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A Very Merry Shakespeare "Amy E. Lignor" RSS Feed (NY, NY)

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Don't Forget Me, Bro
Don't Forget Me, Bro
by John Michael Cummings
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.23
18 used & new from $11.20

5.0 out of 5 stars An Unforgettable Emotional Whirlwind!, April 6, 2015
This review is from: Don't Forget Me, Bro (Paperback)
'Home’ means different things to different people. Some see ‘home’ as a warm blanket—a place they can always go to feel safe and loved. Others see ‘home’ as a type of purgatory; an almost haunted location where a demon waits for you to be dumb enough to come back so it can destroy you completely. In this novel, the latter is true.

Mark Barr is headed home after more than a decade. He shouldn’t go, but Mark feels a loyalty that is far greater than the fear and anger he still owns for Alma, West Virginia. Steve, his mentally-ill brother, has now passed on. And Mark knows that without his return Steve will face the same ill treatment in death as he did in life from their uncaring parents.

Steve was only 45, yet this once creative man with everything in front of him had lost it all, falling into purgatory from constant abuse long before he actually did. Mark is not exactly welcomed with any type of open arms in Alma. He has stayed gone from this place, but still carries so much hostility and pain that his life with his girlfriend in NYC is anything but peaceful.

Arriving at the pretty-much dilapidated home of his mother, wounds are reopened almost immediately. His father (a loud-mouth, mean soul) wants to cremate Steve and have no funeral whatsoever even though Steve had told Mark he wished to be buried next to one of their relatives in the cemetery. Mark is more than angry about his own brother’s last request being denied. And the suffering, the calling up of the past, the trek through childhood nightmares that Mark has carrier into his adulthood – all of these area are explored.

Readers may question Mark and his motives; at times they may even question whether or not Mark might be the actual ‘mentally-ill’ character in the book. He has certainly been a victim of the constant abuse that rained down on his brother for decades, so his rage and emotional scars make for a crazed man.

This author, who is incredible when it comes to characterizations, has brought it all to the table with this one. The world of Alma is basically Technicolor for the reader, and the loveless Barr family is so vivid that you want to somehow get justice for Steve. Mark is on one heck of a quest; sometimes looking for understanding, other times looking for a way to free himself of the guilt he feels for separating himself from the situation and letting his brother basically rot years ago. But no matter what Mark is feeling, and no matter what scene is being presented, this author has made sure to explore some pretty heavy paths of abuse using a haunted elegance that makes for a unique and unforgettable story.

ECHO's Revenge: The Other Side, Part 1 (ECHO's Revenge Book 2)
ECHO's Revenge: The Other Side, Part 1 (ECHO's Revenge Book 2)
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 'Must-Read', February 3, 2015
For all you gamers out there—not to mention all readers who enjoy horror, sci-fi, or just want an amazing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat—this is THE series to choose.

Beginning this tale of madness, the reader is told that witness accounts are being given to them regarding a specific ‘catastrophe’…then, the madness arrives. Luca Esposito is the creator of the best and most played game series: ECHO’s Revenge. This is reality at its finest, with a true monster being at the game’s core. But this time around, Luca has gone one huge step forward. ECHO-7 is being tested right now. Mega-millions have been spent already on this (hopefully) mega-hit that will take over the gaming world. Luca is the Dr. Frankenstein of reality games, wanting with all his heart for his newest creation to rise up and scare the bejesus out of everyone. What Luca doesn’t understand is that his creation IS going to rise up…but Luca and his fellow designers will not be pulling the strings of the monster because this creation has a mind all its own.

ECHO-7 has its own thought processes, it can spot and verify various people who have helped him become what he becomes, such as Prentice who is the woman behind the artificial intelligence that has been placed into this beast. ECHO-7 can also listen to people speak and understand their words. He overhears the top gamers in the country and interprets their movements, inner turmoil, fear, jokes, and the odd (but true) human ability to be soothed by pizza.

Hiding this information from his creators, attempting to do what he is told, ECHO-7 takes it upon himself to download things he will need to use in order to win every game and destroy every target. With this information, ECHO-7 becomes more than a typical ‘robot’ – he becomes an all-out killer.

This may be categorized as a definite sci-fi masterpiece, yet with the gaming world becoming so extensive, and with more and more brilliant minds working on making the next “new” thing that will keep everyone on their toes, it is not a stretch to believe that a very real monster with extreme knowledge and the capabilities of ECHO-7 could be born. With this creature, the world would be transformed into a field of ultimate survival, where humans are nothing but blips on a screen. Humans would no longer be gamers playing in the comfort and safety of their own homes, they would be lost in a world where they are the ultimate prey for the ultimate and unbeatable predator.

As a hacker is mentioned, readers will hang on to every word in order to witness the fate of ECHO-7. They will desperately want to see who wins the battle between a human boss and his out-of-control creation. My opinion? This a fantastic series that cannot be missed!

ASK ANNA: Advice for the Furry and Forlorn
ASK ANNA: Advice for the Furry and Forlorn
by Dean Koontz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.58
87 used & new from $1.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogs RULE!, December 23, 2014
When it comes to writing a tale, Dean Koontz is still – after all this time and after thousands of books I’ve read and reviewed – the only writer I have come across that can mix the likes of horror, magic, vivid landscapes, supernatural moments, and humor all in one. This is the man who can have me scared, running to the kitchen to grab anything I can find to use as a weapon for the silent, lurking something-or-other that must be hiding in my house. So there I sit, with a whisk (or, if I’m really lucky, a spatula) in hand, and turn the next page. And in the middle of everything, he can insert just that tad bit of sarcasm or humor that makes me burst into laughter…then I have to check myself, wondering if I’ve given my position away to the evil presence.

I received this book at a time when I needed this more than I needed anything else in the world: right after I had just lost my own furry best friend of 13 years named, Reuben. In this book, a lovely, furry Dear Abby (AKA: Anna Koontz), comes to the rescue. Many dogs write into her who have questions, confusion, comments, and even offers of dates and dinner for the lovely Golden Retriever.

Each page has the most fun and beautiful pictures of the perfect companions we all want by our sides, and Anna makes sure to let them in on the secrets of how to deal with us humans…not to mention, cats. The readers of this book that are two-legged will laugh and have a ball. They will also learn things about their canine buddies they hadn’t thought about before. Such as, we may think we are in charge in our households, but just remember who is picking up who’s pooh and we will finally understand the reality that we are second-in-command after the furry rulers.

In addition to pictures and advice that every reader will love, there is also an ending offered up by Dean letting us know historical facts that prove if it wasn’t for dogs, this world would have fallen apart long ago…even more apart than it seems to be right now. Of course, the furry are not allowed to vote or run Congress, which is most likely why we’re THIS screwed up.

This is, yet again, a perfectly woven literary work that gives everything to the reader: Not a surprise, considering that Koontz has never failed and Anna, the new Dear Abby, seems to know more than Socrates. (She does. Really. Let’s face it, she wouldn’t have been dumb enough to drink poison hemlock no matter how many dudes in togas were forcing her to).

Get this. Read this. Cherish and share this! This is the perfect holiday gift, as well as the perfect gift to give to someone who needs a ‘friend’ of the four-legged kind. Or who, like me, misses one with all her heart. I once again have to thank Dean Koontz for this precious gift, and allowing the world to witness a mind that still, in my estimation, has no equal.

Farewell, Monsieur Gaston
Farewell, Monsieur Gaston
by Nikolai Grozni
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technicolor Tale!, November 11, 2014
Well, I expected nothing less than perfection from the author that wrote the stunning and unforgettable book, “Wunderkind,” and perfection is exactly what I received.

This novel is categorically a Dionysian mystery. For those who are unaware, this is all about the spontaneous, the sensual – the world relating to the god Dionysus. From page one, the emotional aspects of human nature come into play: our flaws, our judgment of others, and our reawakening to a world we simply do not understand. Every character in this book is an actor. These actors are characters from plays and/or theatrical works. Immediately, readers are brought into the story as if they were watching it play out on an Athenian stage surrounded by the marble thrones and sculptures of the Acropolis – before the earthquakes came and turned them to rubble.

The chorus leader and his minions behind him welcome you to the tale. The leader lets you know that you are about to enter a world where comedy and tragedy combine. A world where deaths are done in a grand, morbid way. He hints to the fact that the world around you has crumbled, that dark forces and evil gods exist in the land and…HARK…the hero is coming forth (slowly but surely), who will add his talents to the stage. He will allow you, the watcher/reader, to grasp onto his coattails and hope at all times that he wins and that his entrails are not ever found on someone else’s plate.

Our hero wakes up and his past his sealed. His memory is gone. He is now in a strange, foreign world being welcomed into it by a very odd group of beings, and a hunchback that plays a large role in the story. He is told about four rules of the realm, rules the hero must obey before he enters into the adventure. These are rules that must be memorized and, if broken, can create havoc in his life.

This is his quest. A dark quest that’s filled with grand people, places and a whole lot of sarcastic dialogue. Every time you believe the band of characters has reached its maximum number, a musician, a clown, a man-eating bird – you name it – arrive to bring even more to the story. All roads run back to the first, yet this violent realm seems more like Dante’s spheres, with a hero who must find himself while battling, sacrificing and understanding all the madness that’s around him.

Once again this author not only offers up an amazing story, but he also proves and proclaims to the heavens that he is the ultimate writer with an over-the-top mind locked in a mere human body.

Jane Austen's First Love
Jane Austen's First Love
by Syrie James
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.17
65 used & new from $1.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Austen Writer Slam-Dunks it Yet Again!, August 5, 2014
The popularity of Jane Austen has grown exponentially over the decades. And it has become a well-known fact that the lady who’s still the undisputed queen of romance has a lot in common with this particular author. Simply put, where both women are concerned, their writing is exemplary.

Syrie James has long been a ‘giver’ to Austen fans everywhere, and with this new novel she takes them on a fun adventure back to the early days of Austen’s life. A girl not even old enough to come out in society, Jane is just finding that spark of imagination; that lightning rod of creativity, that she would hone over time to become a brilliant author.

Beginning with a letter found by her sister, Cassandra, Jane’s taken back to the first moment in her life when true love stopped her heart. At fifteen, a letter arrives at her home regarding her brother’s engagement and impending marriage. Edward requests that they all come and meet his future wife’s family. Once there, they will take part in a slew of events, including a ball. After convincing their parents that they must be allowed to go, Jane Austen embarks on the best time of her life: the Summer of 1791.

The family is walking into an extremely upper-class world and Jane can barely contain herself. Riding toward their destination, the carriage has a slight accident on the muddy roads and a hero suddenly arrives to help. Edward Taylor is an odd knight in shining armor. A handsome boy who loves a challenge, he is not exactly the type to deal with rules and regulations, and has misgivings for what his own future holds. But his interest in young Jane is clear.

The pomp and circumstance begins when the Austen clan reach their fancy destination, coming face-to-face with three sisters who seem to spend more time thinking about themselves and what they deserve than thinking about anyone else’s happiness. Unfortunately, Jane relies on the words and facades of the rich, and takes on the role of matchmaker to fix some things that may not be broke. Suffice to say, Jane has her hands full with a play, an error of judgment, and a love that fancies her, yet has another girl waiting in the wings.

This is so well-written that true Austen lovers will find themselves smiling at the ‘nuggets’ of famous works spread throughout the story. The matchmaker who cannot leave well enough alone: (Emma, anyone?) And even though Jane is still young, the beauty of emotions combined with a humorous atmosphere featuring a handsome daredevil, would make even the ultimate Austen hero, Mr. Darcy, extremely proud to have ended up being a part of his creator’s popular world.

And you can bet Jane Austen is somewhere smiling, extremely proud of the woman who sits at a computer and brings her - the woman, the author, and her magic - back to life. Syrie James is magnificent!

‘Class-A’ writing is what this author always delivers, and this early Austen adventure is truly unforgettable!

Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow
Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow

5.0 out of 5 stars This is the One to Read!!, July 28, 2014
Said before, I will say it again: wit, sarcasm and truth, are the perfect combination for any reader when it comes to searching for a ‘5-star’ title.

This is the book that will have you laughing and thinking at the same time. Marriage, Martini’s and Mayhem in Moscow are all spotlighted, as the author takes us into a world most of us have never known or seen. Twenty years of her life was spent in the, shall we say, ‘interesting’ Moscow, and like Sherlock Holmes, this is a woman whose eyes and mind were always working. The jokes are hysterical and the information given makes people want to shut everyone out in order to soak up the words.

Using a cast of characters that literally seem to spotlight the spectrum of eccentricity, everything from salads that are mayonnaise-based, which are actually a factor for this country’s 300+ holidays (and, boy, America would love far more than the ones we get now – not the salads, the days off for celebration); to stories of how life and people have changed in the time it took for Putin to take the ‘throne’ – or, at least, the throne he believes he’s sitting on – every chapter is dedicated to a character unearthing, enjoying, and enthusiastically offering up anecdotes about life in Moscow.

Jennifer speaks of her HRH (which is what Putin believes he is, at times). But in this author’s world, HRH is her Handsome Russian Husband, although at times that Handsome can change to Horrible. Now, this is a work of fiction, yet obviously based solidly on the events and fun times the author has had while getting to know every corner of Moscow – from its history to present-day.

Readers will follow her ‘star’, coincidentally named Jennifer, as the woman experiences a new life. She quits her job, she becomes a writer and, oddly enough, lives across from the building where Vladimir Lenin’s corpse is refreshed. (Now, THAT is the next door neighbor you want to have. Talk about no noise whatsoever).

Explore this world, enjoy this world, and laugh out loud, because this is what this sharp, intelligent, veteran expatriate has given to one and all…a real good time.

Imperfect Acts
Imperfect Acts
by Peter Shianna
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.65
29 used & new from $5.33

4.0 out of 5 stars "What Would You Do?", July 1, 2014
This review is from: Imperfect Acts (Paperback)
Jason Ferris is your average, ordinary teenage boy who, at the moment, is leading a happy, normal life. He has a dad that rates right up there with the best; he loves his mom, and also has feelings for the Cari – the ultimate ‘girl next door’. The only thing that might throw him a curveball, however, is the fact that even though he does have feelings for a girl, Jason also wants – not to mention, promised his mother – that he will enter the priesthood.

Faith is ripped apart in Jason’s life when his own father actually witnesses a murder at the place where he works…and doesn’t do anything about it. Being a truly loving son and huge supporter of his family, Jason cannot seem to reconcile within himself why his father is simply keeping quiet about such a violent act. With a heart and soul that is deeply religious, Jason must deal with many imbalances all of a sudden. In fact, his own faith is tested as he faces the reality of what lengths a son can and will go to in order to protect his father.

Unearthing both good and evil, and the true torment that a young person can go through in this life, this may seem on the surface to be a highly difficult read. But when you delve into the crux of the story and the vivid narrative this author provides, the story of Jason is one of a faithful soul trying desperately to find the answers about life’s hardest struggles.

Having to choose between ‘good and evil’ in the world is difficult for one and all. But Jason’s test takes that normal plotline to a whole new level. Deciding whether to enter the world of religion or sit on the sidelines and keep his mouth shut, this teen who has faith in the Almighty, comes face-to-face with the messy, chaotic, very real world where no one’s ‘acts’ and choices are perfect.

A fast-paced tale with a heavy plot that will leave the reader with the question: “What would I do?”

The Tenth Circle (The Blaine McCracken Novels)
The Tenth Circle (The Blaine McCracken Novels)
by Jon Land
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.49
47 used & new from $5.01

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Land Continues to Deliver A+ Suspense!, December 17, 2013
Blaine McCracken is back and better than ever! Jon Land has written yet another thrilling tale that brings back McCracken, a very ‘special’ Black Ops officer for the U.S. Government, who’s most definitely a troubleshooter in times of need.

Blaine and his cohort, Johnny Wareagle, have just completed a job in Iran. Now the duo is on their way back home where an even more hideous threat will be facing them.

This tale, however, is a true historical puzzle. In 1590, on Roanoke Island, a group of English Colonists landed and began to build a settlement. That was the factual story. However, when other people arrived there was no sign of these supposed settlers, animals, or anything else. These people were never found throughout history, and theories began to abound.

Fast forward to 1872, when the ship, Mary Celeste, was found floating near the Rock of Gibraltar, completely absent of passengers and crew…more people who’d simply disappeared.

In present-day, McCracken and Johnny are living in the world of terrorist attacks; each day brings new bombings from new gangs that no one has been able to identify. There’s a mass of bad people showing up on McCracken’s radar, but the most vocal is Reverend Jeremiah Rule.

Reverend Rule has a heart full of hate towards Muslims and blames them for all the horror taking place. Loud, but not altogether bright, some bad people are stringing the Reverend along and telling him what to do next. But they’re in for a surprise; this man is starting his own war, and is getting ready to release a weapon that no one knows about that will open the Tenth Circle of Hell.

McCracken and his team are out to stop this man and his army of ‘crazies’ in order to save the U.S. from a war that may unleash something or someone that no one is able to fight.

Action, humor, history, mystery, thrills - you name it, Jon Land has delivered it yet again!!

Kaleidocide: A Peacer Novel (The Peacer Series)
Kaleidocide: A Peacer Novel (The Peacer Series)
by Dave Swavely
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.07
58 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Blade Runner...Yet Even Better!, December 11, 2013
This sequel continues Swavely’s amazing work first presented in 'Silhouette'. For those who are unaware of this technologically abundant series, all you need to do is think of ‘Blade Runner’; a movie that proved to everyone the terrors and oddities our future may bring.

Main character, Michael Ares, is what you would call confused. He is living in San Francisco after a huge quake that changed ‘normal’ life as he knew it. No longer run by a government, San Fran actually belongs to a company called BASS. This ‘Big Brother’-type company moved in and created the city-state, using their protection officers called, peacers, to keep the citizens in line.

BASS has a variety of things in the works, but one is a secret technological breakthrough that involves anti-gravity. If the technology works, BASS would become the imminent power in the world, upsetting more than a few other countries and rulers along the way.

Ares is actually at the helm of BASS - and not happy about it. Not only is he completely in the dark as to why he’s inherited the mantle, but he also has to worry about a slew of attempts now being made on his life. More than one person wants him out of the way, including a powerful Chinese general.

All Ares has on his side is one friend he can trust. That friend just happens to have his own company that deals in protection - a gift that Ares definitely needs if he’s going to survive the attacks on his life long enough to discover what or who is at the root of his deathly fate.

Although set in the ‘near’ future, this is a book that delves into serious futuristic technology, like aerocars and shoot-to-kill officers. The author has done a good job with this continuation, tackling the science fiction/suspense genre with gusto. Fans will most definitely love this follow-up, as they stand beside Ares and see if he can get through his adventure alive.

"I'm So Hollywood" (Summer Saltz)
"I'm So Hollywood" (Summer Saltz)
by Connie Sewell
Edition: Hardcover
6 used & new from $16.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ Writing - A+ Illustrations!, September 16, 2013
The imagination of a little girl is a gift; and in a world where we are bombarded with negatives, it's so special to come across a book that shines with that adorable magic and zest for life that sometimes feels lost. When you pick up (and you should) this entertaining, creative and fun book, a smile will immediately form on your face. Why? Because Summer Saltz represents the sassiness and pure and utter fun that we all need to feel - whether little girl or all grown up.

Summer has a great family - and a really big dog. She loves her life, loves the color pink, and has a best friend named Molly who really is a loyal, caring friend.

One day, Summer goes shopping and finds an awesome pair of sunglasses. They are so cool, in fact, that when she puts them on she receives the comment that she looks oh, so, Hollywood. Now, let's face it, if you find something that makes you look that good you need two things - a pink purse to go with them, and a party to go to where you can show off the fact that you are the essence of Hollywood. Summer gets them both.

A party is had by her parents and Summer invites Molly to attend. She also tries to figure out how to carry her dog in her purse (so cute!). But lets just say you would need a BIG piece of luggage to carry this one around. The dog also decides to be more than a little rambunctious at the party and ends up harming Summer's evening.

But this is a story of pure enjoyment, and Summer's Mom joins with best friend Molly to come up with explanations and solutions that make Summer feel like little Miss Hollywood - the most fashionable of them all.

Written perfectly, the plot of this story gets an A+. The illustrator also needs a big commendation for the amazing work she did bringing Summer and her Hollywood feelings to life! If you are looking for the ultimate holiday gift, or simply looking for one of those books you will read over and over again and share with your own kids someday - this is it! I can't wait to see what this outstanding author/illustrator team come up with next!

Special, unique and a whole lot of fun! Summer Saltz is a breath of fresh air in a literary and real world that desperately needs one!

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