Book review: Marine (Halley’s Casino Book 2) by Mark JG Fahey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Marine (Halley’s Casino Book 2) by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  378 pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher:  Self-published
Release date:  Oct 20, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Jan 2 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No f-words, mild violence, readable for all ages 12 and up)

Book Description:

Nebula Yorker (“Neb” to his friends) finds himself on the water planet of Marine in a race to recover a long lost Triopelian Star Chart he previously never knew existed.

Along the way Neb encounters new friends and a villainous brother and sister team bent on doing whatever they must to get their hands on the star chart first – including mayhem and murder.

One cocky android, one imbibed professor, one universal(ly) renowned scientist and one ice breathing sassy Water Dragon make Neb wonder whether the past 3 years travelling with Halley’s Casino was just a peaceful lull?

Who will find the star chart first? What are the implications if Neb doesn’t? And what does a Water Moon have to do with all of this?

​John Lennon seems to know….

This book is part of a trilogy. The author is also willing to offer the first book Halley’s Casino for review.
​Just choose this option on the sign-up form.

Halley's Casino by Mark JG Fahey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  304 pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher:  Self-published
Release date:  Jan 25, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Jan 2 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No profanity,  readable for all ages 12 and up, pure fun and witty story)

Book Description:

Halley’s Casino is set in 1986. 26-year old Nebula Yorker (Neb to his friends), is patiently awaiting the return of Halley’s Comet. He is about to discover that the world is not what it seems.

Upon the arrival of Halley’s Comet, Neb is confronted by a mysterious stranger who literally swoops out of the night sky. What happens next will change the course of Neb’s life and that of all he befriends.

This stranger (Mr. Tict) reveals to Neb that Halley’s is not a comet at all, but an Intergalactic Casino that has been posing as a comet for countless years. Mr. Tict is the Concierge of the Casino and he has come back to Earth to recruit Neb as his assistant.

What happens next is an eye-opening experience for young Neb that no one on Earth can imagine. It can only be explained by watching old Star Trek reruns, while eating cheese sandwiches and drinking hot chocolate. From androids with attitude to a vast assortment of alien beings and historic individuals, with a touch of time travel from ancient Babylon to 1757 London and back to Rome of 12 BCE, Neb soon learns that his past, present and future have always lain in the stars above.

It’s a rock and roll ride chock full of chaos, a formidable nemesis, drama, satire, humour, death and new beginnings, with revelations that Neb never saw coming.

Even John Lennon is amused!

Starting out on a quiet evening of star gazing, Nebula Yorker finds himself caught up in the most extraordinary time travel and planet saving adventure of a lifetime.

​And that’s only the beginning of what is to come.


Mark JG Fahey

Meet the Author:

​Mark JG Fahey is not an alien, contrary to what you may have heard, though he swears he has been to space. Mark has dabbled in various undertakings throughout his illustrious career, from on-air hosting/reporter/stand-up comic to messenger for the Prime Minister of Canada. Mark also holds a degree in Restaurant Services. His family and friends can attest to his excellent cooking skills. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mark was raised and still resides in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada.  Halley’s Casino is the first book in the Halley’s Casino trilogy.

​Halley’s Casino: 3rd place winner in a worldwide competition with World’s Best Story 2017 . Finalist and 3rd place winner with the Independent Author Network October 2018 and is also a finalist for the inaugural Canadian Book Club Awards 2018.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

REVIEW:
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Our space opera continues with Nebula Yorker (Neb) as assistant concierge on Halley’s Comet.  He’s happy with his new job and has made some great friends.
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Again, the author’s imagination continues to astonish me.  I’m not a big scifi reader (although I’m a scifi fan) but this story is so off-the-wall and unpredictable that I can’t put it down.  I love all the characters!
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The plot thickens as Neb learns of a missing star chart.  Not exactly sure what the star chart is, he embarks on a recovery mission with his friends to locate it.   Villains, evil politicians and enormous sea monsters may prove his undoing!  Be prepared to scream!  (or gasp!)
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Not a standalone book, you need to read Halley’s Comet first to familiarize yourself with the plot and characters.  Have a wonderful trip around the universe!
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Book review: This is not a Love Story by Judy Brown

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  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316400726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316400725

A razor-sharp, hilarious, and poignant memoir about growing up in the closed world of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

The third of six children in a family that harks back to a gloried Hassidic dynasty, Judy Brown grew up with the legacy of centuries of religious teaching, and the faith and lore that sustained her people for generations.

But her carefully constructed world begins to crumble when her “crazy” brother Nachum returns home after a year in Israel living with relatives. Though supposedly “cured,” he is still prone to retreating into his own mind or erupting in wordless rages. The adults’ inability to make him better – or even to give his affliction a name – forces Judy to ask larger questions: If God could perform miracles for her sainted ancestors, why can’t He cure Nachum? And what of the other stories her family treasured?

Judy starts to negotiate with God, swinging from holy tenets to absurdly hilarious conclusions faster than a Talmudic scholar: she goes on a fast to nab coveted earrings; she fights with her siblings at the dinner table for the ultimate badge of honor (“Who will survive the next Holocaust?”); and she adamantly defends her family’s reputation when, scandalously, her parents are accused of having fallen in love—which is absolutely not what pious people do.

For all its brutal honesty about this insular community, This is Not a Love Story is ultimately a story of a family like so many others, whose fierce love for each other and devotion to their faith pulled them through the darkest time in their lives.

Buy the book:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble

judy2About the author:    Judy Brown (pen name, Eishes Chayil) was raised in a world of Chassidic schools, synagogues, and summer camps and is a direct descendant of some of the major founders and leaders in the Chassidic world. She received her MFA from Bar Ilan University in Israel, and has been a writer of both Jewish fiction and non-fiction for over 10 years. She lives in New York City with her three children.

In 2010 her novel “Hush” was published under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil. Written through the voice of a child, Hush tells the haunting story of sexual abuse and suicide within the cloistered enclave of the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject she chose to publish the book anonymously.

A year after the book was released, Judy revealed her identity as the author in an article for The Huffington Post.  Threats from within the community, and the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky at the hands of another Orthodox Jew in Boro Park, sparked her disclosure. Judy’s distinctive background and experiences give her writing a unique voice worth listening to, one whose outrage never obscures her perspective or her humor.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook

REVIEW:

What immediately came to mind while reading this book is how similar it felt to another story – To Kill a Mockingbird.  Judy, as an eight year old, tries to explain why her brother is “crazy”.  She draws upon a wild imagination as well as teachings from her religious beliefs to try to come to terms with what is happening to her family because of her brother.

I was curious as to why the book was entitled “This is not a love story“. Falling in love with a future spouse was not considered acceptable in the Chassidic community and the author, as a child, constantly worried that this was the reason her family was cursed with a crazy brother.   She was worried that her father “liked” her mother too much, and that her mother “liked” her son (the author’s brother) too much as she was unwilling to send him to an institution.  The concept of love was foreign to her. However, as the story progresses, we see how much love this family truly had toward each other as they struggled to care for each other, especially when things come to a climax when her brother becomes uncontrollable.

I waited a long time before I could read this book and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.  The storytelling was colourful and I really felt like I was in the head of an eight year old.  This little memoir continues on for several years and as Judy grows up she learns the true meaning of love and no longer feels threatened by it.

I highly recommend this fascinating book.

Book review: New Jerusalem News by John Enright

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Book Details:

Book Title:  New Jerusalem News by John Enright
Category:  Adult fiction, 265 pages
Genre:  Literary / Humour
Publisher:  Yucca / Skyhorse
Release date:  August 2015
Available for review in:  Print, gifted Kindle, audiobook (Audible)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: Nov 2 to 20, 2015
Content Rating:  R (There are two explicit, matter-of-fact sex scenes, but no violence or bad language.)

Book Description: Dominick is always just passing through. He is a professional houseguest who follows the sun and the leisure class from resort to resort. But this winter he lingers on a quaint New England island and in spite of his best intentions becomes involved in the travails of his eccentric geriatric hosts. An environmental protest against a proposed liquid natural gas terminal turns ugly, and by accident and happenstance Dominick becomes a mistaken suspect in terroristic bombings. But the book, of course, is really about its characters. None of them are young—white-bearded men and blue-coiffed women busy with aging, dementia, and ungrateful children. Dominick strives to float above it all in a life of itinerant escape. A New England comedy of sorts, New Jerusalem News, on another level, is an extended meditation on history, identity, and what it means to drift.
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Buy the book:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble    Book Depository

John Enright author pic

Meet the author:   

Originally from Buffalo, New York, John Enright holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from the City College of New York and a master’s degree in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley. After working in magazine journalism and book publishing, he left the U.S. to teach at the American Samoa Community College. He remained in the South Pacific for 26 years, directing environmental, cultural, and historical preservation programs and writing extensively about the islands. His acclaimed detective series, Jungle Beat (Thomas & Mercer), featuring Det. Sgt. Apelu Soifua, is set in Samoa. His collection of poems about Samoa, 14 Degrees South, won the University of the South Pacific Press’s inaugural Literature Prize for Poetry in 2011. He now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island, with his wife, ceramicist Connie Payne.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter    Facebook

REVIEW:
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The quirky plot of this novel captured my interest from the start.  The characters were well-developed and the setting was easy to imagine.  The writing was descriptive and the dialogue tongue-in-cheek. However, I couldn’t get past the language and sexual scenes so decided not to finish the book.
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