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review 2018-02-06 14:25
Review: Operation Hail Storm
Operation Hail Storm - Classroom Edition - Brett Arquette

Due to some unethical and TOS violating marketing this book caught my notice and I decided to take a look at it. Is this book truly as good as the author claims, and some glowing 5 star reviews assert?  Well, in addition to the spamming, and strange claims of being well suited for fans of very dissimilar books, it will probably not surprise you that more honest reviewers also state it is in serious need of good editing.

Looking at the Kindle Sample, so far the first 9 pages are one big Info Dump. *Snore*.

So far, the sketchy info we have about the two "girlfriends" of the high ranking North Korean official that are hanging out at his pool is that they're unbelievably interested in the eagle-but-we-know-it's-really-a-drone they see flying. Like, seriously, in between huge info dumps about this drone, it's mechanics and functioning, etc, these girls just keep repeating things like,

"Look at the pretty bird,"
"Oh, I see it," "Is it an eagle? I think it's an eagle!"
"I think it is an eagle,"
"Do you see the eagle, Mr. Kim?"
"Look, Mr.Kim. The eagle is right there."
"Do you see the eagle?" [Yes AGAIN...] "she asked Kim again."

Now, I admit, I'm not an expert in how nubile young "girlfriends" act and talk about when hanging out at the luxury pool of a powerful and wealthy man in what is a very poor country. But I really do expect this isn't it.

And, back to some unnecessarily detailed info dumping...

And then, "Understanding if he didn't look at the eagle, the women would continue to pester him,"

Are these "women" eight years old? Mentally challenged in some way? On drugs? Or maybe this guy has a fetish for ornithologists?

'"It's so beautiful," his girlfriend [inconsistent - as we're already told there are two of his "girlfriends" present, so...] said. "It must have a nest close to here. Around and around it goes. I've seen it every day for the last few days."'

Really, I'm shaking my head, sure, mention the bird, but this is really ridiculous and unbelievable behavior by women in this situation. I'm getting the impression the author here just wants the characters to serve the plot - which is calling attention to this "bird" (and talking about it on and on and on), and didn't put much thought into making these "girlfriends" believable as actual characters, or the situation of hanging out at this pool very believable. He's also insulting his readers, because he apparently thinks they are too stupid to notice something important unless he repeatedly hits them over the head with it.

So far, Mr. Kim has only grunted. Twice.

"Did you see it?" "Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful if you could just float on the air like that? No worries. No problems."

Mr. Kim laughs.

Now we get more telling and not showing.

(I'm bored.)

The First Chapter: A drone that is made to appear to be an eagle is flying above the estate of a North Korean official tasked with building a long range missile. The official and two of his "girlfriends" notice it. And pages and pages and pages of info dumping about this drone, and the hot water this guy will be in if he doesn't deliver.

That's it. (I'm still bored).

Ok, the eagle-really-a-drone is being shot at, and the drone operator says, "Don't those idiots know that the eagle is a protected species?"

Telling me he's an idiot since 1. only certain species of eagle are protected and 2. in the US. I suspect the author may have intended that to come off as sarcastic humor, but the way things are written here in context it doesn't come off that way. Probably in part because of a lack of providing important details like facial expressions and tone of voice.

"He'd been recruited by Hail because he was the winner of the X-Wing Fantasy Flight Game Contest."

I just rolled my eyes so hard I hurt myself.


I'm a gamer. I'm also a Sci-Fi reader. I know there's actually a place to put gamer-fantasy-fulfillment like this into a story and have a willing audience go with the author, in spite of this sort of thing being unbelievable and unrealistic.  That place is in some forms of Sci-Fi/Fantasy.  It doesn't suit a political thriller like this book is.  Here it simply feels so unrealistic it jars the reader out of the story.  This type of story depends upon sounding realistic and credible, making it sound believable, even when stretching what we currently have as far as present day tech.  This is one example of where this book fails in that regard.

Enter the woman team member, "Typically, she wore a dress that showed off her long legs. [Of course she does *roll eyes*] She was tall for an Asian woman, but she liked being tall. Tall, smart and sexy."

Excuse me while I hurl. Yeah, yeah, I get this is a "guy" story. Puke.

This woman is the member of a para-military team, on a para-military ship, in the middle of a para-military operation. Wearing a dress. Just, no. <= not gonna happen. A skintight, latex, catsuit would make more sense than a dress. Does this ship have an elevator? Because if she's using stairs or ladders to move between decks she's giving everyone a nice show, whether they want it or not. Maybe she doesn't care. *eyeroll*

Then of course she has to look down and check out her fingernail polish. For chipping. Ya know, just to look like she's cool and collected. Or, has her priorities seriously skewed. Again - No.

I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps this woman just slept her way through MIT, because so far she cares mostly about looking sexy, showing off her legs, and the state of her manicure. Sure, those things have their place - but not in the middle of a para-military operation on board a para-military ship.

This is really, really, bad as far as female characters, who so far are either cardboard props just there to cry out "the bird! the bird!", or a book smart woman who clearly has zero common sense, and is so sexual a being she has to walk around on a para-military ship where the guys flop around in t-shirts, wearing sexy dresses so, I dunno, she can be oogled or something.

I'm wondering if the person who wrote this has ever met a woman, like, in actual real life.


One reader made fun of this comment, which is part of the narration, not a comment from a character:


"...but missile technology was complicated—damn near rocket science."


The sarcastic comment about this is well deserved, because of course missile technology is exactly rocket science.


Prior to his unceremoniously being removed from GoodReads for TOS violations, the author insulted this reader for not being able to recognize what he felt was obvious sarcastic humor.


Well, I have read the above in context and I can confirm it doesn't come off as sarcastic humor by the narrator.  It's rare for a book to have a narrator that breaks the 4th wall to give humorous asides to the reader. And when it's done it's both consistent and clear.  That this statement comes off as stupid, rather than a joke by the narrator, is a failure of the writing, not of the reader.

This book, so far, isn't the worst I've read, although that bar is really, really low, and it may have appeal for a male audience who like female characters to be out of male fantasy rather than reality, and enjoy prolonged and very detailed explanations and descriptions of numerous gadgets and weaponry. But, it's not that great, either.


I found the characterization to be shoddy to non-existent.  The writing is way too much telling not showing, with pages and pages of info dumping.  I understand some readers enjoy high tech stories with details about the gadgets, but that should be told organically to the story, and interspersed with the plot and the action.  Here the story grinds to a halt as we're provided a detailed lecture. It's incredibly boring, and very bad writing.  Particularly for an Action/Adventure/Thriller.


Don't like the marketing efforts for this one.  This author has been booted from GoodReads for spamming many users offering them this book for free.  In these spam messages he makes claims to it being similar to all sorts of dissimilar popular books, in the effort to entice readers.


After being booted from GoodReads this author continues his spam campaign by creating new accounts, sending spam to users, then deleting those accounts.  Rendering blocking useless, and making reporting to GR more difficult.


This author is also asking people to "like" positive reviews of his books, which is considered review manipulation and violates TOS.

Additionally, the $9.99 price is also way too high for a self-pubbed ebook.



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url 2017-12-21 09:18
Branding, Advertising and Web Design

Levo is a Oklahoma based Branding, Advertising and Web Design company serving clients in Tulsa and Broken Arrow since 2013. Its services includes environmental  designs, Tradeshow designs, SEO, Digital Marketing and Powerpoint Presentations. For more information visit http://www.golevo.com/web-design-agency.html

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text 2017-12-11 15:28
Post Wide Varieties Of Free Classifieds in India with Finderguru

With the advancement of internet, marketing of business has shifted from only offline method to the online space. Free classifieds in India are a great way for small businesses who don't have the sufficient funds as well as time to market their business as well as they would like. Finderguru is a leading website in posting free classifieds for a wide range of products and services. Here are 5 different types of ads that can be posted in Finderguru:



  1. Vehicles

In Finderguru, you can post free ads to sell second hand vehicles without much hassle. Vehicles include cars, motorcycles and even trucks and caravans. You can even advertise about car parts and renting of trucks and cars.


  1. Education

Finderguru posts all types of advertisements in the field of education and learning. You can posts ads for offering private tuition lessons and computer and multimedia classes. Even advertisements for language classes and other activities like music, dance and theatre are posted in Finderguru.


  1. Real Estate

In the real estate sector, Finderguru posts ads for selling as well as renting of houses. It also posts advertisements for selling of landing and office spaces and parking spots.


  1. Matchmaking

Through Finderguru, you can give advertisements to search for your soulmate.


  1. Employment

All sorts of jobs from accounting, clerical, customer service to engineering, architecture and healthcare are advertised in Finderguru.


Finderguru is the best platform to advertise products and services and reach out to a wider audience. There are many well established classified websites but Finderguru is unique due to its versatility in catering to the needs of all the sections of the business market. So what are you waiting post free ad and attract new customers.

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review 2017-09-27 19:53
101 Things I Learned® in Advertising School - Matthew Frederick,Tracy Arrington

101 tips for advertising people.  Written in a simplistic manner, will most likely appeal to those who are either interested in, or beginning a career in advertising. 

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review 2017-06-16 08:05
Review Tour - I Knew You Were Trouble
A feisty beauty must choose between winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.


Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.


Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.


Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.


Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.


Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.


Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.


Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.


He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”


Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”


Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.


Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.


She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.




It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.


Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.


She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Don’t.


He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.


Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.


Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .


What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.


Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”


Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.


Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.


His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.


Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”


Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.


Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”


Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.


Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”


Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.


She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”


Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”


She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”


His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”

 I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford, #4)I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is #4, in the incredible Oxford series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

From the time Taylor & Nick met, they were like oil and water. They occasional had to work together. They had mutual friends. It was all they could do not to kill one another, some days.

Nick has been attracted to Taylor from the very moment they met. Taylor would claim the same, if forced to do so. Their timing never seemed to click. Until one day....

This series is just phenomenal! Gets better and better with each story. I loved these characters. I loved that they did not want to be attracted to - or even like one another. It felt very real. Easy to read with a great HEA.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 


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