Book Reviews

Book of the Month – “A Handful of Might”

Every month, I will do my best to read and review one book (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, etc.) from an up-and-coming author. These authors are often times my friends and fellow bloggers. They “gift” me their books and in return I offer up 100% honest and genuine reviews. If you would like for me to feature your book, please see my original post on the matter here: Now Offering: Book Reviews.

Book of October: A Handful of Might

Author: Joel Green

A Handful of Might

Brief Summary

Blake Drysdale is an aviator, smuggler, and an ex-pilot for the Royal Air Force. Drysdale’s crew consists of Sally, the female African-American pilot who deserted the U.S. air force, Anton, the Ukrainion national who provides any and all brute force necessary, and Felix “the Cat,” an American master forger. Needless to say, there is more to Blake Drysdale and his crew than initially meets the eye. What starts off as a simple smuggling job, sixteen million dollars worth of gold, turns into an all-out thrill ride that encompasses past, present, and future.

Set at the end of the Vietnam war, Drysdale and his crew race against the U.S.A.’s C.I.A. department and the Soviet Union in a desperate attempt to see who will recover the mysterious Doktor Meier and his secret Nazi weapon first. Along the way, Drysdale and his crew become involved in something much bigger than gold and wealth; their actions will determine the safety of the whole world.

Review & Star Rating

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This is the first five-star review that I have given and it is well-deserved. This is the type of book that I could not put down and once I finished, I picked it up and read it again! Joel Green presents realistic and appealing characters. Every character, from major to minor, feels unique and organic. Readers will not be able to help themselves as they fall in love with Drysdale and his crew who are really family more than anything else. In particular, I want to highlight Green’s character “Sally” who breaks stereotypes and lives life according to her own dang rules.

Green is even able to put in some romantic tension without the plot becoming soppy or deviating from its purpose. A Handful of Might is a race from start to finish. There is no down-time so readers are compelled to keep reading, pushing past every twist and turn to finally discover the truth. I hesitate to write more for fear that I will start giving away spoilers.

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I’ll admit, I am not a fan of cussing in books. However, every cuss word within this book felt extremely natural and realistic for the time period, setting, and action. Regardless of this, I am putting on a Reader Advisory Warning for strong and frequent language, moments of sexuality, and one graphic torture scene.

Recommendations

I highly recommend A Handful of Might to all readers 18+ (see again my Reader Advisory Warning). If you are not bothered by the language, you will love this book. It has action, suspense, romance, mystery, intrigue, humor, and did I mention, action? Seriously, it’s a great read!

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Blogs / Life

New Years Eve: History and Traditions

Happy New Years Eve!

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If you’re anything like me, you might be interested in the history of things. So here we go about a brief history of New Years Eve!

  • In 46 B.C. Emperor Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar which included January 1st as the first day of the new year. Caesar chose January partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus – the Roman god of beginnings. This god was most known by his two faces, one that looked into the past and one that looked into the future. Even back then, Romans celebrated by exchanging gifts, decorating their homes, hosting wild parties, and offering sacrifices to Janus (I’m glad we don’t do that one anymore).

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  • It was Pope Gregory XIII that firmly establish January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Traditions

  • In Spain people eat a dozen grapes to symbolize their hopes for the new year right before midnight.
  • In many places legumes are considered to resemble coins and foretell financial stability. That’s why people in Italy eat lentils and people in the United States eat black-eyed peas. (While I don’t believe that black-eyed peas will actually do anything for me, my great-grandma did and so every year we eat some to honor her memory).
  • In the United States, the most famous tradition on New Year’s Eve is the dropping of a giant, fabulous, lit-up ball in New York’s City’s Time Square at midnight.

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  • In places such as Cuba, Austria, Hungary, and Portugal people eat pigs because they represent progress and prosperity.
  • Other nations such as Mexico, Netherlands, and Greece eat ring-shaped cakes and pastries to signify that the year has come full circle.
  • In Sweden and Norway, people hide an almond in rice pudding and whoever finds the almond expects to have a fantastic New Year!
  • Are you making New Year’s Resolutions? You can thank the ancient Babylonians for that! They were the first to make promises in order to earn the favor of the gods.

 

Well, there you have it, a brief history and some really interesting traditions! What are YOUR family traditions? Are you making any New Year’s resolutions?

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Please remember to be safe tonight and if you are drinking, do not drive. Buzzed driving IS drunk driving. And that is not a way to start the New Year.

For more on New Year’s Eve History, click here.