Book Review: Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs


Goodreads Synopsis:

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.

About the Author:


Hi, I’m Ransom, and I like to tell stories. Sometimes I tell them with words, sometimes with pictures, often with both. I grew up on a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland and also in a little house by the beach in Englewood, Florida where I got very tan and swam every day until I became half fish. I started writing stories when I was young, on an old typewriter that jammed and longhand on legal pads. When I was a little older I got a camera for Christmas and became obsessed with photography, and when I was a little older still my friends and I came into possession of a half-broken video camera and began to make our own movies, starring ourselves, using our bedrooms and backyards for sets. I have loved writing stories and taking photographs and making movies ever since, and have endeavored to do all three.

My Review:

The stories in this book were amazing.  I love it when authors do bind ups of little stories that they have written to go along with the series.  It makes it so much easier to read for some people because it you have less distractions with reading a physical book than with an e-reader (I know I do), but that does not mean that I won’t get an e-reader in the future, I may do that soon.


Book Review: Ms. Marvel Omnibus Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson


Goodreads Synopsis:

The complete first season of Marvel’s international sensation between two covers! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she suddenly gains extraordinary gifts. But who is she now? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? As Kamala explores her newfound powers in the guise of the new Ms. Marvel, she takes on the maniacal Inventor, teams up with Wolverine and Spider-Man, meets the Inhuman royal family, adopts their teleporting dog Lockjaw, faces the mischief of Loki, and fi nally hangs out with her idol Captain Marvel! All while facing the regular girl problems of family, first love and…the end of the world? If Kamala Khan isn’t your favorite hero yet, read this and she will be!


About the Author:


Willow is author of the New York Times bestselling comic book series MS MARVEL, winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. Her first novel, ALIF THE UNSEEN, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, long listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) and winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

She enjoys British films, cooking, and Massive Multiplayer Online video games, and holds a purple belt in kajukenbo. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.


My Review:

I loved every thing about this book.  loved the story line and the artwork. I know that I want to read more of Ms. Marvel and any other the Marvel heroes.  I truly am a die hard Marvel fan.

Book Review: South of Mainstreet by Robert Gately


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:


(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: The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan (adapted by Robert Venditti)


Goodreads Synopsis:

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the movie. Now submerge yourself in the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel.
Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.
Series creator Rick Riordan joins forces with some of the biggest names in the comic book industry to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.


About the Author & Adapter:



Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many books, including the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Please follow him on Twitter and via his official blog.



Robert Venditti is the New York Times best-selling author of The Homeland Directive and the sci-fi graphic novel series The Surrogates, the first installment of which was adapted into a feature film. He currently writes the ongoing monthly comic book series X-O ManowarWrath of the Eternal Warrior, and Green Lantern. His debut children’s novel, Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde, was released by Simon & Schuster in June 2015.
My Review:
I absolutely fangirled when I saw this book sitting on my local library’s shelf.  I absolutely love Rick Riordan’s work especially when it comes to Percy Jackson.  That series and the Heroes of Olympus series are my 2 ultimate favorite book series ever.  I loved the artistry in this book and I obviously loved the storyline of it too.  I can’t wait to read the others in graphic novel form.
What is your favorite Percy Jackson book? Have you read this one? I would love to hear your thoughts please comment below.

Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu


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

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.

Wrap Up: November 2017

Here are the books that I have read in the month of November (click the pictures for my reviews of each book):

The Maze Runner by James Dashner


Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Dark Hunters Vol. 1 by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Heart of Steel by Fred Van Lente


Iron Man by Fred Van Lente


Book Review: Iron Man by Fred Van Lente


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:


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


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:


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.