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Billy Burgess

My work has appeared or is forthcoming in magazines/ezines such as Stories For Children, knowonder! Magazine, My Light Magazine, Long Story Short, SFC Newsletter For Writers and Once Upon A Time. http://ramblingsofacoffeeaddictedwrter.blogspot.com/
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Book Review - Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy

Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy BY: Meg Christian PUBLISHED BY: Infivity Publishing.com PUBLISHED IN: 2008 ISBN: 0-7414-4793-2 Pages: 146 Ages: Teen & Up Reviewed by Billy Burgess In book one of the trilogy, the young author Meg Christian has created the fantasy world of Umberodia. In this land is a sixteen year old Katrina Rawl. Her mother passed away when she was very young. Since then, she has lived with her aunt. Katrina spends her days selling vegetables on the side of the road. She likes to read books which is something that is forbidden by the Emperor. Katrina stumbles upon a letter written by her mother. In the letter is a message that she is suppose to give to Amile the Warrior. Soon after, the Emperor sends out his army to do a routine house by house search. The army reports back to the Emperor telling him of a young girl named Katrina Rawl. The Emperor knows this must be the only daughter of Marianne Rawl. He orders his army to retrieve the girl. When the army arrives the next night, Katrina slips out of the house and escapes. She heads to Ioni where she hopes to find the Amile the Warrior. On the way she finds may other dangers. She also meets a skittish bird named Twitter and a young man named Arlon who help her on the journey. This is an adorable tale set in an original world of Umberodia. Meg Christian’s love of adventure and storytelling is shown in Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy. The young author is donating all of the profits to the Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good quest and wonderful characters.

Book Review - First Night

First Night BY: Tom Weston PUBLISHED BY: tom weston media PUBLISHED IN: 2008 ISBN: 978-0-981-94130-1 Pages: 253 Ages: Teen & Up Reviewed by Billy Burgess Author Tom Weston brings us an old fashioned ghost tale in First Night. The story begins with Sarah Pemberton who has caught the small pox. A family friend, Captain John Ayres, gives her an ivory bracelet to wear. Sarah dies. The story skips to the present day. Alexandra O’Rourke and her younger sister, Jackie, are spending their New Year’s Eve with their aunt and uncle in Boston. They’re California girls and rather be home partying than spending their vacation in Boston. Their aunt and uncle let them go out on their own and explore Boston. They come across a teenager wearing a 1600’s dress. Her name is Sarah Pemberton. The same Sarah who died many years ago of small pox. The Court of Spirits have accused her of being a witch and release her into our world to find a lawyer. Alexandra and Jackie think nothing of it because they’re in the historical part of Boston. They change their minds when Sarah runs through Alex. With time running out, Sarah takes Jackie back to the Court of Spirits to help defend her soul. Alexandra stays behind and searches for the Devil’s Book. Tom Weston has written a fun, original novel while blending in some historical facts and locations about Boston. Alexandra and Jackie are believable teenage characters with cleverly written dialogue. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good ghost story.

Book Review - The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab BY: Fiona Ingram PUBLISHED BY: iUniverse PUBLISHED IN: 2008 ISBN: 978-0-595-457168 Pages: 258 Ages: Teen & Up Reviewed by Billy Burgess In this first chapter of the Chronicles of the Stone, Adam and his cousin Justin are invited to go on a trip to Egypt by their Aunt Isabel and their Grandmother. The boys are excited about visiting another country. Their Aunt tells them that the archaeologist, James Kinnaird, has disappeared while looking for the tomb of the Scarab King. The tomb of the Scarab King is just a legend and has never been proven to exist by any archaeologist. When they arrived in Cairo, they joined a tour group. A stranger gives three tiny scarabs to Adam. More odd things happen. Their aunt’s camera is switched with Dr. Khalid’s camera. Adam then discovers a fourth scarab in his back pocket. What are theses mysterious scarabs? Is someone one following them? Is the legend of the Scarab King real? Adam and Justin must try to solve the mystery. Author Fiona Ingram mixes history and legends in this fast action adventure that keeps you reading till the very end. The characters are cleverly written. Young readers can easily step into the shoes of these two cousins and experienced this exciting adventure that takes you into the heart of Egypt. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Book Review - Jungle King Secrets

Jungle King Secrets BY: Paul Adcock PUBLISHED BY: Loving Healing Press PUBLISHED IN: 2008 ISBN: 978-1-932690-49-1 Pages: 251 Reviewed by Billy Burgess You can’t watch television these days without seeing those annoying male enhancement commercials. In the Jungle King Secrets by Paul Adcock, learn how to increase your libido without using those dangerous, toxic enhancements that are in the markets today. The basic guideline in the book is very simple: eat healthy and exercise. Stay away from processed foods like cookies, soft drinks and other sweets. Eat fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and eggs. Drink raw milk and water. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Do you know what vitamin is referred as “nature’s Viagra?” Paul Adcock gives you the answer and lists other vitamins that can help you increase your love life. Learn about “energy cultivation (Qi Gong),” and other exercises that helps your stamina and health. The Jungle King Secrets is heavily researched, but at times the book feels like it’s repeating itself. I think the author could have written this book under one hundred pages without losing any of the information. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it.

Book Review - Calling All Authors - How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open

Calling All Authors - How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open BY: Valerie Connelly PUBLISHED BY: Nightengale Press PUBLISHED IN: 2007 ISBN: 978-1-933449-43-2 Pages: 291 Reviewed by Billy Burgess Have you ever wanted to be a published writer? “Calling All Authors - How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open” tells what traps and mistakes to avoid during publishing. Should you use a traditional publishing company or should you publish the book yourself? Will you need a publicist? An editor? Or a proofreader? These are just some of the questions that author Valerie Connelly, founder of Nightengale Press, answers in this book. There are many myths and tales about the publishing world. “Calling all Authors,” explains these myths and brings them into reality for writers. A lot of new writers think their books will be an instant bestseller. You’ll learn that books don’t become bestsellers overnight. As a writer myself, I enjoyed reading “Calling All Authors.” I learned that even in traditional publishing you’ll have to do some marketing of your own. You can’t just sit back and expect the book to just sell itself. Learn how to promote your book by using the internet. Learn how to benefit from good and bad book reviews. I recommend “Calling All Authors” to all upcoming writers of any genre. This book will help you with those difficult decisions you will come across while publishing your novel.

Book Review - Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition

Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition: Self-publishing Directory BY: Deana Riddle PUBLISHED BY: New Vision Media PUBLISHED IN: 2009 ISBN: 978-0-9822674-9-3 Pages: 213 Reviewed by Billy Burgess With a flashy cover, the Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition: Self - publishing Directory will catch any writer’s eye. Being a writer myself, I have read several resource and writing books, but this is the first I’ve read about self-publishing. The book is filled with over two hundred resources and over thirty articles. You learn every step there is in publishing your own book. Learn the difference between a book printer and a self-publishing service. Find out how to use social networking websites, blogs and book reviews to promote your book. My favorite sections are the Book Review Resources, and the Informational Sites and Writer Organizations. The tips in these sections are very helpful. I found the Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition to be full of wonderful information that any writer can use. Before jumping into the self-publishing world, I recommend reading this. Any questions you would ever have will be answered in this amazing book.

Book Review - Authors Access - 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers BY: Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar & Victor R. Volkman PUBLISHED BY: Modern History Press PUBLISHED IN: 2009 ISBN: 978-1-932690-98-9 Pages: 220 Reviewed by Billy Burgess Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers is a wonderful handbook for any writer. It is a compilation of podcasts from the internet radio show called Authors Access. The authors share great tips about the craft and myths of writing. You learn about writing about romance, mystery and other genres. Being a writer myself, I found the book interesting. I enjoyed the chapters on children’s books and the article “Exploring Ghostwriting, co-Authoring, and Collaborating” by Ami Hendrickson. This is the first time I have read anything on ghostwriting. It was a joy to read. There is a lot of information on promoting your book by the use of the internet. In “Book Marketing on MySpace,” you learn how to set up a successful myspace profile, and learn how an author can use it to promote their work effectively. Every author needs to know how to use Amazon.com to sale their books. In “Amazon Adventures: Staring Down Earth’s Largest Bookstore,” you learn how to use advantage and associate programs. There are four wonderful articles about book reviews and how to use them to your advantage. My favorite was, “Negative Book Reviews: How to Avoid Them, and How to Use Them to Your Advantage.” One of the downfalls of the book is that it concentrates too much on self-publishing. I would’ve liked to have read more article on traditional publishing in magazines and big publishing houses. Overall I found Authors Access to be a great reference tool that every author should have on their desk.

Book Review - Awakening

Awakening BY: K. Lippi PUBLISHED BY: Mirror Publishing PUBLISHED IN: 2009 ISBN: 978-1-936046-14-0 Pages: 231 Ages: Teen & Up Reviewed by Billy Burgess Author K. Lippi brings us the epic tale of Awakening, a world where vampires, demons, werewolves and other supernatural creatures exist. A California girl named Emilia Miani just returned from visiting her father in Japan. Her life is turned upside down when she meets the mysterious stranger, Shin Kurosaki. He is her guardian angel, a Japanese demon assigned to her by one of her ancestors over 500 years ago. She learns that she has mystical powers of her own, and also a dark destiny. Her grandfather was a death angel just like her. He was hired by God. Emilia is his only heir. She is forced to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. A fallen death angel, Markus is stealing the souls of innocent children. He is set on becoming a new god. Emilia and Shin try to destroy his evil plans, while she starts to have feeling for her guardian. This book is cleverly written at times. The characters are deeply explored, and I felt everything the main character goes through. The backstory was a bit too much. It could have been saved for the sequel. Yes, there will be sequel because of the ‘to be continued’ at the ending. A little cliché if you ask me. Overall it was a fun read. If you love reading supernatural, good vs. evil tales, then you’ll love Awakening.

Book Review - Dark Destiny

Dark Destiny: The Sleeping Beauty Story Your Mother Never Told You BY: Kym Hackenberger & Melody Lowe PUBLISHED BY: Wicked Witch Productions, LLC PUBLISHED IN: 2008 ISBN: 978-1440412417 Pages: 158 Ages: Teen & Up Reviewed by Billy Burgess Do you remember the evil stepmothers and queens from the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales? Did you every wonder how they became evil? Authors Kym Hackenberger & Melody Lowe gives us the dark and twisted tale of how an innocent young woman became the Queen of the Dark Realm. Elspeth, the oldest princess of Rookskrieg, is soon to marry Malcolm, the prince of Talonsbay. It’s an arrange marriage set up by their fathers. Neither Elspeth or Malcolm want to get married. Malcolm is womanizer and Elspeth just doesn’t love him. She wants to fall in love like her newly married younger sister, Isabelle, did. On the night of her sister’s wedding, she is embarrassed by Malcolm but is rescued by a dark and mysterious stranger, Jethart. She instantly falls in love him. They sneak around, but can only visit each other at night. Jethart isn’t like Malcolm or any normal man. He can turn himself into an owl and can cast magical spells. During Elspeth’s wedding to Malcolm, Jethart appears and steals the bride-to-be. They elope, and, afterwards, Jethart takes Elspeth to his castle, Dubh Rathgart, aka the Black Fortress. She soon bares a son named Ossian. Full of rage and lust for revenge, Malcolm starts a war with the Dubh Rathgart. He starts the chain of events that could destroy the kingdoms, and causes Elspeth to become the Queen of the Dark Realm. Under 160 pages, this book is short and sweet, but at times the story feels rushed. Some of the dialogue feels a little flat. The characters are not developed enough. There was not one character I felt anything for. I did like that the chapters were short and kept your interest until the very end. Fans of fairy tales and pre-teens will enjoy reading this retelling.

Book Review - Ginger High

Ginger High BY: Melissa Burmester PUBLISHED BY: Infinity Publishing.com PUBLISHED IN: May 2009 ISBN: 0-7414-5363-0 Ages: teen & up Reviewed by Billy Burgess Growing up in the 90’s, I was a big fan of teen horror novels - Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine and Lois Duncan were some of my favorite authors. The teen horror/thriller trend has died down, except for the ones where vampires sparkle. I found Ginger High a breath of fresh air. Teen girls will easily connect with the main character, Daisy - a smart, strong young woman. The novel begins in 1901 where a series of murders take place. All of the victims have bite marks on their necks. Could it be vampires? The story jumps forward to modern days and focuses on teen Daisy Fisher. After her school is burnt down, Daisy is sent to a new school in New York.. Ginger High is a private school for students with extraordinary powers and abilities. She befriends some of the students who can teleport, heal others, and create fire. She soon finds out that people came to Earth from a parallel world called the Kingdom of Animists. A murder occurs at Ginger High, bringing the supernatural beings Amanta, Matthias, and Taeru from the parallel world. While they investigate the death, Daisy struggles with her supernatural powers, and with her mysterious new friend, Fredrick. Amanta must deal with a long time, buried family secret. Fourteen year old, Melissa Burmester has written a fast paced debut novel; combining horror, mystery and fantasy. I love the cover of the book - it reminds me of the horror movie posters of the middle 80’s. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. The author has a bright future in the world of writing.

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