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PhyllisLight

Book Professor

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Colorado Mandala by Brian Heffron

Colorado Mandala - Brian Heffron
What are some of the book's themes? Love, friendship, betrayal, war and layers of lies. They all played a important role in the story. After reading this story more than once, I find the time period a bit curious. PTSD is something that was recently recognised so why set a story so far back to the point of it being unknown? It’s a fantastic story and the writing is refreshing but the time period really bothered me. 

Did the book end the way you expected? No one in the book club saw the ending coming. It was a surprise. Some readers may find that the ending leaves you with a heavy heart and emotionally unsettled but when Michael has to deal with so much on his mind, I don’t think consolation comes easy. 

What I liked about the whole book – It was a fast read, adventurous and believable. The characters were likable and the triangle they were in was plausible. At first, it's easy to become angry with Michael and you start to misunderstand Paul who seems to good to be true but as Paul challenges Michael’s emotions and the truth comes out, the reader becomes part of their lives. 

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
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Tainted Waters

Tainted Waters - Maggie Thom What did you think was the most interesting part of the book? When Sam found out her dad was murdered too. Each chapter had a new secret for the reader. I think this is what really kept me going.

What did you enjoy most about the book? The journey to seek justice was able to keep my interest from start to finish and although the plot reminded me of the movie, Edge of Darkness which was directed by Martin Campbell.

What have you read that is similar to this book? Dan Brown's books. His books and Maggie Thom's have a strange sinister mystery running in the background and the main characters seem to be in a race against time to solver the mystery and murders.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Dear Adam

Dear Adam - Ava Zavora Did the plot pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? Some chapters pulled me in but some chapters when both characters lost themselves in each other and the author forgot about the reader, it was as if you were forcing yourself to read someone else's letters.

Did the actions of the characters seem plausible? I felt Eden was immature. I can't put my finger on it but something about the way she spoke and responded although plausible did not reflect her age and I know more than book club member felt this way.

Did you feel you were experiencing the time and place in which the book was set? Other than obvious references to social media and blogging, the timeline was not significant for this reader so while I was drawn into the relationship of the main characters, the time and place were not obvious to me.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab

The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab - Fiona Ingram What were the main themes of the book? Adventure and coming of age. Justin and Adam follow their Aunt Isabel on a trip to Europe. When one of them discovers what he thinks is a meaningless piece of paper, their world becomes topsy turvy and they soon find themselves deep in a mystery they know nothing about.

Are the characters well-developed? Every single one. From the evil Dr.Khalid to the boys, their grandmother and aunt, readers are able to discover each character at length and you do not have unanswered questions about their backgrounds or behaviours.

Did you like the writing style? Very much. If you have grown up with Enid Blyton, the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, you will definitely like this book. Fiona Ingram's overall tone is original and works well with the story.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Zeb and the Great Ruckus - Joshua Donellan Did the plot pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? Every bit of this book was interesting and it never felt like I was forcing myself to read it. If the author is able to have public readings at schools or even share public readings online it would be such a thrill for children to discover his work.

How realistic was the characterization? The characterization is realistic. It is also fun and entertaining. Zeb and Flip are such fun to be with, the reader almost forgets the challenge they face. Their expressions, situation and thought process is credible, orignal and adventurous.

Is the POV consistent? Thankfully, yes. This book has been well-edited and is a joy to read. The POV stays consistent throughout and the reader doesn't lose focus of Zeb and Flip on their adventure. Looking forward to reading more books by the author.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Unloched

Unloched - Candice Lemon-Scott Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? Neither. It was when the twins were stripping the boat house that the story got really interesting for me. The actual fact about why they were separated and what kept them apart. In some ways, this story was a lot like Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind the settings overpowering the scene. In no way was this a bad thing but to readers who like a clear separation between backdrop and characters then this is not the book for you.

Did the book description relate to the story? Loved it. It was clear, to the point and made me want to pick up the book to discover what it was that separated the twins. The title was especially imaginative and gave whole new meaning to the story.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend - Cheryl Carpinello How did the main character change during the novel? Guinevere is enjoying life and then she learns that she is engaged to be married at 13 and she runs away. She couldn't bear the thought of being married to anyone at age and was initially angry with King Arthur. As she sees the situation someone else's perspective, she definitely grows up.

What was the book's central question, and how was it answered? Most importantly this book was focused on lessons that Guinevere learns. She also learns not to judge. I also think the book is about freedom.

Did you learn something new from the book? Yes. I have always liked Arthur and Merlin so this was an interesting angle as to how this author interprets and shares the legend. I also loved her additional discussion questions and ideas at the end of the book. Came in very handy for us at the book club.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

The Way Home

The Way Home - Nhys Glover Formatting / Appearance - I received a review copy and there were no issues for me. I did think there were one too many exclaimation marks in the story but to each his own and other readers may not agree with me.

Content (overall theme, idea and setting) - The story was emotional, sexy and touching. It was easy to imagine myself as one of the characters I would have preferred if there weren't as many sex scenes because I don't think so many made the story meaningful in any way but these weren't such a big deal that you lost sight of what was actually happening to Cassie and Hawk.

What I liked - The characters were believable. The ghostly appearance is strange but the author weaves this in from page to page in an engaging manner. This is a book I will definitely read again and recommend to others.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

After Death

After Death... - Bentley Little, Steve Cameron, William Meikle, James S. Dorr, Steve Rasnic Tem, Simon Clark, Joe McKinney, John Langan, Lisa Morton, Christine Morgan, John M. Floyd, Josh Rountree, Robert B. Marcus Jr., Jonathan Shipley, Brad C. Hodson, David Tallerman, John Palisano, Jac How does the pacing of the story feel? When we first received the book, some of us at the book club were expecting for the some of the stories to be slow or uninteresting. We were wrong. Every story is able to captivate the reader even if it doesn't change his or her perception about death.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? If you are intimidated by death do not be afraid to read this book. The stories and illustrations are presented in a an open-minded manner where most readers will be able to arrive at their own conclusions. I think this is why I liked the book most and why I would also recommend it to my other book club members.

Did the book description relate to the story? The book description was accurate and even provides a full list of the stories that are available.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

In A Small Town

In a Small Town - Marc A. DiGiacomo What was the author's purpose or purposes in writing this book? On the one hand, I think he wanted to show readers the ins and outs of an investigation especially one in a small town. On the other hand, I think the author wanted to stress the fact that police officers receive very little credit for what they do.

If your book was a mystery, tell what the mystery was and how it was solved. The mystery was who fired the shot that wounded Matt Longo. The quest for this mystery shooter takes readers back to discover more about Matt Longo's past and they are actually able to his pain at opening up.

What would you change in the book? There were numerous editing errors and although these do not distract you from the overall story, the formatting was a little difficult to adjust to and the changes between first and third person were not easy to keep up with.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie: A Novel of the Civil War

A Beautiful, Glittering Lie - J.D.R. Hawkins Which secondary character resonated most with you and why? Difficult to pick only one but if I must, then it would be David. He had adulthood thrust upon him and I really did feel sorry for him. He wants to do so much more and is yet restricted by his age which also means he tends to end up in more trouble than his mother would like.

How do you define the central theme in this story. Coming of age. Of course the central theme is war. But how this war then causes the people involved to mature faster than they wanted to, this is the best part of the story.

What did you think of the ending? It was predictable, most parts of the story were and I think this is the only thing that prevented me from giving the book a full 5 star review. Overall, I enjoyed this book and will read other books by the same author.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Five Times More Jesus: Why Christians Should Decanonize the Old Testament

Five Times More Jesus: Why Christians Should Decanonize the Old Testament - Jim Adam What is the central idea discussed in the book? The book makes a feeble attempt at arguing that the Old Testament chapters in the bible are not necessary. The author deconstructs each chapter but only highlights the negative points so readers think that this is all the Old Testament is about.

Do the issues affect your life? I am a practicing Christian so yes, the content of this book affects my life. I was expecting an objective argument but a lot of his thoughts are centered on the negative and comes across as confusing because he himself appears uncertain about what he is writing about.

What evidence does the author use to support the book's ideas? He shares his conversations with other people and their thoughts on the Old Testament. While I can respect the intent for which this book was written with, I cannot respect it's presentations. For a new believer or an old one, this book reflects the writings of someone who is confused about Christianity.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Cleanse Fire - Anastasia V. Pergakis Did the plot pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? The book club members had conflicting thoughts about this. Most chapters were easy to read and pulled the reader in. But some chapters seemed to drag more than others and it didn't seem like there was any point.

How realistic was the characterization? The fight scenes were realistic but other actions seemed over the top and not how people would react in similar circumstances. For instance, the female team members concentrated so much on physical appearance. If you are defending your country, how you look may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Did you feel you were experiencing the time and place in which the book was set? Yes, I loved the setting and how the writer explains each surrounding. It truly made me feel like I was there and I look forward to reading the next book in the series as long as it explains sections that needed answering from this book.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Night Chill

Night Chill - Jeff Gunhus Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? The introduction sucked me in and then I didn't stop. Many of us the book club had problems putting down this book for the simple reason we simply had to know where and how it all ended.

Favorite quote …"You can't fight a rock. You're not going to win. This stuff is all technique." This quote isn't only intended for that particular instance and reflects Jack Tremont's entire situation in the story.

How does the setting figure into the book? You know the series on "Haunted" where each episode features a real life family who moves in to a home only to be terrorized by demons and bizarre elements they will never see again. That's what Prescott City is. When the Tremont family moves to this city, their lives change more than they expect although whether it breaks them or brings them closer will only be discovered in the end.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Halo of the Nephilim - Dina Rae What was the most revealing scene to you? When Juliet and Catalina are torturing Armaros. I was expecting the torture but I wasn't expecting it to be written in such a fluid manner. Any other time, I would have been disgusted with such a scene but the author's words carry you through the scene with a little sympathy, hate and anger.

What was your favourite quote? "I'm a freak. I'm not counting on God for anything." Most of the dialogue is to the point and that is one of the things I liked about this novel. Readers are not distracted from the overall plot and story with twisted dialogue.

What did you think of the ending? Astounding. At the end of the day, the novel focuses on each of us having a sense of belonging. Even if we feel tortured in our present circumstances, we stay because we belong. When we do not belong, we have no meaning. The ending highlights this in a way, I will remember for a long time. Really good book.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Inceptio (Roma Nova)

Inceptio (Roma Nova) - Alison Morton How did the main character change during the novel? Based in New York City, Karen starts experiencing some strange things in present day. While she and the reader are quick to dismiss these as figments of her imagination, someone tries to kidnap her. Reeling from the fright, she escapes to Roma Nova where her journey of self-discovery becomes more complicated. Karen goes from fearful to heroine. Loved the character development for her.

What was the book's central question, and how was it answered? For me, the central question was the kidnap attempt on Karen. When the person tracks her to Roma Nova, you know this is connected to her past. Or is it? Or is Roma Nova actually part of the future? The setting itself was the cause of many discussions at the book club, and I guarantee you will not put down this book until you're done with every word of it.

Did you learn something new from the book? Yes. It was a pleasure to discover more about the "alternate history" genre. Some of us at the book club have read books like this but nothing so interesting and nothing so well-written. The author captivates you with her wittty writing style and presents a heroine caught between her own past and an uncertain future.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.