Glenda Bixler


As a former university administrator and later a professional book reviewer, I have since retired! What that means is that I'm reading even more and using my blog to share about new books by new authors...maybe yours?!

"Books--Cats; Life is Sweet"

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Smashwords book reviews by Glenda Bixler

  • The Summoning of Clade Josso on April 29, 2010
    (no rating)
    The Summoning of Clade Josso, The first descent into The Vein By J. Dean BookSurge Publishing ISBN: 978-1439222737 316 Pages The Summoning of Clade Josso,The first descent into The Vein, by J. Dean is my idea of the perfect book to be made into an animation action adventure movie! I know that the monsters in this book would be unparalleled for creative images that would be magnificent in full living color! Take, for instance, the Cloud Specter who appears upside down from out of the clouds, his huge arms reaching to grab you! Or the dangers of the Meridian that must be crossed...or... just the fact that everybody other than Clade, no matter what species, is, ahhhh, dead? What a fantasy Purgatory! When his sister died, it seemed that Clade's parents died inside--they failed to keep themselves and their business in Cyrco up and the family had fallen apart, emotionally and physically. And so Clade used a rare artifact to seek out The Control, hoping to have his family returned to what it had been--could his sister be claimed from the dead, or, if not, would it be possible for her parents to actually see and talk to her to know that she was happy and alive where she was now? Where did he go....ah, that would be part of the mystery...but the author claims that Clade was "vomited" there... I just had to add that as an example of the specific word choices that you will find throughout this novel! Oh, and as soon as he got there, he met and talked with Trecil, his sister! The descriptions for the place, the buildings, the people are all part of the phantasm, magic and excitement readers will experience as they join Clade Josso in his descent into The Vein. Clade was attempting to enter a city whose occupants had no interest in letting him in and there was met by Radha, a member of a Sect whose purpose was much greater than the personal wishes of Clade. They worked to protect those that had found an artifact and help him find his way to The Vein. Once inside, she led them to an eating place where he met other members of her Sect, but who were all different species. Then the unimaginable began when Clade's first tasty bite of his food, immediately the flavor disappeared. Food there was only for keeping you alive, not for pleasure. Radha quickly noted that it was sort of a punishment--being reminded of the pleasures of a former life... It was then that Clade began to learn that the Sect members had been expecting him, that prophecy indicated that those who obtained the artifact would be able to find the Control and the Seven Worlds would be joined again, and those there would be able to rejoin their own world--and Balys-Crahly would be freed! Now that is the basic storyline--but the real adventure begins when the quest is started and all the action starts! You haven't even heard of the bounders, or the maw eel, or worse, the Unseen or the Blindman! Only thing I'm wondering is how J. Dean is going to be able to maintain the quality of his imaginative fantasy! If you're a fantasy fan, one who loves visiting other worlds, you must realize by now that your next must-read is The Summoning of Clade Josso,The first descent into The Vein! Book Provided by The Author G. A. Bixler
  • Upcountry on Jan. 24, 2011

    Tt's strange to claim that a book is wonderful when the two main characters are involved in murder. But I'm saying it--this book is beautifully written and beautiful to read. Upcountry by R. M. Doyon was inspired by true events and Doyon has created characters that come alive as if the activities are happening as we read. There is no way readers will not be immediately pulled into the story and claiming your full attention right to the very last page. Somehow I predicted what that ending would be, but it still left me smiling and content when I closed the book! If you love true-life drama, you are going to love Upcountry. On the other hand, this book is so intertwined and full of secrets that it is hard to share the storyline without giving too much away, so I'm choosing to share about the characters. Jane and Joanne are fraternal twin sisters. Joanne stayed at home and married right out of high school, while Jane left their home town, working her way into a high position handling PR for the Governor of the State and assisting him to run for the presidency of the United States. Their father is living next door to Joanne; their mother died of cancer. Her funeral was one of the few times that brought Jane back home, but not for long. Jane had purposely pulled away from the family and the pain and anger she had felt in her hometown. But once again, her Dad had sent her a holiday card, as he had done for every single holiday since she had left, and for this Thanksgiving, she decided to visit the family, rather than spend the time with her lover, who had planned to seek her commitment to marriage during their time together. Her coming home did not just disrupt those potential plans, however. Before the Thanksgiving day was over, Jane had committed murder! And when she grabbed the shotgun to leave, she took her sister with her! During their time moving away from the scene of the crime, Joanne played and sang in a bar, Jane used the shotgun to bust into an amusement park where the twins rode all of the rides before escaping from the police who were coming, and Joanne drove a snowmobile away from the cabin where they had been staying, directly toward the four police cars coming, which included a high jump over the last car on the road! But there were more tears than thrills as the two sisters shared the secrets that had kept them apart for so long... This is a special book that I hope you don't miss! It's about family, forgiveness, and love measured against the evil that lives within some of those people we share our lives with. It's a good triumphs type of book, with all the issues tied up in a bow when you finish, even if some of the packages bring sorrow rather than joy... Highly recommended for all and a perfect book to read during the start of this New Year! Book Received Via Facebook Reviewers Roundup G. A. Bixler
  • The Gateway (An Epic Fantasy Novella) on May 10, 2011

    In olden days in the world of man called Midgaard in the kingdom of Lomion, there was a gathering... Lord Aradon Eotrus was missing. His oldest son, Brother Claradon Eotrus, a Caradonian Knight had pulled together a band to find him. But just as it had been when Lord Aradon had gone, when the night came, a great wailing began...and the mist would descend... for what came was not of this world... No matter what, when you begin to read Thater, you will immediately see his expertise in writing Olde and Middle English. In fact, for more than twenty-five years, Glenn G. Thater has written works of fiction and historical fiction focusing on the genres of heroic fantasy and sword and sorcery. The Gateway is first in his saga and certainly sets the stage for upcoming exciting adventurous battles! One thing I appreciated from this author was an extensive list of names, people, places and all things important for the Saga. It makes an easy reference and provides effective documentation and definition for the fantasy world that was created. And so it was, that on the first day Claradon's men reached a dark barren circle and they began to search for his father and his men. Nothing was found except a number of gold coins... But when the night came, the wailing began...and the mist descended. However, the men were ready. Each man had been provided a magical sword or dagger and they drew together row after row and started forward! Until they came to a huge dark building--a building that had not been there during the day! And they also found remnants of Lord Aradon, but no man lived or was even left of their bodies... But this group had prepared, bringing magical weapons as well as those men or creatures that could use magic against the enemy, for surely the enemy came from none other than the realm of the chaos lords! And when they did, they were grotesque, loathsome creatures that immediately began to tear the soldiers apart... Two men stood out in the ensuing battle: Sir Gabriel Garn, House Weapons Master and close friend and mentor to Claradon, and Lord Angle Theta, a knight-errant and nobleman from a far-off land. In fact, he was a stranger to most and was not fully appreciated as a peer--until he began to share his great magic and slice through the creatures like butter... In the constant fight between good and evil, The Gateway takes you into one both mystical and bloody. Be prepared, ye readers, lest you be attacked by one of the creatures coming through to Midgaard... Thater writes with a realism like no other; fantasy lovers of sword and sorcery--check out this short first battle and be ready for the entire saga awaiting you! Book Received from Author GABixlerReviews
  • The Betrayals of Grim's Peak on June 08, 2012

    I normally enjoy reading and reviewing YA books! Especially when they are creative and full of imagination! Reading all of my life has been a pleasure and I'm happy to share my thoughts on books for the young, hoping they'll catch that love of reading early... The Betrayals of Grim's Peak is a title that tells you little about what is it about! So, let me say that Grim's Peak is the location of the majority of the novel... And it is located entirely underwater, maybe somewhere near where you live! The thing that impressed me most about the world that Quirk has created is that it is "not" magical--it is instead a creative, wonderfully designed imaginative place that "could" exist if some of us decided to move under water. Well, maybe some of the characters are fantasy, but pay attention to the accommodations for travel, the use of the local creatures of the sea harnessed to, for instance, act as taxis, and you'll realize just how much thought has been put into this wondrous world! Wouldn't it be wonderful to walk out the door of your home and automatically be in the water, ready to go wherever you wanted? And use a hippocamp (think horse) to ride! Augie Tomlin is the main character...He was "found" by his parents along the beach near where they lived and they took him in as their son--but he was soooo much more! But somebody knew he was there--and what he possessed! And when he was 14, they came after him! Who are they? You'll have to find out, but they are ugggggly! Fortunately, he was saved by a young girl...and her dragon... (Ok, I already told you that there was some fantasy with the characters...LOL) Now, imagine, a boy who had never learned to swim, suddenly being taken deep underwater, to learn about his birth, his parents, and what he was to do to save Grim's Peak! And to do that, they had to discover the secrets of the past going back to the time when Hingrit Grim first came! I loved the adventure and everything else about this book. It is definitely a book that will entice your young sons and daughters as well--after all, how many girls have a dragon (actually a drac) all their own? And wait until Augie gets to ride "Red..." Have your children check out the site and verify their interest...But I reallllly think this is one you won't want your children to miss...don't know the official age but, say, 8-10 and up to 99 should cover those interested if they love fun, fantasy and finding themselves in deep, deep water! Highly recommended! GABixlerReviews
  • Wall — Love, Sex and Immortality [Aquarius Trilogy Book One] on Aug. 19, 2012

    The thing that scares me most about reading books by Stan I. S. Law, is that I know he is brilliant and has written both fiction and nonfiction books in his fields of expertise--so that I don't know whether to think his fiction is fantasy or really reality! By the way, his real name is Stanislaw Kapuscinski... I think it is so cool that he has adopted an AKA in order to help us better remember his name... It worked for me! And I've so enjoyed meeting Stan on line! I met him first through one of his other books--anybody that knows me would guess that my first choice was Cats and Dogs! After reading his thoughts on animals, I decided to risk his thoughts about love and sex! But it's the immortality issue that I'm just not sure about...LOL Anyway, I'd like to say that Stan creates a wonderful love story! Reading Wall as Romantic Fiction is bound to please any lovers out there! Let me tell you a little about the couple... Simon Jones attended a Jesuit school and was now an Associate Professor teaching Comparative Religion. We meet him as he is once again having problems with his ankle. In school all students had been required to play Rugby, but he was unable to continue because of his ankle...Yet no doctor or specialist had been able to find anything that would account for his ankle being painful or giving out on him... Now, you may think that is a strange way of starting a novel; however, it was very important to Simon for a major reason--he "believed" after the problem was finally discovered and cured... I found while working on a university campus that professors of religion are not necessarily religious... Simon was, though, an expert in all religions across the world and could converse fluently about ancient as well as modern day beliefs... Whether Simon had faith or not is something you will need to discover in the book. Stan Law has a droll sense of humor that I enjoy and readers, if they pick up on it, will find a small smile or smirk appearing as they read. It's still about that ankle, you see, because it seemed that often his ankle caused problems when he was on his way to be intimate with a girl! And so it was that, shhhh, don't tell anybody, but he was a virgin when he got married... Quite a quandary for a healthy young man who was able to find potential partners, but then have his own body betray him! Until he met Ambrosia! Ambrosia--the nectar of the gods... And for Simon she was just that! "Right there and then, I'd be willing to drink anything she'd deign to offer me, a mere mortal..." he thought. Then he quickly shares that he hadn't met her actually, he had fallen down the stairs at her feet... (Now if it were me, I'd have thought that his ankle was being manipulated by God, fate...or whatever, don't you think?) But, no, that's not the answer with his ankle... And then there she was and Simon froze! She had raised her hand in his class! Ambrosia Milos... And he later learned she was just as interested as he was... Enough of the love stuff... Anbrosia was also very intelligent and was a physicist--a scientist who had no real use of religion, especially since she was doing on-the-edge research that was so important that she and the college president had been required to sign a confidentiality statement for the government! Her theoretical hypothesis was on tunneling...and that's all I'm going to say, because, frankly, I didn't understand enough to give you more information. LOL Actually, I might also add not to get too excited when Professor Jones starts talking at the beginning of his own lecture... I promise that the book does not get into too much in-depth concepts/info and readers will not need to totally understand all that is explained...LOL The key, though, was that the merge of Simon and Ambrosia was not just love and sexually--it was also intellectually. Those two minds combined made "it" happen! What? Why walking through walls of course! Now an interesting thing was that Ambrosia's mother had been doing that for years... What this all means for readers is that there is a mystery to solve--there is danger because others want to learn and obtain the basis and use of Ambrosia's work, and, of course, there are the rich and powerful forever looking for immortality (Ok, I just can't figure out why...if I accept the Christian principle that it happens, then fine--if I accept the scientific fact that we all die, then why search for some fantasy, but anyway I digress...) It is a great novel! Definitely not chick lit, a cozy mystery or anything similar. When two brilliant researchers get together you must know that you will be reading college-level subject material. It was deep, complex, and briefly over my head but not so much that I couldn't comprehend what was happening. In fact, I loved it! What I don't if this can be done in reality... That's where Stan leaves he really teaching us about the principles of exploring human potential within his fiction? And should I get a book on self-hypnosis and study out-of-body experiences? Thanks, Stan, for continuing to make me think, even while I'm thoroughly enjoying learning about your, excuse me, Simon's virginity issues. Enjoy this one! GABixlerReviews
  • Justice For Emily on June 24, 2013

    I loved this first novel that I've read by Sandy Wolters...Romance, ghosts, psychic revelations, for me, adds up to a book I would pick up to consider. When the writer has created characters with whom I immediately get involved, especially a sassy heroine, all the better! So then when the mother of a potential love interest comes to bless the union and suggest they get "acquainted..." Even moving her suitcases into the master suite! I am thoroughly hooked! Big Time! Even if the man's mother has been dead for quite some time... But his mother had always known that Patrick's wife would have special abilities and they both realized that his mother had probably led Rachel to this little town...and to her son... Rachel was a homicide detective in Phoenix. She had resigned but her boss, instead, put her on leave, knowing that her last case had been extremely difficult and wanted her to have a chance to think about what she wanted to do. She had got in her car and just took off. Though she was directional-challenged, and had stopped to look at a map, she had a feeling to go one way rather than the other and had wound up in Brownwood, Texas... Where it didn't take long for Patrick to find her, immediately...knowing... pics and excerpts on my blog... But what he was mentally thinking about at the time was that she might be able to help him in the murder investigation. After all, it was his boss, the Chief of Police, who he knew had killed Emily... Emily was his wife... And nobody knew what it had been liked behind the closed doors of the Campbell's House... Even Patrick was surprised though when Rachel started talking about the second ghost in the house! She explained that she was not like his mother had appeared, because Rachel could see through her. Rachel had told him she'd ask for help and Rachel had told her to try to find Paddy's Mom... But then the ghost had told her name... Emily! Rachel knew that she was going to help! She interrogated Patrick as the officer on the scene and discovered that his boss had forced him to forget about protocol, to rewrite his statement and later the gun was gone from the evidence room, even though it showed Patrick had turned it in. One little twist was that when Rachel and Patrick were ready to present to the DA, he immediately asked if she was "the" Rachel that his friend had talked so much about. Rachel was thrown by the name of her ex-fiancee and, even more, when he came into town to work the case at the DA's request! A love triangle it was not and Patrick, especially, had real problems dealing with it! LOL But, fortunately, they played by the rules for this important case and gathered the evidence even though Emily's husband had her cremated and had worked it so that no autopsy had been done! But it wasn't enough for a trial and he walked... NOT! Lots more and a reallllllly cool ending! That just had to happen! Can't guess? No problems! You've got to read this one anyway! Enjoy! Justice at its finest... It's my hope that the author adds at least a sequel if not a series with these characters! GABixlerReviews