Month: December 2015

Book Review: “One More: A Solar Maximum Story” by Lance Haynes

Book Review: “One More: A Solar Maximum Story” by Lance Haynes

Richard is preparing to travel home to Texas from a job site in Nevada, but the night before he leaves a giant solar flare occurs, knocking out all power. In the days that follow, Richard travels a sometimes precarious path to return home, while at the same time journeying deep into his soul to reconcile his feelings over the death of his youngest child. Along the way, he encounters an assortment of people, some who help him, others who he must help, but all of them will affect him deeply. Even when fatigue, hunger and injury try to prevent him reaching his goal, he is determined to reunite with his wife and children, and repair the damage he has done.

The author did a great job of placing the reader in the story along with Richard, and his insight into his character’s thoughts is written admirably. Richard is a very complex character who is quite troubled as the story opens. Readers may find themselves inspired by his persistence in his journey, both mental and physical.

Who would enjoy this book: if you enjoy psychological books you may like this one. The world described here is on the brink of dystopian as the loss of power throws everyone back a couple hundred years.

What age is this book appropriate for: this book is for adults. Richard is a middle-age man so teenagers and young adults may have a hard time relating to him.

Alinefromabook’s recommendation: I give it a NEUTRAL rating. It didn’t completely capture my imagination.

Happy Reading!
One More: A Solar Maximum Novel (The Solar Maximum World) (Volume 1)

Advertisements
Book Review: “A Pedigree to Die For” by Laurien Berenson

Book Review: “A Pedigree to Die For” by Laurien Berenson

What could be better on a Christmas weekend then a delightful, cozy mystery? Nothing, of course. “A Pedigree to Die For” was delightful from beginning to end. Melanie is a single mother with a very busy 4 year old son. As the story opens summer break is just starting and Melanie finds out that the summer teaching job she was counting on has fallen through. Then she gets the news that her Uncle Max was found dead, of an apparent heart attack, on the floor of the kennel where he and Aunt Peg raise Poodles for competition. Aunt Peg also informs her that their prize-winning stud dog, Beau, went missing the same night, and then she proceeds to recruit Melanie to help her in finding the dog. Along the way, Melanie learns more she thought she ever wanted to know about the dog show circuit and the Standard Poodle breed.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Being a cat lover, I wasn’t sure if a book with dogs would keep my interest, but the characters in this story were so engaging that I once I started I could hardly put it down. There is family discord and secrets, ruthless competitors, and a whole pack of Poodles to knock you over every time you enter the door. This book is first in a series and it’s a great start.

Who would enjoy this book: mystery lovers or dog lovers

What age is this book appropriate for: any age would enjoy this one, there are no sex scenes, bad language or graphic violence.

Alinefromabook’s recommendation: Definitely a THUMBS-UP! Get a copy and cozy up to a good read.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Clandestine” by Stella Faulkes

Book Review: “Clandestine” by Stella Faulkes

Conspiracy theorists will love this book! There are lots of acronyms in play here and twists and turns galore. Basically, the story is about a plot within a U.S. organization, CLU, and the CIA, to bring down the Venezualan government. Koshka is the head of CLU and she assigns this mission to Andy, a seasoned professional at creating discord in a country’s population. Andy and his contact in Venezuala, Joyia, have to sneak into the country and set up a base of operations. Then they need to stir up the students and the working class citizens. What they don’t know is that someone has put a hit out on Andy and the assassin will stop at nothing to take him down.

What I really liked about the book was the diversity of the characters and the way that the author developed them. The complexity of the conspiracy was also intriguing.

Who would enjoy this book: conspiracy theorists, action enthusiasts

What age group is this for: adults, maybe mature teens due to some graphic violence

Alinefromabook recommendation: Neutral – It wasn’t exceptional but it was not bad either.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “In Search of Buddha’s Daughters” by Christine Toomey

Book Review: “In Search of Buddha’s Daughters” by Christine Toomey

This is a biographical book where the author travels across the globe interviewing Buddhist nuns. She has presented their stories here in a way that was absolutely delightful to read. Being a Westerner, raised in a conservative Christian community, the only exposure I’ve had to Buddhism was seeing them in the airports when I was a kid. I have, though, always had a curiosity about other religions and cultures, so this book seemed like a good way to learn a little bit about these women. I was not disappointed! Ms. Toomey traveled to Nepal, Burma, Japan, the West Coast, Britain and France to meet these women, some of them well-known for the lives they led before becoming nuns, others known only in their own communities. All of the stories were fascinating and along the way the reader gets an introduction to the Buddhist faith (turns out it is not a demonic cult as I was told). Even if you have no interest in being a Buddhist, there is much in these stories to admire and inspire you. These women are not weaklings locking themselves away in a convent, but vibrant personalities who, in some cases, have endured much hardship. Hats off to Ms. Toomey for this beautifully crafted book!

Who would enjoy this book? Those who like biographies, who have an interest in different lifestyles, cultures, or religions.

What age is this book appropriate for? Older teenagers on up. There is nothing really graphic, but there is a chapter where she discusses the sexual abuse scandals of recent years.

Rating: I give “In Search of Buddha’s Daughters” a THUMBS-UP. Definitely a good read.

This book is set to be released in March 2016. Thanks to NetGalley for making a preview copy available.

Happy Reading!

Professional Reader
Reviews Published

Book Review: “Finding the Way: From Prussia to a Prairie Homestead” by Alfred Wellnitz

Book Review: “Finding the Way: From Prussia to a Prairie Homestead” by Alfred Wellnitz

This is a powerful story of courage, perseverance, and good ole hard work. Karl is a young man, recently released from the Prussian army after fighting in the Franco-Prussian War. He has decided that he wants to follow some of his buddies and immigrate to America, where he can build a homestead and no longer be a peasant for a nobleman. With his family’s blessing he sets off on a journey he could never have imagined. He travels by ship to Baltimore where his money is stolen before he even gets through immigration. Karl meets up with Heinrich, another young Prussian who he met on the boat, and together they set off to make something of themselves. With a little help from fellow Germans they manage to find a place to live and jobs. After saving up some money they are ready to head west. They will make stops in Chicago, working at a meat-packing plant, and Deadwood, SD, running a saloon, before Karl can finally settle on his homestead.

The author obviously did a lot of research about life in 1800’s America, as the descriptions of the various places our heroes find themselves in put the reader right in there with them. The story is inspired by the experiences of the author’s family members when they immigrated, which also lends authenticity to the story. I found Karl’s story to be quite inspiring. Even though he has his money stolen, then gets conned out of more, he never lets his dream fade. He has to take on some pretty disgusting jobs in the process but continues to keep his “eye on the prize”. This would be a good book for history buffs and also for anyone he needs a little inspiration to keep going. I think it’s important to read this type of story so that we can be reminded of the kind of spirit that made this country so great in the first place. This book would also be appropriate for teenagers on up. I’m giving “Finding the Way” a definite thumbs-up.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Try Not to Breathe” by Holly Seddon

Book Review: “Try Not to Breathe” by Holly Seddon

Ingenious storyline! Everybody in this book is in the midst of a personal crisis, in fact, part of the mystery of the story is will they survive. But the larger question is, Who raped Amy and left her for dead? So what’s going on that makes this book great?

Amy is a 30 year-old woman who has been in a vegetative state since she was attacked 15 years earlier. She has been hospitalized and unable to communicate since the day she was found in a local park. She exists in a special ward of the hospital where she has a friend. Jacob comes to visit her almost daily. Jacob and Fiona have been married for a couple of years and are expecting their first child. Fiona doesn’t know about Amy but her presence in the relationship is causing a lot of friction between her and Jacob. Then one day, somebody new visits with Amy; her name is Alex. Alex is a journalist whose life is in the dumpster, she’s an alcoholic with liver disease, she had a miscarriage, lost her job and all her friends, and her husband left her for another woman. Alex is desperately trying to hang on to a shred of a career as a freelancer and she’s been assigned to write a story about the research going on in the hospital ward where Amy resides. With a little encouragement, Alex decides to do her own investigation into what happened to Amy. This decision will change lives. If you want to know more, you need to get a copy of the book.

One of my favorite things about this story was that the characters were so flawed. Alex has so many close calls that you wonder if she will even survive to tell the story she is unraveling. Jacob is at rock bottom in his marriage because he can’t seem to move past Amy. Fiona is caught in the middle without even knowing it because Jacob refuses to reveal his secrets. The author does a wonderful job of presenting the story from varying perspectives, with the narrative being told alternately by the different characters. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend that you get a copy when it is released early next year.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Twist” by Roni Teson

Book Review: “Twist” by Roni Teson

Sometimes I read a book and at the end I find myself envying the author’s imagination, because I have been so engrossed in the story they have created. This is one of those books.

The story opens with Luke meeting Beatrice for the first time. Beatrice has recently moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, and Luke’s father is Uncle George’s best friend. It’s love at first sight for our two teenagers, but after one spur of the moment afternoon together, circumstances will keep them apart for months.

Beatrice’s mother has died and her father is on the run from the FBI. Understandably, Beatrice is confused by the situation and no one will tell her what her father has done or when she will see him again. Suddenly, her father reappears and Luke ends up beaten nearly to death, while Beatrice is forced to return to Seattle. Will these two ever have a chance to be together again? Will Luke regain his memory? Will Beatrice ever learn the truth about herself and her father?

This book lives up to its name as the story twists and turns from beginning to end. I couldn’t help but root for Beatrice and Luke as these kids navigate the challenges thrown at them. The author’s style is very approachable and easy to read. While this book is about teenagers, and would be a great read for that age group, as an adult I enjoyed it tremendously. There was plenty of intrigue and the romance part was not overdone or frivolous. I particularly appreciated the author’s description of Luke’s recovery, which seemed very realistic and true to life. I am highly recommending this book and hope it will get the attention and readership it deserves.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Beneath the Bridge of Sighs” by Ursula Bartram

Book Review: “Beneath the Bridge of Sighs” by Ursula Bartram

A beautiful woman, a villa in Tuscany, and a handsome Italian, the perfect setting for a touching romance. Faith and Aidan have been together through law school and are settled in San Francisco with blossoming careers. For Faith, Aidan is the love of her life, but his behavior is starting to raise questions in her mind. When she finds out his ex-girlfriend is now working at his firm, she begins to think it is over. Then just as suddenly, she learns that she is heiress to a vineyard in Tuscany. She arrives there to find that the manager, Marco, is not only handsome but hauntingly familiar. In fact, everything about the vineyard seems familiar, even though she never even knew she had family in Italy.

This story will keep you guessing until the very end. Will Faith and Aidan get married? Will Marco stay on as manager? Will Faith ever unravel the mystery of her past? You’ll have to read the book to find the answers!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Dangerous Brains” by Erik Hamre

Book Review: “Dangerous Brains” by Erik Hamre

An incredibly gripping thriller! I read this book in record time because I just had to know how it was going to end.

Someone has created an artificial intelligence which is breaking through the firewalls of every electronic device on the planet. The U.S. government has in place a directive which says that if an intelligence breaks through the nuclear warhead control systems than a series of nuclear bombs attached to GPS satellites will be detonated in the atmosphere, creating an EMP wave which will knock out all electronics and send society backwards 200 years.

Kraut has assembled a team of experts to try and stop this new intelligence. As the clock ticks down to detonation of the bombs, will the team be able to find a way to destroy it? This story is full of twists and turns as the investigators undercover clues, hit dead ends, and continue to persist till the bitter end. One of the things that made the story so compelling is that it is set in 2015 and the technology portrayed is very realistic. The reader can easily imagine these events taking place in the not too distant future. This story is fun to read but also a wake-up call for Americans that technology may also have a very scary, dark side if not managed properly.

If you’re looking for a mystery, you will enjoy this book. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you will enjoy this book. I have previously read “Tuna Life” by the same author and I think this one surpasses it in its creativity. This is definitely a 5 star book.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: “Ten Days in a Mad-House” by Nellie Bly

Book Review: “Ten Days in a Mad-House” by Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was a female journalist in the late 1800’s. At the time, female journalists wrote about the home and society gatherings. Nellie set a new standard for investigative journalism, often writing about the plight of working women of her day. One of her assignments was to pretend to be insane and get herself committed to the Woman’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island in New York. She spent ten days locked away and the result was this book. In it she exposes the substandard conditions and brutal treatment of the women who were incarcerated there. Nellie’s book led to a grand jury investigation of the facility and the eventual improvement of conditions.

This book is a relatively short read and the edition I have included two articles at the end which she wrote about working conditions of women. Though the subject matter is very unpleasant, I nevertheless enjoyed the book. I found it shocking how easily the doctors she encountered wrote her off as insane. Our current mental health system is far from perfect, but in comparison to what she describes, has improved immensely. This would be a good choice for history or journalism buffs alike.

Happy Reading!

To view on Amazon click the image below: