Tag Archive: LibraryThing


Brambleman by Jonathan Grant


Kathleen Talton was getting old, already suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Her husband, Thurwoood Talton, a retired Georgia State University history professor, died while trying to get his manuscript Flight from Forsyth published. He was hit in the head by a beer bottle throwing youth while marching for for civil rights in Forsyth County. Thurwood died a week later, and Kathleen believed it was caused by the youth who threw the bottle. Kathleen waited many years then decided she needed to have her husband’s work completed and published. So she did something she hasn’t done in years, she prayed. Not for forgiveness, not for happiness and not many of the things most people pray for. She asked for justice, companionship, vengeance, completion and closure. It was a most interesting prayer!


Charlie Sherman, father of 14 year old Ben and daughter Rebecca (Beck), has been a stay at home dad for a long time. He had opted to stay at home so he could write his book. Prior tho staying home he had been a freelance writer and an editor. His wife Susan, supported his decision because she made more money at her job then he did, and that mattered a lot to her. The problem was, nothing Charlie wrote got published and Susan was sick of him. After a bitter dispute with his wife, his daughter had called the cops because she was afraid. Charlie got his butt kicked out of the house and concluded that Susan had wanted him gone for a long time.


Walking in the rain, extremely upset, Charlie has a George Bailey moment. (George Bailey is a character from classic film It’s a Wonderful Life, my all time favorite movie) and gets ready to jump from an overpass. A strange, seemingly random accident below him on the road has him realizing that if he takes his life, he won’t see anymore weird stuff. Deciding to think things through a little more, he heads off for some peace, guiet and coffee. Instead he finds Trouble, though who and what he is Charlie’s not sure of. And boy does Trouble SMELL!


When Trouble tells Charlie he has a job for him to do he finds himself agreeing to go and meet Kathleen. She hires him to finish up and publish her husband’s manuscript and he can stay at her house in the basement well he does so. Charlie is a little leery but finally agrees and signs a contract. He figures things can’t get much weirder, boy is he wrong!


Things aren’t just weird anymore, they’re Old Testament weird! People were dying; Kathleen’s daughter got boils after upsetting her mom, as did a pharmacist; burning buildings and, the kicker for Charlie, the contract he originally signed to complete Kathleen’s husband book, the ink had turned to blood and if Charlie tried to get out of it, he paid with his life.


You’d think with all this going on, Charlie would have enough to deal with but no. His wife Susan and the rest of her crazy relatives were all somehow tied in to Charlie’s mess with the manuscript. Charlie has to think fast and move faster before something else bad happens. There is way, way more in store for Charlie, his wife Susan, her nutty family, Kathleen and Trouble. What does Trouble really want?And the biggest problem of all is Charlie knows that good and evil are somehow involved in all this, but what side is Charlie actually working for and how will he find out? Will Charlie survive? Will anyone survive?


I found myself reading faster and faster as the story twisted and turned more and more. I really enjoyed the pace and the story in a story aspect that came out of the manuscript that Charlie had to edit. Some of the characters are just that, characters! Good, bad, hicks and politicians, men and women and children all had interesting thoughts and actions. My only real complaint was the length of the novel. While it held my attention all the way through, there were times I thought things could have been said just as well with several less words or pages. All in all though a good albeit long read.


Please note that some people might be offended due to certain events, certain groups including the Klu Klux Klan and certain demeaning and racist remarks depicted in the novel but they are used to show what had actually happened in Forsyth County throughout the 20th century.


I received this eBook through LibraryThing and was asked for my honest review.


Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home View a preview of this book online

Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home

by David Philipps



I have decided I need to start this review by saying upfront that I have never supported the involvement of Americans and Canadian military in the war in Iraq. I am proudly Canadian, and while I do not support the war, I do support our men and women who have taken part in the war. I believe these people join the military to support their country and that is why I support them. And I feel the same about the American military personnel. That being said, I will also say that I was in two minds about reading and reviewing this book. I didn’t particularly want to read about the war in Iraq, but I did want to see what the author had to say about PTSD.

My papa was a boy in Finland in World War II. He and his family hid in the hills when the German army came through, and then again a few long years later, when the Russians came through chasing the remaining Germans back. He only spoke of it infrequently and usually only after something had caused him to be reminded of that time, some sound, some sight or some smell that would cause him to think back. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about the things he saw as a young boy, things he could do nothing about. Even writing this short amount brings to mind the look he would have on his face. That is actually why I decided to read this book, his look. I know that he suffered mental trauma because of what he went through, and I know that to deal with it, he drank. I believe that he suffered from PTSD and that is why i decided to read this.

David Philipps takes us on a journey through the lives of several young men who volunteered to serve their country and served in the American Army. They served their country, were given several weeks, sometimes months of training in weaponry, tactics, fighting, shooting and physical endurance and then were returned to their own country broken, sad, struggling to cope in the aftermath of all they had witnessed and been involved in. With most receiving little to no help with their mental issues (I hate how that sounds, but I’m not sure how else to word it), they were sent home to their families and friends different people than when they had started in the military.

Some coped well and returned to mainstream living with little or no discernible changes. Others suffered from insomnia, nightmares and other troubles that they were helped with and then returned to living with some help and were able to barely cope. Still others returned, denying to themselves and others, that they were suffering from any problems and then couldn’t cope. They received no help and ended up in jail, charged with various crimes including murder, rape and assault. And still, these people who had served their country, were denied help.

PTSD has been known by a variety of names including combat fatigue, and has existed as long as man has warred. It is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat, made harder by the stigma attached to mental illness and the don’t ask, don’t tell approach that is still seen today.

The author does not excuse what these men did, but he does try to help explain the WHY. And also what the government, the military and the people themselves need to do to change the system and to get help for people suffering from PTSD.

This book is not for the faint of heart, it goes through all the harrowing details of what these young men went through while they were serving in the army and the crimes they did when they returned home. It goes a long way to showing how PTSD changes lives and what can be done to combat PTSD in our military and in civilians as well.

A very well researched, well written book. It gives an objective look at the trauma war causes to our troops and what can be done to help them heal from their experiences.
The copy I have has an updated forward written in January 2012. It has a quote by journalist Tom Ricks that to me sums up the Iraqi War…’The Vietnam Memorial is a gash in the ground, like a grave, I think ideally, the Iraqi War memorial probably would ideally be a dead end.’

I received my copy of Lethal Warriors through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

I belong to GoodReads and LibraryThing and a few other sites like these. At GoodReads I belong to with a group of reviewers. We discuss reviews, and books, and authors but usually its discussions about reviews.  Lately there have been a rash of *false* reviews on Amazon and other sites as well. When I first heard about it I was really surprised you know, thinking why would you fake a review? Of course, once I thought about it I understood why. But still, writing fake review.




False or faked reviews affect everyone. From the reader straight on through to the author and the publisher. Readers, myself included, when I am just undecided which book to read, I will look at reviews just to see what people say about it. Many times its been through reviews why I have picked up a book I previously ignored and have ending up loving it. So now when I look, I know myself enough to know that I’m always going to be looking at them with the thought in the back of my head, ‘is this a real review’. Thankfully through Goodreads I have found a number of honest reviewers who I trust. Something to think about when you are deciding on a book, if there is not a single bad review, something’s wrong because not everyone is going to like the same thing. Its like this book


Against All Enemies Against All Enemies  by Tom Clancy, Peter Telep




I didn’t like this book at all. But a friend of mine loved it. We’ve had several discussions about it, no name calling lol, but we both really like all Tom Clancy’s other work especially this one

Patriot Games Patriot Games by Tom Clancy



I write reviews because I like to share how I feel about the books I read. Some I love, some are okay, some I hate. I write reviews to help others decided if they want to read a book, and I try to not give away to much of the story, but I do like putting in puns, little jokes which if you read the book you’ll understand. Things like that.




I also know that many, many books are sent out to reviewers whom are never heard from again. That really bothers me. To me writing reviews is a part-time job, and I set aside a little time everyday, so that when I’m finished reading the book, I have all the notes I need. As well, I request books in exchange for my review, so I review it. I think some people just see it as free books and nothing else. I see it as getting a chance to read new authors, new books and help other people decide if the book is the right fit for them. If you’re not going to review the book, don’t ask for one.




I recently read and then wrote a review for this book. I couldn’t believe all these positive, glowing reviews, I finally found 2 others that didn’t like it and the reviews didn’t sound at all like the story the 3 of us read. Turns out the reviews were all faked  and now the book has been removed from amazon. And I think that its great that amazon is doing that. I’m not mentioning names as I am not sure of what the outcome will be.




So here are a couple of tips if you’re worried about reading reviews.

Find a reviewer or reviewers you trust, stick with them

Check multiple sites like GoodReads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, Amazon

On indie books, read a few pages (you can do that on many of the above sites) to see if you like the writing style



Strike: The Hero From The Sky

Strike: The Hero From The Sky by  Charlie Wood



Tobin Lloyd is a 17 year old practical joker, who thinks not of how to save our country, but how to keep out of trouble for his latest practical joke. His buddies, Jennifer Robins and Chad Fernandes, have had his back for years but its senior year, time to look to the future, think about being an adult. But Tobin’s still far too busy having fun to worry about what lies ahead, except for maybe being a game show host, that’d be cool.

Imagine then waking up in an alien land, on an alien planet, with alien buddies AND if that’s not enough for you, being told of alien super heroes and alien super villains.

How can Tobin and his friends, both old and new, cope with all the changes. And just what is so important about Tobin that makes everyone want him on their side?

A great action, fantasy, YA romp with overtures of super heroes and super villains. I would love to see this as a graphic novel!



This to me is more of an older child or teen book, however as I am not sure what level of violence you deem acceptable for your children, I would consider looking the book over first. I believe there is worse on regular television, but as I said, there is violence. Good moral story, good teen roll models.



I received this through a LibraryThing Giveaway

Banned books…

I am a member of GoodReads, one of the places where I receive several of my books that I review. It’s a great site, lots of discussions on various subjects, groups to join and giveaways to enter (these are just a few of the great features of GoodReads, and other sites like LibraryThing (yes, I’m a member there too). One of the groups I joined focuses on banned books. It covers all the aspects of banned books, from when and where they were banned, what year, why they were proposed for banning and the eventual outcome.



Its surprises me to find out some of the books banned. I think one of my biggest surprises was to find this one

On the Banks of Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House #4)


1997—Two parents in the Fort Garry School Division in Winnipeg complained about this
book. The title is part of the renowned series that inspired the TV series Little House on
the Prairie.
Objection—The classic children’s book, based on tales of the settlers in the American
West, was said to contain several references offensive to aboriginals. But school
superintendent Henry Izatt said: “Stories like this are an important part of our history on
this continent. Simply eradicating them from shelves does not seem to be the answer.”
Update—A committee of teachers, parents, and other members of the community
prepared to examine the complaint and report back to the administration, but in the
meantime the complaint was withdrawn.



(I found this online at Canadian Banned Books, 1997)



Now I do understand that aboriginals or native Americans, or whatever the correct term is right now, (and I mean no disrespect when I say that) could be upset because of how a few references were stated but quite frankly I really don’t understand why. The Little House books have always been and will probably always be my favorite children’s series. I never as a child (or as an adult reading aloud to my children), found anything offensive about them. But why would you propose to ban this book and not Little House on the Prairie which had many more negative comments regarding native Americans?



And then there’s

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger



Now I never liked this book, but not because I found it offensive and worthy of being banned but because I just thought the novel sucked. I found it hard to read because I just thought it was badly written.



And there are of course thousands of other books that have been banned or been proposed to be banned over the years. I personally think that if you think a book is offensive to you, don’t read it. If you think its inappropriate for your children, don’t let them read it (oh and BTW, when you tell a child not to read a book, follow through, be the parent, don’t let them read the book!).



You know what I mean…if you don’t like blood, gore and death why would you read a horror book? If you don’t wish to read about sexual encounters, steer clear of erotica (oh and why is it do you think that people make a big deal about erotica and yet romance novels, which usually have at least 1 explicitly written sex scene are okay) You get the picture.



I just really have a problem with other adults trying to tell me what I can read, or watch on television and….you get the picture.



I don’t believe any book should be banned! Oh and one final thought on this, for all the nice people out there that jump on the ban that book bandwagon without even reading the book in question…REALLY???

Notes to Self Notes to Self  by  Avery Sawyer


This novel brought back an extremely difficult period that happened in my son’s life. When my son was around 12, he had an accident at the skateboard park. His head struck the ground so hard it literally cracked his helmet in two pieces. He was hospitalized overnight, and for several weeks after he had moments of extreme disorientation. It was so hard on him, and his family and friends. This YA contemporary novel will help to make the confusion and suffering a traumatic brain injury causes easier to understand.



This is an amazingly moving and realistic story of the challenges a girl faces in her life after a horrific traumatic brain injury.

When 15-year-old Robin Saunders and her best friend Emily climb the Sling Shot ride at Fun Towne one night because as Emily says “you were supposed to go a little crazy once in a while; its practically our duty”, the unbelievable happens. From several stories up, in the middle of that dark, cold night, Emily and Robin fall.

Robin wakes up, confused, in horrible pain and unable to remember anything after Emily and her had looked up at the ride. She has problems understanding what is being said to her, trouble remembering the right words to use and no ideas on how to do basic things like showering. But even more painful and troubling is that Emily won’t wake up.

Robin just wants Emily to wake up but first she must find her way in a mind-boggling new world and a new life without her best friend to help her.



A contemporary young adult fiction novel that I would recommend to anyone. The story was well plotted, well paced and very believable. The characters are not written as perfect people, but as real people, with real flaws. Each chapter was headed with either a word, Gravity, or a sentence, We’re here to help you freak out, that described perfectly what was in the chapter. It gave the story a touch of teenage humor and sarcasm that isn’t always there in other YA novels.



I received my copy through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

Dark Genesis (The Darkling ... Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1).  by  A.D. Koboah



Now I must admit, I requested a review copy simply because this was a debut novel for the author A.D. Koboah and not because I’m a particular fan of paranormal fantasy fiction. But this is not just a paranormal fantasy fiction, it’s a beautiful love story, a touching look at mother-daughter relationships and a haunting look at the lives, loves and feelings of slaves in early America.

Atlanta, 2011  –  Dallas Marshall is a family rebel, in no small part because she receives psychic impressions or vibes. She disliked most of her family, finding them to be driven only to increase their already substantial fortunes. When her grandma had passed away, the only one left in the family who was like her was her artist aunt, Rose. There was a joke in the family about a guardian angel. Needing a refuge from her other family, Dallas is staying with her aunt. Wanting to be close again to her grandma, Dallas goes to the basement where her grandma’s things are stored. Inside an old chest, Dallas finds what appears to be a journal. Receiving an impression when she touches the book, she knows it is written by an unknown woman, but a woman she has some kind of connection with. She opens the book and enters a different world, one that will change her life.

In 1807, Luna is a beautiful slave woman, owned and abused by Master Henry, and then by his son Master John. The only control Luna has in her life is to get rid of the pregnancies resulting by this abuse. Getting caught would be deadly, but she will not allow a child of hers to be owned by the Master. Her mother, Mama Akosua, had been sold away when Luna was 3. But she had found a way to remain close to her daughter, living a 2 hour walk away. Mama Akosua is an herbalist and some say, a witch. She helps her daughter to abort the children, except the first one, a daughter, that she had spirited away.

Luna has turned to God and has trouble believing in her mother’s powers, even though there are times she feels them within herself. At a fire ravaged chapel on master’s property, Luna has hidden a bible she had stolen from master’s wife. She loves that book, and wishes so much that she could read the words herself. She feels something evil at the chapel, but cannot stay away.

After leaving the chapel, she meets the creature. Luna stares in awe at him. He is beautiful in his guise as a human man, but it is just a guise. But there is another entity in the clearing by the chapel, and it is pure evil. Luna needs to get away, run fast and get away from them both.

After the creature in human guise stops Master John from having his carnal way with Luna, it is revealed the creature is a vampire. He spirits Luna away, to keep her safe. As times pass, she falls in love with Avery, the name of the man he was before being turned into a vampire.

I can’t say more as I don’t want to spoil the surprises in this wonderful paranormal, vampire fantasy romance novel.

The only thing I would change about this novel is to make the story of Luna read like actual journal entries. I believe that would have made a more powerful statement.

I received my copy through LibraryThing and was asked for my honest opinion.


While browsing at local Nanaimo  book stores, or online at GoodReads, LibraryThing, or Amazon, if I am not looking for a particular book, the first thing to attract me is the book cover.

Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1).
Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1).   is one of those. I prefer a physical paper book that I can hold in my hands, but there are times when I look for a good eBook. When I saw the cover for Dark Genesis, it drew me immediately. After reading the synopsis, I requested a review copy from A. D. Koboah. The book lived up to the book cover. (My review will be posted soon.)

And children’s books rely heavily on the book illustrators.

J.P. Trouble J.P. Trouble by Ryan Hill  The illustrator of this book, Stacy Evans, did a fantastic job of bring each pages words out in a beautiful, colorful drawing. They were bold, whimsical and helped to tell the story.

Other times, though, I have been misled by the cover art, in that it really has little to do with the book.Virgin Heat Virgin Heat by Laurence Shames I thought this would have something to do with pets gone wild, wrong! I don’t remember any where in this book anything about any kitten, certainly not one surrounded by fire!

Now this is bad cover art. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Sta... Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) by Charlaine Harris.  I really don’t like to say anything bad, but this looks like a child drew this. I don’t know, maybe one did. And if that’s the case, nice job, otherwise it looks bad! Now I know its wrong to judge a book by its cover, but looking at this one, I have no interest in this book at all. And that I think is really sad. I don’t know how many books I’ve passed up over the years simply because the cover art is bad.

Now that I’m a little older and hopefully??? wiser, when I’m looking for a particular genre, like horror writer extraordinaire Stephen King   The Stand

I try not to let the cover art sway me into taking a book or leaving it, just on that basis.

Good or bad, thank you to all the illustrators out there! Even if I don’t like the book cover art, I appreciate your hard work and the time you put into your work.

She Speaks to Angels (AngelFire Chronicles, #1)


Allison Maney is in English class thinking about the guy she had a crush on, Dameon. She had finally gotten up the nerve to say hi.  Making an entrance to the class that everyone noticed, including the teacher, she is called upon to read aloud. As she finishes, the class is absolutely silent. She looks up to see something drop outside past the window. Its Tommy Bachelor, and he’s surely dead. Looking out at the lump on the ground, with the widening red pool, Allison is shocked as is the rest of the class. School is let out for the rest of the week and Allison and her friends, Molly and Jennifer, decide they need to look into Tommy’s death. Tommy’s not the first to die at their school, in fact he is the 5th teen to commit suicide in 7 years at the school, the 6th death if you count the girl who was found in the park. Something is just not right.

The 3 girls get a hold of some papers and a kindle reader belonging to Tommy. His kindle has books and pictures of Angels and his papers are also full of drawings of angels. What could this mean? And why did Allison see an angel in her window? And whats with the strange fog that seems to be following the girls.

The girls go for coffee at their favorite spot to talk about Tommy and to figure out what they should do. Kian, Krysta and the silent Nathaniel are sitting at the table the girls usually occupy. They’re new transfers to the school, not yet starting when Tommy dies. Why then do they seem to know so much about him?

Allison comes to the realization that angels exist and are living in her city. She’s shocked when she finds out that not just angels but demons as well reside in New York. She also learns that due to her probing into Tommy’s death she has caused a shift, a lessening of power to both demons and angels, and now the demons want her dead.

But who is angel and who is demon and will the demons succeed in murdering Allison?

An interesting story, with a good grasp of teenage feelings, fears and desires. At times the story lacked continuity in flow but still a good read, one that the YA group would very much enjoy. This is book 1 of the series and I look forward to reading more of the story.

I recieved this copy through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

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