Friday, January 27, 2012

Driving Me Nuts! by P.J. Jones

Driving me Nuts is quirky, fun, and full of unexpected scenarios. Ruckus and Fred have their routine at the Shady Grove mental hospital and they like it that way. But when they head out for their traditional joyride to get books and ice cream an unexpected visitor turns their trip into one mishap after another. Apple has a broken past and revenge on her mind which doesn’t sit well with Ruckus and Fred. The characters are likeable if you don’t mind a tiny little habit of publicly peeing on things, and that pesky breaking the law stuff. If you are looking for something different with creative writing, then Driving Me Nuts is for you. 

For more information on P.J. Jones, visit her author page on Amazon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DeFlip Side’s Top Ten Reads of 2011

By Christoper DeFilippis

1) The Book of Bunk: A Fairy Tale of the Federal Writers’ Project by Glen Hirshberg
In the late 1930s, Paul Dent is all but shanghaied into the FWP and sent to write about a small mountain town in South Carolina, where he uncovers many competing versions of the elusive and mythical American Dream. I don’t know if Book of Bunk is the next Great American Novel, but it certainly is a powerful literary gem in the tradition of Fitzgerald and Steinbeck.

2) The City & The City by China Mieville
A police procedural, set in a pair of fictional Eastern European cities that occupy the same physical space, and where opposing citizens have learned to "unsee" one another for fear of invoking the penalty of Breach (an all-seeing power wielding swift retribution). Police officer Tyador Borlu has caught a murder case involving a victim who willfully Breached in search of a third hidden city co-existing with the others. Mieville's best book, evocative of Orwell's 1984. I don't know how to give higher praise than that...

3) Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Chronicling humanity in the aftermath of “The October Event,” a night in which the moon and stars disappear from the sky, as seen from the P.O.V. of three young friends. High-concept Science Fiction done right, with its fantastic technology and speculative future rooted firmly in a human story.

4) Palimpsest by Charles Stross
Stross does it again, beginning his tale with the oldest of time travel chestnuts (newbies, see: Grandfather Paradox) and turning it on its ear. It’s a great time travel story, uncluttered by needless handholding for the uninitiated and buttressed by Stross’s unique brand of hard SF. Read my full review here!

5) Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
An apparently immortal, shape-shifting African woman named Anyanwu travels to 17th Century New York with a body-swapping entity named Doro, who has been cultivating his own human “seed” populations for millennia. In relaying the events of the ensuing centuries, Butler weaves an increasingly twisted relationship between Anyanwu and Doro that’s like nothing I’ve ever read.

6) The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow
When philosophy dropout Mason Ambrose gets hired to go to an exotic private island in the Florida Keys to imbue an eccentric genius’s cloned daughter with a moral center, he sets events in motion that shake the entire world. A modern-day Scientific Romance, a scathing satire on the controversies over abortion and cloning, and Morrow at his humorous, erudite best.

7) A Tangle in Slops by Jeffrey E. Barlough
The bleakest of bleak midsummers has descended on the Shire of Slops, bringing events strange and tragic to the Village of Plumley. It’s a dark time for the denizens of Orkney Farm, where a rogue mylodon has snatched Mr. Magnus Trefoil out of his study. Superstitious townfolk attribute this ill fortune to Trefoil’s unearthing a cache of mystical items belonging to his late ancestress, the legendary sorceress Tronda Quickensbog. But might the reclusive Mr. Tom Posthumous, lately taken up residence at the deserted old hermitage of St. Guthlac’s, have anything to do with these eldritch events? This sixth stand-alone volume in Barlough’s Western Lights series is a homerun! Read my full review, and do yourself a favor and learn more about Barlough’s Western Lights series

8) Stardust by Neil Gaiman
This modern-day fairytale can be categorized thusly: Magical. Comical. Wonderful. Insert the glowing adjective of your choice. It’s Gaiman, after all…

9) Wake Up and Dream by Ian R. MacLeod
A noirish gem, positing a 1940s Hollywood in which the “feelies” are all the rage, films which allow the audience to feel whatever the characters on screen are feeling. Wandering this altered tinseltown’s underbelly is washed-up movie actor turned gumshoe Clark Gable, who is bemused by his easy new assignment: impersonate a famous feelie writer and close a big script contract. But of course things quickly turn deadly, plunging Clark into a mystery he didn’t bargain for.

10) The God Engines by John Scalzi
A meaty and thoughtfully executed novella in which a god is imprisoned on a spaceship, compelled to power it and keep a rival god’s adherents alive in the void as they spread their competing religion. Dabbles in crises of faith, the dangers of unquestioned devotion and the price of hubris; but it never degenerates into a screed against the evils of organized religion.

DeFlip Side is a radio program written and produced by Christopher DeFilippis, humorously exploring the culture of Science Fiction and Fantasy from a fan's perspective, with a healthy dose of science fact thrown in for good measure, and lots of book reviews! Listen up at and like us on Facebook:


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Top 10 Mysteries of 2011 by QBR fan Jenny

No Justice by Darcia Helle 
This is an excellent book filled with action, good dialogue, wit, and great characters. 

Caraliza by Joel Kirkpatrick 
This book is haunting and beautiful and stayed with me long after I finished reading 

The Scavengers Daughter by Mike McIntyre 
A combination thriller/mystery/horror, this book starts out with a gripping prologue and launches straight into action with the first of its high-profile victims. 

Hit Or Missus by Gayle Carline 
Witty and clever. 

Hamelin’s Child by D. J. Bennett 
Dark and disturbing, and may not be for everyone, but I couldn’t put it down. 

No Limit by Fred Anderson 
Intense action and nothing is at it seems. 

The Hard Way by Lee Child 
Great hook and loved the scenes set in England. 

Plum Island by Nelson DeMille 
Lots of suspense and plenty of humor. 

Dying For A Date by Cindy Sample 
A laugh on every page. 

The Innocent by Vincent Zandri 
Believable, well written mystery with an underlying theme of redemption.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top 10 Reads by Alison

Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
I loved the way the author wrote and the wonderful variety of characters, all so complex.

The Kitchen house - kathleen Grissom
A fascinating story with a different twist to slavery.

The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Loved this story with it's serious theme yet with its humor as well. I was rooting for the help.

The Wishing Trees - John Shors
I love his books, this one is a favorite for the messages it gives. A parent lost and the unusual way of honoring her.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away - Christie Watson
Set in Africa, I loved the family and the way they dealt with what was thrown at them.

Gem Squash Tokoloshe - Rachel Zadok
Another book set in Africa with a a wonderfully written story, full of dark folklore and a very interesting story line.

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
The amazing true story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic athlete and World War II hero. This book read like a fast paced thriller.

The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam - by Lauren Liebenberg
Sometimes sad but often magical, I loved the way these two sisters viewed their world. It takes place in Rhodesia the 1970s

Fieldwork - Mischa Berlinski
a tale of Thai hill tribes, whose way of life becomes a battleground for two competing, and utterly American, ways of looking at the world. The story just keeps you reading.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
I love how the author thinks, quite a wild ride about a boy who loses his father in 9/11

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

This Book Changed My Life by Thomas Amo

This year I've met so many talented indie authors and read some really amazing works. Works I feel in many ways surpass the traditional published works out there. However there was one book in particular this year that I read and It changed me as a person.
Michelle Muto's "Don't Fear The Reaper"
This book is about teen suicide and in no way glorifies it. In fact she makes it clear that the moment it's chosen it's a terrible mistake. The story involves a young girl who is despondent over the murder of her sister. She feels angry and so alone all she wants to do is be with her sister. But death has rules and you can't change them. Michelle takes you on a journey that is so completely rich in details you almost wonder if she's writing from experience....I found myself attached to her writing and characters instantly. When they cried, I cried and cry I did more than once while reading this book. Muto has such a gift of writing, I felt many times as if I were curled up in a blanket in her living room and quietly listened to her tell me this amazing tale.
I say this is a book that changed my life, because I really experienced emotions while reading it. I love that her words were so powerful that they could evoke those feelings in me.
When I reached the end of the book, I was satisfied beyond words. It was a full and complete story, beginning middle and end. Usually I will get to the end of a book and think, hmm okay, but this was a wow, now that's what a book is supposed to do!
I am a fan of Michelle Muto from here on! Thank you Michelle for this book, if this was the only book I ever read for the rest of my life, then I could still say, wow that was worth it.

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