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Joan A. Adamak "Joan Adamak, Author and Book Reviewer" RSS Feed (Prescott Valley, AZ)
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Promises
Promises
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Promises last for a lifetime., May 26, 2016
This review is from: Promises (Kindle Edition)
PROMISES
By Ardyce Durham

This is an amazing fiction novel based on the lives of two families mostly, written by one of the existing offspring, utilizing the facts about these families for almost one hundred years. Written in the vernacular of that time and area, this book may be hard for some to read but I loved it. It helped transport the reader, making the story even more real.
It starts by telling of these two boys, Owen Cartwright and Weston Walker, born four weeks apart, best friends, and inseparable. They developed a moral code that if a promise is made with a handshake, then it must be followed through, and they never broke that code even as adults, if it was at all possible. Their fathers, Harmon and Monroe, who also were best friends worked at the local sawmill and did a little farming. They were living in Tennessee and extremely poor, but they each had just enough clothes to get by, even though they were mostly hand-me-downs, enough to eat when supplementing it with wild game, and a roof over their heads, although it got crowded as time passed because most families had up to thirteen children. The first part of the story drags some because it encompasses all of the mischief these two boys got into, and although amusing, did become rather tedious.
In the fall of 1857 the sawmill closed, thus "forcing" the families to leave Tennessee and move to Mississippi. Although the others settled in well to their new life, Owen and Wes did not, thus resulting in some bad choices. They never wore shoes and the soles of their feet were thick and tough. When they tried to wear boots, it took them months to adjust. They ran into slavery in Mississippi, which they didn’t understand. There were no slaves where they had been living. They wondered what love was until Wes fell in love, which Owen didn’t understand, but he accepted Wes getting married,
In the meantime, Harmon was killed in an accident, his wife was shocked into becoming a vegetable, and the oldest daughter Margaret took care of her mother for the next twenty-five years.
Skipping forward to 1865, Owen and Wes joined the Confederate Army, even though they weren’t quite sure what they were fighting for. Owen tells the story of their lives as soldiers in the 2nd Mississippi Infantry. And Wes was killed there. It took years for Owen to tell his family the full truth of Wes’ death and his two years in the Northern prisoner camp. I have read several stories about both the Union and Confederate prison camps, but I think this expose’ was the most revealing of most. It was right from Owen’s mouth.
During his lifetime of those years through the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Owen continued to relate to the family and about the family what he remembered, up until his passing at almost 100 years old.
This book was well written, the characters were well developed so that the reader could see them and you will laugh and you will weep. It seems incredible that these people had an instinct for survival and still getting some satisfaction out of life.
This story does not have the same appeal that “Gone With the Wind” has, because these are not beautiful people with money, but they are beautiful people in their way. I truly recommend this book to all who like a realistic, true history of the times and the survivors. I was given a complimentary copy of the e-book for an honest review.


After the Kill (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 4)
After the Kill (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 4)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Serial killer at large., May 21, 2016
A veteran with a Medal of Honor suffering from PTSD, after having tried to get help from the VA, breaks down and opens fire at a Phoenix airport, killing several and wounding several. Jake, now a famous former Atlanta, GA detective, attempts to protect his best friend, Fred, who has been shot and is dying. Jake, with the aid of a swat team, manages to kill the shooter. Jake has never really been in love and then he meets Caitland and they fall madly in love with each other. Caitland is also a professional person living on the west coast, but then she and Jake decide they are going to live together and they each feel they can’t live without the other. Mackenzy Graham, a brilliant young woman who now has a PhD in psychiatry, is not entirely mentally healthy as she was also was raised in a background of psychological abuse. She has a grant that allows her to interview inmates of Broadmoor, the Hospital-Detention Center for the worse of the serial killers. MacKenzy visits often with the most severely mentally ill psychopath, who kills for the joy of it. From him, whom she pumps, she learns how to be a serial killer and murderer in such a way, the victim never is aware of how it is happening and because of drug given prior to her by MacKenzie, is unable to defend herself. Each time MacKenzie kills, she is more brutal with the victim’s body and then she leaves a message saying the West Coast Killer has been there.
The story moves rapidly along as Jake and Caitland engross themselves in their romance, along with their friends, Fred and Andrea, Wynter and Vince. But at the same time, Jake is trying to track down the West Coast Killer, believing the individual to be a male. The characters of the story are well developed, so is the action and you are engrossed in the story to the very end, which is a surprise.
I enjoyed the murder mystery and was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.


AWAKENING: Event Horizon (Avatar Trilogy Book 3)
AWAKENING: Event Horizon (Avatar Trilogy Book 3)
Price: $3.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWAKENING is the next gigantic step in Human Evolution., May 14, 2016
In the first book of the trilogy, “The Avatar Syndrome” we are introduced to Anne, the child savant who mastered the violin in two years, is kidnapped, abused, and heals herself with the aid of Gabriel, the huge man servant who teaches Anne how to meditate, go within, and balance herself. Dr. John Brent, head of the neurological department of the largest hospital in Canada, devotes his life to working with patients and attempting to find what makes the human brain work, and who comes to love Anne as his own child.
In the second book “Headless World-The Vatican Incident,” Anne has married Peter, a scientist with great achievements as a neurological doctor and scientist. In this book there were metaphysics, philosophy, mystery, action, and unconditional love
In this third book, Anne has given up her role as a violin virtuoso and through practice and training with Gabriel, learns to mentally screen another’s mind and emotions, usually which are making them ill, and is able to send the right energy to heal them. Peter has difficulty understanding this, but they are so much in love with each other, that he accepts it. They have a grown son, Johnny, who is famous for his orchestral arrangements, although he is centered usually in Italy and Anne keeps track of him with her mental abilities. She has a grown daughter, Deidre, who is married to an astrophysist and lives in Montreal, Canada. Anne and Peter live in Ottawa.
Peter is aware of Anne’s healing talents plus Anne is well versed in metaphysics and that most everything on Earth is made of vibrations and Gabriel, who is no longer present, continually coaches her. As time passes, the winter rains come and flood many areas, plus depressing the populations because there is no let-up and it is so continuous. Than it snows and the snow gets so deep that no one can leave their houses for months. Anne’s daughter and husband and Peter learn to meet each other and talk to each other on this vibrational level above the physical. There are pages and pages of metaphysical teachings and events, and everyone is stuck in their homes because this has become an ice age and a cataclysmic event. The earth sinks in places and rises in other place as Edgar Cayce foretold it. In the end when the sun comes and the ice age melts, there are huge changes for the survivors to face. And humankind has changed, with only a small percentage still alive, but the story does a beautiful job of describing where all of the souls of the dead bodies are.
This story really make one think about all of the aspects of life and why every now and then Earth has a cleansing. This story truly makes the reader consider life as a whole and when the Earth has such a cleansing, is this a way to start anew and it suggests where the Souls of the deceased are.
I was given a complimentary copy of this e-book for an honest review, and I recommend it for anyone who likes to contemplate life based on the many aspects of it as promoted in this book.


Metamorphosis: Book Two of the Lalassu
Metamorphosis: Book Two of the Lalassu
Price: $4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars When the normal and the abnormal combine., May 2, 2016
When the normal and abnormal combine.

Ron McBride thought his life couldn't possibly get any worse. He's been physically and mentally transformed, hunted across most of North America and is haunted by the failures of his past. Now it looks like he's about to die in the Canadian wilderness up near the Arctic Circle. He almost freezes to death when he collapses, while running to escape capture, but is found by members of the tiny Indian community of Bear Claw. There he meets the daughter of the head family, Lily Charging Bull.

Lily and her family deliberately remain as hidden and obscure as they can for they are skinwalkers, able to shift between human and huge grizzly bear forms. For generations, they've protected the lalassu, (which means hidden or ghost) and they can’t blend easily with human society. When they find Ron, most of Lily’s brothers and grandfather believe he will be a danger to their tribe and Lily has become enamored with him (for the first time being attracted to any male) and she fights to keep her brothers from killing him or driving him off because they don’t trust him.

A deep romance develops between Ron and Lily, but Ron is damaged goods. Mentally he had been overcome and slave to the wishes of a scientist and Lily’s brother, Andrew, is a shaman and can see this. He takes Ron to his tent where he uses hot rocks and water to produce steam, and drums away as he instructs Ron to seek within his mind the shackles that imprison him. Lily worries about how Ron will take it when she admits she is half grizzly bear and half human.

This story is different than any I have read before and is a second book in a series. I was fascinated by the story. It is well written and thought out. I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.


Tar Heart (A New Hampshire Mystery Book 3)
Tar Heart (A New Hampshire Mystery Book 3)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars How dark our emotions can be as a result of our past., April 28, 2016
This is a great mystery novel, which is full of twists and turns that make the reader think s/he knows the answer and then it twists. I was unable to determine the true killer or killers until the very end. In the meantime, the descriptions of the places and the players are so vivid and thorough, the reader can feel like s/he is there also.

Identical twins, Rose and Holly, are the subject matter of this tale and keep everyone confused as to who is who. For Rose, add a charming husband, an adorable son, and an idyllic estate on the edge of a lake. They are in a portion of the US where the winters are severely cold and the snow deep. Holly is determined to find who killed her sister and why. She had been estranged from Rose for two years and she is appalled at what she finds out about Rose’s life and everyone who had been a part of it. The story is so fascinating and moves so fast, that it is easy to read it in two or three days.

I was given a complimentary copy or an honest review.


Trust Me (The Donovan Family Book 4)
Trust Me (The Donovan Family Book 4)
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Physical love making is the glue that holds this pair together., April 19, 2016
TRUST ME

Raine Taylor is a tae kwon do instructor and she teaches teenage girls at school. Raine is little and attractive, but feels she is absolutely powerful when using these skills. But her sister Genie has been murdered and Raine is certain it was her husband Peter Northrup who did it. There isn’t enough proof to arrest him, so Raine is determined to find the evidence to jail him. Detective Connor Donovan received a call about a trespasser outside of Northrup’s house and finds a woman running down the street. When he tries to stop her, he catches hold of her hoodie and she vanishes.

Connor runs across Raine at school and by her size and the manner in which she carries herself, he knows that she is the trespasser outside of Northrup’s home. When he approaches Raine about being near Northrup’s home, she admits it, saying she is seeking the evidence to prove that Northrup killed his wife, her sister Genie.

Raine is not looking for a lover and Connor likes women, but only on and off basis, but for some reason, these two are drawn together. There are many explicit sex scenes, and many are repetitive to the point that the reader gets bored. But the enjoyment of the plot is that Raine feels she is powerful enough to challenge any man or woman because of her special training and thus get entangled in several predicaments and Connor spends most of his time attempting to protect her and keep her out of trouble.

This is an enjoyable romance with this push and pull between this young woman and young man.
I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.


Making Manna
Making Manna
by Eric Lotke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.00
39 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Survival is intrinsic to human nature., April 18, 2016
This review is from: Making Manna (Paperback)
MAKING MANNA
This is a story, although about very simple people in dire circumstances, that drew me in until I couldn’t release the book until I finished it. There are only a few people in this world with the strength to fight to survive like Libby Thompson who is just fourteen years old when she bears an illegitimate son at home. Her mother is the midwife and keeps asking Libby who the father is and Libby won’t answer her, but after the baby boy is born, and her father comes in the house to see what the baby looks like, which is him, Libby grabs a kettle of hot oil and pours it over her father’s hands. Then she grabs the baby and takes off running down the road. Prior to her conceiving she had hinted to her mother that her father was sexually molesting her, but her mother preferred to not see it and did nothing.

She must know something about birth and nursing a baby since she is raised on a farm, but she has no money, few clothes, nothing for the baby but the rag he is wrapped in. She goes to the police station for help, who are very cold to her, but eventually take her to a temporary place where homeless women and children can be housed. There she meets a compassionate woman, Sheila, who is raising a little girl Monet, and who has kicked her boyfriend out because he has been selling drugs and she doesn’t want to be arrested as she feels he will be. Sheila cleans businesses and various place for low wages, but she does manage to get a job for Libby. In the beginning, Libby ties the baby to her chest with a small cloth and cleans that way. She manages to nurse her son, whom she has named Angel, while working. Sheila and Libby put their wages in a pot and manage to pay for this slum apartment and Sheila and her child had been eating at MacDonald’s, but then Libby was cleaning for a restaurant and she took food they were throwing away and cooked them meals.

Life gets harder and harder for Libby and then Sheila and her boyfriend get falsely arrested for peddling heroin and Libby promises Sheila she’ll take care of her daughter Monet. Throughout the story there is one hurdle after another for Libby to cross, but Angel is precocious and when he gets to school, his mind is always figuring out answers, which also has to do with his fight for survival.

That is the basis of this story, but the author has brought each of his characters to light in his ability to present in words that which he wants us to see and know. For me, this was one of the better books of a new author and I couldn’t put it down. Even with all of the crosses his characters had to bear and their perpetual struggles, you could see their growth and how they improved as life laid barriers before them. The writing reminded me a little of Steinbeck’s characters for it had that fluidity and character analysis.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and am happy that it was given to me for a review.


Danger of Love
Danger of Love
by Maryam Tabibzadeh
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.38
20 used & new from $11.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love cannot be denied., April 15, 2016
This review is from: Danger of Love (Paperback)
Russ is an English physician and also a Christian missionary who goes to Iran (Persia) in the first of the twentieth century. He is approaching age thirty-five and is becoming more aware as time passes that he is lonely and would like a wife. But he also likes beautiful women and he discovers one, a married woman, Marjan, who is very discontent and sad in her married life. She is married to a successful old business man, a Persian who is one of Russ’s patients. Marjan is his third wife. He obviously is not fertile as none of the wives have become pregnant. He is away from home months at a time.
One day he comes home with a young Black girl, whom he gives to Marjan as a servant, but she accepts her as being their child and immediately takes her to her heart. When the girl becomes a teenager, she sees that the old man is attracted to her and manages to seduce him. She felt that she could unseat his other wives and take the place of Marjon. Marjan is not Persian, she is Turnish, but is Muslim and adheres to the rules of Shariah law.
When Marjan learns that the Black girl has been sleeping with her husband, she feels betrayed and no longer dedicated to her marriage. When Russ and she first meet, they fall in love and Russ wants to marry her, but he fights the battle within himself that he would be a sinner in the eyes of his God if he married a married woman. Yet, they cannot remain apart. Marjan has no concern in the eye of her God as to their adultery, but she knows under old Persian law they could be stoned to death if discovered.
The story, although a love story, has much action in it, delves into Shariah law and the immense taboos imprisoning women of the Muslim faith. The story ends rather abruptly, but perhaps there was no other way to pull it altogether. I recommend this romance, although it probably would appeal to women more than men.
I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.


The Crusades: A History From Beginning to End
The Crusades: A History From Beginning to End
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very short narrative of those times., April 12, 2016
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I have read several very informative books on the Crusades and this was more like an article than a book. He doesn’t mention that in one or more of the Crusades, that the Christians entered Moslem villages and killed every man, woman, and child in the village. Many of the women were raped first. He doesn’t mention the Knights Templar who had the backing of one of the French kings, and it was believed they found much treasure, they were powerful in the Catholic Church, until the Church decided it wanted that treasure, and tortured the head of the group for three days and then burned him alive at the stake because he wouldn’t admit to any treasure or where it was.
Therefore, I found the narrative to be very prejudiced and so it was more like a diary of the different Crusades, who sent them, who paid for them, etc. And he never mentioned the Children’s Crusade, which were European orphans mostly. Also several of the better books on the Crusades makes note of the fact that the Kings of Europe paid for them because they hoped to find gold among these Moslems, if they all were actually Moslems. Since there was such a severe prejudice among Christians in those days against Jews, they did kill Jews they came across in some instances.
Otherwise, it was well written, can be read in an hour, but it is the barest of the basics of those tumultuous Crusade years and that is why I only gave it three stars.

I was given a complimentary copy of the e-book for an honest review.


EUROPA: Awakenings: Second Edition (Europa Series Book 1)
EUROPA: Awakenings: Second Edition (Europa Series Book 1)
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sci-fi book for the YA genre., April 11, 2016
The book drags in the beginning because it is introducing three older teenage girls and for the older crowd, the problems of the teens are not very interesting. But then as the story progresses, it quickens and has many twists and turns. Basically it is about a young woman, Europa, age 20, a human, who loses her mother through murder, and she is at a loss as to why. She has been told her father is dead and she lives in a household with several servants, whom she doesn’t realize are her protectors and that all of these people in the household are from another planet and/or are individuals who adapted thousands of years ago to the water world of the oceans, and who had come from the planet Europa, and who now realize that they need to spend more time on the surface of the earth, and so the daughter Europa is the first born human to these individuals.

Europa meets a young man, Terrance, from Australia. They are immediately attracted to each other and fall in love. Both Europa is unaware of her unnatural background and Terrance becomes aware that his father, whom he sees little, is involved in something clandestine. Bit by bit, the story unfolds into a mystery for Europa and Terrance after the different individuals in her life are identified to her plus why her life is so important to this race of people. The story is quite extended as it goes from one dangerous event to another, and gradually she learns the story of her family’s lives and how she fits in.

It is well written, especially after the first chapters like the author was finally getting her teeth into it, but there are many wrong words or misspelled words and it needs some heavy editing. But it is an enjoyable story for adults also as it develops, and although it borders on sci-fi, it has an intensity of reality about it.

I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.


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