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News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Review of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption By J L Murphey

A Review of

Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

By J L Murphey

Here is another review and a further book that has taken me outside of my comfort zone. Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption is the very first zombie/horror story I have ever read and if this is the level of writing this subject achieves then I´ll be reading more. This wasn´t what I was expecting, yes you get the lurching walk, the hunger for warm human flesh and the other things associated with zombies but in this story you get a whole lot more. Donna Cairn, the central character is a research scientist in the field of genetics who converted from general medicine and is now devoting her life to finding a cure for Alzheimer´s disease. She lives (for the most part) and works along with her fellow doctors and scientists looking at cures for the world´s diseases in an unusual facility, a disused missile silo sold off by the government at the end of the cold war. Deep underground the silo becomes a safe haven as the zombie apocalypse takes hold. It starts slowly as dogs begin to attack the population, transmitting a virus which transforms the victims into the living dead. These attacks rapidly escalate until more than half of the world´s population is infected. Can Donna along with a fellow doctor, Kit Steger, find a cure for the incurable or will the earth turn into a human free zone populated only by the living dead?
There are numerous sub plots the main one featuring Hapgood´s theory of Earth Crust Displacement, which to you and me means the entire earth´s surface has been displaced around the globe´s central core. The setting of the story, near Omaha in Nebraska has moved and is virtually in the position of where the North Pole used to be. That means snow and ice, will that help or hinder the intrepid scientists?
I hugely enjoyed reading this book, it was a revelation. Well written with characters you can believe in and root for. I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wants to try a different genre. Whether or not it is zombie clich├ęd I have no idea, I just know it was a very good read and I look forward to reading more of J L Murphey´s work.
My rating 5 out of 5.

To buy and download a copy of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption and see other books by J L Murphey click here: J L Murphey

A Review of How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps By Tanya Provines

A Review of

How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps

By Tanya Provines

Commercial artist, illustrator, freelance author and licensed art teacher, Tanya Provines, has produced a whole series of books entitles How to Draw..........

At $0.99 a book these very simple guides to drawing various objects and animals represent excellent value for money in these austere times and are a great way of entertaining your kids and perhaps giving a helping hand to any budding artists out there. I´d recommend these books if you want to give your children´s artistic talents a boost.

Tanya is also a serious author and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

My rating 5 out of 5.

A Review of Shadows of Suspicion By Ashley Dawn

A Review of

Shadows of Suspicion

By Ashley Dawn

Another book and a different genre to get my head around; since starting booksandnovelstoread.com I´ve read a lot of unfamiliar genre and this is the first romance I´ve ever perused. Boy is it different to my usual type of book, that is thrillers if you don´t already know. I asked Sandra my wife and she confirmed that in most romances there is a lot of thinking going on. “Why has he said that?” “Why did she do that?” This goes on throughout the book. I´m more used to the thinking process being restricted to “Shall I kill him with a knife or a gun.” So once I´d gotten used to the thought process this story jogged along at a good pace. I suppose the yarn was written in the classic romantic style. Boy meets girl, they have many problems and then ...... I don´t want to spoil it for you.

The two protagonists (that´s the thriller side of me coming out) Kerry and Luke meet in extremely dangerous circumstances, she´s been kidnapped for reasons you´ll discover and he is sent to rescue her not realising that she is a feisty, independent woman and from there the story develops. At times I wanted to bang their two heads together as they made such hard work of falling in love, thinking too much for their own good. However the dialogue between the two of them is both realistic, funny at times, antagonistic at others, but always very well written. When God was mentioned early in the book I´ll admit I found it a bit off putting. I am not a religious person and feared He was going to be rammed down my throat but it turned out it was an extremely important and integral aspect of the story which didn´t actually spoil the narrative for me. You can believe in the characters, the book makes you want to know what is going to happen next and you find yourself rooting for them.

Ashley Dawn is a very talented writer. Shadows of Suspicion is an extremely good story which I admit I enjoyed immensely once I had overcome my trepidation of reading a romance. I read books and write reviews about them because authors have been kind enough to send me their works and I believe it is my duty to read every word. Some of the books I´ve reviewed have been very good but I can´t say I really enjoyed reading them. This was different; I ended up truly taking pleasure from this yarn which is a sign that the author knows how to write a good story.
I would thoroughly recommend Shadows of Suspicion to anybody and look forward to reading more books by Ashley.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Review of How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

A Review of

How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

By Tanya provines

Being a non believer I don´t know where to start with this book review. First I´ll say that the research Tanya has put into this work is awesome. I´m always staggered at the amount of research people go to in order to compile a work of this sort. Tanya obviously knows her Holy Bible, the King James Version as she continuously, throughout the book, references other scriptures to explain and amplify her message. Tanya states quite clearly.

“Studying the book of Revelation, the reader is lead to virtually every other book of the Bible. All that we need to know about God and about ourselves is in this book; past, present, and future.” Which to me is an extremely bold statement.

Now I´m aware that the Book of Revelations is an extremely important scripture, I know that many works of fiction use this book as a basis for their stories and for believers it can be the very basis of their belief. Tanya has taken the first three chapters of Revelation, perhaps the three that get passed over more quickly than the rest and carries out an in-depth exploration of their meaning. The Holy Bible is to my understanding not to be taken too literally and a great deal of thought is needed to fully comprehend what you are reading. Tanya´s work attempts to explain the first three chapters of the Book of Revelations and to a large extent I believe she achieves her aim. Using her insight as an artist and an accomplished word smith she wends her way through the chapters explaining and clarifying.

I feel however this is a book for a committed Christian to increase their depth of knowledge of the Book of Revelations rather than a work to convert the non believer. I wasn´t moved by the book no matter the high merit of the work. However I will still rate the book 5 out of 5 because I recognize the quality of the research, the quality of the writing and the belief and commitment that comes across in Tanya´s words.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Tanya is also an commercial artist and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

A Review of Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

A Review of

Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

By Clark Nielsen

A book about China, this should be fascinating and parts of it were, but it´s also about Clark's experience, or should I say lack of experience, teaching English in China. I nearly gave up on Yes China after the first three chapters. They are all about his time in the classroom and I´m afraid to say they were repetitive and dull. Clark then went onto tell the reader about life in China and the book suddenly got interesting.

Unfortunately between every interesting chapter is another about Clark´s life in the classroom. Okay I know the book's blurb clearly states "I was there to pretend like I knew how to teach," but you can have too much of a good thing and quite honestly every chapter about being in the teaching environment felt the same. The incidents might be different but as I progressed it just felt I'd read it all before. Now when Clark writes about his life in China and the people, then the interest level soars. From restrooms to food, travel to accommodation, Clark covers them all. He talks about the Chinese people and the huge cultural differences existing between them and the U.S. Towards the end of the book he even finds love, good reading as you will find out.

In the snippet from the blurb, above, you will also gather there is an attempt at humour. This went over my head, but that´s me. Humour is subjective and I'm sure many people would find Clark's writing hilarious.

The author is brutally honest about his feelings starting with his resignation from the Mormon Church to his thoughts about some of the kids he tries to teach English too. At times I found him embarrassingly open, revealing too much of himself, but you've got to admire somebody prepared to wear their heart on their sleeve in front of the reading public.

So, I found Yes China a very mixed bag of tricks, some very good and others to be honest, boring. I suppose I was disappointed it was not more of a travelogue, which just goes to show I could not have read the book's blurb properly. Having said all that I did enjoy parts of the book and am glad I read it. If you are at all interested in travel or China I believe you should give it a try even though I´ve not given the book a very good review.

If you would like to buy or download a copy of this book click here. Yes China

My rating 3 out of 5.

A Review of Healthy French Cuisine for less than $10 a day.

A Review of

Healthy French Cuisine for less than $10 a day.

By Chef Alain Braux C.E.P.C. C.M.B. B.S. Holistic Nutrition

Once again Chef Alain Braux has written a stunning book. More than just a cook book French Cuisine for less than $10 a day is a life style guide to help you save money, eat good tasty food but most of all to eat healthily.

Alain accepts that in today´s busy world it is not always easy to purchase, prepare and cook the foods necessary to promote a healthy life style but he makes suggestions on how you can ease into a system to transform your eating habits. He gives hints and tips on buying food, what to look out for in the various food shops you’ll come across and suggests bulk buying when possible. He explains various methods of cooking to keep the food you’ve purchased at its best and most nutritional and why certain cooking methods, deep fat frying, grilling etc, etc is bad for the food and ultimately bad for you.

Alain gives a lot of information about the food industry and the government´s part in that industry that will surprise and even shock you. He condemns all processed food because it reduces the nutritional value the processing causes. There are pages of other useful and interesting information surrounding every aspect of eating.
Eat fresh and organic should be Alain’s motto.

Finally there are of course pages of fine tasty recipes, simply explained so you can follow them with ease. We particularly enjoyed his Grilled Pork Chops in Mustard and Sage plus the Spicy Chicken with Basil, two fine recipes that tasted yummy and kept within the budget, you can’t say fairer than that.

My rating 5 stars out of 5.

Click here to go to Alain Braux's website

Books and Novels to Read.com is back!!!!

After problems with my ISP here in Spain, BNR is back on line, hooray.

Whilst offline I've reviewed half a dozen books and those reviews will follow shortly. I´ve also finished the new search facility on the website so you can now search by title and author as well as by genre. I am adding books from Smashwords to the search facility as we speak, but it takes time.

One last thing, have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. Let us all hope that the politicians who run this world get some devine inspiration and sort out the mess they got us into in the first place.

All the very best - Terry