Anime Girl

animegirlcoverfinal-copyAbby Tanaka has it all. she is the creator of the  manga series, Shuttle 5 and has a legion of fans. Abby has been an overnight success going from an out of work college student drawing in a notebook to having five books on the shelves with more to come. Not everything is perfect though, Abby needs help handling the business side of being an artist and author and doesn’t know where to turn.  

Enter Chase Everett, a talent manager with Malloy Inc. Chase calls and offers to make Abby’s dreams come true by taking over the business side of things. Chase is just a voice over the phone and he doesn’t date clients, but Abby starts to have feelings for him. She doesn’t know what he looks like or if he’s interested in her, but she is about to find out when they meet at an anime convention. Abby’s talent is to create true love out of pen and ink,  but can she do the same in her own life?

Anime Girl by Emmy Z. Madrigal is a stand alone novelette in her Sweet Dreams novel series. This book takes a look at two characters from different walks of life and finds out if they can come together. Abby is most comfortable drawing in a notebook and meeting fans at conventions. while Chase is all business. This is a fun read with likable characters and a  good sense of humor to it.

I enjoyed when Abby and Chase have dinner and Abby tries to make a good impression. I also liked how the author works anime references into the story. Such as when Abby will not sign the Deathnote notebook because she will die. It was references like this that really makes this book stand out. Another good part was hearing about Abby’s writing career and everything at the anime convention. Abby is right in her element at the convention while Chase is a fish out of water, so I was really curious to see if they would come together.

The dialogue in Anime girl was excellent and it had some great lines in it such as: ” She wanted to say, Yes. You, a vat of whipped cream and a couple of hours in a hot tub.”  Another line I liked was: “Chase’s voice soothed her. It reminded her of thick caramel syrup drizzled on a hot sticky brownie.” This is a short and sweet love story that takes people from different walks of life and makes a connection. If you like romances that are a little different you should like this one.

The Works of Phil Gerbyshak

2023140Recently I had the opportunity to meet Milwaukee area author and social media expert, Phil Gerbyshak. Phil founded Milwaukee social Media and is also a public speaker. He helps people and businesses improve their customer service, grow their business through social media and helps people improve their lives. Another thing that Phil does is a video podcast called The Shut Up Show with Berni Xiong.

The Shut Up Show is about what it means to “shut up” and listen when you’re a lone entrepreneur or small business owner. Each episode takes a look at someone who said shut up to their negative thoughts and the people who told them they couldn’t do something and instead made their dreams happen. This show looks at people from all walks of life and finds out what makes them tick.

Since I look at this primarily as a book blog I wanted to make sure I talked about the books Phil has worked on. Phil’s first book was released in 2006 and called 10 Ways To Make It Great. This book talks about taking your good life and making it great. the only thing you can control in life is your attitude, by being more positive you can make your life better. In 10 chapters Phil gives you 10 ways  to make your life better.

Phil also has three other books available that will help your business grow. In 2010 he co-authored the book #TwitterWorks which gets into how Twitter can can work for your business. His other books include Service Desk Manager’s Crash Course and Help Desk Manager’s Crash Course. To find out more about Phil check out his website at: www.philgerbyshak.com.

Brett Enters The Square Circle

13634634Not many people have gotten the best of private detective Brett Cornell. After all he is one unscrupulous bastard who is smarter, tougher and better looking then everyone around him and he always gets the ladies. There is one man who did get the best of him and his name is Gil Bailey. Along with his buddy “Big Bull” Sean O’ Rourke, they scarred Brett for life. Brett wants revenge and gets his chance when Gil challenges him to a charity boxing match. Can Brett keep up with the younger and stronger Gil or will he be left with psychological scars that will never heal?

To make things a little more complicated, Brett also gets hired by Melanie Foster to find Stacey Ashton. Melanie believes Stacey stole her husband and ran off to Florida and Melanie wants her brought back so she can teach Stacey a lesson. As Brett researches the case he finds out that Stacey may have been murdered and her body may be hidden close by.

Brett Enters The Square Circle by David D’Aguanno is the fifth book in the Brett Cornell mystery series. All the books in this series are stand alone stories and you don’t have to read the others to enjoy it. This book has some funny lines from Brett but there is also a good story and some great characters.

A couple of reviews I saw for Brett Enters The Square Circle called it a “light read” and another one said that “Brett is annoying and he overshadows the other characters.” I couldn’t disagree with these statements more. I felt the story was deep and all the characters came across as interesting including the minor characters. For instance you hear about Melanie Foster’s husband from her point of view but then you really get to know her husband and feel sympathy for him. He isn’t in the story for long but  I liked seeing how different he was from Melanie’s description.

Another character in the story that is more than he appears is Brett himself. He comes across as dumb and egotistical but if you pay attention you see that there is more to him then meets the eye. As the story moves along you see why he is the way he is, you also see that he’s a good detective he is and cares for his girlfriend even though he can’t show it.

The characters are the best part of the book but I also like how the mystery unfolds. The mystery gets deeper and more intriguing as it moves along and I was surprised at the conclusion. The boxing match story was great as well because it was more than just a match, it was about Brett dealing with the fact that he may not be top dog anymore.

Brett Enters The Square Circle works on a lot of levels, probably the best part is the humor in it. Like when Brett gets his way on an airplane and when he takes a five dollar bill from a cop, his dialogue also makes this book worth buying. I love how the Brett Cornell series of books seems to get better as they go on. I could not put this book down and I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for Brett in his next four books.

Brett Always Wins

13568397Make no mistake about it, Brett Cornell is one unscrupulous bastard. If you ask him he will tell you he has a perfect mustache,  Sexy blonde curly hair and his chest and abs are what women dream about. In addition to being god’s gift to women he also works as a private detective in Rhode Island in the late 1980’s. Business has been slow lately but they are about to pick up as Brett’s latest conquest calls wanting to know if Brett got the package she sent and states that someone is about to kill her.

Brett doesn’t take the call to seriously but when two goons meet him at his car, he ends up having to get involved in a murder mystery that only he can solve. This is only a small part of what happen’s in David D’ Aguanno’s Brett Always Wins. This is the third book in the Brett Cornell Mystery series but it is a self-contained story and you don’t have to read the first three to enjoy it.

Brett Always Wins is told in the first person from Brett’s point of view and is a fun read that moves along quickly. Brett is the kind of guy that you love to hate, he has a huge ego and things always seem to go his way. He has a girlfriend plus a few others on the side, he’s also a tough guy that doesn’t like it when you tell him what to do. This is a very entertaining book that will have you laughing and rooting for Brett even though he is a jerk.

There is a lot going on here, you have a jealous wife who has been drugged and wants to keep her husband away from other blond blue-eyed women, you have two hitmen who get more than they bargained for, a husband who wants to make the perfect son and 4 women who can’t keep their hands off of Brett. What really makes this story stand out though is hearing what Brett thinks of everything. Brett  thinks he is the smartest detective there is and he proves it by saying “frankly Scarlett I don’t give a Damn, like Clark Kent in that old movie or asking if his girlfriend wants to go out to dinner and when she says yes tells her not to forget her credit card, I have a date with someone else. Brett does stuff like this throughout the book. I also liked how he went into a suspect’s home,stole his cigars and spit wherever he liked. He may be unscrupulous but its hard not to find him entertaining.

To hear Brett talk you may think he is not that smart but then he shows his intelligence by how he manipulates a hitman to turn on his boss and he makes a lot of money from his clients without really doing anything. I loved when Brett tells his girlfriend the real reason she can’t stay away from him and I also like when he looks at the mirror and notices how he seems to get even better looking with age while other people his age are getting uglier. There are probably lots of guys who think like Brett and it was fun getting inside his head. If you would like a good detective novel that is funny and a little different then your normal mystery, check this one out.