Monday, September 29, 2008

Shattered Reality

 

Kimberly Cheryl
CreateSpace (2008)
ISBN 9781440404597
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (9/08)


Kimberly Cheryl, in "Shattered Reality," recounts her traumatic experience and emotional journey after finding out her daughter had been sexually assaulted by her uncle; an uncle that was like a second parent to her immediate family.   Once out in the open, she was ostracized by the uncle's family, as well as other members of the family.  However, Kimberly goes on a mission, with the support of her immediate family, to expose her well-known, community-minded uncle.
 
The author describes the long struggles with the legal system, court battles, and prosecuting attorney to no avail.  The case keeps getting thrown out even though there are five witnesses as well as testimonies from authorities that her daughter is telling the truth; indeed she was sexually molested over a three-year period by this man.
 
"Shattered Reality" contains a testimonial letter from Kimberly's daughter expressing her emotions and the outcome.  It also contains statistics, signs on spotting an abused child, fact sheet, tips, and resources.
 
Kimberly and her daughter must be commended.  They took the risk and are now advocates against sexual assault of children.  Kimberly's daughter volunteers in the community by helping others to overcome the traumatic experience.  Kimberly herself is continuing to work for the cause and is engaged in the third round, this time a civil suit, against her uncle.
 
Kimberly has tenacity and it shows in her writing in "Shattered Reality."  The story is gripping and heart-rending. One can't help but cheer Kimberly and her daughter on by supporting the cause – bring to justice the perpetrator and show that sexual assault of a child is not acceptable.



The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

The Masada Stones: A Novel

 

E.W. Bonadio
iUniverse (2008)
ISBN 9780595527564
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (9/08)


E. W. Bonadio brilliantly combines ancient history, fast-paced adventure, mythology, and deception in his novel "The Masada Stones." Aaron Skorsky, an American professor and archeologist, has spent his entire career intrigued by the story of the Masada stones and the legend purporting that Josephus, the Jewish first-century historian had written a retraction of his account regarding a Roman plan for the annihilation of Hebrew zealots and the alchemy of the Masada stones. 
 
Tension, excitement, academic rivalry, terrorism, and romance move the plot forward as Aaron seeks to find and proclaim the truth behind the myth of the power of the stones. 
 
Bonadio weaves his plot around a politically-charged environment of the Middle East and a specific period of Israeli and Roman history. He intricately and realistically brings to life the possible explanations for the effort to change the veracity of the reporting of an historical event.
 
The great non-stop action and strong character development take the reader on an archeological student dig at Masada. A bright, young, American coed uncovers scrolls that lead to the discovery of a box containing the mysterious Masada Stones. The Israeli Army, the government secret service, a Palestinian spy, and a terrorist cell group in Jerusalem compete to retrieve the stones to use in surreptitious operations as weapons against their enemy.
 
A rich widow, and benefactor of the Masada dig, mother of the coed that made the discovery of the scrolls, is kidnapped by the Palestinians. Skorsky saves her life and becomes emotionally and romantically involved. He discovers that he has missed an important purpose in life in his pursuit to resolve the myth of the Masada stones.
 
Bonadio's writing is creative and ingenious. He takes the reader on a wonderful, imaginative, and vicarious journey. His dialog is strong and intelligent. The descriptive settings are vivid and realistic. The quest for the academic truth is convincing and challenging. The dramatic climax is thought provoking haunting, and memorable. The message behind the "Masada Stones" will linger, long, in the subconscious mind of the reader.
 
"The Masada Stones," by E. W. Bonadio, is a truly great read.



The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Matter of Revenge (Five Star Mystery Series)

 

I. Michael Koontz
Five Star (2008)
ISBN 9781594146749
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (6/08)


I. Michael Koontz's "A Matter of Revenge" follows John Apparite, an extremely successful and resourceful Superagent, through a series of missions set in 1956, the ruthless time of Cold War. Moving seamlessly from New York to London, followed by the French countryside, the divided city of Berlin and then to Belgium, Apparite is not only dealing with the dangers of his missions, but also with the matters of his heart and mind.
 
John Apparite's last mission was not a success, to put it mildly. Not only does he blame himself for the death of his best, and possibly only real friend, Agent J; but also for the fact that due to his decision to save somebody's life he allowed his nemesis, the Soviet assassin Viktor, to escape. Drowning his sorrows in beer, sitting in New York City, Apparite does not manage to stay out of trouble; and it takes a quick action by his supervisor, the Director, to get Apparite out of town and back into the spying game.
 
Thwarting assassins and dispatching a couple of bad boys along the way, John Apparite makes his way to the hub of the spy activity, the city of Berlin. On the train ride there he meets a young lady, Christiane, who lives in the Soviet-occupied East Berlin and actually works for Russians at a strategically important telephone exchange. John and Christiane have a whirlwind romance, during which John persuades her to bring him some sensitive documents from work, in exchange for which he will help her to defect to the West.
 
Unbeknownst to Christiane this is actually part of a larger plot, one designed to bring the downfall of Viktor, the hated and feared Russian assassin. Will John Apparite manage to finally kill his biggest enemy and revenge the death of his best friend, and if so, at what cost?
 
Super fast-paced, filled with scenes of great fights and imaginative weapons as well as fast-acting poisons, this is a well-researched and surprisingly realistic-sounding spy story. While I found the romantic interludes a bit less convincing than the rest of the story, overall I really enjoyed reading I. Michael Koontz's "A Matter of Revenge." It is extremely well researched and filled with great details on the Cold War era as well as very compelling as a story of a struggle between one agent's duty and his desires.
 
If you are one of those readers who enjoy intense, violent, fast-paced and very American spy stories, I have no doubt that "A Matter of Revenge," by I. Michael Koontz, will rank high on your list. If in addition to that you happen to be a boxing or baseball fan, you'll find quite a bit of additional enjoyment in the references to those two sports as well.



The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Make a Joyful Noise: Searching for a Spiritual Path in a Material World

 

Chariss K. Walker
iUniverse (2008)
ISBN 9759548119480
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher for Reader Views (8/08)


Are you one of those people who are thinking about living a more spiritual life but do not know how to go about it?  Then this book is definitely for you.  A person new to the spiritual path as well as a person already well into their journey would benefit from reading this book.  The author knows the topic well as she has spent the last thirty years studying the subject. 
 
The author, Chariss K. Walker, truly understands that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  God wants to give us what we want but it is our humanness that often precludes us from asking the right way for something or understanding God s response when it is given.  The first section of the book lays the foundation of spirituality by exploring what spiritual laws really are.
 
The second section of the book delves into the different spiritual laws.  These fourteen laws include the laws of oneness, vibration, attraction, action and very importantly the law of forgiveness.   It is very important to read and understand all of the laws as they build upon each other.  
 
The third section explores how to put the spiritual laws into practice.  This can be done through prayer, meditation, thanksgiving and visualization to name just a few. A combination of these practices will also strengthen what you are looking to accomplish.  Chapter Thirty was particularly valuable as it discusses how this information can be beneficial to you.
 
I really enjoyed every aspect of this book.  The author's approach was easy to read and comprehend; it drew me in from the first page to the very end.  The quotes and affirmations used were inspiring and relevant to the topic at hand.  Make a Joyful Noise" by Chariss K. Walker is an excellent resource for anyone who is on the spiritual path or contemplating it.


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fire Fish (Invisible Tails)

 

Davy Liu
Kendu Films, Inc. (2008)
ISBN 9780615192338
Reviewed by Brianne Plach (age 10) by Reader Views (9/08)


Do you like to watch a race? Sarai the perch fish never missed it! Her brother Sesom liked watching the race too. It was a real family affair when Momma and Papa Perch watched it too. However, Momma and Papa Perch have been caught in a net.
 
The youngsters aren't sure when they will ever see their parents again. They can only hope that they will be reunited safely. They have to keep their hopes alive. But with the parents gone they have many adventures on their own to discover. They have heard many stories about the Bright Beyond and Fire Fish. Sarai hopes to someday become one of the famed Fire Fish.  Like any parents should, they arrange a place to meet their children again; in this case, it is the Turtle Pool.
 
"Fire Fish" is a well-written story with adventures of what happens under the water and the life that many fish live in the ocean. The glossy pages and delightful characters make this an excellent book for kids. I especially liked the way the parents and kids showed their concerns for each other while they were being separated. The kids never gave up hope on seeing their parents again. Fire Fish are supposed to be the best of the best fish and I liked learning about them. I recommend "Fire Fish" by Davy Liu for any kids who would like to see under the sea and read a great story of perseverance and love no matter what the situation. I can't wait until I can read "The Giant Leaf" which is the first book in the Invisible Tails Series!



The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Scattered Leaves

 

Richard E. Roach
Multi-Media Publications Inc. (2008)
ISBN 9781591461463
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (8/08)


Following a spectacular explosion on a drilling rig, from which he escaped unscathed, Ben McCord returns home only to find his beloved wife June brutally raped and murdered. The main suspect at first, he is cleared of any suspicion after the police verified his presence at the explosion site, yet he quickly nearly becomes the next victim. After several more direct attacks on his life it becomes abundantly clear that somebody is out to get him. Ben rapidly discovers that this somebody is obviously a government agent, but the motives remain unclear. He decides to pursue justice on his own, wanting to avenge June's death and if possible, stay alive in the process. The following events develop briskly, and Ben is soon thrown together with another victim of the same gang, a young dentist, nicknamed PJ. Although it's been only a few short days since his wife's death, it is obvious that Ben immediately becomes preoccupied with PJ and his quest for his wife murderer really becomes secondary. He is much more focused on staying with PJ and helping her avenge the terrible fate she suffered at the hands of this unsavory bunch. Will they succeed and will the mystery of June's killer ever be revealed?
 
There is absolutely no doubt that Richard E. Roach can write. His prose hits you right in the stomach, and it hits hard. I felt totally desensitized. The violence never stopped. The main story, the one of June's murder and Ben's quest for vengeance, was graphic. When PJ entered the story, the description of what happened to her at the hands of the sleazy guys was vivid. The addition of several scenes from her past, involving ongoing sexual abuse of a child by a family member, pushed me over the edge. Yet the violence never stopped.
 
There was much more to come, from castrations to recounting of news stories involving different horrible crimes, other rapes, even one of a child, marital rape and more. Although this is all probably very close to the realities of today's world, the reader needs to be warned of the content. And while we all mourn in different ways, I found it disturbing that one would remarry so quickly after the death of a beloved spouse who died in such a violent way. Undoubtedly well written, "Scattered Leaves" by Richard E. Roach is a book I would recommend to anybody who loves scenes of death, destruction, violation and obliteration.


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fire-Heart: A Tale of Alterra, The World That Is Book II

 

C.S. Marks
AuthorHouse (2008)
ISBN 9781425944421
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher for Reader Views (7/08)


I enjoyed the first book in the fantasy trilogy "Elfhunter" so much that I quickly ordered the next two in the series. The second book, "Fire-Heart," does not disappoint.  Even though the story spans almost 700 pages, I had trouble putting it down and read it very quickly. 
 
The story continues as Gaelen the wood elf and the rest of her company decide to leave the land of the elves and travel to the desert.  Orogond, Gaelen's human love who was raised among the elves finds out who he really is and that he has a brother.  His brother, Hallagond, believes that he has disgraced himself and is unworthy of being a ranger and now goes by the name of Al-amand (the forsaken one) and is now traveling with a band of thieves in the desert. 
 
The Company's journey leads them through many terrifying adventures as they take on trolls, slave traders, thieves and almost lose their lives more than once while traveling through the desert.  The trip leads them into the path of one of the most despicable groups of people called "The Scourge."  Once they realize that the evil band's final destination is a magical city that few know about, the Company hurries to Silver to warn the city about the impending disaster. 
Gorgon, the evil Elfhunter, does not play as a big a role in the second book as the first, but I suspect that he will be one of the primary characters in the third book, "Ravenshade."  Gaelen does not want to endanger the elves by fighting Gorgon in the land of the elves and calls him to the desert through a strange bond that they now share.  He shows up towards the end of the book and actually helps the Company because he does not want Gaelen killed by anyone but him.  The book ends with Gorgon making himself known by committing an unspeakable act to one of The Company. 
 
I really enjoyed reading "Fire-Heart" by C. S. Marks and cannot wait to read the third in the series.  The author's style drew me in so much that I felt like I was with The Company as they encountered one obstacle after another on their journey.  This is the stuff that makes great movies.


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Iraq Through a Bullet Hole: A Civilian Returns Home

 

Issam Jameel
Modern History Press (2008)
ISBN 9781932690705
Reviewed by Dr. Michael Philliber for Reader Views (8/08)


What would it be like to return to the home of your early years, only to find that a war has changed the face of almost everything as well as the quality of life of most of your extended family? Issam Jameel recounts this exact experience in his small, 198-page paperback called, "Iraq Through a Bullet Hole: A Civilian Returns Home."  In this book he relates the sights, sounds and situations he encountered during his travel back into his home country, Iraq, in 2005, after having been away for twelve years.
 
Jameel describes, in a diary-like fashion, his nearly three-month stay in Iraq from June through August of 2005. Beginning with his nerve-wracking entrance from Jordon into Iraq, to his explosive exit, Jameel relates the personal insecurities and fears he faced day by day. Included in his narrative are the tense conversations he regularly had with his family over his conversion to Christianity, their perceptions of the presence of the American military forces, and the constant threats from assassins and bombers.
 
In "Iraq Through a Bullet Hole," Jameel shows in a brutally honest fashion the deconstruction of the infrastructure in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam, as well as the splintering of once peaceful communities into hostile religious factions. He also gives a personal, eyewitness picture of the effect the new environment had on his kinfolk, especially how his nominally religious family had turned toward radical and strident forms of Islam as a way of giving meaning to their daily struggles. The anger and hurt that many of his relatives had comes through clearly. Disappointments, loss of security, fear, worry and empty future fill almost every page of Jameel's hard-hitting story.
 
The book really has no ending since the conflict in Iraq still continues until this day. The reader coming to the conclusion of the book will most likely be left with a sense that when an ending finally does arrive, it will probably be tragic. This ill foreboding seems to flow from the writers own saddened and troubled heart.
 
Though Jameel writes in English, it is quite obvious that this is his second language. And yet he communicates his story intelligibly for the average reader. "Iraq Through a Bullet Hole" will give the person who reads it an insider's view of how the war has affected the common person in Iraq.


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children

 

Jill Osborne
Loving Healing Press (2008)
ISBN 9781932690606
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/08)


"Sam Feels Better Now!" is the perfect tool for counselors who work with children recovering from traumatic incidents. The author, Jill Osborne, has a great deal of education and experience in dealing with children who are survivors of domestic violence.  By creating this book, she has found a way to help children be able to safely express themselves while in therapy.  It is presented as a picture book that has exercises that invite the child to interact with what is going on in the story. 
The character Sam is described as having gone through a bad experience.  The story begins with him meeting his counselor and feeling comfortable with her.  The interactive exercises involve having the participant draw pictures that relate to the story.  Sam also gets to talk about his emotions.  The story continues with the child helping Sam by listing their own personal resources that he can utilize.  These involve identifying people and places that he can go to help get him through the scary times.  There are also exercises to help the child identify their emotions and to help them get started with telling their own story.
I found "Sam Feels Better Now!" by Jill Osborne to be an excellent resource for therapists who work with children.  As a counselor for persons with developmental disabilities, I believe that this would also be a good tool to use with this population.  This book allows the child to hear the story of another child who has had a bad experience.  As the child participates in the activities, the therapist will be able to glean more information about the incident that the child has endured because it provides a more comfortable environment for him to express himself.  The exercises also help empower the child because he is actively identifying his own personal resources.  The book also includes a guide for therapists to assist them while utilizing this book.  It also includes a helpful list of references and resources.  What a wonderful resource this is!


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.