Dreams of the Oregon Coast: A Michael Melville hangout

Besides being an avid but slow reader I am a FT college student at GVSU, published author & writer and former coffee shop lord. I have done a lot of pretty cool shit in my life but one thing I haven't done is become a father. This will change this coming July (2014) when I will welcome my son into my crazy world.


I am looking to make a small but meaningful mark in the literary world and make some good friends along the way. I didn't get into this business to hurt anyone. I did before I became a writer.


Origins: Centurion’s Rise

Quick Summery

Centurions Rise is book two in a fantastic historical fiction series written by hot new author Mark Henrikson. I picked up this series on book two and was immediately caught up in the fantastic action and epic story-line. This amazing book takes us back to the ongoing the battle between two Alien species; the Novi and the Alphas each of whom are trapped on planet earth. The Novi strive to move humanity forward in an effort to reach their home world deeper in the galaxy but are battling the Alpha who are looking to do the same but in their own way while thwarting the Novi. The Novi are looking to bring a balance for humanity while the Alpha; a dog like species are looking for control and each have their own unique powers and abilities. In this book of the series, Novi leader Hastelloy, is in a mental institution and recounts him and his crew’s missions and experiences over the last few thousand years while trapped on earth to his therapist whose brother, an NSA agent, is searching for the aliens.


The Upside

Centurions Rise takes the reader through some of the biggest events in human history and Henrikson breathlessly moves through them while bringing us right into the middle of events we have only read about in history books. He offers a very thorough and detailed description of how these events unravel in the lives of his character. What events you ask? Well…the rise and fall of Gaius Julius Caesar for one. The epic story of Mark Antony and Cleopatra is there as well. The end all be all of stories, the rise and death of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity is there also. These are retold by Novi leader Hastelloy, as he explains how his Novi crew had a hand in and influenced these epic human events. At one point in the story Hastelloy is none other than Marcus Brutus; famous murderer of Julius Caesar. 


*****Check out my blog and read the rest of my review*****





Source: http://oregonmike98.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/origins-centurions-rise-a-badass-sciencefiction-bookreview


Cyber Storm - Matthew Mather I picked this book up on whim when I saw an advertisement for it in an email. The premise of the book sounded interesting, modern and relevant. As I read on, these became even more apparent and I wasn’t let down. For some who read this book it seems they had issues with how slow the pace was. They also had issues with how much of the story revolved around the main character Mike and his small group of survivors inside their apartment in Manhattan and not the event they were surviving. They should have kept reading instead of stopping. This book reminded me of a fire, a slow burn. I will admit it took me awhile to get into it, the slow pace catching me off guard as well as it being written in the 1st person. However, it was brilliant writing on Matthew Mathers part because this “slow burn” made the story that much more appealing and interesting.

It is about a Cyber-attack, yes, but the real story is about human survival, how they coped, changed and beat the odds. It is about our fears both rational and irrational and what happens when our darkest fears take over our mind. It is about how we survive when WE are the only ones we can rely on. It is about having to think about doing things we never thought we would do. Things we may not want to do or should do. I say WE because as I said before this book is relevant to us NOW and the reader could easily place themselves in the characters situations. I saw myself in Mike and his friend Chuck. This book is about our humanity as much as it is being a great techno thriller.

Cyber storm is filled with so many great characters who I would love to know more about. In the end you find out what happened and who is to blame and that could be…all of us. It is scary to think how much of this could actually happen. This was a great book and I am really excited for the movie version of this book. As a fellow indie writer, Mr. Mather is accomplishing the dreams we all are striving for.

Crosswind: 1 (Land, Sea, Sky)

Crosswind: 1 (Land, Sea, Sky) - Lynne Cantwell Back when I was just a boy, I was intrigued by the idea of the ancient gods. Growing up Catholic this was dangerous ground to be interested in. Over the years, as I grew into an adult I became fascinated with the histories and religions of ancient peoples and civilizations. First it was our local Indian legends then Egyptian, the Greek and roman gods/goddesses and also the murky mysteries of Atlantis. A few semesters ago I took a class at GVSU where I learned about ancient mythologies from around the world. Some of these included the Norse, Celtic and Asian religions as well as the tribal mythologies of the Pacific Northwest. I became fascinated by them even more. Since I have a deep love for the Pacific Northwest I took a special interest in the tribal legends from that area.

When I contacted, Kriss Morton, at The Finishing Fairies about reviewing Lynne Cantwell’s novel Crosswinds I wasn’t sure what to expect. The book sounded great based on the brief synopsis I read and the fact that it had to do with the Gods, both old and new excited me. Sadly I only had a little knowledge of Lynne’s previously published work such as the Pipe Women Chronicles **EPIC fail on my part**. As I began reading Crosswinds I certainly wasn’t expecting to have this much in common with the book when it came to my own personal interests.

Crosswinds is the first book in a new series by Lynne Cantwell. This novel takes us into a reality where the ancient Gods of lore and legend and also newer gods are present in the world. They influence and guide the lives of people and the world around them. This happens with what seems to be very little secrecy. Months after the return of Jesus in Denver as an American Indian, the nation is being split apart by separate groups either supporting the return of the Christian god and or pitting against him. The book largely takes place in Washington DC and is full of the political twists, turns and backstabbing one would expect from the town. I really liked the friendship and bond between Tess and Sue as well as e former special-ops agent, Darrell, as they search and out fight against those who would like to bring the world back to its old ways of fear and control.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found out one of the main characters named, Darrell, an American Potawatomi Indian is from Michigan where I was born and raised. I enjoyed some of the geographical references as well as the fact that my part of Michigan has a rich Potawatomi heritage. Lynn did a fabulous job of entwining new religions such as Wicca and their mother Goddess with that of the more established gods and goddesses as well as lesser known gods such as the Norse god Loki, the Irish Goddess The Morrigan , Nanabush the Ojibwa Trickster god, the Greek mother Goddess Gaia and several others. This type of story could scare some readers off; offend them perhaps because of its topic and mixed subject matter if they are wimps. One thing I admire about Lynne is the bravery it took to write this book and put it out there for people to read. The only thing I wasnt so hot on was the cover but other than that Crosswinds was a great book.

Confronting the Demon

Confronting the Demon - Ciara Ballintyne You know what I appreciate about Confronting the Demon almost more than anything else? That it is geared toward a mature adult reader. It seems like everything coming out these days in the fantasy genre are YA and well…that is just not my thing so I don’t read them…usually. Sorry (not really). This novella by Ciara Ballintyne had me moving and shaking from page 1 and I was saddened when I had to put it down while reading it so could deal with finals at GVSU.

World building from scratch, especially good world building takes time. It takes careful and thoughtful consideration and Ciara did an amazing job. I found myself wanting to know about this world, its lands, the city and the mysteries of the shadowy Citadel. Despite the short length of this novella (110 pages) I felt like Ciara did an amazing job of writing the characters especially the wizard Alloran and the very spirited Gisayne. One thing that is important to me as a reader and a writer is feeling like I know who the characters are, their emotions and what makes them tick. As I got farther along with Confronting the Demon I found myself excited to learn more about them. I loved the movement!

I think, my favorite part in this whole novella is where the tentacle demon is coming through the Hell Gate after being summoned by Allorans traitorous old friend. Action can be hard to write and even harder to write well. I applaud Ciara Ballintyne on her ability to weave the action in with intriguing and well written dialogue. For someone who is usually not a reader of high fantasy I now find myself jazzed as hell to read what comes next from this wonderful and exciting new author and this story. This is definitely a quick great read that is worth picking up and worthy of your time.

The Book of Paul

The Book of Paul - Richard  Long Mr. Long did an amazing job at writing a story that is “shit your pants scary”. Let’s be honest If Stephen King thought the book was great and he’s well known as the master of literary horror then who can argue with that. The truly scary thing is that this is just a taste of what is to come from this author and the story and world he created. With other books to come I can’t wait to see what happens next and how this author blows my mind even more. Forget that 50 shades of Grey BS! I want to see a movie version of this Bad Ass Book!

Four Paws

Four Paws - Ben Ditmars,  Scott Morgan,  Amber Jerome-Norrgard and Robert Zimmerman A wonderfully written book of poetry that I could actually understand and relate to. This combined with the wonderful cause the proceeds go toward made me love this this book. great job!!

Four Paws (The Quillective Project) (Volume 1)

Four Paws: A Poetry Anthology by The Quillective Project - Ben Ditmars, Scott  Morgan, Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Robert   Zimmermann, Russell Blake A wonderfully written book of poetry that I could actually understand and relate to. This combined with the wonderful cause the proceeds go toward made me love this this book. great job!!

The Moonless Night

The Moonless Night: Part One of the Veldorian Saga - Benjamin J. Andrus Not being a huge fan of historical fantasy novels, I was pleasantly surprised after reading The Moonless Night by Benjamin Andrus. For me with books in this genre it often takes me a little bit to get into the story and really start feeling it, often putting them down for a while. I even did this with Lord of The Rings….yes I know how dare me.

With The Moonless Night when I hit a particularly wonderful point in the story ( I won’t tell you where) I was hooked. Benjamin created several incredible and intriguing characters who begin to change in shocking ways as the story and their world evolves. As I became more involved in the story, I was drawn to the growing maturity of young Lord Tobin, the massively dark change of Lonessa and the growing bravery and unknown strength of “Little Rat” Aislinn. The Moonless Night has the swordplay, magic, royal intrigue and yes the dragons one would expect from a novel in this genre but it also has moments of love, tenderness and suspense that often took me by surprise.

The Moonless Night is the first part of a trilogy called “The Veldorian Saga”. Benjamin did a fantastic job of creating this world, its history and characters. I cannot wait for the 2nd and 3rd books in the series to come out so I can dive into them. The ending will leave you hanging and demanding more which is a pretty good feet from a first time author in any genre. This book is available on Amazon.com in eBook format.

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King As an up and coming writer myself this book is doing amazing things for me. I finally finished the book after reading it very carefully. Yeah it includes the typical writing advice like many books on writing but I really enjoy Mr. Kings personal thoughts, the back stories that made him into who he is today with regards to his life and family and his own harsh realities of the writing world. Since he is (I think) one of the greatest american writers of the last 50 years his personal stories make him feel like a normal person with normal issues giving his advice and wisdom more credibility in my mind. As a new writer his brutal honesty with regards to writing and life is really sticking with me. I really enjoyed the last part of this newest edition where he talks about the accident and how it affected his life in general and writing this book. If you want a cold book of generic rules about writing this is NOT that book and you should go seek the advice from some writing professor or some writer who has accomplished less than King but think they know more. I will read this booko many many times

Michael Melville
(author of Running Northwest)

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition

Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Richard Shaull, Myra Bergman Ramos, Paulo Freire, Donaldo Macedo This was an interesting book but not and easy read. Freire gives amazing incite into the various ways people around the world are oppressed socially. The biggest thing this book brings to the table however is highlighting some of the major flaws in the educational system in school from elementary all the way up to college. It makes you realize how much better the schools in the USA could be if they were willing to step out side the box and truly revolutionize their techniques and styles as opposed to sticking with the dogma of the past. The book requires a slow careful reading and is not something you can read and comprehend in a weekend i would say. Someone reading this would be wise to read then sit and reflect on the ideas that Freire throws at you. I think this a book any educator or parent should read.

Michael Melville
Author of Running Northwest

Nights in Rodanthe

Nights in Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks This is one of the books of his i had the pleasure of reading before it was made into a movie. The idea in this story that love, recovering from a broken heart, finding love again and loss at an older age is one of things that inspired me to become a writer. I wish there was more stories of his like this that did not involve kids as the main characters. I really enjoy Nicholas Sparks depiction of the older, more mature age group and what their lives are like. As a Male writer in the same genre to be a male and write romance can be hard and not respected as well as it should.

The Glorious Cause

The Glorious Cause - Jeff Shaara This is one of my favorite historical fiction novels. Shaara, gives a personality (through extensive research) to some of the best known but most understood people of our countries history. You really get a sense of not just what Washington and the founding fathers felt but the average man and solder, the people. This book and the other in the series really gave me a better appreciation for the history of our country at this time.

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil - Deborah Rodriguez I looked at many reviews on here prior to writing my own. I read this book a few years back and again for a class last year. As a male, it really made me think about things happening toward women in other countries. It also made me realize what a limited and pampered view of reality some women in the USA have. This was a real eye-opener for me about life in a country I knew little about. I appreciated Rodriguez's honesty and realistic writing.

It would seem that far too many of these reviewers have issues NOT comparing this book to others instead of taking THIS book as singular and unique entity all of its own. If you are looking for a complex literary and mental journey in a book full of "intelligent” and “intellectual” words then go read Elizabeth Browning. Alternatively, try reading someone equally as full of themselves as some of these reviewers and take a gander at Kurt Vonnegut. Taken as a whole, this book was interesting and the story was a quality one.

Rodriguez did a commendable job telling a story that needed to be told and someone arm chair quarterbacking this novel is doing a real disservice towards the issues the book stands for and talks about.

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