Jimmy Clifford is the proprietor of a movie memorabilia/DVD rental shop, mostly because he finds he relates more to legendary stars of the silver screJimmy Clifford is the proprietor of a movie memorabilia/DVD rental shop, mostly because he finds he relates more to legendary stars of the silver screen than to real people. Aside from his shop and the local pharmacy, the only place he truly enjoys going is the local cinema, The Crypt. When he discovers that the landmark theater is to be demolished to make way for apartments, he decides that someone should do something about it. When his friends, Oswald, Nerrin and Pluto, along with his brother, Norman, decide that the someone should be him, Jimmy specifies that someone other than him should do something about it. Since The Crypt is his local haunt, and no one else is likely to do anything to stop its destruction, his friends are ultimately able to convince him that he is the theater’s only hope.
Celluloid follows Jimmy as he, along with the aid of his quirky group of friends, organizes a charity cabaret to try to save the local theater. Holly Curtis does a wonderful job of creating a diverse cast of characters, each with their own peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses. Each person Jimmy encounters in his quest to save the theater seems a bit more bizarre than the last. The idiosyncratic cast of characters leads to some wonderfully offbeat interactions. Curtis does a masterful job with the dialogue throughout Celluloid, as these disparate characters try to come together for the common good. Jimmy never misses the opportunity to drop in a movie reference in his quest to save The Crypt, stretch the boundaries of his world beyond Lion’s Hill Road and maybe even fall in love. If you’re looking for a fun story with some light humor and wonderful dialogue, look no further than Celluloid.
Ian Chapman is a magazine reporter who has a problem standing up for himself. He shoulders the workload for many of his colleagues just to avoid the cIan Chapman is a magazine reporter who has a problem standing up for himself. He shoulders the workload for many of his colleagues just to avoid the confrontation of saying no. When his longtime girlfriend, Alicia, tells him that they’re going to get married, he has a problem saying no to that, too. It’s not that he doesn’t want to marry her, it’s that he doesn’t want to marry anyone. Rather than discussing his feelings with her, he does what any man faced with marriage would do: He goes on a four day bender with his friends Harry and George. Three Men on Tour tells the story of Ian’s booze-fueled tour across the English countryside to avoid making the decision. He’s searching for himself, but he may lose Alicia in the process.
Three Men on Tour is an engaging story that perfectly captures the mindset of a typical man faced with a difficult life decision, and the lengths to which he will go to avoid making it. Richard Mapes’ writing style is rife with witty humor which carries a distinctively dry, British flair. Mapes’s ability to get inside the head of the wonderfully quirky characters makes for some brilliant dialogue and decidedly realistic –while bizarre- situations. The locations and characters are drawn very well, and it even mixes in a bit of history about the locations the group visits. A buddy adventure with hints of romantic comedy, Three Men on Tour was a delightful read which kept me turning the pages.
Dubin, an unscrupulous detective-turned-blackmailer, finds himself outside the Palmer Institute in northern New York. He’s investigating the apparent Dubin, an unscrupulous detective-turned-blackmailer, finds himself outside the Palmer Institute in northern New York. He’s investigating the apparent suicide of Maria Morgan, a local opera singer and the wife of a wealthy landowner, some seven years ago. His motive isn’t necessarily to find the truth.
Ned Hoffman, a psychiatrist who is new to the institute, is charged with the care of Hunter and Antonia Morgan, twin siblings and progeny of Maria and Avery Morgan. He’s concerned that the treatment they are receiving may not be in their best interest.
Each begins to question the same series of events from seven years before, trying to determine what really happened to Maria, and why Hunter and Antonia are in the institute. They soon learn that there’s more to Maria’s suicide and her children’s descent into madness than meets the eye.
In The Rules of Dreaming, Hartman uses a diverse cast of characters to tell a chilling tale of power, corruption, greed, and consequences. Each character is so well defined that it is often difficult to tell whose narrative is the most important to the story. Hartman’s seamless blend of first and third person narration keeps the mystery at the fore, while always leaving more questions than answers. From the first page to the last, I found myself reading at a frenzied pace to unravel the mystery. The moment I reached the words ‘the end’, I immediately wanted to read it again to look for hidden clues. The Rules of Dreaming is unquestionably the most engrossing mystery story I’ve read in years!
The Rules of Dreaming is a very unique book. It has one of the most complex stories I have read in years, with equally important narratives from half a dozen primary characters. The amount of action and introspection from the primary characters makes keeping track of everything a bit laborious, but well worth the effort. The esoteric nature of arguing the merits of different schools of psychology and complex literary theory make for a recondite mental workout -- If you’re looking for a light cozy mystery, this isn’t it.
Twin Powers begins with Stephanie Peters being abducted from the street in Cuba. A furious dictator enlists the aid of a mercenary, the notorious Mar Twin Powers begins with Stephanie Peters being abducted from the street in Cuba. A furious dictator enlists the aid of a mercenary, the notorious Marcela, to track down those responsible – and save face for Cuba. Marcela recruits Stephanie’s father, doctor and polyglot Raymond Peters, to help in the search. With the aid of a special power shared between Stephanie and her twin sister, Sophia, Marcela and Raymond set out on a frantic, globe-trotting pursuit of a revenge-fueled man known simply as Mohamed. As their hunt continues, it becomes clear that the kidnapping was only the beginning. Together, they uncover a heinous conspiracy with high-ranking collaborators spanning the globe. Everyone has something to hide: murder, child slavery, treason… The perpetrators will stop at nothing to protect their interests. Their one mistake: they chose the wrong girl this time.
Twin Powers is an action-packed adventure that begged me to turn the pages. A carefully woven tapestry of deceit and international intrigue, Pereda seamlessly meshed a tale of global importance with the more relatable story of what a father will do to save his child. The characters are beautifully drawn, each with their own motives and secrets. The descriptions of the exotic locations and cultures are so lush and vivid that I could picture being there. Love triangles, which are full stories unto themselves, are mixed into the action, adding to a plot already exploding with tension – and giving further motivation to the characters. Rarely before has a book engaged me as quickly and completely as Twin Powers; it grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let me go until the last. A definite must-read!
Magic Times is the story of a young man named Jason chasing his chubby girlfriend, Holly, from a small town to the big city. Having grown up in a backMagic Times is the story of a young man named Jason chasing his chubby girlfriend, Holly, from a small town to the big city. Having grown up in a backwater town, Jason soon realizes that, while Holly is Glum Fork pretty, she doesn’t hold a candle to Columbus (below) average. Jason’s journey is rife with unique and colorful characters, some of whom have his best interests at heart, while others may be working dark magic, manipulating him and playing games with his immortal soul – or worse, talking about marriage. The trouble is knowing which is which. Through his interactions with a wonderfully eccentric cast of characters, Jason soon finds that he may have been searching for something else the whole time.
Magic Times merges witty humor with the occult to create a compelling coming of age story. With its over-the-top characters and impossible situations, the story reads almost like a tall tale, yet Jason’s quest is so simple, and his character so grounded, that it still seemed relatable. Who hasn’t wanted to chase after their first love when he/she ran away? The story has a unique mix of tension and cheeky humor that I found impossible to resist. Harvey Click weaves a tale of comedy and tragedy that never takes itself too seriously, but manages to be downright philosophical along the way. More than just a story of unrequited love and one man’s quest to find his chubby girlfriend, Magic Times is a wonderfully written, satiric yarn that begged me to turn the pages.
Black Plastic by Ryan Kirtz was an … interesting book. When I began to read it, I thought it was certainly going to be a single star. However, as I reBlack Plastic by Ryan Kirtz was an … interesting book. When I began to read it, I thought it was certainly going to be a single star. However, as I read, I found it funny enough to keep turning the pages. Kirtz dances the line of comic genius and idiot very well. Just when I would think I had figured out which he was, the events would make me question my decision. I mulled over how to rate it for a couple of days before deciding to rate it ★★★★☆ but with the caveat that it only earned those four stars for a very narrow audience. Did you like Airplane!? If so, this book might be for you! Hate spoofs? Better stay away from this one.
Big Data is Watching You! is a satirical look into our own future through the eyes of one man, Smith, who isn’t aware that there is a future – or a paBig Data is Watching You! is a satirical look into our own future through the eyes of one man, Smith, who isn’t aware that there is a future – or a past for that matter. Living under the watchful eye of the Goozle servers, Smith doesn’t have a data unit package high enough to worry about anything more than his job (throwing Celebrities to the lions) and his guppies. That all changes when he meets a Yahoo named Julia. She speaks of things like freedom and privacy as if there is more to them that what is defined by the Terms of Service. When Smith begins to question whether she may be right, he starts doing a bit of research. Customer Service notices. Smith finds out just how right she was when Big Data begins pursuing him for a litany of charges, chief among them: questioning the meaning of ‘the pursuit of happiness’.
Big Data is Watching You! paints a dystopian future that is almost too fantastic to be believed, but too believable to be pure fantasy. I particularly enjoyed Bruce Hartman’s ironic wit and an irreverent tone as he lambasted our culture’s reliance on computers, the internet, and cloud storage by following their evolution to an (hopefully) unreasonable end. From ‘The Great Stench’ to ‘The Next Big Thing’, Hartman playfully intertwined improbable scenarios with events that seem almost a certainty, leaving me to wonder where the impossible ended and the inevitable began. The story was well crafted and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of light-hearted fun. Big Data is Watching You! will make me think twice before performing my next Goozle search!
Jackson Hardy is a hack writer for the supermarket tabloid ‘Our Spinning World’. He claims to be after the truth, but in this sensationalist rag, Bad Jackson Hardy is a hack writer for the supermarket tabloid ‘Our Spinning World’. He claims to be after the truth, but in this sensationalist rag, Bad Publicity is what generates sales. His current target is silver screen icon Zachary Bachman, Jr. and his goal is to find a scandal -at any cost. Jackson’s search for a tantalizing headline puts him in contact with an eclectic group of characters: The fawning receptionist, Melodie, his ex-wife, Layla, media darling, Lisandra Clarke, falling starlet, Red Bellaire, and the spectral ‘Madame Blue’ all aid him in his quest in one way or another, but as he soon discovers, not always with his best interests in mind. As he gathers ever more dirt on Bachman, Hardy begins to realize that there may be more to Bachman’s story than just a two-bit, hack headline.
Baer has a penchant for metaphors and uses them to brilliantly portray the characters and locations in Bad Publicity. Baer has a sharp, concise writing style which allows him to masterfully weave each scene in vivid detail. Bad Publicity is a story worthy of the big screen, with an interesting and unique plot that kept me guessing from start to finish. Each of the characters has a depth that really brought them to life and left me wanting to know more about them. The tantalizing complexity of the characters left me feeling that the story wasn’t quite finished when the last scene ended. With elements of a ghost story, love story and hard-boiled detective novel, Bad Publicity has a little something for everyone.
Karma is the boss at Karma for Hire, and she has it rough. Not only does she have to work in a stuffy office, where she literally hasn’t had a day offKarma is the boss at Karma for Hire, and she has it rough. Not only does she have to work in a stuffy office, where she literally hasn’t had a day off in millennia, but she also has to try to keep the peace between a misfit crew of angels and demons; they can’t dole out the karma if they are constantly fighting among themselves. Her efforts are constantly thwarted by Thadeus, a succubus whose scheming to get her in bed hasn’t wavered in just as long. Worse still, her defenses are waning; it’s tough to fight the advances of an entity that can transform into your every desire whenever you see him. When a chance encounter in The Void causes Karma to break the rules of her contract, all Hell may be unleashed –all Heaven as well. It’s a race against time as Karma and her friends try to prevent Armageddon, save human existence, and keep their vacation days!
In Karma for Hire, Hennessee Andrews explores the day to day grind of the angels and demons responsible for giving people what’s coming to them. With an enjoyable story and a cast of well-defined but wonderfully flawed characters, Karma for Hire had a charm that I found irresistible. Even with Armageddon looming on the horizon, Andrews perfectly captured Karma’s turmoil as she found herself slowly and inexplicably drawn to Thadeus –or perhaps explicably, as he is a succubus. The characters’ struggles all seemed so relatable that I was immediately drawn in and couldn’t stop reading until the story was over. With lines like: ‘I want to save humanity, get the girl and go back to being evil with days off.’ I found myself rooting for angels and demons alike. Equal parts love story, comedy, and race to save humanity, Karma for Hire has something for everyone. If you’re thinking of passing it up, think again!
Spencer Casey is a simple man from Philadelphia who never made much of a difference. When his aunt Lorraine sees a job posting in the local hair salon Spencer Casey is a simple man from Philadelphia who never made much of a difference. When his aunt Lorraine sees a job posting in the local hair salon, he takes the job hoping to get the attention of Monique, the salon owner’s daughter. She doesn’t seem to notice. Now, Artistic Puzzles Inc. pays Spencer to not make much of a difference, chopping Masterpieces of Western Art into a thousand pieces at a time. When he starts chopping up ‘Chaos Scape 19’ by Armand Brigantine –cut into the same thousand pieces every time. Chaos: faithfully reproduced and neatly separated into identical boxes– Spencer is overcome by a sudden urge. Audrey, the bookkeeper art Artistic Puzzles Inc., once said that ‘A butterfly in China can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world just by flapping its wings.’ If a butterfly in China can cause a hurricane, Spencer figures, a simple man from Philly could probably make a bit of ruckus…
A Butterfly in Philadelphia follows the stories of a handful of people who are forever changed by Spencer’s small act of rebellion. Hartman does an excellent job merging third-person narration with first-person, journal-type entries to really bring the characters to life. The story is far more complex than the cover would suggest and I often found myself wondering if it was even possible that it would all come together in the end. Everything did come together, and it did so in a very satisfying way. The wonderfully ironic subplots, some of which I had forgotten about, all found their way back into the story, leaving me smiling at the outcome. A Butterfly in Philadelphia is a witty, clever, well-written story that should be at the top of your ‘must read’ list.
Anything for Her is the story of a family dealing with more problems than any family should ever have to deal with. A father, Michael, who is currentlAnything for Her is the story of a family dealing with more problems than any family should ever have to deal with. A father, Michael, who is currently facing jail time for insider trading, is also having an affair – with his wife’s sister. His wife, Louise, and daughter, Brooke, share a dark secret that could cost them their lives, yet they are determined to take it to their graves. The story is told through each of their eyes, letting us see the whole picture in a way that none of them can. Small clues appear in the form of frozen birds, Robins, to hint that someone knows Louise and Brooke’s secret, and he is coming for them. A frantic chase ensues, with Louise trying to keep her secret while staying one step ahead of a killer.
The story starts out slow, but after the first third of the book, it really starts coming together. The writing and editing throughout are top-notch, allowing you to focus solely on the action. The story is told quite well overall and the author makes wonderful use of descriptive phrasing to really bring the scenes to life. The characters all also drawn very well, with each primary having their own identity, flaws and voice. The entire story is told in the present tense, even during flashbacks, which can hit the ear wrong at times, but never detracts from the story. Some of the events toward the end are extremely improbable, but the tension is high enough that I was able to suspend my disbelief and make it through. Overall, it was a very enjoyable, highly recommended read.
Objectively, there is precious little plot to be found in the book. There are several intertwining stories buSee the full review at DonnieJBurgess.com
Objectively, there is precious little plot to be found in the book. There are several intertwining stories but each lacks proper introduction, confrontation and conclusion. We are thrown into the middle of the each of the stories already at the confrontation, without any interest or attachment to the characters. Because the story bounces between the characters so frequently -there are 82 point of view changes: one per 3.5 pages- we never have time to empathize with the characters.
The author seems to be making the statement that we all have a mistake of youth, but the consequences vary greatly. I think that is why she felt it necessary to change character point of view every fourth page (that is not an exaggeration it is the actual math). As a reader, it is insulting that she thinks the story is so complex that it needs to be broken down so thoroughly to be understood. It simply isn't.
The story could have been very engaging and interesting if handled differently. The author chooses to throw you into the story at the moment of confrontation for all of the characters, without a bit of foreknowledge. She then bounces between the characters so frequently that you scarcely have time to learn any of their names, let alone their stories, before she bounces to the next group again. Frequently that bounce will be for only a few lines of absolutely unnecessary and clunky dialogue. If at least half of the point of view changes were removed, and the same amount of inane and useless dialogue was trimmed, the story would be much more engaging.
The sentence structure is often very hard to follow, the phrasing is very peculiar for the English language, and the grammar is atrocious. I'm not sure what portion of that is directly the fault of the author and what is the fault of the translator (which I would have guessed to be google translate, as bad as it is, were it not for an actual name being credited for translation). She wrote it in Italian and had it translated, but how could she know the quality of the translation if she doesn't read English?
Some of the writing is just painfully bad and I suspect that it has nothing to do with translation. The author uses the word 'had' as many as sixteen times on some pages. I wish I had a text file of the book to count uses of the word, I bet the number would be several thousand. In this example sentence she uses it five times, "Later they had talked, he had apologized and Futura had had to recognize that although she would have liked a best friend, Philip’s needs were completely different from hers, but she had not taken that into account at all." (Kindle Locations 1273-1275) That same sentence, disregarding punctuation and grammar, could have been written with only a single use, 'Later they talked, he apologized and Futura recognized that although she would have liked a best friend, Philip’s needs were completely different from hers, but she had not taken that into account at all.' A good copy editor, or even a bad copy editor, could have cleaned much of that up and made the story read a lot better.
The author categorizes A Mistake of Youth as both a Crime Thriller and a Psychological Thriller. It is neither of those things. When you put this book down, you will not think about it again for a second. Nothing happens to any of the characters that isn't described in the first few pages of the book, there are no surprises and the ending is more of an anti-climax. Imagine sitting on your front porch watching children play in the street for two hours. If you consider that a psychological thriller, then you will consider this book a psychological thriller.
Having said all that, the story could have been very engaging if an editor had stripped it to about half of its current length and removed a lot of the unnecessary dialogue. As it stands, it was interesting enough that I read it through, but not interesting enough that I would recommend it if it wasn't free. ...more
Halo: Death is not the end…[sic] begins with a prologue that is quite engaging and mysterious. It pulled me right in from the start and I couldn’t waiHalo: Death is not the end…[sic] begins with a prologue that is quite engaging and mysterious. It pulled me right in from the start and I couldn’t wait to see where the author was going to take the story. As the two primaries were introduced, their stories were interesting and further pulled me in. By about midway through the book, the story lost its oomph. The story became dull, labored and predictable. It seemed as though the author had a great short story that he was trying to stretch to a certain word count to call it a novel.
The book is rife with errors in formatting, spelling, punctuation and grammar. None of them on their own make the story unreadable, but the frequency of them is a bit off-putting.
The first half of the book showed the characters to be interesting and engaging. The characters had interesting stories, unique qualities, distinct voices and actions. The latter half of the book saw their voices and actions become quite ambiguous. I was searching for names in sentences and dialogue to try to find out who was doing the particular action, because all of the characters were acting and speaking in such a similar fashion. Some characters had multiple personas which were meant to have distinct characteristics. This was handled well early in the book, but poorly as the story continued.
Early on, I really wanted to know the characters’ stories, and couldn’t wait to find out more. By midway through the book, all their secrets had been revealed. Rather than move to the confrontation, the author continues laboring to cover pages and the story devolves into little more than arbitrary text. There is a story here, but the author needs to do some heavy editing to make it easier to read and hold your interest through to the end.
Hitman's Journey Back in Time is a series of a extremely cliché ideas strung together in a very haphazard fashion. The story is told very poorly, as tHitman's Journey Back in Time is a series of a extremely cliché ideas strung together in a very haphazard fashion. The story is told very poorly, as the author will frequently introduce things things mid-sentence to justify current actions. The story was clearly written in a single pass with absolutely no editing. It's like hearing a kid tell a story with a lot of '...and then he used his robot arm -oh yeah, the guy also had a robot arm- to smash the lock' type stuff.
Every character speaks with exactly the same voice, and in ways that no one ever speaks. Here is a direct bit of dialog:
“Can you afford to buy crack? I could really use some right now, baby darling,” Tina said. “I would have to contact Fred and find out when he’ll have more. I still have two pounds of marijuana left, sugar cakes,” said Bill.
In a bigger sense though, the dialogue is just clunky and unnatural. The author might say, "You had better crouch down, Ben, the guy behind you has a gun and is about to pull the trigger!" when what someone would really say would be more like, "Duck!"
The writing is very poor. Thousands (and that is not an exaggeration) of times throughout, the author misuses tenses: is/was, have/has/had, see/saw/seen, past/passed, and virtually every other grammar lesson standby. The author bounces from scene to scene without a break, which leads to some bizarre sentences: “It is two years later now and Ben is sitting on the couch.” He also uses quotations instead of italics to emphasize words, which, coupled with the horrible dialogue, often makes it difficult to differentiate the two.
The issues are too numerous to detail. Frankly, if I hadn't paid for it, there is no way I would have read it all the way through.
Milk is written wonderfully. Colorful metaphors mix with wonderful descriptions to paint pictures of the places and events the primary characters, BecMilk is written wonderfully. Colorful metaphors mix with wonderful descriptions to paint pictures of the places and events the primary characters, Becky and Mike, experience. It is told in the first person, through the eyes of Becky, and reads much like I would expect a teenage girl’s diary would - taking place mostly in the Becky’s mind. Both primaries have unique personalities and their thoughts and actions always seem appropriate to their characters. Some details about each are hidden and only revealed as the story unfolds.
The story roped me in quickly, mostly, I surmise, because it is so easy to identify with the insecurities and problems that plague Becky. My curiosity remained high throughout. There are some very minor mistakes in grammar and punctuation (but probably no more than this review contains), and the page formatting is a bit odd, but nothing that would impair your ability to read it. Love stories are absolutely not my genre, but I really enjoyed this one. Overall a highly-recommended book. ...more