Craig Johnson’s Spirit of Steamboat-Walt Longmire 9.1

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: While waiting out the last of the Christmas Eve shift at the office, Sheriff Walter Longmire meets a young woman who claims to know both him and, his predecessor, Lucien Connalley. With one word, Longmire is reminded of another Christmas Eve in the late ‘80’s that was a more frantic paced night.

Story Telling: Mr. Johnson has done here what many writing books advise that you never do. And he did it gracefully. The story was framed in a flashback. This made for a comfortable semi-Christmas tale.

Likes: Longmire and Lucien were some brave individuals. On that note, so were Juli, Mrs. Oda, and Isaac. None of them, with the possible exception of Isaac, had to do anything for Mrs. Oda’s granddaughter. But all that they could see was how Amaterasu needed to get to the hospital in Denver, and no one else was brave–or crazy–enough to fly her there.

Dislikes: I thought that the helicopter pilot and the med-tech were more concerned with their own skins. I understand fear, but be man enough to admit it. Every one should respect you more. And most will.

Favorite Scene: My favorite parts were anytime someone told Lucien that he couldn’t do something (usually, he proved them wrong), and when Longmire had to face a terrifying drop just to close the door.

Conclusion: This is a great story. I think it’s a good addition to the thriller fan’s library (it made mine), or for those who want a different kind of Christmas story.

Michael Phillip Cash’s The After House

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: After a rough divorce from her husband, Remy and her daughter move into a cozy cottage in a sleepy seaside town. Remy believes that her yoga studio will take off here. But then these odd incidents start happening. Their cottage is trashed, and cold drafts start in certain areas of the cottage. But when odder, and even threatening, things start happening, Remy is left to wonder who is behind it all.

Story Telling: This is really two tales in one. We have Remy and Olivia’s new life in a small town. And we have Eli’s story. Both were interwoven into a beautiful tapestry.

Likes: Eli’s attempts taunting Olivia were hilarious. He was freaked out by her. But, she was stalking him, you understand. Most of the book was funny, but, as with any ghost story, there were the spooky situations. Oh, and Mr. Cash didn’t really absolve anyone of his/her actions. It was always his/her choice (perfect).

Dislikes: I despised the way Scott left Remy. But there wasn’t much that I liked about that man.

Favorite Scene: Where to begin? We have Bill facing his fears to bring his daughter some protection. How about Olivia’s reaction to the mess in the house? Or, even better, when Eli decides he has to protect Remy. The good here never quits.

Conclusion: This book has officially found it’s way into my library. I enjoyed it as hope you will as well. This is an excellent ghost story, unless you don’t believe in ghosts. I am never calling anyone a dork again.

Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenberg’s True Tales from the Dog Park

I received this book courtesy of Miss Sherman and Ms. Laubenberg for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Max and Luther spend a lot of time at the dog park, or at a dog beach. Their owners wish to share some of their favorite stories as well as some tips for dog park/beach etiquette.

Story Telling: this book is mostly composed of anecdotes and tips.

Likes: The tips, for the most part, do provide basic understanding of dog ownership.

Dislikes: I saw some worrisome items in this book. The foremost was Luther’s ‘Splatter, Smother, and Cover’ trick. This is a sign of dominance. The fact that it hurts him notwithstanding, he is saying “I’m top dog.” Knocking people over, jumping on tables, even mouthing on the back of another dog, all of these are signs of dominance assertion. And just because you’re at a dog park, that doesn’t mean you can check your manners at the gate (I’m looking at you Max).

Favorite Scene: My favorite part was Luna’s attempt to help a yellow lab she thought she knew.

Conclusion: I don’t think I’ll be going to a dog park any time soon. Maybe you’ll like this book. At least you’ll learn how not to act.

Milo Swanton’s Fealty to the King-The Children of Cain 1

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Swanton for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Brutez has a dream. A dream to se the tribes of the Snarshyim collected under one banner. In his mind, they are all related, there is no reason for all the fighting. This is his story, of course he gets some unexpected help.

Story Telling: Mr. Swanton has a gift for world building. The tribes are well developed. And the characters’ thoughts were easy to follow.

Likes: A story leading to peace is something to celebrate. Brutez is determined to find peace for all there is of the Snarshyim.

Dislikes: This is a rather bloody book. Not exactly one of my preferences. And then there is the aspect of these characters being related to Cain. Granted they aren’t shown in the worst light. I just see it as a dangerous precipice. Using Biblical characters, or–as in this case–their descendents, is a slippery slope.

Favorite Scene: My favorite parts had to be Jorgis’s journey to understand the scrolls that he and his friend found, or when God’s word came to the Snarshyim.

Conclusion: In my opinion, this book should be read by those firm in their faith. For the most part, it’s an okay story, just too bloody for me.

E. Marie’s Avoiding Dodgeballs…At Work, A Young Woman’s Guide to Succeeding At a First Job

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Marie for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Mrs. Marie has had years of experience in the business world, everything from an entry position to that of a supervisor. I’d agree that she can help many with their first jobs. So, let’s follow “Katie,” our avatar into the world of cubicles, bosses, and coworkers.

Story Telling: Mrs. Marie has used humor, as will a few gentle admonishments to cultivate a professional attitude, for the new employee.

Likes: I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Marie urges the new employee to not sink towards the use of profanity at work. Mostly, I believe, for the unprofessional shine it casts upon the user. Also, Mrs. Marie explains the difference between true volunteering and other styles of volunteering in regards to Human Resources.

Dislikes: My only problem with this book is the fact that I think both men and women could use this advice. Even though it’s a woman’s guide, men, too, can benefit from it.

Favorite Scene: My favorite part would be each time the author has to remind Katie that life isn’t fair.

Conclusion: This is a fun, entertaining, and informative read. Anyone heading into the job circuit should read this first.

Edward G. Brown’s The Time Bandit Solution

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Mr. Brown takes us into the idea of saving time. Not by telling us to get more organized, though that always helps, but by utilizing a technique he calls time-locking. Who would have thought that the basic “Quiet Time,” so many of us are familiar with, could be so important?

Story Telling: This is a good way to explain anything. Mr. Brown includes bullet points, charts, and a clever chapter naming scheme.

Likes: I like how Mr. Brown used himself as an example of how his ideas can and will work. Nothing like being an example of your ideas, especially since that proves that you truly believe in your policy.

Dislikes: I didn’t care much for the scripted sales pitch idea. There has to be a way to inform someone you need time to think without reading or memorizing a script. But then again, some people might need this aide. Other than that, there were a few things that I didn’t understand, but as they don’t work for me now, I have time to gain that understanding.

Favorite Scene: My favorite parts of this book were the Spanish and Irish sales people’s points about business meetings.

Conclusion: This is a very helpful book. One that will benefit most if they can let go of the idea of “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

Chris Reardon’s Breaking Rules

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: What happens when someone, who is used to getting away with some serious crimes, decides to teach a couple a good lesson? If that someone is the teenage witch Salina, trouble for both the couple and her.

Story Telling: I’ve never read a present-tense book before, though I have heard of them. The only other one I know of is “The Hunger Games,” and that was a first-person present. This is a third-person present. Interesting idea.

Likes: The idea of another realm, one very much like ours but with magic, was interesting. That world’s laws, and prejudices were well put down. Kenny and Trish were well fleshed out, as well as was Salina.

Dislikes: I didn’t care much for Salina’s attitude. She might have tried to fix things, but she lied so often I don’t trust anything she has said.

Favorite Scene: My favorite part I the book was when Max broke at the kitchen table. It was perfect.

Conclusion: While I don’t care much for the present-tense writing, this story was a good one. I hope you like it.

David Driscoll’s Charlie and Felicity Go Wild

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Driscoll for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Let’s join Charlie and Felicity on their adventures along the river.

Story Telling: This is a simple story. One that just asks the reader to come along for the ride.

Likes: Not every book must be blatant about teaching you. This is one that just asks your children to learn how to enjoy the story. Charlie and Felicity worked well together throughout their adventures. They also held a great attitude during the trip.

Dislikes: There were a couple of things that I didn’t care for in this book. I believe that the illustrations worked against Mr. Driscoll in this instance. And, if an author asks a question in a book, then, to the best of his/her ability, (s)he should answer it.

Favorite Scene: My favorite part had to be the mushroom bounce race.

Conclusion: It’s a good short story. One more suited for a bedtime story.

Erika Knight’s Simple Knitting-A Complete How-to-Knit Workshop with 20 Projects.

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Ms. Knight has taken the time, and twenty projects, to help the novice knitter progress his/her craft into first intermediate, and then on towards mastery.

Story Telling: There is a lot you can learn in these workshop books. They always have their tips, and tricks, even when they aren’t advertising them. She calls them master tips, and they are good ones that is easy to spot. She included a couple of gauge rulers, and a list of abbreviations as well as a list of tools that will make your knitting life easier.

Likes: I like how the patterns include little tips for making the knitting process, and project, both easier as well as unique. And the sample pictures of the stitches were a great benefit.

Dislikes: I don’t have any problems with this book.

Favorite Scene (Pattern): My bookmark is set, and I’m ready to go. I plan on starting with the ‘Two Needle Socks’ first.

Conclusion: This was a fascinating book. One that is helpful to all those new to knitting, as well as a good reminder for those who have been at it for a while, and all those in between.

Dawn Menge’s Queen Vernita Visits Baja Quail-Queen Vernita’s Adventures 6

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Menge for the purpose fair and honest review.

Overview: It’s a new year and Queen Vernita has received an invitation to visit her friends from Baja Quail. Twelve friends in twelve months. This should be fun.

Story Telling: Ms. Menge has aimed for a rather young crowd with this series. The illustrations are amazing. The language used is comfortable blend of simple and challenging.

Likes: This is a great idea. Look at the little old lady. She’s not afraid to learn something new. We also have a good repetition going for the days of the week. The way Ms. Menge snuck information in. Blink, and you’ll learn something.

Dislikes: I really don’t have anything against this book. It was fun.

Favorite Scene: My favorite part was the months where Queen Vernita tried a few new dishes and tried to surf.

Conclusion: This is a terrific little book. One that most children will enjoy.