Sunday, May 29, 2016

Business is Decisions Success is Intuition --by Jephtah Lorch

Nonfiction / Business Management
186 pages
5 Stars

Legalities first: I was given an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, I started this book on my eReader, and soon realized I needed to buy a hard copy, as I kept wanting to mark passages, make margin notes, and go back to reread something. Great decision on my part!

It's been several years since I retired, and I read this book more in the light of could it be adapted by Mrs. Housewife and the running of her household, and or used by an author in the running of her business of writing. The answer is a resounding Yes.

This book is not only well written, it's interesting. It's informative. It may not teach you anything you haven't already learned from business school, or just working, but I sincerely think it will give you a slightly different perspective to view your business, and that will make all the difference in the world. I have recommended this book to several of my friends – one is on the board of his church, another is about to start her own editing business, others work for local industry and it will do nothing but help them.

We do tend to think ourselves into our comfort zones, and that may not be the most advantageous place to be, especially when we are trying to make a go of our chosen profession. Mr. Lorch shows us how to change, and why we should. He shows us why we need to think outside the box, and shows us how to do so.

This is a book that managers everywhere—and those who desire to become managers—will find invaluable to read and use. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spellbent --by Lucy A. Snyder

Fiction / Urban Fantasy  Columbus, Ohio
370 pages / 705 KB
5 stars

When I read fiction, or see a fictional movie, my primary criterion is I must feel better when I finish the book, or the movie, than when I began it. I loved this book. Our heroine, Jessie Shimmer, may not be to everyone's liking, but I enjoyed the heck out her. Talk about a take no prisoners attitude! And her "ferret" familiar is a hoot! Even when, or maybe especially when, we find out he's really something else (and right out of my nightmares!)

OK, it starts out she and her boyfriend were out to cast a simple rain spell to help the farmers when, literally, all hell breaks loose from the underground. Well, a portal opened and sucked Cooper into Hell, and his familiar, a cute little dog reverts to its demon self and goes berserk, and downtown is destroyed, and Jessie badly wounded and....

Because Jessie won't play by the rules, and leave her boyfriend in Hell, but wants to rescue him, even though she is wounded, has no real resources, and has had an anathema spell placed on her which warns anyone away from helping her, Jessie is pretty much on her own.

The head honcho of the local ruling circle of Talents wants her to leave well enough alone. Leave Cooper in Hell. Behave herself. Study hard. But Jessie doesn't always play nice with others. Especially when those she knows and loves are being mistreated.

If you're a fan of Jim Butcher, check out this series. Great fun, especially if like me, you have a slightly warped sense of humor. Now, I'm off to read Shotgun Sorceress....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hunting Down Dragons: Moonlight Dragon Book #2 --by Tricia Owens

Fantasy / Urban 

pages: 232
5 Stars

I am one of the luckiest of people in the whole wide universe. I was given a free copy of Descended From Dragons see my review at: in return for an honest review. I loved the book and whined until in desperation, Ms. Owens either had to send me Book 2 to read and review—or send Lucky. I am so lucky she sent the book, an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC), and not Lucky, the Dragon! (Reviewers must be hard to get and not to be eliminated without just cause ;-) )

Another one-sit read that should not be started until you have time to finish. Often, book 2 of a series tends to fall a little flat, but this one remains as exciting as the first book. Perhaps Hunting Down Dragons is a tad more exciting due to the return, and expanding of, characters and their roles. Owens deserves not just to sit on the shelf with Patricia Briggs and Anne Bishop, but to be welcomed, too!

Anne Moody is still cursed, and I'm sure she shall remain so for the duration of the series (may it be long and many!). The Oddsmakers, those self-appointed magickal beings who keep the wielders of magick in Las Vegas to a bare minimum, do not like Dragons. And they do not like that Anne Moody's familiar is a dragon. I think it safe to say, they do not like Anne Moody. They do not just summon Ms. Moody to their lair, they fetch her, and none too politely. They give her orders, she gives them mouth and attitude. I believe it is not a spoiler to state she survives the interviews; after all, she is the protagonist of the series.

Anne and her boyfriend, Vale, are looking for a truly evil entity, introduced in Descended From Dragons. The Oddmakers want the entity left alone, he is theirs, and tells Anne she has an assignment and she must accept. There is just one problem; they don't give her precise instructions as to what the assignment is. I want you to solve this math problem. Oh, no, you don't get to see the numbers, just the +, the -, the  %, and the =. Now, go away and come back with the correct answer. With friends like the Oddsmakers, I don't think you need too many enemies.

If you like urban fantasy with some different shape shifters (one is a gargoyle, another is a monkey, there are also water fey, trolls, and of course, Lucky), sorcerers, succubae, and great stories set in the Las Vegas area, this series is for you. I may have to plan a road trip to Vegas, just to see if I can find any of the places mentioned. It's a much different Vegas than I'm used to.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Luminaries of the Humble --by Elizabeth Woody

127 pages
5 Stars

Woody is not only one of the best poets I've ever read, or had the honor to meet (I took a class from her several years ago), she is also the new Oregon State Poet Laureate, and this book shows why she was chosen for that honor!

While I consider her poetry easily accessible by any one who reads it, her poems are not to be devoured as French fries—mindlessly one after the other. They are to be savored one at a time, should be read out loud even if you're alone, just to get the full taste, the mouth feel, the beauty of her chosen words.

A Native American, her poems reflect her heritage and this book gives us a look at the traditions and myths with which she was raised. There are stories about life, as it is and as it could be, there songs of the People and the land. And there are secrets. Why should one not listen when Raven sings?

The poems in this book are beautifully written and are a door to a culture with which you may not be familiar, but should be.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Face --by Sherman Alexie


160 pages
5 Stars

It has been many years since I've found a book of Alexi's poetry, and when I found this I grabbed it. I was not disappointed. I was ecstatic.

Alexie shows no fear when he writes. He isn't afraid to experiment with words or with form. He not only combines prose with his poetry (poetry with his prose?), he has even found a way to use footnotes! At first, I was disconcerted with this, but as I read, I realized he had written poems within poem! Stunningly brilliant. (It reminds me of the old Choose Your Own Adventure series I bought my kids.)

I suggest you read the book before giving it to a child, no matter how precocious she might be, and be prepared to discuss whatever poems might come up in conversation, or you might be blindsided.

Alexie writes poetry for the people, not the "intelligentsia," all of his poetry is accessible, and in this book, he even explains a bit about how he writes. This collection is personal; it's about fathers and sons—his father, he as father, his sons, all fathers, all sons. There will be sadness and perhaps tears. There will also be light and laughter, especially when his wife enters the poem.

I hope we do not need to wait so long for the next collection.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Light the Hidden Things --by Don McQuinn

Fiction / Romance
279 pages / 1705 KB
4 Stars

This is not the "usual" McQuinn book. The books I've read by him have been space operas and adventures. They've had their share of adrenaline. This book is gentle, and touches on a difficult subject, PTSD. While it doesn't get into the clinical aspects of PTSD, it does show what someone living with it goes through; how it affects them and those around them. I think this book is a marvelous book for anyone who is either living with PTSD, or knows and loves someone who is.

The primary protagonist, Crow, suffers from PTSD. He's a war vet who has seen more than any human needs to see of death. Fortunately, we don't have to relive a lot of what he does. Crow—a loner, and his dog Major, come to a small town in the Washington Cascades, not too far from Seattle. Here, Crow meets people who help him face his demons to get them off his back.

Dare I make a generalization here? Dare I say Crow is like many men who have PTSD in that he knows he's broke, but he'll fix it himself? He doesn't need help. He's a Marine.

There is no "ah-ha" moment when Crow realizes he needs others; there is no "ah-ha" moment when he is suddenly "fixed." We travel with him as he comes to the realization he really does not want to be a loner any more, he wants companionship, and he wants friends to stand by him and help him.

The chapters of this book are written in the point of view of whoever is narrating that chapter. Most are written by either Lila, who has her own demons or by Crow. Some people find this type of writing irritating, I for one love it.

I would have liked to know just a little more about how Crow's wife died, and a little more about Joe, their son. Crow spent a lot of time thinking about them, to have their stories not tied up in a neat ribbon at the end. (Yes, I like happily ever after in my fiction.)

McQuinn has a tremendous vocabulary, and he uses it to full advantage. I've seldom read a book with such delightful turns of phrase as this one.