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The Secret Gospel
The Secret Gospel
by Dan Eaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.99
12 used & new from $9.34

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fulfilled my every expectation from the excerpt -- and more, April 2, 2015
This review is from: The Secret Gospel (Paperback)
I first read an excerpt of "The Secret Gospel" during the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest. I confess, when I was done with the 5,000 words, I wanted the rest of the book right then.

I've since had an opportunity to read the whole "Secret Gospel" and I was not disappointed at all. The characters are realistic and well-drawn, the action keeps coming and the plot has enough twists to keep me going.

But being the self-confessed book junkie I am, I still want more. Mr. Eaton, where's the sequel?

R. Kyle, April 2015

ANGRY ENOUGH TO KILL (The Desperate Series Book 1)
ANGRY ENOUGH TO KILL (The Desperate Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced thriller with a villian you will love to hate (Trigger Warning), February 8, 2015
What would make you angry enough to kill? And would you do it on your own if the act required some premeditation outside of immediate defense of self or others?

Three women, who each have experienced trauma from pedophilia directly or indirectly, confess. They know precisely what price the crime exacts from the children victimized to their families, friends, and eventual spouses. They realize they could pay the ultimate price themselves, but they opt to see if they can commit the perfect crime. What follows is page-turner, which has you cheering for the killers.

TRIGGER WARNING: "Angry Enough to Kill" is well-researched and written. The characters are organic and very real feeling. Some scenes may be disturbing to victims of abuse.

R. Kyle, February 2015
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2015 8:07 AM PDT

Melanie's Marvelous Measles
Melanie's Marvelous Measles
Price: $3.03

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't remember measles as marvelous at all...., February 8, 2015
I had the measles. I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. Okay, I might suggest that Ms. Messenger get a dose of them. I would by no means call having itching poxy sores, 104 temp during an Oklahoma August, in the dark with nothing to do, and yes, the very real fear of blindness to look forward to marvelous.

In 2000, measles was listed as eradicated in the US by the World Health Organization. Thanks to poorly-informed people like Ms. Messenger, there were 644 cases in 2014 and that's just the beginning. Pertussis (whooping cough), and other illnesses are making a comeback. I would advise any parent to vaccinate their children--the risk is small compared to the disease's ill effects, and why have your children miserable.

R. Kyle, February 2015

Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel
Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel
by C. Robert Cargill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.58
47 used & new from $1.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Austin and dark fantasy, January 21, 2015
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Any book taking place in Austin has a potential spot on my reading list. "Dreams and Shadows," the prequel to this book, came well recommended and stood up.

Unfortunately, this sequel read like it was rushed. The main thrust that the sorcerer Colby had regrets over causing the death of a friend is compelling, but there are multiple plot points in addition which can tie themselves into unresolved knots.

While the device of reading notes from a book in chapters was interesting, it began to feel pedantic. I would have preferred some other form of knowledge transfer. Even the dreaded prologue might have worked better for me. Pacing afterward did not pull me forward as well as the first book, either. I felt like another editorial pass might have strengthened the overall storyline and given us a better reading experience.

I had a terrible time getting into the book and in the end, struggled to keep reading. I love really dark fantasy and Austin, and this was a disappointment for me.

You Can't Just Snap Out Of It: The Real Path to Recovery From Psychological Trauma: Introducing the START-NOW Program
You Can't Just Snap Out Of It: The Real Path to Recovery From Psychological Trauma: Introducing the START-NOW Program
Price: $7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PTSD is for life -- so are the skills you will gain reading this book, October 27, 2014
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I have PTSD generated from injuries which happened in several auto crashes over a period years. Two concussions have scarred the right side of my brain. All told, I had more than a year of physical therapy. The last wreck my shoulder was so locked up, my PT couldn't move it. A doctor suggested PTSD and put me in EMDR therapy to reprogram my brain. My PT was shocked after just the first session--my shoulder had mobility and I noticed the pain was less. Essentially what was happening was my brain was caught like a skip on a record. The EMDR broke that pattern and allowed me to begin healing.

Recently, I had to walk in front of a parked RAM pickup--which was the car that did so much damage rear-ending us. I couldn't breathe. My knees were shaking and I thought I was going to pass out.

I had to use some of the techniques I learned from this book to stop, evaluate the situation, and move on. And yes, instead of walking as far away from that pickup as I could, I walked right straight past it. Some will say that's an irrational reaction. It's the same thing when a soldier sees a discarded can on the road and brakes his vehicle.

That's what happens with PTSD. For instance, a soldier in a battlefield acquires senses which allow him to survive but those senses may process harmless items as a threat. PTSD is a serious killer in the military field. 22 soldiers die a day -- not on the battlefield, but in the home front because they are not able to readjust to their former lives. No one who hasn't been there can really adequately address what's happening.

So well meaning friends and family tell them to get over it. They're home now. They can't. They don't know why and neither do the well-intended friends and family who offer the advice.

So many people offer advice, but the truth is you cannot simply "get over" trauma. Scientific fact: MRIs of patients with trauma show that their amygdalas have shrunk. This is the portion of the brain which processes emotional stimuli, thus leaving less computing power for the PTSD patient to actually assess what is facing them and deal appropriately.

So you can't just snap out of a change in your brain. You can decide to work around the problem and gain the skills to continue on with your life. "You Can't Just Snap Out of It" is part of your tool-kit to get started.

As the book's title says: You Can't just Snap Out of It. But, you can learn lifetime coping skills which will help you deal with stressful situations better in the future. This book includes discussions of PTSD from Dr. Doug Bremner, one of the researchers who discovered the effects trauma has on our brains and has worked through trauma himself. A workbook at the end provides practical and usable exercises that anyone can walk through. They're especially good to share with concerned family members who can provide help and understanding.

It's very much a must for military and emergency service personnel as well as abuse and assault victims. Dr. Bremner has a good success rate helping PTSD sufferers get back to their lives. He currently runs a military re-entry program through Gallaway Gardens and Emory University.

R. Kyle
October 2014

Rock Island Rock (A Crossroads Thriller)
Rock Island Rock (A Crossroads Thriller)
by Eyre Price
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.67
27 used & new from $5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Got to pick up the first book now!, October 7, 2014
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Definitely have to read "Blues Highway Blues" now. This is a page-turner of a thriller that will keep you up at night. There's music in the story, well-developed characters, and a plot that holds up as a second novel. This is one series that I will begin to follow and hopefully will see more entries coming along. If you like fast-paced stories, music, thrillers -- this is probably a book that you will enjoy.

R. Kyle, October 2014

Bathing the Lion
Bathing the Lion
by Jonathan Carroll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.35
70 used & new from $6.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite novel from an old favorite author, October 7, 2014
This review is from: Bathing the Lion (Hardcover)
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Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite authors because he always stretches the boundaries in some way with his books. I never quite know what to expect and yet each book has stood alone as memorable and left me thinking about the characters and the plot. "Bathing the Lion" is no exception. It's a surrealistic fantasy about five completely different people who share a past and a dream. Character and world-building here are the strongest points for me. This is a reader's book and a writer's book for observation of the craft at it's penultimate point.

R. Kyle, October 2014

Spiral Path (Night Calls Series Book 3)
Spiral Path (Night Calls Series Book 3)
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story for both young and old, September 24, 2014
Spiral paths are symbols of transformation, the root of magic. Whether you solve the labyrinth or wind up in an unexpected place, you are changed.

Esme Livingston’s school for mages in New York City has two such spiral paths. Allie Sorensson is at last enrolled and starting a new path for her life. Some places, she will lead and others she will follow. But, in all, she will learn.

I began reading Katharine Eliska Kimbriel's "Night Calls" series with the original book by that title. I was impressed with the author's knowledge of history and folklore. Every book in the Kindred Rites series has had me racing for the end and wishing for more. I have read every book more than once, which is generally against my rules. Spiral Path is no exception. Some characters become old friends quickly. In this latest addition, we’ll make some new friends and re-acquaint ourselves with some old ones. Allie is growing up and changing rapidly from a girl to a young woman.

Ms. Kimbriel’s enticing and lyrical prose and knowledge of the arcane will hook new readers and delight old ones as well. The "Night Calls" series is an excellent learning experience for young adult readers and will be particularly enticing for those with an interest in fantasy and history.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, September 2014

Orphan Train
Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.53
377 used & new from $2.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Two very unalike women have more in common than you might have imagined, September 10, 2014
This review is from: Orphan Train (Paperback)
The times, they aren't a-changing.

Seventeen-year-old Molly's been bounced from foster home to foster home since she lost her parents. Now, she's possibly going into juvie--for stealing a battered copy of Jane Eyre from the library. Her one chance is to help ninety-year-old Vivian clean out her attic. What could a seventeen-year-old branded a loser and criminal have in common with an obviously wealthy woman who's reached a substantial age? More than you might imagine.

It's a common meme in social media for someone to tag you and ask you names of the books that have touched you. "Orphan Train" will definitely be on my next list. The story is one of the most beautifully-told I have read in quite a while. It's highly impressive and well worth the cost of admission--as well as the inevitable tears.

READING ISSUES: I got the soft-cover edition with the deckle edge. It's one of the poorest looking books I've ever seen. The deckle's come off on my lap, my clothing, my bedspread. The paper is just a shade above newsprint and the ink is faint on the copy I got. If you have any visual issues, I'd suggest you consider the hardcover or purchase the e-book.

R. Kyle, September 2014

The Blonde
The Blonde
by Anna Godbersen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.06
102 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow...., September 10, 2014
This review is from: The Blonde (Hardcover)
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I was thrilled to have an opportunity to read this book. The premise was different and exciting. I wish the actual narrative fulfilled the promise.

Marilyn as a Soviet spy. Just those words had me diving into the book when it hit my doorstep. The problem was, I just couldn't get into the opening. By the time I hit the payoff, I felt exhausted and cheated. The last three chapters were the best of the book. I honestly wished the author could have reached that zenith a lot earlier and kept the pace going.

R. Kyle, September 2014

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