Book Review: The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 29, 2011

About: “The Jefferson Key” by Steve Berry (website) is the seventh book in the fictional series featuring Cotton Malone. The story takes place in the United States, which I understand is a departure from previous books in the series. 480 pages Publisher: Ballantine Books ISBN: 0345505514 My rating for The Jefferson Key – 4 Buy & Save on “The Jefferson Key” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: Even though this is the seventh in the series, “The Jefferson Key” by Steve Berry was my first introduction to Cotton Malone, howeverI have heard of the character. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book more if I would have read the first six, however this is a good book as a standalone as well. The plot moves in a very fast pace without any wasted words, the locations are in the United States (which I understand is a departure for the series) and the story is clever and full of action. The plot is multi-facet involving several security agencies and interplay between several strong characters. Even though this is a fictional book, there are many fascinating tidbits of information mixed in the fictional…

Original eBook: The Balkan Escape by Steve Berry
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 28, 2011

About: “The Balkan Escape: A Cassiopeia Vitt Adventure” by Steve Berry (website) is an eBook original novel by this prolific writer. Mr. Berry is best known for the Cotton Malone book series. 31 pages Publisher: Ballantine Books ASIN: B003MQMZ2K My rating for The Balkan Escape – 4 Buy “The Balkan Escape” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon Thoughts: “The Balkan Escape: A Cassiopeia Vitt Adventure” by Steve Berry is a short (very short) original eBook sold for $0.99. If you are a fan of Mr. Berry you’d enjoy this short story – it is intense, well written, a fast read and precursor to the book “The Emperor’s Tomb”. The story serves as an introduction to the character of Cassiopeia Vitt, a fascinating character if you haven’t read any of the previous books in the Cotton Malone adventure series. As mentioned before, this story is short, but it does have a point and some fascinating history to boot. One of the things I like about Mr. Berry’s books is, while fiction, I always learn something new about world history, culture or usually both. If you are not a fan of Mr. Berry or have no intention to read “The Emperor’s…

Fun Facts Friday: Dashiell Hammett
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / May 27, 2011

Today we mark the birthday of Dashiell Hammett (1894 – 1961), born Samuel Dashiell Hammett. A prolific writer who popularized the hardboiled detective fiction, Mr. Hammett wrote such classics as “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Thin Man”.

Guest Post & Giveaway: It’s the Summer of Gomez!
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / May 26, 2011

It’s the Summer of Gomez! Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.   As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read – light, fast, fun – I decided to give this summer’s Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.   About No Hope for Gomez! It’s the age-old tale: –   Boy meets girl. –   Boy stalks girl. –   Girl already has a stalker. –   Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.  We’ve seen it all before, many times, but this time it’s different. If only slightly. When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn’t ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he…

Book Review: Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 25, 2011

About: “Ordinary Thunderstorms” by William Boyd (website) is a fictional book with many themes. The book takes place in London and follows a man whose life turned upside down. The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Ordinary Thunderstorms” to be given out– enter at the end of the post. 416 pages Publisher: Harper ISBN: 0061876747 My rating for Ordinary Thunderstorms – 5 Buy & Save on “Ordinary Thunderstorms” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Ordinary Thunderstorms” by William Boyd is an exploration of identity as well as a excursion into the not so touristic spots in London. This is an ambitious and well crafted novel where the quirkiness might not be necessary, but is welcomed. The narrative flows smoothly and the characters are engaging, one can’t help but notice that Boyd has some affection towards loveable, bumbling fools.  This is an intelligent, competent thriller which, surprisingly, moves at a leisurely pace between characters interweaving their stories in a cat-and-mouse game. There are many sub-plots which are all very interesting yet underdeveloped. There are houseboat residents, the lawless – inside, outside and above the law, underground subculture, the wealthy subculture and an…

Guest Post: Is It Like Listening To You Talk?
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / May 24, 2011

For free books and win a Kindle or iPod see the end of the post. As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal. Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there. These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million. That’s how it happens. Every single time. But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers? I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me… somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three…

Fun Facts Friday: Katherine Anne Porter
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / May 20, 2011

May 15, 1890 was the birthday of author Callie Porter, later known as Katherine Anne Porter. Ms. Porter was a very prolific writer, which unfortunately we do not hear much about these days. 1) When she was two Porter’s mother died and the family moved in with her paternal grandmother Catherine Anne Porter. Porter later changed her name to honor her loving grandmother. 2) After her grandmother died in 1901 Porter was sent to convent school in New Orleans, LA. 3) At age 16 Porter married for the first time to a 27 year old. 4) She worked as a reporter and a ballad singer. 5) Porter’s first published work, the short fiction story “María Concepcíon” (1922), received almost immediate critical acclaim. 6) Porter married again in 1925 but divorced again soon after. 7) Porter won the Guggenheim Fellowship prize for her 1930 collection “Flowering Judas and Other Stories”. 8 ) Porter lived in Europe from 1931 to 1937 where she married and divorced her third husband. 9) She married again in 1938 and settled in Baton Rouge, LA but died in Maryland in 1980. 10) Porter published 25 stories and one novel “Ship of Fools”, all critically acclaimed, as…

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