Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review of The Tiger Warrior by David Gibbons

  Genre: Action/ Adventure

Synopsis: Jack Howard, an archaeologist and deep sea diver, discovers amazing history below the water and on land. He is sort of a modern-day Indiana Jones. This is the third book following Jack Howard and in this adventure he discovers an ancient elephant graveyard below the ocean, which leads him to Egypt, India, and Afghanistan following an ancient legend about Roman soldiers sold as slaves and working their way down the Silk Road to become mercenaries. Along the way, Jack is looking for his  great great grandfather, who got caught up in pursuit of legendary gems that could grant immortality and disappeared in the early 1900's.  Come to find out both of these ancient stories have a common root.  On the trail of discovery, they find themselves unknowingly pitted against an evil baddie intent on becoming immortal and taking over the world.


David Gibbons is a trained archaeologist. There is so much fact (or at least, supposition based on evidence throughout history) in this book that it is really thrilling to read. His details of the Koya people of India, and the Pashtun people of Afghanistan, were fascinating to read. The basis of the adventure, the possibility of Roman soldiers being captured as slaves, and moving into Asia along the Silk road and then becoming mercenaries; is very realistic and the way that he paints the possible events is beautiful and elegant. This is the kind of fiction I really love, where you learn as you read. Where the lessons are so seamlessly and elegantly woven into the story as to make you feel as if you are a part of it.

I have always been fascinated by books like this! Indiana Jones, Dirk Pitt, Robert Langdon. Each is a wonderful opportunity to learn new and exciting things in the frame of a good story.  I am excited to add Jack Howard to my list of awesome characters to follow!


The evil baddie sort of felt like a prop piece. One scene we see into his warped reality, then the rest of the time his henchmen are there to add unnecessary pressure to the search and discovery. For me, Howard's family allure, not to mention the amazing finds he was uncovering, were enough to keep me drawn in. Even the ancient Chinese group sworn to protect the jewels was enough. I'm a bit tired of an overarching villian trying to take over the world.


There were a surprising number of grammatical errors in this book, considering it was published by Bantam books, one of the "Big Six" publishing houses. I loved the author's note at the end, showing what was real, what was supposition based on historical findings, and what was pure fiction for entertainment. But there was no author's biography. I had to search the web to determine his credentials and learn more about him as a writer.

Overall, I love the character. I love the fascinating details that the author is able to contribute, and the way the author excites in me my life long passion of learning about other cultures and history. I am definitely looking forward to reading more Jack Howard novels.

Don't forget to vote on the cover you like best for Angel's Dance, and write your thoughts in the comments section below that post. I'll be configuring all the input this weekend and coming up with the final cover! Check out Charlene Wilson's covers that she created and tell me if you like one of these better. Thanks for the input!

As always,
Keep Reading!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Come Vote on the Cover for Angel's Dance, A Psychic Thriller

Hello Lovelies! Would love your opinion on the cover for Angel's Dance, the sequel to Elements of a Broken Mind. It releases November 25th and we have some fun stuff that will be going on for the month of November! But first, here is the back cover blurb:

Psychic Clear Angel hasn't seen or heard from her one-time lover Detective Grant Anderson since their first case wrapped up six months ago, and that is perfectly fine with her! But when he shows up on her porch in the rain and in tears, she cannot hold her ground.  No matter how she feels about Grant and her “gift”, she can’t ignore the visions already pouring in.

Grant knows that he is no good for Clear, and has respected the distance she has kept. But when his daughter goes missing and the Chicago police have no leads, he turns to Clear and her unique abilities.

This next adventure puts Grant and Clear in close quarters as they find themselves once again fighting their feelings for one another.  Thrust into the dark underworld of performance art, they strive to track down a ballerina who keeps taunting Clear in her visions.  As they delve deeper into one studio, the grisly visions that haunt Clear may be more than she can handle. Can Clear hold it together to help find Grant’s daughter before it is too late? 

Get the exciting sequel to Elements of a Broken Mind and find out what happens with Grant and Clear as they find themselves once again fighting dreams and  passion.  Angel’s Dance releases on November 25th, 2013 in paperback and e-book.  E-ARCs are available for review. (If you have a blog and would be interested in participating in a blog hop for November, just drop me a line!)

Now that you have an idea what the story is about, here are the three covers to choose from:

Cover 1

Cover 2

Cover 3

So which one do you like best and why? Is there anything you would change about the one you like best? 
Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for your input and until next time,
Keep Writing! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Third Book in The Castleton Series, End of Time, Releases Today

Hello my Lovelies!

I am so excited that the third book in Mike Dunbar's Castleton Series releases today! It is such a fantastic read! End of Time is my favorite book so far. I think part of this is because of the detail Mike goes into about making bows and arrows, when the boys go back in time to learn about the English Longbow. I've always had a thing for bows and arrows. (Long before the Katniss craze that has gripped our nation!)
Another aspect of the book that I really appreciated is the development and discovery with the alien beings. More tough moral lessons arise in this story, which also thrillingly throws us into the future! My boys are so eager to read this one, that they have actually put off the next book in the Lost Hero series by Rick Roirdan to read this instead.

In the distant future, technology has disappeared and few humans remain. This remnant lives a simple, peaceful existence; until an unexpected invader arrives. Yellow in color, shaped like a cross between a knight in armor and a football player--- these beings liquefy all the people they find. The villagers call them Dandelions, because they are yellow in color and just popped up out of nowhere. Charlie Newcomb escapes these monsters and travels back seven generations to find the daring innovative time crew described in his ancestor's diary.

Freshly returned from studying the Battle of Agincourt for a UNH professor Mike Castleton, Patrick Weaver and Nick Pope witnessed the power of the English long bow. With this simple weapon, a handful of English archers had destroyed an army of French knights. The CT9225's crew answers Charlie's desperate plea for help. With their friends Allie Tymoshenko, Jen Canfield and Loren Smith they return with Charlie to lead the few unarmed humans into battle with the Dandelion army, and perhaps witness the end of time.

It is available in E-book from the on-line retailer of your choice, or through Smashwords
Paperbacks are available through Createspace or you can order from your local bookstore.
If you haven't started reading this series, you really should. There are eight books in total, and the author is releasing a new book every three months. I cannot wait for the next book, coming out in December!

Have you read any of the Castleton Series yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: The Art of Sales Management: Lessons Learned on the Fly by Michael Delaware

 Genre: Non-fiction, sales

Synopsis: The author has compiled tips and lessons learned from his years as a sales manager, and his experience running his own business. There is a nice combination of text-book information and real-world application. The author covers such topics as how to handle your sales people (with chapter headings like "Playing Sales as a Game, Sales Meetings with Results, Signals from the Bench, and Reaching for the Monkey in the Drawer) as well as managing sales work (with chapter headings such as Bonus Systems, The Man Behind the Curtain, Remembering the Ground Game, and Long Range planning)

The Good

I have worked a lot of my career in sales (retail and restaurant while in college, book sales now) and there was very little in this book that did not resonate with truth. (Except the idea that cash bonuses aren't nearly as effective as rewards bonuses. I know a lot of my colleagues from back in the day would disagree, so that is probably just me!) The author uses clever pop culture references that most of us can relate to, and when he uses sports metaphors he does such a good job of explaining the relation that I actually learned a lot about baseball while learning about sales management!

For each tip he gives, he sites real-world experiences he has personally had that apply to the principle he is promoting. This book took me nearly three months to read, because there was so much information crammed into the short 208 pages, and I was trying to figure out how to apply many of the lessons to my current situation. A great and educational read.

The Bad

This book took me three months to read. I suppose that is not really a bad thing, if your goal is to become a better sales manager, but if you are working in sales and trying to formulate a system to make this book work, I suggest you read through the whole thing, rather than implementing step by step. Keep your copy to refer back to when implementing. I am a one-book-at-a-time type reader, so this put all of my other books for review WAY behind. Fortunately, I devour fiction, so I'll get caught up quick enough.

The Ugly

This book would have benefited from a good editor. Not only were there copious amounts of grammar errors, and spelling errors,  but the organization fell way off towards the end. That is one thing that is soooooo important in non-fiction, especially self-help type books. Without excellent organization, the book just does not work. Fortunately, most of the book was extremely well-organized. Unfortunately, that made the end feel like the author/ publisher said "You've got some great material, but we need the book to be at least XX pages, so we need more content from you." Nope, bad call there.

Overall, I really appreciated this book. The tips are great and the examples are engaging. I found myself sharing a lot of the tips with a friend who is currently in sales management and he was excited to come back and tell me how he had employed them and how they had worked! Great material, not-so-great delivery of all of the material. I am definitely hanging on to this gem to refer to as needed. Yeah, it is good enough for that!!