CassaStar – BOOK REVIEW

 

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a great day. I’m reviewing Book One of the Cassa Series (as promised), CassaStar, by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I mentioned in my earlier review of CassaFire that I’d inadvertently bought the second book by accident thinking it was the first. My bad! 🙂 Glad I picked it up!

Book Title:   CassaStar 
Author: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Genre:  Space Opera            

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥

CassaStar2

What a great read!

Byron is a young, arrogant, and troubled young Cassan man who has issues with authority. He is sent to Guaard for Cosbolt fighter pilot training with a young man named Tindel as his navigator.

It seems to Byron that nothing his team does is good enough for his Senior Officer Bassa, though he and Tindel score remarkably well on their training missions. Some of his maneuvers are seen as reckless, but he and his navigator always come away unscathed. His special ‘gift’ plays a part also, but must be kept secret per the Commander’s orders. Some of the other trainees dislike him and he is fine with that. He is not at Guaard to make friends.

Towards the end of training, Byron feels betrayed when Tindel reveals that he no longer wants to be a navigator on a fighter after performing an exercise that haunts him. Their relationship remains mostly strained for what’s left in training. Senior Officer Bassa informs Byron that if he passes, a suitable navigator would be found for him.

Byron does pass his training and when he checks for his assignment, shock overwhelms him when he discovers he will be on the Cassan’s flagship, The Sorenthia. Only high-ranking officers and senior staff are given assignments on this ship. Needless to say, he wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms.

Byron is annoyed and flabbergasted the following day when he learns that is new navigator is none other than his former Senior Officer Bassa. He grudgingly accepts his ‘fate’, but soon realizes how well they work together as a team. After years of self-doubt and loneliness, Byron is finally able to make some connections, as well as a friendship or two.

Unfortunately, there is war in the air. Vindicarn fighters have infiltrated Cassan airspace and are getting bolder. The Cosbolt fighters mission train daily. After several skirmishes with the Vindicarn fighters, a large one ensues when it is discovered that the Vindicarn’s main ship has a weapon in its core that can take out the entire ship. In the end, only Byron can save the day.

I can’t give away much more without giving away a ton of spoilers. The story was interesting and the writing tight. I like how the characters were fleshed out and had their own distinct personalities. I prefer lighter science fiction reads rather than the hard-core, technically and physics based ones. That being said, there was still a good amount of action to propel the story forward. I also liked the emotional and social aspects of the story, too.

The only negative I found was that it took Byron so long to appreciate his friendships and the kindnesses of others. I guess that would be expected from someone who’s never had it and had to learn, I suppose. I’d recommend this book if you’d like to try something out of your normal genre.

Until next post…

 

 

 ajc ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He is the author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

PS:  #whatarethekargrandes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlene the Star and Bentley the Bulldog Book Release – Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Hey to all my blogger friends! Hope the week has been a good one for everyone. Most of you that know me, know that I don’t normally post book releases for children’s books nor do I review them. I remember saying a while back that I was going to ‘expand my horizons’ and read all kinds of genre. Just because I don’t have grandchildren yet, I do have young nieces and nephews.

There’s something else, too. When I started blogging early in 2013, I ‘met’ Deanie Humphrys-Dunne through my blog. Anyone that’s been with me through the beginning knows that I’ve had my ups and downs personally and medically. Deanie always took time to check on me, to see how I was doing.

Deanie herself overcame physical challenges at a very young age. I can’t help but applaud her for that. It was the basis of her first book of a series called Tails of Sweetbrier. Charlene the Star and Bentley the Bulldog was just released on December 29, 2014 and is part of the Tails of Sweetbrier series. At the end of this post, Deanie’s bio will list the other books she’s written. I’d also recommend you visit Deanie’s website and find out a little about her yourself. Her story and mission is inspiring.
BentleyCoverFrom the book:

Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She wants to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal. Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in The Gazette? Why is Cherish so afraid? Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.

Here’s an excerpt:
“I’m Bentley. It’s silly to see a chicken wearing a bonnet!” Bentley said, laughing loudly. “Chickens can’t do anything. Have you ever heard of anyone talking about a chicken’s outstanding skills? No! Nobody even mentions them unless they’re on the dinner menu.”
“Excuse me, but chickens, with or without bonnets, deserve respect,” Hattie answered. “You have no reason to laugh at me. Yes, I do have abilities! For example, I’m a good organizer with neat beakmanship. (It’s like handwriting.) My beakmanship helped us win the ‘Coaches of the Year Award.’

DeanieHeadshotPNGDeanie Humphrys-Dunne is a children’s book author with five books published at this time: Award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. All of her books offer positive messages for children. Her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates her books. Deanie has been featured on several author websites and been interviewed on Theauthorshow.com.

I’ll be reviewing this one soon, so stay tuned! Until next post, have a great day.

Amazon:


Barnes and Noble
:

My website:
www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com

Remembering a Great Friend – Sunflowers for Tina

I’m still at a loss after losing a great blogging friend, Tina Downey, a couple of weeks ago. Sunflowers for Tina 2She was one of the most positive people I’ve ever ‘met’ on the internet and always had something positive to say about everything. Her motto was #lifeisgood.

A group of her fellow bloggers and fans decided to use today, September 8, 2014 as a day to remember Tina and her loving and positive nature.

Today is:

Sunflowers for Tina Day

because

LIFE IS GOOD!!!

 

Writing 101-Day 2: Room With A View

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Photo courtesy of anankkml www.freedigitalphotos.net (photo cropped)

Photo courtesy of anankkml
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

1972, it’s early evening and there’s a slight breeze in the summer air at the playground by 167 and Jerome Ave in the Bronx. I’m laid out on a blanket under a tree with Mami; Papi is practicing his soccer kicks on the grass with my Woolworth’s purchased imitation soccer ball. Occasionally, the rumble of the number 4 train can be heard passing on the el.

Two other families, one Puerto Rican and the other Dominican, ten to twelve deep are setting up together about twenty feet away. We recognize them; they’re regulars here too. They both live in the next building over from us. We’re the only Hungarian family they ‘know’.  The men set up chairs; they ready their congas, bongos, tambourines (panderetas), guiros, and maracas for entertainment. The women set out food and beverages, enough to feed an army, it seems.

http://www.speakinglatino.com/musical-instruments-used-puerto-rican-parrandas/

This is a guiro. To learn more about amazing Hispanic instruments, click on image.

Mami and me get up off our blanket and walk over. I already know Mami offers to help the women. They accept. I go to play with the kids. Papi and the men wave hello. One of the older boys goes up to Papi and they start to kick the ball around.

Pretty soon it seems as though three families had come together. Mami brings our lone blanket closer and calls me to bring my bicycle, the one that I am still trying to learn how to ride. The breeze carries the delicious smell of arroz con gandules and fried chicken. My mouth can’t help but water. After dropping my bike off by the blanket, I glance over and notice potato and macaroni salads, chips, and all manner of sweets. At seven years old, I’m loving it.

Sometimes, what I wouldn’t do to go back to such an easier and carefree time. I was young and didn’t feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders on my worst days. I had my beloved parents with me. That evening in the park with the two families turned into the start of a beautiful friendship between the three families.

I can still hear the rhythm and the beat of the congas in my head to this day. Milo, one of the sons of the Dominican family, became my best friend. We became so close that my parents allowed me to spend a summer in Santo Domingo the following year.

One summer back in time would satisfy me. That’s all I ask.

It’s Good to be Back! Happy Belated Blogiversary to Me!!

Hey to all my beloved blog buddies! I’m back to blogging, a little at a time, because I’ve missed you all so much. I’ve missed the writing, the interactions, the comments, and community. I haven’t been well for the past couple of months, dropping weight and eating little. Luckily, my testing shows that everything looks pretty good except for a bit of a thyroid issue. So, in addition to my usual meds, I’m taking something for my thyroid as well. It seems to be working. My appetite is coming back, I’m not feeling as run down since I’ve been on them and I don’t suffer the constant feeling between hot and cold.

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For a while, I was really beginning to worry. I’d been neglecting even my everyday writing, which I rarely did, even when I took breaks from blogging. A couple of weeks ago I had my first anniversary of blogging and wasn’t even up to celebrating. So I guess this is my happy to be back, belated blogiversary post with balloons and cake! 🙂 I know I left off a couple of months back with my ‘series’ on Coming clean about my stroke. I suppose I’ll continue telling it, but it seems like it’s been so long since I’ve posted it in its parts, that I may just continue talking about it in general; or if you guys would prefer me to continue posting the series in parts, please let me know in the comments or email. cake2

I’d really like to know. It’s going to take me a little while to get back into the swing of things, but you have all been so patient with me and the outpouring of love I get is unreal. Most importantly, I have to thank my BFF, Marilyn Parel,

My best friend's page: On Becoming a Writer

My best friend’s page: On Becoming a Writer

for picking up some of the slack for me, because she has been great (and is continuing to be great) by posting on my blog at least once a week. You can find her  by clicking on the image to the left. Anyhow, my darling BFF will probably continue to post once a week for me until I get into a regular routine again. I’m aiming to post at least once a week to start, while going back to my WIP. While I was under the weather, I WAS able to get a lot of reading done, so I’m thinking of posting some book reviews on the blog too. I’m curious about what you guys think of that. I sometimes post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, but not always. Any suggestions would be awesome. It’ll help me get my focus back.

Just typing up this post is making me feel like a million bucks, so I have a feeling I’m going to be back with a vengeance soon enough. That being said, Happy Blogiversary to Me, I love and miss you guys and until next post… Nighty Night. Lily