Blood Tears by Michael J. Malone

Blood Tears (The McBain Series)Blood Tears by Michael J. Malone

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a crime fiction ebook, if that wasn’t clear, but it has a Catholic bent. It’s not necessarily for religious purposes, but it does involve nuns and a children’s school. I did like that it was definitely not like the traditional crime novels I usually read. The characters are unique (some of them), and have a tinge of the real to them, they are definitely not perfect people, which makes them all the more relateable.

I will also point out that this ebook takes place in the UK and as such is written in British English, and the writer is also from the UK. So the spelling is somewhat different, but not off, same with the grammar. I did get this free on Amazon, but I think it’s now on sale for 99 cents, at least that’s what Goodreads tells me.

I like the story, I like the events that keep you guessing for two thirds of the ebook. I like the characters who are somewhat unique and believable. Though I do find it interesting that when the plot thickens, the main character is still fixated on his previous theory (though he is still somewhat right) even though it was obvious to me what was going on. Anyway, I liked this piece of British crime fiction.

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Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin

Tuf VoyagingTuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t realize at first that George R. R. Martin wrote books other than Game of Thrones (which I haven’t read, but now kind of want to). This is a space drama, set into a series of short stories, featuring a rather unlikely hero and a cast of somewhat recurring characters.

While I enjoyed the characters, the world building, and the story lines, this ebook was also a great source of inspiration for me, creatively. I have so many ideas for things I want to do in my creative writing life now thanks to this book.

I found mine at an auction house I frequent, but you can find it online (even in Kindle format) at various book stores, and Amazon of course. I really like it for many reasons and I feel that fans of George R. R. Martin will like it too.

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Acrylic Painting for Beginners by Jason Ferrison

Acrylic Painting for Beginners: The Ultimate Crash Course Guide to Mastering Acrylic Painting in 24 hours or Less! (Acrylic Painting - Acrylic Painting ... Oil Painting for Beginners - How to Paint)Acrylic Painting for Beginners: The Ultimate Crash Course Guide to Mastering Acrylic Painting in 24 hours or Less! by Jason Ferrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So to be clear with this ebook, it was somewhat obvious that the author of this ebook does know about acrylic painting, however they don’t really know how to write about. Some of the grammar, spelling, and general writing pattern was just a bit off and in some cases made the writer seem less knowledgeable about their subject. (There were several uses of “apparently” that made the author appear less confident.)

Apart from the writing, this is a basic “how-to” for acrylic painting. For reference, I did have a painting class in college, and since then have been to several painting classes since then. From this perspective I did appreciate the information in this ebook.

There’s a chapter on the history of acrylic paints, one on practical supplies, one on techniques, another on tips, and so on. I found it to be a good starting point, though I doubt the validity of “mastering acrylic painting in 24 hours” in the title as this ebook would be enough to get you experimenting, but I doubt you would completely master anything in 24 hours.

Anyway, I did like it, it does have some good points, just remember this person knows more about acrylic painting than writing.

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The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of WarThe Art of War by Sun Tzu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right away I can tell why this book is a classic. While it is specifically focused on war and war tactics, a lot of it (I would even say all of it) can be applied to anyone in a leadership position, or anyone in business.

Let’s back up a bit. This is an old book, like written originally in the B.C. era where not a lot of factual data can be found simply because it doesn’t exist or has decay to a point where it isn’t trustworthy. This book has existed in one form or another since then, and many other writers or authorities have added their comments to each new edition. Basically, there is some good information here, despite it being ancient.

Ok so it’s old, but it’s about war, right? Well, it’s about strategy, organizing your soldiers, keeping their loyalty, what to do in certain situations, knowing your enemy, and many other tips on how to win battles and the war. It’s about being a good general, or in more “general” terms: being a leader.

If you’re going into business, getting a promotion, or even just want something classical and quick to read, this is a brilliant book. I’ve got the Barnes & Noble version, and it is a very nice little book to carry around.

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Mastering Online Marketing by Magnus Unemyr

MASTERING ONLINE MARKETING - Create business success through content marketing, lead generation, and marketing automation.: Learn email marketing, search ... and Entrepreneurship Series Book 1)MASTERING ONLINE MARKETING – Create business success through content marketing, lead generation, and marketing automation.: Learn email marketing, search … and Entrepreneurship Series Book 1) by Magnus Unemyr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This ebook from Amazon was very informative. There were several chapters dedicated to website/blog marketing, email marketing, and Google Analytics. There were also chapters on social media, marketing management systems, and appendices with basic web information.

The author came off as well informed about his topic, and the ebook did not suffer overly much from the grammar and spelling errors that are common to free Amazon ebooks. Though there are a few errors in the second half.

All together I found this ebook to be well written, informative, and inspiring. I found it for free, and if you’re interested in this topic there’s no reason not to pick it up.

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Great Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

Great Tales of HorrorGreat Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not new to the idea of the Cthullu mythos, the stories have been around since the 1930’s so it’s almost impossible not to know of them. If you don’t know about the stories, maybe you’ve seen The Reanimator or heard of it. In any case, you’ve probably heard of Lovecraft or the niche he created with his writings.

This is a collection of all his writings, which I was surprised to know that all he wrote were short stories. I thought he had this epic series around the Cthullu mythologies. Even so, his works aren’t all about Cthullu, and in fact the works only give him a passing mention to explain the goings on in the stories.

My favorite horror author is Stephen King, and these aren’t the “in your face” fears that he writes about. These are more of an all encompassing, world ending, deep fear; and I liked it. Lovecraft’s writing style is first person, and as this person is telling you his story, the fear creeps up little by little. The story starts out fairly normal, then you can tell something isn’t quite right, and by the end, you’re curled up in a fetal position hoping it will all blow over.

Lovecraft is a horror genre classic, the Cthullu mythology is enduring, and it’s just plain good storytelling.

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7 Critical Mistakes Writers Make by Angie Dixon

7 Critical Mistakes Writers Make (And How to Avoid Them)7 Critical Mistakes Writers Make by Angie Dixon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a short ebook about seven actions we do or don’t take as writers that could make or break a story’s success. Some things seem obvious, others not so much, but we’re all guilty of one or the other from time to time. I know I am.

This is a brief look into what writing is really about (not just the story), and some of things we writers forget about while we’re busy writing or being inspired. I connected with the time management “mistake” since I have a constantly fluctuation day job (shift work) and my time management skills fluctuate day by day accordingly. There are a few tips to help this, and that’s what I’m taking away and working on these days.

It’s a free, easy read, so take a look and see what “mistakes” you’ve been making.

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