FINE REVIEW: “Chasing Pharaohs” by C.M.T. Stibbe ~ Ancient Egypt meets Game of Thrones blissfully written

Chasing PharaohsChasing Pharaohs by C.M.T. Stibbe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Ancient Dynastic Egypt meets Game of Thrones was my delighted sense of Chasing Pharaohs as I ventured into a vivid world of scandal, incest, corruption, mayhem, power and sensual intrigue.

Add to this seductive mixture ancient lore, otherworldly creatures–and brilliant research; and my senses were further tantalized by both the rich tale read and knowledge of ancient Egypt gained.

Claire StibbeAuthor C.M.T. Stibbe writes blissfully which gave further credence to both the story and the times she unveils in her lavish story. Similar to an elegant foreign film it took several pages for this reader to get used to “the period accents” but once in the groove it became immensely readable; and in the end the book’s distinctive “voice” contributed mightily to my complete immersion within it.

In reflection I wish history would be taught in college and schools with historical fiction works such as “Chasing Pharaohs” as an adjunct to traditional fare. I have no doubt through books such as Ms.Stibbe’s 18th Dynasty Egypt would come better alive—as it did in mine, in the students’ imagination. As an historical fiction novel this book made an indelible impression on me, and I look forward to reading the sequel.

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FINE REVIEW: “A Fine Balance” by Robyn Cain ~ It’s a fine read :)

A Fine BalanceA Fine Balance by Robyn Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bald-headed psychopath returns to his neighborhood and the body count rises. He’s the nebulous face, the deadliest kind, of corporate espionage. An equal opportunity killer, incapable of remorse, uncaring whether his victims are family or foe. The opening sequence is startlingly dramatic as we witness the callous actions of this despicable individual. The scene is now set to unravel the full extent of this multi-layered plot.

Enter Jenny; clearly a beautiful and intelligent woman. She is also a revered employee at the company. Yet, rather than live a complete independent life, she merely exists; living a less than privileged life. Jenny’s circumstances add to the growing mystery. We then meet Matt who is travelling incognito, being the millionaire investigating those responsible for harming his company. Matt is a sudden and unwelcome guest in Jenny’s modest residence in order to best maintain his cover. With him impinging on her space, well, needless to say the sparks fly; first the feisty repartee, then the questioning passion.

However, at its heart this is a novel about family and the blood bond that binds–the best that family represents: love, selflessness, sacrifice, loyalty, tradition–and the worst: hatred, corruption, manipulation, betrayal and greed. A fine read. I’m certainly looking forward to reading more of Robyn Cain’s writings.

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EVERY STORY NEEDS A HOTZ SOUNDTRACK!

It was time to visit my friend, Jimmy Hotz. It was time “The Zebra Affaire” met its music maker. Those who don’t know Jimmy, he’s the archetypical myriad-minded music man: musician, record producer, electronic music pioneer, and Inventor. His “Hotz Box” is often at the heart of many a great recording: Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason, B.B. King, and Yes.

Our friend, Mark Fine came by the other day to get a first hand look at the SpaceHarp. He was kind enough to give us an autographed copy of his book, “The Zebra Affaire”, a fast-paced, suspenseful tale about the racial divide in South Africa in the 1970s. Mark was a long time record executive, with PolyGram, Universal and Hammer & Lace.

Jimmy haJimmy Hotz and Mark Fine 20150606_221313_Master_25pcs recently invented a new instrument, the SpaceHarp!

Extraordinary!

It made a music maestro out of the least of us (Me!).

I certainly DID! After 4 decades in the music biz, this was the first time I experienced playing pure music, myself! Not being a musician I’ve never before known the joy of creating music. Indeed it was magical.

After Jimmy reads “The Zebra Affaire” we will explore a music soundtrack–written together, that’s inspired by my book’s South African blended love story.

NOTE: The Hotz Translator Software transforms ones gestures on the SpaceHarp into all the right notes for the desired chords and scales in music performance. The SpaceHarp is a new manifestation of a concept invented by David Clark and John Gibbon, originally called the Light Dancer. Jimmy did a complete redesign of the electronics and programmed the firmware, which makes it function. So, while Jimmy is the inventor of the Hotz Translator Software and contributed significantly to the SpaceHarp, proper credit should be given to David Clark and John Gibbon. David Clark also worked with Jimmy on the current mechanical design of the SpaceHarp.