Wednesday, January 24, 2007

'POD People' by Jeremy Robinson

Some of you may have heard about the book POD People: Beating the Print on Demand Stigma by Jeremy Robinson. Here is an interesting blog review. If you've read and blogged about this book please let me know and I will add a link.

p.s.: The POD People site has no connection whatsoever to the book, we just use the same pun :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

POD People is pleased to welcome our newest reviewer, Pamela!

Since retiring from corporate America in 2004, Pamela is a baby-boomer whose mid-life crisis evolved into an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in a cozy southwestern Michigan farm community where her ten acres quarters a virtual assistant business, a nut farm and tentative plans for a Muscat grape vineyard.

In August of 2006, Pamela broke into book review writing with Erotic Escapades, but writes for The Erotic Bookworm, The Muse Book Reviews, Romance At Heart, and now POD People. Her own web site, Chewing the Bone exhibits book reviews in multilple genres, including children and young adult fiction. With all that she has going on Pamela finds time to dabble in flash-fic writing. Although, she doesn't aspire in becoming a published novelist, because it would take valuable time away from her first love... reading.

In her spare time, Pamela lovingly tortures her five children and husband while being worshiped by her dog, two cats and lovebird. She enjoys building web sites, making graphics and maintains a quarterly family newsletter for Scottieluvr's Doghouse - her personal cyber home.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Open Genres

POD People is open to submissions in the category of 'Gay & Lesbian' and 'Western' only. These categories will remain open until 5 submissions are received. We are also interested in hearing from people willing to review in this category on an ongoing or guest basis.

Open to Submissions in category: Western

Open to Submissions in category: Gay & Lesbian

1/5: 'Pop-Up Book of Death' by Chad Helder

Thursday, January 11, 2007

'Castles of Deceit' by Ron Peters

TITLE: Castles of Deceit
AUTHOR: Ron Peters
PRICE: $13.95
GENRE: Crime fiction, mystery
ISBN: 1-58961-439-9
PUBLISHER: Page Free Publishing

Castles of Deceit is the third outing for Dun Wheeling, the creation of author Ron Peters. Dun lives in the Washington DC area, and has recently become a private investigator. Although this book is third in a series, it is self-contained enough that readers can follow the action without having read the other books.

The novel opens strong. The first chapter shows the kidnapping of a teen-aged girl and the second chapter introduces us to Dun and Jennifer Paskin, a teenaged streetwalker. Then, in my view, the novel looses steam, spending several chapters showing Dun inexplicably befriending and taking in Jennifer, who’s been abandoned by her drug-addict family.

It isn’t until chapter 12 that the novel regains its momentum. This is where Dun’s previous reputation as a discreet problem solver comes into play. He’s contacted by Mike E. Lobe, an advisor to the President, to check out Mike’s boss, who is suspected of having an affair with a Russian diplomat’s wife. If word of this got out, even if untrue, the President’s re-election campaign would be seriously damaged, so a quiet resolution is much desired.

At the same time, Dun and his fiancĂ© have found a school for Jennifer, ran by one Vanessa Vampress. I should point out that the author seems to have attended the Ian Fleming School for Character Names (Mike E. Lobe’s nickname is “Mick.”) Vanessa seems to have a bewitching effect on men, or at least on Dun.

Once we get to this point in the plot, the novel moves off smartly and becomes an entertaining action romp, with more then a little humor. Dun announces at one point that he’s “putting his ass on the line for the President,” which becomes rather more literally true then Dun would like. Peters does have a good ear for dialog, and his detective character is full of amusing wisecracks.

I do have one more quibble, based on my experience as a writer. At one point, a major character is kidnapped. Instead of showing us the events from the character’s point of view, Peters tells us about it in summary after the fact.

After reading Castles of Deceit, I felt like I had just watched the heavily-favored home team play an error-riddled game but pull off a narrow win. Castles of Deceit is an okay novel, and entertaining on its own, but it could be much better.

RATING: 7 / 10


Chris Gerrib is a resident of Villa Park, IL and Director of Technology for a Chicago-area bank. This is his first novel. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University and is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Darien, IL.