Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hidden Credit Repair Secrets

Hidden Credit Repair Secrets: That Can Repair Your Credit in 30 Days, Mark Clayborne, 2010

With the present-day tough economy, it is more important than ever for people to be familiar with their credit score, and how to improve it if needed. This book gives some simple ways to do it.

The first thing to do is to get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, and read it thoroughly. If there are any mistakes, and there probably are, it is up to you to write to the credit bureau, and ask for its removal. It could be something small, like an incorrect home address, or something much bigger, like a bill that you can prove has been paid in full, which is still listed as Collection. Addresses and sample letters are included in the book. The credit bureau is required to respond within 30 days. They will either send a revised credit report, with the offending item changed or removed, or they are supposed to investigate and verify that the item is legitimate, and, therefore, stays in your report. Don't be afraid to send a second, third, fourth or fifth letter (all the way up to a twelfth letter) if you don't get the answer you wish. Document everything, and send all letters Receipt Requested. If you have to sue the credit bureau, a paper trail is a very good thing.

For those whose credit is totally gone, and need to start over, or for students building credit for the first time, get a copy of your credit report and do any required cleaning up of it.Then you should apply for a secured or student credit card. They have low limits, and require a deposit as collateral, so the bank will get their money if you don't pay. Be sure to pay off the bill each month, in full, to show that you are reliable. Retail store cards are another possibility for those who want to build their credit. It will take at least two years of solid credit history before you can apply for a Visa or Mastercard.

If you feel that bankruptcy is a real possibility, talk to your creditors. Ask if they have some sort of monthly payment plan. Ask if they will accept a payment of, for example, 30 cents on the dollar in exchange for removing the item from your credit report. Document everything, to show that you are trying to get the bill paid. There are several things you can do to raise a low credit score. Pay your bills on time. Pay down your credit card debt so that it is no more than 30% of your credit limit. Keeping old cards active, and using them once or twice a year, is better for your credit score than closing them. Don't apply for a store credit card just to get the discount.

This book is written in a question-and-answer format, so it is very easy to read. For anyone considering bankruptcy, or using one of those credit repair services, read this book first. It will be a huge help, and could make your financial woes a lot less painful. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Launch Out Into the Deep!

Launch Out Into the Deep!, Acacia Slaton Beumer, 2011 (Kindle e-book)

The journey through daily life is not easy, especially in the 21st Century. This book may make that journey a little easier.

Daily life is supposed to be hard, with trials and challenges everywhere. Jesus never said, "Follow me, and you will have no problems or worries. I will take care of everything." How are you going to deal with grudges, resentment or really unpleasant people? There is nothing wrong with wanting to become rich or famous, until the point is reached where your moral upbringing and "soul" gets tossed in the garbage. Living water, through Jesus, is just as important as drinking water for survival.

Some people think that all that is needed to be a Christian is to obey the Ten Commandments, attend church on Sunday, or give to the poor. It's not that easy. A person has to confess to being a sinner, admit a real need for a savior and believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Having fewer, or "milder," sins than someone else does not make a person more righteous.

In today's society, it is very easy, especially for men, to get involved in sexual promiscuity. First, you need to confess your shortcomings to God and ask for His help to battle the temptation. Then, you need to avoid all types of pornographic images. The more you think about such things, the easier it is to go back to your old behavior. In this age of AIDS, many people still practice unsafe sex, convinced that it won't happen to them.

Life's trails and tribulations are necessary, though they may not seem necessary at the time, because they build character, strength and humility. Like the old saying says, "One day at a time." Don't worry about tomorrow until it arrives. To be a Christian, it is not always necessary to say "Hallelujah" or carry a Bible. Sometimes, the way you carry yourself and act around others will be enough to spread the "message."

This book is full of short essays and poems on various parts of daily life, and it is very much worth the reader's time. It is equally recommended for those who want a closer relationship with God, but don't know the route, and those who may need a spiritual jumpstart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Woman

The Woman, David Bishop, 2011 (Kindle e-book)

This is a novel about an average woman caught in a web of mystery. Someone suddenly wants her dead.

Linda Darby is a resident of Sea Crest, Oregon, a get-away-from-it-all sort of place. She makes her money by day trading, and takes care of her sexual needs with a series of one-night stands. She is friends with an older woman named Cynthia Leclair, who works at a very strange place called Smith and Co. Cynthia perpetually declines to answer Linda's questions about her work, visitors are forbidden, there is no regular mail delivery, etc.

This is an absolute gem of a book. It has everything that a suspense thriller story needs; shadowy political/intelligence operatives, fake identities, lots of money and a bit of sex. The author shows throughout that he really does know what he is doing.