Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green

 Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong---it's impossible.

Or is it?

Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.

My Review:

Characters: The characters were well-rounded, even the bad guys. I was interested in every one of them, and was genuinely surprised when one of them turned out to be evil (I won't tell you who, though!)

Movie Potential: This has fantastic movie potential. I would probably go the route of "The Borrowers"//"The Secret Tales of Arietty" and change the name for the movie. But other than that, there's mystery and an interesting cast and adventure. The rating, most likely, would be pg-13 for a couple scenes. My personal rating guide for this book, as well, would be a PG-13 average--unless your child is like a lot of children I know (mature for their age) in which case, PG-10 should be fine.

Writing style:  Enjoyable. It's not a style I've ever read before, but that's a good thing. From quiet emotional scenes to big loud battles, the style doesn't change or falter.

Format:  Kindle. Absolutely no problems.

Overall Rating:  4/5

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flash Fiction: Cub scouts

Flash Fiction: Write fast, and don't edit.

 I really liked the idea of just dialogue, so I'm doing that again.

"Good evening, sir."
"Look, kid. I don't want any cookies. So go make a radio out of coconuts or something."
"Well, you're in luck. I'm not selling cookies. I'm doing a survey."
"Great. I don't want to take a survey. Ask that nice old lady over there."
"I just need to know what you want for christmas. Like, I want world peace so--"
"Look. I'm very busy trying to take over the world."
"I'll leave if you tell me what you want for christmas. Please? It's for a badge!"
"Fine! I want world domination, a copy of Mein Kamph, and a box of cracker jacks. Now scram."
"Mister, you ARE a box of cracker jacks."
"That's it. You have two seconds to leave before I cram that survey right up--"
"Tch. Humans."

Book Review: Economics A Simple Twist on Normalcy

 Professional football players, corporate tobacco advertisers,  volatile gasoline prices, and the Cold War all share an undetected commonality—each is an intrinsic part of economics. Though not obvious to the naked eye, each entity shares a pattern with the others. This book helps to shed light on these mutual characteristics. It is an extensive compilation of theories interpreted using supportive examples.
Economics is an enthralling science that encompasses our actions, thoughts, and emotional rationality every day in the unconscious. This book dissects economic theory into bite-size, entertaining snippets that anyone can understand and apply to their daily routines. It is a compelling depiction of history, business, pop culture, and social movements intertwined with relevant economic trends. Economics is part of daily life, and this book challenges readers to question how and why people make decisions by adding a simple twist on normalcy.

 “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” -Arnold H. Glasgow
Kersten L. Kelly is a self-published author of narrative non-fiction and semi-fiction books. She grew up in Munster, Indiana, and currently works in a sales role based out of Chicago, Illinois. She started writing at an early age and graduated from Indiana University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Communication & Culture. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and writing as well as international travel in her spare time. This book is her first piece of published work.

My Review:

Pros:   I'm not a big fan of nonfiction, but this book was educational and rather entertaining. As a student of psychology, there were a few chapters and theories that I had heard of before (like the Prisoner's Dillema) but hadn't applied to anything other than psychology. Having these theories applied to economics was a new way of thinking for me and kept me reading.

Likewise, Kersten uses plenty of real world examples such as getting gas, football games, cigarettes and medication that will be relevant to the reader. Very unlike a textbook, this book is full of theories that are then applied to the real world, and I think that is what kept me going as well as something that will keep the reader turning the pages.

Cons: This, being a nonfiction book, didn't keep me up at night. It was fun to read, but I didn't get excited whenever I turned on my kindle to read. Most fiction books will have me reading at starbucks until the sun moves enough for me to be no longer in the shade and leaving with a sunburn. This was not such a book. If this book were a national holiday, I'd rank it to be that long weekend you get off of school for Columbus day, whereas Pawn Of Mine was a lot closer to thanksgiving or Christmas.

Writing style:  It was simple and easy to understand, but not boring. Everything was explained thoroughly enough that I have a working understanding, but at the same time I don't think I'd like to be tested on what I learned. Mostly, understand, because I loathe tests. If I were to get a pop quiz on economics, after reading this book I may get at least a passing grade--anywhere from 78-85%
correct answers.

Format: Kindle--no problems with the words, but with the kindle app on my iPod I did have to zoom in for the graphs.

Overall Rating:  3/5   (For someone interested in economics, I'd say it would be a bit higher.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

 John is on my Author Idols page! Go check him out.

My Review:

Pros:    This is a great book to read even you don't like books with cancer in them, or have never heard of John Green, or if you have ever been to or wanted to visit Amsterdam. It's a book for everyone, for all ages, provided they have no medical complications that may arise from smiling too hard or crying too much.

Cons: Side effect of reading this book include anxiety, almost unbearable sadness, an abundance of emotions, laughter and weeping at the same time, and soul searching.

Characters: When someone was describing this book to me, she said "It's sad. It's about two kids with cancer." But once you read this book, you will know that is far from the truth. This book is about a small group of kids, each with their own little touch of cancer, who live life as much as they can and find love and never for a moment pretend that dying isn't horrible and unfair. The characters are well rounded and grab your heartstrings without ever letting go.

Movie Potential: This would make an amazing movie. Not only because of the emotional content, general fame of the author and amazing potential cast and audience. But because this book, no matter how horrible the movie adaptation, cannot be ruined. That's the best kind of book, really. That's what makes a classic.

Writing style:  John Green is a genius, plain ans simply put. The dialogue and prose are flawless in execution, and the words themselves will likely be quoted across the world for years to come.

Format:   Physical, hardback. It smells nice and it's shiny. Also completely hug-able with a glossy cover resistant to spilled tea and/or tears.

Overall Rating:  5/5

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: Pawn of Mine

 The world never ended in fire and ice. The people were consumed by it and now control the elements. The Fires have harnessed the power down to an art while the Waters cower in fear of their abilities, remaining weak and hopeless. Seventeen-year-old Sage Sinclair hopes to dispel the weakness of her Water people because she knows that if she doesn’t do anything, no one will. When she discovers something special about herself, she seeks the Humble Narcissist Ruler Agni in the great fire city, Saint Firefly. Once she gains his seal of approval, she’s admitted into Erra Academy where she secretly sparks a revolution among her ennui peers—a revolution to fight back against the Fires. She has every hope in her movement, just as long as her feelings for a handsome and frivolous Saffron Larkspur don’t get in the way—that, and Agni’s sudden fascination with her.

 I'm 20 years old, from Portland, Oregon, and have a passion for writing. There isn't much else to say about me since I'm a new author! Aside from writing, I'm a college Sophomore, I've lived in South Korea, I love traveling, love Glee, Friends, and Modern Family, and I love being outside! Can you keep up with all the books I'll be publishing? Hope so!

My Review:

Pros:   Tabitha mixes passion with romance with action perfectly, with bonus points for most of Sage's impulsive plans not actually working; just like a teenager's impulsive plans usually don't.

Cons: There were a lot of boy problems. It turned from a line to a love triangle to a love square, at one point, complete with competing girls for each boy included. 

Characters: I really like the fact that this is a book about teenagers who constantly bend the laws and live at school, and they're all very involved with their parents at home. In most books like this, the parents would be forgotten. But here, we always know where the parents are and the parents know exactly what their children are doing, whether they approve of it or not.

Movie Potential:  I went back and forth on this for a while. There is plenty of action, it moves quickly enough and the elements of romance would attract both boys and girls. But, that is what was said of The Last Airbender, and lots of people didn't like it. It actually went through my mind at one point, though, that it could be made into an animated movie. I quickly discarded it, though. All in all, I think it would be a brilliant movie, but I'm not sure how popular it would be by itself. I'll have to read the sequel to make my final decision.

Writing style:  Good. Not groundbreaking or new or amazing, but believable and interesting. It'll keep you turning pages until dark. I particularly like how it ended, set up perfectly for a sequel but more importantly; set up exactly so the reader wants to read the sequel.

Format:   Kindle, a few basic grammar problems. Nothing major, but noticeable.

Overall Rating:   4/5

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flash Fiction: Pure dialogue

Flash Fiction: Wait. You get this by now, right? This has been going on for a while. Write fast, don't edit.

My Flash Fiction brings all the boys to the yard. And they're like, that doesn't seem hard.

"Now, that crate you guys are standing on is an island in the middle of an ocean. You need to get to the island on the other side of this ocean without touching the ground."
"What happens if we touch the ground?"
"The man eating sharks eat you. Remember: Think outside the box."
"Outside the box. Right. Well, I can fly. See? I'm halfway there already."
"Wait, no flying! The sharks just ate your eyes."
"How can imaginary sharks eat my eyes when I'm flying?"
"They just can. The rest of your body just wasn't tasty enough."
"Charming. Fine, I'll take the blue blindfold."
"Okay, now remember to watch eachother's backs. Especially those who have disabili--Hey, watch out!"
"Ahh! Stupid tree! I quit!"
"Don't quit. Just try again."
"Do you know the definition of insanity?"
"Yes. To try something the same way expecting different results."
"I don't think choosing the red blindfold will get me any closer to this island of milk and honey."
"Fine. You can have your eyes back."
"That's all I ask."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taste Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

 At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


The material below can be added as need for what you have planned for the post:

Song Credits: "Hunger" © Noelle Pico.
Full Download available at

An Excerpt for you lovely readers. :)

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts.  I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.
“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.
He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self-assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch-black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.
“Human,” he whispered.
He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.
Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.
“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.
He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.
Footsteps retreated behind me.
Luka reached out again.
It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.
“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.
I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”
“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”
My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.
From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue-black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.
Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.
“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.
I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.
I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.
“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”
“I don’t think so.”
Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”
“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”
There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.
“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.
Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”
Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.
Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?
Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic. The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.
Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.
Luka nodded once.
Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: