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Search tags: Fiction.Fantasy
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review 2017-07-22 18:59
Calm (Terran Times, #50) by Viola Grace Review
Calm - Viola Grace

Keeping calm was Meri’s life, making others feel it was her job. Loving a Negotiator was her destiny.

Meribeth has been the assistant to a few Alliance personnel, but Negotiator Kao is her latest boss. At his insistence, she had gills installed to enable her to accompany him on wet assignments, but his ulterior motive was not clear until he is out of the armour and his own body is finally exposed.

Vehn Kao has spent years encased in armour as a Negotiator, but the moment he comes out and sees Meribeth with his own eyes he knows that she is everything that he has ever wanted in a woman. She is intelligent, witty, attractive and has a tremendous passion just below the surface that he wants to bring out in an explosive release.

Meri wants to be good at her job and Vehn want to take her calm and shake her up

 

 

 

Review

 

 

If you like mer people, you should like this science fiction romance short story. There is all a nice exploration of skin hunger in the romance as well.

 

A lovely way to spend the afternoon.

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text 2017-07-22 18:29
The Realm of Last Chances: 27/288pg
The Realm of Last Chances - Steve Yarbrough

Lately, he felt insubstantial, weightless, as if he were merely the idea of a person rather than the real thing. People weren't just a past or a present or a set of extinguished expectations. They had to have a future, too, and for himself he failed to see one. He felt as if he could readily be brushed off, as if right now, should he choose to, Nowicki could swat him aside as if he were no more momentous than a fly or a gnat. 

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review 2017-07-22 17:29
Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being - Ted Hughes

Over a year! Goof grief! Proper review to follow when I'm less tired...maybe.

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review 2017-07-22 12:44
“Ms. Bixby’s Last Day” by John David Anderson
Ms. Bixby's Last Day - John David Anderson

I’m tempted to keep this review really short:

“Read this book. It’s wonderfully written, perfectly structured and shares the lives. problems, passions and fears of three young boys in a way that feels real and true without ever getting schmaltzy or maudlin.”

Except that doesn’t do just to the impact this book had on me. It was one of the best reading experiences of the year so far.

 

I bought “Ms. Bixby’s Last Day” in the hope that it might be good but the expectation that it would turn out to be too saccharin for me to make it to the end of. The reviews used words like “heartwarming” and “uplifting”. These terms have been so degraded by Disney and Hallmark that, to me, they scream “phoney”.

 

My wife read the book first. She recommended it but warned me that it was sad and that it had someone in it with cancer. I can’t always cope with sad and we’ve both lost too many people to cancer to approach it casually.

 

I waited for a sunny day when I was feeling relaxed and then tried the first hour. After that, I was committed. I needed to know more about the people and what they were up to. I found myself unwilling to stop for necessary but inconvenient things like work, food and sleep. I wanted to get back to the boys and their journey.

 

The book is told as three first person accounts, with each boy getting a chapter in turn. The pace of both plot and character development are perfect. There is a quest structure that is amusing and exciting and sad in turns but never leaves the real world behind.

At the centre of the book are: three very different boys who each have a particular take on friendship, a teacher they all love but who is neither a saint nor a super hero and their mission to provide her with a perfect last day.

 

What I liked most about the book was the way the character of each boy was slowly built up through a series of interlocking events and insights that deepened my experience as the book progressed.

 

I was glad to see that, while the book did deliver a big finale that actually meant something, it didn’t pull any punches and the main focus remained on the boys themselves.

 

I strongly recommend the audiobook version of “Ms. Bixby’s Last Day”. Each of the boys has their own narrator, which emphasises their individuality. The performances are pretty close to perfect.

 

One last thing. My wife was right. It is sad. It will make you cry. Life is like that.

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review 2017-07-22 12:14
The Essential Carl Mahogany
The Essential Carl Mahogany - Zach Boddicker

Nashville Country star and award-winner Carl Mahogany is entering middle age, and his label is beginning to believe he's entering the end of his music career as well.  They are letting him know this by releasing an Essentials album and sending him on a tour.  Carl agrees to the tour on his own terms and will be driving his beat-up van, Percy along the way.  However, things quickly turn more interesting as Carl hooks up with Rhonda, the local mechanic right before the tour and then receives an interesting message from an ex-girlfriend who wants to join him on tour.  Things go from interesting to upside-down as Carl is forced to take a hard look at his life while trying to complete his tour.

 
From the very beginning, Carl felt like someone I would like to get to know.  Down to earth, approachable and realistic in every aspect of his life, Carl seems the antithesis of an award-winning musician.  I loved that he kept a side gig as an exterminator and held on to his old tour van, Carl shows a sentimentality, vulnerability and unique sense of humor that easily carried me through the pages.  It seemed that no matter what Carl did, that life quickly got in the way; he meets a nice woman and his boss is her crazy ex-boyfriend, releasing a CD and he receives a prank CD back, and a multi-layered request from an ex turns into more than he could imagine. The supporting cast of characters made Carl's life all the more interesting.  I loved Rhonda, the independent, takes no crap car mechanic and Sheila who was always hiding a separate agenda.  Most of all, I truly cared about Carl's story and how he ended up.  Overall, a unique story of a musician figuring out life like the rest of us.
 
This story was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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