Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review- Louis L’Amour- The Empty Land

Louis L’Amour- The Empty Land (Bantam Books 2006) 3.5 Stars

Before I start I must say that I love L’Amour’s books. I have been a huge fan for many years and own most of his books. This is one that I had not had the opportunity to read yet. The Empty Land features the town of Confusion, a town started up with the discovery of gold. A group called Discovery are the founders and they want a gentle, civilised town, but getting it may not be so easy. After the death of a couple of sheriffs the Discovery group decides that they need the help of Matt Coburn to clean up the town, but Coburn wants nothing to do with the town as he is looking to leave the gun fighting role. It takes time, but Coburn gets involved and the town is about to blow its lid sky high.

The Empty Land is not as good as many of his westerns, but I still enjoyed reading it. It moved a little bit slower and did not have as much plot as I would have liked to see. The characters were interesting though and the action scenes were intriguing. I kept finding myself wondering just who would get the boot next, although the endings are always predictable. His words always manage to paint a beautiful picture of the western scenery, back when the land was unscathed by large towns and for that reason I love L’Amour’s novels. He always gets my imagination flowing.

I would recommend The Empty Land to anyone who loves westerns, or is a Louis L’Amour fan.

For more of my reviews check out my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Review- Jeffery Deaver- The Cold Moon

Jeffery Deaver- The Cold Moon (Simon & Schuster 2006) 3.75 Stars

The Watchmaker has come to New York City and he is leaving brutal murders in his wake. Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic criminalist is hunting him using Detective Amelia Sachs to do the police work. Sachs however is on her first solo case and does not have a lot of time to help out, leaving Rhymes to look elsewhere for help.
This was a good solid mystery/thriller. The characters were strong and I found it interesting that the lead character was a quadriplegic criminalist. The novel had some good twists and turns that were great and not foreseen, although I was hoping for a little bit more that would grab my attention. It just was not as good as other Deaver novels, not having that ‘draw you in, shake you up and never let you go’ attitude.
I recommend The Cold Moon to mystery readers, and Deaver fans, not the greatest thriller if that’s what you are looking for.

For more of my reviews check out my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Friday, July 24, 2009

Book Review- Lee Child- Killing Floor

Lee Child- Killing Floor (Jove Books 1998) 4.75 Stars

This was my first book by Lee Child that I have ever read and I have to say that I was impressed. Jack Reacher, a former military policeman turner drifter, happens upon a gruesome murder in a small town. He finds himself arrested for a crime that he did not commit and he must work to prove himself innocent.
I was intrigued by the opening pages of Killing Floor and my attention was not released until the very end. Jack Reacher is a mysterious character and so we do not find out a lot about him, which normally I would not like, but in this case, it helped with his aura of mystery. The plot was fast-paced and well put together. I saw much of the ending coming, but still found myself wanting to find out just how it was going to play out. Lee Child has a way of including many twists and turns that although are not all completely likely to happen, they are still very enjoyable to read about. I will be looking for more of this series.
I would recommend Killing Floor to thriller and crime novel enthusiasts, or anyone who wants a fast-paced action novel.

For more of my reviews check out my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Review- Catherine Coulter- Double Take

Catherine Coulter- Double Take (G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2007) 3 Stars

Julia Ransom’s husband was killed recently and the police believed that she had done it, but due to lack of evidence they were forced to release her. Now that she is out a mysterious man is trying to kill her. Agent Stone believes that the two events are connected and he intends to get to the bottom of it, reopening the murder case.
This novel had potential of being intriguing and filled with fast-paced action, but it did not quite meet my expectations of a good suspense novel. Don’t take me wrong, it was a good novel, just not as good as it could have been. Some of the events were not very plausible and the ending was completely predictable. Even the characters could have had more depth than they did.
I would recommend Double Take to Catherine Coulter fans.

For more of my reviews check out my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Review- Beverly Cleary- Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Beverly Cleary- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Avon Books 1992) 3.5 Stars

This is a series I love and appreciate for the enjoyment I get form reading it. In this novel Ramona has just been moved into a new school, where she meets a young boy in her class whom she calls Yard Ape. In her own way she must figure out if her teacher, Mrs. Whaley, likes her. Her father is studying to become an art teacher and her mom is now working at a dental office. Ramona must spend after school hours at the Kemps, where she does not want to stay for she is forced to play with Willa Jean whom she does not like playing with.
This series is cute and keeps me laughing throughout. Not too much of a plot here, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. It is a book you can read without putting a lot of thought into it, a nice change from the books I normally read. I love the characters in this series as they all seem to add there own special touch of humour to the storyline.
I recommend this book to young readers who aren’t looking for anything too serious, just fun.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review- David Baldacci- Wish You Well

David Baldacci- Wish You Well (Warner Books 2000) 4 Stars

Wish You Well tells the tale of Lou and Oz Cardinal as they struggle through life’s challenges. Their father dies in a tragic car accident that also turns their mother into an invalid who remains unconscious. They must move away from the life they have known to live with a grandmother they have not met. To the mountains of Virginia they move with their mother. As they learn to live a mountain life, they hope and pray for their mother’s recovery. In the mountain they find a true friend their age and some that are much older, but life does not plan to let them off the hook just yet, it has other things in mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has a beautiful storyline that captivates the reader and tugs at their hearts. The reader cannot help but love the two children and some of the people they meet throughout the book. It captured my attention and got my mind to thinking about what I might do if I was put in the same situations. The setting was wonderfully described and makes me want to visit Virginia to see some of the scenery.
I recommend this Wish You Well to anyone who loves drama, or just wants to read a heart warming book.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book Review- Michael Connelly- Angels Flight

Michael Connelly- Angels Flight (Warner Books 2000) 4.75 Stars

Harry Bosch returns in Angels Flight, a great thriller/mystery. Bosch must deal with politics as he is being restrained by the department’s tense relations with the public. A lawyer who makes money suing police and the police department turns up dead along with another civilian. Suddenly the public is ready to riot and are pointing fingers at the department. Meanwhile Bosch is trying to get to the bottom of it, whether or not the department likes his methods.
Angels Flight was very intense as is to be expected from a Harry Bosch novel. I loved the way the novel just gripped my attention early on and would not let up for a second. Bosch is such a deep character that I feel there is always something new to learn about him. I did figure out early who was responsible for the crime, and yet I still loved the twists and turns Bosch had to take to get to the culprit, weaving through political hoops. The end still managed to come as a surprise, not ending the way I thought it would. The case had a lot for the reader to follow and yet I found that the way it was written I could easily follow what was happening.
I would recommend Angels Flight to Harry Bosch enthusiasts, Michael Connelly followers, and mystery/thriller lovers!

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters

Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Author Interview: Quinton R. Wall

My first author interview. This interiew is with Quinton R. Wall, author of Seed o Hope, the start of a series based on the Talent Tree.

1.Tell us about yourself.

Well the first answer is pretty obvious; My name is Quinton Wall, and I tell stories. I am a fantasy writer, with my debut book The Seed of Hope, out in stores next month.I am originally from Melbourne, Australia, but now live in the central coast of California where I spend countless hours hunched over my laptop in my local starbucks trying to get all my ideas out, and into story. I guess you could say I have the writing bug, and love what I do.

2.When did you start writing?

I have written in some shape or another all my life. As a teenager I filled notebook after notebook of stories, and maps, and puzzles for my weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. As I grew older I moved into technical marketing where I wrote whitepapers, articles, and actively blogged on my IT sites. As for my novel writing career, this was something I had often thought about, but never really took too seriously until I finished reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I loved the first book, and put it down once I was finished thinking to myself, “If a 16 year old kid can write a book like this, what is stopping me?” In someway I had surpressed the creative side of me; what with work, and a young family, but Paolini’s book, unleashed a torrent I had been holding back for a long time. The first result of that is The Seed Of Hope, which I started writing in April 2006, and finished a little over a year later.

3. Who would you consider to be your writing mentors?

Mentors is a hard one, influencers is probably more accurate. My first entry to the fantasy genre was Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, followed by a slew of others with Robert Jordan being the standout in traditional fantasy influences. Philip Pullman and JK Rowlings are my major influences in the world of Young Adult writers, with Mitch Albom being a heavy influence for future books I have planned. Mitch Albom has the incredible ability to paint a vivid story, and do it in half the amount of words that other writers do.

4.What inspired you to write The Seed of Hope?

As I mentioned previously I was inspired to write primarily after reading Eragon, and finding my reawakening so to speak. This was also about the same time I was doing a lot of traveling for work, and I was listening to audiobooks for hours each day. I think I listened to the entire Harry Potter series in a period of a few weeks. During the past few years I had also been making up little stories to tell my, now 7 year old, daughter as she fell asleep each night. Somewhere along the way we started making up stories together. It was then that I decided I wanted my first book to be something where I could weave the ideas my daughter and I conceived, and make a great story out of it.

5.How did you come up with the idea for The Seed of Hope?

Everybody always asks the ‘where do you get your ideas from’ question, and honestly for the most part, I really don’t know. They come from somewhere in the dark recess of my imagination I suspect. But with The Seed of Hope, a lot of the primary ideas came from the stories my daughter and I made up (the Bag of Brakka was 100% her idea, including the name), and the scenery near my home in Central California with its rugged coast line, abundant wildlife, and incredible vistas.

6. What were the inspirations behind each of the six main children?

I think the characters all have some parts of friends, and family peppered with personal experiences, and a lot of creative license thrown into the mix. Many of the characters, Gideon in particular, really grew throughout the many revisions of the manuscript: almost to the stage where he rivals Charlie as the primary protagonist. Gideon and Charlie really come from the opposite spectrum of family life, and a lot of the conflict throughout the novel is born from these difference. Throw a few other opinionated kids, and a bunch of magic, and who knows what could happen.

7.What other books are you currently working on?

I am currently hard at work finishing the first draft of book 2 of the Talent Tree series , currently titled Of Worldly Deeds, and will then roll straight into the final book. After that I have a standalone book, tentatively titled 9 lives, another fantasy trilogy called Magus Emporium, and finally I have a few ideas/notes about a prequal series set back in the Talent Tree universe where we follow the Seekers, and their motivations.Every day I sketch out a few more ideas --- its just a matter of prioritizing them, and working through them. 9 lives is the one book however, that is just begging me to be written.

8.What are some of your favorites? (Author, food, color, book)

I have so many favorite books/authors but Robert Jordan is the stand out for fantasy, with Mitch Albom, your more ‘mainstream fiction’. In terms of other favorites well Thai is my favorite food, Microphone Fiend by Eric B. and Rakim is my favorite song, and Imogen Heap is my favorite musician/artist. My favorite sport is running. I’ve completed 2 marathon’s and will likely do more, as soon as I can work out how to type, and run at the same time.

9.Any other fun facts about you?

Hmm fun facts, what witty comment can I add here. Not much, I’m pretty normal, aside from the idea knocking away inside my head waiting to be let out, and written down.Thanks for the opportunity to let me tell you more about me and The Seed of Hope. Don’t forget to check out HYPERLINK "" for all the latest information, and take advantage of the special pre-order discount through ( HYPERLINK "" My book is officially released next month (August 2009) so you still have some time.

And that is all folks! Great interview. Thank you Quinton for your time and great answers!

Signing off from Swift Current, Saskatchewan,

Tony Peters

Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Review- Quinton R. Wall- The Seed of Hope

Quinton R. Wall- The Seed of Hope (The Pragmatic Programmers 2009) 4 Stars

I was very impressed by this well-written debut novel. The author, Quinton R. Wall, sent me a copy of this in e-book form for review purposes and I am glad that he did. The Seed of Hope is the first in a series surrounding the Talent Tree that gives people special talents that revolve around skills that they already have within. Charlie Parker has been looking forward to receiving his talent and entering the garden that his father works in as a Keeper. Getting his talent though, may not be as easy as it sounds. His journey will take him places he could have only imagined and stretch his young body and mind beyond what any child should have to.
The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the dedication was. The Seed of Hope had an excellent introduction that commanded my attention, by then it did slip back into a slower section that was needed for background information. Once the main adventure began though it never let up, putting the book down was very difficult. Not being a huge fantasy fan, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the book as much as I was. I appalled by how cruel two of the boys were to poor Gideon, I felt so bad for him, but that is how children are. The characters were amazingly well put together and they flowed from the page like they were real.
I would recommend The Seed of Hope to fantasy lovers of all ages, but particularly middle reader and young adult level readers. A well-earned four stars! Here is his website,

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Book Review- Martina Reisz Newberry- Perhaps You Could Breathe For Me

Martina Reisz Newberry- Perhaps You Could Breathe For Me (Xlibris 2009) 3.75 Stars

Martina Newberry has put together a beautiful collection of poems. Her poems flow smoothly, speaking of a variety of issues our world is dealing with. Martina makes you look at yourself in a different light, wanting to change the way you live and think about the world’s many problems. My favourite poem in this collection had to number 35, Surviving Sundown. It is a wonderful poem with a lot of imagery and shows much thought.
There were a few poems that had lines I wondered about, feeling that they did not quite fit into the main theme of the poem, which kind of threw me off. In a couple of others I was trying to get the rhythm and couldn’t quite find it, but maybe that’s just me.
Overall I loved the collection and would recommend it to poetry lovers around the world.

If you liked this review look for more at my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book Review- James Patterson- You’ve Been Warned

James Patterson & Howard Roughan- You’ve Been Warned (Vision 2008) 2.5 Stars

In You’ve Been Warned, Kristin Burns is working a nanny, even though she really wants to be a professional photographer. She seems like she is about to get the man of her dreams for keeps and she has found children whom she loves. Life begins to get odd for her though, and she must figure out just what is going on before life catches up with her.

Once again I find myself disappointed in a co-authored book by Patterson. Why do I bother reading his co-authored books you ask? Well because I already had the books and I refuse to give the book up without first giving it a chance. It started off really good. I loved the first four or five chapters, which as you Patterson readers know is not all that many pages. You’ve Been Warned is well-written, but it lacks so much. The characters I felt no connection to and could not ever feel like I knew them at all. The plot was fairly weak as well, in my opinion Patterson could have done a much better job, I know he has the skills to do so. The dialogue was strong and that was pretty much what it had going for it, but a book cannot be saved by good dialogue.

The book has a dark, odd storyline that is an acquired taste, which is why I will only recommend You’ve Been Warned to those who wish to read about the odd, dark, and bizarre. Patterson lovers may not be impressed. If you wish to start reading Patterson DO NOT start with this one.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Creepy Bug

Okay this bug is totally disgusting, creepy, and so cool. I have no idea what it is, can anyone help me? It got into our house and we trapped it between the screen and the window.

Book Review- Major Charles Gilson- Raja Dick

Major Charles Gilson- Raja Dick (Oxford University Press 1934) 3.25 Stars

Jonathan Wade is searching for his Uncle Dick whom he has not heard from in quite a while. Quickly he discovers that there is a treasure involved and the hunt is on. Treasure hunting is never as easy as it sounds though, as there are tribes of Muruts, a tribe that would rather kill you than look at you, who are sitting right where they need to go.
Raja Dick was an enjoyable read, a little shorter than I would have liked, but still enjoyable. The plot was not overly complicated, but the book was very quick-paced. I would have liked to see more focus put on character development, as there was very little opportunity to get to know the people in the book. Basically the major thing that this book had going for it was the fact that it was an easy, fun read for young people who want to read.
I would recommend this novel to middle readers/young adults who wish to read a fast-paced and fun book. If you like Indiana Jones you are sure to like this book.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review- Lynne Reid Banks- The Return of the Indian

Lynne Reid Banks- The Return of the Indian (Weekly Reader Books 1986) 3 Stars

This novel is one of those childhood classics that are better when you are a child. Little Bear returns to the scene when Omri decides to tell him that he won a writing contest featuring none other than Little Bear! Things don’t go so well though when Little Bear comes out with a bullet in his back.
The Return of the Indian was not quite as good as its prequel. The plot was decent and dialogue strong, but I just felt that there was something missing. Maybe it would help if I was not expecting it to be as good as the first book. The characters could have been stronger as I still felt that I did not get to know them all that well.
I recommend this novel to middle readers who love to read about historical things, or just like cowboys and Indians……Native Americans.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book Review- Erica Abeel- Conscience Point

Erica Abeel- Conscience Point (Unbridled Books 2009) 3.5 Stars

Conscience Point is the first Romance book I have ever read. Erica Abeel, the author, sent requested that I review her book and I agreed, willing to give any genre a try. In this novel Madelaine Shaye, or Maddy, has everything going for her, a great career in music and the arts, a loving daughter, and a steamy relationship. Life suddenly comes screeching to a halt though, as one by one things start falling apart. Now Maddy must try to piece her life back together and find the strength within to carry on.
I have to admit that I did not particularly enjoy this novel, but that is not what I rate books on. I rate books on quality of writing, and whether or not people who read the genre in question will like it. Erica has a great writing skill and has a well-written novel here. She has created great pictures of the places within this novel and the characters are very well-crafted. I loved the cover of Conscience Point as it was different from most book covers; as a result it draws the eye to the front cover. Even the dialogue is strongly-crafted and the bantering between characters will be enjoyable for romance lovers. One thing that I did find a little bit lacking however, was the plot. I would have liked to see more development on Maddy’s relationship with her daughter.
I would recommend Conscience Point to people who enjoy romance and gothic novels.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Review- Bill Manville- Writing to Get Published Student Handbook

Bill Manville- Writing to Get Published Student Handbook ( 4.5 Stars

I would like to Bill Manville for sending me this handbook, it was a very informative read. This handbook gives aspiring writers the information that they will need in order to stand a chance at getting published. It explains all the important little details from showing and not telling, to what publishers are looking for. On his website Manville holds a teaching course for writers, which is what the handbook is supposed to go along with, although you can read the handbook and not take the course.
I would encourage writers to at least glance through this handbook as it does have some helpful hints and pointers. I enjoyed reading it, as an author every little thing helps. The writing market is tough and we authors need to take every bit of advice we can get!

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Review- Mary Higgins Clark- Where Are You Now?

Mary Higgins Clark- Where Are You Now? (Simon & Schuster 2008) 3 Stars

This was my second attempt at reading Clark’s books. I have to say that I am not overly impressed by her, but I know many people would disagree with me! Charles Mackenzie has disappeared and his sister, Carolyn is determined to find her brother. She receives a message asking her not to look for him, signed by none other than her brother. More and more it begins to look like finding him may not be such a good idea, but she will not be deterred.
This novel sounded so promising, but the more I read, the more I wished I wasn’t. The plot dragged on and was really slow. The dialogue and characters are what saved it from getting a worse rating. Maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t had such high hopes for it.
I am afraid that I have to disagree with many of Clark’s fans and say that not only do I not recommend this novel, but I do not recommend her as an author!

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping