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Monthly Archives: May 2015

By Andy Weir

The Martian was written by Andy Weir and published by Broadway Books in 2014 (Sold by Random House). You may purchase it at the author on Facebook.


Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

The Martian could very well be our future nightmare come true. Astronaut Mark Watney is believed to be dead and left on Mars by his crew. Even more horrifying than that, he is very much alive but he faces an almost certain slow death from starvation or from several other mishaps. He is stranded, cut off completely from Earth. He is left with only his engineering skills and a strong determination to survive. The odds weigh strongly against him…

The story of Mark’s struggles to survive on the red planet is told to us through a daily journal that he keeps. Being the technically minded astronaut that he is, we don’t hear too much about his philosophies or about his life back home on Earth. The journal is largely about the problems he faces and how he improvises and works with the materials at hand to find solutions. Plainly put- it’s exactly what one would expect to read from an astronaut if this were reality. The author has undoubtedly done his research and homework to bring us something that will most likely be read by future astronauts who endeavor to travel to Mars.

While this story is long and deep on the technical aspects of surviving on Mars, I could not stop reading. I was immediately and completely enthralled by Mark Watney. I liked him. I liked his humor. I liked his do not quit attitude. I liked and admired his ingenuity. This is a book that is at present time being read and debated by many. It has rightfully found a home on the New York Times Best Sellers list and it will soon become a major motion picture starring Matt Damon.

This first time author has produced a great story and he is witnessing a magnificently awesome lift off in his early career as a writer.

I give The Martian 5 stars.

Please visit the author of this post: Tom Riddell:

Andy Weir will be our guest on The Writers Lounge Blog Talk Radio Show on Monday June 8, 2015 at 7 PM Central Time- USA.

By Cristi Taijeron

Queen Of My Nightmare (Uncharted Secrets, Book 2) was written by Cristi Taijeron and published by Create Space in 2014. You may purchase it at the author on Facebook.


I didn’t want to be a pirate, but there are times one must do undesirable things in order to survive. Under Mason Bentley’s black flag, I ended up finding more than just the refuge I was seeking. He taught me to fight, inspired me to navigate, and by the time we reached Tortuga I was drawing maps so fine I could sell them. No longer a weeping, helpless woman, I took hold of my courage to face the cursed world that wished to punish me for witchcraft. Strong, rich, and free, I finally claimed my throne in this kingdom of thieves, but it was the love I shared with their king that cursed me with a burden I was not strong enough to bear. What good was it to be a queen if the only dominion I held was over a nightmare? -Midnight-

What intrigues and delights me with these stories of old, in this case a pirate story, is the ability of the author to bring a colorful sense of realism to the tale.  I often think of pirates in the same way as I think of gangsters. Bad men who have not an ounce of good in them. But human nature doesn’t work that way. We can find good in anyone if we just take the time. And so it was with Hannah when she boarded Mason’s ship. To make it safe for Hannah, on board with many drunk and dastardly men, she had to become a man or at least to look and act like a man. In order to be at Mason’s side Hannah became Midnight and she was soon out to sea experiencing the agonizing and brutal ways of a pirate. To sail along with Midnight as he attempted to maintain his disguise, while also being engaged in a vicious and bloody war with another ship, was very entertaining. As the years continue Hannah struggles with life and her trust in Mason wanes but she holds on.

The author is exceptionally good at descriptions of place and actions.  It’s as if she thru colorful buckets of paint onto a black and white distant past. This is a love story that is very well balanced with just the right amount of interesting twists and turns in it to keep you reading until the very end. 
This author has talent and I would encourage her to continue to write and to think about lengthening her stories. I want to read more.

I give
Queen Of My Nightmare (Uncharted Secrets, Book 2) 5 stars


Please visit the author of this post: Tom Riddell:

Cristi Taijeron will be our guest on The Writers Lounge Blog Talk Radio Show on Monday May 25, 2015 at 7 PM Central Time- USA.