So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff


May 2015

Gardening, but here is a funny for you to enjoy Disclosure: I picked this up on Booklikes from Paul Read or Dead. I know it has been floating around out there, but it never fails to make me laugh, so I am sharing it today then going back out to work in the yard!

Review: Path of the Horseman by Amy Braun

25212843“Poor Humanity, crazed with fear, was fleeing in all directions on hearing the thundering pace of the Plague, War, Hunger and Death.” ― Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

“Amazing inventions, colossal failures, and countless wars. We watched it behind the scenes. Watched the monkeys from beyond the glass. We were intrigued, Hell was amused, and Heaven was losing patience.
Finally, the monkeys threw too much shit on the windows. They sparked a third World War, one that the Big Boss upstairs knew would obliterate the world.
So he sent us instead. We were much more effective. We were much more eager.” –
Avery, The Rider Pestilence

It’s all great fun, clearing the world’s population for the “Next Coming”. But when the Coming doesn’t Come, what are the Four Horsemen to do with the rest of their human-ish lives? Stuck in the hell of their own creation, life decays to warding off the Plagued, those left over from Avery’s clever little specialty, and the Soulless, those left after trading their souls to the devil to live (and how is that working out for you?) This whole “life as a nearly-full-human is a pain in the proverbial backside. Especially when Simon’s specialty dried up all the water and poisoned all the food. Sucks when you got stuck the aforementioned human-ish body when you were dropped onto an unsuspecting world to do your worst. And then there are the demons.

After killing every human on the planet– or so we thought– our job became kill the demons and the Soulless. The Second Coming didn’t belong to those power-hungry freeloaders.

They showed up out of the blue within the first week, right around the time Simon started starving people. They had probably showed up earlier, but I didn’t think they would be an issue. It wasn’t like we had to worry about Lucifer or Azazel or Abbadon. From what the Bosses Upstairs told us, Hell’s Biggest Badasses were constantly at war.

OK, so that whole “The Second Coming apparently isn’t coming” thing is a total downer. As Avery puts it, “Simon will probably die of starvation, Kade will burn himself out, and Logan will be the last man on earth before he commits suicide.” Kade, the specialist in all things warrior, so he amuses himself with killing off the leftovers for fun. Logan? Well, he really didn’t do all that much. Just carried out his orders. But he really, truly, hated his job. Logan’s job, you see, required the personal touch – not simply throwing out plagues and rotting food. He saw them all. Touched them all. Unlike his brothers, who got a huge kick out of playing with their toys, killing from a distance. Well, until it was over, and there was no flourish of trumpets, white carriages from the sky and blessed lights.

Well. That sucked.

What didn’t suck? There were actual living, breathing people still alive on earth. Not many, and mostly starving, but they were there. And Avery would be damned (har har) if he allowed the demons to take their souls. That whole ‘guilt’ thing is hard on the soul – especially if you are the one responsible for the death of a whole world. Of course, it could have been the little boy eating his parents alive that really twisted the knife. So, when seven people in a beat-up old school bus appear one day, survivors of the Tribulations, Avery is thrilled. If the assholes Upstairs couldn’t be bothered with a Second Coming, maybe the Horsemen might pick up the slack?

“Running like this makes me feel like an animal. We’re stuck in a world of monsters we can barely fight, and can only kill if we’re extremely lucky. If we don’t stop and find a place to restart and remember what we are, then we’re no better than the creatures trying to eat us.”

Path of the Horseman is a truly amazing book. This is, and yet isn’t, a dystopian book. It is more than that. It brings up questions of redemption and hope, of horrors and fresh beginnings. Of what it is like to know that you are the last few on the face of the earth, and only those who destroyed the world may be able to save you. It is a thoughtful book – it took me quite a while to read it, as I kept putting it down and actually taking time to think about what I had read. It wasn’t a book, like so many, that I devour in one gulp. Instead, I truly considered everything – not only about the book itself, but what it meant to me, as a human. It was marvelous.

I received Path of the Horseman from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. I highly encourage you to pick it up if you are in the market for a serious, thoughtful book filled with ideas that are incredibly pertinent to today.

Review: Roaring For Him by Celia Kyle

Click to buy. Do it now. You know you want to. . .

Once Upon A Time, there was a cruel, heartless woman who had three sweet, beautiful little girls, all by different fathers. Tilly, a were lion, Liv, a were tiger, and Phee, a were bear. The evil woman left the two baby girls in Tilly’s care when Tilly was still very young, going off for day to drink and party, leaving the girls always hungry, often cold, and very much alone. With three growing, hungry were tummies to fill, brave Tilly quit school to work 18 and 20 hour days at two jobs, one in a stop-and-rob and one as a waitress. The days and nights were long and hard, leaving Tilly exhausted, constantly worried, and all three often hungry and destitute when the wicked woman snuck back around to their rusted out, leaky hovel in a tacky trailer park and stole all of the little family’s meager food and money. Then, when Tilly turned eighteen, the monster came back around again, signing the care of the two youngest over to Tilly, giving her all the responsibility for her baby sisters care. As if she didn’t have that already. . . at least now, it was legal, and family services couldn’t come around and separate the three girls. Who else would want the responsibility of raising two little half-were girls but their loving older sister who would do anything to keep her little family together? Then, something horrific happened – but out of horror came a bit of money, and the girls moved to the tiny were town of Wilder, where they should have been safe. But Still, the wicked, wicked woman snuck back around, stealing the food from her daughter’s mouths and the rent money from Tilly’s pockets. Then, something happens at the bakery Tilly worked so hard to build all on her own, to feed her little family and keep them safe . . .

Dear Ms. Kyle,

I want to hug you and squeeze you and bake you chocolate cakes and cookies and tell you every day how much I appreciate this book. You brave woman. You ripped the “mommies are all sugar and spice and everything nice” blinders off and told it like it is – and, well, see the whole hug you and squeeze you thing above. Tilly, Liv and Phee are wonderful characters, having to learn early on the only way to thrive is by loving and supporting one another. Each of the girls have their own issues with the creatures who share their skins, each suffers in their own way from the abuse and abandonment of the woman who donated half their DNA and makes their lives so filled with the silence of the other shoe waiting to drop. And each is a strong and well-crafted character, damaged yes, but unbroken. You are, indeed, awesomesauce!!

This is, of course, a paranormal romance in Ms. Kyle’s signature style. She writes PR stories that have actual stories to them – stories of pain and fear, jealousy and bigotry, violence – and tons of compassion. And some really squishy sex scenes. Oh, and lots of F-bombs, so if you are one of those who gets their panties in a twist over these things? Well, skip this book and forgo the sanctimonious, preachy one-star reviews. This book isn’t for you. It is for those of us who like all the things Ms. Kyle is famous for and does so very well. I, for one, am giving it ten-stars (OK, OK, sites only allow five stars, but it is the thought that counts, right?) Ms. Kyle’s brave rendition of what more families than anyone likes to admit are really like gains her my respect and thanks. Of course, the hottie-hottness was a bonus as well (grin.)

I received this book directly from Ms. Kyle in exchange for a realistic review. Realistically? I will go back and read it again and again. It has a permanent place in my “read on a rainy day” shelf!

smiling gray boxer pup

Review: Murder Over Kodiak by Robin Barefield

25368273“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. — John Muir

Alaska is what happens when Willy Wonka and the witch from Hansel and Gretel elope, buy a place together upstate, renounce their sweet teeth, and turn into health fanatics. — Sloane Crosley

I love Alaskan mystery/suspense/adventure tales. There is just something about the landscape, the breathtaking beauty, and unusual characters that calls out to the wannabe homesteader in my soul. The person who could be perfectly happy in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by beauty on all sides, wild creatures, the scent of spruce, cedar and pine, the sound of an eagle’s cry.

Of course, the whole, “damn it’s COLD!”, the snow higher than the eves, and the mosquitoes larger than 747’s, and the idea of breaking a leg and being eaten by bears in the woods is rather off-putting . . . Grin. But I can still get a vicarious thrill from authors like the marvelous Dana Stabenow. And now, Robin L. Barefield. Ms. Barefield’s Murder Over Kodiak” is her second book, and it holds great promise as a new series for my lists.

There is much to recommend Murder Over Kodiak, and not just my rather obsessive love of Alaskan fiction. Dr. Jane Marcus is a research biologist posted to Kodiak Island. Located off the south coast of Alaska, separated from the mainland by the Shelikof Strait, Kodiak is the largest island in the Kodiak Archipelago. Isolated, often cut off from the continent by fog and vicious storms, Kodiak is a quiet island of oddballs and academics, rather boring but for the gossip. Until, that is, things start to fall apart.

Three people have died from PSP, paralytic shellfish poisoning, a saxitoxin found in shellfish, one of the more popular foodstuffs on the island. As a biologist for The Kodiak Braxton Marine Biology and Fisheries Research Center, it is Jane’s job to not only help develop a test for PSP that can be easily administered by those who dig shellfish for their dinner, but to identify the strain of toxin that killed the victims. When Jane sends Craig, her student and assistant, on his first solo trip to gather shellfish for testing she isn’t worried. Craig is methodical, cautious, and knowledgeable about the dangers inherent in the wilds of the island. Bears and poisonous plants abound, but Craig is more than competent. He can handle anything.

Anything, but the bombing of the airplane he shares with an oddly assorted cast of characters. Though Craig hasn’t an enemy in the world, all of the others, including the pilot, have their own set of enemies, any of which could make them the target for a devastating bomb. A much hated corporate raider, known for destroying companies and their owners. His Senator wife, involved in a hard fought reelection campaign with a possible Mexican drug cartel puppet. The much hated Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge manager, bullying others about the rules of the park but breaking them continuously for his own aggrandizement with his political cronies. And a local cannery owner whose bitter wife may or may not be involved. Then there is poor Bill, the sweet young pilot, whose ‘girlfriend’ is the epitome of a disturbed teenage girl. Any could be the target of  the bomb. But who was its intended target?

Things get even more ‘interesting’ in the Chinese manner as Jane’s life is threatened, the press arrives in a voracious hoard, and the suspect list grows. From the decidedly self-centred son of the Senator to possible Mexican cartel hitters, the terror cranks up to an unexpected, highly appealing climax.   Barefield uses her knowledge of Kodiak, its people, the ‘Alaskan Mindset’ and the ecology and weather of the island to create a beautifully crafted, and unexpected, novel.

The only thing that really bothered me about the novel, as with so many other self-published books, is the lack of editorial oversight. I am perfectly capable of immersing myself in novels, losing all sense of time. However, though it seems a small thing, improper adverb placement was completely distracting, bringing me crashing out of the story in irritation every few pages. Another issue I often see? Relying on spell check. It is a tool, much like a wrench or a screwdriver. It relies upon the wielder to utilize it correctly. Ms. Barefield could have paid a bit more attention. A few other issues, but minor.

Even given the editorial issues, this book touched the aspiring Alaskan in my soul. I will be reading the first book by Ms. Barefield when I can, and will watch for others by her. If you want to learn more about Kodiak and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuse, visit Ms. Barefield here.

I received “Murder Over Kodiak” from StoryCartel in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

DSC_3769I live an incredible life in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.  I hope to share my life with you and talk about Kodiak wildlife and the beautiful, and sometimes challenging, environment in which I live.

I have a master’s degree in fish and wildlife biology and have worked the last 30 years as a wildlife-viewing guide on Kodiak Island.  I am currently writing a book about the wildlife of Kodiak Island, so many of my blog posts will be dedicated to wildlife facts and news.

My husband and I own and operate Munsey’s Bear Camp, a hunting, fishing, and wildlife-viewing lodge.  It is a small lodge, and we only accommodate six people at a time, but these small groups are perfect for viewing wildlife, especially when we hike up a stream and sit quietly on the bank watching Kodiak bears chase and catch salmon.

Our lodge is our home, where we live year-round with our two cats.  We experience the breath-taking beauty of a sunset on a perfect July evening, and the raging 100 mph winds of a stormy January afternoon.

Wildlife biology is my first passion, and my second is writing mysteries.  The first rule of living in the wilderness is to embrace solitude and solitary endeavors.  Writing is the most solitary of endeavors, so it is perfect for me.  Mysteries are what I like to read, so mysteries are what I write.  I currently have one mystery, Big Game, published in 2012 and available at Amazon Kindle.  My second novel, Murder Over Kodiak, was published in April, 2015.

Please join me on my blog and interact in the discussion.  I look forward to meeting you, learning about your life, and sharing mine.


Hum… Well, I Could Certainly “Use” A Brain Reboot!

I admit it. The old gray matter doesn’t work like it used to. Let’s face it – I spend way too much time wandering around the house looking for what I just had in my stinking hand!

This book has been on a lot of reading lists lately. The question is – is it all mumbo-jumbo? Cause I really, reallly would like to know where I put my Zune… or maybe it is just the Gremlins that live behind the baseboards? Hum…

HOPESBeing me, I started doing research. HOPES, Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford, has an interesting article online about diet and Neurogenesis that indicates that this is something we should all be paying attention to. The jury is still out, of course, as scientific studies take time. But as the last line of the article says, ” In conclusion, eating healthy might promote neurogenesis – but even if it does not, a healthy diet certainly will not hurt.”

I don’t know if this book is any good or not. I haven’t read it. But the idea is worth study, especially for us on the upper side of ** (grin). It does concern me that the author is not a physician or a scientist, but a psychologist. Not exactly the chops for writing a book based on scientific enquiry. I wouldn’t rely just on this book to gain all my information by any means. However, it might be a good starting place? It is $0.99, or Free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Then do some online research from the major medical research universities: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc. and make your own decisions. It does sound interesting, though…

(The following information was taken from – I don’t take responsibility for anything said below!!)

“The most important book you’ll read this year.”

The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle brings together the latest in neuroscience research to present a new and proven view of brain health and aging.

Only recently has it been discovered that the brain produces new brain cells throughout our entire lives, a process called neurogenesis. The rate at which we form new brain cells has a profound influence upon every aspect of our life. When the rate of neurogenesis is low, we see cognitive deficits and memory problems, anxiety and stress, depression, and lowered immunity. Life is difficult.

With high rates of neurogenesis we see the opposite: enhanced cognitive abilities, rapid learning, emotional resilience, protection from anxiety, stress and depression, heightened immunity and robust health. We flourish. Life is wonderful.

Given the neurotoxic norms of society, it’s almost universally true that your brain is working far below its capacity. It is deteriorating much faster than it needs to. What good is living longer if your brain can’t go the distance?

Recent discoveries in the emerging field of neurogenesis reveal the secrets to radically improve your brain’s health. You can operate at a higher level than you ever dreamed possible – at any age!

”A revolutionary paradigm shift in brain health and brain aging.”

This scientifically validated, 4-point program of diet and lifestyle will:
• Improve your memory and brain power
• Inoculate you against stress and depression
• Prevent or delay cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s
• Enrich your relationships and sex life
• Help you connect with your loving center of peace

This book presents the latest neuroscience discoveries to increase brain power, enhance memory, increase brain fitness by seeing what kinds of brain exercises actually work, and build a better brain. It contains dietary recommendations for brain food, brain vitamins, brain supplements, memory vitamins and memory supplements.

“This is the best book to give anyone over 50!”

This book also spells out the symptoms of dementia, the stages of dementia, signs of cognitive decline and stages of Alzheimer’s. The plan presented in The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle will help to ward off cognitive decline and avoid dementia stages. This lifestyle is the only lifestyle for which there is scientific evidence supporting it, based on a late 2014 research study by the Buck Foundation.

The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle is aimed at improving how your brain functions. Your rate of neurogenesis may be the most important factor in your brain health. And increasing your rate of neurogenesis by three to five times can result in powerfully improved memory, learning, cognitive enhancement, as well as improved immunity and protection against stress and depression.

You can live and perform well beyond where you are now.

For more information, please visit:

Tags: health, fitness, diet, happiness, mental health, neurogenesis, neuroscience

About Brant

Brant Cortright, Ph.DBrant Cortright, Ph.D., is the author of The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life and a brain health coach. He is a Professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. As a licensed clinical psychologist he maintains a private practice in San Francisco that focuses on an integral/holistic and neuroscience-informed approach to brain health and depth psychotherapy. He specializes in depression, stress and anxiety, career and meaning, as well as relationship and intimacy issues.

He has authored two previous books, Integral Psychology and Psychotherapy and Spirit (both published by SUNY Press.) He speaks and gives workshops around the US, Europe and Asia.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Release date April 8, 2015.

Morgan Freeman Is A Beekeeper!

(My friend Ruth says that the last photo made Mr. Freeman look like Golem, so I changed it… don’t want to disrespect my crush! LOL!)

Here’s the deal. I don’t go ga-ga over “Stars”. Come on. Most of them get paid the megabucks for strutting around being ridiculous, stroking their own egos. Stage stars, screen stars, sports stars. Pft. Temper tantrums and entitlement. Heck – they could all be politicians. Oh, wait. Schwarzenegger did that. So did Regan. Well, There’s yer’ problem!

There are, however, certain actors that even I, Queen of The Anti-Grocery-Store-Checkout-Line-Yellow-Journalism-Rag Posse, cannot help but adore. One of those actors has always been Morgan Freeman. Come on – the man can actually ACT! And that voice? Sigh. It makes me all mushy inside. I am a sucker for a deep, melodious voice, so laugh all want. 😉

Now, he makes me love him even more! He has such a great concern for the plight of the honeybee, that he’s now gone and made his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi a refuge for them.

Sigh…. my hero.

Send In The Clowns

Ohhhhh man!! It’s coming that time again . . . smarmy politicians taking over the airwaves, making promises they have no intention of keeping, paving paths of gold for corporations and the rich…. clear the way, I think I need to call the devil on the porcelain telephone….

THE MIND OF RD REVILO, The Blog (& Podcasts) 4 BLACK Men

  • They’re At It Again
  • Each out falsifying to win
  • Making promises to help the poor
  • Just how many times
  • Have we heard this before
  • Yet, feeling stupid, is clamoring for more
  • The end result, just more war
  • A speech makes them teary
  • It makes me leery
  • Especially the smile
  • Given by a pedophile, to a child
  • While all the while
  • The pretender has a hidden agenda
  • Especially when selected as the winner
  • Then, back to the blame game
  • As things worsen or remain the same
  • Politicians sell daydreams
  • Religion sells hope
  • CEO’s sell schemes
  • At least doctors sell dope
  • The police make sure we cope
  • Or off to jail
  • Give them credit
  • The system seldomfails
  • Making people want what
  • They cannot have and never had
  • Making them believe
  • The only alternative to worse, is bad
  • No, it isn’t pathetic, but sorrilysad
  • No matter how much you rave…

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Review: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Water Knife: A novel by Paolo BacigalupiThere is good evidence that Venus once had liquid water and a much thinner atmosphere, similar to Earth billions of years ago. But today the surface of Venus is dry as a bone, hot enough to melt lead, there are clouds of sulfuric acid that reach a hundred miles high and the air is so thick it’s like being 900 meters deep in the ocean. – Bill Nye

If we keep working at it, we can certainly become Venusian. All we have to do is continue the path we have begun. Global warming, climate change, worldwide drought. Yes, we are on our way to destruction, up the proverbial creek without water.

And water is what this story is all about. Honestly however, in a way it reminds me of those stereotypical 1950’s era monster movies. The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nuclear weapons were the fear then. And yes, they were worth being terrified of. But as horrifying as they are – this is a situation that it is hard to see any way out of.

Worldwide drought is becoming more and more feasible as a worldwide outcome of our continuing greed and carelessness. And The Water Knife has a good premise. However, its problem is that of being written more like a script for a B movie rather than a well-written novel. The stereotypes are a bit overwhelming, and though it is apparently meant to be exciting and breath-taking, it comes across as a simple genre piece rather than a work deserving of the attention it is receiving from the public. I just expected more – more realism regarding an extremely important ecological issue that can cost us more than we can ever expect to salvage.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Dry Bones by Craig Johnson

23281918“There are horrible people who, instead of solving a problem, tangle it up and make it harder to solve for anyone who wants to deal with it. Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“In the end, there is no absence of irony: the integrity of what is sacred to Native Americans will be determined by the government that has been responsible for doing everything in its power to destroy Native American cultures.” — Winona LaDuke

Even after more than two centuries, the Native Americans still get short shrift. And once again, in this newest installment of the Walt Longmire saga, the Cheyenne suffer again. The Absaroka County tribe has much to celebrate when the bones of probably largest and most intact T. Rex skeleton ever found is discovered on Danny Lone Elk’s ranch. Well, until Danny is found murdered, his body being consumed by snapping turtles in a pond on his property. Thus begins a scene as familiar as those known through history, as Danny’s family, the Cheyenne, the High Plains Dinosaur Museum, and of course the all-knowing (Pft…) feds all jump in to claim the skeleton designated as “Jen”.

I have to admit – I am a long-time Longmire fan. Walt is, well, I would call him a broken man. The death of his wife pretty much destroyed his life, turning him to alcohol binges and isolation. He is deeply flawed, but still brilliant. Surrounded by his friends and colleagues, undersheriff Victoria “Vic” Moretti who has her own issues, and his best friend from the way back times of elementary school onward, Henry Standing Bear, Walt and company are once more up to their proverbial necks in bureaucracy and diplomacy, pompous FBI agents, pretentious politicians and other members of the creepier classes of politicized scum. And then, of course, reporters, the lowest possible class of stupidity.

Saizarbitoria and Double Tough return, and Walt’s daughter returns as well, with his first grandchild, Lola, whose namesake is Henry’s Baltic-blue 1959 Thunderbird convertible. All this is good, very very good – until tragedy hits. Tragedy that could destroy this most intelligent and fragile lawman I have loved for so very long. Yep. I cried.

This whole series is amazingly well done, this one especially. With bits of humour, deep pain, engaging characters and a remarkable storyline, Johnson once more delivers an amazing story. I can’t recommend the series highly enough. Be ready to sit down, strap in, and go for an incredible ride.

I received this book from Penguin Publishing in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. The best thing is? George Guidall reads the Audible edition – and I have it on my purchase list. Mr. Guidall is one of my favorite narrators!

Listen to the FIRST Walt Longmire book, The Cold Dish! Click the cover below.

The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery | [Craig Johnson]

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