D.B. Martin’s Patchwork Pieces-The Patchwork Trilogy 3

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

Overview: The board has been set, and the opening moves have been made. Lawrence Juste seems to be one step behind (maybe two or three) his opponent, John Arthur Wemmick–alias, Jaggers. How could this be? Both Danny and Lawrence are relying on Margaret’s intel, so why does it appear that Jaggers is winning?

Story Telling: Let’s get ready for the conclusion of The Patchwork Trilogy. We’re still stuck viewing the whole story from Lawrence’s point-of-view.

Likes: Lawrence may have had a rough childhood, nor did he ever want a child, but he did act like a father. He protected Danny to the very best of his ability. Also, I think Win was proud of his baby brother.

Heather Trinder was a strong woman. She was placed into a bad position, yet she tried to help Lawrence to the best of her ability.

Margaret was brave, even as a girl. Not many would survive with their morals in tact when growing up around sociopath family members.

Dislikes: Everything Margaret was, Rosemary wasn’t. God, that woman was just as twisted as Jaggers was.

Ella was a piece of work as well. Oh, boo-hoo, her boss was born on the wrong side of the tracks. Sorry darling, but where you’re born, or who you’re born to, does nothing to make you a high-class person, or lower class either. Your action do that one.

And Binnie never seemed to get it. You don’t grouse about your family not being there for you, then walk away when they need you the most.

Favorite Character: Margaret Green Juste truly was close to being a saint. She visited Mary, Tended to the grave of Sarah’s cat, and she tried to better the lives of those around her.

Favorite Quote: This comes right after Lawrence learns Margaret’s true fate. “No amount of money is worth taking a life.”

Favorite Scene: I’m not going to lie. I was so looking forward to Jaggers’ comeuppance. It fit both Biblical and natural justice. What happened for Lawrence was just icing on the cake.

Conclusion: This was an excellent ending to a wonderful trilogy. I hope you find room in your library for these books, just as I have.

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Carole P. Roman’s A Flag For the Flying Dragon-A Captain No Beard Story

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

Overview: The Flying Dragon crew have a new mission. Well, it’s more of a two-part mission. Part one is to find a flag for The Flying Dragon (what kind of pirate ship has no flag?), and part two is to find a job for their newest crew-mate. What can Zachary do that won’t infringe on someone else’s assigned duties? One thing is for sure, Zachary needs a job, or everyone may get new ones.

Story Telling: Welcome back. The familiar illustrations and rhythm will lend your child a feeling of comfort. Good thing too, as the idea of finding and making room for someone new is an important lesson.

Likes: Captain No Beard had it together on this trip, not that he didn’t have it together last time around. Finding the job for Zachary showed some clever problem-solving skills. The whole crew tried, just the Captain had the final say.

Dislikes: There isn’t one really.

Favorite Character: I’ll have to go with Captain No Beard this time around.

Favorite Quote: ““When you are a team, every job is important,” Fribbet said happily.” Truer words can be hard to find.

Favorite Scene: I enjoyed the part where Zachary gets his new job.

Conclusion: This is a fun little story. Enjoy it with your crew.

Anthonette Klinkerman’s Battle of the Grandmas

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

Overview: War is on the horizon. The field is set. One little girl is at the center of it all. Three gifts come in, and all three were the same. The battle is on. Which grandmother can give the best gift.

Story Telling: This children’s book has gone for rhymes with cartoon-like illustrations. It will easily attract and hold a child’s attention.

Likes: Mrs. Klinkerman did push the idea that the emotional gifts, such as spending time with a loved one, are so important.

Dislikes: Now, there were two problems for me here. One, the girl, that receives the gifts, has no name, so she isn’t easy to identify with. And two, Mrs. Klinkerman doesn’t seem to see that the material gifts are also important. Let’s face it, that’s how children learn to give.

Favorite Character: The only real character you see is the little girl. Who else could you choose?

Favorite Quote: There really isn’t a quote that stuck out for me.

Favorite Scene: There isn’t even a favorite scene. Even with all the gifts coming in, the girl’s disappointment mars the otherwise cute visuals.

Conclusion: This story has a nice rhythm to it, but it dances along a dangerous edge. I get it, really I do. Nobody wants a materialistic child. But, it is a dangerous precedent to start telling children that the time spent searching for, or making, a special gift isn’t worth as much as if that time was spent with the child. Keep this in mind when you read this with your little one.

What Has Happened To Freedom?

The United States of America was founded on freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the basic freedoms of life, liberty, the pursuit of happyness, and to follow your conscience. But something has gone very wrong.

We now have to watch what we say, lest certain groups become offended. Even flying our flag with pride, on American soil, can be considered ‘hate speech.’ One of the strongest symbols of our great nation is ‘hate speech’?

And now, certain organizations feel that they can dictate what others do. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that this is a brand new phenomenon. After all certain corporations have been known to dictate how their employees spend their paychecks, and sometimes even their free time. Be it as simple as certain businesses demanding that their employees pay so much to a certain charity, to the beverage companies firing employees for drinking the competition’s beverages, it happens. And, in my opinion, it’s just as wrong as what is happening now.

Our school campuses, be they primary, secondary, or higher learning, are places to learn. They are places that, by their design, are supposed to prepare their students for life in the world.

So, let me ask you this. How does making boys walk around in red high heels do anything but embarrass them? (Source link: http://chicksontheright.com/blog/item/28491-why-in-the-world-are-rotc-cadets-being-required-to-wear-red-high-heels-why) Oh, I know that it’s supposed to make them understand the threat of sexual violence against women. But do you know what? All this really said was: humiliate yourself, and you won’t be treated like someone who needs to be re-educated with sensitivity training courses.

When has wearing something that you don’t like, or participating in an event that you don’t agree with become mandatory? Wear high heels for a day, boys, or go to sensitivity training and have your GPA docked. Participate in that wedding you disagree with or be fined and lose your business license. Where are the freedoms our great nation was founded on here?

Have the rights of the founders of #Walkamileinhershoes somehow trumped the rights of ROTC boys, who are going into the military, or the other men at these campuses? Have the rights of the gay couples who want to be married trumped the rights of Christian business owners who are afraid of disappointing God if they participate in a gay wedding? Have the rights of nature trumped the basic rights of humans to live?

Well you guys, you’ve got to make your choices. Will you sacrifice your job, business, or GPA for what you believe is right? That’s a hard choice, but not as hard as some have made. Our military and police personnel have made the irrevocable sacrifice for our well-being. They have sacrificed their very lives for our freedoms, in the case of the military, and our security, for both of them.

These groups in the minority of the population have offered us a choice, now. Will we sacrifice our morals, our pride, or our beliefs, going against our very consciences, to keep them happy? Or will we sacrifice our jobs, our financial security, or our grades for what we believe is right? Will you sacrifice these smaller things, that we may walk in the company of those who have made the greatest sacrifice of them all?

Steve Martini’s Trader of Secrets-Paul Madriani 12

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Paul Madriani has big trouble. His investigator, Herman Diggs, has been brutally attacked by an assassin who has been stalking the Madrianis for a while. What’s worse, is that the assassin knows where Sarah is. So what is a father to do? Why, track down Liquida, what else? The FBI probably should be handling this, but they are focused on a couple of missing NASA employees. What are the odds that these cases are connected?

Story Telling: Mr. Martini takes us from the United States to Mexico in a multinational jaunt. He doesn’t try to pepper too many of the local idioms or colloquialisms through the story, thank goodness.

Likes: Herman is my kind of bodyguard. He is nearly killed, and shows up for the final showdown by sheer force of will? He can back me up at any time. Paul showed actions that, I believe, most fathers would. His baby was in trouble, and he did what he had to. Bugsy was cute, and show to be quite intelligent for the most part.

Dislikes: Aside from the obviousness of Liquida, I had a few problems with this book. One was with Joselyn. She was nasty at the worst of the trouble, and a dreamer the rest of the time. She wanted to let the feds handle Liquida. Big mistake. It was how liberal she was, really. The government can’t save you. Usually by the time the police or feds get there, it’s already too late. All they can do is catch the crook.

The Federal Government wasn’t shown in the best light. Granted, I could buy of side of the government would try to blame another part like it was shown here. That happens to be why I hated the situation.

Also, the science of Project Thor slowed the story down too much for my tastes.

Now to the biggie. Throughout this novel, there seemed to be a build-up to a final showdown between one of the Madrianis and Liquida. Even Bugsy was shown to be a lot smarter than people were giving him credit for. And yet, the showdown was very unsatisfying. In fact, it felt, well, like it was tacked on. By the way, Mr. Martini, Dobermans have some pretty large litters. Three pups is uncommonly small for the breed.

Favorite Character: Bugsy and Herman definitely fit. Harry was kind of cool. I’m not so sure that I want to get on his bad side. After all, Harry did beat a client up, with the casebook, when he witnessed the man hit the wife that he brought with him for support. Even Paul was cool.

Favorite Quote: Oh, Herman nailed it here. “The last time I looked, trust was a two-way street.”

Favorite Scene: When Paul saw his daughter and decided to make all of those between him and here into bowling pins, was a good show. The best part, Mr. Martini had several different views of the scene.

Conclusion: This was a fun book up until the ending. As it is, it still fits as a good book, but not a great one. Enjoy it if you’re a fan of suspense novels.

Nicole Audet’s Parents For Sale

I received this book courtesy of Dr. Audet for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Lucy and Luke have a major problem. Their parents have decided to sell the beloved family dog, Pistachio. Problem, Lucy and Luke don’t want to sell Pistachio. Their solution? Why, sell their parents instead. I don’t think that they have thought this one out very well. Do you want to see how they get out of this mess?

Story Telling: This children’s book was rather interesting. The illustrations were fun. It should catch your child’s attention. But, it is written in the present tense. That just drives me crazy.

Likes: The twins’ attempts at problem solving were pretty cute. And, at least the parents didn’t completely blame there children for Pistachio’s upcoming sell.

Dislikes: Okay, say it with me: a dog is a family pet. Anyone who thinks that a child can take on most, if not all, that a dog entails, well, he or she is fooling his or herself. Also, the way the twins treated the principal was wrong. Lines isn’t a bad punishment. It’s a two-for. It’ll emphasize good behavior and helps improve penmanship.

Favorite Character: It would have to be Pistachio. She tried to warn the twins over that fairy.

Favorite Quote: From Lucy: “Our parents are worth more than a hundred dollars.” She just didn’t seem to get it at that time.

Favorite Scene: The witch crashing into the apple tree was pretty funny.

Conclusion: This is a cute story. I just have one question. The Clark family had a fenced-in yard, why did they have to walk Pistachio?

E.E. Smith’s Boardinghouse Stew

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

Overview: In 1943, a young Eileen Smith was hired to work at ‘Mrs. Mumson’s’ “guesthouse.” (Let’s not upset anyone by calling it what it is, a boardinghouse.) Here is the four month period of Eileen’s kitchen…experiments…and all the gossip that lives in such a close community.

Story Telling: From Ms. Smith’s own words: “Boardinghouse Stew” is her memoir, based on her most famous play by the same name, that, unfortunately for us all, was written some forty-plus years after the facts. As such, even she isn’t sure how much is accurate, and how much is little more than fanciful recollections of ‘the good old days.’

Likes: You have to like Eileen’s work ethic. She is better at the cleaning job than I am. The place wouldn’t look near as nice as it did if I was cleaning it.

Oh, I would like to think that Ms. Smith correctly inferred Teddy’s job (the only real man, other than Doc, in the book.)

Patsy and Doc were cute. But I’ll thank her not to visit Doc while he is with a patient.

Margaret needed those who stood beside her. I’m glad that Teddy and the others were there when she needed them the most.

Dislikes: I’m sure Mrs. Mumson was a kind old lady, but I would work for her. She seemed to short change a lot of people.

Howard was a very bad Christian. Here’s a surprise for all who think like him out there: if it is a sin for a woman to have sex outside of marriage, then it is a sin for a man to have sex outside of marriage as well. I just wish that Teddy had hit him harder.

And Iris. Please don’t start with her. She was a…well…domineering woman who, seemingly, saw the war as a chance to prove her worth.

Favorite Character: I like strong, upstanding men. That is why I liked Teddy. He encouraged others to look on the bright side, but also insisted that they do the right thing.

Favorite Quote: I hope that Doc lived long enough to witness his hopes come true. “I just hope I live to see a world where children grow up with no threat of polio, smallpox, or even measles!” Of course, if he is still alive, he might want to smack a few people right now.

Favorite Scene: The best parts were Eileen’s reaction to Iris wearing the gas mask, and when Teddy gave Eileen the card. Or how about when the tension between Howard and Teddy came to a head? Howard so deserved it.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. I’m proud to admit that it made my library. Please consider it for yours.

Robbie Vorhaus’s One Less, One More

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

Overview: Who hasn’t had dreams that he or she wishes he or she had followed? Mr. Vorhaus has an answer that he thinks will help others fulfill their dreams.

Story Telling: I must be a glutton for punishment, because I keep getting these self-help books. The concept behind this one is the idea of dropping something you don’t find as useful to your dreams, and replacing it with something that will help you accomplish your dreams.

Likes: The concept of ‘one less, one more’ is a good one if done within the proper framework. It’s kind of like: spend less time on Facebook, and spend more time on ‘fill in the blanks.’

Dislikes: Here’s the problem. I disagree with Mr. Vorhaus’s path. I agree with Jesus’ assessment that “out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” and Jesus didn’t have a whole lot of nice things to say about the hearts of men. And isn’t intention a side effect of the ego? Which leads us into my next problem.

It’s my belief that you need the mind, ego if you will, involved when you go for a dream. The heart, mind, and body ought to be in agreement. (Even if the flesh has to be brought under control a la Paul.) God laid down that example in Deuteronomy, and for those who believe that the Old Testament was ‘done away with,’ Jesus re-emphasized it in Mark.

Also there seemed to be a lot of the new-age belief system in the framework of Mr. Vorhaus. And this is what made the book hard for me to read.

On a side note: why do so many think that by cutting all violence out of the entertainment industry, we will make the country better? It may not have been as overt, but several of the ‘good old days’ movies and books were violent. Perhaps the solution is where the viewer’s focus is? My belief though? Evil comes from the heart, not the entertainment industry.

Favorite Quote: Here’s my quote this time. “Enthusiasm means in God, en+theos, from the Greek entheos, meaning inspired–in spirit.”

Favorite Story: I couldn’t really find one that just struck my fancy this time around.

Conclusion: I like the concept, but the way it was laid out in this book doesn’t work for me. And that is why I do self-help books. At least, I can give you a differing view. Perhaps you’ll find more use in it than I did, and then again, maybe this review will help you find your own path to ‘one less, one more.”

Sally Gould’s Dead Scary-The Ghost Who Refused to Leave

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

Overview: Adam Castle is a typical teen. He obsesses over his Facebook status, he dreams of being a sports star ( his sport of choice being soccer), and he begrudgingly takes care of his baby sister. The only atypical thing about him is his ability to see and talk to the dead. Just don’t call them ghosts. They prefer to be called earthbound spirits. Edward is the earthbound spirit in Adam’s new house. There’s just a couple of problems here. One: they can’t stand each other. Two: Edward is part of the earthbound spirit Council. Can Adam get rid of Edward before trouble starts? Or will Edward get rid of the interloping humans in his house? And what are Warrior Spirits anyway?

Story Telling: Ms. Gould has written a fast-paced novel. Adam and Edward are painted as largely believable children/teens, even if one is already dead. It just happens to be a serious generational gap. It is written in a first-person (from Adam’s point-of-view) and we have to see Edward’s changes from that viewpoint.

Likes: Adam was willing to find help from anyone, living or otherwise, in order to save his family’s dream home. Yet, he was also willing to consider or even question the collective wisdom of those who deal with ghosts on a regular basis.

Dislikes: Even though Edward redeemed himself at the end, I didn’t like him. I have little regard for those who lie either to me, or about anyone or thing. Let’s just call it a pet peeve.

Favorite Character: I liked Isabel. She was torn between her loyalties, but managed to find a way to help her friend.

Favorite Quote: It comes from Isabel right after Adam hears what Edward intends to do in order to get the Castle family to move out. “Free Will is a basic right.” It’s something that seems to be missing around here these days.

Favorite Scene: It was pretty much a tie between what Isabel did to get attention, or Emily’s reation to adopting Isabel’s dog.

Conclusion: This was a fun story. Enjoy this haunting tale with your children.

Arleen Alleman’s A Current Deception-Darcy Farthing Adventures 5

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Alleman for the purpose of a fair and hones review.

Overview: Darcy Farthing is on a cruise along the coast of Australia. Her husband, her daughter along with her granddaughter, and her best friends– one traveling with her ex husband- are looking forward to a wedding. But, then crazy things start happening. Passengers are suffering from ant attacks. Crazy yellow ants, to be precise. Nothing worse could happen on this cruise, could it?

Story Telling: The byline may say otherwise but this is a mystery. As such, you can play catch the dirt bag.

Likes: Penelope is a great little girl, and seemed to be well protected.

Rachel also seemed to have a pleasant relationship with her biological mother and father.

Dislikes: Ms. Alleman’s political leanings for lack of a better description were almost overpowering. The case in point was the antagonist’s excuse for being a sociopath. I get it, there are horror stories surrounding the foster care system, but it is as near to insulting to claim that is because of that system that our antagonist became who or what he is. There are too many who have gone through that system and are now well adjusted, productive members of society.

Also, there were vast sections of information that both detracted from the story, and gave Ms. Alleman a chance to give her opinion on the history.

Why would any of Darcy’s traveling party go on another cruise after the last time they were on one? Some people just can’t take a hint.

Alice’s thinking seemed to be contradictory to my mind. You don’t claim your husband as the best thing to have ever happened to you, then see a porter as “sexy”?

Favorite Character: The most honorable character I could find was Captain Swenson. He just wanted the best for his passengers.

Favorite Quote: Honestly, I couldn’t find one.

Favorite Scene: This would be when Captain Swenson sees who is behind the attacks.

Conclusion: This is a book that will not be for everyone. If you are one who enjoys mysteries/adventures, you might give this one a go.