Sunday, October 30, 2011

Andy McDougal and the Crypt of the Chimera by Kevin Richardson

(Check below review for FREE giveaway information!!)
This story is written deep in the heart of science fiction.  From the beginning, it’s easy to tell this is going to be a life-changing story and certainly is for the very believable Andy McDougal.  Try as you might, even if you don’t like sci-fi that much you will be drawn into Andy’s story.

Whether you feel sorry for him or want him to fail, it doesn’t matter.  The author leaves that up to you and just strings you along to find out what in the world is happening. 

The question of what is under the bed that Andy struggles with during parts of the book is one that every kid wonders.  If the lights go out is there something that comes alive under the bed or in the closet?  Why is it that we are unable to not think things are different in the dark? 

Richardson spins a wonderful tale full of heroes, villains, and mystery in this book and I believe it will end up being a classic.  It’s a great ‘read to me’ story, too, as long as your children are not too prone to night mares.  I loved this book and the way it wove in and out of reality and fantasy and kept me interested throughout.  I believe the age group chosen will be delighted with this book and consider it a must read.  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Paper Mustang and Kevin Richardson are giving away one of his books, Andy McDougal and the Crypt of the Chimera for FREE!!!!!!  YES, FOR FREE!!!

All you have to do is answer this simple question:  WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? in a comment below this review. 

The most unique, relevant to the story answer will be chosen by Paper Mustang publishers as the winner and they will receive a paperback, AUTHOR SIGNED copy of Andy McDougal and the Crypt of the Chimera

(Winner will be chosen November 4th.  Be sure to include a way to get in touch with you so if you win you can be contacted for mailing information.)


7 Folds of Winter by Carolyn McCray

Following in the footsteps of great fantasy, sci-fi writers such as Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey, McCray does it again with her newest YA Fantasy “7 Folds of Winter.”  Lucky for us this is first in a series because this is a great book.  Immediately you are drawn into this story to the point where you don’t dare put it down because you just know when you do the hero is going to be sacrificed.  It’s written in a way to suck you into the drama and into the world the author is creating.  

McCray has a way of bringing you into the story without the long, drawn out scene descriptions that other authors use. She’s all about action. She winds the scene around the hero and his compatriots without you being aware she’s done it.  This, to me, brings me into the story allowing me to see through the characters eyes, which also means that when I leave the story, I’m afraid it’s going to change because I’m not there moving them forward or protecting the hero from harm.

I have read several of Carolyn McCray’s books and every one is a page turner and this is certainly no exception.  I’m proud to call Carolyn a friend and know that someday I’m going to be able to look back and say “I knew her when” because she, and her works of art, are going to be famous.  This is a definite 5 star, must read book.  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Belong by George Wilhite

This is a short story, or novelette as the author calls it, that packs quite a punch.  Even though it only took me a short time to read it, I couldn’t put it down.  Ian is the epitome of geeky kid that we all find ourselves thinking we were or are at some point in our lives.  He’s very easy to associate with, at least for me.

Immediately you are drawn into his plight and sucked into the story.  I can’t say that it scared me but it did make me wonder what is behind the mirrors I look into.  The descriptions in this book are very powerful and considering how short it is are rendered without verbosity.  Line by line the story unfolds and captures the imagination to the hilt. 

This is an awesome work that will become the lifeblood behind the next urban legend.  I intend to retell it to my grand children around the next campfire because it disserves to be told over and over again.  Excellent work.

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Watering the Tree by Kender MacGowan

Watering the Tree, Thoughts on Liberty and Tyranny is a collection of poems, short stories, and thoughts surrounding the author’s view of our liberties and the danger we are facing by staying complacent on fighting for our rights as humans and Americans.  This is not a book for the liberal minded but it is one they should read but probably won’t.

Although I’m not as right-winged as the author I did find myself agreeing with some of the thoughts provoked in this book.  Sometimes it was just hard to read not because of the content or the style but because of the reality of the words.  Which I’m pretty sure was the intention of the author.

I don’t normally read nor review these types of books because I don’t really like them.  I can’t say, unfortunately, that this was an exception to that.  I am glad, however, that the author talked me into looking at it and I have to say, too, that I wasn’t going to review it but I promised the author I would. 

So my review is here for you-all to read.  I found the book disturbing, as it was intended to be, and hard to read, again as intended.  Not for the style of short story type but because I don’t want to be told that I’m complacent in my pursuit of my own liberties and that I’m standing by while someone else makes the decisions that endangers those liberties and that I’m still, after being told, not going to do anything to change it.  Sad but true. 

Purchase Site

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Neikos Five Land Adventure by A. K. Taylor

This is a great middle school or read to me book with tons of adventure and lots of characters to associate with.  I loved the story line and I think for the most part the author handled the different worlds that Neiko was a part of pretty well.  I did find myself lost a few times but the fact that the author used different names for the two worlds helped a lot.

However, that also led to some confusion trying to keep the characters identified.  For a middle school book, there seemed to be a lot of ‘main’ characters and it was hard sometimes to keep them straight. 

I loved the pictures and the illustrator should get extra kudos for the portrayal of the author’s vision.  I read the descriptions of the characters and saw the pictures were so exact they almost leapt out of the pages.  Great job.

My recommendation on this book would be to cut down a bit on the host of main characters.  If I, as an adult, got confused, I can’t imagine how a 12 or 15 year old would be able to keep track of who was whom.  I did love the story line and once I stopped trying to memorize the names of those not specifically interacting with Neiko I got along better with the cast. 

The story line was easy to follow, however and the adventure definitely worth the read.  I look forward to reading other books by this author and in this series.  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

The Unwilling Bride by Candy Little

The Unwilling Bride is a true romance written in the style of many of the great romance novels published by Avon, Harlequin, etc.  It has sass, a strong female lead, an understanding male lead, a historical setting and a dramatic storyline.  Everything about this book screams classic romance.

Little does a nice job of weaving love into a horrid situation and bringing all members of the cast out the other end semi-unscathed.  I like the interaction between the characters and how I almost feel sorry for the bad guy, well gal in this case (gals?) because of their perceived situation.

I won’t give away the ending but I was pleased with it and wasn’t so sure things would work out in the manner they did.  The only thing that kind of bothered me about the whole thing was that it was a bit slow in some places where situations were being explained or things were changing around.  I felt those explanations maybe could have been moved around or split up somehow to accord them less relevance. 

Generally, though, if you are looking for a great romance book, this is well worth the read.  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gerald and the Wee People by Greta Burroughs

I got this book as part of a face book event group read.  That being said, I got behind and never got the chance to join the group read.  I’m sorry Greta!  However, I hope that by giving you a review you will forgive me.
I really enjoyed reading this book.  The author took a few plot twists that I probably wouldn’t have taken and when I read them I wondered how in the world that was ever going to work out but I have to say she surprised me every single time.  I fell in love with the wee people and especially the far-seers.  As far as I’m concerned they were the heroes here.

The world created by Burroughs was fantastic.  I got lost a couple times with where the boundaries were but the story didn’t really need them.  As the group traveled the world just seemed to go with them.  Still a bit unclear on that but I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything.

The plot was fun, the story believable, the outcome wonderful and the entire book was entertaining.  I wouldn’t mind coming back to visit the wee people once in a while and probably will!  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown

The name of this book is deceiving but once you’ve read the book you totally get why the author chose that name.  I was prepared to read the first couple of chapters and send it back un-reviewed, however, it surprised me.  Pleasantly I have to add.  It’s billed as a spaghetti western style and it certainly is.  Keeping true to that genre it has the fumbling sheriff, the bad guy who’s really good and the story is quick, decisive and almost unbelievable.

This was a quick read but one that was very entertaining.  I had some issues with a couple of places where reality took a definite right turn and I just couldn’t follow along but generally it was a lot of fun to think about how great it would be were it true.

I would recommend this book but remember that true life isn’t going to apply here and that your limits of reality will be tested.  I especially liked the end … but I don’t give away plots.  You’ll just have to read it to see what I mean.

Reviewed by Sue Owen