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Monday, December 31, 2012

Balance 2012

During 2012 I read, watched and reviewed the following:

January
AudioBooks:
- "Home Front" by Kristin Hannah. Read my review.

Books:
- "Guardian of the Gate" by Michelle Zink. Read my review.
- "Not For Parents - New York" a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet. Read my review.
- "Not For Parents - Paris" a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet. Read my review.
- "God Gave Us Two" by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by Laura J.Bryant. Read my review.
- "The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge" by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker. Read my review.
- "Moments of Truth" by John MacArthur. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "Paula Deen Dinnerware, 58180 Tatnall Street, 4 Piece Porcelain Place Setting, Bluebell ". Read my review.

February
Books:
- "Touchstone" by Melanie Rawn. Read my review.
- "Cyberlife" by W.H.Buxton. Read my review.
- "The Fourth Fisherman" by Joe Kissack. Read my review.
- "The Cloudy Corners of Creation" by Mark Tate. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "Case Logic Sleeve for 9-10.1-Inch Tablet/iPad". Read my review.

March
Books:
- "Life Promises for Couples" by Gary Chapman. Read my review.
- "The Genesis Code" by Abraham Lopian and Julie A.Snyder. Read my review.
- "Farsighted" by Emlyn Chand. Read my review.
- "Animated Realism" by Judith Kriger. Read my review.
- "Puerto Rico" by Nate Cavalieri and Beth Kohn. Read my review.
- "iOS5 Programming" by Rob Napier and Mugunth Kumar. Read my review.

April
Books:
- "Pabby's Score" by James Ross. Read my review.
- "The Canker Death" by James Bottino. Read my review.
- "Amsterdam" - a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet - Karla Zimmerman and Sarah Chandler. Read my review.
- "God Gave Us Love" - by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by Laura J.Bryant. Read my review.
- "Greece Day By Day" - a travel Guide by Frommer's - Stephen Brewer and Tania Kollias. Read my review.

May

Books:
- "Into the Mist: Silver Hand" by Steve Finegan. Read my review.
- "A Heart Like His" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "Alaska" - a travel guide by Frommer's - by Kris Capps et al. Read my review.
- "Immortality" by Stephen Cave. Read my review.
- "The Last Refuge" by Ben Coes. Read my review.

Product:
- "3D Puzzle - Empire State Building, 216 pieces" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

June

Books:
- "Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus" by Joyce Magnin. Read my review.
- "The Truth About Grace" by John MacArthur. Read my review.
- "Seven Hours Omnibus" by Mike Dellosso et al. Read my review.
- "Spark (Sky Chasers)" by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Read my review.

Products:
- "Neuschwanstein Castle 2000 PiecePanorama XXL Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Evening in Rome 1000 Piece StarlineGlow-in-the-dark Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Underwater Paradise 9000 piece puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

July

Books:
- "Desires Revealed" by Rebeka Harrington. Read my review.
- "Eye of the Sword" by Karyn Henley. Read my review.
- "Greco's Game" by James Houston Turner. Read my review.

Products:
- "Cinque Terre, Italy 1500 Piece Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Harbor in Portofino, Italy 1000 Piece Puzzle" by ravensburger. Read my review.
- "HP59BL Pillows Stereo Ear Buds - Blue" by RCA. Read my review.
- "In Paris, 1500 Piece Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

August

Books:
- "Xcode 4 Unleashed" by Fritz Anderson. Read my review.
- "Crater" by Homer Hickam. Read my review.

Products:
- "Natural View Anti-Glare Screen Protector for the New iPad (3rd Generation) and the iPad 2 (NVAGiPad3RTL)" by 3M. Read my review.

September

Books:
- "Leading Through Hope" by Joseph Okpanachi and Bramwell Osula. Read my review.
- "Not Famous Anymore" by Michael Loyd Gray. Read my review.
- "Latitudes: A Story of Coming Home" by Anthony Caplan. Read my review.
- "Shades of Souls Passed" by Teresa Andrews. Read my review.

October

Books:
- "Remember Me" by Brian MacLearn. Read my review.
- "Falstaff's Big Gamble" by Hank Quense. Read my review.
- "Last Regress" by Rachael J.Thorne.Read my review.
- "The Prayer of Love" by Dr. Mark Hanby and Roger Roth, Sr. Read my review.
- "King Biscuit" by Michael Loyd Gray. Read my review.
- "Riverwalker" by Bud Bradshaw. Read my review.

Products:
- "Tower of Pisa - 1500 pieces puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Big Ben 216-piece 3D Building Set" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

November

Books:
- "Bedeviled" by Sable Grace. Read my review.
- "The Two Agreements" by S.L.Brannon. Read my review.
- "12.21" by Dustin Thomason. Read my review.
- "The Hidden Village" by Greg Krehbiel. Read my review.

Products:
- "Island of Hordaland, Norway 1500 Piece Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac" by Seagate. Read my review.
- "Tower Bridge 3D Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

December

Books:
- "The 13th Tribe" by Robert Liparulo. Read my review.
- "Midnight City" by J.Barton Mitchell. Read my review.
- "Belstarr The Lost Toymaker" by David Jack, Daniel Morrow and Stella Perrett (illustrator). Read my review.
- "The Munching Yak" by David Jacks, Daniel Morrow and Sushil Shrestha (illustrator). Read my review.

Products:
- "3-Feet MIXIT Flat and Tangle-Free Aux / Auxilary Cable (Green)" by Belkin. Read my review.
- "Table Lamp With Speaker For iPod, iPhone, and iPad (White)" by iHome. Read my review.

Balance of December

During the month of December, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "The 13th Tribe" by Robert Liparulo. Read my review.
- "Midnight City" by J.Barton Mitchell. Read my review.
- "Belstarr The Lost Toymaker" by David Jack, Daniel Morrow and Stella Perrett (illustrator). Read my review.
- "The Munching Yak" by David Jacks, Daniel Morrow and Sushil Shrestha (illustrator). Read my review.

Products:
- "3-Feet MIXIT Flat and Tangle-Free Aux / Auxilary Cable (Green)" by Belkin. Read my review.
- "Table Lamp With Speaker For iPod, iPhone, and iPad (White)" by iHome. Read my review.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Product "Table Lamp With Speaker For iPod, iPhone, and iPad (White)" by iHome

About the Product: Compliment any room with the iHLM130 table lamp. This iHome table lamp isn't your everyday table lamp. This is a perfect bedside night table lamp with a speaker. The lamp stands 16.5 Inches tall and has a 7.5 inch diameter fabric shade. It uses up to a 40 watt E26 medium base type A19 bulb or CFL equivalent. The lamp features a downward firing speaker system with a sound boost chamber. Not only can you play music from your iPhone, iPod and iPad, but with the auxiliary input you can plug in any audio device.

My Review: This is a beautiful table lamp that would stand on its own. But there are more into that than the eyes can see. Hidden beneath the lamp you have a decent speaker and a auxiliary cable that can connect any sound equipment into this speaker. I tested with an iPhone and sound quality is good. It will not produce the best sound ever, but you will be able to listening to your musics while reading or relaxing at night.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment! 

Book "The Munching Yak" by David Jacks, Daniel Morrow and Sushil Shrestha (illustrator)

About the Book: Munch Crunch! It's the Munching Yak.“That’s my answer,” said garbage man Ted. “I’m running out of space at the village dump. That Munching Yak would be the ideal answer!”

About the Authors: Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Wolf-Hawk Writing. With a partnership stretching back nearly 10 years, Wolf-Hawk Writing are the 'New Kids On The Block' in comparison with the bigger publishing companies. They offer a wide variety of books, ranging from picture books, rhyming stories and YA novels. Their books are available in both Paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Their mission is simple, to encourage reading, to engage readers, and to write unique, fun and enjoyable stories. If one child says 'I love Wolf-Hawk Writing' then they have achieved their goal.
David Jacks & Daniel Morrow Wolf-Hawk Writing
'If We Write It They Will Come.'
Read more on www.wolfhawkwriting.com

My Review: I've read other children book from those authors that I enjoyed more. This one in particular is too short (7 pages). Even for a 5 years old is not long enough. When they start paying attention the book is over. These authors have other excellent books, like Belstarr The Lost Toymaker and others. The illustration though is good.

This book was written by David Jack and Daniel Morrow and illustrated by Sushil Shrestha and published by Wolf-Hawk Writing on Feb 2012.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book "Belstarr The Lost Toymaker" by David Jack, Daniel Morrow and Stella Perrett (illustrator)

About the Book: A rhyming Christmas story about a lost toymaker called 'Belstarr' who holds the key to Christmas in her heart. Will she find 'belief' before Drake Hausen takes over Christmas forever? A magical sleigh ride for all Christmas believers. Ideal for reading on Christmas Eve to start the festive season.

About the Authors: Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Wolf-Hawk Writing. With a partnership stretching back nearly 10 years, Wolf-Hawk Writing are the 'New Kids On The Block' in comparison with the bigger publishing companies.
They offer a wide variety of books, ranging from picture books, rhyming stories and YA novels. Their books are available in both Paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.Com and Amazon.Co.Uk.
Their mission is simple, to encourage reading, to engage readers, and to write unique, fun and enjoyable stories. If one child says 'I love Wolf-Hawk Writing' then they have achieved their goal.
David Jacks & Daniel Morrow Wolf-Hawk Writing
'If We Write It They Will Come.'
Read more on www.wolfhawkwriting.com

My Review: Well written and beautifully illustrated, this book is a must have on the permanent library of any child who enjoys Christmas magic. It has the right size to be read before sending the child to bed. It will keep their attention to the end. It should take no more than 30 minutes to read to whole book. Plot is simple: Father Weisberg has a toy workshop and produces toys to Santa Claus. He has four children: Chiska, Duchy, Alvaro and Belstarr. He receives the award of the best toymaker of all. During celebration, Belstarr goes missing. She was kidnapped by Drake Hausen and taken to the South Pole. He wanted to take-over Christmas and hoped that Belstarr would help him making his toys best by far. And the story develops more till the rescue of Belstarr. Everything written  in rhymes. Brilliantly executed!
This book was written by David Jack and Daniel Morrow and illustrated by Stella Perrett and published by Wolf-Hawk Writing on Feb 2012.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Book "Midnight City" by J.Barton Mitchell

About the Book: Lord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds in J. Barton Mitchell's alien-invaded post-apocalyptic world where two teens and a young girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens' mysterious plan. Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children. Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It's not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn't something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey. As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all. Midnight City is the breathtaking first book of the Conquered Earth series.

About the Author: J. Barton Mitchell is a writer and creator of speculative fiction, as well as a photographer, traveler, reader, and occasional masked crime fighter. He is the author of the young adult science fiction series Conquered Earth.

My Review: This is a very well written book, with an intense story on loyalty, friendship, love and survival. The plot is quite simple and will keep you hooked from the first page to the end. Our hero is called Holt. He is a bounty hunter that has as his companion his dog named Max, and the currently highest prize is Mira Toombs, a treasurer seeker and freebooter. Earth was conquered eight years before by aliens and their domination is based on the transmission of a signal  that they broadcast all over called Tone, and make all humans on early twenties and over to be submissive to their call to unconditional servitude. But there are a few that are immune to the Tone, like Holt. Mira is almost succumbing to the signal, having just some more months before turning herself to the aliens. Holt captures Mira, and a strong connection between them develops almost instantly, but he fights hard not to fall for her. After capturing her, an alien ship crashes near them and when investigating it, Holt finds its only survivor, an eight years old young lady that can only remember her name, Zoye. But soon they learn that the whole alien force is seeking Zoey and they figure out that she must be very special to draw all that attention. The story develops in a very intense thriller and the end is very unpredictable and leaves that feeling that we want more and very soon! This might turn out to be a very interesting Hollywood movie. It has all ingredients for an instant success blockbuster!

I recommend this book to the permanent library of all science-fiction lovers that wants to be entertained with a thriller story that will hook you from the beginning and you will read it on the edge of your chair. It took me around 13 hours to read the whole book. This book was written by J.Barton Mitchell and it was published by St. Martin's Griffin on October of 2012. Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

 If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book "The 13th Tribe" by Robert Liparulo

About the Book: When a group of immortal vigilantes threatens millions, only one man is brave enough to stand in their way. Their story didn't start this year…or even this millennium. It began when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Tired of waiting on the One True God, the twelve tribes of Israel began worshiping a golden calf through pagan revelry. Many received immediate death for their idolatry, but 40 were handed a far worse punishment—endless life on earth with no chance to see the face of God. This group of immortals became the 13th Tribe, and they've been trying to earn their way into heaven ever since—by killing sinners. Though their logic is twisted, their brilliance is undeniable. Their wrath is unstoppable. And the technology they possess is beyond anything mere humans have ever seen. Jagger Baird knows nothing about the Tribe when he’s hired as head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. The former Army Ranger is still reeling from an accident that claimed the life of his best friend, his arm, and his faith in God. The Tribe is poised to execute their most ambitious attack ever and the lives of millions hang in the balance. When Jagger’s wife and son are caught in the crossfire, he’ll stop at nothing to save them. But how can one man stand against an entire tribe of immortals?

About the Author: "I've been writing since before I could drive. Short stories, investigative exposes, celebrity profiles, editorials, business columns, radio dramas, screenplays--you name it. For the last few years, I've focused on novels. I'm the author of the thrillers "Comes a Horseman," "Germ," "Deadfall," "Deadlock," "The 13th Tribe," and the young adult series Dreamhouse Kings--"House of Dark Shadows," "Watcher in the Woods," "Gatekeepers," "Timescape," "Whirlwind," and "Frenzy." Several of my books have been sold or optioned by Hollywood producers. All of them are in various stages of production. I'm also working on an original screenplay with Andrew Davis (director of "The Fugitive" and "The Guardian). I wrote the screenplay for Ted Dekker's "Blessed Child." My short story "Kill Zone" appears in the James Patterson-edited anthology "Thriller," and my essay on Thomas Perry's "The Butcher's Boy" can be found in the anthology "Thriller: 100 Must Reads." Check out my websites at www.robertliparulo.com and www.dreamhousekings.com. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/LiparuloFans. Hope you enjoy my stories!" by Robert Liparulo

My Review: This is a well written book, with an amazing and simple plot. A group of people is condemned to eternal life on earth. As they cannot die, they cannot face God ever. This is their punishment for worshiping a golden calf when Moses was up on the Sinai mountain receiving God's tablets with the ten commandments. They are known as the 13th tribe. In order to try to get rid of this punishment and fall in the grace of God again, this group start killing sinners. Their actions are all over history, but they always go anonymously. They are brilliant and their plans are executed to perfection, as they had 3500 years of training. Our hero Jagger is the head of security of an archaeological digging site on Mount Sinai. He lost his arm and his best friend in an accident. He also lost his faith in God. The story develops as a thriller and Jagger is caught with his family in the middle of one of the tribe's mission. In order to rescue his wife he has to face and defeat the tribe. There are a lot of twists in the story and there is no way you can foresee the end. Brilliantly written, this book is a great entertainment for hours. It is destined to be as successful as any one of the Dan Brown's best sellers.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of all book lovers that wants to be entertained with a thriller story that will hook you from the beginning and you will read it on the edge of your chair. It took me around 12 hours to read the whole book. This book was written by Robert Liparulo and it was published by Thomas Nelson on April of 2012. Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

 If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Product "3-Feet MIXIT Flat and Tangle-Free Aux / Auxilary Cable (Green)" by Belkin

About the Product: 3.5mm plug on each end; Chrome-finished plugs and nickel-plated contacts; Flat design prevents tangles; 3-Feet (0.9m)

My review: This is a very nice and well finished cable produced by Belkin in a nice tone of green, that makes it easier for you to find the cable anywhere. It is replacing my old 1-Foot black cable I used to connect my iPod Touch to the sound system of my car. Now my daughters are happy because they can plug their iPods and control what they hear from the back of the car (old cable was too short for that).

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Balance of November


During the month of November, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Bedeviled" by Sable Grace. Read my review.
- "The Two Agreements" by S.L.Brannon. Read my review.
- "12.21" by Dustin Thomason. Read my review.
- "The Hidden Village" by Greg Krehbiel. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "Island of Hordaland, Norway 1500 Piece Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac" by Seagate. Read my review.
- "Tower Bridge 3D Puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book "The Hidden Village" by Greg Krehbiel

About the Book: Geof Franklin gets the late-night phone call every parent dreads and discovers that his son has been missing for weeks. As he relentlessly searches for his only son, he gets pulled into the orbit of a cult-like sub-culture of clans that live by their own rules and think nothing of killing anyone who stands in their way. To have any hope of reaching his son he has to keep digging, but he's digging himself into more and more trouble -- with the mysterious clans, and with the law.
This exciting sci-fi adventure story is set in and around Washington, D.C.

About the Author: Greg Krehbiel is a happily married father of five wonderful children. He's enjoying a successful career in professional publishing that has included lengthy gigs in editorial, product development, IT and tech development, marketing, and audio and web conferencing. He earned a bachelor's degree in Geology and studied theology as preparation for ministry -- then thought better of it. He's a home brewer (beer, wine and mead), an occasional jogger, an avid writer, and enjoys camping and fishing. He lives in Laurel, Maryland.

My Review: This is quite a creative book, where the author develops a whole new world of games and fighting clans that take place inside our own regular world(more specifically, around Washington, D.C.). It is very well written and easy to read, goes smoothly in one single seat and grabs your attention from the beginning.
Plot is simple: a father receives a phone call and discovers that his son is missing for weeks. While searching for his son, he finds a scaring new world and the more he digs into it, the more dangerous it becomes, both in his real and fictional worlds. I found the end surprising and we just stay wondering if something like the described situation cannot be real... Will there be a sequel?
This is an excellent entertainment reading that I recommend to the permanent library of any science-fiction lover. It took me around 3 hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Greg Krehbiel and published by Crowhill Publishing in October 2012.

If you read this review, please feel free to leave a message!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Product "Tower Bridge 3D puzzle" by Ravensburger

About the Product: Individually shaped plastic pieces fit together perfectly thanks to Ravensburger's Easy Click Technology. The pieces are numbered on the back so you can puzzle by the number or image - your pick. Set comes with base stand and extra plastic pieces to replicate the famous 3D puzzle structure. Sturdy - no glue required.
The distinctive bridge, recognized the world over for its twin towers, was built in the Victorian Gothic style, and designed to be in harmony with nearby Tower of London. The Tower Bridge lets puzzlers immerse themselves in the history of the structure and its many attributes as well as its status in the Londong cityscape. The finished puzzle stands 46.2" long and 16" tall and is a display-worthy historical replica and conversation starter for multiple generations to enjoy. It promotes communication and cooperation while it hones fine motor and construction skills.

My Review: I am a puzzle maniac, having assembled jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 9000 pieces (a 13200 pieces is in the queue). Some of them were 3D puzzles, like the Taj Mahal, US Capitol, Neuschwanstein Castle, Empire State Building, Big Ben, etc. This Tower Bridge does not disappoint at all. Very high quality product from Ravensburger (as usual), all the pieces have an excellent finishing and they stick together very well. No glue is necessary. The final assembly resembles a lot the real building, is very stable, and it is a nice decoration you can have for a while in your home. It is just a shame that this is only a 216-pieces puzzle...(and I do not particularly like the fact that the pieces are numbered... seems like cheating). You can assemble the whole puzzle in less than 2 hours.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book "12.21" by Dustin Thomason

About the Book: For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end. In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands. By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors. This extraordinary record, written in secret by a royal scribe, seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our own civilization might suffer this same fate. With only days remaining until December 21, 2012, Stanton and Chel must join forces before time runs out.

About the Author: Dustin Thomason is an American writer and producer. He is the co-author of the 2004 novel The Rule of Four , and the author of "12.21". Dustin also co-created the 2006 ABC drama The Evidence and has executive produced numerous television series, including Fox's Lie to Me. The Rule of Four reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, where it remained for more than six months. The book was a number-one national and international bestseller and has been translated into more than 25 languages. It has sold more than four million copies worldwide, and was the best selling debut novel of the decade. Dustin's second novel, "12.21" was published in more than twenty languages in August, 2012 and was also a New York Times and International bestseller. Dustin attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, then went on to study anthropology at Harvard University and received his MD and his MBA from Columbia University. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

My Review: This is a very well written piece of fiction. Very dense, this novel brings all the elements to make this book an instant success. A thriller that goes from Los Angeles to the jungles in Guatemala in 10 days. The plot is simple and interesting. Doctor Gabriel Stanton is a specialist in prion diseases and Chel Manu is a star in the field of Maya studies. Dr. Stanton receives a call from a resident in a hospital saying that they have a patient that he needs to see. Problem is that the patient only speaks a language they figure out to be a Mayan dialect, and Chel , as a Guatemalan American and Maya specialist, is called to be the interpreter. She is a researcher at the Getty Museum and she receives an artifact in a bag from a black market agent, that happen to be a book with the story of her ancestors written by a royal scribe. That story ended up being the key to solve the variation of the prion epidemic that start to happen initially in LA, but then starts spreading fast all over the USA.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all book lovers that wants to be entertained with a story that will hook you from the beginning and you will read it on the edge of your chair. It took me around 12 hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Dustin Thomason and it was published by  The Dial Press on August of 2012. Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Product "Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac" by Seagate

About the Product: The Seagate Backup Plus for Mac portable drive simplifies backup for consumers who want to protect their entire digital life locally or on social networks. The drive is formatted for Mac out of the box, making it compatible with Time Machine software to provide the simplest and most efficient way to back up locally. With the Save feature, user-generated content can be backed up from your favorite social networks. Many people now use their smartphones to capture priceless moments. While these devices are handy and readily available, storage is not their strong suit. Capture a memory, post it on a social networking site and let the Seagate Dashboard automatically back up any content posted. Even if the file gets accidentally deleted from the device, another copy can be waiting. The Share feature allows multiple files to be uploaded to social networks at once from your computer. Simply select files to upload, choose where to post them and even add comments. Managing your social profile has never been easier. Install the downloadable HFS+ driver for PC, and use the drive interchangeably between Mac computers and PCs, without reformatting. Take advantage of the Seagate Backup Plus design and upgrade from the included USB 3.0 interface to Thunderbolt technology or FireWire 800 with the additional adapter. System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher or Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit) operating system (HFS+ driver for PC operability available by download; compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system.) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (required for USB 3.0 transfer speeds or backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports at USB 2.0 transfer speeds; varies depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system.) Inside the Box: Seagate Backup Plus drive, Seagate Dashboard pre-loaded on drive, USB 2.0 interface adapter, 18-Inch USB 3.0 cable, Quick start guide, 2-year limited warranty.

My review: This is a nice piece of equipment. Very elegant design, very simple to use. It was completely plug&play. I am using it as a Time Machine for my daughter's iBookPro and as soon as I connected it to the laptop, it identified and asked if I wanted to use it as a Time Machine. When I answered yes, it immediately start doing the full backup of her hard disk. 41Gb of data were backed up in less than 30 minutes and now all her music and photos are safe, just in case something goes wrong. I am very pleased with the product and my daughter is also happy, as the disk has a nice visual aspect and did not pollute her desk...


Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book "The Two Agreements" by S.L.Brannon

About the Book: If you are satisfied with your religious life as it is, you do not need to read this book, which challenges the largest global religious population to re-think its “saint and sinner” doctrine and embrace inclusion of all humanity regardless of race, gender, religion, past “sins,” or other barriers. It will compel you to examine the contents of the religious box into which you’ve been trying to fit all the pieces of your life, and question the leaders who have long enjoyed being on a pedestal and worshipped by followers. If you’ve been led to this book, you have probably realized that you have accepted religion’s programmed answers as truth without ever inquiring of the Spirit to find validity of such ideas. Perhaps accepting your forefathers’ beliefs as your own caused you to feel that your true self was a captive within your physical body as you tried to do good and become more like God. Would you like to stop this internal battle and move toward peace? Are you ready for a life-changing journey with the Holy Spirit that will convert your view of God, yourself, and your religion? The Holy Spirit (NOT the church) is the one Jesus identified as our Healer, Counselor, Comforter, and Teacher of all things. Why not use this connection to live your spiritual life in the happiest and most fulfilling way? Many Christians are confused when they compare Jesus’ once-for-all redemption message with the Church-dictated rules that are supposed to bring right standing with an angry, judging, and blood-thirsty God. Without allegiance to any man, institution, religion, or ideology, The Two Agreements is the retelling of the greatest story ever told. This reinterpretation of the gospel, coupled with the Emergent Conversation and quantum science, is causing those who love Jesus, the Bible, and the Christian faith-community to rethink their position. It shines a light on the perfect relationship you now hold with the Divine and teaches you how to live free and secure in your spiritual life in an eternal connection to our Life Source. As you gain awareness of your true salvation, you will experience a peace that is beyond understanding.
 
About the Author: Retired from the military and living the life of a mystic, author S. L. Brannon (Steve) enjoys sharing the reinterpretation of the Bible with anyone who crosses his path. He was first licensed as a minister in 1970 by the United Pentecostal Church; four years later by the American Ministerial Association. He received his ordination in the Esoteric Interfaith Church in 2005. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1979, he went on to obtain his Master’s Degree in Education. Later, he completed two years of coursework in the Doctorate of Philosophy Counseling Psychology program at Oklahoma State University and completed the coursework for the Doctor of Education program at Vanderbilt University. He holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the University of Esoterica, exclusively for use in the corrections system and with ex-offenders. Currently, Steve is an interfaith spiritual minister who offers counseling, teaching, and inspirational materials to offenders. He also assists ex-offenders in securing admission into local support groups, mental health services, and temporary employment. His not-for-profit (501 (c) 3) organization allows him to minister through two inspirational support groups for individuals suffering depression and other mood disorders, and their friends and family.
 
My review: This is an intriguing book, well written by the author, but with wild ideas that might shake your faith. I believe that this is exactly the intention of the author. He claims he was giving a reinterpretation of the Gospel that was revealed to him. As a student of the Scriptures (I have a bachelor degree in Theology), I always learnt that the interpretation of the Scriptures is a difficult subject because of the many metaphors used in the text of the Bible. In many points the author is trying to take what it is written in the literal way, and that might not necessarily be the right way. Don't take me wrong, but I am hard to be convinced of new ideas just because they are well described, if there is no biblical support. Remember how many people read the "DaVinci Code" and thought that everything in that book was true, just because the author was providing references supporting his views. They just forgot that the references provided were apocrypha.
When studying the Scriptures we learn both on Exegesis and Hermeneutics that we can never ever ever ever take a verse out of its context, for not incurring the risk of having even the Holocaust justified by some sentence in the middle of the Scripture text. And that is exactly how the author base his conclusions. He explicitly says that "When His words are separated from the context of the narrative they are even more powerful to read and contemplate. Devoid of narrative context, the sayings come straight at us like so many bullets, piercing all our armor and destroying all our carefully thought-out prior convictions"... This is what I would call swimming on dangerous waters. He also goes beyond, saying that "the Gospel (ironically called the "Good News" story even though it represents damnation)"...I believe he skip the part of the Scriptures where it is said that although we are sinners by nature, if we believe in Jesus we can have hope of eternal life on His presence. And one last remark (I could give dozens more), he says that "God and creation are one and the same"... In my humble understanding, we were created in God's image, but thinking that we are God is exactly what caused Lucifer, the angel of light, to go to hell...
I am not here to judge the author and tell that what he is saying is true or lie. Who am I to do that? I think this was an excellent book that triggered on me the desire to study more and try to understand better the Scriptures.
This book was written by S.L.Brannon and it was published in October of 2011. The author was kind enough to send me this book for reviewing and I was not requested to provided a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Product "Island in Hordaland, Norway 1500 Piece Puzzle" by Ravensburger

About the Product:

  • Puzzle measures 33" x 23.5" 
  • Puzzles are fun - on your own, or with family and friends 
  • Relax from your busy life and build a beautiful image and a new memory


My Review: I loved the picture selection. Although I have never been there, I wish I could visit this Island some day!
I am a puzzle maniac, having assembled jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 9000 pieces (a 13200 pieces is in the queue and I am really going to the 18,000 and 32,000 pieces from Ravensburger in the future...). This one in particular is a very high quality product from Ravensburger (as usual), all the pieces have an excellent finishing and they stick together very well.
The blue of the water and the blue of the sky have some similar grades, making the puzzle more challenging. Similar situation with the greens on the main land and on the island. Overall, a very pleasant entertainment.
I usually assemble this size of puzzles on Foam Boards. They are very light and conveniently cheap. The foam board being 3/16'' (5mm) gives your puzzle enough support. I usually cut the board (easily done with a cutter) after glueing the puzzle, leaving a border of 1'' at each side, so I can pin the board in my garage (that, at this point, is full of puzzles...).
What help me a lot is that my wife and daughters also like the challenge, so we move fast. A 1,000 piece puzzle do not last a weekend, although the 8,000 piece one took us 2 months (most 2 to 3 hours at night work) to put together. It took as 10 days to put this one together. I highly recommend Ravensburger products for the excellent quality to everyone that enjoys challenges alone or with the whole family. It is a guaranteed entertainment for hours, listening to music or talking in family environment.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book "Bedeviled" by Sable Grace

About the Book: She has done the unthinkable—turned her best friend into a dark breed: part Vampyre, Lychen and Witch . . . Kyana thought only to save her friend’s life when she fed Haven her blood; instead, she created a monster. Now the woman she thought of as a sister is under the spell of an ancient, vengeful god, determined to set him free and wreak havoc on the mortal world . . . and only Kyana can stop her. But time is running out. In just seven days, Kyana’s Vampyre and Lychen abilities will be gone and she’ll be completely transformed into the Goddess of the Hunt—and her blood ties to Haven will be severed. By her side is Ryker—ally, demigod, lover— who will sacrifice everything to keep Kyana safe . . . even the attraction that burns between them. Together they have one chance to save Haven from herself . . . to save humanity from hell on earth.

About the Author: Sable Grace is the writing team of Heather Waters and Laura Barone, long time critique partners and friends who came together by fluke to discover their voices fit together quite nicely during an experiment of "I'll write the first sentence, you write the next." It was meant to be nothing more than a warm up exercise for each of them to get started on their own projects, but soon, the story became far more interesting than what they were supposed to be working on and Sable Grace was born. Both Heather and Laura reside in Florida, are happily married, and are, well, complete opposites. (Think the Odd Couple on crack here.) Still, there's enough common ground for them to weave their words together in the voice of Sable Grace. Heather also writes medieval romances under her real name, which you can find at www.heatherwaters.net, and Laura is a Golden Heart finalist for her highly sensual manuscript, Mr. Right Now. You can reach them both at sablegrace@ymail.com

My Review: This is quite an intense story, full of heroes, fights, friendship loyalty and love. The plot is simple and very well written. A young lady (Kyana), chosen to be the replacement of Artemis, Goddess of Hunt, turns her best friend (Haven) into a Vampyre by sharing her blood with her. That was a desperate solution, as Haven was dying. But that action happens to trigger a consequence greater than she could imagine. Her best friend is possessed by the spirit of Cronos, a vengeful God that is dead, and wants to raise again in his own body and uses Haven as a way of making that possible and Kyana is the only one who can stop that from happening. For that, she can count on the help of some good friends and some unexpected helpers. Ryker is a demigod, son of Ares, the God of War, that is in love with Kyana, but she is afraid of this relationship. He is assigned to protect her and, in case she fails, to kill Haven in order to prevent Cronos from raising from death. But he knows that if he kills Haven, he will lose Kyana's love forever. Geoffrey is another friend, the replacement for Hades, that loves Haven, and is troubled by the development of the situation. Silas is a Witch and ex-lover from Kyana. All those characters are created with full and rich personalities and the plot catch you from the beginning. Beautiful drama, I recommend this book to any reader that loves a well written story, full of twists and with a loot of Greek Mythology. Excellent entertainment, it took me about 13 hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Heather Waters and Laura Barone and it was published by Avon on December of 2011. Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Balance of October

During the month of October, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Remember Me" by Brian MacLearn. Read my review.
- "Falstaff's Big Gamble" by Hank Quense. Read my review.
- "Last Regress" by Rachael J.Thorne.Read my review.
- "The Prayer of Love" by Dr. Mark Hanby and Roger Roth, Sr. Read my review.
- "King Biscuit" by Michael Loyd Gray. Read my review.
- "Riverwalker" by Bud Bradshaw. Read my review.

Other Product:
- "Tower of Pisa - 1500 pieces puzzle" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
- "Big Ben 216-piece 3D Building Set" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

Book "Riverwalker" by Bud Bradshaw

About the Book: RIVERWALKER features the character debut of San Antonio Police Department veteran detective Gifford Holloway, a former Special Agent with Army Intelligence. Holloway is in pursuit of the most despicable of criminals, a savage murderer who victimizes children and dumps their remains in the water and along the banks of San Antonio’s beautiful and world-renowned River Walk attraction. Frustrated at the lack of progress on the case and spurred on by an encounter with the mysterious Madame Candelaria, a local psychic, Holloway contemplates calling upon his special gift of “seeing”, though officially off-limits within the SAPD, to help solve the case and bring an end to the terror. Along the way, Holloway finds an ally in newspaper reporter, Salma Veramendi, who carries her own history of abuse. On the bend of the river looms Adler’s Antiques, a historical landmark owned and operated by Karl Wolff Adler, a drug-pumping psychopath descended from a familial series of predators dating back to 19th century Germany. Himself a victim of horrendous child abuse, Adler is the son of a Nazi father and the stepson of a Mexican bruja, a witch, who practiced the “old” religion. Operating from deep within his secret lair beneath San Antonio’s most recognizable and sacred shrine, Adler assumes the guise of Tlaloc, Aztec god of storm, thunder, and --- child sacrifice. Adler’s demonic reign of terror, acting upon a distorted internal belief system --- a synthesis of Norse mythology and ancient Aztec practices –- has a stranglehold on the residents of San Antonio. Adler has become the Riverwalker. When his own daughter is suddenly abducted, Holloway pulls out all the stops and, with Salma by his side, closes in on the killer in a gripping climax.

About the Author: Bud Bradshaw's thriller/paranormal novel, "Riverwalker," is his second work, the first being "Brandishing," the true-crime account of the California Highway Patrol's worst tragedy and its aftermath. Bradshaw's formal writing experience began with the U.S. Army, writing intelligence reports while serving as a Special Agent with the 109th M.I. Group in Baltimore from 1969-71, and later continuing with med-legal report writing as a Qualified Medical Evaluator and Disability Evaluator. Along the way, he also worked for several years as a professional musician while earning his B.S. and D.C. degrees. As an artist, Bradshaw's work focuses on military history and the American West, with many of his paintings, prints, and giclees appearing in private collections and museums throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. You may view his website and blog at budbradshaw.com/blog, or contact him via Facebook or Twitter @budbradshaw1.

My Review: This is a very interesting book that will captivate your full attention from the beginning and you will finish reading it at the edge of your chair and will not notice that the time passed at all.
The author did a magnificent job on the construction of the characters. They are rich in personality and the whole ambient is very well described, making us feel as part of the story, living the actions and cheering for the success of our detective.
The plot is simple to follow: an old San Antonio Police Department detective (Gifford Holloway) goes after a serial killer and in the hunt for the man he crosses his path with some different characters, each one bringing his/her own story to enrich the plot. From the gorgeous newspaper report Salma Veramendi  to the strange paranormal Madame Candelaria, all characters will leave a strong impression on the reader. And Karl Adler, with all his "inheritance" from a troubled family is the cherry on top of the cake. Excellent entertainment, thinks get only better towards the end, when Holloway's daughter is abducted.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who loves a very well written thriller/paranormal/mystery story. It took me around 9 hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Bud Bradshaw and I received a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing in electronic format. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book "King Biscuit" by Michael Loyd Gray

About the Book: In King Biscuit, Michael Loyd Gray returns once again to his fictional burg of tiny Argus, Illinois, (the setting of his novels Well Deserved and Not Famous Anymore), to tell a coming of age story set in 1966. With the Vietnam War hovering in the background. Seventeen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener, frustrated by the narrow confines of Argus, seeks adventure and a look at the wider world in a novel that puts him on a collision course with the famous as well as infamous.

About the Author: Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned a MFA in English from Western Michigan University and taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.
He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray's novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was published by HenschelHaus (2012). His novel December's Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was published by Tempest Books( 2012) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another novel called Blue Sparta. Recently he finished a novel titled Fast Eddie. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry.

My Review: This is the second book I read from this author (I also read "Not Famous Anymore"), so I was not surprised by its quality, as I know that he can deliver excellent stories.
The plot is simple to follow. Billy is a young boy (seventeen years old) who thinks that life is more than just working on his father business. He dreams of going beyond Argus, to California and become a surfer.
The story is full of rich characters. How he turned a hero, his friends, his encounter with the president of the United States and many other situations are well described in a very colloquial way.
This is a great read. I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who appreciates a good fiction novel and wants to be entertained for some hours. It took me about 7 hours to read the whole book.
This book was written by Michael Loyd Gray and published by Tempest Books in July 2012. I received an electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.
If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Product "Big Ben 216-piece 3D Building Set" by Ravensburger

About the Product: Think of London - Think of Big Ben! Widely accepted as London's most popular landmark, this four-faced chiming clock has captured the imagination of visitors from around the world. Since its completion in 1858 people have come to marvel and admire the brickwork, sand coloured limestone cladding and cast iron spire. Designed by Augustus Pugin, the Westminster clock tower stands 316 foot tall. Now you can own your very own Big Ben, to puzzle and display for all to admire. Ravensburger - manufacturer of the original puzzleball - have taken puzzling one step further and created this impressive 3D puzzle, shaped like Big Ben. Using high-quality plastic, each puzzle piece is cut with laser perfection. The unique and flexible hinged pieces create a smooth edge, and add another puzzling dimension. Consisting of 216 puzzle pieces, each is numbered on the back to help you complete the puzzle, and requires no glue to hold together. Measuring an impressive 5.5 x 5.5 x 39cm when complete, this is the perfect puzzle to display for all to admire. Sitting at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third largest freestanding clock tower in the world. Whether you buy this 3D puzzle as a gift for a loved one, or as a reminder of a short break in London, this Ravensburger 3D Big Ben puzzle is sure to bring many happy hours of puzzling.

My Review: I am a puzzle maniac, having assembled jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 9000 pieces (a 13200 pieces is in the queue). Some of them were 3D puzzles, like the Taj Mahal, US Capitol, Neuschwanstein Castle, Empire State Building, etc. This Big Ben does not disappoint at all. Very high quality product from Ravensburger (as usual), all the pieces have an excellent finishing and they stick together very well. No glue is necessary. The final assembly resembles a lot the real building, is very stable, and it is a nice decoration you can have for a while in your home. It is just a shame that this is only a 216-pieces puzzle...(and I do not particularly like the fact that the pieces are numbered... seems like cheating). You can assemble the whole puzzle in less than 2 hours.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book "The Prayer of Love" by Dr. Mark Hanby and Roger Roth, Sr.

About the Book (from the authors): The Prayer of Love is about a little-known prayer that has the power to bring forth life transformation. Written in the pages of this book is an astounding little prayer that can dramatically change your life. Its words do not merely offer knowledge but, more important, are expressions of truths that have the ability to bring complete and lasting spiritual transformation. Many people today will never reach their full potential or become the person they sense is hidden inside, good people who desire to grow in love beyond their frustrations and weaknesses. They long for purpose, meaning, and fulfillment — to live a life of love — but have difficulty in finding it. I know how they feel. Through much adversity and with the help of God, this is what I’ve found. For all my struggle and disappointment, the answers to life’s most difficult situations are usually simple. In fact, God is a God of simplicity. *** We are often the ones who make life difficult for ourselves. In fact, the answers to life’s most difficult problems are usually simple. Jesus summed up the secret to life in a very uncomplicated, profound statement: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that doing this fulfills all of God’s requirements of us. That’s where “The Prayer of Love” comes in. Whether you know how to love or you feel that love has eluded you, this prayer will change your life. This is because love is not meant to be an occasional feeling but a daily experience that continually brings peace and joy. “The Prayer of Love” is a little-known yet powerful prayer that the Apostle Paul prayed over the church he founded in Philippi in what is now Greece. The Prayer of Love follows the outline of this fifty-nine-word prayer and is broken down into seven parts that form benchmarks for understanding and maturing in love. The Prayer of Love is a small book with a simple prayer and a memorable, easy-to-follow method for developing the capacity to allow peace and love to rule in our lives every day.

About the Authors:
Dr. Mark Hanby accepted the pastorate of a small church in Fort Worth, Texas, after being a guest speaker for several years. Under his direction, the church later grew to become Truth Church, which was one of the first megachurches in the nation and the largest of its denomination. Internationally known as a dynamic speaker of church government and spiritual order, Dr. Hanby is a prolific author and widely esteemed as an apostolic father to the church at large. He has personally ministered in more than seventy countries, giving oversight and support to leadership in the body of Christ.
Roger Roth, Sr., has partnered with Dr. Hanby in his ministry and writing for many years. Together they oversee Mark Hanby Ministries/Fathers Heart Ministries, an internationally recognized teaching and resource center.


My Review: This is a masterpiece on the interpretation and application of Philippians 1:9-11 of the letter of the Apostle Paul  to the Philippians. In a very simple and straight forward way and full of every day's life examples of situations lived by the authors, they go directly to the meaning of the message and how to achieve this love. And with love comes peace and happiness. The book is divided into Chapters, each one contemplating one small piece of the prayer.

Although small in size, this book is big in spirituality and it is a powerful tool to sharpen your Christianity love to others and to yourself. It took me around 8 hours to read the whole book.

I recommend this book to the permanent library of all Christians how are seeking an improvement in his/her love, so they can reflect better the character of Christ.

This book was written by Dr. Mark Hanby and Roger Roth, Sr. and published by Howard Books in September of 2012. I received a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.
If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book "Last Regress" by Rachael J.Thorne

About the Book: Alyssa Matthews thought she had an explanation for everything. After all, as a slightly sceptical paranormal investigator that was what she was used to doing; researching, observing and explaining. So when she began writing a paper about a long forgotten case of death by Spontaneous Human Combustion, she assumed it would be a run-of-the-mill piece. Little did she realise that she was about to be plunged into a situation that would not only force her to question her own sanity, but also her scepticism about the nature of the paranormal. Not to mention the dreams that just wouldn’t go away...

About the Author: Rachael J. Thorne is trying to make it in the world as an indie author between tending her garden and being a geek! She lives in Essex, UK with her husband and crazy dog. LAST REGRESS is her first novel and she is currently working on her second, RUNNING FOR A LIFE.





Read the Excerpt!

Alyssa had absolutely no idea where she was or more to the point how she had got there. For a fleeting moment it occurred to her that she might be asleep and consequently dreaming, but everything appeared to be so clear in her mind that this possibility seemed highly unlikely. All around her, for as far as she could have seen, was a thick, overwhelming darkness that felt bitterly cold, damp and bleak. It was as though the cold itself was gnawing through her bones, so numbing that it was almost impossible to breathe, like trying to inhale ice crystals. She had the sensation that she was being suspended in mid air although she could not feel anything that could be supporting her there. None of her limbs seemed to be touching anything and yet she was not falling. It took her a while to realise that she was in fact moving forwards. She was certain that she was floating toward something, but in that terrible darkness she could not see what it could be. Confusion surrounded, penetrated and engulfed her. Disorientation made her feel as though she was being pulled at from every conceivable angle, like something was trying to drag her away, off into that awful darkness. She felt lost and she began to worry that she was never going to regain any control. Somewhere in the darkness Alyssa could hear music, muffled and distorted as if the sound was drifting through the cracks in a closed door. The sudden realisation that it was this sound toward which she was floating filled her with an inexplicable sense of comfort and contentment. She now had a purpose, something upon which to focus her mind. As she became aware that it was the doorway that she was headed for – and she was now convinced that it was indeed a doorway, although she had no idea how she could possibly have come to that conclusion in all that darkness – the music began to grow clearer and louder as though it had started to call out to her, to encourage her. There wasn’t just music though, she could hear a voice. In and amongst the notes there was a man’s voice, very deep and strong, chanting and singing over a beautiful haunting melody. He was singing words that Alyssa could not understand, words that should have had no meaning to her, and yet somehow they did. Stranger still, for some reason that she could not fathom an inner voice seemed to speak to her and tell her that she could trust that man’s voice implicitly, and she felt willing to give herself completely, to surrender herself to it – to give herself to him. She felt comfortable and calm, happy to simply float along and let that beautiful music wash over her. She could have stayed like that forever. Suddenly there was a flash of something that looked like lightning and the area immediately around her was illuminated by an eerie blue light. She was sure that she could see something moving out of the corner of her eye. She tried to look around her, tried to see what it was, but beyond the boundaries of that light was the same black curtain of nothing. She didn’t really want to know what was out there, she was quite content to just float where she was and listen to the music, and anyway, she had the distinct impression that whatever it was that she couldn’t see, it wasn’t something good. Ignorance could be bliss and it was better not to know. She lay back and allowed herself to float in the blue haze, carried along by the sounds surrounding her, but without warning her entire body was wracked with unbearable pain, like hundreds of blades all around her burrowing deep into her skin. Whatever was out there wasn’t hidden in the darkness anymore.


My Review: More than a paranormal book, this is one of the best love story books I have read in a long time.The author did a superb job on describing the ambient and the feelings of our main character, Alyssa.
The plot is quite simple: Alyssa is a young woman who lost her parents and after being able to establish herself and finding a job, she left the foster home she was living, without ever creating any bounds with any of the multiple foster-parents she had during the years. As per her best (and only) friend's suggestion (Greg), she started on a job to study paranormal cases and after two years working on that, she was working on a case to study the death of a man from spontaneous combustion from the inside out (Cain Andrews). She is very sceptical with everything related to paranormal, but suddenly she starts having dreams about dark entities trying to grab her. And then someone unexpected appears to protect her, forcing her to question her own sanity. And from there things develop in an unexpected way and you will not be able to put the book down till the end. The description of the "parallel universe" where Nathaniel and Cain Andrews develop a strong friendship and all the plots and nuances that happens behind the scenes compose the secondary drama that is very well linked to the main story.
This book is both a paranormal novel and a tale of love and sacrifice that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who loves a very well written paranormal/love story. It took me around 8 hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Rachael J.Thorne and I received a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing in electronic format. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Product "Tower of Pisa - 1500 pieces puzzle" by Ravensburger

About the Product:
  • Puzzle measures 33" x 23.5"
  • Puzzles are fun - on your own, or with family and friends.
  • Relax from your busy life and build a beautiful image and a new memory.

My Review: I love the picture selection. This angle from the Piazza del Miraculo, a.k.a. Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is not very well know, as people always take attention to the leaning tower or the duomo itself and pay less attention to the baptistery (not shown on the photo) and this beautiful statue that we have in first plane, which stays in one of the corner entrances into the Piazza.

I am a puzzle maniac, having assembled jigsaw puzzles from 100 to 9000 pieces (a 13200 pieces is in the queue and I am really going to the 18,000 and 32,000 pieces from Ravensburger in the future...). Some of them were 3D puzzles, like the Taj Mahal, US Capitol, Neuschwanstein Castle, Big Ben, etc. This one in particular is a very high quality product from Ravensburger (as usual), all the pieces have an excellent finishing and they stick together very well. I usually assemble this size of puzzles on Foam Boards. They are very light and conveniently cheap. The foam board being 3/16'' (5mm) gives your puzzle enough support. I usually cut the board (easily done with a cutter) after glueing the puzzle, leaving a border of 1'' at each side, so I can pin the board in my garage (that, at this point, is full of puzzles...).
What help me a lot is that my wife and daughters also like the challenge, so we move fast. A 1,000 piece puzzle do not last a weekend, although the 8,000 piece one took us 2 months (most 2 to 3 hours at night work) to put together. It took as 10 days to put this one together. I highly recommend Ravensburger products for the excellent quality to everyone that enjoys challenges alone or with the whole family. It is a guaranteed entertainment for hours, listening to music or talking in family environment.
Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book "Falstaff's Big Gamble" by Hank Quense

About the Book: This novel is Shakespeare's Worst Nightmare. It takes two of the Bard's most famous plays, Hamlet and Othello, and recasts them with fantasy characters in a place called Gundarland. Hamlet is a dwarf and Othello is a dark elf. Iago and his wife, Emilia, are trolls. If that isn't bad enough, these two tragedies are now comedies with Falstaff, Shakespeare's most popular rogue, thrown in as a bonus. Both Hamlet and Othello are plagued by the scheming Falstaff, a human. Not familiar with Shakespeare? No problem. You'll still enjoy this romp.

About the Author: Award-winning author Hank Quense writes humorous fantasy and sci-fi stories. His motto is fantasy and sci-fi stories told with humor and satire. He has over forty published short stories and a number of nonfiction articles. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. He refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and on the evening TV news. Hank lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Hank’s previous works include Zaftan Enterprises, Zaftan Miscreants and Tales From Gundarland, a collection of fantasy stories. Readers Favorite awarded the book a medal and EPIC designated it a finalist in its 2011 competition. His Fool’s Gold is a retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth and Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previously published short stories. Build a Better Story is a book of advice for fiction writers.

He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:

Hank’s Blog: http://hank-quense.com/wp
Strange Worlds website: http://strangeworldsonline.com
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99
Facebook fan pages: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline
Purchase Falstaff’s Big Gamble in paperback or kindle format at Amazon


Read the Excerpt!

Hamlet, Crown Prince of Denmarko, paced the castle battlements late on a clear, cool spring night. He walked with hands clasped behind his back and head down. He had a thin nose with brown hair and eyes.
His scrawny build and clean-shaven face gave him the appearance of a starving waif.

He paused, gazed at the multitudinous stars, sighed and continued his pacing. A breeze brought the smells of the harbor: salt water and rotting fish guts. At last, he stopped, thrust one hand to the sky and declaimed, "To bee or not to bee?" He stroked his chin. "Whether 'tis nobler to buy honey from the peasant farmer in the market and thus provide him sustenance and income to support his brood of brats, possibly keeping him from rebelling over high taxes . . . or to grow my own honey thus, gaining coins to assert my independence from my noble family and the sordid court? Hmm."

He paced some more, still troubled by his vexing question. Nothing less than his future depended upon the answer. Because his uncle, and now stepfather, Clodio, had usurped his right to rule the kingdom, he needed a profession and an income.
"Do you always talk to yourself?" a voice said from the shadows.
"Who . . . who goes there?" Hamlet's head snapped from one side to another while his hand grasped the hilt of his dagger.
"'Tis I, the ghost of your father. I bring a message for your ears alone."
Hamlet goggled at the specter who materialized in the shadows of a doorway. "You're not my father's ghost. My father was a dwarf and you're the ghost of an elf. You're an impostor and a dead one to boot."
"Hey, your father is busy and he asked me to fill in."
"Busy? In the underworld? What's he doing?" Hamlet clutched his red tunic and tugged downward as if to hide his shaking hands.
"He met a good-lookin' ghost of a female dwarf and he's wooin her."
"Dead not a month, and he forsakes his wife, my mother?
"You gotta understand. Life on this side — no pun intended — is pretty borin'. When you gotta a chance to do somethin' interestin', you gotta go with it."
Hamlet ran a hand over his face. Why me? he thought. "What's the message?"
"His death was no accident. It was murder most foul. Here is his exact message. 'But know, thou noble youth, the serpent that did sting thy Father's life, now wears his crown.’” The ghost paused then added, "Did your father always talk funny like that?"
"Murdered? By whom?"
"Didn't you listen? The message tells you who whacked him. Your father wants you to send this guy over here so he can talk to him. He doesn't wanna wait until the guy croaks from natural causes."
Hamlet watched in awe as the ghostly figure evaporated. A few seconds later, it popped back into sight. "Oh, I forgot to tell you. Your father says, 'Thy mother the queen is to know naught of this nocturnal visit.’" The ghost disappeared.
His father's murder shocked him. And the murderer had married his mother immediately afterward. Did the world have no morals?
He recalled his first thoughts when he'd heard of his father's death. How he admired the perseverance and tenacity his father must have had to commit suicide by suffocating himself with a pillow. Now all that admiration was wasted; the old dwarf had had help.
What to do? He needed to make decisions about bee farming and now he had to avenge his father. Was there no end to the demands on a prince's time? He said to the stars, "To bee-keep or to avenge? That is the question."


My Review: This is a wonderful and hilarious book. My 16-year older daughter would say that it is hysterically hilarious. The author puts together some characters that we can associate with characters that exist in Shakespeare's Hamlet and Othello. You really do not need to have read those plays to fully enjoy this book. You do not even have to like Shakespeare at all, and you still will enjoy very much this book. The situations created by the author are excellent, with a strong analogy with our current everyday life' situations. The Godmother with all her corruption scheme it is like the Al Capone of Shakespeare's time. The employment of family members in public places, the incompetency, the intrigues, everything is well exploited by the author. And the elements he brings from Shakespeare's plays are appropriate to make the association with the original story, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, asking him to kill his murderer and so on. And finally, our main character, Falstaff, appears as an overweighted human trying to take advantage of every situation. As a con man, he is very good on that!

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who loves a well written novel with a very high sense of humor. It took me around eight hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Hank Quense and it was published by Strange Worlds Publishing in August of 2012. I received a complimentary electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

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Falstaff’s Big Gamble Tour Schedule


September 4
Interviewed at Writing Daze

September 5
Interviewed at Paperback Writer

September 6
Book Spotlighted at Bluebell Books

September 11
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

September 12
Guest Post at Literarily Speaking

September 13
Interviewed at As the Pages turn

September 17
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

September 18
Guest Post at Bless Their Hearts
Guest Post at The Book Bug

September 19
Book Giveaway at Bless Their Hearts

September 21
Book Giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

September 25
Guest Post at The Book Connection

September 26
Guest Post at Maureen’s Musings

October 3
Guest Post at Giveaways and Glitter

October 4
Guest Post at Motherhoot

October 9
Interview at Between the Covers

October 10
Book Reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews

October 11
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

October 15
Guest post at Books, Books and More Books

October 16
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

October 17
Guest post at Sprinkle of Books

October 18
Book Reviewed at Sprinkle of Books

October 22
Interviewed at The Story Behind the Book

October 24
Guest Post at Kitty Crochett

October 25
Book Reviewed at Kitty Crochett

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