Thursday, October 30, 2014

BOOK REVIEW # 18 - HOME SWEET HOME

[This book is part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series]

I received this book as a prize from one of the FM radio stations my OH and I listen during one of their appearances at a local business.

“Home Sweet Home” is a heart-warming, like the homemade chicken soup my mother used to make, collection of 101 short stories from contributors coming from all walks of life. Each story is a true account of these individual’s personal life, the good times and the bad. These stories tell of the long-lasting decisions families had to make; they tell of the making of a mere house into their homes.

We can all share our own experience with those of these in the stories they’ve written; from the physical, do-it-yourself disasters affecting our homes to the arrival of unwanted guests [family].

“Home Sweet Home” is definitely not the type of book you can read in a single reading; you need to take each story one at a time before moving on to the next one. You need allow yourself an opportunity to experience it and reflect how each one pertains to your own life, you could find out you’re not alone.

I feel it heart-warming that I’m able to give 5 STARS.
Robin Leigh Morgan is the author of “I Kissed a Ghost,” a MG/YA Paranormal romance novel.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW # 17 - FEUD

Imagine being, orphaned at a young age and being raised in foster homes your entire life. You have no knowledge of your family, nor do you have any knowledge of heritage you might have.  Such is how Chasca Leon’s began her life.

After Chasca leaves home, she finds a job and lives a relatively mundane life until one fateful when on her way home she gets kidnapped. But as “FATE” would have it, her two rescuers are the ones who are going to help Chasca to discover her heritage and the “hidden” powers she possesses. She discovers who she can trust, who she can fall in love with, and the prophecy in which she plays an intricate part.

“FATE” is a wondrous mix of romance, action, adventure with a touch of the paranormal. Once I started reading it, the book became a page turner which I couldn’t put down. You must read this book in one sitting, or else you’ll probably lose the emotions which have built up inside your mind and the desire of what’s going to happen next.

If I can find the time, I’m going to download / read / review the other two books in this series.



  
US:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EEIFNXI  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MY SELECTION PROCESS FOR REVIEWING BOOKS

As you know by now I had officially declared myself a BOOK REVIEWER at the end of August of this year.

And as a book reviewer I didn't want to be inundated with requests to do reviews so I set up my own set of guidelines as to what books I'm going to review.

To begin with, we all love to enter the RaffleCopter giveaways we constantly see on FaceBook, and I love to enter them as well. However, I only enter those contests for which there are books [e-books usually] I'd like to read. 

I also love to enter the GiveAways on GoodReads where only REAL BOOKS are offered. On GoodReads in the guidelines they tell you that if you should win a book, you should write a review in consideration for having won the book. In the review you're advised to indicate the fact you've won the book as a giveaway.  So far I've won about 6 books which I've received; two of them have been ARCs [Advanced Readers Copy] which are in reality Galley Proofs and are marked as such, two of  them have been, some of the final version of the books I've received I got several days before the books where on the shelves of B & N.

As my third method of selecting books to buy and review is to get those books which have been written by my fellow members of a very supportive website, Rave Reviews by Nonnie Jules.

http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/

Since become a book reviewer, my reviews [Number 13, 14, 15] have been written for members of this group, I've also written a review for Micky Peluso's - "And the Whippoorwill Sang."

While I wait to receive one of the five books I've recently won on GoodReads, I'm going to check the above website to see if there's another book I'm interested in reading.

All of my reviews get posted on Amazon.com
GoodReads.com
LibraryThing.com
Shelfari.com

as well as on my website and two blogs.

So if you're looking for support I invite you to check this group out.  If you decide to join please mention my name.

BOOK REVIEW # 16 - LOVE THOSE HULA HIPS

Right from the beginning of “Love Those Hula Hips”, the author, Jackie Marilla, makes you feel as if you’re right next to James Westerman, as you both experience the sights and smells of Hawaii for the first time.


But James is not there to take in the sun and relax; he’s there on a mission, a mission which could finally earn the respect from his father he desperately desires. He’s there to oversee the day to day operation of the Kona Breezeway Inn, the inn his father has invested a great deal of money in.


The moment James Westerman arrives at the inn with his lawyer, Sam Sagal, he feels as if he’s a time warp, where everything at the check-in desk is still becoming handle using pens and paper, and not a computer in sight. He realizes he has a monumental task in front of him to bring the inn and its employees into the 21st Century, so it can finally turn a profit. The only thing James hadn’t expect is the owner, Hokulani Kawela’s [Hoku], resistance to make any of the much needed changes; nor did he expect the changes the island’s lifestyle would have on him.


Then there’s Hoku herself, from the moment she positioned herself six feet from James at the hula show, he got “mesmerized by Hokulani’s onyx hair and matching dark eyes, he tracked her flowing mane to her undulating hips and gaped when she stood in front of him. Her smile was magnetic and her hands delicate, but the way she moved her hips captivated him the most. He needed to know more about her.” James couldn’t anticipate the huge changes she’ll have on him as well.”


Jackie Marilla used just the right blend of business, the Hawaiian culture and romance to make her novel an extremely enjoyable read. Once I got hooked into the events in the storyline, I didn’t want to put the book down, and was able to complete a slow read so as not miss anything, in a single afternoon reading.

This book is a must read for anyone who wants to enjoy
an afternoon in an island paradise that most of us can only dream about going to. “Love Those Hula Hips” is an entertaining novella suit for adults who’re interested in a sweet romance without an abundance of sex or sex references; it is also quite suitable for NA [new adult] readers as well. Which is why I love giving this novella 5 STARS.







BOOK REVIEW # 15 - FUGUE

I found the premise for J.P. Sitler’s “Fugue” promising, reminding me a little of Walter Mitty and his continuously drifting out of reality and into his dream world after overhearing something being said. Her characters play well into her storyline and you get decent sense of who they are and what they look like.


Unfortunately, there are several issues which distracted me from enjoying the book more. The first of which is finding the passive nature of the writing where consecutive sentences used the word “was.” I found addition of titles for each chapter to be a distraction since enough space hadn’t been allowed to develop this chapter to its full potential. Chapter 4 – “Time Lost” did remind me of “Moby Dick” where the chapter did not fill a page, but contained the word “thump” repeated numerous times. Having 37 chapters for less than 98 pages of actual text is, in my opinion, to be quite excessive is a bit excessive. These issues are forgivable since they can easily be edited.


However, factual descriptions are not; the description of the train ride from Southport into New York wholly inaccurate. The Southport station mention in the story is on New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad. While it does run more or less parallel to the Interstate [Route 95], there are no “forgotten throwaways of civilized society: the garbage, the smoke stacks of industry, and the poor” visible from of the train, nor are there any billboards advertising whiskey and free check cashing. Below 125th Streekt there are no Brownstone buildings that seemed to be just a few feet from the tracks bloced out the sky”, this is because the railroad runs on elevated tracks which are at least forty feet from the street be“low.

It is for this reason I can only give Ms. Sitler’s novel only 3 STARS.  

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3MK4EK

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00C3MK4EK

BOOK REVIEW # 14 - WHO AM I ?

One of the main reasons I bought the KINDLE Edition of Megan’s memoir is that
we both belong to the same internet support group. “Rave Reviews By Nonnie
Jules”  http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/


I found Megan Cyrulewski’s memoir, “Who Am I?” to be an extremely poignant,
gut-wrenching account of one woman’s journey into hell at the hands of her
drug-addicted, abusive husband, who also from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
In telling her story, the author clearly pulled no punches in detailing the
horrific accounts of what she’d been forced to endure. One has to wonder why
she allowed it continue for as long as she did.


Ms. Cyrulewski gave up so much to get nothing in return. She gave up her dream
 of being an attorney because her husband wiped out the savings she had saved to
pay for it to pay off his enormous debts. A major part of his problem had been
he couldn’t hold on to any job he got,


Even with this horrific relationship she agreed to have a child. When her
daughter,  Madelyne Rose, was born; her daughter became the means by
which she survived having anxiety disorder, panic attacks, post-partum
depression, visits to the psych ward, domestic violence which lead to
her finally getting a divorce.


“Who Am I?” serves as a sign to any woman who has suffered or is suffering
  the same kind of abuse, that there's hope for recovery and a new life.


It is for this reason I’m not hesitating giving it the 5 STARS I’ve given it,
5 STARS which is richly deserves.




Sunday, October 26, 2014

BOOK REVIEW #13 - THE FIRST MADAM PRESIDENT

The topic of a woman becoming the President of the United States is not as new as one might think. On August 21, 1964 Warner Brothers released a comedy entitled “Kisses For My President,” which starred Polly Bergen as the Independent Party Candidate, Leslie McCloud, who won the election to become the first woman President of the United States. Fred MacMurray played her husband Thad McCloud.

While Kenneth J. Kerr didn’t mention it, I believe he’d been highly influenced by the ABC drama series “Commander in Chief” in the 2005-2006 television season in writing this book. In the series Geena Davis plays the Vice-President, Mackenzie Allen who ascends to the Presidency when the President, Teddy Bridges, played by Will Layman, underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor and died.  The Attorney General had told Vice President Allen that if the President should die, the party wants her to step down from the Presidency and allow the next one in line to assume the role. Naturally she refuses.

However, in “The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs), the author has her winning the election directly.  Many of the episodes in the drama series dealt with the same issues which are contained in the book; scandal, terrorism, etc.

I found the pacing of the storyline to be somewhat uneven at times. The dialogue felt stiff as well as being somewhat unrealistic as to what someone would have said if this had been a real life event. It is for these reasons I’ve given this book 3 STARS.