Anticipated Releases: April 2018

Here are my most anticipated releases for the month of April 2018.

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the second book of the Carve the Mark duology, globally bestselling Divergent author Veronica Roth reveals how Cyra and Akos fulfill their fates. The Fates Divide is a richly imagined tale of hope and resilience told in four stunning perspectives.

Fate brought them together. Now it will divide them.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.

Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: He will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek—a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead—reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.

As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may—or may not—be her father. For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.

 

Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Goodreads Synopsis:

The third book in the thrilling four-book Shattered Realms series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima

The empress in the east—the unspeakably cruel ruler whose power grew in Flamecaster and Shadowcaster—tightens her grip in this chilling third installment in the series.

Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move the ocean and the wind, but his magical abilities seem paltry in comparison to Empress Celestine’s. As Celestine’s bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom of her imminent invasion. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.

Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship. Lyss may be the last remaining hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled territory.

Multiple intricately interwoven storylines converge in this gripping novel about a brave, coordinated effort to undermine a horrific tyrant.

 

Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz

Goodreads Synopsis:

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.

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Book Review: South of Mainstreet by Robert Gately

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Henry Wolff regularly climbs out of his upstairs bedroom window. The neighbors think it strange that a grown man enjoys a Tarzan like swing from the roof, but then again, they all think Henry is a little strange. Recently widowed, Henry is an emotionally challenged father being sued by his daughter for financial control of the estate. Henry must prove he is normal – not an easy thing to do when you are not. Henry is different, not quite normal, not quite special. Rumors explaining his behavior run from PTSD in Vietnam to losing his son to SIDS. But Henry has a special gift. In a town divided by the have and have-nots, Henry alone can inspire and touch even the most jaded lost soul. But when tragedy strikes, can he unite his own family?

About the Author:

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(Bio is in Author’s POV)

I was born in 1946 in Lynn, Massachusetts and my father moved our family to Levittown, Long Island, New York in 1951 to get a fresh start. That was where I began my training on a hybrid New England and NY accent. Although I love New York, and all the friends I made during the early years, I was a Red Sox fan who had to compete and live with New York Giants, Dodgers and Yankee fans during Boston’s most dry years. It was a character-building experience.

I went to Catholic grammar school, graduated from Chaminade High School in 1964. And in ’65 I entered the United States Navy. I received an education in electronics, graduated from Cleveland Institute of Electronics, got my First Class FCC license, successfully completed a Famous Writer’s School home course, married and fathered a beautiful daughter, all before leaving the service.

Once out of the Navy, I worked as an engineer at a radio station for a couple of years. Then I found a home with AT&T where I spent the next 27 years, most of which as a white-collar staff worker. Somewhere between 1971 and 1973, I became a father of two more wonderful daughters and spent the next ten years going to Suffolk Community College, Stony Brook University, New York Institute of Technology and, finally, Fairleigh Dickinson University where I graduated in 1982. It took 176 credits to accomplish this task mainly because I loved academia and had little focus on getting a degree. I completed four semesters of Calculus, took physics, computers and electronics, and I loved my earth science and philosophy classes. I finally settled in with an English degree. Go figure.

Writing has always been my greatest occupational passion, and in the late ‘70’s I published a novel based on the telephone company exploits of two employees gone mad. I published this work through a vanity press,and Bertha Klausner became my agent. During this time I wrote feature articles for a local newspaper in New Jersey, and a plethora of short stories. I finished my first screenplay in the early ‘80’s, but put my pen down and spent the next ten years seeking balance in my life.

During the nineties, I regained my writing momentum, but it wasn’t until I was offered an early retirement from AT&T in 1998 that I became the serious writer I always wanted to be. I took a Michael Hauge seminar, and also enrolled in a dozen acting courses to help me better understand stage and screenwriting structures, formats, and the general particulars required for story and character development.

Since 1998, I have written ten screenplays, three stage plays (one with Drew Keil, a Long Island friend, a dramaturg of exceptional talent, who graduated with me at Chaminade. For that matter, one of my screenplays was the life-story of Ed Dennehy – brother of actor Brian – who also graduated with Drew and I).

I wrote two more novels, one of which was published in the August of 2005 by Sun Rising Press, which went bankrupt shortly after signing me – hopefully I didn’t have anything to do with their demise. More recently Entrada Publishing picked up “South of Main Street” and to date I’ve had two book signings with B&N bookstores. Taken as a group, these works have reached finalist or better in close to 180 festival, theatre, novel and screenplay writing competitions around the world since 2000. My stage plays and screenplays alone have won 27 contests and have come in second place in 19 others. My novel successes include Faulkner/Wisdom Creative Writing contest, Norumbego Fiction Award, Chesterfield, Writer’s Network, Dana Awards, Frontiers in Writing, SFWP (Santa Fe), etc. I’m humbled by the above because of the subjective nature of judging, and because my work has been nixed right from the get-go by many more ‘readers’ than those giving their ‘thumbs up’, which adds a new interpretation to an old adage that “… one can fool some of the people some of the time …”.

As side note: my acting career since 1998 has me boasting about appearing in 15 feature length films, and a notable lead in a independent student film titled, FRAME, which won the Platinum award for ‘Best Dramatic Short’ at the Houston Worldfest in 2002. Mostly, though, the roles where short, walk-on appearances. If you ever look for me don’t blink … you might miss my elbow or foot. But I loved the process working with actors such as Meryl Streep (Manchurian Candidate), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) and Mark Walberg (Invincible) to name a few. The movie-making bug is in my marrow and I simple love the process.

Since 2007, I have worked as adjunct teacher off-and-on for a screenwriting 101 course at a community college (adult education), and I’ve been honored to be a screenwriting judge for the Temple University’s Derek Freese/Senior Project Scripts Award. I feel blessed and honored to have met an unusual hero in South Asia, the subject of one of my non-fiction books, and, if I’m lucky, I might be able to do him justice. More on this when it is published. I currently live in Bethlehem with my wife, Lois, who is also my editor and is affectionately known as ‘Jellybean’. We have two cats, Enki and Gilgamesh, who answer to no one except themselves.

 

My Review:

This was a really unique book. I don’t think I have read a book where the main protagonist is in his mid fifties. The chapters were really long though so that was the reason I took off a star. I really liked the story line and the ending gave me the feels and made my heart feel happy.

Top Ten Tuesday #5: 2018 Releases

Here are my top ten releases of 2018 I really want to read:

  1. The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (Release Date:  May 1st)
  2. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (Release Date: May 15th)
  3. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (Release Date: May 1st)
  4. Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (Release Date:  January 30th)
  5. Batman:  Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Release Date:  January 2nd)
  6. The Fates divide by Veronica Roth (Release Date:  April 10th)
  7. Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Release Date:  April 3rd)
  8. Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz (Release Date:  April 17th)
  9. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (Release Date:  December 4th)
  10. Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely (Release Date:  January 2nd)

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Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

 

About the Author

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I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. 🙂

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

 

My Review:

Marie Lu is such an amazing writer.  I love her books, and this one is no exception.  I really hope to read more of her books in the future.  Warcross held my attention from cover to cover.

 

I would love to here your thoughts on this book and maybe what your favorite Marie Lu book that you have read was.  Please comment below.

Book Review: Iron Man by Fred Van Lente

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Heart of steel: Captured by terrorists, genius inventor Tony Stark must secretly develop an all-new technology if he hopes to escape.
Titanium trap: While investigating a string of thefts from a Stark facility in Brazil, Tony faces a rival with a suit of armor stronger than his own.

Seven rings hath the Mandarin: Spider-Man, Hulk and Ant-Man join Iron Man in an attempt to stop the powerful Mandarin.

There’s an ape for that: Iron Man teams up with Nova to stop the Red Ghost and his three super-powered apes.

Employee of the month: A rogue employee allows Spymaster and his team of villains to steal Stark technology, and, with Iron Man disabled, it takes the efforts of a very special employee to win the day.

 

About the Author:

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Van Lente was raised by a mystery-loving mother (who preferred Dorothy Sayers to Agatha Christie, but we won’t hold that against her) and a wisecracking Woody Allen-lookalike scientist father in what appears to be some kind of genetic experiment to write his first novel, TEN DEAD COMEDIANS, even though neither parent nor the son himself would know it for many years.

Van Lente spent his time between birth and authoring Ten Dead Comedians becoming the #1 New York Times best selling writer of graphic novels like Cowboys & Aliens (the basis of the feature film), Odd is on Our Side with Dean R. Koontz, and the gorily funny Marvel Zombies series.

He did some other things too, but they hardly seem worth mentioning.

 

My Review:

I loved every single one of these stories and the artwork was outstanding.  I really love anything that deals with one or all of the Avengers.  I can’t wait to go on many more adventures with them.

Book Review: Heart of Steel by Fred Van Lente

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Book Series Status:  Book 1 of 4

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Armored Avenger blasts into the newest title in the critically-acclaimed, best-selling Marvel Adventures line Who is Iron Man, the world-renowned symbol of mega-conglomerate Stark International? And what terrible secret from his past forces billionaire inventor Tony Stark to become the Golden Guardian?

 

About the Author:

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Van Lente was raised by a mystery-loving mother (who preferred Dorothy Sayers to Agatha Christie, but we won’t hold that against her) and a wisecracking Woody Allen-lookalike scientist father in what appears to be some kind of genetic experiment to write his first novel, TEN DEAD COMEDIANS, even though neither parent nor the son himself would know it for many years.

Van Lente spent his time between birth and authoring Ten Dead Comedians becoming the #1 New York Times best selling writer of graphic novels like Cowboys & Aliens (the basis of the feature film), Odd is on Our Side with Dean R. Koontz, and the gorily funny Marvel Zombies series.

He did some other things too, but they hardly seem worth mentioning.

 

My Review:

The story line was amazing and so was the artwork.  I love pretty much anything that has to deal with either one or more of the Avengers so this was right up my alley.  Can’t wait to read more about the Avengers and their adventures.

Title Reveal: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas Book #4

YAY!!!!  The title of the fourth book in the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas is here.  Can’t wait for it to come and and read it.

 

 

 

 

 

Without further ado. . .here is the title for book #4 of the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas.

 

 

 

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What is your favorite ACOTAR book so far?

Book Review: Monsters Unleashed by Cullen Bunn

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The monstrous, gigantic comic event gets bigger with this special edition featuring a variant cover gallery, penicled pages, inked pages and more!

THE EPIC BATTLE MARVEL FANS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR, DRAWN BY TODAY’S GREATEST ARTISTS!!! It’s all hands on deck with the AVENGERS, CHAMPIONS, GUARDIANS, X-MEN and the INHUMANS as they clash with monstrous threats that threaten to destroy every corner of the Marvel Universe. Who are the LEVIATHONS? Who controls them? How can they be stopped before Earth becomes another tragic, barren world in their wake? Written by powerhouse writer CULLEN BUNN and drawn by Marvel legend STEVE McNIVEN, this issue is the beginning of something big that you just can’t miss!

 

About the Author:

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Cullen grew up in rural North Carolina, but now lives in the St. Louis area with his wife Cindy and his son Jackson. His noir/horror comic (and first collaboration with Brian Hurtt), The Damned, was published in 2007 by Oni Press. The follow-up, The Damned: Prodigal Sons, was released in 2008. In addition to The Sixth Gun, his current projects include Crooked Hills, a middle reader horror prose series from Evileye Books; The Tooth, an original graphic novel from Oni Press; and various work for Marvel and DC. Somewhere along the way, Cullen founded Undaunted Press and edited the critically acclaimed small press horror magazine, Whispers from the Shattered Forum.

All writers must pay their dues, and Cullen has worked various odd jobs, including Alien Autopsy Specialist, Rodeo Clown, Professional Wrestler Manager, and Sasquatch Wrangler.

And, yes, he has fought for his life against mountain lions and he did perform on stage as the World’s Youngest Hypnotist. Buy him a drink sometime, and he’ll tell you all about it.

 

My Review:

There is only one word to describe this graphic novel.  EPIC!  This is so awesome.  I really want to read the rest of this series to see what happens next.  The illustrations were wonderful and it had almost all of my favorite Marvel Characters.

Book Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

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Series Status:  Book 1 of 3

Goodreads Synopsis:

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.

 

About the Author:

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Zoe Elizabeth Sugg is an English fashion and beauty guru and internet personality. She is best known by her fans and viewers on YouTube as Zoella. She has a secondary channel, MoreZoella, which is primarily for her vlogs. She has collaborated with a myriad of other Youtubers as well as appeared in numerous magazines and won a Teen Choice Award.

My Review:

OMG!!! I really loved this book.  It was a huge emotional roller coaster.  This book made me feel happy, angry,  sad, and hopeful all at different parts of the story.  I honestly think that if a book can make you feel that many emotions at almost the same time, then it is seriously worth picking up and reading.  I highly recommend that people read this book.  If you have read it I want to here your thoughts in the comment section below this post.

Where I love to buy books

I really love to by my books at Goodwill.  They always have them cheap and majority of the ones that I find are in good shape.  One problem with Goodwill is you may not find all of the books in a series at one time, you may have just to grab the ones that you find and continue looking for any others that you are missing.  I found a book that I have been wanting since I knew it existed there on earlier this week and I have been so happy about it.

(when you find a book that you have been wanting for awhile)

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What is your favorite place to shop for books?  Please let me know in the comments section below this post.