Monday, December 27, 2010

Douglas Alan's Circle of Lies

Douglas Alan's debut novel, Circle of Lies, immediately captures your attention and draws you in, making for an enjoyable, fast-paced thriller with intriguing characters from cover to cover. The story centers on Atlanta attorney, John Delaney, as he struggles to maintain the innocence of and defend his child friend, Ted Jordan, who has been accused of murdering his law partner and embezzling half a million dollars from the firm. While all of the signs point to Ted's guilt, John discovers that the intrigue goes much deeper, involving a drug company and federal agents. The book is well-written, exhibits excellent character and plot development, and has all of the elements of suspense to make for a page-turning, riveting read; it is possible that Circle of Lies may become a major motion picture, transforming a phenomenal thriller from a book to a movie.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

James D. Evans's Panama Sushi Coup

James D. Evans's Panama Sushi Coup is a true story of prostitution and corruption in Panama City. The story is captivating, dispelling myths about prostitution and portraying sex and prostitution in an unguarded and candid manner. Evans writes without restraint, in a true to life manner, exposing the nature of human relationships and friendships, revealing the corruption of the Panamanian government, and detailing his involvement in a brothel/ strip club, what he calls "the darkest days of his life."

Evans, a former partner in a Panamanian brothel, becomes a scapegoat to his best friend and business partner when the government raids the establishment and falsely accuses them of human trafficking. Despite a deep betrayal, Panama Sushi Coup is written impartially and Evans eventually triumphs and finds redemption. He urges that while we never know who will betray us, as humans, we must still risk trust. While readers will inevitably find the portrayal of the sex industry intriguing and purchase the book to indulge their morbid curiosity, there are many important messages interwoven in this adult tale. "No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, life will always have new lessons to be learned."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

D. Sidney Potter's The Flip

D. Sidney Potter's The Flip offers a step by step guide for flipping real estate, a veritable "how to" for the aspiring real estate mogul. Potter's extensive knowledge and background in the house-flipping market serves his readers well; however, he does not write with the assumption of experience, but, rather, starting at the beginning "What is House Flipping?", breaking the overwhelming process down into manageable steps. He breaks the process down into large categories: How to Begin, Choosing the Property, Optioning the House with Upgrades, Marketing the Property, What to Do at Closing, and Leveraging and Maximizing Your Return. Potter details the pitfalls of the investment and how to deal with the potential risks involved in what is frequently considered a wildly chancy investment: getting around "can't sell" clauses, straying from the Game Plan, seeking counsel from outside sources, and, most importantly: when to walk away from a flip. Potter presents different styles and options, with advice and comparison on all the possibilities from deciding on a city and state to whether to market the property yourself or use a real estate agent. The strength of Potter's writing lies in his ability to address significant but seemingly small considerations like "Tips to Show the Home Properly and Inexpensively," offering tips to minimize your cost and maximize your profit while still presenting yourself professionally and providing quality, the ability to break down a large and intimidating market into manageable pieces, and his prowess for interweaving personal experience with valid advice, providing credence to his advice and a story to keep the reading from becoming dry, but without turning it into a personal narrative.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Maria Ronay's We Have to Change: Taking Action to Stabilize Climate Change, Curb Population Growth Including Immigration, End Poverty, and the Liquidation of Nature's Capital

Maria Ronay's insightful exploration of the world's climate change--and all the
problems thereof, including the liquidation of nature's capital, world poverty and
population growth are all presented in the globally aware We Have to Change. This
important work outlines the problems the world currently faces, the steps necessary in order to fix them, allocation of funding in order to do so.

While addressing climate change she suggests that in addition to the industrial revolution taking place in the developed countries, the population explosion of developing nations(starting in the 1050s) was also a large contributor. Since this trend continues in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and India, coupled with the fact that living standards will have to rise for people living in poverty, she states that the first and most urgent task that must be taken toward the mitigation of climate change is stabilizing the world's population; this will have both the largest and the longest-lasting impact on climate change.

Ronay further suggests that large scale energy needs call for large investments in nuclear energy. Furthermore, in carbon capture and sequestration at coal-fired power plants, as well as from the ambient, these necessary investments can only be covered from a carbon tax.

In addition to climate change the population explosion is greatly contributing to maternaland child mortality rates, extreme poverty, hunger, disease, and ecological degradation..

The solution to this problem is the voluntary use of modern long-term contraceptives,administered in health facilities providing also reproductive health services, prenatal and postnatal care for infants and mothers as well as services for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The yearly cost of these programs, while having the greatest impact on climate change, ecosystems and world poverty, is relatively modest, estimated to be about 0.1% of the GDP of developed nations, who would have to finance them.

The ecosystems of Earth are being degraded and used in unsustainable ways, therefore
it is important to realize that biodiversity is essential to healthy ecosystems. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity called for action and the resulting treaty was adopted in 2002, but not much resulted. There are still actions aimed at achieving its goals as recommended by Jeffrey Sachs, but we have to start implementing them now.

Another urgent task is securing water. Again the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification, adopted in 1992, lead to a treaty that has been mostly ignored by wealthy, developed countries, as much greater funding is required here.

Last, she reviews The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), which center around
the reduction of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and
discrimination against women. The least developed countries (637 million people in total)are presently unable to achieve long-term growth and poverty reduction on their own and need help from the wealthiest countries in the order of 0.7% of their GDPs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

John Locke's Wish List

John Locke's Wish List is a fun, fast read, with an underlying message. When an average man makes a wish list of things he deems improbable on a mysterious website,, he learns a valuable lesson about being careful what you wish for... you just might get it. His list includes: Sex with Jenny Kidwell, A million dollars, My boss dies a horrible death, and Two Front Row Seats, Springsteen Concert, Louisville, Kentucky, Friday, March 12, 2010. When events spiral out of control, he finds his boss dead and wishes granted in ways he didn't intend with massive ramifications. Locke puts an adult and modern twist on the fables we read as children, warning us about the regrets that come when wishes are granted, reminding us of an important lesson that we have forgotten as adults. Taking the readers with him on his thrill ride, the short chapters and approachable language solidify Locke's ability to grasp readers and make his work impossible to put down.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

John Locke's Now & Then (A Donovan Creed Novel)

John Locke's most recent installment in the Donovan Creed series proves as sexy and thrilling as we have come to expect. Now & Then (A Donovan Creed Novel) accomplishes the impossible feat of outdoing the fast-paced, page-turning, suspenseful qualities that we have come to expect from Donovan Creed. In this novel, our favorite former CIA assassin with a "heart of bronze" attempts to relax and take a vacation from his high-action life and winds up as caught up in action as ever when he gets caught in a hunt for a kidnapped girl, leading to further intrigues and drama. John Locke's books read like a James Bond movie minus the campy dialogue, making him a fast favorite among men. Women enjoy sexy crime novels as much as anyone and Locke employs his usual deft ability to interweave stories and plots, engaging language, and page-turning suspense to engage all audiences. John Locke's Donovan Creed will undeniably go down as one of the great crime fiction characters of our times.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Alicia Hou's The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters

Alicia Hou's The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters details the story of four sisters: Gigi, Lily, Mei-Ling and Mimi. The story teaches important lessons of karma under a riveting plot of a mother who abandons two of her daughters in an attempt to fulfil her ancestral destiny and give birth to a son under the Chinese one-child policy. The secret she buried for twenty years comes to light and the sisters learn to treat all women like sisters (never steal your sister's husband), to never do anything immoral, to never be too greedy (you will lose it all later), to never intentionally hurt someone (you will end up hurting yourself even more), to give thanks to the one who tricked you (because you have learned to be smarter), to give thanks to the one who rejected you (because you have learned to do things better), and, most importantly, to believe in karma, what you gave is what you'll get in return. Hou interweaves the stories of many characters while keeping the plot understandable and organized; although The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters tells the stories of many characters, the characters are each unique and well-developed. Hou's story of four sisters is a great read for anyone who enjoyed The Joy Luck Club or appreciates the lessons of karma and sisterhood.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Roger Alidade's Roof of Hell

Roger Alidade's Roof of Hell is a page-turning suspenseful adventure that chronicles the explorations of a geophysicist, Eric, who is seeking to uncover the mysteries of the Aleutian Islands "Roof of Hell" and the WWII Japanese submarine that remains elusive, filled with treasures for the brave who seek it. The adventure is filled with threats to their mission and intrigue, keeping you riveted from beginning to end. Alidade offers a voice of authority and reality to his adventure as a geophysicist who has garnered over thirty years of experience, creating details and renderings of their escapades that make you feel as though you are there with them. The story is two-fold, as Eric seeks to discover not only the treasure of the sea, but also his life path, walking away from a successful job as a corporate geophysicist and salvage expert to forge his own adventure and way in the world, independent of the corporate ties that bind him.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

John Locke's Saving Rachel (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel)

John Locke's Saving Rachel (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel) is a fast-paced thrill-ride that challenges you to put it down. Locke's engrossing style will hook you, presenting a suspenseful and sexy story in a stream of consciousness that quickly carries you with its flow. His unique descriptions ("dazzling White-Cliffs-of-Dover smile") and pop culture references ("Mr. Clean on steroids") will keep you entertained while painting vivid images in your mind. Locke expands on the Creed character from his earlier novels, Lethal People, and Lethal Experiment, more deeply exploring his antihero, the former CIA Assassin with "a heart of bronze." Saving Rachel is a thoroughly enjoyable book that combines Locke's prowess for language and metaphor with his gift of intrigue and story-weaving. The bite-sized chapters take you on a rollercoaster from one to the next, making it both a quick-read and impossible to put down. After reading Saving Rachel, I can not wait to read Now & Then and Wish List, the next installments in the Donovan Creed series.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ron Stock's Moses, God's Blessed Donkey

Ron Stock's Moses, God's Blessed Donkey is a family-friendly read with both a riveting story and beautiful illustrations, chronicling the biblical adventures of Moses and Bullion. Moses, "but a different Moses than the one who probably flashed into your mind" is a blessed donkey who "witnessed the Son of God defeating death, and rising again so that God's people might be forever free." Bullion, "so named because when he was an infant, his mother thought that he would grow to be as strong as a bull and as brave as a lion" is a dreamer who imagines himself as a king, "as rich as King Solomon and as loved as King David."

Told through the eyes of a donkey, the biblical stories become more approachable, comprehensible, and enjoyable for children. Stock's writing style is simultaneously accessible to children and sophisticated enough to entertain parents while reading it, making for many enjoyable nights spent reading as a family. Moses is the perfect witness to impart the lessons and significant moments of Jesus' life to children of all ages. Stock's debut book promises more approachable and fun biblical stories for families, and we can eagerly await his next book which will address the life of Simon Peter's life and the construction of St. Peter's Basilica. Stock's writing is an excellent tool to make your children enthusiastic both about The Bible and reading and provides the perfect activity for quality family time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Richard A. Valicek's Alamptria: Red Moon Rising

Richard A. Valicek's Alamptria: Red Moon Rising chronicles an amazing journey of dark forces, destruction, and sorcery in a fantastical fifteenth century setting. The novel's heroic protagonists, the three Seaton brothers and Melina Hampshire, learn the importance of solidarity and unity, fusing their individual powers of good to effect triumph over the dark forces of the dark lord Makoor that threaten the innocent people of Alamptria.

Alamptria: Red Moon Rising imparts an important moral tale of the triumph of good over evil and the fortifying power of unity. In a time of vampire-mania, readers and viewers alike are bombarded with overly simplistic tales for teenagers, denigrating the vampire and fantasy genre; however, Richard A. Valicek restores the genre's glory with his intricate plot, enthralling language, and powerful themes. While we search to find a sense of meaning in today's tales of vampires, often left without a deeper theme, Valicek's compelling tale is simultaneously dynamic and leaves a resounding sense of the importance of both solidarity and inevitable triumph of the good and free over seemingly insurmountable forces of evil.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, Second Edition by John M. Kirsch, M.D.

John M. Kirsch, M.D. provides readers with an exercise program to heal and prevent shoulder pain and injury, motivated by his own shoulder pain, in Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. After suffering from a degenerative disease of the shoulder that causes destructive pinching of the rotator cuff, called subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS), Kirsch sought an exercise program to reshape and strengthen his shoulder anatomy in order to avoid surgery. His own progress was initially slow and painful; however, as the treatment began to take effect and his shoulder strengthened, he was able to perform increasingly heavier sets that were comprised of more repetitions, and was able to prolong the length of time he was able to hang suspended from a bar. 25 years later, Kircsh was able to boast, "I have no pain and enjoy full use of both shoulders."

In the second edition, published just one year after the first edition, Kirsch has added testimonials, new chapters, and full color images that give readers a better appreciation and understanding of the anatomy of the shoulder. He uses simple language and explanations that are accessible to the average reader, outlining the basics and need-to-know information, without overloading and confusing readers with extraneous medical information. Using step-by-step pictures to guide readers through the weight-lifting exercises, the author teaches readers how to incorporate these simple changes into their routine in order to treat or prevent shoulder injury, which is valuable to sufferers from shoulder pain, athletes, and active people.

Kirsch's purpose for writing this book is "to empower you to restore and maintain the health of your own shoulder." Through the exercises he outlines, he shares the information that has saved many from shoulder surgery, the cost of which is "astounding" through free exercises. Musculoskelatal disorders are the leading cause of disability in America, and Kirsch's work helps those who suffer from shoulder pain and a number of other disabilities through simple exercises; "These exercises involve simply hanging from an overhead support such as an exercise bar or pipe and lifting dumbbell weights. It is that simple." The exercises that Kirsch suggests are not time-consuming or expensive; after all, "gravity is free."

Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded is incredibly helpful, easy to understand, and inspirational, teaching readers that they do not have to live with debilitating shoulder pain and that the body can indeed be repaired without surgery.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yolanda Shanks's Destined to Live Despite Me

Yolanda Shanks's Destined to Live, Despite Me: Biblical Truths for Suicide Survivors is a poignant exploration of the suicidal mind and the triumph over prevalent thoughts of suicide. Written by a suicide survivor, the book addresses such typical suicidal thoughts as: "I Wish That I Was Dead And That I Had Never Been Born," "No One Truly Cares About Me," "I Feel So All Alone," "Ending My Life Will Stop All this Hurt, Pain, Embarrassment, and Shame," "Life is Too Hard and Suicide is My Only Escape," and "I Will Have the Final Say in the Matter." While it addresses these thoughts, it also gives suicide survivors the foundation to move on with their lives, giving the direction and helping hand to find a meaningful and purposeful life built on biblical truth. It is written in the manner of someone who understands and has been there, does not cast judgment, and provides you with the framework to establish healthier thinking and an unshakable foundation when the trials of life challenge you again.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Carl Marshall's The Light of Innocence (Christian Living)

Carl Marshall's spiritually transformative The Light of Innocence (Christian Living) is an inspiring exploration of Christian faith for "every child of God." Marshall is a self-proclaimed "self-learner," not a "product of school, church, or religion," having failed to find success and meaning in the churches he has attend. Marshall continues to "seek God's children" and does so in this book in a profound and meaningful way. This book is a great read for both the secular and the average church-going Christian, illuminating that God, religion, and spiritual path can be found outside of Church and self-taught.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spider Hacksaw's A Midsummer's Nightmare

Spider Hacksaw's A Midsummer's Nightmare is based on "a true nightmare," chronicling a group of friends who face their own mortality one fateful evening on a dark mountain road. The events they encounter that night threaten their lives and force them to examine and face their worst childhood nightmares and the parallels of reality. Its unusual dedication to Edgar Allen Poe epitomizes the artistry of the book and immediately draws parallels between Poe's exploration of the human mind and the exploration presented by Hacksaw.

Hacksaw has an impressive mastery of words and deep appreciation for the artistry of the English language, compelling the reader as much with his words as with the plot of his story. The underlying theme of the dark side of the human mind is evident through its many allusions to such works as Carl Jung's Man and His Symbols, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, and the film Monster. The parallels to such works as Metamorphosis, stream of consciousness writing, mixture of both the poetry of the English language and swearing, eccentric intellectualism, raw sexuality, and focus on the prison of the mind make it certain to be an instant classic among the comparative literature set.

The intertextuality, temporal distortion, paranoia, and black humor make this postmodern work one of the few true literary works in recent memory. A Midsummer's Nightmare takes you on a compelling journey through the "Ubiquitous Umbra" and the "dark abyss," as Hacksaw's life mission of exorcising the particular demons that torment him, writing A Midsummer's Nightmare first as a poem, then a screenplay, and, finally, a book, all based on a recurring nightmare that he had as a young boy. Hacksaw aptly describes his imagination as "overactive," using writing as a tool to dispel the paranoia and delusion that plague him. In A Midsummer's Nightmare, Spider Hacksaw invites you on a journey of words that is equally surreal, haunting, and riveting.