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, April 2, 2015

Government Opportunities for Small Business

Government Opportunities for Small Business, Harriet Grayson, Ocean Breeze Press, 2011

The federal government has a seemingly unlimited number of grant opportunities. This book attempts to simplify the grant-writing process.

The first step is to find the grants that are being offered. There are a number of places to look, including the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Apply for grants only in areas where your non-profit is qualified (if you are an arts organization, why are you applying for an agriculture grant?). Get a copy of the instructions from the grantor, usually called something like Request for Proposal, or RFP. Read it thoroughly, then read it again. The grantor may get very picky about what should, or should not, appear in your application. You don't want an otherwise first-rate application to be rejected because you couldn't follow directions.

How do you get a government agency to notice your little-old non-profit? Have you handled similar projects in the past? Is your non-profit, or your staff, distinctive in some way? As you put together your application, follow exactly the directions in the RFP. Give the grantor some sort of idea about your anticipated budget, and the financial records you will keep about the project. When the application is done to the best of your ability, send it to the grantor.

The RFP should indicate the waiting time for an answer from the grantor. If the answer is Yes, the celebrate and rejoice (and start work on your next application). If your application is rejected, it is not the end of the world. The grantor will usually tell you why it was rejected. That way, you will be much more prepared for next time.

This is a short, and very interesting, book about a potential source of revenue for groups and individuals. It is very easy to read and understand, and is very much worth the reader's time.

Murder is a Lousy Way to Die

Murder is a Lousy Way to Die, Robert L. Hecker, World Audience, Inc., 2012

This novel is about Benjamin Roan, a government security consultant who someone wants to kill - again.

The book opens with Ben regaining consciousness in the middle of the Nevada Atomic Test Site. Next to him is a woman also just regaining consciousness. A simulated atomic bomb will be tested in just a couple of minutes. If they don't get under cover, now, the bomb will not only kill them, but incinerate them, and then turn them into dust.

After barely surviving the bomb blast, Ben learns that his companion is Taja Singh, owner of the Mojave Research Center, a private lab with Top Secret government contracts. She is also beyond gorgeous. The two have nothing in common, so who was the target, and who was in the wrong place at the wrong time?

If anything illegal was going on the Center, Taja was confident that Roger Stillwell, the Center's day-to-day manager, would know something about it. But he is killed by an unknown assailant right in front of them. As an added wrinkle, Jim Carr, a friend of Ben's, is worried about his sister, Paula, an employee of the Center's marketing department. She hasn't been seen for several days, so he asks Ben if he can ask Taja to look into it. Could the big conspiracy be something "normal" like industrial espionage, or could it be something much more sinister? The end of the book finds Ben and Taja in a small private plane, several thousand feet in the air, with the culprit pointing an Uzi machine pistol at them.

This is a first-rate piece of writing. The author is a veteran writer, and it shows. It is well done from start to finish, and it has plenty of action, along with a bit of romance. The reader will not go wrong with this one.