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Thursday, September 6, 2012

GOTU by Mike McNeff - a review

Guardians of the Universe (GOTU) makes this book sound like some graphic novel starring Captain America and his ilk when it is nothing more than a superb smash-and-grab police procedural starring protagonist Robin Marlette, a true blood and guts super hero.

McNeff, a forty-year veteran of law enforcement draws upon his intimate knowledge of how to combat drug smuggling on the Arizona/Mexico border. He introduces us to a squad of DPS officers that is reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen, the washed up, down-and-out degenerates that are about to be frog-marched out of law enforcement only to be salvaged by a great leader and turned into an elite unit.

When Marlette and his men roust a smuggling ring, seizing millions of dollars and killing the drug cartel boss’ little brother, the retaliation is fast and furious. The cartel strikes at Marlette personally; not only by sending soldiers to shoot up his house and family but to kidnap his eldest daughter too.

With his daughter in the hands of the bad guys south of the border, Marlette does what any father would, he violates every known international law to rescue his child. With all his men recklessly following his lead, he charges into danger, guns blazing, consequences be damned.

Full of hard-hitting details and realistic action scenes, McNeff leads us into the middle of a no-rules fight where the hard-charging victors wear a white hat and experience wins out every time.

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published - a review

They’ve done it again. Talk about taking the mystery out of getting your book in front of a publisher. This is the bible every author should read while thinking of writing, writing, and every aspect of post-writing that involves your book.

This is the step-by-step whodunit of how to write, sell, and successfully market your book. In a fun upbeat fashion this husband and wife team, literature agent and writer, explain everything you have ever wanted to know about what to do next. Turning over every stone along the way, they leave no clue uncovered to help you get what you have written in the hands of the publisher.

Interspersing humorous and realistic examples and lessons on what to do, or not do, and supplying sample proposals and query letters, there is nothing left to chance. This is an updated version of a prior self-help tome, “How to Turn Your Passion Into Print,” their last joint venture that has been updated for the 21st Century with details on social networking and e-publishing.

Need to find an agent, use an editor, understand your contract, or write an elevator pitch? The answer to everything you could possibly need to know is here – and a lot more besides. This is the book that demystifies every step of the publishing process and should be in your reference library.

Island of Silence, Lisa McMann - a review

In the second volume of this incredible dystopian young adult series, we find the story picking up right after the battle of good vs. evil has raged. Airtime has defeated the Quillens and the two tribes are struggling through an unsteady truce. Since the Quillens placed these Unwanteds in Airtime thinking they were condemning them to death, it takes a little adjustment to realize that not only are they alive but are great at magic spells, and just defeated them in battle.

Airtime is run by mage Mr. Today, whose evil twin sister was killed, as leader of Quill. Now his young prodigy, Unwanted Alex Stowe, has to face a similar destiny. His Wanted twin brother Aaron has devised a way to recruit a team of those unhappy with the turn of events since the battle who are seeking revenge. By controlling his team with food supply and managing to use a little of the magic back on those that conjured it up in the first place, he has found a way to weave his dastardly deeds on the unsuspecting inhabitants of Airtime.

Spies abound on both sides, the newly appointed high priest has been taken prisoner, but these are all unknown to Mr. Today, who decided that after the troubling times, he should take a few days of vacation and leave Alex in charge. While he is in charge, the worst possible circumstances happen. Three of Alex’s best friends sail to a neighboring isle and are taken captive, the whole of Airtime mysteriously disappears with all the buildings and magically created creatures disintegrating, and Mr. Today appears to be dead. It just couldn’t get any worse, or could it?

Alex has to turn to two shipwrecked creatures from the island where his friends are being held for help and McMann leaves us twisting in the wind as a new spell left for Alex by Mr. Today is discovered. Hope shines its smiley face on the troubled times in Airtime. I have it on good authority—the author herself—that book number three is in the editing process as we speak, which is a good thing as I can’t live without finding out how our heroes get out of this one. They do, don’t they? Hey Lisa!

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