Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy New Year!




On behalf of  Sharp Writ Book Awards and Smart Book Lovers, we will like to wish Happy Holidays and Season's Warmest Greetings to everyone!





Short review by Nanette M

I enjoyed reading this book. Nothing is quite what it seems in this world of dragons, centaaurs, humans and assorted magical creatures. 

One dragon has a sence of humor. This means that when he tells the truth he is seldom believed. He is also a shape shifter. He befriends a waif of an orphan girl. You know there will be consequences from this. 


There is a reasonably tidy ending. I will look for more of his books.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Winners of the Sharp Writ Book Awards


Like previous years, we had a tremendous response with nominations from around the world for Sharp Writ Book Awards in 2015 as well. We will like to thank all the members of the judging panel for their hard work - with so many qualified entries, it was not always easy to choose the winner - in fact, we had to declare a tie in one category and announce two winners! We are proud to announce the winners of the 2015 awards:


Children's Books

Winner:  Sir Princess Petra by Diane Robinson

Runner-up: Hello Little Owl, I am Hermit Crab! by Mary Uihlein 

Fiction (General) 

Winners (tie): A Gift for My Sister by Ann Pearlman 
                 and  A Thing Done by Tinney Heath
Runner-up: The Golden Dice - A Tale of Early Rome by Elisabeth Storrs


Non-Fiction (General) 

Winner: COMPASS, Creating Exceptional Organizations by William Brandt

Runners-upYou Are Now Less Dumb by David McRaney
                       and 
                         Human Natures of Animal and Spiritual by Carroll Blair
                     

Memoirs

Winner: Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America by Peter Stamatis

Mystery/ Suspense 

Winner: The Torah Codes by Ezra Barany

Runner-up: A Gathering of Shadows by Bob MacKenzie

Poetry 

Winner: Quarter Notes by Carroll Blair


Sci-fi/ Fantasy 

Winner: Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil by Charlotte Babb

Runners-up: Light Bringer by Pat Bertram

and Philomena Sparks and the Curse of the Big Ben by M.C. Olmo 


Young Adult

Winner: Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure 

Runners-up: The Comanchero's Grave by Karen Kelling                        
                          and Reternity  by Neal Wooten

Honorary Mentions: 

  • Reel to Real by Carroll Blair
  • Another Eternity by Bob MacKenzie






Book Review: "Mr. Sunny Sunshine: Smile"  by Dwayne Henson
Reviewed by Nanette M.

Filled with adorable, imaginative drawings, this comic book is more of an inspirational book for grownups than for kids. Although the ideas are great and the art cute, though, the writing isn't at the same level, showing why graphic novels, a.k.a. comic books are so hard to pull off by one person. It's a great early/ mid-level draft, to my mind, and I hope Henson continues to revise and hone his craft.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Wedding Shroud: A Tale of Early Rome by Elisabeth Storrs - SWBA Runner up: General Fiction

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:


  • This book is well written and researched.  It held my interest throughout.  All of the characters were fleshed out, and were given some kind of closure. Well done!   
  • This book is a fabulous read, with interesting characters and plot, as well as fascinating historical details.  Although there's a bit of a lag in the middle, this is an excellent book--and it even has a great ending!  
  • This is an eye-opening account of an overlooked (but formative) period of history - it's almost as if the Etruscans are who the Romans become with their later decadence.  Not an easy read, as I found the main characters attitudes and prejudice difficult, but very rewarding.   
  • My comment... WOW! I think this is the best book I've read in the SWBA.  This book is a combination of a lesson on the life in early Roman and Etruscan society... gods and goddesses... cults and the impact they can have... and enough romance to make any woman's heart flutter without overdoing it so much that men won't want to finish the book. 
 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sedona: The Lost Vortex by Mikel Wilson SWBA Runner up: Sci-fi / Fantasy

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:



  • I really enjoyed this book - interesting and unique plot, good character development, just an overall enjoyable read.  The ending sets up perfectly for a 2nd book, which I'd read if one comes out.  I marked it down only because the prose jumps from character to character at times without enough break to not be confusing at times.   
  • I got sucked in by the characters immediately. The relationship dynamics were well fleshed out and interesting. The subject could have been a phone directory and this book still would have been a good read - it was that well written.   
  • A slow opening and an interesting writing style are the books only limiting factors. I did appreciate having Erythroblastosis fetalis brought back to my attention.  This book is enjoyable entertainment for casual reading.
 

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip, by Carrie King


“The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip” is a children’s picture book written by British writer Carrie King. The picture book is recommended for children from below 7 years old. Nursery nurse Caroline Dixon, from Amazon.co.uk, has reported reading it to children as young as 2 years old, with good results.

This picture book also has a full-length novel version with the same title; that version is recommended for children aged 11 to 14.

Although the picture book and the novel have the same title, the stories are merely related, not identical. One can read the picture book without having the novel’s plot spoiled. Indeed, the picture book makes a good introduction to the novel.

One of the things that make a picture book truly wonderful is the illustrations – and certainly, there are wonderful illustrations in “The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip.” It will not come as a surprise when the day comes that these illustrations increase in value as a collection.

As for the text, the rhymes and alliterations are truly attractive to little children. The story itself holds good and timely values, such as care for the environment, and has a charmingly quaint setting.

All in all, the picture book is a refreshing read for adults and children alike.

“The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip,” by Carrie King, is a runner-up in the 2012 Sharp Writ Book Awards, in the Children’s Book category.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History by Delin Colon - SWBA Runner up: General Non-fiction

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:


  • This is a very interesting and well-researched book that contradicts much of the popular history of Rasputin with reliable sources.  The book is also very informative about the treatment of Jews in Russia prior to the revolution.  
  • While the apparent purpose of this volume is to refute the so-called aristocratic bias of traditional historical renderings of Rasputin, this author is clearly biased in defense of Rasputin.  Furthermore, on a purely mechanical level, footnotes appear seemingly when the author feels like including them.   There are grammatical errors that distract the reader from the author's point.  A
  • Although I didn't know the exact history of the Russian revolution, reading this book really made things come alive for me.  I felt strongly that the author's Rasputin, if the true one, was a true hero. I don't honestly know whether Rasputin was a fraud or simply a brave and kind man, but this book was well worth reading either way.   
  • It was a bit of a dry read at times, but most of the information presented was supported, and I had heard of the majority of it through other sources. It's nice to see the information compiled in one place.   
  • This book is an advancement in the understanding of the man, Rasputin, and the fall of Tsarist Russia - a heart not often seen during Jewish persecution. Of those who were considerate of the Jews as people, and not histories villains, Rasputin stands out as their little known hero in his wisdom, as the Tsars’ council.  A top notch read that I'd personally recommend it to others. For me, that is high praise. The author should be proud to present this work to anyone.
 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Assassin Hunter by August Palumbo - SWBA Runner up: General Non-fiction

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:



  • Reading this I truly felt a familiarity, as it's a smooth, fluid read. It’s good fun and great entertainment. Overall, I'd say well done.  
  •  I found this book slow to progress but it was well written. There were no thrills but lots of background.  The start was promising but this book left me wanting more thrills and plot twists.  
  • I started this book on Saturday and finished it on Monday. Only reason it took that long was because I could only read for a short time each day. I really enjoyed this book!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Powers by S. Durham - SWBA Runner up: Sci-fi / Fantasy

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:


  • This book is a great urban fantasy, a genre I enjoy. There are a couple of plot dangles and inconsistencies and extreme detail in the sex scenes that affected my score.   
  • I kept forgetting that I was reading this book for judging and not just reading it because I wanted to. It deals well with mental illness and doesn't get preachy on the good vs. evil battles.   
  • I liked the writing, but not the topic, but I lean more toward military fiction and military sci-fi. 
  • This is a very interesting book, especially since I read a lot of paranormal romance. I don't like the god/angel stuff here but the writing is very good.