Review: Collection of Short Stories by Tony Talbot

Short Stories may express our experiences of our own life or the delight of having been told by someone else and we keep their stories and memories alive.
For me short stories give a glimpse of someone’s experience in life, I learn, get entertained and can provide my experience in return to others.

Here are some collected short stories by Tony Talbot

The Trunk

The view of some days through the eyes of a five year old Jewish boy in a concentration camp. Children go with an innocence through the world, they trust people with a kind look not knowing that behind this friendly mask hides someone with cruel intentions.

The Girl in the Snow

We are witnesses to a gloomy future outlined to us by a form of ice age. Normal life isn’t possible anymore – just the rescue of oneself without looking behind for other survivors. In some ways it shows the selfish behavior of a human towards survival.

The Last Packet

Lonesome smoker who pays anything to enjoy his smoke even after 87 years of non stop smoking, has to realize that some things come to an end and with it he himself, too.

The Chocolate Defence

Some people are to anything capable, if they have been deprived of something so much dear to their heart and couldn’t control their actions anymore. A story from the viewpoint of a chocoholic.

Polar Crossing

Two men and a woman modern times are making an exploration tour through Antarctica. When no life seems to exist in the poles other than their own, strange mindplays might take the upper hand of their mind. Strange occurrences appear and it is hard to evaluate between hallucinations and true findings, as if past and present coexist together.

Overall rating 3 / 5.

Review: Resurrection-Book 2 The Guardians of Vesturon by A.M.Hargrove

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The adventures of Maddie Pearce in this young adult paranormal romance story continues. The 2nd installment has topped all of my expectations. My wishes concerning more Maddie input became true. Never leaving the story too much out of my sight, I enjoyed every bit of reading. This book was divided into four parts but I felt that each of these parts were necessary to define different developmental and emotional stages that Maddie found herself growing into. We read how Maddie and Rayns live go through ups and downs of a relationship which displays some of the true challenges that the couple have to face sometimes in life and not all can be viewed behind rosy glasses. From those tests Maddie also grows and matures into a young woman worthy of becoming the next first Lady to the great leader of Vesturon in the future. It seems afterall Mariah, her mother has been right all along – Maddie is destined for greatness. Up on Vesturon everything is so much new and while learning more about the Planet, Maddie learns more about herself. Who wouldn’t be loving a high-tech planet with the most advanced households supplies in the world which makes life so much more easier and comfortable. You can count me in for the fun, definitely. For sure I didn’t see all of that coming and there is some surprise up ahead with Maddie’s close College friend January, which I probably get the answer once the 3rd book of the series has been published. Won’t be too long and I’ll be catching up.

Overall rating 5 / 5.

Review: Survival (The Guardians of Vesturon Series Book #1) by A.M.Hargrove

image When love does not know any boundaries we get to know it once we read this book. It is divided into four parts. In the beginning we read about the life of Maddie, her experiences loosing both of her parents in a young age-now in college trying to do her best with the help of her friend Cathy. She loves the outdoors and hiking in the mountains, until one christmas day where she decides to go backpacking alone through the mountains and gets surprised by a trekker with evil thoughts of hunting.The run begins between life and deaths, she gets so badly injured that she isn’t able to reach for help on her own.First it was a little confusing and I couldn’t understand why we need to relive the moments before Maddies abduction and afterwards her waking times in the caves of the Nunne’hi.Then it made sense, to get a more wider picture of all characters within the story and how they were involved in all of it. Also would the story only be told in the view of Maddie, we wouldn’t be able to get a glimpse of what life is like to be a true Vesturion.We wouldn’t be able to understand how she got rescued by none other than the guardians of Vesturon, instead of some paranormal miracle, I first thought of. As life cannot become more complicated Maddie falls in love with one of them, Rayn and it doesn’t seem that the love between them is one sided.
It’s a taboo to transport a human to the planet Vesturon and it is highly punished.Rayn is awaiting his court trial on Vesturon while Maddie is going on with her life down on earth. After both of them have sworn their love to each other, will they be able to see each other, how many tests need to be succeeded so their life together can start.

That is some paranormal romance story between Madeleine aka Maddie Pearce and Rayn who happens to be a humanish acting alien, though differing in both psychological and physical abilities of normal human beings. He is from the planet Vesturon, and is one of the guardians who were stationed around the globe.

It is a lovely story with its ups and downs. I liked the story, though at some points of the story my attention was lowered. I cared more for Maddies part of the story then i cared for the other characters like Rayn and his brothers. I liked the way how the love philosophy of Vesturon is presented, that a shared love is a commitment that needs to be treated with respect like an official statement and is not treated as commonplace.It is one good novel for young adults to lay some foundation of how love should be treated.
I wanted more Maddie inside the story.
But that doesn’t keep me away from the 2nd installment of the series,which i will follow up to read.

Overall rating 3 / 5.

Review: The Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato

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What am I reading? How did this book get my attention. These and other questions are often asked to readers so here I am to answer it with this review.

First of all I want to thank Jessica Fortunato for giving this book up for review.

Have a look at the cover, though the graphic is very simple it just turns on your own imagination towards this novel, first I thought about a historical fiction story due to the old lettering style of the title.
Once I read the introduction on the book I thought I wasn’t very wrong about my intuition afterall. One of my favorite genre in fiction was historical fiction and this combined with some fantasy just made me interested so much more to read what is going on.

As you might have realized it is all about the sin collector, the first book in the trilogy. All is based on Liliana Masson the main character in the story, she is one of the Sin Collectors. What makes it interesting is she is immortal, remained at the age of 20 and didn’t grow old for 120 years, don’t we girls all look for remaining young physically. I am still young, though.
Back to Liliana Masson only looking into her eyes may uncover her true age, but no one up to 2009 did see, she never stayed long in one place so her cover remained unharmed. She was born human and grew up to her 20th birthday, the day when she collected her first sin by absorbing the bad thoughts of dying people is when she stopped ageing and became immortal, she became the sin collector. That doesn’t mean she cannot be harmed lethally.
Let’s go on, we are on to follow Liliana on some adventure on her way she meets with her old friend William from childhood and her Mentor Olexander who taught her everything about their kind. But there are some things she didn’t know, something that hasn’t been told to her.Enemies are not far away and the time is running out, will she be able to save her kind and find the answers she is looking for. Did I catch up your attention, read the book and you will know all.

For me it was everything that I could dream of. First I couldn’t understand the beginning but reading through, it fell all in place. The story was rich in imagination and colorful with descriptions. A new form of fantasy where anything is possible on an adventurous journey around the world. I am definitely interested in following up with the sequels.

Overall rating 5/5.

Guest Post by Melissa Douthit on romance

In life we are going through many paths and while there we are not alone. We are surrounded by friends and the people we love.
This is a story of love still in its beginning and it is nurtured so it can grow stronger with time. Here is my review.

Many thanks given to Melissa Douthit who is sharing with us her thoughts on the emotions shared between two young people.

Excerpt from The Vanishing, pages 49-51:

She lowered the cowl of her cloak and held out her hand to help him up. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you that it isn’t wise to sneak up on a Cantonese?” she asked.

Grabbing her hand, he said: “A Cantonese?” She pulled him smoothly to his feet with very little effort. He marveled at her strength, still goggling at her in amazement. She was so strong for someone so petite. Then he furrowed his brows in puzzlement. “You don’t look Cantonese,” he added. It was true. She didn’t. The Cantonese were dark of hair and skin. Their eyes were usually dark as well, although some did have lighter shades of brown, hazel, and even green, but they were never this bright, nor this blue, like the sky on a cloudless, summer day, and they were never accompanied with the fair skin and the blond hair like the young woman before him. Stop gawking at her! he told himself silently. You look like an idiot! Yet, who was she? And why did she seem so familiar?

“Yeah, I hear that all the time but I was born and raised there,” she replied. “It’s the truth. I grew up with my Grandfather, Sebastian, and my Grandmother, Naelli. I don’t remember my mother and know virtually nothing of the rest of my family …” As she spoke, a memory of when he was eleven years old flashed in his mind. They were in the wine cellar of the Pandretti Inn and Winery, playing a game. Of course, she had been cheating at the time, as she always did. She had just jumped out of an empty wine barrel and tagged him the ghost when he said …

“Chalice?” She cocked her head in surprise at hearing her name. “Your family owns the old Inn and Winery on Canton Run, right?” She nodded and he continued: “I thought you were one of the Lost Ones. I couldn’t tell with your hood up. Wow, you have really gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw you …” He paused, wincing as he moved his shoulder and felt a sharp pang. “… and a lot stronger too,” he added, rubbing the sore spot, hunching over slightly, with a pained expression. Apparently, the knock she had given him bruised a little more than just his pride.

Her face softened. “I’m sorry for that,” she said, gesturing toward his shoulder. “I don’t know my own strength sometimes.”

He shrugged it off as if to tell her not to worry about it. “Well, I learned my lesson, didn’t I?” he said. “I’m never going to try that again.” It did hurt but he wasn’t going to let her know. He had to act tough, he told himself, on principle.

She eyed him curiously. “You say you’ve seen me. Have we met before?”

“You don’t remember?” he asked with raised eyebrows. He was puzzled that she didn’t remember something that was so clear to him. Nine years earlier, when they were children, he had spent three years in Canton with her and her grandparents. His parents had had to leave on a search mission and his brothers had gone to stay with the Corbins. There had been no room for Jeremiah there and as Sebastian Pandretti had been in town visiting at the time, it was, according to his father, the best solution for him. He suddenly remembered Canton and the games she and he played when they were young. It seemed as if it were almost yesterday. “Ghost-in-the-Graveyard,” he continued, “in the wine cellar of the Inn? You cheated all the time.” He laughed. “You really don’t remember?” Sighing, he finally said: “Ah well, you were pretty young then.”

She studied him for a moment and then, suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” she exclaimed. “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How could I have forgotten?!”

He smiled as she said the words and caught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenly realized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all these years, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized what could fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.

As stated in the excerpt, the two main characters, Chalice and Jeremiah, knew each other as children.  When they meet again, they remember the friendship they shared as kids.  It begins to grow and blossom into something stronger throughout the first book, coming to fruition at the end.  In so many other YA stories I’ve read, a meet-cute is usually between two strangers who fall in love, but I wanted this one to be different.  The Vanishing is particularly romantic because Jeremiah feels something deep down, something missing from his life that he describes as a hole in his chest, and then finally learns what it is when he sees her again.  That is, his heart remembers.

After asking so many people their opinions on romantic relationships in YA stories, I decided I wanted Chalice and Jeremiah’s relationship to progress and mature in the second book.  I wanted it to be real.  I wanted the reader to see how close they are, not just emotionally but also physically, while at the same time maintaining the sweetness of their relationship, keeping it very mild and tasteful.  I’ve read so many YA series where the two main protagonists seem to be stuck in this kiss-and-talk-only mode.  For me, this seems a bit unrealistic for an 18-year-old and 21-year-old who want to be married.  But there is also another reason for the maturation of their relationship and it has to do with something that happens at the very end of the trilogy.  That’s all I can say on that because I don’t want to spoil it, but I believe readers will love it and find it very sweet … at least I hope they will.  I do.

Contest – Free Kindle

Enter a drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:

Why is The Vanishing romantic?

To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):

Contest ends March 10, 2012.  Winner will be announced March 11th on Melissa Douthit’s Blog.

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Review: Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch

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The story revolves around T.J. and his sister Angela once living with their single Mom and her changing boyfriends while other time in foster care. This was a ” then ” time, one they lived before being adopted. Everything is kept between T. J’s memories holding within his lifebook of then, almost now, and now. These days he and his sister are living with Marlene and Dan their new parents. A terrible accident involving Angela brings memories to T. J. back of a long time ago. Sitting at the hospital waiting room, while his sister is laying unconscious from a fall, he opens up his lifebook and emerges in his past and present stories of his life.

I became an indirect witness following his past and present, felt every emotion that was part of these kids life. At one point I laughed, then felt sadness and was near to cry but overall I was sharing the emotions that were going through both these kids minds and following their story to be told page by page, chapter by chapter. Sheila Kelly Welch makes the story to be felt real which marks her as great writer in my point of view.

It was a great story one that we can all learn from, to make this world a better one by helping those who are in greatest need of care.

Overall rating 5/5.

Review: Taken by Tony Talbot

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The title is so popular by many authors that while searching for the term Taken you will end up with a result of 2861 hits. So you ask yourself how such a book which isn’t even listed in the goodreads book list has got my attention. Well for once I find that being a club member in goodreads has many advantages one of them being lead to independent book authors like Tony Talbot worth reading that else I wouldn’t find by my own.

The introduction to the novel spoke to me as if saying READ ME. And so I did, I wasn’t disappointed in the contrary I was totally hooked up that I read the story within one night. Of course it is doable afterall it is considered a short novel story.

The story is told from the view of a 15 year old boy Amon Russo, living on some Greek Islands without speaking the Greek language just English and Italian. He lives with his parents in a big villa leads a luxurious life and is supposed to have it all or so we believe but at some point he is questioning his own life while driving downtown with his father yet totally excluded from the outside world, except from his own home and the employees within. Nothing is as it seems in the Russo household and though strange things happen they remain unspoken of until Amon meets up with the neighbors girl and his world begins to crumble as questions evolve that leads him to be careful. Suspicion comes up for what is true and what is a lie who to trust and who to avoid an adventure begins of finding the truth, it’s a mystery worth unleashing while reading.

What I liked:
The author gives detailed description of the surroundings without being too boring. There is some suspense and mystery which keeps some space for your own imagination to think about possible endings.
Though I find that a little more collaboration towards the end would have been the cherry on the cake for me, then just leaving the end open.

Overall I liked the story very much and would give it a 4.5/5 rating.