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Archive for the ‘Book reviews’ Category

Nightmares and Daydreams by Barabra Watkins

In Book reviews on January 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Nightmares and Daydreams is a short collection of mystery, horror/thriller, and paranormal short stories and poems (5 stories & 4 poems in all).  I first picked up this book when my husband was out of town for a couple weeks – after reading the first page I opted to put it down until he got returned.

Haunted houses, mysterious towns of blood-sucking villains, mystical jesters that bring protection and death, murderous spouses, and money hungry showgirls, there’s a little something for everyone.

Hosting a sleepover with hard-to-scare teenagers?  Watkins has just what the doctor ordered.  Although I wouldn’t recommend this pick if you’re prone to nightmares.

My only complaint a bit of repitition.  I noticed two females characters in two of the stories were described the exact same way.  Barring this issue of personal taste, Nightmares and Daydreams is the perfect quick read for your beloved short story and horrror lovers.

“Writing in the genre of Paranormal/Thrillers, she [Watkins] loves to evoke a sense of terror and hopes to continue to entertain her readers for some time to come”  I was certainly terrified, entertained, shocked, and appalled – when appropriate.

You can visit Barbara Watkins online or buy Nightmares and Daydreams on Amzaon.

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Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers by Brigitte A. Thompson

In Book reviews on October 10, 2009 at 4:54 am

BB_Front  I’ve never been particularly good at math.  Perhaps that’s why writing is my career of choice.  But unfortunately even as a writer it seems my responsiblities include my own bookkeeping.  Apparently until I make it to the big times and can afford an accountant, I am my accountant – who knew?

  The bottom line?  All Americans are required to report their earnings & pay taxes on said earning to the IRS.  By keeping an accurate record of income and expenses, you can reduce your “income tax liability”.  In other words – by going the extra mile to keep accurate financial records you can keep more money in your pocket.

  So now that you know the why of keeping accurate financial records, Thompson’s workbook-style book Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers can help you out with the how.  The book has all sorts of helpful little tidbits, from types of businesses (s-corporation, partnership, etc), to naming your business, to filing your taxes, and then some.

  My suggestions for how to use this book are as follows…number one, beginning writers can use it as a research tool.  It can help you get an idea of some of the work ahead of you as a writer where your finances are concerned.  Number two, more experienced writers will probably get the most use out of the chapter on tax write offs.  Number three, there is an entire chapter dedicated to blank forms for your convenience – make use of them.

  I fancy myself a pretty smart gal, but the first time around even I stumbled across a couple areas that I had to read a couple times over to understadn fully.  But on a whole Ms. Thompson does a lovely job of making the tedious and often complicated process of bookeeping seem simple in a “Ohhhh, so that’s how you do it!” kind of way.  As a budding freelancer, it’s been added to my shelf of resources and filed under “read again”.

Buy Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers by Brigitte A. Thompson

Anything But a Dog! by Lisa Saunders

In Book reviews on September 21, 2009 at 3:41 am

Anything_But_a_Dog_by_Saunders[1]At some point or another, every child asks their parent(s) for a dog.  And at some point most parents tell their child(ren) that they can’t have a dog.  Next are the tears.  It’s with an exchange just like the one I just described that Lisa Saunders begins her book Anything But a Dog!, and a story that spans about 17yrs sprouts on the pages before your very eyes.

What makes this story of “girl meets dog” worth reading?  It’s shockingly human, brutally honest, and guaranteed to evoke emotion.  And if you still aren’t convinced – it’s a book with a cause.

Lisa’s youngest daughter Elizabeth, was born severely disabled due to CMV.  She would never speak, walk, or feed herself.  So to further educate parents about this debilitating virus Lisa wove priceless and under spread knowledge on CMV into pet horror stories.  You’ll learn how it’s spread, how you can prevent it, and what its devastating consequences can be.

But this story is not all tales of woe.  It’s ultimately the life of a very happy girl, who happens to be handicapped, and her loving dog with the heart of a saint – all wrapped up in the accounts of smelly bunnies, attack cats, and runaway hamsters.

All-in-all this book has a little something for everyone.  If, like me, you’ve never known anyone severely handicapped, you may be prone to pity them or stare when passing by on the street.  Anything But a Dog! will show you that pity is not necessary.  What is necessary if a dose of love and kindness.

If you have been touched in some way by disability, you’ll be comforted by Saunders’ relatable nature.  For mothers the information on CMV could protect your unborn child(ren) from the villain responsible for more birth defects than Down Syndrome.

If you couldn’t tell already, I’ve been profoundly moved by this book.  Which is always a sign of accomplishment for any author.  With minimal time investment (only 119 pgs, 140 including the back matter), what have you got to lose?

Lisa Saunders has truly shared a piece of herself and her family with the world – more so than any book I’ve read up until this point (and I’ve read quite a few).  I can’t say anything bad about that.

*Note: Anything But a Dog! cannot be found in stores.  To purchase a copy visit the following link (you can also get an autographed copy)!

Buy Anything But a Dog!