Tag Archives: Book Reviews

The Reawakening


As I sit here pecking away at the keyboard writing this blog I am trying desperately to remember the four blogs that I outlined while trying to go to sleep the past few nights. It’s amazing how creative one can be while tossing and turning away the hours. You would think that I’d had the sense to at least jot down a few of my ideas on my cell phone before the sheep found me. But no, I can’t for the life of me come up with a single idea from that nocturnal restlessness.

Yesterday I had tons of creative juice flowing through my veins and wrote two book reviews in a matter of minutes. Today nada. It’s as if the faucet was turned off. I guess that is what writers’ block is all about. I’m way behind on my reading. And, I haven’t studied for my HAM license like I should. So, what is it that has my mojo out of whack? I can’t blame my disability anymore as I am so much better and able to do so much more. So, I’m thinking it’s a slight bout of depression. Nothing serious. More aggravating than anything else. It too shall pass.

The more I can do the more I want to do. Patience forgets to come along part of the time. Then, of course, the pain hits me and tells me to slow down. I can’t even remember a life without pain. No, I do not take narcotics though I could if I asked my doctors. It’s generic Tylenol and Aleve along with muscle relaxers and ice or heat packs that usually work. I do my best not to take them very much. The liver apparently doesn’t like them or so I’ve been told.

Tax season is finally over! Yay! That means my husband is back to a regular 8 to 5 schedule. Aha! I bet that’s it. His odd work hours over the past 4 months have thrown my schedule out of sync too. I had not thought of that until now. It’s as good an excuse as any, very plausible, and most definitely possible. Dang. I see daylight at the end of the tunnel now! I feel better just knowing this week will be the beginning of my turn around. Creativity will smack me right upside the head now and I’ll beat this keyboard to death with all my words.

So, there you go. The more I write the more I think. The more I think the more ideas come to the forefront. And before long there will be blog after blog written with such insight. I feel like Arthur when he pulled Excalibur out of that stone. My heart is just a thumping away with anticipation. My feet are tapping in tune. Watch out! I’m back!

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What’s Up?


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It has been, well, forever since my last blog post outside of the book review realm. There’s so much that has happened in my life, both good and bad, that I’ve let get in the way. I’m clearing out some space now to write about some of the topics I have bouncing around in my head. So, sit back and grab a cuppa.

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This being disabled thing sucks. Yeah, I put on a happy face and forge ahead trying to get more from my body. But, it is hard and I’m not always in a good place mentally about it. That’s called being human. I cannot quit or I’ll lay down and die. I want to get back to as close to what I once was so bad. That one step forward, two steps back thing is real. I get discouraged and then give myself a mental swift kick in the ass. I put myself out there on Facebook so that folks will see how it is to be in my shoes or wheelchair. It’s important for you not to ignore what’s going on around you with folks like me. We are just like you, but instead of having a broken leg from which you will recover, we have a broken body from which we may not.

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Green thumbs. I know some who have them, I’m just not one of them. Who else can kill an air plant? I mean, really, an air plant? Yep. Apparently, you need to mist it or something every now and again especially in low humidity. And, not one of a hundred succulent seeds that I planted sprouted. Not.A.Single.One. The peace lily that I saved from my mom’s funeral? Well, after my husband’s aunt repotted it for me it died. It’s hard to kill a peace lily, but I did it. Actually, the cats kinda helped with that one. I like houseplants. Truly, I do.

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Speaking of cats, ours will turn six this year. One in May and the other in August. How did our adorable little kittens get to be six so soon? They are just as playful as ever. Flash has that forever young kitteny face. He is such the scoundrel, always stealing things and hiding them. I have no idea where his stash is located. But, I’d really like my tongue scraper back. Tuffy is our chewer. We have had to put sleeves on our CPAP hoses because he chews holes in them otherwise. He chews electrical cords. How he hasn’t been electrocuted is beyond me. They do bring us mountains of joy. Both love us and cuddle with us – on their own terms, of course.

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A good number of you have been slammed with a very snowy winter, repeatedly. I understand how hard that must have been for you and your families. Believe it or not, I would have gladly traded with you. I’m not sure if Mother Nature knows it or not, but we got cheated out of a winter here. I know with my body being screwed up that I don’t do well with the cold. But, I love it anyway. I miss the snow we had in Alaska. 70s & 80s in February is not normal. What little cold we did have gave me the opportunity to try out leggings for the first time. They are not for public consumption unless hidden under a skirt. At least, that is my humble opinion.


My husband has started a blog. Due to the wide variety of topics he is covering it has taken off rather well. I’m very happy for him. If you haven’t read it take a quick look here: https://akbearsden.blogspot.com/ You can even subscribe and have it delivered straight to your email. I’m sure he’d love to hear your thoughts on his posts. In my opinion, he writes much better than I do. Oh, he does cover some controversial topics from time to time.

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I spend most of my time reading books and writing reviews. Post apocalyptic and dystopian are my favorite genres. But, I do read others. I like conspiracies, political thrillers, old fashion detective stories, and black ops. Most of the novels I read are by self-published, indie authors. As much as I can I try to help promote their works. I also provide most of them feedback to help make a better product. That isn’t always received very well. I’ve dropped a couple of authors for the hostility thrown back at me for pointing out glaring mistakes in their published works. I make plenty of grammatical and typographical mistakes myself. And, if someone points them out to me I try to go back and correct my work. I don’t take it personally. I know my own limitations.

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The one area I try to steer clear of as best I am able is specific political points. People get butthurt over that stuff. I have friends on both sides of the aisle and in the middle. My opinion is that – mine. For some odd reason though I have seen that folks get personal with one another instead of staying on topic and sticking to the facts or specific points to their beliefs. Name calling is what kids do in junior high. Adults should be able to engage in a debate that is above that. Nuff said.

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Daylight Saving Time. Could we cut this crap out? Leave it at DST or standard time or somewhere in between. Pick something and leave it alone. DST is already eight months long. So, what’s the point in changing? Adjusting the time like this has been shown to be counterproductive to the working populace and especially the school kids. The original idea may have been sound, but it’s not needed now. Have you ever tried to convince a cat that his feeding time is now an hour different? There you go.

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Well, I think I’ve bumped my gums enough for this go around anyway. I do hope you have enjoyed my rambling and can take something useful away from them. I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll be sure to respond in kind. Take care.

Cheers, Cheryl aka Chessy

Many Mini-Reviews


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Before I started blogging and seriously reviewing books, I wrote what I call mini-reviews. A review helps the author even if it is only a sentence or two. I no longer post a review if it doesn’t at least garner 3 stars. So, for your reading pleasure here are 17 mini-reviews.

33 Degrees by Vincent Robert Annunziato 5 stars

I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels and this one did not disappoint. The character development was spot on. I felt as if I was in the story itself. It’s a very sad tale of a very possible future in the USA. I am so looking forward to both the prequel and the sequel promised to be in the works. Great job!

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood 5 stars

I thought this book would never come out. Love her writing. Love this trilogy. It would be really great if she were to write another set about 20 years in the future to let us see how far things evolved in this new world.

Command Authority by Tom Clancy 3 stars

You can tell in the past several books that Clancy was not the writer of this series. It’s a shame he is gone & can’t write for us. I liked his work much better.

Pines by Blake Crouch 4 stars

Good book with only two exceptions that I saw. 1. The fete doesn’t have to be violent to serve its purpose. There was no need for murder. And, 2. when Ethan got slashed to the muscle on his stomach, it was glossed over. Whereas, all other injuries were described in great detail with follow up pain & suffering. Found this weird as it was the worst of his injuries.

Project Cyclops by Thomas Hoover 2 stars

I thought this book would never end. I always finish any book I start, but this one was painful to read.

Free Falling: Book 1 of the Irish End Games by Susan Kiernan-Lewis 3 stars

Hated the husband & won’t read the remainder of the series because of him.

Black Flagged Alpha by Steven Konkoly 5 stars

Wow! I thought all was lost when Mr. Clancy passed and there would be no more Ryanverse books. But, Mr. Konkoly’s writing is as good if not better.

The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly 5 stars

He certainly writes in such a way that you either love, hate or tolerate the characters. I feel that he truly addresses how quickly and drastically events can change people.

The Perseid Collapse by Steven Konkoly 4 stars

I can’t give it 5 stars as he just stops the book without any conclusion. I understand the concept of sequels. Each book should be able to stand on their own. Otherwise, he is a great story teller with great insight.

Wayward Pines: First Contact by Steven Konkoly 5 stars

I love everything Konkoly has written. And, now that he has added to the Wayward Pines universe I’m more pleased than ever. Can’t recommend him enough no matter what he writes.

Into the End by Bonnie R. Paulson 5 stars

This is a very original twist on a post-apocalyptic fiction. Not for the faint of heart. Highly recommend.

Power Games: Operation Enduring Unity 1 by R. A. Peters 1 star

Very hard to follow & not very clear as to who is doing what to whom when. It is the only book I’ve ever not finished. I forced myself through the first 75 pages.

Conch Republic by Cliff Roberts 2 stars

I thought the writing style was far below any adult level reading. It was very poorly written in my humble opinion.

Expat Diaries: What Really Happens When You Move Overseas by Philip Trew 3 stars

It was O.K. Basically, the same thing over & over – don’t trust other expats. Double & triple check references.

The Gringo Guide to Panama by Elizabeth Vance 4 stars

Great starter resource for those interested in moving to Panama from the USA. Be sure to read the companion book – “The Gringo Guide to Panama II: More to Know Before You Go” to get a more detail for living in the city of Panama.

The Gringo Guide to Panama II by Elizabeth Vance 4 stars

This book certainly makes you think about things you might not have otherwise. It is most helpful for those interested in the city of Panama area.

The Krone Experiment by J. Craig Wheeler 2 stars

I thought it was a spy thriller and it turned out to be a science fiction novel. It wasn’t too bad until the revelation as to the cause all the problems. From there forward it was downhill. I always finish any book I start. But, dang it was a chore.