This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It's a self-help book that is part memoir, part art book, and full of insight. The author uses power...moreThis is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It's a self-help book that is part memoir, part art book, and full of insight. The author uses powerful metaphors from her own journey, in her 50's, to become a licensed pilot. She uses these flying lessons to create 7 lessons to "fly" in life. The author's humble approach makes the book accessible and never preachy. Ms. Hale weaves wonderful stories that read like a fiction short story, but they are tied to a life lesson.
I read a chapter each night for a week, and then absorbed the information over the evening before I read another chapter the next day. I found the book uplifting - it has a "you can do this" vibe to it. T
My only downside to the book was that some of the stories started to feel a bit long, especially toward the last 2-3 lessons. But this was a minor issue and did not lessen my overall enjoyment of the book, or take away from the powerful message here.
Flying Lessons will be an excellent addition to the library of anyone who is interested in self-improvement.(less)
I don't normally read historical fiction, but I met the author of this book on Wattpad and was intrigued by the premise, so I thought I'd give it a tr...moreI don't normally read historical fiction, but I met the author of this book on Wattpad and was intrigued by the premise, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did! Quintspinner was a fast-paced and well done read. Quintspinner mixes pirates on the high seas with a touch of romance and a magical element. But if you're expecting a Disneyfied version of pirates, you'll be disappointed. It's clear that this author did her research and she has created a world that is true to the harsh realities of pirating. Pirating was not a pretty business, and this author holds nothing back. Infested food, lack of bathing, cruelty, death - and more - are present. It's at times a grim book. But from the beginning I was drawn to the people and my desire to learn their fate kept me turning the pages. The author throws danger after danger at these characters, and they keep finding a way to not only survive, but grow stronger. The end leaves room for a sequel and I look forward to continuing the adventure. I have a couple of quibbles with the book. First, I appreciated the realism and historically true treatment of this subject. I felt immersed in the nasty, dangerous pirate world. But by about the 80% mark, I felt like enough is enough. It's a bit like a horror movie when the heroine has escaped and you feel like she's safe, but then you see the killer's hand or something and you see she still has more of a battle to fight. Quintspinner was a bit like that toward the end. Second, the end felt abrupt. I know the author has more to tell about these characters, but it felt like there was a lack of closure. But overall, these two issues did not deter from the enjoyable read. If you can't get enough of pirates, I highly recommend this book.(less)
I received a courtesy copy of this book from the author and dug into it with enthusiasm. From the beginning, the book sucks you in with an intriguing...moreI received a courtesy copy of this book from the author and dug into it with enthusiasm. From the beginning, the book sucks you in with an intriguing premise. What if twin boys are born with special abilities and a destiny that will have them fighting not only for their own lives, but for all around them.
This debut novel by Kate Fuentes is a fast-paced read that delves into Maori culture in New Zealand, something very unique. This first book of the series sees the twins growing up to the early teen years, receiving training from venerable family members and elders.
There are points where the author begins to "tell" rather than "show" and this slows down the story at times. But early on Fuentes creates characters we care about and a plot that is compelling enough to pull the reader through some weak spots.
For me the best storytelling came in the parts which included the boys' mother. The beginning of the story, romantic and full of the lovestory between the parents, was beautifully written and tight. This pace and flow returns later in the story when the plot picks up as surprises are revealed.
As I have found with most novels published by independent authors, Fuentes "Elements" is a fresh story, unlike anything you've read before. I look forward to reading the next book by this promising author.(less)
Joanna Penn has done it again, and then some, with PROPHECY. Her character Morgan Sierra is back in page-turning (or on an e-reader, perhaps it's call...moreJoanna Penn has done it again, and then some, with PROPHECY. Her character Morgan Sierra is back in page-turning (or on an e-reader, perhaps it's called button-clicking) read. If you have not yet read Joanna Penn's first book, PENTACOST, then buy that now and read it first. While you could read PROPHECY without having read Pentacost and still enjoy it, reading Pentacost first will enhance your enjoyment of Prophecy.
Morgan Sierra is still kicking butt and taking names as she and her partner Jake travel the world and unravel mysteries in order to stop a super-hot megalomaniac from starting Armageddon. If you're a fan of Dan Brown, then Joanna Penn is the author for you. Like Brown, Penn weaves information about religious art, icons and history with modern-day fears. The result is a face paced read, one that kept me up past my bedtime because I wanted to know what happens next.
Here are three things I really love about this book:
1. RECITATION OF FACTS TO A MINIMUM. Books like this one, where there is a significant amount of relevant facts for the reader to know, can so easily become a non-fiction textbook rather than a fiction story. As a reader, I don't want to become aware of the author and feel like in the middle of a story, the author has butted his/her head in and is giving me a recitation of facts (one of the reasons I don't read much historical fiction). In Penn's first book, while I enjoyed it quite a bit (I gave it 4 stars), there were times that the author spent a few too many paragraphs (in my opinion) reciting the wonderful facts she had learned from her research. In PROPHECY, this doesn't happen. The reading is smooth, recitation kept to a minimum. There are plenty of wonderful facts thrown in but it is handled deftly. AND I LOVE learning about the various places this book takes me. I enjoy whizzing around the world with Morgan Sierra and learning about religious artifacts and iconography and the meanings behind them. Joanna Penn knows her stuff and in PROPHECY, author Penn allows her character to do the talking.
2. KICK-BUTT FEMALE PROTAGONIST. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I could go the rest of my life without reading another book with a wimpy female main character who is like the proverbial princess locked in the tower waiting to be rescued. Joanna Penn has created a wonderful character in Morgan Sierra, a character that can easily maintain a whole series of books. I really enjoyed learning more about Morgan in this second book of the Arkane series and I love that the author didn't tell us everything about her in Book 1. She's doling the information out book by book. And Ms. Penn created a character with plausible explanation for why she can go head to head with thugs and bad guys (where if I were to try to land a flat palmed thrust to a bad guy's face I'd end up with a broken wrist). Morgan Sierra's history continues to unfold for the reader and her background makes her abilities and actions believable. Morgan is sexy, smart and kicks butt. It's fun going for the ride with her.
3. COMMERCIAL FICTION THAT CAN ALSO PROVOKE THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION. I enjoy a book that's just a fun ride as much as the next person. But I also like a book that may inspire me to use my noodle, think about an issue, perhaps even enter into a lively debate with others based on the issues raised. Joanna Penn tackles the issue of religious extremism in this book and she does it very well. Why does someone strap a bomb to themselves and blow themselves and many others up in the name of God? The author is never preachy and again, the tendency of some authors is to start to lecture the reader when they address these kind of themes. Author Penn avoided this tendency and allowed the themes to unfold naturally and without instilling herself into the story as a lecturer. I enjoyed very much Penn's treatment of this complex and troubling topic -one so completely relevant to our current world situation.
Kudos to Joanna Penn. Looking forward to the next installment.(less)
If you like Alice in Wonderland, you should definitely read this book. If you like Steampunk, you should definitely read this book. I read it on my Kin...moreIf you like Alice in Wonderland, you should definitely read this book. If you like Steampunk, you should definitely read this book. I read it on my Kindle and by 3% in, the story was off and running in a fast-paced ride. Jason is a gifted storyteller and the way that he wove threads was impressive. And while the story overtly references Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this is a very different story. The Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit and the Heart Kingdom are all here. But what I enjoyed the most are the new characters created by the author. The main character, James, is a very likeable guy who seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and finds himself caught up in major conflict. I also really enjoyed Kara, the female lead character. Jason created a gritty female character (the daughter of the Mad Hatter) and she is a great counterpoint to James. The author also created some wonderful contraptions such as the flying machines and robots that add great Steampunk detail to this story. My only complaint is that the story seemed to lag for me toward the end and I wanted less description there and more action to pull me on toward the end. But the ending itself was satisfying and I think ends in such a way that the author has left himself room for a second book with these great characters. I've read quite a few self-pubbed books in 2011 and this is at the top of my list as one of the most well-written (and well formatted and edited) books of the Year of the Indie. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.(less)
If you are a writer OR if you have any product or service you want to sell, I highly recommend this book. John Locke came up with a very effective way...moreIf you are a writer OR if you have any product or service you want to sell, I highly recommend this book. John Locke came up with a very effective way to use social media for marketing and it clearly has worked for him. This book is worth the price just for his advice about how to write your blog. He also gives some very specific advice on how to use Twitter that was new to me. John's advice on "Transfer of Loyalty" was interesting and while I don't think it's a new concept in the world of marketing, I had not considered it as applicable to selling a book. In short, if someone has sold over a million books in 5 months, I think it's worth paying attention to how he did it and in this book, John tells you exactly what he did. If you're looking for a book to tell you how to write a better book, this one's not it. But if you're looking for a way to pump up your sales or planning for your next book (which you'd like to be a commercial success), then you definitely should pick up this book.(less)