Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: Armor of God - The Paladin by Tracy Lesch

Hello everyone,

Time for another book review. I do have to apologize again for the inconsistency in my posts as of late. Work has been very busy, and it affects everything else. So I guess just don't expect a weekly post for some time. I will do my best. The book to discuss is titled Armor of God - The Paladin by Tracy Lesch.

Armor of God - The Paladin was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards.  The book follows Jean Baptiste, a monk turned warrior in service of the Christian God, battling demons and evil wherever he goes. 

There isn't any more I wish to divulge in the description, but I do want to say this - I am not a very religious person, if at all. For that reason, I was very hesitant reading this book, What I decided to do for myself was to take the perspective that this was really no different than reading any mythological based story. If it's good for Zeus, Odin, and Roman Deitys, why not Christian ones too? It really did allow me to open up to it, and look at the book objectively.

With that being said, I am very glad i took that approach. What I found was a really good story of loss, revenge, and work towards self-redemption.  Lesch's story is told by Baptiste himself, in first person, which adds a nice perspective to things. It also narrows the view down to that of the main character, but in this case, it felt essential in learning about Baptiste's past and the events that led him down his path. The battle scenes are quite descriptive and painted wonderfully vivd images in my mind. There are certain moments when the story almost has a Bram Stoker's Dracula feel, where the hunt is on. 

Overall I have to say this book is quite a good read, and worth the time. I look forward to Lesch's sequel, Armor of God - The Heretic. I give this book 4 stars. If you can deal with the religious component, give this book a go. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

This book is available at the Smashwords website for the cost of $2.99. Not a bad price if you ask me. Here is the link:

Until next time,

R. M.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review / Author Interview: War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson / Christy Sloat

Hello everyone,

Today's post was a little bit late, and by that I mean perhaps a week or more. My apologies to anyone who may be reading. I had a short interview with Christy Sloat, author of The Brown House. I also recently read a short poetry book entitled War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson. It seemed like a good idea to combo these two into one post so as not to come off to brief, and to possibly make up for the recent lack of posts. Let's have the interview first.

1) When did you first start writing?
I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. Always making up little stories of a kid. My imagination always ran wild. But I started my first novel, The Many Lives of Avery Snow, three years ago. I wanted to write and to put my thoughts to paper. Then low and behold I had a novel.

2) As I had stated in my review of The Brown House, I am not a fan of the paranormal romance/young adult genre. I know that many people who follow The Fraser File are, so I gave the book a go. I think you're a great writer and very technically sound. I also think you hit the nail on the head in writing this as a first-person narrative. You really seemed to be able to get into a teenager's (Brylee Branson's) mindset. Did this come easily to you?
Thank you, I hope there are more readers who havent tried books in this Genre that give it a shot due to your review.
To answer your question, yes it did come easily to me. I am by far not a teen, but I have a teenage neice who I watch and mentally take notes. Her behavior is much like Brylee. She was my inspiration for her. Not every teen is like Brylee. Brylee sees the world in the honest way that it is. The nitty griddy tough life we all live, that most teens don't see. Brylee saw because her life fell apart all at once.
It's easy to write as a teen because I think I read so many YA books and I adjusted my head to that genre. I love to read them because they make me remember my youth. You can never be too old for YA.

3) I understand there is a sequel to The Brown House. Are there or will there be more books coming in this series?
Yes I plan on doing a short novella in the early spring on one of the characters, Kayla. Her story just has to be told so I decided to do a short story on her life. I am also planning on debuting the next novel on this series in the summer of 2013. So many people want me to hurry up and write it. But I have 2 series going at the same time. I only have so much time in one day. I can't say how many books we will end up with this series, only time will tell.

4) What other books have you written and what genres are they?
The Many Lives of Avery Snow and Ianni. They are paranormal romance and I enjoy writing them too. But I love writing suspense more.

5) Lastly, if you could tell the readers where they can purchase The Brown House and your other works. 
My books are available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-million and more. Pretty much everywhere. I have also been accepted to be on the shelves of Barnes and Noble for my first book and I am super excited about that.
Thank you for the interview, Christy.
Ok, now for part two. 

I want to go on record that I am not as much into poetry as I used to be. I have written quite a bit of my own, but over the years I have gravitated away from it somewhat. This book was a gift from my sister, who shall remain nameless. After reading War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson, I decided a review is in order.

It's definitely a straight-forward book of poetry. Poetry for me is hit or miss, and a lot of what I read in this book didn't appeal to me. There are some that did however, especially the title poem. The ones that I enjoyed weren't for the flow or rhyming schemes, however. It was for the content. In some of her other pieces the rhyming scheme came off a little underdeveloped. I find it tough to use that word sometimes, though, because there might not be enough time in the world to fix how cheesy a rhyme sounds. Certain ones are just not meant to be in a piece. I've committed this same flaw in several of my pieces, and either found a better scheme, or just avoided it entirely. What really draws me into a poem isn't the words themselves or the rhyming schemes in general. It comes back to the content. If it can give me a clear mental image of what is being conveyed and the content is interesting to me, then I tend to enjoy it. I feel that Dea Dickinson did a pretty decent job of that in some of her poems, and out of those, some had content I related to or found interesting. I'd have to say that a good chunk of what I didn't care for was more to do with content than writing style, et cetera.

In light of that, and knowing that poetry is a very subjective thing to review and comment on, I will give it 3 and a half stars. It wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, but it might be for you in you enjoy poetry at all. It's at least worth picking up and reading. Decide for yourself from there.

The ebook is available for purchase/download at
for $!.50.

It is also available on in paperback and ebook (pdf)

Until next time,

R. M.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: Picker by Chad Schimke

Hello everyone,

Time again for another book review. This is again, not a review of a work involved in the Global E-Book awards, more of those are still to come. This post in particular is a review of author Chad Schimke's Picker.

Picker is somewhat of a crime thriller. I look at it as more of a crime drama, but that's probably just splitting hairs on my part. The setting is New Mexico and follows Fernando, a young man who has just inherited the role of crime boss from his father via his mother, who somewhat held it all together until he was of age to take on the responsibility. Fernando is in a position in which he can't escape, despite his desire and effort to be someone normal.

As for my take on this novel, I thought it was ok overall. There were some things I really enjoyed about the book, and it was mostly Schimke's descriptions of the New Mexico area, as well as when he touched on Native American life of tribes indigenous to the area. I found that Schimke has a knack for the historical aspect of fiction, which was refreshing for me, as I was pretty well parched out from many of the other books I have been reading recently. Schimke has a lot of potential as a writer.

Having said that now brings me to the not so good aspects of Picker. The story jumped around a lot, going from historical Native American settings, to Fernando's father's past, and to Fernando's present itself. There was a theme going on, and I could pick up on it, but it was very convoluted. There were so many things that Schimke could have done in his writing to explore the relationships and contrasts further. If he had done this, I would have been a much bigger fan of the story. Instead, what I read was something that felt way too short and needed so much more. Despite the strength of his settings, backgrounds, and writing style in general, it had too many gaps in the story and not enough ties. I can appreciate an author's attempt to not become lengthy and long winded, but in my opinion, a great author recognizes that it's the story itself that needs to be told, and that will dictate how lengthy it needs to be. My gut feeling is that Schimke wasn't quite there yet in this novel.

I do believe that Schimke has a high upside if he continues to write, so I hope he does. As for Picker itself, I am only giving this book 3 stars. It was ok. I hope he lives up to his potential in future books, and I plan to check in on one and find out for myself someday.

Until next time,

R. M.