Nic Nac

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Nic Nac

  • Ain't No Sunshine on May 12, 2011
    star star star star star
    This story wowed me. I was immediately drawn in, and the wonderful narration kept me glued. The imagery is strong and the dialogue is believable and engaging. The characters are well developed and I cared about their outcome. The story begins as Stephen Phillips is interrogated by a badgering Chicago police officer. “Did you do it, Stephen?” The officer places gruesome photos of Reverend Phillips’ bloody corpse on the table, but Stephen refuses to look at them. “Why don't you look at your father's mutilated body? Beaten to death with a shovel outside his own home." The officer continues asking Stephen if he murdered the man who lay dead in Virginia. The same man who raised and loved him for eighteen years. Stephen replies, “My father never loved me. Never.” When the officer’s goading doesn’t get the desired response, he attempts another tactic—changing the direction of the conversation to Stephen’s girlfriend Ruthie who sits in a nearby interrogation room. Excerpt: "Maybe I'll just have to ask that pretty little colored girlfriend of yours," he said, staring at Ruthie's picture and licking his lips. "You leave her out of this." My hands clenched into fists. "I don't know if I can do that. She seems to be pretty involved." He kept staring at her picture as he spoke. "Your father is found dead at your home in Virginia and you're found seven hundred miles away with a Negro whore. I can't -" He didn't get to finish his thought. I leapt across the table and started pounding his face in. Seconds later, I was subdued by several officers. They placed me back in the chair and handcuffed me to the table. This was getting worse and worse by the minute. I'd gladly go to jail for killing that man. He deserved to die. I just didn't want Ruthie to get dragged into this. After all we'd been through, at least one of us deserved a chance to be happy. After the room settles, another officer enters the room. Lieutenant Drake has a friendlier, gentle approach, and Stephen begins to soften. Excerpt: "Why are you running? You know running only makes you look guilty and I don't really believe you killed your father. I don't think you're capable." I stared at him. "You have no idea what I'm capable of. You have no idea what that man did to me." "You're right. I don't," he said, trying to hide his surprise at my response. He sat down and crossed his arms. "So why don't you tell me? You obviously have a story and you need someone to listen. So tell me your story. Tell me everything." Stephen’s story soon begins to flow. He tells about Ruthie, his childhood friend, and how their friendship eventually blossomed into a powerful love as they grew—despite the fact that loving a ‘colored’ was forbidden. He remembered staring up at the colored balcony in his father’s church when he was six years old, trying to catch a glimpse of his beautiful Ruthie. He paid for it when he got home with a beating. That didn’t stop his love for Ruthie. He refused to let his father take the one thing in his life that brought him true happiness. He tells the officer about the lifetime of abuse he, his brother (Matthew), and mother (Marjorie) endured by the hands of the cherished small town Virginia reverend, Theodore Phillips. His father’s explosive anger and violence plagued him every day. After years of violent abuse, Matthew disappeared, and Marjorie suffered mercilessly until becoming an empty shell; but Stephen endured by retreating into that loved part of his heart. The beautiful part that Ruthie filled. Stephen divulges the many ordeals that cursed his life that led to the day Theodore Phillips died. He reveals the eccentricities, secrets, and atrocities his father kept concealed behind his reverend cloak, and in the end, the truth behind the reverend’s death. Upon completing this novella, I felt somewhat changed. It is a sad story with victories, and a terrifying tale with soft and loving moments. Such a wide range of emotions that finally left me feeling satisfied—yet not settled.
  • Priscilla the Great: The Kiss of Life (Book #2) on June 10, 2011
    star star star star
    They’re ba-a-a-ck! Priscilla and her family and friends continue their mysterious, super power ways. When the president’s daughter is kidnapped, Priscilla and the crew hop on board to rescue her, as well as protect the secrets they’ve kept hidden about their abilities. New problems, new (fabulous) characters, and new feelings arise in this sequel. I feel sequels are usually a slight let down, but The Kiss of Life is as strong (if not stronger) than the first installment. The characters come to life, and the adventures keep you turning the page. A quick and fun read that will stay with you after you finish the last page…which, by the way, is another cliff hanger! I LOVE Priscilla and her fabulous adventures. The ONLY reason I rated this four out of five stars is because it ends in a cliff hanger. I do look forward to reading the next installment though.
  • Priscilla the Great on June 10, 2011
    star star star star
    What an engaging main character! Pricilla isn’t like a normal tweenage girl. She has special powers. What kid wouldn’t want super powers? Well, they contribute to mishaps and dangers, but the unique situations keep the reader glued. Pricilla’s friends and family develop nicely throughout this story. The author did a fine job of introducing each one. I feel I know them, and I care about their outcomes. I’m especially drawn to her best friend Tai. She’s a brainiac girl who can easily relate to Pricilla’s idiosyncrasies. I also liked Pricilla’s twin little brothers. They are mischievous little demons who are annoying, yet fun and entertaining. This is a fast read, filled with adventure. It dipped me back into my middle school years when imagination, coming of age, and first loves are at their peak. I’m not crazy about cliff-hanger endings (the only reason I rated a 5 rather than a 4), but thankfully I have book #2 to delve into without delay.
  • End of Mae on Sep. 08, 2011
    star star star star
    Mae, a naïve and eager writer, hopes to boost her career from small town reporter, by researching the eerie disappearances (believed to be caused by the Jersey Devil Monster) that occurred in the woods of Whitesbog. While investigating the woods at night, she is captured by the mysterious monster, and her life becomes a nightmare. She is taken to a unfamiliar place with strange beings and happenings. (This is where I cringed and winced.) To say she was beaten is to put it lightly. She soon yearns to cover a mundane story for the paper. Moral – Be careful what you wish for. LOL Pros: Wow. This story was definitely different. I feel like I walked in on a horrible nightmare. As much as I tried and tried to pinch myself awake, the visions kept me hostage until Mae’s final end. It was definitely unpredictable – and not at all what I expected. (LOL) The imagery in this story is vivid. I cringed and winced at Mae’s agony and it was easy to see this playing out like a mind-movie. Cons: I found the story interesting, but the repetition of Mae’s name was very distracting. The use of pronouns would improve it dramatically. The story was so fast-paced, which isn’t necessarily a con, but I wished for a pause, or change of pace here and there. Overall: Upon finishing the book, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d give it a 3 or 4 star rating. Now, after a few days of lingering mental images, I’ve decided to give it 4 stars for the lasting-effect factor. It was a fast read, and had unexpected turns. ;) If you want a quick, powerful (and sinister) story, this is a good pick. If you are easily creeped out (me), then I recommend you don’t read it at night. The opening scene played out on the back of my eyelids when I went to bed. That’s a good thing I suppose. LOL
  • The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River on Oct. 12, 2011
    star star star
    Three and a half stars. I enjoyed this story. It jumps right into the action and doesn’t belabor on unneeded back story. I liked the characters, the emotional aspect isn’t overdone, and the descriptions are vivid. Amanda has issues (many) to work through, but as a young girl, that isn’t unusual. This story shows the inner turmoil she feels as well as she deals with abandonment, loss, fear, and forgiveness. I especially enjoyed her friend straw hat wearing, whiskey drinking friend, Vernon. LOL The author did a fabulous job of character development in such a short story. Vernon, in my opinion, was the star of the show. I don’t feel you have to be a fly-fisherman to get into this story. There are fly-fishing terms throughout, but they don’t hinder the flow—and taught me a thing a two. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the LibraryThing Member Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
  • The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River on Oct. 12, 2011
    star star star
    Three and a half stars. I enjoyed this story. It jumps right into the action and doesn’t belabor on unneeded back story. I liked the characters, the emotional aspect isn’t overdone, and the descriptions are vivid. Amanda has issues (many) to work through, but as a young girl, that isn’t unusual. This story shows the inner turmoil she feels as well as she deals with abandonment, loss, fear, and forgiveness. I especially enjoyed her friend straw hat wearing, whiskey drinking friend, Vernon. LOL The author did a fabulous job of character development in such a short story. Vernon, in my opinion, was the star of the show. I don’t feel you have to be a fly-fisherman to get into this story. There are fly-fishing terms throughout, but they don’t hinder the flow—and taught me a thing a two. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the LibraryThing Member Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
  • Effie At The Wedding on Nov. 02, 2011
    star star star
    This is an enjoyable story about Effie, a teenage girl, who has conflicting feelings about her older sister getting married. It is a first person account, which showcases Effie’s witty personality. She lists reasons why/why not to several situations—which I found particularly amusing. Pros: This is an entertaining, clean read. The flow is smooth and the story is cute. Cons: There are tense changes throughout the story that I find somewhat distracting (present/past) as well as one or two grammar issues. Overall: I recommend this fun, quirky short story. It takes 10-15 minutes to read, and will surely put a smile on your face. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LibraryThing’s Member Giveaways. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255