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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

July 2013

Review: Life’s Blood by Gordon Gumpertz – FIVE Stars

life's blood
Click to purchase this book. You really should. I mean it!

Swenson’s Law:  To avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.

 Any future scenario involving the continuing indulgence or coddling of fossil fuel interests is delusional.  M. King Hubbert ‘Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels” [1]

Suggesting that a reduction of the addiction to oil is cost-effective is cute. What is the difficulty with recognizing that nature no longer gives us a choice in the matter? [Editor]

Set America Free: A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security, from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) [2004 September 27][2]

As long as SEC regulations inhibit IOCs from reporting 2P reserves, and as long as OPEC quotas prevent members from accurately reporting reserves, reserves data will be flawed. Proved reserves are financial (SEC) or political (OPEC) data and should not be aggregated or used in forecasts about the future. Only proven plus probable estimates should be used and only annual production of mature fields is required for a good estimate of reserves, irrespective of all published estimates. Every country should release complete historical field annual production and most disagreements on reserves will disappear for those ready to plot the decline and to extrapolate it. Unfortunately it does not work well when field production is constrained by OPEC quotas or investment. But now quotas are less and less followed and investments are plenty from IOCs for countries which do not deny signed agreements as Venezuela, Bolivia and Russia.” Jean Laherrère [Petroleum Africa, 2007][3]

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I admit it. I am using footnotes in my book review. How geeky is that? However, this book deserves the footnotes, and so much more. Because once read, even though it is a fiction book, I cannot see anyone on this planet not wanting to learn more about oil reserves, and the quickly diminishing worldwide oil supply. As I told a friend back when the financial crisis was in full swing, “weasels are running the chicken ranch and all us hens are pecking around ignoring the huge chunks of sky that are raining down around us.” In this instance money, greed and power are the same principles (if principles is really the word to be used here – the people involved have no principles.) And the outcome on the horizon is horrifying.

This book is a thriller, and a very well written one at that. Set in present time, and taking into account what must have been an amazing amount of research on the author’s part, Life’s Blood is also a horror tale – an unimaginable tale of where we are going from here in regards to world finance and the swiftly approaching time when oil reserves are a thing of the past – when the world will have to grow up, open their eyes, and realize that through our own greed and thoughtlessness, our own purposeful ignorance, and the greed of a few powerful men, we are looking at a crisis of global proportions with no answer in sight.

Set through the eyes of two CIA R&D agents, the story delves into the misreporting of oil reserves by a small group of controlling parties intent on stockpiling billions of dollars of personal wealth – then getting while the getting is good, before the world economy collapses like a tissue paper balloon as oil supplies run out. And when the supply runs out? The Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff, the largest financial fraud in U.S. history and the lynchpin for the market collapse that destroyed so many lives and fortunes around the world will seem as a time of growth and prosperity.

It is always hard to write a review about a book that hits me so hard on a visceral level. I want to talk on and on about why it engrossed me so, what parts I loved, what parts terrified me the most. I am always afraid I will get caught up in the review; I will give it all away. This is definitely one of those books. The characters are highly believable, as is the action in the book. The characters are far from perfect, which makes it highly believable. Toward the end I wanted to throttle one of the “good guy” characters myself, as he was acting pretty much like an idiot. But even that was interesting, and led depth to the character.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Gumpertz has written a book of depth and knowledge in a fictional manner which grasps the reader, pulls you in, and offers a view of a world on the teetering edge of calamity, in a sci-fi style that kept me awake through the night and into the afternoon as I focused up his work to the exclusion of all else. Buy it. Read it. Pay attention to it. It will change your world.

Highly Recommended.

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[3] What’s Wrong with Reserves? by Jean Laherrere 14 March 2007

Review: Beneath The Veil – by William McNally

Don’t cry, I’m sorry to have deceived you so much, but that’s how life is.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

 I never realized before there were so many ways to die. So many ways to kill people. Why are there so many deadly weapons?

Clapp rubbed his lip and looked down at her. “Listen, Miss Gilbert. I’ve come to figure that man is the only deadly weapon. Take a gun. It’s an absolutely harmless thing—even makes a good honest paperweight—until some man gets his hands around it. You can strip a gun down to its basic parts and it’s lost its power. You can reduce a man to his chemical elements, but you’ve always got the spirit of whatever you call it left. And that spirit will find some damned way to do evil.
Wade Miller, Deadly weapon

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Beneath the Veil Cover
Click cover for the GoodReads page.

There are secrets. Secrets hidden between the darkness of the world and the darkness of the human soul Secrets wander amongst the lost, where only the dead are truly free. Secrets live within the darkness, sucking away the human soul, leaving a shell of nothing but horror.

Barry Ryan is learning about secrets. His personal secret, that he is dying of an inherited disease. The bigger secret, hidden under layers of history, that there is something strange, very strange, about his family and where he came from. An adopted child, Barry has done well in his life. A famous sculptor, Barry has friends, a career, and an adoptive family that loves him. But with only a familial match capable of giving him the marrow transplant he needs to survive, Barry must return to his roots, return to the shadows of the past – the shadows and secrets of a place called Auraria.

With his sister, and her boyfriend, Barry begins his trip to Auraria. And thus begins a trip to Hell. But a Hell of whose creation? Layers of lies and superstition and death fill the pages of “Beneath the Veil.” I was immediately drawn into the story, as reality becomes merely a memory. As truth and physics and geography twist and turn upon themselves, into a horror no longer dreamed, but lived.

The story itself was well written and convincingly frightening. The characters themselves are believable, though they could have been a bit better ‘fleshed out’ in my opinion, though some would say that doing so would cause the story to drag a bit. To each their own.  The author doesn’t lead you by the hand through the book, you must come to some of your own conclusions, and this is not a book tied up in a tidy little bow at the end. It is, however, extremely creative, and, for a horror novel, ended in a deeply thoughtful manner. Overall, I found there were some small missteps, but I am quite comfortable with my rating. If you are a lover of horror, mystery, or thrilling ghost stories, this is most certainly going to interest you.

Recommended.

Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

rogue
Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:

DANGER

Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

I Knit While I Read

I admit it. I am one of those crazy people who can’t function unless I am doing something with my hands.It used to be, when I only read print editions of books, that I had to figure out a way to hold my books, turn pages, and knit or quilt at the same time. Now, with my Kindle and Nook (yes, I have both, what can I say?) I can prop up the book and knit at the same time. How cool is that!

Plymouth Yarn Company has new Encore line colours out that are NEON!

NEW 476NEW 477NEW 478NEW 479

I bought the yellow, green and pink (and wish I had bought the orange, but my budget is sooo tight) and paired it with the 0848-Navy Blue.

06110848

I am making the Infant size Einstein Coat, better known as the Baby Albert, from Sally Melville’s The Knitting Experience Book 1:The Knit Stitch, Inspiration and Instruction.

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einstein coatThanks to Kaleidoscope Yarns in Vermont for the photo of a completed child size sample of the Einstein Coat. The coat I am making is the Baby Albert Coat, the infant size. As you can imagine, mine is going to be quite a bit different!

IMGP1653 IMGP1652

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stripes of the completed portion are for the bottom portion (running up-and-down). The top portion and sleeves are sketched out, and will be quite fun, I think! Hang in for a look at it as it goes along! I will sell it when it is done (one can always hope!) on my Etsy page.

My Etsy Banner.
Cick to go to my Etsy Page!

The tea cozy is me grabbing bits and pieces of fiber out of my ‘leftovers’ pile, spinning them up,then plying them into a two-ply, nubby yarn, then knitting them together. The top is simply a heavy piece of left over yarn woven into the top and pulled tight.  Boom! My take on one of Loani Prior’s ‘knit-flat’ tea cozies from Wild Tea Cozies and Really Wild Tea Cozies.wild

really wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jester Thanks to Morgan at Morganised Chaos in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia for the photo of her Jester Tea Cosy. I am working on mine from bits and pieces of Noro Worsted Weight yarn. When it is done, I will post here.

 

 

 

And yes, before you ask, I am as scatter-brained about my knitting as I am about everything else! I have more UFO’s, both knit, quilt, and stained glass, than I like to admit!

The Heather Hoodie is almost done, I am just getting ready to put the button band on, but it has been so hot, and by now the flippin’ thing is so heavy and hot to work on, that it is in a drawer until the weather cools down! Will post a photo when I pull it out again……..

Left out my friend Maria Schneider!

I had thought that I caught all of my “To Be Read” in my last post, but apparently, I am still backsliding!

maria
Click the bear for Maria’s Website.

Maria Schneider at Bear Mountain Books has three books out that you really should check out. Their Good Reads Pages are just a click away – click the covers!

under witch moon
Click for the Under Witch Moon GoodReads Page!
under witch aura
Click for the Under Witch Aura GoodReads Page!
under witch curse
Click for the Under Witch Curse GoodReads Page!

 

What I am up to this weekend!

WOW! I hadn’t realized how far behind I have gotten on my R4R!

I have had proofreading jobs, which is usually not all that complicated. However, I am also doing research for an author in London, and for a screenwriter on technical issues, so I have been treading water like mad trying to keep up with everything. As I have really had to concentrate on income producing (don’t we all?!) sad to say, my R4R has fallen drastically behind! I didn’t realize how much until I started working on this new post. However, I am caught up with what I was doing, and have started R4R again. As always, paid jobs have to take a lot of my time, but I am determined to work through the bulk of my list by August 1, so, here goes!

For those authors whom I have neglected, all I can do is say I apologize for lagging behind, but eating and paying the mortgage has been tough lately, I hope you understand! I have a spreadsheet which lists the review requests, in order of receipt. Orders for publishing companies, sad to say, are required to be completed within two weeks or I lose my contracts, so those take precedence. For now, this is my schedule as I see it for the next few weeks. Ceri, you get first call!

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NOTE:  If you sent me a request and it is NOT LISTED HERE – please e-mail me right away! I changed e-mail servers, and though I tried my best to catch everything, nobody is perfect. I don’t want to leave you out.

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The oldest review requests are done and on my site. I have reviews that are waiting for acceptance through Bookplex so they will hopefully post soon.

Today, I am reading Ceri London’s Rogue Genesis (Shimmer In The Dark)

rogue
Click for Ceri London’s GoodReads site!

Then next in my Read For Review file are:

Forbes West: Nighthawks at the Mission

nighthawks cover
Click for Forbes’ GoodReads page.

 

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Arisen: Book 1 Fortress Britain by Glynn James and Michael Stephen Fuchs

arisen

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The Descent Series by S. M. Reine

descent series
Click for S.M. Reine’s The Descent Series at GoodReads! Go to Amazon for a free Descent Series Kindle Download! http://alturl.com/whh2k

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Sara just sent me Sacrificed in Shadow: The Ascension Series #1 also!

Sacrificed in Shadow

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On hold for review approval from The Bookplex:  Gordon Gumpertz:  Life’s Blood (a REALLY great book! No cover available at this time per contract) and;

Beneath The Veil by William McNally

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Just received from NetGallery:

Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion and The Cowboy Imports A Bride by Cora Seton

cowboy imports
Click cover for GoodReads Page
of The Cowboy Imports A Bride
saxon's bane
Click cover for GoodReads page of Saxon’s Bane!

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Just received from Author Alliance: Kelly Graham Eyes Of The Many

eyes of the many
Click for the Eyes Of The Many GoodReads Site!

Review: There’s Only Been You – Donna Marie Rogers

there'sFirst, I have an admission to make. At first, I was not a fan of this particular work. It punched several of my hot buttons, and not in a good way. But then, books have always been the way I approach, observe and comprehend life. And sometimes, what I read reflects back and shines light into the darkest areas of my soul.

Wow. Did I just say that? Well, yes I did. Pretty deep for a light romantic novel, wouldn’t you say? But again, Donna has touched on a lot of issues in this little volume that are important. The ideas of betrayal and lies, forgiveness, hope and trust. And trust is one thing that simply isn’t in my particular collection of personality traits. So seeing it laid out there, in the manner in which she does, really shook me to the core. I would have never of been as open and trusting as Sara was with her precious son, but Donna handles it in am amazingly even-handed way.

The mystery/suspense portion of the book was well written, though the realism was somewhat missing for me. But then, with my knowledge of police work, I can’t hold that over her head. Not everyone has that experience. But what she did write added a fun twist to the storyline.

Overall, Donna did a good job, and helped me reconsider some things. Oh, I won’t turn into the Princess of Trust any time soon, but I did get her point, and I wound up enjoying the book during a second reading, so it’s all good.

Review: Laid Bear By Marina Maddix

laid bearThe female lead in Laid Bear, Bethany, is someone I immediately felt bonded with. A tall, “big” woman Bethany has friends and family who love her, and a ‘good enough job, but she still feels a crushing insecurity about her size. That insecurity leads her to make bad choices in men, and to blow off the encouragement of her friends who try to tell her that, instead of being unappealing, her curves actually are both lush and desirable.

Her problems with her self-esteem aren’t helped by the new landlord who buys the duplex she lives in. She could move, but the woods behind her house are her safe place, the place where she walks and sits and listens to the birds. A place she loves. So, in spite of her nasty landlord, Bethany hangs in there.

Then, one day, her new ‘duplex-neighbor’ moves in. And is her neighbor ever H.O.T. Oh, yea, baby, the man is a hunk. And what happens after that is a cute story of a woman coming out of her shell, betrayal, adversity, and lots and lots of good friends being just what good friends should be.

I actually would have loved more story to the story, if you get my meaning. At 176 pages, the book was pretty standard for this type of light tale, but the characters were likable enough that I would have loved to have learned more about them. I would even say that I would be pleased to see another volume with these characters. Especially with the ending few pages opening up doorways that could very well lead to new places.

Overall, if you are looking for a nice, enjoyable read, a bit of spice without going overboard, and an interesting group of characters, you can’t go wrong picking up this book.

Recommended for lovers of cozies, shifter fantasy and books that don’t encourage the idea that the only way to be lovable is to be a size two!

Playing Catch-up!

peanut and leiahI am going to be closing to all new reviews for the rest of the month. I have several books to review right now, and If I want to give the same good service that you are used to seeing from me, I absolutely need to stop taking new jobs so that I can complete the ones I have on my schedule at this time.

As soon as I am caught up, I will let everyone know!

MANY MANY THANKS to everyone who trusts me with their books!

Best,

Leiah

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