This is not “The Godfather.”

I received this novel because I nominated it through the Kindle Scout program and the book was selected (won). The preview I read prior to nominating the book was quite interesting.

Poisoned Rose by Nathalie Saade is a morally depressing book. An interesting story? Yes. Some interesting and unusual twists? Yes. Predictable? Well, yeah. We know early on that there are traitors inside a closed network of people where loyalty is everything. In a group of traitors, there has to be a supreme traitor. We get that. We know that low-level traitors or rogues will be revealed, tortured, and, if we can let them live long enough, the captive will provide clues as to the identity of the conspiracy leader. There is a romantic interest. We are pretty sure how that will work out.

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TLT: Disappointment


three line tales, week 30 – pocket watchphoto by Rachel Crowe

He took her out for a special birthday meal.

As he got down on one knee Martin didn’t see her breath catch.

She ran away in tears when he presented the antique watch he had brought her.

Written for: three line tales

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Writer Deadlines With a Twist

A Year of Stories – Collection 2: Black Coral by Steve Spalding is a project with the intriguing premise that a story will be written each day of the year. Specifically, each weekday, but there are sections entitled weekend writing. I reviewed the work Spalding published for January and paid attention to two things. Firstly, did he write every day? Yes, and has been mentioned, sometimes on the weekend. Secondly, were the stories interesting or was it just a vocabulary dump? For January, yes stories were interesting, some more so than others, but I was overall impressed.

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Irregular Wendig

Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig begins with his acknowledgement that Lithuanian pornography is a source of inspiration. That is in sentence three of the acknowledgements and I am not going to put the book down until I get to the end. Maybe there will be pictures.

Because this is a book of short stories, I want to make some observations on each one. From beginning to end there may not be any single unifying theme. But watch out for the occasional appearances of cats with wings. And in the last paragraph of the last story (not a spoiler, by the way) is the best depiction in words of a Fourth-of-July fireworks demonstration I have ever come across. It is not actually about the Fourth-of-July but if you get there, you will see what I mean.

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FIFTY — It’s All in Finding the Right Words

Many say fifty is the new thirty-five or forty. But to me, fifty is fifty…It’s just a number. Age is a figment of one’s mind. The most important rule that I have learned about life, I have learned through helping my students overcome obstacles… CELEBRATE! RULES TO LIVE BY RULE # 1: Find something to […]

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A Refugee Story in Poems

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha  Lai might be considered a novel but it is written as a series of poems. It is dedicated to refugees. To be clear, in a world treated to refugee stories on a daily basis, these are stories of refugees from the Vietnam War, one that ended for the US troops in 1973, but almost ended for the Vietnamese at the end of April 1975. I write “almost ended” because refugee stories do not end until the refugees return home or are so assimilated into their countries of resettlement that the refugees consider their new countries home.

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Comedic Observations on Daily Life

Spoiled Rotten America by Larry Miller is a work of reflection expressed through comedy. This book is extremely funny and remarkable with one of its footnotes. Located at the extreme end of the book, past the acknowledgments and past even the copyright notices is this: “* We all know I’m talking about a verb other than “date” here, but why ruin a nice clean book?” I had no desire to go back and read the entire book to see what Miller was referring to. But the line reflects, almost accurately, that this is a clean, no naughty language, non-pornographic book. Except for maybe one of the jokes in the acknowledgments. Other than that, sexual references are so heavily veiled that the reader is in danger of seeing innuendo when there is none.

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