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