Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This blog was labeled as spam and deleted yesterday morning.  Google did send an email of apology and reinstated it, but due to people in the writing community who have stated that this has happened to them multiple times, we've moved the blog, for the time being, over to wordpress.

I love blogger, I still use it for my person blog, writing blog and family blog, but as we plan on writing A LOT on here, and sharing A LOT on here, I don't want to risk it getting flagged as spam again and losing all of our links and hard work.

The link to our wordpress blog is here, and I've moved everything over, so there shouldn't be any delay in people getting exposure to their work, plus the old links for the previous reviews we did are working again, so that will be helpful.  Head on over to wordpress a little later this morning and check out our latest review!

Love to all!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review- The Mormon Theocracy by Randall Morris

Review by Angella Graff

The Mormon Theocracy is a published document containing two articles by Randall Morris.  I received the review request of this particular document through a facebook page.  Mr. Morris stated that someone had reviewed his document, criticizing it for length and content however, the person had not read the document.

I immediately took interest in the piece, not just because the unfairness of a one-star review by a person who had never read the document, but also because anything non-fiction regarding history and theology is intriguing to me.  I took into consideration the claims made by the first reviewer, stating that due to length the article could not possibly present enough research or information to make it worth purchasing or reading.

I had my hesitations regarding the article.  As a whole, anyone who knows me knows my history with the LDS church, and my disappointment regarding Prop 8 in California, and I was a little unsure if Morris was going to be able to present the information from a biased standpoint with just documented information present.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by my entire experience when reading this work.  The article, in my opinion, was the perfect length.  It had several sources, all cited, quoted and documented.  It presented just the amount of information necessary to present and back up the ideas presented in the document.  With the cited sources and several links, the reader can then choose to explore the topic further, or stop with the information Morris had given.

The article was also presented in a very non-biased way, keeping it true to article form, and any indication of the author's personal beliefs were absent from the piece.  It's exactly what I hoped to have read, and it happily proved the former reviewer wrong in the claims that the article wasn't well researched or long enough to present enough information.

I spoke with Morris later, to discuss the article, and we both found ourselves in agreement over the idea that research articles need to be novel-length.  Informative articles don't need to be the length of a published thesis.

To give a little information on the articles, the first is a basic history of the Mormon Theocracy in the Utah government, where it began, the shift when the US government started to take over, and the remnants of theocracy seen today in the state.  The article contains quotes from actual documents by church leaders and others, and gives the perfect amount of information for a reader to get some idea of the history and the role the church plays in the Utah government.

The second article compares philosophical ideas of Gregory Palmas from other philosophers, including philosophers from the ancient Greeks.  The article, while short, again presents just the right amount of information for the reader, and provides many, many sources for further information should the reader choose to continue their research on the topic.

As a historian and theologian, I feel quite comfortable giving these articles five out of five stars.  I found them to be well written, and I have to say it's a shame these weren't written while I was still in college, because they would have served many purposes in many of my theology classes.

You can find the articles here at Randall Morris' amazon page, along with several other works.  I look forward to reading more articles written by Mr Morris, and wish him all the best in his future writing endeavors.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review- Michael Did What? By Michael Cavallo

Review by Joshua Graff

Michael Did What, by Michael Cavallo 

Michael Did What?  By Michael Cavallo is an amusing collection of anecdotes, words of wisdom, and praise for the eponymous Michael.  The layout is fairly simple; each page manages to convey a simple statement in a humorous fashion and the author’s cleverness is very astute.  “Since bacteria wouldn’t dream of hurting him, Michael has no use for antibiotics,” or, “Pondering the mysteries of life, Michael wonders why it’s called the bunny slope when bunnies don’t ski.

The statements are generally succinct and manage to convey a humorous and clever tone throughout.  As a read, it progresses very quickly, and each page manages to maintain high standards.  Not once did I read a page and feel lost or confused; each statement feels relevant and the humor is consistent.  This would make the perfect gift to anyone who enjoys the Most Interesting Man, or Chuck Norris memes/jokes.  It does manage to be the perfect length and stops before the reader becomes tired of the consistent theme.   

My one complaint is that due to its nature it can feel derivative with many jokes seeming similar to online parodies, and if I could suggest one thing, some humorous art-work occasionally punctuating the chapters to drive some of the humor home would really benefit the book.  Still, the overall consistency, refreshing voice, and humorous prose make me look forward to the writer’s future works.

I give the book 5 stars.  If you enjoy internet memes and limerick-style humor, I'd highly recommend this book to you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review- Be Not Afraid, by K. R. Morrison

Review by Angella Graff

Be Not Afraid, By K. R. Morrison

Be Not Afraid combines Christian spirituality with a traditional "Dracula" style vampire.  The heroine, Lydia, a very spiritual family woman, starts the book in a mundane nine-to-five job.  She's working late, and as she's ready to call it a night, she's suddenly being stalked by a strange man.

The story progresses quickly from there, Lydia being kidnapped by the aptly named Vlad, and turned into a vampire.  Lydia struggles to reconcile her faith in God with her blood-lust, and desire to succumb to her new nature as a vampire.

There's a twist, early on, and with the help of a priest, Lydia is able to overcome the curse and become cured.  She heads home, desperate to forget her ordeal and move forward with her life and her family.  However, her daughter Trudy, starts displaying odd behavior.  A fascination with blood, mysterious mosquito bites on her neck, and a new boyfriend. 

During this time, Lydia's husband also falls off the grid, keeping everyone worried, and when Trudy brings her new boyfriend home, Lydia is horrified to be faced with none other than Vlad himself.  The pieces begin to fall into place, Trudy's odd behavior, her husband's disappearance, and Lydia has to figure out how to save her family from Vlad before anyone is killed.

I won't give away the end, but I will say that the spiritual side is very prevalent, and there is a decent Meta-plot in the book that I'm sure will continue in any books K. R. Morrison writes in the future.

Personally, this genre is not my usual cup of tea.  I almost never read Christian fiction, however I will say this book is a page-turner, especially if you enjoy this type of fiction.  It's obvious that Morrison is well-read in the traditional vampire lore, and I have to say it's nice to see the traditionalist brought out in Vampirism rather than putting a contemporary twist on the legend.  It's been quite some time since I've seen anything traditional involving Vlad the Impaler, so props to the author for that.

The cons regarding the book are few, and shouldn't detract from buying this book, especially if it's the type of genre you enjoy.  In my opinion, I wouldn't have minded a little bit more back-story with Lydia.  The story starts out and goes straight into the action, so there's little time to connect with her as a character.  Same for the family, and you're only really introduced to them the moment the action starts, so it's hard to feel empathy towards anyone.  I only list that here because I prefer to have a deep connection to characters, but if it's action you like, this book definitely delivers.

Towards the end (without giving away any spoilers) the connection to the spirituality of the character's religion is very up front and definitely ties the events together well, so if you were to read it a second time, it all makes even more sense.

I did spot a few typo's in the book, which I don't deduct points for, because as a first book, and self-published one at that, small mistakes can and will escape the editing process.  None of them take anything away from the story, however, and they're easy to overlook. 

All in all, I'm giving the book four stars, and really look forward to seeing what this author brings in the future.  I see a bright writing career for Morrison, and hope she continues to write what she loves!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Welcome Readers and Writers

This is a short welcome post to say hello to any and all readers and writers of this blog.  My husband and I have decided that the best way to help promote a writing career, especially an Indie Author, is to provide a blog offering reviews for indie writers, author interviews, book showcases, and other features to help writers gain more exposure in this crazy, convoluted world of literature.

For the time being, my husband and I are accepting queries for book reviews.  We'll choose to review based on our preferences and availability, but all are welcome to submit.  There will be info on our profile page on google plus, and to submit a review just send us an email with the summary of your book, any links to it, where you'd like the review posted, and when you need it by.  Our reviews will be posted here on the blog, and linked to my facebook page and of course our google plus.

Once we determine if we can review your book, we'll likely ask for it in PDF format, or if you have a paperback, we'd love one of those even more.  (signed, of course!) 

We can't make promises on deadlines, but we can most certainly do our best.  All we ask is that you promote our blog when you can, and if you have a google account, please add our blog to your follow list.

Lastly, if you're willing to do a review exchange of any of my works (and by my, I mean Angella here :D ) please let us know in the email and we can set up the review exchange.

My work is available here on amazon for anyone who wants to decide on a review exchange.  Of course we won't determine whether or not we will do a review exchange based on your willingness to review my work.  Being an indie author, I realize how precious time is and how hard it is to get someone to review any works.

Lastly, our preferences for books:

Josh-  "I will read anything, literally.  If it's bad, it's going to be bad, and I will contact you before I post my review if I find it less than a three star review.  I prefer Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Sci-Fi, however I won't turn a genre down.  I spend most of my time reading on my kindle, but there's a certain appeal to holding a book in my hands, and won't ever say no to a physical copy.  Looking forward to your works!"

Angella- "I'm a little more picky than my darling husband.  I don't like to read erotica, but if it's well done I'll consider it.  I also don't like to read books with a heavy religious tone, though I have read a few that were pretty good.  My favorite books of all time are non-fiction theology-based books, historical fiction, Urban Fantasy, and contemporary literature.  Anything with a music theme, especially classical, is a big plus.  However, I would be hard pressed to turn a book down, but don't expect me to sugar coat anything.  If your work is bad, it's bad.  If it's less than three stars, I will contact you prior and won't post the review of the book without your permission.  Can't wait to see our inbox fill up!"

So folks, that's about it for now.  This post will remain on our profile page for new readers and writers seeking reviews.  Any questions, please don't hesitate to email at