Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— by L. A. Davenport (Book Review)

The truth is all around you

Thomas P— is exhausted. He’s been travelling for work so much he barely knows where he is. And then, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, he sees someone from his past. Exactly as she was twenty years ago, when they first knew each other. Deeply shaken, he tries to carry on as if nothing happened.

But when it happens again, in a different restaurant, in a different city, Thomas’s world begins to unravel. Haunted by a magnificent black parrot and a past he wants to forget, he becomes paranoid, unsure whether he can trust himself and the world around him.

After he sees another friend he thought he had forgotten, he realises he is lost and alone, and afraid of his own mind. Then an enigmatic woman tells him he is not seeing things but rather his memory has been mined to create life-like androids that are replacing the human race one by one.

And then he is arrested.

Will Thomas resist the mysterious woman and get his life back? Or will he join her cult and take up arms in the fight to save us all?

The Nucleus of Reality, or the Recollections of Thomas P—, is the story of a man trying to remember why he ended up losing everything but himself.

 
 
 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 
I decided to write my review in the format of an acrostic poem using only the first four words of the book’s title, The Nucleus of Reality. I hope the snippets pique your interest and you purchase The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— to figure out how everything below ties together. Trust me, you’re in for a mind-bending ride. 
 
These are not the droids you are looking for…
Hero?
Electrons
 
Neutrons
Unsure how to proceed
Conference audience goes “baa.” 
Let me look inside your mind.
Eyes are always watching you, Thomas P.
Under arrest
Save the world! 
 
Old Testament
Face the truth
 
Round-faced bald man
Eww, grey food.
Androids
Lucy?
I want to scan you. 
Typewriter
You are having the weirdest, most vivid dreams, Thomas P.

 

As I stated in my opening paragraph, The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— will twist your mind up like a pretzel. I had no idea how it would end. That’s what I look for in a book — unpredictability. The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— was far from predictable. 
 
Well done, L. A. Davenport. Well done indeed! 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤  

 
 

 

 

L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author.

He sometimes lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.

L. A. Davenport is the author of the novels The Nucleus of Reality and Escape, the collections No Way Home and Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, and the memoir My Life as a Dog.

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The Warlord: Rise of the Warlords Book 1 by Gena Showalter (Book Showcase)

Coming April 20, 2021!

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter begins a dark, sexy new series—Rise of the Warlords—with a fan-favorite character from her beloved Lords of the Underworld series, Taliyah Skyhawk. The ice maiden faces off with her greatest enemy, a villain brutal beyond imagining.

For centuries, Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General, leader of the deadliest female army in existence. One of the requirements? Remain a virgin. But, for a chance to save her people, she must wed the fearless leader of the Astra Planeta, Alaroc Phaethon.

The time has come for Roc to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. There has never been a woman alluring enough to tempt him from his path. No warrioress powerful enough to overcome his incredible strength. No enchantress desirable enough to make him burn beyond reason. Until now.

With the clock ticking, war between husband and wife ignites. Except Taliyah never expected the merciless king to challenge the future she once envisioned. She certainly never anticipated the thrill of their battles turning into games… The problem is, only one spouse can survive.

Love is a battlefield in Showalter’s The Warlord.

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Audiobook Purchase Link

 

 

 

 

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of a multitude of sub-genres within romance: paranormal, Fantasy, contemporary, and young adult. She’s also written standalone novels, novellas and anthologies, as well as co-authored a nonfiction guide about how to write a book in a year.

Gena lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two adult children who grew up way too fast, and menagerie of dogs and cats who enjoy farting while she works, walking across her keyboard during pivotal scenes and demanding pets at all hours of the day and night. Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan’s Red Hot Reads and Seventeen magazine. She’s been interviewed on Nightline and mentioned on Orange is the New Black—the very moment her family decided she might be a real writer after all.

Chances are good she’s hard at work on her next novel. Chances are even better that the book is a twisted tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who (lovingly…sometimes) kneecaps him.

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Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story by Sybrina Durant (Book Review)

(Ages 3-7), 38 pages

 
Cleo loves bows. She wears her hair in a bow and decorates her room with bows. Cleo is bow crazy. Learning to tie a bow is very difficult for some people but Cleo remembers how to do it from a cute story she once heard. It is about a little rabbit with very long ears and a very helpful fox who shows her what to do to keep them clean.
 
This is the story of how Cleo learns to tie a “bunny ear” bow. Exercises in manual dexterity build self-esteem in children. Knowing how to tie shoe-strings, scarves and more into a bow is a useful and rewarding skill.
 
“Teach a child a useful skill. Build confidence and self-esteem that lasts a lifetime.”
 
Other books in the “Learn To Tie With The Rabbit and the Fox” series are the book with that name in English, Spanish and Tagalog plus “Nellie Knows How To Knot A Neck Scarf” and “Ned Knows How To Knot A Neck Tie.”
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
My 5yo niece loved Cleo Can Tie A Bow by Sybrina Durant from the very start. When she saw Cleo had her hair tied up in a bow, she asked if I could tie her hair up as well. My attempt didn’t look half as adorable as Cleo’s. Pumudi Gardiyawasam, the illustrator, did a marvelous job creating such a cute, perfect bow. Pumudi, along with Sybrina (the author), did a remarkable job explaining both in script and imagery how to tie a bow. The close-up images will become helpful when my niece decides to forgo velcro shoes and finally get lace-up sneakers. 🙂

After we finished reading Cleo Can Tie A Bow, we looked up the link at the end of the story. The link will direct you to the author’s YouTube channel, where there are several videos with Cleo singing about tying a bow. This added feature will help young readers feel more connected to the story and cause many ear-worms for kids and parents. 😀

Would I recommend Cleo Can Tie A Bow?
Yes, for grades preschool through second.

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
Buy the Book
Amazon
add to goodreads
 
 
Sybrina Durant
 
Author Sybrina Durant
I’ve been writing creative and technical works for years. Many of my songs are on Youtube and Itunes. Two of my books are available as ebooks online. They are “Learn To Tie A Tie WIth The Rabbit And The Fox” and “Sybrina’s Phrase Thesaurus”.

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The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris by Steve M. Gnatz (Book Spotlight / Guest Post)

Content Rating: PG-13. There is mild (romantic) sexual content and very mild profanity.

 
 
1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician.

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim.

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

 
 

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Were Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies really lovers?

Benjamin Franklin was sent to France in 1776 at the outset of my book The Wisdom of the Flock to help secure the aid of the French in the American Revolution against the British.

But prior to the beginning of the book, Franklin had spent most of the past 20 years (1757-1775) in London, away from his wife Deborah. Ostensibly, this was because she had a strong aversion to sea travel and would not follow him across the Atlantic Ocean. Deborah, in fact, passed away in late 1774 at home in Philadelphia while Ben was still in London.

Franklin was, of course, famous as a ladies’ man. Historians have often wondered if he was up to any hanky-panky during those nearly 20 years in London.

In 1761, Franklin attended a concert in London. There Ben observed a lovely young musician named Marianne Davies performing on the musical glasses. Despite how beautifully she played, she appeared to be in constant pain from the activity. Franklin conceived of an instrument with glass bowls attached to a rod at their center and bathed in a tub of water. The rod was turned by a treadle mechanism, keeping the turning bowls moistened. The musician could then gently apply her finger to the appropriate bowl to produce the note she wanted – resulting in music without any pain. He named his invention a glass armonica and had the first one made for Marianne Davies. It has been suggested that this was an extravagant gift for the gentleman to give the lady.

In 1767, a young Philadelphia artist named Charles Willson Peale showed up unannounced at Franklin’s lodgings on Craven Street. While waiting to see the great man, Peale apparently observed (and sketched) Franklin with a paramour in the next room through an ajar door.

https://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-scandalous-sketch-of-benjamin.html

Some authors have suggested that the woman pictured might have been Franklin’s landlady Margaret Stevenson’s daughter Polly – but I believe this to be unlikely. While Polly would have been about the same age as Marianne Davies, and both women were much younger than Franklin, he generally considered Polly as a “surrogate daughter”. It seems unlikely that they would be openly engaged in such activity in her mother’s house.

There are very few, if any, established pictures of Marianne Davies – see my blog post on this issue here: https://stevegnatz.com/2020/10/why-are-there-no-pictures-of-marianne-davies/

There is not much help from the written historical record in terms of letters between Marianne Davies and Franklin. In The Wisdom of the Flock, I imagined that they had agreed to burn their private letters to each other – in order to solve this dilemma. It is historical fiction, after all! The only two letters known to exist in the real world are those that Marianne wrote in 1783 complaining that Franklin no longer seemed interested in protecting her “franchise” to play the glass armonica. Of course, in The Wisdom of the Flock, this is explained by Ben’s love interest having waned – and other actions on Marianne’s part that I will not reveal here so as not to spoil it for you.

I hope that you will enjoy the story of Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies love affair in The Wisdom of the Flock, even if it only represents the fictional part of historical fiction.

 

 

Meet the Author:

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 

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Anarchy Zone Time Yarns (Time Yarns Anthologies Book 2) by Erin Lale, Plus 4 More Contributing Authors (Anthology Review)

Print length : 52 pages

Contents:

Streamliners by Gordon Yaswen
The Anarchy Zone by Erin Lale
1400 Hours by Ian Miller
An Etonean Dilemma by Humberto Sachs
Host by Giampietro Stocco

Art Contents:

Hope by Alex Storer
At All Goes Away by Lisa Yount

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 


(review request submitted by Erin Lale, contributing author/editor, for an honest critique) 

 

(Story One) Do you love poetry? Do you love science?

If you said yes to both, you must check out Streamliners by Gordon Yaswen because, as you can probably surmise, Yaswen combines both. 

 

(Story Two) The Anarchy Zone by Erin Lale:  Since I love comic books, talk of mutants made me think of that world. I didn’t like people targeting them, but that’s a shared endeavor in stories with mutants – whether they have four arms or some other oddity. 

 

(Story Three) 1400 Hours by Ian Miller discusses Schrödinger’s cat – a hypothetical cat that can and can not exist at the same time depending on one more thing, opening a box to find out the answer. 

In 1400 hours, a man suffers this conundrum. He exists in one universe but is hidden in another. Linked together but also separated by an impenetrable wall.

Two universes divided by mere 1400 hours—a small amount of time to one person- an eternity to another. 

 Oh yeah, this is a scientific mind-bender, and I loved it! 

 

(Story Four) An Etonean Dilemma by Humberto Sachs: While there were some science fiction aspects to An Eternal Dilemma, this story felt more politically driven than anything else. While I can feel and appreciate how passionate the author is about the tension between two particular countries (names withheld on purpose), I wish he would’ve focused more on science and less on the political drama we face every day on the nightly news. 

 

(Story Five) Host by Giampietro Stocco mixed sci-fi with some horror-style imagery to create a brilliant short story. Plus, it spoke of events that could possibly happen in the future.

Comets could hit and destroy most of Earth.
New diseases could erupt because of it.
New weather and weather patterns would emerge.
Humans would go to any length to survive.

Science fiction meets plausible reality — oh yeah, Giampietro Stocco, I like your style!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Gordon Yaswen, poet and college professor in California.

Erin Lale, Native American, inventor of technical processes in iDEN and CDMA wireless communications technology.

Ian Miller, New Zealander, inventor of algae based products and owner of Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd.

Humberto Sachs, from Brazil, co-designer of the International Space Station.

Giampietro Stocco, of Italy, winner of the Premio Alien per la fantascienza 2006 for his story L’Ospite (The Host) which appears in this anthology for the first time in English.

Alex Storer, science fiction and fantasy artist in the UK.

Lisa Yount, artist and jeweller in California.

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