Saturday, March 31, 2012

Second Read : Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage

Synopsis : Second Read : Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage - November 2011
In the Columbia Journalism Review's Second Read series, distinguished journalists rediscover the works of reportage that inspired and informed their writing and careers. As they revisit these seminal books, contributors address such ongoing concerns as the conflict between narrative flair and accurate reporting, the legacy of New Journalism, the need for reporters to question their political assumptions, the limitations of participatory journalism, and the temptation to substitute "truthiness" for hard, challenging fact. Representing a wide range of views, this collection embodies the diversity and dynamism of nonfiction reporting and offers new perspectives on key works by such figures as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Rachel Carson, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The anthology also highlights pivotal moments and movements in journalism while offering rare insight into award-winning writers and their innovative techniques.
The anthology includes, among many other enlightening essays, Rick Perlstein on Paul Cowan's The Tribes of America; Nicholson Baker on Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year; Dale Maharidge on James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Marla Cone on Rachel Carson's Silent Spring; Ben Yagoda on Walter Bernstein's Keep Your Head Down; Ted Conover on Stanley Booth's The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones; Jack Shafer on Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Connie Schultz on Michael Herr's Dispatches; Michael Shapiro on Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day; Douglas McCollam on John McPhee's Annals of the Former World; Tom Piazza on Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night; Thomas Mallon on William Manchester's The Death of a President; Miles Corwin on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor; David Ulin on Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem; and Claire Dederer on Betty MacDonald's Anybody Can Do Anything.

1000 Days - Jonathon Falwell

Are you on fire for God ? Looking for ways to serve him ?
Synopsis: 1000 Days - Jonathan Falwell - March 2012
An opportunity to meet Jesus Christ like never before.
Have you ever thought that when Jesus Christ came to earth more than two thousand years ago, he could have simply given us salvation-period!-and never done another single thing? Jesus Christ could have chosen to be born of a virgin, live for 33 years in relative obscurity, die on the cross, be buried, and rise from the dead three days later, and still give us the opportunity for salvation without doing any of the things we read about in the gospels.
Yet there was more.
For three years-roughly 1,000 days-Jesus served in public ministry while on earth. He didn't need to do this ministry, yet he did anyway, and that's the key for us. This intentionality implies that there is a lot of information in Scripture that we need to grapple with. We need to understand what Jesus said and did during his 1,000-day public ministry, so we can apply his teachings to our lives today.
What makes these 1000 days of Christ so vitally important?
Jesus' public ministry was to help us understand what true love is all about-both for God and for other people. When we love God and others first, the rest of life falls into place: our possessions, our ambitions, our hopes and our dreams. Jesus modeled everything he taught, and his invitation is to make his mission our mission too

Review: The Vampire Shrink - Lynda Hilburn

Looking for a new Vampire Novel to sink your teeth in ?

Review: The Vampire Shrink - Book #1 Kismet Knight Series - Lunda Hilburn - October 2007
I've always been a huge fan of Vampire fiction and The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn was one of the earliest I read , so when I read that she was doing a new cover , I thought that I would do a review and ignite it to all those readers out there who have yet to discover its awesomeness.
If you love Vampires and Pyschology , then this is for you and if you love the suspense and mystery element then you have that chucked into the mix also. I have a thing for covers and at the time I had the cover on the far right but I would have to say my two favourite covers is the one on the far left and the one 2nd to the right.
In The Vampire Shrink , we meet Pyschologist Kismet Knight , she runs her own office and the thought of Vampires actually existing makes her laugh , to her there is no such thing as the supernatural . That is until one of her patients who goes by the name of Midnight , longs to become a vampire and opens Kismet up to the fact that their is a huge gothic Vampire following in the nightclubs. When a tragedy occurs and girls start turning up dead with their bodies drained of blood , it seems that maybe Midnight was telling the truth and then when Deveraux , an 800yr old sexy as hell Vampire who reminded me of Eric from True Blood appears at Kismet's office needing her help. She may be persuaded to change her whole view on the supernatural , especially when sexual tensions and passion starts to flare up and she finds herself unable to stay aware from Deveraux.  Who knows, becoming involved with Vampires , may be a whole new profession for Kismet.
Find out all this and more in an exciting Vampire series , that everyone should read as it has the fun side of Tate Hallaway's Vampire Series , the therapist side of MJ Rose's The Butterfield Institute and combined urban fantasy of authors like Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Need You Now - Beth Wiseman

Looking for a new christian novel ? One that will definitely have your heart understanding that no matter how terrible or wrong things get , that God is always there for you ?
Review: Need You Now - Beth Wiseman - March 2012
Most commonly known for her Amish fiction ,author Beth Wiseman has decided to take a go at writing contemporary fiction or what I personally would put under the category of Edgy Christian Fiction. I have to admit that I didn't know what I was really in for until I started reading it and as the storyline went along , it well was amazing. I have always been a fan of Edgy Content . so I loved the way Beth Wiseman captured the essence of the different issues in Need You Now. I think for me the theme of Need You Now was that no matter how hard and how difficult life gets for you , the obstacles that can be chucked in your path God Loves You, no matter what and with his love , you can fix anything .
Need You Now starts off a little slow as it sets the scene of Darlene and Brad who have just moved to Round Top - a rural community with their three children Chad, Grace and Ansley. The first bit of excitement comes when Darlene finds a snake in her bedroom and the snake incident introduces us to Layla -one of the other main female characters. Soon Layla becomes one of Darlene's good friends , but Layla isn't a christian and has lost her path with God as a few years ago Layla's daughter Marissa committed suicide. Can Darlene show Layla that God isn't all bad and before it's too late as tragedy strikes their friendship ?
Darlene and Brad have never had to worry about their daughter Grace , as she has been the good,quiet one but lately she seems to be withdrawing more and more . We discover that Grace has been cutting herself , what will the consequences be when Brad discovers that Grace has been self-harming herself ? When a cut goes wrong, can Brad and Darlene get Grace the help she needs before the next time when the cut will be fatal ?
It seems like temptation is in the air as Brad and Darlene's marriage hits a rocky bump in the road which will lead to misunderstandings and a kiss from another person, can this once strong couple prove that their love is strong no matter what happens , can the pair overcome their rocky road ?
Find out all this and more in Beth Wiseman's Need You Now , an excellent attempt in the transistion from Amish fiction to Contemporary Edgy Christian Fiction.

Book News : New Releases

Looking through this month's copy of Night Owl Reviews , I came across Suzanne Brockmann latest release "Born to Darkness". I've been hearing about this book for a few weeks now and it is definitely one that is on my never ending TBR List.
Synopsis: Born to Darkness - Book #1 Fighting Destiny Series - Suzanne Brockmann - March 2012
As the New York Times bestselling author of the Troubleshooters series and a "superstar of romantic suspense" (USA Today), Suzanne Brockmann has an acclaimed history of taking readers’ breath away with her novels of hot passion and high adventure. Now she takes her talent for sexy, action-packed storytelling in a thrilling new direction: forward—into a future, both fantastic and frightening, that only the brilliant Brockmann could envision.
Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists—including women half his size—can kick his highly skilled ass.
 Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results—including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans,” this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly.
 But in the depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and the have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich—and reckless—enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is epidemic. But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient.
Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she finds that one of the new test subjects is none other than Shane, the same smoldering stranger who just rocked her world in a one-night stand. Although Shane isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-SEAL, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from him—and reasons that are just as strong to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now, in the midst of the ultimate war on drugs, she must face sacrificing her heart.

Review: Private No#1 Suspect - James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Are you a long-time standing fan of James Patterson's books ? Every time a new book comes out by him, do you get the tingles filled with excitement ?
Get ready readers for the 2nd Book in his Private Series starring lead investigator "Jack Morgan". Though , I must have read the series a tad out of order as this is the 4th book I have read in the Private Series, not sure how that happened lol.
Review: Private No.1 Suspect - Book #2 Private Series - James Patterson and Maxine Paetro- January 2nd 2012
As a reader, I have alot of authors that I love to bits , one of these authors is James Patterson. I can't actually recall when I started reading all his books but I can say that the first one of his I ever read was 3rd Degree , I had picked it up at a secondhand bookshop I think. It was amazing and soon I was reading every single one of his books that I could get my hands on whether it was an awesome novel or a really weird book like his "Youv'e Been Warned". His latest series is the Private series with the main male character being Jack Morgan. In Private No.1 Suspect, Jack has just arrived home after being away for a week to discover his ex-girlfriend Colleen murdered on his bed , the weapon used was his gun and all the evidence points to Jack Morgan, but Jack is innocent . He did not kill Colleen , he cared for her. But somebody wants Jack in jail and out of the picture , as the novel goes along we read as Private Investigations start to piece the pieces together and all the evidence is starting to point to Jack's identical Twin brother Tommy , but he has an airtight alibi.  With so many enemies and so few friends, can Jack and his team find out who has set him up before it's too late and this is the end of Private as we know it ?  Another fast-paced novel written by James Patterson and Maxine Paertro- who is more commonly known for his counterpart in the Women's Murder Club books. The only downside though that I found with Private No.1 Suspect was that the plot was too busy and had roughly 3 other cases happening at the same time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: The Halo Effect - MJ Rose

Are you on the lookout for a new thriller series to read ? Something that gets your pyschological juices flowing ?
Looking for a new therapist series to follow ? Come join Dr. Morgan Snow with her series based at the Butterfield Institute where she works as a Sex Therapist.

Review: The Halo Effect - Book #1 Butterfield Institute series - MJ Rose - July 2005
Looking for a new pyschological thriller to get your brain juices flowing ? After reading a special written by MJ Rose called "In Session" which featured what would happen if characters like Jack Reacher (Lee Child ) and John Rain ( Barry Eisler) were to stumble upon Dr. Morgan Snow's couch , for those who don't know - Dr. Morgan Snow is a Sex Therapist and works for the Butterfield Institute, they are the best in their profession. You come to them, not the other way around. After reading In Session, I decided to give MJ Rose a go and checked out her book "The Halo Effect" from the local library and I really enjoyed it , a bit slow in places though but where she made up for the slow pace was the adventure and the details which I normally don't enjoy but it's what made The Halo Effect well enjoyable. The other part I enjoyed was the grisly murders as for me , a murder needs to be graphic -the more the better :P. In The Halo Effect, as you can guess from the title has a religious feel to it and the victims are all prostitutes. When one of Morgan Snow's patients , a high end prostitute goes missing , Morgan feels compelled to find out who dunnit and the only clues that she can think are all written in the manuscript of Cleo's memoirs , that she holds a copy of. Now Morgan must infiltrate Cleo's life to discover who's who in her memoirs and find out whether any of them are willing to kill to keep their secrets buried.  Reading this made me think of the PLL Theme song "Two can keep a secret , if one of them is dead "and with Morgan newly divorced , is she looking for another man , is Detective Noah Jordain her cup of tea ?
I Look forward to reading more of the Dr. Morgan Snow books and to see what else Morgan will discover in and out of the office.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Worldwide Dessert Contest -

The Worldwide Dessert Contest - Dan Elish
Publishers Weekly" raves: A little bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a dash of Homer Price's donut maker, this novel pays homage to the longstanding rapport between children and sweets. John Apple longs to win the Worldwide Dessert Contest, but all his delicious desserts have a penchant for changing into something else at the last minute. The way he overcomes this difficulty and takes first place involves a search for the greatest chef in the world, the defeat of the thieving title-holder of the contest and a run-in with a judge who has, thanks to John, a caramel apple bonded to his cheek from their last encounter. Elish writes with a sure hand of this sugary world, his tongue squarely in the area of his sweet tooth. For his ability to praise desserts in an endlessly original fashion, he deserves a blue ribbon. Ages 9-11.

First published in 1998, "The Worldwide Dessert Contest" by Dan Elish is now an enhanced e-book with an original musical score by a theater veteran included as part of the story!

White House Pastry Chef Ann Amernick adds, "The Worldwide Dessert Contest by Dan Elish is a "dElish" ride on apple everything’s!.....an apple pancake trampoline, an apple soufflĂ© balloon, and flying and skating apple pies, to name a few. The wild adventures of Johnny Applefeller and his friends is a delectable journey filled mouthwatering desserts and seasoned with his Aunt Harriet’s simple and wise sayings. But even more fun is clicking on the interactive links to YouTube videos of the musical the author wrote several years after the book was written. As Aunt Harriet says, “The importance of desserts must never be underestimated.” Glorious!

BroadwayWorld.com covered the book's release at:

Review: Borrowing Abby Grace - Teacher's Pet -Kelly Green

Have you been following the Backlit collection ? Have you read Books#1 and #2 of the Borrowing Abby Grace series that I reviewed on The Phantom Paragrapher ?
Get ready for the 3rd installment known as two titles "Teacher's Pet" or "Top of The Class".
Review: Top of the Class - Book #3 Borrowing Abby Grace series - Kelly Green - December 2011
I have found myself enjoying the Borrowing Abby Grace trilogy as I love body shifting novels , one that I read recently that was awesome was Shift by Em Bailey. Unlike the previous two books in the Borrowing Abby Grace series, this one is more interesting as Abby doesn't just shift into another body but unlike her previous two which have been female , Abby is about to shift into a body of a teenage boy named Eric. This made me laugh as it reminded me of the film "The Hot Guy" with a mix of the Reese Witherspoon film "The Graduate" as Eric has a secret girlfriend and if it was to get out both him , but more his girlfriend would be in deep deep trouble -like cops trouble as it turns out his girlfriend is one of his teacher's Miss Rogers which puts a whole new spin on Teacher's Pet. In Teacher's Pet , we read as Eric is accused of breaking and entering and changing the scores on his exams - his fingerprints are all over the crime scene , is somebody trying to set Eric up and has it got something to do with his bit on the side in extra-curricular activities ? Meanwhile as Abby continues to be Eric we read as she gets a little bit closer to her guide Will - Will Abby and Will have a chance at a romance together or is it impossible when Abby never really knows until the very last second if she will ever get out of the body she has borrowed ?
Find out more in Book #3 of Borrowing Abby Grace series by Kelly Green.

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