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Michael A. Newman's Profile

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Michael A. Newman RSS Feed (New York)

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Canon MAXIFY MB2320 Wireless All-In-One Color Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax (Airprint and Cloud Compatible)
Canon MAXIFY MB2320 Wireless All-In-One Color Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax (Airprint and Cloud Compatible)
Price: $149.99
6 used & new from $147.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Definately Wireless Is the Way to Go, December 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this product through the Vine program to replace an HP Deskjet that I had in my basement. What was bothersome about the old device is that it was not wireless so I needed to go to the basement, boot up the desktop (or bring my laptop downstairs and connect it to the printer) to print a document. Now I print several documents from any of my laptops and go to pick them up when I need them. The scanner seems to make very good quality copies of photos and the included program is a little bit easier to navigate than the program I had before. The one thing that is both a draw back and a plus is the size of the device. It is a lot bigger than the one that I had prior which presented a challenge to the desk I was using. I have since replaced it with a new one. The plus about the size is that it holds more paper, which is a very big plus.

Overall a pretty good device.

Nutri Ninja 2-in-1 (QB3005)
Nutri Ninja 2-in-1 (QB3005)

5.0 out of 5 stars A Lot Better Than My Magic Bullet, December 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This product was obtained through the Vine program and couldn't come at a better time as my Magic Bullet was on its last legs. Not only was I able to replace that device but this one is much better! The device is not quite as noisy as the Magic Bullet which is good when mixing an early morning smoothie. It also seems to process a lot faster and the device is a little bit easier to clean. The other attachment which can be used for vegetables, is also nice but I really don't use it much.

Blue Labyrinth
Blue Labyrinth
by Lincoln Child
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.99
78 used & new from $12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Race to Save Pendergast, December 16, 2014
This review is from: Blue Labyrinth (Hardcover)
I can always count on Messrs Preston and Child to deliver a tale to keep me rapt for a while. I never tire of Agent Pendergast tales. In this one his life is threatened and it is up to the supporting characters (D'Agosta, Constance and Margo Greene) to solve the mystery and race to save Pendergast.

A most unexpected "dead man" shows up at Pedergast's doorstep. Realizing who it is makes Pendergast search for answers, no matter what. Meanwhile, Vincent is investigating a seemingly random homicide at the museum. While these two crimes seems totally unrelated they will somehow be tied together. Pendergast is soon stricken with a crippling malady and is not able to help. The others race for answers while trying to save Pendergast.

This book came along at the right time becuase I was at a reading lull. This book got my energy level up and it is a totally fresh take on the Pendergast lore. We start learning some things about the after effects of Margo's prior harrowing experiences and about the psyche of Constance. If you are new to the Pendergast stories I suggest starting with the earlier ones first and work your way to this one to really understand how good this book is. Easily a five star entry.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 22, 2014 11:54 AM PST

Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project
Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project
by Daniel P. Douglas
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.36
19 used & new from $14.36

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What Has Been Going On at Area 51?, December 9, 2014
Strange things are happening outside Area 51 in the desert. The military launches some sort of vessel that is viewed by some as a UFO. There is a lot of static created on police channels but then the vessel is destroyed by something unknown. Police Officer Ridley notes this this but is told to forget about it when the police channel returns to normal. Meanwhile PI William Harrison is on a stakeout of an illicit affair when he had noted the same disturbances in the sky. He also quickly forgets about it too.

Later Harrison starts receiving mysterious mail from a person who calls himself Echo Tango or ET. The mailings start getting more detailed and start talking about a government cover-up involving questionable deaths of individuals and all stemming from Area 51. Harrison requests help from an FBI friend named Holcomb. As they start investigating ET’s claims, they realize there is something big going on.

The author also introduces a character who appears minor (Janice, Harrison’s summer intern) but who will have a bigger role later in the story. She seems a little bit “miscast” at first but the reader will understand why. There is also a scary character named James who is able to make people do whatever he wants by mind control. The “usual” “sleezy” military heads at Area 51 are also part of the plot.

This book is just “ok” and could have been a lot better but the story seems to move at a painfully slow pace until about 170 pages in and then picks up. After that it get better and has some spurts of greatness. One thing the author does well is not make Harrison and Holcomb anything special. They both have physical handicaps (Harrison has a leg wound when he was with the FBI and Holcomb is a chain smoker who is always out of breath). Officer Ridley could have played a bigger role and the reader is left wanting to know more about his history and personal feelings.

Speed Metal Blues
Speed Metal Blues
by Dave Stanton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.79
11 used & new from $10.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dan and Cody are Back But Not As Entertaining as Before, November 24, 2014
This review is from: Speed Metal Blues (Paperback)
This review is based on a free reviewer copy I received by reflects my own opinion.

Having read and having highly enjoyed Stateline and Dying for the High Life, I looked forward to this third story of Dan Reno. While those books were fun and thrill packed throughout, this book was mostly slow and never really had the tension that the other two did.

The reader is not really sure what the main point of this book is about as it does not focus on any main storyline. Dan is hired as a "bounty hunter" to find Jason Loohan, a bail-jumper who is very dangerous. Loohan seems to "maybe" have joined up with some heavy metal types or maybe some devil worshippers. The story also focuses on a high school student that Dan and Cody are helping out for his school presentation and his sister Teresa, who has an amazing singing voice.

There are also some corrupt cops (like the prior Stanton novels) and some goings on at Pistol Pete's Casino now run by John Switten though a Tuma is involved in the background. Switten has a mentally challenged son, who is an excellent drummer. Switten is also, an ex-mob hitman who relocated to Lake Tahoe and tried to get out of the business but financial issues have got him back helping the mob.

As described above, there is just too much going on at the same time and not everything ties together. I hope that the next book in the series can recapture what the first two books had.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2014 8:27 PM PST

Park Avenue to Park Bench: A New York Story
Park Avenue to Park Bench: A New York Story
by Michael Domino
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.95
12 used & new from $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are no problems, only solutions - What a Great Motto!, November 18, 2014
The author, Michael Domino sent me a free copy in exchange for a non-biased opinion.

In the author's introduction he stated that the book is a collection of actual experiences garnered on the streets of New York City with all kinds of people that the author met through mundane circumstances. This intrigued me to start reading and I was hooked. The book reads like one of the several movies of vignettes of New York City (think New York Stories). From the very first story I was hooked. It is a tale of an ex-con/mafioso named Ricky Glasses who everybody ignores. The author takes a special interest in him and Ricky ends up being a big help when Hurricane Sandy hits, taking nothing in return but Indian brand tobacco.

Other tales include a dangerous business that Mr. Domino ran that at one time got some mysterious new employees that turned the business around, an encounter with a fortune teller, a ride-along with a private investigator to meet a mafia turncoat and of course the biggest short story that is the title of the book.

The author describes throughout how he observes people to get his ideas and is always willing to jump into uncomfortable situations with the motto "there are no problems, only solutions." I couldn't put this book down and found most of the tales to be incredibly interesting. The book reminds the reader that all people, no matter what their circumstances, count for something and usually have something intriguing about their life. I hope Mr. Domino has more of these tales coming.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2014 7:12 PM PST

The Garbage Sifter
The Garbage Sifter
by Barry Jones
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Ties a Garbage Sifter to a Sexual Drug and Drug Cartels?, November 12, 2014
This review is from: The Garbage Sifter (Paperback)
This review is based on a free copy received from the author but reflect my own unbiased views.

This is the second book I have read from the author (Rusted Rails) and it is quite different. It is actually three separate stories that relate to the US and Argentinian governments battle against two Mexican Drug cartels.

The first tale is set off by a "garbage sifter" (Camilia) finding a sensitive, poorly shredded US document talking about a program called Wild Ferret. This program involves planting a computer worm into the Argentinian government computers to learn about the Mexican cartels. Camilia decides to sell the document to the Argentina government which sets off a chain of events putting her life in danger.

The second tale focuses on a sexual drug called Rosario 5 and the Argentinian's attempt to ruin a presidential candidate's campaign. The last tale involves an attempt to locate and thwart the production of Rosario 5 which is wrecking havoc with the youth of America.

The author has a fairly good writing style and provides a cast of characters at the beginning of each tale which is very helpful and I wish more authors would do this. Each of the tales has moments of suspense which serve well to hold the reader's interest. Though none of the character truly stands out there are a couple of moments where the reader feels for Camilia's struggle and later there are a few times where the reader cares about the interactions of Agents Rodriguez and Aguilar.

All in all this was a good book and well worth the four stars I gave it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2014 4:05 PM PST

The Wachuga Project
The Wachuga Project
by Douglas E. Wolfert
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.13
2 used & new from $13.13

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Mind Is Stiffled By The Lack of Speech!, October 27, 2014
This review is from: The Wachuga Project (Paperback)
This review is based on a free copy but totally reflects my own opinion.

This is one of those wonderful books that occasionally I stumble upon. Jeremy Barnard is a very intelligent and diligent youth who is one of the top students in his high school. His one issue, and it is a big one, is that he stutters very badly This causes all the kids at school to make fun of him and even his own father feels that Jeremy is an embarassment. His father, Francis, is a top notch lawyer who is very eloquent in his courtroom presentation and it pain him to no end that his son cannot even speak a full sentence. Jeremy's one ally is his mother, who loves him to no end. Jeremy loves spending time with his mother as she prepares the family meals.

Though Jeremy and his father do not get along, Jeremy is fascinated by how his father handles himself in a court room and Jeremy has big dreams to be a great lawyer himself one day. Later Jeremy will land a job working with a lawyer but will always have to remain in the background because should he attempt to speak, his stuttering would derail any of the lawyer's cases.

Meanwhile Calvin and Manny, two Mexican brothers go on a vacation in Central America. While wandering in the jungle, Calvin finds a plant that has flowers that seem to give those who eat them, amazing abilities. This plant could be part of a new wonder drug and could be something that can later change Jeremy's life. However, every good thing seems to come with a price.

This book had me from the start. Jeremy's character is so intriguing and there a many heartwarming scenes with his mother as well as heart-wrenching ones involving hs father. The reader feels Jeremy's frustration every time he clutches at his pants when he is trying to garner the energy to utter a single syllable. We feel his intelligence which is constantly stiffled byhis inability to express it out loud.

I read this book in a few sittings and didn't want it to end. I am hoping for future works from this author.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2014 4:01 PM PST

Dying for the Highlife: A Dan Reno Novel
Dying for the Highlife: A Dan Reno Novel
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Winning the Big Lottery is Not Such a Great Thing!, October 20, 2014
This review is based on a free copy but reflects my own opinion.

Dan Reno and his pal Cody are hired by Sheila Majorie to find her estranged stepson (Jimmy Homestead). Sheila leaves out an important detail; that Jimmy Homestead recently won a 43 million dollar lottery. Other people looking for Jimmy include Jimmy's father, his Uncle Mort who just got out of prison and a drug dealer (Sanzini) who is trying to collect on a debt. Jimmy meanwhile is living a reckless life, spending his money on fancy cars, gambling, prostitutes and drugs.

As Dan and Cody try to find Jimmy they seem to be always one step behind. Eventually, when they do find him Sheila wants them to "threaten" Jimmy to make sure he does what she discusses with him. They really start questioning Sheila's motives.

The book was a real page turner and a very enjoyable read. Dan and Cody are fun characters, especially if the reader is familiar with some of the author's earlier works. The book also shows that it may not be so desirable to win a big lottery prize as your life may always be threatened by those that desire your new-found wealth. I greatly look forward to Mr. Stanton's next Dan Reno tale.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2014 3:53 PM PST

Shadows: A Jake Somers Novel
Shadows: A Jake Somers Novel
by Don Castle
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.69
15 used & new from $5.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Murder Mystery that Spent Too Much Time on Plans for a Wedding, October 13, 2014
This review is based on a free reviewer copy but reflects my own opinion.

Jake Somers is an ex-detective turned private investigator. A woman is found murdered near Jake's Office and he is asked by Captain Huddleson of the police to investigate. Apparently the police are overloaded and need Jake's expertise to help on this case. Jake notices that the woman's shoes were taken as well as her purse. He later learns that two other women were murdered in similar fashion and the tie-in seems to focus on a local University where two of the women attended.

While Jake is investigating he is saddled by planning a wedding for his secretary, which his mother and girlfriend are handling. Later Jake's partner is ambushed by the killer and near death while Jake's mother has an accident at almost the same time. The whole thing seems to hinge on an illegal synthetic drug operation that Jake had been previously looking into.

This book has very few tense parts and moves at a very slow pace. Most of the book is taken up by Jake's relationship with his mother and girlfriend and the planning involved with the secretary's wedding The author should have spent a lot less time on that and a little more time on either suspense or action.

I did learn a lot about the synthetic drug trade as there are many of these types of drugs and they are too numerous to all be covered by laws. These drugs are a lot less costly than the standard illegal ones and pose a big threat to those dealers of the illegal drugs.

All things considered, this book could have been a lot better and just comes in as an average story so I give it three stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 7:10 PM PDT

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