Monthly Archives: November 2011

Book Review – Getting Well for the First Time

Getting Well for the First TimeDecades Long Battle with PTSD


Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Paul Rice
Format: Kindle

Having suffered a physically abusive childhood, author Paul Rice recounts his decades long battle with managing his life and relationships due to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  Having tried a number of different treatment methods over time, he is now “Getting Well for the First Time”.

One can see through Paul’s writing his desire to understand the truth of why he suffers from PTSD and what to do about it.  He spends considerable time helping the reader understand the clinical reasons for the disorder as well as the resulting behaviors including imprinted conditioned responses to feelings of dissociation from self.  It reads as if writing the book was a cathartic experience for Rice and ironically the clinical and somewhat academic presentation throughout feel like a result of PTSD.  

Rice explains in great detail his exercise regimens and how he came to them as a result of physical therapy to treat the after effects of his abuse.  He also explains his method of investing and the success he has had with this by leveraging his emotional detachment from his condition and following a disciplined investment approach.

Overall, this book was an interesting glimpse into PTSD via the eyes of someone looking to make sense of their condition and find a way to cope.  I wish Mr. Rice the best of luck. Getting Well for the First Time is $0.99 on Kindle.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.


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Book Review – Next Time We Steal the Carillon

Next Time we Steal The Carillon – Middle Grade Mystery

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Louie Flann
Format: Kindle

Teaching criminology at Braxton University, the last thing Professor Palma thought was that his academic skills would be put to the test when the school’s prized artifact is stolen just before homecoming.  Being located in a small Midwestern town, Palma could hardly believe anyone would steel such an artifact.  Where would they fence such a treasure?  Together with his students Jason, Ralphy, and sisters Monica and Veronica LaMonica, Professor Palma races against the clock to find the stolen artifact.

Louie Flann’s “Next Time We Steal the Carillon” is a tween mystery that reminded me of a cross between the series “Unnatural History” that aired briefly on Cartoon Network and the movie “Young Sherlock Holmes”.  This is a nice family mystery that has interesting characters, a few plot twists, and overall good clean fun.  Flann takes the reader into the life of a Midwestern university and its small town characters.  There are twists and turns that loosely connect the plot but in my view they are provided more for the readers enjoyment and introduction to many of the strange goings on in town than plot advancement.

While the action takes place at a university, I think the target audience for this is more the 9-12 age range.  Priced at $2.99 on kindle this is a bargain middle grade ebook read.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

Book Review – Summer’s Journey Volume 2

Summer’s Journey Vol 2: Alphabetical Assignation – The Next Level

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Summer Daniels
Format: Kindle

Standing naked and blindfolded, Summer Daniels’ pulse races as Mark approaches her from behind.  For a moment, she wonders what she could be possibly be thinking.  Alone in a hotel room behind a locked door with a man she has met only once but thoroughly seduced online, she wonders if she has made a mistake putting herself in such a vulnerable position.  But as soon as Mark strokes her flesh and she feels his hot breath on her neck, her fears are replaced by arousal.  What will he do to her?

“Alphabetical Assignation”, Part 2 in Summer’s Journey, picks up where Part 1 leaves off.  Unlike Part 1, however, the mental foreplay is replaced by an expertly written physical encounter.  Daniels’ description of not only what is happening but Summer’s reactions is a perfect example of good creative writing – that is – show don’t tell.  The pace and cadence is spot on and Daniels avoids the pitfalls of many erotic tales that can become trashy and instead respectfully conveys a very graphic and intense sensual and sexual encounter.  If readers were frustrated in Part 1 that “the goods” weren’t delivered, they will be more than pleased with Part 2.

Summer’s Journey Volume 2 is $2.99 on Kindle.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

Book Review – Summer’s

Summer’s Journey Vol 1: Losing Control – Foreplay

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Summer Daniels
Format: Kindle

Recently divorced and open to exploring a side of her sexuality she had previously hidden, Summer decides to use technology to find her man.  Inundated with inane emails from numerous men looking to hook-up, Summer wonders if perhaps there are any intelligent sensual men out there.  Then she comes across Mark online, an articulate man who captures her interest.  After agreeing to meet him, she finds herself very attracted to him.  Much to her surprise, he leaves her but offers a proposition.  Conflicted but intrigued, will Summer follow her passions?

Summer Daniels’ “Summer’s Journey Volume 1: Losing Control” is a masterfully crafted erotic tale.  This is a brief ebook which sets the stage as an initial chapter in her experience with Mark.  This volume is really an erotic appetizer.  The pace of seduction is perfect and Daniels weaves a well balanced conflict play between Summer’s desire to broaden her horizons without pushing so hard that Summer will retreat.  The author notes that this is a work of fiction, but told as a “real world” erotic memoir adds readers will be pulled in to an experience where they just might wonder how fictional it really is.

Warning, the ending is really just the beginning!  You won’t be able to resist picking up Volume 2.

Summer’s Journey Volume 1 is $2.99 on kindle.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was received in return for a review.

Book Review – Life of Death

Life of Death – Echoes of “Dead Again”

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Nicholas A McGirr
Format: Kindle

After encountering a strangely compelling homeless man, a young woman is taken to his forest hideaway where she learns her thoughts and feelings are as transparent to him as her words.  She can hide nothing and though she feels fear she also finds she cannot leave.  Somehow able to transport his experiences to her, she learns through vivid memories of his tortured youth and how he learns of his abilities leading to his ultimate belief that he is immortal. Crazy?  Perhaps.  But something deep inside her tells her there is truth in his words. But why has he abducted her?  Why has he shared his life with her and why does he seek her as his companion?  Slowly the walls come down, and she finds the truth is something she never expected.

Nicholas McGirr’s “Life of Death” is a cerebral game of cat and mouse.  I started reading this thinking I had a good idea of what and who the stranger was based on the title and thought perhaps this would be a predictable plot.  However, I found myself challenging my assumptions as the stranger’s past and present were revealed.  This kept me turning pages well into the night.

The style and progression of the story are unconventional which some could find confusing but like a David Lynch movie, these greatly enhanced the strangeness of the book and its theme.  The questions of immortality are thought provoking and I found the book haunted me for hours after I finished the final pages.  Life of Death is $7.99 on Kindle.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

New Reviews Coming!!

Sorry for the delay in posting some new reviews.  I’ve finished four new books and am penning their reviews soon.

I’ve been a bit buried getting my second book out with my publisher but we’ve just finished all the edits so my time is a bit more flexible.

Thanks for everyone’s patience!!

Next reviews coming include:

  • Life of Death by Nicholas McGirr
  • Summer’s Journey: Volume 1 by Summer Daniels
  • Summer’s Journey: Volume 2 by Summer Daniels
  • Next Time We Steal The Carillon: Louie Flann

Currently reading:

  • Getting Well for the First Time by Paul Rice

Thanks everyone!

Todd

Book Review – Thursday Thistle

Thursday Thistle – Cinderella in Bizzaro Fantasy

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: August V Fahren
Format: Kindle

Living with her father and mean and slutty stepsisters after her stepmother had run off with a Pink Floyd cover band, Thursday Thistle’s life was a living hell. Reflecting on simpler times, she decided to escape into her favorite movie – Snow White.  She falls asleep and upon waking a mouse introduces her to a world forgotten by most.  Here she must help them find Princess Monday in a land of fairytales gone bizzaro.  But how can Thursday, with only her sketchpad and wits, survive in a fantasy world of magic and torture?

August V Fahren’s “Thursday Thistle” is a Bizzaro fiction mashup of a number of fairytales – Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you name it.  It bizzaro fashion, nothing is really as it seems and each chapter introduces Thursday to the various magical but mostly degenerately evil princesses out for either Thursday’s destruction or capture and lifetime of servitude.

I imagine this must be what a drug induced nightmare through classic fairy tales would be like.  Morphing maggots into midgets and other extreme and strange happenings typical of this genre abound.  Though she is a part of the “normal world”, Thursday seems none the worse for wear or really surprised when coming across these various characters.  I think anyone of these encounters could have been an entire novel in and of itself and I would have rated this book higher had there been perhaps fewer of them explored more in depth. None-the-less, Thursday Thistle is a bargain at $0.99 for fans of this genre.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.

Book Review – Donations to Clarity

Donations to Clarity – Hysterical! Honesty, Laugh Out Loud Funny!

Rating: 4.5 of 5
Author: Noah Baird
Format: Kindle, Paperback

While debating the weight of a human ‘turd’, long time friends Earl and Harry enter into yet another inane discussion that is usually associated with their accompanying alcoholic intake.  But genius, at least in their eyes, strikes and with the aid of a internet order Chewbacca costume their Bigfoot touring company is born.  Unfortunately, neither realize that the real chain-smoking Bigfoot has been looking for mate and this new, cute, neat, clean little She Bigfoot seems like a great target for his affections.  Suddenly, our country bumpkins find they’ve attracted not just a real Bigfoot but the local authorities as well as a shadow agency responsible for protecting a variety of secrecies from the general populace.

Noah Baird’s “Donations to Clarity” is a hysterical ‘Hee Haw’ meets ‘Men in Black’ meets ‘Bigfoot’ meets ‘Elvis’ mashup.  I have to say I cannot remember the last time I literally laughed out loud while reading a book.  My oldest son actually asked if there was something wrong with me as a kept chuckling to myself.  Baird’s characterizations are over-the-top caricatures but that is what makes them so funny.  My favorite is Bigfoot.  Honestly, these sections of the book are incredibly funny though they will likely appeal more to male readers.

My hesitation in rating this book higher is due to the initial opening three to four chapters.  Each introduces a different set of characters, and as a reader I was a little uncertain where it was all going.  But once the theme around Bigfoot takes hold, things tighten up and the novel picks up a great bit of steam.  So stick through the first four or five chapters if you are a little confused, the payoff if great.

“Donations to Clarity” (which as a title really has nothing to do with the story other than a play on words) is $4.99 on Kindle.

Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.