Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sands of Time by Christine Church

Egyptian alien vampires.  It's a thing.  I Googled it.

Once you get past that, this was actually a really intriguing novella.

It's formatted in an interesting way.  Supposed ancient texts were found and are in the process of being translated.  These novellas are the translations.  This part of the book was incredibly well done.  We have an introduction explaining the founding and translations of the texts.  I had to take a minute and go to the back of the book to find out if this was something that really happened and just had fictionalized texts, or if this part was fiction too.  I'm not telling what I found out.  The point is, it was written well enough that I wasn't really sure.  It's believable.

The main character in the book is Kesi, who is an Egyptian alien vampire.  I'm still working on getting past that part.  This first novella is her story, spanning centuries.  It's a story of heartbreak and fear, a struggle with who she is and an ever-changing world.  Church did an amazing job of getting inside Kesi's head and letting us both see and feel what she did.

Vampires normally run one of two ways.  Either they're horrific, bloodsucking fiends (Kozeniewski) or they're romanticized twits (*shiver*  Twilight).  Here, Church has taken a different approach.  They begin as pacifists who just want to be happy.  Live forever and let live for awhile.  Though it wasn't the typical vampire that I really enjoy, I didn't really hate them.  If only they'd been made hippies!  Then I could really add them to the like list!

The second book in the series, The Early Scrolls, was just released this month.  I haven't read it, but I'm actually going to add it to my 'to read' list.  Even though I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around Egyptian alien vampires (somebody should make a tongue twister out of that), Church's compelling storytelling ability as well as the connection I built with Kesi in the first book is enough to make me desire it.

Edgar Allen Poe is haunting me...

I walked outside to take a break.  Grass feels amazingly cool and smooth on bare feet.  Plus I'm an evil smoker.  As I step outside, I notice that my lawn is littered with huge black birds.  It's like somebody remade The Birds and left all of their props laying around.  Except...they're alive.  And as I walk onto the grass, they all swivel their heads to stare at me.  I look into their round, beady eyes and I know what they're thinking.  'Oooh!  I bet she's tasty!'  Well...darn right I am!  But I'm not worried!  I know they won't eat me because I'm stringy and birds don't like stringy!  Yeah...they eat worms..that's not the point.  In my brain, birds only eat rice.  Cooked rice.  Because I'm only semi-evil.    The birds are still outside in the yard.  I am not.  Because I'm not stupid.  Just in case birds really do like stringy.

Sir Edgar Allen Poe:  Whatever action I have committed that has caused me to incur your wrath, I apologize with all my heart!  I hereby vow to not write a review with a harsh word for 24 hours as penance!

*Note:  No reviews will be posted for the next 24 hours.

Sacrificial Lamb Cake by Katrina Monroe

Once upon a time, I lived in Monroe, Louisiana.  That information has absolutely nothing to do with anything.  You're welcome.

I'd never heard of Katrina Monroe before yesterday.  Why not?!  You guys are slackers!  Somebody should have told me what I was missing!  If I read another book of hers that I really enjoy, she's going on the 'must buy them alll!!!' list!

When I first started reading, I was reminded of Whitehead's The Reluctant Jesus.  Both books question what would happen if the Messiah returned, and things went horribly wrong.  That's pretty much where the similarity ends.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if more authors picked up on this idea?  I could read this stuff for days!

Now, before I get into everything I loved about this book, I want to put out a warning that it's not for kids.  There's only one sex scene, but it's detailed enough that I wouldn't suggest this book to my mother or my children.  Or my nieces.  Maybe my sisters.  Definitely not a clergy member.  Unless I didn't like them.  I digress!  It's only a couple of paragraphs, but I wish it had been avoided.  It's well done and surprisingly steamy, but removing it from the book would have meant I could suggest everyone read this book.  I'm selfish like that.

This is one of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time.  It's full of surprises and chaos.  Now, I'll admit, there are a few things that could be predictable.  Monroe does an amazing job of keeping you busy on the left while the predictable stuff is happening on the right.  So, even if you could predict it, you won't.  You're too busy being entertained to think that far ahead.  I bet she was a practicing magician as a child.  If not, she's definitely missed another calling she has talent for.

The storytelling is brisk and keeps you firmly implanted in the story.  You're immediately invested in each character so you care about what's happening to them.  The characters are created such that you even build emotion towards them.  Some you love, some you hate, but it's fun either way!  I think I may have even felt a little sympathy somewhere along the pages!

If you're not easily offended and you're looking for more than a story, this is one that you need to pick up.  It's an experience.  I don't say that lightly.  Throughout the entire book, I just had this look on my face (I assume it's the same look people have when talking to me most of the time) and I could feel it!  I was captivated and wonderfully confused!

If anybody has any suggestions, I'm anxious to see which of her books I should pick up next!

What we're buying today!!

Wednesday is my favorite day!  It's the day I get to lovingly choose from a vast assortment of books to read.  I order them.  They arrive at some point in time.  Then I get to read them and love them and sniff them!  What joy!

Why Wednesday?  Why not?  I have no idea.  It's just the day I chose but since routine is supposedly important, we're keeping it Wednesday!

So what did we buy this week?!  Oh I can't wait to show you!!!

First, I've been following Tim Marquitz for quite awhile, but haven't read anything of his.  If you don't follow him on social media, you should!!  He'll make you laugh.  He'll make you smile.  He'll make you wonder what's wrong with him.  

We chose three of his books to start off with, all of which were suggested by him.

Don't they look fabulous?!  I can't wait to jump into them!  (Once I get caught up with other reading, that is!)  The only issue I have is that I couldn't find them available in hard copy format, so I had to settle for Kindle.  I'm still excited to read them!  It just means I can only read them during business hours.  Not only that, that means no awesome new books are on their way to me!  So...I continued shopping!  Hurray!

Hugh Howey is a hit or miss for me, but it was suggest I try out the Bern Saga.  I sincerely  hope this series is more like Wool than Sand!  What a pretty and colorful book cover!

It was also suggested that I try out Chris D'lacey's Fire Within series, so we've ordered the first one in that series.  It looks to me like it'll be young adult, but sometimes those are the most entertaining!

Last, but definitely not least, and perhaps the one I'm most excited Exit Strategy by L.F. Falconer.  If you've discussed books with me for even five seconds, then you know I'm a huge fan of her as both a person and a writer.  She amazes me.  Somehow, although I'm not sure how, I haven't read this one!  It's guaranteed to be a fantastic read and I'm proud to be adding it to my library collection!

What are you reading this week?  What's on your 'to buy' list?!  


Most of the ones I posted yesterday are still up for grabs!  If you didn't try them, give them a shot.  What have you got to lose?  Today, I've got a few more that should be ready to finish up at any time.  I'm including the links just in case it's something you're really interested in.

Before The First, there was the Eye of Ra. 
Laurence Danjuma was a young man on the straight and narrow with hopes and dreams of making a better life for himself and the father who raised him. Fate and circumstance had a different idea in mind, breaking not just his body, but his will. 
Now on the brink of death, an ancient power within his family’s legacy awakens to both save his life and place him on the path to his destiny. 
As Laurence unlocks secrets about his true bloodline, he will stumble upon a dark one that will not only put his life on the line again, but also that of the entire human race. 
Will Laurence find the strength to take up the mantle handed down to him in order to stand against the looming threat that could bring about the extinction of every single human on the planet Earth? 
Can he be the hero he never expected to be? 
From the mind of Kipjo Ewers, author of The First and EVO Uprising, comes another chapter in the EVO Universe lore. 
Prepare for action and adventure that is not only out of this world, but on a god-like level. 
The anticipated wait is over … 
Here comes … the Eye of Ra. (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Half-Romany, half-English lord, he lives a perilous Gypsy life … until a sweet English rose saves his life, and perhaps his soul. Widowed by a cruel husband, she's given up all hope of love. Brought together in peril, they dare to reach for a brighter future together. 

Luca Boldor, Romany leader, lives a nomad’s life in Regency England with his Gypsy caravan. Believing his noble father abandoned him at birth, he refuses to acknowledge his English blood, or live a settled life. But when a vicious attack by a rival leaves him bleeding on an English lady's doorstep, he has no choice but to accept her help. Her gentle faith stirs his heart in a way he has long denied. 

Lady Patience Blakwell, widowed countess, lives in near poverty. Her husband's heir uses threats to keep her from demanding her rightful inheritance. With a few faithful servants, she exists quietly in the country, only her faith keeping her strong … until the day a bold, handsome Gypsy collapses in her hall. He's unlike any man she's ever known, and she'll confront any subterfuge to keep him safe. 

But when a secret from Lady Patience's past emerges, Luca must face his own past, or lose her and all hope of love. Will this strong man humble himself to open his heart for his lady? (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Terminal Agent is an edgy, first-hand account of Ben Morgan’s surreal journey from mild-mannered, mid-level government lawyer to highly effective CIA assassin -- culminating in an extraordinary assignment for an ordinary man. Assassinating, right under the Russian’s noses, one of the most controversial figures of our time, American leaker, George Rainier. Traitor to many, hero to some. 

Terminal Agent follows Ben’s journey from being told he would die in 12 months to his recruitment into an unusual CIA program. All the while hanging on for an emotional roller coaster ride from the desolation of his fateful diagnosis to the thrill of the kill to questioning whether the entire experience has been manipulated by the Agency to fulfill its geopolitical objectives. Is the experimental treatment working? Was Ben really ill? Or did the government use sophisticated algorithms and data mining to identify Ben and others like him and then lie to them? 

Divorced. No children. No loose ends. People willing to die because they’ve been convinced they’re dying. (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I love giveaways!  They're a really great way to familiarize yourself with new books and authors!  Plus, you get that same rush when you win as you do from yelling 'BINGO!'!!  It's a blast!  I'm only going to post a few here, but most of these have been open for nearly a month.  That means you have pretty high odds of winning!  I'm also going to post the Amazon link to them, just in case you don't win and you'd like to check them out anyway.  A few seconds saved searching is a few seconds you could be eating chocolate!!

A return to his native Romania offers a unique opportunity for Boston architect Luca Leontin to come to terms with his past; instead he becomes enmeshed in the vengeful designs of a man with whom he shares a life-long history of passion for art, as well as an indelible bitterness over the love of one woman. Luca finds himself drawn to the Circe, the infamous Bucharest night club, where the illusion of erotic fulfillment could cost him his life. 
From a totalitarian society that crumbled in December, 1989 to a contemporary world gripped by fear of international terrorism, Adrift is a study of cultural dislocation and the ensuing alienation that triggers both our yearning to return to our origins and the hopeless need to find what is lost forever. This is a story of 
obsession and revenge, and, above all, the survival of love despite the corrosive action of lifelong mistrust and suspicion (Amazon Description)   Enter here!!

Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.

Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.

Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance. (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Anabel Axelrod is back…and so is Luke Drake. First it was Her Turn. Now it is His Turn. Anabel’s life was sizzling before, but now its on fire! Can Anabel handle the heat? 

After her last crazy few days, Anabel is looking for nothing but a good time during the traditional upcoming Axelrod Women Weekend. Cousin Layla and some friends are flying in from Florida for a visit. Despite Chief Jack’s warning not to call him this year if they end up in jail again, the women plan to rock the town! But first our girl has to survive some parents, some Russians, some Mexicans, Thanksgiving, and Anabel’s hottest challenge ever…Luke Drake. And Mr. Secretive has plans of his own. Will it ever be Our Turn for Luke and Anabel, or is it her karma to get burned by the smokin’ hot flames? (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Acadia King is a young widow out for the evening at a hotel cocktail bar. With nothing to lose, she's about to hook up for the first time in years with a perfect stranger--a perfectly hot, and totally inappropriate much younger stranger. Acadia’s also about to discover her inner badass because an infection turning people into violent crazies has arrived in the Twin Cities and the hotel bar is ground zero! Suddenly, Acadia has everything left in life to lose. Determined to make it home and defend her farm, can Acadia survive the dangers in a world gone insane overnight? (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

What do you get when a brainy, blonde bookseller who is a magnet for trouble meets a not too tall, deliciously dark, and definitely not handsome new man in town operating under his own secret agenda? The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod ongoing series! Join Anabel’s world as she banters, spars, and drags her heels down the sometimes hilarious, sometimes treacherous, but always twisted path towards true love with the mysterious, seductive Luke Drake. From the first sparks of explosive attraction to the dreaded exclusive relationship, happily-ever-after has never been so elusively fun or so excitingly dangerous! Earning hundreds of 5 STARS reviews, pick up The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod Boxed Set today and fall in lust this summer, too! (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Samantha Jacobs is just trying to lead an average life. Her family has always been in the spotlight, and she’s tired of all the unwanted attention. She decides to work as an assistant at Williams & Company, a private security firm that specializes in protecting families and employees for major corporations. But after an affair, unplanned pregnancy, and tragedy upset her escape for normalcy, Sam runs back home to her parents for what she hopes is safety. 

Jason Morgan, a retired Navy SEAL, is second in command at Williams & Company. He’s the special-ops person that’s called upon to rescue people from dangerous situations. Jason’s world is turned upside down after a failed mission leads to him being held captive by drug lords in South America. Once freed, he endures a long road to recovery, both physically and emotionally.

New tragedies catch up to Sam even as she attempts to outrun them. She must team-up with Jason and Williams & Company to uncover the facts surrounding her mother’s untimely death.

As Sam and Jason get closer to the truth, can Jason overcome the memories of his capture, and can Sam handle everything that’s been revealed before it overwhelms her? (taken from Amazon description)  Enter here!!!

Happy entering!!!

American Neolithic by Terence Hawkins

When it comes to food, I'll try anything once.  Unless it has green pepper in it. I hate green pepper.  Despise it, even.  So, when this book came up next on the chopping block , I shrugged, didn't find any green pepper, and jumped into it.

The basic plot is that there's a high profile murder.  The suspect turns out to be a neanderthal.  You can't go wrong, right??

What I did really enjoy about this book is the amount of for-thought that Hawkins put in to it.  The neanderthals are clearly and realistically created.  The society he built is perfectly conceivable.

Part of the book is told from the perspective of the suspect.  Those parts tend to warble and ramble on, but they are still interesting.  I assume that a neanderthal would warble and ramble on, so it makes perfect sense to me that those areas would be written to join in.

The highest marketing point of the book is that it's full of political satire.  Full.  Stuffed so full that there isn't really much room for any decent story building. it's a high marketing point for others but not for me.  The story-telling is slow and dry.  I don't care about any of the characters.  Any.  That includes the suspect who was painstakingly built.  I don't care about this society.  There wasn't any real connection with me that made me even want to consider caring about them.  At least not until well into the second half of the book.  By then, I'd stopped caring if I'd care. I hope there's a sequel and they all die.  But that's just me.

If you're the type of person who wants an interesting story to study, this could be a really good book for you.  You could probably take weeks pulling this book apart and finding all of the hidden nuances.  You could probably spend weeks studying the neanderthal way of life that has been built here.  The fact remains that there are people who might actually enjoy the slow, painful way that the story is told here.  Personally, I think this is a perfect book club book.  It's chock full of wonderful discussion points.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Saint for Life by Nicole Heck

I remember the day I was 'forced' to watch A Walk to Remember.  Let me tell you how the movies goes.

1.  Opening sequence.
2.  Over an hour of me screaming "Would you please just hurry up and die already?!  Please?  Come on, man!  Die!"

Now, Mandy Moore, you're awesome.  I adore you.  Let's do lunch.  But this type of movie is definitely NOT up my alley.  It gets my blood pressure up.  It's sweet on top of sweet and then begs you to feel sorrow.  Yeah.  No.  The Nutty Professor...that makes me cry.  Every single time.  A Walk to Remember just really annoys me.  It tries too hard.  "Hey!  Let's make a movie that'll make everybody cry!  Yeah!  That'll be fun!'  Well it works about as well on me as slapstick comedy!  There's something wrong with my brain and I apologize.

Now I'm sure that you're aware that there is a huuuuge audience for this sort of thing.  It just doesn't include me.  If it is your sort of thing, this is definitely a book you'll want to pick up.  I've heard a lot of flack about how a reviewer can only review a book that's in their preferred genre, and that's simply not true.  Read on, dear readers!  Read on!  Actually, grab some caffeine first!  Then read on!

This is the first book by Heck.  In a first novel, there are a lot of things to worry about.  Has it been edited?  Does the author have basic story-telling skills?  Is there a plot?  Are the characters set up well enough that you care who they are?

 Normally, my biggest complaint is the lack of editing.  Most new authors feel like they know what they're doing and just don't understand the need.  Heck did her homework and understood the need for editing and I give her great credit for it.  There are a few small items where the editor could have tweaked it a bit, but over all...great job here!

Now, though the characters and story are definitely not my thing, it is really well done.  The characters are well-formed.  Though I don't like them, they're incredibly realistic.  We have average teenagers, albeit late teens, who are living in unusual circumstances.  Heck does a great job of veering us into their psyche so we can see all of their vulnerabilities and strengths.

Heck also has a pretty natural story flow.  The beginning is a little rough, but once you get a few chapters in, you have all of the characters and timeline straight and you can just sit back for the ride.

Like I said, this is definitely not my thing.  It'll go put up in the library until someone else wants to read it.  BUT!  For the type of story it is, especially considering that it's the author's first novel, it's really well done.  If you enjoy sappy love stories with the potential to go horribly wrong, you should really pick this one up.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hunter of the Dead by Stephen Kozeniewski

I never pass up a chance to read one of Kozy's books.  He's one of the few authors that I keep funds set aside for.  That way, as soon as a new one is released, I can immediately order it.

Now, because Kozy is one of my favorite authors, I know for sure that I'll love the book.  So, I don't bother reading what it's about.  I just pick it up and begin devouring.  You can get an idea of what sort of book it is by the book cover.  If I had to give you a quick plot summary, I'd say that we have vampires, Inquisitors, and the Hunter of the Dead.  He's the real star of the book, even though we rarely see him.  He doesn't seem to care who he kills.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a Twihard.  Now, that's not to say that I'm against vampires that have emotion.  P. Ambroziak's work is a perfect example of how 'good' or 'moral' vampires can exist in a way that I'm not frustrated and angry.  It's believable.  It's not simpering idiot vampires who's only job in life is to find someone they can obsess about.  There are no sparkles and no bad acting.  Anyway!  I digress!  In THIS book, Kozy brings back the horrific side of vampires.  These aren't simpering fools who are out for a good time with their beloved.  These are artful, intelligent creatures of destruction.  People are food.  It's that simple.  They give no more thought to dismemberment than a hunter would field-dressing a stag.  It's scary!  It's what vampires are supposed to be!  A master race that only needs us to feed off of!

Though I've come to expect unusual plot lines from Kozy, I wasn't a bit disappointed with this.  I won't say he reinvented the vampire because that would be both silly and untrue.  What he has done is undo some of the damage that Twilight and similar silly fodder has done.  He's brought vampires back to their respectable place.  He's made me stop hating them.  #VampireLivesMatter. first hashtag ever and it was caused by reading this book.  Now I feel corrupted.

As always, Kozy brings perfect balance to horror, drama and humor.  You don't have a chance to be overloaded by any of them.  Instead, you find yourself riding a wave that you don't want to ever stop.  Speaking of which, the end of this book leaves it wide open for a sequel...possibly even a series.  I am putting in my vote now that that not happen.  I would read it, happily.  However, I love that everything Kozy writes is unusual and I'd hate for him to stick with one thing and get in a rut.  He's far too talented for that.  Keep bringing the fresh plots that I adore you for!

Oh yes!  Horror!  Drama!  Humor!  I haven't read such terror since Poppy Z. Brite!  I was really impressed by the fact that I was almost grossed out!  Now, had this been a movie instead of a book, I probably would have only made it through about two minutes!  Luckily, my brain loves gore.  It's just that my eyes seem to be more tender towards such things.  My favorite character is Price.  He makes Harry Dresden look like a chump.  I'd follow Price into the depths of Hell without blinking.  Well that's not true.  I'd make sure I had a babysitter first.  But after that I'd follow without blinking!  He's imperfect and wonderful!  I truly believe he's one of the best characters Kozy has created to date.

This was another great read by Kozy and worth every penny.  I'll definitely pull it down and read it again, but not until after the kids all get a chance to read it.  Grown-uppish kids.  I'd never let a little kid read this.  My goodness!  We'd have serial killers all over!  'Look at me!  I'm the Hunter of the Dead!'  *POW* *SPLAT*  We don't need that.  However, I bet the older kids will get some great Halloween costume ideas from this!  If you can handle the darker side of vampires, this is a bloody good ride!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Forget Coloring!!! Check out these fantastic PAPER DOLLS!!!

Yeah I know, coloring has been a craze for a couple of years now.  Personally, I never stopped coloring so I can't actually say that I bought into the fad.  Coloring is great though!  It provides stress relief, active brain function and is great for motor skills.

I'd like to take a moment to talk to you about paper dolls.  I don't mean these sticker versions they have now that aren't good for much of anything.  I mean the types of paper dolls that were available when I was a youngster.  I'm not anymore, you know.  A youngster, I mean.  I do still love paper dolls though!  You get these great flimsy cardboard characters that are usually in their underwear.  Then you get to cut out all these great little outfits and accessories!  Using scissors is great for your motor skills!  Then, you can mix and match and layer outfits!  Excellent for creative processing!  Then, you can take your characters and interact with them just like you would action figures!  Paper dolls are freakishly awesome!!!

This picture shows my mad picture-taking skills and will help you stretch your neck muscles!  I'm so thoughtful!

Alright, so I'll admit, I haven't had paper dolls in over ten years.  I only recently came upon a book that renewed my love of them.  It is such an awesome book!  I love the people at Dover who meet all of my 'activity book'  needs!  In this book, we have all sorts of famous action stars and a fun wardrobe to go with them.  It's sturdy!  That means I can get a lot of play time out of it before the heads become bent and they're constantly staring down at their nether regions!  Instead of being stickers or those silly punch out outfits, you get to put your scissor skills to good use!

Are you working on a promo?  Need something different?  Set up your paper dolls to do the fascinating work for you!  Need something to while away a rainy afternoon?  Set up your paper dolls in a window sill and pretend it's the apocalypse!  Just went to drive your co-workers crazy?  Put together Conan the Barbarian and Agent Jay and just let things happen naturally!  Are you lonely and need a fake boyfriend?  You're guaranteed to find just the right one in this assortment!

Gifted by H.A. Swain

Before you read my review, I'd like to make two points clear.

First, I paid for this book out of my own hard-earned money.  I didn't even use a discount or coupon.  This is my own fault.

Second, I never read past the second chapter.  Again, I take the credit for this choice.

Dystopians are great! The writer takes a simple item and decide how it's going to change the world and its inhabitants.  In this book, the simple item is a brain change.  Basically, if you want to be a famous singer, you can go in and have your brain tuned.  It'll implant everything that you need to know in order to be a famous singer and remove all of the unnecessary stuff.  In theory, this could have ended up to be a great story.

What I was faced with instead was SCEWL and an institute named after the Kardashians.  We have descendants of popular actors and singers.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I have a lot of respect for those chosen career paths.  It takes a lot of determination, hard work and raw talent to make a respectable name for yourself.  However!  In Swain's future, people seem to be determined by who their ancestors were.  Well, after all, you're a Marley.  Come on!

So I've given this a lot of thought.  My biggest issue is that this book isn't being sarcastic or attempting to poke fun in any way.  In this version, famous media personnel are the focus of society.  If Will Smith was your great-grandfather, you've got it made.  I'm not going to jump into a rant on the dumbing down of society, but there are so many  more worthy ways this could have gone rather than just pandering to twelve-year-old children who don't know any better.  Yeah, great idea!  Let's just get a bunch of famous people and write a book about how we can rewire brains so these kids can be just like that with no real work involved!  Yeah!  Let's do that!  (Side note:  That was sarcasm.)

Now, in all fairness, there's a strong likelihood that there's something meatier inside this book.  Hopefully, it turns out that there's a depth here that teaches our younger generation that taking the easy way out isn't always the best way.  Hopefully, it teaches something useful instead of just the negative images that are in the first two chapters.  Hopefully, there's actually a good story in here.

I can only give you a heads up about the first two chapters.  I could pick it up and read more to find out what could possibly be great about this book after such a disheartening beginning, but I just love myself too much to put myself through it.

If you've read this book and have different feedback, I'd love to hear it!  If there's something I'm missing, I'll be happy to go back and read more!

Here we are again!

Many of my long-time readers are aware that I have a special needs child.  I wouldn't change this experience for anything!  The biggest challenge I've had is learning to be flexible.  It's easy to make up a schedule and plan to follow it, but things are going to happen that make that impossible.  My review career is a perfect example.

Every summer, I vow that I'm going to continue reviewing even though my child is home from school.  I will find a way to get to my computer!  I will find the time to sit and read!  I will check my e-mail and stay in touch with the community!  Every summer that fails to happen.  This one is no exception.  The fact is, most of our summer was spent in hospitals and surrounded by doctors and therapists.  I wouldn't change a moment of it.  The progress that we've both made during the summer is astounding!  But, that means that every vow I made concerning reviewing fell by the way side.

School is back in session, and that means so am I!  Now, I'm a little more realistic than I was last year at this time.  I know that between school meetings and therapies and research, the time that I have to devote to my reading passion will be sporadic.  I do have some great things I'm excited to share with you though!  

I won't be posting every day.  I will most likely not be taking part in tours.  There will most likely not be any release day parties.  The odds are really good that I won't be doing any giveaways in the near future.  That last one actually saddens me a little..  Most of the authors I know are writers because they can't help it, not for fame.  They love being able to share their work and passion with others.  I believe in them and I look forward to sharing it with you as well.  Giveaways and contests require time and planning, which I'm not currently willing to commit to.  

Hopefully, you've all had a wonderful summer full of progress and joy!  I'm excited to be back, no matter how brief it may actually be!  Welcome back, me!!!

Giveaway Notice

All winners of giveaways will be notified as soon as their name has been drawn. Each winner will have two weeks to respond in order to receive their prize. Prizes cannot be delivered without an email/physical address. Any prizes that are not claimed within a two week period will be forfeited.


All books (unless otherwise specified) belong to me already, have been borrowed, or are sent to me by the author, publisher or review company for review. I do not receive any monetary rewards for reviewing books. The opinions expressed in my reviews belong solely to me.