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L. Shirley "Laurie's Boomer Views" RSS Feed (Huntington Beach,CA)

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United We Fall (Galactic Community Member Series Book 1)
United We Fall (Galactic Community Member Series Book 1)
Price: $5.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Galactic Community Series #1 - Off To An Exciting Ride Into The Future, December 2, 2013
This review refers to the Kindle edition of:
United We Fall (Galactic Community Member Series), by Joseph Mourgos.

So, usually, I like my action stories with cowboys on horseback, shootouts with six guns, and Old West scenes of mountains, deserts, and the lone prairie. But every once-in-a-while, I like to pick up something with the 'cowboys' blasting away with laser weapons, riding in space vehicles, and one that takes me out of the Old West and into the future. This one filled the bill for me.
Author Mourgos, gives a very exciting ride to the not too distant future.

The time is around 2060 - 2072. For me this time frame is one of the things that makes this story a chilling as well as entertaining read. Many of us will still be around - let's see, I'll be around 108 - it could happen!

'Earthers' finally realize that we are NOT alone. While the governments of Earth have been working towards globalization - one big happy planet - there is an entire galaxy of planets that belong to one even huger community. When 2 of the more dominant planets both need one more vote on their side to settle a dispute, they both decide that Earth should now become a member of the Galactic Community. Each for over a decade now, have had their representatives living and working among us (incognito, of course), and each will try to sway the earthers to their side.

It is the ultimate culture clash as these two woo the people of earth in very different ways. One way could mean the mass destruction of life on our planet; the other could bring us new technology that could be life sustaining. As the people of earth prepare for what could be the end for most, it is up to the small team of EDF-1(Earth Defense Force) to save the day - or in this case, the planet!

The story is a very creative and imaginative page turner which builds to a heart-racing space-war. The author has envisioned some very possible technology and happenings for the mid-century: antigravity vehicles; possible teleportation - by internet!; medical breakthoughs; and uh-oh - we may all be forced to wear a "shackle", letting everyone know our whereabouts(I wouldn't like that one, but I'll be 108, so that might be a good thing).

He has given us fabulous characters to love and hate. The 'Earthers' are smart and tough. Advanced in many ways, but still very human; they have hopes and fears; the bonds of loyalty and friendship; and there is even some romance (one an inter-planet); and power-hungry politicians are still among us - some things will never change. The aliens - well, totally alien, but also with their human sides and some power-hungry beings as well.

This book was a fabulous start to what promises to be an addictive series. You should know there is some language; also, there was one scene that was a bit disturbing to me, personally, of a violent sexual attack, however, it did not take me but a minute to get back to the enjoyment of the read.

The Kindle - 5122 locations. Text was excellent; formatting was very good with an occasional spacing problem. All in all, a very smooth read. Also, I was able to borrow this free with my Prime. So thanks for that!

I'll be looking forward to the next in the series! Thanks Mr. Mourgos for taking me away(far, far, away)to another time for a while.

Enjoy the read...Laurie
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2013 12:55 PM PST

A Sinister Obsession
A Sinister Obsession
by S. B. Redstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.99
21 used & new from $8.92

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page-Turner Thriller...But... Not For The Squeamish!, September 1, 2013
This review is from: A Sinister Obsession (Paperback)
If you're out of coffee and need something to wake you up, just read the first chapter of A Sinister Obsession by S.B. Redstone. Opening with jolting images of blood spurting, torture, murder and sexual abuse(and more yet to come), I would say this book is definitely not for the sensitive. But if you like a good thriller/horror detective story - and you don't mind it sometimes being on the graphic side - with a page-turning, heart-racing chase for a serial killer akin to Jaws and Norman Bates rolled together check this one out.

Gruesome murders in 2 states bring together the two lead detectives from each to compare notes and try to piece together the clues that may have the same evil suspect. The victims of both crimes are innocent, quiet people, with no links to criminals or shady dealings. What reason could there be for this monstrous murderer to choose these poor people. The killer hasn't stopped there though, the detectives have their hands full with more murders of the same torturous styles. There is a link between these people; the detectives feel that. What do all these innocent victims have in common? What or who is the thread that sealed their fate?

The detectives, both dedicated to seeing justice done, but who couldn't be more different in their personalities, life styles and handling cases, must team up and work together, racing the clock to prevent the further slaughter. Lt. Josh Diamond is laid back; he has learned from experience to separate his case load from his personal life. He is good looking, funny, easy going and downright poor. Detective Sergeant Aubrey McKenzie(also attractive) on the other hand, is tough, tense, and obsessive in her job. She is a martial arts expert, obscenely rich, and oh yeah, one more thing - she has the ability to "hear" the thoughts of those around her. This "talent," although a huge help in the apprehension of the bad guys has Aubrey seeing herself as a "mutant." She is convinced that because of it she may find her perp, but may never find true love.

The tension - in both the chase for a killer and the romantic feelings of the detectives - mounts in this thriller, and the further you get into it, the more of a page-turner it becomes. Diamond and McKenzie must find and put a stop to a serial killer as Josh also tries to break the barrier that Aubrey has put up between them. Both storylines will hold your interest to the end.

Author Redstone is a talented writer and does an excellent job of keeping the book moving. This story had many facets of psychological factors concerning not only the killer, but of the main characters as well and I would have liked just a little more of their back-stories and the murderer as well - other than what we know, what happened in their childhood to turn them into such a monster?

But these are characters that were developed nicely through the story; they became characters to cheer and fear. Josh and Aubrey were a good team to follow and perhaps we will see more of them together in future books. The police work and the medical/homicide scenes seemed real and well researched as well.

Note: This book was previously published as "The Mistake" (Bruce Castle). I reviewed it in the kindle format, which really needed an edit. The author has informed me he has had a complete edit; with a reworking of the title with the name he is now publishing under(Redstone). It is now available in paperback and kindle formats.

Recommended for lovers of thriller and detective novels...Laurie

Reflections of China
Reflections of China
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Of Art That Will Take You Away..., July 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to the Kindle edition of "Reflections of China" by Carlos Alemán

I purchased this book not as someone who is an expert on art, or even as a collector. I had not even the intention of reviewing it; I just wanted to see someone's "Reflections of China." But... Beauty, in art or anything, is really in the eye of the beholder. You don't have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the beauty to be found in the lovely sketches and paintings in this collection.

The art ranges from subdued tones to vibrant.
Each one is one you will want to spend some time with. Look close at the images within the images. The intricate details that tell a story. Even the titles of each piece will give you pause for thought. Here is a few:
"The Empress of Inner Visions" - this one shown twice, once in close-up of the detail.
"Fireflies" - a young girl and a tiger both sit together; both seem mesmerized by fireflies.
"A Touch of Materialism" - two views of this one show the artist at work, and the finished picture. I think this one also adds a touch of humor.

The Kindle edition: 2404 KB (almost entirely the images - no words are needed.) It is estimated at a printed book length of 44 pages.
Okay, so I have an older Kindle, and I only saw the black and white images(which, even at that point, I thought the artwork was something special.) I sent a note to the artist and he sent me a pdf file, and then I saw them as he intended: with the colors he used, as well as the exquisite detail. Absolutely gorgeous. He also assured me that, "The kindle e-book is in color, so anyone with a Kindle Fire, Android device, ipad, iphone, or just about any tablet device can see it in color." So, I guess if you have a regular old Kindle like me, you can take a star off of that edition - but the artwork still gets 5 stars!

Artist Carlos Alemán has created artwork that is mesmerizing and will take you away to another time and place for a while. A very nice place to be.

Highly recommended....Laurie

Thirteenth Year in Zion : Mormons Confront the Twenty-First Century
Thirteenth Year in Zion : Mormons Confront the Twenty-First Century
Price: $3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intro - As Well As A Look From A Personal And Scientific Point Of View - On Mormonism, March 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to "Thirteenth Year in Zion: Mormons Confront the Twenty-First Century" by Duane Keown - Kindle Edition

As a professor of science education, and one-time resident and educator in Blanding, Utah, and a non-LDS, Author Duane Keown writes his perspective of Mormonism from the scientific and factual sides, as well as his personal views. So in this book you will find a very well researched and written history of the Latter-day Saints from it's early foundation through the challenges the Church and its members have had to meet in the changing world, along side some fabulous lessons in earth-science, as well as Keown's own experience beginning as a student at BYU being in the 3% of the student-body not an LDS.

This book is a very good read for those who are not very familiar with Mormonism (as was my case). Keown takes you from the very beginnings of the church with good biographical info on the founder Joseph Smith, through contemporary times. He also compares the scientific approach to life, to the views of the LDS. A good example of this is the side by side comparison of the lives and findings of Smith and Charles Darwin, who were actually contemporaries. How did and does the church deal with environmental education, the theory of evolution, and conflicts with society and the pressures to conform to the ways of the modern world?

This book is also a memoir of the author's own experiences living and working in a very highly populated Mormon community - as one who was not a Mormon. He writes of his frustration with being made to feel an "outsider"; with trying to educate his students; and finally with the slights made to his family. All understandable frustrations, and although I did feel some personal background was integral to the book, I did feel the tone of his frustrations really came across as somewhat too personal and a bit strong for this book - which was about Mormonism. Maybe a second book as a memoir only, might have worked better. This was my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 on this very informative study.

The Kindle edition: Locations 2849.
Very nicely formatted; the text was easy on the eyes and easy to read. The only thing I noticed, that may need an edit, was that sometimes an apostrophe came out different with the letter 'i' directly underneath, almost making it look like a different word. There are illustrations and the beginning of each chapter. You can also click on to any chapter from the table of contents.

Recommended reading. Enjoy the read....Laurie

Into The Darkness, Alone
Into The Darkness, Alone
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner - Keep You Kindle Fully Charged For A Wonderful Sci-Fi Story, December 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to the Kindle edition of "Into The Darkness, Alone" by Luke Bell...

It is hard to believe that this "space-opera" was Author Luke Bell's first novel. He has written a very captivating, very creative, and very imaginative page-turner that won't let you put the book down - make sure your Kindle is fully charged! I was immediately drawn in to this story as well as the complex characters.

Many millennium in the future a half Human, half Immorian, Interplanetary bounty hunter named Midnight is on a depressive down-slide. He's one of the best at his job - hunting down and rubbing out the enemies of his employers - but his depression and excessive drinking may be the end of his career and maybe even, eventually, his life. Now, he is the hunted.

Midnight forms unlikely alliances and friendships. Together with an "augmented" (genetically altered) tough Human Marine, a B'nudian lion, and an Automated Diagnostic and Medico-hologram(ADAM), Midnight travels through space, planet to planet, chasing and being chased by revenge seekers and evil beings.

Lovers of sci-fi, action-adventure, and futuristic technology and weaponry will no doubt be enthralled with non-stop thrills throughout the book. But what makes this story even more involving for the reader is the journey itself; a journey of redemption.

Bell gives the reader a character who is a heartless, uncaring, crude killer, as well as a poignant back-story, and sends him on a journey in which he encounters even more evil and vile entities than imaginable. As Midnight and his companions fight off Bell's truly creative beasts and aliens, he never forgets that he, himself, has not been the most upright citizen and lives with the constant guilt of his past. Can he find redemption; love; humanity?

The author builds the tension, and characters to cheer and fear. He has written fantastic descriptions of the various planets, creatures and technology that puts the reader right into the story. With all the fast-paced action and adventure and the soul-searching story, this book is not without some humor as well. The witty-banter between the main characters; a hologram sent into hysterics with fear; and razor toothed, smiling, tuxedo-clad retro-mammalian - a huge Drakonleo from the planet Khumbaba-Huwawa - should bring a few smiles if not chuckles to you.

The Kindle - 11,767 locations(like I said - fully charge that kindle).
For the most part very nicely formatted. Most of the paragraphs are indented further than usual, but that isn't anything that will take away from the read. A few typos(very few) - like her instead of he. Other than those minor things, this kindle edition was very nearly perfect and gave a very enjoyable read.

Bravo Mr, Bell for a wonderfully written, fun, and brilliant first novel that moves at "HLV" - hyper-light velocity. Highly recommended!

Enjoy the read.....Laurie

Recommended reading for Sci-Fi buffs:
Sci-fi Channel Trivia Book. The Ultimate Trivia Challenge
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2013 3:36 PM PST

Finding Christmas - Santa's Tale
Finding Christmas - Santa's Tale
Price: $2.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Short Story For The Holidays With A Meaningful Message - For YA And Up, December 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to the Kindle edition of "Finding Christmas - Santa's Tale" by Kenneth Balfour

Finding Christmas is a short but meaningful tale that seems especially appropriate in today's world. Through-out most of the year, many are dealing with the pressures of life; many are overworked just trying to make ends meet; many are stressed over unemployment, wondering how they will feed their families. Then comes the holidays, a time of joy and celebration; of gift giving and receiving. But...not for all. Some feel even more pressure and stress at this time of year. And so in this short story, Author Balfour manages to capture the sadness and depression of so many during this festive time, and still leave us with a life-affirming, feel-good tale.

Santa Claus, the merriest soul of all is not feeling his jolly old self. Christmas time is nearing; he's been working extraordinarily hard, not devoting much time to Mrs. Claus; and just can't bring himself to get into the spirit of things. He feels himself falling and when his relationship with his wife is on the edge, he decides he's had enough. He vows to give up his life as Santa even though this would mean losing everything including his magic powers. He goes on an extraordinary journey, and along the way learns great lessons in life from those less fortunate than himself.

Balfour cleverly seems to tell us the reverse tale of Scrooge, but still manages an up-lifting message. Here we have Santa, the epitome of the Christmas spirit, and shows that "...even Santa has a bad day". It took me a few pages to warm to this story, but once I did, I became not only interested in turning the page, but empathetic to St. Nick and other characters, and was left with a smile, and yes, the spirit of Christmas.

Although the cover and title may make you think this is a children's book. It is not for the very young. The subject matter and vocabulary as well are geared more towards Young adult(even pre-teen) - even young adults can feel stressed out at this time of year - and up. There is some drinking( and if I remember correctly, even Santa takes a nip)and once there is the use of the word hell(as in What the...). These are all realistic situations, but definitly not for young readers.

The Kindle - 490 locations. I think there may have been a couple of typos, but the formatting was nice and there was nothing to interfere with the read. There is a table of contents that you can click on any chapter(there are 4) and go directly to it. A good read in an hour's time.

Wishing all very Happy Holidays, enjoy the read....Laurie
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2014 11:45 AM PDT

Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Graphic Western With A Touch Of Mysticism, November 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Calaverada (Kindle Edition)
This review refers to the Kindle edition of "Calaverada" by Nancy A. Collins

I'm always browsing through the free kindle books, especially the Westerns. I came across this one and after reading the editorial summary, decided to give it a go. This one had something a little different to offer. This short story combines an old west cast of characters with the mysticism of the ages old Mexican tradition that celebrates the Day of the Dead.

The story has some bounty hunters trailing a gang of some bad hombres deep into Mexico. The arrive in a small town on the Day of the Dead and find themselves in the middle of the festivities. The bounty hunters are themselves no angels, as they take the law violently into their own hands. The leader thinks celebrating the dead and their spirits rising up is pretty much hogwash, but maybe he should really re-think that!

Short stories do not give much time for character growth or scene building. I thought Ms. Collins did a very good job of both. Both the action and dialogue of these characters leaves the reader with no doubt what types we are dealing with.
You also get a feeling for the town and the rituals associated with the sacred day they celebrate. And...a nice little twist at the end.

The Kindle edition: 212 locations - as I said in my title, this is a short story.
There are a few places that needed punctuation, or that a word was left out or added, but otherwise nicely formatted and easy to read. I "purchased" when it was free and in that way, I was able to sample the author's style, and now may someday check out something of novel length. I see at this time though, that the price has gone up. For what amounts to a maybe little more than a half hour read, I probably would not have purchased it at the current price and never would have known.

If this were a movie, it would be rated R for sex, gruesome violence, and some language. It is quite graphic in the descriptive sense. So if those are not on your reading agenda, you should probably skip this one. But if this is the type of story you would enjoy and need a little time filler, or if you have a hankerin' for a different kind of western, check this out; especially if the price comes back down.

Enjoy the read.....Laurie

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
by Kathleen Norris
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent, May 16, 2012
Whoever thought the little town of Lemmon, South Dakota, could be an addition to that 'places you must visit some day' list? Sparsely populated, remote with miles of nothingness, adverse to modern technology and with constant severe weather, you would think, before your read "Dakota - A Spiritual Geography" by Kathleen Norris, you might just want to skip that one spot on your travels. But after reading this eloquently written, detailed account of life on the plains, I longed to go there. Norris gave the land a power to behold, peopled with a mix of families that love the land going back generations, native Americans and monks. A tight knit community who keep to themselves, and although of different beliefs and lifestyles, they somehow all fit together with one common denominator - the land.

Kathleen Norris returned to her native Dakota, home of her grandparents after a long absence and living life as a bona-fide city girl. After 20 years back ,working in both North and South Dakota, and although very much accepted and a pillar of the community, she still seems to be an outsider. She writes of the adjustments to her new life on this stark and harsh land, but more so of the love and appreciation of a place out of the time with the rest of the world. Woven together are the very different ways the various cultures and religious beliefs of the inhabitants make this land work for them. Norris' own religious background, including the many years faith played little or no part in her life, is an integral part of the story as well. The beauty of the land had awakened in her a new spirit.

The visions that she gives of land stretching forever, the power of the wind and weather puts the reader right there and you can almost smell and taste the sights, sounds and flavors of Dakota country. So simple a place, yet so complex in it's being, she compares this dry landscape to an ocean. It's a memoir, but more than that, it's an experience that the reader becomes part of. One you may not want to come back from too soon.

Highly recommended for those who like to be swept away to another place for just a little while. Thanks Ms. Norris for a wonderful read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2014 9:37 AM PDT

by Sean J Quirk
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.09
3 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Never A Dull Moment In This Heart-Pounding Thriller, May 13, 2012
This review is from: Catch (Paperback)
This review refers to "Catch" by Sean J. Quirk

If you love action, adventure, shoot-outs with hi-tech weapons, a bit of sci-fi, heroes to cheer for and villains so evil you want to wring their necks, check out "Catch". Author Sean J Quirk gives you only a few pages to keep your heart rate normal and then Bam!- your heart starts pounding and it doesn't quit until nearly the end.

Catch Harris is a man with a past that has a hold of him and won't let him go. He has a guilt complex so bad that he has sentenced himself to a life of seclusion. He wants to be alone and be left alone. So when a waitress tries to strike up a friendship with him, he turns up the rudeness level to keep her at bay. Hallie Baker won't have any of it and when she persists he stalks out of the restaurant in a huff.He seems as cold as the wind and snow he stomps out into. But like his two different colored eyes, there are two sides to Catch Harris.

His guilt gets to him and he turns around to go back and apologize. She is already gone. Back outside again, he witnesses this very same girl being dragged off by some very menacing looking men. After a short debate with himself he knows he must go after her and try to save her from what looks to be a very dangerous situation.

And so the action begins. There are many tense moments, car chases, explosive situations and a complex web of villains that seem to have all of the most not only up-to-date gadgetry, but some very futuristic equipment as well. It's spy vs. spy stuff, with Catch and Hallie caught in the middle. But Catch is not an easy mark, he is after all and ex-Delta Force operative and has a few toys of his own, not to mention his steely nerves.

The story takes many unexpected twists and turns - including some that are well... unearthly - as we find out why Hallie is kidnapped and who exactly are these guys chasing them down. The answers all lead to a package sent to Hallie by her father - what super-powers does the contents hold and what will happen if it should get into the wrong hands? It's a fabulous ride for action lovers finding out the answers.
There is never a dull moment in this story.

Bravo to Author Quirk for giving us complex characters to love and hate. As Catch and Hallie are pursued from all directions, their relationship as well as their characters develop. He puts the reader right into the settings and action with his very vivid descriptions. I loved the dialogue, the international intrigue and the amazing back stories of some of the characters that made them what they are today.

I for one, could not wait to turn the page(or in the case of a kindle - to press the next page button.) I didn't want it to end! The story is nicely tied up at the end, but leaves just that little bit to make the reader hope for a sequel, or maybe even a Catch Harris series.

Also available on Kindle:Catch

Highly recommended for lovers of thrillers...enjoy the read...Laurie

My Bus Driver Is A Polar Bear (The Polar Bear Adventures Book 1)
My Bus Driver Is A Polar Bear (The Polar Bear Adventures Book 1)
Price: $1.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cool Story For A Kid's Kindle - A First Taste Of Eco-Fiction, March 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to the Kindle edition of "My Bus Driver Is A Polar Bear" by David Jacks and Daniel Morrow

This book would be a fabulous read for younger readers. Either on their own or as a read-aloud with parents. It has characters to cheer and characters to jeer. It's got adventure, the joy of friendship, a story that is entertaining and captivating as well as educational. The young reader will also get a taste of the "eco-fiction" genre, as the story touches on the environmental plight of the Polar Bears.

Emma and her Best Friends Forever, Joey and Dominic, discover a startling secret about their school bus driver;and as the title tells us, he is a Polar Bear named Charles, who has been disguised as a man for years. They make a secret pact to snoop around and see what they can find out about Charles. But unknown to them, the mean girl at school and her cohorts are on to our BFFs and are threatening Charles' freedom.

Emma turns to her quirky but lovable aunt - a world traveler and environmentalist - for help, and through the aunt learns how the Polar Bear's home is disappearing because of Global warming. Emma and her buddies must spring into action and try to save the day for Charles before he is locked up in a zoo forever.

The reader will be turning the pages to find out what happens to Charles and his rescuers. While rooting for them, children will gain an easy understanding of the dangers the Polar Bears are in reality facing, and may spark an interest in environmental matters. The book plants the seed without being too preachy or getting to difficult or deeply involved to understand. I think this book would be a great read for boys or girls around 8 -9yrs. - possible a little younger or older, depending on reading and comprehension levels.

The authors are from England and young readers will also come across some spelling of words or phrases that are slightly different than American. For example torch for flashlight, "pegged my wash" instead of "hung out the wash to dry", tyre for tire, and some others. This is a good thing, some day they will hopefully read Brit-lit and will already have a little intro to it.

The kindle - 589 locations(ppbk 122 pgs) - includes several marvelous full-page illustrations by Sushil Shrestha. Easy to read, the formatting was very nice, and I didn't catch any typos. There were times when a sentence stopped in the middle and then skipped a line as if going on to another paragraph, but continued. This did not take away anything from this story, but needed to be mentioned as the readers in this age group are still learning. When I opened this book on my kindle it took me right to chapter one, however if you go back(prev page button) a few pages, you will find the fabulous cover art, and then the title page as well. It's all there.

I've learned there is a sequel, currently titled "The Race To Bear Island" in the works - the first book ends happily but with a bit of a cliff-hanger - so if the kids enjoyed this one, they have at least one more to look forward to.

Right now the price is right to add or gift a book to a kid's kindle!
ppbk:My Bus Driver Is A Polar Bear

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