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Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review #3: JUNCTION by CODY SCHLEGEL


Title:  JUNCTION
Author:  CODY SCHLEGEL
Subject:  MURDER/ SUSPENSE/ THRILLER
Publication Date:  15 SEPTEMBER 2015
Available Online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

Welcome to Junction: Rednecks, Booze, and Murder Galore

This book was definitely an eye-opener for an outsider like me.  It takes place in the Midwest as well as the South hence the racial slurs and some prejudiced characters.  This story involves two sets of siblings, the police, and the endless references to bars and booze.  The characters are beer-guzzling, countryside, redneck figures by the names of Nick Harmen, his brothers Bruce, Zack and cousin Ryan with their friends, the Sheeks boys Joey, Dusty, and Cory, and Adam Craig, the son of the local police’s beloved Black Deputy Craig.  Their world is everyday happenings like hanging out at the local watering hole, tending to their families, and caring for their drug businesses (which are both of the Sheeks and Harmen men’s main source of income). One day, Joey Sheeks is found naked, frozen, and dead in a secluded area where the last snowfall has not melted yet.  Everyone else thinks Joey’s cause of death is from his own drug dealing issues but Nick and Zack say otherwise. 

                I will not reveal the rest of this character-driven book but I assure you it has all of the elements of an interesting story as you will be let in on a view of what happens in small White communities as Junction, Iowa where their “prejudiced view of Blacks is based entirely on the negative they see on television sets in their homes.”  The Black characters Deputy Craig and his wife and son Adam are all endeared in this community and it is mentioned all through the book.  The Harmen men themselves are descendants of Native Americans so they have a bit of multiculturalism going on in their family.  The elements that I mentioned earlier that made this book so alive and riveting are the murders, the humor, the wit, the family orientation, and the glimpse into redneck America as this is a part of America I sometimes wonder about since I have heard stories about them through the media. 

                I recommend this book to the open-minded reader and the adventure-seeking reader as well.  If you have a peeve about racists and prejudice, be warned as this book contains slurs and the likes.  However, Cody Schlegel makes up for that by supplying Deputy Craig and his family with a sense of warmth and kind regards from his White characters.  Finally, this book is a thriller and if you like getting your heart pumping fast, then it’s for you.  The pace is fast which makes it a quickie, a positive thing. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Book Review #2: THE ANGEL by TROY LAMBERT


Title:  THE ANGEL
Author:  TROY LAMBERT
Subject:  RELIGIOUS/ SPIRITUAL/ INSPIRATIONAL
Publication Date:  01 November 2016
Available at Amazon online.

Reminds me of Touched by an Angel and Hans Christian 
Andersen’s Story

            Are you looking for a blessed quick read this relaxing last week of 2016?  Are you into the inspirational, supernatural, and the spiritual?  Then The Angel here by Troy Lambert will definitely sate your tastes.  I calmly assure you that this mini-story about three individual boys by the names of Abel, Zach, and Jack of differing lifetimes will touch and make your heart be at peace as you look forward to 2017 because it eases the burdens of letting go of the old and the welcoming of the new.

            The story begins with the street-dwelling, orphanage runaway Abel who lives off of stale and decaying food from trash disposals he finds around him.  His only way of survival is through the medical care provided by a friendly doctor who runs a clinic nearby who writes him prescriptions for remedies for illnesses he is exposed to because of his living situation.  His way of payment is through flowers from his “street garden” that he tends and watches throughout his days.  One day, something happens and he is left with a life-threatening condition that is not treated in time. 

            The next story is about Zach, a very lively and adventurous middle grader who also has a life-threatening illness that puts him on track for death.  One day as he and his dad go out for some wild and fun skiing, he gets into an accident that sadly escalates his condition.  Zach says he has been seeing an angel (most definitely his angel of death) ever since he and his parents found out about his deteriorating health.

            After the introduction to Zach’s tragic story, the book reverts back to Abel and his own time in the hospital.  It is at this time I found out that both boys are living in differing lifetimes and that Abel is from an earlier time than Zach.  I won’t spoil the rest of the book as I want you to discover it for yourself but let me excitingly tell you that this book will eliminate your fear of death once and for all.  It is absolutely a great story for those who are lying on their hospital beds stricken with some sort of condition but is still able to read a book.  Or better yet, tell this story to such persons to make them smile and welcome their tragic fates.  And yes!  I will stick to what I declared at the beginning of this review.  It will ease the stresses and issues you have going on in your current life as you make the change from 2016 to 2017.

            This book will definitely remind you of the angel of death Andrew from that CBS TV show Touched by An Angel that ran in the nineties in the USA.  It also will remind you of the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen’s remarkable fairy tale about a mythical character who was good all her life and so enjoyed the reward of God’s kingdom afterwards.  I’m just baffled as to how this book lightened up my mood on this cold and cloudy Monday after Christmas day 2016.  I advise you truly, passionately, and deeply to get this book for yourself before New Year’s Day.  Read it on New Year’s Eve to get desired results, God bless.  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Book Review #1: NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE by ADALINA MAE


Title: NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE
Author: ADALINA MAE
Publisher: ADALINA MAE
Subject: Romance
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ITUNES.

Funny, Feisty, and Familiar Lead Character

            I was offered this book by its author to review and so I am going to give it my best shot.  The story introduces us to Zara, a Lebanese-American who endured her father’s disturbing drunken behavior as well as being molested by a creep when she was a child back in Lebanon (she was born in the states but her parents moved back to Lebanon to holiday there but that holiday soon became nine years).  The book is told from the point of view of Zara and therefore we get to peek into her life due to this.  Zara is funny.  She has an uncontrollable sense of humor and it’s sad considering what she went through in her life.  The book begins with her in the present, an experienced, weary, and had-it-with-the-world woman who takes us through the time when she was a celebrated teenage Lebanese singer to the bride who couldn’t wait to get married, to the successful business-owner, to the emotional soul who travels back to Lebanon to make peace. 

            Zara is a Christian woman and the men she marries or encounters are Muslim and dashing.  She foolishly rejects true love, falls for a womanizing much older man, befriends an ambitious younger man who benefits from her instead of her from him, and gets crushed by a lying bastard who only wants her for her successes.  Why did I put familiar in the title of my review here?  It’s because I know women personally who went through the same thing with men like Zara did in the book.  I think all kinds of career-minded women, those who are just starting out at 18 to those as old as fifty, would enjoy and benefit from this book.

            My thoughts on this book is that it’s for women.  It’s a book for Danielle Steel veterans as it does not only focus on romance but on life events.  It’s also a book for ethnic women looking for a story to relate to.  I, myself, a man, took this book on as I was called upon by Ms. Mae to review it.  I think the only thing lacking in this book is some sensuality.  The story is told excellently, like wow.  But since it’s a book for women, I personally think it should have some sensuality to it.  I have spoken with the author and she told me that there will be a sequel coming out in 2017.    All in all, kudos to Adalina Mae and wish nothing but the best for her and her writing endeavors.