Thursday, April 18, 2013

Books That Need Your Help To Be Born

I am a firm believer that there can never be too many books.

Kickstarter is a place many people go to get money to get their project off the ground.  Many of them are authors who need a little help making their books a reality.

Ares The God of War: Rise of a Fallen God by Aris needs $10,000 by May 8th.

The Heart of Asia by Tribes Forgotten needs $12,000 by May 11th.

The Iron Poet - An Ironworker's Poems Inspired by Ground Zero by Donald Reith needs $5,000 by May 12th.

Sinjid - A Cutting Edge Science Fiction Novel by David Keesling needs $800 by May 15th.

Lucy and the Anvil by Adam Kline needs $30,000 by May 16th.

Blue Hope - An Ocean Book for the World by Sylvia Earle needs $50,000 by May 19th.

The Case Files of Harlan Falk by I Dreams Inc needs $8,000 by May 29th.

Fiddler in the Darkness by David Gutterman needs $6,000 by June 15th.

All of these projects could use your help.  These are just a few that I picked basically at random.  There are many more if none of these strike you.  They would all love any help you can give.  I can't afford to help them all but I would love to see all of them funded so these stories can be told (and maybe read be me!)

P.S. I am also a firm believer that there can never be too many sweet treats so check these out too.

Malvi: Redefining the Marshmallow Sandwich

Custom Made Cheesecakes

Fudge U

The Old Fox Deceiv'd Review

The Old Fox Deceiv’d by Martha Grimes

(from the back of the book)
There was murder in the quaint North Sea village of Rackmoor.  The body of a mysterious woman in a mummer’s costume lay sprawled on a backwater street.  Half her face had been painted black, the other half white, and the blood on her satin blouse had already turned a deep, dark red.

Who was she?  Who had killed her?  Inspector Richard Jury of Scotland Yard drank a pint with the local Yorkshire lads in a cozy pub to get some startling answers.  And he would have to join the landed gentry on a deadly ride to the hounds of he wanted to track down a very foxy killer.

It's a nice little mystery. I can't find too much to say about it. I enjoyed reading it but I didn't feel like I had to go find the rest of the series. If I happen upon them I will read them but I won't go out of my way. This has the prerequisite plot twists and red herrings and the whole whodunit thing going and it manages to throw in some humor. Not laugh out loud humor, but little smile humor. The characters are interesting enough that you wouldn't mind seeing them again. It doesn't exactly read quickly but it doesn't bog down nor is it so light and fluffy that you lose interest. It was nice while it lasted but it was nothing I would get too excited about.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bookin' Giveaways

Booking With Bingo is giving away some books.  You should go check them out.

For Oak and Dagger by Dorothy St. James go here. Ends April 24th.

For Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka go here.  Ends April 24th.

For That Old Flame of Mine by J.J. Cook go here.  Ends April 24th.

For The Smart One by Jennifer Close go here.  Ends April 24th.

For That Night on Thistle Lane by Carla Neggers go here.  Ends April 24th.

For the audio book Stallion by Starlight by Mary Pope Osborne go here.  Ends April 24th.

For Under Currents by Pamela Beason go here.  Ends April 30th.

For Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway go here.  Ends April 30th.

For The Abundance by Amit Majmudar go here.  Ends April 30th.

All giveaways ends at 6 PM EST on the date given.  They are all open to the US only.  No PO boxes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Snow White and the Huntsman Review

Snow White and the Huntsman with Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart

A retelling of the classic fairy tale.

So… this movie has action, fights, cool monsters and a cute huntsman.  But it still managed to be rather a bust.  It pretty much lost me before I even got through the rather lengthy introduction to the story and then never really did anything to get me back.  The people weren’t interesting enough and the plot not compelling enough to get me to really care about anyone.  Snow White is locked up all her life but within hours of getting out is sword fighting with the best of them.  And I don’t know whose idea it was for Charlize Theron to do whatever she was doing with her voice but it was not a good idea.  I don’t know what it was supposed to be and I just found it annoying and distracting.  And the big climatic scene at the end wasn’t climatic and the big dramatic line that was delivered wasn’t dramatic and left me waiting for something else that just never came.  Not one of my favorites.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ninja Review

(from the back of the book)
The medieval equivalent if the Special Forces, the ninjas were the original men in black, elite “shadow warriors” with nearly mystical powers.  Spies, assassins, saboteurs, and secret agents, ninjas have become the subject of countless legends that continue to enthrall us in modern movies, video games, and comics, and their arts are practiced by dedicated acolytes who study their techniques today.

Though they were not blessed with gifts of flight or invisibility as commonly mythologized, ninjas were superbly trained warriors with remarkable skills in combat, climbing, deception, disguise, and camouflage.  In Ninja, John Man goes in search of the true history of these mythological fighters.  Join him on a fascinating journey from their birth in fifteenth-century Japan during a civil war to the modern day, where a self-declared “last ninja” surfaces at the month-long ninja festival in Iga.

A meticulously researched, entertaining blend of mythology, anthropology, travelogue, and history, Ninja is a thrilling ride, as colorful and intriguing as the warriors it so vividly brings to life.

Like all history books that pull out one aspect of history to talk about, I think you could get more out of it if you are familiar with the general history of the time and place.  But it isn’t really necessary.  It is interesting to see how and why the ninja came about.  Everyone has heard of ninjas and knows the myths but to me the real history is actually more interesting even if it doesn’t make for as action packed a movie as the stories.  I liked learning about how they were farmers and how they had their own code to live by.  There is some general information and some very interesting stories about specific ninja actions. It starts at the very beginning, before the word ninja was used, right up to the present where you can see how people are trying to keep the ninja traditions alive.  There were parts that I was less interested in because he starts talking about his own personal journey or the James Bond ninja connection.   And sometimes it does go a little vague because the history just isn’t known.  There were also times when I wasn’t sure we were talking about ninjas anymore because I was having trouble following the line that connected the story being related back to the subject at hand.  I found the book interesting in general but there were times when I felt a little lost trying to put the stories in some sort of historical context because there were just so many names and so much time involved.