Book Review: The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (11/16/16)

Summary:

Diane is not thrilled to be representing Dr. Moon in court again, but at least the case is interesting. Dr. Moon is accused of kidnapping a young girl. The case should be cut and dried, but according to Dr. Moon, he had to take the girl to an audition across state lines so that she could play The Tchaikovsky violin Concerto in D major in order to release her late music teacher from possession of her body. And Dr. Moon is a psychic.

Keywords:

Violin, Possession, Erhu, Tradition, Tchaikovsky, Obsession, Perfection, Music, Lawyers, Accusations, Psychic, Accusations, Frustration, Ghost, Spirit, Con Artist, Trial

My Review:

What a story! It didn’t take long to suck me into this story. The buildup and pacing was phenomenal and the characters were so interesting and compelling. The magical realism/unearthly/ghostly part of the story wasn’t overwhelming or unusual in its treatment.

I loved the back and forth opinions on Dr. Moon. Is he a con artist or is he the real deal? Do people believe in spirits, ghosts, and possession? What is really wrong with Jane? Though I didn’t wish for Jane to be plagued by anything, I was amused that the drugs prescribed by a ‘real’ doctor weren’t working for her and made everything worse.

Diane and Dr. Moon’s relationship was interesting and I loved their first encounter on the street. Both characters, and all the other characters in fact felt full, real and well-developed.

The ending was amazing and I loved how the author handled the subplots of the story. Everything came together so remarkably!

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 11/16/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

E.G. Sergoyan’s Website

Nano November: Halloween and other Costumed Parties

Remember all my costumes from 2015?

Zombie Waldo made an appearance with a second zombie Waldo this year for Thrill the World in Redmond, WA on Saturday the 28th! This time, with two of us – we took home second place.

We had a few zombie cocktails! Marriot had a fun cocktail with dyed sugar and skull candies, but my favorite tasting cocktail was from BJ’s – the Beetlejuice (like a Tokyo tea). Thanks to Pecado Bueno for the excellent chicken tacos we got (free) with the Thrill the World coupons. See the official video Here.

One of my dance studios had a party Friday October 27th and I went with my sister. I had on two costumes. Do you know who I am?

 

The final celebrations took place on Halloween! I dressed up as a lion with my sister and we visited some of our old childhood homes as trick or treaters.

 

As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night kickoff begins. I, however, was asleep by 11pm

Local Event Alert! Thrill the World Redmond Town Center, WA 10/28 at 3pm!

October 28th at the Redmond Town Center

11:00am to 3:30pm

Worldwide Simultaneous Dance of
Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ at 3:00pm

Event Schedule

11:00am Event Opens – Dance Registration Check-In, Photo booth, Zombie Makeup/Zombification Zones
12:00pm Live Music: Ricky Venture Review, Seattle’s premier variety dance band
12:45pm Adult Costume Contest Adult First Round
1:15pm More Live Music from Ricky Venture Review
1:45pm Youth Costume Contest
2:15pm More Live Music from Ricky Venture Review
2:30pm Dancer Registration Check-in Closes
2:45pm Dancers Assemble in Center Court for the Check Presentation
3:00pm “THRILL THE WORLD” World-wide Simultaneous Dance
3:10pm Zombie March, Sign Out and Certificate Pick Up

 

Book Review: Mildred In Disguise: With Diamonds by Toni Kief

Mildred In Disguise: With Diamonds by Toni Kief

A Contemporary Fiction Novel published through Toni Kief/Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest (03/28/17)

Summary:

Mildred knew that stepping into the casino would bring up memories of her late husband’s gambling debts, but at 71-years old, she needs a job. The casino is close and hiring. Instead of working as a cashier, she is chosen to work undercover. Her career as a meter maid has only prepared her for some of what she’s in store for with this new job.

Keywords:

Casino, 71-Year Old, Grandma, Theft, Retirement, Undercover, Danger, Disguise, Police

My Review:

What a whirlwind! I never expected to read a book where the main character was over 70 and still running around getting into trouble! It was neat reading a book with a character you don’t normally see as the main character. Mildred is a great blend of sarcastic, witty, humorous, and get-it-done undercover detective. Her disguises are hilarious.

The story was fully fledged and the mystery was layered. Mildred got her share of bruises during her investigations, but also stepped down when the big guys were needed to catch the bad guys.

I loved the insights into a large Casino and the life of an older and semi-retired lady.

This novel was published through Toni Kief/Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest on 03/28/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Toni Kief’s Website

Book Review: The EvoAngel by Ellen King Rice

The EvoAngel by Ellen King Rice

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published by Undergrowth Publishing (02/16/16)

Summary:

Edna is known as the mushroom lady. She mostly keeps to herself, except when the community comes to her for help. That was years ago, but Edna is still affected by a ‘cure’ she used on local cows. Can mushrooms change your DNA? Edna’s feathers may be evidence, but her daughter and granddaughter are also special. It only takes one glance for an aggressive physician to want to investigate this phenomenon and she will stop at nothing to get her answers.

Keywords:

Mushrooms, Science, Biology, Genetics, Fungi, Thriller, Feathers, Clinic, Murder, Evolution, DNA, University, Field Trip, Ambition, Activation, Family History, Pacific Northwest

My Review:

I liked the POV’s chosen: Theodora, Grace, Edna, etc. I loved how the main story was interwoven throughout their individual stories and the paths they took intertwining with each other’s ambitions and desires. Dr. Band’s POV was especially intriguing as she’s unlike anyone you ever want to meet. I noticed a few chapters did not maintain POV consistency (head hopping), but this did not detract from my understanding of what was going on and though I noticed, I was not bothered by it.

Just like Ready Player One is stuffed to the gills with 80’s pop culture references, EvoAngel is chocked full of science – particularly biology and fungi knowledge. At times it became overwhelming and is not necessary for the understanding of the plot and so I skimmed a bit, but if you’re looking to further your knowledge, then you’ll absolutely be thrilled to read this book.

The quotes at the chapter beginnings were interesting and applicable and I read every word (I’m prone to skipping this kind of thing). I loved every quote that Rice chose.

I thought that the kids – Dylan especially – didn’t talk or act like kids. I understand he’s supposed to be a prodigy of sorts, but at 12 years old he shouldn’t be able to fend off a menacing adult.

This novel was published by Undergrowth Publishing on 02/16/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Ellen King Rice’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Sometimes Burglar by Winifred Morris

51vksa5tfsl

The Sometimes Burglarby Winifred Morris

A Romantic Comedy Novella published by Eastside Gal Publishing (12/27/16)

 

Summary:

“Most people would never guess I’m sometimes an ethical burglar.” (Kindle Location 211).

Emma’s a research psychologist who burgles to pay back her student debt, but sometimes she mails back the sentimental items. She’s sometimes an ethical burglar. She never bungles a burglary, but she has a hard time dating because she’s the nerdy, smart woman. The one time she keeps evidence from a job, she gets caught up in something far worse than petty theft, but at least she’ll get to talk with a handsome lawyer!

Keywords:

Burglary, Evidence, Incriminating Evidence, Student, Psychology, Humorous, Romance, Lawyer, Laptop, Technology, Dirty Politician

My Review:

With wit and humor, Winnifred Morris has written another entertaining story. Her main character is an oxymoron: an ethical burglar. Emma is so much more than these two characteristics. She’s a bit dissociative from everyday emotions, making her a fascinating character. Emma wants to understand humanity in order to fix social problems. As a reader I want to understand Emma.

When her gay friend Merlin leaves Emma alone with a new problem to solve, she’ll thrust herself headlong into the challenge because it doesn’t occur to her that she could get in over her head. Cue sexy lawyer and Emma will get so far involved that she won’t be able to back out. I loved how it never even occurred to her that she needed help. She involved the lawyer because she could, not because she needed to.

Though this story is under 40k words, it still felt like a full novel with fleshed out characters and plot, intrigue and complexity.

I received an ARC of this story.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on December 27th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website

Goodreads

Book Review: Alone In The Darkness by Matthew Buza

41ps0d18nil

Alone In The Darkness by Matthew Buza

A Suspense/Thriller Novel published by Buza (04/13/16)

Summary:

Steven owes a debt he cannot repay by himself and he only has a few hours to come up with the money. The only solution is to take it, but the person Steven decides to rob becomes entangled in his problems. Now it’s a fight to survive.

Keywords:

Kidnapping, Crime, Suspense, Thriller, Drugs, Violence, Poverty, Debt, Fighting, Brave, Danger, Innocence, Bartender, Robbery

My Review:

This story was short and gritty. It reminded me of Breaking Bad with its in depth details on drug production, but within the low end of society. I was shocked at some of these details – like the druggie house. I felt like I learned a lot about drugs, drug runners, drug houses, etc. The story did get weighed down at times with these details, but they were fairly fascinating.

This short novel kept me in suspense and I had mild anxiety throughout the entire story as I waited to find out how the kidnapping would resolve. Would she make it out? Would she get the help she needed in time or would she figure a way out on her own? There were just enough obstacles to keep the plot realistic and moving forward.

This novel was published by Buza on April 13th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Matthew Buza’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Nano November: Hallonanoween and other Costumed Parties

 

IMG_0673 apttw-65_215-797x1024 IMG_0680

I love costumes! My first “Halloween” costume of 2015 was my zombie Waldo for Thrill the World Redmond, WA. Though I didn’t win any prizes, I got to practice my zombie stare/zombie grunts/zombie walk/ and perform the Thriller with a bunch of other thrillingly dressed zombies. I also helped volunteer for the event. I plan on doing it all again next year!

Paul and Rachel made up as Derick Zoolander and Mugatu for a costume party.

For the Black Cat Bash in Seattle Studio 7 Paul and I dressed as Derek Zoolander and Mugatu. No, we didn’t win any costume contests here either, but we had such a fun time! It was a fun costume to craft and I love couple’s costumes!

IMG_3035 IMG_3039

The third celebration was at Liquid Lime on 10/28, where I wore this funky number!

20151028_235139 20151028_235207

The fourth and fourth and final celebrations took place on Halloween! As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night our kickoff begins. This year, as I’m in three different regions, I went to the kickoff party for Everett/Snohomish on Halloween during the day. The Hallonanoween celebration at St. James saw the second viewing of my donuts costume for the official Seattle event.

20151031_112343 20151031_StJames_1

I also wore the costume for the Time Warp re-kickoff for North Bend/Snoqualmie on the first of November at Fall City Roadhouse. I will wear this outfit to EVERY write in I attend! Yes to getting full money’s worth out of a sub ten dollar costume!

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy

Book Review: Bombed by Winifred Morris

9a4cec6bc46f349b94b2e9d77a90ef69

Bombed by Winifred Morris

A Drama/Thriller Novel published by Eastside Gal Publishing (04/17/15)

 

Summary:

“She’d just slowly come to accept the loneliness secrets bring and thought she was tough enough to handle it. (Kindle locations 4061-4065).

When you think you’re tough enough or strong enough, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall. Annie bit off a bit more than she could chew in Bombed. She may tell herself she can do it, but unconsciously she knows it is too much for her. Circumstances create challenges to make everything even more difficult for her and she is forced to rely on Wes, even though she swore off men to protect herself. She knows that things don’t add up in her life, but if there aren’t any more people in her life than her uncle and band members, she thinks she can fool everyone. Even Buzzard and Fleep begin to question where the money comes from. Even under such duress and with so many questioning her source of money, Annie is bold and quick-witted. She doesn’t fall apart or go crazy when her uncle is kidnapped. She remains level-headed and sticks to her guns. She is a fun character.

 

Keywords:

 Music, Intrigue, Money, Drugs, Smuggling, Drug Dealers, Small Town, Tough Gal, Romance, Drama, Attacks, FBI, Investigation

 

My Review:

All the characters in Bombed are well written and vibrant and will suck you into their stories. I loved the interesting character names and how consistent the characters were to their upbringing and environmental influences. Each of the characters’ stories was fascinating and the author layered the stories within and throughout the other stories, making the novel complex and rich.

The main story itself was farfetched and amazingly executed, like any good action thriller where the audience must suspend disbelief at times. The story is comical and zany and such a fun read.

To note: This novel contained many specific musical references, which added to the consistency of the characters and their backgrounds and added an element of sophistication to the details of the novel, but most of the references will go over a reader’s head, unless they are a big music fan.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on April 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website

Goodreads

Book Review: First to Find by Mark Gessner

first find

First to Find by Mark Gessner

A Thriller Novel published on lulu.com (07/26/2010)

 

Summary:

First to find is full of firsts and finds that you may think you have all figured out until the ultimate first to find, every nightmare any geocacher has dreamed about. If it’s a gruesome murder, then why leave behind a jar of urine or a dead dog? Casual geocachers out for their finds will stumble upon more than they bargained for in this tale of murder and revenge. If the geocachers put together the clues, will they be led right to the killer or will he catch on to their game?

 

Keywords:

Hiking, Woods, GPS, Murder, Deranged, Thriller, Geocaching, Clues, Romance, Texas

 

My Review:

Mark Gessner opens his book First to Find with the quote “Never mess with a Geocacher — we know the best places to hide a body.” (Page 5). Gessner continues to give out great tidbits in this book, like little treasures waiting to be read. The writing style was continuously smooth, without hitches or hiccups. The flow of action was also quite smooth and progressed naturally, building up tension over time to its exciting climax.

Gessner doesn’t give the reader a chance to guess the identity of the killer, but he brings us along as the two geocachers attempt to pin down who it is. We are right along with them in their hunt. The moment when the killer turns on them is the ultimate tense scene, because at that point I am so invested in their story and so completely believing of the killer’s ability that I can only think it will end poorly for Judi and Kurt.

Each character was given full room for development and each was fully made alive. The killer had a larger role than I would expect, but even he was made bare by the end. Gessner was able to give me a well-rounded killer with equally well-rounded motivation, even if it wasn’t fully explained until the end. I absolutely loved the line, “The killer kept himself in good physical condition, and except for an occasional swig of Old Granddad and a recently developed taste for murder, he had no vices” (Page 147).

By the end everything made sense and the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly. I understand why Gessner would give his killer the name “The Killer” until the main characters found out his identity, but I didn’t think it was necessary, since even his name didn’t mean anything until that was later further explained.

 

This novel was published by lulu.com 07/26/2010 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads