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May Madness – May 2014 / Round 3

Round 3 of May Madness

We are down to 8 books! Genres have been eliminated. It is now just book against book! Time for Round 3 of May Madness!

online poll by Opinion Stage

online poll by Opinion Stage

online poll by Opinion Stage

online poll by Opinion Stage

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    May Madness – May 2014 / Round 2

    Round 2 of May Madness

    Just that quickly 16 books have been eliminated! Is your favorite going to win and better yet will you be reading it for free? Round 2 of May Madness begins now!

    Romance

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Mystery/Thriller

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Young Adult

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Historical Fiction

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Memoir / Biography

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Fantasy

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Horror

    online poll by Opinion Stage


    Historical Nonfiction

    online poll by Opinion Stage

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      NUBC Review – Finding Billy Battles

      Finding Billy Battles

      Published by: Ronald E. Yates
      Publication Date: 12/26/2013
      ISBN: 1494854449
      Purchase Links:   

      Overview:

      Western Kansas 1860. Billy Battles is born on a remote homestead just off the storied Santa Fe Trail. More than one hundred years later a great-grandson inherits two trunks filled with Billy’s personal effects. In those trunks are several secret journals that reveal an astonishing life of adventure and violence that until now was obscured by the haze of time and Billy’s desire for secrecy. 

      The journals tell of a man both haunted and hunted who, in a desperate search for peace and redemption, journeys far from the untamed American West to the Far East, South America, and Europe. In amazing detail they describe Billy’s interaction with a wide assortment of men and women–some legendary, a few iniquitous, and many lost to history. They also recount his participation in such cataclysmic events as the Spanish-American War, turmoil in French Indochina, and violent revolutions in Mexico and South America.

      Complying with Billy’s last request the great-grandson assembles the journals into a compelling trilogy that reveals a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control, but who nevertheless manages to persevere for ten decades.

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      Advance Praise:

      A mix of historical fact and fiction., February 4, 2014 bSara

      From the moment I started reading Finding Billy Battles, I was drawn into the story. It was well written, and held my attention through the entire book. The author, Ronald Yates, created an amazing blend of historical fiction and historical fact while using famous historical figures of the American West. The main character, Billy Battles was well-developed, and since it was written from his perspective, we got insight into his thought patterns and his motivations through the whole story. I also liked the concept that the book itself opens with Billy Battle’s great-grandson actually meeting him, and then later on receiving the journals that Billy had written. For me, what really brought the story alive was the use of the vernacular at the time, and I loved the turns of phrases they used in the past. It added another layer of authenticity to the story.

      Billy Battles wasn’t the only character I liked. As mentioned, I loved how the author utilized historical figures to flesh out the narrative – Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson to name a few. As I read this book, I found myself looking up the places mentioned, as it ranged from Dodge City, Kansas to Tombstone, Arizona. As far as other characters, one of my favorites was Signore DiFranco. He was in exile from his home country, but I found him to be as fascinating a character as Billy.

      This particular book – Finding Billy Battles- is just part one, and I really want to read the next book to find out how this story continues. A highly recommended rating of 5/5 stars for those who love historical fiction, and the Old West in particular.

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      Can’t eat or sleep, January 23, 2014 bMartin Henley  

      Ever have a book that takes over your days and nights – that’s what Finding Billy Battles did for me. Set in post-civil war Kansas and surrounding territories Billy makes friends with the likes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday while making enemies of some of the lowest scoundrels imaginable. The first of a trilogy of adventures that takes Billy around the world, ‘Finding Billy Battles’ is a seamless blend of history and fiction. Ron Yates has a knack for late 19th century cowboy dialogue that sounds true to the ear. His metaphors are hypnotic – “…he was so crooked that he put on his socks with a corkscrew” is one of my favorites. Take it to the beach or sit in a snowdrift…wherever you are while reading about Billy’s adventures you will be instantly transported to a world gunslingers, bad hombres, fine ladies, and loyal friends.

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      5.0 out of 5 stars what a surprise, February 20, 2014 bSteven Hames

      What a surprise this book was ,it is a book that grabs you by surprise & comes to life. A shame it had to end. A very good read I loved every second of it.

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      Move over Elmore Leonard and Pete Dexter–there’s a new deputy sheriff in town, February 14, 2014 by Mike Tharp 

      I thought I knew a lot about Kansas and the Old West and other parts covered in (this) novel. I learned twice as much as I thought I knew–and was pulled gratefully along by the plot, characters, dialogue and, especially, Yates’s unique use of the language and grammar of the frontier. Literally hundreds of words and phrases common to that era are no longer in use–and he has brought them back to us, to roll around on our tongues and play with in our minds. Billy will join a short list of must-read Old West characters, brought to life by the Elmore Leonards, Pete Dexters and Ron Yates of this world.

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      Captures the unique personality, flavor, and wildness of the old American West, February 17, 2014 bL. Jenkins “Laurie-J” 

      This book captures the unique personality, flavor, and wildness of the old American West as we follow the life and adventures of a young man through a period of about 30 years. The prologue gives the back story and generally held my interest, but once I began reading the first chapter I was smitten. The tale just seemed to flow from the page on my kindle into my thoughts and mind. I love books which allow me to become so immersed into the story that I lose track of time and forget my sense of self for a while. This book did that. The descriptive detail was phrased with such care that I could see, hear and smell the surroundings. The people were colorful, and when they spoke the cadence, rhythm, and turn of phrase seemed quite authentic to the time period. Even though there were some turns of phrases I was totally unfamiliar with, they still felt genuine. It was magnificent!

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      About the Author: 

      Ronald E. Yates is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Dean Emeritus of the College of Media at the University of Illinois where he was also a Professor of Journalism.

      He is the author of Finding Billy Battles, the first in a trilogy of novels published Nov. 2013 and The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. His books also include Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.

      Yates lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America where he covered several major stories including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975, the 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing, and revolutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador an Guatemala. He is an honors graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

      Catch Up With the Author:   

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      Our Review:

      Ted Sayles is 12 when he meets his 98 year old great grandfather Billy Battles for the first time.  At the time as teenagers are prone to do he discards the importance of the man and his history. Billy leaves him his journals and belongings and ask him to write the truth. It is then that Ted begins to uncover what a fascinating man his grandfather actually was.

      This was a very engaging story. It reminded me of “Forrest Gump meets the Wild West”. Billy Battles starts out as a timid young man. As an only child to a widowed single mother who constantly overlooked his safety, he is looking to start on a grand adventure. His mother pushes him to the University because she sees an education as a way to keep him safe. However as the events unfold he is dragged into one incomparable situation after another. Traveling through the years he meets and becomes friends with several formidable people including Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Bat Masterson. He also befriends many others that add to the story.

      The plot is not completely original but the execution is perfect. The story unfolds slowly but steadily with just enough information to not be overwhelming. The characters are very well developed. As a fan of the movie Tombstone, I could see and hear Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Doc in my head. This was a very entertaining read. I cannot wait to read the next part.

      *Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ronald E. Yates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced our review.

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        May Madness – May 2014

        May Madness

        March Madness is coming to an end! Since I’m more of a football kind of gal, it really doesn’t bother me. However, we, like all of you, love books. So what better way to start of spring then for a little madness of our own? We have picked 32 awesome books and they will go head to head. At the end of the month the victor will be our May Book of the Month. Plus one lucky reader will win a copy of that book for participating in the polls. Vote for the book you want to see win and you just might get to read it for free!

        We have chosen books from 8 different genres. The genres are Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Memoir/Biography, Fantasy, Horror, and Historical Nonfiction. Let’s get this party started!!

        Round 1 Starts Now!

        Romance

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Mystery / Thriller

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Young Adult

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Historical Fiction

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Memoirs / Biography

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Fantasy

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Horror

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        Historical Nonfiction

        online poll by Opinion Stage

        online poll by Opinion Stage

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          NUBC Reviews – Killer Within an Allison McNeil thriller by Jeff Gunhus

          Bonnie reviews – Killer Within an Allison McNeil thriller by Jeff Gunhus

           

          OVERVIEW:

          Arnie Milhouse is a murderer. A millionaire with dozens of kills in his past and no one the wiser. But when his name surfaces in connection with the death of a D.C. call girl, Arnie knows it’s only a matter of time before the FBI puts the pieces together. As he makes plans to disappear and leave his life in Annapolis behind forever, he meets a beautiful, mysterious woman who takes an interest in him. The perfect final victim. He can’t believe his luck. 

          Only luck has nothing to do with it. 

          Allison McNeil has returned to Annapolis, a city that she promised herself she would never come back to, not while the cruel memories of her time at the United States Naval Academy still haunt her. But she’s willing to do just about anything to get close to Arnie, even if it means having to face down the demons of her past. Her plans work and soon she and Arnie find themselves locked in a dangerous dance of seduction and betrayal. But Arnie isn’t the only one who carries a secret and the dark truth about Allison McNeil makes a final confrontation between them inevitable. Neither of them know it, but they’re on a collision course that only one of them will survive.

          Purchase Links:  

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          Author Information

          Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. Jeff is also the co-CEO of a national company with over 4,000 employees that has been featured in national media for its unique opportunity for college students to learn entrepreneurial skills.

          He is the author of the motivational career guides No Parachute Required (Hyperion) and The Career Series titles comprised of Wake Up Call, Choose The Right Career and The Little Book Of Secrets (Seven Guns Press). After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

          Catch Up With the Author:     

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          Our Review:

          I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars   The book starts with how a serial  murderer was “born” and ultimately how he is caught.   Allison’s story builds and she develops into a strong determined woman putting her demons behind her.

          It took a little while to get me hooked but once I was hooked it kept my interest all the way through to the end. And the ending was totally unexpected and very satisfying!!
          The book first focused on Arnie who was extremely unlikeable.  But it was needed since it was the basis for the story. So I was very happy when  Allison showed up.  I really liked her and the way her character was developed.  It was very obvious that the  author put a lot of thought into the development

          Charlie was a great supporting character and I loved the interaction between Allison and Charlie. I was glad that the author didn’t throw a love story into the mix – using Richard to hint at it was excellent.

          This book was written as book 1 and I  would definitely read the next books in this series.

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