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

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Jane Austen's First Love
Jane Austen's First Love
by Syrie James
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.61
51 used & new from $8.17

1 of 1 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
Price: $8.99

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: $11.37
17 used & new from $4.95

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: $13.50
43 used & new from $4.18

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
Kaleidocide: A Peacer Novel
by Dave Swavely
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.49
61 used & new from $1.28

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 $5.14

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!


Cornerstone (Phantom Squad Series)
Cornerstone (Phantom Squad Series)
by J.M. LeDuc
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.32
18 used & new from $10.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master of the Puzzle - A MUST-READ!, July 12, 2013
When I pick up a book by this author I feel two completely separate emotions. One: A strong bond because I have the same love for researching the absolute truths this world has stashed in the most stunning locations imaginable. Two: Absolute and utter envy of this author's ability to bring a reader into a room. Whether it be a conference room or deep inside catacombs that are remnants of a true Empire, this author makes you feel as if you're part of the scene. I have a very short list of the `best of the best' when it comes to writing, and this author is most definitely at the top of that list.

With Cornerstone, readers will once again be thrilled beyond belief as they stand by the side of Colonel Brent Venturi. He's the bravest of the brave, but also has the ability to see the truth and listen to the One voice who's constantly speaking yet rarely heard.

Cornerstone begins with an adrenaline rush. Brent is in pain. Losing his beloved wife as his daughter came into the world; his emotions are tangled like a spiderweb. Palm Cove, the place he always went for peace and serenity has now become an albatross around his neck, and he's slowly turning into a weapon of mass destruction, wanting vengeance.

The Phantom Squad, the group he leads, are beyond worried about him. Maddie Smith, the director of SIA (Strategic Intelligence Alliance) calls a meeting to let Brent know he has been relieved of all his duties and must leave the squad behind. He's no longer the team leader; he is a man who must find a way to come to terms with a horrible atrocity that's eating away at this heart.

Seven, Maddie's husband and tough-as-nails mentor to Brent, agrees. All of the people that love Brent are routing for him, but he has to be sent packing for the safety of the group. Joan, who Brent rescued from an FBI lynch mob whose mother died in agony, is like a daughter to him. Scarlet is the President's daughter and was saved by Brent from The Butcher (a serial killer who went on a two-year killing spree). Bishop Jessop has been newly appointed to take Chloe's place and wants more than anything to get Brent back on track. To do so, he calls upon Alana Lavi for help, a woman who has fallen in love with Brent, in order to see if she is the catalyst that will lead to Brent's salvation.

Brent knows the only way to heal in order for him to be a good father to his daughter, Faith, is to follow the voice of God. His journey will take him to Mount Ararat, the believed resting place of Noah's Ark. Along his journey he teams up with a young man named Tag, a Native American with his own issues who's both soldier and sniper.

Omar, the leader of the Brotherhood who was responsible for killing Chloe is seeking his own revenge, and calls upon a man by the name of Falcon for help to bring down Brent Venturi once and for all.

As the squad looks for ways to save Brent from walking into the fire of hate and despair, they must also deal with the President's trip overseas - a trip that will place him directly in the enemy's path.

This saga has become a `must-have' for readers. And although they want Brent to find that happy ending, they also feel a horrific depression that these beloved characters will disappear.

Perfect research as always; the in-depth facts regarding history and locations are right on the money. But the descriptions - the flow of this writer's work - allows readers to feel as if they are standing in the most revered locations on this planet. Not surprising, considering this is one of the most revered authors of our generation.

What's the conclusion? Cornerstone is a TOP PICK for 2013 when it comes to action, emotion and pure entertainment! (Note to Author: WRITE MORE!)

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy


The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
by Syrie James
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.11
121 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Once in a While a Reader Gets Perfection! This is it!, January 24, 2013
If there's one thing the wealth of Jane Austen fans want the rest of the world to know; it's the fact that Syrie James must be the reincarnation of the prolific Austen, seeing as that her stories, writing style and absolute knowledge of Austen's works and life, remains unparalleled.

A story within a story, this incredible novel begins with Samantha McDonough. This appealing character has currently taken a break from her librarian position back home to travel with her doctor `love' across the pond so he can attend a medical conference. While her mate is busy, Samantha finds herself exploring her old stomping grounds of Oxford and thinking about what could have been different in her life if she'd decided to finish her dissertation. It is here where she stumbles across a two-hundred-year-old book of poetry, takes it back to her quaint little B&B, and comes across a hidden letter within its bindings. Her heart immediately goes into overdrive. Samantha is a huge fan of Jane Austen and she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the letter was written in Austen's hand and speaks of a manuscript that went missing a long time ago - a manuscript that today's world would kill to read.

Suffice to say, through a small whirlwind of events, Samantha finds herself traveling to the location that was mentioned in Jane's letter - Greenbriar Estate. There, she meets up with the owner - Anthony Whitaker - (handsome, charming, yet more than a little miffed about his current monetary situation now that he's saddled with this pricey estate). Even though he's uninterested in Samantha's quest, when she tells him that a missing Jane Austen manuscript could mean serious cash, he immediately changes from night to day and joins the search for Jane's lost words.

When the discovery is made Anthony and Samantha sit back and read what Austen wrote so long ago, and another world is opened up to the reader that has them falling in love with a brand new tale. Rebecca Stanhope is the heroine and is distraught when her father, the rector, is accused of stealing funds and is made to step down from his post. Who takes over? A young, rich man who is cold, impolite, more than a bit condescending at times and, yes, beyond handsome. (Remind you of anyone?)

As the missing manuscript plays out, readers not only become riveted by the powerful modern-day story between a woman who wants to share a masterpiece with the masses versus a man who wants to gather the wealth; but they also become intrigued in an `Austen' world where a hero and heroine fight their own battle of wills.

Although there are Jane lovers around the world, millions of romance aficionados will go absolutely crazy over this title, and it is because of the captivating work of Syrie James. Yet again, she has delivered a tale of beauty, intelligence, romance and reality all in one stunning book. This is a novel that deserves a standing ovation, and if Jane Austen were still with us - she would be the first one to applaud!

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy


I Am Who I Am
I Am Who I Am

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Unique Character!, October 27, 2012
This review is from: I Am Who I Am (Kindle Edition)
Every once in a while readers come across a character that has literally never been written; She He Lee is that character. This is a woman who has lived through every historical moment you can possibly imagine. She has come back again and again - whether in the form of a female or male - and seen everything there was to see on the planet Earth. And with intelligence and humor, she tells a story that no reader has yet to hear.

On an island, far from the continent of the `United Nations,' a woman has lived for a long, long time. The Waterfall of Life is what she drinks from - a truly magical source that purifies the soul and body so that the person drinking can last forever (because sin and negativity has basically been flushed out of their system). Her protection comes in the form of motion detectors set around the island; and her needs as far as food, clothing, etc., are gotten from having the ability to teleport to the continent and then quickly teleport back to her island of peace.

One day the motion detectors begin to wail and a man washes ashore - a man who has no knowledge of what the world once was thousands of years ago. She He Lee tends to the needs of this stranger...listening to his words, enjoying his stunning blue eyes, and loving the fact that after a very long time, she now has another adult to speak to.

The stranger is Nicholas Hardy (the first name coming from a 20th century character who'd owned a great stone that only a `Philosopher' could understand), and as they begin to talk about life, She learns that Nick is from D.C. and was sailing around the continent when his accident occurred, readying himself to captain a cruise spaceship on its maiden voyage - excited to discover other worlds. He's completely thrown aside as the story of She's lives begin to unfold. For an explorer, he's almost angry that there's so much about the past that he simply doesn't know. (And has a hard time believing.)

She he Lee's stories are unbelievable, as everything from her time with Empress Catherine III to Winston Churchill in the 1940's, comes forth. But as the two get to know one another and the romance begins to blossom, choices must be made between the benefits of immortality and going back to a `regular' life that was once fulfilling.

The author has used humor, history, as well as absolute emotion when it comes to the exploration of her main character. In fact, She He Lee's greatest moments are when she watches the generations of her own grandchildren on the TV's in her surveillance room to make sure they are all okay - whether they need her help, or whether they will one day be a part of her island home. Explaining the ins-and-outs of various societies and the sins of greed and capitalism that spawned the horrific troubles of the 20th century - the author makes statement after statement that we will all know and agree, through a unique character's voice who has, quite literally, seen it all

Although finding her way into literature by publishing a truly amazing pre-teen/YA series, Ms. Callsen has certainly proven with this particular adult fiction story that she knows exactly how to deliver a plot that gets people thinking, loving and laughing from the moment they begin. Enjoy!


The Story of the Costume Drama
The Story of the Costume Drama
DVD ~ Story of the Costume Drama
Price: $37.98
22 used & new from $8.79

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!!, August 10, 2012
Real television. Not reality television (YAY!) but real television! This DVD brings back all the memories of the most iconic television shows, movies and miniseries that we all wish would be on all stations at all times of the day in order to step away from an age that seems to be filled with nothing but `Real Housewives' and silly competitions.

This DVD set is all about the Brits - the `best of the best' when it came to the BBC - and offers clips, interviews, backstories, behind-the-scene looks and a history of images that are still embedded in our minds. Remember Jeremy Irons in Brideshead Revisited? Not only was this one of the most romantic and best-written tales, as well as the first that actually opened the door to `gay' characters, it was also a story that offered pure sophistication, stunning locales and fashion that the world absolutely fell in love with.

From The Adventures of Robin Hood (the first show that was ultimately aimed at young boys who wanted to be heroes); to the only `soap opera' that was beyond impressive, Upstairs, Downstairs, which offered a look at the separate worlds of the wealthy and their servants - these costume dramas were unforgettable.

The DVD takes a look back at when the costume drama changed; when it suddenly turned into something that the world swooned over. Yes, that was Pride and Prejudice, when Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy) stepped out of a lake and became the sexiest man in television history. Viewers also receive `nuggets' of information such as the fact that vicars changed the time of church in order for people to run home and watch The Forsyte Saga on television - one costume drama that spawned a national debate.

These shows offered lessons in deportment and etiquette, while at the same time breaking through boundaries where television was concerned. There's also a focus on actors who entered into the world of costume drams to show they were far more than their `popular roles.' Example: Gillian Anderson gave a stunning performance in Bleak House in order to come out of the shadows of `Scully' and the highly popular "X-Files." My Boy Jack was another, which was a stunning costume drama where Daniel Radcliffe showed the world that he was an award-worthy actor as he dropped the `boy wizard' that everyone loves with all their hearts to give a powerful performance.

This fantastic DVD also includes interviews with the people who made these dramas truly shine, as well as the directors who worked hard in order to make them unforgettable. From Helen Mirren who could never be outdone when it came to English royalty to Keira Knightley in Doctor Zhivago to an exploration of I, Claudius as well as Moll Flanders, which was the first to truly focus on a passionate female who lived life by her own rules.

Beyond fascinating, this DVD allows you to sit back and see the romance, beauty, stunning locales, and unbelievable costumes that all came together to make BBC the absolute `masters' of the miniseries' and shows we will always love!

Truly captivating, this DVD collection is not only a `must-see,' it's a must-buy!


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