Saturday, September 27, 2008


Liana Metal

ISBN: 978-1-4092-2451-8
Language: English
Country: Greece
Edition: First

print book=$ 17.33

Children Stories/ Fiction

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly Recommended

Liana Metal is an EFL teacher and freelance writer from Greece. She has been writing articles, children’s stories, non-fiction books and short stories, as well as ELT books for classroom use for a very long time. Among her books are: “ The Hostel”, “Bedtime stories”, “Writing Basics”, “Flowers for Women”. You can visit her at: htpp:// and at her blog:

The book, as the title itself suggests, contains three stories. The first story, The White Snail, is about a snail that differs from the others in that he is not brown but he is white and so he thinks that he is not as beautiful as the rest of the snails. As a result, he decides to paint his “house” brown! But what will happen? Will he be able to achieve his goal? Will the other snails laugh at him or accept him as he is? And finally, will he ever realise that to be different is not bad?

In the second story, Let’s Bake a Cake, the twins Nadia and Toby and their friends decide that they have to do something for Tom’s birthday because he is staying with his grandmother and consequently he will not have a birthday party or presents. What they come up with is to bake a cake and organise a surprise party in Nadia and Toby’s backyard. How are they going to bake the cake? They do not know how to cook or any cake recipes. Is the party going to be a success or a complete failure? Will Tom be happy to have such good friends?

Finally, the last story, Achilleas’ Pet, is about a young boy (Achilleas) who loves animals and has already got four pets but he desperately wants one more; a tortoise that he found in the fields. However, his mother does not allow him to keep it at home, so he has no choice but to hide it in a flower pot. Unfortunately, one day the tortoise is nowhere to be found. Will Achilleas find it? Will he convince his mother to keep it?

“Story Time” is an excellent example of the writer’s ability to enter the children’s world of imagination. Written in a simple language without difficult verbal images or exaggerations and double-spaced, it is a book that is suitable for very young children as well as for the “older” ones. Moreover, it is fully illustrated by the writer herself and this is an aspect that makes the book more interesting and entertaining. Most important of all is the fact that the writer tries and succeeds in introducing young readers to concepts such as discrimination, racism, friendship, love for animals and being helpful in an amusing and easy way. Through these three stories Liana Metal conveys three different morals. It is absolutely a book that caters to everyone!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Robert Paul Blumenstein

Outskirts Press, Inc.

Paperback 5.5*8.5 $15.95
ISBN 9781432715205
Hardback 5.5*8.5 $29.95
ISBN 9781432709075
Instant e-Book Download $5.00
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc
Pub. Date: December 22, 2007

Fiction/ Psychological thriller/ Mystery

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Highly Recommended

Robert Paul Blumenstein lived in both Carolinas before finding his way to Virginia where he completed his graduate studies in theatre and now resides. He worked in the mental health care system assisting the state in deinstitutionalizing long-term mental health patients. Therefore, his experience served as an inspiration for writing “Snapping the String” which is the second book in “The Ascension Trilogy”. Some of his other works include “Flirtin’ with Jesus” and “Storied Crossings”. Visit him at

“Snapping the String” is about Peyton Costello, an eighteen-year-old teenager whose father is a research chemist and works for a pharmaceutical company. Peyton, after experimenting with drugs, returns home just to find his parents brutally murdered. The police discover him blood-soaked and hidden in the fireplace and from then on he is considered the prime suspect. Due to his mental condition he is wrongly diagnosed as mentally ill and therefore he is admitted to Mid-Virginia Mental Hospital where he has to face various kinds of treatment such as electroconvulsive shocks, hypnosis and tranquilizers. However, he has to be declared mentally competent to stand trial! His only hope appears to be Sonja Day an advocate who, in cooperation with a criminal defense lawyer, tries to give Peyton a chance to establish his innocence of his parents’ deaths. Will they achieve their goal? After almost two decades in the Mental Hospital how will Peyton cope with freedom and with the truth behind his parents’ murders? Is he able to face reality? Will he ever find peace or will the medical and legal system work against him?

The novel is divided into sixteen chapters and being written in a simple style it is easy to read by everyone but it especially caters to readers who love mysteries and psychological thrillers. There is action in every incident and this is what keeps readers glued to the page. It’s a book full of twists and turns and certainly with the most unexpected ending. Its plot is very well constructed and stimulates the reader’s interest. Finally, I would definitely recommend it to those who look for an opportunity to “broaden” their mind.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008


White-Metal Murders
J. Bruce Monson

Outskirt Press, Inc.

ISBN: 1432715402
ISBN-13: 9781432715403
Format: Paperback, 244pp
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Pub. Date: December 2007

5.5 x 8.5 Paperback $14.95
Instant e-Book Download $5.00


Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly Recommended

J. Bruce Monson is the author of “The Scorpion Sapphire”; “All the Marbles”; “Crimson Ice, Sugar and Spice” which are Action/Adventure novels and “A 'Roo Rat's Tale” which is a children's book. Mr. Monson has been confined to a respiratory hospital for 12 years with complications due to muscular dystrophy. He uses a mouth-stick to type and/or voice recognition software. His books are movies in his mind described in great detail by his unique, and clever imagination. White-Metal Murders is his first murder mystery.

“White-Metal Murders” is about Max Gumpers a man who wakes up next to a gorgeous young woman but can’t remember her or anything at all of his life. As a result of his amnesia he has to find out who he really is; who this woman is and how he ended up at her place. As it turns out, Gumpers is a private eye investigating two murders that of Douglas Roosevelt Jr., the President of the Roosevelt Mint that produces car models and that of Dieter Mastaff, the Production Manager. Are the two murders connected and how? Who is the woman wearing a lilac perfume and having deep-red toenails and why does she keep banging him on the head every time he finds a new clue? Things become even more complicated when Gumpers discovers a map with X-es numbered from 1 to 23 hidden in his shoe heel. What he can’t figure out is how the map got there. Will he be able to nose out what the X-es stand for and why they are numbered? After a lot of adventures he unearths that at least one of the murders has to do with drug smuggling. Will Dale Frescott, a young detective, help him solve the case and if so will the perpetrators be caught?

The book is divided into 30 chapters, it is written in a simple style that can be read easily by everyone and it caters to readers who love murder mysteries and adventures. It is a well-crafted story with lots of unexpected events as well as funny turns that will entertain and amuse even the most fastidious readers. Furthermore, the descriptions of the scenes taking place are so detailed, vivid and colourful that the reader will not get bored or tired till the very last line of the novel. I definitely recommend it to murder-mystery and adventure lovers.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


The Hostel
Liana Metal, ISBN: 978-1-4092-2574-4
167 pages, 6" x 9", paperback, perfect binding

Download €1.25

Fiction/ Romance/Lifestyle/ Young Adults

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly Recommended

Liana Metal is an EFL teacher, writer, reviewer and artist from Corfu, Greece . She has written many children's stories and non-fiction books as well as ELT books for classroom use and a lot of articles. Among her books are: Flowers for women, Writing Basics, Bedtime Stories, The Internet in the EFL Classroom. Visit her at

The story takes place in London in the 70's. Nina is a Greek student staying at a nuns' hostel where she meets many new friends. Some of them are Isabel, Nina's best friend, Zara, Collette and Marie. Of course, many other girls come and go each one for their own reasons and problems. The girls do their best to help each other and to adapt to their new way of life but they are not always successful. However, as Nina is a friendly person she quickly becomes close friends with Maria, a girl of her age who works as a cashier at the supermarket near the hostel and whose mother has died. Whenever Maria has a day off they meet and have fun together; so it happens that on one of Nina's visits to Maria's place, she gets to know her father Phil who is an artist and offers to give her drawing lessons. Nina falls immediately in love with him but it is the first time she feels that way and Phil apart from being her friend's father is much older than her, too. She faces a very serious dilemma but soon things even more complicated when Henry, a young man is decided to do whatever it takes in order to be with Nina. Will she be able to cope with the unexpected events happening in her life? Will she follow her heart? Will her stay at the hostel change her life for ever?

The story is divided into 20 chapters. It is written in a simple and clear way without fictional exaggerations so that it can be read by everyone. It caters not only to young adults but to everybody interested in romance as well. The characters are everyday people and the readers will not find it hard to identify with them. Moreover, there are a lot of dialogues throughout the novel that make it more appealing and stimulate the reader's interest. Finally, both the characters and the places are described in such a vivid and detailed way that brings the plot to life. Young adults will certainly love it.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
Planet PDF (e-version)
pp. 118, free
Fiction/ Adventure/ Mystery

Reviewed by Maria Gouna

Very Highly recommended

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He studied at Edinburgh University and he liked traveling in Europe. He died in 1894. Among his well-known books are “Treasure Island”, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, “Kidnapped” and “The Black Arrow”.

The story is about Dr. Jekyll, a physician who devotes himself to a series of experiments in his laboratory. Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and Dr. Lanyon are his friends but they begin to worry about him and what will happen to him when he writes a will where he states that if he dies or disappears all his possessions will pass into the hands of Edward Hyde. This is a condition that makes them suspicious because Mr. Hyde has a bad reputation of living an abnormal life and is also accused of the murder of Sir Carew Danvers. Is Dr. Jekyll helping him to get away with the murder and why? Things get even more complicated when he receives a letter of confession from Dr. Lanyon telling him that he doesn’t want to see nor hear from Dr. Jekyll anymore. In addition, Dr. Jekyll’s servants are worried about their master and ask Mr. Utterson for help. What will they find out in his laboratory? Who is really Dr. Jekyll, and who Mr. Hyde? Will Mr. Utterson find out the truth?

Divided into 10 chapters and being written in a simple style this novel is easy to read by everyone interested in classic literature. As the story unfolds, some questions remain unanswered and make the book more interesting and captivating. It is a well-constructed plot with unexpected turns and a lot of vivid descriptions either of places or human behavior. Lovers of mystery will not lose their interest because the story is full of clues and incidents that have to be solved. It is an absolutely amazing book.

Get it from Planet PDF