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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Balance 2013


During 2013 I read, watched and reviewed the following:

January
Books:
- "100 Puzzle Quizzes" by Grabarchuk Puzzles. Read my review.
- "Department Thirteen" by James Houston Turner. Read my review.
- "Angels All Around Us" by Anthony DeStefano. Read my review.
- "Just Like Jesus Devotional" by Max Lucado. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Fusion 5 for MAC OS X" by VMware. Read my review.
- "Media Suite v10 Ultra" by Cyberlink. Read my review.

February
Books:
- "Gameland - Deep Into the Game" by Saul W.Tanpepper. Read my review.
- "Golgotha" by Saul W.Tanpepper. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Jot Pro Dampening Stylus Pen for iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle Fire and Other Touch Screen Tablets - Gun Metal" by Adonit. Read my review.
- "Moshi In-Ear Headphones for Kindle Fire HD, Pink" by Moonrock. Read my review.

March
Books:
- "No Way Out" by M.J.Ware. Read my review.
- "Twelve Unlikely Heroes" by John MacArthur. Read my review.
- "The Circle of Sorcerers" by Brian Kittrell. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Good Grips Chop and Pour Cutting Board" by OXO. Read my review.
- "Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, 8 Nose Strips" by Biore. Read my review.

April
Books:
- "Chaos Theories" by Stephen H.Banks. Read my review.
- "The Selection" by Kiera Cass. Reade my review.
- "One Year Lived" by Adam Shepard. Read my review.
- "Miracles" by Joanie Hileman. Read my review.
- "Permanence" by Vincent Zandri. Read my review.
- "Game Theory" by Aviad Heifetz. Read my review.
Interviews:
- Interview with Stephen H.Banks - author of "Chaos Theories". Read my interview.
Other Products:
- "Charge and Sync Dock with 8-Pin Lightning Cable Connector for Apple iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5th Generation" by Belkin. Read my review.
- "Eye Make-Up Remover Pad, 30 Count" by Simple. Read my review.
- "SGP10088 Slim Armor Case for iPhone 5 - Metal Slate" by SPIGEN SGP. Read my review.
- "Red Silicone Non-Slip Table Mat, 13-3/4" Length x 10" Width" by Tenura. Read my review.
- "HDMI to VGA Converter for Apple TV, Wireless Mirroring with Airplay on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch  and Mac - Convert HDMI signal to VGA and Audio signal" by IPEVO. Read my review.

May
Books:
- "Heavenly Signs II" by Mel Gable. Read my review.
- "The Elite" by Kiera Cass. Read my review.
- "God Speaks To His End-Time Calls for Man" by Anthony Alan. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Super-Brella Umbrella Chair - 360 Degree Sun Protection Chair" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "Hit-A-Way Softball Swing Trainer" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "Pro Grade Power Tee - Ultra Durable Baseball Tee" from SKLZ. Read my review.
- "QuickSwing PX4 Baseball Trainer" by SKLZ. Read my review.

June
Books:
- "The Long Steep Path" by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Read my review.
- "Timecaster" by J. A. Konrath. Read my review.
- "Heaven 2.0" by Scott Haworth. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Pujols Quick Stick - Underload Speed Training Bat" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "SpeedSac - Variable Weight Sprint Trainer"  by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "Fastpitch Reaction Ball - Softball Agility Trainer" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "Catapult Soft Toss Machine - Baseball Trainer" by SKLZ. Read my review.

July
Books:
- "Child of the Ghosts" by Jonathan Moeller. Read my review.
- "Khe" by Alexes Razevich. Read my review.
- "Open Minds" by Susan Kaye Quinn. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "AVR-X1000 In-Command 5.1-Channel Networking Home Theater Receiver with AirPlay (Black)"  from Denon. Read my review.
- "Half and Half Sweetened Instant Tea Mix, Iced Tea and Lemonade, 24.34 Ounce" by Lipton. Read my review.
- "Hit-A-Way Jr. - 2-in-1 Youth Batting Trainer" by SKLZ. Read my review.

August
Books:
- "Becoming Fearless" by Michelle Aguilar. Read my review.
- "Cruxim" by Karin Cox. Read my review.
- "Warriors - Omen of the Stars - Night Whispers" by Erin Hunter. Read my review.
- "The Survivors" by Angela White. Read my review.
- "Stone of Destiny" by Thor Stonewell. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Cathedral Snow 1000-Piece Puzzle" by Pastime Puzzles. Read my review.
- "5-Position Baseball Brush Tee" by SKLZ. Read my review.
- "75-feet expanding hose, lime" by Rumford Gardener. Read my review.
- "5-Port Desktop Gigabit Switch, Steel Case" by TP-Link. Read my review.

September
Books:
- "Insight" by Jamie Magee. Read my review.
- "Wotan's Dilemma" by Hank Quense. Read my review.
- "Encrypted" by Carolyn McCray. Read my review.
- "Forbidden the Stars" by Valmore Daniels. Read my review.
- "Mind Games" by Polly Iyer. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Colorful Activity at Times Square Augmented Reality Jigsaw Puzzle, 1000-Piece" by Ravensburger. Read my review.
 - "Study Kit with Tabs, Flags, Arrow Flags, Note Tabs, Grid Notes, full Adhesive Notes, Label Pads and Flags + Highlighter" by Post-It. Read my review.

October
Books:
- "Center of the Universe" by Bill Johnson. Read my review.
- "November Echo" by James Houston Turner. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "SYNC Calorie Activity Tracker" by Sportline. Read my review.
- "NN-SN973S 1-Piece 2.2 cu.ft Inverter Technology Microwave Oven, 1250 watt" by Panasonic. Read my review.
- "WD832KEV Ultra Quiet and Strong 1/2 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener" by Chamberlain. Read my review.

November
Books:
- "Whispers of Hope" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "The Guardian of the Threshold" by A.A.Volts. Read my review.
- "New Zealand" a travel guide by National Geographic by Peter Turner, photography by Colin Monteath. Read my review.
- "Dawn of Destiny" by Lee Stephen. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll 2014" by Intuit. Read my review.
- "PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 - Black / Lime Green" by AmazonBasics. Read my review.

December
Books:
- "Heavenly Signs III" by Mel Gable. Read my review.
- "The Reflections of Queen Snow White" by David Meredith. Read my review.
- "The Heavenly Realm" by Judy Franklin and Beni Johnson. Read my review.
- "The Ghost and the Graveyard" by Genevieve Jack. Read my review.
- "Dead Energy" by James M.Corkill. Read my review.
- "The Grimm Chronicles" by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky. Read my review.
- "Doubt" by Anne-Rae Vasquez. Read my review.
- "The Secrets of the Book" by Erin Fry. Read my review.
- "Chasing God" by Angie Smith. Read my review.

Balance of December

During the month of December, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Heavenly Signs III" by Mel Gable. Read my review.
- "The Reflections of Queen Snow White" by David Meredith. Read my review.
- "The Heavenly Realm" by Judy Franklin and Beni Johnson. Read my review.
- "The Ghost and the Graveyard" by Genevieve Jack. Read my review.
- "Dead Energy" by James M.Corkill. Read my review.
- "The Grimm Chronicles" by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky. Read my review.
- "Doubt" by Anne-Rae Vasquez. Read my review.
- "The Secrets of the Book" by Erin Fry. Read my review.
- "Chasing God" by Angie Smith. Read my review.

Book "Sword Bearer" by Teddy Jacobs

About the Book: Locked in his room in the castle, young Anders yearns for adventure. Until the day he opens a magic portal and a girl bursts into his locked room with a chemical warlock hot on her trail.
And adventure finds him -- an adventure full of danger, full of blood, fire, demons and evil. To face it, he'll need the sword given him by his blademaster, need the ancient words his grandfather gave him on his deathbed. Need the song that runs in his own blood, in his veins.
A sword will be reforged, magic words discovered, battles fought, friends made and lost, secrets revealed. And blood will be spilled. But will blade, word and blood be enough?

About the Author: Teddy Jacobs writes novels full of action and adventure from his home in New England. He's happy to have the opportunity to connect with readers all over the world through Amazon. Contact him at theodore AT teddyjacobs DOT com. Visit his website at www.teddyjacobs.com

My Review: This can be a very entertaining book if you disregard some minor inconsistencies in the story line. A young prince is locked into a studio by their parents while they go away in a quest, so he can do his homework. It is the eve of his 16th birthday. He is very concerned with his skin condition. While in the studio he senses that something is going wrong with his parents. He tries to use incense and drink tea in order to communicate with them, but that causes him to open a magic portal and through that comes a girl from a royal family from other kingdom. She is trying to escape from a powerful wizard, after stealing something that she claims the wizard took from her people. And them they start running away from the wrath of the wizard, until they find a lost city and mysteries start to be revealed about their family and their destiny.
I recommend this book to any young adult that wants to spend some hours with an entertaining reading.

I bought this book from amazon.com and opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read the review, feel free to leave a comment!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Book "Chasing God" by Angie Smith

About the Book: Maybe you have never asked the question out loud, but you have wondered. You do the things that look good on paper: read your Bible, pray, attend study groups and go to church on Sundays.
But you are not convinced you really know Him.
Angie Smith understands, because she had run circles around the same paths searching for Him, frustrated at her lack of progress. And she probably would have continued to do so had it not been for one realization that changed everything.
She wasn’t following God; she was trying to catch up with Him.
And without realizing it, you may be as well.
It’s a distinction that affects every aspect of our lives with Christ, and it begins with learning where we’ve relied more on man’s explanation of God than God Himself.
So many requirements, so many rules, and so much guilt where there is supposed to be freedom. It’s the reason you wonder if you’ve measured up, and the nagging voice that tells you you’re a failure as a Christian.
Three simple words changed everything for Angie, and she believes they can do the same for you.
Stop chasing God.

About the Author: Check out Angie's blog at AngieSmithonline.com. Angie loves receiving letters from readers like you. Please feel free to email her at angelac519@gmail.com. Though she is unable to respond to every email, she reads them all. Many thanks for reaching out! Angie is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

My Review: This is an amazing book. When we think we have everything figured out, we realize that we really do not know Him. And Angie open our eyes for that fact, using a very colloquial language, very simple and easy to understand. She proves to us that we are using the wrong approach to reach God. Many different aspects touched me deeply in this book, while I was reading it. The more we want to be close to God, the more we chase Him e the more we get frustrated for not sensing that communion we seek. But as she stated clearly, "we can't comprehend the truth in all it's wild simplicity, so we create a version of Christianity that appeals more to our sensibilities". How deep this sentence goes. Like herself, I am also a very intuitive person, so I have exactly the same feeling that I did not try hard enough to achieve my intimacy with God. And the capstone came in the form "When we spend more of our time searching for assurance than we do acting our of belief, we are chasing God". How true that thought is! So I start having the feeling that the author had some points on her assessments, and I was identifying myself very much with her thoughts. And when she gave suggestions on how not to chase God, I was devouring the book like it was my last supper. "Don't wait for the miracle you think will make it clear. Confess your belief and then act out of that determination". And every page I turned I read more advises that at the end I was astonished on how far away I was going on my approach to know God.
If you really want to know your God, I recommend you read this book on how to reach him and not incur in the same mistakes I did. Like the author,  "I don't want to run anymore. I want to kneel".
Excellent reading, I recommend this book to the permanent library of any serious Christian who wants to improve his relationship with our God, that loves us so much!

This book was written by Angie Smith and published on December 2013 and I received a copy for reviewing from the author (through Icon Media Group (Thanks, Kelsey)). I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Book "Secrets of the Book" by Erin Fry

About the Book: You don't choose the book--the book chooses you. Sixth grader Spencer Lemon has a degenerative eye disease--and he's rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandora's Book. When Ed, the old guy at the nursing home, hands over the book, he doesn't get a chance to explain any of the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead people--people who can be brought back to life. Spencer and his autistic best friend, Gregor, soon figure out how to get people out of the book, but not how to get them back in. Then Ed disappears, and a strange man shows up on Spencer's doorstep--and he seems to know a lot about Spencer and about Pandora's Book. Is he one of the bad guys? Or is here to help Spencer unravel the secrets of the book? But there are others interested in Pandora's Book, others who might use its powers to take over the world. And it's up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Ed's mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the book--and save the world.

About the Author: Erin Fry has a couple of things she would consider passions: reading, writing, running, and teaching. And though it has taken a while to get here, she now gets to do all four of them--and get paid!
For over a decade, Erin has taught 6th grade language arts and history at a middle school in southern California. She also coaches cross country at her school each fall, which gets her in shape to run a half marathon or marathon every year. Since 2003, she has reviewed children's books for Publishers Weekly. This past year, she and a fellow curriculum developer co-founded Curriculum Specialists (http://curriculumspecialists.blogspot.com), through which they create common core-aligned Teacher's Guides for authors and publishers. Her first middle grade novel, LOSING IT, was published in 2012 by Amazon Children's Publishing. Her second novel, SECRETS OF THE BOOK, hits shelves in 2014 while her first YA serial, THE BENEFACTOR, released in October, 2013. She lives with (and frequently runs alongside) her husband, three children, and their golden Retriever.
You can find curriculum guides for most of her books and learn more at www.erinmfry.com.

My Review: Nowadays, every time I read a book with a beginning, a middle and an end, I love it. There is a trend among authors to write only series or trilogies and the old fashion way of writing a complete story in one volume is fading quickly. 
This book was written with a young adult audience in mind. It is very entertaining and the plot is simple and will get you hooked on the development of the story, cheering for our young group of 6th graders. Spencer and Gregor are best friends. Gregor has a level of autism and Spencer has a degenerative eye disease that will ultimately make him blind. Spencer's mom makes him go with her on all community service/charity she goes. One of those places is the Everlasting Home for Seniors, where Spencer meets Ed, a senior guy that has a very special book, called Pandora's Book. It is a magical book, that brings to life some famous dead people it has on its pages. Spencer meets Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe in one of his visits to Ed. Ed gives Spencer the book, as he thinks Spencer is the new guardian of the book. But Spencer cannot keep the secret from his best friend Gregor and soon they summoned Socrates, but the problem is that Spencer still do not know how to use the book, so he does not know how to send Socrates back to his book's page. And things start to get really out of control, when they found out that Ed disappeared before teaching how to use the book and his granddaughter Mel appears from nowhere trying to help them to find Ed. Other characters like Al Capone, Theodore Roosevelt, President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. make the story very alive and the action will not let you put the book down till you turn the last page.    
I recommend this book to all young adults that appreciate action books and are willing to be entertained for some hours. It took me around 5 hours to read the whole book.
Amazon.com was kind enough to send me this book 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, feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book "Doubt" by Anne-Rae Vasquez

About the Book: At 21 years old, Harry and Cristal are fresh out of university with their PhD's. Labeled all their lives as being 'weird' and 'geeky', they find true friendships with other outcasts by playing online virtual reality games.
Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game 'Truth Seekers', has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry's missions, Cristal and the team of 'Truth Seekers' stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the 'end of the world' as they know it.
Doubt is Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy. Among Us is a book series which delves into the world of the supernatural and how it intersects with the everyday lives of seemingly ordinary young people as catastrophic events on earth lead to the end of times. Among Us weaves the theme of a young man and woman, who while not fully understanding their 'abilities', are drawn together in their desire to find out the truth about the world they live in which is similar to themes used in J.J. Abrams' TV shows Fringe and Lost.

About the Author: Anne-Rae Vasquez released Doubt, Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy and launched it at the Raindance Book Festival. Among Us is a book series about a group of online gamers who band together to investigate who or what is behind the catastrophic events happening around the world.
Her novel Almost a Turkish Soap Opera was adapted into a screenplay and later produced into an award winning feature film and web series and was her directorial debut. Her other works include: Gathering Dust - a collection of poems, Salha's Secrets to Middle Eastern Cooking Cookbook published by AR Publishing Inc. and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing).
She had an interest in the fine arts and participated in theatre and drama as a child. Later she started writing and producing and acting in her theatrical projects. She eventually pursued a career in Internet Publishing when the internet was still only text based. She foresaw that the internet was a platform for her to further express her creative skills and establish her career as an internet pioneer.
Anne-Rae was approached by MacMillan Publishing to write a book about web design. She, with co-author Paul Chow, completed "Teach Yourself Great Web Design" which was published by Sams.net, a division of Macmillan Publishing which sold in major book chains around the world. She has since learned how to cook Middle Eastern meals and developed an interest in Arabic films. She loved the sound of the Arabic language and began watching Turkish soap operas dubbed in Arabic, which are very popular in the Middle East.

My Review: This is a very well written book, directed to the young adult audience, but that any reader that is looking for spending some hours entertained will enjoy very much this reading. The plot is simple to follow. Harry and Cristal just earned their PhD’s and went to work together for a company named GN (Global Nation). Harry is a young and brilliant programmer, son of a famous quantum physicist (Aaron) that died during an after-work dinner party. His father had some strong theories on how time travel was doable. His partner in business (Dr. Saeed) was also a famous experimental scientist. His mother (Bina) disappeared while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. Harry developed a game named Truth Seekers and he started hiring to work for him all the best programmers and game players he could find. They all had a mission to find out what was behind the scenes on certain mysterious events. And with the development of the story we learn that some members of this team have some special abilities that are not completely natural. Cristal is capable of produce earthquakes, although she is afraid of her powers and is not sure how they work or how she can control them. During a moment she was upset, she caused a major earthquake that was sensed in many different cities in the world. Kerim, her boyfriend, is capable of reading her mind. And things are not what they look like. They find some portals that could be entrances for wormholes for time travelling and they go to Israel to research one of those portals. But not everybody in Harry’s team knows what is going on and which his motivations to create his missions are. He wants to look for his father and mother. Mystery and intrigue cause turbulence on the relationship among the members of Harry’s team. And during a persecution from the Israeli Secret Service to capture Kerim, some details about his nature are revealed.
This is a very good start to a trilogy that promises to be very exciting.

This book was written by Anne-Rae Vasquez and I received a copy for reviewing from Inkspand and I was not requested to write a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave your comments!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book "The Grimm Chronicles" by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky

About the Book: 200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally.
Now the characters of the Grimms' stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.
For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.
This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Alice Goodenough has been chosen to be the new hero, but not before undergoing a test to see if she's worthy. Shaken, confused, Alice discovers that her weapon is a magic fountain pen and her ammunition is her mind: whatever she can draw, she can create. With the help of a rabbit friend, Alice must learn the ways of the hero and discover the truth about her frightening dreams: who is the terrible creature feeding on its victims at night?
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Alice's nightmares have begun to grow more real. Terrifying man-eating rats are plaguing the city of Chicago, and it's up to Alice to figure out a way to stop them. But before she can do that, she'll have to face off with an even more dangerous enemy sent to kill her.
An enemy that has killed heroes before ...
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats
After being rushed to the hospital, Alice Goodenough finds herself trapped in the worst dream imaginable: a horrible monster is hunting in the darkness, searching for its next victim: Alice. It will stop at nothing to kill her.
And that's not the worst of it. All across the city, people are growing more addicted to Castle Cats, a smartphone game created by Grayle Incorporated. And it's not just a game. The more you play, the more it controls you. Soon, Alice learns that the dwarfs who run Grayle Incorporated are watching her everywhere she goes, using human beings to spy on her.
There must be a confrontation. Sam Grayle and his brothers have to be stopped. And Alice is going to need help.
Additional features for this special edition:
- An introduction
- Two special "Lost Diaries"
- A behind-the-scenes interview
- A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales
The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.

About the Authors:
Ken Brosky - He received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He've had over a dozen short stories published.
In addition to regularly contributing literary fiction to various journals and magazines, his current project is a Young Adult series called The Grimm Chronicles. Maybe you've heard of it? No? Really? Well ...
His co-author Isabella Fontaine and he devised 3 "rules" for this Young Adult series. They're important to them.
1. There are no love triangles. They've set this as an explicit rule. Their main character might find love, but she won't be hounded by topless boys and she certainly will never spend her time deciding who to spend the rest of her life with.
2. Their hero, Alice, must use her brain to overcome her obstacles. That doesn't mean she can't kick some butt (she definitely can!), but she does have to rely on her knowledge to win the day.
3. Alice will never commit an act of violence against another human being without there being consequences. Sure, she can do battle with evil monsters ... but violence against human beings has real consequences. Too often our heroes of today cause physical pain to people around them in order to achieve victory. Alice is different. Alice respects nonviolence to solve real-world problems, and only uses violence to rid the world of the evil Corrupted.
Isabella Fontaine - lives a quiet life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. She enjoys reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and writing on a typewriter, which annoys her cats. This is her first book collection.

My review: This book is quite entertaining for young adults audience. It is very well written and has a heroine as main character. She is full of life and counts on a giant speaking rabbit for her sidekick. Their task is to destroy the Corrupted, characters that came to life from Grimm's Fairy Tales after brothers Grimm draw them using a special magic ink. They live among humankind and are becoming evil by the minute. In order to destroy them, our heroine (Alice) has only one tool, a magic fountain pen that she can use to draw into reality anything that she imagines. The book as a matter of fact is a collection of three episodes. First one is called "Prince Charming Must Die", second one is "Happily Never After" and third one is "Revenge of the Castle Cats". At the end of the book you find fourteen original Grimm's Fairy Tales. It took me around fourteen hours to read the whole book.

I bought this book from amazon.com and opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read the review, feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book "Dead Energy" by James M.Corkill

About the Book: DEAD ENERGY IS AN EXCITING, FAST PACED ACTION ADVENTURE THAT WILL KEEP YOU TURNING THE PAGES!
Alex Cave is leisurely cruising his sailboat in Puget Sound when a hysterical voice on an oil tanker begs for help on the radio! He sees the behemoth ship through his binoculars an instant before it is engulfed in a brilliant flash of white light, and when he responds to the mayday and arrives before the coast Guard, he discovers the crew and 80,000 tons of crude oil have mysteriously vanished without a trace!
Alex Cave is just a geophysics teacher for a university in the town of Bozeman, Montana, USA, but he is also ex-CIA. The Director of National Security, Martin Donner, is his friend, and asks him to help the coast guard in solving what starts out as a small problem of stolen crude oil.
Initial thoughts are of a major oil leak, but none is found. When the bodies of the crew are found frozen to death on a mountain top one-hundred and fifty miles away, Alex realizes there is more going on than just stealing oil.
Things go from bad to worse as more tankers are attacked and their crews killed. The few witnesses all claim to see a bright light and a rainbow effect surrounding the tankers, but how did it happened? The Alaska pipeline and west coast refineries are suddenly empty! Transportation of basic necessities cannot reach the cities! Chaos reigns and common citizens turn to primal instincts to survive! Panic grips the nation as more oil disappears!
Alex teams up with the supervisor for the All Alaska oil Company in Valdez Alaska, a man affectionately known as Bull by his crew, and Christa Avery, a physicist working with oil samples from the Alaska pipeline. Together they try to discover why all the oil is disappearing, and the mastermind behind the theft and murders. The only clue the trio has is a strange crystal that was found in the hold of one of the empty oil tankers. Under closer inspection, it seems the crystal is alive.
Meanwhile, people in the northwestern states are trying to survive, which has now become the one rule. The AOS, Army of Survival, initially recruits people who wish to learn the skill of survival. Now that skill is becoming a fact of life, and the army starts keeping people against their wills, and training them to become soldiers. John Everex, the new leader, is a man on a mission. He rules without compassion and kills without Mercy. As one would expect, Everex and Alex’s paths cross, with dire consequences for one of them.
Harold Woolley is a meek man, with a demanding wife and two teen age children. He becomes caught up in the struggle to survive, and mistakenly ends up at the AOS camp. When his lack of courage threatens his family, he tries to become the brave man needed to get them out of their desperate situation, but after being a coward his entire life, he doesn’t think he can change.
Dead Energy has many different characters, and many different parts of the basic story, which all come together in the conclusion.
Each episode has one common thread tying each story into a series, but each episode is a new story, and can stand alone.

About the Author: "Hello. I would like to take you on exiting adventures here on our planet, with courageous people in dangerous situations, desperately trying to save humanity.
I'm a retired federal firefighter from Whidbey Island, Washington. Before that, I was an electronics technician and part time mechanical engineer at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. I was in the military, and served in Viet Nam. Being retired allows me to write full time and blend my knowledge with my imagination to create the adventures I would like to go on. When I was fourteen I moved to a small place called Orcas Island in Puget Sound; a community of around seven hundred people at that time. Fortunately for me, the famous horror writer, Hugh B. Cave, lived on one of the islands and became my mentor, though I don't write in that genre. The most important lesson he taught me was, only write what you know. Accurate details lend credibility and believability to the story. With that in mind, I do extensive research for my stories. Thanks for joining me on my adventures. It's not always easy finding good books to read. If you liked this one, please write a review on Amazon. Thanks! James M. Corkill. You can visit me at http://jamescorkill.com/.

My Review: This is a very entertaining story, very well written, that develops in a nice pace . When I was reading it, it reminded me the book "The Survivors" by Angela White in certain moments, mainly when the focus was on the army created after the chaos was in place. Also the NBC's TV-Series "Revolution" came to my mind, but this story is unique in a sense that the plot is directed to crude oil vanishing. Our hero is an ex-CIA agent named Alex Cave, that by coincidence witnesses the first case of crude oil disappearing from a tanker when he is sailing on his boat on close waters to the event. After reporting the incident, he is asked to investigate what is going on by his friend and Director of National Security, Martin Donner, and count on the help of Christa, a young physicist, and Bull, a supervisor at the All Alaska Oil Company. The story is full of very well developed characters, on a plot easy to follow and full of twists and keeps you cheering for your hero during the whole book. There are other parallel stories that are interlaced to the main plot in a very natural way, all converging to the apotheosis at the end. There are lots of brilliant sequences in action, some dose of romance and all the good ingredients that make this book a must read for all fiction lovers that want to spend some hours entertained. It took me around sixteen hours to read the whole book. I can cannot wait to read the next episode on Alex Cave adventures!
This book was written by James M.Corkill and I received an electronic version for reviewing. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book "The Ghost and the Graveyard" by Genevieve Jack

About the Book: Grateful Knight isn't looking for love when she moves into a rent-free house on the edge of a graveyard. At twenty-two, all she wants is to recover financially so she can move back to the city where she belongs. 
But sparks fly when the gorgeous cemetery caretaker, Rick, introduces himself and mentions his suspicion that her new house might be haunted. Her attraction to him seems supernatural, and despite her resolve to not get involved, she literally can't keep her hands off him. 
When things in Grateful's house start moving on their own, another man enters her life, Logan, a sexy ghost with a dark secret. He says Rick isn't what he seems, and indulging her passion for him could cost her soul.
One thing's for sure, magical forces are at work in the tiny town of Red Grove, and they're converging on Grateful. Life will never be the same once she's forced to choose between the ghost and the graveyard.

About the Author: Genevieve Jack grew up in a suburb of Chicago and attended a high school rumored to be haunted. She loves old cemeteries and enjoys a good ghost tour. Genevieve specializes in original, cross-genre stories with surprising twists. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, and a brittany named Riptide who holds down her feet while she writes.

My Review: This is a well written and entertaining book that will keep you reading till the end. The story develops in a fast pace and is rich in explicit sensuality, thus it is recommended for adult audience. Trying to hide from the world after a bad relationship that lead to his ex-boyfriend to steal all her money, Grateful Knight ended up accepting his father help and moves to a house neighboring a graveyard. But the house is said to be haunted. Soon she figures that out by her own and a strange relationship starts to happen between herself and a ghost that lives in her attic. But there is also the caretaker of the graveyard, a gorgeous man that has eyes only for her. The story is full of twists, the characters are well developed, and the only problem is that, like most of the current stories, it does not end. The trend now is to write trilogies or series and the old fashion way of writing a book with a beginning, a middle and an end, I believe is long gone. But this book can keep you entertained for hours. It took me around 11 hours to read the whole book.

I bought this book from amazon.com and opinion expressed here is my own.

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book "The Heavenly Realm" by Judy Franklin and Beni Johnson

About the Book: If you are seeking a closer relationship with God, you will be totally absorbed within the personal stories of the supernatural and visions shared in Experiencing the Heavenly Realm.
Practical methods to develop a closer walk with God admonish you to engage in a more intimate relationship by getting to know the Father on a personal level. Individual testimonies about how to overcome obstacles substantiate the healing power and loving-kindness of God toward all who seek to know Him and to develop a deeper intimacy with Christ.
You can:
Activate your seeing capacity.
Experience love in the third heaven realm.
Be touched and healed by the Lord.
Go beyond just knowing about Christ.
Know Him personally, intimately.
You can be healed by the Lord—emotionally, mentally, and physically—after learning how to experience the heavenly realm.

About the Authors:
Judy Franklin - Judy Franklin is on the staff of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Her experiences with God have made her a bridge into the invisible realm for many. She has three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Beni Johnson - Beni and Bill Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church. Together they serve a growing number of churches that have partnered for revival. This apostolic network has crossed denominational lines in building relationships that enable church leaders to walk in both purity and power.
Beni has a call to intercession that is an integral part of the Bethel Church mission. She is in charge of the Bethel's Prayer House, ministry teams and the intercessors. The Lord has given her a heart for broken people of all ages. Her insight into strategies for prayer and her involvement in prayer networks have helped to bring the much-needed breakthrough in Bethel's ministry.
Beni's heart is to help people begin to carry joy in intercession. She believes that being an intercessor is capturing the heartbeat of heaven and declaring or praying that into your world. It is true agreement with heaven.

My Review: Remarkable book. Very well written and with a clear message. We need to search for our creator all the times and be willing to visit our garden with him. And the authors just tell us how they succeeded to do that. The book is divided in 28 Chapters and a Conclusion. Each Chapter brings us a testimony of a visit into the third realm, with an encounter with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God Father. Each visit has a learning experience and show how much our God loves us. If you want to read about a close relationship with God, this book is for you. But be aware that there is not a step by step procedure that you can follow to visit this third realm. But you can enjoy the book nevertheless. It is a very light reading and it took me around 8 hours to read the whole book.

I bought this book at Amazon.com in its electronic version. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book "The Reflections of Queen Snow White" by David Meredith

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:
The king is dead. 
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means? 
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

My Review: Very interesting idea. The author develops the sequel story to Snow White fairy tale. Snow White is probably one of the most well known and beloved stories in the world. I doubt that there is a single child who was never exposed to this fairy tale. And the author presents us with a Snow White that has aged and is currently under a deep depression, mourning the death of Prince Charming, that happened one year ago. But the time is for joy, as their daughter, Princess Raven is about to get married. Trying to escape from her guests, Snow White end up in tower where she finds the magic mirror and the story goes on with the mirror reveling her most intimate thoughts to herself in a process that leads to reflection and ultimately some resolutions that will change her attitude. From feeling sorry for herself, after seeing through the mirror her true strength, she recovers and goes back to live a normal life, supporting her daughter in this very important moment of her life. Although this is the sequel of Snow White as seen by the author, it is not another fairy tale in the sense that the theme is more adult oriented. But nevertheless, it is a great fantasy book that I recommend to the permanent library of any reader that love to spend some hours quite entertained in a well written book. It took me approximately 6 hours to read the whole book.

The book was written by David Meredith and the author was kind enough to send me a copy for review. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book "Heavenly Signs III" by Mel Gable

About the Book: "Is it man's doing and God's will that the United States of America is doomed to fall? There are significant historical events that have caused the current conditions in this country. 'The eagle has risen' and 'the eagle falls' echo how far society has come and beg theses questions: Have we been here before? Does history repeat itself? Where is America heading, and is the world following suit? This third book in the Heavenly Signs series is entitled U.S. Eagle Falls. Author Mel Gable researches the components that are playing into this scenario and again studies the heavenly signs to answer these questions. It will be very clear to us if we keep looking up. Are you well-versed in what is happening today? Mel Gable explains in an orderly fashion the connections among science, the Bible, and history and masterfully shares his insights to enlighten us, the readers. Even though wickedness abounds, the author makes it clear that the Master Planner is in control and that His perfect plan will come to fruition. We need to place our faith and trust in our all-knowing God."-Yolanda Shirley 

About the Author: Mel Gable is just a simple bond-servant of Christ, who has known his Lord and Savior for more than fifty years. Mel Gable is from corporate management of high-tech silicon IC design companies in Orange County California. His last position was as President, C.E.O, and Chairman of INDIGITA Corporation. Previously, he was with Q.L.O.G.I.C. Corporation, a N.A.S.D.A.Q.-listed public company, as President, C.E.O, and Member of the Board of Directors. He previously held engineering management positions at E.M.U.L.E.X., Western Digital, 3M and Ford Motor Company. He holds a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Michigan where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He has written over 20 journal and symposium articles and is the inventor on eleven U.S. patents.

My Review: Author Mel Gables deliver another well written book, showing a lot of research and in particular with this volume, a lot of personal opinion on abortion, gay marriage, separation of state/religion and other controversial topics. He makes crystal clear his position according to the Scriptures from the Christian faith. This is a very serious topic that Mr. Mel deals with mastery and no matter what the heavenly signs say, we have a lot to correct on our nation's behavior in order to go back to the track that pleases God and bring us prosperity. He reminds me Jonah and his role as a prophet bringing to Nineveh the message of imminent destruction if the population of the city does not repent from their sins. Mel here is acting as a prophet to our nation and I could not agree more with his firm position on the moral degradation that our country is experiencing. The only major detail here is that he put some dates on this imminent judgement that God is about to do based on heavenly signs, like eclipses, comets and red moons.
This is a must read book to any person that cares about the USA.

This book was written by Mr. Mel Gable and published by WestBowPress in September of 2013.  The author was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Balance of November

During the month of November, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Whispers of Hope" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "The Guardian of the Threshold" by A.A.Volts. Read my review.
- "New Zealand" a travel guide by National Geographic by Peter Turner, photography by Colin Monteath. Read my review.
- "Dawn of Destiny" by Lee Stephen. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll 2014" by Intuit. Read my review.
- "PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 - Black / Lime Green" by AmazonBasics. Read my review.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Product "PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 - Black / Lime Green" by AmazonBasics

About the Product: Product Features: Combines a polycarbonate hard shell with a shock absorbing silicon core for optimal protection.
Perfect fit for iPhone 5S allowing easy access to all ports and controls.
Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.

My Review: This is a very bright design for a protective shell for your iPhone. I have to confess that I did not drop my iPhone on purpose just to test how good this case would be. I do not have the guts to do that. But I am confident that in case the phone really drops (Oh, Gravity!) it will be protected as good as it gets (keep in mind that this is not an Otterbox...). The design is beautiful and the openings are in the correct place for the speakers, camera etc.
I recommend this product for every user that is worried about protecting his/her iPhone with elegance. There is a variety of different color combination available for you to choose.

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, feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book "Dawn of Destiny" by Lee Stephen



About the Book: From the Inside Flap - The year is 0011 .NE, and mankind is under attack. Hostile forces from other worlds have come to Earth, their motivations a mystery, their objectives unknown. In the face of the alien threat, a global military called the Earth Defense Network--EDEN--was created.
Dawn of Destiny begins the story of Scott Remington, a new graduate of EDEN Academy. It is the first chapter in an epic that will carry him to the ends of the Earth, challenging the very faith he clings to as he confronts a purpose he can barely understand. For Scott, war is more than an occupation. It is the place God has led him. It is his destiny. Only one thing remains to be seen.
Is it a place he's willing to go?
From the Back Cover - Some men go to war for the glory. Some men go to war to escape. For Scott Remington, war is entirely different. It is a belief. It is a calling. It is a destiny. Leaving everything behind - his fiancée, his future, his life - he embarks on a mission of faith into a battle he can barely understand. This is his story. This is his war. This is only the beginning.

About the Author: Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn't catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn't stopped. 
Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their son, Levi, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre--one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith. 
In addition to writing, Lee works full-time for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. He has also spent time as a church deacon, guitar hobbyist, and New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville.

My Review: Very well written book, very entertaining, you will start and there is no way you will put this book down before you finish it. The author creates characters full of life and you quickly get connected to them, cheering for them and suffering with them during their quest to save earth from invasion from aliens. Scott Remington is a regular guy that thinks God has a purpose for his life and it is his destiny to be at the front of this war defending earth, although he does not fully understand why. The story starts with Scott arriving in Richmond, Virginia after leaving the EDEN academy and meeting his colleagues in the fight against the aliens. When going to EDEN academy, Scott left behind Nicole, his fianceé. He thought the war was a calling from God. His first real battle happens in Chicago. After succeeding in that battle, their group is transferred to Novosibirsk in Russia, under the command of general Thoor, a very powerful person that also commands a secret parallel force known as the Nightmen. the story proceeds and they are assigned to attack an alien base that was established in Siberia. Using  his own judgment, general Thoor leads them to succeed in that battle, but with huge losses in personal. Then the retaliation comes. Every page turned is a new adventure and you sure will read this book at the edge of your sit.
I recommend this book to any science fiction lover that appreciates a good reading. It took me around 11 hours to read the whole book.
I bought this book in its electronic version at amazon.com. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Product "QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll 2014" by Intuit

About the Product: Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2014 with Payroll Enhanced 2014
Product Features: Value Pack: Two products in one box; Organize your business finances all in one place and save time on everyday tasks; Pay employees and file taxes in 3 easy steps from within QuickBooks; 1 year prepaid Enhanced Payroll subscription (includes 1 employee – easily add more); 60 Day Money Back Guarantee.
New to QuickBooks? Easy to Set Up, Learn, and Use; No accounting knowledge necessary; Quickly import your data from a spreadsheet; Step-by-step tutorials show you how to create invoices, record expenses, and more.
Organize Everything in One Place and Save Time on Everyday Tasks: Manage vendors and expenses easily - enter, track, and pay bills; Easily create and customize estimates, invoices, and statements; Get complete and reliable records at tax time; Download your online banking transactions directly into QuickBooks.
Track How Your Business is Doing and Get Financial, Tax, and Sales Reports in One Click: Get the information you need with easy-to-use reports; View and manage income and receivables using the new Income Tracker; Get a real-time snapshot of your business activities with Company Snapshot.
What's New for QuickBooks 2014? Powerful new email capabilities. You can now add multiple attachments, customize email templates to include customer or job info, and see email history by customer. See all your banking transactions. Improved bank feeds pull in all your banking transactions from multiple banks and accounts so you can view and categorize them for tax time. See who's paid you (and who hasn't). The new Income Tracker shows all your income-producing transactions in one spot, including overdue invoices so you can remind customers to pay you. Little things to make business easier. Track bounced checks, see key reports in just one click, and other customer requested improvements.
Intuit Enhanced Payroll 2014 - Paychecks in Three Easy Steps: Create unlimited paychecks; Just enter hours and approve salaries; Get instant paycheck calculations; Print paychecks instantly; Use free direct deposit.
Pay Payroll Taxes: Calculates federal and state payroll taxes; Click to pay taxes electronically.
File Payroll Tax Forms: Automatically fills in the latest federal and state tax forms for you; Click to file federal and state tax forms electronically. 
Additional Features and Benefits: Unlimited payroll runs; Pay 1 employee and easily add more (nominal fees apply); Track job costs within QuickBooks; Get instant W-2s at year end; Free support from payroll experts (phone, chat or online); Works within QuickBooks—no double entry; Requires Internet access and QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise Solutions.
System Requirements Pro Requirements: Windows Vista (SP1 inc 64-bit), 7 (inc 64-bit), 8 (inc 64-bit); At least 2.0 GHz processor, 2.4 GHz recommended; Minimum 1 GB of RAM for single user, 2 GB of RAM recommended for multiple users; Minimum 2.5 GB available disk space (additional space required for data files); 60 MB for Microsoft .NET 4.0 Runtime (provided on the QuickBooks CD); Minimum 1024x768 screen resolution, 16-bit or higher color, default DPI settings; Minimum 4x CD-ROM drive;
All online features/services require Internet access. Product registration required. Integration with Other Software Microsoft: Word and Excel integration requires Word and Excel 2003, 2007 or 2010 (inc 64-bit); Synchronization with Outlook contacts requires QuickBooks; Contact Sync for Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 (32-bit only) (downloadable for free at: www.quickbooks.com/contact_sync); E-mail Estimates, Invoices and other forms with Windows Outlook, Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird, as well as web mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail Compatible with QuickBooks; Point of Sale version 10.0 and later Multi-User Windows Vista (SP1 with UAC on), 7 (with UAC on), 8 (with UAC on),Windows Server 2003 (SP2), 2008 and 2012, Windows Small Business Server 2008 Enhanced Payroll Minimum System Requirements Internet access Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) QuickBooks Pro or Premier 2012 or newer, or Enterprise Solutions 12.0 or higher (all sold separately) updated to the most current maintenance release; Valid credit/debit card on file for processing payroll.
Note: Not compatible with QuickBooks Online editions or QuickBooks for Mac. Check stock sold separately. Plus sales tax where applicable. Pricing varies depending on number of employees. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing and service options subject to change without notice.
General disclosures: Requires an annual payroll subscription, Internet access, Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), valid credit/debit card for processing payroll, and QuickBooks Pro or Premier 2012 or newer, or Enterprise Solutions 12.0 or higher (all sold separately) updated to the most current maintenance release. Not compatible with QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks for Mac. After the first year, your subscription will automatically renew each year at the then-current price using the billing info we have on file at the time of your renewal, unless you cancel. Call us anytime at (800) 624-2106 to cancel your payroll subscription. Note that you must activate this payroll subscription within 60 days of purchase or by May 31, 2015, whichever comes first. Check stock sold separately. Plus sales tax where applicable. Pricing varies depending on number of employees. 24/7 access is subject to occasional downtime. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing and service options subject to change without notice. 
1. Includes paying 1 employee; $2 per employee, per month for each additional employee. QuickBooks Pro and Premier support a maximum of 14,500 employees, customers, vendors and other names combined. However, performance may slow when processing files containing more than 100 employees. 
2. If you are not completely satisfied, simply contact Intuit within 60 days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price (excludes employees and other connected services fees). 
3. Transfer data from Peachtree 2009-2011; Microsoft SBA 2006; and Microsoft Office Accounting 2007–2009 using free tool available at http://quickbooks.intuit.com. Transfer data directly from Quicken 2012-2014, QuickBooks 4.0-2014 and Microsoft Excel 2003–2010, as well as web mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. 
4. Download your data from participating banks until May, 2017. Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions and fees. 
5. Direct deposit to W-2s employees is free, but additional fees apply for direct deposit to vendors. 
6. E-file and e-pay features are available for federal and select state taxes. Please check availability at www.payroll.com/fileandpay. You may need to register with tax agencies in order to use e-file and e-pay features 
7. All available state tax forms are listed at www.payroll.com/support 
8. Active subscription required or additional fees may apply. You are responsible for printing W-2s for your employees and filing with the IRS. 
9. Payroll phone support is available Monday-Friday 6 am-6 pm Pacific Time. For more info, see www.payroll.com/support. Intuit reserves the right to limit each telephone call to one hour and to limit each contact to one incident. Inquiries are limited to the following QuickBooks payroll areas: installation, upgrade, assistance, and basic functionality. Fees apply for QuickBooks Pro support. 
10. QuickBooks Pro/Premier: One user included; option to add up to two additional licenses for Pro and four for Premier—sold separately. All copies of QuickBooks must be the same version-year. Online Simple Start: One user only. Product upgrade required for multi-user access. QuickBooks Pro supports a maximum of 14,500 customers, jobs, employees and other names combined, and a maximum of 14,500 items.

My Review: I have been using Intuit products since 1998, when I started doing my checking account control using Quicken98. When I had my company in Florida (from 1994 to 2005) I started using QuickbookPro around 1998 and I had no issues for many years, but I just used it to print invoices, estimates and control checking account and other investments. Minor inventory control was done manually. In 2010 the Hard Disk on my computer crashed and I called Intuit to grab a new installation code for my Quicken98 and the operator laughed in my face, said that they did not support Quicken98 for years and that I was crazy if I wanted to still use that product, when they had much more advanced ones and I should update to Quicken2010. That type of treatment made me very upset, but after two months considering what I should do, I ended up buying Quicken 2010, and I do not regret it. And generally speaking I like the format and user friendliness of Intuit products and that is why I decided to give QuickBooks Pro 2014 a shot, as I intend in the near future to open a new small business. I am not sure if I am ready to use the payroll feature immediately, but I intent to try.
I received this package and immediately installed the QuickBooks Pro 2014 part of it. It was straight forward. No flaws. It was a very quick installation process. After entering data for a fictitious company I was able to create items, services and customers and then, invoices. Although it has been 8 years since last time I used QuickBook Pro, I was back to speed in no time. Overall I am very pleased with this software and I know it has all the features I need to have the job of controlling my small business done. Probably I will try the payroll feature in the next 2 to 4 months and I will be back here to share my experience.

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, November 16, 2013

Book "New Zealand" a travel guide by National Geographic by Peter Turner, photography by Colin Monteath

About the Book: Active travelers trust National Geographic to deliver what they want in a guidebook: expert advice, insider tips, and the cultural feel of each destination not easily found online. These guides are pitch-perfect for today's experiential travel enthusiasts who want an authentic, enriching immersion.
From the heart of Auckland and Christchurch to the lakes around Queenstown; from the fjords of Milford Sound to towering Mt. Cook on the South Island; and from the beautiful Bay of Islands to the bubbling sulfur springs of Rotorua in the North, this guide gives you every tool you need to plan a trip to this unique land on the other side of the world. Australian native and frequent Kiwi visitor Peter Turner escorts you through the incredibly varied land - and cityscapes that are today's New Zealand. Starting with a detailed introduction to the country's history, food, land, and culture, the book explores every corner of New Zealand, starting with Auckland, the bustling cosmopolitan jewel in the North. Turner takes readers down the islands to such magical places as Kiakoura, where you can swim with wild dolphins; stately Wellington, the proud and lively capital; Westland National Park, with its incredible gleaming glaciers; and charming Christchurch, whose gardens and parks give it a distinctly British feel. Special sidebars describe such topics as the Maori, the national obsession of Rugby, and the many adventure activities (like bungee jumping, which originated outside Queenstown) that people often associate with the country.
Experiential sidebars abound, including one on how to live and work on an organic farm, one on the hidden corners of the country where you can spot a real Kiwi bird, and another on places to learn to surf. The book also features guided drives and hikes through some of the land's most spectacular natural scenery. Whether you're checking out the subterranean glowworms at Waitomo Caves or trekking along the famous Milford Track, this guide has everything you need for a memorable trip.

About the Author: Drawn by family ties and a love of New Zealand's natural splendor, Peter Turner has been a regular visitor to the Land of the Long White Cloud for more than two decades, traveling the length and breadth of the country numerous times on writing assignments. Australian by birth, journalist by trade, and wanderer by nature, he has worked as an editor, publisher, and journalist in Australia and for newspapers in Indonesia, Thailand, and Brunei. As a travel writer and photographer specializing in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, he has contributed to newspapers and magazines worldwide and to more than 20 guidebooks.
About the Photographer: Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Colin Monteath is a freelance photographer, writer, and mountaineer who has traveled widely in the polar and high mountain regions of the world. In 1983, he started Hedgehog House New Zealand, a photographic library that specializes in polar, mountain, natural history, and travel imagery. Colin has spent 28 seasons in Antarctica and has taken part in 20 Himalayan expeditions. His assignment have taken him to numerous countries and to nearly every continent, and his pictures and stories have appeared in National Geographic, Time, New Zealand Geographic, and many other publications around the world.

My Review: This is a travel guide that should be able to fulfill all your needs for information on what to do, how to do, where to go, where to eat, where to sleep, etc... when you are visiting New Zealand. The author did a magnificent job putting together this excellent travel guide. The book is structured in twelve chapters, going from an overview on how to visit, going from North to South, length travels and covering different cities and regions, like Auckland and Around, Northland, Central North Island, Wellington and the South, Marlborough and Nelson, Christchurch and Canterbury, West Coast, Otago, Fiordland and Southland. Each chapter has dozens of beautiful pictures, maps, as well as top tips, best places to eat, best places to drink and best places to shop, costs for attractions, etc. I have never been to New Zealand, and this guide was an excellent way of awakening my desire to go there. It is full of magnificent photos and so rich in detail that I felt that I had already visited most of the places. Definitely I will include New Zealand in my plans for future travels. This is an outstanding result for the effort from this author and photos are amazing. This is a must have book for those who are serious about planing their trips and also for those who want to remember details on previous travels, while wishing they can return to New Zealand some day in the future.
Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this book 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, November 7, 2013

Book "The Guardian of the Threshold" by A.A.Volts



About the Book: Love survives everything... Even death. Unfortunately, so does hate.
When Mark wants to see his dead mother again... He gets his chance. But, like everything else in life... It comes at a hefty price.
While normal sixteen-year-old boys are out chasing girls, Mark is floating outside his own body being chased by a nefarious demon. Death itself can't keep him from trying to see his dead mother again, but when he disturbs Phasma-the Guardian of Threshold, he may have gone too far.
Forced into Threshold--the mystical world of the dead--to rescue his clumsy best friend; Mark will not only have to defeat Phasma and his army of Night Dwellers, but his own demons if he's going to save his friend, find his mother and survive the night.
How far would you go to see a dead loved one again?
* "A fantastic and unforgettable journey into the astral realm"
THE GUARDIAN OF THRESHOLD is a thrilling paranormal fantasy that will appeal to young adults and adult readers alike.

About the Author: A.A. Volts, writes paranormal, contemporary, horror and urban fantasy fiction. He lives in Kissimmee, FL with his wife and son. He fell in love with the English language at a very young age. He started his first book when he was twelve years old, which he wrote with a pencil in one hand and a dictionary on the other. He started writing his debut novel "The Guardian of Threshold" on a summer evening of 2008, after several revisions and rewrites the novel was finally ready for prime time. Throughout the years A.A. Volts lived in many places, including Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Phoenix, etc..., but the nearly infinite amount of sunshine in the State of Florida finally won him over. He loves to spend his days writing paranormal fantasy for young and new adults. His passion for the paranormal and his experience with astral travel (astral projection) inspired the birth of the Threshold Series. His favorite hobbies include: writing, technology, out-of-body experiences, photography and spending time with his family, not necessarily in that order.


My Review: 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book "Whispers of Hope" by Beth Moore

About the Book: Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, but how in the world do we do that? In fact, how should we effectively pray to begin with? 
Best-selling author Beth Moore addresses these practical and pervasive matters in Whispers of Hope by walking readers through an easy to remember and apply method of prayer, coupled with seventy daily devotionals and followed by prompts to put this prayer method into practice. 
Indeed, Whispers of Hope teaches the manifestation process of powerful Word-saturated prayer in response to a daily Bible reading. In turn, you will better understand how devotional reading and prayer are central to a stronger relationship with God.

About the Author: Beth Moore has written many best-selling books and is a dynamic teacher and a prolific Bible-study author whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. Beth is focused on teaching women all over the world and is known and respected wherever she goes. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters and lives in Houston, Texas, where she leads Living Proof Ministries and teaches an adult Sunday school class at her church.

My Review: This is the fourth book I read from this author. I was hooked on her inspirational writing style after reading "A Heart Like His" and also after reading her devotionals "Voices of the Faithful" volumes 1 and 2. This "Whispers of Hope" is a devotional type of book where we have a total of seventy short and inspirational themes for pray and meditation. After each chapter the author leaves a space for us to write our thoughts on Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgement, Intercession, Supplication for Self and Equipping. Production of the book was very well done, with a nice cover design and an old fashioned type of paper selection giving the book a very nice look. This would make an excellent gift to any serious Christian or to any one you want to make start praying.
This was a magnificent effort from the author who put together this excellent book with strong messages, and I recommend it to the permanent library of any person who enjoys a good reading to boost their faith. This book was written by Beth More and published by BH Publishing Group in 2013. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing, and I was not asked to provide a positive feedback. Opinions here are my own.

If you read this posting, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.