Archive for February, 2012

Review: The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (September 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316126691
ISBN-13: 978-0316126694
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


What can happen if you suddenly achieve all your dreams?  Henry Skrimshander is just a skinny ballplayer, then he meets Mike Schwartz.  Mike plays ball for the Westish Harpooners, a college baseball team.  He wants Henry to play for them.  After some consideration, and convincing of his father, Henry is given the go ahead to attend Westish.

While at Westish he meets the President of the College Guert Affenlight, his daughter Pella, and his roomate Owen. 

The characters are very vivid.  The situations they find themselves in are realistic, and the overall story is one of love.  Throughout the length of the story, friendships are made, broken, and re-made.  People fall in and out of love.  People achieve their dreams, and lose sight of themselves. 

I was expecting just an average baseball book, but ended up getting one on relationships.  These are relationships among people who are each broken in some way and finding their missing pieces in others.

I think you should pick it up if you get the chance, I find you’d enjoy the story.  I’ll admit there was same language

About the Author

Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin and was educated at Harvard and the University of Virginia. He is a cofounder and coeditor of n+1.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ruby at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Book of Prophecies – Cesar

Friday, February 10th, 2012
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace; Special edition (November 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467911356
ISBN-13: 978-1467911351
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


This is a very difficult book to review. You can’t describe the character, or the plot, or whether the advice given was helpful. The book consists of prophecies and dreams of Cesar. It’s written in a poetic verse type style. The verses are rather cryptic, and it’s difficult for the average person to read them I’d think and say I know what that means.

That though is the interesting aspect of the book, to read them, and then when events happen, go back and re-read. Also, it’s rather fun to try to figure out, like solving a puzzle, exactly what is meant in certain verses.

While not for the average person, for those interested in prophecies, the works of Nostradamus, and similar type books I think would find this very interested. For those people I’d recommend it.

About the Author

Cesar has a very experienced background in the spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the spiritual world around him. In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own hands. Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make. Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing, Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white.

Be sure to enter Cesar’s giveaway here. Then don’t forget to see our interview
with Cesar here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brandi at BK Walker for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Interview: Cesar – Author of Book of Prophecies

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Today, Rhodes Review is proud to welcome to our pages, Cesar. Cesar is the author of Book of Prophecies. Welcome Cesar.

Rhodes Review: What persuaded you to write the Book of Prophecies?

Cesar: Well its a tough question because it is hard to explain, at the time I was working on other books, and I felt God just saying to me that I need to stop writing what I was, and to start a collection of prophecies to get them published.

Rhodes Review:  When you see these Prophecies are they physical images, mental images?

Cesar: They are mental images, sort of like what people would describe as day-dreams.  Although day-dreams are achieved by mere thinking, these images were achieved by not thinking.

Rhodes Review:  In the book you mentioned the Two who will follow, who are these two?

Cesar: There will come a time where two individuals will cause chaos across the world, in my mind, they would either have ways of attracting audiences or they will be fluent with technology itself.  They will be seen as being against the world and many people will try and stop them, maybe even try to destroy them.  I wrote a note aimed to them because, at some point with a person such as this, they would need confirmation that they are not crazy.

Rhodes Review: Can someone be trained to tap into their abilities, or is it a case of you have the ability or not?

Cesar: Funnily enough I have asked myself the same question a hundred times.  I don’t think that a person can be trained to do it, it is something that must seep through a persons mind body and soul, sure you can teach methods but you cannot teach a person to truly believe.   But I do believe that the gift of prophecy can be given to anyone.

Rhodes Review:  What is your background?

Cesar: I was brought up in a devout Christian family here in Ireland, but I have been walking on a somewhat different path for the last eight years, learning the ways of the world and experimenting with a lot of stuff too such as walking haunted graveyards and so on.  But for the last two years I have almost lived as a hermit, I guess in quiet contemplation about my life.

Rhodes Review:  What are some events that you prophecied correctly?

Cesar: Well the book is only out, however, on launch day (Jan13th) a disaster struck the Costa Concordia and I will give you a few extracts from the book;

“death to men, peril to ships” 1(vii)

“A man runs from responsibility and it will bring loss of affection” 3(ii)

“abandoned, plates left overturned, it is empty… silence on the ship” 7(iii)

“ship lost, danger, death, balance lost” 7(iv)

“a champagne glass sideways in a picture on the wall where green curtains hang” 10(xi)

“man found in orange by boat overturned” 12(vii)

Rhodes Review:  There were two predictions at the beginning of the book for what seemed to be the United States, can you expand on these?

Cesar: Well basically those two prophecies are claiming a downfall in the economy of the United States, but also about wrong decisions being made by the politicians making it worse, seemingly pushing to gain International recognition of their strengths, only to fall flat on their faces later on.

Rhodes Review:  When did you realize you had this gift of prophecy?

Cesar: I have known for a number of years that there was something strange about me, like foreseeing things in my personal life and with my friends and so on.  But I thought that maybe I was just psychic or something like that, but I know now that its nothing like being a psychic.  I had a lot of people offer to review my book before its publication, one of which was a psychic, and every time she went to read it on her computer, it would crash on her and eventually she refused to review it on the terms that it ‘was not meant for her eyes’.   The source of prophecy differs to the sources used by psychics, in fact, they are in opposition in ways.

Rhodes Review:  I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand a lot of the book, much as I don’t understand a lot of what Nostradamus wrote, is there a way to learn how to read books and interpret books such as this?

Cesar: I will admit that even I struggle to read what Nostradamus wrote!  Well there are almost like a set of rules about using prophecy, as knowing and foretelling the future can actually change the present which in turn changes the future and if the future is changed, then the prophecy may never come true.  This is why they are written as they are.  But there is enough information given so that you can get the general idea, and I have given twin interpretations to try and help people to understand.  People can, if they wish, purchase a dream book to interpret for themselves the meaning in the cryptic script section of each prophecy.  I believe that Nostradamus is so hard to understand because the imagery he used is hundreds of years old, meaning that we cannot use modern dream interpretation methods on his work.

Rhodes Review:  Besides writing, what are some things you enjoy?

Cesar: I enjoy reading, I love random road trips or any sort of travel, I enjoy meditation and I also dabble with art and music.

Rhodes Review:  What are some writers you enjoy reading?

Cesar: At the moment I am reading the Game of Thrones series by George R R Martin and I am enjoying his style of writing, I’m on the fourth book. 

Rhodes Review:  If you had any advice to offer myself or my readers, what would it be?

Cesar: To buy my book? Only joking.  No, I would like to offer a little guidance and suggest to everyone to research their own spiritual beliefs as there are so many misguided people out there.

Thank you again Cesar for joining us.  As this is the last stop in Cesar’s tour, he has offered the following coupon.

The discount code is:  78CCCRH8.  In addition, Cesar is sponsoring a giveaway through Goodreads in which you can win a copy of his book. You can enter the giveaway here. Also be sure to see our review of The Book of Prophecies here.

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Giveaway: Book Of Propehecies – Cesar

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Goodreads Book

Book  of Prophecies by Cesar

Book of

by Cesar

Giveaway ends April 22, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Advertisement: I Use to Know That Series

Thursday, February 9th, 2012


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Review: Voices of the Dead – Peter Leonard

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (January 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611880327
ISBN-13: 978-1611880328
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


This book covers two different time periods in Harry Levin’s life. His life in 1943 as he watches his parents, grandparents, and neighbors die at the hands of Nazi’s. Then we also see him in the early 1970s out for vengeance. This technique works well here as we get to see through flashbacks what his experiences were, and we get to know Harry through those experiences.

The story is extremely well written, and Mr. Leonard had me hooked on it from page one, and I literally could not put it down until I finished it. You get to explore 1940s Germany as well as the Germany of the 1970s as you travel through the book, and you learn about one of the darkest periods in human history.

Along the way Harry will make some friends, lose some he is close to, and have to keep getting himself out of trouble. One friendship I really liked was his friendship with former soldier. However it was also this relationship that I felt was one of the weakest parts of the book. There seemed to be an abundant use of negative words used to describe his black friend, as well as other minorities. In the context of the dialogue, I could see the necessity, to make it true to the times. However, it was when it was in the context of the prose that it seemed to be out of place.

However, that I feel is a minor problem. I figure it could be the writer making the novel feel as if it was written in the 1970s, it could be my own personal sensitivities to language such as that, or any number of reasons, but I feel that if it did stand out to me, it may stand out to other readers as well.

Putting that aside, Mr. Leonard has written a very strong novel and created a very strong character in Mr. Henry Levin, and I would definitely try more of Mr. Leonard’s novels out. This is one I highly recommend, but as I pointed out is for older teens and adults due to language, strong situations and war violence.


The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.

Brimming with action and dark humor, Voices of the Dead, firmly positions Peter Leonard as a writer ever suspense fan needs to read.

Author Bio:

Peter Leonard’s debut novel, QUIVER, was published to international acclaim in 2008 (“A spectacular debut…you will be holding your breath until the final page.”– The New York Sun).

It was followed by TRUST ME in 2009 (“TRUST ME is fast, sly and full of twists.” – Carl Hiaasen, New York Times bestselling author).

The Story Plant will publish Leonard’s newest novel, ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL, in the spring of 2012.


Hess found out the woman lived on P Street in Georgetown, not far from the consulate. He told the ambassador he was having dinner with potential clients, and wanted to drive himself. It was unorthodox, but plausible. He had been issued one of the embassy’s Mercedes sedans. He stopped at a bookstore and bought a map of the area, and located P Street. He drove there and saw the Goldman residence, a federal-style brick townhouse.

Hess went to a restaurant and had dinner and a couple drinks. At ten o’clock he drove back, parked around the corner on 32nd Street between two other vehicles so the license plate was not visible to anyone driving by. He walked to the Goldmans’, stood next to a tree in front of the three-storey townhouse. There were lights on the first floor. He walked to the front door and rang the buzzer. He could hear footsteps and voices inside. A light over the door went on. Hess stood in the open so whoever it was would see he was well dressed. The door opened, a man standing there, assumed he was Dr. Mitchell Goldman, dark hair, big nose, mid-forties, top of the shirt unbuttoned, exposing a gold chain and a five-pointed star. Hess smiled. “My car is on the fritz. May I use your phone to call a tow truck?”

Dr. Goldman stared at him with concern.

“I am staying just down the street at the consulate,” Hess said, smiling. Now the door opened and he stepped into the elegant foyer, chandelier overhead, marble floor.

“Mitch, who is it?” a woman said from a big open room to his right.

Dr. Goldman looked in her direction. “Guy’s having car trouble, wants to use the phone.”

“It’s ten o’clock at night.”

“He’ll just be a minute,” the dentist said.

Hess could see the woman sitting on a couch, watching television.

“The phone’s in here.” The dentist started to move.

Hess drew the Luger from the pocket of his suit jacket,and aimed it at Goldman.

The dentist put his hands up. “Whoa. Easy.”

“Who is in the house?”

“Just the two of us.”

“Are you expecting anyone?”

He shook his head.

“Tell her to come in here,” Hess said.

“What do you want? You want money?” He took his wallet out and handed it to him. “There’s eight hundred dollars in there.”

“Call her,” Hess said.

“Hon, come here, will you?”

“I’m watching ‘All in the Family.’ Can you wait till the commercial?”

Hess could hear people laughing on the television.

“Just for a minute,” the dentist said.

Hess saw her stand up and step around a low table in front of the couch, moving across the room, still looking back at the television. She turned her head as she entered the foyer and saw him holding the gun. Her hair looked darker in the dim light but he had only seen her briefly that day.

“Oh-my-god,” she said, hands going up to her face.

“We’re reasonable people,” the dentist said. “Tell us what you want.”

“The pleasure of your company,” Hess said. “Where is the cellar?”

Mr. Leonard is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Tours. As part of the tour we offer a giveaway of his next title: All He Saw was the Girl. For a chance to win a copy go here and enter our contest.

Here is his tour schedule:

January 19th: Review~ CMash Loves To Read
January 24th: Review + Giveaway~ Misty @ The Top Shelf
January 26th: Review~ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
January 27th: Review~  Katalina Play Room
February 10th:  Review~  Katalina Play Room
February 13th: Review~  Words By Webb
February 15th:  Review + Giveaway~ Books and Needlepoint
February 16th:  Review~ Shannon’s Book Bag
February 23rd: Review~ Pudgy Peguin Perusals
February 24th: Review~ Tontowilliams Electronic Scrapbook
February 27:Review~ Musings Of A Book Addict
February 28th: Review~ Joel M. Andre, Author
February 29:Review~ Kimberly’s Bookshelf
March 1st: Review~  Books R Us Online
March 3rd: Review~  Live To Read
March 6th: Review~   Popcorn Reads
March 7th: Review~  Community Bookstop
March 10th: Review~  Ryder Islington’s Blog 
March 12th: Review~  The Book Diva’s Reads
March 14th: Review~  My Reading Room
March 15th:  Review + Guest Post~ Everyday Is An Adventure
March 16th: Review~  Kritter’s Ramblings
March 18th: Review~  Sapphryia’s Book Reviews
March 19th:  Review~ CelticLady’s Reviews
March 20th: Review~  Books For Me
March 23rd: Review + Giveaway~  Jersey Girl Book Reviews
March 25th:  Review~ Book Bags and Cat Naps
March 27th:  Review~ Sweeping Me
March 29th:  Review~ J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer
April 2nd: Review + Giveaway~  Reviews By Molly
April 4th:  Review~ Everything Distils Into Reading
April 6th:  Review~ Curling Up By The Fire
April 9th:  Review~Kim”s Bookish Place
April 11th:  Review~OkBoLover

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Cheryl at Partners in Crime tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Giveaway: All He Saw Was The Girl – Peter Leonard

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Thanks to Mr. Aronica at The Story Plant I’m able to offer my readers 1 copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 02/22/2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

Be sure and see our review of Voices of the Dead by Mr. Leonard here.

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Review: Gods and Fathers – James LePore

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (December 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611880297
ISBN-13: 978-1611880298
Order book here:



Nationally bestselling author James LePore has established a reputation as a writer whose vividly drawn characters and morally complex plots have kept readers up to all hours turning pages. His new novel promises more sleepless nights and more nonstop thrills.

Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he’s known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy’s girlfriend.

Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.

GODS AND FATHERS is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore’s signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.


Matt DeMarco – Lawyer
Debra DeMarco – Matt’s ex-wife.
Michael DeMarco – Suspected in the murder of his girlfriend.


I thought Mr. Lepore did a good job with the character development. We see a lot of Matt’s past, his military history, and some of the demons that continue to haunt him. We see the conflict between him and his son, and get to experience the torment he feels over not being able to have a relationship with his son.

The story get me involved from page one to the end. The antagonist’s goals were realistic and fit with the characters. I was a bit disturbed at first because it all seeemed to have an anti-arabic slant to it, but in the end he seemed to correct that with one of the characters.

There was some strong language, and adult situations and for that reason I’d say the target audience is older teens and adults.

Overall, I found it to be a very engaging story and think anyone who enjoys political thrillers would probably enjoy this story. Grab a copy, and when you read it, stop by and let me know what you think.


“Why can’t you stay at your mother’s when they’re away?”

“I told you, Basil’s worried about security.”

Though this statement was challengeable on several levels, Matt let it pass. The marriage six years ago of Debra DeMarco, nee Rusillo, and Basil al-Hassan, a rich and handsome Syrian businessman, had marked the beginning of the end of Matt’s long and tortured fight for a place in his son’s heart. Armed with the ultimate weapon—-her new husband’s money—-Debra had made quick work of destroying the last vestiges of Matt’s hopes. A penthouse on Park Avenue, a beach house in Easthampton, a flat in Paris, a “cottage” in Bermuda, clothes and cars virtually on demand, Matt had no way of competing with all this, and no way of expressing his anger—-until tonight.

“What about Mina?” Matt asked.

“What about her?”

“Why aren’t you seeing her?”

“She’s studying.”


“Yes, studying. You keep repeating what I say. She’s a student. Students study.”

This statement was delivered dismissively, not sarcastically. You’re stupid, Dad. I’m tired of you. Why am I bothering with you? are what Matt heard, and it occurred to him, with a clarity that shocked him after all these muddled and painful years of effort and rejection, effort and rejection, ad nauseum, that he could not hurt Michael, that his own son was indifferent to him, and this was a blow, and strangely a release.

“Well, your friends are assholes, and you are too, Michael. You’re an arrogant, shallow asshole. Where you came from, I don’t know. But not from me.”

“That could be. Maybe Mom had an affair–like you did–and I’m not your son. Do I care? No, I don’t. Can I go upstairs now? I’ll leave in the morning.”

In the kitchen, Matt poured himself another scotch. He took the pizza out of the refrigerator and sat down to eat it, surprised to find that he actually had an appetite. Until tonight, despite the bad cards he had drawn, he had never stopped trying to break through to his son. It’s over, he said to himself, over and done. He’s not your son. He’s Debra’s son, Basil’s son. You lost him a long time ago.

He finished the pizza and was wrapping the garbage to take out in the morning when the doorbell rang. Looking out the kitchen window he saw that it was snowing heavily. Those idiots, he thought, they’re probably stuck someplace. No choice but to let them in. But when he swung open the front door, it wasn’t Adnan and Ali, but his friends Jack McCann and Clarke Goode, homicide detectives who he had worked with for many years, standing facing him. He could see their unmarked car at the curb, and behind it, blocking his driveway, a Pound Ridge patrol car, its engine running and headlights on, two uniformed officers in the front seat. McCann, a florid Irishman whose blue eyes were usually lit by some inner secret joke, looked grim; and Goode, a gnarled black man who never failed to greet Matt with a big smile, was not smiling. Far from it.

“Come in. What’s up?” Matt said. Then, nodding toward the street where the patrol car sat: “What’s with the uniforms?”

The two detectives stepped into the foyer.

“Take your coats off,” Matt said. He could see they were dressed for work, sport jackets and ties on under their trench coats.

“Matt…,” McCann said.

“Talk, Jack,” Matt said. “Is somebody dead?”

“Is Michael home?” Goode asked. He had not taken off his coat, and neither had McCann.

“That’s his car out there,” Matt said. “You know that.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s upstairs.”

Matt looked from McCann to Goode, then back to McCann; looked in the eyes of each, and did not like what he saw. “What about Michael?” he asked.

“We’re here to arrest him,” McCann replied.

“For what?” Drugs, Matt thought, good, let the kid get a taste of the pain he’s always inflicting on others. Him and his two Arab suppliers.

“For murder, Matt,” Goode said.

About the Author

Mr. Lepore is currently on tour promoting Gods and Fathers. As part of this tour, we present an interview with Mr. Lepore. You can read the interview here. You can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of Mr. LePore’s yet to be released A World I Never Made here.

After you’ve visited and read our interview and enter the giveaway, visit the other stops on Mr. LePore’s Tour Schedule.  There are 20 exclusive reviews for today only and his tour continues through April.

Feb 7:Review~Book Bags and Cat Naps and The World According To Dave
Feb 7:Showcase~J.C. Martin, Freedom Writer
Feb 7th:  Review & Guest Post~CMash Loves To Read
Feb 7:Review~Sweeping Me
Feb 7:Review & Giveaway~Books R Us
Feb 7:Review~Live To Read
Feb 7:Review~Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Feb 7:Review~Reviews By Molly
Feb 7:Review & Giveaway~Rather Be At The Beach
Feb 7:Review~Me And Reading
Feb 7:Review~The Top Shelf
Feb 7:Review~Books For Me
Feb 7:Review~Words By Webb
Feb 7:Review+Guest Post~Tontowilliams Electronic Scrapbook
Feb 7:Review~Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Feb 7:Review~The Phantom Photographer
Feb 7:Review~Alaskan Bookie
Feb 7:Review & Giveaway~Sapphryia’s Book Reviews
Feb 7:Review~My Reading Room
Feb 7:Review~Everything Distills Into Reading
Feb 7:Review & Giveaway~From The TBR Pile
Feb 8:Review, Guest Post & Giveaway~Words By Webb
Feb 13:Review~Bab’s Book Bistro
Feb 15:Review~Read It. Blog It. 
Feb 16:Review~Words I Write Crazy
Feb 20:Review & Giveaway~Kritter’s Ramblings
Feb 22:Review~Book Lover Stop
March 2: Review~A Novel Reaction
March 13:  Review~Ann’s Reading Corner
Mar 14:Review & Giveaway~Author Joel M. Andre 
March 15th:  Review~Purple Penguin Reviews
Mar 18:Review& Giveaway~Read2Review
March22nd:  Review~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book March 24th:  Review~My Bookshelf
March 26th: Review~My Bookshelf
Mar 28:Review~Jagged Edge Reviews
April 5:Review~Books And Needlepoint
April 10:Review~Ryder Islington’s Blog
April 11:Review~GivingNSharing
April 15th:  Review~I ♥ Reading
April 18:Review, Guest Post & Giveaway~ Everyday Is An Adventure
April 19:Review~Kim’s Bookish Place
April 23:Review~Silver’s Reviews
April 25:Review~Katalina Play Room

About the Author:

James LePore is an attorney who has practiced law for more than two decades, and an accomplished photographer. He is the author of three previous novels, A WORLD I NEVER MADE, BLOOD OF MY BROTHER, and SONS AND PRINCES, as well as the story collection, ANYONE CAN DIE. He lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife, artist Karen Chandler.


*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Cheryl at Partners in Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Giveaway: A World I Never Made – James LePore

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Thanks to Mr. Aronica at The Story Plant I’m able to offer my readers 1 copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 02/20/2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

Interview: James LePore

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Today we are pleased to welcome James LePore to Rhodes Review. Mr. LePore’s latest Novels Gods & Fathers is available today at your bookstores or online.

Thank you for joining us Mr. LePore.

Rhodes Review: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

James LePore: I write every day in the morning for four or five hours.

Rhodes Review: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

James LePore: I play golf, I read, I take walks with my wife.

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I had been following the story of the Rafik Hariri assassination since it happened in 2005. My first instinct was that Syria was behind it, and that Iran was behind Syria, which was not unique to me. Almost everyone who follows Mideast politics reacted the same way. I remember wondering at the time if the UN commission appointed to investigate the assassination would have the courage to aggressively pursue it. I was then surprised, and disappointed, to see that Washington, in 2009, appointed an ambassador to Damascus, for the first time since we withdrew our embassy after the Hariri assassination in 2005. I then began seeing articles suggesting that the US might be offering Syria a get-out-of-jail-free card if it would help broker a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This was the genesis of the political aspect of the plot of Gods and Fathers. (It turns out that the UN has indicted four memebers of Hezbollah, who take orders from Iran, in the Hariri case, an act of courage I did not see coming. This is still brewing, however, and God knows what will happen).

As to the personal story, the one involving Matt DeMarco and his son, Michael, my inspiration came, as always, from my great interest in the dynamics of family. I had not explored the father-son relationship in my prior work and felt it was time. Family pain can be very intense, but dealing with it is one of the fundamental ways in which we grow, or not grow, as human beings. When things got very difficult, both Matt and Michael had choices to make, choices that would determine the nature of their relationship for the rest of their lives. The real story of Gods and Fathers lies in how and why they chose the way they did.

Rhodes Review: What was your favorite part of Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I liked writing the action scene involving Bill Crow in Stone Ridge, New York. And the scene toward the end between Matt and his ex-wife, Debra, in a restaurant, is one of my favorites.

Rhodes Review: What was the hardest part to write in Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I have a hard time with love scenes. I hope I did okay with Matt and Jade.

Rhodes Review: How long does it take you to write a book?

James LePore: From the first word to my last look at the copyedited final version, one year.

Rhodes Review: What are your favorite authors/books?

James LePore: I am a big Hemingway fan and also love Alan Furst. I recommnend anything written by either of them.

Rhodes Review: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

James LePore: Read the great novelists. Write every day. Find a professional editor whose criticism you know is right even though it hurts to hear it. Be ready to rewrite.

Mr. Lepore is currently on tour promoting his book Gods and Fathers.  Be sure and enter our giveaway for A World I Never Made another of his novels here. Also check out our review of Gods and Fathers here.

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