Book Title: Model Agent-Jaclyn Johnson, Code Name Snapshot Series
Author: Sean Sweeney
Reviewed by Michele Tater for The Couch Tater Review
“My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.” ~Mark Twain
As a grave situation takes an even uglier turn, the president of the United States of America, is forced to send a fairly new CIA agent to investigate. This is no ordinary agent though, she looks at herself as a defender of those that are weaker and is dedicated 100% to her country. Her name is Jaclyn Johnson, who is also a model hence the code name of Snapshot and has an handicap that she doesn't let get in her way. This bullet fast, action filled book follows the model/agent on her quest to take a mad man into justice no matter what. She has many high-tech cool gadgets that can help her do just that.
Most of the book takes place in the Boston, Massachusetts area, home of the Red Sox (my favorite baseball team I must add). It describes many land marks and roadway to get around the area too. It even takes the reader to a baseball game.
I am not even close to kidding when I say that this a fast paced read. There are not many parts where things slow down and may cause the reader to become bored. From the first chapter, I actually thought holy crap, I did not see that coming, and I know I said something to that effect through most of the book. That being said, that is why I am being a little vague in not giving the potential reader too much information of the book. I will say that it is like a ride in an 2010 Porsche AG 918 Spyder on full throttle trying to make the opening pitcher of a world series game, where the Red Sox are playing and have only one game to win it all. Also it will make you think twice about what you decide to have to drink from now on.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Book Title: Model Agent-Jaclyn Johnson, Code Name Snapshot Series
Posted by MCollins at 7:16 PM
Monday, February 21, 2011
Posted by MCollins at 7:17 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Author: Jen Wylie
Publisher: Echelon Press
I don't know what it is to love the way they love-they would jump off a bridge for me. I can't do that. I can only say, I owe you. ~Bobby Darin
This story maybe short but it does not lack a great plot line. It starts with a woman being told to jump off a bridge by a knife wielding mad man. That is all I can say about the book so not spoil it for any potential reader. It has interesting probably hidden means, which are there for the reader to find and examine. Its a very quick read, but well worth the price, even if the story is one in a million.
This the first work I have read by Jen Wylie, and it does make me curious to read more of them. I found her style of writing refreshing, crisp and savory; like a awesome red wine.
Posted by MCollins at 9:23 PM
Posted by MCollins at 7:07 PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Posted by MCollins at 7:35 PM
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Author: Sean Hayden
Publisher: Echelon Press Publishing
Being a normal teenage is hard enough, but being Ashlyn is even more complicated. She lost her mother giving birth to her, and she does not even know her father. Given that she knows no other relatives she lives with her aunt, which seems normal right? But not only has her aunt cared for Ashlyn but she also lets Ashlyn feed off her blood every other day. Instead of nails Ashlyn has claws and her pupils of her eyed are slit like a cat. With all these differences, her aunt felt it better for her to be isolated from the real world. Television and the Internet were her only sources of what the outside was like, although she would sneak out at night to walk. She is unable to go into the daylight since the sun hurts her eyes and she would get a nasty sunburn too.
Like most good things, this situation had to come to an unfortunate end. Ashlyn’s aunt has a car accident which leaves her little choice but to leave since there are not records of her even being alive. “Origins” is a tale of what happens to Ashlyn when she is face with a world that she knows less about than she had thought. She is given an opportunity she really can not refuse and one that will change her life forever, either in a good or bad way, she is not sure. Now grant you this story takes place where the world is full of vampires, and several types of them, and also wereanimals. These creatures are a “normal” sight throughout the city of Chicago where Ashlyn has lived. The author, Sean Hayden’s lets you into a place of fantasy set in the modern time era. His main character, Ashlyn pulls at your heart strings as she figures out her place in this strange place.
Don’t let the fact that this is Sean Hayden’s first book steer you away from “Origins”; his writing comes across as a seasoned writer. It may seem to be more geared to be a young adult book being that Ashlyn is only seventeen years old, I find that even an older adult like me enjoyed it. I highly recommend this read to lovers of vampires and other supernatural figures. It has action, blood, gore and so much more, that you will be asking for even more. Thank goodness he already has a second book in the works.
Posted by MCollins at 6:13 PM
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Author: Nan Weizenbaum
Publish Date: January 27, 2010
Although, in my opinion, the book started off as wordy and at times boring, in the end it was worth read. It was uniquely divided into subchapters using tree branches and chapters using pieces of fruit. The setting is in a Pacific Northwest town of Shanksford in the midst of the winter season. Since it is summer, one of the hottest, where I was reading this novel, it was given a refreshing feel as it was describing the snow falling and people dressing in layers. It also gave some hot and steamy accounts as well, which were not suited for the younger reader. There is also a bit of a history lesson about the town, which was carefully included and gave an insight of the region and how it was developed. Even though, I don't think this was necessary to the story line, it did add interest.
I was able to identify with the main character Aurora as I think many other women can. A lot of women of all ages and all walks of life, have given up everything of ourselves to devote all to the person they love and unfortunately when that person leaves we are lost. This abandonment can lead ourselves doing things that are completely out of character for us. Aurora started to give her body to every man she could. Most of the male characters were men of opportunity using Aurora for their appetites and not really caring for hers. One character that was not of the norm was Danny who seemed more down to earth, especially since he lived in a Teepee. He was the more sensitive friend that Aurora needed. Intermingled in the before mentioned players are other town folk that were sometimes mere mentions many of whom were experiencing life's up and downs. Most live without T.V. s, radios, telephones or even electricity. They have to adapt to the environment even if it is rely on the strength of others.
The finishing pages of this book are completely up expected and were never hinted at. It is a full circle of lives coming together as maybe the moon is a symbol of. I recommend this to only adult readers who are patient enough not to skip ahead to the end. I believe the author is trying to give insight to the fact that we are all interconnected and how we can effect each others lives.
Posted by MCollins at 4:56 PM
Author: Sam Moffie
The book is divided into 7 mini-books and subdivided with long lines. There are also bold typed words found through out, which I am not sure what the significance of them are. Also there are lyrics of 70s music that seem to fit what is happening in the book. The reading of the Prologue is a must to understand the direction of the book. Unfortunately, the main character's marriage will have be sacrificed in order for him to grow as a middle-aged man and become content with the life he has and can have.
I think "no mad" is a how-to book on how to make a bad situation better without going to extremes. It follows an author on his quest to develop interviews for a non-fiction book, this after a drastic change in his family life. This character is likable and has a great love for his children which is very commendable since I am a mother of three. It made would to be close with my kids even if they are grown. His personality and sense of humor makes a reader connection easy. As he travels to different landmarks and destinations, you are given a brief history lesson on each, added interest and familiarity. There is even a section regarding the ethics of bathroom reading and another on the joys of winters, even though I think the winters in Angola, New York are worst. One of my favorite parts were the bumper stickers he read while driving, too funny. Another is the explanation of how Dino of the Flintstones had started the whole sniff and marking for all dog kind.
I recommend this book to drinker of red wine, listeners of 70s music and lovers of dogs and family, plus anyone that needs a good laugh. Be prepared to read things that you never had before and probably wont again. It is for the adult audience since there are explicit sexual content and drug use. One last note: wherever you go, there you are---Jinx.
Posted by MCollins at 4:55 PM
Author: A. J. Scudiere
Publisher: Griffyn Ink
I found this book scientifically fascinating. It was divide up into 27 chapters, which takes the reader through what is called a polar shift. I found that the scientific jargon, that is found all through "Resonance, to be explained in such a way that most would understand what was happening. It also showed that mother earth is an unpredictable and uncontrollable force that we have to respect. I do not think the author wrote this to give a explanation of the Mayan 2012 doomsday theory. If anything it does give another hypothesis on how the dinosaur may have gone extinct.
Since that was no real main character, the reader is given several options to choose from to like, dislike and possibly to relate to. In the beginning each person in the book is doing research in different scientific fields, such as biology, geology and disease control. Sometimes this array of scientists was difficult to keep track of, I actually found it helpful to list them on a sheet of paper, just in case I forgot who was who. I found that I could associate with some personality tract of each character and I became engrossed in the events they all had to experience. Although the best minds were at work, the event was not fully understood or somehow stopped. After the polar shift has occurred there are even more questions and events to be analyzed. In my opinion, one of the most shocking of these questions was why were just a few people seem to be going into a coma like state and then wake up several hours later describing a visit to second earthlike place. Also later in the book two characters have to make a moral decision which to me was a difficult dilemma, but one that had to be done.
This book had made science fun and interesting. It is a quick read with likable characters. I would recommend it to adult and even to younger advanced readers, especially for science buffs and doomsday theory enthusiasts.
Posted by MCollins at 4:53 PM
Author: Jonathan Slusher
Publisher: Cow Chip Press
Publisher's Address: Carney's Point, NJ
"Water Landing" consists of 19 chapters with their own titles, and the text is double lined through-out which makes it easy on the eyes and quicker to read; I read it in one day. The author has written this book like the one character is sitting down having a causal conversation with someone he just meet. The reader is not given unnecessary details, but is given enough information to understand what is going on.
The main character, Luke Kettle, is a 28 year ago man who seems, in my interpretation, to be going through a middle life crisis at a very young age. He feels his life will not get any better, especially since he has the worst luck with his love life. With one girlfriend out of his life, his friend who is a girl, but not yet his girlfriend has cancer. Since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago I could relate to his helplessness against the disease and the eternal hopefulness that she would get better. I am lucky that my mom is doing fine now. I found it interesting that his parent were from Germany and of course spoken German. My mom's parents were from Austria and spoke German too, but I never learned, maybe I will in the furture.
Throughout the book there are descriptions of landmarks and/or parks in both the states of New Jersey and of California, which showed how these states are different and also how they are the same. Almost like how Luke has changed as he moved from one place to the next.
In my opinion this book is about a young man's journey in making amends with the future plans that will never happen, almost like morning for them. Even with the dwellings of the what ifs, Luke has to face facts that things are never going to be the same and neither is he. "Water Landing" is a look into the grieving process in a different perspective, which showed me that everyone really does have their own way of grieving.
I would recommend this book to young adult and adults who would like a book that is a quick read and not skimpy with the story line and the depth of characters.
Posted by MCollins at 4:51 PM
Author: Rod Hoisington
Publisher: Entera Books
The book "One Deadly Sister", I felt is a murder mystery at its best. The author takes you on a who-done-it ride which includes the introduces of several characters, which can be likable as well as unlikable. These people all have their own dirty laundry and guilty pleasures that play out with every turn of the page. It is also a look at how a innocent man can be so mix-up in the lives of others that he is arrested for a crime he did not commit, or did he.
Even though there are several characters in this story, they are skillfully developed and can be easy followed. The main character Ray seems to be the man with the worst luck ever. I felt bad that he has was being used as a pawn in everyone's game where he had no game in anything. Even the police department, along with the state attorney, just wanted to nail Ray's coffin and be done with it. Since I is have worked in several law firms in the past and have a Paralegal Degree , I was able to identify with Ray's sister Sandy. She came across as one tough cookie that would not take stuff from anyone, including the law enforcement individuals who were handling her brothers case. There were also characters I loved to hate, for example, Loraine who thought she could wiggle her way out of anything, and believe me she tries a lot.
I would recommend "One Deadly Sister" to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with many plot twists and of course some turns added for a good measure of suspense. Although I was trying to figure the who did it part, many things were not what they seemed. So you really have to read the book all the way through. No fair peeking to the end either, its well worth the wait. There is brief sexual content, mostly pg rated. It also has a great and realistic story line that will keep you guessing till the end.
Posted by MCollins at 4:48 PM
Author: Tonya Plank
Publisher: Dark Swan Press
"Gradually, I come to realize that people will readily swallow lies than truth, as if the taste of lies was homey, appetizing: a habit."
The above mentioned quote could describe the reason for the affection that plagues Sophie Hegel, the main character in the book "Swallow", by Tonya Plank. Sophie is a small town girl who went to an ivy league law school, meets prince charming and moves to New York City. Everything in her life appears to be going smoothly, in her opinion, until her boyfriend Stephen pops the question of will you marry me. Since she is hiding her "Arizona" family from her "New York City" family, all will clash together with the upcoming wedding which causes her to panic.
Everything in Sophia's life becomes too hard to accept or believe without question, protest or anger, which she tend to stifle and not come to grips with. I think as we all get older, we start to inquire about our lives. We analyze our past and how it has impacted the decisions we have made. Sophie's past including her upbringing and her dysfunctional family: divorced parents, jealous sister, reared its ugly head, or should I say fist, and made it hard to ignore anymore. She tries to deny the existence of or the truth of who she really is. With the love and support of her friends; gay arty friend Thom, fashion suave friend Frances, lawyer friend Sami, Sophie realizes that in life some shallow people will cross your path and that they will try to manipulate how you look at yourself. We all should not allow people to lead us astray and corrupt us into seeing ourselves in a bad light.
With the all changing event of September 11th, Sophie is pushed to make decisions to save her from the fantasy life she thought she had. She begins to see things for what they are and what her goals really are. I think most of America took the time after 9/11 to revalue their lives as well.
All the characters are beautifully woven and integrated in the story which gives the reader the opportunity to relate to them. Each character has an impact, either good, bad or both, on how the main character is shaped or is being molded.
I recommend this book to adult women young and old who would like a good laugh, a good cry and a bunch of good feelings.
Posted by MCollins at 4:47 PM
Author: Steven Donkin
Publisher: Aberdeen Bay
"I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it."---Charles Dickens
"Honest Faces" is written through several different person's point of view so the reader needs to pay attention to character changes. It is not a quick reading book, it takes time to read between the lines, which gives the story its suspense and mystery.
The book is about, in part, of the reunion of two brother after 47 years of being estranged. The younger brother, Jonathan Allerton, is a 65 year old retired college professor and is married to a woman named Ruth in New Jersey. The older brother, Frank Allerton, is a 75 year old bachelor who once ran the family hardware store. They were both raised by their widowed father until he died from a heart attack that Frank was too drunk to call for help for. Jonathon decides to hold his fathers death against his brother and move out of state and not stay in touch with Frank. The visit of Jonathan to his home town awakes old ghosts and haunts. He sees that his family home has been burned and the family business abandoned.
Other important characters are introduced during an alcohol inducted discussion of current events at the home of Conrad Hagwood (the Colonel) which is Frank's neighbor. The Colonel is an US Army veteran and since being shot in a hunting accident has been wheel chair bound. He is a saucy, opinionated old man who is raising his middle-aged daughter Ruth, who is considered mentally impaired. Also in attendance is Malcolm Louis Peters a widowed African American retired school teacher who moved to Ohio from Washington D.C. and years earlier was a member of the Black Panthers. He tried all his teaching career to make a difference to his students however he does not feel he has. He then takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of his friend Frank's death to once again try to make a difference.
The topics of the discussion included the war in Iraq, Obama's election and terrorist which showed to me that it is set in modern day times. My favorite part of the friendly debate was the Colonel's retell of what he learn from someone during the Vietnam war. It is an interesting reasoning behind the phrase of how violence only begets violence. He explains the if you kill someone, you are not just taking that person's life. That person had family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, anyone that person had a relationship with, you would have effected them all. Revenge doesn't work unless you kill everyone involved.
The characters of Cora the waitress and Gretchen her nice she adopted, I felt were not very necessary to story other than how they are really related and the poem that Gretchen wrote.
As I read Honest Faces, I was surprised of the plot twist after the suspicious death of Frank, and the disappearance of Jonathon. Frank's will is in question especially when it was changed just before his death.
Along with the obvious mystery of the plot line, the book also contains explanations and opinions about certain forms of government and the state of our education system. Could not stop thinking that these maybe the author's way to express his thoughts in an indirect way.
I recommend "Honest Faces" to all adult readers with a word of caution that some of the writing maybe complex in nature but it doesn't take away from the story the author is trying to tell.
Posted by MCollins at 4:44 PM
Author: J. C. Burnham
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
"Human beings must be known to be love; but Divine beings must be loved to be known." Blaise Pascal
As a nun hands a baby to Dr. Jonathan Keats, she is fatally shot and Dr. Keats must run for his life as well as the baby's. He is later framed for the murder of the nun and has to go into hiding. The infants name is Serenity D'Evele and her past is shrouded in mystery. When events occur, that are beyond Dr. Keats control, Serenity is given to Sister Sophia D'Evele who adopts the girl as her grandchild. After moving from country to country through most of her childhood, Serenity and her grandmother settle in California at a all girls school called Mount Sterling. Soon strange things start happening, a sighing of a demonic looking dog-like animal and the appearance of a tall blond hair man. One night Serenity is force to fight of the creature with some help from an unknown person. Her classmate Sarah starts to act differently too and seems to have burning hatred for Serenity. Serenity's dreams also take a disturbing turn by become more vivid and having a man's voice calling for her. She turns to her faith and her support group which consists of her best friend Ellen, her music teacher's brother Talmadge and Father Abrienne. She will need all the help she can get, since she is possibly the key to a prophecy which may have apocalyptic consequences.
"The Fruit of the Fallen" with its beautiful cover art and its intriguing story line is a truly great read. It consists of 22 chapters that are divided by drawings of grapes on a vine, which becomes relative later in the book. Even though there were several religious references, they are explained for easy understanding. There are flash backs so the reader must pay attention, as well as they should anyway. Serenity, as the main character, is a likable person who has no lack of innocence.
The book is a mysterious and absorbing novel, which I think would appeal to the adult and the young adult reader. I high recommend this to anyone who likes a mystery with some faith testing added in.
Posted by MCollins at 4:43 PM
Author: Behcet Kaya
"The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience." Mohandas Gandhi
With the on going discussions of where to build a Mosaic in New York City near ground zero or not, a book comes along to give a reader some insight into the lives of a Muslim family in Atamkoy, Turkey.
Although the first part of the book takes place in the year 1962, the descriptions of the rites and ceremonies may still take place in some remote parts of that country. With the abundant of Turkish words included in the text, they are recognized as being italicized and are given the English translates right after so a Turkish dictionary is not needed.
"Voice of Conscience" is a story of a family preparing for the marriage of there only daughter Erin, whose mother died in childbirth. Ramzi Ozcomert, her father, has remarried a woman named Nermin Ozcomert and they have a son named Ramzi Ozcomert Jr. Even before the wedding week can begin a rift is make with Ramzi Ozcomert and Elder Korucu for not giving in to the request of the Elder that Erin should marry his grandson instead of her boyfriend Turkel. Tragedy strikes with a very heavy and violence plow on the family of Ramzi Ozcomert Jr., which changes his live forever. His taken on a journey of both through different lands as wells as different ideas and what his destiny may have to be.
Within the Turkish culture it is instilled that vengeance is away of life and a death should be avenged at any cost. This becomes Ramzi's mantra has he grown into a man of great means; wife, two daughters and a vast company. He soon finds that this way of thinking takes a toll on the mind as well as his heart. He must make the decision to uphold his traditional ways or let go of the rage that will consume him.
"Voice of Conscience" gives a glimpse into the world of the Turkish Muslim as he becomes an American with more questions than answers regarding his religion, philosophy and challenges of his life. As this book is written in a easy understandable way, I would recommend this book to adult readers and even to young adult readers.
Posted by MCollins at 4:38 PM
Author: William R. Potter
Publisher: RealTime Publishing
"There is a great streak of violence in every human being. If it is not channeled and understood, it will break out in war or in madness."
The murderer is known by many names. He is called Tyro, a apprentice title, until he has killed more then his name is Damian Knight, soldier of justice, that passes judgment on the guilty. In the bar where he plays video games he is known as Retro, the police call him the Birthday Boy, but soon everyone will hear his true name. Jack Staal is a detective with the Hanson Police and has vowed to bring the killer in. "Dead of Knight" is told from the murderer's and the detective's perspective, which allows the reader to get a sense of both characters' personalities. Detective Staal is a veteran cop who is dealing with demons from a past case gone wrong and the killer is also trying to come to grips with a event from his past that has marked him for life.
"Dead of Knight" is set in British Columbia in a fictional town called Hanson where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are enforcers of the law of the land. The book gives a "real" look at what it takes to solve crimes and that it is not done in an hour as seen on Television. DNA samples take weeks instead of minutes and the suspect is not caught in the last 15 minutes of the show. Suspect after suspect are questioned and ruled out, while the killer continues to murder.
Although "Dead of Knight" in not a true murder mystery since you know the killer, the reasons for his actions are not clear until later. It is still a psychological trip with road block around every corner. It gives a chilling outcome of what can happen to someone who was a product of bullying. The characters are realistic and interesting. I recommend this book to mystery buffs that are old enough to read detailed content regarding killing, sex and drug use.
Posted by MCollins at 4:37 PM
Author: Clifford M. Scovell
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
"Before you can break out of prison, you must realize you're locked up." ~Author Unknown
Imagine that the planet Earth is use by Aliens from other far away universes as a prison for their worst offenders. The life forces of the criminals are extracted from their bodies are implanted in to an unborn human fetus. The individual life force can not die so they are transferred to other fetuses as their current body ages and dies; the persons good and bad characteristics are carry through each. Until the offenders sentence is complete and their life force is extracted back to the original alien form they were, their lives are consisted of living and dieing on planet Earth. Thoughts or actions are inserted into the minds of the prisoners, to make them do things they might not otherwise do. This process is to give them empathy for their former victims and make them better people for it.
This the world that author Clifford M. Scovell, has developed in this book. There are several different alien species that have lived among the inhabitants of Earth but are confined by the physical limitations of your bodies. Their memories are also repressed by an elaborate monitoring system which become damage and allows some to start recalling past lives they are lived. Next comes a live and death scrabble to save the life of an convicted killer of not just one or two persons, but a whole planet. But did he do it or not.
"Prison Earth" gives the reader an adventure to remember. It has the sci-fi aspects as wells as romance, mystery and intrigue all rolled in to one. I would just caution the reader that because the names of the aliens are very different it maybe hard to remember who is who. I found that if I wrote them down as I read it was easier. I would recommend this book to adults who are lovers of sci-fi, but like "human-like" story line built in.
Posted by MCollins at 4:35 PM
Author: Rickey Bray
Publisher: Robert D. Reed Publishers
"For my part, I have ever believed, and do not know that there are witches."
~Thomas Browne, Sr.
Ah, young love and the promises they try to keep. The lovers to be are Susan, a beautiful green eyed, red haired, 15 year old, witch and Eric, a dark eyed, dark haired, handsome, 15 year old, Halfling. They meet on a camping trip that Eric and his uncle Ned have taken for some male bonding. As the time to leave draws near Susan makes an offer to Eric that seems to him too good to be true. Their bonding is forever and is sealed with a tryst and a braid of Susan's hair placed on Eric's ankle. However, Susan has put a condition on this relationship that forbids them from seeing each other for the next ten years and after this time they must meet right back to the rock that they made their vows to each other on. The book "Rendezvous Rock" follows them both during this ten year span, where both have changed and grown in many ways. There are witches, spawns and enchantresses that Eric has come to know and learn from in order to understand and appreciate the world he is now a part of without even knowing it. The most important realization is that of the Three Circles and how for the rest of his life, he must protect all within them with his life, if necessary.
Do not judge the book by the author, Rickey Bray. He has spent time in jail, but it doesn't show in the way he writes with the grace and pose of a seasoned writer. He has the gift of telling a tale of love, beauty and also drama and suspense. Mr. Bray keeps the reader engrossed in the lives of people with special gifts and talents that are used mostly for the good of the world. I highly recommend this book, it has everything a reader may crave in a good read. The characters are believable and draw you into their world with their vast belief systems and religious rites. It is a great read and I look forward to more books from Mr. Bray soon.
Posted by MCollins at 4:33 PM
Author: Mark Pogodzinski
Publisher: No Frills Press
"Listen, my friend, there are two races of beings. The masses teeming and happy --common clay, if you like --eating, breeding, working, counting their pennies; people who just live; ordinary people; people you can't imagine dead. And then there are the others --the noble ones, the heroes. The ones you can quite well imagine lying shot, pale and tragic; one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes." ~Jean Anouilh
Just in time for the Christmas holiday season comes a story of comfort and joy, guess again. Even if the book "Flashes and Specks" takes place close to Christmas it is far from being a holiday classic.
"Flashes and Specks" begins at the funeral breakfast for a troubled young man, Carter, who decided to try once more to end the anguish he was suffering. Carter was the cousin of Henry Kent, who is the main character of the book. Let me try and sum up the life as Henry knows it. When Carter was still alive they were comic book buffs. In reading them they found that characters, although you wanted them to stay the same, changed as their writers changed. In the present time he is a 8th grade Math teacher who hopes he is shaping young lives as he teaches his formulas and solutions. Henry's wife has left him with no word as to why and even if she plans on coming back, he is hopeful she will. He has seen his father go through the same situation and his mother, after a time, returned home. He has a young son, Arthur, who takes random pictures of people and adds them to the "city" he has made out of milk cartons and a vast amount of imagination, in the basement of their home. Playing in the background of Henry's life are the rumors of nuclear bombs and of World War III, as seen on news reports and heard of the radio. Even his teaching mentor is having delusions of having the exact date of the end of the world by using random numbers in a secret formula he has developed.
This book will lure the reader into the psyche of a man who craves for a hero to fix things and make the villains go away. On the surface Henry seemingly lives a normal ordinary life, but underneath its really full of complex relationships and circumstances that are out of his control. The book is a fast read and I recommend it to adults who want to read a present day story that shows how life can get in the way of real life. But I would not recommend reading it during the holidays!
Posted by MCollins at 4:27 PM
Volume 1: Perennials & Subshrubs
Author: Carolyn Singer
Publisher: Garden Wisdom Press
" How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening" ~Alexander Smith
Although I have not had a problem with deer eating my plants, knock on wood, I would like to plant perennials and subshurbs next year that I can be hopeful will not become a meal for our four legged friends. The book "Deer in My Garden" seems to be the book that I can use as a reference as I plan out my gardens. It has 53 plants that are tested by the author in her own gardens and are only the ones that deer don't eat at all.
Each plant includes: Description of it which lists the height and spread information; Cultural Requirements that has Zone numbers, soil and sun needs; Bloom with bloom times and color only if the plant blooms; Seasonal Interest of the plant during the changing of the seasons; Companion Plants and Landscape Uses; Propagation in other words how to grow from seed or divided it from another plant; Maintenance of the plant as it grows. With all this information it makes it easy to prepare my garden for the new plants and how to take care of them once they are planted.
In the back there are Appendixes that are also lists of plants:
Appendix 1: Deer-Resistant Edging Perennials, Appendix 2: Other Perennials That May Be Deer-Resistant, and Appendix 3: Plants That Are Not Deer-Resistant, But Are On "Deer-resistant" Plant Lists. Again very informative lists to use in the decision progress.
In reading through this book, I actually become bummed that we are heading into winter. The spring season for next year is going to fun and easier thanks to the helpful information in this book. I recommend "Deer in My Garden" for the beginning gardener especially the ones with the problem of deer munching on their plants. Also the experienced gardener may be interested in planting ideas and the lists.
Still love the deer, even if they eat the bird seed out of the feeders and now I can buy the plants that they will think are yucky.
Posted by MCollins at 4:26 PM
Author: Ernest Dempsey
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
Even though life and death are intertwined as a everyday occurrence, most people and cultures have a fear of dying and what happens after we die. Although the death of his Aunt affected him at a very young age, the author Ernest Dempsey, has used that experience to examine the event of death from the perspective of the survivors.
In his book "The Blue Fairy" Mr. Dempsey writes 25 short stories that includes several different example of the dying and grieving process. Each story gives the reader a glimpse into people's lives when they have been touched by death and shows how they are able to handle it. The old says of "everyone handles grief differently" comes to life in these beautiful written tales. This is not a morbid or even a sad book, it is just a look into a subject few people want to talk about even when they are in the grieving process.
I found that life lessons, not necessary death lessons, are found in each story. It showed how to look at death as a part of life and living. We must be prepare for aspects of the process we will not understand, for example a need for someone to die or how someone else death was in vain. As we are not all the same in life nor are we all going to leave this life the same way. The people we leave behind are the ones that will have to come to grips with their lost while you just cease to be a part of their lives. One of the stories, was about the concept of "death" even when a person is alive. They are living life just going through the motions and not breaking out of the rut they have made for themselves. Another story shows also how someone can be obsessed with death; when, why and how it will happen, that they too can not live a full life.
Living with the idea that death may be just around that corner can scare many individuals, but it is the truth. In this book I feel readers can get a new prospective on "living" through the many looks of death. It is not a depressing book it is actually a book of hope that all who read it will chose to live life; really live life.
Posted by MCollins at 4:24 PM
Posted by MCollins at 4:13 PM
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Book Title: Sandman
Author: Ian Kingsley
Publisher: New Generation Publishing
Reviewed by Michele Tater for The Couch Tater Review
“Until we accept the fact that life itself is founded in mystery, we shall learn nothing.” ~Henry Miller
Paul Vincent, an architect, is married to Shasa, a stunning beautiful woman, and father is their fourteen year old daughter whom thankfully took after her mom in the looks department. As their dream home is having its finishing touch done, they decide to take a much needed time off at a beach hut at Mudeford Sandbank in Dorset, England. What could be better than toes in the sand, fresh sea air to inhale and hearing the breaking of waves. As they lazily enjoy their holiday, they are not aware of trouble brewing in a nearby area.
The meeting of the “Sandman” aka Stevie Clark, and the Vincent’s on the beach is anything but friendly. Stevie seems to be unable to communicate without a knife in his hand. Could he be behind the recent unbelievable violent attack on an aspiring actress, Carol Davis?
During a party hosted by the Vincent’s, Paul has to come face-to-face to the realization of what his wife’s constant flirting has resulted in. This momentous occurrence starts a series of events that has Paul questioning his marriage, Stevie accused of crimes that he insists he has not committed and a family forever changed.
That is just a small taste of the story line in Ian Kingsley’s “Sandman”. I am giving only a sampling of it so not to ruin the main courses available for the reader to savor. This book is, a no-brainier really, a day at the beach or pool side read, but I think reading it in the dead of winter can give a reader reason for warmth. You are able to relate to the Vincent family and are able to sympathize with them as well. Although you may think you have this book all figured out, trust me you don’t, wait until the end.
Posted by MCollins at 4:19 PM