BOOK REVIEW # 2017-041 – SNOWBEARD the PIRATE and the NAUGHTY LIST

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I received a signed hardcover copy of this book along with its accompanying CD from the author through a giveaway he recently had on GoodReads, and the following is my honest opinion.

We all remember growing up our parents kept on telling us about Santa and how he keeps tabs on us with everything we do each day. They told us as Christmas approaches he keeps checking and rechecking his lists to make sure each child is on the correct list; the nice list and the naughty list. While we knew Santa spent the entire night going to every good boy’s and girl’s home where he’d leaved a nice gift; we never knew anything about how the naughty gifts got delivered to those naughty boys and girls.

Chip Huddleton, in this, his debut children’s book, has successfully attempted to clear this mystery up for his young readers and some of their parents. It appears Santa has a brother, the black sheep of his family, who he enlists to handle the naughty gift giving to the children on his naughty list. Santa’s brother is Snowbeard, a pirate whose home is in the Florida Keys.

Snowbeard had been reluctant at first, but his brother’s jovial manner finally convinces him to undertake the task. With the rotten old fruitcake Santa gave him and private toys made by his crew loaded onto a huge jolly-boat that will be pulled by a team of eight now-flying sharks, thanks to Santa’s magical pixie dust, Snowbeard takes off, following the route his brother gave him.

Santa had an alternative motive for plotting the course the way he did. Even though his brother was actually on the naughty list, he wanted to give his brother a nice gift for helping him the way he did. What the gift is I’m not going to say, what it was is in the book.

While I could have easily read this book as an adult, I used the accompanying CD. The addition of the music, sea shanties, and carols heard in the interludes between the actual story totally enriched the experience of having the book read to me by the author, who used his talents to give an authentic private voice to the story as well as its characters.

In the end there’s no way I can give the author, Chip Huddleston, or this book anything less the 5 STARS I’ve given it; wish I would have been able to give it 10 STARS.

US: https://www.amazon.com/review/R27R3R6IVFW9BJ

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R14W7A0N4F838U

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BOOK REVIEW # 2017-040 – SEASONAL SHENANIGANS

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I’ve received an ARC [Advanced Reader’s Copy] of this book from one of the authors, and the following is my honest opinion.

While all of us look at Valentine’s Day, February 14th, to be a special time for romance, whether it be a first love or a second chance one, every woman is longing to find that special guy, a guy she can have her long desired HEA with; most of us have forgotten that the holiday season about Christmas as being the second most popular day for romances to come into bloom. The holiday season includes the Winter Solstice, Chanukah [there’s multiple “correct” spellings] and of course Christmas; and this wonderful holiday anthology with 14 well known and loved romance authors cover all three of these holidays.

I truly love to read anthologies, especially when romance is a key element to each story, and when you add in the winter holidays, as I’ve said in the above, how can you go wrong.

This anthology offers a wide spectrum of all the romantic subgenres we love to read, from those sweet love at first sight to a hot, steamy, BDSM, how can you go wrong. Animal lovers get a chance to read how an abandoned box of kittens brings two neighbors together when the woman is at a lost at what to do with them. Sci-fi romance lovers get two chances to read their favorite genres, one where the two protagonists are on a spaceport, and the second involving two strangers up against aliens out to ravage the Earth’s resources. Can Kismet bring two individuals together, well if you love this type of story there’s something there for you as well.

As you can see there’s a strong possibility you’ll love reading at least a few of them, and at a price of 99 cents for 14 short stories, it’s a can’t lose situation. This anthology offers romance readers a chance to venture into reading a romance subgenre they’ve haven’t read before, and to possibly enjoy discovering authors they’ve never read anything from before.

So if you read only one story a day, depending on the holiday, these stories will either get you through the holiday, to the holiday itself, or get you into the spirit for the holiday for when it actually arrives

All in all, given what I’ve written in the above; I’m happy to give all the authors and the short stories they’ve contributed to this collection 5 STARS and hope you’ll enjoy reading what I’ve read.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your families !!! 😊 😊 😊

HUGS and KISSES to everyone.

NOTE: This book releases on December 7, 2017

BOOK REVIEW # 2017-039 – MURDER AND MAYHEM

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Having received a True Crime Enthusiast badge from Amazon on my profile should server as an indication for one of my favorite genres to read/review. So, when I hear about this marvelous collection of 20 stories of murder and bedlam on September 23rd, I didn’t hesitate to pre-order it.

While these stories might not be true, they’re sure to pique my desire to read about ingenuous crimes, dreadful murders, mysteries able to cause heart palpitations, and not to forget about plot twists will make one wonder what did I miss or what’s going to happen next.

With 20 stories, from those involving international spies and high-tech surveillance to small, hometown whodunnits and conventional page-turning courtroom dramas [like Perry Mason] to those hardboiled detectives like Mike Hammer or Sam Spade, you’re given a collection of extraordinary protagonists going up against incredible odds in stories which have all written by awarding winning or best-selling USA Today authors.

Who knows what evil lives in the hearts of men? After reading these stories you might just might find out.

For having given their readers this unforgettable anthology of stories at an unbeatable price, I’m happy to give this book and their authors, the 5 STARS in definitely deserves.

US:   https://www.amazon.com/review/RAHXHEVQ7N0N8

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R16DI1TU3KF4W1

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/review/R2VWGSSLMNP4YM

BOOK REVIEW # 2017-038 – IF MY MOON WAS YOUR SUN

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I received a hard-cover ARC copy of this book, along with its accompanying cd consisting of the book’s text with its incidental music between chapters, from the publisher; and the following is my honest opinion, which I’ve broken down into several segments.

This is the first book I’ve read which has been translated from its original German text. The reason I’m mentioning this is that German had been my secondary major to my primary one of Sociology. Given the intended age group for this book of 8 – 12, I figured the original German should be easy enough for me to translate, which is what I did. When I listened to the audio for the text for the book’s first paragraph, I found much to my delight that the translator, Matthew O. Anderson, didn’t merely translate the book into English, he endeavored to capture the nuances of language which the author wanted to communicate to his readers.

I know I could have easily read this book, however I wanted to experience the impact having the book read to me for a change would feel like. Needless to say, I found the experience to be quite satisfying, especially when you include the carefully selected classical music segments heard between each segment [chapter] which added a delightful embellishment to the entire reading experience.

Ms. Palmtag, the book’s illustrator, has done a marvelous in pairing her illustrations to the words of the book which further heighten the story itself.

As for the storyline itself, you’ve got the love the coupling of the innocence along with the love for his grandfather Max exhibited when he decided to kidnap him out of the nursing home so he could keep his grandfather close and not lose him. Not knowing anything about dementia Max thought he’s doing something good, but when he saw people from the home and his mother chasing everyone; including Ms. Schneider, another resident of the nursing home who came along for the ride, Max knew he had to stop and give up.

If you’ve got any doubt that this endeavor had to be a labor of love for the author, instead of being just another children’s book, read the interview with the author and illustrator at the end of the book. Considering all this, you can see why I’ve given this book the 5 STARS it so richly deserves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1YZGVH7HIEGSZ

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RNPT2SQIS44QF

 

BOOK REVIEW # 2017-037 – THE OPTIMAL LIFE EXPERIENCE

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I received an ARC [Advanced Reader’s Copy] mobi.file copy of this book from the author’s publisher through a giveaway they had on LibraryThing and the following is my honest opinion.

The author, Brian Vondruska, has done a marvelous job in communicating to his readers about what the optimal life experience is. Instead of just throwing out the information/answer haphazardly, he has done it in a methodically manner by dividing it into specific chapters [components], with each subsequent chapter building on what happen been presented it the previous one.

 

Essentially, achieving the so-call optimal life experience is not achieved solely by taking something it requires a give and take, a give and take which is both physically and mentally. Extracting a combination of psychological, philosophical, and economical ideas the author succeeds in completing the jigsaw puzzle of the totality for the experience of human life itself.

 

Out of the intricacies which life presents, readers are given an

 

o follow path towards their feeling comfortable, healthy, or happy. This path is different from one person to the next. So, as each reader reads what is being presented to them, they develop their own individual path.

 

At the end of each chapter, the author has kindly given his readers a summary of what had been the intention for the chapter they’ve just read. If you ever wanted a book which would help you hack your way through the complexities of life itself, then this book would serve you well in reading it.

 

For wanting his readers to help find the answer to the sweet mystery of life itself, and have it be the optimal it can be, I’ve given Mr. Vondruska for 5 STARS his endeavor here.

 

US:  https://www.amazon.com/review/R1C3FI0BUZ0I2

 

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1TRG962QFXYDI

BOOK REVIEW # 2017-036 – FINISH LINE

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As promised here is the 600th book review I’ve posted on Amazon earlier today:

I read this book via an Amazon-US KINDLE Unlimited download.

As young, urban boys who sometimes have nothing do except occasionally commit some mischief, Justin Ventimiglia and Keith Puccio got involved with and got picked up performing an act of property destruction. Naturally, these two juveniles had to be taught that they need to pay for what they’ve done, and the St. Louis authorities felt the best way would be to give them summer jobs at the Prairie Winds Golf Course on the east side of town.

The story this book contains is a coming of age one as these two protagonists experience a life outside of the dysfunctional one they’ve become used to living in. The shenanigans of the eccentric adults with their drinking, gambling and smoking they witness causes them to have some interesting reactions. This creates a somewhat special bond between all involved.

When you throw in a young man fighting the dreaded disease of cancer into the mix, you get an emotionally touching story of life and death, as Justin and Keith begin to have an understanding of the tests life can throw in front of you along with the love for the game of golf itself with the challenges it gives to those who play it.

While this book seems geared to those who are golfers, it’s a story which can be enjoyed by anyone. Although this book reads like a stand-alone, it’s the second part of the six-book series [Prairie Winds Golf Course] written by the author, James Ross.

For having given his readers, this poignant coming of age story, I’ve given Mr. Ross 5 STARS for his endeavor here.

US: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2H3QEZEWO4GB8

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R39ZPBKQAUA3X4

BOOK REVIEW # 2017-035 – GETTING MARRIED AT LAST

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I read this book via an Amazon KINDLE Unlimited download.

I found this brief book to be precisely as the author has written for her description; the truth being said, it’s not only inspirational, but quite poignant as well. The problem is too many people set their personal HEA [Happy Ever After] too high, which only results in one disappointment after another; people need to know what both their assets and negative attributes are to really fulfill their heart’s desire, which usually involves getting married at long last.

Personally, I married at 43 to my dear OH, aged 39. I knew what my limitations were; a slight speech imperfection and a genetic condition affected my physical appearance, especially my facial appearance. But one day, I found someone who could look beyond all this and to the personal I’m like on the inside; in fact, both of us looked at each of our personalities and compatibilities more than anything else, much like the author herself.

The only negative thing I can say about her book is that I feel she’s targeted her reading audience towards women. We’ve got to recognize and remember that there are scores of men who are still suffering the same way, downtrodden that they’re still living alone, and might benefit from reading the book themselves.

Every book should have a playlist which can accompany it, and this book is no exception. While for this book most people would think of Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”, there’s another song which he sang “Somewhere There’s a Someone” which I feel far more epitomizes what this book is trying to communicate. Here are the lyrics, see if you agree with how I feel:

Somewhere there’s a someone for everyone
Somewhere there’s a someone for me
Though I may be lonely now
I’ll see it through somehow
To someone’s heart I know I hold the key

Somewhere there’s a someone for everyone
Somewhere there’s a someone for me
And I’ll search my whole life through
Until I find a love that’s true
For I know somewhere there’s a someone for me

(Somewhere)
(Somewhere)
And I’ll search my whole life through
Until I find a love that’s true
For I know somewhere there’s a someone for me
For I know somewhere there’s a someone for me

For wanting to share her story and to help others to get out of the rut they’re in, I’m happy to give Lori A. Peters and her book 5 STARS.

US: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3GUBPIJ9NXSVW

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2QIWK40R8MLC9

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