Music Review: 3 Kisses – Cartboard Cutouts

Cardboard CutoutsI know I haven’t been on much lately. I’m currently on vacation, and it’s been heavenly.Too bad it ends Friday. But that’s not why I’m here. Today I want to write a little blurb about a band that I follow and enjoy.

I want to share the new album from 3 Kisses, Cartboard Cutouts. 3 Kisses is a Punk Rock band, founded in Austin, and currently based out of Wasalla, Alaska. Headed by guitarist and lead singer, Tish Meeks, the band has an electrifying sound punctuated by Tish’s expressive vocals.

In their newest release, Tish and her band return with their strongest showing yet. From their first song, Master of No One, the group delivers over forty minutes of high-energy excitement. The music is hard-hitting, the lyrics clear. This is music written and performed by someone who does so for the love and enjoyment of performing.

There are no weak songs or fillers. Each song is a masterpiece in its own right, a testament to Tish’s talent as a songwriter and performer. If you enjoy good music, I highly suggest you give 3 Kisses a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Book Review: The Birth of Vengeance

The holidays are over, and we are at the beginning of a new year. So to all of you, Happy New Year! To start of on the right foot, I have a great book for you all. The Birth of Vengeance, by Paul Ross. You can follow him on Twitter @rossywrites.

frontcover tbov

When I began reading The Birth of Vengeance, I quietly wondered what the story was about. To begin with, you meet Jonathon Harper, a rather unremarkable young man, nearing the end of his school career, and looking forward to beginning college. His is a life which takes a turn for the worse when he’s becomes the target of a local gang of bullies and thugs, causing him to lose his one and only friend, and making him and his father flee his hometown for his safety.

It isn’t until several chapters on that he meets Thorn, a beautiful and dangerous woman, held captive and forced to be the subject of government experiments, and oh yeah, she’s a vampire. Once he is able to free Throne, the real story begins. Vengeance, then, is another entry into the burgeoning, and I would say over-crowded genre of Vampire literature.

So what makes Vengeance unique? We’ve seen vampires as heroes and we’ve seen vampires as villains. Thorn, at least in this novel, is neither. She’s content to be, to exist and co-exist, to feed and let live, only killing when she senses her victims mean to do her, and others harm. Not quite virtuous, but not entirely evil in a classical sense. Which is not to say she has a strong moral code.

She begins to mentor the weak and pathetic Jon, teaching him, molding him to become a man, to fight and to stand up for himself. Aided with a serum developed by Thorns captors, which when injected, gives the injectees vampire-like strength and aggression, Jon learns to fight, and begins a campaign to seek revenge on those who tormented him. In the end, this becomes a test. Jon has to prove his devotion to Thorn, and his worthiness of becoming a vampire.

The Birth of Vengeance is an easy read. Nothing remarkable about it, which is not to say it’s not worth checking out. It may not have the broad commercial appeal of a Twilight Saga, or the upcoming Vampire Academy, which in my book makes it even more appealing. This is not some lame, tween vampire romance novel.

What it is, however, is a coming-of-age story, where the protagonist must learn to face his fears, to grow up and take charge of his own destiny. He is forced to make life-altering decisions and accept the consequences of said decisions, and I’ll admit that I felt a grim sense of satisfaction whenever he meets his former tormentors.

Vengeance is a good, solid story, that should appeal to those who would like to enjoy a casual read. It’s entertaining, with some dark moments which are resolved in a satisfying manner. I wholly recommend you read it.

List of Book Reviews
Next Review – Crimson Return
Previous Review – Firstborn

Book Review: The Last Death of Tev Chrisini

This is the second book review in what I hope to be a monthly series. This month I am reviewing the debut novel, The Last Death of Tev Chrisini by Jennifer Bresnick. Jennifer is a fellow blogger here on WordPress, one that I follow and find illuminating as well as entertaining. If you have a chance, please check out her blog, after you finish reading my review, of course.


The Last Death of Tev Chrisini © 2012 Jennifer Bresnick

The Last Death of Tev Chrisini by Jennifer Bresnick tells the story of a soldier caught in the middle of a war that has been waged for almost seven hundred years. Centuries have passed since the last face to face negotiations between the warring factions when word comes of a two-week ceasefire to allow delegations to meet for the first time.

News comes before a humiliating defeat is suffered by Tev’s forces. He survives, and after the ceasefire takes affect, his commander, Lord Ausring is invited by the opposing leader, Duke Polormi, to a banquet. Ausring, who is not in a position to decline, attends, bringing Tev and a few other men of importance.

It is through this contact that Tev finds himself marching with the enemy, escorting them through his territory, to attend the negotiations. This ultimately brings our hero to discover the truth of who he is, and why, after over 500 years, and countless deaths on the battlefield, he is still alive. The ceasefire is the motivation for him to fulfill a destiny long since hidden from him, and forgotten in the ravages of a seemingly perpetual war.

While The Last Death of Tev Chrisini deals with war and the complicated politics between sides, and even among family members, at its heart it is very much a story about one man’s journey of self-discovery. The events that were triggered before the first battle of the novel set in motion a course of events that propel Tev, and by extension us the reader, forward.

As is the case in most heroic journeys, Tev has the choice to refuse or back out. He could have chosen to deny is heritage and his destiny, but like a true hero he is compelled to do what is required of him, in spite of the cost.

Overall, I found the novel to be compelling and well written, and as a winner of Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie Book Award it should be. My only issue, and not that it’s a bad one, is that it’s easy to lose track of the number of characters, locations, and races in the story. Happily, she remedied that particular (non)problem with the inclusion of Glossary of Names to help us the reader keep track. Overall, I recommend that you give Last Death a chance.

You can find her book on Amazon and Smashwords.

Currently, Jennifer is working on a prequel, which if this novel is any indication, will be just as enjoyable to read. I can only hope that Last Death will only be the first of a series of novels set in this universe, and a launching point for a long writing career.

List of Book Reviews
July’s review – Winter Howl
May’s Review- The Bridge

The Last Death of Tev Chrisini © 2012 Jennifer Bresnick
© 2013 Joe Hinojosa

The one where I think about doing book reviews


BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS (Photo credit: jm3)

Too much to do and so little time? Welcome to the end of the semester! I know I have nothing to complain about, and in contrast to the utter boredom I suffered mere months ago, this is a very welcome change.

I have a few projects staring me in the face, and although it’s crunch time, I’m not sweating it. Not yet at least. My lowest grade at the moment stands at 89.68%. I’m sure I can raise that to a 90. So unless I have a complete meltdown in the next few weeks, I am sure I can make the Dean’s List. I’m not counting on it, though. I still have work to do to make it happen.

In addition to my course load, the too few hours I’m spending at the place of my employment, and my writing, I’m thinking about starting another project. I am considering doing a monthly book review. My plan is to review only self-published novels. The next part is how to choose which books to review.

My goal is twofold. One, I want publicize unknown authors and get their works seen by people who might not otherwise have a chance to come across those works. Secondly, I want to improve my own abilities to critique other literary works, and in the process improve my own ability to write. I know, I know, it’s always about me isn’t it?

I’m still not entirely sure I’m going to do this. I have had many grand ideas that never came to fruition and this may be another one of those failed ideas. We’ll see. I already have a book in mind for my first review and if the tracker on Amazon is to be believed, it just left Hebron, KY. I should have it in a few days. What I don’t know is when I’ll do the review.

I have a few technicalities to work out, as in how I’ll post it. I’ll post it on here on my blog, but probably not on the blog feed. I’ll start a new page solely for book reviews with a link on the menu bar on the top. I’ll have to figure out the how later.

Right now I need to get back to work. I have Grammar class in less than an hour and we will have a quiz. Yay! Ugh….  At least the semester is almost over. I just don’t know if I’ve learned anything there. Oh well, education ho!