Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Review | Terry Goodkind | Nest


This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Terry Goodkind
Title: Nest
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Adult, Action, Suspense, Crime

Pages: 432
Price: £15.90

Started: 24th January 2017 
Finished: 15th February 2017

Synopsis: Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes. Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her. Now, hot on Jack and Kate's heels are a force of super predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn't sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her. 

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide best-selling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human. 

Review: Before I start the review of the book I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to thank the author for all the time and hard work he puts into all of his novels and how creative and imaginative his books are. Novels like this are a true work of art and you can clearly tell that the author put a lot of time and love into his creations. I am so excited to have this book in my collection. This was a truly amazing read that had me hooked from start to finish. This book was filled with plenty of action that kept me on the edge of my seat. I found it nearly impossible to stop reading and put this book down. I found myself really interested in this story line and rooted for Kate and Jack. The ending came as a real shock and i'm hoping for a second book that will tie up all the loose ends. The cliffhanger ending really shook me and after this book I found it hard to get into another book. I wondered about the ending so much that I allowed myself to slip into a reading slump. This is a book that I can see myself enjoying numerous times and it also makes me want to read more by Terry Goodkind. I would highly recommend this book to all readers but especially those that enjoy a good thriller that they can get lost in. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Book Excerpt | Eldon Taylor | Choices And Illusions

Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?

The Real Meaning in Life
By Eldon Taylor

Years ago a young woman came to me for help. To maintain confidentiality, I will invent a name for her. I’ll call her Mary. This young woman in her late thirties had a history of self-mutilation and suicidal behavior. She came in for pastoral counseling, and I agreed to see her only if her psychiatrist agreed and was kept fully informed. That issue out of the way, her first appointment was made. My secretary brought me her file, including the pre-process forms I used. As I reviewed the information in the file, I was taken by the fact that one of her prior therapists was a famous psychiatrist. I thought to myself, “And what on earth am I to do if this person couldn’t help her?”
During her first session, the terms of our arrangement were agreed upon. I would see her for ten weeks, once a week, and my conditions and requirements had to be kept. She agreed, and the session began, or perhaps more appropriately, she began sobbing and wailing. An hour passed, and nothing but tears to show for it. Few words could I understand amidst the sobbing. “Until next week,” I said, and we parted.
I thought about her for the entire week and decided to try something totally new, at least for me and for that time (circa 1990). I theorized that all the excessive crying was simply her attention-seeking mechanism combined with true feelings of despair, but to get past that, we had to dispense with the wailing. I took a mirror that had been given me by a cosmetic surgeon friend, and which I had used for years to show, as he did, just how uneven the halves of our faces are (left versus right). Brain hemisphere dominance theories suggest a correspondence, so this was in keeping with my research and work.
When Mary visited in week two she again began crying. I placed the mirror in front of her, explained as nicely as I could that she had to maintain some composure for me to help, told her to look at herself while she cried, and to let me know when she stopped. I stepped out of the office. Soon she opened the door. As I began to sit down, she started weeping again, so once again I exited. After three or four repetitions that admittedly took more than half of our time together, she stopped the sobbing and began talking. Her story was a sad one about a child who was neglected in favor of a younger sibling who was smarter, prettier, and so forth. Her early relationships with men were equally sad but not out of the realm of what happens to psychologically well-balanced people.
When we were finished speaking for the day, it was clear that Mary had dwelled on all the bad, shared her negative stories all too willingly, each time probably exaggerating them, and otherwise remained almost fixated on the worst possible future—in her case, becoming a bag lady in Las Vegas.
I gave Mary her homework, as part of our agreed terms. She was to do one good turn for someone, anyone, every day. She was to record the good deed in her journal at bedtime, just before going to sleep, focus on how the deed made her feel, and imagine how it made the recipient feel. The deed could be anything as simple as holding a door for someone or as emotionally demanding as helping a colleague she didn’t like. She was to bring the journal with her each week when she visited me.
The following week we reviewed her journal entries and her thoughts and feeling regarding each. Admittedly, some of her first week’s good deeds were pretty weak, but a couple of them provided an opportunity to draw out the difference in how it made Mary feel as well as how she might have felt if she had been the recipient. Her homework for the remaining weeks was simple: two good deeds every day and recorded per the earlier instructions.
Mary’s perspective changed. Her focus moved from bad things to good things. It was that simple. There is nothing more eloquent than just saying it how it is. Armed with a positive outlook and an eye to opportunities to do good deeds, and supported with what I call a “warm fuzzy feeling” that comes from helping others, Mary began to reinforce her own worth and find joy in living. It wasn’t long before her medication was cut back and then eliminated. Mary found meaning in life.

The “warm fuzzy feeling” comes from helping others.

I suggest to you that the real meaning in life comes from what you give, not from what you take. As Wayne Dyer puts it in his book The Power of Intention, “purpose is not about vocation—it’s about service!” I believe that the ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ we derive from a true service experience—going to the aid of another in need—is the best feeling we can have when we put our head on the pillow each night. Gerald Jampolsky has observed in his attitudinal healing centers that when a person goes to the aid of another, even otherwise intractable pain disappears.”

The real meaning in life comes from
What you give, not from what you take.

As an aside, when the centenarian population was studied to determine the reason behind their long lives and health, everyone expected something like “clean living and self-denial.” It turned out that that wasn’t the case. Indeed, the comedian George Burns could characterize many of the centenarians. They lived life without fear, full of joy and humor. What they all shared was a sense of purpose or connectedness to a Higher Power. The value to this sense of connectedness and purpose cannot be overstated. For me the warm fuzzy feeling keeps me connected and provides purpose. It doesn’t really matter what we do for a living, provided we do it with integrity and for the good of others. A piece of Chinese antiquity I cherish is a book written on jade. The author, Su Dong-Puo, a very famous Chinese writer, says it this way: “We do not work or search for food but for truth.” As President Woodrow Wilson stated over a thousand years later: “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Book Excerpt | Eldon Taylor | Choices And Illusions

Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?

It’s Never Too Late
Excerpt from Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor

In my journey there came a point when I hungered for more metaphysical information. I enrolled in a California university, The University of Metaphysics, and by correspondence commenced a study in metaphysical science. This was not the metaphysics of an upper division philosophy course, as I expected; rather, it was a practical metaphysics for living. I had worked for a long time, often doubling the required number of exams in order to reach their designated bachelor’s level of education in this unique form of metaphysical science when they sent me the news. I was ready to advance, but to do so I must become an ordained minister.
This was not a strictly academic environment, and I should have recognized that, but the requirement blind-sided me. Still, I knew I was not worthy of being anyone’s minister, including myself.
Weeks passed, and one Sunday afternoon while reading spiritual materials, I remembered a teaching from the school. I pulled out a binder in which I kept many notes, and the letter from the university fell upon the floor. As I picked it up, I knew immediately that I missed the lessons and all the joy and change they had brought into my life. I sat back down in my recliner and held the letter in my lap.
My thoughts put me to sleep, and soon I was dreaming. This is the dream.
Once upon a time a man looked to himself. He spoke to himself, “I desire to serve God, but my life has been full of error. The example I have set is not that of a cleric. People will only scoff and say, ‘Know ye them by the fruits of their tree.’ Who am I, then, to speak for or of God?”
With these words circling within his head, the troubled man lay down to rest. He spoke to God. “Your will, not mine, be done.”
As he drifted into sleep, pictures began appearing that told this story.
Once there stood a tree—a tree of life, full of fruit. The limbs bent toward the earth under the weight of the lush red cherries. The cherries danced in jubilee with the breeze that bathed their tender skins and turned their fullness and vivid color to face the Father, the Sun of the heavens.
With the dew and the rain they would polish their beauty and drink of the earth; to store within the energy and vitality of life taken from the soil through the roots and fired with the spirit of the Sun radiating through the leaves of their parent tree.
But alas, not all of the children of the tree would mature into lush red fruit. Out of an urge to experience and learn on his own, one turned away from the Father and ignored the parental warnings. Charlie, as he was known by the others, kept his life juices warm, daring the cold, the frost, the elements. He began to fill with color and mature early.
Pivoting on his base, he turned away from the Sun and took shade in the leaves. Daring to fornicate with the world, Charlie refused to release the natural pesticides within himself and took up affairs with the parasites.
Soon his delicate skin was broken, and his fruit exposed. The fragrance attracted the birds, and they too feasted on his flesh. Charlie lived off the flesh and of the world. Passion, experience, and knowledge were his prize.
Then one day the gardener came. Gently he took from the parent the pure and ripened children, leaving only Charlie behind. Hanging alone, Charlie looked about him. The fall nights were cold and lonely. His friends, the birds, were on wing, abandoning him. His flesh had spoiled, and even the insects avoided him now. His soul hung onto his tattered body. The elements he had once faced with a thrill now threatened to snap him from the stem of life. Charlie was sad and lonely. He had learned these things: knowledge is not necessarily wisdom; experience is not always a kind teacher; and passion is sometimes a poison that betrays whatever value there is to be had in experience and knowledge.
Charlie looked up at the beautiful blue sky and the buoyant white billowy clouds adrift, seemingly with nothing to do or a care in the world, lazily on sail across the vast blue heavens. “They and the lilies of the field,” Charlie said to himself.
“Dear God,” he spoke aloud, “I have sinned. I have wasted the beauty of your flower and turned my back on simple truth. In my pursuit of wisdom, I lost sight of Your Great Form and indulged in physical illusions. I was lost. I alone am to blame. I give my essence over to thee, Creator of all that is good within me and all that could ever be love within me. For you are Eternal Love, and what is best for me is also your way. That I should discover this so late in my life is my most significant regret.
“I have watched the caterpillar spin his cocoon and perch on the leaves above me as a butterfly,” Charlie continued, “but I fear that this recognition has come so late in my life that I will be unable to share this Beauty, this Truth, with others.”
With that Charlie lowered his head. Suddenly a squirrel jerked him from the limb and scampered down the tree and across the meadow. The squirrel paused, examined Charlie, and then as though rejecting him, dropped Charlie in the grass.
Charlie rested there for a day or two, and then the snow came. Covered by the white blanket, Charlie slept.
The seasons passed as though in the twinkling of an eye. Charlie took root and grew strong. From his branches came blossoms, followed by fruit more beautiful than Charlie could ever remember beholding.
Charlie praised and gave thanks to God!
The lowly man in my dream raised his head from slumber. His prayer had been answered. The Lord does not forsake man; man forsakes the Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done; for, after all, in their eternal boundless beauty, they are one and the same.
My life has changed since this dream. Today many faces provide that warm fuzzy feeling when I put my head on the pillow.

Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind. For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for all life. To contact Eldon in response to the story, you can reach him via his website: To get a copy of his new book Choices and Illusions, go to:

Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Review | Frank Cavallo | Eye Of The Storm

Eye of the Storm

This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Frank Cavallo
Title: Eye Of The Storm
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Pages: 395
Price: £14.35

Started: 31st December 2016
Finished: 23rd January 2017

Synopsis: On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world. Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land - a dark wizard and his army of undead - a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stand against him - and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds or to destroy them all: the eye of the storm. 

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank the author for his amazing imagination and the hours that must have been put into making this work of art a reality. Secondly, I would also like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Lately, I have struggled to fall into a book straight from the beginning and that it takes me slowly reading through the first few chapters to become lost in the book. This story has a fantasy and action filled story line that will keep the reader hooked at hours at a time. This book just keeps you wanting to read more and more and you just can't wait to see what is going to happen next. This was an excellent read and I was hooked on the story line. The way that this book is written makes the reader feel like they are a  part of the story line and are stood in the shadows watching the narrative play out. This novel had a lot of action throughout and that made it almost impossible for me to put the book down and stop reading. The only slight negative for me was that the last few chapters were a little slow for my liking; I was expecting there to be more action in the final chapters of this book. However, this is still an excellent book that I would highly recommend to fans of the fantasy genre. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, 9 January 2017

Book Review | Ben Phillips | Sorry Bro!

Sorry Bro!

Author: Ben Phillips
Title: Sorry Bro!
Genre: Humour, Computer, Internet, Biography, Pranks, Facebook, YouTube

Pages: 224
Price: £8.00

Started: 9th January 2017
Finished: 9th January 2017

Synopsis: So recently my bro Elliot's been learning to read, and it gave me the idea that I should write up our story ... that way, he can relive everything I've put him through. And this is my book! It's a journey filled with laughter (mine), tears (Elliot's) and even romance (Hello , Georgina!) and goes from a childhood in sunny Brigend to 10 million followers across the world. There's also exclusive pranks, spitball targets (of Elliot's face obviously),  comic strips, guides to creating your own videos and more. Now, if you're sitting comfortably, follow me into my wonderful world and Elliot's shit life ... Sorry Bro!

Review: This is a book by Ben Phillips who is famous on social media for pranks. When I saw that he was releasing a book I immediately pre-ordered two copies and got the limited edition signed copies. I knew that I would enjoy this book as I am a huge fan of Ben and Elliot. I find Ben's video's completely hilarious. It was really interesting to find out how Ben got into making these pranking videos. I enjoyed the layput of the books and all the images that were included. This book is a quick and interesting read and I found the exclusive pranks in the book laughing uncontrollably to myself. In my opinion this is a truly amusing book and I think that fans of Ben and Elliot should own a copy of this book if they don't already. This is the type of book that should be read on a bad day as it would certainly bring a smile to the face of the reader (at poor Elliot's expense).

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Book Review | Lucia Mann | The Sicilian Veil Of Shame

The Sicilian Veil of Shame

Author: Lucia Mann
Title: The Sicilian Veil Of Shame
Genre: History, Slavery, Child Prostitution, Holocaust
Pages: 329
Price: £12.38
Series: African Freedom

Started: 20th November 2016
Finished: 31st December 2016

Synopsis: The ten year old daughter of a Sicilian mafia boss is cruelly kidnapped from her bedroom on the night of her glamorous birthday celebration. She knows her captor well, and, until this night, has trusted him and held him fondly in her heart. Maria's prospects for rescue plummet as she is sold into child prostitution and eventually sent to a holocaust death camp. Is it possible for a girl so misused for so long to emotionally endure the torment she suffered and still maintain a semblance of normalcy? The quest for an answer leads the reader on a zigzag journey through the bloodline of three generations, ending in the bowels of a mafia mansion on the island of Sicily. In this book, you will experience the profound love of a daughter for her mother, and a granddaughter's misgivings about her crazed grandmother, the matriarch of a battered family:
  • Brianna, a successful law student who gives up everything to search for her beloved mother.
  • Lynette, Brianna's mother, a survivor of child slavery in South Africa
  • Maria, a kidnapped child who endures years of torment to eventually become the most powerful mafia boss in Sicily. 
Lucia Mann's story explores the ugliness of child slavery while it tests our attitudes toward revenge and mental health. 

Review: This is the only book in the African Freedom series that I have bought. The rest were sent to me by Lucia Mann in exchange for honest reviews. When I started to read this book I was falling into a slight reading slump and found it impossible to stay focused on the book for more than a few pages at a time. Despite the reading slump I kept coming back and reading through 3 to 5 pages at a time until I finally beat the reading slump. Once I had beat the reading slump I became fully immersed in the book and found it almost impossible to put the book down and stop reading. This book was as interesting and insightful as the rest of the series. I would highly recommend this book and the rest of the series to anyone with an interest in African history, the history of slavery or just history in general. If investing in this series be sure to read them in the correct order so that the story line of all the books make more sense as a whole. I read these books in the order that I received them so the complete story line was confusing to me at times. Lucia Mann is an amazing author and her books deserve a space in all book collections around the world. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Book Review | J.K. Rowling | The Tales Of Beedle The Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Author: J.K. Rowling
Title: The Tales Of Beedle The Bard
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Short Stories, Children, Magic, Fairy Tales, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, British Literature
Pages: 105
Price: £5.59

Started: 19th November 2016
Finished: 20th November 2016

Synopsis: The Tales Of Beedle The Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril. Additional notes for each story penned by Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by muggles and wizards alike, as the professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts. A uniquely magical volume, with illustrations by the author, J.K. Rowling, that will be treasured for years to come.  

Review: I bought this book at a second hand store. This price was 99p and comes on a "buy one get one free" offer. Money spent at this store gets donated to the Barnardos Children Charity. I have plans to buy this book brand new along with fantastic beasts and where to find them and quidditch through the ages. When I have this book brand new then I will donate the used copy back to the store for someone else to pick up and enjoy. As a major fan of Harry Potter I was excited to add this book to my collection and read it. It is my aim to have the full Harry Potter collection on my shelves including the illustrated editions and the vault books. I did enjoy this collection of short stories but I prefer more action in the stories that I read. These books were aimed at a younger audience (or a young at heart audience), however I highly recommend these books to any fan of the Harry Potter series. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

** The only reason I did not give this book a 5 star rating is because of the lack of action.