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October 2014 Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 2014 Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence has generated enormous press with the NFL the last few weeks. However domestic violence is not limited to over paid athletes. Domestic violence plagues ordinary people, every single day. I am offering the Kindle version of Mommy's Black Eye FREE from October 1st to October 5th to promote awareness of domestic violence.

Spanish Version El ojo morado de Mama


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Patton's Spaceship by John Barnes



This is another time travel, multiple universe novel.  That is not a criticism merely an observation.   This story introduces the Closer's a multiverse villain and the Athenians a counter balancing time space police force.   Mark Strang is introduced as a professional bodyguard who acquires a very personal reason for a vendetta.

Home grown terrorists are the lead in of the story.   Mark Strang is the thread that weaves through the story.  The story leads through parallel universes and ends up with a world where  Hitler won WWII.   There is even a young protégé in the wings of the name Porter.  Porter is important to multiple universes.   I smell the influence of the Terminator series.   In all fairness there are so many time traveler, multiverse, parallel world books that it would be pretty difficult not to see so similarities between plots.  That does not denigrate this book.

The plot was reasonably complex, the action was robust and interesting.   I always enjoy the named personalities and their alter egos in the alternate universes.   Patton in this book, appeared to be much more likeable than he was in our universe. 

I liked the book and hope to read further in the series.


Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barnes_(author)

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Black Ice by Susan Krinard


Paragraph one, two and three are a repeat from my review of Mist, Krinard's previous book.   An urban fantasy based on Norse mythology, set in San Francisco and featuring a knockout godling/Valryrie, this book was quite entertaining.  

Ms. Krinard provides one of my favorite protagonists, a butt kicking female!  I enjoy seeing more books that feature strong, intelligent, tenacious female protagonists.   Mist qualifies on all counts.  The setting in San Francisco seems a bit tongue in cheek due to the infamous San Francisco acceptance of all things different.   The premise is that only in San Francisco could you have mythological characters moving about and  receiving no undue attention from populace or authorities. 

There are tortured characters, heroic teens, a motorcycle gang and plenty of nefarious villains.   Treachery and violent dishonesty is brought to life in Loki's character. 

This book brings more treachery to the table as well increasing the cast of immortals/gods.  Mist has a problem finding anyone she can trust.  She battles with her hands tied behind her back as she is kept ignorant of many facts by friend and foe both.

I recommend the book.



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker


The premise for this short story is clever.  Use Amish to colonize new worlds since they would only need technology to get them there and once there could be self sufficient.   That premise seems reasonable on an Earth like planet.   Jed is the young Amish man who makes the trip to New Pennsylvania to colonize the planet.

The current Earth seems to be land poor so it makes sense to colonize if you want cheap land to farm.   Jed thinks it is a good idea and makes his plans.   The totalitarian aspects of current Earth culture impact his departure and his arrival at new Pennsylvania is tumutous. 

I think the premise is good.  The book is supposed to be book 1 which might translate better as chapter one.   Good characters, good plot, reasonable action and kind of like those tiny, tiny spoons they give you to sample ice cream, totally unsatisfying.

I enjoyed what I read.  I am not sure how it got on my Kindle.  It probably was free and thus proves the adage you get what you pay for.  Not critical of the work, just hate to be teased.  


Web site: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelBunker
Neither link for web sites was active

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans



One of the things I like about Chris Evans is his wonderful titles, I last said this several years ago when I reviewed Ashes of Black Frost.  I highly recommend that you read both The Light of Burning Shadows and Darkness Formed in Fire and the previous mentioned Ashes.   The Iron Elves trilogy was excellent.   Evans did not let me down with this book.   A fantasy based on the Vietnam War was almost a bit too much reality.   Fire breathing dragons become much more intense when associated in your mind with napalm.   This book focuses on an embattled kingdom mired in a foreign conflict with little support from home.   Sound familiar?

The characters and scenarios were vivid and gritty.   Illustrating the depth of passion for your squad over more nebulous ideals such as religion or patriotism was masterfully done by Evans.   The frustration and despair of the Vietnam era was not just read but felt.  

"Anything for the greater good" is an amazingly frightening motto that is reflected all to often in justification for events that appall normal people.

This wasn't just a good story, it was a tangible reminder of what the "boots on the ground" go through in any conflict regardless of it's purported value. 

How many times and in how many ways has it been said that if those who made the decisions to go to war were the ones that actually had to fight the war, there would be so much less war?

I don't care what your political beliefs may be, none of us should ever downplay the sacrifices that our kids, our troops, make for us.  Right or wrong they are our siblings, parents or progeny and must be respected for what they do.  Which admittedly digresses from my review.   This is what a good book should do though, make you think, make you take a second or a third look at the status quo or "accepted" behavior.

Chris Evans you wrote not only an entertaining novel but a terrific thought provoking commentary with historic perspective.

THANK YOU!


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The 100 Day 21 by Kass Morgan



A post apocalypse space habitat is suffering system failure after generations in space.  Their solution is to dispose of teen age miscreants in an attempt to discover if Earth is habitable. This story follows up The 100 which is the first book in the series.   This story chronicles the experiences of the 100 on Earth and does periodic flash backs to fill in the back story. 

The characters are maturing in this book.  The evolving maturity leads to changes in the relationships between the main characters.   There is a dawning awareness that abysmal ignorance ruled in regards to the conditions on earth.

The changing conditions on the space station are grossly impacting the remaining populace.  Those changes are foreseen to impact the 100 on Earth.    The main function of the plot seems to be to showcase the characters and their romantic entanglements. 

The book is somewhat simplistic but in the nature of the YA audience it is likely to be well received.

Web sites:        http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kass-morgan/the-100/9780316234474/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The 100 by Kass Morgan


A post apocalypse space habitat is suffering system failure after generations in space.  Their solution is to dispose of teen age miscreants in an attempt to discover if Earth is habitable.

The book has an interesting premise.   The solution to their problem is similar to many culture by disposing of the young they remove both a problem and perhaps they solve one as well.  Societies have been sending their young off to battle since the cavemen.   This book is tepid science fiction combined with teen age romance.   

The story eventually moved along after the reader is introduced to the romantic longings of a variety of teens.   It is a very fast read and I don't see it appealing to the older teen.  I think the very young teen and particularly the very young teen female may find the book appealing.   I am pleased to see an attempt to draw in the young teen girls into science fiction.  I do feel that the more kids read scifi, the better chance we have of getting more kids into science.

Interesting note, there is a TV show based on the book.  It claims to be young adult oriented but I think this is doing many young adults a disservice.  Considering the outlook of the high school kids I know, this book might be a touch lite.   I think the upper elementary or perhaps middle school audience would be more likely to favor the book.  


Web sites:        http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kass-morgan/the-100/9780316234474/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The League of Seven by Alan Gratz



This is a YA Steampunk adventure.   The setting and the circumstances should put a new twist on the way you view the world.   Three barely teen adventurers and their Tik Tok jack of all trades, Mr. Rivets are all that oppose the Mangleborn monsters striving to take over the world.

The author does a good job providing age appropriate personalities to his characters.   Fergus can get so wrapped up in his appreciation of his sciences that he totally misses the danger he might face.   I think all of us who have worked with children and particularly very bright children have known a Fergus.   Archie exhibits the insecurities that epitomize the teen years.  He is a very flawed hero which, of course, makes him more believable in a very unbelievable story.

Equally the single minded Hachi is easy to understand due to the trauma she has faced.  I was a bit surprised by the amount of death dealing in an novel for this young of an age group.  It is appropriate to the plot but gives the story a bit more edge that may stretch the comfort factor of some parents.  

Mr. Rivets' interest in a self winding device provided a delightful tongue in cheek moment.   Gratz did a nice job in creating his Steampunk world.

I liked the book and recommend it.

Web: http://alangratz.blogspot.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.