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review 2018-10-17 07:50
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Spirit Shattered (The Guardians #4) by Tessa McFionn
Spirit Shattered (The Guardians #4) - Tessa McFionn

Spirit Shattered is the fourth book in The Guardians series. I have read book 1, Spirit Fall, but not books 2 and 3. I would say you don't HAVE to read them all, as the stories pretty much standalone. However, if you want more background snippets that are given in each book about their world, then yep, read them all.

Danika is a combination of light and dark. Life has been hard for her, and she has the scars to prove it. She could go 'all dark' so easily, but she fights for her nephew, determined to protect him. There is light within her, but it is getting more shadowed every time something else goes wrong. She helps Anton when an old adversary get the better of him, and turns herself into a prime target for both sides.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, seeing Danika's struggles and yes, even what she has to deal with. It makes it all the more understandable, and really makes you yearn for her to get a break! Anton's character is very innocent, something that gets commented on by Eamon. Together, if Danika can beat her demons, they would make the perfect pair.

This was once again excellently written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow. The pacing is fast, and yet perfect for the story. If you like tall alpha males, and smaller yet feisty females, then I can definitely recommend this book.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/08/20/Spirit-Shattered-The-Guardians-4-by-Tessa-McFionn
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review 2018-05-19 17:11
Exploring the possibilities within the Star Trek universe
Shattered Light - Scott Pearson,David R. George III,Steve Mollmann,Michael Schuster

After finishing the first of the Star Trek "Myriad Universes" collection, Infinity's Prism (which I enjoyed immensely), I decided to read another in the series. While also a fun read, it wasn't quite as good, for reasons that I'll explain in my summary of the three novellas contained in this volume.


"The Embrace of the Cold Architects" by David R. George III This story is based on a divergence in two episodes from the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Offspring" and "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" Data's daughter, Lal, survives her cascade failure and Picard dies in the Enterprise-C's encounter with the Borg. While the resulting developments are interesting, George just has too much going on in this to unpack within the space of a novella.


"The Tears of Eridanus" by Steve Mollmann and Michael Schuster  In the 23rd century Earth belongs to an Andorian-dominated "Interstellar Union," and Hikaru Sulu commands the Interstellar Guard's Kumari. When he learns that contact is lost with the observation post on Erdanus (also known as Vulcanis) where his daughter is stationed, Sulu orders his ship there to investigate.


This is the most interesting of the three stories in terms of its premise. It's divergence is a radical one what if the Vulcans never embraced logic? This plays out on two levels: the consequences for the Vulcans and the shape of an Alpha Quadrant without their (and the Romulans') presence in it. There's a lot to like, but it doesn't gel quite as effectively as it might have.


"Honor in the Night" by Scott Pearson Based on the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," a engine failure prevents the tribbles from interfering with the Klingons' plan to sabotage the Federation's effort to colonize Sherman's Planet. Yet from that disaster the officious Federation bureaucrat Nilz Baris builds a career that leads to the Federation presidency and peace with the Klingons, yet Baris's death leads to a reporter's investigation that may undo his life's work.


On this surface this seemed the most unpromising of the three. After all, just how good can a novella be that's built around a two-dimensional character from a single episode? Yet this proved the best of the three, thanks to of it's reimagining of subsequent Klingon-Federation relations (which is different but not too different from what fans of the franchise will remember), its sympathetic take on its central character, and the role played by the Klingons in the story. The great trinity of Klingon commanders from the original series — Koloth, Kor, and Kang — all make extended appearances, and there's a great twist at the end of the story that caps it all off nicely.


Overall this is a story that is well worth a Star Trek fan's time. Finishing it left me a little sad, as this was the final collection published and while the concept behind the series is a limited one I felt as though they hadn't quite exhausted some of the possibilities contained within it. I could even see myself reading novels spun out of the worlds the authors created for it, which is proof of the seemingly endless riches contained within the franchise.

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review 2018-04-16 20:41
Contemporary Romance
Shattered Daddy: A Billionaire Suspense ... Shattered Daddy: A Billionaire Suspense Romance - Charlize Starr

Shattered Daddy by Charlize Starr is an entertaining second chance contemporary romance.  This book is written in first person, alternating point of view, not my favorite, but that's a personal preference.   Ms. Starr has given us a well-written book loaded with fantastic characters.  Anthony and Brooke were best friends growing up.  Anthony moves back to town with his son.  Brooke is being stalked and blackmailed.  Their story is full of drama, action, sizzle and humor.  I enjoyed this story and would happily read more from Charlize Starr in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2018-02-09 17:36
Nightmares revisited
Shattered Dreams - Charlotte Fedders

UPDATE 19 February 2018 at the end of the review



Link to my original online review here.  It's also included at the end if you want to keep reading and not get off on tangents and too many windows.


I'm also including some contemporary (late 1980s) accounts of what happened to Charlotte Fedders in the immediate aftermath of her divorce and the publication of Shattered Dreams.  The first may enrage you; just keep reading.  Take a blood pressure pill if you have to.






Charlotte Fedders (née O'Donnell) had everything a nice Catholic girl could dream of: a magnificent home, a wealthy husband, five sons.  She also had every woman's nightmare: a violently abusive husband.  Reading the book she wrote (with Laura Elliott, a Wall Street Journal reporter), I had limited sympathy for Charlotte's plight for two specific reasons.


The first was that she had the means to leave him.  She had an education and could work as a nurse, making at least a reasonable income to support herself and her children.  Many women in abusive relationships do not have the financial means to leave their abusers.


The second, and somewhat related, was that she admitted in the book that she liked the luxurious life John's income gave her.  The private Catholic school for the boys.  The country club.  The big house.  The status.


It's been 30 years now since she left him and filed for divorce and the whole tale of his violence was made public.  John was forced to resign from his high level government job and eventually went to jail for his abuse.  Charlotte was reduced to bankruptcy and working in a flower shop.  I still have difficulty getting past her admission that she stayed because the material benefits made at least some of the abuse bearable.


But that first reason came back to mind in recent days with the revelations about White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter and the abuse he (allegedly) inflicted upon his now-ex wives and perhaps other women.  As Lawrence O'Donnell has recounted with the news, there are so many women who have endured physical abuse and who have been told year after year after year after year that it is their fault, that they need to go back to their husbands and make the marriage work, that it's a sin to leave a marriage, and on and on and on.  Catholic, Mormon, it doesn't matter.


Rob Porter's wives did leave him, at least eventually.  One of his romantic partners reported his abuse.  But we still have people -- and I use the term rather loosely -- like John Kelly, the president's Chief of Staff, who support the abusers, who blame the women, who either lie about the facts in order to preserve their own position or who are so deluded by out-of-date religiosity (Kelly's claims that he was raised to believe women are "sacred") that they perpetuate the abuse and deny any protection to the victims.


Charlotte Fedders was one of those women raised in the church to believe in women's innate inferiority.  To believe marriage to a man was a woman's sacred duty, her vows unbreakable regardless what he did to her.  We ignore the power of upbringing, of religious and/or social indoctrination far too often, and we allow our own indoctrination to perpetuate the system.


It was that kind of indoctrination that brought Charlotte Fedders to the point of placing material comforts over her own or her children's safety.  Her devout Catholic upbringing led her to put such a value on a Catholic private school education for her children that she could not walk away from abuse because it would mean giving up that benefit.


We look at the unshakable beliefs of the christian fundamentalists who know nothing else and we wonder how they can deny the contra-indicating evidence in front of them.  It's easy to forget that many of us have similar beliefs that, though they do not shape all of our thinking and all of our actions, still have an incredibly strong influence on certain aspects of our lives.  If nothing happens to shake them, we go on believing.


Charlotte O'Donnell grew up in a staunch Irish Catholic family.  That's all she knew.  Catholic teaching and Catholic beliefs infused virtually every aspect of her life.  And thus those beliefs formed a strong part of the overall structure that put that overwhelming value on a Catholic education for her boys, so overwhelming that she used it to rationalize staying in that viciously abusive marriage to John Fedders.


If John Kelly had one tenth the shame that John Fedders had, he would resign immediately.  (We won't even talk about Kelly's boss.)  But John Kelly, who is no doubt as Irish Catholic as Charlotte Fedders's family -- or Lawrence O'Donnell's -- has no shame, no morals, no integrity.


A TV movie was made of Shattered Dreams in 1990 or so, starring Lindsay Wagner.  I don't recall if I ever saw it or not.  Charlotte's comments, after she had started to put her life back together -- she returned to nursing -- are enlightening.




This week, Charlotte Fedders is scheduled to testify on the Hill, explaining the effect such violence has on children.


"My theory is that if by some wild chance they never hear it, which is impossible, or never see it, which is a little easier, but still pretty much impossible, or never have it directed towards them -- most of the time if he's abusive toward the wife, he'll be abusive toward the children, which was my case -- even if they never see any of this, my theory is the woman is not in condition to parent as well as she should. So that is a subtle form of child abuse. And it affects them at school, it affects them in maturity."


Now she concentrates on helping her sons become "better men and good friends. I want them to grow up to be good men to my daughters-in-law. I'm already protecting daughters-in-law that I do not have. I have said to Luke many times,

'You are not going to treat your wife, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchildren like your father treated us.'


"I don't feel I'm a rampant feminist. I'm a human rights person. I believe that we really are all equal."



Link to original review:




UPDATE 19 February 2018


Charlotte Fedders, now 74, was back in the news today.




She was also the subject of the opening segment of The Rachel Maddow Show tonight.



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review 2018-01-13 03:27
The world of "Pacifica" is reason enough to indulge in this series.
Shattered Minds - Laura Lam




Book Title:  Shattered Minds

Author:  Laura Lam

Series:  Pacifica #2

Genre:  Science Fiction | Thriller

Setting:  A Futuristic Los Angeles, CA (Pacifica)

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)













Plot:  4.3/5

Main Characters:  4/5

Secondary Characters:  4.2/5

The Feels:  4/5

Pacing:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4.2/5

Theme or Tone:  4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style): 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.7/5

Originality:  4.5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  4.3/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope, but

Steam Factor 0-5:  3

Total: 4.2/5 STARS - GRADE=B+




The world of Shattered Minds and False Hearts is Pacifica. This place is a fantastically imaginative futuristic world, I found it easily imagined and was engulfed in its seedy underbelly, it is a drug-induced, dream-freaky hell-of-a-ride.  


While still an interesting read, sadly, I didn't like this quite as much as the first book, False Hearts.  I think because I listened to that on Audio, as opposed to reading this, it was off-putting to me because it lacked a proofreader (I could totally do this, btw).  I'm thinking, maybe I didn't notice the errors in the prior book because someone read it to me (a fan-freakin-tastic narrator…January Lavoy).  I also felt it lacked character development.  I didn't really like Carina all that much.


If I've peaked your interest you should see Laura Lam's "Review" for Shattered Minds It's like her own synopsis for this book and it's filled with some really cool images, including this one...


Will I continue this series?⇜  If she writes more, than...yeah.  This world is so intriguing, after all.  I would prefer audiobooks, though…



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