Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 4th Quarter 2011

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 4th Quarter 2011

1. Clockwork Prince - Infernal Devices book 2 - Cassandra Clare
2. Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O. - Pat Schmatz
3. Watch Wolf - Wolves of the Beyond #3 - Kathryn Lasky
4.
Beauty Queen's - Libba Bray
5. Shideshow - Ed. by Deborah Noyes
6. The Visitors - Clone Codes Book 3 - The McKissacks
7. The Start-Up - Sadie Hayes
8. The Battle Begins - Underworlds Book 1 - Tony Abbott
9. Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk - Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds
 
Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap
 

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013
 
Statistics Books Read By Year:
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Friday, 30 December 2011

Watch Wolf - Kathryn Lasky - Wolves of the Beyond 3

Watch Wolf
Wolves of the Beyond
Book 3

Kathryn Lasky
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545093149
eISBN 9780545388726

This book continues directly upon book three Shadow Wolf. Folan and Edme have first been sent on a quest. They must go to the place of their tummfraw, their abandonment before they became gnaw wolves. But shortly after their arrival at the ring of fire and start their training, things seem off.

Kathryn Lasky is an amazing storyteller. The Hoolian world that she has created that is shared by the owls, wolves and bears of the beyond, has captured the imagination of people around the world. In this book, one of the wolf clans wants to start a war believing that they will come out and rule all of the beyond. The great thing about this book is that the primary focus shifts from Folan to a number of key characters, including strong female characters who learn to believe in themselves.

These stories are great with wonderful characters and stories that teach good lessons. They are fun to read and children of all ages will love them.


Books by Kathryn Lasky:
Wolves of the Beyond:
1: Lone Wolf
2: Shadow Wolf
3: Watch Wolf
4: Frost Wolf
The Wolves From The Beyond Field Guide














Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book:

1: The Capture
2: The Journey
3: The Rescue
4: The Siege
5: The Shattering
6: The Burning
7: The Hatchling
8: The Outcast
9: The First Collier
10: The Coming of Hoole
11: To Be a King
12: The Golden Tree
13: The River of Wind
14: Exile
15: The War of the Ember
A Guide Book to the Great Tree
Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole

Daughters of the Sea:
Hannah
May

Starbuck Family Adventures:
Double Trouble Squared
Shadows in the Water
A Voice in the Wind

Born to Rule
Unicorns? Get Real!

The Royal Diaries:
Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England 1544
Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France 1553
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France 1769
Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India 1627
Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan 1858

Dear America:
Journey to the New World: The Diary Of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620
Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
A Time for Courage:The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917

My Name Is America:
The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804

My America:
Hope In My Heart, Sofia's Ellis Island Diary
Home at Last: Sofia's Immigrant Diary
An American Spring: Sofia's Immigrant Diary

Standalone Titles:
The Last Girls of Pompeii
Blood Secret
Broken Song
Star Split
Alice Rose and Sam
True North
Beyond the Burning Time
Memoirs of a Bookbat'
The Bone Wars
Pageant
Beyond the Divide
The Night Journey
Prank
Hawksmaid
Ashes
Chasing Orion
Dancing Through Fire

Children young adults non-fiction:
3038 Staat der Klone
John Muir: America's First Environmentalist
Interrupted Journey: Saving Endangered Sea Turtles
Shadows in the Dawn: The Lemurs of Madagascar
The Most Beautiful Roof in the World
Sugaring Time
Days of the Dead
Searching for Laura Ingalls
Monarchs
Surtsey: The Newest Place on Earth
Dinosaur Dig
Traces of Life
A Baby for Max

Picture Books:
Lunch Bunnies
Show and Tell Bunnies
Science Fair Bunnies
Tumble Bunnies
Lucille's Snowsuit
Lucille Camps In
Starring Lucille
Pirate Bob
Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine
Before I was Your Mother
The Man Who Made Time Travel
A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet
Love That Baby
Mommy's Hands
Porkenstein
Born in the Breezes: The Voyages Of Joshua Slocum
Vision of Beauty
First Painter
The Emperor's Old Clothes
Sophie and Rose
Marven of the Great North Woods
A Brilliant Streak
Hercules: The Man, The Myth, The Hero
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!
The Gates of the Wind
Pond Year
Cloud Eyes
I Have an Aunt on Marlborough Street
Sea Swan
My Island Grandma

Adult:
Night Gardening (pseudonym of E.L. Swann)
Dark Swan
Mumbo Jumbo
Mortal Words
Trace Elements
The Widow of Oz
Atlantic Circle

Author Profile Interview with Kathryn Lasky


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tofu and T Rex - Greg Leitich Smith

Tofu and T Rex
Greg Leitich Smith
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 9780316777223


This is the second story by Greg Leitich Smith set in and around the Preshtigo School in Chicago. The main characters in this story are Freddie, a young militant vegan, Hans-Peter, her cousin, and Opa their grandfather. Some of the same characters from Greg's earlier book Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo are back again as well.
Freddie has been sent to spend the school year at her grandfather's after being suspended for having burned down the football field back in Texas. Soon there are problems in Chicago and it appears as though Freddie is back to her old tricks. But things are not always what they appear. The story is told back and forth between Hans-Peter's and Freddie's perspectives. They are two family members who are very different but still family, and who learn to be there for each other.

I have to be honest - I love these books and wish that Greg would write more of them. They are great stories that are wonderful to read. And I would rather visit the Preshtigo School than Hogwarts any day!


Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)
Chronal Engine (2012)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)

Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith
Link

Monday, 26 December 2011

Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare - Infernal Devices Book 2

Clockwork Prince
The Infernal Devices Book 2

Cassandra Clare

McElderry Books an imprint of

Simon and Schuster
ISBN 9781416975885


Cassandra Clare is an amazing novelist. She has two series in which she is currently writing alternating books. This series is set in the same world as the other but over a century earlier. These stories are about epic battles between good and evil. They explore a shadow world hidden from most of us. In this one, we discover that a clockwork army is being built with the sole purpose of destroying the Nephilim, a group of people blessed with the blood of an Angel who has been commissioned to protect the rest of us.


Tessa Gray is becoming a strong independent woman and a valued member of the London Institute.

In this book, we learn a lot more history of the Nephilim, and the accords, and the history behind the animosity between down worlders and the Nephilim. It is another wonderfully written story, set in a world of magic, myths, legends and mayhem. An awesome read!


Books by Cassandra Clare:

Mortal Instruments:
City of Bones - Book 1
City of Ashes - Book 2
City of Glass - Book 3
City of Fallen Angels - Book 4
City of Lost Souls - Book 5 (May 2012)
City of Heavenly Fire - Book 6 (September 2013)

Infernal Devices:
Clockwork Angel - Book 1
Clockwork Prince - Book 2
Clockwork Princess - Book 3


Bane Chronicles:
1. What Really Happened in Peru
2. The Runaway Queen
3. Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
4. The Midnight Heir
5. The Rise of The Hotel Dumort
6. Saving Raphael Santiago
7. The Fall of The Hotel Dumort
8. The Course of True Love (and First Dates)
9. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway)
10. The Last Stand of the New York Institute


The Dark Artifices Trilogy
Lady Midnight
Prince of Shadows
The Queen of Air and Darkness

Magisterium Series: (with Holly Black)
The Iron Trial 


Contributor:
Geektastic
Vacations From Hell
Eternal Kiss
Zombies versus Unicorns

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
From Book Reviews and More.



Hope you have a blessed holiday season, and may you find many good books under the tree, or sent to you device for eReading.

Early Christmas Present from my wife KettleBlock replaces 8 Kettlebells. Awesome.


Friday, 23 December 2011

The Siege - Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 4 - Kathryn Lasky

The Siege
Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 4

Kathryn Lasky
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545283359

eISBN 9780439405607


There are 15 books in this series, two supplemental books and now 4 in a spin- off series. And yet with each book that I read, I find that I have a greater appreciation for Kathryn Lasky's writing; her skill as a storyteller is masterful. The stories draw the reader in, and for most they will want to read the next tale as soon as they finish one. The characters are strong and powerful and as you visit the land of Ga'Hoole and beyond you will fall in love with the creatures and their fight for what is right and what is just! The stories move at an amazing pace and with each one you have a deeper appreciation for the relationships at the Great Tree and across the realms.

In this story the Great tree and the Ga'Hoolian way of life is under threat. Metal Beak and his band have put the Island under Siege. Soren and his friends are each doing what they can to help with the preparations for battle and a plan for how to save the tree and all that it symbolizes for the Owls of Ga'Hoole and to all the owl kingdoms. This story has more direct conflict and battle than any of the previous books, and a reader cannot but suspect that the pace of the series is picking up.

This is another amazing book in an incredible series by a spectacular author. Give the series a try you will not be disappointed.



Books by Kathryn Lasky:

Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book:
1: The Capture
2: The Journey
3: The Rescue
4: The Siege
5: The Shattering
6: The Burning
7: The Hatchling
8: The Outcast
9: The First Collier
10: The Coming of Hoole
11: To Be a King
12: The Golden Tree
13: The River of Wind
14: Exile
15: The War of the Ember
A Guide Book to the Great Tree
Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole

Wolves of the Beyond:
1: Lone Wolf
2: Shadow Wolf
3: Watch Wolf
4: Frost Wolf
The Wolves From The Beyond Field Guide

Daughters of the Sea:
Hannah
May

Starbuck Family Adventures:
Double Trouble Squared
Shadows in the Water
A Voice in the Wind

Born to Rule
Unicorns? Get Real!

The Royal Diaries:
Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England 1544
Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France 1553
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France 1769
Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India 1627
Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan 1858

Dear America:
Journey to the New World: The Diary Of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620
Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
A Time for Courage:The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917

My Name Is America:
The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804

My America:
Hope In My Heart, Sofia's Ellis Island Diary
Home at Last: Sofia's Immigrant Diary
An American Spring: Sofia's Immigrant Diary

Standalone Titles:
The Last Girls of Pompeii
Blood Secret
Broken Song
Star Split
Alice Rose and Sam
True North
Beyond the Burning Time
Memoirs of a Bookbat'
The Bone Wars
Pageant
Beyond the Divide
The Night Journey
Prank
Hawksmaid
Ashes
Chasing Orion
Dancing Through Fire

Children young adults non-fiction:
3038 Staat der Klone
John Muir: America's First Environmentalist
Interrupted Journey: Saving Endangered Sea Turtles
Shadows in the Dawn: The Lemurs of Madagascar
The Most Beautiful Roof in the World
Sugaring Time
Days of the Dead
Searching for Laura Ingalls
Monarchs
Surtsey: The Newest Place on Earth
Dinosaur Dig
Traces of Life
A Baby for Max

Picture Books:
Lunch Bunnies
Show and Tell Bunnies
Science Fair Bunnies
Tumble Bunnies
Lucille's Snowsuit
Lucille Camps In
Starring Lucille
Pirate Bob
Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine
Before I was Your Mother
The Man Who Made Time Travel
A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet
Love That Baby
Mommy's Hands
Porkenstein
Born in the Breezes: The Voyages Of Joshua Slocum
Vision of Beauty
First Painter
The Emperor's Old Clothes
Sophie and Rose
Marven of the Great North Woods
A Brilliant Streak
Hercules: The Man, The Myth, The Hero
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!
The Gates of the Wind
Pond Year
Cloud Eyes
I Have an Aunt on Marlborough Street
Sea Swan
My Island Grandma

Adult:
Night Gardening (pseudonym of E.L. Swann)
Dark Swan
Mumbo Jumbo
Mortal Words
Trace Elements
The Widow of Oz
Atlantic Circle

Author Profile Interview with Kathryn Lasky


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

R.G. Bullet - Author Profile

I encountered R.G. Bullet first on on twitter (@RGBullet58). His tweets were different. They grabbed my attention. Many new authors come across my reviews and either approach me to review their books or on twitter they add em and then remove me and keep doing so hoping I will ask for a review copy (or at least that is what I am assuming). I waited to see about RG and he just tweeted. His tweets intrigued me enough I asked more about his forthcoming book The 58th Keeper. He sent me some sample chapters and later an eBook of his novella the prequel The 57th Keeper. I was so impressed with that novella that I wanted to find out more about R.G. So here is R.G. in his own words.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

The only encouragement I really remember from my school days was from one of my English teachers who scribbled in my end of term report: "He writes quite well." And if that sounds lame - it is, but you have to remember this was England in the mid 70's and warmth and a sense of accomplishment was not encouraged, and regular beatings for no apparent reason were somewhat routine back then. I eventually wound myself into a knot of fear while at boarding school and was taken out with something called 'stills' disease. I was paralysed from the neck down. The good news is that the illness miraculously vanished after about a year. I count myself lucky to be walking again, to have escaped that school, and wound up with a sense I could write. All good fun!

2. Who were some of your biggest supporters and contributors to your writing?

Without question my immediate family. And to have a green light from a successful literary agent like Laura Rennert was a pivotal point for me. She was excited by "The 58th Keeper" at the time and felt my writing had a great chance. I also received unwavering encouragement and input from my editor, Judy Gitenstein, who was super generous with her time and one of my very first fans.

3. What authors influenced your writing style and format?

As a child I remember being really spooked reading Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde" also Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" - a great mix of eccentricity and daring adventure. Plus Mark Twain for his wit. The sense of camaraderie in the "Asterix and Obelix" and "TinTin" comics is wonderful, too. In my teen reading, Michael Crichton's "The First Great Train Robbery" for the first time filled me with awe-it had tremendous pace, history and intrigue that kept me turning the pages.

4. What are some of your favorite books and authors now?

If I open up the eReader right now I can give you a glimpse of what I am currently enjoying. Helen Simonson has captured the essence of England rather nicely in "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand". I have just finished reading Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" trilogy and the first two books held my attention. Also current is Jonathan Maberry's "Ghost Road Blues" which is a lot of gritty fun and Barry Eisler's "The Detachment". All superb story tellers.

5. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

I'd be in Nepal, meditating in a zen monastery by day and hitting their clubs by night...

6. What does your writing process look like? Take us through the steps from idea to publishing?

The story spiraled out after I won a scratch card lottery. I split the proceeds with my friend who asked me what I would buy. I said, "A flying carpet," which was a silly answer, but the seeds of The 58th Keeper were sown.

The process - while writing The 58th Keeper I would invariably write intense scenes I felt passionate about, that I knew would happen in the arc of the story, and then weave them together later on. It's not an ideal way to write, but it worked for me.

Nowadays I trick my mind into writing, which isn't difficult as I love it, but sometimes doing menial tasks like eating and emailing gets in the way. So I kick off with the 48/12 minute game. I set a virtual timer on the task bar with the intent of writing for 48 minutes and then taking a break for twelve. It never works out that way because as once I start writing hours can fly by. After this the first ugly draft emerges. Then it gets bounced off my wife, who has to suffer my typos and strikethroughs. Then it's a matter of re-writing and re-writing, copy and proofing. And perhaps more re-writing.

7. Do you use a playlist when writing? Are certain books written while predominantly listing to the same music?

Impossible for me. Music, coffee shops, the internet are massive distractions. I write best in a room while wearing earplugs. Writing from home I'm subjected to constant distractions, usually of my own making. I now know why writers such as Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Henry Thoreau, Virginia Wolf, Neil Gaiman etc choose to write in huts at the bottom of their gardens. But as I don't have one, I'm considering a boat and anchoring it in the middle of Biscayne Bay.

8. I once heard Madeleine L'Engle state that her characters were real to her and almost an extended part of her family, she said once that at the dinner table she sat up and stated "Meg just finished her PhD." Are your characters real to you, do you ever get glimpses of what they are up to now, or once you finish a book is that it?

Yes, they are very real. Writing involves me being immersed in the characters. They are always up to something in their 'lives', so I take notes.

9. What books are currently in progress for you? Writing, researching, planning or even just ideas that you would like to work on?

I am three quarters of the way through "The 58th Keeper" book two. I am doing more in depth research on The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, which is a central point for The 58th Keeper. And I have a series of short stories currently out : "The Caldecott Chronicles" which has been enormous fun to write in the YA/steampunk genre. It's about an Earl in the Victorian age and how he deals with...Zombies. Although the word Zombies isn't used (the word wasn't known prior to the 30's) lots of other descriptive terms are bandied about like: undead, ungodly, unclean, uncouth. I am also working on a screenplay. Apart from that I have several book ideas which are brewing and which may mature with time.

10. What came first the novel "The 58th Keeper" or the short story "The 57th Keeper"?

"The 58th Keeper" came first. The people privy to the initial drafts thought Alturus was a quirky, fun character and kept asking about him. So at the beginning of the year I thought it would be fun to get a glimpse into his background and his short Keepership. He is from Istanbul and got his break as Keeper working on the luxury yachts in Ibiza. "The 57th Keeper" is a bonus/free eBook that can be read before or after the main story, "The 58th Keeper". It won't spoil the fun-- only add.

11. What is it like working with Silver House Press to bring your books to life?

Silverhouse Books is a family run company that are backing me all the way. I know how much heart is put into all the projects, and so I feel the pressure to produce the best stories I can muster.

12. Will there be more books in the Keeper Series?

Absolutely. I just had a talk with my good friend who is very excited by the series and asked what number Keeper is up next. He joked 46th? 45th? 44th? I get his point-I could spend the rest of my life writing about different Keepers and the times they lived in. It would be fun, but right now I'm still on book two of "The 58th Keeper" involving Archy, Georgia and Vincent.

13. Some of your books are available in electronic formats but with that comes bootleg distribution. What are your impressions of eBooks and the distribution of them through torrents and other illegal means?

I love eBooks and embrace the path they're on. Five or even three years from now the eBook experience is going to be a real thrill. As for torrents-maybe I should be more worried, but as a debut author I haven't given it much thought yet. Neil Gaiman has some interesting viewpoints on it all and tends to think it's not such a big threat, as people who would never buy the books via the normal routes only become aware of his work through torrents. Perhaps they tune in another way and pay for film, or another book. There is a picture book (for adults) out now that was pirated widely, but if it hadn't been, it may never have caught on and reached the charts of Amazon and a wider (paying) fanbase. I also think that once eBooks are set at reasonable prices the readers will be happy to purchase them without flinching. Perhaps the days of $24.95 or $19.95 for a children's hardcover story are coming to an end-perhaps that is why they were pirated in the first place.

14. Some authors monitor torrent sites and have their publishers contact them to remove their content. Do you do so are have someone do so for you?

No, not yet.

15. I once had a university professor state that the true goal of a university education should be to teach one to learn how to think. What would you state should be the goal of higher education and why?

I interpret the 'think' part of that goal to be autonomous and take the initiative. In which case I agree with your professor. But one goal could be to encourage and stimulate the student's imagination, so they can contribute to their chosen field with flair. It's a two way effort, however. The student must 'think' and show enthusiasm, and the teacher needs to provide the necessary framework and encouragement for the student to grow. Above all, students need to constantly challenge the status quo. I must add I am very intrigued by Peter Thiel's - it's a different mindset and pertains to the entrepreneurial spirit, not for everyone.

16. Completely off topic but what TV shows or movies do you enjoy?

I recently met Jeff Lynsday at a book signing. He wrote "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" which ignited the TV series, Dexter. It's about a 'nice' serial killer here in Miami. "The Walking Dead" is another favorite. "Casino Royale" was a good movie. It has all the ingredients for solid entertainment and so do the "Bourne" films. Come to think of it I think Bond and Bourne should get together in unarmed combat as a pay-per-view event...

17. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

I would chose massive tomes that I could strap together and make a raft but that's probably not the answer you're looking for

1. "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" - Douglas Adams.
2. "SAS Survival Handbook" - -John 'Lofty' Wiseman.
3. "Dowsing for Beginners" - Richard Webster
4. "Reality Check" - Guy Kawasaki.
5. "The Power of Now" - Eckhart Tolle.
6. "Caeser" - William Shakespeare.
7. "Robinson Crusoe" - Daniel Defoe.
8. "Case Histories" - Kate Atkinson.
9. "The Count of Monte Cristo" - Alexander Dumas
10. "Watership Down" - Richard Adams.

18. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?

I have written about this in a fun way on my blog:
For aspiring authors:
Write and keep re-writing till your voice and story emerges.
Study why you turn the pages of your favorite books. It will leave clues.
Spend more time writing than you do on the net / games / TV.
Hang about, learn and follow inspired people. Persistence will pay off.
For aspiring Artists:
Similar to writers - dive into the craft, keep learning, experimenting and doing it for the love of it. Someone will find you.

Thanks for having me. I looking forward to making more friends.

R.G. Bullet Can be found online at his website, blog, twitter, facebook and lurking around blogs and other book sites. But most importantly pick up his books and give them a try you will become addicted and like any addict want another hit. So R.G. please write faster!

R.G. Bullet was born in Berkshire, UK. After living in nine different countries he has finally settled in Miami Beach, USA. He is addicted to tea, reading, writing, motorbikes and shamefully, Call of Duty. His middle grade debut novel: The 58th Keeper and The Caldecott Chronicles have just been released.

Books by RG Bullet:

Keeper Chronicles:
The 57th Keeper
The 58th Keeper

The Caldecott Chronicles:
Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3

Author Profile Interview with R.G. Bullet














Monday, 19 December 2011

Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO - Pat Schmatz

Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O.
Pat Schmatz
Orchard House Press - Blue Works

ISBN 9781883573850

This was the first book that Pat Schmatz published but the last one that I read. I discovered her as an author earlier this year and have since read all the books she wrote. What amazed me most about this book in particular is that even though it was her first published novel, the skill shown in the writing and the craft in the storytelling is amazing. I find that with many authors you can tell when they wrote certain books during their career by the skill in the writing. That is not the case with Pat. That is not to say there has not been a progression in her writing - there has, but that this first book was an absolutely wonderful read.

The characters in this story were stunning in how real they appeared. As I was reading the book, I thought that these would be people I would like in my life. The story revolves around Jackie Riley and the events before and after her twelfth birthday. The story deals with issues of separation and split families, with learning to enjoy learning, with alcoholism and recovery and just plain growing up. The story spans the better part of the year, from early summer until Thanksgiving weekend. It is a mix of Jackie remembering back, and time progressing forward. The nuances of the story are subtle and I know that I will go back and read it again. It is a great book by an awesome writer. Give this or any of her books a try. You will enjoy them all!

Books by Pat Schmatz:
Bluefish
Mousetraps
Circle the Truth
Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O.

Author Profile Interview with Pat Schmatz

Friday, 16 December 2011

Stacking Shapes Board Books - Salina Yoon - Little Scholastic

Stacking Shapes Board Books
Salina Yoon

Little Scholastic

Scholastic
ISBN 9780545235167


There are 4 board books in this collection: Square, Circle, Triangle and Heart. Each book teaches a color, a shape and an object. These books are a great concept but the execution could be improved. They are foam-backed board books. But the spines break easily and the stacking board is too flimsy. Like a few of Salina Yoon's other books, they are great concepts but the books just do not hold up. They are lovely books and fun to play with. Kids love them; they will just need some extra love and care to hold up.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Inner Geek Updated - December 2011

Quick update on my certification progress.


The certification's I have earned are:





Exams Written:
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator - Exam 9L0-510
Apple Certified Support Professional - Exam 9L0-403
Mac Integration Basics - Exam 9L0-263
MCITP - Windows 7 Desktop Administrator - Exam 070-686
Pro: MS SQL Server 2008 Design, Optimize and Maintain - Exam 070-450
MCITP - Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator - Exam 072-646
MCITP Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Administrator - 070-647
CompTIA Security+ - Exam JKO-015
MCITP Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician - EXAM 071-685
MCTS Windows 7 Configuration - Exam 070-680
Implementing Security in MS Win Server 2003 - Exam 70-299
MCTS System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuration - Exam 70-403
MCTS Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Implementation & Maintenance - Exam 70-431
MCTS Upgrading MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008- Exam 70-649
MCTS Deploying & Maintaining Vista Client Office System - Exam 070-624
Microsoft PowerPoint - Exam 810
Microsoft Outlook - Exam 813
Microsoft Access - Exam 807
Microsoft Excel - Exam 804
Microsoft Word - Exam 801

These exams were written either at a Prometric Testing Center or at a Certiport Testing Center for the Office exams. The Exams names that have links link to reviews of the books I used to prepare for those exams. These exams are a mix of CompTIA, Microsoft Exams and Apple certification exams.