Apr 082015
 

THE TEST by John Lansing
Published by: Tatra Press
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
ASIN: B00ON4JH2Q
Pages: 29
Review Copy from: Author
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 5

Synopsis:
A coming-of-age story set in 1950s, small-town Long Island, at time when suburban America is about to undergo seismic societal changes. With this backdrop, a teenage boy falls in love with one of the town’s few black girls, a relationship that has repercussions leading to permanent transformations for the couple–and for the town.

My Thoughts and Opinion:
I became of fan of John Lansing’s after reading his suspense novel BLOND CARGO so was a bit apprehensive when I was asked to review his general fiction novelette THE TEST. Was I disappointed or happily surprised?

THE TEST is a story of a young, innocent and very naive young man growing up in a culture that was yet to be accepting of integration. Jack Morgan returns to his hometown of Baldwin, NY to sell his boyhood home after the death of his parents. Returning, even after 50 years, has brought back memories of his first love.

Even though the story is just 26 pages long, the emotions and feelings were vividly felt by this reader. The setting easily created due to the extraordinary writing ability of this author. I am always amazed when a short story can evoke such feeling and so much detail that the reader can connect with the characters. And then to have an ending that I didn’t see coming.

Now to answer my question..disappointed or surprisingly pleased? The answer is…Absolutely pleased!!!  I knew when I read BLOND CARGO and put Mr. Lansing on my “authors to read list”, he was a damn good writer. And with THE TEST, he is definitely staying on that list!! Highly recommend!!!.

Purchase Links:  

 

John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop, Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. “The Devil’s Necktie” was his first novel. “Blond Cargo” is the next book in the Jack Bertolino series. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.facebook_512 twitter_512 rss_512

 

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER
This blog was founded on the premise to write  honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.

ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.  I am an  IndieBound affiliate.  I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook .

 

Aug 192013
 

How Not To Murder Your Grumpy by Carol E. Wyer
Published by Safkhet Publishing
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
ISBN-10 1908208163
ISBN-13 978-1908208163
Pages: 106
Review Copy from: Author and Providence Book Promotions
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 4

Synopsis:
Is your Grumpy Old Man getting under your feet? Is he wrestling with retirement? Are you wondering if you should bundle him up and entrust him to basket-weaving classes? Then this book could be the answer to your prayers. This light hearted guide is packed full of lively ideas, anecdotes and quips. Not only does it set out to provide laughs, but offers over 700 ideas and ways to keep a Grumpy Old Man occupied. From collecting airline sick bags to zorbing, you will be sure to find an absorbing pastime for your beloved curmudgeon. There are examples of those who have faced extraordinary challenges in older age, fascinating facts to interest a reluctant partner and innovative ideas drizzled, of course, with a large dollop of humor. Written tongue-in-cheek, this book succeeds in proving that getting older doesn’t mean the end of life or having fun. It provides amusing answers to the question, “How on Earth will my husband fill in his time in his retirement?” It offers suggestions on what might, or most certainly might not, amuse him. Ideal for trivia buffs, those approaching retirement, (or just at a loose end) and frustrated women who have an irritable male on their hands, this book will lighten any mood and may even prevent the odd murder.

My Thoughts and Opinion:
I was first introduced to this author when I found her blog, Facing 50 with Humor. So when she contacted me to read and review her 1st book, exactly 2 years ago, Mini Skirts & Laughter Lines, I knew it would be enjoyable and funny, which it was.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I received an email asking if I would read and review her latest book, How Not To Murder Your Grumpy. When I read the synopsis, my first thought was, this is perfect! Over the past few months my husband (or as Carol has renamed the species, Old Grumpys) has been talking about when he plans to retire and I have to be honest, anxiety has set in thinking what will he do all day every day, my peaceful days will be no longer, will he be underfoot.

In How Not To Murder Your Grumpy, the author, has listed many activities, from A-Z, that one can be involved with to fill the days. Some are obvious, some I would never have thought of and some are down right hysterical. Each chapter, a different letter, has many suggestions to keep a Grumpy occupied. What I found funny were the author’s descriptions, dry humor editorial comments and riddles.

For example, on archery. A description of the sport is given and then…….

Archery is one of the most ancient sports known to mankind. In Ancient times and the medieval period, this activity was used for protecting people from enemies and for hunting wild animals. Today, it is regarded as a recreational activity or sport, and is looked upon as a way to improve concentration, mental strength, and precision…..where was I? Oh yes, sorry, I was thinking about Kevin Costner in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and got distracted.
Question: What did the lustful maiden say to the handsome archer? Answer: You make me quiver.

And that is just one of many descriptions that I was laughing at. And I had 25 more letters to get through. And 700 distractions hobbies to occupy my Grumpy for when the time comes. Yes 700! She found 700 activities!

This book will definitely be put in an easy accessible location and, I’m sure, will get much use once my husband leaves his office for the last time. It just might have saved him from a justifiable murder.

I recommend this if you are looking for a light read, full of humor and laughter and/or looking for a new pastime. Full of levity, amusement and witticism. I am looking forward to reading her next book, Just Add Spice, as I am sure it will contain more of the same.

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4

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER
This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.

ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.  I am an IndieBound affiliate.  I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
Jul 012013
 

The Rockin’ Chair by Steven Manchester
Published by The Story Plant
Publication Date:  June 18, 2013
ISBN:  978-1-61188-067-0
ISBN:  978-1-61188-068-7
Pages:  242
Review Copy from:  The Story Plant
Edition:  ARC  Kindle
My Rating: 5+

Synopsis:
Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

My Thoughts and Opinion:
I was first introduced to this author, through The Story Plant’s, Spread The Word Initiative, when I read his debut novelTwelve Monthswhich blew me away.  I then read his subsequent book, Goodnight, Brianand again, another amazing read.  With each book, Mr. Manchester touches upon a poignant topic that the reader has experienced, or can relate to, in their own life, which makes for a very emotional read.  Could number 3 be as good?

 

The Rockin’ Chair is a moving story of the McCarthy family that is faced with Alzheimer’s Disease, aging parents, memories, wisdom, regrets, realizations, faith, and above all, familial unconditional love and understanding.

 

Mr Manchester has an incredible writing style that, not only can the characters and settings come to life and vivid imagery formed, but  also allows the reader to feel the cast’s emotions.

 

On a personal note, there was a section in the book that truly hit home and is so true, which I would like to share.  For many years, I worked in the Geriatric field and countless times, I saw how the elderly were forgotten and/or discarded by family and friends. But these special folks had so many memories to share and wisdom to bestow.
Anyone who pities the elderly is a damned fool!……”The elderly should be envied”…..“They had realities of the past, which nothing or no one could take away”.
The Rockin’ Chair is a tender but powerful read.  A book that will stay with the reader for many years to come.  Engrossing and emotional!  Will tug at your heart strings!  Not only do I highly recommend this book, but believe this story should be a mandatory read for all.
 
I asked if number 3 could be as good?  My answer.  Not only did Steven Manchester hit a grand slam, he won the championship with The Rockin’ Chair!
5

REVIEW DISCLAIMER
This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

(2013 Challenges:  Just For Fun, EBook, Count The Ways, A-Z Where Are You, FreeReads, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, Read-A-Latte