Reviewing The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi

A few weeks ago while at work, I happened to be checking my emails for the usual junk that I immediately delete. However, I came across an email from a Luca Rossi, who also happens to be someone I follow on Twitter. This email politely asked for me to review a book, The Branches of Time on Amazon and Goodreads. The book was attached as well.

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Hmmm, interesting. This is my first email request to review a book, $2.99 on Amazon. At initial glance, there are many chapters and I worried that it would take me a while to complete it. But I also knew that things at work would start slowing down a bit and I was heading in a little weekend trip with the family. So, I started reading.

The genre is not my usual choice, but I kept reading anyway. It begins with some details that plagued the surviving people the story is about and it slowly draws the reader in. There are several main characters from various parts of the storyline and unless you’re reading carefully, the characters become confusing, especially with the unusual names.

There are shifts in time and space throughout the story from chapter to chapter that I often enjoy reading. However, one time period of two thousand years ago, while I understand its importance, did not really end well. It is potentially a lead into the next book and I can see that part tying in at some point.

There are three people, Bashinoir, his wife Lil, and Priestess Miril, left on the island of Turios, after black magic from the kingdom of Isk and its wizards, Aldin, Obolil, and Ilis under the orders of their insatiable King Beanor.
The Branches of Time is a cross between fantasy, science fiction, and erotica mixed in one. It is easy to read draws the reader in to enticement for what comes next.

Personally, I am unhappy with its ending, but I’m happy with the words that were already written. Taking me out of my usual genre of reading, The Branches of Time is an excellent title to go with the storyline and how Lil seems to be fading in her physical presence.

I should read a book

I’m sitting here waiting for the cable guy. You know, it’s one of those time frames from 3:30-8:30pm that he’ll show. In reality, it would be better for the tech to come when it’s daylight because I’m pretty sure our issue is outside our apartment. But, it’s hard to tell a tech to hurry his behind!

In the meantime, I should be cleaning house or reading a book. Instead, I’m finding myself just sitting here partially listening to my 5 year old play by himself.

Do you ever feel like you should be doing something productive but really don’t feel like moving at all?

There’s a lot I want to accomplish but none of the energy to do anything. Maybe some iced tea will help. Or maybe a nap would be better. All while waiting for the cable guy to come figure out what’s wrong with our internet that’s been spotty at best.

Pearl City Library is closing…temporarily

My son’s books were due at the local public library so we made a special trip to return them. I was not in the mood for waiting for the child to find new books and told him we’re only returning books. The look in his eyes told me he did not like that idea and really wanted to borrow some books. It’s for his reading, I’ll cave in this one.

We walked into the library and dropped off the books he was returning. I noticed a stack of red paper nearby. This paper isn’t usually here; I wondered what it was. Taking a peek it had December 15, 2014 on it. I had to do a double take and re-read what it actually said.

Pearl City Library Public Library Closure
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Summer 2015

The librarian confirmed, we can borrow books, but their bookdrop will be closed, so they suggest returning the books to another library. So, we continued on our way through the library and I helped my son snag a few books he would normally not grab. Otherwise everything would be Pokémon! Interestingly enough, he found books on Star Wars and Disney movies.

On this trip he also insisted on borrowing three books that he already has. The books he has is not in the same format of individual hard cover books. Instead, he has a hard cover book with five stories in it and the three books he wanted to borrow are in that one! He didn’t understand and kept insisting he doesn’t have the story. I let him borrow one and I’ll show him what he already has later.

The Pearl City Public Library is closing temporarily so they can get their roof redone and change their carpet. We are welcome to visit other libraries. It may be a further drive but my son has never been to other libraries other than the library at school, so this will be an adventure. And it gives us a chance to visit the new Aiea library.

This close is temporary and they plan to reopen mid-summer. I think we can handle visiting other libraries in the meantime!

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While reading review: Before Amen by Max Lucado

A few weeks ago, I started reading Before Amen by Max Lucado. The book is about prayer and how even someone well written like Max Lucado admits to having struggles with prayer. You may have felt this way, too. I sure have and still do.

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Before Amen begins with the visual of Jesus and Mary at the wedding, where Mary tells Jesus that there’s no more wine then tells the servants to do whatever Jesus says. Not only did Jesus say it was before his time to do miracles, but Mary put all faith in Jesus and trusted that He could help in this situation. This is an excellent example of how we must have faith and trust in Christ in our own lives.

There are many simple examples such as this for placing ourselves in the right mindset when we pray throughout the book. I reached chapter 7 and then learned that there’s a study guide in the back of this book. So, now I’m going back and completing the study guide. It’s taking me a while to backtrack and get through the study guide, but I really want to get as much out of the book as I can.

Note to self: check the table of contents before starting to read such books. There may be a study guide in the back!

Reviewing “Shademaker” by A.S. Washington

Normally, I do not read this type of genre, but after being requested on Twitter to review these two stories by A.S. Washington , I was eager to do my best. I am also a slow reader, but was able to read each short story in just under an hour each. Each paragraph is so engaging that it is hard to put down!

While “An Insurrection” took place on a battlefield between the army of Garvin Desh and that of Thurstan the Mighty King, Volume 2 “Shademaker” takes place in the battlefield aftermath and focuses on Morn Shademaker and a few men in Desh’s army. “Shademaker” is a short story, like “An Insurrection”; a quick read and full of descriptive words to place you right next to Morn.

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Once said to Desh after the death of Thurstan, Morn repeated a phrase to young Ismare Morcanse:

“The first lesson that the ambitious warrior must learn is that wisdom is far more precious than pride.”

This phrase would be the theme of “Shademaker” as Morn shows wisdom while Ismare is extremely prideful. As a result, Morn teaches Ismare a lesson on pride with his supernatural speed and strength.

Without spoiling the storyline, I’d like to simply include that “Shademaker” is even more engaging than “An Insurrection” in my reading experience. It also leaves me, the reader, even more enticed to read about what comes next. I cannot wait to get my hands on–okay, loaded into my Kindle–Volume 3!

Reviewing “An Insurrection” by A.S. Washington

A couple days ago, I received my first tweet to review a writer’s work. I felt honored and quickly downloaded his work into my Kindle. There were two short stories by A.S. Washington that were attached to this tweet, both that I downloaded for free at the time (regular price is $0.99 on Kindle eReader).

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The first is called “An Insurrection: A Sword and Shield Short Book Volume 1″. In a nutshell, it’s a short story taking place on a battlefield. The main character, Garvin Desh, is a man leading an army of men who have nothing to lose. With brief moments of empathy, Desh and his men have a goal to overtake Thurstan the Mighty King.

The work is full of gory details and it places me, the reader, in the middle of the battlefield with the characters and the casualties. Although there is not much description about their individual backgrounds prior to this event on the battlefield, I do not believe it is necessary to finish this battle. And after all, it is a short story.

The ending of this story did surprise me and leaves me eager to read Volume 2, “Shademaker”, which I will review as well, once I read it.

Pre-reading “Before Amen” by Max Lucado

For several months, or maybe a year or so, I’ve desired to learn to pray. This desire resulted in my funding books about prayer, free as well as studies. But I’ve been struggling with getting past the first few days. I have seen several varieties of prayer to help guide me along the way, but none of them really helped me to understand prayer as a whole.

One day I came across a book with a title I found enticing, “Before Amen” by Max Lucado. Hmmm, what happens before I say, “Amen”? This book must be about prayer!

The best part was there was a pre-order with a discount and I could use my PayPal, which had about $20 available. So I used some of my PayPal to purchase this book and it arrived a few days after release. How convenient! A practically free book because I hardly ever use my PayPal.

Growing up, adults often said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” So instead, in this day and age, we are exposed to reviews and comment s about different items we can buy. Unfortunately, there’s rarely a review for a book that has not yet released, so I was at a loss when I bought it. Instead, spend some time reviewing the back and inside cover of the book, the forwards, and any reviews from other great writers or authoritative figures in the industry. The book was released on September 30, 2014 and has since achieved 5 stars on Amazon reviews.

In my pre-reading experience, I found that this book sounds fascinating. Not because of it being written by a New York Times Best Selling Author, or the picture on the cover, but because it encourages me better understand prayer and what should be included in my prayers.

From the looks of it, I should start reading so I can get my prayer on…

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Renewing your library books

During fall break, we were on a trip to Disneyland. Although we had a blast and got extremely exhausted from all the walking, my son still had nine books he had to renew the day after we got back.

This stressed me out mainly because I wanted him to avoid any overdue fees. Thankfully, the Hawaii State Library system has a phone app that allows us to renew books if we can. We were allowed to renew all but one book.

So guess what? We ended up back at the library anyway. Go figure. My son borrowed more Pokémon books. Really?!

Bring your library card to public libraries

My 5 year old am I had books due at the public library, so we stopped at the library after school one day. We had all our books to return and walked into the library.

My son is looking at books while I’m scrambling looking for our library cards. Where are the cards? Hmmm…

Absolute panic! Then apologies to my son as I realize I put the cards in my purse, which I left at home.

Instead of getting angry, my son decides to make the best of this library trip and looks for books for me to read to him right in the library. We might not need to borrow the books if we read it right now!

We read books for a good hour or so, then decided we should go and accomplish a few other errands for the day.

I have AJ be moved the library cards to somewhere I won’t forget next time, ready file any last minute trip to the library. Maybe that next trip will be today!?

First kindergarten resource day to the library

Yesterday was my kindergarten son’s first resource day that his class visited the school library. I really don’t know how often they will be visiting the library since they rotate resource days for other activities as well, like the computer lab, physical education outside, etc.

For his first book he borrowed from the school library, he gets a Pokemon easy reader. It’s still a book higher than his reading level, but a topic he absolutely loves.

You mean the television show he’s been watching on Netflix also has books?! No way! Little does he realize, his older half-brother was a Pokemon fanatic when he was younger. Ten years apart and they speak the same Pokemon language, it’s crazy!

Anyway, my son isn’t new to going to a library or borrowing books. We often go to the public library and I helped him get his own library card. He’s so proud if it!

Which reminds me, his books for the public library are due on Tuesday. We need to return them all!

My son loves being read to and is learning to read himself. He’s learning that books take him to different places just like the cartoons he loves. He’s also learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction, which he enjoys as well, especially if it’s about dinosaurs.

I think he really is becoming a bookworm…

bringing bookworms together through reviews and explorations