New Book Reviews Blog Pages

An Adventure in Mysticism by Don Mardak

Don Mardak's "An Adventure in Mysticism" is a fictional story with deep spiritual principles.

It is the first book in Mardak's Grand Circle series. The book is broken in to two parts. The first part follows the main character Eric as he moves along his spiritual journey in search of "Truth." This part of the book is part fantasy, part suspense, with lots of spirituality and humor thrown in.

The second part of the book is "The GOSPEL According to I AM." This portion of the book has more of an academic feel to it with lots of Biblical references. While reading this book, I felt like I was getting a very dynamic experience. I was entertained, I was laughing, and I was thinking/reflecting. In part 1 of this book, Mardak gives you a light-hearted, approachable take on spiritual growth, broadening the accessibility of the topic. I know many of us are interested in spiritual growth, but are turned off by dense, stuffy books. "An Adventure in Mysticism" is the remedy.

Readers will think about things differently after reading the book. This is a must-read for anyone interested in spiritual growth. Fortunately for eager fans, the next book in the series, "Armageddon and the 4th Timeline," is available now.

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Dead Behind the Eyes by Brock Car

Brock Car's "Dead Behind the Eyes" by Brock Car is a fast-paced murder mystery set within a corporate culture. In tandem with the murder itself, this creative work in the genre of corporate intrigue also tells of affairs and their ramifications, love and lust, and loyalty, with a main focus of how people respond to adversity. Max Riley, the recently promoted CEO of Great Western Communications, was murdered while traveling on a corporate jet from Denver to Omaha. Who did this and why? Claudia Sullivan, a private investigator working pro bono on the Riley case with other colleagues, aims to answer these key questions by looking into the intricacies and motivations of the players involved.

This novel is so strong because the writing is excellent with an emphasis on relationship and character building that is both realistic, with the descriptions of specific idiosyncrasies, and fascinating, in the manner of its execution.  The organization of the story is also superb.  The prologue really piques readers' interest!   

"Dead Behind the Eyes" is an engaging mystery novel set in the corporate world that will have you hooked from the beginning! A must-read for any fan of the genre.

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Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Logan Crowe

Logan Crowe's "Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls" is a historical fiction novel about one man's valiant efforts at protecting religious scrolls from the Romans.

Something I love about the book is that it is not a linear story. You are given a bunch of different perspectives. Many of the perspectives are at different locations and time periods. As someone who has read a bit of the Bible, I enjoyed seeing the Biblical figures in the story (e.g. Lazarus).

Crowe clearly did a lot of research and background reading while coming up with this story. That said, the fiction elements of this book, the characters and plot, are fresh and engaging. Crowe writes in a way that is descriptive yet flows well, so the book is a relatively quick read.

At the end of the day, this is a fun historical fiction that anyone who likes history and a good story will enjoy.

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Something From Eddie: Getting to Know Eddie Livingston by Pam Baker

Pam Baker's "Something From Eddie: Getting to know Eddie Livingston" is a memoir of an extraordinary American veteran who fought for everything he believed in, particularly regarding veteran health care, until his last days.

Eddie was a WW2 veteran who was determined to be physically and mentally unfit for continuing his service after multiple battles. Unfortunately, rather than receiving the health care resources he needs, Eddie was subjected to obstacle after obstacle in pursuit of care.

Although it is sad to read about how Eddie had to suffer under the system's shortcomings, it is incredibly motivating to read about his determination. He was admirably resilient and was a vocal advocate for veterans' issues.

The book includes some scans of some of Eddie's original letters to politicians, which are interesting to see firsthand. Reading this book in light of recent scandals in veteran health care has shown me that Eddie's work is far from done.

Overall, this is a book that will inspire you to stand up for what you believe.

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Go For It by Matthew C Martino

Matthew Martino's "Go For It" is an excellent book geared towards business starters, specifically first generation entrepreneurs, which provides a clear and thoughtful outline of setting up one's business, from the mission and vision to the business and marketing plans.

"Go For It" is an interactive book that prompts readers with questions aiming to clarify one's purpose such as, "What am I trying to achieve through my business?" and "Is there a market for your idea? Is the number of potential customers large and growing?" Martino encourages his readers to journal their answers and mull these questions over for some time.

Written shortly after Martino's consultancy business as well as a nearby Internet Cafe he frequented closed, the book is all about sharing the lessons the author learned. For example, Martino writes that desiring to be rich should not produce guilt, nor should wanting to be your own boss because there are many advantages to managing a business over having a job, which has become synonymous with "earning a living" in our culture. 

Well, why not be our own bosses? Martino presses readers to answer this and other shaping questions with the knowledge that successful, surviving ventures address social needs and problems with solutions built on trust. 

The writing in "Go For It" is clear, concise and well-organized.  The recommendations are easy to follow and the interactive questions are excellent.

"Go For It" is a fresh take on choosing business over a job and going for it with a passion and a clearly-defined purpose.

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Jesus & the Unabomber: -the haunting of the heart- by Eric Anderson

If you like thought-provoking literature, Eric Anderson's "Jesus & the Unabomber: -the haunting of the heart-" is for you.

The essay is a fascinating look at similar traumatic incidents in the lives of Jesus Christ and Ted Kaczynsk that ultimately helped them develop similar philosophies.

Anderson organizes the evidence in a way that is easy to follow. He uses direct quotes from the Biblical Gospel and Kaczynsk's "Industrial Society and Its Future."

The similarities he uncovers are striking -- for instance, Jesus' use of the Holy Spirit (The Muse) is in essence the same as Kacyznsk's "power process."

Anderson argues that Jesus' circumcision as an infant had a strong impact on his philosophy and lessons. Although this essay is not wordy, it contains lots of thought-provoking information.

Whether you're a spiritual person or not, this book will have you asking lots of questions.

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Iron Bloom by Billy Wong

Billy Wong's "Iron Bloom" follows Rose, a good-hearted, determined young woman, who uses her prowess as a warrior for good. She becomes disillusioned with fighting when she falls in love, but then an impending invasion brings the allure back to fighting.

One thing to know about this book is there is a lot of action. It's every action fans dream. The action scenes are well-written and do not drag on. Every attack, parry, and step is written in a way that makes you feel as though you are there.

The characters are interesting, especially the multifaceted Rose. I'm someone who doesn't like a lot of lore in my fantasy, so I was happy that this book doesn't bog you down with two millions years of elf history. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you reading, but the action is by far the biggest draw of this book.

Overall, if you're a fantasy fan looking for a new book, "Iron Bloom" is a must-read.

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George Knows by Mindy Mymudes

Mindy Mymudes' "George Knows" is a 154-page children's book that follows the exploits of  a spunky basset hound named George and his “girlpup” Karly.

The plot revolves around the duo working together to solve a murder. The story is from the perspective of George, so the book feels unlike anything you've read before. If you're a dog person, you will especially enjoy this aspect of the book. It truly feels like you're reading a dog's mind. Everything from George's confusion regarding Karly's inability to use her nose and his fixation on finding a rabbit.

The story is written for children, and the vocabulary choice and writing style are perfect for ages 9 to 13, depending on reading level. That said, many younger children would enjoy having this book read to them (and many adults would enjoy reading this book). George's antics provide the perfect opportunities for the reader to get very, very dramatic when reading aloud.

This is a book that gets you thinking differently, wondering what really goes through the minds of our furry friends. It just might make you appreciate the "George" in your own life a bit more! Overall, if you like fresh, humorous children's books, "George Knows" is a must-read.

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Yarashell Abbily and Her Very Messy Room by Sybrina Durant

"Yarashell Abbily and Her Very Messy Room," by Sybrina Durant, is a picture book about three-year-old Yarashell who loves to make a mess in her room.

Aimed at two to seven-year olds, the book is airly simple to follow. Yarashell explains her messing ritual as she tosses clothes everywhere until she is reprimanded by her mother. Fortunately, Dad arrives at the scene and comes up with a happy compromise to the mess that makes everyone happy.
The book's writing is perfect for the age group, with simple words and a fun rhyming scheme.

The illustrations are colorful, vibrant and a great addition to the story.

One of the book's greatest assets is its theme - messy rooms! Almost every kid and parent can relate the topic of cleanliness, and this book does a great job dealing with it.

As an added bonus, the author, Sybrina Durant, also wrote a song for the book, which can be heard on her website.

Overall, if you have a young child who enjoys pictures books, he or she would definitely enjoy "Yarashell Abbily and Her Very Messy Room."

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Snow Covered Moon (Twisted Eventide-1) by L.M. Adams

"A Snow Covered Moon," by L.M. Adams, is a fresh paranormal romance novel with a healthy dose of the kinky. The story revolves around Jaevia Knightley, a mix-breed demon, who works as a "watcher" for a supernatural police force (of sorts) in the human world.

Jaevia's first case is to discover why the bastard children of supernaturals are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The plot starts off at a decent pace, but gains momentum as you move through the pages. The ending is well-done, and definitely my favorite part of the book. In addition to the pacing, I liked that the plot used a variety of elements I had not seen in paranormal romances before. The "adult scenes" really add to the feel of the story in ways I hadn't expected.

It's worth noting that although there is obviously a huge supernatural element to this book there is true adult love with real-world problems that need to be tackled. The world Adams creates is well-explained and interesting.

The cast of characters is dynamic. I grew to like many and appreciate the rest, although Jaevia is my hands-down favorite. The book is written in first-person, so you can expect to get a lot of insight into characters' decision.

Overall, if you are a paranormal romance fan, this book is an absolute must-read.

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101 Questions To Ask Before You Invest In A Franchise by Dr. John P. Hayes

"101 Questions To Ask Before You Invest In A Franchise" is the must-have book for anyone looking to buy a franchise.

The book opens by telling you that questions you THINK you should ask before buying a franchise are actually irrelevant. Then the author tells you exactly what you actually should ask. The book is organized as a series of checkpoints that you can move through during your decision-making process to evaluate franchise opportunities.

One of the book's greatest assets is there are lots of facts and statistics. The book also, in addition to the information contained, has links to many helpful tools and more info online that can help with things such as finding franchise opportunities.

A key point of the book is learning when to invest in a franchise. Other helpful topics covered are the break down of royalties and advertising fees and how to borrow money for a franchise. There really is a wealth of information in this book, and it is all presented in a format that is organized and easy to read.

If you're considering investing in a franchise, you must check out this book.

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