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review 2019-01-14 22:52
Chinese Whispers...
MIAO-SHAN 'The Awakening' (Miao Shan) - Gary Morris

Ahead of the publishing of “Mia Shan, The Awakening” (15/1/19), I was given the opportunity for early access, in return for an honest review. The book is not easy to pigeonhole, bearing traits of various fantasy subgenres – historical, dark, paranormal and urban. However, I suspect the prominence of Chinese martial arts and the attendant violence is likely to have a greater bearing on the readership, than some notional category. I am not a fantasy buff by any means, but neither does the reader need to be, to engage with this interesting saga, which opens in Hong Kong at the end of the nineteenth century.


The narrative follows the development and exploits of Chow Lei, aged ten at the outset, who is orphaned and raised by her grandmother (PoPo), above the family’s thriving noodle shop. The family matriarch worships Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion and mercy and is relying on the venerated idol to keep her granddaughter safe, but though Lei discovers an exceptional ability to master martial arts, compassion is not one of her strengths. Still, in spite of her PoPo’s reticence, Lei is sent to the Shaolin Temple at Seng Shan to be admitted as a novice nun, to continue her training.


For those of us brought up on David Carradine playing Kwai Chang Caine in the seventies TV series ‘Kung Fu’ and more recently the critically-acclaimed movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, there are familiar archetypes, which unless handled carefully run the risk of appearing a little tired. The superhuman qualities typically conferred on the protagonist are also expected, but need to be plausible. The author neatly avoids these traps by suggesting Lei might be the prophesied Bodhisattva of Justice. Certainly to master the eighteen fighting styles in two years is unique, but Lei’s ongoing absence of compassion for her adversaries, alongside a very definite view of right and wrong, continues to worry her Shaolin Master (Shi Suxi). Indeed, in a very Star Wars-esque moment, he exhorts Lei, “You must know the void and be one with the void. You must know how to avoid the dark ways and follow the path of enlightenment….”


Now re-named Miao Shan and equipped to address injustice head-on, Lei returns to her city, a mighty sword-carrying bulwark against powerful criminal evil-doers.
It’s a familiar formula, but on the whole, the author has created an entertaining novel, which has scope for sequels. What it lacks in characterization, it certainly makes up for in the action department and for fans of kung fu that doubtless helps the readers’ appreciation.

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review 2018-12-10 14:54
a fabulous little collection!
The Arts of Love: Stories of Sensual Creativity - Harley Easton
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! 16 short stories, written by the same author, based around love and the Arts. Music, acting, writing and everything inbetween. A 16 book collection was never going to get 16 individual reviews, so here's what I thought about them all, as a whole. I rather enjoyed it! It's a great collection of shorts, average about 15 pages each, some a little shorter or longer, but that gives you just enough for each story, I thought, to give you a brief connection, a glimpse into these people's lives. Some stories are a bit more explicit, some almost clean, in my opinion. Mostly written from one person's view, in the third person. Each short is well written, and well delivered. I saw no spelling or editing errors to spoil my reading experience. This is the first I've read of this author, and I'd like to read more. Something much longer than these shorts, just to see what they can do with more pages! A thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon spent reading, thank you. 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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url 2018-11-28 13:46
Gypsis Human Nature and Peace
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols: With their Meanings (Alchemy of love mindfulness training) (Volume 8) - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Humanity’s Drive for Goodness and Gypsis

Children of Cain and their Mystical Knowledge

 

Who are Gypsis and why should we care

by Nataša Pantović Nuit

Can Human Nature with its profoundly caring and loving side abandon we vs. they behavior patterns and learn from Genocides of our Past?

 

Artists, scientists,  researchers’ trust in Humanity’s goodness supported Gypsis even when all the others were against them. The weddings had Gypsi bands, poets composed music influenced by their rhythm, writers whispered their myths, love for horses, freedom, magic, we learned fortune telling techniques from their grand-mums, our film-makers like Kusturica won Oskars making films narrating the stories of these Balkan Egyptians, keeping their fame glowing, within our subconscious and limited consciousness mind that knew that the children of Cain do carry an interesting story to tell our s.

carmen-opera-by-bizet-who-are-gypsis
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review 2018-11-27 04:22
A collection of stories, people find love with a connection to the arts.
The Arts of Love: Stories of Sensual Creativity - Harley Easton

Love happens in many ways and by many different means. I enjoyed this collection of stories where love is found as people live out their creative sides. The different arts covered were as varied as the people within those stories.

I received a copy of this story through Goddess Fish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-11-26 14:16
Audio Book Review: Dark Arts And A Daiquiri (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #2) By Annette Marie
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri - Annette Marie

 

This series has proven itself to be amazing! I love how the stories are set up and span a full book with no cliffhanger at the end. The writing and pacing are great! Books by Annette Marie just keep getting better and better with every new release.

 

I love Tori's sense of humor and how sassy she is even in inappropriate moments. The backbone she's sporting makes her one heck of an interesting character as well. All that being said, I also have soft spot for her. Especially now after learning a little more about her past in this book. I will admit that Tori made a lot of idiotic and life endangering decisions on a whim in this story but it didn't feel out of character for her (as strange as that may sound coming from someone who abhors dumb decisions main characters seem to love to make). 

 

I'm having trouble telling the three mages apart. The only one I automatically think of is Erza and that's because I'm rooting for him to somehow have a permanent thing with Tori. It's looking like a long shot if you're only considering this novel but I'm still hopeful... to a degree.

 

Is it bad that I kind of want a side story/spin-off series/novella on Ghost and his possibility at a happy ending? He's won me over enough that I want to get to know him when he's in his element and with someone he trusts.

 

Even though I rated this book 5 stars I will say I missed the little bit of romance, that the first book in this series had, in this one. I'm a lover of the romance genre at heart so even though I understand this is an urban fantasy novel I still wanted more development in that department. I can also admit that the overall adventure was awesome!

 

The Audio Book:

 

The narration was great! I could tell all the character's apart even when 3 or more were in a conversation. I also wasn't getting lost or confused in any part of the novel due to the narration.

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