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ellen "ellen in atlanta" RSS Feed (Atlanta, Georgia USA)

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Christmas in Venice: A Short Story
Christmas in Venice: A Short Story
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $0.00

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully anticipating the rest of the story..., December 4, 2012
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Meadow Taylor is s force to be reckoned with!

Her latest Christmas gift to us is the wonderful story, Christmas in Venice - and it is in it's brevity has given us everything a reader could want - a lovely girl coming to gorgeous Venice, a gorgeous policeman who has to stop her, and they leave us waiting for more!!!

Olivia Moretti is a Canadian of Italian descent. She has gotten a job in Venice where her fluency in several languages is key. She has just arrived into the Venice airport, deplaned, and she needs to go to, let's say, freshen up, and leaves her luggage with a kindly grandmotherly lady for a few minutes.

By the time Olivia comes back, the lady is gone, and this gorgeous policeman is having a cow over unattended luggage!!!! Moreover, Olivia's suitcase is making strange sounds!

The policeman, Alessandro Rossi, reads Olivia the riot act for leaving her suitcase alone - her alibi, the lady is gone - AND the luggage's strange sounds make Rossi go to extreme measures -

The story is a gift to the reader and shows the writing brilliance of Taylor and the fun that can be had by reading a small story and expecting BIG THINGS for the rest of the story.

A writer of several novels Falling For Rain and The Billionaire's Secret, Taylor deserves to be read and enjoyed and certainly this story, Christmas in Venice, brightens our hearts and want all to have a Buon Natale!!!!!

Ellen George, author and reviewer

Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]
7 used & new from $89.00

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Title of book? Getting used to it, October 25, 2012
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I have had the Kindle from the start. No light, but a good reader.
My brother gave me the Kindle Fire and I liked it, but as I'm an avid reader, it would have to be charged often as I was told 'it's really not made as a reader, but the other apps'.
I gave my brother the Fire back when our Paperwhites can yesterday.

It's convenient, but one aspect bugs the tar out of me---the book title is not at the top of the page!!!
The tech I called said you can always tap the top and it shows the home sign, etc and it also shows the book title.

I don't want to keep doing that if I go from book to book! Anyone else not liking that?

If it can keep a charge like they say, I guess I can tolerate it, but my original Kindle is here I may use from time to time!

I like the light feature, but on both Paperwhites I purchased for me and a family member it tends to fade at the bottom of the page.

Guess it will take some getting used to--I thought the purpose of making these devices easier, but for me taking the title off the top of the pages is a step backwards.

In some ways, the original Kindle was more accessible to options,
like go to cover, page location, etc.

Ellen George, author, writer, and reviewer

Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 2nd)
Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 2nd)
19 used & new from $77.00

8 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a regular Kindle, September 15, 2012
My brother gave me a Kindle Fire. It is a beautiful wildly colorful Kindle, a cheaper version of an iPad.
For the folks who play apps and do things besides just reading, this is for you.

However, if you are an avid reader like I am, you will probably be charging the Fire EVErRY DAY.
The reading part of the Fire is average 4-6 hrs.

I may go back and get just a Kindle. The one that says will take a charge up to 2 months even with the light on high.

If you are a reader beware. Get a Kindle, not a Fire.
Ellen George author and reviewer
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2012 1:47 PM PST

A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher)
A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.73
410 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars May be my last Reacher book, September 15, 2012
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I have been a fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. That's for darn sure.
I was disappointed in this latest novel. Reacher inadvertently hitches a ride with two killers and a hostage. They give cover stories, and by each mile, Reacher finds something's wrong with this set-up.
What did it for me, aside from the dragging out plot, agents not their usual efficiency, not as much action as your regular Reacher novel, was a detailed description of Jack Reacher.
Don't get me wrong! I know what he looks like: 6'5", big frame, hands as big as plates, etc.
I always pictured him looking like the ex-football player, Howie Long--on Fox's Sunday pre-game show.
What made me upset was that description---and comparing 6'5" Jack Reacher to Tom Cruise's 5'6" frame.. Ok give or a few inches.
I know the studios paid Child big bucks for the rights, and Cruise being paid big bucks for rights, but darn it, it's too much for a hard core Reacher fan.
The book was a disappointment, the film will be miniaturized; and a lot of Reacher fans don't like it--that's for damn sure.
Ellen George, author, and reviewer

Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel
Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel
by James Rollins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.41
226 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The sigma Force always amazes, August 12, 2012
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I picked up Blood Line shortly after reading Lincoln Child's The Third Gate.
I HAD to read something tried and true for excellence, and this book didn't disappoint!!!

The Sigma Force, a covert agency that can go anywhere in the world to fight the bad guys, particularly The Guild, who is trying to rule the world as it sees it.

The cast, Pierce, Grey, Monk, Kat and Lisa and Seichan, a Former Guild member turned Sigma, are all stars in their own right. Each shines in this outing.

The book, as always, is based on something factual--this one deals with the quest for immortality, and after the end, Rollins gives the facts he based the story. Interesting and frightening.

Rollins remains true to himself and his characters, and that's why we read him.

A most enjoyable, exciting read!
Most recommended!!

Ellen George, author and reviewer

The Third Gate (Jeremy Logan)
The Third Gate (Jeremy Logan)
by Lincoln Child
Edition: Hardcover
144 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars He teases us again! Not!, August 11, 2012
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Lincoln Child. Part of the writing team that brought us Agent Pendergast, enigmatic FBI agent, who is running out of original and exciting adventures. Sometimes Child goes on his own an offers an independent effort that most times goes close to great, but stops short of his goal.

So is probably his best effort yet, introducing a new character that will probably be in his next series of books, Jeremy Logan.

Logan is an enigmalogist, a man who chases and proves or disproves enigmas, ghosts, metaphysical mysteries. Gosh that has potential, doesn't it???!!!!

Dr. Ethan Rush saves his wife after being clinical dead for over 20 minutes. He discovers that folks with NDE's, Near Death Experiences, bring with them special ESP powers and has created a place where people who came back from Death can be studied.

Rush contacts Logan for a mysterious archeologist, H. Porter Stone, who has made his fortune finding rare wild sites and making history and money over fist with these wild digs.

He hires Logan for his expertise in the occult and knowledge of the unknown.

Seems Stone has found the resting place of Pharaoh Narmer, the one who theoretically united Upper and Lower Egypt. Millineum before Pharaohs built the pyramids and buried everything they'd need in the Afterlife.

He had himself buried deep in the mire of the Sudd, muck and fetid yuck down the Nile.

Stone builds an above water lab and underwater digs to finds Narmer's locatiIon. Stone thinks Logan can help him, because all royal tombs are cursed. Remember King Tut's curse? What happened to all that discovered it?

Premise is awesome, and they find the location, but Logan does little to prove himself he is this new Indiana Jones who conquers ghosts, finds Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

There are accidents and we finally see why Dr. Rush is there, and so few true Egyptologists.

It is a good read that leaves you wanting more.
Logan is not developed as the main character of this, or ANY book in a series.

If Child decides to write another Logan book, he better have Logan produce some magic for our bucks. Because his debut fell flat.

Yes, for those of us who love ancient Egypt, there is enough to entertain, but a poor introduction to the lead of a book series.

Make Pendegast a better character again and stick to that exciting series, guys.

Close, but no cigar.

Ellen George, author and reviewer

XO: A Kathryn Dance Novel (Kathryn Dance Novels)
XO: A Kathryn Dance Novel (Kathryn Dance Novels)
by Jeffery Deaver
Edition: Hardcover
298 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Same old thing; different location, August 7, 2012
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I like the concept of Kathryn Dance books: she is a kinesiologist--a cop who studies bodie language of the bad guys to assertiain the guilt or innocence of said bad guys.
This effort deals with a young country music superstar, Kaleigh Towne, an casual friend of Dance's, involved with a fan gone wrong--going into stalker mode.

Suddenly folks are being killed and all points to this guy, Edwin, but he has air tight alibis.

Same things happen in this kind of cookie cutter style Deaver novel, he taps into Dance's lover and potential love interest who is married; her butting heads with the local cops.

One thing that I dislike is that Deaver's brilliant star of many novels, Lincoln Rhyme, who was paralyzed by a work accident (except for a finger), his lover Amelia Sachs, and Thom, Rhyme's caregiver, tends to pop into Dance books, like Deaver is trying to remind us who his bread and butter really is.
Rhyme has taken stem cell therapy, and he can now move his head and right arm, which is wonderful, but bottom line the three do nothing to advance the book's plot.

The ending is clever, but you are so ready for the book to end, it's almost anticlimactic.

Am done with hardbacks with Deaver--am trying to go all Kindle. Worth reading his work at a lower price, but not worth buying hardback.

Not a bad read, but not a great one either.

Ellen George, author and reviewer

The Chalk Girl (A Mallory Novel)
The Chalk Girl (A Mallory Novel)
by Carol O'Connell
Edition: Hardcover
159 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Mallory; no answers to Find Me, August 5, 2012
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I have been a Mallory fan since Mallory's Oracle, many years ago. It introduced us to Kathy Mallory, a cop who wore cashmere coats and designer clothes on a cop's salary...who was found as a child by cop Lou Markowitz. He brought her home and his wife thought the child was a gift to her. They loved the girl, who had the best they could afford, and got the best education. Markowitz had pals every week playing friendly games of poker, and Riker, a cop, Charles Butler, richer than anything, a rabbi among others who vowed to take care of Mallory if anything happened to him.
When she was found as a child, she had part of a telephone number on her little hand that was partially blurred.
As a computer whiz, now a cop with Riker her partner, she uses all her computer savvy to find the right combination to that partial number. Dhe succeeds. Charles Butler, the youngest of the poker klatch, is in love with Mallory, but you never know to what extent she realizes it or responds to it.
She goes looking for her father, and she does.
Find Me was genius.
When I got The Chalk Girl, I anxiously opened the book for answers. Seeing none for a spell reading, I got mad and shut the book.
Until recently.
The story of a mysterious red haired little girl who was part of a murder winds a good yarn. They mention her three months' disappearance, but Riker must have pulled a lot of strings to have her back.
She brings the girl to Charles Butler to see what's wrong and what she knows. Butler still loves Mallory, but it's still unrequited.
It is typical Mallory mystery with the same group doing the same things...
But why I have this 5 stars, Ms. O'Connell gives us a glimpse into the distant future re Charles Butler's life, and that little passage as we see his future, is worth the price of the hardback, paperback or ebook.
Whether O'Connell will ever let the damaged baby thief turned police detective's future be told, or just gives us excellent writing with strong strong characters, I don't know.
I do know because that passage about Butler will keep me reading.
O'Connell writes a fine yarn. But keeps us hoping we'll find some answers to the mystery that is Mallory. The love that is Butler. The friendship that is her partner, Riker. The love of the Markowitzs haunt each book.
All of these pieces make me pre-order the next Mallory book as soon as it is posted.
Too many untold stories, yeah, right--I'm a sucker for an excellent book.
Ellen George, author and reviewer

An All-Consuming Desire to Succeed
An All-Consuming Desire to Succeed
by John Paul Carinci
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.61
24 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to help you succeed in your life, August 2, 2012
" An All-Consuming Desire to Succeed" A Must Read, Motivational Success Book

I am convinced that John Paul Carinci is this generation's Dale Carnegie.
His works of inspiring the individual to reach higher, farther, to look at your life's goals and see how to succeed in them are well known.

His latest book, An All-Consuming Desire to Succeed A Success Formula is a tour de force in his books to help Everyman succeed and excel.

Repeated many times in the text is the phrase "We Are Each Born into This World Destined for Greatness!" Should you not read anything else, contemplate that quote. Inside us is the spark that can propel us up or if we ignore that spark or let that spark be extinguished, those sparks of potential greatness sputter out and dies.

Mr. Carinci uses common sense methods of how to obtain success, frequently using quotes by noted individuals, who emphasize his thoughts.
Teddy Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, Abraham Lincoln, and countless others who were born to succeed, even overcoming barriers in their lives are featured, and stand to be examples of where we need to be heading.

There is a quote I think attributed to Edison that has always affected my life. It states that we are so busy looking back at our mistakes or lost opportunities; we forget to look forward and see the road to greatness before us. I read that at a low point in my life and it helped me turn around and face the right way and right path.

Reading this amazing book can literally get you on the right path.

Mr. Carinci has affirmations, and examples of success and successful people. Anyone can glean this information and be uplifted into becoming what they want to be and helping them go towards success.

Life doesn't give you The Golden Ticket - you clearly have to earn it. By preparing yourself, and giving yourself the right tools to succeed, and the will to work to make your goal, chances are you will uplift yourself and be on that road called Success.

I was at Church and looking at the Liturgy book following along, as in my Church some of the Liturgy is in Greek, and some is in English. I am blessed to know both languages.
A passage reminded me of Mr. Carinci and this wonderful book. "Share within our hearts, Loving Master, the pure Light of your Divine Knowledge and open the eyes of our minds that we may comprehend your message."

Mr. Carinci speaks a mantra or prayer each morning, re-emphasizing his goals and hopes.
He kick starts his day and has given himself the gift of reminding himself that "We Are Each Born into This World Destined for Greatness." So can reading and studying this book can do for you. A major read.

Ellen George, author and writer

The Billionaire's Secrets
The Billionaire's Secrets

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reads this summer! Perfect love and mystery!, August 1, 2012
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Many folks know I am a Bronte uber fan. I have read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre more times that I could possibly count, and if there is a new version of those books in film or wherever, I'm there!

I have heard of author Meadow Taylor. A new vibrant author who knew how to write a great yarn. And I heard that Taylor made an homage to the Bronte Sisters in the beginning of the book, I jumped at reading this book.

I was thrilled!!!!

The Billionaire's Secret is everything you need in a book - mystery, romance, and I kept thinking the Brontes would be writing a review themselves - it is touched by a Bronte - isk atmosphere. And it is a great read, different from the fare we have seen for a while.

Chloe was in a relationship in the Bay Area when everything went bust. Her lover sabotaged her teaching position and she was fired. The economy being what it is, she couldn't go to her parents for help - they had lost everything and were working to make ends meet. She finds an ad that sounds interesting.

It is an ad to be a teacher to a young girl, in Newfoundland, and she calls the local agent who is handling the job search. She is given the position and packs up her bags, and goes on to this big adventure to be a teacher.

She is not expected and arrives earlier than the employer, Gaelan Byrne had stated, but that was a mistake on Marcus' Byrne's agent's part.

She confronts Byrne on a darkened street where he nearly mows her down with his car! After seeing she is ok, he gruffly tells her to go to the house and will deal with her when he returns.

She finds Windy, a sweet housekeeper at the door, and meets the child, Sophia, age 6, and immediately falls in love with the child.

But she is not sure she even has a job - she must wait for Byrne to return...

So starts a wonderful love story full of mystery, love, treachery, and hold your breath action.

It is indeed an homage to Jane Eyre - and if you have read Jane Eyre, you will marvel how Meadow Taylor wound the story to parallel that story, only in a modern setting.

I look forward to many more books from Meadow Taylor. Enough balance between action, human contact, dare I say, sensuality?, mystery, and the atmosphere of Newfoundland to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.

To see the jouney that Chloe, Byrne, and Sophia take from strangers to - well, it's for you to see. It is very well written and leaves you satisfied and the true romantice you are - at least I am!!!

An excellent read - very much recommended.

ellen george, author and reviewer

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