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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review #10: A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT: MY LIFE UP IN THE AIR by ERIKA ARMSTRONG


TITLE: A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT: MY LIFE UP IN THE AIR
Author: ERIKA ARMSTRONG
Publisher: BEHLER PUBLICATIONS
Publication Date:  19 OCTOBER 2015
Genres: BIOGRAPHY/ MEMOIR/ ROMANCE
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

A Life Worth Reading for Our Own Success and Recovery
                                    
A Chick in the Cockpit: My Life Up in the Air is a biographical book by a female pilot named Erika Armstrong who loved and enjoyed her career with a passion.  She writes it by using aviation jargon to describe her professional and personal experiences that are a combination of laughs, tears, and triumph by the end.  In this book, she reveals her struggles of being a woman pilot, her joys of meeting the man of her dreams, the pain of spousal abuse, and of course the light at the end of the tunnel.  Erika is a survivor and she was always the breadwinner in her and her husband’s household.  

What I liked about this book most of all was how Erika defied her unique position of being a female in an all-male occupation.  She tells of the time when she had to face sexual harassment from a male colleague to the unfairness of a female employer who she thought would take care of her since she was of her gender.  Erika mentions one incident while she was piloting a flight between Mexico and the USA where there was a false bomb threat and the commotion that came about because of it.  Erika also recalls 9/11 and what she was doing on that dreadful day.  Another aspect of the story is where Erika delineates how she met her husband and how she pursued him to eventually getting hitched

This is a wonderful how-to-recover-from-a-fall instructional book for the oppressed because it features someone who fell from grace but instead of crying and dwelling on the problem this someone did something about it and was able to climb back to the top.  It has a lesson for both men and women alike that if you don’t cry out for help, or if you don’t get out and do something about your problem situation, you will never get out of it alive.  Erika Armstrong was overridden with oppression from someone she thought was the love of her life but it was acquaintances and luck that came to her rescue.  You should read her story, it will help you get a positive perspective on life if you are stuck at the bottom and don’t know how to get out of it.   

Sunday, January 29, 2017

FOREVER



Written for POETS UNITED's POETRY PANTRY #338

Smile forever
healing ray
immortal
always

Ageless
ongoing
alive and well
everlasting

Fearless
nobility
non-stop
on repeat

Leap of faith
blazing Sun
almighty
#strong

Be forever
stay blessed
number 1
omnipresent





Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Review #9: THE ZOMBIE ROOM by R.D. RONALD


TITLE: THE ZOMBIE ROOM
Author:  R.D. RONALD
Publisher: CREATESPACE
Genres:  CRIME/THRILLER/SUSPENSE
Publication Date:  10 APRIL 2016
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

Definitely Got Me Hooked Despite of My Convictions!

            Hey there bookworms!  How are you at the moment?  Good?  Great! I am going to talk about a book that I just finished reading earlier today that I misjudged to be boring and a slow read at that.  Yes.  This book is the one called, The Zombie Room, by author R.D. Ronald.  It started off dull for me but later became quite the crime thriller it promised to be.   Introductions to four diverse lead characters by the names of Mangle (Nicholas Garrette); Decker (Derek Rankin); Tazeem; and Tatiana opened up the book letting me in on their backgrounds and personal stories.  Mangle is a bathroom supplies salesman, Decker is a low-level drug dealer, Tazeem is a prayerful Muslim who “oversees redevelopment of rental properties” while Tatiana is a factory worker with dreams of traveling the world and doing “other things.”  Eventually, Mangle, Decker, and Tazeem cross each other’s paths and would go on to include Tatiana where they band together to fight a group of criminals in charge of luring and capturing girls for sex trafficking.  The novel is packed with surprises and plot twists that captured my attention all the way to the end.

            If you are looking for a book to keep you up all night or to take up your whole “free” weekend, then look no further than this one.  Like I said, in the beginning it started off kind of aimless, like the time when Mangle met a girl in a club and romanced with her to when Decker was living on drugs and stuff,  I maintained my patience and pushed on and got rewarded with lots of twists and surprises that satisfied my hunger for the unpredictable.  I also found out the horrific meaning behind the title that will have you cringing with shock and discomfort at the conditions victims of sex trafficking undergo if what this novel says is true and accurate.  It is a life a person would dare not venture into as it is inhumane and definitely sadistic to think about.  Got you curious?  Then order this book immediately!

            In my years of reading books, I liken this one to the author Sidney Sheldon’s works.  It is a book for not just lovers of crime thrillers but for romance bibliophiles too.  Be daring, be adventurous, and get on the R.D. Ronald wagon now!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Review #8: BIG FLIES by KEITH HIRSHLAND


TITLE:  BIG FLIES
Author:  KEITH HIRSHLAND
Publisher:  CREATESPACE
Genres:  MEMOIR/ FICTION
Publication Date:  9 AUGUST 2016
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

Touching, Fictional Memoir on One Father’s Secret, Criminal Life

            On the front cover of this book is the Honore de Balzac inscription:  “Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.”   It is a summary of what this book is all about.  It is a work of fiction but is inspired by actual events.  It is the stirring account of the secret life of a criminal mastermind by the name of Chester David, who left a sizable fortune to his only son, Leland. He had partners who assisted him in his crimes by the names of Emmett Lander, Evelyn Lander, and Donald “Snoshu” Richards.

The book starts off with a bored Leland who is trying to write a book on his Apple computer but lacks the inspiration to do so.  He is all alone, save for his pet dog Harriet Potter, in his inherited big house from his father.  The style of the book is written in the present then the past through alternating chapters labelled “These Days” (about the present with Leland) and “Those Days” (about the past with Chester David).  Of these, Chester’s story is the more adventurous and interesting because it is a biographical account from the time when he was a nerdy middle grade student to the time when he was an accomplished and elusive high-tech thief making millions from his loot. 

To me, this book glorifies the crime of thievery but is quite moving and saddening at the same time.  It does not portray Chester and Donald Richards in a negative way but describes them as considerate individuals where Chester is the loving and caring father figure to Leland and Donald the family friend who keeps a protective eye over Leland when Chester passes on.  I recommend this book to those readers who have a soft-spot for their fathers.  It is a poignant story that left me with feelings of sadness and sympathy for these fictional characters who never did anything dirty besides thievery.  I commend the author, Keith Hirshland, for keeping it light and PG-rated throughout.  It is a book I would read to celebrate Father’s Day or to gift to my nephews when they reach teen-hood.  Readers, take it from me, buy/order this for your rainy or snowy days.  Definitely worth your money!   


Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review #7: AFTERMATH by JOE REYES


TITLE: AFTERMATH
Author: JOE REYES
Publisher: WASTELAND PRESS
Subjects: POST-APOCALYPSE/ HORROR/ THRILLER
Publication Date:  4 MAY 2016
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

A Shocking, Sadistic Savage of a Page-Turner!

            Aftermath here is a post-apocalyptic adventure not for the faint of heart.  It is the story of seven characters belonging to various survivor groups throughout what was once the United States who all become connected by the end of the novel as they fight to stay on the positive side and at the same time be wary of the evil schemes of their captors and leaders. 

            There is Ian, who started off the novel with him pondering on his current situation, being a survivor of the catastrophe that left the United States of America in ruins, where the survivors have to fight and work hard in order to live.  Where the good-natured are prey and the criminals are the leaders.  He had just gotten himself a pet dog to accompany him on his adventures.

            There is Ron, who is a gun-wielding, bulletproof, vigilant young man fighting random gunmen to survive in his own way.  He sometimes thinks about the day when he saw his parents’ murder and how he became a one-man-fighting regime.

            There is Sara, a slave of the Savages, who is a sexual plaything for them.  She does not follow the usual behavior of this group, she would rather starve than come to consume another human being.  She is friends with Penny, another slave who is one of the Savages’ meal-preparers.  I had to read her story with the composure of a stoic because this is where the timid reader would have to either stop reading or let go of his or her conscious in order to get through it.

            There is Eric, one of the soldiers of the Savages, who is a kind-hearted individual who frowns upon most of the Savages and their horrifying way of life.  He is also annoyed with Jamie, a female soldier of his kind who is rash and definitely a bad name to women person in the run to claim Eric for herself.

            There is Justin and his girlfriend Amy and they are by themselves in their quest to find a safe place from all the chaos around them.  They rely on a little amount of food to get by while having to fend themselves from ruthless characters that may kill them for food and such.

            There is Carmen who pretty much has the same story as Ian who is supposedly Ian’s object of affection.  She is a teacher for kids in her and Ian’s community.  She is also one of the meal-preparers of that group who gets kidnapped on the day when Ian is hunting with some of his fellowmen for supplies such as food, etc.

            And finally there’s Alice, the oldest of these characters who is out to avenge her husband’s death.  She is a vigilante and definitely not a proper-mannered lady who is skilled at handling weapons and bad people all the same.

            I found this book, minus the Savages and their culture, to be quite the page-turner.  It reminded me of the Cormac McCarthy novel, The Road (2007) and various Marvel Superheroes and Villains out there.  I recommend it to those readers who are looking for some shock and extreme reads with kickass and badass characters to enjoy and admire.  And I will repeat what I said at the beginning of this review, it is definitely not for the queasy and timid for it will gross them out completely.  Anyway, I’m going to enjoy some ice cream, cake, and cookies to soak away the images of blood and gore this novel has planted in my geeky mind!  Ha!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review #6: JOHN PHOENIX by G. WESLEY JAMISON


TITLE: JOHN PHOENIX
Author: G. WESLEY JAMISON
Publisher:  PAGE PUBLISHING, INC.
Subject:  PARANORMAL ROMANCE/ HORROR
Publication Date:  20 JUNE 2015
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

Angels, Demons, and the City

            Jennifer Crawley is your typical New York City gal.  She is slick, she is savvy, and she is sexy.  She holds an assistant position at a law firm, utilizes the city’s taxicab system (but also has her own car), and is head over heels in love with a strange guy named John who has supernatural traits that at first frightened her but later fascinated her.  If you are looking for a book for the upcoming weekend, then this one is the one you are looking for.  This book is action-packed and will make you turn its pages thirsting for more and more as you read it.  You will be reminded once again about the Biblical war between God and the devil.  Your Christian upbringing will be tapped once again (if you grew up on it).  If not, you will be introduced to the archangel Gabriel who takes his name from the heavenly being that supposedly visited the Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus Christ) to bring her good news.  That Virgin Mary moment, however, was not revisited nor mentioned in this adventure though.

            John Phoenix is a stud with an archangel beneath his skin.  That’s right!  He was chosen by the archangel Gabriel for a purpose and it is to fight the devil and his minions wherever he goes.  John and Jennifer met when John pursued the latter to help her as she was marked by the devil for death.  John saves Jennifer’s life and she becomes so enthralled with him that she becomes set on knowing more about him and his personal life.  He confesses to Jen that he does not like his calling because he always dies a violent death every time he is in the process of saving someone.

            There are sexual situations.  There is a lot of the F-word in it but for me personally it gives the book a feeling of worldliness to it which is fine for marketing purposes.  I thought the book reminded me of a movie I saw earlier where people you thought you trusted and loved were actually wicked and were just doing their jobs for an evil greater cause.  There are humorous occasions and cringe moments altogether.  I found the conversations between Jennifer and her Black co-worker Laurel quite entertaining to which they refer to each other as “girl” instead of their first names.  This book’s only flaw lies in the way it is typographically structured.  But I’ll let you be the judge of that yourself. 

I read this book in just three days because it was catchy.  When I found out that there was a lively and outgoing White female character in it who had the hots for the macho and strong biracial guy character with powers from heaven, I told myself, this is definitely a first of its kind for me so I have to read it!  And I did and enjoyed it very much!  This is the first book from this author so I urge you to kindly support his sprouting literary career!     




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review #5: GET UP, WALK YOUR PATH, LIVE YOUR LIFE YOUR WAY by SUSANN SONTAG and CHRISTINE THORNE


TITLE: GET UP, WALK YOUR PATH, LIVE YOUR LIFE YOUR WAY:
HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF TRUST AND ABUNDANCE
Authors: SUSANN SONTAG and CHRISTINE THORNE
Publisher:  LEBENSSCHRITTE VERLAG
Subject:  SELF-IMPROVEMENT/ THERAPY
Publication Date:  18 APRIL 2016
Available online at AMAZON

Look Inside Yourself, Let It Go, and Live Your Dreams!

            Self-improvement books are great ways to better your current situation, to enhance your confidence levels and to get you back on your feet after some injury to your mind, ego, or heart.  This book, by Susann Sontag and Christine Thorne does just that.  It offers up some didactic anecdotes for you to reflect on and get inspired by.  It gives you exercises to encourage you to examine your issues and find new ways of dealing with them.  It is the book for the fighting soul who is hanging on a thread and is in dire need of therapy but cannot afford a therapist.

            Susann touches upon her experiences teaching self-improvement to her students over the years and illustrating those memories for us the readers to comprehend and practice on our own terms.  She has an easy way of explaining herself, she does not talk in the language of those experts who uses a lot of jargon and terminology that we down-to-earth people would not understand at all.  This Susann is not the writer, activist Susan Sontag, for this Susann is a hypnotherapist, a nutritionist, and a qualified health professional who is German by birth.  So this makes this self-help book credible and recommendable as it is written by someone with much knowledge and expertise in the health and counseling realm.

            I simply urge you if you are feeling down and depressed, enslaved by your own negative thoughts and/or current environment to give this book a shot.  You will be amazed at how Susann uses her methods and skills in her field to aid you and every other reader of this book to let go of things that make you suffer and to reach inside yourself to identify and pull out the goods and the resources you have locked up to enable you to live your dreams and walk the right path.  She simply is saying:  Get up!  Walk your own unique path to self-improvement and to not let useless issues weigh you down and keep you from living the life you have always dreamed about.  Now smile, nod your head, and order this book in its kindle form or print edition.  It’s worth your time and commitment!  Yes!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review #4: THE ANGEL OF INNISFREE by PATRICK F ROONEY


Title:  THE ANGEL OF INNISFREE
Publisher:  SAVOIR PRESS (First Edition)
Author:  PATRICK F. ROONEY
Subject:  HISTORY/ ROMANCE/ CIVIL WAR
Publication Date:  10 June 2015
Available online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

A Saga Novel of Pride, Persistence, and Peril

Wow!  What a powerful tale of pride, persistence, and peril this one was.  Written by Patrick F Rooney, it is the tale of Irish lovers Brian O’Rourke and Elizabeth Reilly who met during the potato blight of their home country that sadly claims many of their fellow citizens’ lives.  It begins from the time the two become acquainted on the Irish island of Innisfree to the time they immigrate to America to the first years of the telegraph industry to the dreadful Civil War to the time when the automobile is as new as the world of social media is to us now. 

            It involves the art of music that is the main coping strategy for O’Rourke and Reilly, an ingredient that makes this book recommendable for the lover of the arts.  Additionally, it tells of forbidden love and the sufferings that comes with it which will quench the thirst of romance novel fans.  It has a hearty amount of bloodshed and rawness that will suit the reading interests of those who prefer masculine themes.  There is also the persistence that can inspire those who want to achieve their dreams without surrendering to their families’ opinions.  There is the passionate and solid Irish pride for all who love Ireland (and for those who feel the same for their own homelands before they came to the Americas as this book can make them relate in their own way), and also pieces of American history that will resonate with all American readers who grew up on it in schools and the media.  It is indeed a novel for all types of readers.    I should say here that it gives you an idea of how life was back then when America was still young and under development, where much of transportation between the East Coast and the West Coast, as well as from Europe to America, was extremely basic and had to take at least two weeks up to two months for a passenger to arrive at his or her final destination. 

            I enjoyed this book for what it is, a saga novel that tells of adventures and misfortunes of people since I am a person who appreciates struggles, journeys, and quests for success.  I thought the characters were solid and 3-D due to the way they are developed by Mr. Rooney, where every chapter is told from the first person point of view of important characters throughout the novel.  I thought this enabled me to look inside the souls of Brian and Elizabeth and endear them for their strengths as well as their weaknesses.  Another aspect of this novel I was amused by was the famous clash between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, it really made me smile there.  Haha.  On a final note, I encourage the adventurous reader (like myself) who will look beyond all the gross and graphic details to really grasp the beautiful meaning of life in this story.  How some people are strong and some are weak, how some are ambitious and some are lame.  How some are blessed and some are just fortunate.  How some are good as angels and others as wicked as the devil.  All in all, The Angel of Innisfree is a gem not to be overlooked.  Its story is universal and perilous, inspiring and courageous, worthy of a Hollywood movie someday.  Have a great day!