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Reviews Written by
Mary Chrapliwy / Reviewer's Diary (NJ, USA)
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Destiny (Rogue Angel)
Destiny (Rogue Angel)
by Alex Archer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy thriller!, 20 Oct. 2008
The main character of this book, Annja Creed, is an archeologist who funds her travels and treasure hunting by means of working for a television show about monsters. She is on just such a quest in search of a monster in France when she falls through the ground and finds a medallion that is a part of Joan of Arc's sword. There is all manner of mahem and excitement while she is pursued by bad guys all over France. I don't want to say much more as it could spoil the story.

This is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time. It's part thriller and adventure and part history lesson (the history is so well done that it is woven into the story seemlessly without interrupting the suspense). It takes place in present time and includes a magical sword. I won't discuss the plot further as it was deeply decribed by Amazon's editorial information.

This book was so good that it earned permanent keeper status on my bookshelf. Now I want to read the entire series. I highly recommend it.


Solomon's Jar (Rogue Angel)
Solomon's Jar (Rogue Angel)
by Alex Archer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Written by another author...., 20 Oct. 2008
Destiny was one of my favorite books. Then I picked up Solomon's Jar - the second in the series. This book is a very good read that is so compulsively readable that you will want to finish it in one sitting as I did. However, that said, it is not as good as Destiny when it comes to the writing.

Even with the passage of time I was able to recognize the difference in the writing style of the person who wrote Destiny vs. the person who wrote Solomon's Jar. The writing was so different that I actually pulled Destiny off the shelf to compare the writing style - sure enough, there is a clear difference.

Now that aside, the difference in style doesn't matter as much as the fact that the person who wrote Destiny gave us a heroine who was immediately likeable and was reluctant to use her gifts to kill, even in self-defense. In Solomon's Jar, however, this writer interpreted the character a little differently and turned her into a near killing machine. Perhaps the writer of Solomon's Jar should have studied the character of Destiny that we all came to love.

It is rumored that this series is written using multiple authors all under the guise of the pen name Alex Archer. Now that I have read the first two books in the series, I can see that the rumor is indeed true.

Now that all aside, this book was a very good read that you don't want to put down once you start. I gave it four stars because this book was just not as well written as that in Destiny - character change and all aside. I still recommend this book and I will continue to read the other books in the series. This book can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend that you read Destiny first. And, if you only plan to read one book in the series - read Destiny.


Brewers Dictionary of Phrase
Brewers Dictionary of Phrase
by Etymology
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Ever wonder..., 25 Sept. 2008
Have you ever wondered what some of your grandparent's and parents phrases meant? This book not only covers words and places but also covers those odd sayings we all grew up with and were never sure exactly what they meant or where they came from. For example, ever wonder what "Hoi Polloi", "Wreck of the Hesperus", "the cowl doesn't make the monk", and many, many other phrases mean. There are also single words ou can look up to find he history of the word origin.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that you can open it to any page and be fascinated and entertained by it. My copy is worn from many enjoyable reads. Definitely a worthy book for your bookshelf - it is a keeper on mine.


Beginnings, Middles and Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
Beginnings, Middles and Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
by Nancy Kress
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me finish my first novel..., 11 Sept. 2008
So there I was, stuck in the dreaded middle of the first draft of my novel. I was really stuck. Then I read this book. It is just exactly what it says, a guide to beginnings, middles and ends. This book helped me get back on track and helped me work my way through the middle and finally to the end.

I've read most of the books in the Writer's Digest Elements of Fiction Writing series - this book is by far the best one and was the only one that gained keeper status on my bookshelf. I highly recommend this book to any aspiring or experienced writer.


Beyond Tomorrow
Beyond Tomorrow
by Fern Michaels
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Standard, uncomplicated romance..., 23 Aug. 2008
This story centers around Carly, a single real estate agent and the handsome, wealthy client who walks into her office in search of a new home. What follows is a fairly simple girl meets boy, boy likes girl, girl reluctantly ends up liking boy, misunderstanding in the middle, finally typical romance ending.

Still, Fern Michaels did this one well. I was interested enough that I read this book in one sitting. The characters were well drawn and interesting. She wrote well with the exception of a few small instances of shifting point of view from one person to another within the same scene. This book has a copyright date of 1987. In the last 21 years I'm sure Fern Michaels has probably perfected her craft so I might just consider reading another Fern Michaels story.


Moon Shadows (Jove Romance)
Moon Shadows (Jove Romance)
by Nora Roberts
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.12

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nora Roberts "Wolf Moon" makes this book worth reading..., 22 Aug. 2008
This is a loosely connected set of paranormal stories. Nora Roberts "Wolf Moon" is ultimately the story that makes this anthology a keeper and it is the only reason that I gave this book 4 stars. The other stories were so-so and dull to the point of actually skipping pages just to get through the story.

"Wolf Moon" is the story of a female werewolf who caught the werewolf "virus" while on a vacation in Europe. Since then she has moved from town to town and has struggled to find a cure for her condition. She ultimately settles down and meets a vet who falls in love with her and wants to cure her.

I don't normally read werewolf fiction, but this story is so well written and the characters are so real that the story draws you right in. It's so good that you ultimately wish the story wouldn't end, like a good book.

I highly recommend this anthology, but only because of the Nora Roberts story. Perhaps borrowing from the library is the best bet for someone who wants to read before buying.


Killer Gorgeous
Killer Gorgeous
by Jane Holleman
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Beyond bad..., 22 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Killer Gorgeous (Paperback)
I read this book, unfortunately. Yes it is a story about good vs evil, but the characters are charicatures and none of them, even the so called good guy, has any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Even the good guy is a pretty rotten person. I'm sorry that I wasted my time reading this book - a few hours of my life that I can never get back again. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, ever.


Edgar Cayce on Jesus and His Church
Edgar Cayce on Jesus and His Church
by Read Anne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this book in bed... you might doze off, 19 Aug. 2008
When I started reading this book the first time it was during my nightly reading in bed. It is so heavy and reads so thoroughly like a history book that it could cure insomnia. Having learned my lesson the first time, I read this book during daylight hours.

This book is written by Anne Read, who recorded many of the readings of Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet. It dovetails the scripture along with the readings of Edgar Cayce. It does fill in many details and fleshes out some stories that are only dealt with in the shortest sense by the Bible. For example, the story in the Bible that covers the time when Jesus, at age 12, stayed behind in the temple, dealt with only in the shortest sense, is further discussed, illustrating the story to the point that you can picture the boy Jesus and his concerned parents. There are many stories like that.

One of the stand outs for me was the large part that women played in the leadership of ancient Israel a well as in the early Christian church. Also, the accuracy of the facts (not including Cayce's readings) were accurate to information that we have learned today. Anne Read's book is Biblically accurate where parts of the Bible are discussed. Whether we can believe what Cayce said in his readings is clearly a matter of opinion. It is also a very dry book. Still, this is interesting reading.


Eat This Not That!
Eat This Not That!
by David Zinczenko
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May shock you into better choices, 19 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Eat This Not That! (Paperback)
This book is great if you still want to eat out and make wise food choices. The majority of the book breaks down choices at many regular restaurants and fast food restaurants. On facing pages you are presented with the "Eat This" choice on one side and "Not That" on the other. It not only shows what the better choice is, but it breaks down the fat and calories from both. Here's one example: Burger King "Eat this" choice is the Whopper Jr. and a Garden Salad for a grand total of 365 calories and 12 grams of fat - the comparison on the facing page for "Not That" is the BK Big Fish Sandwich and a medium order of fries for a grand total of 1,000 calories and 52 grams of fat. You could argue that no one should eat fast food, but if you want to eat out, this book gives you lower fat/calorie alternatives. This is an excellent little book.


This Year You Write Your Novel
This Year You Write Your Novel
by Walter Mosley
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short, tightly written gem..., 4 July 2008
This short, 111 page book breaks down the writing process into simple, well defined segments. Mr. Mosely goes from beginning your novel and establishing a writing routine all the way to the revision of your first draft.

Sprinkled throughout this book are little gems. My favorite was in the beginning where he likens writing a novel to taking a journey by boat and says, "if you allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination." The book is full of these gems, which, when you read the book, make perfect sense.

The most valuable part of this book to me was the revision process. Since I've just finished the first draft of my novel, it's time for me to begin the revision process. This book gave me excellent advice and a path to follow.

This book is full of indispensible advice. It goes straight to the point. It leaves you feeling encouraged. It would be a great addition to any writer's bookshelf.


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