Review: The Story Cure


I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Writing is hard.
No really. Writing is really hard.
I have kept a journal for 15 years. I have been blogging for 4 years.
Any new project is always, always a challenge. I personally have found narrative storytelling to be far and away the most challenging of all.
I am always looking for ways to be a better writer, so I picked up The Story Cue by Dinty W Moore.

Here is the offical copy from Amazon:

A collection of cures for writer’s block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.

People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at
all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore’s signature wit and unique take on the writing life.

I have read many books about writing books, and this one is different from the standard self-promotion and pep talks that many others of this genre tend to have.
For about $10, it is worth the read.


Book Review-Pop Manga Coloring Book

After acquiring four coloring books, and a set of 72 pencils, I think it is safe to say I am officially on board with the adult coloring trend.

It is just such a nice little mental break to color in a bit when I’m watching television. I can feel my focus improving afterward.

I was so anxious to get my hands on this book. I love manga, but I am really, really picky about quality, Camille’s work in unbelievable. She is a genius of this style, truly. If you don’t like manga or anime, this might not be the book for you, as out of context drawings of a girl with octopus tentacles might not be your thing. If you do like manga, grab this now.

Aside from the drawings being unbelievably beautiful, the paper is very high quality. This is probably my favorite coloring book I’ve gotten.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review- Tasting Rome

I love Italian food,so I was excited to get this cookbook of Italian food in exchange for a review.

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine—mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. Speakeasies, ten-table restaurants, and street food stalls may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Rome, but these new realities have joined the traditional bars and trattorias of the Italian capital as bastions of great food and drink. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome’s unique character and truly evolved food culture—a culmination of two thousand years of history.

This book is full of lovely photos and unique recipes. I am particularly excited for the chapter about Jewish and Roman infused recipes.
This book is really aimed at the skills of the more advanced cook. Some of these will prove a challange for me.


Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror


MIKE TUCKER is an Emmy nominated, BAFTA winning visual effects designer. He spent 20 years as part of the BBC’s in-house Visual Effects Department before setting up his own company, The Model Unit, in 2005. As a writer he has contributed to the ‘Doctor Who’ ranges, novelised several scripts for the ‘Merlin’ range, and co-authored a history of the BBC VFX Department.

“Well, I doubt you’ll ever see a bigger insect.”

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. ‘Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!’ Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face – a spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

Just in time for Halloween, The Crawling Terror is a Doctor Who based novel around giant spiders terrorizing a community. This reminded me very much of those awful 50’s scifi movies like Them, Swamp Thing, the Brain that Wouldn’t Die and of course the Giant Gila Monster. This was such a fun throwback to the classics horror movies that practically invented the genre of Science Fiction.
The characters are true to the Doctor and Clara. I adore the current Doctor almost as much as I love Clara, so it is nice to read their stories in a book as a break from the show.
The writing and story is fun and quickly drew me in to the world of the Mad Man with a Blue Box.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review- The Princess Spy


Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself “Lord Colin” is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.

There are dozens of examples of women throughout history who are strong and intelligent. This book pays a great homage to strong women in history that make incredible impressions on their world and society.
The title sells it, the Princess Spy. Everyone has an image in their mind of a princess, as well as a spy and the images tend to conflict.
I enjoyed this well written book quite a lot. I found it interesting and complex without being too much on the fantasy side.
I think many people with different backgrounds and tastes will enjoy this special book!


The Daring Heart of David Livingstone

51LdBeOS95L__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The captivating, untold story of the great explorer, David Livingstone: his abiding faith and his heroic efforts to end the African slave trade

Saint? Missionary? Scientist? Explorer?

The titles given to David Livingstone since his death are varied enough to seem dubious—and with good reason. In view of the confessions in his own journals, saint is out of the question. Even missionary is tenuous, considering he made only one convert. And despite his fame as a scientist and explorer, Livingstone left his most indelible mark on Africa in an arena few have previously examined: slavery.

His impact on abolishing what he called “this awful slave-trade” has been shockingly overlooked as the centerpiece of his African mission.

Until now.

The Daring Heart of David Livingstone tells his story from the beginning of his time in Africa to the publicity stunt that saved millions after his death.

I had never heard about this very amazing man named David Livingston until I discovered this book. This man was truly one generations ahead of his time. I was really impressed with the immense amount of detail included that could only be a result of meticulous research.
I feel like I really learned a lot about history and especially African history. This would make an amazing gift for anyone who really loves history, African Studies, African Literature. I would recommend this especially to African history students and teachers.
It warmed my heart to see that it was endorsed by Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, An organization near and dear to my heart.


Dr. Who- Silhouette

This is my second review of a Doctor Who young adult fiction novel. Even though I am new to the Whovian universe. I enjoy watching the New Doctor Who on the BBC network,.
The cover art is lovely, but Clara isn’t in it, which made me a little sad.
I felt that while the writing itself is indicative to the Doctor Who sub-genre, I feel that the author was a little “off” on the idea of the characters. I understand where the author would view the Doctor and Clara in the more arrogant fashion as he wrote them in the book. However, he didn’t really include the Doctor’s gentleness and self-sacrifice.
This is a rather picky observation, however, from someone who is quite familiar with the series and the characters. So, my criticism aside, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It made for an easy and pleasant Sci-Fi read on a very rainy and dreary day.

Doctor Who- The Blood Cell


I admit the first con I ever went to, I was completely overwhelmed with Doctor Who. There were Doctors as far as the eye could see. Ever few feet there was a sonic screwdriver, a long colorful scarfs, and red bow ties. There was a TARDIS and a Dalek prop to pose with.
I was amazed at the bredth and loyalty of this newly discovered fandom.
So I began to watch the show on Netflix, and I found I enjoyed it. I especially like David Tennet, and Matt Smith’s Doctor.
When the Doctor’s new companion Clara was brought in to fill the void Amy Pond left, I immediately liked her, and with great excitement some and high expectations Peter Capaldi was brought to bring to life the Doctor’s classic archetype.
I have enjoyed the pair on the BBC so I was stoked to get a chance to review the The Blood Cell by James Gross.
I was intriqued by this interesting POV that the author chose. I liked this nice and enjoyable read. To me it had the “feel” of Doctor Who. It didn’t read like Fanfiction.

Book Review -Forever Christmas

This Christmas will change Andrew Farmer’s life forever.

Andrew can’t remember the last time he spent Christmas away from work. The end of the year is crunch time for literary agents. But when your career is your life, your life starts to suffer . . . beginning with your marriage.

When a heart-wrenching accident in a Christmas Eve snowstorm jars this high-powered agent from his obsession with success, a Christmas miracle will give him a second chance at love, life, and gratitude, but only if he can put aside his own ambition and learn to appreciate each moment.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to change a man’s life—and to teach him to treat every day as if it were his last.

Robert Tate Miller began his writing career with homespun essays of small town life that were published by Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and wrote successful family-oriented telefilms for NBC, ABC Family, and the Hallmark Channel. Robert lives in Northridge, CA, with his wife Gina and stepdaughter Chloe June.

This is a sweet, simple relatable, Holiday story. It makes for great cold weather reading. i was hooked quickly by the lovely and straightforward style of writing. It is a great book to stuff a stocking or to read on a cold snowy day with a cup of coffee. It was a pleasant read for me. Anyone who likes reading romances, watching Hallmark will like this book. The style of writing is indicative of the author’s previous writings and has the same feel as Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
I would love to give or receive it as a gift. I highly recommend it. I also plan on checking out the author’s other works. You can check out his author’s page here on Amazon.

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