December 31, 2013

Sign Changes by Bart Hopkins Jr.

Sign Changes was an interesting book.

It follows four different story lines that seemingly are all connected despite the fact that they take place at different times sometimes centuries apart.

What I gathered from it was that it was a book about language and communication. It makes you think about how language was made and how it has carried throughout time to keep communication consistent.

The stories by themselves were interesting, but where it lost me was when they were supposed to connect. Maybe it would have been a bit more clear is each story was told in its entirety, then it moved on to the next. But, it jumped around so much that I found myself confused more often than not. I would just start getting into one of the stories, then it would switch to one of the others.

I feel like the idea for this book was right on point as it was really interesting, the execution was just a bit off to me. It was hard to follow at times.

In saying that, I did enjoy the writing style, or maybe I should say the author's voice. I did not find myself bored reading it. I don't feel the author went over the top or tried too hard in the execution which is something you find a lot when dealing with books that are a little different from the norm.

So overall, the actual writing was good, but the layout and arrangement (or execution) was a bit off. 

3/5 stars. I liked it, but I was confused. 

December 29, 2013

Soldier Hill by Phil Rossi

Soldier Hill is a touching story celebrating the lives of soldiers who have fought for their country.

Eddie is a high school kid. He doesn't do well in school, and he doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. His guidance counselor doesn't think he is going anywhere with his life. Aside from all of this, Eddie shows how big of a heart he has.

When Eddie discovers a tablet honoring a boy named Billy on his school grounds, he decides to find out more about him. Having someone die who lived so close to him really hit home. He felt a connection to Billy and wasn't sure why.

With the Vietnam War taking too many young people and affecting families all over the country, Eddie was determined to find out who Billy was, where he came from and who his family is.

This book follows Eddie is his adventure from researching at the library to asking around town.

Joe is a lonely old man in town that everyone talks about. They spread nasty rumors about him being crazy and even a little creepy. There is a room in his house that is closed and locked so no one can venture in.

When Eddie becomes friends with Joe despite everyone’s warnings, he uncovers all of the answers he needs.

When the tribute to Billy is then threatened to be destroyed by contractors taking down the trees around the school, Eddie enlists the help of his good friend Dave to save the tree and the tablet in order to protect the memory and tribute to Billy. Through much hard work and determination they preserve the memorial, and it turns out even better than they ever could have imagined. 

This is a wonderful story about being selfless and honoring those who sacrifice so much their country.

It is touching and memorable for being just a short novella.

I really enjoyed the writing style as well. A lot of times with historical fiction, (okay, it isn't THAT far back in history, but stick with me) authors tend to try too hard to make it authentic, and it just ends up being boring and having no good flow to it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case with this one. It had a nice flow to it, and I didn't find myself bored at any part of the story.

I did find myself wondering why there was so much focus on the “crazy” old man, but it all comes full circle and makes sense at the end.

The story is sweet, the writing is on-point, and it is easy to get through.

5/5 stars from me. I did really enjoy it. 

Purchase link coming soon!

December 27, 2013

The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas

The Christmas Town is a beautiful time travel book about happiness and love.

I almost just want to leave it there, because that is all you need to know, but I shall continue.

The Christmas Town begins with two women trying to get home for Christmas. When a large winter storm threatens their journey, they must share a car from the airport.

One their way home, they get lost and end up crossing a mysterious bridge. They ended up in a small, seemingly vintage, town on the other side of the bridge When they notice that other people’s reactions to them and their car were those of fear, they figured out something was a bit off.

When they fall in love with two army boys fighting in World War II, they have a difficult decision to make. Do they stay out of their time in place to wait for their men to come home from war, or do they ignore their hearts and try to get home?

It is easy to find yourself rooting for the girls and their men to be together. It was such a happy and uplifting story that just needs to be read.

The Christmas town is a beautifully written story. It sucks you in from the first page, and fully engages you up until the very last.

The story is funny, happy, and sort of magical.

The characters are all likable and all very well-rounded.

This is a great book to read during the holiday season, and it could really be great during any time of the year.

5/5 stars. 

The TOP SECRET Diary of Davina Dupree (Aged 10) by S K Sheridan

This cute little book is a Children’s Fiction book.

It is written completely in diary format coming from Davina Dupree.

Her parents sent her to boarding school, and she decided to keep a journal with her to write down her experiences.

During the first part of her year there, Davina and her roommate discover there is just something not quite right with their art teachers.

Being typical young girls, they decide to be little detectives. This was what I liked the most about this book. Kid’s always have fun trying to be detectives, so reading this book will be fun for them to read and relate to.

They help to uncover the truth about their mysterious teachers and help save people’s lives and famous artwork all at the same time.

This is a cute story for children. I even enjoyed it, and it is a book I would have thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a kid.

It was written well for children to read and enjoy. They will be able to relate to the characters and their imagination can run wild with all of the plot twists.

5/5 stars. This book would make a great gift for young readers.  

Déjà Vu and Fritters Too by Janet Sharp

This was an interesting book. My first impression of it was that is it pretty long.

It is pretty complicated, but it starts to make sense the further into it that you get. It follows two different people living separate lives after they meet for the first time at the beginning of the novel.

David is an ex-marine that takes on a tough job after returning from Afghanistan. He must go under cover and reconnect with his childhood buddies to join into their gang activities. He becomes an informant for the authorities. Taking this job puts him and everyone around him in danger.

Jenny is a college girl that comes from a very financially stable household. She is a good person and volunteers every Saturday at St. Vincent’s giving food out to those who are less fortunate. She loves her volunteer job.

These two main characters come together at the beginning of the novel when Jenny is attacked and raped by a gang of teenagers that hang around the area where St. Vincent’s is located. David comes to her rescue and fights off the boys before more damage can be done to Jenny. David falls for her almost instantly, but he knows that his lifestyle is very risky, and he doesn’t want to put Jenny in any more harm.

Once Jenny’s roommate finds out about the tragic incident, she selfishly makes it all about her and moves out of the apartment they share, forcing Jenny to move also and start a whole new life somewhere else.

Jenny finds a nice apartment closer to her college and becomes instant friends with the other students that also live in the building.

Meanwhile, David is stuck doing “business runs” for the gang. He has to maintain a balance of doing his job correctly while remembering the details to report.

I was very conflicted while reading this one.

The idea and the story were right on. It was an interesting theme and story that I really enjoyed. I found myself trying to guess what came next, and when I couldn't guess I was left wondering. The way David and Jenny have two separate lives, but they keep intertwining makes for a really good and consistent story.

What I felt was off was the writing style. The writing was so textbook and formal that it was hard to get through at times. Some passages just ran really dry and were almost a bit boring.

Because of the formality of the wording, the conversations between characters were also extremely unbelievable. They did not seem natural which messed with the flow of the book.  

There were some grammar mistakes such as random quotation marks in places where there are no quotes.

There was also an area in the book where the spelling of Jenny’s name wen from Jenny to Jennie, and then it switched back.

Along with this, there seemed to be too many filler chapter for me. A lot of the chapters could be taken out, and the book would flow much better.

Overall, I would give it 3/5 stars.

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone that celebrates had a very wonderful day!

I sure did!

Keep readin'!


December 23, 2013

A Magical and Inspiring Book Two: And Then There’s Haley by Marissa Marchan

This book is the sequel to A Boy Named Ray. My review of that one is HERE.

Theo, Mary, and Ray are back for this one. There is a new addition to their family, though. Theo and Mary have a daughter named Haley. She is just as perfect and gifted as Ray.

She shares his abilities of being able to talk to nature except she connects more with plants and animals, and Ray with natural forces such as wind and water.

This is just a nice feel good story. It is in the realm of science fiction, so some of the reactions and story lines are not realistic, but it isn’t meant to be.

What I found to be pretty interesting with this book was that every chapter told a different story, but it all came together to tell one big story. It was fun to put together.

For being so short, each character was well developed. This may be due to the fact that we were introduced to Theo, Mary & Ray in the first book, but nonetheless, I did not feel disappointed with any of the character developments. It was done very well.

The story was also well rounded. It completed the story circle beginning in the first book. Theo and his family are able to return to the town that they were run out of for being ugly. When Theo and Haley return after hearing that the once beautiful town has gone to ruin, they help restore the town with the help of Haley and Ray’s unique gifts. The family is accepted back into the town, and everyone is happy again.

While unrealistic at times, the real story these two books are telling is that doing a simple nice deed for someone can go a long way in the end. That is a lesson I feel people need to be reminded of more often. These books do a good job of conveying these messages through fun and interesting mini story lines within one complete story.

3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed it, but there needs to be some editing  due to some grammar mistakes and wrong pronouns. 

December 20, 2013

One Day In Budapest by J.F. Penn

After an ancient relic is stolen, Budapest in thrown into a frenzy.

It is up to Dr. Morgan Sierra and her pal Zoltan to uncover who is behind the theft and who is framing the Jewish citizens for the terrible crimes of setting bombs off all over the city.

Jewish symbols start appearing all around the town, it becomes more apparent that they are being framed, and that something serious is about to happen. Bombs are going off in the city, and no one knows how to stop it.

I felt like I was on a journey through Budapest while reading this; Traveling through the city and the underground labyrinth while learning more about the history as I went along. It was a fun reading experience and I recommend it for readers who enjoy history, travel, religion, and even politics. It has a little bit of all of those things for readers to enjoy.

It is a novella, so it is pretty short, but I didn’t feel as though anything was lacking.

The characters were well written. There wasn’t much time for elaborate character arcs, but none of them were boring or useless. They all had a place in the story and were written to match their role very well.

Not to mention the major cliff hanger at the end.

4/5 stars. Some of the scene cuts were confusing when starting a new chapter. But once you figure it out, it is fun to read, and it will take you on a journey. 

December 19, 2013

Red Love by Rayme Michaels

Have you ever been so sick of humankind? Have you ever wanted to rule the world?

That is what Paul and Damineh want. They want to take over the world and make everyone just like them. Vampires!

Paul and Damineh have been lovers for hundreds of years, but now Paul decides he is sick of humans and wishes to take over the world.

Little do they know, there is someone higher up than they are that has more control. They must try to take that away from him in order to complete their mission.

The vampires lovers must gain their own army in order to take over. After they initiate a mass converting session, they have their army in place and must set their plan in motion.

With a certain element of fate on their side, their chance of success is higher.

This was an interesting novella. I feel as though it could have been a little shorter, as there were parts that I felt were not necessary to the story. It was a little slow at times, but picked up when the action began.

The characters didn’t feel like they evolved over the course of the story. There wasn’t much of an arc for any one character.

2/5 stars

December 18, 2013

Gumshoe Santa by David Henderson

Gumshoe Santa is a bonus short story for the collection Broken Christmas. And because you are reading this, you have a chance to read it!

At the end of Broken Christmas, there is a Secret Santa Cyphered message. By emailing that message to Mr. Henderson at, you will receive a copy of Gumshoe Santa for yourself!

Gumshoe Santa

There are some kind people left in this world. Oscar personifies that.

Oscar is a private investigator hired by Andrea Fox to provide photographic evidence that her husband is not being loyal to their marriage. Due to a pre-marriage agreement, her husband having an affair is the only way she will make out with part of his fortune in the event of a divorce.

There is only one problem – Mr. Fox was as faithful as they come.

Oscar could not obtain photographic evidence, so he was paid a lot of money to frame Mr. Fox. Instead, he discovered another secret about the couple that will end up coming out instead.

He does not want to ruin a whole family on Christmas Eve. So, because he looks like Santa Claus, he brings their child a toy that has been sold out in al stores in order to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

It is a sweet little story. I wasn’t sure where it was going or how it was going to end up, but once I got to the end, I was very satisfied with how it turned out.

Read Broken Christmas and find the secret code to get this story, you will not regret it.

4/5 Stars. 

December 15, 2013

Incorrigibility by Rayme Michaels

I am going to call this Bro-Fiction. If that is not a genre, it is now.

I am going to call it that because it seems like a story a guy might share with his friends. It is pretty sexually explicit and full of dirty humor.

The definition of incorrigible and the top two definitions that match this book are:

Incapable or being corrected or reformed


Difficult or impossible to control or manage

Why does that match this book? The three main characters in this book do not change their point of view no matter what life throws their way – good or bad.

I feel as though the characters all represented three different sides to one man in a way. They were all completely different, but I feel that if you put them together, they would make up one complete man with their thoughts.

That being said, and even though it is a short story, I don’t feel as though there was any real character development.

It was interesting to read, but I couldn’t really get into it, and felt myself cringing from time to time from the content.

2/5 stars.

December 14, 2013

So Say the Waiters Book 1 (episodes 1-5) by Justin Sirois

This is Book 1 in an exciting new series called So Say the Waiters. 

Justin Sirois digs into the growing market of social media and mobile apps to bring an interesting new series to readers.

The story mainly takes place in Baltimore and follows two main characters Dani and Henry. Their story lines are separate, but as I had been assuming since beginning the book, they end up crossing paths along the way.

Henry is a program developer that has recently gone through a divorce, and he is just trying to get through. His job is enough for him, but the payments on his house and mortgage are getting out of hand. As he tries to get over his recent divorce, he begins calling in to work more often than not. When his good friend from college calls him up and flies him out to California for a weekend, he is given an offer that he cannot refuse – no matter how much he may want to.

Dani is a single girl covered in tattoos and works as a bar tender at a local club. She is good at her job, but struggles to make rent. She lives with her friend Bonnie, and though they don’t get along all of the time, the arrangement is good enough for them – at the beginning. She is covered in tattoos, none of which have a great amount of meaning to her, don’t ask her what they mean, and ESPECIALLY don’t call her a hipster.
To me, Dani was the more interesting character of the two. For a good majority of the book, Henry was a bit whiny, but that is his character. He has gone through a rough patch in life, but is working on turning it around.

About midway through we are introduced to two other character, Jess and Uly. They are brother and sister and Jess is about four years older. They are interesting characters, but for the longest time, I could not figure out what part they had to play in the story. It becomes a bit clearer as the story progresses, but I hope to see a bit more of them in Book 2.

Now to what ties all of these characters together and what this book is really about. kidnApp. It is a new mobile app that was created by Henry’s college friend Steven. This app allows the “waiters” to submit an application to be kidnapped by hired “takers”. The takers are hired by the company and are professionals who are there to fulfill all of the waiters wishes for their kidnapping experience. Once the kidnap is done, the takers return the waiters to their homes. In the app itself, it allows waiters to write about their experiences and to connect with other waiters.

It is a very interesting concept, but it could go horribly wrong.

This book is written very well. Justin Sirois writes in a way that captures your attention from the very first page. The chapters are fairly short, and there are also breaks in each chapter if you need to put the book down to take a break.

The characters all have their own stories, and they all grow as the story progresses. None of them felt like unnecessary characters. They were all important to the book, and they were all relatable in their own ways.
I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

5/5 stars. Perfect set up for a series. Interesting storyline with great characters and character development.