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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Readers' Favorite Reviews New Sci-Fi Novel


Title: Strike Three
Author: Joy V. Smith 
Genre: Science fiction
ISBN:   9781936099658
Review was originally published on Barnes & Noble
Publisher:  WolfSinger Publications
Reviewer's rating: 5 Stars
Availability:  For the print edition of Strike Three, go to Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4876544   
If you prefer eBooks, go to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452298 



Reviewed by Michael McManus originally for Readers' Favorite

In her novel, Strike Three, Joy V. Smith introduces us to the aftermath of World War III, a short battle that claimed the lives of the majority of the Earth’s population. The survivors of the war that turned the planet brown, those who went underground well prepared, and those who survived in spite of poor planning, returned to find the world outside their caves, fallout shelters, missile silos and communication bunkers completely barren. Nothing had survived a “hot virus” that had been unleashed onto the world by an unknown enemy. Some places were obliterated by nuclear bombs, but the most severe devastation took place in the plant and animal worlds. Even the insects perished. Sheridan and Lea Zane emerged into the new world ready to organize a recovery of the planet, or at least their corner of it. They had plants and wildlife enough for their own survival, but they reached out to other survivors as they returned to the surface and began to reestablish their homes and farms. Soon, the development of a trade route brought hope to the many settlements that formed; hope that the nation and, indeed, the planet could be saved.

This story grabbed me from the start and would not let go. I read it in three sittings. Along with the plot moving at lightning speed, the characters are real and interesting in the way they react to the situation they have inherited. For the science freak, there is enough detail about the devastation and recovery to keep you going. There is also adventure, a bit of action and even politics. I happily recommend this book to a general audience.
 
 
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Hot Reads Reviews M.J.Schiller's Newest

Title: Rock Me, Gently
Author: M.J. Schiller
Website: www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com
Genre: Romantic suspense
ISBN: 978-1-939274-11-3
Buy link: Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00JXL6MZO
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rock-me-gently-mj-schiller/1119365745?ean=2940149550845


Reviewed by Monica Creason Estes for Red Hot Reads Book Blog

Review:
Josh Dunningham is a HOT Rocker. I loved this book. I am a huge M.J. Schiller fan. As with all her other books I love her men and Josh is just another fine example of a beautiful character she writes. I read this book in one setting.
Josh and Cassie meet in Vegas and have the beginnings of a steamy night. Cassie gets jumpy and leaves Josh before they can get to the good stuff. Josh cannot quit thinking about her and Cassie is just as taken with Josh. Cassie has past relationship issues and is reluctant to all of Josh’s advances. Josh has commitment issues because of his childhood. Finally they get a good thing going.
Josh is so sweet! When he wants something he knows how to swoon a girl. I loved the whole basketball game scene. Cassie is somewhat innocent but has a fiery personality. They compliment each other nicely.
I love M.J.’s writing she does not waste time with her characters they get straight into their relationship and we get to see more of the building of the relationship instead of a bunch of angst that drives me crazy sometimes. This book filled me with joy and had me laughing out loud several times. Josh and Cassie share funny banter amongst each other. I felt their love and felt as though I was right there with them. This is a sweet love story that is filled with just the right amount of steaminess in the love scenes.
Of course we must not forget that M.J. throws a mystery in her story as well and this mystery did not disappoint at all. I was sitting on the edge of my seat while everything unfolded.
All the books in this collection are stand-alones. I have read the entire Rocking Romance Collection and I have loved each book. Rock Me, Gently will not disappoint you for a sweet love story. M.j. Schiller is one of my favorite authors. This will definitely not be my last book by her.
MORE ABOU THE AUTHOR:
~ Author of Taken by Storm, Trapped Under Ice, Abandon All Hope, An Uncommon Love, Upon A Midnight Clear, Between Rock and a Hard Place, Rock Me, Gently and The Heart Teaches Best!  Learn more about her at www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com
  
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Fantasy Without Blasphemy Reviewed

Title: Voices of the Sea
Author: Bethany Harar
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
ISBN: 1937178544

Reviewed by Beth Tropp

Never a fan of a certain vampire book (I know, blasphemy!) I began reading Voices of the Sea with some misgivings. Would this just be another vampire book -- with swimming instead of biting?

Happily I was all wrong. Voices of the Sea was a fresh new book that has a little something for everyone: a little romance, a little fantasy, a little adventure. The characters ran true as teenagers. In turn they were lovesick, moody, reckless, defiant, scared and childish.

The first part of the book, where readers get a feel for life as a Siren, is fascinating but when the murders start things really speed up. You'll find you won't be able to stop reading as you try to figure out if there is a traitor among the Sirens or an outsider spying on them. There were also several surprise twists that will keep you from guessing exactly what's happening until the very end.

Yes, it is YA but it's a story I think fantasy readers of all ages will enjoy.


----- The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wow Review of Wow Crime Novel!

Book title: A Model Murder (Alicia Allen Investigates 1)
Author: Celia Conrad
Website: www.alicialleninvestigates.com
Where to buy the book: Amazon USA http://tinyurl.com/pjtyn54
Genre: Crime fiction
ISBN 9780954623326 (Paperback) & available in all Ebook formats
Publisher: Barcham Books

 Reviewed by Marlan Warren originally for "Dancing in the Experience Lane" Open Salon Blog

 

In law firms, nobody can hear you scream...

 

 

He told me he was used to getting what he wanted...

--A Model Murder, Celia Conrad

 

What do law firms and men’s “hostess” clubs have in common? If your first thought is “alpha males,” you’re already on board with A Model Murder. Conrad draws disturbing, often painfully entertaining, parallels between these two worlds where Neanderthals still roam the Earth, and a resistant female might get a bop on the head or worse.

A Model Murder is a fast-paced suspense mystery, full of twists and turns, following in the tradition of Nicci French and Sue Grafton.

Alicia Allen is a London-based Anglo-Italian lawyer on the verge of her 30th birthday whose experience of Death has been limited to sorting estate issues...until her beautiful Australian neighbor and wannabe model, Tammy, turns up raped and murdered before she can collect her first paycheck from the job she wants to quit in a sleazy men’s club.

British author Conrad has painted a loving portrait of the multi-cultural melting pot that is London and her down-to-earth heroine who has no superpowers of intuition and deduction, but is quite simply a good neighbor who will stop at nothing until a wrong is made right.

Lack of police progress propels Alicia towards finding Tammy’s murderer herself. The Shakespearean character of Portia (Merchant of Venice) is mentioned, and indeed Alicia does resemble that legendary defense attorney. Her “quality of mercy is not strained” as she single-mindedly focuses on solving this horrible murder. Using her honed skills of observation and detail-awareness, she finds clues even in opera. Breaking and entering to gather evidence? No problem.

When Alicia coincidentally finds herself in a life-threatening work situation from a mad-dog senior partner, the link between sociopaths who legally run law firms and take unfair advantage of women “underlings” and the sociopaths who run illegal prostitution rackets solidifies.

Of course the crazier and nastier the law firm environment, the more fun. Conrad also makes the fair point that women in both arenas can also harass their female coworkers. All the better to keep readers guessing whodunit!

Red herrings swim among Alicia’s true friends who are the mainstay of her life. Will that Robert Redford-type lawyer who wows the ladies at her office be The One or is he somehow responsible for Tammy’s untimely demise?

Will Alicia pick the true-blue “best friend” who shares her Italian heritage or the office lover-boy who makes her knees weak while he quotes Shakespeare? That Conrad keeps all these balls in the air until the story’s breathtaking and very scary conclusion is a testament to her marvelous instincts as a storyteller extraordinaire.
Women make this plot twirl on its axis; so there has to be food. I found myself wanting Pringles (Alicia's one addiction), pizza, salad nicoise, pasta primavera, and high tea with succulent scones throughout the adventure. Not necessarily in that order.

Full disclosure: I toiled in law firms for years as a secretary, and I had a friend who worked in a pole-dancing club in Los Angeles. So this harrowing, occasionally satirical, murder mystery hit a nerve and my funny bone at the same time.

PS to American Readers: Keep your English to English Dictionary handy! Alicia eats chips from a tube and then rides on one...but I just have to love a language and a country where women can be "well upholstered."

I am eagerly looking forward to reading the other two books in this Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy: A Wilful Murder (Book 2) and Murder in Hand (Book 3).
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Author Reviews Dr. Bob Rich's Ascending Spiral

Book Title:  Ascending Spiral: Humanity’s Last Chance.
Author: Dr Bob Rich
Website: http://bobswriting.com
Where to Buy Book: http://bobswriting.com/ascending.html
Genre: Metaphysical fiction
ISBN: 978-1-61599-187-7
Publisher: Marvelous Spirit Press

Reviewed by Megan Williams


Ascending Spiral began, for me, as a boy’s own adventure but quickly morphed into a story about a man fighting a just war against invaders. Then followed human damage, downfall and retribution. I was hooked.



For readers who like action there is plenty, though some rather violent, but all realistically representing human nature. I found it a disturbing but profoundly compelling distillation of the potential for good and evil to exist in all of us. But Bob also introduces hope and the possibility of forgiveness for oneself and others without excusing evil deeds.

From the prologue, and you should read it, Bob sets the style by writing as if everything is happening in the present even though the action zig zags across time and space through history. This gives the story its immediacy and brightness and allowed me to remain engaged when it took on fantastical elements that are not my preferred reading matter.

Bob manages to get under the skin of both the male and female characters and is not afraid to cover many distasteful but all to real aspects of human frailty and cruelty. The vehicle for telling the story through the character’s reincarnation is the greatest strength of the book for me. However, I don’t have to believe in reincarnation to be thoroughly engaged in the existential questions posed. Who am I? What is the meaning of suffering and what can I do to lessen it both  for myself and others?
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Writers Bureau Correspondence Course Recommended

Today's post is a casual review/recommendation of a course, rather than a book. It came to me from a trusted fellow writer from the UK, Mark Logie, and because so many of the subscribers to this blog are writers and publishers, I thought it would be a service to post his letter of recommendation.

Here is the metadata:

General info from:  The Writers Bureau (www.writersbureau.com ), Manchester, UK
Course info:  www.sell-book-course.com
Course type: home study
Price: £274  (about $470)
Here is his note to me, reprinted with Mark's permission:

Dear  Carolyn,
In The Frugal Book Promoter you stress the importance of  authors educating themselves in marketing books. I found the Writers  Bureau correspondence course “How to Market Your Book” very  useful.
When I took this course  (November 2013 – May 2014) there were a small  number of mistakes (such as a few out-of-date Web links, and one or two  features on Amazon it suggested using that had changed or been  discontinued), but it did motivate me to start a blog, which I had been  putting off
because I was finding it very difficult. There was excellent  support
from my tutor too.
With very best wishes,

Mark Logie

More about Mark:
Mark Logie is the award-winning author of On the Road to  Infinity and Deadfall, in which a young tearaway leads the battle to prevent the world's worst terrorist attack. It is written for young people twelve years and over. Find it on Amazon. Thanks to inspiration offered by good books and courses on marketing books, he now blogs at Goodreads.

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Beth Fowler Reviews Young Adult Novel

White PineSubtitle: My Year as a Lumberjack and River Rat
By Caroline Akervik
Akervik's website: https://www.facebook.com/#!/HorseNamedViking
Published by Melange Books LLC's YA imprint Fire and Ice.
ISBN 9781612358260

Original review by Beth Fowler 

"Be a man that people can count on," 14-year-old Sevy Anderson's father tells him. Because Sevy's father broke his leg in a sawmill accident, the boy must quit school and earn money for the family among rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin.

White Pine begins where every good story starts: On the cusp of an irreversible, life-changing event for the protagonist.

Told in the first person from Sevy's point of view, readers are privy to the teen's inner emotions of fear, pride, remorse, affection and homesickness. With a deft, light hand, author Caroline Akervik, through Sevy, describes aspects of lumbering and lumberjacks that give readers confidence that this is a reliable, accurate depiction of life as a North woodsman in days gone by...which means readers can settle in and enjoy the story.

Roget, a giant of a lumberjack, objects to Sevy's presence in the lumber camp. "He's is a boy. He has no place here." Problems escalate when Sevy's forgetfulness causes what becomes known as "the incident."  Sevy vacillates from carrying the heavy burden of paying for his father's dream to own a farm, to the simple joys of hearing bells jingling on the horses, and eating salt pork and biscuits after a long day of dangerous, hard work in the numbing cold.

The tension, while varying in intensity, never goes slack. The story doesn't veer from Sevy's struggles to live up to the command his father gave him and his own desire to be a true North woodsman, in this coming-of-age novel.

Readers who love Gary Paulsen's young adult coming-of-age stories set in the wilderness will treasure White Pine, as will fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. No warnings about content are needed for this wholesome, credible, engaging story. White Pine is a book that parents and other adults can read to young children and give to pre-teens and teens to read on their own. As with the best of this genre, adults can enjoy the story as well. The book belongs in school libraries and on family bookshelves. And more importantly, in the hands of young readers.

 MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Beth Fowler  is also the author of Ken's War,When culture shock & teen rebellion collide. She writes under the name B.K. Fowler


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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.