Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ranting about nothing

Today is Thanksgiving, and normally I would save today for words of gratitude for family and friends. However I must aqueous to more urgent matters. Last evening I went into the Jackson Michigan WalMart (first mistake) and with my good friend, we bought a simple. Frozen. Rock hard turkey.

Now that was not the problem. The problem was, it would not scan. As this was the case, the entire world stopped. Stage one was the cashiers look of puzzle, as she scanned it not once, but fourteen times, then six with her wand. Then came a call for a manager, who could not get it to scan. So Lee my BFF asked, "Why not just punch the price in?" This was met with a perplexed look by the manager, and a look of horror by the cashier.

"We cant do that here." The manager said. So we stood there for 13 minutes (yes thirteen) while they... guess..

Tried to get it to scan.

This resulted in us telling them we would just go back and get another one. Which we did, waited another 20 minutes in line, only to get up there.... It would not scan. We walked out to dirty looks by the cashier as to why we would not wait to let them solve the problem.

One more reason I rarely go into that place, and one MORE reason I will avoid it even more now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whitesmoke Part Deuxe

Well awhile back I did a review on Whitesmoke. The infamous editing software that touts is a solution to the writers editing ills. Well a new version is out that I was graciously told about via the constant SPAM I get from the creators, and so I fiured what the hell, I will flush 49.99 down the toilet and see if there is an improvement.

Well, before doing so I made it a point to email them that I had a 64 bit operating system, as the old version cannot handle 64 bit. The older version is for 32 only. The email I received was very helpful as it explained to me "possible" delight that, indeed one of the improvements was in fact it supported 64 bit systems. YAY!

Well no.

I downloaded it, installed it and it has a new and fresh interface that I have to admit is more user friendly, however that is where it stops. The software flagged their and there in the worng way, and in syntax where I had slang it changed the words to things that I had NO idea what the hell it meant. Also worst of all were the same infamous issues with taking an entire paragraph and combining every letter into one.

I am being very gracious by giving it.

1 Star

Oinga Boingas Oh My

I wanted to say off the bat on this book that at first glance the book is cute, colors are bright and the artwork on the cover is top notch. Opening it up and scanning it it is laid out in typical fashion, image to one side, text on the other.

The story line is cute, and without ticking any of the creatures in my house off, is fun and teaches a lesson which is a bonus in my book. It seems Oinga Boingas are little balls of fir that make messes. Move over Gremlins there is a new sherriff in town. The imagery is clear, very colorful and the artist is very talented.

The associated storyline is fun, linear in its flow and is pleasing to the little ones. I read it to my famous test audience my neices and nephews and they seemed to like it. I gave it to a friend who works at an undisclosed daycare center and she stole the damn thing from me. They want it for their kiddies.
The author indicates in the book she is writing other works, Please do so, however dont mess with the style of the images, as they are timeless in their presentation. I give this new and hopefully up and coming author a very well deserved.

5 Stars

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eddings - Belgariad

I normally do not review multi book series, nor do I normally have the time to read series stories. This is due to several reason's such as time, and well... time.

However at the prompting of someone dear to me, I read a book and originally I was going to do a review of it on its own merit. However one turned into two, and well two turned into the entire damn series.

David Eddings is someone I have read "about" however never had read. I have heard allot of good and bad about his stories, and frankly the bad made me really not want to delve into the covers. Saying that here is my review. (Sorry for the intro)

The Belgariad is a five book series, and book one Pawn of Prophecy is a very good book. They get better as they go. The story is about a boy, who is not as he seems, the characters around him are not as they seem, and he is pulled along into a huge and vast adventure. I mean this story is so interwoven, and interlocking with characters, intrigue, and story... The writing is at times simplistic, however it is done sometimes to make the story simple to read, and the author has a great way to make the complex seem understandable at a basic level.

Character development is somewhat a cliche in allot of ways, however he does place cool twists on things at times that makes the story interesting. The writing is clean, however this actually could be because I read a umpteenth printing of the book, so I imagine (or hope) the editing has been spot cleaned.

Overall the books stop and carry on in correct and logical places form book to book, and the ending although predictable in some ways, is fun as it leaves the knowledge that there is something else in the works byt he author. Indeed there is as there is another five book series called the Mallorean that the author continues the story line on with, I am in the middle of the first book of that and like it alot.

The author is deceased passing away a few years ago, and he has reason to smile from above, as he left a legacy to be proud of. Thus we give the Belgariad a well deserved...

5 Stars

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life is short - Buy a book.

I went to L.A about a month ago, and I was amazed at something I heard in the airport as I waited for my plane. (Northwest Airlines is horrid)... At any rate, I was sitting there and someone left a book on the seat, this little girl of maybe 9 walked up, picked it up and opened it up. By the cover I saw it was one of those kids chapter reader books. Nothing bad or inappropriate.

The girls sits there for an hour, quietly reading it, Mom then shows up. Please do not ask me where mom was... I have no clue. She asks the girl where she got the book, little girl tells her it was right there, so she wanted to read, it and loved it. As a matter of fact she tells Mom. "Mom, I like this, I want some more books, can you get me some?"

Mom replies. "No, books are stupid, put it down."
I was floored, the girl argued with her Mom, and finally mom's ultimatum was, "Put that dumb book away or I am going to take your makeup away!"

Gee sounds like a deal to me.

Little Love Bug

Little Love Bug by Allison Halsted. This is a childrens book designed I feel for the pre kindergaten crowd, and is nicley illustated by artist Sharon Merchant. The story line by this new author is cute, and tells the story of a little boy who is called love Bug by his mother, so he goes into the yard and has an adventure.

Basically, he learns through interations with bugs and anumals that he is really his mommies love bug. Now this is a very simple story, however it is so well done by the author, this is one of those books that is classic in its story, and is something I could see on a parents shelf, to one day be handed down to their child.

There is even a cool thing in the back of the book that is so the parent can dedicate the book to their child. I hope to see more books by this wonderful new author, and thus give this wonderful book a solid...

4 Stars


Eleganta by Denny Swartzlander is an interesting read overall. Taking place in medieval England, his writing style reminds of us of Eddings in that it is simplistic, yet engaging. The story is basically about a fairy is born and this event is unique, as it is a rare thing indeed. So naturally it garners lots of attention and this attention is not always positive.

So the fairy becomes the desire of a old evil troll, and this evil troll goes after the baby fairy. Now simplistic as the story is, the story is somehow engaging and interesting. The storyline pulled me into the book, and I actually read thie book in two sittings, however between my first sitting and the last one, I was anxious to get back to it.

This book is interesting, fun, and I think would be a great gift for Christmas. So for this book we give Eleganta a solid.

4 Stars

A new round of books

We have finally gotten through yet another round of books for review, and wanted to post these this morning. We are reviewing today four books that we have been through, and four more later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are Prisons Obsolete

This book by Angela Y. Davis is one I bought new, and was anxious to read. I was at first interested in what she had to say, however this review will be short, as I was frankly disgusted at this authors constant attack on "society" and also "Goverment" as being somehow responsible by and large for the prison poulation.

The straw that broke my reading back however was her anology, that prisons are the new modern plantation that houses minorities and unfailry keeps them. The book mention not that most and I admit there are those few inoocent and also persecuted, however she no where states these men are in prison for breakng societies laws.

I am not some lock em up and throw away the key kinda gal, however I AM a take responsibility for your won actions kinda gal. Yes prisons have issues and we need MASS reform, however this author uses this book as a attack on prisons, and also a defense of minorities in prison as being victims. They are not by and large, and to read a book that extoles prisoners as being victimized makes me cringe.

This book gets....

2 Stars


This book by Laney Salisbury I bought at the same used book place as my previous review, however I admit my intent was to read a bit of it and then do a partial content review. Well... I started reading it and to my surprise, this was such a cool read.

I think that this book has to be one of my new faves. The book takes a deep look into the shady business of counterfeiting artwork. However the writer does this with an interesting flair, and also what you know is a little more of a understanding (inside) than he probably is willing to go too far and say...

The one thing I find lacking here are images, he is great at descriptions, however he leaves out the paperwork and art images that could have taken this book over the top. I have to clarify that his descriptions, really take you to the place and time, and I felt like I was there, helping with the dirty deeds...

Overall an excellent book, and one with images could have been a firm 5 stars, however as good as it is, a book of this type needs images. So this GOOD book is one a recommend, and also give...

4 Stars

The Violence of Hate

This book by Jack Levin is one I did get off the bargain book shelf at my favorite little spot in a certain city. The book was used, however the cover intrigued me, and I bought it. The whopping price 1.00...

I do not want to be unfair, or "hateful" here... However the book really does not do much in the way of holding on to the reader. The author is a Sociology professor, and he writes not for the layman, he writes for the student, however assumes you have taken two years of sociology.

The book is statistic heavy, with plenty of charts, and wizz bangs to prove his points, he defines (well I add) some of the terminology for those that are cretins, dumb asses, and overall morons who do dumb things out of misguided ego and hatred. However all through the book the reader runs into monotonous and laborious concepts, and sections, that frankly take what could be a really interesting book, and instead makes it a painful process to get through.

I hate to do this, however this book has the potential to get 4 or even maybe 5 stars, however due to its long boring parts, and assumptions on the readers level of knowledge, this book instead gets a solid.

3 Stars

Tsk Tsk another review

I may need to break out the dust rag here. It seems I have been gone for so long, my poor blog is missing me. Well I am back, with many books to review, one of my sisters also has something to add this eve, so without further ado, here we go.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Arrghhhhhhh Kindle.....

I have a huge complaint in regards to the Kindle. I recently was given one for my Birthday, yes is was sweet of my Daddy to give it to me. No I really was not thrilled to get a piece of plastic that weighs 20 pounds. (Yes I know don't say it).

Now I decided to act with an open mind, I turned it on, it told me I had to register in order to download books. So I did register, and it said it accepted my order. So I downloaded (yeah right) Niel Gamines Stardust, S.A.C Doyle's Hounds of the Baskervilles. Well my Kindle froze up on me? I sat there then a message came across telling me that there was a "downloading issue" so I called B&N tech support and they informed me that there was an issue with my Credit Card, I evidently forgot to put the 3 digits that are on the back of the card with my CC info.

Okay, I understand that no problem. So I redid it, and low and behold, I was the proud owner of two ebooks. (more on these later) Well when I got my statement from Visa, I saw I paid for 2 of each book, plus 2 memberships. I guess my CC did go through, then when I called B&N, I was informed that they will immediately refund the extra 2 books. Nice of them... However they do not refund memberships.

Seriously, it took me 3 calls and being on hold almost 45 minutes in total time while they figured it out.

THANKS B&N for the wonderful experience. B&N Customer service gets... well I will save it for my official EBook review coming in a day or so.

New Books

Well we have been away for a bit, however we are back. We are back with more reviews, opinions and suggestions for those who are interested in the written word.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A bit about Facebook

I normally do not rant or rave about Social Netowrking. As I work in the IT field, I do understand about the importance of keeping plugged in, and also the importance that these sites serve.

Saying that however, I am amazed at how Facebook is so popular. I recently deleted my page. Reasoning for this was multi faceted. First of all I think the interface is dull, plain and the user cannot make it inatley "theirs", or unique to their personality.

I also do not like the fact that Facebook turns all features "on" that relate to emails being sent to my inbox, and also my information being available to all. This I think trips up far too many users that do not have normal PC knowledge. We already have far too much info out there in the etheral world of the web.

I also do not like the way it uses "networking" in the strictest sense. Facebook has extreme limits for users that own a small business, I had a personal page, I wanted to create one for our Guild, however was stopped as I had to create a "fan" page.... Please... excuse me?

I also have issues with the usability of the site. Uploading pics "can" be confusing to some, I know Myspace is blas'e to many, however I like it and like its ease, usability, and navigation. I think I am sticking with that site.


I would like to offer my apologies to our readers for the past 2 weeks. I have been ill and away from my baby, mentor and lover. In other words I have been away from my computer.

I am back however and will be posting here for everyone more bits and pieces.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Squiggly Worm

This is a pre-release graciously provided to us by the folks at 2 Moon Press in Marshall. Yes the book was free and no we wont let that influence our review.

My sister has three kids, two boys (god help her) and one girl. I brought the book over and read it to them. Let me first tell you my impressions of it then I will tell you there reaction to it.

The book has alot of colorful artwork, and the artist Levi Krause, I am not sure if he is playing with the Blue Jeans name here, or if that is his real name.. Anyrate. The art work is bright, clean and colorful. The pictures are fun to look at and convey the actual story well.

The actual writing is very fun, the story is about a bad worm, I will leave it at that, however there is no innaproprate content. The story is fun, reads and I admit it was enjoyable to read myself. It teaches children a good lesson or two, and is in my opinion geared for the 4 to 8 year old crowd.

Now for the reaction to the book. My nephews are 5 and 7 and my niece is 3. They had alot of fun and I had to read it several times to them. They were laughing at the fun quips inside of it, the author uses words very cleverly in this book, and there are alot of parts where the kids were laughing, and even dancing. Now I know why I do not have kids.

Moving on. I felt this book was something very nice, and I suggest to any parent out there who reads this to get this book. It is fun, colorful, and the kids enjoyed it immensley.

This book gets a SOLID.

5 Stars +

Monday, March 29, 2010

Author Interviews

Starting this week we will be posting Author interviews. We are conducting these interviews via email, and right now are awaiting 3 of them. We will be posting cool question, insider information on coming books, and plus you never know what else will come up.

So stay tuned for this exciting new thing we are doing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Mistresses of Henry VIII

Written by Kelly Hart, this book is SO rich in detail and also fact, there are alot of books on the Tudor period, and as I am a Renny, and love dresses of that period, I have to say that this book so much captures the feel of that period for me as a reader.

The book is detailed and chronicles not the well known wives like Ann and Mary, this book detailes other women, and there were alot of them.

Henry the VIIIth was basically a man whore. He liked women and was not picky about how they looked, or how there standing was in society. He had to have variety, and maybe this is where the present Princes of England get it from ;-)

The editing is spotless, the writing superb, and also the HUGE stand out is that this author chronicles the average woman, the woman who this jerk took advantage of, he used them all and after having his pleasure he simply tossed them aside and considered them used. There is a theory that he fthered hundreds of kids from hundreds of women. So you never know if your lineage goes back to that time, old Henry may be your GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGreat Grampa.

This books due to its quality writing, richness of historical fact, and the writers OBVIOUS dedication to her craft earns it a SOLID!!!

5 Stars

King, Ship and Sword

Written by Dewey Lambdin, I was intrigued by the cover, as I love anythng nautical and piratey. (Is this a word?) Well at anyrate, I have to say that this a very agreeable read.

The story was pretty frenectic in a good way. The action was well written, and you (or I) caught myself actually pausing once in awhile from reading to think about the richness I just read.

Something I had no idea about is that I guess this is part of an ongoing series that has been going on for a lot of books. The thing is.. I didnt feel I was left without anything. You really do not notice that you are reading like book 12 or 20.... The only problem with the book is that he leaves alot of little things unresolved, however when I did my internet research on this author, it seems he does that because well... He writes about the main character alot.

The writing is well done, and well rounded, editing is spot on, and he mixes just the right amount of romance, action(lots of this) and solid rich plot to make you want to read another book. Although I wish he would not leave so "much" loose.....

This books gets a solid.

5 Stars

Monday, March 15, 2010

This book is a great table book, I bought it the same time I bought my Freddie Mercury book and admit I very much enjoyed going through it.
Lots of pictures, charts, and tables. The two authros do a very good job at explainging very difficult concepts, and making them easy to understand. I had more than a few OHHHH OKKKKK moments.
The paper is rich and nice, and over all this is a great book even for an airhead anti science fem fatale. I cant say much more about this than buy it, the price at discount books is good. 15 bucks. The thing retails for almost 60 dollars.
Overall, I say for 15 dollars a great deal and informative read. For 60 collars not worht it. I admit i troll dicsount books just for these kinds of deals. And this one was just that.
5 Stars

I LOVE Queeen. And when I sw this at Discount book in Kalamazoo, I was so excited as I have never read a story about this so talented man. And to then read that it carried his own words... I got the book and then attacked it.

First off there is a very well written and touching forward by his own Mother. The most touching thing about that is she so misses him, and you can read that in every word she wrote.

The book is not really a story per se, it is more a series of stories and thoughts, analogies mostly by him. He was such a powerful man on stage, so out there, so much the showman, however behind closed doors he was so private and so afraid of interviews. He was a man before his time even back then as he knew what the press usually does to ones words....

This book was very interesting as he detailed alot of the behind closed doors fighting that the band did, he detailed there talks, there private lives, and his own fears and worries. The book was edited very well, and the writers who put together all of this actually did a very nice job at doing it.

The book is insightful without being trashy as he was gay, and even though they mentioned his "laisons" they did it in a way that was tactful, and respected the man and his legacy. I only found one serious issue with this book, and that was the multiple editors, and writers. You can tell when someone else takes over the writing. That made the "flow" disruptive and took some of the enjoyment out of the book. Other than that I would say get this one it is a very good read, and this one gets a well deserved

4 Stars

Blood Ties

I am a lover of crime novels. I have read her other two books that lean into this one. This book is supposed to end the 3 book series, however it does fall a bit flat.

Do not read this series out of order, for if you do. You shall walk away confused and in some ways frustrated as a reader.
The plot line is simple. Murders are happening, as they start to add up the local Sherriff who is basically an idiot, calls in an elite FBI crime unit that is made up of Agents with investigative powers. My problems with the plotline are numerous.

The author uses so many over used cliche's and plt lines that are frankly so over used by other books that when reading it I was YAAAWWNN!!!! Then couple the absurdities of the story line really let me down. I liked the first two books but this one really laid flat. Her story line although very detailed is so introvertly complicated that I got a heachache trying to wrap my head around her story line.

Very complicated story line. Characters that need development like I need a dye job. Plus story line is so complicated but it is not DEVELOPED. I know sounds confusing. But complicated does not mean developed.

I was anxious to get this one, but was let down. So this one gets a solid.

3 Stars

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We are a reveiwing blog, however once in awhile I have to vent over soemthing so silly, so humanly retarded that I well... Do vent.

I was in the mall today in Ann Arbor, and while there I stopped at Barnes & Noble book sellers. I asked them do they have a section where I can pick from those authors who are "lesser" known. Well the man at the counter looked at me perplexed and said no..... I asked him is there a local authors section, and same answer. No.

This trouble me as we review here lesser known men and women who write, and to have a large seller like B&N not give any shelf specific area LIKE THEY USED TO... is sad. How are these men and women like me supposed to get airtime so to speak when the larger sellers basically do nothing to help them. Their bread an butter are readers and also those that get inspiration from reading. I am so inspired by so many authors in my writing, and I had to hunt around today for 3 books from those I thought were new. Only to get home and find out they are established.

Yikes !

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tech Wench

I am Kim, and I am part also of this sisterhood we call the guild. I am a little more advanced in my book tatstes than the other ladies as I read only E-Books. I will be osting reviews here for the various E-Books and readers that are on the market.

I own several E-Book readers and am currently workin on a review for the Nook and Kindle as well as for the Aztak EZ Reader. So pay a visit back for my reviews. I also will be the tech blogger here, and I plan to write some reviews for some of the tecnological based tools and such that are available to Authors and Publishers.

Toodles !

History of the knights Templar

Written by Susie Hodge this book is essentially an illustrated history as it touts itself to be. What is compelling about this book is that the author does not fall into the traps that other authors fall into when writing about the Templars.

She does not use this as a religious spring board for her beliefs, instead she gives clear and concise reference material, and she backs up her statements and information with a very nice Appendix and reference section.

I am alover of history and the Templars are one of the most misunderstood and misreported parts of our world history. Not all were saints, and instead alot of them were just plain cold blooded murderers, and she reports this in her book with a neutrality that is refreshing and nice to see.

The art work in this book is very cool, as she takes period art and drawings an incorporates them into her book nicley. The book is nicely editied with only some minor issues that take nothing from it. Thus we have awarded this book both an BLUE NEBULA award for writing, and also a DAVINCI AWARD for her illustrations and artwork presentation.

Thus this book get a solid

4.5 Stars

Advance to Adventure

Written by r. Stephen Gallant, this book is about an Arctic expedition and the trials and tribulations that it entails. Now I have read Scotts chronicles about his adventures to the Pole and thought that this may be a rubber stamp of that.

However it is not. The character development is real, and the Author in his way he lays out the trilas and tribulations of these men is real to me as a reader.

Now saying that this book then did something that made me more than a little let down. He switches gears and goes into these side tangents that make it clear he is trying to attract a young audience. He target is 9-12 year olds and he goes for them. He tries to use modern day terms even though his characters are from an older time. Listening to these men use terms like "far out" and also "cool man" is a let down as this book is supposed to be a very serious read of adventure.

Saying that, it is entertaining and a book I "overall" enjoyed, so this one gets a nice.

3.5 Stars

Sheridan Book Binding

I am self published and thus I do not enjoy the pleasure of having a publisher get me my books at a lower price. I understand this and have no problem with this as it is the price I pay for being self published and being too cheap to plunk down a few hundred bucks to get published.
Saying that, after dealing with this company I am investing next month into getting published. I have been teetering on the edge for months to do it, however this company has made me decide to do it. And NO not with them.......
I contacted Sheridan with a standard order. 250 books, 6x9 color cover and BW text interior. They were nice (of course) got me a quote within days, the price was 6.83 per book. I paid my money and aksed them for SPECIFIC requirements for the files. They sent them to me and I made sure they were EXACTLY what they specified.
Lead time was quoted as 3 weeks. 4 weeks, 41/2 weeks go by.... I call leave voice mail 4 days later get a call. Sorry we are working in the book, you will have it "this week".... 9 days later i call leave message and am informed my books are done, and have been sitting there for 2 weeks. Hmmmmm 2 weeks sitting there, however 9 days ago my book was "being done"... I arrange to pick up the books. I am frustrated but ecstatic !!!!!!
I show up and am informed my books are ready, however I owe 245.oo for set up and extra time they had to put into my book getting it ready for print. WHAT !!!!! However I did have my flash drive on me with the original files and their set up instructions, we go in look at the files and imagine this..... MY FILE IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY INSTRUCTED ME TO DO.
Situation solved right! WRONG......... I had to pay that 245.00 extra fee anyways or they would not give me my books. So that added 1.00 to the cost of each of my books. I did what they told me to do and still got hit with a fee. I got my books home opened the box and they looked good... no they looked great.... I was so happy so I decided to take them all out and found of the 250 I bought, 63 of them with glue smeared all over the spine, and so on....
Thus they get the following,
1.5 Stars

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Well.... Sharpen doth claws I do......

Now as I do this review I am posting this not as a "Purchaser", I am posting this review as an Author who uses their services.

I must say that I wish there was a better alternative to sell books online that offered their exposure and customer data base. I was very excited when I contacted them and they welcomed me with open arms into the folds of the Amazon Author family. Well that was until two things happened.

First off they informed me that they take 55 percent of EVERY book I sell as their fee. That is the price off of retail. My book retails for 9.99 so for the pleasure of using their site for every book I sell they take 5.00 of it. I called them and got an Author rep, they informed me this is due to their storage of my books.

I am self published (so far).. and they only take ONE book at a time from people like me, so if I sell 10 books in a week they take 5.00 from every book, even though I have to send it via mail at 2.50 per book.. OH WAIT I cant do that as they give INSANELY short "Order Due" times, so I have to send it via Priority mail, that costs me 4.85.

So as a small Author I am basically screwed by them. I asked her (author rep) if they would let me send in 24 books, or other amount, so I wouldnt have to ship all the time and basically LOSE money.. They told me NOPE !!!

I guess if you are not from a Publisher they treat you like crap, OH WAIT !! they treat you nicely as they want your 55 percent. They just use a screwed up logic set to do their small self published author work. I think I may go to a Publisher and pay a fee... in the end I save money then.


2 Stars

This book by Steve Russo claims to tell the truth about Wicca and Dark Magic. Now I will state here I am Christian and not in any way Wiccan or Pagain. However I have alot of friends who are.

I have known them for years and have actually been to some of their events. Saying that my review is thus.

I have many issues with this book as frankly the author either purposley presents falsehoods, or he is ignorant about what he writes. Both are great sins for anyone writing something that is supposed to show "the real".... well anything.

The Author claims people who follow Wicca worship the devil and this is not true. I know that those that practice these religions dont beleive in the devil. I am sure Heavan, Hell and the Devil are inatley Christian. Saying that I also did not like this authors writing style, he is dramatic, makes claims with no historical or other proof, he references "ancient texts" yet does not clarify WHICH ancient texts.....

I do not understand how he touts Wicca as like a drug that corrupts the young. Wicca and Paganism are religions, I talked to my Pastor about this and he agred with me. Yes not my religion but it is a religion. To attack a religion as evil, or as sinful simply as it is not yours is wrong in my own little black book.

My Black book is the Bible......

This book had so much potential, even if the author feels these religions are dangerous and he does... I would have hoped he would have put together well structured arguments, and presented this / his case with logic and accurate reference. He unfortunatley has not and he attacks instead of argues points.

Bad book, Bad writing, Bad Logic, and Bad arguments.

1 Star

Written by Crawford Kilian, I when I saw this in a discount book shop in An Arbor I was pleased. I always have wanted to write Science Fiction however the prospect of bands of Trekki like fans taking me apart because I called a Warp Drive and Hyper drive, and a Nebula a Gas cloud worried me.
So I bought it and read it, and I admit the book is pretty darn good. The book goes into concepts and also walks you through actual writing. I have read alot of reference books that tell you they "show you how to" write in a genre, however this is the first book that I have read that actually does that.
I was also pleased as it covered fantasy. I have dabbled in short story writing in this Genre and always thought I was "pretty good", however I can see now I have a long way to go. This book upon one reading has made me be a more "mindful" writer, and also has shown me some cool things.
Such as the actual "mechanics" when you write in these two areas. I mean this book gets into the details, it shows you how to turn a simple paragraph into something interesting and possibly mind blowing. I generally despise books by those that claim they can tell you how to write, however I will be darned if this does not do just that. The writer is not arogant nor is he sloppy in his approach. He carries through each concept clearly and completely, and this book has a very cool section for World Building...... I am writing a small scifi mini book and I think now it may become a full sized novel. And this book is solely responsible for making me decide to do that.
Thus this book gets a solid..............
5 Stars

Behold The Future

Ths book by Author Esther Russ was something I was not expecting. I thought the book was going to be something that it was not. I am not trying to be mean her, however the book was basically her extolling how she is the chosen one. What made me initially excited was that this lady is from Jackson, MI and as she is a smaller local author I was happy to read the book. She is the chosen one she infers heavily.....
Chosen one? Yes I said that. She starts off with the mystical story of her birth, and how at that time she was given the divine purpose of preparing humanity for the end of the world. Basically an asteroid is coming and yes for 19.95 you can get the key to surviving the armegedon that is coming.
I am not trying to be cynical and no it is not that time of the month for me, I frankly was laughing through this book. She tries to scare you into worrying and instead makes it funny.
She touts this book as "A BIBLICAL DOCUMENT" and thus her arrogance bleeds through and continues through her writing, I do not think she is doing this to manipulate or take advantage of people, I think she believes this for real. She makes soe vry bizzarre predictions the one that struck me was that the anti Christ will come from and reign from Jeruselum and then will slaughter Jewish babies. She like to quote scripture through this book however she gave no reasoning nor biblical basis for this.
I also question a 380 page book that basically extolls itself as basically the manual to survive the apocalypse. I was thinking of God himself as she touts gave her this information it would be thicker. No blasphomy intended there...... The references to Antarctica are frankly funny, and this is evidently the place to go. She doesnt tell you how to get there, but she does use scripture to relate WHY Antarctica is the land of the redeemed.
Frankly I do not understand the concepts she pulls from, and no where in the Bible have I ever seen a reference like this. The book is long winded, and in alot of places funny. I have to give this work a gracious.
2 Stars

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writers Tool Box

Every once in awhile I will make a posting that I call the Writers Tool Box. This is a entry where I make suggestions to my readers to make their writing better.
Today I talk about Microsoft Word 2007. Now I know MS takes alot of flack from people, and I think overall people are too nice about them. ;-) However I have to be fair here. I lve the software and think that this is a necessity for any PC user out there who writes. The software is easy to use and stable. Yes it is stable as I have never had a single issue of it crashing, exploding, or otherwise.
I love how if does PDF conversion if you have ADOBE, and also there are so many little unknown features that are available like "Cells" and also "Tables". I also like how the manual for hte program that tells you every in and out is 25 bucks. Heck this is the MS version, and has a great titorial CD with it.
Now saying that, suggestions for your tool box. Keep a not book handy where you can list out story line and character information. Also 3 rings binders are a necessity as I tend to print off things and then like to 3 ring them. I like to go to the Satan of all department stores Wal-Mart for these. They are cheap. And buy the D ring style..... These lay very well and dont curl your pages. I also have to suggest backing up all information, as you will if every hotting it big may need to back up your book as your creation.
Heck its late and I have been fixing this site all day, so I am leaving this for now and shall return with a fresh set of updates, ideas, and reviews soon........................ HAPPY WRITING.

Whitesmoke Editing Software

I was SO STOKED when I saw this on the internet, I got online did some google research and saw 99 percent good things about the "new" version of it.
So I got online and plopped down 200 hard earned dollars, downloaded it. I even paid extra for what they call a "Multidownload" License.
The english translation of that is, that if something happens to my PC, I could download it again for free as I already have paid for it. Well I downloaded it and started it up. I used it with my 400 page manuscript and the thing worked SO GOOD !!!! I was SO impressed, the software caught errors in my SYNTAX. Yes even the syntax errors this caught. So I now have a new best friend.
Well... NO I dont. I the next day fired the Whitesmoke up and it would not work.??? I tried everything, Uninstalling it, then reinstalling it. I got online saw some complaint to the effect, then called Whitesmoke and left a voice mail. I waited 1 week no call back, I emailed their customer service and got a rubber stamp reply giving me several things to dot o "fix" the issue. NOTHING WORKED. Finally I wrote tech support five yes FIVE times over a 2 week time frame, then finally I got an email from them telling me this.
If you have a 64 bit operating system Whitesmoke is not designed to work that that, thus your software wont work. Sorry....
I asked for a refund with no reply. I got online and relooked at their site. NO PLACE ANYWHERE do they tell you this, and this is something pretty significant. I was so excited and now I am out 200 bucks as even my lap top has a 64 bit operating system. I have to rate this three ways.
Service 1 Star
Functionality 4 Stars (when on a 32 bit system)
Honesty 1 Star

The Oort Perimeter

This first book by Author Steven Lake is an interesting Sci-Fi read. It seems this is part of a larger series called the Earthfleet Saga, and with some internet research into the author I find he has some dramatic things indeed planned.

New cover design first of all which frankly was needed and this cover does the book NO JUSTICE. (see below)....
Basically the premise is pretty broad, there is a military organization called "Earthfleet", and these people are pressed with the task of protecting earth.. I know.. YAWN !!!!
BUT !! dont yawn yet. The book is actually very good, and it is original. The character development is fine tuned and the characters are rich and very believable. I was very impressed with his technology. I love Science fiction and this started off with me wondering oh no not another earth is under attack YAWN !!
Instead I was very amazed at the character development, the writing style and also his use of humor in the book. He has a great way to tell of space battles and I like some of the elements he plugs in, he hits them all, espionage, mystery, human pain etc. This was a Blue nebula Winner from us, and a well deserved award indeed.

Now as you can see this is his new cover and a VERY good improvement from the bland one dimensional cover that the first printing was in. I must also note the Authors use of Mathmatical and technological concepts. His ideas are so detailed you start to wonder if these technologies really exist. I was very impressed with his ability to convey ideas and also his ability to describe something in a way that makes me think... Oh gee I wonder how much a coaxial drive would cost for my Honda?
My problems with the book are pretty simple. The author is a little wordy in his presentation and I also would like to have seen a Prologue that tells a little history of what is happenening so I as a reader dont start blind int he book. This is part of a 7 book series so a little history I think would help out understanding some of his concepts and events he writes about. Thus Oort Perimeter gets a even.....

4 Stars

Blitz Cat

This book is by Robert Westall and I have to review it. The book is designed for young readers and frankly I LOVED IT so much.
Lord Gort is a cat and the book is so cool as the cat goes through these adventures, all during World War II Englad and the Blitz. The book is written in a mix of the cats perspective and also the people that he runs into. He is looking for his master, and simply goes from one person, to another family and so on.
Each interaction brings not only stark reality to what happened back then and what it was like to be in England during the blitz, but it also is written so well, that you begin to think of the cat as someone real. Someone to care about to worry about. I find nothing wrong with this book and the message it tells is one that kids these days could really learn.
A VERY Solid.
5 Stars

Sherlock & Elf

Sherlock & Elf by Ro Brisbois is designed for young readers and even though I am 30, I LOVE these kinds of books. I think I have most of the Scholastic books on my shelves and still read them.

However this book falls flat with me. The premise is simple, two cats that long to see the other side of their masters kitchen window, get their chance once their master go on vacation. Once they are able they have a series of adventures.
Now this book could have been very very good, as there is alot of room to run with this premise. However the adventures are flat and common, nothing unusual or intriguing, and the "huge" evil antagonist in the book (I wont spoil it for you) is frankly neither really very evil, or anything surprising. The author also tends to take a half a page to tell you what one paragraph would do nicley to explain. Now this is the books worst and biggest enemy as the book is only 100 pages, thus valuable room is taken up with the mundane, causing the author to sacrifice story line for inane things.
I wish I could do better as I love these kinds fo books, but this one gets a simple..
3.5 Stars

Ghastly Glass

This book is written by a husband and wife team named Joyce and Jim Levene. This is a very enjoyable book and one that I think would make a fairly decent trilogy or ongoing story. Murders are happening at a ren faire, and no one knows who is comitting them.

Well, once the old reaper is knocked off then it is up the main character Jesse to find out who is killing people. The book starts off slow with some un-needed background info, however this doesnt detract from the book at all as the story is intersting and fun.

Even though the subject is serious the book is written in such a way that the writers make it fun and a breeze to read. Now the interesting thing is that these people are actually fairly well known "real" journalists. They have won awards for their reporting. So the writing is clear and editing which is a pet peeve of mine is spot on. I havent tried any of the 25 other some odd books they have written, however I was impressed with this one. I do wish character development was a bit better, however I was told by my local librarian that there are other books with this character, so I wont deduct points for that.

I can honestly and solidly give this book.

4.5 Stars

Life Death and Sex in Prison

First of all this book was written by JIMMIE.... yes Jimmie no last name, so that is an automatic red flag for credibility and also accuracy. Although he claims to be a ex-Police Officer who "knows all about prisons" - (SMIRK) -

I bought his book as I was intrigued by its title and plus the book tells the story of two police officers who are wrongfully convicted, however they are guilty of the crimes in another State. I am puzzled at the logic but hey I went with the flow...

To be fair the book is horrible. Grammar, Spelling and editing is non existent. The book basically is an attack on the prison system painting everyone inside as victims. The book tries to use sex as a carrot on a stick to draw you in deeper, however the vulgarity of the descriptions that are meant to galavanize the reader make instead the reader feel dirty, and plus I have a good enough imagination without needing a play by play....

The book offers no insight into how it really is inside of prison, and frankly I wonder if this guy ever was really IN prison. I just felt nothing while reading the book, plus for such a monumental subject the book is very thin, small..... 148 pages. I would think it would take 148 pages to tell me about the first few weeks ion being in such a place.

Graphic Sex, Mispellings, NO Syntax, NO editing, the story line goes off in these inane and silly questions that are designed to intrigue you but fails miserably to do so, and the writer hiding from the reader are all things that make this a solid.

1 Star (I am being generous here)

Murder in a Cathedral

This book by Ruth Dudley Edwards is by FAR a great read, yes I am starting off a review like that. This book grabbed me from page one and kept a very tight hold of me while I read all 232 pages.
My only complaint is this. The book tends to be somewhat saterycal in nature sometimes, and it doesnt fit the plot or story lines. However saying that the book is a fun and interesting read, and one that I hope the Author one day continues.
Her characters namely the Baroness Jack Troutbeck, yes Jack is a woman. and her friend Robert Amiss go from one misadventure to another, it does somewhat remind you of a sarcastic Holmes duo at times, however she saves herself with an original story line that does pull you in. There is something odd in this book as you can tell that the Author is very religious, or atleast in my opinion seems that way as she also uses Roberts own inner struggles and his willingness to trust as a mechanism for his schizm withthe Church. The author does also try to once in awhile send a message to the reader extolling the virtues of Christianity and that would normally get a mark from me, however she is not effective at this and it sometimes adds to the story. so I will pass over this attempt to educate.
I wish this author would have made this book around 400 pages, and I think she could have easily, again great read and one that I will say one should get.
4 Stars

Science Fiction Stories and Contexts

Science Fiction Stories and Contexts. This is a large book by Heather Masri PhD.
Now we were excited about this book when my friend Kim saw this. We bought it at a WHOPPING 43 bucks, but the beast is over 1200 pages thick.
Wealth of knowledge we hoped. Well..... Not really. She has a variety of stories in this book and alot of them have nothing to do with Science Fiction. Instead she pulls analogies from them that in her opinion "relate" to science fiction.
Now in all fairness the author does tout this as a clasroom oriented manual to be used we think for creative writing or literature courses. However we were interested in the contexts she uses and also how they relate to writing Science fiction. Well here is our official opinion.
The book really is mistitled, as it has really NOTHING to do with Science fiction, the book offers these long and strenious to read opinions before and after the stories, that by the way are not Sci-Fi stories. I read about 400 pages of the book, then skipped inward to other parts and frankly could not get into the book at all. The book is supposed to be an aid for Sci-Fi writers, and as I dabble in it I was excited to see it as a reference to help better my writing, only to be dissapointed in the end with its long winded self absorbing content.
I will be fair and say this book would be good for a formal class, however this book it not designed to just be purchased and read IF and I stress.... IF you are looking for a Science Fiction writers aid. This book is not that.
3 Stars


We have a rating scale when we review a book, writing or Publisher.

We have a simple easy to understand system.

1 - 5

1 is the worst 5 is the best.

We explain in detail the reasoning behind our rating scales so the reader of this blog can understand and know WHY we say what we say.

Our ratings and this site is to be used as a guide for you, and we do not take money from anyone, nor do we take pay for review... We are sent books by Authors, get them from libraries and Publishers contact us to send us books.

We will take and review within reason any book, however we will NOT review any large well known author. We ONLY REVIEW lesser known small Authors.

And beware, we are VERY HONEST about our reviews. Unbiased and neutral is the key to doing a good review. And we do that.