Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: New Author's Book Should Be Considered for Fantastic Animation Movie!

The Summoning of Clade Josso,

The first descent into The Vein

By J. Dean

BookSurge Publishing
ISBN: 978-1439222737
316 Pages

The Summoning of Clade Josso,The first descent into The Vein, by J. Dean is my idea of the perfect book to be made into an animation action adventure movie! I know that the monsters in this book would be unparalleled for creative images that would be magnificent in full living color! Take, for instance, the Cloud Specter who appears upside down from out of the clouds, his huge arms reaching to grab you! Or the dangers of the Meridian that must be crossed...or... just the fact that everybody other than Clade, no matter what species, is, ahhhh, dead? What a fantasy Purgatory!

When his sister died, it seemed that Clade's parents died inside--they failed to keep themselves and their business in Cyrco up and the family had fallen apart, emotionally and physically. And so Clade used a rare artifact to seek out The Control, hoping to have his family returned to what it had been--could his sister be claimed from the dead, or, if not, would it be possible for her parents to actually see and talk to her to know that she was happy and alive where she was now?

Where did he go....ah, that would be part of the mystery...but the author claims that Clade was "vomited" there... I just had to add that as an example of the specific word choices that you will find throughout this novel!

Oh, and as soon as he got there, he met and talked with Trecil, his sister!

The descriptions for the place, the buildings, the people are all part of the phantasm, magic and excitement readers will experience as they join Clade Josso in his descent into The Vein.

Clade was attempting to enter a city whose occupants had no interest in letting him in and there was met by Radha, a member of a Sect whose purpose was much greater than the personal wishes of Clade. They worked to protect those that had found an artifact and help him find his way to The Vein.

Once inside, she led them to an eating place where he met other members of her Sect, but who were all different species. Then the unimaginable began when Clade's first tasty bite of his food, immediately the flavor disappeared. Food there was only for keeping you alive, not for pleasure. Radha quickly noted that it was sort of a punishment--being reminded of the pleasures of a former life...

It was then that Clade began to learn that the Sect members had been expecting him, that prophecy indicated that those who obtained the artifact would be able to find the Control and the Seven Worlds would be joined again, and those there would be able to rejoin their own world--and Balys-Crahly would be freed!
Now that is the basic storyline--but the real adventure begins when the quest is started and all the action starts! You haven't even heard of the bounders, or the maw eel, or worse, the Unseen or the Blindman!

Only thing I'm wondering is how J. Dean is going to be able to maintain the quality of his imaginative fantasy! If you're a fantasy fan, one who loves visiting other worlds, you must realize by now that your next must-read is The Summoning of Clade Josso,The first descent into The Vein!

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G. A. Bixler

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Latest Laurie R. King Mary Russell Series on Sale Today!

Sherlock Holmes in "The Man with the Twis...Image via Wikipedia

The God of the Hive

By Laurie R. King
Bantam Books
ISBN: 9780553805543
354 Pages
There was always a certain cadence for me in the Sherlock Holmes books. I "felt" it again when I first read Laurie R. King's The Moor and loved it again in The God of the Hive. I must admit that it was the new character, Mary Russell who intrigues me the most and she certainly has added a dimension to Sherlockian tales that enjoy a broader breadth and diversity, in my opinion.

In The God of the Hive, the breadth is emphasized, as there are essentially two different parts of a larger picture that is taking place. Mary Russell is on her way back home with a young girl named Estelle Adler. She is the granddaughter of Sherlock who he has never met! Interestingly, Mary had a hard time getting used to dealing with a child--in fact, the first thing she says is "A child is a burden." (p. 7)

But after they had made their way out of Scotland, and the small plane on which they were traveling is shot down, there is no way to separate the two, as they work their way on, with the injured pilot, Javitz, who also would not leave their side once he had been able to land with everybody safe, for the moment...

In the meantime, Sherlock is diligently trying to get his son, Damian, away from those who had killed his wife and Estelle's mother and left him with a bullet in his ribs, too deep for an amateur to get out--Sherlock must get him to a doctor or hospital... And if kidnapping a doctor was necessary, then Sherlock did it!

While back at home, both Sherlock and Mary Russell are wanted by the police and Sherlock's brother Mycroft is missing and then found dead!

Who and what has happened that has resulted in the entire Holmes family being under attack?

It all started when Reverend Thomas Brothers and others had been shot at the same time Damian was. But his corpse could not be found and it was assumed that he and his group were now searching for them...But Why?

This is an exciting whodunit that takes the separate traveling partners--Mary Russell and Estelle and Sherlock and Damian on two fast-paced adventure trips, especially when they learn that Mycroft is dead and his funeral has already been scheduled--although nobody knows who scheduled it!

Taking us into the many hiding places of London as they get closer and closer to meeting each other, readers are rewarded with inside tracks of what is actually happening. Little by little we are caught up in the family escapade until finally they are all back together! What a truly exciting book. Sherlock Holmes is alive and well under the pen of Laurie R. King, with the award-winning Mary Russell series.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading really must! And I recommend this series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes as your first! By the Way, this book is the conclusion of The Language of Bees but The God of the Hive is a great solo!

Book Provided Via
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G. A. Bixler

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Virginia by Susan Hughes - You Decide... PG?


By Susan Hughes
Kids Can Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781554533077
288 Pages

Virginia by Susan Hughes is a fascinating book, no doubt about it. I'm one of those readers, however, that still remembers an old phrase to not discuss politics, sex or religion. Of course, there are no such restrictions these days and anything is up for the creative imagination of writers. Virginia is a young adult book. Let me make it personal, I would not want any of my nieces or nephews to read the book without discussion with an adult. Call me old-fashioned if you will. On the other hand, if you are followers of my reviews, you will see that I'm pretty liberal in topics I've reviewed for adults. Sooooo, just to clarify, I feel that some books just need a forewarning...when aimed toward our younger readers.

Virginia is a young teenager from a family who formerly attended the Catholic Church faithfully. Both mother and father apparently were family storytellers who used the Bible to teach their children. Virginia is the youngest, with two brothers and three sisters. Unfortunately, the father died, and perhaps was even killed if you read carefully, and suddenly Paul, the oldest takes over the family.

Before long Paul has denounced the Catholic Church and has set up a secret, by invitation only church with him as the leader. It is a small congregation. While Paul has forced his family to attend, both Virginia and Joe her closest brother have issues with what is happening. Joe is strong enough that he outright refuses to participate with anything related to the church. Virginia tries various ways to stay away, while her mother is developing a method of escape into a world of not remembering things for most of the time.

Virginia is visited by an angel--Gabriel in fact. Of course, he is dressed like today's young people and makes her guess who he is, but uses the language of olden times to tell her that he brings a message from God--that Virginia has been chosen to have a child. This child will help bring about the second coming.

An intelligent girl, she calls a former childhood friend Ivy. They had not been close friends for quite some time, but Ivy immediately heard how her voice sounded and went to see what was wrong. After several attempts, Ivy was finally able to get Virginia alone and she was told that Virginia was going to have a child. No, she wasn't pregnant yet, but she wanted somebody to know in advance so that when it happened, she would be able to support the facts.

Ivy immediately asked who and how an individual had gotten into Virginia's bedroom and gently prodded to see if she had been touched in any way. Ivy was a person who could not let her friends face something alone and fortunately would not let go of trying to help Virginia. Finally, she is able to convince Joe of the situation and they join together...

Virginia by Susan Hughes is very well written and the storyline results in a great psychological suspense. Though they failed, Ivy and Joe really are great characters who did everything possible to try to support and save Virginia--Virginia who had heard and seen everything and created the only answers she could conceive of so she could stop what was planned...

This is not a happy-ever-after ending. I'd call this a Parental-Guidance required book, in my opinion...

Book Provided Free Via
Bostick Communications

G. A. Bixler

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Heavenly Highlight! Author Lisa Gardner! On Creepy Crawling Things...

Carpenter BeeImage via Wikipedia
Say Goodbye
If you are the least bit squeamish about bugs and spiders, I recommend you stay away from Lisa Gardner's Say Goodbye! Myself, I'm reading it...very slowly...LOL

A number of women who are "in the business" are missing from the streets in Georgia and at least one State investigator has noticed. But when a young woman is taken into the jail, she immediately claims she is an informant for FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and refuses to talk to anybody else.

But Quincy doesn't know her...

And before long she realizes that she never should have allowed herself to be dragged into the game that apparently is being played...

Because somewhere in a lonely house there is a collector--his latest acquisition is a tarantula that's about 10 inches across and is known for its aggression...

So...if there is a serial killer around the area and at least 10 women have been taken, then why haven't any bodies been found?

By the way, did you know that all spiders are exclusively carnivorous?

Actually this is a great book, if you can get past the creepy, crawly feelings that will visit you throughout your reading...


Ah yes, hairy little critters!

You know, since I've moved into my log cabin, I have become quite used to all types of critters...Of course, I have my wonderful cat friends to keep me company...

In fact, I had my first cup of tea on my front porch while they ate this morning...of course, there were also small tiny flyarounds that are not so wonderful! In case you've never heard of carpenter bees, you'll really never been near a forest or logs for any length of time, have you?  I hadn't until I moved here! Check out the above picture of a carpenter bee looking out at you from their new home...

Actually, they are quite harmless to humans not like their distant relatives, bumble bees who also come to visit my flower and plants quite often...

Carpenter bees are practically impossible to get rid of. They bore holes into the logs and are wonderful worker bees...yes, they twirl around all around you as they work--they even mate in the air... Geesh! After a few years, I've learned that you just walk through them and "most" of them move out of your way, although there is always some that come flying right at you!

Here's an interesting article of someone who tried to get rid of them (click below)...proves my point, The cure is worse than the why not just learn to live with them....

Spiders are live-in companions for those who take up residence in a wooded area.  "Most" of them no longer bother me...unless I'm reading this book by Lisa Gardner--there is no way you cannot get itchy and make sure none are around you as you sit or sleep...

Read any good, "chilling" books, lately?

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Review Confucius Jade - Fantastic Literary Gem!

Confucius Jade
Historical plan of the Temple of Confucius at ...Image via Wikipedia
Historical plan of the Temple of Confucius at Qufu, 1912.

Confucius Jade

Frederick Fisher
Dudley Court Press
ISBN: 9780981929132
350 Pages
Forgive the pun, but in my opinion, Confucius Jade by Frederick Fisher is a magnificent literary Gem! It is also a suspenseful drama! Fisher writes with extensive knowledge and experience of both the Orient and gemstones and has successfully integrated both into a memorable, meaningful novel! Easily a 10 in a 1-5 ranking in my opinion!

Centering on the Family Kong, Kong Wan Yi is the narrator for the majority of the book. Indeed the story begins right before her birth as part of the family find it necessary to leave their home. First, let me clarify that the above has been anglicized--the family's well-known ancestor is K'ung Fu-tze who lived twenty-five hundred years ago.

We all still know and quote him as...Confucius:

The Master said, To fail to speak to a man who is capable of benefiting, is to let a man go to waste. To speak to a man who is incapable of benefiting is to let one's words go to waste. A wise man lets neither man nor words go to waste. (p. 48)
Kong Wan Yi was born in 1936 in Burma, where Fan Shi and Chen Wu Xia adopted her, when her parents died on the trip. Cousin Deng Huai completed the small family who soon began to prosper in this new land. Fan Shi was a scholar who automatically began teaching wherever he was and the family soon was well respected.

Perhaps it was fate that Wan Yi and Deng Huai fell in love and were allowed to marry, after reviewing the family connections. Whether Mei Hua was born as she was due to that marriage, it was irrelevant. She was a much-loved beautiful flower that would never mature past the age of 7, yet it was Mei Hua who, perhaps, played the most important role--she found the pretty rock that was too heavy for her small arms to carry back home for her collection.

But it was to both Wan Yi and Mei Hua that He came--Shou Xing Lao, God of Longevity came to show them how the pretty rock was to be used. Destiny was now in control of the Kong Family's future...

Finally, it was to Fan Shi that the final vision appeared--a university bearing the name of K'ung Fu-tze was to be built at Qufu, birthplace of Confucius.

The adventure begins as three men--a Japanese pearl magnate, an Arabian oil sheik and an American media mogul--are selected to bid to purchase the Jade twins of Shou Xing Lao. Ah, yes, there is so much in this book that only highlights can be included! And, indeed the beautiful cover of the book reveals the creations that came from those pretty rocks. And the asking price was a minimum of $1Billion. But, here, too, destiny was in charge--Shou Xing Lao would decide where and with whom they would ultimately live. Each of the men were quite willing to pay for longevity; their families were not!

Rich in cultural and historical background, plan to keep this one for your personal library. Perhaps, long life may come to us who read this wonderful book, Confucius Jade by Frederick Fisher... If not, we have definitely succeeded in being visited by Fu Xing, God of Happiness!

Book Provided Free By
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G. A. Bixler

Visit author's site by clicking title of article

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Only the Lonely by Susan Gabriel Presents Unique Drama!

DSC_8560-22Image by Loelle via Flickr
Only the Lonely

Only the Lonely

By Susan Gabriel

Black Velvet Seductions
ISBN: 9780980224665
170 Pages

A Sensuous Journey from Black Velvet Seductions has once again surprised me with the unique book—Only the Lonely by Susan Gabriel!

Summer Solstice is a late-night radio talk show host who spends time each night sharing and talking with those that are alone—and lonely. Her voice is low and sexy as she talks through issues about lost relationships or fighting off those that call just wanting to talk about getting together!

Until one night she gets a call from Bob. She can hear and feel his fear is real and in trying to calm him, she reveals a secret about herself. A secret she should never have shared!

Worse, her next caller picks up on her revelation and wants to talk more about it!

Even worse—when she goes outside for a cigarette, the last caller is there waiting for her!

Though younger than she is, she recognizes maturity and his eyes seem to reveal years of experience. Having the “face of an angel” and a body that spoke clearly to Summer—things that her own was quite interested in hearing! His name was Lucien and their relationship would not be denied, though they were from different worlds!

Oh yes, quite different worlds! Lucien is a centuries-old vampire.

He feeds on the lonely, those who are so lonely they actually want to leave this world.

And so, when Bob, the fan who had called her and confessed his fear that he was seeing vampires, was found dead, unfortunately, Summer immediately realized that Lucien might be the one who had killed him. And then more fans of her late-night show were found dead, wearing a t-shirt that she had just distributed that week!

Then Summer is attacked and seriously hurt right after she realizes who was killing her fans.

After a very erotic beginning to this book, readers are suddenly pulled into a different world. Summer is unable to care for herself and has no family to help. A vampire as a caregiver? Who knew that was possible?!

The dramatic switch that ended this book left a much more lasting impression on this reader than the one that most of us would have expected. Susan Gabriel has succeeded in creating sympathy, understanding, and even admiration for her lead vampire character, in Only the Lonely. The beginning was fun; the ending memorable—you can’t lose with that combination! Highly recommended, with alert for the adult content.

Book Provided Free By
Black Velvet Seductions

G. A. Bixler

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Locket Spirit

The Locket Spirit

By Julie F. E. Neil
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 9781608443444
212 Pages

What a wonderful book! From the beautiful front cover to the back cover, Julie F. E. Neil presents to readers a unique presentation, The Locket Spirit! You might call it a ghost-hunter novel, but definitely, you can call it a historical romantic suspense that takes place during the present and moves back and forth to the mid-1860s during the Civil War. It even has two love stories to enjoy! I loved it!

Renaldi (Renny) Thomas tells the story. She is a single woman who works out of her home as a consultant. In her spare time, she and her mother attend auctions and then resell them at a mall. One man, who they called Ebay was often there at the auctions, looking at the same items that interested them. They called him Ebay because he resold his items online; that is, until they bid for items out of the same box which held a number of momentoes of the Civil War. While Duane (Ebay) had bought the man’s pocket watch, Renny had bought a locket, pictures and a number of other items, all overpriced since she was bidding high to keep as many items from Duane as possible...

The same thing happened later at another auction when Renny and Duane both wanted to buy 3 books on ghosts and the paranormal...

By that time, Renny really needed them—items were being knocked over in her home and she would catch shadows going by in the mirror, or her dogs would be hiding when she came back from being away. Soon Renny was sleeping at her mother’s, afraid to be in her own home.

But that didn’t stop her from wanting to find out what was happening! Was there a ghost that had suddenly started haunting her home? She was somewhat irritated when Duane started asking pointed questions and indicated he was interested in the paranormal. After all, this was her ghost and house being haunted.

But she did need help—and Duane was there, and willing...

And the search to find out who the spirit was began...

Readers will read of the civil war soldier who was to be married after his 6-month tour of duty, only to be killed and left, dead, in a field. At the time the mystery is being solved, readers have the opportunity to learn more about Renny and how a devastating illness had affected her life. Was this why the Spirit would only communicate with her? Could he somehow connect to her despair and withdrawal from life?

Traveling through the search of Civil War details is an interesting historical visit of the time and memorabilia of that period. Neil goes into detail on many of the items and people and does a fine job sharing about the people living in the South, especially in relation to their relationships with their slaves. Perhaps that is what makes the story even more important...

Follow the two love stories you’ll find in The Locket Spirit by Julie F. E. Neil. Neither are typical stories. Neither are forgettable! Both are stories you won’t want to miss! Highly recommended!

G. A. Bixler

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do You Believe in Fate? Check Out What Reviewers Are Saying About The Mystery of Fate!

“I wouldn’t want to judge which story is deserving of the first place award in this fascinating book. Each story is a winner. Because our modern society is slowly trying to push the spiritual world out of our lives, each story was refreshing. They made my heart come alive, realizing that the unconditional power from above protects us, and guardian angels do exist.”
Alberta Sequeira, author of A Healing Heart: a Spiritual Renewal

“To anyone who has been down to their last dollar or the end of the rope, or in need of a new start, The Mystery of Fate: Common Coincidence of Divine Intervention? is a must read. From chance encounters to answered prayers, these stories are sure to uplift and give pause for reflection. I’ve cleared a place on my bookshelf to read and re-read The Mystery of Fate any time I’m in need of inspiration or my batteries are in need of a recharge.”

Richard Markov, author of One Thousand Shades of Gray  www.

"The stories in this anthology often left me with goose bumps, many times with tears in my eyes, but always with a sense of wonder. Each account is colorful, heartfelt, entertaining and inspiring. Even the biggest non-believers will be in awe as fate weaves through time and continents in these amazing stories. I loved the diversity from one story to the next - different countries, different time really have a little of everything here! I loved the diversity from one story to the next - different countries, different time really have a little of everything here! How wonderful is The Mystery of Fate!”

Melissa Christensen, English and Italian Tutor, and writer of children’s stories and historical fiction.

The Mystery of Fate is a must read for anyone searching for proof that there is a God and that God is truly in the details of our lives. I couldn’t put the book down as I read the true stories of lives being transformed by faith and prayers. This inspiring book takes the reader into the joy and the mystery of synchronicity. I highly recommend this book for anyone on the spiritual path.”

Pat Hastings, author of Simply A Woman of Faith.

"A fabulous book! Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka have compiled a moving and engaging collection of short stories in The Mystery of Fate. The co-authors take the reader through a journey of true accounts of people being profoundly changed by the hand of fate. Whether it was being delayed by time, meeting a particular person, listening to gut instinct or being in the right place at the right time, you will be enraptured by these stories. Even though I have always been a believer in the possibility of greater forces among us, reading this book solidified my beliefs. Everybody will love this truly uplifting book.”
Maureen Gaynor, author of Always a Place

“…. easy read, well constructed and thought out, which causes the reader to expand or reconsider one’s beliefs. The Mystery of Fate contains a little of all of us. Simply put, a must read!

Walter Luce, Avid Reader

“A reality show just waiting to happen.”   Sally Franz, Author of Boomer Humor.

“…. A non-stop read that only ended with the last sentence on the last page. The back cover says it best”: ‘The stories will make you laugh and sometimes cry, but all will inspire and motivate you.’

Tom Onstott. Author of Jardine and Sniper.

I view your collection of fate stories like eating at a dim sum (little jewels) resturant. Each story is like eating a new and tasty dim sum. They are like dim sum because each tale is a little jewel, which is what dim sum supposedly means.

Bobbie Smith (Sonora, California, artist).

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Review: My Life, For Her by Robert J Saniscalchi Great First Thriller!

My Life,

For Her

By Robert J Saniscalchi

Don't be confused by the slow family life atmosphere that starts My Life, For Her by Robert J Saniscalchi. Because before long you will be caught up in the real-life thriller that Rob Marrino faces. Many of you will remember him as the medic in Saniscalchi's first novel, Bullets and Bandages that was based upon a true story. My Life, For Her takes us into a suspenseful real-life drama similar to those found in D. H. Brown's Citizen Warrior Series.

Rob Marrino is happy to be back home from Vietnam. Although it doesn't actually say, there are references to symptoms that he had and sometimes still is suffering from PTSD. So enjoying family, coaching baseball with his son on the team is just fine. He had become a cop in Pikesville, but there was not much happening in the area, and that was good too!

Until one day he found himself in the midst of a high-speed pursuit. A black sports sedan zoomed by with state police closely behind. Instantly calling it in, Rob joined the pursuit. A major bust for drugs was the result, but one brother of a top South American kingpin of a major drug cartel in Columbia was killed. Another brother was jailed.

And Rob Marrino had made the kill...

And he would be the one to pay...

Rob and Robby were due at the game. Beth Ann had ensured her son that she would get off work and come straight to the ballpark. But she never showed up. Like the wind, she was gone and there was little trace of what had happened!

The FBI had become involved because of the drugs case and fortunately, one of the agents personally took an interest in Beth Ann's disappearance, especially when they discovered that Beth Ann had been flown out of the country and had been seen being imprisoned at the cartel's "hidden" site. Seeing how Rob had reacted when he discovered where she had been taken and heard him cry, "My life for her!" the agent called him privately and gave him the information he needed to go and find his wife.

And then Rob called Tex, his long-time friend from Vietnam, who, he discovered, was still involved in handling secret situations from time to time--and he had all the connections necessary to get them in and out of Columbia! Rob had been the medic, but he had also been a soldier. It didn't matter that his hands still trembled in a stressful situation...he and Tex left immediately for Columbia!

Of course, plans can quickly be destroyed and improvisation begins... Once again, a praying man takes on the enemy and fights for his family and country.

I thoroughly enjoyed My Life, For Her by Robert J. Saniscalchi. As his first fiction thriller, Saniscalchi is showing his creative abilities in action-packed suspense that strikes where it most hurts--in the family. An author to watch in the future. Highly recommended...

Book Provided
By the Author

Friday, April 16, 2010

Review: Read My Review - Then Enter Contest!

Visit Mars with

LM Preston
Mars as seen by the Hubble Space TelescopeImage via Wikipedia

The Pack

By LM Preston
Phenomenal Press
ISBN: 9780984198979
316 Pages

By the year 2161, Earth is completely free of violence. Oh, there are still drugs, body organ theft and other “benefits” that the rich are willing to pay for, but if any problems arise, they just shut down travel to the planet! The Pack by LM Preston, who first captured everybody’s attention with Explorer X – Alpha has just released her YA novel, full of an action-packed adventure that I totally recommend—hey, you don’t have to be a teen to have fun reading about teen life! This book is definitely at 5+!

Mars is where it’s at! Or at least it is the place to be if you are a criminal. Originally, it was supposed to be that the criminals selected to colonize Mars were to be working to change—to create a new life. However, there were some hardened criminals who figured out how to relocate, figuring they would be kings there!

And they probably would have succeeded, if this possibility had not been predicted...

Major technological advances had been made. Mars had been built and colonized by the government, who had created a world as close to Earth as possible, including the generation of oxygen and other elements to approximate the control of temperatures there. Mars was colder in general and lacked the “green” of Earth, but it held its own beauty for those that had been born there and could not look back in their lives to miss their home...

For in addition to the relocation of criminals, there were also civilians who had been asked to spend time there. And a special Security Force Elite had been created.

With a body that had been developed from birth to provide extra strength and superior abilities...

But now, something had happened, the children of the original Security Force Elite were being kidnapped and several of the adults had been taken. There had also been other civilians adults and children taken, but the panic began because it should not have been possible for anybody to “take down” the Elite Force.

The daughter of two of the top-level Elite had had enough and wanted to save the children!

Shamira was a special young woman and even her parents did not know the extent of her abilities. In order to save her life when she was a baby, doctors had used advances that had only been used on adults before. She survived, but had been blind since then. Surprisingly, this had caused other children to shun her as a child and she had withdrawn into herself, allowing only her family to be loved and close. But the only one with whom she truly felt she could be herself was her younger brother David.

But then David was kidnapped also! And as Shamira roamed the streets trying to find out about all of the children and where they might be hidden—and during times her parents were working, she met Valens, whose sister had been taken. A hate-love relationship developed, Shamira hating the way Valens would not leave her alone, since she knew she could take care of herself. But then, after David was gone and he shared that his sister was also gone, she realized that it would take more than her own strengths to find them!

And The Pack was formed!

In addition to The Pack by LM Preston being an excellent action-filled adventure, there is a very comforting underlying story about friendship, parental guidance—and love. You can’t beat those additional qualities for a YA book! Preston writes/creates “stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds.” In my opinion, they are some of the best around to help our children understand and live in today’s world!

G. A. Bixler

The publisher is excited about the contest for The Pack. Here is the contest being offered.

· Free signed book, poster  and magnet

· All of the winners from the Virtual Blog tour will automatically get a free copy of the next book released by Phenomenal One Press, BANDITS that comes out Spring of next year.

All you need to do to enter is to follow the lmpreston blog listed below and a fan at Facebook!

LM. Preston
YA Science Fiction AUTHOR

Upcoming Releases
EXPLORER X - Alpha (Feb. 2010)
THE Pack (Fall 2010)
Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible...

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: Crea Jones' Rally Fever Is Thrilling Romantic Suspense!

Florence Ave Folk Art -- Motorcycle SkeletonImage by ATIS547 via Flickr
Rally Fever

By Crea Jones
Black Velvet Seductions
ISBN: 0980224624
264 Pages

Although I don't read very many romance books, I seem to always enjoy the books published by Black Velvet Seductions. Rally Fever by Crea Jones is the latest read and was wonderfully exciting.

Rally Fever

Marly was the youngest daughter of a father who had left them, a mother who "took advantage" of her illness even to the detriment of her marriage, and an older sister who got married and then when he was killed, dropped her little boy into Marly's lap, literally!

But that was no hardship for Marly; she loved her nephew as her own son and had been the only mother he knew for four years. The only real problem Marly faced was making enough money to keep her small family of three with a home and enough to eat. So once a year she traveled to the Sturgis rally, where she painted various pictures on jackets, vest and other items sold. Ten days where a small town was host to bikers from all over the country, some downright scary in Marly's opinion. Especially since her boss had asked her to wear something "special" this year to attract more customer--what the seller called a body web. Marly saw nothing but holes that would not cover much of her body!

Still, she was glad to be back at work and making the extra money she needed. Everything seemed fine. Marly would like to be able to go out and have a little fun, but she always remembered that she was not her sister who had rode off on the back of a motorcycle one day, only returning to drop off her son!

Still she was feeling more and more "broody," like her mother's hens in the spring and that's what was frightening her. Especially when her eyes "caught on a pair of steel grey eyes that fixed on hers...and his finely chiseled lips curved into a mocking half-smile that made him look...dangerous." (p. 13) Meeting Luke made Marly even broodier!

But then a notice appeared that somebody was looking for her sister, offering $10,000. Marly had seen her briefly one day on the back of the leader of Lucifer Lovers, a gang that had terrorized many of the families who actually lived in Sturgis. Then her sister is found murdered! And Marly could not help but fear that her sister's in-laws might be wanting to take Peter away from her. Only to soon have the Lucifer Lovers leader come searching for her!

And Marly also found out who Luke really was!

Could she trust anybody?

Rally Fever by Crea Jones turned out to be a fantastic romantic suspense novel! All of Jones' characters are so realistic that you think you are right there amongst thousands of bikers and their babes. I especially enjoyed Florence, the woman with whom Marly rooms while in Sturgis, who just happens to be her father's former lover.

The surprise ending caught me totally offguard and certainly confirmed that Rally Fever is indeed an Amorous Adventure! Crea Jones deserves a 5+ for this one in my opinion!

Book Provided Free By
Black Velvet Seductions

G. A. Bixler

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: Sandra Meucci Pens Biography of TRUE Inventor of Telephone!

Antonio Meucci (1808 - 1889= , inventore del t...Image via Wikipedia
Antonio and the

Electric Scream

By Sandra Meucci

Branden Books
ISBN: 9780828321976
138 Pages

Will they change our history books? I hope so!

Antonio and the Electric Scream--The Man Who Invented the Telephone 

Because Sandra Meucci, in her book, Antonio and the Electric Scream: The Man Who Invented the Telephone, provides not only the documentation but the biography of the man who was recently recognized as the true inventor of the telephone!

Sandra Meucci had never really given credence to the story from her grandfather, Giuseppe Meucci, when he claimed that Antonio Meucci first invented the telephone and used it in his New York City home in 1850. Because, of course, she had been taught differently! But then later in life, she was asked whether she was related to the telephone inventor...and the thought of this book began!

I'm not going to cover any of the information regarding Alexander Graham Bell that is included; that is for somebody else to write. Sandra has taken the opportunity to research official records of her distant relative and has written a delightful biographical piece about an inventor, like many others perhaps, who do not get the proper credit or are lost in the many historical records that are locked deep in cabinets across the world. Kudos to Ms. Meucci for her efforts!

In June, 2001, Congressman Vito Fossella introduced a resolution, which was passed in September by the U. S. Congress, recognizing Antonio Meucci for his contribution as the telephone inventor. [107th Congress 1st Session H. Res. 269...Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the life and achievements of Antonio Meucci should be recognized, and his work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged. September 25, 2001 (10:41 AM)]

Meucci begins her story about Antonio in the year he was born, 1808, when he was baptized in Florentine. His parents, Amatis and Domenica were poor and occupied just two rooms in a large house. As time moves as it does, soon there were nine children, but by the time Antonio was in his second year of elementary school, his family realized that they should try to accelerate his education. But it was not until six years later that he was tested and admitted. The Accademic was a college; he was accepted at the age of 13, to be its youngest student

But the use of his intelligence was not always productive--in fact, he was jailed when somehow fireworks that were somehow incorrectly set off and resulted in injuries! A cute story for young Antonio and his friends! Antonio was always able to figure out how to do "something" to solve a problem and the list of inventions, some of them, which were patented, is extensive.

Antonio was soon asked to travel to Cuba to help build a new opera house. Married by that time, his wife worked with costuming for the singers . When opera was no longer a priority for Cuban residents, another move was made to New York. It was in New York that Antonio perfected his Telettrofono and actually connected his studio to his wife's bedroom, since she had become ill enough to be bedridden for long periods of time.

This book is written in storybook form and is very interesting to read. Meucci explains the story behind Meucci's new inventions and then includes what he did to solve the problems. There are also graphical historical timelines, a glossary and a extensive bibliography.

History Buffs--Must Reading! Read the truth that may never result in a change to our history books; but it should! Highly Recommended!

Book Provided Free By
Branden Books

G. A. Bixler

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Review: Great Psychological Suspense Thriller by D. M. Annechino

They Never Die Quietly
They Never

 Die Quietly

By D. M. Annechino

ISBN: 9780982555033
278 Pages

Thanks to Amazon Encore for pulling this fantastic thriller and republishing! They Never Die Quietly by D. M. Annechino is a great, scary story!

I wonder sometimes whether the correlation between child abuse and serial killing is factual. In They Never Die Quietly Simon's mother was a religious fanatic, but thought nothing of taking her son as her lover. Using the statement that all worldly women were sluts, she taught her son just exactly how to treat a woman--her.

It wasn't a surprise, then, that Simon grew to believe that women, especially who were mothers, needed for their soul to be cleansed. And he made sure he could spend time with each woman by also kidnapping her child. For he believed "that he had a secret calling--God had given him absolute authority to purify his unholy victims..." (back cover)

But Simon was not always a good little boy and there was also another side of Simon that not even he knew about...

Detective Sami Rizzo and her partner Alberto Diaz are great characters as they work together to try to find the serial killer. Sami is having a hard time remaining objective, because she has a young daughter and cannot help but feel empathic with the women that were taken. The relationship between Rizzo and Diaz is fun to watch and later we find that Diaz has been in love with Rizzo since he first met her. At that point, I realized I'd like to see more of this team in future novels and watch how their feelings develop! Right?!

Rizzo also is faced with guilt when her ex-husband, to whom she refused to loan any more money, was murdered.

Let's say she just wasn't thinking straight, because she was fairly certain that a man who she had recently met and to whom she was also attracted, just may be the killer!

And she still agreed to have dinner with him, at his place! Without telling anybody, including Diaz! But when Rizzo's daughter was kidnapped, everybody knew she had been captured.

While Rizzo tries to escape, Diaz follows the clues...desperately trying to save the woman to whom he has never expressed his love...

Yep! You're right! A page-turner that keeps you up well past midnight! With just a touch of romance, They Never Die Quietly takes you into the mind of a psychopathic serial killer who doesn't even remember many of the horrendous things he has done! D. M. Annechino has created a winner for a psychological suspense thriller. If that's your preferred genre, don't miss this one!

Book Provided Free By
Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

G. A. Bixler

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Review: Upcoming Dead Man of the Year - Great Whodunit!

Dead Man of the Year: A Whodunit

Dead Man of the Year:

A Whodunit

By Stephen Hawley Martin
ISBN: 9781892538758
268 Pages

Pre-Ordering Now Available!

A successful Whodunit for me is when the author is able to keep options of who the criminal is open all the way to the end. Stephen Hawley Martin’s Dead Man of the Year did indeed keep me guessing.

Especially since I thought who had done it was one of two others!

So, not only was I unable to guess, I was also pleasantly surprised with the cool ending!

In many ways this book could fit into the cozy mystery genre, so if you enjoy sitting down with a cup of tea to enjoy solving a mystery, you just have to include this novel on your to read list!

Brian Durston, the nephew of the victim, is the main character who is driven to find the one who killed his uncle, since the police are quite willing to call it the suicide that the scene was set up to reflect. Brian joined The Durston Negus Agency as heir-apparent to his uncle, who owned the majority 40% while Negus owned 30% and three others 10% each. Of course each of these individuals were suspects, but so was his uncle’s second wife, when he discovered that another woman was involved and there were signs that his uncle was considering another divorce!

Once Brian’s Uncle Rod was dead, he discovered that the method by which he, as well as Rod’s wife, was going to inherit was impossible—the insurance policy would not pay out for suicide! Did the killer know that when he staged the crime?

But the ad agency was also in trouble and Brian found himself trying to act on behalf of his uncle, without the authority needed. And their major account was up for “renewal” and the new owner was considering other agencies. A major problem Brian found was that the Creative Director, one of the 10% owners, was known for constantly going over the budget, while two others were intent upon recovering those costs through padding expense accounts sent to clients.

Of course, a little romance had to be added—and it came from a copywriter who enthusiastically seduced Brian one night, only to back off immediately and totally confuse him. But at least she stuck around to help him solve the murder...
This was my first visit into the world or advertising and I thoroughly enjoyed the creative versus financial interactions and how various issues had to be included in the consideration of potential ads. It was interesting to see the background research of sales across the country, for instance, and how it was used to plan ad campaigns.

This is a fun read; well written and sufficiently diverse to keep reader attention throughout. I wasn’t quite sure I understood the game plan for Brian’s romantic interest, but she did keep Brian’s interest! I also enjoyed a welcome return to Virginia and the beautiful college campuses there that I’ve visited during my university career...a nice side excursion for me!

A highly recommended visit into, perhaps, a new territory for your weekend enjoyment!

G. A. Bixler

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: The Caliphate by CIA Andre Le Gallo! Great Thriller!

The Caliphate

The Caliphate

By Andre Le Gallo

Leisure Books
ISBN: 9780843963052
362 Pages

The quote from Porter Goss, former Director of the CIA, was the first thing I saw on the back cover: “A tale of intrigue too frightening to believe—and too believable to ignore. But you had better believe it, because Le Gallo is the real thing.” What can you say after that?

Well, all I can share is my own thoughts! And I will say that I certainly support Director Goss. Andre Le Gallo in The Caliphate spends time in the early part of his novel teaching those of us, like myself, who, of course, can’t possibly know details of what happens during actual activities involving terrorism. I appreciated the slow beginning which then had me totally involved and connected with the characters as events became more... I can’t say thrilling because, you see, they were indeed very realistic... so I think climatic works for me...they were scary, in fact!

It all started with Steve Church when he proposed to his company that he could create new business overseas. He planned to stay with a friend of his CIA father, Dr. Coogan. On his arrival, he found Dr. Coogan unavailable but he had left an invitation to a reception at the ambassador’s residence—where he met Kella Hastings, the ambassador’s daughter.

Several things happened soon thereafter. Dr. Coogan was murdered. And Steve Church, by association, is immediately seen as an enemy of a group of radical Muslims who are working to restore The Caliphate, a “global Muslim empire.” (back cover)

I found it interesting that Le Gallo, with a 30-year career with the CIA, wrote his main characters so that, in many ways, both Steve Church and Kella Hastings worked as independent agents. Church is asked to work undercover for the CIA, but later decides to go back independently. I must admit that at first this seemed unlikely to me. However, as readers learn more about both Steve and Kella, each reveals a persona that indeed would strangle within government bureaucracy, plus they have the courage to act on their own convictions. For Kella, seeing a friend’s father kill his own daughter had resulted in a need to act. For Steve, with his life on the line, he had no choice!

Tariq al Khalil was earning a position among the Muslim world and was also working behind the scenes in the Muslim Brotherhood to restore The Caliphate. In fact, his family was the “royalty” of the Brotherhood, where his grandfather was honored for having the Quaran in one hand and a gun in the other, in his promotion of the renaissance of a pure brand of Islam. Al Khalil hated anybody that did not follow Allah and thought nothing of, when it was possible he would not be caught, simply killing those that were not of his faith.

Al Khalil knew something major was needed to begin the move to create a Muslim world. Many options were considered, and then one facility was discovered that would cause the effect he wanted. But al Khalil had not counted on Steve and Kella's involvement!

There is so much action and adventure in The Caliphate! It’s one of those books where you just cannot provide a good overview of the storyline within a short review! Key reason for reading the book, must be because we are living the story today—Everyday! The specifics might be different, but the underlying philosophy, restoring The Caliphate is real. You cannot afford to dismiss what this novel tells Americans! Buy it today! This scary thriller is a must-read—not just because the author can indeed talk the talk as many other authors do. But you will be walking the walk along with LeGallo as he shares about counterintelligence, covert action and special operations, bringing fiction to what may just be a version of tomorrow’s reality...

G. A. Bixler

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: Hand of Fate - A Triple Threat Novel!

Hand of Fate (A Triple Threat Novel)
Hand Of Fate

By Lis Wiehl with
  April Henry
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9781595547064
304 Pages

I’ve been a fan of mystery and suspense books since I was young, so when I discovered that a number of Christian authors have started writing in these genres I was excited. What better way to see faith in action than to see great characters fight against the evil of this world!

Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl with April Henry is an excellent example! Taking us into the world of radio, Lis Wiehl, a popular commentator for Fox News and other radio shows, including, with Bill O’Reilly, provides a realistic whodunit for us to solve. I failed this one, but that’s okay, because that just means that the storyline was intense and deep enough so that I was more involved, and less able to track the killer myself! Great!

Besides, there were so many possible suspects!

Jim Fate was a talk show host. One of those that either you love or hate. My guess is that I would have hated him. He was controversial, opinionated, rude, antagonistic... need I go on? He even chose the “Nut of the Day” That nasty award was for the best email that insulted him—and then he proceeded to tear the sender’s message apart!

His co-host, Victoria, had to be considered one of the lead suspects—he would not only take up most of the time, but often pushed the button to stop her input whenever he wanted to... Besides, she had stayed behind, to be with Jim as he died! Didn’t that mean she knew what had poisoned him?

And Victoria had given him the envelope from which the powder burst forth, claiming that the envelope had been mistakenly placed in her mailbox.

Everybody in the radio station immediately thought the powder could be sarin, and a city-wide emergency was declared, with panic ruling the streets.

One important issue I’ve left out so far! This Novel is A Triple Threat Novel! Think James Patterson’s “The Women’s Murder Club” and you’ll get the idea. If you love those books as I do, then you’ll understand that “A Triple Threat” will be fun too! Especially when one of the three women had been friendly with Jim!

This group of women includes FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce. Two of them are quite unhappy that one has held back her personal involvement with the case! But not to worry, they still work together to solve the crime.

This mystery was one I didn’t solve. Let me know if you succeeded where I didn’t...Better yet, let me know if you enjoyed the book as much as I did and whether you, too, recommend it highly to other readers!

G. A. Bixler

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review: Robert M. Brown, Jr. Gets A 10 at BRH for First Novel!

The Longbridge DecisionThe Longbridge


By Robert M. Brown, Jr.
Great Little Books, LLC
ISBN: 9780979066153
530 Pages

Crying at the end of a Thriller and wishing there were more, with 530 pages already read, is unusual for me and probably for any novel! But The Longbridge Decision by Robert M. Brown, Jr., is not just any novel. It is by far one of the best I've read in a long time! A very special book indeed!

It is also the first book I've read by publisher, Great Little Books, LLC. Brown includes gratitude in the front of his book for "recognizing and appreciating my literary potential and then demonstrating the courage, commitment and entrepreneurial savvy to invest its financial and human resources in my first novel's publication."

I too want to add a comment in this review about the publisher. The book I received is a beautiful, heavy hard copy, displayed with the little touches that tell a reviewer that they are proud to have participated in this project! Kudos to both author and the publishing staff from this reviewer!

Admittedly, this book had many issues that drew me to select to read it. However, I got so much more.

I love thrillers, and rarely read a romance book, but I was captivated by the poignant love story that occurred between the two main characters. Indeed, I can only describe it as "fun" to watch the two most of the time and then other times, the relationship just about grabbed you by the throat and you wanted to shake one of these characters! I'm not sure whether this book has a sequel in the future, but I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed Tyler Waddill and Mayson Angelina Corelli and would have loved to read more about their relationship, even when the book closed...

Of course, the book ended because the mystery was solved--the mystery of who killed Morris Mendelsohn, a Senior Partner in the firm, Lieber Allen Attorneys. Mayson had been his associate until, unknown to anybody else in the firm; Morris had threatened her with sexual harassment. When she refused to play, her work was withdrawn and given to Tyler. Of course Mayson was a prime suspect for having killed Mendelsohn.

Now you may be thinking--typical thriller format. Well, you would be very wrong! Because the real action is behind the scenes, taking place at the highest level of the government, where Gregory Lamp, Managing Partner of Lieber Allen Attorneys, was to be nominated as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was totally supported by President Thomas Longbridge and it was anticipated that he would be added as the next conservative justice, who would support the President's desire to reverse/create major laws on abortion, same-sex marriage, prayer in schools, etc.

And so, to pull attention away from the nomination process, Corelli was set up to take the fall with, surprisingly, only one man who was willing to help her--the man who had been given her job, Tyler Waddill. And to make it even more horrendous, they were soon accused, along with supporting documentation, of selling secret client information to the Mob. Now actually that was not too far-fetched a plan, since Corelli's family not only had "connections," one of her relatives had been a Mob hitman!

And I haven't even told you about the reallllly good part yet! Seriously readers please don't miss this one. In many ways, it is very scary, because in today's world, this could be happening right now! Remember, sometimes those you trust the most may actually be your enemies... even if you are President of the United States!

The Longbridge Decision by Robert M. Brown, Jr...In a 1-5 ranking, this was a 10 for me!

G. A. Bixler

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