poetry is a culmination of his life - his devoted love for his wife and their dog, loss, his affection for nature, current events, and his mindset for battling a terminal illness.



About the author:

James F. Vickery, the author of IMMUNE FROM NOTHING I CAN THINK OF, was a poet from Denver, Colorado where he lived with his wife and their beloved dog.

These poems are his song - a melody of his life and times, a gathering of what he saw in the world.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

Featured Book: Weight No Longer by Philip Caravella, M.D.

Americans continue to be crippled by obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and the epidemics are destroying lives, the insurance industry, and the entire health care system.

Philip Caravella, M.D., who has practiced family medicine for more than forty years, seeks to reverse the trend by providing easy-to-follow principles that can help resolve serious health problems.

While previous books have focused on diet, obesity, and fitness, they’ve failed to hit on the secrets to success in this life-changing book. Learn how to:

• separate misinformation from information you can use;
• grasp the full implications of health risks linked to obesity;
• maintain a healthy diet that promotes overall health;
• help children and other loved ones develop good habits.



About the author:

Philip Caravella, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., has practiced family medicine for more than forty years. He was the first section chief of family medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, an educator, and an expert in the areas of losing weight, obesity, exercise, fitness, Type 2 diabetes, and diseases related to obesity such as hypertension.




Friday, July 29, 2016

Review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That's the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits--until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers--about her daughter's fears, her own marriage, and herself--forces Katie to consider whether there's any price she isn't willing to pay to achieve Devon's dream.




ARC received for review

When I first saw this I just thought “Huh, a book about dance moms but it’s gymnastics moms instead” and frankly didn’t have high hopes for it. I was pleasantly surprised when I was mistaken.

The book’s characters are completely and utterly batshit crazy. They make the overbearing moms on Dance Moms look downright sane and reasonable. I know some parents are really on their children to succeed and everything but this takes it to a whole new level.

I wanted to feel bad for Devon since she has such insane parents who put her under so much pressure but I really couldn’t muster even a twinge of sympathy. Devon was, frankly, an absolute bitch. She was the girl that everyone hated in high school because she was the size zero, brown nosing, backstabbing, two faced uber bitch who was nice to the teachers but made snide comments the moment they were out of earshot. I frankly wanted bad things to happen to her since she was such a miserable human being. I think it was a totally justifiable case of schadenfreude.

The mystery itself was interesting but not as compelling as the descriptions of just how out of control Devon and her parents were. The writing was obviously excellent since it drew me in so much that I genuinely disliked Devon so much.

Overall, while the characters are slimeballs of the worst possible order it’s truly fascinating to read their story. It’s like watching a car wreck - you just cannot look away. This is not a warm, fuzzy, happy beach read, but if you’re looking for an excellent, dark read where you genuinely enjoy disliking the characters then this is for you and I highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: Color Your Chakras by Susan Shumsky, DD

Color Your Chakras is a fun activity book for adults and children alike.

The chakras are powerful energy centers located in your subtle body. Unknown to many people, these vortexes of life energy govern and regulate your physical body. According to the ancient Tantric and Vedic scriptures of India, there are 14 chakras―seven major ones along your spinal column, and seven others, most of which are located in your brain. Each chakra performs a specific function and is associated with discrete body parts and aspects of mind.

Each chakra (or “wheel”) has a hub, where subtle energy conduits intersect; and spokes, which are radiations of subtle energy. Chakras are often likened to lotuses, and the radiations of energy are equated with lotus petals. The lotus petals on six of the seven major chakras comprise the entire Sanskrit alphabet, and the seventh major chakra vibrates all 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.

Each left-hand page in Color Your Chakras includes a description and explanation of each chakra or chakra deity. Each right-hand page is an appropriate drawing. The explanations include information about the drawings and the specific colors that are mentioned in the scriptures of ancient India.



Received for review

I’m not a huge fan of the new coloring trend, not because I don’t enjoy the process but that the designs most books used are just so incredibly complicated. Sadly, this book is among those. Each image has so many tiny, tiny areas to color that it is becomes more tedious and frustrating than relaxing. That said, there are some images that are a bit easier to fill in, though those are mostly on the left hand, descriptive pages.

What saves this from being a complete frustrating bust are those descriptions of each chakra. The author packs a great deal of interesting information into a relatively small space and gives meaning to the images you are (supposed to be) coloring.

Overall, if you enjoy coloring incredibly complicated images with a very, very sharp colored pencil then this is for you and even if you are not a huge fan of coloring it may be worth a look just to read up on the information provided on the chakras. I cautiously recommend this to those who enjoy the subject.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Featured Book: Omnipiece by Betty L. Sheldon

What if your greatest creation became your most bitter enemy?

When the Omnis set out to create a race of intelligent life-forms (ILFs), they were faced with a terrible choice of giving the gift of freewill or creating a world of robotic-like beings. The danger was that with freewill, the ILFs could fall prey to the deadly CXV virus. This highly invasive virus would take away the ILFs mental clarity and their ability to contact the exalted Ones who had given them life.

The Omnis made their decision, and as time passed, the virus began to attack Heosphoros.

Expecting a reaction from the Omnis and getting none, Heosphoros became more outspoken. Their silence convinced him that he had a cause. "I refuse to put up with being ignored by the Omnis!" he muttered to himself. "I can't tolerate being in their presence any longer. I'm staying away from them from now on...."

After leaving the Omnis, he told the Emmsis, "Since we belong to an order of ILFs who are much superior in our capabilities, we do not need these restraints. Our mental faculties far exceed theirs. Our thoughts follow the Omnis' thoughts. It is impossible for us to spoil the cosmos by being disorderly. We really need not be concerned with CXV!"



About the author:

Betty L. Sheldon is a retired elementary teacher, having taught in public and parochial schools, including an open classroom and a one-room school.



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Find Your Balance Point by Brian Tracy and Christina Stein

Accomplish what matters most

Because we all have too much to do, it feels like our lives are out of balance.

But Brian Tracy and Christina Stein argue that imbalance results not so much from doing too much but from doing too much of the wrong things.

They provide a process that enables you to sort out what is most important to you from among the many activities you could focus on.

When you can efficiently identify and accomplish what really matters to you, you've found your balance point.



Received for review

Having read Kiss That Frog! I was excited to receive this latest volume by the authors. It’s a slim volume that is quickly finished but that doesn’t take away from its message.

The idea the book promotes is that you need to know what your values are before you can even begin to flesh out what you want to do with your life. If you don’t know why you are doing something it’s just not worth it. This discussion of figuring out just what matters most to you in your life is certainly not new but it’s presented in such a way to make it easy for the reader to look into their own motivations through quizzes and other techniques.

The text is well written with a nice, quick pace that makes reading it a breeze. The authors use a very friendly, casual tone which makes the experience feel less clinical.

Overall, while the ideas and exercises are nothing groundbreaking this is a solid read either as a refresher on the materials which one can use to clarify their own values and goals or as a great introduction to the subject. Either way, this is a fast, beneficial read which should be appreciated by those who focus on self-improvement.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It