Books I have authored.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hum and The Shiver by Alex Bledsoe


This book features an insular clan of slightly askew folks whose talents for music dominate their lives.  A mysterious clan that chooses to avoid society at large and has secrets that are never to be told.

Bronwyn Hyatt is a likeable rebel in this book.  She tried to escape her fate and her family.  Her unwillingness to accept authority resonated with me and I’m sure with many others.   Her personal habits are meant to shock and yet if you flipped her gender her behavior would be lauded by many men.  

The premise of the book is very thought provoking.  This review is difficult because some of the more interesting factors would definitely be spoilers.  If you enjoy Thomas Tryon and some of Stephen King’s less flamboyant books, you will enjoy this music prone mystery.

I highly recommend it.

Body of work of Alex Bledsoe

Web Site: http://alexbledsoe.com/

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp


Matthew Bannon, an aspiring artist, runs afoul of the Russian mob and some it’s most heinous contract killers. 

Say what you will about the formula aspects of Patterson’s work, I still love it.  I remember my first experience with an L-1 Vette, the slam of the gears and the sheer joy of the speed.   This book is reminiscent of that feeling.  With a pop of the clutch, you have difficulty breathing until that millisecond of air as you shift.   The characters were either exceptionally despicable or eminently loveable.  Sure it is a book of exclamation points but it is fun!  You are treated to a tour of the world, some dumps and some stellar spots.  

The comrade ship of the Marines was also likeable.  I’m lucky enough to have some Marines as friends, I am aware there are no ex-Marines, only those not currently on active duty.   Semper Fi sadly is not the hallmark of our nation any more but luckily there are still people out there who do their damndest to keep us honest and free. (In spite of the sewage like aspects of our elected officials, note I didn’t spare any political affiliation, sadly it seems like whatever stripe they claim, it all ends up on their back and they smell like skunks.)  However I digress but in all fairness, it is my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. (age related humor)

This is an exciting book, expect to devour it in several hours, it isn’t a book that needs a lot of pondering but it was darn good fun.

I highly recommend it.

Body of  work of James Patterson</a>




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vengeance by A.J. Scudiere


If your taste runs to Old Testament justice, this is a must read.   Two souls overcome with anger and rage wreak havoc on the villains who provoked them.

In many ways I found myself more touched by the enormous pain that Lee and Cyn(Sin) felt in this book.   They were both involved in horrific situations that scarred their very being.   Out of the hundreds of people each year in similar situations, they responded with uncanny similarity of goal and dissimilar behavior.   The cathartic value of their actions seemed to be out of reach.  Their hopes to find solace remained unreachable.  

The lead FBI agent tasked to catch them finds himself washed with ambivalence.  He is aware that their behavior is criminal and yet they seem to be ridding society of vermin that the justice system has not been able to topple. 

The characters roles evolve in different ways to what I saw as a satisfactory conclusion.   This book is not for the faint of heart,  vengeance can be very messy.

I recommend it.

Body of work of A.J. Scudiere</a>



Monday, September 19, 2011

Silencing Sam by Julie Kramer


A nosy reporter finds herself more immersed in her stories than she had ever feared. 

This was a good mystery with clues evident at the conclusion but totally masked by plot and subterfuge.  Riley Spartz was likeable as the somewhat ditzy protagonist.   Her character was very real including her ineptness in personal relations.   I particularly enjoyed her interaction with her parents.

This was not a figure it out on the first page mystery.   Ms. Kramer kept you thinking through out the book.   The perspective on journalism was a tad harsh but played well with the plot.   The bad guys were thoroughly despicable but that was only discovered over the length of the story. 

The characterizations of the farm community rang true.  Outsiders are viewed with skepticism.  The whole story had an authentic feel with strong connections to current events. 

I recommend it. 

Body of work of Julie Kramer

Web site: http://www.juliekramerbooks.com/


Friday, September 16, 2011

Bubba and the Dead Woman by C. L. Bevill


A mystery set in Texas but has the feel of the bayou.    Bubba, a good ole boy is accused of murder and appears to be guilty. 

This was a surprisingly good story.  Bubba is a likeable chameleon who appears to be a mindless baby Huey and does exhibit behavior that seems to confirm that assessment.   The Snoddy mansion and the local hangouts provide a very colorful environment to stage this amusing mystery.  

Bevill did a good job on crafting a wealth of potential suspects for a murder.  You are left to your own devices to determine who did what.   The Sheriff and others provide eminently dislikeable polarization from lovable Bubba. 

I recommend it. 

Body of work of C. L. Bevill

Web site:  http://www.clbevill.com/



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Odd Jobs by Ben Lieberman

 Kevin Davenport is the main character in this story Kevin has had enormous tragedy in his life. The story is a coming-of-age in the seamier side of life.

Kevin was a likable character in spite of his many faults. I think because of the characterization and the language he truly represented a guy his age dealing with some pretty major problems. I think this seems represented in the factory where he was being hazed by the guys were true to life. Any college kid that has worked in a factory for a summer job has discovered that there oftentimes is resentment of the fact that they're in college and their peers aren't.

It is a sad reality of life the crime does exist. Most of us are fortunate enough not to have been exposed to it.  The book was pretty fast-paced and highly compelling. I think the author did an excellent job at the end in explaining the negative side effects of seeking revenge. If you get put off by violence and graphic action you may want to avoid this book.

I recommend book.

Body of work: Ben Lieberman


Book Bloggers Appreciation Week Blog Interview Swap

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Keys to the Kingdom by Senator Bob Graham

This book  is a frankly dismaying and terrifying look at the political intrigue surrounding our home land security.

The credentials of this author are beyond impeccable.   He states that this is a novelized form of events around and after 2001’s attack.  30 to 40% of the story is reputed to be factual which is why this book is so scary.

We are all aware of the Madoff’s of the world amoral people whose focus is strictly on what is in it for me.   Political power, wealth, prestige are all components of this book.  The desire to hang on to the perks of power seem to preclude human compassion and concern for the well being of both the nation and it’s citizens. 

I think the book will tap into the cynicism regarding politics that is sweeping the nation.   I have heard more than one person stating the conviction that they are going to vote against every incumbent in every election.  This is indicative of the disappointment in those who purport to represent the interests of their constituents. 

Tony Ramos is a likeable protagonist who is attempting to discover why a friend and mentor has been murdered.   That search leads to the pinnacles of corporate America, the halls of government bureaucrats and the palaces of supposed allies. The most dismaying aspect of this book is the sense that it is all too true. 

Senator Graham has crafted a true page turner that wasn’t as entertaining as it was compelling.   It is a commentary on the perfidy that infects those in power, regardless of whether it is political or business power. 

I don’t recommend this book so much as INSIST you read it.  If it doesn’t raise your eyebrows and furrow your brow, I will be shocked. 

Body of work of Bob Graham




NEVER FORGET!

Please take 4.25 minutes to watch this remembrance of September 11, 2001.   Please offer a prayer for those who died that day, their families and for all those who are sacrificing themselves for the rest of us on a daily basis; especially our cops, firemen and troops. 


Friday, September 9, 2011

Attention History Teachers!



I feel strongly about history for several reasons, one of which is attributable to George Santayana* and the other is that history is often far more unbelievable than fictional speculation and thus is entertaining.   The problem I saw as a history teacher was that kids have been convinced that history is boring.  I have found a contemporary author who has successfully addressed that problem.  



Lory Kaufman has started a great series called The World of History Camp.   I have reviewed his first two books, The Lensand the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone.  In addition Lory was kind enough to respond  to an interview request. 


Lory’s work impressed me so much that I am going to be running a six post series on the Back Story of The World of History Camp.  Lory writes a  great YA action adventure story that demonstrates the value of knowing history.   Considering the inability of  our political leaders to learn (historically) from past mistakes, I feel Lory’s contributions, to promoting respect for history and the consequences for ignoring history are significant.   


Lory has graciously agreed to provide a copy of The Lens and the Looker, his first book, to give away each month on my blog.    


Go to Azure Dwarf , today Sept. 9th to see the first post and the rules for the FREE  book give away. 

*George Santayana
is known for his (often-misquoted) comments: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it"  which in my vernacular was (when I was teaching history) “if you don’t study your history you are doomed to repeat it.”  

 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coming on September 9th Free Book Giveaway!



Lory Kaufman has started a great series called The World of History Camp.   I have reviewed his first two books, The Lensand the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone.  In addition Lory was kind enough to respond  to an interview request. 


Lory’s work impressed me so much that I am going to be running a six post series on the Back Story of The World of History Camp.  Lory writes a  great YA action adventure story that demonstrates the value of knowing history.   Considering the inability of  our political leaders to learn (historically) from past mistakes, I feel Lory’s contributions, to promoting respect for history and the consequences for ignoring history are significant.   


Lory has graciously agreed to provide a copy of The Lens and the Looker, his first book, to give away each month on my blog.    


Go to Azure Dwarf , Sept. 9th to see the first post and the rules for the FREE  book give away. 

*George Santayana
is known for his (often-misquoted) comments: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it"  which in my vernacular was (when I was teaching history) “if you don’t study your history you are doomed to repeat it.”  

 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Guest Post by NeonSeon, author Life of Shouty: Good Habits


One of my friends told me Life of Shouty: Good Habits works well as a daily Meditation to center one's day and focus on the goals ahead. I haven't yet made that a part of my morning routine but I like the idea and sure could have used the book to read every day while I was writing the book. (Mental Möbius strip!)

When I wrote Life of Shouty: Good Habits, one of my main struggles was keeping a consistently clean home; a home where at any time, I was ready to accept guests and give them the grand tour. This habit goes back to age 6 or so when I'd throw clothes and toys on the floor. Imagine that! 

One of my worst habits started when I was very young.  Like most children, I had grand plans of growing up and doing x, y, and z, and I don't think I understood that unless I changed these bad habits, they would be part of my future plans, too. Imagine what reading Life of Shouty: Good Habits could have done to influence my thinking or behavior at a young age!

Art is often aspirational and writing Life of Shouty: Good Habits has set me on a path to overcome my bad habits while inspiring others, young and old, to do the same. Happy reading!

For more information about guest blogger and author/illustrator NeonSeon, And the Life of Shouty series, visit her website www.shouty.com. © NeonSeon 2011.

Thank you for your guest post!


Tjhanks

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life of Shouty: Good Habits by NeonSeon

Shouty Good Habits by NeonSeon

Shouty is a motivational book for 2nd and 3rd graders.  

This book is an attempt to get younger kids to consider choices and lifestyle.   It isn’t spelled out as such but it is a motivational book for good health.  Shouty is a bit of a sloth and this book shows him changing his ways.

I showed the books to my five and seven year old grandchildren.   They found Shouty a bit confusing.   He appears as an adult and is shown in scenarios that are not age appropriate for the target market.   They said it was ok and they got the idea with some explanation on my part.   In my words they felt that the scenarios were not well chosen for the 2nd and 3rd grade target market.  

Shouty did not grab their attention or interest and they found him a bit non-descript.   I think the message is good but I don’t know who the appropriate target might be.   It didn’t appear to be five and seven year olds.

Body of work of Neon Seon

Web site: www.shouty.com