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Book Review – Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro

May 12, 2014 1 comment

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro

Book Description:

The dead rise…

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news—it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…

A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. Bur he never expected that his anonymous blog would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…

Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called “Safe Havens” are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, a lone survivor will give mankind one last chance against…

Apocalypse Z

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I was in the mood for another take on the Zombie Apocalypse, so I picked up Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro (a Spanish practicing lawyer & author based in Pontevedra, Spain). With an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon (and 1,083 5 star reviews!), I figured this should be a good buy.

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End unfortunately didn’t quite live up (to me) to the promise of its 4.2 stars, but if you like Zombie stories, it’s still an okay (if redundant) read. My main problem with the book was that it didn’t really offer anything new to the genre – the author was pretty faithful in his characterization of the zombies, and the plot is the usual survival story covered many times before (by better authors). The setting of the story at the author’s native Spain did keep it  bit more interesting for me in the beginning, same with the origin of the Zombie plague beginning somewhere in Dagestan. Book-Putin’s response was also classic – I think Putin’s government would react the same way :)

The main character in the book is a yuppie lawyer who initially starts blogging as a way of dealing with his grief after the death of his wife, and ended up chronicling his harrowing experiences in a personal journal during the Zombie apocalypse. I thought that the blogging style worked well in the beginning, when the lawyer was slowly waking up to the real threat while trying to go about his ordinary life (going to work, shopping, etc). I was still okay when it got switched to writing a journal (the internet dies during the apocalypse, y’all) – after all, the guy was stuck alone in his home surrounded by zombies. Plenty of time to write one’s thoughts down on paper.

But I did have to suspend disbelief that the lawyer supposedly continued writing in the journal so faithfully (reporting EVERYTHING that happened to him almost daily), even after he went on the run (and spoiler alert! got captured). I mean, it’s kind of hard to think of myself taking a break every now and then from the Zombie mayhem to write down all my previous 24-hour experiences. It really got silly around the last third of the book for me – oh, hey, a horde of zombies have killed a bunch of us! I might die next! but hey, I’ll write down first about what happened in detail starting from this morning…

Personally, if the author was really dead set on the journal aspect, I thought the character should’ve just remained stuck in his home, while he fought going cabin-fever crazy while trying to figure out a way to survive the Zombies. Less travelling / adventuring / gathering companions (including a possible love-interest character whose age – 16/17? – gave me the creeps), and more going into the psychology of survival of a lone wolf-type character maybe.

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro, translated by Pamela Carmell (AmazonCrossing) is available on Amazon.

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‘5 Questions’ Interview With A.W. Hartoin! @AWHartoin

March 1, 2014 Leave a comment

5 Questions

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author A.W. Hartoin to the blog as part of the ‘5 Questions’ with authors interview series!

If you are an author who would like to participate in the series, fill out the questionnaire here! And if you are a reader who wants to suggest an author for the series, just send me an email!


It Started with a Whisper by A.W. Hartoin

Describe your novel It Started with a Whisper in ten words or less

It Started with a Whisper is a tale of revenge gone magically wrong.

Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?

My son had a teacher who couldn’t stand him and the story came from his desire to teach that teacher a lesson.

It didn’t happen in real life, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in fiction.

Which of your characters (in this book) is closest to your heart and why?

Puppy MacClarity is my favorite character because he’s a really good kid who finds himself doing some pretty bad things.

If you weren’t a full-time author, what other career would you be in and why?

Writing is my day job these days, but before, I was a Sensor Technician in US Air Force. That experience had a huge influence on my writing. I worked almost exclusively with men. Once they got used to me, I got to be part of the club and hear things women aren’t usually privileged to hear. All the male characters in It Started with a Whisper came out the way they did because of those conversations.

Tell us about another book or project you’re excited about

I’m excited about Book two in the Away From Whipplethorn series, Fierce Creatures. It’s a fairy adventure like no other.

Bonus Question! Fill in the blank: If you like ___, you’ll probably like my book too!


A.W. Hartoin

Thanks again for stopping by, A.W. Hartoin! You can learn more about the author via her official website: awhartoin.com, and connect via Twitter: @AWHartoin and Facebook.

 It Started with a Whisper is available on Amazon (Kindle).

Check out A.W. Hartoin’s Amazon author page for more info!

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The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Narrated by Joe Barrett) for $5.95! @BlackstoneAudio #Audible

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Narrated by Joe Barrett)

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Narrated by Joe Barrett) is Audible.Com’s Daily Deal, and is available today for just $5.95 (Regular Price:$$31.47)! Enjoy!

Product Description:

Tom Wolfe’s best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress – until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace.

A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City. Suddenly, Sherman finds himself embroiled in the most brutal, high-profile case of the year, as prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers rush in to further their own political and social agendas. With so many egos at stake, the last priority on anyone’s mind is truth or justice in this bitingly hilarious American satire.

©1987 Tom Wolfe; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Categories: Audiobook, Deals Tags: ,

The White Mountains (The Tripods) by John Christopher for $1.99! @simonschuster #Kindle Kids Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

FYI, be sure to also check out the new promo: Kindle Countdown Deals: Limited time discounts on Kindle-exclusive books!

I like this new promo by Amazon! We get a special Kindle Kids Daily Deal! And the new deal is…

The White Mountains (The Tripods) by John Christopher

The White Mountains (The Tripods)‘ by John Christopher (Aladdin/Simon and Schuster) is now available at the specially discounted price of $1.99 on the US Kindle site. Also on Amazon CA.

Add narration for a reduced price of $3.49 after you buy the Kindle book.

Book Description

 9 – 13  4 – 8

Monstrous machines rule the Earth, but a few humans are fighting for freedom in this repackaged start to a classic alien trilogy ideal for fans of Rick Yancey’sThe 5th Wave.

Will Parker never dreamed he would be the one to rebel against the Tripods. With the approach of his thirteenth birthday, he expected to attend his Capping ceremony as planned and to become connected to the Tripods—huge three-legged machines—that now control all of Earth. But after an encounter with a strange homeless man called Beanpole, Will sets out for the White Mountains, where people are said to be free from the control of the Tripods.

But even with the help of Beanpole and his friends, the journey is long and hard. And with the Tripods hunting for anyone who tries to break free, Will must reach the White Mountains fast. But the longer he’s away from his home, the more the Tripods look for him…and no one can hide from the monstrous machines forever.

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Leadership Transformed by Peter Fuda @PeterFuda for $1.99! #Kindle Business & Money Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I like this new promo by Amazon! We get a special Kindle Business & Money Daily Deal! And the new deal is…

Leadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary Leaders by Peter Fuda

Leadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary Leaders‘ by Peter Fuda (Amazon) is available at the specially discounted price of $1.99 on the US Kindle site. Also on Amazon CA.

FYI, Borrow this book for free on a Kindle device with Amazon Prime.

Add narration for a reduced price of $0.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Book Description

How does a good manager become a great leader? Ask around in business circles and you’ll get a thousand different answers. But now, internationally renowned leadership expert Dr. Peter Fuda has created a single, coherent roadmap for leadership effectiveness in Leadership Transformed.

After more than a decade’s research and practice, Dr. Fuda shares the seven common themes that have enabled hundreds of CEOs around the world to transform themselves into highly effective leaders, and transform the performance of their organizations as well. Through his work, Dr. Fuda discovered that the best way to elicit deep and broad discussion of the seven leadership themes—and to describe the CEOs’ mastery of what they had learned—was through metaphor.

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10 classic Batman graphic novels from DC Comics @DCComics for $2.99 Each! #Kindle Sci-Fi / Fantasy Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I like this new promo by Amazon! We get a special Kindle Sci-Fi / Fantasy Daily Deal! And the new deal is…

10 classic Batman graphic novels from DC Comics

10 classic Batman graphic novels (DC Comics) are available at the specially discounted price of $0.99 each on the US Kindle site.

Here’s the link on Amazon CA for the Deals of the Day!

** Also on Barnes & Noble Nookbooks!

Book Description

Today only, 10 classic Batman graphic novels from DC Comics are $2.99 each.

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Sleeping with Paris by Juliette Sobanet @JulietteSobanet for $1.99! #Kindle Romance Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

FYI, be sure to also check out the new promo: Kindle Countdown Deals: Limited time discounts on Kindle-exclusive books!

I like this new promo by Amazon! We get a special Kindle Romance Daily Deal! And the new deal is…

Sleeping with Paris (A Paris Romance) by Juliette Sobanet

Sleeping with Paris (Montlake Romance)‘ by Juliette Sobanet (Montlake Romance) is now available at the specially discounted price of $1.99 on the US Kindle site. Also on Amazon CA.

Add narration for a reduced price of $0.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Book Description

Date like a man in the City of Light and Love…

Charlotte Summers is a sassy, young French teacher two days away from moving to Paris. Love of her life by her side, for those romantic kisses walking along the Seine? Check. Dream of studying at the prestigious Sorbonne University? Admission granted. But when she discovers her fiancé’s online dating profile and has a little chat with the busty red-head he’s been sleeping with on the side, she gives up on committed relationships and decides to navigate Paris on her own. Flings with no strings in the City of Light—mais oui!

Determined to stop other women from finding themselves in her shoes, Charlotte creates an anonymous blog on how to date like a man in the City of Love—that is, how to jump from bed to bed without ever falling in love. But, with a slew of Parisian men beating down her door, a hot new neighbor who feeds her chocolate in bed, and an appearance by her ex-fiancé, she isn’t so sure she can keep her promise to remain commitment-free. When Charlotte agrees to write an article for a popular women’s magazine about her Parisian dating adventures—or disasters, rather—will she risk losing the one man who’s swept her off her feet and her dream job in one fell swoop?

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The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman @alysonrichman for $2.99! @penguinusa #Kindle Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

FYI, be sure to also check out the new promo: Kindle Countdown Deals: Limited time discounts on Kindle-exclusive books!

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman (Berkley) is available today at the specially discounted price of $2.99 for US Kindle. Also on Amazon CA.

Add narration for a reduced price of $3.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Book Description

A rapturous novel of first love in a time of war-from the celebrated author of The Rhythm of Memory and The Last Van Gogh

In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there’s an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers…

Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.

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Categories: Deals Tags: , ,

The Godfather of British Crime by Freddie Foreman for £0.99! @jblakebooks #AmazonUK #Kindle Daily Deal!

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

FYI, be sure to also check out the new promo: Kindle Countdown Deals: Limited time discounts on Kindle-exclusive books!

Hey, Amazon UK Kindlers, you get your own special Kindle Daily Deal too!

Each day we will unveil one book in the Kindle Daily Deal at a specially discounted price–for that day only. Deals go live at midnight and ends 23:59 the same day.

And the new deal is…

Freddie Foreman - The Godfather of British Crime by Freddie Foreman

Freddie Foreman – The Godfather of British Crime‘ by Freddie Foreman (John Blake) is available today at the specially discounted price of £0.99 on the UK Kindle site. The US Kindle edition is priced at $3.99 (John Blake).

Book Description

To Britain’s criminal underworld, Freddie Foreman is the Godfather. Held responsible for the gangland killings of Ginger Marks and Frank ‘The Mad Axeman’ Mitchell, he was the punisher to those who broke the underworld’s strict code of conduct.

Foreman’s dramatic kidnap and arrest for Britain’s biggest cash robbery made headlines around the world, yet this daring raid was just the peak of a safe-blowing, bank-robbing career that spanned decades. His story is a fascinating, yet chilling account of life as a freelance enforcer for the Kray twins, and as London’s most feared gangster.

Bloodshed aside, Freddie’s often humorous stories reveal a caring man who believes that violence is a last resort and who always treated people with respect. Revealed in these pages are the amazing details of the heists, the double crossings, the shoot-outs and the betrayals that accompanied life as a career criminal when the streets were controlled by fear. Exposed are the audacious plans behind the century’s most famous crimes, the damning evidence of police corruption and the eye-opening events that gave Freddie this most revered reputation.

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