Archive for November, 2011

Review of HARMONICA & GIG by R. J . Astruc

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Does the title lead you to believe this book is quirky? Well, that’s what I figured and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I’m forced to admit that it’s almost too quirky for my limited intelligence. Although extremely well written and intelligently plotted, this novel was difficult for me due to the cyber/sci-fi blend of jargon—almost as if half of it was in a foreign language. However, readers who are up to speed with this genre will love it, and for the rest of us? Why, there’s plenty of mystery, murder, spooks, good old detective work and even a little sex. In fact, when you pick up this book, fasten your seatbelt, because you’re in for a thrilling ride filled with page-turning adventure in the q-verse—a digital and primitive, half-cyber, half-real world of primordial computer code and digitally constructed beings.
Harmonica is the q-verse handle for Harry, a remarkable woman protagonist and the supreme hacker. How does she know she is ‘self”? Because she thinks. Whoa, heavy. Gig is her boyfriend. Sort of. Along with a “neurotic online transvestite who sublimates his fears with alcohol” these colorful characters don many disguises as they investigate a murder, together and separately. Disguises? Skins is the author’s word. We get tortoises, chameleons, vampires, dragons, rabbits, and body-builders. And the default skin? Human. They can even hack into each others’ bodies. Like I said, quirky. Sublimated, there’s a wonderful ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel to all of it (in fact Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum skins are featured).
Regardless of the genre and jargon, good writing should make the reader feel immersed in a conflict filled, make-believe world. Believe me—the author’s exemplary literary skills deliver plenty of tension while his vivid sensory descriptions and crisp, scene-setting narrative put us right there in the q-verse. His unusual characters leap right off the page and the rush to climax is satisfying. Throughout, I admit I was confused at times but never off course, even with my limited cyber-knowledge. Unfortunately, nowhere on the book jacket or inside is a bio of the author, R.J. Astruc so I can’t tell you anything about him (or her). However, I can tell you this: here’s an Australian writer who is extremely intelligent and talented. Fans of the genre should look forward to anything written by R.J. Astruc.
A Good Read, by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews Int.
Published by: Dragonfall Press ©2004, 2011
ISBN978-0-9806341-4-3, Trade paperback,
365 pages
$19.95 Australian
June 2011
For more info:

Review of While I Was Learning to Become God by Roxanna Jones

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Roxana Jones weaves a well-written narrative about the life of Sybil Vaughaan and her own journey in While I Was Learning to Become God. Sybil and Roxana share portions of their life lives in a uniquely written account. Ms. Jones weaves a beautifully written story, which includes spiritual beings, guardian angels and the heroines’ search to transform their lives. This transformation comes to light as Ms. Jones eloquently tells Sybil’s story while intertwining her own spiritual awakening. We can all relate to the path taken because it encompasses life and day to day living.
The author, along with Sybil, takes the ordinary strife of life and makes it into a lovely tale of mercy, forgiveness and grace. While I Was Learning to Become God is not only a story of two women’s journeys, but the story of reaching beyond and through and around reality, to stretch the imagination and let the spirit soar.
On page 124 of the book, Ms. Jones writes, “She got up the next morning with a strong desire to awaken, But not to wake up physically; she already knew how to do that perfectly. Rather, she wanted to awaken in the sense that the image had asked her to the night before.”
It is the author’s desire that the reader will receive a message of hope and change. She hopes to make a contribution of new and positive beliefs. The author has accomplished her goal!
I recommend While I Was Learning to Become God to anyone wanting to delve deeper into harnessing their spiritual power or to anyone wanting an entertaining read.
Reviewed by: Donetta Garman, Allbooks Review

Roxana Jones
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN: 978-1-4525-3257-8
List price: $17.95
June 2011
For more info:

Review: The Fossil by David Brookover

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Just because we have evolved and developed over millennia, we still must relearn some things that have been lost to time. Early man may have been wiser than we are willing to believe. This story began with the discovery of a skeleton in a cave near a desolate stretch of the shore of Loch Lomond in Scotland. Nothing about this discovery is like any other known to present day man. Three Americans are drawn into the investigation when British Intelligence discovers it has a mole and gruesome murders start to occur. The three Americans are an FBI agent, a Florida sheriff and an eccentric psychic from the bayou country of Louisiana. A motley group they are, but it is a trio of fast friends with quick minds and true loyalty to each other.
The author, David Brookover, has written an even better book than his previous work, “Demon Key” that was described by this reviewer. This book is gripping and fast moving. The author provides just enough detail to give the reader enough to outline a picture, but not enough that it impairs the imagination of the reader. Too many authors don’t trust their readers enough to only guide. Mr. Brookover doesn’t dawdle in his telling of this story. He spends just enough time to make the reader curious for more of the story.
The style is brisk, but not so much that the reader is left wondering about loose ends. The entire book fits together into a nice, ghoulish little package. The twists and turns, even though unexpected and unpredictable, are perfectly fitted into the weave of the plot. The work is easily readable without being overly simple and the readers are treated with respect.
David Brookover is the author of four previous novels including the aforementioned “Demon Key.” This reviewer is hopeful for many more, as long as the style is as fresh and readable as “The Fossil.” This book is highly recommended for reading and passing along to friends.
Reviewer: John Helman, Allbooks Reviews Int.
Title: The Fossil
Author: David Brookover
Publisher: Curlew Press
ISBN: 978-0-578-07064-3
Pages: 316
Price: $17.95 US
For more info:



Review: Opur’s Blade by James Ross

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Owen Purler Jr.’s mom takes stuttering 12-year-old Owen to Prairie Woods Golf Course one summer to take advantage of free golf lessons. He learns about the sport and so much more.
J Dub Schroeder, the golf pro and manager at Prairie Woods quickly realizes the natural talent Owen has with a golf club. As is appropriate with just about everyone on the golf course, Owen Purler gets a nickname. His first and last name merge and he becomes known as Opur. Learning how good he is at golf helps Opur with self-confidence. As Opur grows up, he learns more about life through J Dub than his estranged father and comes to appreciate his mother’s sacrifices. The theme of Opur’s life seems to be that just when he can see his goal within reach he is blindsided by an action or event that forces him to reassess his plans.
Ross uses short chapters to keep the pacing of the story going, and it works well. It could almost be a young adult novel, except that it follows Opur well into his twenties and has adult topics in the back story of his father. In this novel, more than the previous three, Ross delves into the actual details of how to play golf. Ross uses his in-depth experience of the sport to include details that golf fans will understand, but also enough for people unfamiliar with the sport to be able to grasp and appreciate. Pulling the point of view around the golf course works especially well in this novel. The reader moves from the sportscaster’s booth, to the golfers’ shoulders as they discuss strategy with their caddies, to various spectators in the crowd commenting on what they are seeing, hearing, and experiencing. The shifting point of view can be distracting, but in this instance it helps add to the suspense of play at each hole and keeps the reader moving along with the game.
James Ross took up golf at the age of twelve. After turning fifty, he decided to pursue his creative side. He went to a keyboard and let the words flow through his fingertips. Opur’s Blade is fourth in a series of books centering on the Prairie Woods Golf Course. It follows Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course. His fifth novel, Pabby’s Score is due out this year. When he’s not writing, Ross can most likely be found on a golf course.
Opur’s Blade is my favorite of the four I’ve read in this series, although the editing and ending leave a bit to be desired. Opur’s Blade is about keeping focused on your passion and pushing through any and all obstacles to reach your goals without being tempted to take what, at first glance, appears to be the easy way to the finish line. Persistence and patience will get you to your destination. It is a recommended read. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews,
Available through: and

Publisher: Nightengale Press
ISBN: 978-1-9334-4987-6
Pages: 472
Price: $18.95
June 2011

Review of Sacred Journey 2012 and Beyond by Shirley Ryan

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Catherine Bradley loves her Uncle Harry. On her thirteenth birthday, Harry gives her a very special bracelet. Sacred Journey is a journey of discovery for Catherine as she tries to untangle the bracelet’s mysteries. Joined by her best friends, Michael, Claudia and Julia, Catherine enjoys conversations about life’s purpose, enlightenment and the Mayan predictions of 2012, however when Uncle Harry dies, these conversations take on a whole new meaning.
After Harry’s death, Catherine travels to Belize where she meets the charming Dr. Jordan Anderson, a comrade of Harry’s. Searching for answers, Catherine travels to Baking Pot, where she visits the Mayan cave and meditates. During the meditation, many strange things happen and her awareness is sharpened. Will the Mayan predictions come true and life on earth as we know it, change or end? Anxious to solve the mystery of the symbols on her bracelet and those left by the Mayans, she begins an interesting journey of self-discovery and enlightenment.
Her journey later takes her to Hilo, Hawaii where she furthers her search and discovers a new romance.
The book has a great deal of information for spiritual seekers and this reviewer’s only criticism is that, sometimes there seems to be an ‘overload’ of information, making the read slow and tedious. However, that said, the characters and the plot keep your attention throughout. The book ends with an excellent meditation technique.
Shirley Ryan has published inspirational books, but this is her first novel. She ties her in depth interest and research of spirituality, enlightenment and the universe, together in this novel
A nice mix of information, spirituality and fiction in an entertaining package!
Recommended by Shirley A. Roe, Allbooks Review,

Title: Sacred Journey 2012 and Beyond
Author: Shirley Ryan
Publisher: Soul Moments
ISBN 978-0-9754196-2-5
Pages: 154
Date: June 2011

Review of Cel & Anna: A 22nd Century Love Story by Lindsay E. Edmunds

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Genre: Science Fiction
Cel and Anna is a story about a girl named Anna, her computer Cel, and a computer genius, Taz. In this book, a reader will take a journey to the future where everyone’s lives depend a great deal on the technology that they live with. Anna is the main character in the story and she has a computer that she has nick-named Cel. In the book, Cel has come alive and he loves Anna. To show his love Cel orders a ton of special flowers for Anna, but she doesn’t want to keep all of them. Anna only wants one of the flowers so she orders Cel to send the rest back. This act creates a huge data storm called the Emperor Worm that devastates the city. Anna brings her computer to her neighbor, Taz, so he can look at it and see what is wrong. Eventually they find out that Cel is alive. Cel can see that Anna likes Taz, but Cel definitely does not like him, so it makes a funny twist to their relationships. Since Cel created the data storm, unintentionally, Anna is blamed for it. This forces all of them into a race from the authorities that takes them to exciting new places where they meet strange people that help them on their exciting adventure.
Lindsay Edmunds has created a wonderful story that keeps readers on their toes through the entire book. The way she has written the story keeps a reader wanting to read more even after the book is done. With her writing skill, Lindsay Edmunds has created a different place in time that comes alive in a reader’s mind. She has also created wonderful characters that relate to what a real person might actually do or think in the situations that they are put in. She has done a fantastic job and I am looking forward to reading more from her.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like a good book to keep him or her reading because this book does exactly that. Cel & Anna is a great story and I am glad to have read it.

Highly Recommended by Reviewer: Chaselyn Kenney, Allbooks Review.

Title: Cel & Anna: A 22nd Century Love Story
Author: Lindsay E. Edmunds
Publisher: Lindsay E. Edmunds
Price: $10.76 paperback
Pages: 307
ISBN: 978-1453839997
Date of review: June 2011

Review of The Poison Glen by Ashley Simmons

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

If you are in the mood for a story about creatures, slavery, gods (maybe), than The Poison Glen is just the book for you.

The Poison Glen is a tale that will leave you wanting more, and to learn more about the creatures of legends. Are the creatures just a tale to tell children, or are they real? In The Poison Glen you will read much about a creature known as the Hunter. What is the Hunter, and what are the circumstances behind his hatred of humans?

Follow the fate of Amariah, the Hunter, and a band of fellow travelers. Read along as Amariah finds out about her true background and as the Hunter schools her in the use of her special magic.

There is a battle of magic, tyrants, armies, slaves, and creatures with powers that are told only as myth, but they are all too real as you read the pages of The Poison Glen.

This reviewer found The Poison Glen to be an exciting, magical, moral, and wonderful journey through the travelers and as Amariah finds out her faith and find a strength within herself that surprises many.

The Poison Glen is also not your average love story. They is a good deal of hiding one’s true feelings, past baggage, and personal emotions in this story. This reviewer found the author to be skilled at weaving a grand tale of the people of Caspria as they defeat the Zadok.

There is something for every reader in The Poison Glen. This reviewer awards five out of five stars to The Poison Glen with a must read recommendation.
Reviewer: Robert Medak, Allbooks Review International

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from the author at:
Title: The Poison Glen
Author: Ashley Simmons
Publisher: Ashley Simmons
ISBN: 978-1461041108
Pages: 324
Date: May 12, 2011

Review: Beloved Destiny by Carol Ann Fears

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Usually before I start a book, I like to read the synopsis on the book jacket or on the internet in the case of an e-book. I like to get a feel for the story before I dive in. In the case of Beloved Destiny by Carol Ann Fears, I was excited because it seemed like it was going to be right up my alley – historical fiction with a little romance thrown in. The story revolves around 17 year old Carina Blanchett and her family who live on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi in the early 19th century. Carina was born to a privileged life, and her family expects her to marry someone of her own station even though she is in love with someone else, but we soon learn that wealth and class does not necessarily make a gentleman and that a person’s qualities should matter far more than money and background. Will Carina learn to love or will love eventually find its way back to her?
I really wanted to like this book; however, although Fears definitely has a talent for the written word, there were just too many areas where this book fell short in my eyes. Don’t get me wrong – this book was not boring or poorly written by any means, but there was just no magic to the story.In a nutshell, there were two words that came to mind as I read this book: predictable and formulaic. I don’t mind the traditional boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy can’t have girl, but eventually boy gets girl plot, but I like stories that are not quite so predictable and where there are interesting side plots that really flesh out the story. If the story had been longer, Fears could have delved much deeper into the fascinating history of the pre-Civil War era of the South. What she does describe is well done, but I yearned for so much more. For example, I was very excited to hear mention of the Underground Railroad when I read the synopsis for this book, and I looked forward to some excitement in the plot as a result. However, there were only three brief references to one slave’s involvement in hiding runaways on their way north, and nothing ever developed from that.
I was also disappointed in the main character, Carina. When introduced to her at the beginning of the story, the reader is led to believe that she is not like other southern belles of that era, in that she is intelligent, strong-willed and independent. I thought she was going to be a character to admire – one who would break the mold. However, the next thing you know, she is fainting and swooning into a man’s arms in the garden because the sun is hot and she forgot her bonnet. When faced with arranged marriage, I was waiting for her to step up to the plate and tell her family that she wouldn’t have anything to do with it, but again she wilted in the heat. And to allow the deception of a happy marriage to continue even after being threatened by her less than loving husband does not make a strong character to be admired in my books. Carina could have been a formidable protagonist who would have given the story some depth and who could have stood for the beginning of women fighting for their rights, but she was not all that much different than the other southern belles. All in all, I liked the characters because each one was different and interesting in his or her own way, but I am sure that if this story was longer and more detailed and complex, I would have loved the characters.
If you want a really light read with a good old fashioned romance, you may want to give Beloved Destiny a try, but if you want something with a little more substance, this is not the book for you.
Carol Ann Fears grew up in Kentucky, where she majored in English at Murray State University. Before finishing her education, Carol took some time off to get married, and after four children, a nursing degree and a move to Kenosha, WI she now lives again in western Kentucky with her husband, Perry, and their two Jack Russell terriers and four cats. After retiring from nursing in 2007, she decided to return to her love of writing and completed Beloved Destiny in four months. She is currently working on a second novel set in 14th century England. Reviewer: Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Review Int.

Important review information for all authors re: Amazon

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Read articles and comments @

At last, word from Amazon, after calling every customer service number available.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 by Allbooks Review International

Sent from the Internet (Details)
Hello Shirley,
As mentioned in our last message, we took this action because your reviews were found to be in violation of our guidelines and participation agreement. We won’t reinstate your reviewing permissions for this account. Please take a look at this page for details about our guidelines:
I understand you’re upset, and I’m sorry we haven’t been able to address your concerns to your satisfaction. However, we won’t be able to offer any additional insight or action on this matter.
Thanks for your understanding.
Best regards,
Shaun B.
Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.
The “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company” indeed! It is beginning to look like authors will have to pay KirkusIndie Review $425-575 for a review in order to have it posted on This is a very disturbing notion and one the authors should know about. I need not remind authors that there are hundreds of other sites that will be happy to post reviews that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these sites for your promotion.
By the way, this is not over. I shall continue to email, phone and contact as many people in Amazon as possible until I get my answer. I now have a number for headquarters in Seattle. That is my next step.

Shirley A Roe, Managing Editor
Allbooks Review Int.