Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael









ABOUT FOREVER JULIA



Title: Forever Julia

Publication date: May 1, 2015

Publisher: Great Plains Publications

Author: Jodi Carmichael





Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.



MY THOUGHTS


What can I say but gosh, im speechless. What have I read I asked myself? Well let me feel you a GREAT FICTION BOOK! I had no complains about nothing. The cover was stunning and everything inside the book. The author, publishetsd, and anyone that made the bookosdible diservers a round of applause for all the work you made to make us readers enjoy this book. It was simply one of the best books I have enjoyed this month and I cannot stop raving about.


ABOUT JODI CARMICHAEL:



JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller. 

Blog Tyour Book Review: Big Mojo by Jack Getze


Big Mojo

by Jack Getze

on Tour May 2015






Book Details:


Genre: Screwball Mystery (Though not a cozy, it's close ;))
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: Sept.17, 2014
Number of Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-1937495763
Series: Austin Carr Mystery #3 (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links:


Synopsis:

“Gordon Gekko meets Janet Evanovich in this wry and winning caper—Jack Getze does it again!” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Truth Be Told
Wall Street’s miasmal garbage washes up on the Jersey Shore when a small time broker falls in love: Is he attracted to the beautiful lady—or her brother’s inside information? Held spellbound by a steamy, auburn-haired woman with a dubious past and a get-rich-quick, insider trading scheme, Austin Carr knocks down a beehive of bad-acting Bonacellis, including the ill-tempered “Mr. Vic” Bonacelli, who wants his redhead back, and local mob lieutenant Angelina “Mama Bones” Bonacelli, architect of a strange and excruciating death trap for the fast-talking stockbroker she calls smarty pants. To survive, Austin must unravel threads of jealousy, revenge and new affections, discover the fate of a pseudo ruby called the Big Mojo and slam the lid on a pending United States of America vs. Austin Carr insider trading case. Can Austin and his Jersey Shore mouthpiece possibly out maneuver the savvy U.S. District Attorney from Manhattan? Will anything matter for Austin ever again if Mama Bones flips that switch?


My Thoughts

I was emmidenly hooked to this great book. I had a fantastic time guessing what might happen next. Now, it times the book had its dry moments and I didn't like it. I wanted to give it but the synopsis just kept jumping out at me when I read to refresh my memory. Finishing the book was the best part because it showed me that every book its for everyone but this one was indeed for me to enjoy. And I did. Beside the slowness in some parts, the book was fine by me. The authors writing, the characters, and climax was above and beyond.


Read an excerpt:

My gaze shifts back to Patricia, successfully avoiding her large and available cleavage. Not an easy trick, even with the red hair as an alternate attraction. “Before I answer Vic's question, let me make sure I have this straight, Ms. Willis. Your brother, a big shot Manhattan attorney, is working on a merger agreement between Fishman Corporation and Gene-Pak Industries; that is, your brother is helping negotiate and prepare -- actually write the legal merger documents. Is that right?"
&nbdp;

Author Bio:

Former newsman Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. His Austin Carr Mysteries BIG NUMBERS, BIG MONEY, BIG MOJO and BIG MOUTH (a short story) were published by Down and Out Books in 2013 and 2014, with another novel BIG SHOES scheduled for 2015. His short fiction has appeared in A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, The Big Adios and the 2014 anthology, Down, Out and Dead.

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Tour Participants:

Don't forget to visit the tour sites! Many are hosting individual giveaways where you could win your very own ebook copy of Big Mojo!


 
 
 

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Blog Tour Book Review: To Catch A Falling Star by Anna Belfrage











To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.
Some gifts are double-edged swords …
For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.
Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.
While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.
All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.
Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?




When I picked up this book for the first time I knew that it was for me. I just enjoyed everything that was in "To Catch A Falling Star". Thee author is amazing. Sadly I didn't read the rest of the series but the eighth book was epic in my eyes. Never a dull moment and it was hard for me myself to put down. I have now given this to 2 of my book club members. They also love this book and everything that is offered into the book.

About the Author


I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.
I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.
I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.
For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: The Doomsday Equation by Matt Richtel

The Doomsday Equation

by Matt Richtel

on Tour March 16 - April 30, 2015







Book Details:


Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 2/24/2015
Number of Pages: 363
ISBN: 9780062201188
Purchase Links:


Synopsis:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author of A Deadly Wandering comes a pulse-pounding technological thriller—as ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton and as urgent and irresistible as an episode of 24—in which one man has three days to prevent annihilation: the outbreak of World War III.
Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he’s a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.
There’s nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.
Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?
Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own. . . .


Read an excerpt:

Prologue
“Salam, your majesty.”
The woman taps on the quadruple-paned glass, well thick enough to swallow her whisper and the greeting of her index finger.
The beast behind the glass does not stir. It is rolled on its side, heavy eyes closed, heavy paws strewn before it, lazy with confidence, even in sleep.
A hat pulled tightly over the woman’s short black hair does little to protect her from the pre-dawn chill. Nor detract from her radiance. From the pocket of a wool black knee-length coat, she pulls a hard-earned skeleton key.
Without taking her eyes from the animal, she takes three steps to her left. She stops in front of the tall bars of the cage door. She inhales the scent of damp fur and old meat. She inserts the key. The lion twitches.
She thinks: San Francisco is supposed to be so humane. A zoo is a zoo. She turns the key. The lion lifts his head. He draws open an eyelid. Blinks.
The woman slightly bows her head. “Guardians of the City. At your service.” Her accent carries generations of migration, ports of call, millennia of weariness and duty.
The lion flops over, facing the woman now, but still in repose. The woman smiles. She understands this to be the most docile time of the lion’s day. She pushes open the door.
The lion springs. The door slams against its liberator.
“Salam,” she expels the word with a laugh.
Feels razor claws reaching her through the bars.
Salam, she thinks. At last. Peace.

My Thoughts

The Doomsday Equation was more than great. It was impeccable from left and right. I fell completely in love with the authors writing. It was so easy to understand and explained so well. Here awaits a new thrilling thriller that will surprise even the youngest of readers. The adding of World War III was so imaginable it was like I could see it happening out of my window. When an author can put you in some one else perspective it shows you that there a boss and what there doing and will impress a vast majority of there audience. Jeremy Stillwater made the book come more and more alive as he made me want to read the story more and find out the ending. I was indeed spoiled because one of my fellow book club member bought the book and finished it before me. Wow! Is what I could say after trying to finish up the book. I had fun with the book and cannot wait to reread the book once more. 

Author Bio:

Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning technology reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of A Deadly Wandering and the novels The Cloud and Devil's Plaything.

Matt lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, their son, Milo, and daughter, Mirabel. He’s an avid tennis player and recreational athlete; a prideful maker of guacamole for parties; and periodic (and not good) songwriter. Matt grew up in Boulder, Colorado, the son of two avid readers, attended Boulder High School, and obtained a bachelors degree in rhetoric from University of California at Berkeley and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.

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Tour Participants:




 
 

Giveaway:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Matt Richtel & Harper Collins. There will be five winners of The Doomsday Equation by Matt Richtel (US Mailing addresses ONLY, No PO Boxes). The giveaway begins on March 14th, 2015 and runs through May 5th, 2015. a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz


Miracle Man

by William Leibowitz

on Tour April 2015








Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Published by: Manifesto Media Group
Publication Date: January 2014
Number of Pages: 430
ISBN: 9780989866217
Purchase Links:


Synopsis:

Miracle Man won "Best Thriller 2014" from National Pacific Book Awards and has received over 60 5 Star reviews in the U.S. and UK.
REVERED REVILED REMARKABLE
The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.
So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?
As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.
Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.


Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE
A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag. His pale face was wet with rain. He had picked a deserted part of town. Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers. There were no stores, no restaurants and no people.
“Who’d wanna live in this shit place?” he muttered to himself. Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.
He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened. Life was already hard enough. He shook his head incredulously. She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life. Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone? She should have had some control.
He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.”
But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either. He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it. She was adventurous and creative beyond her years. Freaky and bizarre. He had been enthralled, amazed. The higher she got, the wilder she was. Nothing was out of bounds. Everything was in the game.
And so, they went farther and farther out there. Together. With the help of the chemicals. They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation. How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city. They were so far ahead of all the other kids.
He squinted, and his mind reeled. He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was. And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated. And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources.
He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face. He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved. It didn’t. He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him. He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs.
The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it. One was almost empty. It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full. He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.
Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster. Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim. As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands. He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.
1
Edith and Peter Austin sat stiffly in the worn wooden chairs of Dr. Ronald Draper’s waiting room as if they were being graded on their posture by the receptionist. Edith’s round cherubic face was framed by graying hair that was neatly swept back and pinned. Her dress was a loose fitting simple floral print that she had purchased at a clearance sale at JC Penney. Their four year old son, Bobby, sat between them, his shiny black dress shoes swinging from legs too short to touch the floor. Edith brushed the boy’s long sandy hair away from his light blue eyes that were intensely focused on the blank wall in front of him. Peter, dressed in his construction foreman’s clothes, yawned deeply having been up since five in the morning, his weathered face wrinkled well beyond his years. Looking down at his heavy work boots, he placed his hand firmly on Edith’s knee to quiet her quivering leg. When they were finally shown into Draper’s office, the receptionist signaled that Bobby should stay with her.
Ronald Draper was the Head of the Department of Child Psychology at Mount Sinai Hospital. A short portly man in his late forties, the few remaining strands of his brown hair were caked with pomade and combed straight across his narrow head. His dark eyes appeared abnormally large as a result of the strong lenses in his eye glasses and his short goatee accentuated his receding chin. Glancing at his wrist watch while he greeted Peter and Edith, Draper motioned for them to take a seat on the chairs facing his cluttered desk. Draper had been referred by Bobby’s pediatrician when Bobby’s condition didn’t improve.
“Describe to me exactly what you’re concerned about,” Draper said.
Edith cleared her throat. “It started about a year ago. At any time, without warning, Bobby will get quiet and withdrawn. Then he’ll go over to his little chair and sit down, or he’ll lie down on the window seat in the living room. He’ll stare directly in front of him as if in a trance and then his lids will close halfway. His body will be motionless. Maybe his eyes will blink occasionally. That’s it. This can go on for as much as forty minutes each time it happens. When visitors to our house have seen it, they thought Bobby was catatonic.”
Draper looked up from the notes he was taking. “When Bobby comes to, do you ask him about it?”
Edith’s hands fidgeted. “Yes. He says, ‘I was just thinking about some things.’ Then, when I ask him what things, he says, ‘those things I’m reading about.’”
Draper’s eyes narrowed. “Did you say, things he was reading about?”
Edith nodded.
“He’s four, correct?”
Edith nodded again and Draper scribbled more notes.
“Do you question him further?”
“I ask him why he gets so quiet and still. I’ve told him it’s real spooky.”
“And how does he respond to that, Mrs. Austin?”
Edith shook her head. “He says he’s just concentrating.”
“And what other issues are there?”
“Bobby always slept much less than other children, even as an infant. And he never took naps. Then, starting about a year ago, almost every night, he has terrible nightmares. He comes running into our bed crying hysterically. He’s so agitated he’ll be shaking and sometimes even wets himself.”
Draper put his pen down and leaned back in his worn leather chair, which squeaked loudly. “And what did your pediatrician, Dr. Stafford, say about all this?”
As Edith was about to reply, Peter squeezed her hand and said, “Dr. Stafford told us not to worry. He said Bobby’s smart and imaginative and bad dreams are common at this age for kids like him. And he said Bobby’s trances are caused by his lack of sleep, that they’re just a sleep substitute—like some kind of ‘waking nap.’ He told us Bobby will outgrow these problems. We thought the time had come to see a specialist.”
Tapping his pen against his folder, Draper asked Edith and Peter to bring Bobby into his office and wait in the reception area so he could speak with the boy alone. “I’m sure we won’t be long,” he said.
His chin resting in his hand, Draper looked at the four year old who sat in front of him with his long hair and piercing light blue eyes. “So, Robert. I understand that you enjoy reading.”
“It’s the passion of my life, Doctor.”
Draper laughed. “The passion of your life. That’s quite a dramatic statement. And what are you reading now?”
“Well, I only like to read non-fiction, particularly, astronomy, physics, math and chemistry. I’ve also just started reading a book called ‘Gray’s Anatomy.’”
“Gray’s Anatomy?” Draper barely covered his mouth as he yawned, recalling how many times he had met with toddlers who supposedly read the New York Times. In his experience, driven parents were usually the ones who caused their kids’ problems. “That’s a book most medical students dread. It seems awfully advanced for a child of your age.” Walking over to his bookcase, Draper stretched to reach the top shelf and pulled down a heavy tome. Blowing the dust off the binding, he said, “So, is this the book that you’ve been reading?”
Bobby smiled. “Yes, that’s it.”
“How did you get a copy?”
“I asked my Dad to get it for me from the library and he did.”
“And why did you want it?”
“I’m curious about the human body.”
“Oh, is that so? Well, let’s have you read for me, and then I’ll ask you some questions about what you read.”
Smiling smugly as he randomly opened to a page in the middle of the book, Draper put the volume down on a table in front of Bobby. Bobby stood on his toes so that he could see the page. The four-year-old began to read the tiny print fluently, complete with the proper pronunciation of medical Latin terms. His eyes narrowing, Draper scratched his chin. “Ok, Bobby. Now reading words on a page is one thing. But understanding them is quite another. So tell me the meaning of what you just read.”
Bobby gave Draper a dissertation on not only what he had just read, but how it tied it into aspects of the first five chapters of the book which he had read previously on his own. By memory, Bobby also directed Draper to specific pages of the book identifying what diagrams Draper would find that supported what Bobby was saying.
Glassy eyed, Draper stared at the child as he grabbed the book and put it back on the shelf. “Bobby, that was very interesting. Your reading shows real promise. Now let’s do a few puzzles.”
Pulling out a Rubik’s cube from his desk drawer, Draper asked, “Have you ever seen one of these?”
Bobby shook his head. “What is it?”
Draper handed the cube to Bobby and explained the object of the game. “Just explore it. Take your time—there’s no rush.”
Bobby manipulated the cube with his tiny hands as he examined it from varying angles. “I think I get the idea.”
“OK, Bobby—try to solve it.”
Thirty seconds later, Bobby handed the solved puzzle to Draper.
Draper’s eyes widened as he massaged his eyebrows. “I see. Well, let me mix it up really good this time and have you try again.” Twenty seconds after being handed the cube a second time, Bobby was passing it back to Draper solved again. Beginning to perspire, Draper removed his suit jacket.
“Bobby, we’re going to play a little game. I’m going to slowly say a number, and then another number, and another after that—and so forth, and as I call them out I’m going to write them down. When I’m finished, I’m going to ask you to recite back whatever numbers in the list you can remember. Is that clear?”
“Sure Doctor,” replied Bobby.
“Ok, here we go”. At approximately one second intervals, Draper intoned, “729; 302; 128; 297; 186; 136; 423; 114; 169; 322; 873; 455; 388; 962; 666; 293; 725; 318; 131; 406.”
Bobby responded immediately with the full list in perfect order. He then asked Draper if he would like to hear it backwards. “Sure, why not,” replied Draper.
By the time Draper tired of this game, he was up to 80 numbers, each comprised of five digits. Bobby didn’t miss a single one. “Can we stop this game now please, Doctor? It’s getting pretty monotonous, don’t you think?”
Draper loosened his tie. He went through his remaining routines of tests and puzzles designed to gauge a person’s level of abstract mathematical reasoning, theoretical problem solving, linguistic nuances, and vocabulary. Rubbing his now oily face in his hands, he said, “Let’s take a break for a few minutes.”
“Why Doctor? I’m not tired.”
“Well, I am.”
Taking Bobby back to the waiting room, Draper apologized to Peter and Edith for the long period during which he had sequestered Bobby.
“Is everything alright, Doctor?” Edith asked.
“Why don’t you take Bobby to the cafeteria for a snack and meet me back here with him in thirty minutes,” Draper replied. When the Austins returned to Draper’s office, Draper had two of his colleagues with him. He advised Peter and Edith that his associates would assist him in administering a few IQ tests to Bobby.
Peter’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Draper. “What does that have to do with the nightmares and trances, Doctor? We came here for those issues - not to have Bobby’s intelligence tested.”
“Be patient, please, Mr. Austin. Everything is inter-connected. We’re trying to get a complete picture.”
Draper and his associates, one a Ph.D in psychology and the other a Ph.D in education, administered three different types of intelligence tests to Bobby (utilizing abbreviated versions due to time constraints). First, the Slosson Intelligence Test, then the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Revised (WISC-R) and finally, the Stanford-Binet L-M.
By the time the exams were concluded, Draper’s shirt was untucked and perspiration stains protruded from beneath his arms even though the room was cool. He brought Bobby back to the reception area, and took Peter and Edith into a corner of the room, out of Bobby’s earshot. “Your child isn’t normal. Are any of your other children like this?”
2
At 2:00 the next afternoon, Draper stood in the Austin’s living room.
“So, Doctor, what exactly do you want to see? Although, I’m not sure why you need to see anything,” said Edith, her brow furrowed.
“It would be very helpful if I could see Robert’s bedroom and the family room you mentioned, the books in the house, and the items that Robert plays with.”
“And the point of all that, Doctor? How does that relate to why we came to see you?”
“Mrs. Austin, as I told your husband—everything is interconnected.”
First, Edith showed Draper the living room book shelves on which Bobby’s college level text books were piled. Draper examined the stacks of treatises on astrophysics, mathematics and bio-chemistry that Bobby had printed-out from the internet which were strewn on a low table next to the computer. Draper photographed them as Edith described how Bobby would stand, surrounded by open books that he would read in an ongoing rotation, his concentration level so intense that he was oblivious to all household noises and activities. Then came the family room where Edith showed Draper Bobby’s Lego constructions and explained how in a non-stop frenetic four hours of unbroken concentration, he would construct, without directions or diagrams, Lego projects comprised of 5000 individual pieces that would perfectly replicate the pictures on the Lego box.
As he snapped a few photos of the Lego creations, Draper’s face looked pale. “When did you first notice that your son was –shall we say — precocious?”
Edith smiled. “It started early. Bobby taught himself from the kids’ DVDs that we played on TV while he was in his playpen. He loved when we read to him and showed him pictures. He starting talking at five months, and his vocabulary grew quickly. By eleven months, he was a good speller. When Bobby was one, Peter found out by accident that he could already read, and by fifteen months he was reading and understanding fifth grade level books. At two, he was doing complicated arithmetic, all in his head. He got better at it every day.”
Examining Bobby’s bedroom, Draper thought he was in a college dorm. Open textbooks were piled everywhere. There was a large blackboard leaning against a wall that was covered with what Draper recognized as lengthy trigonometry equations, scribbled in the immature hand-writing of a four year old. Draper snapped a photo. On the floor were a few open boxes of plastic molecule building models—the kind that are used by pre-med students in college organic chemistry classes. Taped to one of the walls was a life-sized color diagram of a male human body which showed every muscle, bone and blood vessel in medical school level detail. In another corner of the room, was Bobby’s little five foot long junior bed with its railroad train-motif headboard, footboard, sheets and pillows, and a teddy bear dressed in a train conductor’s uniform sitting on the bed waiting for Bobby.
As Draper walked around the room taking photos, he almost tripped on some long strings that were tightly taped to pieces of furniture, each string at a different angle from the other, with paper circles of varying sizes hanging from them. He found a ruler and protractor on Bobby’s shelf and measured the angles and relative distances between the cut-out circles and the various strings from which they were suspended. Draper photographed it.
On the credenza, Draper picked up an odd looking home-made contraption that had instructions wrapped around it that were scribbled in a child’s handwriting. “What’s this?” Draper asked Edith.
“It’s a perpetual calendar that Bobby designed. If you follow the directions, it will let you do what Bobby does in his head.”
“What exactly?”
“It lets you figure out the day of the week on which any given date, past or future, would fall. Want to see how it works?” asked Edith.
“I can’t possibly believe that it’s accurate. I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Draper tested it out ten times.
“Robert designed this? When?”
“About a year and a half ago,” Edith replied.
Draper pulled out his camera and took a picture of it.
“Is there anything else I can show you, Doctor?” asked Edith.
“What I’ve seen is quite sufficient. Thank you for your hospitality.”
Several days later, at the Psychology Department’s weekly meeting, Draper said, “This boy, Robert Austin; there’s something unusual happening here. It doesn’t seem possible. But what I’ve recounted to you is fully accurate and not exaggerated, and Doctors Lewis and Mardin participated in the testing of the child.”
Draper then projected onto a screen the photographs he had taken in the Austin house and his list of measurements on the 3-D mobile made from string. Everyone stared at the photo of the mobile.
One of the psychologists said, “This is just a play thing the kid made, nothing more than that. Arts and crafts.” A part-time assistant of Draper, a graduate student in astrophysics, kept looking at the projection screen. He started to type into his laptop as he continued to view the projected photograph. He kept typing, looking at the projection screen, and pressing “enter” on his computer emphatically.
“Doctor Draper, with all due respect, I don’t think that mobile is meaningless arts and crafts. I’ll hook my computer up to the projection screen so I can show you something.” He was able to position on one side of the screen, Bobby’ mobile and juxtaposed on the other side of the screen, a scientifically accurate 3-D extrapolation diagram of the Andromeda Constellation which he had pulled off the internet. He super-imposed one side of the screen atop the other. There was a perfect match. Bobby’s string mobile perfectly represented the Constellation down to the exact degrees of spatial relationships between its components. Silence overtook the room.
3
Draper called Dr. Herman Knoll, the Chancellor of the city’s Board of Education, a recognized authority on gifted children.
“Dr. Knoll, I’ve discovered a highly unusual young boy. I would like the Board’s assistance in verifying the findings that my department has made.”
Knoll said, “I’ve never received this kind of request from Mt. Sinai before, so am I safe in assuming that this situation is really that special?”
“You are, Chancellor. I’m confident your time will not be wasted.”
“OK then. Send me your full report and I’ll review it with my staff. Then we’ll schedule an interview with the boy and his parents, and prepare to conduct our own tests.”
Two weeks after receiving Draper’s detailed report, Knoll called Draper.
“Well Doctor, Robert Austin does seem to be exceptional. But your conclusions appear extreme. Perhaps the Board’s experience over the years has brought us into contact with more highly gifted children than your department has encountered. You know, there are more children who are gifted in mathematics and science than you may think, and photographic memories are not that rare, particularly among the gifted.”
“But Robert isn’t just a child who can do calculations in his head and has a photographic memory. He has theoretical problem solving and mathematical reasoning abilities that are extraordinary, with very high powers of abstraction, conceptualization and synthesis. With all due respect, Doctor, in twenty-five years of being exposed to gifted children, I’ve never met anyone who comes even close to this boy. I’m aware of the differences —and I believe we’re talking here, not about ‘highly’ or ‘exceptionally’ gifted. I believe Robert fits into the category of ‘profound intelligence’ and we know how rare that is Doctor.”
“Coordinate with the parents and my secretary, and make an appointment. We’ll get to the bottom of it and see just how profound this boy really is.”
Dr. Draper didn’t have an easy time with Peter and Edith in getting them to agree to have Bobby tested by Knoll’s experts. But he did prevail, and after Knoll’s tests confirmed Draper’s conclusions, Draper had an even harder time when Knoll brought the Austin case to the attention of Raymond Massey, the dean of the State Board of Regents examiners. Massey wanted his experts to also examine Bobby. Exasperated, Peter told Draper, “Look Doctor. How many people have to test Bobby to confirm what Edith and I have known since he was five months old? My son is highly unusual. That’s obvious. He’s been tested enough. And we still haven’t gotten any answers to the questions we’re concerned about. His nightmares persist and so do his withdrawals. Does anybody care about that? Is anybody testing anything to fix that?”
“Mr. Austin, please. I understand your frustration. But you are asking us to help you with a boy that we are trying to truly understand. Hasn’t it occurred to you that his intelligence and these problems you are concerned about are products of each other—are interconnected in some way? The more we learn about Robert, the more likely we’ll be able to help him.”
Edith piped in, “You know, he’s not a guinea pig or a circus oddity. He’s our son and deserves to be helped.”
Draper nodded. “But we’re not hurting Robert. In fact, I think he somewhat enjoys these tests and interviews. He thinks they’re games. He’s entertained by them. The last thing he said to Dr. Knoll was, ‘So when are you guys going to give me some tough questions?’”
Edith and Peter relented and the experts of the State Regents Board subjected Bobby to six different intelligence tests including those designed for the most rarified levels. Their conclusions were the same as Draper and Knoll. Dean Massey summed it up in his report when he wrote, “The boy’s intelligence defies accurate measurement by any current means of testing. We can only determine Robert Austin’s minimum intelligence—we have no way of measuring its upper reaches—his real intelligence—because he quickly ‘ceilings-out’ on all of our test scales.”
Dean Massey knew what he had to do. In his thirty year career in education, he never had to even consider compliance with Intergovernmental Protocol 329. But it was obvious to him that he had to now. So Massey reported Robert James Austin to the OSSIS (the Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services), a security agency of the Federal government. The discovery of profound intelligence is considered to be a matter of national security because such people are regarded as rare natural resources.
The director of the OSSIS, Orin Varneys, received from Massey, not only his report with copies of all the testing materials and results, but also the materials of Knoll and Draper. Director Varneys had more experience in these matters than any local or state authority, and he was quick to dismiss hyperbole. Intrinsically skeptical, Varneys was fond of saying, “Genius is a relative term and it’s used too loosely. Every educator and psychologist wants to discover the next Einstein, but we’re still waiting, aren’t we.”
4
The Austin family was enjoying one of their favorite weekend indulgences, a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob and coleslaw, when the phone rang. Edith picked it up.
A woman’s voice said, “Is Mr. or Mrs. Austin there, please?”
Edith answered, “Yes, this is Mrs. Austin.”
“Hold on for Director Varneys.”
“Who?”
“Hello Mrs. Austin. Is your husband home?”
“Who is this? Is this a crank call?” replied Edith.
Peter motioned to Edith and took hold of the phone. “Who is this?” he asked with annoyance.
“This is Director Varneys of the OSSIS.”
“We’re not interested in buying anything, and you shouldn’t disturb people on their weekends. I thought that became illegal.”
“Wait—don’t hang up. I’m not selling anything.” Peter slammed the phone into its cradle, and then a few seconds later picked it up and left it lying on its side so it would ring busy.
On Monday morning, an envelope was delivered to the Austin’s house by Fed Ex. No sender was indicated. Edith opened it. It was a letter on engraved stationary with the initials OSSIS at the top and a Washington, D.C. address.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Austin:
I am sorry we were unable to speak when I telephoned you on Saturday. I can understand that my call was unexpected. I am the director of a U.S. government agency called the Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services. We are, among other things, in charge of monitoring unusual intelligence assets. We have been advised by Drs. Draper, Knoll and Massey that your son, Robert James, may possibly be of importance to this office.
I can assure you that it is in your son’s best interests that you kindly cooperate with us.
Please call me when you receive this letter.

Very truly yours,
Orin Varneys
Edith did something she virtually never did because Peter didn’t like it. She called him at work. Edith’s voice was shaky as she read Peter the letter and he was annoyed that someone had upset her. Telling her to calm down, he asked her for Varneys’ phone number, which was printed on the letter, and said he’d call him during his lunch break.
When Varneys got on the phone, Peter said, “Mr. Varneys, we received your letter. I’m sorry I hung up on you the other day, but we get a lot of phone solicitations and you certainly sounded like one. What’s your letter all about?”
“Mr. Austin. Let me ask you a question. What’s the most valuable asset that the United States has?”
Peter replied, “A lot of things.”
“No. One thing is the most valuable. Human talent. Superior human talent and intelligence. From this, stems everything—economic dominance, military security, our entire way of life.”
Peter responded, “Well, we’re not the only country with smart people.”
“Exactly my point, Mr. Austin. Many of our competitors have extremely intelligent people. So all we can do is to try to keep ahead. That’s why my agency exists. To identify extraordinary human intelligence. And to nurture and protect it. And that’s why we’re interested in your son.”
“What do you want from us?”
“All we want is to fly you, Mrs. Austin and Robert to Rochester, Minnesota for a few days. All at taxpayer expense, of course. We’ll put you up in the best hotel, deluxe rental car, fine restaurants, everything. It will be a nice respite for you and the family.”
“Why Rochester, Minnesota?”
“That’s where the Mayo Clinic is located. We want Robert to spend some time with a doctor who does work for us there. Dr. John Uhlman. He’s chief of Psycho-Neurological Development at Mayo.”
“More tests on Bobby?”
“I assure you that these will be the last. Uhlman is the biggest expert in the U.S. —-probably in the world.”
“And what happens after that, Mr. Varneys?”
“Well, let’s just take one step at a time Mr. Austin.”
“Is ‘no’ a viable answer here?”
The silence lasted long enough for Peter to think the line had gone dead. Finally, he heard Varneys say, “It really is in your family’s best interests to work with me on this, Mr. Austin.”



Author Bio:

William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years. He has represented numerous recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses. At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group).
William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University. He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.
William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times--when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero--and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man.

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My Thoughts:

Wow, is all that can come out my mouth. I was speechless after finishing this wonderful book. I wasn't disappointed in anything the book had to offer nor the author. The climax had me star struck. There was never a dull moment where I found that it was in captivating. The cover was gorgeously put together, it look great on my bookshelf. If you think thrillers are boring think again. This one will have your full captivation and you will be craving more than the author can give you at once. Leibowitz did a fantastic, fantastic, fantastic, job on this book and deserves every bit of recognition possible. I'm not going to lie, I was s bit frightened at times because I didn't really want to much surprises that I couldn't handle the pressure. But in all I can say that if you haven't explored the genre of thriller, this would be a great book to get you started. 

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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for William Leibowitz. There will be ONE U.S. winners of a physical book copy ofMiracle Man by William Leibowitz. The giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway begins on April 1st, 2015 and runs through May 2nd, 2015.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: The Logic Bomb by Scott Richard Lord




Title: The Logic Bomb
Author: Scott Richard Lord
Publisher: The Logic Bomb
Pages: 264
Genre: Thriller
Format: Hardcover/Paperback/Kindle



Fiction collides with fact with frightening prescience in Scott Lord's ripped-from-the-headlines techno-thriller, THE LOGIC BOMB. In his exciting debut as a novelist, Lord, a practicing lawyer, mixes shady financial deals, organized crime, and the real-life threat of cyber warfare into an unlikely but always entertaining blend of high drama and comedy. Scott Turow, author of the bestselling legal thriller PRESUMED INNOCENT, hails Lord as "a terrific writer. Read THE LOGIC BOMB." Kirkus Reviews praises THE LOGIC BOMB as "rife with tense scenes dominated by gleefully unpredictable characters."


My Thoughts 


The Logic Bomb surprised me just as how the title expressed it to be. I didn't think I would enjoy the book so much and I didn't have my expectations fully raised. Starting the book off it did have some weak points where the story wasn't going much places but as time progressed and I starting paying close attention and connecting with the plot, how couldn't I not tell my book club member's the goodness I read. The characters added a great feel to the story. Theses were one of the livest characters I have read in a while and it made the book more fun to adapt to. This thriller gave me nightmares of excitement and enthusiasm. I know it would do the same for you.


The Author 

Scott R. Lord has been a highly successful criminal and civil trial lawyer for 35 years and is active in the practice of law with the law firm of Cohen & Lord, a P.C., located in the Century City area of Los Angeles. Scott is a devoted student of Italian language and literature. He is the father and step-father of six children and lives with his wife and children in Santa Monica, California.