A Review of Turn or Burn by Boo Walker

Turn or Burn by Boo WalkerTurn or Burn
by Boo Walker

Turn or Burn is an entertaining novel by Boo Walker. It is a kind of multi-genre book. It’s a mystery, thriller with a heavy dose of romance thrown in. One difference in this book, is the romance is from the male point of view. This is a fairly light weight read, it’s mostly entertainment, but that isn’t all bad, since sometimes you want a book that just keeps you reading, and those pages turning. It was fun, if a little on the romance side for me. Mr. Walker has promise. His first book, Lowcountry Punch, is now available on Amazon.

I enjoyed this book. I give it 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. If you are looking for a fun, but exciting mystery thriller, with a large dose of romantic male thinking thrown in, give it a shot.

I received a copy of this eBook from the author.

Book Description
Release date: January 7, 2013

Harper Knox has ripped up his family’s cherry orchard in eastern Washington State and planted grape vines, hoping that a contemplative life making wine might help him conquer his debilitating battle with PTSD. But on the other side of the state in Seattle, the Singularity Summit, a conference celebrating and encouraging the growth of artificial intelligence, is about to get underway. The controversial nature of the Summit has many reeling in fury, and protesters are taking over the city. A man Harper has been fighting alongside since Fort Bragg shows up at the vineyard offering a generous payday if Harper will join a team charged with protecting Dr. Wilhelm Sebastian, the keynote speaker at the Summit. Hungry for the cash and the danger, Harper agrees to join the team. But has he signed onto something much bigger and deadlier than just another bodyguard gig?

As much a love story as it is a gripping thriller, Turn Or Burn, driven by the wonderfully cynical Harper Knox, will keep you up late into the night.

Product Details

File Size: 423 KB
Print Length: 305 pages
Publisher: Sandy Run Press (January 7, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B00HS3XWMU
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

About the Author

Boo Walker spent his College of Charleston years and a few after in Nashville as a banjoist and songwriter for the avant-garde punchgrass band, The Biscuit Boys. Some hand problems knocked him out of the game, and he stumbled into a position with a short term equity trading firm based out of Charleston, SC. To feed his ravenous muse, he began writing his first novel, Lowcountry Punch. Around that time, what started as a passion in wine became a neurosis.

 After six years of the Wall Street thing, Boo decided it was time to end his sedentary, computer-driven lifestyle. He grew out a handlebar mustache and moved clear across the country into a double-wide trailer situated on 5 acres of Malbec vines just down the road from Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in Washington State. The Hedges family took him in and taught him the art of farming and the old world philosophies of wine. He now travels the world peddling the family’s juice, and chances are you can find him in an airport somewhere working on his next novel.

The book description is from Amazon.  Turn or Burn

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Filed under Book Reviews, Literature/Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

A Review of Ready Player One (Audiobook) by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton

Ready Player One (Audiobook)Ready Player One (Audiobook)
by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton

If you know who Wil Wheaton is, don’t read Ready Player One. Go out and get the audiobook! Wil Wheaton is Parzival (The avatar for Wade Watts in the OASIS). He brings this first person narrative to life. This book is a real geekfest. All the 70s and 80s music, movies, TV shows, and video-games, that are featured throughout the book hit home as massive connections. Space Invaders, D&D, Zork, MUDs, Pacman, Defender, Trash 80, Atari, Video Arcades, Rush, John Hughes, do all of these bring back fond memories? If so then this book will knock your socks off, but Wil Wheaton will incinerate those socks right off your toes. All of the geekness that was the secret pleasures of a whole generation is part of this book at every turn.

Ready Player One has all the elements of a classic adventure book aimed at a young adult audience, but then adds so much stuff that their parents will connect to, that the parents will probably like the book better than their kids. There is the competition that is the book’s main storyline, with side issues of overcrowding, destroying the environment, living inside a video game and never going outside, relationships between people who never meet except inside the game and more. Mr. Cline has written a wonderful first novel. He grabs you and won’t let go. He mastered the first person style and really makes you feel like you are Parzival.

This is a great book and even a better audiobook. I give them both 5 Stars out of 5 and I give Wil Wheaton’s performance TWO Huge Thumbs Up! This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library.

Oh and one more thing, a special thanks to Sheila (Book Journey) for the great review of this audiobook Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Her review was the reason I got the audiobook. Thanks again Sheila.

 

Book Description
Release date: August 16, 2011

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

 

Product Details

Audio CD: 11 pages
Publisher: Random House Audio, Unabridged edition (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307913147
ISBN-13: 978-0307913142
Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 x 1.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces

About the Author

ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel.

About the Reader

Richard William “Wil” Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American actor, blogger and writer, known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me, Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers, and for his recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

The book description is from Amazon. Ready Player One (Audiobook)

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Filed under Adventure, Book Reviews, Computers, Literature/Fiction, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult

A Review of Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine

TUNDRA BOOKS - Tundra Books to publish Legends, Icons & RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World
by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine

This large coffee-table sized book comes with 2 CDs of music included inside the back cover. There are 27 songs, one from each of the artists covered in this volume. Most of the stories of the artists can be read in the time that their song is playing, just keep the remote handy so that you can pause once in a while. I often play the music for an artist when I am reading a book about him. When I was reading the biography of the early Beatles, Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years , I had to purchase a lot of music that was mentioned, just so that I had a real feel for the book. This book does that for you. You get to connect an artist with his work. What a concept!

I didn’t know that this book is targeted to young readers when I read it. I didn’t feel like the authors were talking down to me. They use a lot of fun graphic and font elements in the thumbnail biographies of the artists. Looking back, I can see that it would work for middle school students. If you had younger children, you could listen to the music and read this book with them also. This would give them a feel for the music that you listened to and enjoyed. Maybe you could find an artist or two that you both liked.

I really enjoyed listening and reading this book. The authors knew what they were talking about. It was just a fun couple of hours. I give this book 5 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! If you like music of the Twentieth Century, and aren’t too hung-up on just one genre, then I think you will enjoy this too. If you have kids that are getting into rock, rap or pop, and you want to connect with them musically, give this a shot. Who knows, it might bring you closer.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Description
Release date: October 8, 2013

Exclusive insights from a celebrated musician and passionate industry insiders, two accompanying CDs of legendary tracks and beautiful packaging make for a book with broad appeal — one that will captivate fans of Robbie Robertson and music lovers of all ages.

Part memoir, part tribute, and all great storytelling …
Music industry veterans Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Jared Levine, and Sebastian Robertson invite young readers to share with them in celebrating twenty-seven musical legends. Short profiles chronicle personal stories and achievements of extraordinarily talented artists whose innovations changed the landscape of music for generations to come. Carefully compiled like any great playlist, the line-up features originators, rebels, and risk-takers across diverse genres. From Ray Charles to Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry to Bob Dylan, Robertson shares anecdotes about these artists and the influence they had on his own musical journey.

Always respectful of their reader, the writers never shy away from speaking about the difficult challenges these recording artists faced and the very human foibles that sometimes led to their tragic end. Most of all, it’s the authors’ passion and insights into these personal stories of creativity and collaboration — and the power of music to shine a light on injustice and foster change — that will fascinate, enlighten, and inspire music fans of all ages.”Exclusive insights from a celebrated musician and passionate industry insiders, two accompanying CDs of legendary tracks and beautiful packaging make for a book with broad appeal — one that will captivate fans of Robbie Robertson and music lovers of all ages.

Product Details

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books, Har/Com edition (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1770495711
ISBN-13: 978-1770495715
Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 12 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds

The book description is from Amazon.  Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World

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Filed under Arts, Biographies & Memoirs, Book Reviews, Music, Non-fiction

A Review of DemonWars: First Heroes by R. A. Salvatore

Demonwars_FCDemonWars: First Heroes: The Highwayman and The Ancient (Saga of the First King)
by R. A. Salvatore

DemonWars: First Heroes was a pleasant surprise. I had heard a lot of positive buzz about Mr. Salvatore, but hadn’t read much by him. When I opened this large volume, I knew that I would be spending quite a few days in this world, so I hoped that it would be worth it. Well, just let me tell you, I was completely pulled into the story and characters in the first book, The Highwayman. After I was finished, I had to put it aside for a week or so. (I had to read a couple other books on my list). Then when I came back to read The Ancient, I was surprised by how Mr. Salvatore expanded his world. He had concentrated most of the action in The Highwayman around Bransen Garibond (He is the Highwayman). In The Ancient, he brought in other locations and Peoples. The first book was quite straight forward. The plot was lineal, you could tell where you were at, and knew that it would finish up in this one book, not be one of those dreaded serial novels. With the second book, I thought, “Oh no. This book has way too many things going on. It will never come to a satisfying ending in just this one book. It’s way too big.” But I was wrong. Mr. Salvatore is a master. He brought it all together. What a great finale! I will have to put the next book in this series, The Dame, on my “Books to Read” list.

This volume was a great introduction to the writing of R. A. Salvatore. The two books allow you to really get to know what a great storyteller he is. This is a fantasy, and it does have heroes and villains, and swords and magic, but it doesn’t feel like a typical Sword & Sorcery book. The humans have flaws and aren’t all good or all bad. They have concerns and problems. They aren’t the superheroes that only fight for good, nor the super-villains that want to destroy everything. And you can see that there is something else going on, a world view of the competing religious philosophies, you know that sometime in the future, they will come together, in some way, and this makes you want to read more in this series. Mr. Salvatore really draws you in to this world.

I really enjoyed this multi-book volume. I give DemonWars: First Heroes 4 1/2 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up. This is a great introduction to the fabulous storytelling of R. A. Salvatore. His writing really does live up to all the buzz. If you have any interest in fantasy, and haven’t read these books, I strongly recommend that you pick up this volume. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this paperback book for free from TOR Books.

Book Description
Release date: February 18, 2014

Collected together for the first time, Demonwars: First Heroes is the exciting start to New York Times–bestselling author R. A. Salvatore’s Saga of the First Kings series!
In The Highwayman, Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona many years before the DemonWars, introducing a fascinating new hero. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?
In The Ancient, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war. If Branson fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all of northern Honce will fall under the shadow of the merciless and vengeful Samhaists.

Product Details

Series: Saga of the First King
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: TOR Books (February 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765376164
ISBN-13: 978-0765376169
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

About the Author

R. A. Salvatore is one of fantasy’s most popular authors, with his books frequently appearing on the New York Times bestseller list and more than 10 million copies of his books sold. He lives in Massachusetts.

The book description is from Amazon.  DemonWars: First Heroes: The Highwayman and The Ancient

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A Review of Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson

Children of the RevolutionChildren of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel
by Peter Robinson

When I jump into a long running series with the current book, I always have a mixture of excitement and dread. I’m never sure if the lack of familiarity with the series will drag me down, but I really like to explore a popular series, to see what I have been missing. Mr. Robinson welcomed me with open arms. I never felt lost, and the characters came alive in very short order. Children of the Revolution is a great starting point to “The Inspector Banks Novels”, even though it is book 21 in the series. I will be keeping my eyes open for other books in this series.

I connected with Inspector Banks right away. Part of this connection may be that Banks and I have a very similar, eclectic musical taste. That music pops up quite often in the story and always drew me in. But even more than that, Banks feels very real, a well-fleshed out character, and this is just jumping into the middle of a long series. I imagine I would feel even closer to him after reading a few more books in the series. The other people that he works with, also feel quite realistic, though not quite as complete as Banks. I am looking forward to getting to know them better.

This is a Police Procedural, but since it takes place in northern England, near Yorkshire, it has a different feel than an American PP. It is more thoughtful, slower-paced without any intense, thriller-type scenes that many PPs set in the U.S. have. There is a psychological and philosophical component to the story that raises it above most PPs.

I give Children of the Revolution 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I enjoyed the story very much. I recommend it to anyone that likes a slower-paced, more thoughtful mystery story, along the lines of the novels by Camilla Lackberg or Karin Fossum.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description
Release date: March 25, 2014

Multiple award-winning, New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Peter Robinson returns with Children of the Revolution, a superb tale of mystery and murder that takes acclaimed British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks back to the early 1970s—a turbulent time of politics, change, and radical student activism.
The body of a disgraced college lecturer is found on an abandoned railway line. In the four years since his dismissal for sexual misconduct, he’d been living like a hermit. So where did he get the 5,000 pounds found in his pocket?
Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to suspect that the victim’s past may be connected to his death. Forty years ago the dead man attended a university that was a hotbed of militant protest and divisive, bitter politics. And as the seasoned detective well knows, some grudges are never forgotten—or forgiven.
Just as he’s about to break the case open, his superior warns him to back off. Yet Banks isn’t about to stop, even if it means risking his career. He’s certain there’s more to the mystery than meets the eye . . . and more skeletons to uncover before the case can finally be closed.

Product Details

Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 21)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062240501
ISBN-13: 978-0062240507
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

Peter Robinson’s award-winning novels have been named a Best-Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Page-Turner-of-the-Week by People magazine. Robinson was born and raised in Yorkshire but has lived in North America for over twenty-five years. He now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

The book description is from Amazon.  Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel

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Filed under Book Reviews, Literature/Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Police Procedurals

A Review of Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross

Here We Are NowHere We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain
by Charles R. Cross

This was a good examination of the continuing influences of Kurt Cobain, but it felt more like a series of feature articles from Rolling Stone than a book. Each of the chapters dealt with one major topic. This style made reading the book very easy. You got to concentrate on one thing at a time.

Here We Are Now is not a biography and doesn’t want to be. It talks about things like Cobain’s suicide and examines how it may have actually saved lives. How his complete lack of money and very skinny body caused him to layer clothing from thrift stores, which spawned a clothing style, Grunge. Of course there is a chapter on his influence on music, but I thought that the most eye-opening chapter was covering his heroin addiction, and the changes that may have accrued because of it.

This was an interesting read, but sometimes it felt like Mr. Cross thought that Cobain had a larger influence than most people would. He may have been too close. Once you leave the Northwest, the Cobain effect is much smaller.

I enjoyed reading Here We Are Now, but it probably wouldn’t be for everyone. I give it 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. I recommend it to people who like to read “Rock & Roll” books.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description
Release date: March 18, 2014

In Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, Charles R. Cross, author of the New York Times bestselling Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven, examines the legacy of the Nirvana front man and takes on the question: why does Kurt Cobain still matter so much, 20 years after his death?
Kurt Cobain is the icon born of the 90s, a man whose legacy continues to influence pop culture and music. Cross explores the impact Cobain has had on music, fashion, film, and culture, and attempts to explain his lasting and looming legacy.

Product Details

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: It Books (March 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062308211
ISBN-13: 978-0062308214
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces

About the Author

Charles R. Cross graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a degree in creative writing. At the UW, he served as editor of the Daily in 1979, and caused a major ruckus when he left the front page of the newspaper blank. The only type was a small line that read “The White Issue,” in deference to the Beatles’ White Album.

After college, Cross served as editor of The Rocket, the Northwest’s music and entertainment magazine, from 1986 through 2000. The Rocket was hailed as “the best regional music magazine in the nation” by the L.A. Reader, and it was the first publication ever to run a story on Nirvana. Cross wrote stories on such seminal Northwest bands as The Wailers, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and hundreds, if not thousands, of lesser-known bands. In addition to The Rocket, Cross’s writing has appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Playboy, Spin, Guitar World, Q, Uncut, and Creem. He has also written for many newspapers and alternative weeklies, including the London Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has lectured and read at universities and colleges around the world, and has frequently been interviewed for film, radio, and television documentaries, including VH1′s “Behind the Music.”

Cross is the author of seven books, including 2005′s Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix (published by Hyperion in the U.S., and Hodder in the U.K.). His 2001 release, Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Hyperion/Hodder), was a New York Times bestseller and was called “one of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star” by the Los Angeles Times. In 2002, Heavier Than Heaven won the ASCAP Timothy White Award for outstanding biography. Cross’s other books include the national bestseller Cobain Unseen (Little Brown), Backstreets: Springsteen, the Man and His Music (Harmony, 1989); Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell (Harmony, 1992); and Nevermind: The Classic Album (Schirmer, 1998).

The book description is from Amazon.  Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain

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Winners of DemonWars: First Kings from TOR Books

Demonwars_FCThe contest is over! Here are the 2 lucky winners of DemonWars: First Kings by R. A. Salvatore.

Christina O.
Heather N.

I have already sent in your names to

Desirae May Friesen
Publicity Assistant | Tor & Forge Books

A Big thanks to Desirae May Friesen and TOR Books, and to all the people who sent in their entries.

 

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