Pup in Training received a five-star review from Prairies Book Reviews today and what a wonderful feeling that was. I am adding it to the editorial review on Amazon.
Vicki Turner Goodwin‘s review
J has a way of creating an entire world for her animals that is both real and fantastic. I wanted to know more about these guys. An excellent read with heart and intelligence.
I am looking for a handful of new reviews on my books. If you are interested in reading one or more of them, message me.
I’m looking for honest reviews in three different genre. If you have a little room on your reading list consider one of these five books.
Reviews can be on Amazon and Goodreads. Barnes and Noble reviews are appreciated too.
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 9, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076C1FVHV
My Rating ♥♥♥♥♥
This was the fourth book by this author and I believe this was my favorite thus far. As in most of Perkins’ books, things are rarely as they seem. Yet the way it was written allowed for a seamless flow. The characters all had a purpose and were determined to reach their prescribed solution. What was fun, was the twists and turns in the plot. Once they occurred it made sense but sometimes as the author sometimes does so well, they seem to take a life of their own. People are not as they seem and things are never as they appear.
The characters were interesting to follow. One example is the President of the United States, She was quite unique and never ceased to amaze me. Dan Sheraton was another character that had me eating out of the palm of his hand. He was hell-bent on finding out what was actually going on behind the icy walls of the Arctic. He was chasing down leads all over the world and finding what had eluded most for centuries. There are dangers all around and Dan was willing to face them for the truth. He was even willing to face up to the largest corporation in the world, Serenity.
This was an entertaining read that included many aspects from the news today. I enjoyed how these moments in history were given a new life. This author is completely in a level of his own. He surpasses what people expect and gives us something truly individual. This book is a one of a kind read. You will appreciate finding Stephen Perkins and his creative take on this world.
Where to find Sorcerers’ Dynasty:
This work of fiction can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.
- Print Length: 298 pages
- Publisher: Crown (August 8, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2017
- Sold by: Random House LLC
My Rating ♥♥♥♥♥
When I saw this cover, I knew I wanted to read more about the great quake in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 27, 1964. The earthquake that I can remember seeing in my grandparent’s copies of Time and Life magazine with the images of houses lifted in the air while roads sunk several feet below right down the street, and absolutely no houses standing between.
The subtitle is How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding Of The Planet, and this book certainly fulfilled that promise. I have always been fascinated by geology. My grandfather took us on rock digs from the time we could walk. So this made me want to understand exactly what is going on deep within the earth.
The book covers in depth the personality and the work of the main researcher of this 9.0 earthquake, George Plafker. Also covered in great detail are the people that lived and died during this quake. The narrative, personal accounts, and documents study the makeup of the area, the demographics, and the personalities of these brave Alaskans. I read this book slowly absorbing each detail and there are so many important details that are uncovered in this book. Henry Fountain brings the instant of the quake to life for the reader with eyewitness accounts, memories, and photos.
I read this book slowly absorbing each detail and there are so many important details that are uncovered in this book. Henry Fountain brings the instant of the quake to life for the reader with endearing, sad, and powerful eyewitness accounts, memories, and photos.
The geological makeup of this area is so well explained that after hearing the term plate tectonics for years, I finally actually understand how they work, what is going on, and how it affects us living on this active and dynamic planet.
I found this book through Blogging for books and this is why I love reading hardbacks, I will keep this forever and read it many more times. This review is my honest opinion and I thank Blogging for Books and Crown, the Publishers, for allowing me to have this copy for review.
Not stodgy and boring and not a textbook read at all, but a personal glimpse into the terror of this powerful natural disaster as well as the excitement of new discoveries. The excitement of realizing that a little snail-like creature holds so many answers. This book is like being on a dig alongside one of the premier geologists.
If you like history and knowing how things really work, then pick this up and you will enjoy it as much as I did. I have had a reading hangover from it since I finished it a few days ago. I wanted to read another fact-filled and an exciting book like this to transition me back into fiction.
I have a niece that is a geologist and I am sending her this book. I believe she will be as enthused about it as I am.
Excerpt from Neespaugot by John Mugglebee
Della gave the two boys another looking-over. One broad and muscular, the other short and wiry. One Slavic, the other Mediterranean. Brothers. Interesting.
“All right, you two. You’ve come here to know something, so here’s my deal. I’ll answer your questions if you promise to leave me in peace for good. Do you agree?”
“Yeah, sure, whatevah,” said Ezra.
“Good. Now, you, the little guy, you go first.”
Zeke nodded. “How old are you, ma’am?”
“Seventy-four. How about you?”
“How come people say you’re a commie?”
“Because labels are simpler than the truth, young man. I was a newspaper editorialist for many years, defending those without a voice against those with more than their fair share. In particular, I wrote against federal anti-immigration laws aimed at Southern and Eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners, East Asians and Asia Indians. In short, anybody who wasn’t a WASP. My enemies labeled me an agitator, a Bolshevik—that’s a communist with an attitude. None of it was true, but that’s the thing about smear tactics. In this country, when it comes to race, religion, gender and politics, the label always sticks. I hope you’ll never have to learn that hard lesson, Zeke. Now, I’ll give you one more question, and then we’ll let Mr. M.I.T. have a go.”
The boy vacillated. His brother started to speak for him, but Della tapped her cane on the floor to silence him. After turning it over in his mind, the smaller boy blurted proudly, “Do you know our ma?”
“You idiot,” said Ezra, groaning.
“Hush, you. No, Zeke, I don’t know your mother, not really. She was born at the end of the First World War, by which time I was no longer having anything to do with your grandmother. I moved to France shortly thereafter. Okay, Zeke, normally it’s your brother’s turn, but due to his rudeness, you can have another.”
“No way!” said Ezra.
“Says the boy who broke into my house. Proceed, Zeke.”
Zeke looked to Ezra for a clue but got shut out, so he was on his own to come up with a question.
“Oh, yeah. Are you a lesbian?”
“Do you even know what a lesbian is, Zeke?”
“Women kissing each other?”
“It’s an orientation, child, a sexual orientation. A woman feels a pull towards other women. But I have never felt a pull towards other women—or men, for that matter. The fact is that I have only ever known one passion for another human being in my entire life, and she happened to be a woman. Before meeting her, I had no interest in a relationship of any kind. Since her death twelve years ago, I have lived comfortably and gratefully alone. So, my answer to your question is no, I’m not a lesbian. I’m not a label of any sort. I’m, well, nothing at all.”
“How did your friend die?”
“Sorry, Zeke. You’re moving off the subject. Your turn, M.I.T.,” she said, turning a critical eye on Ezra.
“Well, I don’t give a rat’s ass about ya dead girlfriend, that’s fah sure. My Ma’s a big fat liar, so I need you to put somethin’ straight for me. You got the Indian’s coin?”
The question, totally unexpected, hit Della sideways. “Who put you up to this?”
OF LOVE & LORE
By John Mugglebee
My novel Neespaugot tracks a colonial coin across the historical landscape of New England in order to trace an ancestral line of ethnically and racially diverse characters. One of the more frequent questions I’m asked is if my characters are based on real people. The simple answer is “yes, no and maybe.”
Countries, communities and families bond over lore, and my family was no different. I grew up hearing tales woven from our ancestry, colorful in a literal sense, stitched from Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese and Russian Jewish cloth. Very little of it was verifiable, but that meant nothing to a young boy in search of an identity. Mythology is not a statement of facts but a quest for hidden truths. The storytellers’ words were good enough for me, and all the storytellers were women. The men juggled two, sometimes three jobs at once and had little to say about anything, so it was up to the women in my family to dole out love and lore. It seemed only natural that those who carried life into the world should dispense its lessons.
My mom would have answered “yes” to the question of whether or not my characters are based on real people, and she would have backed it up with a small tintype portrait of a young Ching Archung standing on the Salem pier circa 1867, and by a picture of Bridget Griffin, Ching’s Irish wife. Mom left the tall tales of Native tribes and implausible births to Great-aunt Alice and Aunt Helen.
Aunt Helen, my mom’s older sister, lived four miles north of Boston, in Everett, a working class city of 40,000 predominantly African-American, Hispanic and Asian residents. Aunt Helen and my mom looked nothing alike. Mom was dark-skinned and sloe-eyed; Aunt Helen passed for white (their two brothers looked Chinese). The two sisters married outside their supposed racial demographic, Mom settling down in all-white Beverly, Massachusetts, with a second generation Russian Jew, and Aunt Helen wedding a black sheriff from Everett. Aunt Helen was a kind woman subject to bouts of hysteria. Once, I heard her screaming at a house plant. On another occasion, she assaulted a living room wall with a broom handle. But of the hundreds of boyhood visits I made to Everett, that was the extent of my first-hand experience with my aunt’s psychological withering. Aunt Helen told me the story of Lydia Freeman, an African-Native American woman who would form the basis for the eponymous character in Neespaugot. According to Aunt Helen, a middle-aged Black-Indian spinster went to work in the mid-1800s for a bachelor doctor of Scottish descent, either as his maid, gardener or midwife – Aunt Helen couldn’t make up her mind which one. Miss Freeman soon became pregnant in her 50s, and she and the doctor were married a decade before the Civil War.
Even to a kid, the yarn sounded hokey. I was prepared to accept some embellishments if they coated kernels of self-worth, but Aunt Helen’s claim was really out there. So, I took the matter to the two other dispensers of family lore, my mom and the family doyenne, Great-aunt Alice, whom we all lovingly called Aunty. Mom refused to demean her kooky sister in the eyes of a seven-year-old, instead choosing prevarication, neither confirming nor denying any aspect of the tale. “Ask your Aunty the next time you see her.”
Great-aunt Alice, an elderly woman of bark-brown skin and golden generosity, lived alone in Salem, in a small one-bedroom walkup near Salem Willows Park, a seaside grassland where the amusement rides were. We kids would fight over who got to sleep over at Aunty’s and get spoiled rotten the next day at the park. Aunty would walk us down Essex Street to the Common, passing by the witch houses and the House of Seven Gables and gazing across the bay to Marblehead where the woebegone Naumkeag tribe lived until small pox wiped them out in 1617. On one such walk, I asked Aunty what she thought of Aunt Helen’s tale of the doctor and midwife. She said she didn’t know how plausible the doctor bit was. “On the other hand,” she said, “my grandmother most definitely did conceive my father when she was 50.”
Years later, between the passing of my three storytellers and the writing of Neespaugot, I got ahold of a copy of our family’s genealogical tree. It dated back to 1794, beginning with Freeman, Lydia, who was married to George Sylvester Osborne with whom she had one child in 1846. The record validated Aunty and Aunt Helen’s assertion that Lydia Freeman gave birth to her one and only child at age 50, at a time when child mortality ran at 50%. As for the rest, the record remained mum. Was Osborne a doctor? Was Lydia Freeman an African-Native-American? Freeman sounded suspiciously like free man, a common and administratively lazy last name given to ex slaves, but it’s all conjecture.
As I perused the pre-20th-century fruit of my tree, I realized that most of the names were completely foreign to me. I had the impression that I was walking through a cemetery, staring at tombstones chiseled with appellations that used to apply to somebody who breathed and expired and sank into oblivion. I refused to accept that. Sometimes, it’s all you have to go on, a name, and it’s up to a storyteller to make something of nothing. Love and lore demand it.
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0974260797
- Publisher: Brandt Street Press (May 20, 2017)
- Publication Date: May 20, 2017
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Reading an epic family storyline like Neespaugot brings so many emotions into play. I loved so many of the family members. I loved Lydia and her Scottish Husband. I loved at least one person from each generation, many times more. I cried for the pain inflicted on innocent people and I laughed just as often.
Powerful and fascinating men and women that carry out the vision of their ancestors are only the beginning.
Families with their strengths and weaknesses displayed actually allow for more intense feelings. Not everyone is all good or all bad and this book teaches that point through the relating of brother against brothers and sister against sister.
There are petty grievances and insurmountable odds in these families and it paints the history of the country and the world in the telling of the family dynamics.
Part history and part mystery there is something so compelling about these generations of people that kept me utterly entranced.
Without a doubt, this book is a testament to strong family histories, the good, bad, and the ugly.
You can find a copy here. It is certainly a great read. Amazon
- Diary: 192 pages
- Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Gjr edition (August 29, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804189609
- ISBN-13: 978-0804189606
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
When this book arrived in the mail I was floored by how attractive the cover is and how nice it is going to look on my bookshelf. This family is a collector of vinyl records and the number of pages that are available will provide plenty of space for new acquisitions. I love the way the entries are laid out. The entries allow for artist, title and liner notes. Making this a really comprehensive collection diary.
Just perfect for any collector, is an area devoted to the most wanted albums. Every collector has a few on their need to obtain list, and now it can be documented for anyone that wants to pick up a special gift for the collector. This is really a great gift idea for the record collector. I am quite impressed with the quality of the book and the pages.
Now, I am giving this to my son in law the jukebox restorer. I wrote a blog about his natural talent and I will just say he is at it again. This time with a jukebox that plays 78 RPM records. We have been listening to some amazing Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians this last week and it is a lovely thing to listen to. I had forgotten some songs like Wish Upon a Star. It reminded me that you could be a donkey too!