Children's Book Review: Om-Bork by Robert Lampros, illustrated by Heather Denise Cotter

Om-Bork is the story of a young man who meets an alien and learns about faith, prayer, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Release Date: September 2015
Age Group: 7-12 years
Review copy received from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

Om-Bork was a sweet and fun read.  I really enjoyed it! 
I don't think I've ever read a Christian science fiction children's book before, so Om-Bork is definitely unique in that sense.  I wasn't sure how Robert Lampros would pull all of those elements together, but he did it very well.  

The story was engaging and meaningful.  As well as funny!  The illustrations really added a lot of depth, humor and meaning to the story.  I loved Om-Bork's face and facial expressions.

Being that I have a four year old and this book is recommended for ages 7-12, I read Om-Bork on my own.  But, I think children ages 5 and up would understand and enjoy Om-Bork.

I really liked this book and would definitely read more from Robert Lampros.

Author Bio:
Robert Lampros lives in St. Louis, Missouri.  He earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.  Om-Bork is the first children's story he has published.

Illustrator Bio:
Heather Denise Cotter, a  native of Jamestown, NY, currently resides in St. Louis, MO.   Her portfolio includes e-art 
portraits & illustrations and an assortment of other forms of conventional art.  In addition to art, Heather enjoys 
serving God, spending time with family & friends, and writing music.

More Details:

Title:                    Om-Bork
Author:                Robert Lampros
Illustrator:           Heather Denise Cotter
Publisher:            JBS-Publishing and CreateSpace
Release Date:      09/2015
ISBN:                  pending
Format:               Paperback, Digital  (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, NOOK)
Pages:                 38
Price:                   p: $11.99, e: $4.99
Ages:                   7-12 yrs.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Overtaken by Mark Kruger

Today we're hosting a giveaway for Mark Kruger's Overtaken, the second novel in the Overpowered series.  This giveaway is courtesy of Saichek Publicity.  Thank you to Wiley for this great giveaway! 

Nica struggles to decipher the nefarious forces ruling her small town in this electrifying sequel to Overpowered, which VOYA says "offers all the conspiracy and intrigue of the best dystopian fiction."

After the mysterious pulses changed Nica Ashley’s life forever, she was sure things could only get worse when Dana Fox returned. Her reappearance after having gone missing for months surely means not only that Nica will lose her friendship with Jackson, but also that something more ominous is simmering under the surface of quiet Barrington.

When another pulse occurs, Nica discovers that she can be invisible at any time. She tries to talk to her friends about how bizarre things have become, but they all seem to have no idea what she is talking about. Nica soon realizes that Dana has a strange control over the whole town, including her undercover, government-agent father.

Now on her own, Nica must stop BarTech from using her and her friends as weapons. But can she figure out their ultimate plan before it is too late?

Release Date:  May 5, 2015, 416 pages
Age Group: YA

About the Author

Mark H. Kruger is a screen and TV writer specializing in edge-of-your-seat thrillers and supernatural suspense. He has contributed to many television series and movies but is best known for having written and produced for The 4400, Necessary Roughness and the upcoming horror series Damien, and for working with filmmakers Clive Barker, Wes Craven and Bill Condon. Mark lives in Los Angeles and is the author of Overpowered and the upcoming Overtaken.

Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

Release Date: August 1, 2015
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Evan


It was thrilling to once again read a book I couldn’t put down! I had goose-bumps from the first chapter to the last. 

The author had me hooked immediately and kept it that way. Each time I thought I had a good idea of how this mystery would play out, I was thrown for a loop. 

The settings were described beautifully, the characters were captivating. Prepare to get attached to the “unbelievables” as well; Ghosts who play a very active role in this dramatic read. 

This is the first book in a series that I hope will continue very soon.


Book Review: Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

From the author of the best-selling Mafia exposé, Wiseguy, comes this inside story of the billion-dollar gambling industry and the secretive, dangerous men who run it. At the heart of this true tale of love, revenge, and murder Mafia-style are some of the most memorable characters in mob lore: Lefty, the brains of the mob's Vegas casinos; Tony Spilotro, the mob's muscle; and Geri, Lefty's adulterous show-girl wife.

Release Date:  December 31, 1996
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased
Reviewed By: ForeverWorming

Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas is a morality tale among two thieves who tried to begin a new life in Sin City. Everything was fine until betrayal came along and stirred quite an act that affected everyone around both men.

One of the men was the brains, while the other was the brawns – a two-man act necessary to cripple the betting world of Las Vegas. The brains was called Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, a shrewd sports handicapper who had a genius for controlling the odds in any kind of sports game, even if it meant bribing a sports team’s upper management. Rosenthal is one of the gods of Las Vegas’ sportsbooks, which was sought-after by the criminally-minded elites who watched and wagered on almost any sporting event in America.

The muscle was Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, a longtime confidant of Lefty whose job was to rule with an iron fist and keep watch on the mob’s gambling interests. He is regularly informed by local insurance brokers of the whereabouts of the best jewels, making him a very important asset for anyone who wants to steal anything.

The story is a riveting look at the dark alleys of the gaming industry’s insider games during the mob’s rule of Las Vegas. Several years ago, Las Vegas wasn't all about "world-class luxury and elegance" and "breezy and beautiful," as information portal Mayfair Casinos claims with the city's establishments. The book provides a blow-by-blow account on how organized crime stole from the casinos as it controlled every form of wagering from the shadows. The book shows how fixings were being done by the persona of Lefty, whose handicapping talents made him a non-violent, yet extremely dangerous, villain during the years when he is most active. Everything started to go wrong when Lefty married a beautiful, but emotionally-unstable, showgirl, who eventually commits a terrible crime against her husband: sleep with The Ant. It was civil war when her act of betrayal was discovered by Lefty. The brains eventually ratted the brawns out, and everyone who enjoyed benefits, down to the smallest fry, from Lefty’s fixings got involved. Love and Honor in Las Vegas is a cautionary tale of what respect means in the world of crooks. It is a nice read for those who want to get a glimpse of the mob’s rule in Las Vegas.

Exclusively written for I’d So Rather Be Reading
By ForeverWorming

Book Spotlight: Living in the Shadows by Judith Barrow

Layout 1Living in the Shadows by Judith Barlow

Publication Date: July 16, 2015
Honno Press eBook &
Paperback; 320 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Family Saga

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It's 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse - following in Mary's footsteps - and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire. At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda's darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so? There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences. Sequel to the acclaimed Changing Patterns and Pattern of Shadows.




03_Judith Barrow_AuthorABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Barrow has lived in Pembrokeshire for thirty years. She is the author of three novels, and has published poetry and short fiction, winning several poetry competitions, as well as writing three children's books and a play performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Judith grew up in the Pennines, has degrees in literature and creative writing and makes regular appearances at literary festivals.




Monday, September 21 Spotlight & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf  
Tuesday, September 22 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past  
Wednesday, September 23 Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading  
Thursday, September 24 Spotlight at What Is That Book About  
Saturday, September 26 Guest Post at The Writing Desk  
Sunday, September 27 Review at A Chick Who Reads  
Monday, September 28 Review at Book Nerd Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

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Guest Post and Book Spotlight: Molly Lee by Andrew Joyce

Today we are honored to have author Andrew Joyce here telling us about his new book, Molly Lee.  I'm loving Molly Lee's cover...her hat, the look of determination in her makes me want to read about Molly.  Welcome to I'd So Rather Be Reading, Andrew!

My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Kelli and Natalie have been kind enough to allow me a little space on their blog to promote my new book, MOLLY LEE. The story is a female-driven account of a young naive girl’s journey into an independent, strong woman and all the trouble she gets into along the way.

Now you may possibly be asking yourself, What is a guy doing writing in a woman’s voice? And that’s a good question. I can only say that I did not start out to write about Molly; she just came to me one day and asked that I tell her story.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.

So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!

I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months; then sent out query letters to agents.

Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But not quite.

My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 142,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way that I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly asked me to tell her story. Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again.

This is the description from MOLLY LEE:
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.

As I had wondered whatever became of Huck and Tom, I also wondered what Molly did when she found Huck gone.

I know this has been a long-winded set up, but I felt I had to tell the backstory. Now I can move on and tell you about Molly.

As stated earlier, Molly starts out as a naive young girl. Over time she develops into a strong, independent woman. The change is gradual. Her strengths come from the adversities she encounters along the road that is her life.

With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself, and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been run off their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.

This is from a review on Amazon:
“A young female in nineteenth-century rural America would have needed courage, fortitude, and firm resolve to thrive in the best of circumstances. Molly Lee possesses all of these, along with an iron will and an inherent ability to read people accurately and respond accordingly.”

I reckon that about sums up Molly.

I would like to say that I wrote MOLLY LEE in one sitting and everything in it is my pure genius. But that would be a lie. I have three editors (two women and one guy). They kept me honest with regard to Molly. When I made her a little too hard, they would point out that she had to be softer or show more emotion in a particular scene.

I set out to write a book where every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I wanted the reader to be forced to turn to the next chapter. And I pretty much accomplished that, but I also wrote a few chapters where Molly and my readers could catch their collective breath.

One last thing: Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do writing my stories. Sometimes more.

It looks as though I’ve used up my allotted word count (self-imposed), so I reckon I’ll ride off into the sunset and rustle up a little vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me over.

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