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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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Bargain Alert! Monthly Kindle Books Deal for $3.99 or Less (For September 2014)

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Well… this is another new month so Amazon’s Monthly Kindle Books Deal for $3.99 or Less promotion has refreshed with a new batch of discounted books! *To sort and filter a list of this month’s deals, click here.

Each month we unveil a new collection of Kindle books for $3.99 or less. Deals expire on the last day of each month. To sort and filter a list of this month’s deals, click here. We also offer Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Individual books may have additional territory restrictions, and not all deals are available in all territories. Amazon may modify the selection of books offered at any time.

Deals expire on the last day of each month. Individual books may have additional territory restrictions, and not all deals are available in all territories.

I’ll post six of the books here, but be sure to browse through ALL the discounted books!

Not Quite Dating (Not Quite series) by Catherine Bybee Chasing the Sun: A Novel by Natalia Sylvester Mint Juleps and Justice (An Adams Grove Novel Book 5) by Nancy Naigle Long Knives by Charles Rosenberg The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

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Categories: Deals, Kindle eBooks Tags: , ,

Goldbox Deal of the Day! 32% OFF iRobot Roomba 790 Vacuum Cleaning Robot #Amazon

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

iRobot Roomba 790 Vacuum Cleaning Robot

Today only, take 32% OFF the iRobot Roomba 790 Vacuum Cleaning Robot (for Pets and Allergies)!

Product Description

Today Only! Take 32% OFF the iRobot Roomba 790 Vacuum Cleaning Robot!

The iRobot Roomba 790 Vacuum Cleaning Robot removes up to 98% of dirt, dust and pet hair – on its own – at the touch of a button. Perfect for homes with pets or without, Roomba cleans deep to pick up dirt, hair, fur, and other debris. Using iAdapt Responsive Navigation Technology, the robot thoroughly vacuums the entire floor including hard-to-reach spots under furniture.

$699.99 $474.99 (32% off)

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FREE eBook: Plaid to the Bone by Mia Marlowe @Mia_Marlowe! (US, UK, Canada, Australia)

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Plaid to the Bone (Spirit of the Highlands) by Mia Marlowe

Plaid to the Bone (Spirit of the Highlands)‘ by Mia Marlowe (Zebra Books) is available for FREE download on the Amazon US Kindle site for a limited time. Just click here to download! Also on, Amazon UK, Amazon CA and Amazon AU. Also on B&NKobo, iTunes & Google Play

*Note that price may revert back to full price at any time

Book Description

A bride comes to Bonniebroch. . .

But Cait Grant is hardly dreaming of wedded bliss. For political reasons, she must marry Adam Cameron, laird of Bonniebroch. And then, as a duty to her clan, she must murder him. . .

If only her new husband weren’t so devilishly handsome. If only she didn’t have to play the loving wife for one long, languorous month. If only she didn’t surrender to his softly sensual touch, she would be able to fulfill her duty. If only she didn’t fall in love. . .

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FREE eBook: Horse Dreams by Dandi Daley Mackall @dandiMackall! @TyndaleHouse #Kids #Christian (US, UK, Canada, Australia)

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses Book 1) by Dandi Daley Mackall

Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses Book 1)‘ by Dandi Daley Mackall (Tyndale House Publishers) is available for FREE download on the Amazon US Kindle site for a limited time. Just click here to download! Also on, Amazon UKAmazon CA and Amazon AU. Also on B&N.

*Note that price may revert back to full price at any time

Add narration for a reduced price of $2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Book Description

6 – 10 1 and up
Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it?
Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.

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FREE eBook: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena B. Miller! @RevellBooks (US, UK, Canada, Australia)

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

The Measure of Katie Calloway: A Novel by Serena B. Miller

The Measure of Katie Calloway: A Novel‘ by Serena B. Miller (Revell) is available for FREE download on the Amazon US Kindle site for a limited time. Just click here to download! Also on, Amazon UK, Amazon CA and Amazon AU. Also on B&NKobo, iTunesGoogle Play and  ChristianBook.

*Note that price may revert back to full price at any time

Book Description

Her heart seeks sanctuary in the deep woods. But will trouble find her even here?

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway’s Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he’s hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.

With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cookstove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills.

Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.

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Bargain Alert! Marching to Zion by Mary Glickman @MaryGlickman for $1.99! @OpenRoadMedia #Kindle

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Marching to Zion: A Novel by Mary Glickman

Marching to Zion: A Novel by Mary Glickman (Open Road Media) is currently available for $1.99 on Amazon US.

*Note that price may revert back to full price at any time

Kindle unlimited: Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 600,000 titles.

* Each month, Amazon unveils a new collection of Kindle books for $3.99 or less. This month’s selection includes this book and more. Shop now

Product Description:

The tempestuous, tragic love story of a beautiful Jewish immigrant and a charismatic black man during the early twentieth century
Mags Preacher, a young black woman with a dream, arrives in St. Louis from the piney woods of her family home in 1916, hoping to learn the beauty trade. She knows nothing about Jews except that they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. Then she begins working for Mr. Fishbein, an Eastern European émigré who fled the pogroms that shattered his life to become the proprietor of Fishbein’s Funeral Home. By the time he saves Mags from certain death during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, all her perceptions have changed. But Mr. Fishbein’s daughter, the troubled redheaded beauty Minerva, is a different matter. There is something wrong with the girl, something dangerous, something fateful. And it is Magnus Bailey, Mags’s first friend in the city, who learns to what heights and depths the girl’s willful spirit can drive a man.
 
Marching to Zion is the tragic story of Minerva Fishbein and Magnus Bailey, a charismatic black man and the longtime business partner of Minerva’s father. From the brutal riots of East St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1920s and the Depression, Marching to Zion is a tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption during an era in America when interracial love could not go unpunished. Readers of Mary Glickman’s One More River will celebrate the return of Aurora Mae Stanton, who joins a cast of vibrant new characters in this tense and compelling Southern-Jewish novel that examines the price of love and the interventions of fate.

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Categories: Deals, Kindle eBooks Tags: ,

American Icon by Bryce G. Hoffman (Narrated by Pete Larkin) for $4.95! @TantorAudio #Audible

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman (Narrated by Pete Larkin)

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman (Narrated by Pete Larkin) is Audible.Com’s Daily Deal, and is available today for just $4.95 (Regular Price:$34.99)! Enjoy!

Product Description:

At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family – America’s last great industrial dynasty – could hold on to their company.

Mulally and his team pulled off one of the great­est comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world. American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally – the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11 – to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanagement and denial.

Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford’s inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.

Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford’s battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the Amer­ican automotive supply base. In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meet­ings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.

Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford’s top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the best-selling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.

©2012 Bryce G. Hoffman (P)2012 Tantor

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Categories: Audiobook, Deals Tags: ,
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