Friday, May 10, 2013

Coming Up...Week 19 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

N/A

What I'm Reading right now:

Fire Always Burns by Krista Lakes (Ebook)

Fire always burns. Three friends just have to make sure that it doesn't burn them.

Holly managed to escape the boring mountain town where she was born by going to college. However, she found herself having too many wild nights and too many mornings of waking up in unfamiliar beds to keep her scholarship. Now that's she's back in Conifer, she has no idea what she is going to do with her life and no hope for the future.

Luke's little brother is miserable after being shuffled away from his friends and family after his parents' bitter divorce. Luke feels helpless, and he will do anything it takes to bring his little brother home where he belongs.

Andrew's father died a couple years ago in an electrical accident, leaving him to care for his distraught mother. More than anything, he wants to move on and escape this small town to follow his dreams, but his mother would be lost without someone to take care of her.

When these three friends reconnect, Holly comes up with a plan, a plan that will change all their lives for the better. She knows that to start a fire, all it takes is a spark. However, as the sparks ignite and begin to burn, she realizes that she may have stood too close to the flame, and the torch she carries for Andrew burns brighter than ever.

Will Holly manage to rekindle old loves, or will the destructive fire in their hearts consume everything they hold dear?

**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

Chapters: 12 out of 18

Pages: 196 out of 311

Winter Nova by Preston Morgan

For over six years, the Imperial army has achieved uninterrupted success and now controls most of Gildend. Alternating between deceptive diplomacy and brute force, the crafty Empire has decimated the followers of the Light. Only the city of Greydale remains free, and the Imperial army vows to crush it within months.

In search of hope, Greydale’s Council rushes to finish rebuilding the Temple. The city sends out the Luminaires, a group of gifted soldiers, to recover the four remaining Crystals—the last pieces of the Temple which are now scattered in the wilderness. During these perilous quests, the soldiers will confront many trials and tribulations. But what will happen if they fail to recover all of the Crystals in time? And do the people really understand what would happen if the Temple is rebuilt?

Winter Nova takes readers on an exciting journey, filled with adventure, love, and revelation. Along the way, the main characters will endure many hardships, yet it is through tragedy and heartbreak that they will discover their true purpose. When the time comes, their choices will play pivotal roles in the explosive conclusion.

Chapters: 24 out of 30

Pages: 299 out of 390

The Thread of a Thousand Miles by Alan Yang

The encounter of an Asian man and an American woman in Guangzhou sparked a love affair that would put the age-old Chinese saying, "A marriage of a thousand miles is strung by a single thread," to test. Jin and Lucia came from two different worlds. They had no clue about each other's identity or their ancestors' secret past. Their romance was couched in a family saga dating back to World War II. Their passion for each other grew and blossomed at a time when love was forbidden. How would Jin and Lucia's family mysteries be unraveled? Would they be able to tackle the odds against them? Would their love ever be consummated? Filled with twists and turns, this story puts Jin and Lucia through a gauntlet of trouble and turmoil, leading up to a final climactic realization.

Chapters: 3 out of 72

Pages: 10 out of 345

Zinsky the Obscure by Ilan Mochari

Thirty-year-old Manhattan bachelor Ariel Zinsky is still recovering from his abusive childhood when he realizes no one -- including his few living relatives -- is truly interested in his narrative. While they numb themselves with the latest celebrity rehab story or the third-world atrocities replayed without ceasing on cable news, he sets out to write his autobiography as an exercise in his own self-medication, recasting himself as the hero in a coming-of-age story. Fans of A Confederacy of Dunces and The Perks of Being a Wallflower will relate to this tale of overcoming your childhood's traumas, and the world's indifference to them.

Chapters: 3 out of 24

Pages: 20 out of 342

The Castilian Suite- Graham Blackburn

In 1961 Generalíssimo Franco is still dictator of Spain and Roger Coulter is on his way to Madrid with the beauiful Sarah to write ‘The Castilian Suite’. Youthful enthusiasm is no match for the harsh realities of life, however, and composing gives way to a hand-to-mouth existence of scalping tickets to the bullfight, pimping in the Barrio Chino, and an eventual return to a life of rowdy gigs in West Indian and Irish bars in London. Tragedy ensues in New York, followed by corruption in Los Angeles before Roger Coulter can return to his dream.

Chapters: 13 out of 29 plus translations

Pages: 175 out of 402



Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

The Thrill Of Escape

Miss Annie Andrews is finally free to marry the man she loves. With her overprotective sister out of the country on her honeymoon, nothing can prevent her flight to Gretna Green—nothing, that is, but an abduction by the wrong gentleman.

The Sweetness Of Surrender

When Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne, promised to look after his best friend's sister-in-law, he didn’t realize she would prove so difficult. But when he spirits her away to his country house to prevent her elopement, he discovers that the tempting beauty knows how to put up a fight. To make matters worse, he’s stuck playing the role of honorable protector...when what he really wants is to run away with her himself.

Chapters: 3 out of 52

Pages: 14 out of 368

With Malicious Intent by Saylor Storm

Unpretentious, natural beauty, Hannah Ellsworth travels the world only to find love at her back door. Disillusioned with romance, she finds solace in remote Fiji. The distance fails to deter two tenacious suitors; all American Robert Graham and seasoned adventurer, Jack Wilson. Her decision could lead to an untimely death. Who is betraying her and why? With Malicious Intent is a story of learning to listen to your heart and having faith that it will never steer you wrong.

Chapters: 3 out of 48

Pages: 8 out of 200




A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine: Adventures & Misadventures Living among the Natives by Walter Parchomenko

A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine is a painfully funny collection of travel nightmares; country and culture shocks experienced by an American living and working among the natives over the past 20 years. It offers practical tips on how to cope with: Sexy young women who view foreign men as potential ATM machines and transportation out of their closed countries; herds of stampeding Slavs on city streets, in metro areas and supermarkets; angry motorists who stop for pedestrians at crosswalks only because they are bumpier than potholes; packs of howling stray dogs who don’t understand English and Slavic attack pigeons.

A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine also takes readers by the hand and allows them to experience the agony of entering a collapsing post-Soviet medical system and interacting with Kafkaesque bureaucracies. And it provides foreign men, who seek Slavic brides, priceless advice that can save them from bankruptcy, jail and even confinement in a psychiatric hospital.

The result is a book that weaves comic misadventures without trivializing serious issues, including AIDS, rampant corruption and ecocide; shatters many prevailing stereotypes about Slavic men and women; and clears up numerous culturally based misunderstandings Americans typically have of Russians and Ukrainians.

Seinfeldian humor. Like the very popular TV series Seinfeld, this is fundamentally a book “about nothing”: the banal but often fascinating events that make up our human existence. Chapters titled Slavic Attack Pigeons, Fornicating Flies, Howling Stray Dogs and Mayo Heaven are just a few illustrations. A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine fully agrees with H.L. Mencken who aptly observed: “The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line.”

Chapters: 17 out of 59 plus preface

Pages: 80 out of 283

In His Stead (A Father's War) by Judith Sanders

AN ANCIENT LAW, A MODERN WAR, AND A FATHER'S LOVE THAT KNOWS NO BOUNDS...

Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and the thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear.

When the National Guard calls up Lane’s youngest son to serve, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent to war in place of their masters.

In His Stead, Judith Sander's second novel, follows Thomas Lane's crusade against the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon-like choice of losing either a husband or a son.

Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.

Chapters: 13 out of 35

Pages: 97 out of 324

Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip

In a sunny California apartment, a young woman and her fiancé arrive to record her great-grandmother's story. The story that unfolds of Precious Orchid's life in China, where she rises from a childhood of shame to become one of the most successful courtesans in the land, is unlike any they've heard before...
When Precious Orchid's father is falsely accused of a crime and found guilty, he is executed, leaving his family a legacy of dishonor. Her mother's only option is to enter a Buddhist nunnery, so she gives her daughter over to the care of her sister in Shanghai.

At first, life at Peach Blossom Pavilion feels like a dream. Surrounded by exotic flowers, murmuring fountains, colorful fishponds, and bamboo groves, Precious Orchid sees herself thriving. She is schooled in music, literature, painting, calligraphy, and to her innocent surprise, the art of pleasuring men. For the beautiful Pavilion hides its darker purpose as an elite house of prostitution. And even as she commands the devotion of China's most powerful men, Precious Orchid never gives up on her dream to escape the Pavilion, be reunited with her mother, avenge her father's death, and find true love. And as the richest, most celebrated Ming Ji or "prestigious courtesan" in all of China, she just might have her way even if it comes with a devastating price...

Sweeping in scope and stunning in its evocation of China, Peach Blossom Pavilion is a remarkable novel with an unforgettable heroine at the heart of its powerful story...

[Special Readers Guide Inside]

Chapters: 11 out of 37 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 109 out of 421

Future Books I will read:

Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing by Kytka Hilmar-Jezek (e-book)

Learn how to build a powerful platform from writing your book, brand and position yourself as an author for greater reach, impact, profits and success. Kytka Hilmar-Jezek reveals the perfect road map to not only get you started to write, but to help you complete the process in an easy and gamified way. She outlines how you can create a best seller by using positioning and branding and why you need a powerful expert author platform. She teaches you how to develop a winning book strategy AND a full product line around your knowledge! This book is invaluable for any author that is ready to succeed is today's marketplace. This book shows the power of having a published book and completely demystifies what writing a book entails. You will be inspired to get your own expertise on paper as quickly as possible. Book Power is a comprehensive, user-friendly 'how to' guide that will not only help you take your dreams to fruition but will show you how to collectively create, design and market your book. This book explains the expert authority that writing your own book delivers, or the exponential leverage that author branding adds to your results. Book Power is a results based system that covers everything you need to become a published author in today's world and position your work and yourself in a way that adds massive value to even more people!

Chapters: About 80? Introduction plus Foreword

Pages: 147

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello (e-book)

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king's treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.


Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight's quest to save their friend's life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.

Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Chapters: 18

Pages: 82

Push Not the River By James Conroyd Martin

A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style, Push Not the River is the rich story of Poland in the late 1700s--a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are being torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties. It is then, at the young and vulnerable age of seventeen, when Lady Anna Maria Berezowska loses both of her parents and must leave the only home she has ever known.

With Empress Catherine's Russian armies streaming in to take their spoils, Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Even kind Aunt Stella, Anna's new guardian who soon comes to personify Poland's courage and spirit, can't protect Anna from the uncertain future of the country.

Anna, a child no longer, turns to love and comfort in the form of Jan, a brave patriot and architect of democracy, unaware that her beautiful and enigmatic cousin Zofia has already set her sights on the handsome young fighter. Thus Anna walks unwittingly into Zofia's jealous wrath and darkly sinister intentions.

Forced to survive several tragic events, many of them orchestrated by the crafty Zofia, a strengthened Anna begins to learn to place herself in the way of destiny--for love and for country. Heeding the proud spirit of her late father, Anna becomes a major player in the fight against the countries who come to partion her beloved Poland.

Push Not the River is based on the true eighteenth century diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the historic Third of May Constitution. Vivid, romantic, and thrillingly paced, it paints the emotional and unforgettable story of the metamorphosis of a nation--and of a proud and resilient young woman.

Chapters: 67 plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 496

C-Town by Aaron Powell

There’s not much for a young person to do in Corning, a small industrial town in upstate New York. While parents are working swing shifts to make ends meet, their restless children resort to acts of depravity and self-indulgence. Set in the late 1990’s, this is a story of a twenty-year-old man who is struggling with questions of purpose and existential nihilism. Patrick Mitchell spends most of his time at the YMCA, while attending community college classes, and training at the local karate dojo. He’s distracted by frivolous relationships, fights, and drugs, but his personal moral dilemmas will all seem much less important when an unusual occurrence shakes him to the very core.

Chapters: 29 plus epilogue and introduction

Pages: 138


The Mail-Order Bride by Daris Howard

Prize Winning Story - Clean Romance!

It was to be the big day for Eli. His fiancée, Molly, was coming in on a ship. Two years earlier, unable to find work in England, he had headed for America. His ship was caught in a storm, and he ended up, not in Pennsylvania as he planned, but in Newfoundland.
But that was all behind him now. He had written to Molly every day for the two years, and now she was coming so they could be married.
But Eli was in for a surprise. Unknown to him, Molly had married. She had bought him a mail-order bride, and Eli's life was going to suddenly take an unexpected twist.
This is a fun story about differences of culture, love, and life. The play based on this book is winner of many awards and has been produced internationally. This is a story you won’t want to miss.

Chapters: 28

Pages: 151

The Fallen Snow by John Kelley

In the fall of 1918 infantry sniper Joshua Hunter saves an ambushed patrol in the Bois le Prêtre forest of Lorraine . . . and then vanishes. Pulled from the rubble of an enemy bunker days later, he receives an award for valor and passage home to Hadley, a remote hamlet in Virginia’s western highlands. Reeling from war and influenza, Hadley could surely use a hero. Family and friends embrace him; an engagement is announced; a job is offered.

Yet all is not what it seems. Joshua experiences panics and can’t recall the incident that crippled him. He guards a secret too, one that grips tight like the icy air above his father’s quarry. Over the course of a Virginia winter and an echoed season in war-torn France, The Fallen Snow reveals his wide-eyed journey to the front and his ragged path back. Along the way he finds companions – a youth mourning a lost brother, a widowed nurse seeking a new life and Aiden, a bold sergeant escaping a vengeful father. While all of them touch Joshua, it is the strong yet nurturing Aiden who will awaken his heart, leaving him forever changed.

Set within a besieged Appalachian forest during a time of tragedy, The Fallen Snow charts an extraordinary coming of age, exploring how damaged souls learn to heal, and dare to grow.

Chapters: 55 plus epilogue

Pages: 302

Hurry Up and Wait by Aaron Powell

This book consists of the written letters between my wife and I while I was away at recruit training, Parris Island, South Carolina. We've held nothing back - save a few names to protect the identities of the characters portrayed in our letters - and we've agreed to share our experience with anyone interested in reading about it.

This is our story.
-Aaron Powell

Chapters: 141  plus conclusion and introduction

Pages: 352




Modern Love: The Grownup's Guide to Relationships & Online Dating by Cija Black

Modern Love will help you consider your past relationship baggage, look through your relationship assumptions and teach you how to apply that information to a focused search for love off and online.

Modern Love takes a unique approach to the topics of relationships and online dating. There are a million and one books out there about improving your relationships OR online dating, but I have yet to find one that combines the two. MODERN LOVE asks you to review your relationship baggage, identify your relationship expectations and then produce a truthful engaging online dating profile. The lessons learned from preparing an online profile will be beneficial even if you decide online dating isn’t for you.

Chapters: 24

Pages: 173

The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg

An exquisite tour de force, The Laws of Gravity is a testament to what it means to be a family, what it takes to save a life, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Two families, bound by blood, hear terrible news. One decision holds the key to survival--but at a devastating cost.

Nicole, auburn-haired, airy, and beautiful, discovers her body is betraying her. She turns to cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. Ari stands firm, bringing them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of retirement, is touched by this legal battle like no other. His blood case, he calls it. A case that calls into question the very things we live for: the enduring bonds of family, and the love that lasts a lifetime. It's Nicole's last chance, Ari's last stand, and the judge's last case.

A novel of heartbreaking honesty, humor, and depth--an unforgettable story of finding love and finding family--The Laws of Gravity heralds Liz Rosenberg as a storytelling sensation.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 300

Down This Road by Kelli Dawn

They say you can never go home, and for high-powered Chicago attorney Charlie McIntire, that is perfectly fine. She left home the day she turned 18 and never planned to return…but at 29, she finds herself running back to the ranch, the only place she can think of that will help her face an unexpected turn of events. Charlie tries to settle back into the quiet pace of country living, unsure of everything except the fact that she still hates shoveling manure. Life on the ranch is uneventful, and without the distractions of the city, Charlie is forced to deal with things she’d rather avoid: what she’s going to do with the rest of her life; the unfinished business between her and an ex-boyfriend; and most of all, the event that will change her life forever. Down This Road chronicles Charlie’s journey of self-discovery. It explores how the past shapes the present; how difficult it can be to change patterns of behavior; and how sometimes, learning your lesson might come just a little too late.

Chapters: 45

Pages: 270

Against a Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin

A magnificent epic, Against a Crimson Sky is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century.

The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chaos caused by the violent dissolution of Poland.

Anna is soon reunited with her longtime love, Lord Jan Stelnicki, and the two lovers marry even as their beloved Poland is ripped apart. As the couple struggles to raise a family in the face of an uncertain future, Anna’s capricious cousin, Zofia, returns with a surprise of her own. Although Zofia’s past schemes still resonate, Anna’s doubts turn to fear as Jan’s patriotism draws him to the battlefield.

Offering new hope for a conquered Poland, Napoleon Bonaparte arrives in all of his pomp and glory. With the aid of new Polish legions—Anna’s friends and family among them—Napoleon battles his way across Europe in an effort that culminates in the doomed 1812 winter march into Russia.

Against this backdrop, Anna and Jan valiantly fight to hold on to a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives.

Chapters: 40 plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 368

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