Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kumquat by Jeff Strand

KumquatKumquat by Jeff Strand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amy has a impending brain aneurysm that could pop at any time and she meets Todd at a really bad film festival in Tampa Bay.  They find each other in an abandoned film and decide to ditch the festival to go on a "date" and find out somethings they have in common like:
: is about a group of eight archaeologists who discover a cave in South America.  The cave contains countless portals, and when you step through one, you find yourself on a different dimension.  Unfortunately for those poor archaeologists, the things they do after going through a portal have an impact on the real, current world, and they've really made a mess pf things.

Amy and Todd LOVE LOVE LOVE this series and watch it religiously, and also the author puts an equally HILARIOUS quote on the top of each chapter from EXIT RED.
They also realize that they are pretty boring people and Amy proposes they take a road trip.  Todd's always wanted to go to Hunky Dory Dogs since he saw it on Man vs Food.  So Todd calls into work claiming his Grandmas died, to get some extra days off for his road trip with Amy to New Jersey. The two end up having a blast, although Todd is worried that Amy's going to die on him and Amy's worried she won't live to see the end of EXIT RED.
So they make it to Hunky Dory Dogs only to find out the dogs taste disgusting, that people keep calling Todd the mint man, and  ...and Murphy's law keeps attacking them.  Amy is the rock through all of this and the couple ends up closer and closer through each trial.   Todd winds up having a heart attack, so they now both have health issues and you will have to read the book to find out about EXIT RED but they live happily ever after!  I had such fun reading this book with all the funny quotes and mishaps!  It's such a great book to read when you are burnt out on horror stories!!

**I forgot there is a reason the Title is Kumquat.  My belief it's meaning in the book is for trying new things, but Kumquats truly show up in the book.

I was given a copy by the author in exchange for my review.

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Space Sushi I recommend to read at lunch!

Space SushiSpace Sushi by L.R. Currell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to sit down to a lunch of Sushi while I read this story.  I had Salmon and a tuna roll ;) The story is about lunch 100 years from now...

Chang Luis Sahari is a famous food reviewer for a webzine.  His latest assignment is to review the dangerous and rare "piece de resistance"from another planet.  It is a sea slug, named Ambrosia and is very hard to harvest.  Only people with millions usually order it.  Chang's boss thought that either way this piece would bring in lots of revenue...whether Chang dies from it's poison or he completes the review.
Chang and his friend Chef Nikon, who just happens to be the best at preparing the ever poisonous and elusive Fugu, have been sending messages back and forth setting up the review.

Holy SUSPENSE!!!!!!
Chang and his bot Tablet (an iPad but with a robot attached to analyze the data and assistant to Chang) are preparing at Chef Nikon's unopened Restaurant.
Chang literally thinks of every possible way that he could die from the Sea Slug/Fugu. The Fact that Nikon's teacher died painfully from his poor eyesight while preparing the dish, making an oopsie before consuming it.  He even put his will and stuff in order. I was even hyperventilating with Chang waiting for the main dish... I was so scared for him. He was systematically putting every precaution in check.  Chef Nikon kept trying to allay his fears but Chang was more worried about the Chef being distracted.  The ending is a Whopper!! You have to read this, it was really fun!!!

The author gave me a copy to read at lunch in return for my review ;)

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Red Dust: The Fall (Stories 1-3) Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell

Red Dust: The FallRed Dust: The Fall by Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

RedDust is a collage of Zombie Old West Stories.  I really enjoyed them and the 3rd story was my favorite.

1. The Lost Party America 1846
This story is about a caravan of people trying to cross over to new land in the winter.  George Masterson is out looking for the missing party.  Masterson finds a satchel with a diary in it and pieces together what happened.  The settlers twice get told to turn around but they don't listen.  Masterson finds them, and then gets attacked by a bear.

2. Feud ( 7 yrs later) 1853
A Stranger rides into Little Rock... he is the first new patron in their saloon in 5 months.  The town of Little Rock is having a crisis... Bishop and Gardner are in a family feud to the death and each try to get Griff (the stranger) to assassinate the other one.  They both have different views about zombies as well.   The conflict ends with a shoot out and red dust.

3. The Last Rider ( 8 yrs later) 1861
Isaac is the last rider of the Pony Express, and he will go through hell and high water to deliver his package to Major Stokes.  In his journey he comes across some of the Characters we've already met in the first two stories.  Also we find out that the Civil War is going on along with incoming zombie hordes!! I was holding my breath that Isaac would make it, and he had a lot of strange lucky help along the way!!  It left me on a awesome cliffhanger I couldn't wait to read The King!

Each story is unique but when I started thinking about them.. I noticed that they were all entwined together with certain characters, and almost seemed to be pieces of a bigger story.  I think I had to most fun trying to read between the lines, and piece all of the stories together.

*Make sure you read the next story :King (Red Dust, #4) by Ben Dixon  King #4

I was given a copy by the author who is really cool by the way (I got to talk to him about these books) in exchange for my honest review!

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The Last Casket Review

The Last CasketThe Last Casket by Jack Wallen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Last Casket is a spin off from Jack Wallen's I Zombie I> series.  Starring: Kitty in a Casket.

Kitty in a Casket, a real band from Austria!

  Kitty Casket's Home Page

Members are: Kitty Casket (Lead Singer) weapon: microphone, katana
Billy the Bat: (Guitar and Backing Vocals) weapon: bat, switchblade, axe, the Kitty Mobile (157 scratch marks/total dead)
Tom Mooner: (Bass and backing vocals) weapon: machete, his creepers (shoes), Fender Squire quitar,
Todd Flash: (Guitar and backing vocals) weapon: singing, his shoe
Mike Machine: (Drummer) weapon: cymbals, drumsticks, drum stool, 2 short pikes

I listened to Dancing with the Devil" I really liked it.  Throughout the book, the author inserted lyrics from the band's songs in each chapter heading.

The premise of this fun story is that after the Mengele Virus destroyed the world, Kitty and her band wanted to start a "Rockocalypse" and bring back music to the world.
We're just trying to entertain the world while it heals - even if it means playing to empty houses. What are you going to do, pout the apocalypse to it's knees and shame it away?

The only problem was, their only audience had been the undead.
"Mike Machine stepped in to save the day."He's saying we need to find some isolated club where our ear-splitting decibels won't attract the attention of the less-than living."

How can they play to an audience without attracting zombies?  The Band has been traveling all over in the Kitty Mobile trying to survive and find places to play when they find......
The Last Casket Kitty calls it a dream come true, and also a coincidence with the name of the bar and the name of her band.
It's simple; this is a bar, you're a band. I need you, you need me"- Torque, who owns the bar.
They run into a few bumps in the road and I'll leave the rest for you to read!!

I did enjoy the carefree and boisterousness of the band, with their funny lyrics and hilarious quips.  It was a nice break from just trying to survive, to a goal of making people want to survive and listen to live music again!

The author has given me a copy to review, and all thoughts are my own. Kitty in a Casket is a real Austrian Band check them out and Jack Wallen's other work.

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Suffer The Children ~ Craig DiLouie Review

Suffer the ChildrenSuffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being a Mother while reading "Suffer the Children" was really emotional.  I actually stalled for awhile, because I didn't know how gory it would be or if I needed to read in the daytime. I would say any parent might have some kind of emotional reaction to this book while reading, it's hard not to as it's about children dying and coming back from the dead.
The good mother knows what her children will eat. Akan Proverb

This quote starts off the book and now after reading it, is a significant theme but not in a way we would think. Now lets meet the parents/families in this story:
Joan and Doug Cooper~Joan runs an in-home daycare for other couples in the neighborhood of Landsdown, Michigan. The kids in her charge are- Megan (her own daughter), Josh, Dillon and Danielle. Nate, their older son goes to school during the day. They also have a dog named Major.  Joan honest to god only runs the daycare because in the big scheme of life, stay at home moms,don't count in the Gross National Product because they don't get paid. Tomorrow she is going to see a spy movie with her friend Coral.
Joan - Most people didn't understand how strongly mother's feel toward their children from the moment they were born.  That screaming thing in your arms was your reason for being.  That you would do anything to make it happy. That you would fight,kill,die.

~Doug is a sanitation worker for Otis. Doug smokes Winston's, and is a recovering alcoholic who quit when his first child was born. The Waste Management Industry is being revolutionized with new trucks, and Doug wants to go straight to his union, as he is so afraid of being fired. Being a man, he thinks he should provide for his family, and is insecure about his place in the world because he came from a dirt poor family.  As all parents he wants to provide a better life for his kids. Tomorrow he is taking the kids to a birthday party at the ice skating rink.

Next up is Ramona Fox ~ a single working mom and her son Josh who is weak and has Celiac disease. While at work she fires Mr.Cute Ross Kelly(*this is not the last we will see this poor guy).  The phone rings just as this guy gets his pink slip and she leaves the office asap to get Josh from Joan's because he ate home made Play-dough.Tomorrow she is taking Josh to see Santa at the mall, and will bump into Ross again.  Joan's friend Bethany is also at the mall with her son Trent.

Dr.David and Nadia Harris David is a pediatrician and his wife Nadia is a nurse, they work together at his practice.  Thankfully, and I know this sounds weird but they lost their son Paul in an auto accident the year before and Nadia was driving. David becomes "your friendly neighborhood drug dealer" when the shit hits the fan.

Shannon Donegal is pregnant, and goes to see Dr. David for a free prenatal consultation.

Ben and Gloria Glass Ben is the county medical examiner and is friends with Dr.David.
Ben-The dead are the real blabbermouths, if you know how to listen.
Ben is the only character to figure out what Herod is.... and they have no children.

Now that I've introduced you to the characters, they all intertwine in the story and the "Tomorrow" I've hinted at is when the Herod hits.  Herod is a parasite that only activates in children.  These poor parents hearts are ripped out.  They are given false miracles and eventually are turned into walking zombies, mere shells of themselves..only to finally be drained and die.
It was an illusion. A trick.  Herod's trick.  It was a clever parasite.  It took the children hostage to get what it wanted.  And because it was essential to reanimation, there was no destroying it.  To kill Herod was to destroy the children themselves.

You will have to read the book to find out the ending.  All I can say is that it was really sad.  I don't really see the point besides showing that parents will do anything for their children.  I was left hanging I felt at the ending and shocked by how some of the parents changed in the end!!

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Friday, June 6, 2014

No Alligators In Sight by Kirsten B Feldman

No Alligators in SightNo Alligators in Sight by Kirsten B. Feldman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Venezuela finds her mother's journal... "Momma did you write this?"**    "Yes. Yes I did. What you have there is the story of the summer before I went to high school, just the age you are now, or will be in a few months, and I was having a hard time.   That was the worst time of my life....But then it was the start of the best times, too"

A Coming Of Age Story: Leticia/Lettie/Annie and Engelbert/Bert/Engie are brother and sister.  They live in Boston with Joel, their alcoholic Dad.  Gertrude, their mother, left when Bert was only 3 years old and Leticia was 7 years old. Gertrude now resides in Florida with her fiance Orlando: the pot smoking, over-eater, inappropriate PDA'er and kid hater.
Lettie's story starts 6 years later when "the Whopper", Candace Stopper (a school counselor) assigns Leticia to start a journal about her feelings of anger, towards her Mom, over the summer break.

"Grownups never learned anything from their failures.  Take my father. He'd gone right out and started drinking  again a few months after our mother left, even though that was why she said she'd have to go, or at least that was what He said she said.  As for why she had to go alone, I couldn't say.  I'd tried asking but adults didn't answer questions they didn't like."
Lettie's only friend is Mayes, who has gone to her Grandma's in North Carolina over the summer.  As Bert's permanent watchdog, and caregiver; she doesn't have any other friends.
She struggles being a kid and an adult at the same time because "Joel" is emotionally and parentally not there for her. She is very smart, very angry and very sarcastic. As a quirk she loves contranyms and tries to weave them into her conversations. She was also a chronic shoplifter.

Bert has a heart shaped mole in the middle of his forehead.  He loves to eat clams, and is too young to remember his Mother.  He is Lettie's little shadow, and always makes her laugh.  He tries to be independent but usually ends up making a mess.  Bert loves NASCAR racing, and the beach.  He paints shells with Lettie and they sell them to tourists.  Bert loves him Mom and fights against Lettie's beliefs.  His best bud is a stuffed animal named Mousie.

Lettie writes about her and Bert's adventures over the summer, about her observations, feelings and hilarious ways of viewing the world.  I loved her voice, her sarcasm of her situation yet she is strong and makes it though all her trials.  Eventually she softens up when she learns the truth about her family and what family really means.  I related to her since my own family situation was similar.  It really sucks being poor, having to grow up too fast, and being punished for things you either didn't do or did for a cry of help/ retaliation.  Bert was a compliment of Lettie's personality because he always saw the bright side of things and was more naive to what was going on.  He was calm,loving, forgiving and kind to others.

**This book was the perfect story of a broken marriage and what really happens in the aftermath.  People aren't instantly forgiving, they each have their own ways of coping and end up bitter, angry and miserable.  The parents were selfish, and only concerned about their own pain/life.  It was good to see that even through all of this everyone learned something.
Best of all, Lettie shared it with her own child Venezuela.

What do the Alligators mean??  I think it is a metaphor that the Alligators are the "negative emotions" and at the end.. the Alligators aren't there anymore.  Plus Alligators are in Florida.  Lettie and Burt almost get eaten by negligent parents, but they work together and made it...not to anyone's notice or care.

I was given a copy of this book by the author Kirsten B Feldman in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own and quotes belong to the author.
Buy a copy at Amazon: No Alligators in Sight

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