RSS

Leaders A Twin-Bred Novel by Karen A Wyle

LeadersCommunication is something so much of us take for advantage. One must ask themselves how they would survive if suddenly they couldn’t reach that person they are used to communicating with on a daily basis. A great example is imagine how you would deal if suddenly all the cell phone towers stopped working. I can imagine there would be some panic as so many have gotten rid of their land phone lines. There would be no internet access to talk to someone either. There would probably be some major panic across the world if this happened.

I know this is something easy to grasp but image it one step further and mankind had people living on Mars. Communication has gone blank and neither planet can talk to each other. The thought of concern for those on each planet would be tremendous. Who would send a rescue mission first, Earth or Mars? It’s the type of problem we find the Twin-Bred of Tofarn having to deal with.

Leaders is the latest entry in author’s Karen A. Wyle’s Twin-Bred series of books. I will admit it did help me to have read the first two books in the series before this one. I say that not because Twin-Bred and Reach are great books but the great work Wyle uses in creating the characters and world that is used within the pages of all three books.

The Tofa are different then man and events from the previous book saw much of the twin-bred rocketing into space leaving their home world of Tofarn behind.  Only one of their number had stayed behind and he, and his offspring, are seen as outcasts among those around them. They get second glances from others and hear whispers behind their backs. Some would plot to end them or change how society thinks of them. There of course are others who feel the offspring, Lan-sol, is their future leader. Those that have left the planet are also reaching out to Lan-sol inviting him to come and join them.

This problem communication will suddenly stop between the two worlds. Those who blasted into space have landed on a planet they are calling new Landing. Mara, a scientist behind the twin-bred experiment went with her twin-bred and is trying to live a quiet life. As one can imagine, when things go wrong people look to their heroes to save them. Thus, the twin-bred on New Landing turn to Mara to help solve what has happened with communications. They must also decide if it’s really worth the trouble to try and talk to those back on Tofarn. They chose to leave and other than friends what is there back home to really worry about.

It actually is interesting how events on both planets in a way mirror what is happening on the other. There are of course different characters along with different motives, but the main thing is do we care what happened to the others. This is where author Karen A. Wyle’s talent shows through as she is able to blend the events and stories so well throughout the book. Her character development will leave you wanting to take crib notes to ensure you don’t miss a thing as you read the story.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When the Devil Climbs by Drake Vaughn

Devil ClimbsThe one thing we learn in life is that our choices can lead us down a multitude of directions. We can choose to take a specific talent and apply it and make a name for ourselves. We can also choose that it would be too hard and have life take us in a different direction. There are times that we may rush to judgment and the results could be disastrous. This would be the case of one Russ Grote who will see his life go in a direction he never expected. He will find himself with an ex-wife, going to prison, a son he never sees and worse stuck working with other ex-convicts.

This is the life he will be leading as someone opens “When the Devil Climbs” by Drake Vaughn. The book opens with Russ having a conversation with his ex-wife and how he is looking so forward with reconnecting with his son. Russ is even able to primarily ignore his coworker, Harley, as he adds some commentary to things going on as they wait for the boss Slake to arrive. Victor, another coworker shows up and the crew of three ex-cons gets their day started as they load up to go change out the billboard on a large road sign.

The reader will come to understand that this is one of the few jobs that are willing to hire ex-cons. As you get an introduction into each character you may be very thankful they don’t work with you. On the hand you may even know someone who acts like any of these “fine” gentlemen. Russ is at least working on some of his demons as he has gotten help and the others, well. To give you an idea on the others Slake is one quick to action and will find quick to anger as he is the boss of this crew. Harley he is an old timer with no sort of political correctness and enjoys tormenting the new guy on the team, Victor. As the new guy, Victor, will get razzed but he is also Hispanic and there are plenty of off color jokes directed his way by the ignorant Harley.  It will surely make for an interesting work crew and for an eye opening day.

The problem for these men is they have come to fight the law and there decision will haunt them for the remainder of their lives. As they come across a police cruiser and are told to turn they are given an option from life. They could listen or try some stupid stunt. The choice, you may have guessed it, is stupid stunt and they drive around the cruiser to head to their job.  It is not long after this when ominous dust clouds in the dry ground show in the distance and trouble is coming and these four men are going to find out man is not always the key of the food chain. They will learn that even they can become a great meal for something man feasts on around the world.

When the Devil Climbs will really jump into action at this point in the book. The men will see the dust storm and realize it is actually a large group of pigs running wild. Harvey, who stays on the ground to watch the trucks, even will try to play with one of the pigs as they get close. He will find out to late that this group has more on its mind then running free as they are hungry and man is now the “other white meat”.   It won’t be long from this point when the remaining three high on the billboard platform watch in horror as Harley is devoured by the creatures and they realize they are trapped.

The book will see the three remaining men struggle with each other at first. It will not be long before they run out of water, and food and this will lead to self struggles as the mind becomes their enemy as well. Author Drake Vaughn shows a great gift for delving into the mind and characters of each of these men. Their backgrounds and natures will be slowly revealed as they stay trapped up on that billboard platform hoping, and praying, for some help. What will make matters even worse is when help appears to becoming their arrival; well one must read the book.

The truth is that, When the Devil Climbs, does a great job of character development as well as setting the stage for a very psychological horror story. There are moments when we get to read how the pigs fast but in truth it felt to me much of the horror comes as these men realize the trouble they are in and must determine how to react in the face of this danger. This is why I opened the review by pointing out life choices as each man made a choice that somehow lead to them being there at that moment in time when their lives may end.

I must add that for a great book trailer head over to Drake Vaughn’s website and enjoy.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Midnight Syndicate to Release a Zombie Themed Album

midnightI’ve had the pleasure to review several of Midnight Syndicate’s albums. They are a band that uses music in a way to set a mood and paint images in the mind as you listen. It’s why I felt I needed to share this News Release of their upcoming album.

 

Almost 13 years after releasing the first official roleplaying soundtrack to Dungeons & Dragons® game, Midnight Syndicate has teamed up with premier horror game designer Twilight Creations to produce a soundtrack album for the zombie apocalypse-themed Zombies!!! board game. The dark instrumental album, which will feature new and previously recorded material blended with movie-style sound design, is designed to heighten the game play experience. The musical theme will center around the Zombies!!! board game and its 15 expansion sets that pay homage to classic zombie films, especially those of directors George Romero and Sam Raimi.

“I’m a big fan of Zombies!!!,” said Edward Douglas. “With the game celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2016, it seemed like the perfect time to undertake this project. We’re working closely with the Twilight team to create something that really enhances their players’ gaming experience. I think album will also resonate with our fans in the Halloween and haunted house industries.”

“Musically, it will be interesting to work in a modern setting,” added Gavin Goszka. “Most of our albums have been set in the Victorian and early 20th century, so this will definitely be something different and exciting for us and our fans.”

“Words cannot express how excited I am to have Midnight Syndicate doing a soundtrack for Zombies!!!,” said Twilight Creations co-founder Kerry Breitenstein. “For many of our players, Midnight Syndicate’s music has already been the unofficial soundtrack to their gaming sessions over the years. To have them working with us to create something specifically for our universe is incredible.”

The soundtrack is tentatively scheduled for release in September in coordination with the release of the Zombies!!! Ultimate Collector Set and Zombies!!! Ultimate Upgrade Kit. To be among the first to hear preview tracks, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Midnight Syndicate on YouTube!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Nothing But Echoes by Anne Montgomery

NOTHING BUT ECHOES Cover ArtI do not normally re-post too many reviews, but sometimes one must just make an exception. In this case the closure of a publisher is a good reason to re-post a review. Author Anne Montgomery had such a problem and her book, The Magician, has found a new home and a new publisher in Sarah Book Publishing;. The book also has found itself renamed and is now titled, Nothing but Echoes. The book is still intact from its form I originally reviewed and due to this I am re-posting the review to bring attention to its new name. I do this as no matter what the book is called it is a great read.

The one thing any reporter loves is a mystery. The ability to cover secrets others have not been able to find will bring a reporter to the edge when it comes to getting the story. It’s what entices Kate Butler to her current assignment of uncovering information about the magician.  This mysterious man was found with more than your common funerary items around him when found in 1939. He was also found to be taller than most for the period, which raised questions about his heritage. The Hopi tribe that was helping with the dig almost knew immediately how important this man must have been when the Moochiwimi sticks were found.  Those sticks meant only one thing; this man had been a magician. This is the story that will be uncovered in author Anne Montgomery’s book aptly titled, Nothing but Echoes.

Who was the magician? Where did he come from? Why was he so important?

These are questions Kate will try to uncover as she searches into the man’s past. Her only problem is her main source of information, Dr. Perkins, suddenly will not work with her. Dr. Perkins had been a great asset on her story of the Native American ball courts but now he was nowhere to be found. There had been requests for a DNA source have been routinely turned down by those who wish to protect Native American remains. The Hopi tribe had refused her request as they wished to protect the remains not see any part destroyed for a DNA test. It is possible Dr. Perkins had received pressure not to help Kate, and thus she had to find other sources.

Her friend Jack Cooper had come along with her on this trip and it’s possible his skills as a police officer would come in handy.  She will also be assisted on her quest by Dr. Jerrod Crane and colleagues of his that will help point her in other directions. There is one problem, as Kate visits the museum for the first time another takes interest in her, and her quest to find out about the magician. This man may be up to something and able to get information she cannot.

Along with the quest to find out who the magician was, there are other elements weaved into the book. These elements take us back to the life of the magician. The way the people of the era lived is explained, and they actually come to life.  We will also get to see who this magician was and his impact on the people of that area.

Names such as Woodrat, Deer Runner, Mul, and others will be discovered to belong to those who are central characters in that second feature of the book. The book will intertwine the two stories in such a way that they will complement each story contained within the book.  Montgomery uses as much realistic facts and content as she can during the writing of the book that helps bring the story to greater life.

There is drama, secretive plans, and subterfuge in both stories in the book.  The book reads in such a manner that you will not find yourself confused over the facts in the story. You will instead find yourself holding your breath at periods as the story switches from one period to another. You wonder should I skip a chapter and read a head. The answer is simply NO! Nothing but Echoes is a book meant to be read and enjoyed by those who are fans of History and I have to add Mystery. The elements add up to a great book that tells not one but two great stories. As a bonus the article that Kate is writing even toward the end of the book. So you will see Kate gets her story, but the events to get there are not easy as most reporters will tell you.

Where to find Anne Montgomery Online

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alex and the Wolpertinger -The Monster Inn by Koos Verkaik

AlexChildren’s books can be interesting and often be highly entertaining for both children and adults. The books often are filled with great stories along with creative and color artwork. The stories are often unique and told from the side of a narrator. It’s just such a book that I recently read that has many of these pieces with the pages. The story is well written and I found four things to be key in the book. They are a boy, a cat, a Wolpertinger, and a cheese sandwich.

I’m sure as many read that opening paragraph they will wonder what a Wolpertinger is, or how a cheese sandwich fits into a children’s book.  The fact is they fit very well and as you read the book by author, Koos Verkaik, you will soon learn just how well. The artwork that accompanies the pages will help explain even more what a Wolpertinger is and bring the creature to life within the pages of Alex and the Wolpertinger – The Monster Inn.

So, you want to know what a Wolpertinger is. I hear you asking and a brief answer is they are a magical creature that live in the Downhills and will at times enter the world of man. This is not where the story begins at all as we are introducing to poor Alex who is looking for things to eat in the forest. It is here where he will find himself introduced to a very large prince who will find the boy entertaining enough to take with him back to his castle and put him to work.

Alex ends up working in the kitchen and will introduce the Prince and his family to a simple but tasty treat. Alex will take cheese and have it melted on bread and here is the cheese sandwich I wrote about earlier. This is not the first appearance of the treat as in the instance here the sandwich may be what saves Alex’s life.

Alex makes friends with the staff and eventually even a magician that stumbles, no runs into, the castle. The best friend he will make is the old cat Chum who will eventually follow Alex on his adventure to the Downhills in search of the Wolpertinger. It will be in this land far below our world where the pair will be introduced to many new characters. They will come to trust the young boy and his cat but only after some “trials”.

I realize I am being a bit vague when discussing the book but that is intentional. The point is this is a children’s book and even so does have an interesting plot. The book is one that should be read to fully discover what I mean by some of the bread crumbs I have left within the review.  The truth is many will enjoy this book as we follow along with Alex and Chum. It is the start of a series and as an opening book you will wish to read more.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2016 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

MS RibbonI know I promised more book reviews and those are coming. I just know that if you use Facebook and know anyone else with Multiple Sclerosis you may have seen posts stating that March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. I can honestly say I am not sure if that is a national event, or not, but I want to do my part and bring some awareness to MS.

I have not seen much in the way of awareness being brought to the disease other than those images. I realize at the time I am writing this the month has already started but I’m sure you know by now MS is something I deal with daily and want to get people to understand it more. I also want people to understand it’s not a death sentence, don’t hide, and most importantly NEVER give up.

MS is often called an auto immune disease and there is no known cause. There are theories out there that it could be genetics and environmental factors or even something from an infectious disease. I do know it’s more prevalent for those who live up North where they may not get enough sun. It’s why many doctors push Vitamin D when they are diagnosed.

I personally like to call MS the “Chocolate Store” disease as your average box of chocolates does not hold enough pieces to handle the differences possible with MS. I do believe I read an article sometime back that state there are at least 50 different problems that can lead to a MS diagnosis. So, this is why I believe the “Forrest Gump” analogy of, “Life is like a box of chocolates” doesn’t work here.

When it comes to my personal diagnosis story it started just over 10 years ago. I had just begun a new job and had instances were my arms just started to flex without me doing anything. Flexing is probably the wrong term but my arm muscles would tighten and this forced my arms to bend in toward my chest. I got to say scary and when it happened in the car as I drove to work it was time to get serious. I also had issues with severe cramping like feeling in my legs. I had thought maybe a potassium deficiency but I was wrong.

These problems required me to get all types of medical testing. The hooked up sensors to my scalp, and that glue not fun to get out of your hair. They pushed needles into my arm to test nerve reactions. The final major test that proved everything they thought might be going on was an MRI. I will say I’m not a fan of those and today need some meds to relax me or it is not happening. Either way the results came back there were these white blotches in the MRI results on the brain and even the spine. It was official I had Multiple Sclerosis.

I believe I have shared this in a past writing but I got to say I took the diagnosis in stride. I did not see it as a death sentence. I was told I had relapse remitting which is a type of MS that will come and go and for many of my years I believe I am in remission. The point is I knew I had to be positive that getting down on myself, even contemplating my funeral would not do any good. I had to think of how I want to spend my life, and I decided on staying positive. I am sure family members took the news worse than I did but I hope by staying positive and explaining to them what may or may not happen it helped them.

You see that is why we need an awareness period with MS. It’s sad but as a recent actress showed people hide the fact they have the disease. They are afraid of how people will react, how their employer may react and more importantly their family. I should avoid this analogy but it seems that people are much more willing today to come out as gay, or transgender, than to say they have MS. I realize that statement is a stretch but look around the world is accepting people’s different sexual orientations more and more. However, there is a stigma with disease like MS were people are afraid to admit they have it. I get many reasons on why that could be, but as in anything in life when you have a problem you must admit to it. As for MS I love to say, “I have MS, it does NOT HAVE ME”.

The positivity that you can find by connecting with people with MS through support groups, either online or through MS organizations are huge. They can help you find others in similar situations but not always the same. I did mention my chocolate store analogy for a reason. The key is do not be sorry, upset or give up on anyone who gets a MS diagnosis. The medicine and treatments have come a VERY long way since the disease was first found.

This is also a disease that will hit anyone from race, creed, religion, ethnicity, and celebrity status regardless of who you are. So the key to tell someone with MS is no matter what you think you are not alone and just be their friend. Reach out to those you may know who have the disease and instead of saying sorry ask them how they doing. Even better ask if there is something they want to talk about, do for the day and just be there for them. I for example do NOT want to be treated like I’m made out of eggshells.

You will find people that are ignorant, who say they care, and do not back those words up. I have seen this myself but well I like my job so will not go further. I will say my immediate supervisor, and coworkers, have been very understanding and backup what they say. Now, back to the point, those negative folks need to be cut out of your life as negativity breeds depression, and depression is a major side effect. (Mental note that sentence was really long) Ok so by now as you have been reading you have noticed I am mixing some humor within this post as that is who I am. I want people to see I am me and I have my up and down days just like anyone else with MS. I for one just want people to understand that and be there regardless of the type of day.

I hope this long post opens up some of your awareness to MS and I will close by saying much of this is based on my experience and observations of others with MS. I cannot speak for all as there is just too many versions of the disease and how it may impact someone. I will close by listing just a few of the celebrities that have MS and still are alive and kicking now and working in their trade. I’m doing this to help show regardless of who you are it’s your mindset and how you react that, to me, is the biggest help when dealing with MS.

Celebrities Past and Present

  • Jack Osbourne (Reality TV Star)
  • Annette Funicello (Actress)
  • Neil Cavuto (Fox News)
  • Montel Williams (TV Personality)
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Actress)
  • Trevor Bayne (Nascar Driver)
  • Clay Walker (County Singer)
  • Teri Garr (Actress)
  • David Lander (Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley)
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Multiple Sclerosis, Personal

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where have I been?!?

Lost & FoundI was going to originally title this piece, “Where’s Waldo”, but was afraid of a trademark infringements. There was also the thought that someone would think my name was Waldo, or people would be looking for a photo crowded with people and hopes of finding a guy with a red hat and glasses. I however must stop with my pitiful attempt at humor (if you laughed YIPPEE) as I’m sure many are about to stop reading about now. So let me get down to what has been going on since the end of last year.

I’m going to be sharing some medical information and do my best not to turn this into a pity party type of post. It’s just to show that life has its own plans for us as what we may want to do can be very rudely interrupted by what life brings at us. It’s a fact that many of us know but at same time something many cannot overcome. They instead find ways to let the bad make things worse over finding a way to dig their way out. It’s why I write posts like this to share that with strength the bad things of life can be overcome if you try.

I had to stop and thing where to begin with this post. I will start that after a pretty normal Christmas season, wow it has been a time, I saw my primary physician not long after the New Year and that is when things started. The doctor felt it was time to maybe change up my diabetic medication. I had no problem with this request as I had good things about the drug. I could handle the need to urinate more frequently as I knew there would be a vicious cycle. It was a case where you would have to drink water to avoid being dehydrated but at same time all that liquid you have to go. I will say I wore out a bit of show tread there for a while.

It was about two to three weeks into taking the new medication; it was Invokana, when I started having some problems. My vision went blurry at times and I had some trouble walking. All listed side effects of the drug with the vision being one of the worse ones. I called my doctor and was instructed to stop taking, which I happily did. I was getting tired of feeling so bloated and then dry from that cycle.

I know those who are familiar with Multiple Sclerosis will say are you sure that wasn’t the issue going on? I did call my neurologist and they stated from the issues I was having it was more than likely the medication, and since they went to school for neurology I listened to them and put it down to the Invokana. So, yep there I was a bit of vision problems and unstable walking. I got to say trying to read after a long day at staring at a computer with occasional blurry eyes made reading difficult.

It was about this time I had brought up some pain I have been dealing with in my hip for at least five years. It was never too bad but it was starting to get worse and figured about time to have it checked out. So, here we go we have X-rays done and told to see a specialist. It’s off I go to another doctor and shockingly nothing is wrong with my hip or the joints. I’m a big man and to me that was a WOW moment but yeah this didn’t help the pain. This new doctor decided nothing he could really do so he sent me to a pain specialist. Ok, wait for it as there is a joke coming and it’s a bad one so move along to next paragraph if you choose. So, yep off to a pain specialist I went and this whole thing was giving me a whole new pain in my head. I did say bad joke.

I went to the pain specialist and he ordered the one thing I fear and that was an MRI on my back and hip. You’d think that having Multiple Sclerosis I’d be used to MRIs but I’m the opposite. I’ve had so many of them that I don’t want them anymore, but this needed to be done. I was lucky that they could put me in feet first and with help of a nice pill I was very comfortable. The outcome of this MRI, you guessed it, NOTHING was found. UGH! To finish this long story the pain doctor called for an outpatient procedure and had me get a steroid shot in my sciatica. I got to say it was kind of fun as I was wheeled in face down and a female nurse grabbed my scrub bottoms and yanked them down to expose some cheek. I think it was the first time I got to partially moon a room with four women in it.

I have to say there is more going on and as I see how long this is getting I’ll stop with the jokes and wrap up things pretty fast. It was early February when much of this was coming to a close and the issues from the Invokana had not gone away. It couldn’t be just the drug then so after seeing my neurologist on a six month check you’ll never guess what’s happening in a few weeks from this post writing. I’m sure some have an idea, well if you guessed another MRI you’d be correct. Oh and during all this a few dentist visits as I am approaching the end of a long process and the day that ends is the day I get my MRI.

So, if you have been reading along you can see I’ve had a lot of things going on. I have authors waiting for book reviews and I feel absolutely horrible that I have been delayed due to all the personal items going on. I have readers of this blog I also feel like I have let down but sometimes in life you need to look to what is important. This health crap that has been going on at least has met its three if you are one who believes in trinities. The diabetic medication, the hip and now a potential MS flare up. My hopes are it’s done for the year and I can get back to normal. I will say I have begun reading again and should have some reviews out soon.

I want to thank the authors who have been so kind and understand all that has been going on and are not upset. They get that life happens and are not holding any of this against me. I also want to thank any readers who have checked back for more content as well. I of course must thank my small inner circle for putting up with all the doctor visits and fun that has come with the stress levels and small mood swings. I’ll close out by saying new content is on the way just be patient as all this fun is coming to its end and I cannot wait to get back to normal.

I at least did not go into the cold and snowy weather that has been felt here in Wisconsin and the shoveling that has come with it. It’s just another fun factor from the last months. I’m sure I’m not alone by saying bring on Spring.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Personal

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 474 other followers