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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Balance of 2016

During 2015 I read, watched and reviewed the following:

January
Books:
- "Spirit Prophecy" by E.E. Holmes. Read my review.
- "The Gift of Battle" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "The Rising Past" by J.G.Gatewood. Read my review.
- "Coda" by Rajani Kanth. Read my review.
- "Eleven Floors" by Robert Lampros. Read my review.
- "The Wind Guardian" by Frank Scozzari. Read my review.
- "Taken by the Sheriff" by Lolita London. Read my review.

February
Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Books 34 - 36" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Rise of the Valiant" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "18 Things" by Jamie Ayres. Read my review.
- "The Weight of Honor" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "A Death in Sweden" by Kevin Wignall. Read my review.

March
Books:
- "A Forge of Valor" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Spirit Ascendancy" by E.E.Holmes. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 37-39" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.

April
Books:
- "A Realm of Shadows" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Europa Awakenings - Europa Series Volume 1" by Pamela Garcia. Read my review.
- "Night of the Bold" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "The Mustard Seed" by Peter Szondy. Read my review.

May
Books:
- "Need To Find You" by Joseph Souza. Read my review.
- "Talon, Come Fly With Me" by Gigi Sedlmayer. Read my review.
- "Last Year's Resolution" by Robert Lampros. Read my review.
- "Caught" by Lolita London. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 40 - 42" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Only the Worthy" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "AZ - Revenge of an Archangel" by Amir A. Bavar. Read my review.

June
Books:
- "Resthaven" by Erik Therme. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 43-45" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Listening to the Language of the Bible" by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema. Read my review.
- "Talon, On the Wing" by Gigi Sedlmayer. Read my review.
- "Any Means Necessary" by Jack Mars. Read my review.
- "Once Gone" by Blake Pierce. Read my review.
Movies:
- "Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches" B&N Production (2004). Read my review.

July
Books:
- "Arena 2" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 46-48" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Love, Life and Logic" by Uday Mukerji. Read my review.

August
Books:
- "Arena 3" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Parables & Ponderings" by Lia London. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 49-51" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Pandora's Eyes" by James M. Corkill. Read my review.
Movies:
- "When Call the Hearts - Season 3" - 2016 - Read my review.

September
Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 52-54" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "For Now and Forever" by Sophie Love. Read my review.

October
Books:
- "Pirate Passion" by Lolita London. Read my review.

November
Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 55-57" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Lost Coast Rocket" by Joel Horn. Read my review.

December
Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 58-62" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.



Balance of December

During the month of December, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 58-62" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Books 58-62" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
  • Story 58: Down the Well – A frog gets philosophical. 
  • Story 59: Finding the Story – Do you like to write a story? First you need to find one! 
  • Story 60: Story Writing – A funny way to write stories. 
  • Story 61: What a Laugh! - Laughing is healthy. 
  • Story 62: What's the Time? - A very unusual way to look at time.

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children, and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Upwork, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia, he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

From the author:
"ILLUSTRATORS - I would like to introduce the six illustrators who made ‘Oliver and Jumpy’ so successful. These talented ladies and gents have put a lot of effort into their art.
Marvin Alonso, is a gentleman from the Philippines. He started off the series with amazing pictures and a huge initiative. He never needed to be told anything and developed all scenes by himself. Unfortunately, he decided to look for other work after about 10 stories. He was sorely missed.
The next illustrators did between one to four stories each.
Vinil Raj
Yon Rifa’i
Anahii Aleksanyan
Mario Tereso
And then there is Maycee Ann Reyes and her husband Allan … They were all one could wish for. Great scenes, self-reliant, reliable, courteous and quick. These guys got married while working at 400 illustrations for my series. As Maycee said: “Oliver was instrumental for us to get married sooner”. I can highly recommend this talented team for any of your picture book illustrations."

My Review: This book is the last book of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 58 - Down the Well, 59 - Finding the Story, 60 - Story Writing, 61 - What a Laugh!, and 62 - What's the Time?. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. Although the format changed a little if compared with previous books in the series, this book is still beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Down the Well", Oliver dreams of falling into the nearby well and landing on  a frog! Froggy tells Oliver all about his life on the well. In the "Finding the Story", Oliver tells his readers what a story looks like, so they can find it. But the fact is that each story looks different to everybody... In "Story Writing", Oliver says that he uses a blue pen called Penny to help him writing his stories, after he finds them (as a matter of fact, the word fairy sends him only 1000 words a day). He looks for new ideas everyday! In "What a Laugh", Oliver describes his favorite days at Sillandia. He really enjoys Christmas (when all people and animals are the decoration on the Christmas trees), and the Upside-Down Day, when everything but people turns upside-down. Finally, at the "What's the time", Oliver says that in Sillandia each clock shows a different time! During Harvest Day Oliver and his friends go to pick fruits from the orchids. Joey ate too much fruits and fall asleep, rolling down the hill into the brook. Everybody goes to his rescue. What an adventure!  All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not over excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
I highly recommend this book to the permanent library of any parent that is willing to entertain their kids during bedtime. I am just sad that the author announced that this book is the last one in this series. I only hope that he comes back soon with a new set of stories from our favorite characters!

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Balance of November

During the month of November, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 55-57" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Lost Coast Rocket" by Joel Horn. Read my review.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book "Lost Coast Rocket" by Joel Horn

About the Book: Rockets are in Ken's DNA. At an early age, he develops a friendship with Akira, a boy who shares his passion for astronautics. While both are child prodigies, Akira does well in private school but Ken rebels against structured education. The unlikely duo draws together a small group of rocketeers, meeting in the shop behind Ken's house.
A tragic event at eight years of age haunts Ken through his growing-up years and shapes his destiny. As fate would have it, the girl at the center of the traumatic experience joins Ken's rocket club, unaware of their shared history. Will Ken tell Dawn that he is the boy she seeks?
As the group reaches their teen years, their rocket designs start pushing legal boundaries, culminating in an event that puts them in the crosshairs of an FBI investigator. To protect his friends and seek refuge from his past, Ken devises an escape plan that confounds the authorities and the world.

About the Author: Joel Horn was barely five years old when his family moved to the wilderness. Growing up in the rugged Trinity Alps, Joel and his two older brothers learned how to do the numerous and varied tasks necessary for survival while carving out a life in their remote paradise.
Living this self-reliant life and tutored by the best of teachers, their dad and hands-on experience, the boys achieved a level of self-sufficiency rarely seen in modern times. In Impossible Beyond This Point, Joel combines his parents' writings with his own recollections to create a fascinating and entertaining account of the family's struggle and triumph creating a self-sufficient life in the wilderness.
Lost Coast Rocket is Joel’s debut novel. The story continues in the second book in the Mare Tranquillitatis Series, Hatching the Phoenix Egg.
You can find Joel online at www.JoelHornAuthor.com

My Review: This is a very well written and edited book. Very entertaining, will keep you hooked from the first page until the end. Ken is the grandson of a NASA engineer. He meets his good friend, Akira, in a park when they were toddlers and they start a friendship that will last for ages and together they start playing with rocket models until they get enough knowledge to develop their own models. Others get involved and soon they have a group of young kids, each one with its own expertise, contributing to a common goal of developing a prototype rocket that should reach 100 miles altitude. And they do that with an old design based on drawings of Ken's grandfather. In the mix there is a dose of romance and all the good ingredients that will make this story an instant success. 
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that appreciate a very good novel with components of science-fiction, sweet romance, adventure, and a very intelligent plot. It will keep you entertained for hours and you will be willing to read the second book in the series (Hatching the Phoenix Egg) as soon as possible. Go for it, you will not be disappointed!

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 55-57" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
  • Story 55: Flood – The land gets flooded and Oliver is of great help, as always. 
  • Story 56: Lazy Squirrel – The lazy squirrel boy is taught a lesson to help others. 
  • Story 57: Unexpected Lory – Oliver has to deal with a know-it-all teenager.

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children, and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Upwork, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia, he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 55 - Flood, 56 - Lazy Squirrel, and 57 - Unexpected Lory. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Flood", as a storm approaches, Oliver invites his friends Jumpy and Joey to shelter at his treehouse. As things get worst, he ended up having to shelter many other animals and they have to behave themselves! In the "Lazy Squirrel", Oliver plays a detective, trying to figure out what was happening to the nuts that Squirly had been saving for the winter and were disappearing... Finally in "Unexpected Lory", after doing some exercise with Mousy chasing him for a while Oliver returns to his house to find a nice young lady cat sleeping on his pillow! All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not over excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning. I highly recommend this book to the permanent library of any parent that is willing to entertain their kids during bedtime.

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Balance of October, 2016

During the month of October, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Pirate Passion" by Lolita London. Read my review.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book "Pirate Passion" by Lolita London

About the Book: Pirate Passion is a steamy historical romance adventure novel. June Masters leaves her unpromising life as a future bride in the colony of Barbados in a desperate search for her real father, the legendary Black John. Her search puts her in the path of impulsive, reckless Thomas Irons, a former sailor determined to join Black John's crew. As they misadventure their way across the Caribbean thanks to June's insatiable curiosity and Tom's free spirit, what started as a partnership quickly turns to passion - even in the face of insurmountable odds. BONUS Novella: When you purchase Pirate Passion, you receive a free and unique re-telling of this story by Eloise Snow in addition to the main novel, not available for purchase anywhere else.

About the Author: Lolita London lives with her husband and two children in Austin, Texas. When she's not writing steamy erotic romance she enjoys horseback riding, traveling and trying new things.
ALL of Lolita London's sizzling books are available via the Kindle Unlimited program.

My Review: This is another well written romance from this author and in my opinion the best so far. A young lady (June) decides to escape from an arranged marriage by her father. Her mother, while intoxicated, reveals that her real father is a famous pirate named Black John, not the pastor she had known as father for her whole life. She decides to go searching for Black John. In this task she gets the help of young Thomas Iron. Their adventure begins and the attraction and romance blossom during their travel. 
The book is well written, the story is entertaining. I recommend this book to the library of all readers that appreciate a good romance story. But be aware that there are some colorful description of the intimate relation between the characters. 
I received this book from the author for reviewing. 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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Balance of September, 2016

During the month of September, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 52-54" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "For Now and Forever" by Sophie Love. Read my review.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book "For Now and Forever" by Sophie Love

About the Book: Emily Mitchell, 35, living and working in New York City, has struggled through a string of failed relationships. When her boyfriend of 7 years takes her out for their long-awaited anniversary dinner, Emily is sure that this time will be different, that this time she will finally get the ring.
When he gives her a small bottle of perfume instead, Emily knows the time has come to break up with him—and for her entire life to have a fresh start.
Reeling from her unsatisfying, high-pressure life, Emily decides she needs a change. She decides on a whim to drive to her father’s abandoned home on the coast of Maine, a sprawling, historic house where she’d spent magical summers as a child. But the house, long-neglected, is in dire need of repair, and the winter is no time to be in Maine. Emily hasn’t been there in 20 years, when a tragic accident changed her sister’s life and shattered her family. Her parents divorced, her father disappeared, and Emily was never able to bring herself to step foot in that house again.
Now, for some reason, with her life reeling, Emily feels drawn to the only childhood place she ever knew. She plans on going just for a weekend, to clear her head. But something about the house, its numerous secrets, its memories of her father, its oceanfront allure, its small-town setting—and most of all, its gorgeous, mysterious caretaker—doesn’t want to let her leave. Can she find the answers she’s been looking for here, in the most unexpected place of all?
Can a weekend become a lifetime?
FOR NOW AND FOREVER is book #1 in the debut of a dazzling new romance series that will make you laugh, make you cry, will keep you turning pages late into the night—and will make you fall in love with romance all over again.

My Review: This is a very well written book describing the struggle of a woman (Emily) to find her true identity. After finishing a long term relationship that was leading to nowhere, Emily quits her oppressive job in New York and goes to Maine, to an old family house where she used to spend her vacation when she was a child. The initial idea was to spend the weekend over there. What she found there is an abandoned house, a community that is not so receptive and a mysterious caretaker. Her father had vanished on thin air twenty years ago, after divorcing her mother. Both did not know how to handle the death of her sister. The caretaker has more in common with her than she initially thought. And a relationship starts to grow. 
The author did an amazing job with the creation of the characters and her description of the environment. The characters that compose the small Maine community are also fully developed. The romance is there, but not overdosed. Kudos to the author for this amazing start of a series that promises to be very entertaining.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that enjoy a very well written book that will keep them entertained for some hours.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the author for reviewing, and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

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

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 52-54" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
  • Story 52: Oliver the Babysitter – Oliver has to look after his sister's kittens.
  • Story 53: Smoke over the Sea – The friends have amazing adventures on an island in the sea.
  • Story 54: Raindrop – The journey of a raindrop.

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children, and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Upwork, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia, he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 52 - Oliver the Babysitter, 53 - Smoke over the Sea, and 54 - Raindrop. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Oliver the Babysitter", Oliver receives a letter from his sister, asking for help with her three children while she is in the hospital to have another baby. After a long travel, he start his experience taking care of his nephew and two nieces and what an adventure this is! In the "Smoke over the Sea", Oliver notices a pillar of smoke out in the sea and thinks someone is in trouble. With the help of Jumpy, Joey and Bluey the whale, they travel to the island where the smoke is coming from. Over there they are captured by a tribe of natives and their adventure began. Finally in "Raindrop", we follow the saga of a raindrop that ends up in Oliver's cup and we learnt how Oliver helped his friends with his water well, a place where everybody group together to hear nice tales! All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not over excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning. I highly recommend this book to the permanent library of any parent that is willing to entertain their kids during bedtime.

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Balance of August, 2016

During the month of August, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Arena 3" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Parables & Ponderings" by Lia London. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 49-51" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Pandora's Eyes" by James M. Corkill. Read my review.
Movies:
- "When Call the Hearts - Season 3" - 2016 - Read my review.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book "Pandora's Eyes" by James M.Corkill

About the Book: What If The Color Of Your Eyes Will Determine Whether You Live Or Die?
After securing a 180-million-year old spacecraft discovered in the Bering Sea, Geologist Alex Cave thought his life had finally stabilized, but during the recovery, he also found four alien artifacts that seemed designed to destroy all life on our planet. He thinks they are locked up at Groom Lake, away from unscrupulous industrialists and scientists, but two of the devices have gone missing, and one of them is in orbit over our planet.
John Essex had good intentions when he modified one of the stolen artifacts to collect and recycle the space debris orbiting our planet.
Nevertheless, when he turns it on, an artificial intelligence detects the signal from deep in the Earth. The AI named Pandora learns the Earth has new inhabitants and informs Alex that humans with brown eyes are genetically inferior and prone to aggressive behavior. She threatens to wipe our entire species from the face of the planet unless our world leaders voluntarily kill anyone with brown eyes.
“Can Alex find a way out of this no-win situation?
“Get ready for thrilling scenarios, exhilarating situations, and nail-biting suspense. A fantastic ride from this bestselling and award-winning author. A great sequel to Gravity.”

About the Author: Hello. I’m James M. Corkill, a Veteran, and retired Federal Firefighter from Washington State, USA. I was an electronic technician and studied mechanical engineering in my spare time before eventually becoming a firefighter for 32-years and retiring. I’ve since settled into the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and I have a fantastic view from my writing desk.
I began writing in 1997, and was fortunate to meet a famous horror writer named Hugh B. Cave, who became my mentor. In 2002, I rushed to self-published a dozen copies of Dead Energy so my wife could see my book before she was taken by cancer. When my soul mate was gone, I stopped writing and began drinking heavily.
“When you wake up in the morning, you never know where the day will take you.”
In 2013, I met a stranger who recognized my name and had enjoyed an old copy of Dead Energy, except for the ending. When she encouraged me to start writing again, I realized this chance meeting was just what I needed to hear at the right moment. I quit drinking and began the rewrite of Dead Energy into The Alex Cave Series, and guess what? Now I’m a bestselling and award-winning author, and I’m thankful for that fateful encounter.
I’ve always been an inventor with an overabundance of imagination, and I’ve been fascinated by unusual rock formations for most of my life, so let me introduce you to my alter ego, Alex Cave. These are his adventures.

My review: This is another very well written thriller featuring Alex Cave, our famous and beloved Geologist. This book is the fifth one on the series. Although they are stories that can hold on their own independently, in a couple of times there are references to situations that happened in the previous books. So I would recommend that you read the previous books in the order they were published, so you can savor this one better. The sequence is: "Dead Energy", followed by "Cold Energy", and then "Read Energy", "Gravity" and finally "Pandora's Eyes". You will not regret it. Excellent and very entertaining reading, intelligent plots and very enjoyable reading.
In this particular book, one of the four alien artifacts that were found in previous books is in orbit, and was modified to collect space debris that is flying in orbit of Earth. When this device was activated, an Artificial Intelligence named Pandora that was dormant detected the device. The crew of this alien spaceship that was sleeping for millions of years is awakened. They contact humans and the adventure really begins to pick up. Alex Cave and his best friend Okana face the most challenging situation they ever had.
This is a great book and I recommend it to the permanent library of all science-fiction readers. They will not be disappointed.

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


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 49-51" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!

  • Story 49: Ice – Joey is getting Oliver into big trouble with an ice bear.
  • Story 50: Mice Chase – Oliver is the tutor of a bunch of mice.
  • Story 51: Dragon Heat – A naughty dragon is taught a lesson.


About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Upwork, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 49 - Ice, 50 - Mice Chase, and 51 - Dragon Heat. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Ice", Oliver is enjoying himself ice-skating in the lake with his friends when Joey starts skating down the brook and Oliver has to go after him to rescue him. Their adventure begins, when they try to escape from a polar bear and are rescued by a whale. In the "Mice Chase", Mausi asks Oliver to teach his 6 kids to escape any cat chasing them. At the end, he is the one who learnt a lesson. Finally in "Dragon Heat", Oliver and Jumpy go to the ghost castle using a magic door and what they find there is devastating. Everything is burnt. They find an ant that is delivering mail and tell them what happened, an incredible tale with a dragon that destroyed the whole country. With the help of a giant, they start chasing the dragon. All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not over excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning. I highly recommend this book to the permanent library of any parent that is willing to entertain their kids during bedtime.
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book "Parables & Ponderings" by Lia London

About the Book: If you’re drowning in work, traffic or housekeeping and feel like God has forgotten you, think again! Lovers of the Chicken Soup for the Soul or Robert Fulghem books will devour these funny and insightful true-life anecdotes. Be inspired by everyday things around you! Perfect for devotionals.

About the Author: Lia London was born in southern Oregon and raised as a military brat in North Carolina and Scotland before returning to Oregon. She attended Western Oregon University and earned degrees in Language Arts Education and the Performing Arts. Upon graduation, she served for 18 months as a missionary in Guatemala, teaching cholera prevention, literacy, and gospel messages. She worked as a high school teacher and ESL instructor for college students for a few years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.
London currently home schools her two teens, plays the organ at her church, and volunteers in her community. She also is the founder and chief administrator of a network called Clean Indie Reads, an organization of over 2400 authors, illustrators, and marketing specialists who work in the independent publishing industry. She loves milk chocolate, extra-cheesy pizza and cuddling with her cute dog to watch old movies and TV shows from the 50s and 60s.

My Review: This is truly an inspirational book. The author did a superb job adapting situations that everybody lives in a daily basis and transforming those situations on parables with powerful Christian messages of hope and wisdom.
Some particular ones touched me deeply, like "How a Funeral Changed my Life Goals". The realization that "...an eulogy with a long resume cannot replace a legacy left in the hearts of the survivors" is tremendous! Some of the conclusions are obvious after we ready them, but we never thought about that until we read them.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any Christian (or not) that enjoys a very well written and easy read book. You will not be disappointed and for sure your strength will improve with the words of wisdom provided by the author. Excellent reading!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Book "Arena 3" by Morgan Rice

About the Book: After nearly freezing to death on their trek north, Brooke and her small group wake to find themselves in civilization. They have found the utopian city, hidden deep in a remote stretch of Canada. They have heat, food, comfortable beds, clean clothes, and security. Finally, they have made it.
As Brooke recovers, she meets the mysterious survivors who inhabit this city, and who vie for her love. She trains again, enhancing her fighting skills greatly under the wing of a new mentor, and matures into a woman.
Brooke soon realizes, though, that being safe and secluded is not all there is to life. When she hears rumors of survivors underground, deep in America, fighting to restore order from the inside—her Dad possibly amongst them—Brooke finds herself facing the choice of a lifetime: to live in this perfect place, free and safe for the rest of her days, or to embark and fight for others’ freedom. It would be a journey, she knows, back through post-apocalyptic America, this time traveling west, across its breadth, in search of the rumored survivors, of her father. She would have to fight her way through a land transformed by apocalypse, try to survive a never-ending stream of dangers, roving packs of violent gangs, with few resources and fewer supplies. It would be a two thousand mile trek to a certain suicide. And if she leaves this utopia, she knows, there is no coming back.
Yet that is not the worst of it: something else lies in her way. Arena 3. The greatest arena left in what was once America, the most brutal and dangerous of them all, the one from which no one survives. The one, she knows, that would test the very limit of all that she is.
Will she risk it all for others?
An action-packed dystopian thriller featuring a tough female heroine whom readers worldwide have fallen in love with, ARENA 3 is the shocking conclusion to the bestselling Survival Trilogy, and one that will leave you turning pages late into the night.

About the Author: Morgan Rice is the #1 bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the epic fantasy series THE SORCERER’S RING, comprising seventeen books; of the #1 bestselling series THE VAMPIRE JOURNALS, comprising twelve books; of the new vampire series VAMPIRE, FALLEN; of the #1 bestselling series THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY, a post-apocalyptic thriller comprising three books; of the #1 bestselling epic fantasy series KINGS AND SORCERERS, comprising six books; of the new epic fantasy series THE WAY OF STEEL; and of the new epic fantasy series OF CROWNS AND GLORY. Morgan’s books are available in audio and print editions, and translations are available in over 25 languages.
Morgan's newest releases are ONLY THE WORTHY (THE WAY OF STEEL--BOOK #1) , the debut of a new epic fantasy series, SLAVE, WARRIOR, QUEEN (OF CROWNS AND GLORY--BOOK #1), the debut of another fantasy series, and ARENA 3, the conclusion of the Survival Trilogy.
TURNED (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals), ARENA ONE (Book #1 of the Survival Trilogy), A QUEST OF HEROES (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) and RISE OF THE DRAGONS (Kings and Sorcerers--Book #1) are each available as a free download on Amazon! BEFORE DAWN (Vampire Fallen--Book #1) and ONLY THE WORTHY (The Way of Steel--Book #1) are available as a free download via KU.
Morgan loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visit www.morganricebooks.com to join the email list, receive 4 free books, receive free giveaways, download the free app, get the latest exclusive news, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and stay in touch! As always, if any of you are suffering from any hardship, email the author at morgan@morganricebooks.com and Morgan will be happy to send you a free book!

My Review: This is an epic finish for this apocalyptic trilogy featuring a young lady and her friends, living in a world destroyed by a nuclear war. Some survivors of that war became like animals, feasting in the terror and fear of weak ones, making then fight to death for entertainment in arenas.
In this final book, our heroine and her companions finally reach Canada and they find the city they were looking for, but did not know if it really existed. It is an army shelter, taken care by a commander that is very restrict about receiving new members in his community. After a while living there, they receive a communication from another community in Texas and they figure out that there might be other survivors struggling to recompose their lives after the war. Brooke thinks the message came from her father and now the dilemma she faces is if she tries to reach her father and work with him to restore America or if she stays in the security of the compound they found. 
The author managed to bring into this story situations that will keep you hooked from the very first page until the end. Savor each turn of page, because it is really worth it!
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that enjoy a well written thriller. You will not be disappointed.

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

Monday, August 1, 2016

Movie "When Calls the Heart - Season 3"- 2016

About this Series: As with the When Calls the Heart Season 1 and Season 2 Collector’s editions, this 10 DVD set contains both the film versions and the TV episode versions of When Calls the Heart Season 3. You can watch the series as 10 hour-long episodes or 5 feature films. As in previous years, fans will enjoy finding small differences between the film versions and the individual episodes. The really exciting elements of the Season 3 collectors’ edition are the three bonus Discs. Disc 8 features the typical bonus material one would expect from a project like this – behind the scenes footage, interviews, etc. Disc 9 is a special product devoted to the fans that have made When Calls the Heart such a grassroots success - featuring footage from the #Hearties gathering in Vancouver in January of 2016. The 10th disc is a When Calls the Heart trivia game that devoted fans are sure to love.

This Series is distributed by FishFlix, a company that produces Christian DVDs (to inspire and entertain).

As a special promotion, for everyone who preorders the Season 3 Collector’s Edition from FishFlix.com, they’ll send the Season 1 “Episodes” set as a free gift. We believe that this set is a great item to give away to friends who are not yet familiar with the "When Calls the Heart" brand. With the release timed for October 11, 2016 this bonus item is a great Christmas gift for any fan of family­friendly romantic programming.
Another promotion FishFlix is running is a drawing for a $100 gift card.
In order to enter the drawing, one needs simply to leave a review of Season 3 on this page:
https://www.fishflix.com/review/product/list/id/1836/category/153/#review-­form and send an email to promo@fishflix.com verifying the “nickname” used on the product review.
A drawing will take place on Sept 1, 2016 and one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to FishFlix.com.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Balance of July, 2016

During the month of July, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Arena 2" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 46-48" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Love, Life and Logic" by Uday Mukerji. Read my review.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book "Love, Life and Logic" by Uday Mukerji

About the Book: Set in Central Europe, Singapore, and in India, debut, multicultural novel Love, Life, and Logic captures the struggle of a young man against the seemingly unnamed, unknown, anonymous power of the universe.
The story develops as he scrambles for his answers. Is our life and death an end in itself, or do they have a much deeper implication in a gigantic universal process? Is each human life also someway connected to the chain of events unfolding every day in front of our eyes? We all have different thumbprints; but why? Are we all a part of big numbers game, or does each one of us really matter?
We admit it or not, we’re all bothered by these questions. Here’s one man’s journey through love and life. Is marriage an end of the road for love? Do all marriages come with an expiration date?
It’s the search and the road leading to his final realization that makes this book insightful and thought-provoking.

About the Author:Uday Mukerji left his creative director’s job in advertising to pursue a writing career in 2009. He was born in India, and had worked in Singapore for nearly twenty years. His narrative voice comes from his strong personal beliefs. He is greatly influenced by Indian philosophy of life, and in this book, he also offers us a peek at that. But he is still having a tough time coping with his many unanswered questions, which he intends to follow through, and share with us in coming days.

My Review: This is a very well written book describing the conflicts of a young man questioning himself about the meaning of life. The author did a superb job describing all psychological  aspects of his conflict. 
Plot is simple to follow: the young man, after leaving his wife and two children starts traveling. He gets involved in another relationship with a lady and after leaving her with no explanation, he finds by chance an old professor that gives him advises. He has high consideration for this professor and he tries to make sense of everything that is happening in his life.
This is a very deep book, that will make you think about your own life and start questioning if you are taking the correct turns when situations arise and you hit crossroads or decision points. Do you ever look back and think if your decision was the correct one?
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who appreciate a well written novel that will make you think about your own life. You will not be disappointed.

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 46-48" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book:Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
Story 46: Saving Fairyland – The queen of fairyland aks Oliver to help them against the magician.
Story 47: Cat King – Oliver becomes a king for a short while, and even gets married.
Story 48: Gnomes – Oliver's oak tree receives surprise visitors.

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Odesk, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 46 - Saving Fairyland, 47 - Cat King, and 48 - The Bee Gnomes. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Saving Fairyland", Oliver receives the visit of the fairy queen, asking for help to rescue her land against a powerful magician. In the "Cat King", Oliver, Jumpy and Joey are exploring Ghost castle and Oliver is taken as the king by the locals until an allergic reaction changes everything. Finally in "The Bee Gnomes", Oliver is surprised by his room being cleaned every morning. And trying to solve the mystery, he found out that bee gnomes are responsible for the cleaning of his room, because they need to ask him a favor: they need his help to save their tree. All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book "Arena 2" by Morgan Rice

About the Book: Having just escaped from the treacherous island that was once Manhattan, Brooke, Ben, Logan, Bree and Rose make their way up the Hudson river in their stolen boat, low on fuel, low on food, and desperately needing shelter from the cold. On their tails are the slaverunners, who will stop at nothing until they capture them and bring them back.
As they make their way upriver in this post-apocalyptic, action-packed thriller, on their way to try to find the mythical city in Canada, they will need to use all their ingenuity and survival skills to stay alive. Along the way they will encounter crazed survivors, roving gangs of predators, cannibals, wild animals, a desolate wasteland, and an unstoppable blizzard. They sustain injuries, get sick, and the Hudson freezes over as they do their best to salvage what they can and avoid the slaverunners’ pursuit. They find a small island and think they have found respite—until events don’t go their way. It is not until they board a mysterious train to nowhere that they find that things can always get worse.
Along the way, Brooke’s feelings for Logan intensify, as do her feelings for Ben. Torn between these two boys, caught between their jealousy, she is unsure how she feels—until events choose for her.
As they find themselves thrown back into an arena, they are shocked to discover that Arena Two is even worse. Thrown into a barbaric fighting stage, equipped with weapons, pitted against other teenagers—and against themselves—Brooke and the others will be forced to choose what’s important, and to make the most difficult sacrifices of their lives. Because in Arena Two, no one survives. Ever.

About the Author: Morgan Rice is the #1 bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the epic fantasy series THE SORCERER’S RING, comprising seventeen books; of the #1 bestselling series THE VAMPIRE JOURNALS, comprising twelve books; of the new vampire series VAMPIRE, FALLEN; of the #1 bestselling series THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY, a post-apocalyptic thriller comprising three books; of the #1 bestselling epic fantasy series KINGS AND SORCERERS, comprising six books; of the new epic fantasy series THE WAY OF STEEL; and of the new epic fantasy series OF CROWNS AND GLORY. Morgan’s books are available in audio and print editions, and translations are available in over 25 languages.
Morgan's newest releases are ONLY THE WORTHY (THE WAY OF STEEL--BOOK #1) , the debut of a new epic fantasy series, SLAVE, WARRIOR, QUEEN (OF CROWNS AND GLORY--BOOK #1), the debut of another fantasy series, and ARENA 3, the conclusion of the Survival Trilogy.
TURNED (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals), ARENA ONE (Book #1 of the Survival Trilogy), A QUEST OF HEROES (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) and RISE OF THE DRAGONS (Kings and Sorcerers--Book #1) are each available as a free download on Amazon! BEFORE DAWN (Vampire Fallen--Book #1) and ONLY THE WORTHY (The Way of Steel--Book #1) are available as a free download via KU.
Morgan loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visit www.morganricebooks.com to join the email list, receive 4 free books, receive free giveaways, download the free app, get the latest exclusive news, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and stay in touch! As always, if any of you are suffering from any hardship, email me at morgan@morganricebooks.com and I will be happy to send you a free book!

My Review: What a thriller! This is the second book of this trilogy and the level on excitement increases dramatically. Our heroine faces new challenges after escaping from Manhattan with Logan, Ben, Bree, Rose (and Penelope). Being followed closely by the slaverunners and trying to survive in the cold weather, after some adventures in a island on Hudson River they embark in a train heading North. Captured again, they are conducted to a new Arena, where they face dangers beyond of what they can imagine. But this time they count with the help of a young lady (Flo) and her brother (Charlie) and although reticent at the beginning, they ended up forming a team that defies all odds and survives the first day of fighting all together. But what comes next is even worse and after the second day it is a miracle that they are still hanging there. 
The author managed to bring into this story more characters and situations that will keep you hooked from the very first page until the end and you will want more and more. Savor each turn of page, because it is really worth it!
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that enjoy a well written thriller, You will not be disappointed. I can hardly wait to start reading the third and last book of this trilogy.

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Balance of June, 2016

During the month of June, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Resthaven" by Erik Therme. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 43-45" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Listening to the Language of the Bible" by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema. Read my review.
- "Talon, On the Wing" by Gigi Sedlmayer. Read my review.
- "Any Means Necessary" by Jack Mars. Read my review.
- "Once Gone" by Blake Pierce. Read my review.
Movies:
- "Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches" B&N Production (2004). Read my review.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book "Once Gone" by Blake Pierce

About the Book: Women are turning up dead in the rural outskirts of Virginia, killed in grotesque ways, and when the FBI is called in, they are stumped. A serial killer is out there, his frequency increasing, and they know there is only one agent good enough to crack this case: Special Agent Riley Paige.
Riley is on paid leave herself, recovering from her encounter with her last serial killer, and, fragile as she is, the FBI is reluctant to tap her brilliant mind. Yet Riley, needing to battle her own demons, comes on board, and her hunt leads her through the disturbing subculture of doll collectors, into the homes of broken families, and into the darkest canals of the killer’s mind. As Riley peels back the layers, she realizes she is up against a killer more twisted than she could have imagined. In a frantic race against time, she finds herself pushed to her limit, her job on the line, her own family in danger, and her fragile psyche collapsing.
Yet once Riley Paige takes on a case, she will not quit. It obsesses her, leading her to the darkest corners of her own mind, blurring the lines between hunter and hunted. After a series of unexpected twists, her instincts lead her to a shocking climax that even Riley could not have imagined.
A dark psychological thriller with heart-pounding suspense, ONCE GONE marks the debut of a riveting new series—and a beloved new character—that will leave you turning pages late into the night.

About the Author: Blake Pierce is author of the #1 bestselling RILEY PAGE mystery series, which include the mystery suspense thrillers ONCE GONE (book #1), ONCE TAKEN (book #2) and ONCE CRAVED (#3).
ONCE GONE is a free download on Amazon, with over 350 five star reviews.
Blake is also author of the MACKENZIE WHITE mystery series, which debuts with BEFORE HE KILLS (book #1).
An avid reader and lifelong fan of the mystery and thriller genres, Blake loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visit www.blakepierceauthor.com to learn more and stay in touch.

My Review: This is a masterpiece on thriller and mystery! The author did a magnificent job on developing characters with a psychological side that is so well described that we really feel inside their minds, following their fears and cheering for their success. Plot is very intelligent and will keep you entertained throughout this book. Riley is an FBI agent recovering from a close encounter with a serial killer and she is requested to take care of another case, involving another twisted mind serial killer. And she is very talented, being able to transport herself to the mind of the killer, imagining the steps he is taking and foreseeing what is motivating him. And while her whole life is in turmoil, the relationship with her daughter and with her partner in jeopardy, she tries to concentrate and solve this case. Full of twists, this book will keep you awake until the turn of the last page. I can hardly wait to start reading the second book of this series, "Once Taken".
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers who enjoy a well written thriller. You will not be disappointed.

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

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book "Any Means Necessary" by Jack Mars

About the Book:When nuclear waste is stolen by jihadists in the middle of the night from an unguarded New York City hospital, the police, in a frantic race against time, call in the FBI. Luke Stone, head of an elite, secretive, department within the FBI, is the only man they can turn to. Luke realizes right away that the terrorists’ aim is to create a dirty bomb, that they seek a high-value target, and that they will hit it within 48 hours.
A cat and mouse chase follows, pitting the world’s most savvy government agents versus its most sophisticated terrorists. As Agent Stone peels back layer after layer, he soon realizes he is up against a vast conspiracy, and that the target is even more high value than he could have imagined—leading all the way to the President of the United States.
With Luke framed for the crime, his team threatened and his own family in danger, the stakes could not be higher. But as a former special forces commando, Luke has been in tough positions before, and he will not give up until he finds a way to stop them—using any means necessary.
Twist follows twist as one man finds himself up against an army of obstacles and conspiracies, pushing even the limits of what he can handle, and culminating in a shocking climax.
A political thriller with heart-pounding action, dramatic international settings, and non-stop suspense, ANY MEANS NECESSARY marks the debut of an explosive new series that will leave you turning pages late into the night.

About the Author: Jack Mars is author of the bestselling Luke Stone thriller series, which include the suspense thrillers ANY MEANS NECESSARY (book #1), OATH OF OFFICE (book #2) and SITUATION ROOM (book #3). Jack loves to hear from you, so please visit www.jackmarsauthor.com to join the email list, receive a free book, receive free giveaways, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and stay in touch!

My Review: This is one of the best thrillers I have read this year. In a Conspiracy Theory style, the plot is intelligent and will keep you hooked from the beginning. Our hero (Luke Stone) is an special agent from a department of the FBI and although he is trying to slow down, he is called once again to action, to investigate the disappearance of nuclear waste from a New York hospital. And the story develops from there in a fast pace. A lot of twists and many adventures later, he finally uncovers the naked truth and he no longers know whom to trust. The author did a superb job creating a set of characters that are fully developed and very much enjoyable. We cheer for our hero in every turn of the pages. The description of the action scenes transport us into a reality that is almost like sitting in a movie theater with surround sound and 3D presentation. Overall excellent plot, I can hardly wait to start reading the sequel of this book, named "Oath of Office". 
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that enjoy a well written thriller novel. You will not be disappointed.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book "Talon, On The Wing" by Gigi Sedlmayer

About the Book: What Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors is actually happening.
And now the adventures begin.
Finally accepting Matica into their community because of an incredible event, the people from the village love seeing her with Talon and demand she tell them about her adventures with the condors.
Matica is now happy to be small because she can do what she has always dreamed of – fly. She is accepted and loved, and because she is so small can have incredible adventures with her beloved Talon. In the meantime, her friendship with Amos continues to grow...
In this book, she has scores of adventures and near disasters with Talon.

About the Author: Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.
Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.
In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handicraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots of which she sold thousands in a few years.
In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, 'Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life'.
She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.
Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.
She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves traveling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.

My Review: The author did an incredible job bringing to life lovely characters and scene descriptions that will stimulate your imagination and will make you cheer for our little heroine of this story. From the first book of this series, "Talon, Come Fly with Me", we learnt that Matica is a young child that is small in size for her age and because of that she is not well accepted in her community. The only friends she can make are two condors. With the help of her father, she manages to save the condors' egg that was being searched by poachers and bring it to her care until it hatches (and there you have Talon!). The bound between Matica and the condors is very special and with that she starts being accepted in the community, as they respect her care for the birds. In this second book, the author describes many adventures lived by Matica and Talon, as well as the development of her friendship with Amos and the rest of the tribe. There are plans for a short travel in the near future and a long travel to Australia later. New characters are introduced in the story and the topic about acceptance is reinforced. The author is a superb storyteller and I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that appreciate a well written story that will keep you entertained for hours.
I received a copy of his book from the author for reviewing, and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

If you read this reveiw, feel free to write a comment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book "Listening to the Language of the Bible" by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema

About the Book: Listening to the Language of the Bible is a guide for discovering the richness of the Scriptures in their Hebraic setting.
The book contains more than 60 brief, illustrated devotional articles that unpack the meaning of biblical words and phrases for life today. By examining the Hebrew and Jewish cultural context of some of the Bible’s seemingly odd phrases, it shares insights that clarify reading and deepen Bible study.
Listening looks at many topics from the perspective of the ancient writers, including prayer, family and the promised Messiah. It also looks at the words of Jesus in light of first-century Jewish culture. The book can be read by itself for a brief overview, or with the Companion Bible Study as a guide to explore the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective.

About the Authors:
Lois Tverberg - Lois Tverberg has been teaching and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past fifteen years. She has always enjoyed discovering the answers to head-scratching questions and sharing the "ah-hah" moments with others. For years she did this as a professor of Biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, USA, after receiving her Ph.D. in Physiology. Her career as a professor took a turn, however, when she discovered the importance of the Bible's Jewish setting, and began learning Hebrew and Greek and studying in the land of Israel.
With Ann Spangler she authored the best-seller, "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" (Zondervan, 2009). The book explores the first-century world of rabbis and disciples, festivals, prayers and the Torah, and how restoring Jesus to his Jewish reality sheds light on his life and ministry.
In 2012 Lois released "Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus" (Zondervan). There she asks, what are the implications of Jesus' Jewish context for how we live today? She contemplates Jewish ideas that deepen our understanding of Jesus' words and yield fresh, practical insights for following him in our modern world.
Her most recent work (2014) is "5 Hebrew Words that Every Christian Should Know," a bite-sized Bible study of five flavorful Hebrew words. Readers explore the breadth of each word by examining it in various passages and by comparing Bible versions.
Lois is the co-founder of the En-Gedi Resource Center (www.egrc.net), an educational ministry that seeks to teach Christians about the Bible's ancient cultural and Jewish context. She headed that ministry until 2007, and since has been writing independently. In 2004, En-Gedi published her first book, "Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus' Ears." This is a devotional guide to Hebrew words and cultural ideas that unlock the Scriptures.
Lois currently lives in Holland, Michigan, USA. For more information, visit her website, Our Rabbi Jesus: His Jewish Life and Teaching (http://ourrabbijesus.com).
Bruce Okkema - One of the founders of the En-Gedi Resource Centre and former Executive Director. He has held leadership roles on several non-profit boards and assisted ministries in the U.S., Dominican Republic, Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, Honduras and Israel. He has participated in several Israel tours, most recently in 2006. He and his wife Mary have four daughters and two sons-in-law. Bruce wants to help people study Jesus through the eyes of His culture to better understand His teachings and expectations with the goal of applying His words to our lives as disciples. He is passionate about serving with his head, heart, hands and feet.

My Review: This is a must have book to any Christian that wants to understand better the Word of God. With an amazing simplicity the authors explain the significance of some key Hebrew words used in the scriptures, that at the end have a deeper cultural meaning than the simple translation to a single English word. After reading their explanation for many different verses, things get so clear that the next time you read the Bible, it will not be in black and white, but you will be reading in colors!
I really recommend this book to the permanent library of all Christian readers that are willing to improve their knowledge on the Scriptures.

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 43-45" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Odesk, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 43 - Flying Carpet, 44 - Birthday Party, and 45 - Magic Berries. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Mario Tereso (Stories 43), Vikas Upadhyay (Story 44) and Maycee Ann Reyes (story 45) and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Flying Carpet", Oliver goes to Africa to save another princess, but he does not go alone. He takes with him his friend Jumpy! and the adventure starts when they reach Egypt and they receive a flying carpet!. In the "Birthday Party", Oliver is greeted when arriving home with a surprising birthday party organized by his friends. Finally in "Magic Berries", Oliver, Jumpy and Joey are back into Ghost Castle and Joey find some berries and eat them. That causes some side effects. Trying to correct that, he eats another variate of berries and something different happen! Finally they find wood-fairy that takes care of everything and makes things go back to normal! All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.

In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning.

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