Poetry – Waypoints

WaypointsWaypoints
By John Delaney
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 978-0912887517
Genre: Poetry
Formats Available For Review: pdf

Far ranging in its geography, Waypoints is a collection of poems that mark the itinerary of a poet wanderer—in matter and mind—over many years. As he acknowledges in his statement about the book, John often writes about places he has been because, like a GPS system, they reflect the ups and downs, turns and twists (tone and tenor), of the mental and emotional life-journey he has been taking. Believing there is no better teacher and no better resource for the imagination than nature, John is most grounded when he is in some remote place, enjoying the challenge it presents and the adventure it becomes.

These poems take the reader to unique locales around the world, from Port Townsend, Washington, where John now lives, to Nepal, Africa, and South America, where he has trekked. In each case, the presence of place informs his themes, such as time, family, and natural world wonder. Placed in the pages’ margins, the addition of latitude/longitude coordinates for the actual settings of the poems adds a more specific geographic level that curious readers may wish to explore on Google Earth. Included with John’s trek to Machu Picchu with his son are the actual photographs he took on their journey that inspired his haiku.

Whether formal or not, with rhyme or without, the poems in this volume will challenge the reader to examine his or her own paths and the stops along them that have made the most impression—questioning how and why such experiences enable us to move forward in a reflective and grateful manner.

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Literary Fiction – The Fabrications

The FabricationsThe Fabrications
By Baret Magarian
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 978-0912887470
ASIN: B06XWZ3C7B
Genre: Literary Fiction, Satire, Dark humor, fiction
Formats Available For Review: Print (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.) PDF, epub

When Oscar Babel, a cinema projectionist languishing in obscurity, is befriended by Daniel Bloch, a popular novelist, strange things begin to happen when Bloch starts to write about Oscar. Oscar’s life changes course as he becomes a 21st century messiah. At the same time Bloch’s life descends into the darkness (and madness) that his friend narrowly escaped.

Feeding in and out of this central spine are other stories: Bloch’s reconciliation with his father, who was seduced by Bloch’s ex-wife Natalie; the career of the brilliant but unsuccessful painter Najette, Oscar’s muse and lover; and ever more insane instances of PR stunts, as master-minded by the demonic publicist Ryan Rees. Eventually Oscar’s fame and myth balloon out of all proportion and the novel draws to an unforgettable climax.

THE FABRICATIONS possesses peculiar relevance to our tumultuous times. At the center of the novel is Ryan Reese, a Trump/Murdock like character. His main motivation is to manipulate society at large, spread anarchy and create propaganda. He derives pleasure from his power to sow the seeds of hope only to dash them and destroy them whenever he feels like. To this end he seizes upon Oscar Babel, an obscure blank slate of a man he can easily manipulate, orchestrating Babel’s rise to fame through “fabrications” designed to turn him into a contemporary savior of society.

The book addresses the way shadowy off-stage figures retain the real power, as their puppets and creations dance to their tunes, and the public follows suit. The novel also explores the myths of celebrity, the power of the Internet to disfigure and distort, and the madness of our culture, in which prophets, truths and legends can all be invented.

Part meditation on synchronicity, identity and sex, part satirical critique of contemporary society, and part love story, THE FABRICATIONS is a novel that abandons realism and attempts to create a parallel universe that offers deep truths about the chaos and beauty of our own. It jostles with dazzling stories, and memorable, grotesque characters, and will take you on a wild ride, lurching among pathos, hilarity and profundity, breaking the rules of fiction in creating something subversive and beautiful.

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Historical Fiction – Isaac

IsaacIsaac
By Robert Karmon
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
ISBN: 978-1545463024
Genre: Historical Fiction, Jewish, WWII, Coming of Age
Formats Available For Review: pdf

On the night of November 6th, 1941, the life of Isaac Gochman, a 16-year-old Polish Jew, changes tragically and profoundly. Over 20,000 Jews from Rovno, Poland, are marched into the Sosenki Forest by the Nazis, stripped and shot to death, then buried in an endless, unmarked ravine. All of Isaac’s family and friends die in the massacre. But Isaac miraculously survives the slaughter, and so begins his incredible and harrowing journey through the Polish forest, facing unimaginable hardships and the constant threat of death from the Nazis and their sympathizers.

To save himself, he adopts a new identity, Sergei, a Russian Christian, and joins the Russian Partisan Brigade, to become a demolition “miracle man.” As a Partisan, he falls passionately in love for the first time in his young life with Ducia, a Russian nurse.

Near the end of the war, he turns his back on his homeland, heroically saves the lives of American soldiers, and finds a new home in America.

Isaac is a true coming-of-age story of miraculous survival, courage, and love.

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Spirituality – The Angel Ultimatum

The Angel UltimatumThe Angel Ultimatum
By Alexander Mann
ISBN: 9781311332516
Genre: Spirituality
Formats Available For Review: epub, mobi, pdf, irf, pdb, txt, online reader

“The Angel Ultimatum,” is, “make sense of creation, or else.” It is a Bible based, non-status quo work, which contrasts the untenable traditional explanation for creation against the explanation for the creation of individuality. Concluding that any mortal can be allowed to ascend, if they choose love, as they will then also choose good over evil as a divine being, making them incorruptible. This does not require that they also choose the right religion, as religion is not a factor, only love.

In fact, the command from the Divine has always been to, “love one another,” and versions of that law can be found in virtually every religion, but a second command, “to go out and make disciples,” became the battle cry for religion and love became its victim. Love one another, and love your enemy, were then trampled under by the crusades, the witch hunts and by every other form of religious persecution which permeates our history.

Then consider individuality, in which the individual is defined as being, “not divisible without loss of identity,” which requires non-interference, and at most, influence. This then dictates that the resulting society will be chaotic, filled with extremes of both good and evil, as those individuals are then allowed to be the individuals they were created to be. And, if they exist, the same could be expected from Angels, if they too were individuals. So, would that resulting chaos fit the picture of any society we know? The explanation awaits you.

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Humor Fiction – Back To Sovietsky

Back To SovietskyBack To Sovietsky
By Michael and Danny D’Agostino
Published: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1542660761
ASIN: B01N4PZMX4
Genre: Humor Fiction
Formats Available For Review: Print (Limited Quantities, Only Available to Qualified Reviewers/Bloggers in the U.S.), pdf and epub

“Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free,” but don’t bring us Vladimir Ruska! But that’s just what happened. Yes, Vladimir Ruska, the Russian shiftless corner cutter, came to America to achieve success. But he couldn’t even keep his janitor’s job. In less than a year, he got kicked out of the U.S for violating his visa, and for piling up thousands of dollars in unpaid traffic tickets.

But that is just the start of the saga of Vladimir Ruska. He may be lazy, but he is not stupid. So, he returned to his small, impoverished town in rural Russia, and led his relatives on a journey to a brilliant, new enterprise. They started an unbelievably successful ripoff of McDonald’s, called McRuskies. It worked. It allowed Vladimir the opportunity to move back to America, and this time, with a whole new, positive attitude. Yes! He ultimately became a successful model Russian immigrant in the USA. And four years later, Vladimir and his entire family emigrated to the U.S. Maybe they don’t speak perfect English, but they have the determination to make it in America. They end up starting “Babushka’s Chop House” in Brighton Beach, New York. The story features all the flavor and fun of ethnic Russians attempting to speak the English language. Here’s an example, when Vladimir returns home to Gorzichistan:

VLADIMIR: “Oh yes, cameras everywhere in USA. You go to bank. They watch you. You go to store, they watch you. You buy gas for car, they watch you. You dump ol’ paint in river, they watch you . . . and put you in jail!”
BORIS: “Who watching you?”
VLADIMIR: “The ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’.”
YURI: “Oh yeah, we hear dat on news. You go to da outhouse and who is watching you?”
STASIK: “The ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’.”
BABUSHKA: “So we got KGB, FSB. And America got ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’. Everyting same wherever you go. No different. Right Grandpa?”
Grandpa, who worked in the Russian coal mines all his life, takes a deep breath and heaves up a resounding, gurgling persistent cough.”
GRANDPA: “Eeeh! Ahhhh! Ehhhgheghhheeee!
BABUSHKA: “. . . See? . . . He say yes!”

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Personal Finance/Money – The PouchPlan Budget

The PouchPlan BudgetThe PouchPlan Budget
By Mitchell Walker
Publisher: Straight Path Books
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 9780999133507
ASIN: B073GC1BZD
Genre: Personal Finance, Money, Budgeting
Formats Available For Review: Print (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.), kindle, pdf

The PouchPlan Budget is the Simple Way to Find Hidden Money, Improve Your Life’s Relationships and Build Wealth

FIND A 10% RAISE IN 10 DAYS, DIVORCE PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE AND START CREATING WEALTH WITH THE POUCHPLAN

Guided by PouchPlan creator Mitchell Walker, you will discover how to put a simple and doable financial plan to work for you and your family. This financial foundation will power you to find hidden money, improve your life’s relationships and build wealth. By showing you step by step how to put together a budget that requires no math or accounting skills to maintain, this powerful financial tool offers a “set it and forget it” system that anyone can use to gain an upper hand on their financial future.

When you read The PouchPlan Budget, you’ll learn strategies to get out of debt, save more money than you ever thought possible, and move from “ouch” to “Pouch.”

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