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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Balance of May, 2016

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

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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book "AZ - Revenge of an Archangel" by Amir A. Bavar

About the Book: Azrail is an archangel, one of the original four. He's also the Angel of Death, the harvester of souls, the One who comes to your deathbed and offers redemption. Time and Man's constant atrocities, however, turn him into a bitter cynic until he finds Kay. She becomes his light, the beacon that brings him back from the depths of his darkened soul. But Lucifer couldn't have that, and orchestrates what he believes to be the perfect plan that will finally define Az's permanent downfall. Az is thrown far deeper than ever before into his hopelessness and contempt for Man. As he looms over the outcome of his brother's malefic plan, all he can see is his own end, all he can think of is a final and destructive revenge.
Az - Revenge of an Archangel, is a dark fantasy centered around the highest form of sibling rivalry: the fight between Lucifer and the Angel of Death for the human soul. But it is also about love, deception and self-discovery, and when a small light can touch you so deeply that you change and start believing once again. Az is a fast-paced, action packed story full of emotion, witty dialogue, and dark humor as narrated by the edgy angel of death himself.

About the Author: Amir Bavar was born in 1968 and is the author of four screenplays and four books, including the newly released, Az - Revenge of an Archangel. His screenplay, SHUTDOWN, was considered for production by New Line Cinema with Harrison Ford as one of the attached actors.
As a child, Amir lived in Iran, Italy, England, and Brazil. Later, he moved to the U.S. and majored in computer systems engineering with a concentration in creative writing. He met his future wife in engineering lab and got married soon after graduation. Together, they started a successful post-production and desktop publishing company.
Today, Amir lives with his wife and three children in Massachusetts and dedicates his time to writing.

My Review: This is a very well written and entertaining book, telling the story of Azrail, one of the four original archangels (the others being Michael (the Warrior), Gabriel (the Archangel of Truth and Judgement) and Lucifer (the Bringer of Light)). Being chosen to be the Angel of Death his role is to reach the death bed and to offer redemption to the soul. This novel describes all the conflicts since beginning of time between Azrail and Lucifer, since the creation of Man until modern times. His relations with Michael, Gabriel and mainly, his relation with Martha, Mary and Kay are well explored and the author did a magnificent job bringing to life those interesting characters that keep us cheering for our favorites. Az (short for Azrail) lost faith in mankind and Kay is the light that offers the hope of bringing his faith back.
After all, this is a very touching story, that will keep you entertained for hours. I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that enjoy a very well written fantasy. You will not be disappointed. Also if you enjoy C.S.Lewis, you cannot miss reading this book. It reminded me a lot his prose style.

I received 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 this review, feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Book "Only the Worthy" by Morgan Rice

About the Book: ONLY THE WORTHY (The Way of Steel—Book 1) tells the epic coming of age story of Royce, 17, a peasant farmer who senses, with his special fighting skills, that he is different from all the other boys in his village. There resides within him a power he does not understand, and a hidden destiny he is afraid to face.
On the day he is to be wed to his one true love, Genevieve, she is stolen away from him. Royce chooses to risk it all to confront the nobles who took her and to try to save his love. When he fails, he is sentenced to the infamous Red Isle, a barren island of warriors known for turning boys into men. Banished from his homeland, Royce must face trials beyond which he can imagine as he is taught to survive the notorious Pits—the kingdom’s brutal bloodsport. Genevieve, meanwhile, desperate for Royce’s return, is forced to navigate the cruel and conniving world of aristocracy as she finds herself immersed in a world she despises.
Yet as Royce’s powers become stronger and as he learns there is a secret behind the mysterious lineage of his father, he comes to realize that his destiny may be greater than he thought. He begins to wonder at the most terrifying question of all: who is he?
ONLY THE WORTHY weaves an epic tale of friends and lovers, of knights and honor, of betrayal, destiny and love. A tale of valor, it draws us into a fantasy world we will fall in love with, and appeals to all ages and genders.

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 two books (and counting); 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 and SLAVE, WARRIOR, QUEEN (OF CROWNS AND GLORY--BOOK #1).
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), RISE OF THE DRAGONS (Kings and Sorcerers--Book #1) and BEFORE DAWN (Vampire Fallen--Book #1) are each available as a free download on Amazon!
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 the author will be happy to send you a free book!

My Review: A peasant boy (Royce) with no real knowledge of his past, a beautiful girl (Genevieve), a true and everlasting love. On their wedding day she is taken away and an incredible adventure begins. Morgan Rice did it again! Building a strong set of characters, the author delivers another magic world, full of action, intrigue, betrayals, unexpected friendship and all the good ingredients they will make this series another one to enjoy and savor every turn of the pages. 
Royce birth was surrounded of mystery, and before his mother was killed, she put a necklace on him and that was his only link to who his father was. Placing him in a basket (Mose's style), she launched the baby into the river, in a desperate way to save him from the lords who had come to kill her and her baby. He was found down the river and adopted by a farm family that raised him, but he always sense he was different from his brothers. And his incredible adventure begins on his wedding day, when his bride is taken away by some lords that ruled the land. In his trial to save her, he ended up being caught and sent to the Black Isle, where he would be trained as a warrior to go and fight in the pits, for the lords entertainment. But in his journey he found monsters, enemies and true friendship. Packed with action, you will read this book on the edge of your seat. 
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers who appreciate a well written fantasy novel. Be prepared to ride on an incredible adventure that will take you to mysterious lands, facing enemies, monsters, and full of acts of valor. 

I received this book from the author for a reviewing, but 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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 40 - 42" 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 40: Elephant Heaven
Story 41: Waking the Princess
Story 42: Space Ball

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.
Author Peter Frederick sums it all up!
Here are books created by Werner Stejskal, an author who has a wonderful sense of adaptability into the world of a child. Movements, sentiments, expressions and ideas are being visualised, that enthral and win over the little reader. Plus, his terminology is perfectly matched to the mood of each self-contained story. The author also displays amazing sensitivity and is able to transport even adults back into long-past childhood. All good virtues are being emphasized, like friendship, loyalty, determination and civility, giving the fascinated reader the right signals for spiritual development. The main characters, Oliver and Jumpy, are the masters of a variety of situations that draw the reader into the stories. But one of the main reasons for the success of these children's books is the artwork! The graphics, outstandingly created by the artist, have their hues and shapes completely adapted to the respective situation and so contribute to the emotional absorption of each picture. Text and message. sombre feelings and cheery situations are being created and masterly entertain the little readers. One can only recommend this series of children's books to all adults who wish to keep their little ones occupied in a positive, entertaining and learning environment!

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 40 - Elephant Heaven, 41 - Waking the Princess, and 42 - Space Ball. 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 40 and 42) and Maycee Ann Reyes (story 41) 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 "Elephant Heaven", Oliver went to Ghost Castle and finds a large elephant in the middle of a dry land, that thinks Oliver will lead him and his family to a fertile land. In their way they have to scape from wild fires and many other adventures. In the "Waking the Princess", Oliver goes on the rescue of a princess that cursed by a witch, but he has to face three challenges . Finally in "Space Ball", Oliver and Jumpy are sitting in a veranda having a cold drink when they see a fireball in the sky coming in their direction! Their visitor goes with them in a Hallowing trick-or-treating. 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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book "Caught" by Lolita London

About the Book: 
  • A Lonely Doctor
His treatment for female hysteria calms his patients, and heats Dr. Thomas Winterbourne's blood like nothing else. Unwed, and desperately lonely, he's rejected the idea of marriage due to his singular desires.
  • A Thief
Jenny Marks feels no pity for the wealthy doctor who has more comfort than she has ever found in her nineteen years. She takes a job as his maid, intending on taking anything of value from him and any other upper class people that she can.
  • Caught
When Dr. Winterbourne finds her pilfering his grandmother's jewels, he decides upon punishing her in the most scandalous of manners, unknowingly tying their fate together.

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.
To sign up to Lolita London's mailing list, visit this URL: https://25eagles.activehosted.com/f/1
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 (Jenny) is rescued from a life on the streets by a man (Andy) that is the header of a thieves' gang. They see an opportunity to steal big time by placing Jenny to work as a maid in the house of a wealthy doctor. But what happened inside the house is a little predictable, but nevertheless enjoyable. 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 on the contrary of many romances, this one contains a somehow 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.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book "Last Year's Resolution" by Robert Lampros

About the Book:Last Year’s Resolution is a novel about Edmund Stovender, a famous author who falls in love with Marie, a journalist who calls him for an interview just before the performance of his hit play. Their lives accelerate through an epic adventure testing their faith, strength, and love for each other, as they discover that their story might pivotally influence the fate of the world.

About the Author: Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis. He earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. His books include Fits of Tranquility, Illuminating Sidewalks, Om-Bork, Afternoon, Eleven Floors, What Is Sacred, and Last Year's Resolution.

My Review: This is a very well written Christian novel, with a plot running in fast pace and main theme is the apocalypse and the return of Jesus.The author did a superb job creating characters that are lovable and definitely the book is a boost to our faith. Our hero (Edmund) is a famous Christian writer and he meets his girlfriend (Marie) when she called him out of the blues to ask him about his play. When they start their relationship a series of events start happening, linked to the return of Jesus.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers who appreciate a well written novel, very entertaining, with a strong Christian theme.
I received this book from the author and I was not requested to post a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book "Talon, Come Fly With Me" by Gigi Sedlmayer

About the Book: Nine year old Matica lives in a remote village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved to Peru when she was five with Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents. Because Matica is trapped in the body of a two year old, her growth handicap has caused her to be rejected by the local people and they would not accept her into their community or allow her to play with the children.
With patience and a sense of adventure Matica befriends a pair of condors. A strong bond and love develops between them.
Matica rescues the egg the condors, Tamo and Tima, are trying to protect from poachers and nurtures it to hatching. The egg hatches on her 10th birthday and she names the new fledging Talon.
Many adventures unfold, including her finally being accepted into the local community. And something totally unexpected...
This is the beginning of many incredible adventures with Talon and Matica. It is a story of hope, determination and love.

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 travelling, 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. 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. 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.
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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Book "Need to Find You" by Joseph Souza

About the Book: Yasmine 'Yaz' Weeks would prefer to forget her troubled past and the vile crimes committed against her, but when she discovers a hidden memoir in a kidnapped girl's cell phone, Yaz finds herself on the run with an opportunity for retribution. She soon learns that the memoir has the potential to ruin both the reputation of its late great author, Robert Cornish, as well as the reputations of many influential people.
Whip Billings, an ex-cop, unwittingly becomes entangled in the mystery of the missing phone. Realizing that this newfound memoir could significantly hurt the sales of Cornish's classic novel, Force of Will, he begins to search for Yaz. But why are the cops, and a mysterious drug kingpin known only as The Viking, also looking for her?
In his quest to find Yaz, Whip uncovers a vast network of political corruption, long hidden family secrets, and a series of reprehensible crimes. As the bodies in town begin to pile up, Whip knows that he must track down Yaz before she also turns up dead.

About the Author: Joseph Souza is the author of many award-winning short stories and essays. He graduated from Northeastern University and grew up near Boston. THE REAWAKENING is his debut horror novel and the first in THE LIVING DEAD SERIES. The REAWAKENING won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Speculative Fiction and was an Amazon bestseller. DARPOCALYPSE, BOOK 2, is now published. DARMAGEDDON, BOOK 3 was published in early 2014. His mystery, UNPAVED SURFACES, was published by Kindle Press in 2015 and was an Amazon bestseller. NEED TO FIND YOU, his crime thriller set in Portland, was the first novel to go direct-to-publish by Kindle Press.
He lives near Portland, Maine with his wife and two children and enjoys running, cooking and playing golf when not writing.
Joseph can be contacted at souzajf@hotmail.com and on Twitter @josephsouza3. You can also visit his website to read more about Joseph. www.josephsouza.net.

My Review: This is a very entertaining novel. The action happens in a very fast pace and there is not a single idle moment in this book. You get engaged from the very first page and finish reading the book on the edge of your seat. Kudos to the author for creating such a marvelous novel. It has all the ingredients to be an instant success. Mystery, suspense, action, it definitely would be a perfect material for a Hollywood movie.
Our heroine is a young lady called Yasmine. She receives a cell phone from a friend with information that some people would kill for.  And the story develops from here, and she finds the help of an ex-cop named Whip to survive the persecution of all police force and the bad guys that want the phone back. The author developed very deep and rich characters and the description of the environment on all the action scenes is superb. The fact that this book has a beginning, a middle and an end is really a plus, as it has become common among the writers to engage in endless series of many books.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that appreciate a very well written novel. You will not be disappointed.
I received this book from the author for reviewing and I was not requested to post a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.