Monday, 27 May 2013

Petra F. Bagnardi

A Veil of Glass and Rain


The title is interesting, but the cover is awful. I can't see the author's name very well and there are some tiny words just above the name that I could only read after I clicked on the 'look inside' feature on Amazon.

I'm really not sure what the cover is supposed to be. Is it a flower? The veil (as in the title)? Is that a door, a gravestone or a window in the centre?

OK, move on. The blurb: first line I spot a grammatical error, but even if that comma wasn't there I'd still hate the first line. The rest of the blurb grated even more.

Moving to the 'look inside' I'm introduced to the main characters, Brina and Eagan as children. The scene is nice and I'm comfortable enough to read on, but the jump from that to chapter one where Brina is having sex with a man whose name she doesn't know is a jolt too much. By the end of the chapter I know she IS an adult but even so it's a huge jump.

There are grammar issues in the sample chapters but even if it had been clean I wouldn't  buy this book. At $7.34/£4.71 this is WAY too expensive for an eBook. Even a well-known author would struggle to sell at that price. 

She glanced up at him with teary eyes and met kind blue eyes, that contained the immense sky. 
Then they became friends.
Then they became lovers.
Then they became complete.

But at what cost?

When Brina is nine and Eagan is fourteen, they meet and become friends.
Over the years, their friendship deepens; their bond seems unbreakable.
When Brina falls in love with Eagan, everything changes.

(Recommended for ages 17+, due to sexual content and language)

Monday, 13 May 2013

John Hartnett

The Barber's Conundrum


I didn't like the cover at all, and it didn't stand out against against others in its genre. It came to me as a 'collection of thirty-seven short literary humor pieces and humorous jokes that will make you laugh', so the dull-looking cover contradicted the blurb and I'm not expecting to like it at all, and normally I'd have skipped this book as boring and written by a wanna-be-but-never-gonna-be chancing author on the eBook wave. And even though the blurb was interesting, I'd never have gone on to read it. 

The blurb tells me The Barber's Conundrum it is a non-fiction book of musings of life. I'm intrigued but don't expect the irony and funny situations that I'm promised. Yes, the cover, put me off that much!

The opening chapter is an introduction to the author and why he wrote the book and guess what, it was funny. It was told in a nice, I'm-your-mate way and so I continue to read. Unfortunately the next chapter is football (or soccer. Is there a difference other than one being called football in one country and soccer in another?) so my eyes glaze over, but it picks up again by the third chapter and so I buy the book. 

The 'stories' are short, two to three pages at the most and the writing style is fun and light, and the irony and tongue-in-cheek jokes are all in place. I'm not patronised, and we're 'all on the joke together' as the author takes us through events that most have experienced in one way or another. The stories are American life but only a few chapters went over my head, it's a well-written book, and John Harnett is a funny guy with a talent for satire

The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories is more than just a collection of thirty-seven short literary humor pieces that will make you laugh. It provides a treasure trove of tips and invaluable advice to help you navigate safely through marriage and relationships, raising kids and to finally understand the more peculiar aspects of day to day living that up until now, had been tossed into a big heap as just another one of God's mysteries. 

For example, did you ever wonder why weather reporters continue to stand in the middle of raging hurricanes to tell us what hurricanes are like when everybody else already knows what hurricanes are like? Did you ever wonder why people stop their cars in the middle of the street to let geese walk past even though geese have been flying long before Cro- Magnon Man was in knee pants? Did you ever think that if aliens do exist on our planet, most of them work in customer service? They do! 

All of that, and more is in the book, so what do you say? At $8.99, you're guaranteed to receive at least $10.50 worth of terrific advice and life extending laughter, which as we know is the best medicine, and there's never a co-pay with laughter so you're up well over $20 already and this is only the back cover. Think of the possibilities to save when you read the whole thing.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Chick lit by Rhonda Louise

Wombat Sushi

A lovely vibrant cover. This book looked a lot of fun. The cover and title didn't tell me much: two women, wombats, sushi -- Australia? Japanese food? The colour was simple yet very striking. The blurb was told in recipe style which was good fun, but again doesn't say much about the book. Who is the character (or characters) and what kind of story will I be told? 

Nevertheless, I'm expecting laughs a minute with this book!

The 'look inside' doesn't disappoint, and I'm immediately hooked  as a character called Samantha is having a mental tussle with herself on whether to go for an audition for a 'high dance show'. I liked Samantha straight away. She's very identifiable as an ordinary young woman who isn't too confident: the girl next door. 

Samantha wins her audition and she and others are taken to Japan where they get into many scrapes, and this is where the story starts.This isn't a story of female solidarity in a foreign country, because no one really gets along with the other, which makes for brilliant comedy situations.

I thought I'd become lost with so many characters, but the author is skilful and the other characters don't take over. It's firmly Samantha's story.

Great one-liners and lots of comic moments. I predict great things for this author.

Wombat Sushi
How to make Wombat Sushi:
1. Take six Australian dancers and one singer who can’t seem to get along.
2. Add a pinch of stupidity, a dash of naïvety and loads and loads of alcohol.
3. Make sure the mixture contains absolutely no self-restraint.
4. Pour into a Japanese club and simmer for three months.
Caution: Definitely contains nuts!