bookcover: 
Woman in Jeopardy Bookcover
Author: 
George Hatcher
Series: 
Ambulance Chaser
Publisher: 
CasaHatcherPress
Genre: 
Action-Adventure: 
Rating: 
10
ISBN/ASIN: 

978-0-9965927-1-0

Description of Sales Url: 
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Review: 

Hatcher is a gifted writer and this is clearly obvious in his book, Woman In Jeopardy.

The author plot moves with a smooth pace while pouring on enough suspense to keep the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next. The dialogue is realistic, and the diabolical mindset of Francisco, the key player, and Carmen, the underdog were vividly portrayed with Hatcher's ability to create sympathetic characters that raises this novel to the next level. Although not all of the personalities are given equal treatment or enough stage time to become fully developed, those that are such as Elena, Manuela, Milton and his sister Delores, prove that the author has the skills necessary to craft a story with protagonists the audience can like, hate and relate to.

In addition, Hatcher obvious yet never heavy-handed messages about the strength of Carmen’s love for her sister, that she sacrificed herself to protect her, and in the end, did what was necessary to revenge her death, without a second thought, give the novel added depth. Overall, it is a book that grips you and doesn't let go until the last page has been turned.

Dear Literary Arts Insider,
Earlier this month, we announced the 2016 Oregon Book Awards finalists and fellowship recipients. Winners will be named at the 29th annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony on April 11, hosted by the award-winning author Heidi Durrow.
Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Gerding Theater at the Armory
Tickets start at $10, available at
BrownPaperTickets.com.


bookcover: 
Author: 
Joanna Fulford
Series: 
Victorious Vikings
Publisher: 
Harlequin Historical
Genre: 
Rating: 
6
ISBN/ASIN: 

9781460320143; 9780373297580

Description of Sales Url: 
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Review: 

Astrid and Leif Egilsson meet when he does not kidnap her, get acquainted at a wedding where Leif finds out she is from a prominent family, ward of her uncle now that her father is dead. Said Uncle betroths her to an unsavory fellow, and Astrid decides she'd rather walk on the wild side with Leif than abide by her uncle's wishes. Before this can be arranged, Leif is captured and enslaved by uncle. Hence the Domme cover. Then Leif is freed by his men, but only after getting overworked, seriously pissed off, and easily convinced Astrid was a willing lure to trap him. He then kidnaps Astrid for revenge.

I opened this expecting the old style bodice-ripper. I'm not sure what I found. It was a little hard to get into, but that may be partly due to formatting and other errors in the review copy I was reading. Initially, I was distracted by hopping from his head to her head and back, by Astrid's manic-depressive mood swings, and Leif's sporadic need for anger management, and possible treatment for PTSD. I never really connected with the characters, or lost myself in the story. I have read other books by Joanna Fulford which worked for me, but this one just did not connect the dots.

bookcover: 
book cover
Author: 
Lena Austin
Publisher: 
Loose Id
Rating: 
9
ISBN/ASIN: 

Electronic 1-59632-061-3

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

I became interested in Lena Austin when I attended a romance group chat featuring her. She seems to be a feisty and in-your-face sort of person. I liked that, so I started reading her work. She has taken me on some imaginative trips, so when I saw her newest book, Sex World 1: Assassin, I wanted to read it.

Alexandre di Marco has given up his name and identity to train as Paris Cordell to be a prime sex engineer. Constance d'Akasha has chosen him to be one of her three students to receive specialized training as an assassin. As Paris begins training, Sumner d'Oswego on the planet Airie receives notice that the sex engineer he ordered for his father's birthday will arrive in a year. Sumner is treading an uneasy path as he shows his father, Oswego, a face as viciously sadistic as his father's own while he hides his loathing for the things he must do.

Before Paris and Sumner meet, Paris has a variety of experiences as he trains, passes his final examination, and travels to Airie. There is his training home's computer, Helen; Constance d'Akasha; and Captain Jonas and Commander Kate on the spaceship. Once Paris arrives on Airie, the assignment begins. Neither Sumner nor Paris can trust the other with his true objective, and no one can trust Oswego.

From the first paragraph, Lena Austin grabs you by the hand and takes you on a journey that includes an imaginative world, a variety of sex, a life and death struggle with a suitably villainous villain, and heart in your throat suspense. I hate to say it, but despite the all-is-lost scenario near the end, I did not want the story to end. Sex World 1: Assassin earns a place of honor on my virtual bookshelf. If I could say that it changed my life in some fashion, I would have been able to award it that final half quill, meaning that it is a perfect book. Nevertheless, if male/male sex, ménage, or bondage offends you, you should avoid this book.

Recommendation

Author

Creativity is a natural inborn trait. It doesn't leave me, I leave it. I have a strong inner critic that blocks the creativity; knowing this helps, and I'm learning to let go of all criticism and just enjoy creating whatever I choose at the moment. Glad to find a bit of inspiration here for doing this.
bookcover: 
angelofsyn bookcover
Author: 
Mertianna Georgia
Publisher: 
ImaJinn Books
Genre: 
Rating: 
7
ISBN/ASIN: 

ASIN: B00B5EGYA0

Description of Sales Url: 
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Review: 

Angel of Syn, by Mertianna Georgia is the second is the Synemancer series starring witch Cara Augustine. Ever get in trouble for a mistake you didn’t know you made? Well if you did, it might be easy to sympathize with Cara. It appears she broke a law by making a werewolf her familiar. She didn’t know she broke a law. Unfortunately, the penalty is death. Just call her witch on the run.

What is worse than running from the Portalkind law? It might be deciding between three sexy supernatural males who are determined to make Cara and her emerging powers part of a power couple. Cara has a lovelorn Nephilim who is half angel and half witch. There is a crazy French werewolf, who wants her. His intentions may not be entirely romantic. Add to the trio, a sexy, semi-scary Nightkind who actually wants to marry her. The group follows Cara as she seeks sanctuary in the Garden of Eden, which has its own share of dangers.

This is a three part series as far as book goes. It is highly recommend reading the first book, Syn in the City before reading this one. It explains things like Nephilim, Nightkind and more of what Cara is up too. It is a little bit like walking into a conversation about people you don’t know and the conversation continues without any explanation. Most things can be figured out through context.

Ms. Georgia’s writing is fun and often steamy. It flows well making the story a joy even if everything isn’t clear. If you are looking for a paranormal with attitude and bite, then this is the book for you. Just make sure you read Syn in the City first.

bookcover: 
Just My Type
Author: 
Simon Garfield
Publisher: 
Penguin Group
Genre: 
Rating: 
7
ISBN/ASIN: 

Electronic: 9781592406524

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

I am assuming that many of us don't pay much attention to type fonts. I'm old enough to remember choosing an IBM Selectric typewriter because there were multiple fonts available, welded into little balls that you could snap in, so if you wanted, you could dash your pages off in ten or twelve pitch Courier, Bookface or Artisan. On the early Apple which only had one font, finding Bert Kersey's "beagle bros" fonts library—a program would allow you to change the fonts on your printouts with the addition of some simple html-like commands—was a gift from the font gods. In an early job of mine, preparing negatives to make offset masters for an ABDick 360 Printing press involved hours of typesetting with the dry transfer letters, painstakingly manipulated with red gum, grid paper and exacto knives. The year I had of graphic design did not touch on fonts at all.

Simon Garfield's Just My Type picks up right where my graphic design classes should have. The book is not a dry history of type, but a popular history of fonts such as the much maligned "Comic Sans." (Everyone who uses/overuses/loves/hates Comic Sans should read Garlocks rendition of the tale of Vincent Connare, Microsoft and Microsoft Bob.) Garfield has written an interesting guide to fonts. It is both charming and fascinating, and full of tidbits which are "news" to us. Who knew, for example that authors of type become famous or infamous from their skill with type, just as Mozart is for his music, or Warhol, for his art?

Just My Type touches on the stories behind type, exploring everything before Gutenberg's first fonts, well past Steve Job's now famous introduction to calligraphy at Reed College. Whether you're interested in serifs and san serifs, the Guardian's April Fools Day Independence of San SerriffeHoax, the creepy sexual experimentation of Eric Gill, the blink test, or IKEA's battle between Verdana and Futura, etc. there are dozens of stories here which are fascinating, and which you will probably recognize have brushed against your life without your realization. The book analyzes font examples from magazine covers, to advertisements, to television shows (like The Office) to album covers, and tells us why and how the fonts work, their purpose and how they affect us.

Just My Type is a rich, readable design backstory behind type, a book which ought to be a must for any typographer's toolkit. And for non-typographers among us, after a little exploratory guided voyage touring in, through and about fonts let by Garfield's clever eye, we just might become a little more discerning, more informed and certainly more entertained typophiles in our own right.

bookcover: 
Author: 
Lanie Kinkaid
Publisher: 
Griffyn Ink
Genre: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

9780983587743

Description of Sales Url: 
out of print: see used
Review: 

America has no King. Our founding father's insured us that, and hopefully we will remain "unkinged" and our constitution will hold out. But it's a fact of our times that, politics notwithstanding, celebrity is king. We might even take it one step farther: Rock is King. From the sixties on, hordes of screaming fans have been falling in and out of obsession with the rock star of the moment, and there are even some who hold their own long after any fifteen minutes of fame has long since evaporated. And as much as music consumers feel that someone becomes an overnight star, such a thing is never overnight. Before the moment when John Q Public realizes the person on the stage, at the mike, on the television, on the screen, on the radio, in the youtube, in the itunes library has a gift, that entertainer has spent long hours, months, years, sometimes decades developing what may be a flash in the pan, or G-d's own gift. It is something fans do not consider: that behind every gifted artist is a boatload of time spent developing that gift. So when a writer chooses to write the story of a rock wannabe from the point of view in the trenches rather than from the audience, it is an angle that feels new to us. And yet not completely new, because of how many fans are themselves frustrated artists who had some talent and some dreams and either gave up before their time, didn't have the grit or talent, or maybe just didn't have the Kelsey to do it.

Yes, Kelsey. Every artist needs a Kelsey. I'm referring to Kelsey Conklin, the protagonist of Lanie Kincaid'sKelsey's Song. I may have picked up this book thinking that Kelsey was going to be a Susan Boyle; but I soon figured out that Kelsey, having grown up as the only sensible manager in an exceptionally dysfunctional home, has an entirely different talent from singing. She has a gift for management. And her new neighbor, JD Hewlitt, the scruffy guy with band pipe dreams, needs some of that management to rub off on him and his daughter Andie.

JD is new to parenting, and has come into his daughter in much the same way as Diane Keaton's character in Baby Boom: from out of the blue. JD's new daughter a is six year old handful who is completely out of control and does not want anything to do with a father. It is sheer luck and proximity that bring together JD and Kelsey, in the same way that two distinct drops of water touch, and suddenly they're just one bigger drop, and there's no demarkation where the lines might have once been drawn.

Everything about this story rings true. Proximity brings together couples (yes, I read somewhere that a high percentage of weddings occur just because people live near each other). Yet the success of their relationship has a lot to do with what lies beneath the surface. Both JD and Kelsey are icebergs, with most of their secret past underwater. With buried secrets to negotiate, JD and Kelsey are both off on life quests that are completely different in nature in ways that would simply not intersect—except that in the process of solving a multitude of life-problems for each other, and developing a friendship, they manage to fall in love AND solve each other's problems.

Why does it work? Because the characters are so complete. JD and Kelsey live on the page, and beyond the page. They are not cookie cutter characters, but have lives that are bigger and grittier in dimension than those of most characters in simple romance. This book is a little charmer, even if you haven't dreamed of being the girl "with the band," whether or not you worship music and bands (but might be even more fun if you do.) Kelsey's Songwas an enjoyable read which I heartily recommend.

bookcover: 
What Language is bookcover
Author: 
John McWhorter
Publisher: 
Penguin Group
Genre: 
Non-fiction_: 
Rating: 
6
ISBN/ASIN: 

9781592406258

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Penguin
Review: 

Every speaker is a student of language, even if it is not our intent. But this is a book for the general student of linguistics. I can't believe I am saying "general" because I've never seen anyone go more into specifics than John McWhorter. He makes a general study of a whole juxtaposition of a variety of languages for the writer who is fascinated by the anthropology of linguistic development. Bear in mind, this book it is rather heavy, and overwhelmingly leaded with obscure trivia. If you are not frightened off by the idea of subconjugations in Ket, and the (illustrations of) grammar and impossibility of figuring out five tenses of Navaho—Verbing may weird English but who knows what it does to Navaho—If you're not scared off, maybe you're potentially an anthropological linguist and this book will be your friend.

From the beginning, McWhorter rhapsodizes about the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of Archi, and click languages, and the strange grammatical constructions of obscure tongues almost no one speaks and one would think would be impossible to master. He submerges the reader in characteristics of languages so that we can hardly keep up with all the strange detail. But right at the point when this barrage of detail seems absolutely pointless, he talks about his five signal characteristics of language, (Ingrown, Dissheveled [sic], Intricate, Oral, Mixed). He illustrates with specific detail how languages evolve, how their complexities develop or decline. He also makes a point that when languages are spoken by a few people over time, they become more complex, but when spoken by larger groups for longer time, they get (or stay) dumbed down when influxes of new speakers learn simpler versions of the language. When languages are learned by adults they are dumbed down generationally—as opposed to the small, isolated communities that develop complex languages which can only be learned by children with their aptitude of language. He ranges in topic from the development of classifiers in Chinese and Cantonese, to the number of words for snow in Eskimo, to fetishes in Kikuyu that make it unlearnable to non-native speakers. He examines how an island language lost prefixes and suffixes when foreign adult speakers arrived and imperfectly learned and passed on the language. As an unwritten language, the old version would not, as McWhorter says it, have it's foot in the door. Such developmental hiccups allow the historian a foothold in muddling through the history of language.

Oh if this review seems clotted and lumpy, that is pretty much how I feel after reading What Language Is. There is so much detail that the content feels obscure and sluggish, even if an ambitious attempt is made to present the transformation and growth and development of language as both holistic and in a constant evolution. I did find it heavily academic, plus the electronic version I had was so badly formatted in places that I had difficulty figuring out if that was a misplaced footnote or some text was missing or extra. That may have been because I read on a kindle, or because it was an arc. Here and there were a smattering of illustrative stories and some sense of John McWhorter's charm, but the design suffers from academic overload and unclear organization. McWhorter is probably a humdinger in the classroom, but this tome suffers from a sense of massive density where it should be sharp and pointed. Not a must read in any sense, but of interest to linguists, especially in this age of dwindling care about language. At the risk of labeling myself a rube and a philistine, I must admit reading the last pages with respect for the depth and breadth of McWhorter's linguistic knowledge and a promise to myself to read the rest of his work after it has been edited. (This was an early arc.)

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