Archive for March, 2012

Review: The Way – Kristen Wolf

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Crown (July 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307717690
ISBN-13: 978-0307717696
Order book here:


Order E-book here:
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Anna/Jesus – A young masculine appearing girl growing up in ancient Palestine.


From Paula:

The Way by Kristen Wolf is a religious/historical fiction set in the 1st Century Palestine at the same time period of the Biblical Jesus. The phrase, The Way, was actually used in early Christianity to describe the early followers of Jesus Christ. In this novel, The Way, is used to describe the ancient sisterhood who are responsible for preserving and teaching the ancient philosophy of the harmony and balance of the feminine deity. This title is just one of many parallels Christians will find. Other parallels to Christianity are Nazareth, Jerusalem, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Caiaphas, Pilate, Peter, Passover along with the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The Way is about the journey of Anna as she goes from childhood through adulthood to her death. Anna is her given name that she uses until her father sells her to a group of shepherds. At this point in her life she becomes a “male” and assumes the name of Jesus, her brother who died at birth. This is a necessary deception to protect her life.

Anna/Jesus’ journey eventually leads her to the Sisterhood, an ancient secret group who has the responsibility to preserve the teachings of the feminine deity that has been replaced by the male deity of God the Father as found in the Jewish religion at that time.

The way while an extremely thought provoking novel will offend many traditional Christians and disturb and distress conservative Christians. As much as I love The Way, I must admit, that there were times I had mixed emotions as a devout Roman Catholic. Yet, there was a pull to continue reading the book.

I believe Kristen Wolf was showing the need for compassion and respect for women. Women have been degraded and abused in every time and place and by organized male dominated religious religions of modern times. If we are honest, women still lack the respect deserved as humans who are equal to our male counterparts.

The concept I took the most from The Way is the following question. Would we be any more accepting of Christ if He came today than those who rejected Him in the 1st Century? Would we believe Him to be the Messiah, the chosen one, if He were a woman? What if He was of a different race, sex, creed or dressed differently than the norm? Are we really anymore accepting? Would we reject Him as those who did in the 1st Century because He doesn’t meet “our” expectations of who the Messiah is?

The Way will definitely invoke passionate view points and emotions but at the same time leave the reader doing some deep thinking and soul searching. The Way is well worth the read.

From Rick:

Anna is an androgynous girl growing up in ancient Palestine, a world where women are worth very little. Events are put in place, and Anna finds herself living with a group of Shepherds, where she has disguised herself as a boy and taken on the name Jesus. The primary focus of the book concerns Anna’s life, and her learning what is called The Way.

I absolutely loved this book. It took the story we all know so well, gave it a fresh spin and presented the story in a brand new light. This story seems to be one that is about empowering women. All the main characters are strong women, while the male characters are painted to be typical of that time period, with the exception of a few that are aware of The Way.

Ms. Wolf does a beautiful job of taking biblical stories, names, places, and giving them a twist, all while immersing the reader in this ancient land. A reader well versed in the bible will find many of the sayings and people they already know, while those who aren’t will not find themselves knocked over the head with preachiness.

If there is one drawback to this, I would say that the strict evangelical audiences might find this book very disturbing or even blasphemous. For those with open minds though, I’d definitely recommend it. For ages, I’d say older teens/adults. There are some episodes of “biblical” violence and situations that young minds might not be ready for.

Overall though, I found this to be a beautiful story. It seems well researched, and the author provides books that inspired her writing of it. If you get the opportunity to read it, definitely pick it up, I think you’ll like it. Be sure and stop back by here and let me know what you thought.

About the Author

Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.

As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.

Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.

Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.

Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.

As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as a writer and filmmaker.

THE WAY is her first novel.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Leyane 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: The Obamas – Jodi Kantor

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316098752
ISBN-13: 978-0316098755
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


The election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black President was one of the most historic elections in the history of the country.  But before the streamers had even finished floating to the ground, the controversies started.  His election gave birth to birthers, the Tea Party, and many forms of ugliness.  How does a man survive in this hostile world, and more, how does his wife?

In Jodi Kantor’s book we get to look into the four years of the Obama Presidency.  Each chapter is dedicated to 3 or 4 months over the 4 year period.  As a reader, one gets to see the feelings/behind the scenes functioning over some of the biggest political issues.

You also get a glimpse into the personal lives of the President and First Lady.  You get to see how she struggled to find her own voice.  You’ll see the personal conflicts between her and Rahm Emanuel.  In short, you get a good glimpse at the stresses that go with being President, a job I wouldn’t take for any amount of money.

I thought the book was well written, very well researched, and it kept me engaged.  Being a bit of a political junkie, I remembered most of the scenes that took place and really enjoyed seeing some of the behind the scenes stuff that was involved.

Whether you are a fan of this President or not, I think you’d probably this book interesting, just for a look at what the President’s job is actually like.  Pick it up, give it a read, and stop back here and let me know what you think.

About the Author

Jodi Kantor began her journalism career by dropping out of Harvard Law School to join in 1998. Four years later she became the Arts & Leisure editor of the New York Times, the youngest person in memory to edit a section of the newspaper. She has been covering the Obamas since 2007, writing about their faith, friends, marriage, roots, and family, among other topics. Jodi is a recipient of a Columbia Young Alumni Achievement Award, was named to Crain’s “Forty Under Forty” list of New Yorkers, and appears regularly on television. Though she is a Washington correspondent for the Times, she lives in Brooklyn with her family.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group 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 – The Obamas

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book group 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 April 10, 2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

Guest Post – Eldon Taylor: Author – I Believe

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The Mind-Body Belief System


Research with placebos—nontherapeutic substances are commonly thought of as sugar pills—is also telling when it comes to the role of belief and the function of the mind in matters of wellness. When the faith and expectation of a subject invests in the power of the placebo, amazing things happen. What’s more, the treatment is relative to the condition, so one false pill can treat pain half as well as aspirin and half as well as morphine. Not surprisingly, telling the patient that the same tablet increases discomfort will result in just that.

Placebos don’t have to be pills; they can be creams, injections, or even surgery. Just as interesting, the effect is larger if you increase the dosage size—say a larger capsule or two of them. Further, research shows that a branded item works better than a plain one, one in a shiny box elicits greater results than one in a plain package, a capsule trumps a tablet, with an injection working even better. If you use fancy, expensive-looking, sophisticated equipment, it yields even more dramatic outcomes. The bottom line is that the greater the expectation, the greater the effect. In other words, building a strong belief creates the foundation for the result.

There are still more revealing facts about placebos that dovetail directly into our human psychology. For example, color is often employed to evaluate mood states, as in the Lüscher Color Test. The validity of this test has been determined to be overall 81 percent in agreement with the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis. So how does color correlate with the placebo effect? Well, blue is more effective as a “downer,” and red is the preferred color for an “upper.” Further, as Daniel Keogh and Luke Harris point out in their very informative Internet film, studies have shown that people who take their medication on a regular basis are much less likely to die than those who don’t adhere to their drug regimen, even if they’re only taking placebos. If that’s not enough to convince you of the power of belief, then try this one. Again, the creators of the aforementioned film point out that placebos can also be addictive. In one study, 40 percent of the women who’d taken an inactive medication for five years suffered withdrawal symptoms.

Remember that by definition, there’s no medical value to a placebo. It’s not what’s in the substance that matters but what we put in it via our belief. Clever researchers can weight our belief by feeding an already expectant psychology with the right color, shape, size, and so forth to further ensure the maximum effect! That’s right, a genuine medical result from a nonmedical intervention. It’s clearly our minds that have the power.

The Authority Figure

Several years ago, I conducted research that involved patients diagnosed with cancer. I used a cognitive approach by employing an audio recording (my Innertalk technology) designed to fundamentally influence what the subjects thought to be true, generating a positive outlook and confidence in the body’s ability to heal itself. In other words, the design of the study sought to measure the influence of a change in beliefs on the progression of cancer.

In short, this is what we found: First, every single patient who believed that the mind had a role in wellness, and whose physician believed this as well, was in complete remission (no evidence of cancer). By contrast, every single individual whose doctor reported that the mind had no role in wellness was dead. In a sense, it didn’t matter what the patient thought within this latter group—it all depended upon the medical authority.

Even though this was just a small test group, the results disturbed and puzzled me. That puzzlement changed recently when science learned through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that “parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and skepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated” in the presence of an authority. While the first study I noticed of this nature was about the clergy, other studies show that this effect includes anyone we think of as an authority.

Similar to the power of the placebo, it appears that the health-care professional can reverse the positive by informing us that matters are out of our hands, and as with the cancer patients in the study, we’ll just surrender to their preconceptions and die.


It now seems obvious: What we believe predisposes our expectation and behavior. It directly influences our health, sense of well-being, and even the aging process. So what is it that you anticipate? Do you think you’ll “catch” the cold, flu or other “bug” that’s going around? Do you assume you’ll be sick for a certain amount of time? Does it seem that some illnesses are more likely at a specific age, under certain conditions, or simply because of genetics? What would happen if you changed your own beliefs about this? Is it possible that you could become healthier, avoid many of the infections that go around, and recover more quickly when you do become sick? Many people are reporting just this result.

For information on the book launch, please visit here.

About Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of more than 300 books, audio, and video programs. He’s the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication.

Eldon was a practicing criminalist conducting investigations and lie-detection examinations for many years. He is listed in more than a dozen Who’s Who publications, including Who’s Who of Intellectuals and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is a fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association and an internationally sought-after speaker. His books and audio-video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide.

Eldon is the host of the popular radio show Provocative Enlightenment. He has interviewed some of the most interesting people on the planet. His shows are thought-provoking and always fresh in both their perspective and the exchange.

Mr. Taylor is currently on tour with Virtual Book Tour Cafe’.  Please visit his other tour stops here:

March  16 –  Guest Blogging at Speculative  Friction
March  19 – Interviewed at Writing  Innovations Ezine
March  20 – Guest Blogging at Rhodes Review
March  21 – Guest  Blogging at Waiting on Sunday  to Drown
March  23 – Guest Blogging at Books Are  Cool
March  24 – Guest Blogging at Hire to  Inspire
March 26 – Guest Blogging with Margaret West
March  27 – Interviewed  at MK McClintock’s  Blog
March  28 – Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
March  29 – Review & Interview at Black  Diamonds Book Reviews
March  30 – Guest Blogging with Cindy  Vine
April  2 – Interviewed at Dr. Ni’s Notes & Nibbles

Review: Brutal/Perfection – Joel M. Andre

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Today we are pleased to review two short stories by Joel Andre. Mr. Andre is currently on tour with Partners in Crime. This time he has two books, Brutal and Perfection.



I found the primary character in this book to be very dark, but very real. I could tell there were real emotions behind his actions, and I truly felt the fear that Mr. Andre tried to create on the page. The story was very brief, but left me wanting much more. There were loose ends, and I felt that this was just the first chapter in a much broader overall story. With the plot that goes on, this would definitely be aimed at the young adult/adult market. I think it would definitely be NC-17. But for a horror story, it really grabbed me and kept me there.


One dark and warm October night in the heart of Arizona, a group of friends are out for an evening of fun. It was a night for celebration, and to draw them away from the world.

As they drink the night away, a dark and handsome stranger watches them in the distance. His observations going unnoticed as the girls focus on their own conversation.

Too drunk to make it home on their own, the stranger offers the group a ride home in his taxi. Reluctantly, the girls agree.

What follows is a dark and brutal act of revenge decades in the making.



This story while equally brutal in it’s telling, struck me as more along the lines of a more horrific outer limits or twlight zone. Like Brutal, Mr. Andre leaves you at the end of the story wanting and desiring more. I want to know what the story is behind these people, I want to know why they are doing what they are doing, and yes, in a strange twisted way, I want to see what else they have in store for people.

Again, I’d give this one a young adults/adults rating of NC-17 just due to the overall content of the story. Both stories can easily be read in one sitting, but you might want to leave the light on afterwards.


Carol and Tammy Long have fought a constant battle with their weight all their lives. When a stranger on the television offers an amazing new diet plan with a weight loss success rate of 100 percent, Tammy feels like it was an answer to their prayers.

As the pair ventures off to the Verde Valley Weight Loss Clinic things start to take a darker turn. The owner Kathy Black gives them a new take on the classic idea of perfection.

Now, placed in a medical facility where they are constantly monitored, the women learn there is something wrong with perfection.

About the Author

Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981. At a young age he was fascinated with the written word. It was at fourteen that Poe blew his mind, and Andre began to dabble with darker poetry.

Between the years of 1999 and 2007 Joel was featured in various poetry anthologies and publications. In 2008 he released his first collection,Pray the Rain Never EndsImage Blocked.

Knowing there was something deeper and darker inside of his soul, Joel decided to take a stab at commercialism. Releasing the dark tongue in cheek, A Death at the North PoleImage Blocked, created a dark world among the death of Kris Kringle. Ultimately providing a tale of redemption.

October of 2008 saw Joel release his second book, Kill 4 MeImage Blocked. A tale in which a woman is haunted by a vengeful spirit through text messages and instant messaging.

Taking some time off and doing a lot of soul searching, Joel took things in a new direction and dabbled in the Fantasy Genre with, The Pentacle of Light. The tale dealing with five major races battling for control of Earth, and the acceptance of their God.

Finally, after missing his detective Lauren Bruni, he released the book The Return in October 2009, this time moving the action from the North Pole and placing it in the small Arizona community he was raised in.

Andre’s latest book is The Black Chronicles: Cry of the Fallen about a dead man who seeks revenge on the woman that tormented him in peaceful Northern Arizona.

Currently, he resides in Chandler, AZ.
You can visit his website at

Tour Participants:

February 15-Interview@ Let’s Book It
February 18-Review (Brutal+Perfection)@ Kickin’ Back With Kiwi
February 20-Guest Post@ Mama Knows Books
February 23-Review (Brutal)@ A Good Day To Read
February 27-Guest Post@ Book Addict Kim
February 28-Guest Post@ Moonlight Lace & Mayhem + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
February 29-Guest Post@ Reviews By Molly
March 1-Review (Perfection)@ A Good Day To Read
March 1-Guest Post@ Fighter Writer  + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 5-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ Writing Crazy Me
March 7-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ Book Addict Kim + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 9-Guest Post@ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
March 14-Review(Brutal+Perfection)@ Rhode’s Review
March 15-Guest Post@ Life In Review + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 16-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach
March 17-Review(Brutal)+Guest Post@ Read2Review
March 17- St. Paddy’s Day Short Story Guest Post@ Cafe Of Dreams Book Reviews
March 18-Guest Post@ Kickin’ Back With Kiwi
March 23-Guest Post@ Writing Crazy Me
March 27-Review(Brutal+Perfection)+Interview@ Hardcover Feedback + Giveaway of The Pentacle Of Light
March 31-Interview@ Reviews By Molly + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me

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

Review: The Seraph Seal – Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849920779
ISBN-13: 978-0849920776
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner is a very unique take on the end of the world based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse found in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. The book is a combination of religious fiction and sci/fi set in the future in the year 2049. The Seraph Seal contains many religious and historical references. While some readers my find the constant introduction of characters, religious and historical references confusing, I found it an enjoyable challenge to keep the straight and make connections between each. One of my favorite genres is religious fiction due to the fact that I teach religion.

I loved the combination of historical and religious facts intertwined. Religion is best understood in conjunction with the historical facts of the era. I felt that Sweet and Wagner did a wonderful of blending the two. The Seraph Seal is a much for detailed version of a Dan Brown book – which I loved. While I personally love The Seraph Seal, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is religiously conservative or sensitive to new takes on Scripture. I will say that I believe it is an example of religious fiction at it’s best.

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

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Review: Turn it Up – Ron Eckerman

Sunday, March 11th, 2012
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Restless Artists (October 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984685901
ISBN-13: 978-0984685905
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


On October 20, 1977 a Convair plane traveling from Greenville SC to Baton Rouge, LA crashed. On board were the members of legendary Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, Assistant Road Manager Dean Kilpatrick, and lead Singer Ronnie Van Zant. Ron Eckerman was with the band that day and details his time spent with the band in Turn it Up.


This was an incredible look into the history of Rock & Roll. There have been many rumors over the year, so it’s good to hear from a man on the inside about what that life was like. The stories are often humorous with some of the bands drunken escapades. Then there are the sad times as well. Mr. Eckerman covers it all though, the good and the bad. Listening to the story, told in his own words was a deep experience for me. Growing up in WV and hanging out in bars and pool halls, you couldn’t get by without listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, it was a part of my youth.

However, despite that youth, just like most other fans I was distanced. In 1977 I was 10 years old. I don’t remember the crash, and while on an intellectual level I can feel the loss that Ronnie’s death meant to music, I can’t feel the same emotion as if I’d known them. But Mr. Eckerman did know them. They were sometimes a thorn in his side, but most of all they were his friends, his partners, and his brothers, and with that loss I can understand what he felt relating his story.

If you are a fan of southern rock, or the 1970s music scene, or Lynyrd Skynyrd, you must pick up this audiobook. It is definitely a must have item for your library.

Author Bio:

Ron Eckerman, born in Houston, Tx, was an early pioneer in the rock concert industry. In 1973 he began staging concerts and created one of the early concert lighting/touring production companies. Soon afterwards he became tour manager for Lynyrd Skynyrd and began a two year stint with the group, witnessing and participating in their meteoric rise to fame and world-wide acclaim. After the tragic plane crash that ended the original band, Mr. Eckerman has produced in film, television, and stage, and has taught theater and artist management at Santa Monica College. Mr. Eckerman writes technical manuals and financial articles and has just completed his first non-fiction book.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ron for an audiobook copy of the book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: American Dervish – Ayad Akhtar

Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (January 9, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316183318
ISBN-13: 978-0316183314
Order book here:


Order E-book here:


Hayat Shah – 10 year old Pakistani American
Mina Ali – A Young woman fleeing Pakistan
Naveed Shah – The husband to Mina’s best friend in America.
Muneer Shah – Mina’s best friend.


Mina Ali grew up in Pakistan. She marries and divorces, but not before producing a son, Imran. When her ex-husband threatens to take Imran away when he turns 7, she becomes desperate. She reaches out to her friends, the Shah’s in America. She is invited to live with them, and that’s where the majority of this story takes place. The time period is the early 80s, and shows what it’s like to try and be faithful to the Quran while at the same time adapt to America. The story is told through the eyes of ten year old Hayat.

Through Hyat we get to see both sides of Islam. We see the radical Islam that led to things such as 9/11 and we get to see the more peaceful Islam. We also see that the trials of his family are no different than anyone elses. He has a heavy drinking, womanizing father. A mother who though angry, doesn’t take the risk to leave her husband.

We also get to view Allah through the eyes of Hayat and many of the other characters. The one lesson I took away is there are many different views about Allah just as there are about any deity.

I think the characters were very 3 dimensional, and the novel at times felt more like a memoir than a work of fiction. There was some strong language, some anti-semitic comments (within context), and strong situations. I’d recommend it to older audiences, but would definitely recommend it to those interested in learning a little more about our Muslim brothers and sisters.

If you get the opportunity, pick up a copy, or enter our contest. Thanks to Anna at Hachette, we’ve been given permission to give away 2 copies to our readers. To enter for a chance go here.

About the Author

Ayad earned a degree in Theater from Brown University and, after graduating, moved to Tuscany to work with world-renowned acting theorist and pioneer, Jerzy Grotowski (Towards a Poor Theater). He has been a New York City resident since the late nineties where he has taught acting on his own and alongside Andre Gregory (My Dinner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd St).

An alumnus of the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, Ayad earned a degree in directing and won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays. He co-wrote and played the lead role in THE WAR WITHIN, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Best Screenplay) and an International Press Academy Satellite Award (Best Picture – Drama) and released internationally.

Also a playwright, his latest stage plays are DISGRACED and THE INVISIBLE HAND. DISGRACED is currently under option with The Araca Group (Urinetown, the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, and Pacino’s Merchant of Venice). And THE INVISIBLE HAND will be premiering at St. Louis Repertory Theater in 2012.

AMERICAN DERVISH is his first novel.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group 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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Giveaway – American Dervish

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 2 copies 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 03/24/2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.

Review: Darth Plagueis – James Luceno

Friday, March 9th, 2012
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 034551128X
ISBN-13: 978-0345511287
Order book here:


Order E-book here:



“Anakin – Aare you familiar with The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?”

And with those words, the world was introduced to the man who created Emperor Palpatine. From the time Revenge of the Sith had been released, fans had been clamoring to learn more about Darth Plagueis. This book is the result of that.

The book covers the period 67 years prior to A New Hope. Not only do we get to see Plagueis, but we get to see his Master as well and what became of him. It would be tough to say too much about this book without spoiling much of it for fans, so I’ll just say “Buy This BOOK!”.

The book kept my attention from the very first page. There were events that were familiar, but shown from a different perspective, and we get to see much more about the background of the Sith. We get to see a lot of what goes on in Plagueis’ mind, the manipulations, and the betrayals.

There isn’t however, as much Sith on Jedi combat as some would like. There are many action scenes though that I think should satisfy those readers. There is also a lot of political machinations for those who enjoyed the strategy of the sith, rather than the brute force.

A very good novel, a good lead in to Phantom Menace, and well draw characters make this one that every Star Wars fan must have on his shelf.

About the Author:

A former studio musician and carpenter, James Luceno has been writing professionally for twenty years. His early novels were action tales based on his experiences as a guide for an adventure-travel company. A Fearful Symmetry, his first foray into science-fiction, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award. Collaborating with the late-Brian Daley, Jim wrote scripts for several animated television series, and under the pseudonym “Jack Mckinney,” he and Daley adapted the anime series, Robotech. Since 2000, Jim has worked almost exclusively in the STAR WARS universe, contributing six novels to the franchise, all of which have made the NY Times best-seller lists. He has also written novelizations of Mission: Impossible, The Shadow, and Indiana Jones. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and son.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Random House 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.