I read, therefore, I review


I love to read.  I don’t make as much time for it as I would like because I am consumed with writing, but when I do ignore the incongruously fueled ideas that seep into my conscious hours I love to immerse myself in the written expression of others as consumed as I am by words.  I have been fortunate to meet many talented writers and genuinely nice people on this blog site.  And I also consider myself lucky to have read some of their published works.  I have written my amateur reviews on Amazon and wanted to share them with you in hopes that you would read the books written by these truly talented people.

The Gods of Asphalt by H.E. Ellis – I didn’t want to put it down 

Engaging from beginning to end, The Gods of Asphalt takes us on a journey of emotion and growth. Sawyer and River, two brothers with a far from normal childhood, struggle with their past and find a way to define themselves through Ellis’ depiction of teenage angst and growing pains.

Their relationship with each other, their family and their peers is written with such honesty and tension that the pages seem to turn themselves as you are wrapped into the weave of their lives. Within their turmoil we are given true insight into their characters and find something compelling in each of them. Ellis writes with such realism that the book takes on a life of its own. She gives depth to not only the main characters, but to each of the ensemble that support Sawyer and River on their adventure.

The Gods of Asphalt is the first in a series and this foray into the family dynamic puts the spotlight on Sawyer. His journey to finally break free of his past and live a life that is defined only by him is an endearing story and one that will have you strapping into your seat as you ride along on his roller coaster.

I would recommend setting aside several hours if you start this book because you won’t be able to put it down.  Go here for more information on H.E. Ellis and her books.

Scenes From A Hundred Morning Drives by Edward Hotspur – Who knew driving to work could be so funny 

One hundred morning drives and one hundreds reasons to read this book. From funny to thought-provoking, Edward Hotspur takes us on his journey to work and on an adventure through the workings of his mind. It ranges from hilarious to emotionally charged and never disappoints.

Scenes From A Hundred Morning Drives makes you wish you were the co-pilot in the vehicle that drove this book. It is a collection of blog posts that transforms into a day-to-day account of the life of real person that describes real feelings and hilarious observations of the casualties of the human experience.

It is humor, wrapped in honesty, wrapped in reality and then wrapped in bubble wrap for safety. If you like to laugh at life and find some deeper meaning hidden in the text, put on your seat belt and get ready for a hundred morning drives.  Click here to find out more about Mr. Hotspur.

The Eleventh Question by Dianne Gray – Emotional attachment to the characters

Author Dianne Gray truly knows how to get to the real essence of her characters. I was immediately drawn into this book and had trouble putting it down.

Although worlds apart, Dianne weaves a connection between a girl struggling to define her reasons for being and Seer trying desperately to help her find the answers to her questions. The book seamlessly transitions from one perspective to the other and intertwines helplessness with hope.

The Eleventh Question not only engages us in the journey of the characters but makes us reflect on the signs that life presents. It delves into the deeper meaning of intuition and gives us hope that nobody is ever truly alone. It is an uplifting story of survival and success against all odds.  For more information about Dianne Gray and the other books she has written, click here.

Once upon a time


I developed my love for the vernacular at an early age.  Reading was a fun pastime for me and I treasure my very young memories of spending hours with my nose in the book – The Poky Little Puppy.  After my parents had read it to me at least a thousand times, I then regaled myself with that tale ad nauseam.  Even now, I recall the story with such great fondness. That series of children’s books certainly lived up to the name aptly given to them – Little Golden Books.


The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, is another book that will always hold a very special place in my heart. The message it conveyed is still embedded deeply in my childhood memories and is carried with me today.

As I got older, chapter books grabbed my attention and would not let go.  I was swept into a miraculous sea of imagination and wonder.  Oh, the places I could venture!   Judy Blume was my absolute hero as I matured into my teen years.  Akin to how I feel about Dean Koontz today, she spun tales that I would read until my eyes felt like they were bleeding.  I read everything she put to paper and when I was finished her collection, I started over again.

Roald Dahl was another master of vocabulary and he spun tales that kept me enthralled into the wee hours of the night.  A hidden flashlight and a phony admission to my mother that I would go to bed resulted in me hiding under the covers to lose myself in the pages for just a while longer.  Stories were a magical place where dream-like creatures came to life and the stagnant brain of a child was immersed in possibility.  C.S. Lewis had me wishing that, while I slept, my closet would transform into a portal that led to Narnia.

With all of the cherished memories I obtained by reading, I was overjoyed to share that magic with the next generation.  I absolutely loved to read to my ex’s three children and, like Mrs. Doubtfire, I used different voices for each of the characters.  We would take turns reading Harry Potter and each one of us wished that bedtime was just a little further away.  Years later, reading to my nephews allowed their extended bed time to be filled with countless stories from an abundance of characters.  How could I say no when they excitedly asked me to read more fables of magical creatures?

I was rather inspired to write this post after attending one of my nephew’s recent hockey games.  Every child that was not on the ice had their hands eagerly wrapped around some electronic device that sputtered out mechanical noises from the latest game they were playing.  Wouldn’t it be great to see a child with a book in their hands, consumed by words and ensconced in imagination instead of killing zombies or launching Angry Birds?  I will admit, I’ve spent my share of time launching those same Angry Birds, but I still, and will always, put words ahead of birds!!

Do you read with the children in your lives?