Thoughts on: The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / February 7, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen on Blogcritics. About: The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen is a fictional book set in Saudi Arabia. The book is a character study of marriage in the midst of a culture clash. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— enter at the end of the post. 352 pages Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition ISBN: 0062064487 My rating for The Ruins of Us – 4 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account Thoughts: The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen (website | Facebook | Twitter) starts off slow but picks up towards the end. The protagonist, Rosalie, finds out that her loving husband has hidden a second wife from her, but Rosalie is a Texas girl. The interesting part, for me, is the descriptions of a part of the world which, unfortunately, I will most likely never get to visit and that of a foreign culture. The descriptions of the beautiful and not-so-beautiful parts of Saudi Arabia were wonderfully written and the cultural issues expatriates have to deal with were fascinating. The characters were engaging and some even likeable, but I felt that the story…

Guest Post: You Can’t Tell a Book by Its Cover, But You Can Tell a Thriller by Its Villain
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / February 6, 2012

Giveaway: One signed paperback of Death Wish Three pdf ebook versions of Covert Dreams – enter at the end of the post  No one likes villains — or, at least, no one admits to it. But if an author crafts villains carefully, imbuing them with disturbing ambitions, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to wreak their own, personal havoc, and notches their peculiar, twisted natures in just the right way, then we have no choice but to love to hate them. And a great thriller is born. James N. Frey, novelist and writing instructor, explains the villainous nature and the essential role villains play in story structure, in his book, How to Write a Damn Good Thriller.“The villain in a thriller is not just evil,” Frey writes. “The villain is evil right down to the soles of his or her feet.” But he adds, “the villain creates the plot behind the plot — the plot that has to be foiled by the hero — and that… is what thriller writing is all about.” Danielle Blanchard Benson Mike Markel Michael Meyer Today, three indie authors: Danielle Blanchard Benson, author of the paranormal thriller, Death Wish; Mike Markel,…

Author Q&A with Michael O’Hanlon
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 6, 2012

Michael O’Hanlon, author of The Wounded Giant (my thoughts), is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, homeland security and American foreign policy. He is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Books by Michael O’Hanlon Q. Why do you refer to America as “The Wounded Giant” and do you think its fair to do so? A. It is of course designed to be a colorful term but I think it’s accurate. The United States remains far and away the world’s superpower in military (and many other) terms. But it is badly hurting and its future dominance – as well as its ability to play a stabilizing role internationally — is in question. This is less from the rise of China (or anyone else) per se, than from the wounds (largely self-inflicted) from which it is currently suffering, starting with trillion dollar annual deficits and an eroding economic foundation. Q. What is the most important thing you would like readers to take away from your book? A. That the…

Thoughts on: The Wounded Giant by Michael O’Hanlon
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / February 5, 2012

About: The Wounded Giant: America’s Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity  by Michael O’Hanlon is a non-fiction eBook in which the author lays out his ideas for military budget cuts. The book is available only in as an eBook by The Penguin Press. 256 pages Publisher: The Penguin Press HC ISBN: 1594205035 My rating for The Wounded Giant – 4 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account Thoughts: In The Wounded Giant: America’s Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity, Michael O’Hanlon argues the defense budget cuts outlined by Congress could be catastrophic. The author takes a deep breath and tries to analyze the cuts and bring forward his own solutions while still maintaining national security priorities. From nuclear missile programs, to the U.S. Navy, offshore bases and more Mr. O’Hanlon takes a sober look, without political baggage at where we should, and could, cut. To my surprise, this is a very readable book which makes some good sense out of a very cumbersome subject. The book opens up a discussion on reasoned proposals to plan for future conflicts based on hard intelligence data. Mr. O’Hanlon also makes his analysis in clear sentences which…

Guest Post: Enhanced eBooks are Here: Out Love by Jessica Park
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / February 4, 2012

Indie publishing and storytelling just got a whole lot better. Jessica Park, self-published author of the best-selling Flat-Out Love, is about to bring her story to life as an interactive book designed for the iPad and iPhone. Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. This is a true all-ages novel – very suitable for older teens, and equally engaging for adults. With over 65,000 e-books sold in just six months, great reviews, and many, many readers returning for a second and third time, this is a story we believe readers would love to see rendered in a beautiful, media-rich app for their iPad, iPhone, and iPod. ‘Flat-Out Love: Enhanced Edition’ augments the reading experience with: Author commentary Photo illustration Short video scenes and music Bonus chapters Musical accompaniment by indie rock band In Like Lions Interactive sequences And more! We can’t give away all of our secrets 🙂 Additionally, the much-loved Facebook status updates, messages, and chats between the characters will be brought to life, allowing the reader to experience  the suspense of the conversations as if they were happening in real time….

Fun Facts Friday: James Joyce
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / February 3, 2012

Yesterday we celebrated James Joyce’s birthday. Joyce is well known for his stream of consciousness novel Ulysses. Books by James Joyce 1 ) James Joyce was the eldest of 10 children born in Dublin, Ireland. 2 ) An outstanding student, Joyce learned Norwegian so he can read Henrik Ibsen place in their original language. 3 ) Joyce’s wife and mother to his children, Nora Barnacle, was uneducated by lively which is why he fell in love with her. 4 ) Between 1917 and 1930 Joyce hand 25 operations on his eyes. 5 ) Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, a rewrite of a novel he abandoned, won Joyce several benefactors including Edith Rockefeller. 6 ) The novel Ulysses started out as a serial in Little Review, an American magazine. However, the U.S. Post Office stopped distributing the magazine because, according to them, the novel was obscene. 7 ) Ulysses was self published in 1922 by Sylvia Beach, over of Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. 8 ) The name of the elementary particle “quark” in quantum physics comes from the line Three quarks for Muster Mark!” in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. 9 ) the works and life of James Joyce…

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