Category Archives: Title
4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 150,000
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An old evil is arising, and the people of Kil’tar are ill-equipped to deal with it. The ones who should have the knowledge and strength to deal it with it have forgotten and grown weak. The unsuspecting who are forced to deal with it need to learn and train. Yet all will need to fight. Some will live. Some will die. This is a story of that time.
With the evening came the eventual rise of the brother moons, shedding their mystical luminescence over the land, turning the lifeless scene below into one of eeriness as the orange glow bathed the ruins. Valdeiron dozed restlessly, waking as the waning moons were almost touching the grey outline of the dawn-filled horizon. He could not remember how long he waited and watched; only that neither sight nor sound had he seen of Cash or Trolls. Ruing the missed rendezvous, the shouldered his pack and rose, stretching against the light of the new day. Turning his gaze again to the south, he pictured in his mind what roads lay beyond the horizon.
Robert Day is a very talented author whose storytelling abilities are refreshing and, for the most part, unique. There are some similar scenes between this novel and those in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. And while Day does a good job with the combat descriptions they all tend to end the same way which gets a little redundant and predictable. Which is sad because the rest of this book is anything but predictable as Day is a gutsy writer, like George R.R. Martin, in that he is not afraid to kill, or cast off secondary characters. As a matter of fact, how Day has approached secondary characters in this book is one of the reasons that this book is so good.
Unlike many other novels where the secondary characters reason for being and their actions revolve around the protagonist, in Demon Gates Day has given each of the secondary characters their own stories. Yes, they are introduced to the reader because they have some connection with the hero Valdeiron, but their fate is not necessarily tied up with his. It’s more the case of events occurring on Kil’tar and each person has to deal with them the according to who they are and the circumstances in which they find themselves. While the heroes interests and the secondary characters coincide they stay together, when they don’t they part. A very rare thing in a novel which makes for a truly good book.
The book contains no swearing. It does have some graphic combat scenes, and there is one disturbing sexual incident.
Weird formatting: more like its typewritten, then the regular font we’re used to seeing on the Kindle. It does not include a table of contents, but other than that it’s perfectly fine.
About the Author:
Robert Day was born in Newcastle, New South Wales. His family moved to the small town of Gloucester when he was 10. He was introduced to Fantasy books by a friend soon after, and from then on hardly a day seemed to go by when he was not lost in some fantasy land rather than doing homework or chores. Around age 15 he discovered Dungeons and Dragons thanks to his older brother Jamie, further fuelling his imagination.
It was during a time when he had seemed to have read most fantasy available to him that he thought “How hard can it be?”
The answer being, of course, “Very Hard!”
Twenty years later, after turning what was originally one enormous manuscript into 2 moderately huge ones, he brings you Demon Gates, book 1 of the Nexus Wars Saga. This, his debut Novel, is the beginning of what will eventually be a 5 – 7 book series.
Robert now resides on the Central Coast of NSW with his beautiful wife Kerri, 2 cats, and a border collie dog named Jasper.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 86,000
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Emma and her daughter Sammie Jo need a place to hide out. Deke Travers needs a cook on his family’s ranch. He also wants to find wives for his brothers in hopes that will settle them down. Deke decides to kill two birds with one stone and hire Emma as the cook in hopes that she and his brother Clint will fall in love.
He liked the sound of her voice, and when she chuckled it tickled his toes. A cowboys’ toes shouldn’t tickle, he warned himself and straightened the foolish grin on his face.
This is a standard romance novel, along the lines of the Harlequin Romance stories. Girl’s in trouble. Boy ends up saving her, and they fall in love. And like the Harlequin Romances it’s a short, easy read.
In the beginning the author seems to have a little trouble introducing new characters. In addition, and this is only at the beginning of the book, the author tends to assume that the reader knows what she is talking about. Making the start of the book a little confusing. But once you get past that the rest of the book just flows.
The best part of this book was the warmth of the Travers family, and how they welcomed Emma and Sammie Jo into their home. I especially liked how the author was able to portray the vulnerability of these cowboys to a baby. They just melt. It’s really a sweet romance story.
This book is very clean. No swearing, sex, or graphic violence.
The book does not include a table of contents. There are some other minor design issues, but nothing that should interrupt the reading experience.
About the Author:
What made her a writer was the fact that she was an only child growing up in a age when a kid had to use their imagination to entertain themselves. She acted out her first books in the backyard all over the countryside.
Rita worked most of her adult life, but one job she’s especially proud of is as a day care provider in her home for twenty years. Helping to raise her own grandchildren to school age, it seemed only natural to enroll in the Institute of Children’s Literature, where she graduated in 1997. Rita writes children’s books, poetry and romance, along with plays and short stories.
She’s a member of Books We Love, WRW, and a firm believer that learning should never stop. But above all, she believes that one should NEVER GIVE UP!
You can find out more about the author and her other titles at http://ritahestand.com/.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Military Word count: Unknown
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The author, Gerald Thomas, served in the US Navy Reserve as a pilot for Torpedo Squadron 4. He gives a firsthand account, along with official reports of the various operations of which his squadron took part in both Europe, and Asia. Including the invasion of Iowa Jima and Okinawa.
In addition, as a memorial to the men of Torpedo Squadron 4 Thomas includes his own experiences, along with others, as a pilot or crewman of a torpedo bomber plane. Thomas gives us the entire gamut of what it was like to be a torpedo bomber pilot from that first desire to fly till the end of the war.
The sudden loss of a cockpit hatch was demoralizing to our crew. As the pieces of plexiglass flew by, our turret gunners, facing backwards in the dive, never knew if AA fire had killed the pilot or if the plane was out of control. That few seconds of push-over, dive, and questionable pull-out seemed like an eternity to the crew.
“One time over Manila, I thought Scott, my pilot, had been hit. I t seemed that he would never pull out — we just kept going down. I thought he was dead, so I snapped on my parachute, kicked the hatch, but it wouldn’t open (I was too excited to pull the pin.) About that time, Scott pulled out.”
Though this book is not without its faults: the transition from commentary to personal experience is not always smooth, and the images do not always match the subject at hand; the author, Thomas, more than accomplishes what he set out to do which was to make a “historical record” of Torpedo Squadron 4 as a “way to recall and acknowledge those who made the sacrifice.” To that end he has included much, if not all, of the major action that the squadron saw; the tactical organization of each run; operational reports; extensive photos; and occasionally the contrasting viewpoint of the enemy.
To complete the picture of what it was like to be a torpedo bomber pilot in WWII Thomas includes his own personal experiences. These range from his first sight of an airplane when he was a young man, through flight school, serving as a pilot on an aircraft carrier, and home again. It is these descriptions, and those of his fellow pilots and crewman, that enhances the rest of the text by giving a firsthand account of the operations. As Thomas not only includes the living conditions on board an aircraft carrier, problems taking off and landing, the effect of weather conditions, problems with equipment, and morale issues it really brings home what these brave men had to endure to accomplish those missions. It was a privilege to read it, and I’m thankful the Mr. Thomas took put in so much time and effort to leave this historical memorial.
Formatting (for Amazon Kindle only):
The ebook is formatted very nicely. It contains hyperlinked footnotes and table of contents. In addition, navigation points that allow you to move from chapter to chapter are included. However, while there is an index it is not hyperlinked, and references the page numbers in the paper version, and not location numbers for the ebook version.
About the Author:
Gerald W. Thomas was born at home in Small, Idaho, in 1919. He grew up on a ranch during the Great Depression. His rural school went only to the 10th grade, so his Mother took his brother and him to California to finish High School and attend Junior College. He graduated from the University of Idaho just in time to volunteer for Navy service following Pearl Harbor. After training, he was assigned as a pilot to Torpedo Squadron VT-4. Following World War II, he earned a Ph.D in Range Management, and after stints as professor at Texas A&M University and Dean of Agriculture at Texas Tech University, he became president of New Mexico State University. He retired after serving as president for 14 years.
Thomas was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Air Medals, and 2 Presidential Citations for his combat actions in WWII. He retired from the Navy Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.He is the author of numerous books, including “A Winding Road To The Land Of Enchantment” and “The Academic Ecosystem.”
While Thomas does not maintain a personal webpage he has set up a site at http://airgroup4.com/index.htm that contains articles by members of Air Group 4 of which Torpedo Squadron 4 was a part. Having this site available has been instrumental in helping family members learn the circumstances surrounding their loved ones MIA or KIA status.
You can download a sample of Torpedo Squadron 4 at the following address: