Category Archives: Reviews

#BookReview: “A Lucky Day” by Carlos J. Server

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  • Genre: Comedy, Contemporary Fiction
  • Publication date: February 7, 2017
  • Book length: 226 pages
  • Book format: Paperback 6” x 9” / ebook format
  • Available at Amazon

Synopsis: “The largest prize ever awarded by the EuroMillions lottery has been won by a lucky someone from a small village on the French Riviera. What starts out as the happiest day in history for the local inhabitants soon turns into a race against the clock to find the lucky winner and cash in the lottery ticket. A priest with verbal incontinence, a sweet little old lady with secret sexual fantasies about the local butcher, a village mayor who’s held power for thirty years, and a mailman in love with the wife of a villainous baker are just a few of the quirky characters who will make you laugh and occasionally bring a tear to your eye as you enjoy everyday situations taken to extremes. A Lucky Day is a heartwarming comedy peopled by a highly entertaining cast of characters.”

 

 

Review: “I reviewed the English version, translated from it’s original Spanish, and one hopes the original author’s meanings were shared in every way, which can be a concern with such works. And exactly why a good translator is always prized, and deservedly can receive notice and awards of their own. So cheers, to Annie Crawford for that. For me, the main concern I had with accepting this title review was that humor can be very subjective. What one finds funny, another may not, but I was pleased to find amusing situations and great ‘one-liners’ throughout that could be universally appreciated, for the most part. A good storyteller helps you see the humor even in small gestures, looks and events, even in writing. Server was highly successful in this way.

The variety of characters presented, from a baker’s housewife with a passionate decorative affair with garden gnomes, to Sergeant Chardin, at five foot five and 265lbs, each is unforgettable. Some of the things I liked best about A Lucky Day was the balance between descriptive scenes: landscape, personal appearance, mannerisms, and the conversational dialogues. While effusive details may become tedious in a novel length work, the author never reached that point. They were relevant and very visual, helping anchor readers in the region, which most of us may have never visited nor will. There wasn’t too much dialogue nor too little. Pacing was also good, as readers already knew what the prize was from the book’s synopsis, but how it all came to pass and who eventually received the reward?

I found A Lucky Day to be a lightly comical, tightly written tale that flowed easily, where I literally laughed out loud at times and which was never overly complicated in style or presentation. It was a fun journey, which almost anyone might enjoy. I definitely recommend it, especially if seeking a fun, fast moving read as escapism from the daily issues so many people face today. ”

 

BIOGRAPHY

Carlos J. Server (Valencia, Spain, 1975) first became a household name in 2014 with his debut novel, Un día con suerte, a finalist in the First Annual Indie Literary Prize Contest cosponsored by Amazon, the prestigious Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and publisher Esfera de los Libros. Contest judges considered more than seven hundred works by authors from thirty-two countries. Un día con suerte became an overnight Internet phenomenon, quickly rising in the charts to become the No. 1 bestselling eBook in Spanish on Amazon in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, France, Holland, and Italy. It has maintained its ranking in Europe as the top-selling comic novel in eBook form available in Spanish on Amazon throughout 2015 and 2016.

In 2015 Carlos Server published his second novel, Un bautizo singular, a romantic comedy of intrigue peopled by a cast of zany characters. The author is currently at work on his third novel, scheduled for publication at the end of 2016.

The global launch of A Lucky Day, the English version of Mr. Server’s first novel, will take place in February 2017, making the novel available to English-speaking readers everywhere. This will be followed in June of the same year by the publication of A Singular Baptism, the English version of his second novel.

In his fast-paced, suspenseful, highly entertaining novels, Carlos Server invites us to enjoy tales reminiscent of Billy Wilder and Woody Allen, two artists much admired by the author.

Contact: Website, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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Upcoming #Documentary on #NativeAmerican #Stereotypes & Life in Germany

Flying With Red Haircrow Productions

slogansmallForget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany is an upcoming documentary film by Timo Kiesel (glokal e.V.) and Red Haircrow. It is currently in production, and will combine live-action scenes, interviews and news clips with graphics and short animated sequences. Here’s a short teaser, with official trailer coming in December. Tagline: “Reeducating the Resistant”.

About the Directors/Producers:

Growing up in Germany, Timo’s world view as a kid was highly influenced by his reading of more than 60 Karl May volumes. Timo was fascinated by and liked to dress up as native. Questions of stereotyping and cultural appropriation are still viral to him today, and not only because his own kids are confronted with racist imaginary of natives in kindergarten, media and the German public. Today, Timo holds an MA in Postcolonial Studies (Goldsmith’s College, London) and works as a trainer and consultant in the context of anti-racism and…

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The Shadow of the Knife by Jane Fletcher

Red Haircrow Review

Review: Although I’d read books by Jane Fletcher before, I initially had difficulty getting into this novel. Granted, it was the fifth book released in the Celaeno series but it actually takes place earlier in the timeline, so it’s a “prequel” of sorts. I usually don’t have a problem accepting new ideas, scenes and storylines, and didn’t with “Shadow of the Knife”. In fact, I actually like being “dropped” into a new world and have to figure things out as I go. Don’t be put-off by the series numbers however, for each are stated as being capable of “standing alone.”

One thing I really appreciate about Jane Fletcher’s writing is the level of professionalism and attention to detail which keeps the plot focused. No random scenes or occurrences are simply inserted for effect, nor are emotions too extreme to accept. Sometimes there are aspects of the characters I might find…

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#BookReview “The Hero of Lost Causes” by Phillip Frey

slowthepace450 From the  Slow the Pace anthology: “The Hero of Lost Causes”  is about “Robert Emmet was born in Ireland in 1778. Upon his twenty-third year he became angry over British rule. It then took him two years to recruit an army of farmers, shepherds and friends. When the moment of rebellion finally came, there was a miscue and a lot of confusion. As a result, the British captured Robert Emmet and executed him in 1803. Robert Emmet quickly became a romantic figure to the Irish people; to this day referred to as “The Hero of Lost Causes.”

Review:

A historical fiction by description, this short tale is actually set at a modern seaside, of a father claiming connection to the failed yet still heroic rebel. Having bought a forty-footer upon retirement as a fireman, Kevin Michael Emett (2 T’s) feels his own time has passed, but maybe his adult son Robert, who helps him out on the boat, might somehow make good on the claim…and a sudden event may just provide achievement of ancestral vindication. Add in a beautiful green-eyed young woman named Eileen and a few gentle comedic twists, and you have “The Hero of Lost Causes”, a pleasant, easy story, the last but not least in this anthology.

About the author:
Phillip Frey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. He later moved to New York, where he performed with Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. This was followed by performing for one season as a member of The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center.
With a change of interest Phillip wrote, directed and edited three short films, all of which had international showings, including the New York Film Festival. With yet another change of interest, Phillip moved to Los Angeles where he became a produced screenwriter. Now more recently, he has turned to prose with the books “Dangerous Times” and “Hym and Hur.” To see more about these books, please visit http://www.phillipfrey.com. “The Hero of Lost Causes” is Phillip Frey’s first publication of a short story. He wholeheartedly
thanks Scribes Valley for this distinction.

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Filed under Anthologies, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Reviews, Short Story Collections

#Free on #Kindle June 6-11th: “Luna Tree-The Baby Project” by Maya Berger

28324026Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10, free download for your Kindle!

  • Genres: Memoir, Self-help, Non-fiction
  • Published: Dec. 16, 2015

“Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingered. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship?

Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance.

She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn’t let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything.
Her ultimate desires come true.”

 

About the Author

“I am a 41-year-old woman from Croatia (You know, a small country on the Adriatic in which big productions houses come to shoot Game of Thrones and Star Wars scenes, the home of Nikola Tesla’s roots, and so on). I was born in Zagreb where I live, but studied in Dubrovnik and life was rosy until something stopped me – Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I battled chronic pain for years, and was misdiagnosed for quite some time, so when AS was finally defined, I felt relief. I also found a way to get rid of chronic pain following some alternative medicine options.

But, not to bore you, I wrote a book about it, it’s all in there 😉

As I personally dislike depressing books, I did everything to avoid writing one… regardless of a somewhat heavier topic. Most of the people who read it say it’s an uplifting read. I call it a humorous guide to recovery and healing.

I’m open to all new friendships that come my way… the more, the merrier ;)”

Maya Berger

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