The Wand Has It

For those that think a cover has little to do with a reader’s selection, I beg to differ. How could I pass up a title like Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey? This is like finding a whole new subculture. I found the cover tastefully provocative. No, I won’t explain what that means.

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Samurai Links

I like the discovery possibilities that come with Amazon Samples. Most times they are good value and since I am in one of my positive moods (inspired by this sample) I won’t waste my time (or yours) with going into the negatives. Except for one and it is my fault, not Amazon’s. In a fairly short period of time, my unread samples list rivals my currently-I-am-really-going-to-read-this-next list. To attack this problem, I dedicate my Kindle Paperwhite to (mostly) Sample reading and I’ll leave the lengthy stuff to the Kindle apps on my laptop. Facing strident phone calls from my friendly Yamaha dealer to report for periodic service with my bike, I packed my book reader along with the intent to get through several samples during a lengthy bike service procedure.

Daughter of the Samurai by Etsu Sugimoto made my enforced confinement at the dealership too short. I was amazed that I finished the sample and still had time to return and review several points that provided me new information while making me smile at the skill and adroitness of the author’s expression. This was a great start to the day. I am unfamiliar with Japan, its history, its language and its culture. Anything I know about Japan comes from cursory observations provided by mass media which means that this sample provided a culture shock, although a pleasant one.

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It Is More Than Making Dinner

The Stellar Life of a Superhero Wife by Joynell Schulz doesn’t appear on Amazon. What does appear is The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives, a 316 page novel by the same author. The story I am commenting on here measures 718 locations on Kindle which might be 30 pages. It gives readers a sample of the authors writing style and an example of short stories available through Instafreebies.

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Emotional, Great, but Flawed Read.

Stephen Valley is a freshman in high school. Since 7th grade, he has had a crush on Monica Monroe. Ever since they were lab partners dissecting a frog, when he even let her have the honor of popping out the frog’s eyeballs, Stephen has been looking for ways to overcome his shyness and get to know Monica better. Unbeknownst to him, Monica had a similar crush on Stephen and a similar problem in overcoming her shyness. Now that Stephen’s older brother Jude had shot and killed Monica’s older sister Simone, it looks like the relationship might be going nowhere. And that is without counting the six other students Jude has killed as collateral damage.

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Magic and Mayhem is a sampler collection of short stories by Julianne Q Johnson. I found each of the stories superior to the usual offering of teasers. Proof of this is that based on my reading of these I will find and read the author’s longer works.

The Animal A girl is running through a forest pursued by a beast. She is able to cast some spells which she knows are a bit immature but if they slow the beast down and she keeps running she may be able to escape. Every spell she tries seems to slow the beast but the inevitability of her capture seems certain. Until she remembers one final trick. And her mother’s bothersome boyfriend will bother her no more. But there are consequences.

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A New Look at CYA

In an earlier post, I mentioned that some readers don’t pay too much attention to book covers. I believe that to be the case with Temp Girl by Stephanie Bond. Her cover with cool tag line invites a reader’s interest. Then there is the other side of the coin. I received an alert from Brendan Detzner about the publication of this short story (it wasn’t described as a short story in the alert). I have been entertained by Detzner writings for a long time and, even more important, they spurred my son’s interest in reading. With a title like Hot Chicks Infected With Stomach Parasites, there was no way I was not going to read it and then post some comments. A provocative title like this dares the reader to ignore it. (Yep, I know about the earlier double negative. Dare to break the rules).

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Who is James Madison?

James Madison: A Life From Beginning to End by a group called Hourly History presents a series of publications that present episodes and personalities in a proposed one hour read. This one has a subtitle One Hour History US Presidents Book 3. This seems perfect for my purposes as I seek material for English as Second Language learners. I looked at this work to determine what I believe the level of English required to read a non-fiction book in one hour.

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