#ThrowbackThursday – Charlie Chaplin – a Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday on It's Book Life blogRenee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published more than a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

Originally posted …3 years ago

Book Blurb: A brief yet definitive new biography of one of film’s greatest legends: perfect for readers who want to know more about the iconic star but who don’t want to commit to a lengthy work. He was the very first icon of the silver screen and is one of the most recognizable of Hollywood faces, even a hundred years after his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? Peter Ackroyd’s new biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin’s life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamor of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. There are charming anecdotes along the way: playing the violin in a New York hotel room to mask the sound of Stan Laurel frying pork chops and long Hollywood lunches with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. This masterful brief biography offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp vividly to life.”

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Charlie Chaplin – a Book Review”

Never Cry Wolf – a Book Review

Never Cry Wolf by Patricia RosemoorTitle: Never Cry Wolf by Patricia Rosemoor

New Release: August 1, 2017

Publisher: Season Publishing

Publication Date: Original Date August 1, 1998

Source: Season Publishing and Net Galley

Title and Cover: Never Cry Wolf – Attractive and Compelling Cover

Definitely heavier in the romance genre than I usually delve, “Never Cry Wolf” by Patricia Rosemoor has the suspenseful, thriller overtones I prefer. Lone wolf Donovan Wilde is estranged from his family and certainly never acknowledged the McKenna family legacy, but it is Laurel Newkirk who awakens the family tie he can no longer neglect. The legacy, “Act selflessly in another’s behalf, and my legacy will be yours.” Continue reading “Never Cry Wolf – a Book Review”

2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?

Book Trailers!

I’ve written about them before, including those trailers I published for my grandfather’s books, as well as one I created for Jean Grainger, an Irish author. Ms. Grainger published “So Much Owed – An Irish World War 2 Story” on December 1, 2013. I enjoyed the book so much that I felt compelled to create a short book trailer, which I uploaded to YouTube on March 6, 2017.

Given that I’m a member of the Book Trailer Group on Goodreads, I keep bumping up against book trailers; fascinated with most. Some amateur trailers are amazing good, some professionally produced piss-poor. But everyone sees a trailer, whether movie or book, in their own eyes. So I got to wondering about the 2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards. How many winners had book trailers? Continue reading “2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?”

Citizen Kill – a Book Review

Citizen KillTitle: Citizen Kill by Stephen Clark

Genre: Currently #4852 in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Political

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

Publication Date: May 2017

Source: Submitted by author for review

Title and Cover: Eye-catching cover, but the title needs work

The debut novel by Stephen Clark, “Citizen Kill” is a start, though I’m still working through some disbelief–but okay–it’s fiction–a suspenseful political thriller and we don’t have to do any fact-checking here. Continue reading “Citizen Kill – a Book Review”

Telemachus – a Book Review

Telemachus by Peter GrayTitle: Telemachus by Peter Gray

Genre: Currently #5269 in Best Seller’s Rank in Kindle Store for Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date:  February 2016

Telemachus – Cover – The Red Bird of Prey Becomes Obvious

Telemachus by Peter Gray presents a gripping and emotional tale using the POV from migrating birds. It quickly becomes powerful and profound in its simplicity. Continue reading “Telemachus – a Book Review”

Dining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged, a Book Review

Dining and Driving with Cats - Alice UnpluggedTitle: Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson

Genre: Currently #11 in Best Seller’s Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Animal Care & Pets, Cats

Publisher: IonPublishers LLC

Publication Date:  June 2017

Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged – The cover got me (See that “M” on the forehead of the cat at the wheel? That is the distinctive mark of a Maine Coon)

Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson could as easily have been titled An Ode to Alice–or–An Ode to Gastronomy. The author could wax as poetic over exotic and very expensive dishes (maybe more so) than Alice at times, and it became a toss-up as to who won. I guess the answer is that we did, as neither you nor I will likely ever indulge in a Boudin from the “Boudin Capital of the World.” Personally, I never knew of a boudin (boo-dahn), much less that there was a capital. Continue reading “Dining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged, a Book Review”

The Fifteenth of June – a Book Review

The Fifteenth of JuneTitle: The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones

Genre: Currently #721 in Best Seller’s Rank for Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Sagas

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC

Publication Date:  February 2017

The Fifteenth of June Eye-catching cover (The bench holds significance.)

What is it that makes us step outside our comfort zone to sample a graphic scene filled plot we wouldn’t usually consider? Perhaps it is the chance to be an anonymous, albeit disapproving voyeur in a train wreck.

Such is the case when I read emotionally charged The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones. His protagonist, Drew Thomson, is a deeply flawed 28-year-old alcoholic who realizes after five years living with Heather that he really doesn’t love her. Drew moves from her apartment with no job, no digs of his own, and no prospects. His contacts are from previous employment where he was fairly successful but crushingly unhappy, and his antisocial behavior seems exacerbated by the lack of any sense of direction. There is no future. There is only the past and it was dark. Continue reading “The Fifteenth of June – a Book Review”

Heroine: A Brooke Kinley Adventures Novella – Book Review

New Book Review

Heroine by A. S. BondHeroine: A Brooke Kinley Adventures Novella by A. S. Bond

Genre: Currently #1326 in Best Sellers Rank for Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Women’s Adventures

Publisher: Castle Books

Publication Date: April 2016

Heroine: A Brooke Kinley Adventure Novella-Dark, Interesting Cover

Sages's Blog ToursPresented for Review through the “Reading Room” of Sage’s Blog Tours

August 1994 in St. Petersburg of Russia saw a gaggle of pretty girls giggling with each other and flirting with the boys who pretended not to stare while they slyly appreciated the attractive young foursome. It was just too, too easy for this experienced supplier and never should have happened; but it did.

And that was the last thing Anya and Sasha or their friends knew until they were on their way to the northern tip of Minnesota in America where, terrified, Anya ran when she got the chance and fell into the lake below where Brooke and her older brother Jaime were canoeing. It wasn’t long before Brooke and her brother realized they would have a problem protecting this girl, and she was shortly turned over to the local sheriff who would contact Homeland Security for the safe return to her homeland–or so they thought.

It’s not difficult to imagine that having once rescued this pretty, young and frantic person, Brooke would continue to think and worry about her well-being. A little more difficult, however, is the concept that 18-year-old Brooke Kinley (a soon to be investigative journalist still facing her first year of college), would be capable of throwing that safety net. Unfortunately, the sex-trafficking market is very real, even in America.

Brooke is not without strong allies in the small town where her family spent summers in their cozy log cabin and is well known and supported by the good guys, which may well save the day.

A novella, the author wastes no time getting deep into the plot and the storyline moves swiftly. These are not teenagers she is facing though, and the reality would be pretty terrifying. I suspect it might be challenging for an older person, male or female and well armed, much less an 18-year-old female armed with nothing but her wits. Still, the outcome is satisfying, and as I’ve not read “Patriot,” for which this is the prequel, I am not sure how this ties in to that full and best-selling novel. I downloaded the novella free in Four Starexchange for an honest review. I obviously have a little bit of a credibility issue here, but otherwise the tale is worth the read.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars

A. S. Bond, authorThe Author: A. S. Bond is a world traveling writer and journalist. She has traditionally published several non-fiction books in addition to her Brooke Kinley Adventures series. Her own adventures have taken her from the forests of Central America to D.C.’s corridors. The first book in the Brooke Kinley series, Patriot, was a bestseller and a finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Ms. Bond is, above all, a wilderness survivor having canoed a remote part of Canada. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

So Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story – Book Review

So Much Owed-#1 Amazon BestsellerSo Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story by Jean Grainger

Genre: Best Seller’s Rank #2 in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC

Publication Date: December 1, 2013

So Much Owed – Great Cover

Early protagonist Dr. Richard Buckley survives The Great War, but as with present day PTSD, not without scars–visible or not. He has seen far more than he ever wanted and it still tears him up.

His wife, Edith, bears twins James and Juliet, the latter of whom is spirited enough for both she and her much more reticent twin, James. Dr. Buckley is sickened at heart, but tries to take his place in his beloved Dunderrig, (West Cork) Ireland to serve as physician. He has brought with him the French bride, Solange Allingham, widow of his best friend, with whom they’d shared a pack to care for the other’s family in the event of the death of the other. Continue reading “So Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story – Book Review”

Stone Song-A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse – Review

stone-songTitle: Stone Song by Win Blevins

Genre: Currently Best Seller’s Rank #34 in Kindle Store, Literature & Fiction, Native American

Publisher: WordWorx

Publication Date: December, 2016

Stone Song

 Amazon introduction: “Nominee for the Pulitzer and winner of the Spur Award, ‘Stone Song’ is the classic, and extraordinarily told, story of the Lakota Sioux mystic warrior, Crazy Horse. Of all the iconic figures of Native American history, Crazy Horse remains the most enigmatic. To this day he strides across American history as a man who lived—and died—on his own terms.” This is the 20th Century anniversary edition of a book originally published in 1995.

You don’t have to own a horse to get on this one for a wild ride in history. While “Stone Song” by Win Blevins combined a lot of fact with the fiction, it is to Blevins credit that you’d swear he was personally there to share the story (some 553 pages long), intimately involved in an individual so deeply spiritual that it governed his entire life to a tragic end.

Continue reading “Stone Song-A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse – Review”

Mortom by Erik Therme-Review

Mortom by Erik ThermeMortom by Erik Therme

Genre: Currently #1555 on Best Seller’s Rank for Kindle eBooks, Mystery Thriller & Suspense

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: April 2015

Submitted by author for review

Mortom by Erik Therme – Cover hints at suspense

Maybe it was the discovery of the odiferous rat found under the refrigerator when the protagonist, Andy Crowl and his sister Kate, tentatively set foot in the house he has just inherited, but this one grabbed me from the beginning. The rat had a key wrapped in a note shoved into his rotting jaws. His unfortunate cousin, Craig Moore, had passed and left his entire estate, consisting of this old house and an empty bank account to Andy despite the lack of recent familial connection.

What he remembers of his cousin was the puzzles in which they both shared an interest. Craig wasn’t just good with puzzles, it was the one activity where he could actually best Andy. It doesn’t take Andy long to realize, however, this puzzle is a deadly one, but one that could also reap him some major bucks if successful–and heaven knows (given his current circumstance) he needs them! Unfortunately, the puzzle comes with a timeline. Continue reading “Mortom by Erik Therme-Review”

Death Unmasked – Review

Death UnmaskedDeath Unmasked by Rick Sulik

Genre: Currently at Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank #4837 in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Supernatural

Publisher: Christopher Matthews Publishing

Publication Date: November, 2015

Submitted by author for review

The title Death Unmasked could be descriptive of the topic. The cover ties to the coat involved in the story, but doesn’t readily explain the book subject.

Interesting plot premise (reincarnation) and a subject that fascinates me. I also read and enjoy paranormal novels and really wanted to love this book as well. Rick Sulik apparently has an affinity for poetry and offers his thoughtful expressions of life intertwined within the plot of his book. His poetry ranged from pensive to beautiful. The subject and the plot have a great potential.

The book begins with a heinous scene reflective of the horrors inflicted on citizens by the Germans during WW2, that of the cruel death of married lovers; Laura is first raped, then murdered, and Emil vows retribution before his death.

Now to present day Houston Police Detective, single Sean Jamison, who is burned out at 57 years of age and reclusive. He is busy pining for his one true love, and involved in the investigation of a crazed serial killer who likes to leave the haunting line from the “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde, “Yet each man kills the thing he loves,” as a token taunt at the scene of his sadistic murders.

That’s the simple part and that’s where simple ends. Sean Jamison, the first and main protagonist, climbs on his soap box rather often. He has realized through several happenstances that this is not his first life and that his last life ended horribly cruel. His partner, Bill Roman, is a candidate for anger management. His captain, Virginia Schaeffer, is a really horny (middle-aged?) single woman who suddenly and inexplicably falls in mad, over-the-top passionate love (after one heart-to-heart) with Sean, who is saving himself for his previous wife who he feels is now living a present day existence as well. If only he could find her! Are you confused yet?

Bill Roman is taking psychic lessons from Sean, though initially scoffs at the suggestion, and helps to find and apprehend a felon. He will try to use the same power later to help catch the antagonist, the serial killer (who previously kidnapped his wife).

But wait–there’s more: spoiler alert! The serial killer has noticed a flea-market coat that has a particular significance for him, and marks the coat so he can track the new owner. Uh oh! The new owner of the coat, coincidentally, may be connected to Sean’s previous life’s wife.

When he does find his wife from another life, they throw caution to the wind and enjoy a rather public tryst, forgetting his wife from another life has a current day fiancée. In his mind, he has found his wife, his life, and his family. But if she’s still his contemporary, I’d wager that’s too late.

Another spoiler alert: Some of these people are all connected, and I mean brother and sister connected, in previous lives. And the serial killer? You’ll just have to read it–or maybe you already know.

The dialogue ran stilted at times, preachy (and unrealistic); and the characters were inconsistently fleshed out. I had a little problem with the continuity, with scene jumping, or contradictory timing of day/night. Descriptions ran a little on the verbose side bordering on TMI.

Rosepoint Rating-three of fiveThis book will benefit greatly by a critical eye for cut, slash, and rework as the idea is solid–it should work better.

The Author: Rick Sulik served in the US Air Force Military Police prior to working with the Houston and Pasadena Texas Police Departments, followed by ten years as a courthouse bailiff. He retired in 2013.

Rosepoint rating based on current problems: Three of Five ©2016 Virginia Williams Resource Box Continue reading “Death Unmasked – Review”