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 Book Review

Title: The Man Who Could Be King

Author: John Ripin Miller

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Could-Be-King-ebook/dp/B01N9KHCUF

Star Rating: 5

Age Rating (IMO): All ages

 

In school we heard about what George Washington did. Every year US History covered him and the other Founding Fathers, in more detail as our years went by. However we were never told about Newburgh and what he didn’t do, which is a real shame as after reading this book I think it should be covered in school. It would give more depth to the class. I can remember sometimes my classmates and I wondered why he didn’t just take over.

 

This is a book everyone should read. I find it to be a very well done historical novel.

 

Written from the perspective of Josiah, who is an amalgamation of the 32 aides that he had during the Revolutionary War, we go through the war with the pair. We experience the highs and the lows, the soldiers with no shoes or adequate clothing, and the shipments of spoiled meat. And yet, when the touchiest possible mutiny in the military ranks threatens the war effort General Washington does not answer the temptation to pursue a military takeover of Congress to install himself as head of the nation. He calms and turns aside the mutiny.

 

I also really appreciated the appendices and notes after the main body of the book. The level of research was extremely deep and I am enthralled by the supporting information.

 

 

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 Book Review

Title: Into the Hexagon

Author: J. D. Stonebridge

Page count: 63 pages

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERRNJY0

Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/J.D.-Stonebridge/e/B00OPZ1YQU

 

When this series was pointed out to me I did not expect how addicting it was to become. With this particular episode the plot of the series is advanced even further. We uncover a corporation conducting illegal and questionable experiments to go along with the Primes. The boys do not find Lauren, but rather she finds them. We meet three new Primes. The usual destruction occurs. Poor Tony and Lance seem to encounter violent explosions wherever they go. So much for being out of the military and any ideas of a peaceful life that Lance might have had. I quite sympathize with his momentary desire to go back to the desert! It would all be so much to take and I think that by this time the progressive forward movement they have to make simply to stay alive is what is preventing mental breakdowns. If you want action, this is a good place to get it. As usual detail is detailed, but fleeting. You do not have a great opportunity to luxuriate or bask. You get to rest now and then, but those are brief. As usual, this is a good read if you are looking for something light but engaging, and I do not mean light as in not requiring thought.

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 I have fallen a little behind on posting these reviews. They have gone up on Amazon, and the video versions on Youtube, but I forgot to link them here. So have a few videos. The author was kind enough to send me 6 through 11 as well.



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Book Review

Title: The One In Light

Author: J. D. Stonebridge

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E6RHBEK

 

The writing took me a little to settle into since it felt a little stilted. However the slightly stilted language also worked for the setting and the character’s mindset. It would not have been as convincing if the writing in the first chapter were smoother given the history of the character. One would expect things to seem a little fractured also given how we come into this story with a missing woman. The initial difficulty could also have been the result of a sick child in the household interrupting my immersion. Either way, certainly no points lost in my mental reckoning. This also smoothes out later

 

Then we find the connections to the unexplainable things that most of society would rather avoid thinking about too deeply. Aliens, supernatural? And yet it seems to have some sort of scientific weight behind this mysterious discovery. We then follow the missing girl’s boyfriend and brother to discover a young woman that has lost a sibling of her own.

 

The pacing of this story seemed about right to me, and the level of detail was brief but not in a detracting manner. It moves you along, following the frustration that a worried brother or boyfriend would feel. This is not the story you want if you want to be leisurely steeped in description. This is an unapologetic thriller. If you have some uninterrupted time then you will get through this quickly. I wish it had been longer. Even with all of the unexpected interruptions I managed to finish in less than a day. I normally read longer works, and this left off at a rather harsh (to me) cliffhanger so I am very glad that this is the first in a series. It reminds me of the serial novels that were released around the same time when I was young by Steven King (Green Mile) and John Saul (Blackstone Chronicles if memory serves). Short, fast reads for those with time constraints. I hesitate to call this a novel, and it even seems a little short to call a novella. I would call it more of an installment of a novel, which is not a bad thing at all. Just different and not a format I often read in other than a few for internet authors that I follow. I plan to read the next of this series as soon as possible. Certainly an enjoyable way to pass the time, and cliffhangers drive me nuts.

 

I am curious about the mysterious stone and what role it will have in the future parts of the story. I am expecting it to be an artifact that has heavy influence on all parts of the tale.

 

Regarding technical details of the book itself I found very few typos to trip me. What I did find I believe to be mere stylistic matters. Plot progression so far I cannot say much about, I believe I will have to read a few books in before I can start to form any idea on whether there are any unexpected twists or anything like that, which Amazon sometimes asks about.

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 Book: Circle of Ceridwen, volume two

Author: Octavia Randolph

I have this book in a collection consisting of books one through three, but wish to review each book separately as I finish them.
I am exceedingly pleased with this story and look forward to reading the next book. The plot is full of twists and turns that I had not expected when I finished reading the first book, and which I did not expect when opening this volume.
Ceridwen remains a very strong female and the adventure is now bound to home and navigating the problems of life as a noble woman. The love triangle has expanded to admit another male, the brother of her husband. Though it costs her much she gives to this man his greatest wish, a son, thus also granting the wish of his wife who is unknowing of the details. All of this happens amidst the turmoils of war. Although this book has a great deal of romance I would still recommend this to a person that normally would not read romance. The desire of Ceridwen to have the best for everyone makes this a good deal more than a bodice ripper.
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 Book: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

By: Stephen King

Genre: Memoir/How to

 

I found this to be very helpful and inspirational. Particularly helpful to me is his recounting of how think his rejection stack was when younger and what, to him, writing is about. I rarely dog-ear books and have been known to hiss about it. This one is temporarily dogeared until I can get some tabs made for sections that I will be referencing often. This is part memoir, part off-the-cuff advice, part glimpse into one writer's process, part inspiration fodder, part reminder that writers are people too.

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Book: Dead Medium
By: Peter John
Genre: Fantasy

I got a copy of this on my Kindle for Christmas, and very happy as I'd been waiting for a chance to get it. This book was worth the wait. There were a few typos but nothing glaring enough to knock any points off. Formatting was good, the plot was meaty, it wasn't too fast or too slow. I was very pleased by how rounded all of the characters where and delighted to find out how May Trump was connected to Chloe. I'm glad that we don't learn it until the end of the book. I also adored the bit of an epilogue done from the POV of Mr Kibbles, which revealed why no one else ever saw her cat. I highly recommend this book.
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 While stuck mostly flat on my back waiting for my spinal swelling to go down (being on my feet or up for long has not been a good idea lately) I have been reading. I can at least hold up my kindle even if being so extremely horizontal is nessecary. Certainly highly considering text to speech writing to at least make some headway on projects...

Book Review
The Priestess and the Dragon (Dragon Saga #1)
Nicolette Andrews

I got this book via pre-order on Amazon because it sounded like my favorite genre. It also has the priestess running similar lines to BlowingWind's story in my Dragon Shaman books (though I doubt Suzume will wind up being reborn as a kami as BlowingWind's fate has always ultimately been planned for after the end of her life since day one of starting with her stories). I also highly liked the idea, when I came across it in this book, of a soul being fractured and portions being reborn in other people, as that too is a theme meant to be in all three of my interlinked series. It was really refreshing to see another author working with themes similar to ones I like to play with.

Besides... Priestesses and Dragons. How can you go wrong with that? I don't think you can. There is a reason dragons like virgins.

Now that we've covered the why of why I chose to read this book, let's talk about mechanics. I was really impressed with the pace of this tale, so I'll definitely be watching for when book two is ready. I was hooked quickly by how I was plunged into Suzume's head, especially with how itchy ancient Japanese bridal makeup was described as being, when having to wear for a long time. The interplay between the fallen daughter of the Emperor, the shrine's Head Priestess and the second was wonderful and revealed a lot about each character quickly. So too the dragon when Suzume accidentally woke him up... by the worst and possibly most mortifying case of gastrointestinal distress ever (which didn't stink, I just found it hilarious). Having been hooked you don't really get the chance to get bored. No, you get dragged through swamps, poor Suzume has crap happen left and right... No downtime. She does have opportunity to complain about that as well.

Character growth was well paced and believable. I was prepared for a romance and extremely satisfied to see Mr Arrogant become less arrogant (somewhat, he is a dragon... dragons have egos). The love triangles in the book were not overdone either, which I find to be a rare thing. Extra points in my mind for that. Susume also goes from a snotty, annoying, strong-willed girl into a determined woman actually finding that the things she thought she once wanted no longer had the same appeal after her adventure. Very well done there.

People I think would like this one are those that enjoyed "Inuyasha" or "Red as Blood, White as Bone" which both share Japanese priestess characters. I also think that those liking straight up adventure would enjoy this, since even though to me it is primarily supernatural romance, the romance is not the only pillar. The adventure component in some ways is even stronger than the romance. This is also one that I think would make for a great audiobook.
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 I had the chance to finish reading the rest of "Quelly and the Genie." I am glad that I took the break before finishing. Quelly changed quite a bit in the other part of the book compared to how she had been at the start. She's still got a way to go yet, but she's certainly growing nicely as a person. I'm pleased especially with the Dream Wishes that she made, how they helped her family and Angela and then faded in potency as she worked her way outward through her circle. For a teen book it was pretty well done.

I still want to do things to Monica the Monster. This was a very well written villain and I like how this villain is foreshadowed as possibly not the true villain. Tyson is fairly well done too, and there is even Jason that turns out to snap and become rather psychopathic. The various cliques were well represented and believable to the point it reminded me how -glad- I am to no longer be in high school.

The romance at the end and the genie having hidden and denied his love for Quelly were rather predictable, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I'd primarily call this a supernatural romance crossing over with coming of age. This is good beyond the need for some proofing. I don't recommend reading this in large chunks though. Pace yourself or if you're like me and rather impatient with teens you won't enjoy the story.

The ending has me wondering what happens in the next book with Angela, as she disappears in a tragic lab accident at school. Monica, of course, is involved but came out fine.
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Book Review: Fractured Familes
Pearl of Wisdom Saga #2
Author: Jason Rice

I got this as an advance review copy in exchange for a fair review. I was not disappointed. My expectations based on the first book were met.

Book two is extremely long, just like book one was. It definitely lives up to the Saga moniker, just as I like it. I remain impressed by how all the various characters move around the board in the world Mr. Rice writes. I am reminded in some ways of the game of risk. I've heard of others comparing this to Game of Thrones, but I have yet to see what on earth they are on about, not having been exposed to that yet.

Some of the characters I'd like to smack upside the head for their choices, which means that we've got characters acting true to human nature in the story. By the end of the book we lost one of my favorite characters, though I will enjoy seeing the current king get his comeuppance. Several parties are clearly formed with their own bids for the crown of the kingdom while meanwhile a greater war is ramping up in the background. I greatly enjoy stories where what seems to be a problem is dwarfed by something truly more important (like the possible extinction of the human race). I really enjoy how no character is truly safe. Everyone is likely to have their head handed to them with the way the perils are written.

Sex does play up in this book as it did in the first, but it is not needless. It is used, in my opinion, to illustrate the characters and their relations. I was extremely impressed by how Leimur has turned out. I also really liked the interplay between the Grizzly and Elisa. I thought that was a very nicely done roundback to her past.

Book three I look forward to.
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 I've not had much time for reading or writing lately. In fact I just finished a bit of work for two different sites and am on break before I pick up work again. I did commit to giving a review of a couple books though, so here is one of the books based on what I have been able to grab writing time for. I am about a third though this book and because of the way it is it will take me a great deal of time longer to finish it. So I may write a follow up review at another point after finishing fully. I agreed to give an honest review, so I'm rather critical but attempting to be constructive about it.

This book is "Quelly and the Genie: Sisters of the Mystic Book I" by Hallie Gregory. I picked it up because the cover looked like it had been done by the same person that did the Coffee and Ghosts book that I had liked so much recently.

This book isn't for me. It will be just what someone else is looking for though. The main character annoys me just as much as BlowingWind while she is in her shock state pisses off other people about being self-centered. She's got her good points but I really want to smack her. Thus I'll chalk this up as a well done teen character. After a great deal of experience with real teens I will say that yes... this character pretty much sums up teens. If you can't stand or aren't in the mood for teen drama then look for something else. If you're in the state where that's what you're needing to work about then this is perfect.

I was disappointed in how I wasn't grabbed. Parts of the plot did. I like the mystery. And then the drama of some of the characters just kills it for me. I have been hooked on the first chapters enough to continue though, so this is a good sign. I'm saddened by the amount of typos and misspellings though. Some are explainable, such as characters using mispellings or wrong words because it is in character. And others I think just slipped past a very tired proof reader.

I'm not totally sold, but I'm not giving up either. It's proving to be good reading for when I'm pissed at myself for being in a slightly whiny state. I want to see what happens with this genie that needs his butt saved.

With this, back to work. I've picked up a few things for my own work this month. If I get this other stuff out of the way I can get back to my writing and film projects.
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 I got a 3 star review (of 5 possible) on Goodreads for the ebook edition of Dragon Shaman:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/647163622

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I enjoyed this book. I am not sure how to describe it but the style of the book reminded me of The Last Unicorn by Beagle. It had that dreamy/mythology/wisdom vibe to it. There was also some beautiful descriptive prose to enjoy, and it tells this love story nicely. This is not an action pact adventure with mysteries to solve; it's the poemy words that keep you reading. 

I liked the main character and I wished to see more of her life lessons and interactions with different types of people. I didn't like her name though, it's a romantic book- give the poor girl a "romantic" name. The images that blowing wind conjures in my head doesn't do her justice. The secondary characters are interesting and I would have loved the opportunity to read more about their adventures during the book. 

This is a return to old school fantasy so if that rocks your boat, I would give it a gander. I will be interested in reading more from this author.
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I'm actually really pleased by this review. Three stars there means that it's liked, so that's not a bad rating at all. I'm even compared to The Last Unicorn, a childhood favorite!!!

BlowingWind's name is actually very important to her character, and thanks to this review I now know that I definitely need to include the reasoning as to why her parents chose that name for her. So this was an extremely helpful review.

Kindle | Nook | Other formats
Second edition paperback coming as soon as the new cover by Victoria "Salaiek" Davis is ready!
Looking forward to that price drop!
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One of the author circles that I am part of introduced me to a Scottish fellow by the name of Bob Atkins.  We got to talking a bit and exchanged info on each other's books, both being lovers of Celtic culture and reading new stuff.  His Book, The Last Sunset, sounded really interesting, and he let me know about it having been currently down to $0.99 for Amazon Kindle.  The price has gone up from the promotional price to $2.99, but that still isn't bad as ebook pricing goes.

Nuclear war, time travel, Scottish people (kilts... takes some serious you know what to wear those in the cold...), the fight between Charles and George for the throne...  What can I say, I've got Stuart (and Stewart, got both versions) and Campbell blood in my veins thanks to my family tree.  The connection to Ireland and Scotland is deep with me.  Then looking at the time travel itself... a couple soldiers from WWI era, four from the '70's, and then a couple American civvies, only one of whom had connection to the area...

1746, 1916, 1976, 2026.  Look at that mashup!  That's a thing of beauty.  A handful of modern era guns, a handful of modern era soldiers, and two civilians from our own future, and have to prevent horrible massacre.  Did I get into it? Scots blood rises easy. Irish blood rises easy. You bet I did.  Even better, this author is ex military, so he knows his guns and how battle is conducted.

The characters are well written, I greatly enjoyed seeing them grow. The story had me up and down through the successes and tragedies. I don't want to spoil it for anyone reading this, but there was one character that I was leery of his turning being actual... until he returned a certain book.  It was awesome, and if I use the name I might spoil it for someone... but watch for it.  Watch the character development.

What I liked most about this though is the message of hope, that little actions can make a difference in the larger whole and change events. I can think of one person that I will have to save for to be able to buy her a paperback copy for her birthday, as I know that she would really sink her teeth into this. I wish my father was still alive, he would have loved this book. If only this had been around sometime between 2005-2008.

Want this book?
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (Kindle)
Smashwords
 


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