Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Nephilim Trilogy by L.A. Marzulli


The Nephilim Trilogy is a wild ride over four continents chasing aliens, giants, and a secret society that claims to have the body of Jesus. UFO's play a large part in the third book, a cardinal with information on alien incursions, a scroll delivered to Art MacKenzie (the main character) by Enoch - yes, the Enoch of the Old Testament -  and a mysterious man named Johanan who has supernatural gifts. A trek through the subway world of homeless people leads to an underground nest of alien beings and alien hybrids.

These books are non-stop action with a Biblical world view. End times prophecies come to life on their pages.

Kathi Linz

Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters from Single Life by Rhodri Marsden

This book is just for fun. In Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters from Single Life by Rhodri Marsden, you will find some of the worst dates ever experienced. You will be able to tell yourself, "Well, at least THAT didn't happen to me" or, in the worst of all possible worlds, "I'm not the only one who had that miserable date."

"He arrived at my parents' house wearing eyeliner and riding a stolen bicycle, chased by a gang of youths who wanted the bicycle back."

"I went on a date with a Peruvian guy who said to me during our tapas: "You eat like windmill."

If you want a good chuckle, pick up this book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Technodimensional Spiritual Warfare by Thomas and Nita Horn.

Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Technodimensional Spiritual Warfare by Thomas and Nita Horn is as scary as a Stephen King novel, but this one is nonfiction.

The Horns have compiled information from scientific journals and books written by genetic engineers which tells about the advances in nanotechnology, genetic modification, and artificial intelligence. Private and government funding is being used to create "transhumans" or "techno-humans". 

Some scientists claim we will have heaven on earth with longer life and enhanced abilities and senses. The same scientists also say that they wake up form nightmares in which the enhanced humans consider the normals expendable and kill them all or use them for slaves.

Since this book was written in 2010, I wonder how much farther along we are in these experiments. 

Kathi Linz

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene

Samaa Habib tells her story of being raised a good Muslim girl, the youngest in her family. She tells her story of the civil war in her country along with how she became a Christian and died when terrorists planted bombs in her church. She tells about meeting Jesus and coming back to life.
It's an amazing story, and not just because of the return to life. The Christians in her country take God at His word and believe that He will act on His promises. This is refreshing and eye-opening, reading it from the American culture of "well, we'll see".

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The World of PostSecret by Frank Warren

Most of us don't give out our home address to complete strangers willy-nilly. Yet that is exactly what Frank Warren did. He wrote his address on postcards with instructions for sending in an anonymous secret.

So far he has received a literal ton of postcards and other objects with secrets written on them. Many are works of art. All of them tell a story about people who need encouragement. 
The World of PostSecret is the latest book in this series. Just a thought, odds are that you are not the only one with your personal secret.

Kathi Linz

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Forget Me Not by Fern Michaels

Lucy Brighton is the creator of a successful cartoon business. She lives in New Jersey in her parents' house. They are world-famous doctors on call all over the world.

Lucy gets a call from a sheriff in Florida saying that both of her parents died in a car crash with a drunken teenager. She immediately buys tickets to fly to Florida to take care of the arrangements and all of the necessary house and personal issues that occur after a sudden death in the family. To compound this, Lucy has no idea what her parents last wishes were since they were virtually strangers after her tenth birthday. She'd been sent to boarding school and had barely spoken with them since then.

The house in Florida is an exact copy of the one she lives in in New Jersey. There are no photos, no personal effects, and very few clothes in the enormous closets. And that is when things get very strange very quickly. Federal agents show up looking for her and trying to gain entry to the house. Lucy gets struck by lightning just before she leaves for New Jersey and ends up in the hospital.

Armed with the support of two friends, Lucy tries to figure out what is happening and who or what her parents were. Is it the DHS, CIA, FBI or some other alphabet organization that is tracking her every move? Who are the bad guys and who are the good guys? And does it matter which side they are on? Will Lucy's life ever be the same?

This book kept me up late for a couple of nights.

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business by Gina Luker

     How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business by Gina Luker has a lot of good advice starting with your reasons for starting a craft business and how to set it up in a manner that will be exactly what you want and still satisfy the IRS.
     The author mentions hidden costs, things you might be inclined to throw in, "It only takes a minute...", and how to see which items might be the most profitable. It tells how to determine a reasonable price for your crafts and how to work on promoting your Etsy shop.
     If you have an Etsy shop already, you will learn some new tricks. If you are thinking of starting one, read this first so that you don't make beginner's errors.

Kathi Linz

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

Every summer, I look forward to a new installment from Elin Hilderbrand. Her books have the island of Nantucket as the setting.  The Matchmaker did not disappoint.

Dabney Kimball Beech is a 48 year-old woman who has lived her entire life on Nantucket.  She is the  highly successful President of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.  Dabney also has a special vision for figuring out who would be compatible as a couple.  She has matched over forty-two couples on Nantucket.   Dabney has a "gift for love, the way one has an eye for color."   Dabney's husband is John Boxmiller Beech, an economics professor at Harvard and an economics specialist to the President of the United States.  Dabney affectionately refers to him as "Box."   Box commutes to Harvard on Sunday evening and he returns to Nantucket for the weekend.

Dabney's high school sweetheart, Clendenin Hughes returns to Nantucket after twenty-seven years.  Hughes left the U.S. after graduating from college to pursue his lifetime goal to be an internationally renown journalist in the Pacific Rim.  Clendenin returns to Nantucket hoping to renew his relationship with Dabney even though he knows that Dabney is a married woman. 

To complicate things even further, Dabney's daughter, Agnes returns to Nantucket for the summer because her job as a Boys & Girls Club Director is phased-out due to the Club temporarily closing during the summer.  Agnes brings her much-older fiance' CJ, who is a sports representative for professional athletes.  Upon meeting CJ, Dabney immediately knows that CJ is not the "right one" for Agnes.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

Tabula Rasa by
Kristen Lippert-Martin
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I wasn't sure about this book when I started reading. But when I found myself thinking about it when I WASN'T reading I knew that something in this story resonated with me. Isn't that the mark of a good story? It's a super charged, super fast, stand alone read! Did you hear that? IT'S NOT A TRILOGY!!! Thank you! However, fans of trilogies Maze Runner and Hunger Games and Divergent would probably like this strong heroine.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Escaped With Honor by Charles Layton

Escaped With Honor by Charles Layton

What I loved about this book wasn't the writing or even the story itself. What I loved was the heart behind the story. I read a lot of woe is me books by people who blame their current life on their past. This is NOT that book. Yes, Layton's childhood was heartbreaking, his time in Korea tragic, and his search for love and belonging touching but it's his continual hope and refusal to wallow in self pity that reached me the most.

In his own words, "looking back, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I assumed I could deal with the experiences in my life - and the consequences - on my own. I thought I was strong enough to hold it all in and not burden others with my past. However, as I have made new friends - people of faith that I have learned to trust - they have encouraged me to tell my story. Through the pledge I made in the Hooch to use my life to care and do good for others, I am now surrounded by friends who have helped me to examine my life from a new and beautiful perspective. I know that I did not make this pledge to myself sixty years ago because of where I was, but because of who I am.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

Adam Braun spent one college semester studying and traveling around the world with a program called Semester at Sea. He determined to ask one child at every port-of-call, "If you could have anything in the world, what would you ask for?" One child said, "To dance." Another said, "A book." But the child who made the biggest impact said, "A pencil."

Adam understood that what the child really wanted was a chance to go to school and learn. He determined to start a "for-purpose" organization that would help build schools in the poorest places on earth. He called it Pencils of Promise. At last count, they had over 200 schools and are breaking ground on a new one every 90 hours. He added a section to his website called "The Impossible Ones" for youth and adults who are doing extraordinary things to raise funds to help build schools on three continents.

This story is worth reading if you have a heart for helping people in under-served parts of the world.

Kathi Linz

Friday, July 25, 2014

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

The death of a young wife and mother takes place before the story begins, but helps prompt four families to realize how precious time with their children is, and how quickly it goes by.  Butch has let his wife Jenny be the primary parent to their daughter Ava, and now that she is gone, he is struggling with single parenthood. Jenny's sister Beth is dealing with the graduation of her middle child and trying to claim some extra time with her oldest while she is home from college.  Daphne has gone a little overboard preparing for the upcoming birth of her first child, to the point where her husband avoids coming home, and Helen and Charles are so busy making sure their kids have everything that they don't see how much they are missing.

During an infant dedication at her church, the author heard her pastor say, "Don't forget--you have just eighteen summers.  Take time to make some memories."  She was at the end of her eighteen summers with her youngest son, and it helped prompt this story.  As a reader and mom looking at the end of my eighteen summers, I expected this story to be emotional, but I didn't expect to laugh so much.  The authors found just the right balance and I highly recommend this book.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Witch Doctor's Wife by Tamar Myers

The Witch Doctor's Wife is the first in Tamar Myers's Belgian Congo mystery series. Set in the Belgian Congo shortly before its independence, Amanda, a young missionary lady, flies into a small village placed on either side of a waterfall. She is supposed to learn how to run a missionary guest house so that the previous caretakers can retire. But nothing is that easy.

The story starts with a plane crash and the discovery of a large diamond - not on the same page and not involving the same people. The local witch doctor, whose name is Their Death, has two wives. The first wife is named Cripple. The witch doctor's Baby Boy found the diamond and was using it for a teething toy when his father realized what it was. Due to governmental restrictions, Their Death cannot own or sell the diamond. He tries to sell it through a white contact, but the whole thing falls apart rapidly, and not only for Their Death.

Cripple decides to work for Amanda at the guest house. The housekeeper hired by the previous caretakers is an African man named Protruding Navel. He and Cripple do NOT get along. By the end of the story, Cripple is accused of - and admits to - a murder she did not commit. Amanda has to figure out how to keep Cripple from a death sentence. As for the diamond, its disposition is not told until the epilogue.

This book is different than other Tamar Myers books and is well worth the read.

Kathi Linz

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Forest Night, Forest Bright by Jennifer Ward

Forest Bright,
Forest Night
by Jennifer Ward

A great beginning science, counting, and poetry board book for ages 0-5.  Beautiful, realistic illustrations draw the reader into the secret world of the forest.  So much to learn and explore in this simple board book! Each page features diurnal and nocturnal animals.  Simply turn the book upside down to read about the forest at night. Children will be captivated by the surreal images as they look for the hidden animals and learn about habitats, the food chain, counting, and rhythmic patterns in language.  This is a book parents and children will enjoy sharing together.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry refers to Lincoln and his interactions with the Mormons who were being hounded from state to state at the time. The issue was secession. The troubles on both side almost unimaginable.

The contemporary story takes a little getting used to as it jumps from one continent to another and from spies  (not C.I.A.) to Mormons to the President. Rowan is a United States senator from Utah who is also next in line to be the prophet of the Latter Day Saints after the current one dies. He is trying to trace a document that will prove it's legal for states to secede from the Union. The President and his agents do everything in their power to prevent that from happening. In the midst of all of this, Rowan's right-hand man Salazar sees visions of an angel who encourages him to kill people. The agents find themselves in one hair-raising situation after another and have to come up with solutions in a matter of seconds.

It's a wild ride figuring out how, or if, it's all going to come out right. And I can't tell you that it has a "happily ever after" ending.


Monday, June 16, 2014

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

Image of item In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

As delightful as A Tale Dark & Grimm, In a Glass Grimmly is the tale of Jack and Jill and their search for the Seeing Glass. Their journey is chronicled in gruesome detail as they meet with giants, goblins and a giant salamander. There are guts, blood and vomit galore so be forewarned.
There is plenty of humor as well and the children learn a valuable lesson about self-acceptance along the way.


A Pedigree to Die For by Laurien Berenson

Melanie Travis, the single mother of a rambunctious four-year-old son and the niece of a cantankerous old aunt, finds herself visiting dog shows to discover who stole her aunt's champion standard black poodle, Beau. Melanie's uncle died in the kennel on the night Beau was stolen, so she may be on the trail of a murderer as well.

Melanie's knowledge of dog shows and things pertaining to champion dogs would fit into a thimble until her aunt teaches her what she needs to know to ask intelligent questions of other dog breeders.

The trail leads all over the northeastern states as she tracks a number of suspects until she discovers her aunt's dog. But that's actually where the story takes a very unexpected twist. I did not see the ending coming at all. Maybe you will figure it out earlier in the book than I did.

This book is on Overdrive.

Kathi Linz

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Image of item A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

What a great first novel for Gidwitz. This is the nail-biting, sleep with the lights on version of the fairy tales we all heard as children. The real, more like the Grimm brothers intended, not always happy but lesson at the end stories. Loved the narrator interjecting telling little children to leave the room or the faint at heart to stop reading adding humor and needed breaks from intense scenes. This book follows Hansel and Gretel as they search for better parents - read the book and you'll know why - fighting through decapitation, boiling lava, and a dragon on their quest. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth is the first book of a trilogy set in a dystopian future. The setting is Chicago which lies next to a marsh that used to be a lake. A fence surrounds the city - and the locks are on the outside of the fence!

Inside are five factions and one group of factionless people. Each faction plays to one personality trait. One is joy and creativity, one bravery, one selflessness, another knowledge, the last honesty. At age 16, each person must choose which faction they want to be in for the rest of their life. They can stay in the faction in which they were raised, or they can choose any other faction. After they choose, they go into training and pass through an initiation.

Beatrice (selfless faction) chooses to become Tris of the Dauntless faction (bravery). The training is intense. She makes both friends and enemies. During her training, she discovers corruption on such a scale that it threatens everything she knows and everyone she loves. She is one of those very few who will be able to do anything about this threat because she has more than one ability - she is divergent.

This book does not close her story. Please see future posts for more of this story.

Kathi Linz

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Walking on Water by Richard Paul Evans

I had not picked up any of Richard Paul Evans' The Walk series until I read A Step of Faith for the Fantastic Fiction book discussion group.  It was a thought-provoking journey and I enjoyed it immensely, but realized it was book number 4 in the series.  Since I try to never start a book series in the middle, I went back and began the series from the beginning.  In Walking on Water, the fifth and final book in the series, Alan Christoffersen prepares to finish his walk across the United States from Seattle to Key West.  Like the rest of his journey, he deals with many personal issues using faith and humor.

Walking on Water by Richard Paul Evans

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Brink of Chaos by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall

Brink of Chaos by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall is book three in The End Series.

Joshua Jordan has so far saved New York City from being nuked and his wife Abigail saved Washington, D.C. from a similar fate. The government is so interested in becoming part of the global economy/one world government that the Jordans are put on trial. Joshua currently lives in Israel, having fled the United States. His wife is about to be imprisoned for not accepting a BIDtag on her right hand.

A Presidential campaign is coming up to the primaries and Senator Hewbright looks like he might win the Presidency. That actually would be good thing for the country since the last President was poisoned at the command of Vice President Tulrude. She takes the oath of office and becomes the most corrupt President in the history of the nation, determined to win the election at any cost. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is no gem either. He manipulates global events without any concern for the life of his enemies or his friends. Meanwhile, certain Arab militants are working on nuclear and biological weapons that will kill off "the infidels".

This book is a wild ride on a global scale. It bares no resemblance to Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series. These books are separate and distinct from those.

Kathi Linz

Formatting Tips for Publishing a Createspace Book & Kindle Direct eBook by John J. Sullivan

If you have a book manuscript in your bottom drawer just aching to be sent out into the world, but you have had trouble finding a publisher, this book might be the answer you were looking for. There's no longer any need to persuade a traditional publisher that you have a brilliant book which is going to make you tons of money. Rake all that dough in for yourself by epublishing through Amazon.

The main trick to putting your book on the market is to format the manuscript correctly. If you follow the instructions in this book your manuscript will pass the test. Each new instruction comes with a screen shot showing you exactly what to do each step of the way. By the time you finish going through this book, you will have your book available in POD and Kindle-ready format.

Kathi Linz

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fairy Quest: Outlaws by Paul Jenkins

    Fairy Quest: Outlaws

What's a fairy tale character to do when they don't want to tell their story anymore? Join Red Riding Hood as she make the perilous journey to Realworld. Expressive illustrations, larger than life fairy tale characters, Grimm and the Thought Police make this graphic novel intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable.


Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children so I was really looking forward to the sequel Hollow City.  I was not disappointed. The book picks up exactly where Miss Peregrine's leaves off with the children fleeing their home to find a place of safety. The book centers on the children's quest to find help for their beloved caretaker Miss Peregrine who is stuck in bird form and can only be helped by another like her. There is much drama, nail-biting action, and plot twists as the children make their way to London. You won't be bored. I can't wait for the next!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Craft Business: Sewing Books, Quilting Books, Knitting Books Compilation by Mary Kay Hunziger

Craft Business: Sewing Books, Quilting Books, Knitting Books Compilation by Mary Kay Hunziger is very little explanation and several lists of websites you can go to to sell your crafts. If you are looking for resources to sell your work, try this book. If you are looking for "how to", this is not the one for you.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Any Other Name by Craig Johnson

Ten years ago, Craig Johnson published the first Walt Longmire novel, The Cold Dish. The third season of the A&E series based on the books will begin in June.  I love them both!

In Any Other Name, the 10th installment in the series, Johnson still delivers.  Walt is involved in an investigation in a neighboring county as a favor to Lucien, the former sheriff, just as his daughter Cady is expecting her first child in Philadelphia.  With obstacles such as missing women, an officer's suicide, hit men, snow and buffalo, will Walt close the case in time to make his flight to Philadelphia?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton


In Death of a Policeman, Macbeth has to find the killer of a policeman who was sent to spy on him. Inspector Blair is up to his old tricks of trying to get rid of Macbeth. Even though we know that Blair is unbalanced, this book goes farther into some of the things happening inside Strathbane police station. Macbeth deals with the murders and secrets in ways I did not expect. I understand why he did the things he did and the results were good, but I am not Machiavellian enough to appreciate his methods in this story. There should be a clear difference between the good guys and the bad guys.

Kathi Linz

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Bad by Sally Green

I have conflicting feelings about this book so let's start with the bad and get it over with.

Bad: I understand the literary choice of writing first person and that this first person isn't very educated but the halting short sentence narrative drove me bananas. I nearly stopped reading. The story is a bit slow and is mostly important for background information on Nathan our horribly abused protagonist. And worst of all, it's yet another trilogy.


Good: It's a good story. I think it might be one of the few trilogies where the second book might be more enjoyable than the first. Nathan has an indomitable will to survive, couple that with the ability to heal quickly and it makes for some pretty awful scenes of brutality which are well written and don't feel gratuitous. There are some pretty interesting characters, my favorite is Celia. She's fascinating. You want to learn about the motivations behind these characters behaviors. 

Like I said, it's a good story; one you will want to finish. And you will HATE waiting for the next installment.

Lola Snyder, MLS
Head of Youth Services

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sell It Online: How to Make Money Selling on eBay, Amazon, Fiverr and Etsy by Nick Vulich

Sell It Online: How to Make Money Selling on eBay, Amazon, Fiverr and Etsy by Nick Vulich is similar to the Freaking Idiots Guides: 4 Book Bundle by the same author. Nick Vulich covers the big four in each book but includes information on other ways to make online money in each. Sell It Online has a section on blogging and life coaching besides selling items and services in Amazon, eBay, Fiverr and Etsy. He gives very clear instructions for setting up accounts and listing items. He thoroughly covers customer service.

If you have a notion to try selling online or posting ebooks to Kindle, check out this book for more information.

Kathi Linz

Monday, April 28, 2014

Freaking Idiots Guide to Selling on eBay, fiverr, Public Domain, and Kindle by Nick Vulich

This book is four guides in one package. If you have any plan to try eBay, fiverr, writing for Kindle, or using public domain works, this is a good place to get information.

The four titles by Nick Vulich are:

Freaking Idiots Guide to Selling on eBay
Freaking Idiots Guide to fiverr
Freaking Idiots Guide to Making Money with the Public Domain
Freaking Idiots Guide to Writing a Kindle Bestseller.

The author has been selling on eBay for 15 years and making a living at it since 2004 and that is the largest section in this book. The other titles are also very helpful.

Kathi Linz