Friday, July 20, 2012


by Renata Barcelos Appetizer ****0f ***** Mean is a great little novelette. However - and this is a BIG however, the author creates a protagonist who is supposedly brilliant - genius level brilliant with a facility for languages and yet the English used by the protagonist is not correct. It's obvious that the write is not a native speaker of English because there are subject verb agreement errors, verb tense usage that is incorrect and a few other glitches. I suggest that Ms. Barcelos get a really good editor and expand this book because its potential is enormous.

The House On Plunkett Street

by Lorena Bathey main Course **** of ***** What a wonderful read this was! The House on Plunkett Street is a haunted house - but not in the traditional way. Instead, the house on Plunkett Street is a house that is infused with so much love that it helps to bring joy and life changing decisions to the people fortunate enough to rent in it. Originally built as a single home, it was later divided to serve as a safe place for women looking for a safe harbor. Phoebe Bertram is a normal, average American woman. She grew up in a family of rowdy boys where she was barely noticed, finished school with no real achievements, and learned along the way to just settle for what came her way. The only thing that she has ever done that was out of character with her normal, boring, bland life was to move to California. In California, though, Phoebe has a few friends, a job that bores her, and a boyfriend that is just going through the motions of a relationship with her. Things start to change when she is lucky enough to rent an apartment in the house on Plunkett Street. There, the transformative abundance of love in the house, along with a few helpful ghosts, start Phoebe on the course of a brand new life - a life filled with friends, giving, joy, ,love, fulfillment and a future worth grabbing onto with both hands. You won't want to put this book down - it's that good a read.

Every Day, Every Hour

by Natasa Dragnic Main Course *** of ***** I just wanted more than this book delivered. The first part - the childhood of the lovers, Luka and Dora is exquisite, beautifully written, evocative of the time, the place, the innocence and beauty of childhood. Unfortunately, the rest of the book simply does not live up to the opening. The interludes are stilted, the choices, mundane. The ending is lovely, though.

The Duke Don't Dance

by Richard G. Sharp Main Course **** of ***** I thoroughly enjoyed The Duke Don’t Dance. There is a tremendous amount of thought, philosophy, and understanding of Silent Generation reflected in this extremely well written book. The book follows the lives of a group of friends from their young adulthood into their retirement years. The friends are from very different backgrounds and have very different political and social views, yet their friendships endure through the last part of the sixties and seventies, their myriad jobs, some that bring fortune, some that are based in illegal, immoral and profiteering businesses. The relationships that they share are complex, realistic, humorous and very real. The families and children that they build and destroy bring to light the disparate relationships that The Silent Generation had with their outspoken and idealistic offspring. I couldn’t help but compare this book with the movie The Big Chill, a particular favorite of mine, especially in the attitudes of the group toward sex, casual drug use, and music. As much as I loved the Big Chill, though, it did not have the depth and scope that The Duke Don’t Dance has. This generation is neither mine nor my parents, yet it is a generation that brought incredible change to American society and I absolutely enjoyed immersing myself in it.

Torn In Two

by Brit Sigh Main Course **** of ***** Brit Sigh has a remarkable imagination and a lot of talent. His protagonist in Torn in Two, Tatum Soaren is intriguing, dark and indeed "torn in two". Soaren is afflicted with multiple personality disorder and his psychiatrist, Dr. Tristyn Holmes brilliantly integrates his psychopathic alter, Landon into Soaren's personality, leaving the gentler, normal Soaren dominant. However, Landon is not as well integrated as Dr. Holmes believes and he starts to manifest, becoming a threat to everyone Soaren loves. Sigh does a wonderful job of creating believable characters who do unbelievable things. There is a touch of the paranormal in the novel but it, too is blended in seamlessly and believably. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel but was distracted several times by poor editing. This could be a five star book with better editing and a few shifts in the plot. Read it and enjoy it but weep for what it could be. It could have been a contender for one of the best psychological thrillers this year.

Interview with RP Dahlke: All Mystery E-Newsletter

RP Dahlke is the author of A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Heart, A Dead Red Oleander and A Dangerous Harbor. Dahlke writes wonderful mystery books with engaging characters and a great dose of humor. I recently discovered that she is also starting a brand new venture: The All Mystery E-Newsletter and was able to interview her about the new site. MB: Hi Rebecca and welcome! I'd like to ask you a few questions about The All Mystery E-Newsletter. RPD: Great, Martha. I'm here to share this really exciting new project. MB:Since you are already the successful author of several excellent mysteries, I am really curious about why you would take the time to develop a website to promote the work of other mystery writers. Tell me a little about how this started. RPD: In 2010, I started an e-newsletter for mystery and suspense authors. It ran, free of charge to the authors until December 2012. I decided to let it go because: 1) authors just weren't with me on how effective this kind of advertising could be, and 2) I had my own books to write. So I put the website in mothballs, but kept the Facebook site, the yahoo group (which is where authors meet to talk about promotion, and readers come to see what authors are talking about.) and Good Reads group for Indie and small press promotion, and a Twitter account. Since then, I have put four mysteries up on Amazon/Kindle, and because I understand that this my book is a product, I also began a six month quest for the best, and most effective, form of advertising my books. MB: What did you find out? RPD:I discovered that with a combination of inexpensive paid and free promotion, I could sell more books. I thought the results of this were interesting enough to share with my writing friends. So the first thing I did was put together a 7 page handout and speak on this subject with my local Sisters in Crime chapter in Tucson. The handout was necessary because I had a lot of powerful, and helpful information to share, but cautioned my grateful listeners with the following: The only thing I could guarantee about this information was that some of it would change. That was in June, and sure enough, things have changed… again. One of the sites I listed as smart and creative just bit the dust, and another site, Digital Books Today, has taken a giant leap after only 18 months in the business. MB: That's a huge leap. RPD: Yes it was. Of course, my first thought was, "Eighteen months? Gee, All Mystery e-newsletter had started before Digital Books Today… so that meant…" MB: What it meant was that you were a bit ahead of your time, right? RPD: Yes, it did. When I investigated it more, I found out that the founder of Digital Books Today, Anthony Wessel, said, and I quote: "Traffic on our Sites: March: 8,000, June 16,000" and in their "The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List: November 2011: 600+ and June 2012- 10,000+ with 38,000 click outs to books on Amazon." It is obvious that Indie and small press authors are now using paid book marketing as part of a successful campaign to sell their books. I know, because I was using them too, and the results have been gratifying — except for one thing. As a mystery writer, all of the best e-newsletters had mystery squished in between vampire and memoir. MB: But mysteries are hugely popular books. That seems odd and like mysteries aren't being promoted in a way that will make them easily accessible to readers and marketable for authors. RPD: Exactly!It didn't take me much more than a nano-second to see that All Mystery e-newsletter was needed. I ticked off the possibilities for resurrecting this e-newsletter against the fact that it might take some time to gain momentum. Then realized I already had all of my requirements for a good promotion site: Facebook page, Yahoo and Good Reads groups, and Twitter with a small army of Re-Tweet pals. MB: So that was the birth of The All Mystery E-Newsletter? RPD:That's right, Martha. The website is now up and running. Better yet, September is already SOLD out, but I am accepting submittals for October through December 2012. The ad insertions for this e-newsletter are reasonably priced: $10.00 a book insertion. MB: So, how can my readers find The All Mystery E-Newsletter? Is there a cost for a subscription? RPD: Readers can access the site and subscribe to it free! In the weekly e-newsletter, they will find information about the latest new mysteries and thrillers. There are new authors and new books with colorful click through to the book on Amazon, book descriptions, reviews, featured authors and giveaways. MB: Thanks for all of the information, Rebecca. Friends, here's the website where you can sign up today for The All Mystery E-Newletter:

Wicked Appetite

Janet Evanovich Main Course *** of ***** Wicked Appetite is a fun little read. I enjoyed Diesel, the super hot male star of the book and Lizzy Tucker, cupcake baker extraordinaire is a lot of fun, too. There isn't much substance to the book; it's much like a cupcake for dinner instead of a well rounded meal but what there is is delicious. This is Evanovich's first foray into the supernatural/paranormal genre and it really isn't her forte. I suggest that she return to New jersey and the people she knows and loves the best.

Shadow of Night

by Deborah Harkness Main Course ***** of ***** An absolutely wonderful, powerful and fascinating follow up to A Discovery of Witches. Harkness writes so beautifully and her blending of the paranormal with history is nothing short of marvelous. When you put her books down, it feels as if you are leaving very good friends with whom you may not cross paths again for a long time- delighted with the visit, closer than ever but bittersweet at the parting.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How to Vertical Garden

Appetizer *** of *****
Because my yard is small, I have considered doing some vertical gardening in my yard. How to Vertical Garden is a novelette that contains a good deal of information about vertical gardening. It is concise and fairly well organized and does cover the basics of vertical gardening from the containers you can use to building custom containers and watering systems. I was looking for a little more substance in the book. For example, I was hoping to find out more about soil mixtures and fertilizers that are better for use in vertical gardening and even some information about plants that do well in my zone. There is information about some plants that work well in vertical gardens, like beans, but I was hoping for a more expanded list. There is also a bit too much repetition in the book. The book is a good, very basic guide but that's it.

52 Ways to Sell More Books

Appetizer **** of ******
Writing a book is like giving birth to a child. It takes a long time, enormous effort, pain, sensitivity and commitment but it's really only a first step. Next comes the hard part and you're in it for the long haul. Raising a child takes 20 years but fortunately marketing and selling a book won't take nearly as long, especially if you read Penny Sansevieri's book, 52 Ways to Sell More Books. I think that this lady is a dynamo and that the hints, tips and direction she gives would help you sell ice to Eskimos. Sansevieri is well versed in traditional ways to market a book but she also teaches you how to promote it in so many innovative ways, from face to face, one on one, blogging, social media, using traditional media and making your book stand out from its competition (which she also tells you how to identify). Want to sell your book? Of course you do - you didn't write it to sit on your own bookshelf and give away to dinner guests. Follow Sansevieri's advice and you will sell your books!

The Curse of Borage Doone

**** Kid's Meal
Although I enjoyed the first of the Merryweather Mysteries, I have to tell you that The Curse of Borage Doone is a far, far better tale. Sam Jones is once again with his grandmother, Gwladys  Merryweather while his parents pursue their passion for hiking vacations. Sam has matured and his magical abilities have grown. His wise grandmother acts foolishly in this tale, agreeing to go to Edinburgh as a guest on a cooking show - a prize given to her online for a contest she never entered. Sam, who is far more computer savvy, recognizes that this is quite odd but cannot convince her not to go, especially since her dearest classmate at witches' school, Lottie Borage-Doone and her husband live in Edinburgh, too.  Sadly, Lottie's health is fading quickly and painfully and Mother Merryweather's prize is a set up to imprison her by an enemy witch. Sam has been practicing his magic but does he have enough power to rescue his Grandmother, much less break the curse of Borage Doone? Read this delightful tale to find out!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Books..Love Them...Read Them...Review Them!

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
Desiderius Erasmus

Welcome to The Book Addict Reviews!
Books..Love Them...Read Them...Review Them!
A tiny sliver of gold light spilled into my room from the hall light. I turned my book to catch the light and would read until my mother would yell up the stairs, “Martha Jane, put down that book and go to sleep. Right now! You don’t want me to come up there.”  I would have thought that she, of all people would understand. She taught me to read when I was four years old because I nagged and nagged and nagged her. I knew that there were great secrets contained in the books that she read daily and I wanted to know them, too. Fast forward a few years, and mom was yelling at me for reading in the moving car at night by the lights of headlights on the cars behind us. Later,  my mother-in-law joined in the fun, yelling at me to turn on lights so zi didn’t go blind reading.
I love books from storybooks to encyclopedia. Even at age 57, a good storybook is a treasure to find. I have worked for publishers, chosen books for book fairs, tried to write books. I use them to advance my knowledge and to escape from real life. They are my most prized possessions.
Join me on this blog. I read between 150 and 200 books a year. if you like my reviews, I may be able to keep you from buying a book that you’ll hate. If you hate my reviews, you’ll know exactly what books to purchase.
Share your opinions, too. I can’t read everything but if you tell me about something special, I’ll read it and make you my everlasting book friend. It’s a special journey that will take us anywhere and everywhere and I want to share it with you!