Month: August 2015

“1929” by M. L. Gardner

“1929” by M. L. Gardner

An absolutely fabulous read! I loved every minute of it.

1929 is the story of three couples and their fight for survival after the Market crashes. Jon, Aryl and Caleb have been inseparable friends since childhood. They’ve grown up together, been at each other’s weddings and built their own brokerage firm. They and their wives are living the high life with fancy houses, fancy cars and fancy clothes. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone. They are left with only the case they have stashed at home. In a matter of a couple of days they have moved into tenement apartments, owned by their biggest enemy.

The wives, Ava, Claire, and Arianna, know nothing about taking care of a home or cooking or doing laundry and must learn the hard way. Meanwhile, the husbands are forced to take jobs working on the loading docks. The humiliation of it almost destroys one of them. As they desperately try to find a way to get back on their feet, it seems that fate just keeps throwing them punches.

This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to keep reading. M. L. Gardner has created characters with complexity and depth. I was especially impressed with her dialogue; every discussion or fight amongst the characters was so true to life that I really felt like a fly on the wall in the homes of these people. The twists and turns kept me fully engaged in the story and were so realistic that it seemed like it could be happening to me.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, especially if you like historical fiction. The author has captured the struggles of the period with an expertise that makes an historical reference point into the experience of real people. After reading this book I feel as if I have made a whole bunch of new friends and look forward to seeing where their journey takes them in the additional books in the series.

Happy Reading!

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“Doomed Soul” by Robert Boomsliter

“Doomed Soul” by Robert Boomsliter

A thought provoking read! Robert Boomsliter is an atheist and this book is a collection of essays that he has written to express his point of view. His conviction about being an atheist is very strong and that clearly comes through in this book. This book is intended for readers who are open to points of view that are different than their own. If you are convinced that your religious beliefs are the only legitimate beliefs than you should stay away from this book. While I don’t necessarily agree with Robert’s views, I appreciated the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that went into these essays. He is able to convey his beliefs, or lack thereof, in a very concise and succinct fashion which I enjoyed. Readers who like to expose themselves to the way other people think would also enjoy this book. I find it valuable to expose myself to the way others experience the world and would definitely recommend this book to others who feel the same.

Happy Reading!

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“Paine – Time of Anarchy” by J. Durbin

“Paine – Time of Anarchy” by J. Durbin

A surprising book! When I first received this book to review, I thought it was going to be just another story of war. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a complex and well-crafted story, with engaging characters. Yes, there is war and military action scenes but this book is about much more than that. The book begins with each chapter focusing on a different character’s story as we begin to see that a crop plague has been released on the world and society falls into anarchy. What is original here is the way that author portrays well-developed characters, such as Paine, Marcus, and Ashley, in their own stories but he brings them all together as the story continues and the connections between them are surprising as they become known. This book is the first in a series. The story has a somewhat open end which makes you want to keep reading the series, but it is also complete in itself. If you like stories with military action than this one will be a good choice for you. There is also a lot of futuristic technology used which will also be interesting to some readers.

Happy Reading!

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“Got a Bad Picker?” by Jesse Carr MD

“Got a Bad Picker?” by Jesse Carr MD

Great advice for picking a mate! In this book Dr. Carr explores the relationships women have with men and why some women just can’t seem to pick a good one. First is a discussion of how to determine if you have a bad picker and what can cause you to be a bad picker. Then Dr. Carr looks at what the consequences of picking a bad partner can be and gives ideas for how to fix your bad picker. In the concluding chapters he gives exercises for improving and training your picker.

I found this book to be full of good suggestions. I also thought that the topic was covered thoroughly and with obvious, extensive knowledge of the topic. This is not and advanced book but one that is written toward a general audience. I would suggest this book for any woman who wants to learn more about the psychology of picking men. It would also be a good resource for men who want to know what women need in a man.

Happy Reading!

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“Dead Man Falling” by Desmond Cory

“Dead Man Falling” by Desmond Cory

A brilliant spy story! Desmond Cory set the standard for spy novels. Johnny Fedora is a spy of the highest caliber with wit, intelligence, and charm. In “Dead Man Falling”, the 3rd in the Johnny Fedora series, Johnny is traveling to Austria with Marie-Andree. Posing as newlyweds they check into an inn in a very small village known primarily for the mountain climbing opportunities in the area. Fedora is not a mountain climber. He’s on the trail of a cache of diamonds hidden by the Nazis somewhere in the vicinity of the village. But Johnny’s not the only one looking for the diamonds; the question is who will get to them first, and who will die trying.

Keep your wits about you because this is a twisty story where nobody is who they claim to be. I was on the edge of my seat (literally) throughout this book. If you enjoy spy stories along the lines of James Bond, then you will love this one. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Happy Reading!

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“Where There’s Smoke” by Jodi Picoult

“Where There’s Smoke” by Jodi Picoult

This is a wonderful short story where we are introduced the Serenity Jones, a celebrity psychic. In the story Serenity is doing a reading for a grieving widow whose husband died in Iraq. Afterwards, Serenity finds herself haunted by a poltergeist of the husband who is expressing his anger by setting things on fire; a kitchen table, curtains and even her front hedges.

The ending left me hanging a little bit, but Serenity shows up again in the novel “Leaving Time” so perhaps I’ll learn more of her story there. This one is short and sweet, check it out!

Happy Reading!

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“Exodus” by Andreas Christensen

“Exodus” by Andreas Christensen

A brilliant piece of sci-fi fiction! I found this book to be a well thought out and expertly plotted story.

The story explores the what-if scenario of a meteor crashing into, and potentially destroying, planet Earth. When scientists become aware of the impending doom they begin planning a way to remove a selected portion of the human race to another planet to start over. They estimate they have about 12 years until impact and the American space program has been all but abandoned after a disastrous attempt to land on Mars.

The story is told as a series of vignettes each focusing on a different character. As the plot thickens, we get a view into the arduous process of selecting those who will be on the spaceship, we listen in on the political machinations going on behind the scenes, and we follow the Exodus as she travels through space bound for an unknown planet called Aurora.

This book is the first in a trilogy and definitely leaves you wanting to read the next one. This book is everything a good sci-fi book should be.

Happy Reading!

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“The Traveler” by Fredric Shernoff

“The Traveler” by Fredric Shernoff

A brilliant twist on the time travel theme! “The Traveler” had me fully engaged from the very start. Fredric Shernoff has created a fascinating time travel story. Daniel Wells is your average, everyday guy. He’s married, somewhat unhappily, lives in a nice house, and drives a nice car. Then one day he discovers that he can travel in time. After a few tries he gains some control over the process and travels back in time 20 years to when he was a middle-schooler. His intention is just to observe and revisit his childhood, but something goes terribly wrong. Now he has created a major disturbance in time and in his efforts to correct his mistakes verges on disrupting the whole universe. There is adventure, romance, and even murder in this story. I would highly recommend “The Traveler” to readers of sci-fi or fantasy. There is also a theme of coming to terms with who you are and Daniel revisits his past. You should definitely give this one a try.

Happy Reading!

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“My Steadfast Heart” by Jo Goodman

“My Steadfast Heart” by Jo Goodman

“My Steadfast Heart” is the first book in the Thorne Brothers Trilogy and I found it to be a thoroughly well-written romance story.

The story opens with Colin Thorne and his two younger brothers, Decker and Grey, finding themselves in a workhouse after their parents are murdered during a roadside robbery. Colin is taken in by the captain of a ship and ends up in Boston where he eventually becomes a ship’s captain himself. The story pauses here and picks up again some years later when Colin has arrived, with his ship, back in London. One night he is challenged to a duel by a local aristocrat, the Earl of Weybourne, who has lost money gambling with Colin. The night before the duel he is confronted by Mercedes Leyden whose uncle, the local aristocrat Weybourne, has sent her to Colin’s boarding house to stop him, by any means necessary, from showing up for the duel. What follows will throw Mercedes and Colin together through a complicated series of events involving robbery, trickery and murder. Will they fall in love and make a life together or will Colin catch the next ship and return to the states where another eligible young lady waits? You’ll have to read to find out.
I really enjoyed this story even though romance is not my usual cup of tea. Jo Goodman has created some wonderful characters who were truly likable and believable. Of course, there is a bad guy among them who will do anything in his power to thwart Colin and Mercedes. The author has done a great job of balancing descriptions of the surroundings with interactions between characters in a way that keeps you interested in the story from beginning to end. If you enjoy historical romances than you should definitely try this one out.

Happy Reading!

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“The Shunned House” by H.P. Lovecraft

“The Shunned House” by H.P. Lovecraft

This is a creepy story. It’s a short one, only 33 pages, about a house that has been shunned by the community due to the strange things that took place in it during its first 100 years. The house dates back to the 1700’s. No children were ever born alive in the house and all of its inhabitants fell victim to some strange, wasting type of illness while living in the house. There are many tales and speculations about the cause of these events. The narrator had played in the house as a boy while it was unoccupied and as an adult has a renewed interest in the history of the place. He and his uncle set out to solve the mystery of the Shunned House.

I found the story fascinating, partly because I have an interest in odd bits of history, and also because it is so well written. By today’s standards it is not particularly graphic but still gave me the creepy-crawlies. So, if you’re looking for something a little different to read, you should check out this story. It’s free on Amazon, click the picture below.

Happy Reading!

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