Monthly Archives: August 2009

Virtual Vice by Jason M. Kays

yes(a) cover

Virtual Vice
Author: Jason M. Kays
Publisher: BookSurge

Reviewed by: Cheryl Malandrinos

Explosive and edgy, Virtual Vice by Jason M. Kays takes the reader on a journey into the bowels of the murky and deadly dark side of Internet venture capitalism.

Attorney Ian McKenzie’s life takes a decided turn when he is introduced to the charismatic, but dangerous, Scott White. Hired by White to represent his interests in Metropoleis Media, a cutting edge Internet startup, Ian is soon drawn into the personal trials and tribulations of White’s life. Leaving a trail of violence and abuse wherever he has been, White’s quick descent into paranoia and mental illness finds Ian searching for a way out and a way to collect the ever mounting outstanding attorney fees that White owes him. Caught in the middle of the Feds, La Cosa Nostra and the Cali Cartel, Ian is trapped in a fatal game of corporate winner-take-all. How will he ever extract himself? And at what cost?

If you like wild rides, Virtual Vice is for you. Beginning with Ian McKenzie discovering his client naked and teetering on the edge of the veranda outside his hotel room, you’re certain from the get go that this is no ordinary story.

Soon after meeting Ian, Scott White and some of his abnormal associates, the reader journeys through part of White’s past and how Ian met and came to be hired by White before the book moves through in a mostly chronological format.

The author’s love of music and his experience as an intellectual property attorney in information technology and entertainment law are clear from the onset, and it is his well-developed, complex characters that readers will appreciate the most. White’s total deterioration that garners him some unwanted attention from past associates, Clarice Westwater’s greed and ability to manipulate and Pastor Petey’s feigned piousness, come alive within the pages of this book.

Virtual Vice gives a glimpse not only into the world of Internet venture capitalism, but also the music industry and Ponzi schemes, as White’s long history of bilking investors and running across state lines is outlined.

Based upon true events, Virtual Vice is considered creative non-fiction, and therefore, the narrative carries the bulk of the story. This made it a little hard to get into at first. I am so glad I stuck with it, though, because the storyline is not only timely, it is riveting once it gets going and you’ll find yourself turning page after page up to the explosive and satisfying conclusion.

A timely, attention grabbing story is what you’ll find in Virtual Vice by Jason M. Kays.

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Lose the Diet: Transform Your Body by Connecting with Your Soul by Kathy Balland

Lose the DietLose the Diet: Transform Your Body by Connecting with Your Soul
Author: Kathy Balland
Publisher: Blissful Publications, LLC


The cover of Kathy Balland’s book, Lose the Diet, says ‘Transform your body by connecting with your soul – right there the title is intriguing. As writer on a site called Spirituality Guide, this view for a weight loss book raised interest before I turned the first page.

The premise is fairly straightforward – a spiritually astute person might be able to determine much of the contents just from the cover. Balland proposes that dealing with our body is less a matter of finding the right things to remove from our diet and more about getting in touch with our inner selves and finding the reasons for our weight problems.

The idea is more a connection of two currently popular fields than a radical new field – Balland has managed to link together the burgeoning weight loss fads with a New Age growth paradigm – I think it works.

A minor quibble I had was the need for editing – a number of times in reading the book I had to stop and re-read sentences to try to understand just what is being said – the lack of a comma, or a strange juxtaposition of words, would catch at my attention and detract from the flow of the book.

What I would’ve liked to see in the book is more references listed. There are studies and findings quoted without source notes – while I do know some of the sources for the information she is talking about, I know a lot of people who will dismiss much of it as New Age quackery, simply because there is no source referenced. In our world, many are fixated on the authority of the white coats.

But for those who do need such backing for the premises behind the book, they could check out ‘The Genie in Your Genes’ by Dawson Church – much of what Balland is suggesting as the best way to address our lives and problems will be seen there.

I think the hardest part for anyone who wants to lose weight will be, in reading Balland’s book, simply getting out of the diet mindset, where everything is about what goes in the mouth. She has done a good job of covering the aspects of a life change that will, if followed, bring about not just a change in weight, but also an increase in satisfaction with life and a deeper appreciation of one’s Self, which can only be a good thing in any life.

I think Kathy Balland has produced a book worth the read, and perhaps worth applying even for those who have issues other than weight. It is an easy read with logical chapters that leads the reader through a consistent process – certainly a step up from the diets she is telling us to chuck out.

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Filed under Health and Fitness, New Age, Self-Help

Is Your Ghost Holy?: Eight Principles for Evaluating Your Walk in the Spirit

Is Your Ghost Holy cover

Is Your Ghost Holy?: Eight Principles for Evaluating Your Walk in the Spirit
Author: Shay Bills
Publisher: Saint Paul Press 

Reviewed by:  Cheryl Malandrinos 


Not every inspirational book is going to touch your heart or even make you think.  But Is Your Ghost Holy? by Shay Bills does that and more.  In this slender book full of powerful and moving words, the reader is given eight principles to help her evaluate her walk in the Spirit.  The Principles of Truth, Life and Death, Faith, Love, Change, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the Power of the Holy Ghost come together for an inspiring and empowering read.

The author’s experience as a speaker, teacher and motivator truly shines in Is Your Ghost Holy?  Her conversational style and touching words will leave you thinking long after you close the cover on this book.  But I recommend that you never truly close this book, but leave it on your nightstand so that you can refer to it often, using it perhaps as a devotional on a regular basis. 

Certain chapters may speak to you more than others.  I found the seventh principle extremely helpful, especially considering some of the events I still hold onto from my past.  In “The Principle of Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost”, Bills discusses how unforgiveness in the Christian walk keeps many stagnant in Christ.  She explores the dangerous place that the state of unforgiveness is.  With a firm grasp on Scripture, she discusses how easy it can be to notice unChristian behavior in others, but not in ourselves.  And she fully explains what blasphemy against the Holy Ghost truly is.

Learn how to take the road less traveled and stand firm on the Word.  Is Your Ghost Holy? by Shay Bills will show you how.

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Filed under Christian nonfiction, Inspirational, Non-Fiction