Tuesday, April 30, 2013

G121 E-Reading Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

General Information:


Name of Book: Aphanasian Stories

ISBN: 9781481249478

Publisher: Createspace

Summary:

Three of Rhonda Parrish's beloved Aphanasian stories brought together in one collection for the first time!

A Love Story: Z'thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, a decision that will affect the Reptar for generations.

Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madman's experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colby's brother before it's too late.

Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.

Author: Rhonda Parrish

(from goodreads.com)

url
http://www.goodreads.com/Rhonda_Parrish

born
in Calgary, Canada

gender
female

website
http://www.rhondaparrish.com

twitter username
rhondaparrish

member since
April 2009

1. A Love Story 

Observations:

This is a well written story that reminded me of Daphne and Apollo myth with a mixture of Ravenloft empire thrown in. I enjoyed reading about the character of Z'thandra who is the last of her kind and how she is living with a Reptar. What I also liked about it is that it felt complete and didn't leave many loose ends.

Year it was published: 2010


1. Lost and Found

Observations:

This story is loosely connected to A Love Story and it definitely had a dark feel to it. There are battles there, loyalty and dealing with personal and inner demons. This story did have a few loose ends and I did wonder if the mysterious Scholar had an appearance in the first story, and so forth.

Year it was published: N/A

1. Sister Margaret 

Observations:
This story was only ten pages long (I was reading it on my digital reader,) and I was sad it was short because it didn't really explain a lot as I had hoped it would. The story is loosely connected to Lost and Found and I would have liked it if it was longer and if a few things would be explained more.

Year it was published: 2006


Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Conquest of Constantinople

Title: The Conquest of Constantinople (part of Chronicles of the Crusades)

Author: Villehardouin

First Copyright date: Written in early 1200s

Type of Book: Crusades, Fourth Crusade, Greece, Constantinople, 1199-1207, simplistic

General Subject Matter: Crusades

Special Features: There are maps on the back, and glossary of various terms,

Price: About $12.00?

ISBN: 978-0-14-044124-6

Possible Purpose:

I have read the entire primary source, and cannot figure out why he wrote this particular book. Perhaps from observations I can arrive at why: the book focuses more on events and is not in depth when it comes to human foibles. There is constant fighting and its hard to keep things straight. Besides piety nothing is stressed. It does seem to be chronological and it focuses more on names rather than on people behind the names. I would guess he wrote it like a textbook a bit and wanted there to be accuracy.

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

He participated in these events and, to a degree, has experience and knowledge of how and why things went wrong, (although how he makes these events seem boring is hard to understand.)

b. From what point of view is the work written?

Its written from third person limited. As mentioned there is no focus on humanity, but only on actions and events and only piety is stressed. We watch action going on, but nothing else. He mentions himself a few times, but in third person rather than first person, and he's not descriptive of personality.

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

I think the author was trying to give information rather than anything else. Its a constant narration and sequence of events rather than anything else.

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

General field would be Fourth Crusade, war and non-fiction and personal account or memoir.

e. Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience would be historians or people who would research what happened during the Fourth Crusade and perhaps construct a narrative.

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

I would guess the style would formal maybe and to an extent the author does know what he's talking about, although I feel that the author lacks ideas of proper storytelling or dramatization methods. I found the story to be boring, and most ironic part is that when I was taking a Crusades part, learning about Fourth Crusade was my favorite part. I think it does suit the intended audience because it focuses on what happened rather than people behind the names.

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

It's two books in one: here's part for Villehardouin
* Muster-roll of the Fourth Crusade
* Treaty with the Venetians
*The Army seeks a leader
*Delays and Disappointments
* Siege of Zara
*Discord in the Army
*Voyage to Scutari
*Preparations for an Assault
*First Siege of Constantinople
*The Emperor's Covenant
*Appeal to Arms
*Second Siege of Constantinople
*Election of an Emperor
*A Case of Strained Relations
*War against the Greeks
*Siege of Adrianople
*A Regency Established
*King Johanitza Ravages the Empire
*Offensive and Counter-offensive
*War on Two Fronts
*Excursions Outside the Empire

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

Besides causing me to feel bored, I don't think the book affected me in any way, I'm sad enough to admit.

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

I think it achieved them well enough.

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

Not really, unless one is looking for an accurate view of the Fourth Crusade because the book tends to be boring and confusing for me.

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

An accurate account of what happened during the Fourth Crusade along with some behind the scenes deals minus the description of people who behaved like puppets.

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.

There is more human than divine in the book.

Personal Opinion:

I found the book to be boring and confusing because it lacked storytelling things that we take for granted. Everything requires an action, a climax and a falling action along with detail and attention to characters and other things. This book has nothing like that.

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Coming Up...Week 17 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

Stop me if you've heard this one before- David Yoo

If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it's that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he's chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an "intentional" loser.

Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex- long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But -- chalk it up to the magic of Al's inner beauty -- by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially "something."

Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia's support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he's lost weight and he's getting radiation, but that doesn't make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn't be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back. With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he's a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al's bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it's exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.

In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.

The Secret Garden-Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; "It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'" As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12)

Part I of Chronicles of the Crusades by Jean de Joinville, Geoffroi de Villehardouin

The two famous Old French chronicles in this volume were composed by soldiers who took part in the Holy Wars. Villehardouin's Conquest of Constantinople is the first trustworthy and fully informed history of the Crusades. Distinguished by its simplicity and lucidity, it is an account of the Fourth Crusade, which ironically ended as a war against the Eastern Christians of the Orthodox Church. Joinville's Life of Saint Louis was inspired by the author's close attachment to the pious king and provides a vivid picture of his times and the ways of life in the East.







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: 2 out of 18

Pages: 24 out of 311

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: 11 out of 29 plus translations

Pages: 143 out of 402



Letters from your future; reaching for your highest potential in times of great change by Brett L Bowden

Dear Ones,

We have been sending Humanity instructional letters for some time now. the Letters, collectively known as The Letters Project, started in 2007 and will continue until Humanity has reached its full potential and it is deemed that they will no longer be needed. These Letters are instructions about life and hwo life works from teh perspective of the Spiritual Realm in which we reside.

We go by many names for there are many of us here who want to communicate these truths to you. We work through the spiritual energy named Jaipur and are collectively known to this channel as The Counsel of Divine Wisdom. We are energies that reside in teh upper realms of existence. In your modern day temrs you might say that we are Ascended Masters although that term you use has restrictions, but it will suffice for htese purposes.

It is our intent to show you a new way, another way for Humanity to exist. Indeed, if you are pleased with what you see and feel around you, then this message will have no meaning for you. However, if youa re not pleased with the present condition in which you perceive your world, then you now have a golden opportunity to change it. You can do this by changing your perception of what you see around you and in doing this you will begin to change your life, your world and yourself.

Where will your road take you? Go inside yourself and seek the insights of your soul in hte silent moments. It will know the way.

The world of your highest imaginings is within your reach.

Progress: 187 out of 265 pages, 27 out of 40 chapters plus introduction and epilogue and preface

The Best of All Possible Worlds-Karen Lord

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.

Chapters: 8 out of 16

Pages: 119 out of 303

A Gospel of Kama Sutra by Poonaam Uppal

"So, do you believe in love?" Someone asked me once, and I replied, "I feel, I am here, in this world, just to teach teh world, "love" and "The ritual of love making," the essence of true love and how to create "Holy Kama Sutra." -Poonaam Uppal

THis is a true love story of glamorous, stylish and fiercely ambitious Indian lass Moh Lal Rai who has only one cherished desire, aspiration n her mind to become an internationally acclaimed avant-garde Fashion designer. Destiny deceives Moh's desires landing her in US. During her fashion show at Las Vegas she experiences violent vibration followed by a thunderous broadcasting of her future "soon in 1997 you will meet your true eternal lover" on this earth...

Dragooned by powerful longing to meet her ancient lover she is now a solitary traveler of an abyss of unfathomable space and time where she is sent on a roller coaster ride to a bizarre realm of gonzo occurrences, happenings, visions, premonitions, deja vous, diving visitation and startling revelation of her past birth and she involuntarily unravels the anciet most secret of the extinct art of Kama Sutra and "Tantric Sex" once taught by Lord Shiva himself but now these cryptic writings are shrouded in the misty Himalayan valley. In a cruel game plan of higher she is compelled by a powerful goddess to become a saint a Guru, a Love Messiah and reveal the lost mystical secret behind Kama Sutra___Kama Sutra is the holiest of scripture and only through Kama Sutra human could reach nirvana in this climaxing Black Age. "This is a true love story only the names and places are fictitious."

Progress 853 out of 1084 pages, 74 out of 92 chapters

Escaping the Chrysalis: Introduction to Gestalt Techniques for Self-Esteem Transformation by Jan Deelstra

Escaping the Chrysalis: Introduction to Gestalt Techniques for Self-Esteem Transformation, by J. Deelstra is truly the Empowerment Book for living a FULL, rewarding life!
Gestalt means ‘whole’ and so are you!
Escaping the Chrysalis offers gestalt techniques as self-esteem enhancing tools for transformation into the wholeness which is your birth right. It is the guide you wish your parents had! It will be the dog-eared reference book you return to repeatedly for information on living your best life.
We are all humans being, and yet few of us consciously make the choice to define who we are being. Escaping the Chrysalis gives you the tools and techniques previously reserved only for professionals:
•Release the shackles of your past!
•Develop self-confidence and raise your self-esteem!
•Free stagnant energy towards creative, rewarding results!
•Attract what you want and not what you don't want!
•Enhance your personal relationships!
•Never be a victim or a victimizer again!
•Learn to interpret the secrets of your dreams!
•Free yourself from worn-out messages that no longer fit.
•Consciously CHOOSE who you are being.
•Communicate assertively without raising others’ defenses.
•Get out of your way and allow the authentic YOU to shine!
•Be a beacon to others!

Empowerment is the key to your life that has been missing.
Escaping the Chrysalis: Introduction to Gestalt Techniques for Self-Esteem Transformation provides you the keys to own your power in every arena of life!

You Deserve To Be Whole!

Chapters: 6 out of 15 plus introduction and epilogue

Pages:107 out of 379

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: 11 out of 59 plus preface

Pages: 51 out of 283

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: 10 out of 30

Pages: 134 out of 390

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:  6 out of 35

Pages: 31 out of 324

Future Books I will read:

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

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

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: 48

Pages: 200




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: 24

Pages: 342


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: 72

Pages: 345

The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships by Mali Apple (Goodreads Author), Joe Dunn

"Create the Love of Your Life--Keep the Life in Your Love "

Single, in a relationship, and married: people of all walks of life and all ages are finding this new book on enlightened relationships inspiring, accessible, and truly transformational. This revolutionary guide will help you create and sustain a relationship that is intimately connected on all levels--emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual--and a continual source of love, inspiration, and joy.

In Part 1, chapters like Loving Your Body, Reducing Your Baggage, and Raising Your Soulmate Potential will help you release anything that might be preventing you from experiencing a deeply connected relationship. As you read, you will quickly begin to feel more loving and compassionate toward yourself, more connected to those around you, and more confident about and creating your own soulmate experience.
In Part 2, chapters such as Creating a Context, Turning Expectations into Invitations, Transforming the Energy of Jealousy, Exploring the Edges, and Connecting on a Soul Level will give you everything you need to approach even the most challenging aspects of relationships in ways that will actually deepen your experience of love and intimacy. You will discover the secrets to keeping the love, passion, and connection in your relationship fully alive--every single day. And you will learn how to lovingly guide each other to release limiting beliefs, heal the past, rise above perceived limitations, and unlock the potential in every area of your lives.

Whether you re on a quest for your soulmate, looking for deeper connection in the relationship you have right now, or just want to experience much more love in your life, the ground-breaking ideas in this book--and the many stories of real people putting them into practice--will fill you with love, inspiration, and possibility. Because The Soulmate Experience isn t just a book. It 's a way great way of living life.

Chapters: 12 plus a word about our soulmate experience and introduction, transformational techniques and questions, discussion questions

Pages: 258

The Bouchard Legacy by Ted Magnuson

The Bouchard Family Legacy is about to be passed on to a fourth generation...or will it?

When Paul and Randy were in high school, their parents married new spouses. What different understandings Paul and Randy have when it comes to the future of the family business.

Paul has earned a place in the world, but Randy owns it.

The Bouchard Legacy; a story of loyalty and greed, a story of prejudice and character; it’s the story of Randy and Paul coming of age in the tumultuous 1960’s and then; their arrival as men in the close of the 1970’s. Set in Mid-America, St Louis, MO

Pages: 207

Chapters: 29 plus epilogue

The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite

Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with violence, vengeance, and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction-the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living

Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower and father who has made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm, cool, and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.

But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home to Coronado, New Mexico, to see the twelve-year-old son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years. One last job will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival's stash. Simple, easy, clean.

Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now, the runners who have always moved quietly through this idyllic desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a clever plan or Coronado's newly appointed lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.

Relentlessly paced and beautifully orchestrated, with refreshingly real, vulnerable, and very human characters and a vivid sense of place, The Carrion Birds is an unsettling and indelible work of literary noir in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.

Pages: 270

Chapters: 5

The Last Outlaws; The Lives and Legends of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by Thom Hatch

The Old West was coming to an end.Two legendary outlaws refused to go with it. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid—as leaders of the Wild Bunch, they planned and executed the most daring bank and train robberies of the day, with a professionalism never before seen by authorities. For several years at the end of the 1890s, the two friends, along with a revolving cast who made up their band of thieves, eluded local law enforcement and bounty hunters, all while stealing from the rich bankers and eastern railroad corporations who exploited western land. The close calls were many, but Butch and Sundance always managed to escape to rob again another day—that is, until they rode headlong into the 20th century. Fenced-in range, telephone lines, electric lights, and new crime-fighting techniques were quickly rendering obsolete the outlaws of the wide open frontier. Knowing their time was up, Butch and Sundance, along with a mysterious beauty named Etta Place, headed to South America, vowing to leave their criminal careers behind. But riding the trails of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, Butch and Sundance would find that crime wasn’t through with them just yet. In The Last Outlaws, Thom Hatch brings these memorable characters to life like never before: Butch, the brains of the outfit; Sundance, the man of action; and the men on both sides of the law whom they fought with and against. From their early holdup attempts to that fateful day in Bolivia, author Thom hatch draws on a wealth of fresh research to go beyond the myth and provide a compelling new look at these legends of the Wild West.

Chapters: 14 plus prologue

Pages: 255


G67 E-Reading Book Review of The Chosen Shell by Katherine Sartori

Name of Book: The Chosen Shell

Author:  Katherine Sartori

ISBN: 9780988374607

Publisher: Dream Traveler Press

Type of book: Nuns, monastery, Catholicism, friendship, be true to self, religion, 1963-1968, family, sisterhood, hidden self

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

"The Chosen Shell opens at a time of profound change in the nation and the Catholic Church. Its young heroine, Celie O’Rourke, is caught between a desire to live a life of divine purpose and a yearning for human love and connection. Author Katherine Sartori, once a nun herself, follows Celie’s journey from vulnerable adolescent to empowered adult with sensitive and poignant prose, while offering readers a fascinating glimpse inside monastic convent life. Although Celie’s transformation is rooted in the turbulent 1960s, her story offers a stirring and ultimately uplifting message that transcends that era. DeAnna Cameron, author of Dancing at the Chance and The Belly Dancer. Celie O’Rourke, sensing a calling from God, enters a California convent during the 1960s, a turbulent era of change in the Catholic Church. Four years later, she is teaching Latino children with great success. But the cult-like practices of her monastic Order threaten her fragile self-confidence, as she grapples with sexual feelings she can no longer suppress. Celie’s charismatic Superior offers her guidance and friendship plus the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. . .but these gifts come with a high price. Confused, she takes refuge at a retreat house where she meets an accomplished New York businessman, Tony DeStephano. Though from different worlds, the bond they feel is electric. . .but forbidden. A former nun, author Katherine Sartori has created a fictional story, inspired by her own experiences as well as those of the Sisters she met. Her novel seeks to contrast idealism with the realities of convent living.

Characters:

Only Celia and her family seem to exhibit three dimensional characteristics or changes, or Celia rather. While one does get to know her parents and sisters, but its only after she became a nun and found out interesting things about herself. Most of the characters are sort of two dimensional, such as Sister Gerald who's charismatic and mystic but at the same denies herself certain things, or Lupe who is best described as a troublemaker but a loyal friend. Strangely enough, despite the trials and tribulations they have been through, there isn't a lot of depth to their characters.

Theme:

Blessings come from every path, from secular to religious paths.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative completely from Celia's point of view. Not much is told about Celie, about why she decided to become a nun, at least in beginning, but towards the end things about her are revealed; her reasons as to why, and how she has felt being part of a very large Irish Catholic family and so forth. I would have liked there to be more focus on the journal entries and stories of Celia's. I felt that the ones that are given are not very revealing and tend to be confusing for me.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
in Los Angeles, The United States June 14

gender
female

website
http://www.katherinesartori.com

genre
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Spirituality

member since
June 2011


About this author
edit data

TWENTY ONE 5-Star Reviews on Amazon!

Celie O'Rourke wants to live a life of divine purpose, yet desperately yearns for human love and connection in a convent during the 1960s. Tony, a street-smart New Yorker, and her charasmatic Superior vie for for this young woman's attentions in a debut novel by Katherine Sartori, who was once a nun herself.

Katherine Sartori has created a fictional story in her debut novel, inspired by her own experiences as well as those of the Sisters she met. Katherine(Kas)re-created her life when she left the convent, teaching children and college students as well as writing for several corporations. Now she enjoys being a mom and a grandma, and loves traveling the world with her husband Joe.

She is working on a second novel, LILY and EVE, about two, very opposite, lifelong friends who travel to Ireland together. But their trip is fraught with changes...changes that threaten their friendship.

Katherine (Kas) calls herself a DreamTraveler on her blog,
http://dreamtravelerkas.blogspot.com, where she writes about the adventure of continually reinventing ourselves.

www.katherinesartori.com

Opinion:

I found the story to be beautifully written and somehow lyrical. The scenes are very descriptive and a feeling of anxiety and sadness permeates the digital pages I read. I also found it addictive as well somehow. I tried to read Doctor Zhivago earlier, but dropped it mainly due to my anger at the fact that the author converted and the translation I read was best described as awkward. When the author emailed me, she mentioned that one of her favorite books happened to be Doctor Zhivago and thought I had read it. (I had it in my future reading column...) Few times in the story, Celia does reference Doctor Zhivago the movie, and for some odd reason I couldn't help but think of Celia as Lara (from the bits and pieces I read,) and a certain nun character as the lawyer, while another character as a helper. While this is a bit of a love story, it focuses more on choices and decisions and relationships between women and sisters and parents rather than between significant others. Although the story does end, more questions beg to be answered, and I do hope the author is considering writing a sequel to the story.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

G96 E-Reading: Book Review of The Plunge by Sindhu S

Name of Book: The Plunge

Author: Sindhu S

ISBN: 9781461159254

Publisher: self published?

Type of book: 2000-2004? 2008? India, Shimla, adultery, obsession, affair, relationship status, marriage, friendship

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

Love is madness…
When a thirty-something journalist Anjali meets the charismatic Siddharth, she has no intention of becoming romantically involved with him. Anjali is a strong, independent woman, angered by the man’s world she lives in and traumatised by events in her past. She has no desire to fall in love.
Anjali is certain that, after months of chatting online, when she finally meets Siddharth the charm will be broken. But she is surprised to find herself attracted to him – and shocked when they fall into bed together on their first date. Seized by new emotions that go against everything she believes in, Anjali is caught in a battle between her head and her heart, between love and self-protection.
For the first time in her life, Anjali is at the mercy of her emotions and desires…and as she plunges into an affair with a man she knows little about, she risks losing everything.
Set in India, The Plunge is a frank and powerful examination of modern relationships that every woman will identify with. Told with astonishing emotional insight, this debut novel will take your breath away.

Characters:

The characters are rounded and multi-faceted mainly due to Anjali that undergoes a 360 degree turn when she starts being with Siddharth. Anjali had a horrible sexual past which she does relate to the reader, but she always emphasizes how different and how much better Siddharth is. After a while that part got annoying quickly. She also starts to obsess about him and before long she is not happy with the relationship. Siddharth acts either hot or cold and for him its a casual relationship. (Apparently he likes to have cake and have more cake,) He has no compulsion on morals and until the end never feels he did anything wrong with Anjali.

Theme:

It's not okay to have an affair if you are married, and affair involves more than just sex.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from Anjali's, Swapna's and Siddharth's points of view. I felt that Siddharth in particular, has been written clumsily and very little is known or told from his point of view. The times the reader does get a glimpse of Siddharth he likes and is happy with Anjali, while Anjali feels unhappy and despondent as well as insecure about her relationship to him. The transitions from one point of view to another is done clumsily. When I first started to read the book, I didn't understand which character I should focus on: is it Anjali or Swapna?

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
in Thiruvananthapuram, India

gender
female

website
http://www.sindhuspace.wordpress.com

twitter username
Sindhu S.

genre
Fiction, Ebooks, Memoir

member since
July 2010

Opinion:

This is a remarkable book that details the relationship of being an "other woman" and the author toys with the ideas of obsessions, belonging and dark sexual history. I felt there did tend to be repetition and disorder in a lot of parts. The book also delivers a history of Shimla in India and the ending was interesting although in a way I felt it was an open ending.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

G75 Book Review of Eclipse of the Midnight Sun by Timothy M. Kestrel

Name of Book: Eclipse of the Midnight Sun

Author: Timothy M Kestrel

ISBN: 978-0-615-73008-0

Publisher: Published by Timothy Kestrel

Part of a Series: The Rule of Ranging

Type of book: 1853, 1750s?, Finland, America, enemies, rangers, famous personages, lost love, "phoenix"

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Even those waging the fiercest battles just hew to hard fast rules that separate the soldier from the savage. And when a man’s home is destroyed beyond restoration, it’s up to him alone to forge a code and carve a new place to live in peace. The Rule of Ranging 1: Eclipse of the Midnight Sun is the epic action-adventure drama by Timothy M. Kestrel that follows the fearless Finn on a journey paved with bloodthirsty aggressors, mysterious women, and the rough terrain of a fledgling America. Both grave and uplifting, it’s an absorbing flight of fancy and derring-do. Set in the eighteen century, Kestrel’s story is a work of historic fiction that relives the most perilous days of the French & Indian War. The story begins in Finland, just as a young boy named Finn witnesses the complete annihilation of his home village, as well as the brutal killing of his family by marauding Russians. He barely manages to escape, chased by a merciless Hessian mercenary, Johan Kopf, nicknamed Totenkopf. Following his dying mother's wish to find a mysterious woman named Columbia, Finn's course takes him across the Atlantic. He befriends a slave, Gus, and buys his freedom. On their travels in this brave new world called America, the two make their way through the majestic Hudson Valley in New York, and soon encounter Marcus Fronto, a curious vagrant and philosophical mentor; Daniel Nimham, a fierce Wappinger chief and warrior; and beautiful Catherina Brett. They join forces with Robert Rogers Rangers, and fight against the French at Fort Edward, New York, during the Hudson River campaign in the 1750s. Action-packed and rigorously researched, the story offers a rare vantage of a crucial time in this country’s coming of age that is at once funny, heartbreaking, illuminating, and thrilling. Mining the depths of love, freedom, greed, and loyalty, it’s a page-turning, heart-pounding read that is at once scholarly and scintillating – steeped in history with a death-defying hero for the ages.

Characters:

For some odd reason I couldn't connect with characters at all. The only characters I ended up liking were Caterina Brett, and the old Finn who was telling the story, and I also enjoyed the fascinating facts he tells about Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. I had trouble connecting with the young Finn and other characters as well. I would guess the characters for me were more of a tell rather than show variety when it came to expressing emotions. I also had trouble believing the chemistry between Finn and Rosie and so forth. It seemed very last minute in my view, and I sensed no build up.

Theme:

Its possible to rebuild your life after destruction

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from omniscient point of view. At times I had trouble understanding the narrative because it tended to jump back and forth between multiple characters and the part where he meets his companions happens in the last quarter of the book. One of the things I liked is that a slave actually taught Finn how to read and write and count, which is an interesting twist I admit, but some things weren't explained well; how did people from Finland keep track of things if they didn't count? What of reading? What was going on in Europe at the time Hessians attacked Finland? Why doesn't Finn send a telegram to Rosie letting her know he's safe and telling her to move on? How did Finn live in England and barely survived on almost no English language? Also, track of years starting with the narrative would have been really nice.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

gender
male

website
http://timothykestrel.com

twitter username
TimothyKestrel

genre
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Philosophy

member since
November 2011

Opinion:

This book does have the hallmarks of me liking it: history, vivid nature descriptions, famous personages such as Ben Franklin and Robert Rogers make appearances. It also takes place in 1750s, and I enjoy reading historical books before 1800s began. I was pretty excited in acquiring the book and reading it. A lot of things in the book didn't work for me, I have to admit. What did work were the vivid scenery descriptions, the portrayal of life in Finland area during 1700s and the way American frontier was portrayed, the lawlessness before civilizing influences began. Here are also interesting characters such as Gus, Johan Kopf and Marcus Fronto, at least they had potential of being interesting. In other words, the author doesn't sugarcoat the reality of what the frontier was like which is something I liked, and I loved the scenes between Henry Raymond and Finn. However, what I didn't enjoy was lack of time while reading the book, and if that's Finn telling the story to Henry Raymond, then he's about 120 years old; not really feasible during that time, which is where years would have helped, and it did drive me crazy. The characters, unfortunately, struck me as sort of a cardboard type. The author needs to focus more on how to create fascinating characters that can grab people. I also wanted to point out a few things; the character of Daniel Nimham speaks like a Native American from Peter Pan, in other words a stereotypical Native American character when in fact Native Americans didn't speak stereotypically. Also, the scene where Johan goes to a Chinese brothel and mention of opium, that happened during late 1800s, not late 1700s...there might have been some Asians in America, but I doubt they had an opium den in 1700s. I also think that some women will take an offense at the way most of the women were portrayed in the book. Even if its part accurate, unfortunately, women are used to reading novels and books about strong and indomitable women heroines, and when only one woman is kind of portrayed in such a way, while others are accepting, it's not a really good situation.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G72 Choose Well to Live Well the Five Fundamentals to Create a Fit, Healthy and Strong Body and Mind

Title of the book: Choose Well To Live Well the Five Fundamentals to Create a Fit, Healthy and Stronb Body and Mind

Author: Laura Boniello

Publisher:  Balboa Press

Publishing Date: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4525-6082-3

Summary:

Choose Well To Live Well is a way of living, a lifestyle, that I live and teach. It is based upon five fundamental practices to help you create a fit, strong, healthy body and state of mind. By practicing these fundamentals daily, you will be in charge of your health and wellbeing, and owning your power to choose.

Other Works:

From goodreads.com this looks to be her first book.

Background:
(from goodreads.com)

No information is available unfortunately

Theme:

"Choose Well to Live Well is a lifestyle that needs to be practiced and lived one day a time." (vii)

Problems addressed: 

"We are here to experience life. Why not experience it with a healthy body and a healthy mind? We have a huge amount of control over the health and wellness of our physical body and our state of mind. It all boils down to your choices." (vii)

Summary of content:

"My intention with this book is to encourage and help you create a fit, strong, healthy body and state of mind, one choice at a time." (vii)

Thesis:

"Choosing well to live well is about taking responsibility for everything you're experiencing and tweaking or changing specific choices in order to reap a better result. Its about figuring out what's best for you to create the life and health you want to experience." (ix)

Main points:

*Choose Well to Live Well Concepts
*Choose-Well Lifestyle Questions
*My Story
*Why Choose to Live a Healthy Day?
*The Five Fundamentals to Create a Fit, Strong, Healthy Body and State of Mind
*Fundamental One: CHange and Control WHat you Can. What can we change and Control?
-Victim or Creator
-Choose-well Questions
-1,440 Minutes
-The Five Choose-well practices for managing your state of mind and emotions
*Fundamental Two: Keep It Clean
-The Choose-well eating plan
-Getting Started
*Fundamental Three: Move It Or Lose It
*Fundamental Four: Quality Zzz's
*Fundamental FIve: Stay Hydrated
* Conclusion

Why its interesting and informative:

Surpsingly it has a lot of things that I have been hearing for the last few years; victim mentality, law of attraction and so forth. Its also a very short and common-sense book. (only 100 pages...) for those who might complain of length. The author's handwriting is succinct and understandable. She writes for ordinary people not for PhDs and so forth. She also does not ask anyone to spend millions of dollars on her products. She also includes a bit of religion in there for those who are religious. Basically the things in there are for free.

Supports thesis:

The remainder of the book does support thesis and she does present ways to get healthier such as focusing more on blessings rather than failures in all aspects of life, and importance of sleep and she even argues for working out and why its beneficial.

Addressing issues:

People aren't living as healthy as they should, and they are plagued by various problems such as weight, lack of sleep and emotions. In the book she gives clear ideas on how these things are related to one another, how stress causes lack of sleep which causes more weight gain and so forth. The first two concepts she is very detailed, but in the last three she is very brief.

Ideas in book vs larger ideas:

I really would like to call this book as something like "The all self help" book because it explores mental and emotional states and physical states. It is very brief and to the point.

Agree/Disagree: 

Strangely enough this book reminds me of another book I read in the past: The Diet Dropout Book, although this is smaller in size and more thinner. I would have to agree with a lot of what she writes in there such as everything being interconnected to one another. Main difference between the two is that she focuses more on mental state that's not related to diet, while the author of The Diet Dropout Book focused more on mental state as it related to diet.

Sources: 

There doesn't seem to be any sources from where she got the information from, but she does recommend various books to expand more on water and eating healthy.

Conclusion:

I think its a well worth read, and its a short one too so it shouldn't take one too long to read and finish the book. Its also easy and really spoke to me. One might think of it as something like five self help books for the price of one because it deals with mentality, working out, sleeping, diet, and water. It's also easy to read and isn't complicated in any shape or form.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
 (0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Coming Up...Week 16 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

Trust: Betrayed (Trust #2 (Ebook)) by Cristiane Serruya

Alistair Connor MacCraig, a powerful banker, and Ethan Ashford, a steel tycoon, are both in love with Sophia Leibowitz, the ravishing owner of Leibowitz Oil.
Sophia fells for Alistair's seduction. She is determined to have a relationship with him but a dark and terrible secret lurks beneath the surface she presents to the world. When she regains her memories, shame and fear will take control of her. Will she be able to find peace within herself?
Alistair is in love with Sophia but he has difficulties overcoming his guilty over his daughter's death and his sexual preferences. Certain that he doesn't deserve to be loved, he would do everything to push Sophia away, despite his love for her. Will he be able to find redemption?
Ethan, no less haunted by his secrets and lies, lives in an alternate reality because the loss of Sophia is too unbearable to face. He would do everything to have Sophia back in his arms.

In BETRAYED, the second installment of the Trust series, Sophia, Ethan and Alistair will face and revisit their past dark deeds.
Each one of them will need to overcome their guilt, fear and pain and learn to see themselves through forgiving eyes.
Or succumb to their misery.

Chapters: 33

Pages: 474

Stop me if you've heard this one before- David Yoo

If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it's that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he's chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an "intentional" loser.

Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex- long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But -- chalk it up to the magic of Al's inner beauty -- by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially "something."

Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia's support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he's lost weight and he's getting radiation, but that doesn't make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn't be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back. With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he's a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al's bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it's exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.

In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.

The Secret Garden-Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; "It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'" As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12)

Part I of Chronicles of the Crusades by Jean de Joinville, Geoffroi de Villehardouin

The two famous Old French chronicles in this volume were composed by soldiers who took part in the Holy Wars. Villehardouin's Conquest of Constantinople is the first trustworthy and fully informed history of the Crusades. Distinguished by its simplicity and lucidity, it is an account of the Fourth Crusade, which ironically ended as a war against the Eastern Christians of the Orthodox Church. Joinville's Life of Saint Louis was inspired by the author's close attachment to the pious king and provides a vivid picture of his times and the ways of life in the East.







What I'm Reading right now:

The Chosen Shell by Katherine Sartori (e-book)

"The Chosen Shell opens at a time of profound change in the nation and the Catholic Church. Its young heroine, Celie O’Rourke, is caught between a desire to live a life of divine purpose and a yearning for human love and connection. Author Katherine Sartori, once a nun herself, follows Celie’s journey from vulnerable adolescent to empowered adult with sensitive and poignant prose, while offering readers a fascinating glimpse inside monastic convent life. Although Celie’s transformation is rooted in the turbulent 1960s, her story offers a stirring and ultimately uplifting message that transcends that era. DeAnna Cameron, author of Dancing at the Chance and The Belly Dancer. Celie O’Rourke, sensing a calling from God, enters a California convent during the 1960s, a turbulent era of change in the Catholic Church. Four years later, she is teaching Latino children with great success. But the cult-like practices of her monastic Order threaten her fragile self-confidence, as she grapples with sexual feelings she can no longer suppress. Celie’s charismatic Superior offers her guidance and friendship plus the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. . .but these gifts come with a high price. Confused, she takes refuge at a retreat house where she meets an accomplished New York businessman, Tony DeStephano. Though from different worlds, the bond they feel is electric. . .but forbidden. A former nun, author Katherine Sartori has created a fictional story, inspired by her own experiences as well as those of the Sisters she met. Her novel seeks to contrast idealism with the realities of convent living.

Chapters: 7 out of 46

Pages: 41 out 304

Eclipse of the Midnight Sun (The Rule of Ranging, #1) by Timothy M Kestrel

Even those waging the fiercest battles just hew to hard fast rules that separate the soldier from the savage. And when a man’s home is destroyed beyond restoration, it’s up to him alone to forge a code and carve a new place to live in peace. The Rule of Ranging 1: Eclipse of the Midnight Sun is the epic action-adventure drama by Timothy M. Kestrel that follows the fearless Finn on a journey paved with bloodthirsty aggressors, mysterious women, and the rough terrain of a fledgling America. Both grave and uplifting, it’s an absorbing flight of fancy and derring-do. Set in the eighteen century, Kestrel’s story is a work of historic fiction that relives the most perilous days of the French & Indian War. The story begins in Finland, just as a young boy named Finn witnesses the complete annihilation of his home village, as well as the brutal killing of his family by marauding Russians. He barely manages to escape, chased by a merciless Hessian mercenary, Johan Kopf, nicknamed Totenkopf. Following his dying mother's wish to find a mysterious woman named Columbia, Finn's course takes him across the Atlantic. He befriends a slave, Gus, and buys his freedom. On their travels in this brave new world called America, the two make their way through the majestic Hudson Valley in New York, and soon encounter Marcus Fronto, a curious vagrant and philosophical mentor; Daniel Nimham, a fierce Wappinger chief and warrior; and beautiful Catherina Brett. They join forces with Robert Rogers Rangers, and fight against the French at Fort Edward, New York, during the Hudson River campaign in the 1750s. Action-packed and rigorously researched, the story offers a rare vantage of a crucial time in this country’s coming of age that is at once funny, heartbreaking, illuminating, and thrilling. Mining the depths of love, freedom, greed, and loyalty, it’s a page-turning, heart-pounding read that is at once scholarly and scintillating – steeped in history with a death-defying hero for the ages.

Chapters: 3 out of 5

Pages: 206 out of 371

A Gospel of Kama Sutra by Poonaam Uppal

"So, do you believe in love?" Someone asked me once, and I replied, "I feel, I am here, in this world, just to teach teh world, "love" and "The ritual of love making," the essence of true love and how to create "Holy Kama Sutra." -Poonaam Uppal

THis is a true love story of glamorous, stylish and fiercely ambitious Indian lass Moh Lal Rai who has only one cherished desire, aspiration n her mind to become an internationally acclaimed avant-garde Fashion designer. Destiny deceives Moh's desires landing her in US. During her fashion show at Las Vegas she experiences violent vibration followed by a thunderous broadcasting of her future "soon in 1997 you will meet your true eternal lover" on this earth...

Dragooned by powerful longing to meet her ancient lover she is now a solitary traveler of an abyss of unfathomable space and time where she is sent on a roller coaster ride to a bizarre realm of gonzo occurrences, happenings, visions, premonitions, deja vous, diving visitation and startling revelation of her past birth and she involuntarily unravels the anciet most secret of the extinct art of Kama Sutra and "Tantric Sex" once taught by Lord Shiva himself but now these cryptic writings are shrouded in the misty Himalayan valley. In a cruel game plan of higher she is compelled by a powerful goddess to become a saint a Guru, a Love Messiah and reveal the lost mystical secret behind Kama Sutra___Kama Sutra is the holiest of scripture and only through Kama Sutra human could reach nirvana in this climaxing Black Age. "This is a true love story only the names and places are fictitious."

Progress 657 out of 1084 pages, 58 out of 92 chapters

Choose Well to live well; The Five Fundamentals to Create a Fit, Healthy and Strong Body and Mind- Laura Boniello

Choose Well To Live Well is a way of living, a lifestyle, that I live and teach. It is based upon five fundamental practices to help you create a fit, strong, healthy body and state of mind. By practicing these fundamentals daily, you will be in charge of your health and wellbeing, and owning your power to choose.

 Chapters: 2 out of 12 plus preface, introduction and conclusion

 Pages: 3 out of 100






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: 3 out of 30

Pages: 46 out of 390

Letters from your future; reaching for your highest potential in times of great change by Brett L Bowden

Dear Ones,

We have been sending Humanity instructional letters for some time now. the Letters, collectively known as The Letters Project, started in 2007 and will continue until Humanity has reached its full potential and it is deemed that they will no longer be needed. These Letters are instructions about life and hwo life works from teh perspective of the Spiritual Realm in which we reside.

We go by many names for there are many of us here who want to communicate these truths to you. We work through the spiritual energy named Jaipur and are collectively known to this channel as The Counsel of Divine Wisdom. We are energies that reside in teh upper realms of existence. In your modern day temrs you might say that we are Ascended Masters although that term you use has restrictions, but it will suffice for htese purposes.

It is our intent to show you a new way, another way for Humanity to exist. Indeed, if you are pleased with what you see and feel around you, then this message will have no meaning for you. However, if youa re not pleased with the present condition in which you perceive your world, then you now have a golden opportunity to change it. You can do this by changing your perception of what you see around you and in doing this you will begin to change your life, your world and yourself.

Where will your road take you? Go inside yourself and seek the insights of your soul in hte silent moments. It will know the way.

The world of your highest imaginings is within your reach.

Progress: 180 out of 265 pages, 26 out of 40 chapters plus introduction and epilogue and preface

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: 10 out of 29 plus translations

Pages: 131 out of 402



The Best of All Possible Worlds-Karen Lord

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.

Chapters: 7 out of 16

Pages: 97 out of 303


Future Books I will read:

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: 18

Pages: 311

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: 35

Pages: 324

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: 24

Pages: 342


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: 59 plus preface

Pages: 283

The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships by Mali Apple (Goodreads Author), Joe Dunn

"Create the Love of Your Life--Keep the Life in Your Love "

Single, in a relationship, and married: people of all walks of life and all ages are finding this new book on enlightened relationships inspiring, accessible, and truly transformational. This revolutionary guide will help you create and sustain a relationship that is intimately connected on all levels--emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual--and a continual source of love, inspiration, and joy.

In Part 1, chapters like Loving Your Body, Reducing Your Baggage, and Raising Your Soulmate Potential will help you release anything that might be preventing you from experiencing a deeply connected relationship. As you read, you will quickly begin to feel more loving and compassionate toward yourself, more connected to those around you, and more confident about and creating your own soulmate experience.
In Part 2, chapters such as Creating a Context, Turning Expectations into Invitations, Transforming the Energy of Jealousy, Exploring the Edges, and Connecting on a Soul Level will give you everything you need to approach even the most challenging aspects of relationships in ways that will actually deepen your experience of love and intimacy. You will discover the secrets to keeping the love, passion, and connection in your relationship fully alive--every single day. And you will learn how to lovingly guide each other to release limiting beliefs, heal the past, rise above perceived limitations, and unlock the potential in every area of your lives.

Whether you re on a quest for your soulmate, looking for deeper connection in the relationship you have right now, or just want to experience much more love in your life, the ground-breaking ideas in this book--and the many stories of real people putting them into practice--will fill you with love, inspiration, and possibility. Because The Soulmate Experience isn t just a book. It 's a way great way of living life.

Chapters: 12 plus a word about our soulmate experience and introduction, transformational techniques and questions, discussion questions

Pages: 258

The Last Outlaws; The Lives and Legends of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by Thom Hatch

The Old West was coming to an end.Two legendary outlaws refused to go with it. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid—as leaders of the Wild Bunch, they planned and executed the most daring bank and train robberies of the day, with a professionalism never before seen by authorities. For several years at the end of the 1890s, the two friends, along with a revolving cast who made up their band of thieves, eluded local law enforcement and bounty hunters, all while stealing from the rich bankers and eastern railroad corporations who exploited western land. The close calls were many, but Butch and Sundance always managed to escape to rob again another day—that is, until they rode headlong into the 20th century. Fenced-in range, telephone lines, electric lights, and new crime-fighting techniques were quickly rendering obsolete the outlaws of the wide open frontier. Knowing their time was up, Butch and Sundance, along with a mysterious beauty named Etta Place, headed to South America, vowing to leave their criminal careers behind. But riding the trails of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, Butch and Sundance would find that crime wasn’t through with them just yet. In The Last Outlaws, Thom Hatch brings these memorable characters to life like never before: Butch, the brains of the outfit; Sundance, the man of action; and the men on both sides of the law whom they fought with and against. From their early holdup attempts to that fateful day in Bolivia, author Thom hatch draws on a wealth of fresh research to go beyond the myth and provide a compelling new look at these legends of the Wild West.

Chapters: 14 plus prologue

Pages: 255

The Bouchard Legacy by Ted Magnuson

The Bouchard Family Legacy is about to be passed on to a fourth generation...or will it?

When Paul and Randy were in high school, their parents married new spouses. What different understandings Paul and Randy have when it comes to the future of the family business.

Paul has earned a place in the world, but Randy owns it.

The Bouchard Legacy; a story of loyalty and greed, a story of prejudice and character; it’s the story of Randy and Paul coming of age in the tumultuous 1960’s and then; their arrival as men in the close of the 1970’s. Set in Mid-America, St Louis, MO

Pages: 207

Chapters: 29 plus epilogue

The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite

Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with violence, vengeance, and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction-the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living

Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower and father who has made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm, cool, and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.

But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home to Coronado, New Mexico, to see the twelve-year-old son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years. One last job will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival's stash. Simple, easy, clean.

Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now, the runners who have always moved quietly through this idyllic desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a clever plan or Coronado's newly appointed lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.

Relentlessly paced and beautifully orchestrated, with refreshingly real, vulnerable, and very human characters and a vivid sense of place, The Carrion Birds is an unsettling and indelible work of literary noir in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.

Pages: 270

Chapters: 5

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