Beach Reading

Beach Reading
Beach Reading

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rogue Alliance: Part One of the Shyla Ericson Series
By Michelle Bellon

Trying to escape a horrific past, Shyla has immersed herself in life as a tough, sassy cop in the bustle of LA.  When the case of a lifetime takes her back to her hometown of Redding, she is thrown into a world of organised crime, deceit, and bitter reminders of her childhood.

As Shyla's path crosses that of Brennan, an unwitting and troubled sidekick to the ringleader she's intent on taking down, she is forced to re-evaluate everything she believes about herself, her job, and what she knows about right and wrong.

Can she face the demons of her upbringing and learn to trust again?  Her life will depend on it.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble

~My thoughts~
I am a big fan of Ms. Bellon.  Her books get me hooked right away, and I have a  hard time putting them down until I get to the end.  She always leaves me wanting more.

I found myself hoping that Shyla and Brennan would end up together and maybe they will, but since this is only the first in the series I will have to wait and find out for sure.

All of the characters are believable and likable except for Victor, and without giving anything away, it was good to read how things went down for him.

I am waiting with baited breath for the next book.  Hope it doesn't take too long....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Men Don't Pee Straight And Other Things You Should Know About Us
By Mr. Rick Dean

Chock full of stuff about men that you've always known but never wished to fully grasp (and always hoped would change), Men Don't Pee Straight confirms your worst fear - those male stereotypes are real, they are accurate, and they are here to stay.

Blunt and comedic, these cartoon illustrated pages soften the sad reality for many mothers, girlfriends, and wives who have been hoping for change.  The best anyone can do is simply grimace, shrug, and then perhaps smile.

From diapers and driving thru fragile egos and toilet seats, this poignant yet tactless book will assist with that smile.

~My thoughts~
This was a cute little book and a very quick read.  It made me smile alot and laugh out loud quite often.  I plan to share it with all the females in my family and recommend it to all of my female friends.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Absence of Grace
By Ann Warner

The memory of an act committed when she was nineteen has woven a dark thread through Clen McClendon's life.  It is a darkness Clen ignores until the discovery of her husband's infidelity propels her into a quest for redemption and forgiveness.

Leaving her old life, she begins a search for a place to call home and a new way to live.  Her journeying provides few answers and peace remains elusive, even during the time she spends in an abbey.  Clen then makes the decision that is both desperate and random to go to Wrangell, Alaska.

But choices are never truly random and they always have consequences.

~My thoughts~
I just finished reading this book and I loved it.  I got it free for my Kindle, but would gladly have bought it in a bookstore.  I empathized with Clen feeling the loss of her younger brother to cancer, as I lost a younger sister to the same disease.  I also empathized with her finding out her husband was cheating on her, been there done that, but I didn't find out until after the divorce.

Through this heart wrenching, heart warming story, the author shows us that no matter how bad things can get in our lives, there is always good waiting for us when we least expect it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crying Blood
By Jennifer Cloud

Amelia is an assassin on the run.  She often wishes her life had somehow taken a different turn. She never wanted to be a killer. Eventually, she will die by the violence that ruled her life.  She just isn't sure if she'll die by the hands of the man she loves, by the family she pled her allegiance to, or by the many enemies she made over the years. All she knows for certain is that she is being hunted.

She is a creature of instinct.  For any of them to win, they'll have to beat her at her own game.

~My thoughts~
This book is labeled as a contemporary women's romance and it lives up to the name.  I was kept in suspense the whole time I was reading this one, never knowing what was going to happen next.  Just when I thought I had something figured out, the author would throw me another curve, and I loved it!!!

I have changed the title and author of this book to reflect the actual work of the true author.  To get a free e-download of this book, you can go to Obooko.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Faithful Shadow
By Kevin J. Howard

How often do you really notice a shadow?

When Lewis and Clark discovered Yellowstone National Park, with its bubbling lakes and steam spraying from the ground, they thought they'd wandered into hell.  Sometimes your first impression is the correct one.  Kevin J. Howard's novel, Faithful Shadow, takes you beyond the splendor of nature to the terror that lies beneath, one that should have never been discovered.

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park's history.  Ranger Joe Rand, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong after a string of disappearances.  When a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate.  Joe and Lieutenant Dale Caffey of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into.  They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke.  Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above.  The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging only to feast on passersby.  After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature.  After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that, in fact, the creature is hunting them.

~My thoughts~
I don't read very many books that are in the Horror genre because I am admittedly a wuss, and when I do read one I will not read it before I go to bed because I do not want to have nightmares.  This book would definitely have given me nightmares.  I was caught up in the story right from the beginning.  There were a few typos, but they did not take away from the story line. It is available in paperback and ebook editions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

By Debra Chapoton

Five troubled teens living together unsupervised confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways.  Paranormal meets Psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.

High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts:  the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him.  When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.

One by one, strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens' beliefs in the supernatural.  How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

~My thoughts~
This book seems to be aimed at a teenage audience, but I still enjoyed it.  I would have liked for the author to let us know what happened to all of the teens by the end of the book.  A couple of the teens were left hanging as to where their life was going to go.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chessman (and His Nine Lives on Death Row)
By Terrence W. Cooney

On May 2, 1960, on its ninth attempt, the State of California finally executed Caryl Chessman.

Terrence W. Cooney's Chessman, told in the liberating form of a factually-informed novel, introduces the reader to all the players in a long odyssey that brought such infamy to the state and country.  From Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown to Chessman himself and to the landscape of a fast-changing California, Cooney anchors a chapter of the state's history that for too long has meandered a-sea.  Many of the facats of this hysteria-inducing ordeal were gleaned from archival histories, both oral and written.  And while much of the dialogue is imagined, the times, attendees, and days of the meetings that hosted such conversations are not.

In 1956, the author was appointed by the California Supreme Court to serve as counsel representing a defendant who had pleaded guilty to two murders.  It was, Cooney knew from the start, a death penalty case.  Cooney argued that the arbitrary imposition of the punishment violated the 1791 Eighth Amendment of the Constitution's Bill of Rights against "Cruel and Unusual Punishment."  His argument was rejected.  Subsequently, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted that position in 1972 when it so ruled that the arbitrary imposition of the death penalty constiuted cruel and unusual punishment.

Four years later, still unable to shake the case, Cooney had become engrossed by the Caryl Chessman affair that had started to become headline news throughout California and beyond.  In 1960, Cooney produced the documentary: Justice and Caryl Chessman.  The film was shown in more than 1,500 movie houses throughout the United States alone, and in countless theatres worldwide.  During the filming of the documentary, Cooney met Chessman who was, at the time, the most famous resident of San Quentin's death row.  In the process, Cooney also met and conversed with Chessman's attorneys, prosecutors, investigators and jailers.

Calls for clemency came from all over: Norman Mailer, Ray Bradbury, Robert Frost, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Governor Brown's own son and future two-time California Governor Jerry Brown.  So strong was the worldwide vitriol over Chessman's impending doom, that his eighth stay of execution was issued by Governor Brown mainly out of fear of retaliation against President Dwight Eisenhower who was scheduled to be traveling in South America at the time.  Governor Edmund Brown later conceded that the Chessman affair cost him any real chance at a successful bid for the presidency of the United States of America.

After Chessman's execution, Cooney was able to meet former Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown and members of his staff.  After fifty years, after decades of anger, hysteria and misinformation, Terrence W. Cooney has made the boldest move yet by placing all of these facts into the center of a novel that attempts to get to the heart of the matter.

~My thoughts~
I received a cover letter from the author along with a copy of this book to review.  I was already interested in reading the book, but after reading the cover letter from the author I was even more so.  He advised me that even though it is labeled as a fiction novel, there are actual facts, dates and persons involved.  The author personally met with most of the people involved including the Governor and Mr. Chessman.  I was also informed that even though Mr. Chessman was executed, he was never accused of a homicide.  Any one who is for or against the death penalty should read this book.  There have been over 250 convicted prisoners exonerated and released because of DNA testing results and most of them had been sentenced to execution.  How many innocent people have been executed?  Will we really ever know?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Remember Me
By Brian L. MacLearn

While mowing his lawn, Andrew Johnson is pulled back through time by a strange storm that leaves a black hole in its wake.  Andrew leaves behind his new wife and the life he always dreamed of, and with no way back, he tries to create a life in the year 1985.  The technology in his cell phone promises to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but a brief encounter with his ex-wife causes a ripple effect that erases his daughter from existence.

Now Andrew must try and survive the next 25 years in the hopes the black hole will reappear so he can travel back once more and save his daughter -- and himself.  But making it 25 years is starting to seem less likely as he is plagued by bad luck.  Is bad luck all it is?  Or is time trying to punish him for meddling in the past?

~ My thoughts~
This book is a great read.  The premise is alot like the movie Back to the Future, but with a twist.  Andrew is alot older than Marty McFly was, and he tries to prevent some of the bad things that happened in his past from happening (i.e. - the Challenger tragedy and 9/11).  He also uses his knowledge of sports to make bets on games that win him lots of money.  He enlists the help of his parents and his sister until he is able to make it on his own, and then he leaves his parents to live their lives in relative normalcy while his sister assists him in building a business that brings the technology of his cell phone into play earlier than it had in his past.  I would really like to see this book made into a movie.  The only thing that I could find to complain about is the fact that there are quite a few grammatical errors throughout the book.  This book will definitely remain in my personal library and I know I will read it again.  I have already underlined some parts of it that touched me, and I will share it with friends and family.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is the New Fifty
By Tracey Jackson

As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded by a catchphrase on everyone's lips: "Fifty is the new thirty."  With a comedy writer's training and a screenwriter's eye for detail, Jackson skewers that particular myth with a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle age really means today.  Jackson not only faces the elephant in the room, she puts it under a (very large) microscope, confronting the truth about death, work, and sex in what the French call the "third age."

While investigating her own life, Jackson takes us through the many twists and turns on the roller coaster of aging.  She is not afraid to tackle the topics the years may bring.  She makes us laugh hard and think hard as well, and offers ways to lighten the speed bumps along the way.

~My thoughts~
I will be facing my fiftieth birthday next year (still can't believe it) and found this book a pleasure to read.  Ms. Jackson was spot on about how the dating scene is more difficult at this age as well as how we seem to lose more people our age as we get older.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Watch Where You Step: Going to the Dogs
By Jenepher Field

"You have to retire to something, not retire from something."

Jenepher had lost count of the number of times she'd heard this mantra from her energetic and ambitious husband, Louis.  But she didn't imagine that upon Louis's retirement from his orthopedic surgery practice, he would charm her into starting a business they knew nothing about, building a new house and a pet boarding kennel in the beautiful countryside of Washington State.  Swept along by the current of his drive and enthusiasm, as she has been many times before, Jenepher starts to learn about boarding and caring for dogs and cats.  Watch Where You Step is the story of their struggles and success, and of the ways in which they evolve and grow, finding both new points of friction and new appreciation for one another as they cope with issues they didn't plan for, including septic system logistics, flash floods, unreliable employees, irrational pet owners, and pets who could teach Harry Houdini a thing or two about the art of escape.  Rich threads of humor and love run through their lives as they come to realize they have invested in a business that is full of heart as well as full of mayhem.  Join Jenepher and Louis on the wonderful adventure of a lifetime!

~My thoughts~
I've often wondered what I might do in my retirement years.  I know I'm not the type to just sit around the house and be bored.  I love animals, and after reading this book, I may look into opening a pet boarding kennel somewhere.  The author shares with us some of the ups and downs that she and her husband experienced through the years.  I'm sure not every single one was mentioned, but it made for very interesting reading.

Tasty Thursday ~ Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I found this in the blog, Closet Cooking, and it is delish!!!!

A buttery and toasty grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with cool and creamy guacamole, crispy bacon and melted jack and cheddar cheese.  The crunchy crumbled tortilla chips in this grilled cheese pay tribute to the classic combination of tortilla chips and guacamole dip.

Servings: Makes 1 sandwich

Prep Time:  5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time:  15 Minutes

2 slices bacon
2 slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1/2 cup jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons guacamole, room temperature
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled (optional)

1.  Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.
2.  Butter one side of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheese onto the unbuttered side of one slice
     bread followed by the guacamole, bacon, tortilla chips, the remaining cheese and finally top with the
     remaining slice of bread with the buttered side up.
3.  Grill over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Music Monday Debut

I want to start out with Little River Band, Reminiscing, the year 1978.  Enjoy!!!

Diversity is the Spice of Life!!

I have decided to expand on my blog.  I will now start giving my views on anything and everything that comes to my  mind.  Years ago, I was a disc jockey;  I love music and have a somewhat eclectic taste in music, so I will start to share some of that with you on Mondays.  On Tuesdays, I have decided to talk about my favorite television shows from the past and those that are on now. On Thursdays I will share recipes that I like.  I may even give reviews of food products and such that I have tried and liked. I am working on getting this stuff together, so it won't all happen right away, but stay tuned.  I hope to keep you entertained.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Breastplate: A Civil War Adventure
By Shirley McCracken

The Civil War brought them together and it would tear them apart!  Beautiful Kitty Claiborne, the pampered daughter of a wealthy senator, fell deeply in love with Lt. William Benson, attache to President Lincoln.  However, she had no idea her life would change so dramatically after they were married.  Could her love endure the hardships of life in a remote cabin when, during the war, Will was given an assignment in East Tennessee?  And why didn't her husband tell her his mission when he left her alone for weeks at a time?  Was he one of the mysterious Phantom Warriors everyone was talking about?  When he was carried home, badly wounded, by a group of strangers, would she be able to smuggle them all through enemy checkpoints to safety?  And why did she bury her husband's breastplate, from his uniform, deep in the soil on their little farm?  The Breastplate is the story of the lives and families torn apart by the Civil War, and the courage of one woman as she struggles to keep her love and family intact during such turbulent times.

This book is Historical Fiction available in paperback and e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at Outskirts Press.

Shirley McCracken is a freelance writer and poet.  Always interested in the Civil War, she was intrigued when her husband found a relic from the war on their farm.  The relic, a Union breastplate, lay undisturbed for years, but when the 150th anniversary of the war approached, she decided to write its story.  She is a registered nurse, a wife, mother of two sons, and has two young grandsons who call her "Purple."   She enjoys being outdoors and had hiked, rafted, swam, scuba-dived, cross-country skied, even dog sledded.  A horseman since her youth, she has ridden many miles on her Tennessee walking horses, Jazz and Jubilee.

~My thoughts~
I have always been interested in reading about the Civil War, fact or fiction.  This book kept me interested in the lives of the families being written about.  There were a few grammatical errors in the book, but it did not take anything away from the book itself.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blues in the Wind-ReVisited
By Whitney J. LeBlanc

Whitney J. LeBlanc has written the saga of a Creole family from Estilette Louisiana, against the backdrop of the birth of the blues.  In the 1930s, Phillip Fergerson's marriage to Martha, the beautiful Creole woman of his dreams turns into nightmares.  Instead of becoming the doctor he promised to be, he becomes a high school teacher, and events of murder, lynching, voodoo and sexual abuse by a priest, set in motion the disintegration of the family.  Martha's brother, Lightfoot, performs blues music in the juke-joints as he witnesses the beginning of the blues as an art form.  We follow the early blues legends from Robert Johnson, to Bessie Smith to Leadbelly to Lightnin' Hopkins and BB King as they sing their way through the Delta.  Martha, a proud and devoted Catholic, looks on in horror as one by one of her family falls under the influence of the devil's gut-bucket music.  With his marriage falling apart, Phillip finds himself in the arms of a woman from his past.  Each of the four children go their separate ways and Martha blames it all on the influence of the sinful music.  She takes her revenge.  It is a story filled with love, lust, murder, voodoo and adventure.

This is a historical fiction book available in Ebook edition, paperback and hardback.  It is a revision.  According to the author, in the front of this book he explains, "This the result of what is called an unfortunate, or rather fortunate, decision by the publisher, who in 2011 decided not to do a second printing of my novel Blues in the Wind and subsequently returned all rights to me, the author"

"I decided to begin this saga during the birth of the blues that took place in the 1930s.  All of the action in the lives of my characters was influenced by the actual historical events of the time in which they lived.  All of the blues makers mentioned actually toured that part of the country during the time period they are mentioned in the story....I restructured the story as the "prequel" for the novels Shadows of the Blues and Bodacious Blues."

~My thoughts~
I enjoyed this book.  The characters were realistic and the story line was interesting.  This book confirmed my suspicions that every race has some kind of prejudice towards the poor of the same race they are.  It is a sad fact of life that not everyone accepts others just the way they are. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Let the Dead Lie
By Malla Nunn

Award-winning screenwriter Malla Nunn brings back Detective Emmanuel Cooper in a stunning novel about murder, power and a dangerous South African underworld.

Emmanuel Cooper's life has an "ex" through it:  ex-soldier, ex-detective sergeant and ex-white man.  He now works undercover surveillance on the seedy Durban docks to make a living.  All that changes when the brutal murder of a young boy forces Cooper out of the shadows.  He must elude the police to conduct his own unofficial investigation.  After two more similar murders, Cooper becomes the police department's prime suspect.  He dives into the Durban underworld for answers and find that the killings are part of an international tussle for the political soul of South Africa.  Under the pressure of new racial segregation laws, Cooper must find the killer before the Durban police pin the crimes on him.

~My thoughts~
Once again, a sequel falls into my hands for which I haven't read the first installment.  This book can stand alone, but I would be willing to bet money that I would have understood the main character a little more if I read the first book.  I don't understand political intrigue very well, so this book lost me in places but I held on to the end because I wanted to find out who the killer was.  There are questions and topics for discussion in the back of the book if you have a book club and there is an interesting conversation with the author after that.

The Island Horse
By Susan Hughes

In the wake of her mother's death, a young girl bonds with a wild stallion on Sable Island.  A moving chapter book that will especially appeal to horse lovers.

It's the early half of the 19th century in coastal Nova Scotia, and almost-ten-year-old Ellie is adjusting to the recent death of her mother.  But just when she finally begins to feel happy again, Ellie and her father move to remote Sable Island, a tiny, windblown crescent, renowned for its wild horses, in the Atlantic.  While her father works, Ellie explores the island, feeling alone and furious with her pa for making them leave their beloved home.  Even meeting a spirited island girl named Sarah does little to dispel her anger and grief.  Then one afternoon, Ellie encounters a wild stallion grazing on the dunes, and slowly forges a secret connection with the beautiful horse she names Orchid.  But Ellie soon learns that Orchid and his family are threatened, and it may be up to her to save them.

Based on historical fact, this early chapter book is a touching exploration of loss and loneliness and the redemptive power of love and friendship.

~My thoughts~
The target audience for this book is ages 7 - 10, grades 2 to 5.  I have been a horse lover since childhood and was excited to review this book.  It is an easy read, and I believe it will hold the attention of the younger audience.

Susan Hughes is an award-winning author whose books include Case Closed?, No Girls Allowed, Earth to Audrey and Virginia.  She has loved horses since she was a child and has long dreamed of setting a story on Sable Island.  Susan lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

By MP Kollman

Jerome Grayson is dead; Wade Addams arrested; Jane Doe identified; Jackson Nolan committed suicide, evidently to avoid the humiliation of a trial.  The entire case has been neatly wrapped up.  Sandy Grayson's greatest regret is his brother's death.  But the case which brought the drug enforcement agent back to Jaspar also brough Samantha Greene into his life and brought him back into the house from which he had been banished years ago...a place he felt certain he would never be welcome again, especially since he had been the instrument of Jerome's death.  Destiny brought them together...Will She rip them apart too soon?  His father's suicide, Jerome's death and the similarities to his brother's suicide 12 years ago, drive a young man to wage war against the residents of Jaspar.

~My thoughts~
I liked this book.  I realized, only after I had started reading it, that it is a sequel...Wonder why the title didn't give me a clue?  Guess my blonde roots are showing... Anyhoo, the book did stand alone well, but I would like to read the first book to get acclimated with the characters.  And, yes, it appears that there will be a third in the series, so I look forward to reading that one also.  I found a clip on YouTube that I am going to share with you. The book is available in paperbook and ebook form.  It is fiction/action & adventure.

About the Author....MP Kollman is a student of the human condition, wielding the written craft to enrapture the mind much like an artist wields a brush.  The pages are a blank canvas on which to draw from a talent heralded by many and matched only by an imagination that rises to the task.  Sequela is the second in a series of recent pursuits, with work progressing on the follow-up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Puppet's Secret
By Alex Samms

A story of a middle-aged woman finding that reality and insanity border on a fine line.

A tale of a romance that never was and the consequences one must pay for the choices one makes.  What happens is unexpected and keeps you wanting more.

~My thoughts~
This book was a quick read, it is a novelette with only 48 pages of story but it did keep me on the edge of my seat.  The book is written from the point of view of a middle aged female who believes that her beauty is fading and her life is in a rut. She and her family take a trip to the beach one day, she spots a handsome man walking down the same beach with a beautiful woman on his arm, and the rest...well, the rest is what this book is all about.  It is a fiction/romance/thriller in paperback.  The author was able to make me empathize with the character, and I was surprised by the ending.  This is a great book, and I look forward to more from this author.

The Appeal of Stalking
By Stan Talbot

In 21st Century Society, "Stalking" connotes a myriad of imagery and numerous definitions.  Ask any female adult and she has either directly been a "victim" of "stalking," or she has a friend who has been a victim.  Stalkers are no longer simply the lurkers in the shadows from the "Stalking" films of the 20th Century.  Stalkers come in all shapes and sizes and socio-economic backgrounds.  In addition to preying on their victims, stalkers can be apprehended for "following" in other ways including e-mail communication, texting, and even inappropriate posts on Facebook.

In The Appeal of Stalking, Billy Freeman is accused of stalking his ex-wife, Diane Downer, after Downer attempts to take custody of their six year-old grandson, Trystan.  Trystan's mother, Faith Freeman, enters a "family-friendly" alcohol rehab facility, but with the help of Trystan's illegal alien  father, Erasmo, Downer seizes Trystan and places him into the first grade, rather than kindergarten where he was destined to be placed under his mother's care.  Downer's animosity toward her daugther stems from an earlier incident when Faith was stalked by her mother's dream man: television star, Matthew Fox.

~My thoughts~

This book was difficult for me to get through.  I couldn't stay interested in the story.  I did admire Billy for fighting his ex-wife's false allegations in court.  The book does show how some women use the system, they claim the male is stalking them when in reality they are stalking the men and just trying to get the men into trouble. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The End of Sunshine Street
By Johanna Constance Hunt

You probably haven't met a woman like Judy before -- described by some as a female Ripley.  A working-class woman living in Palm Beach with her millionaire husband, she's outwardly normal but copes -- in her own unusual way -- with a hurricane, an overcrowded house, a workplace accident, and an unfaithful husband.  Readers will be intrigued as they try to figure out Judy's decision-making process.

~My thoughts~
I really felt sorry for Judy because of all of the things that happen to her in the book.  She's not sure whether or not she loves her husband, friends of hers get hurt in a freak accident going home from her house after a party, she and her best friend have lost touch because of time and distance, and then she finds out that her husband has slept with that now ex-friend!!!

One bad thing after another happens to this poor woman.  The accident at her workplace results in her being suspended (losing her job), so when she finds out her husband has cheated on her with her best friend, she packs up her cat and takes a road trip to her parents cabin in Maine.  She leaves the husband with an ultimatum, tells him to leave her alone for awhile, and the jerk ends up on her doorstep unannounced and very unwelcome.

I was a little surprised at the ending, but all in all, I enjoyed the book very much.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

To My Senses
By Alexandrea Weis

Sometimes love is the inspiration that can awaken you to your destiny.

For Nicci Beauvoir, a disillusioned New Orleans debutante, life is about practicalities until she meets a secretive struggling artist and part-time gigolo named David Alexander.  In his arms she learns of passion and he finds his artistic muse.  But jealous rivals and intrigues conspire against them and a broken hearted Nicci turns to the cold and manipulative Dr. Michael Fagles for comfort.  Soon fate and family intervene to save Nicci from a life without love.  But her salvation comes with a tragic price that changes the course of her life forever.

~My thoughts~

As anyone who has read any of my past reviews knows by now, Ms. Weis is one of my favorite authors.  I was introduced to her writing when I reviewed her book "Sacrifice" and got hooked into the story line involving Nicci Beauvoir.  I have now read all three books in the trilogy, and they will forever be in my personal library. 

The story line has romance and intrigue that keeps you hooked until the end.  I felt the heartache Nicci went through when David walked, or should I say ran out of her life.  I agreed with her Dad and her Uncle when they told her she was making a mistake by agreeing to marry Dr. Michael Fagles.  I held my breath in wonder when David showed up at her engagement party and professed his love for her.  I could go on and on, but I don't want to spoil the ending.  You need to get this book and then read the other two in the trilogy.  These books are great.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Diary of a One-Night Stand
By Alexandrea Weis

Resilient and practical, Kara Barton has continually strived to live a respectable life.  She went to college, embarked on a promising career as an attorney, married a great guy, and always appeared to be the perfect wife and mother.  But all is not what it seems, and the troubling past Kara has been running from her entire life is about to catch up with her.  Urged on by her insecurities about growing older, and desperately wanting to feel one more night of passion, Kara agrees to share a tryst in a hotel room with a sexy business associate, Scott Ellsworth.  But Scott wants more than one night together, and Kara quickly discovers it is impossible to resist him.  Soon Kara finds herself transformed into the kind of woman she vowed never to become, and the secure world she has struggled all her life to build begins to fall apart.  Kara Barton is about to find out how a one-night stand can change everything.

~My thoughts~

I really loved this book.  Ms. Weis has become one of my favorite authors in the short time I have been doing book reviews.  All of her books that I have read have landmarks from New Orleans that I am familiar with and have had great stories to tell.  This one may actually be my favorite of them all.

Kara is married to Cal and has a daughter, Simone, that she dearly loves.  She and Cal are both lawyers who have let work and his bad health drive a wedge between them.  Cal gets into a fight with Kara's new male client, goes to punch him and hits Kara on accident when she tries to break up the fight.  The fight makes Kara realize she is tired of trying to work things out with Cal, and she packs up Simone and moves in with the new client, Scott, who she has also slept with.  You need to read the book to find out what else happens, but I promise you won't be disappointed.  I read this book in five hours, couldn't put it down!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In My Mailbox

Diary of a One-Night Stand - Alexandrea Weis
Sequela - MP Kollman
The End of Sunshine Street - Johanna Constance Hunt

Bargains From the Bookstore:

A Happy Marriage - Rafael Yglesias
Let The Dead Lie - Malla Nunn

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Post by Author Alexandria Weis

My first book, To My Senses, has been called a romance by some and more than a romance, a love story if you will, by others. Is there a difference between a romance and a love story? I believe so, but do not get me wrong I support the romance genre. There is a formula for the characters and plot that is followed much to the relief of romance fans around the world. But a love story gives us much more, emotionally from the characters and engages the reader on a deeper level. Romance brings predictability but a love story does not because as many of us know from experience love is never predictable. Some romances may be forgettable, but a great love story will live on in the reader’s memory for many years to come.
Why are love stories so engaging? Perhaps it is because of the nature of love itself. Love changes us, and can alter our direction in life, as Nicci Beauvoir was awakened by David Alexander’s love in To My Senses, or Pamela was transformed by Daniel’s love in my novel, Broken Wings. Such great love can act as a sudden wind on a calm sea, righting the sails of a ship, giving us a new course and a new horizon to aim for. We are penetrable souls, influenced and defined by whom we love. In such a way, love can move mountains or melt even the coldest heart, as is the case with my favorite character, Dallas August in Recovery.
When looking back on our lives, it has never been the house, car or other material things we long for, but those individuals most cherished whom we hold in our hearts forever. Kara Barton realized this in Diary of a One-Night Stand, and Dallas August also has such an epiphany during his adventures in my fifth book, The Secret Brokers. These characters learned that in that final moment of life, we remember those we have loved, and hope to carry that love with us to the other side.
It is not to say that the love shared between the characters of an always happily ever after romance novel is any less sincere than the emotional ties binding two star-crossed, and sometimes tragically torn apart, lovers. Maybe it is when characters are taken to heart and become embedded within our psyche that they move from the light fragrance of a romance to the rich bouquet of a love story. Where romance may tweak at our hunger for passion and adventure, a love story reaches down into the inner workings of our soul and touches us in a way never expected.
That is what I hope my books do for the reader; takes them on a journey through the highs and lows of love. Teaching everyone that it is the attainment of life’s greatest endeavor that matters most, and everything else we garner along the way simply pales in comparison.
Did Nicci’s saga in To My Senses, Recovery, and Sacrifice mirror my own experiences with Cupid’s arrow? I have been asked that question a great deal by readers and friends alike. Suffice it to say that many first novels are mostly autobiographical tales of the author. I admit To My Senses does contain many elements reflecting my life experiences.
And David, you might be asking, did he really exist? Yes he did. He was as he is written. But who he was and what he meant to me will be forever sealed within the confines of my healing heart. To do otherwise, would be remiss of my own sweet remembrances.

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Alexandrea began writing at the age of eight. She has been writing novels and screenplays for over thirty years. Her first novel, To My Senses (part I in the Nicci Beauvoir Series), was a finalist for commercial fiction in Eric Hofer Book Awards, a finalist for romance in the Foreword Magazine book of the Year awards, and a finalist for romance in the USA Book Awards. Her second novel in the series, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and was named best Romantic Suspense by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2011, as well as being a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards for 2012. Book III in the Nicci Beauvoir series, Sacrifice, was published by World Castle Publishing in 2011 and has received critical praise. Her last novel, Broken Wings, combines her love of writing and rescuing wildlife, and was a winner of the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012.
Alexandrea Weis is a permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and when she is not writing, Ms. Weis is rescuing orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives outside of New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of pets.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shadows of the Past
By E.A. Jensen

For five years, Kirsa Heinrich has tried to leave her past behind. Yet in a blink of an eye it all comes back to haunt her. A call from her old boss informs her that a series of heinous murders has occurred in her hometown. Each victim is protected under the Paranormal Laws, each one killed in a different manner. At each scene a cryptic message is left for Kirsa. Now Kirsa has to face her own past in order to solve the crimes.

Ayden O'Brian is a member of an elite group of Vampires that work for the Vampire Council. He has been handed a case that hints at a traitor in their midst, one who is giving secrets to their biggest enemy. When the information that is being leaked pertains to Kirsa and her family's connection to council, Ayden is sent to New Jersey to help Kirsa solve the case. Together they will unlock a long hidden secret about Kirsa's family and an old war between vampires. For within the past, they will discover the secret to the traitor and the person responsible for the killings.

~ My thoughts~

I just recently started reading books like this one, and I was hooked in the first chapter. I kept trying to guess who the traitor could be, and didn't really figure it out until the author lets us know in the book. I am a fan of murder mysteries as well as romance novels, and this book had both ingredients mixed in. I look forward to the sequel. There were some grammatical issues, misspelled words drive me crazy, but I still give this book four stars ****.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Complexity of a Soldier
By Michelle Bellon

No one knows the heart and mind of a soldier. Every day they must face scenarios and life choices that most of us will never even imagine. When Rory Nichols joins the Army, this hard lesson hits hard and fast. After 9-11, he is deployed to Iraq. He and his wife, Emily, face sacrifice and strife which they fear their young marriage may not survive. Pushed to his limits, Rory begins to ask questions. Then one day, he receives a fateful phone call relaying the most wicked of betrayals. He rushes home to face an enemy he had not predicted. In this penultimate moment he will right a wrong and stand for what he believes in at all costs; making a statement to his country, to his family, and to all victims of this seething crime.

It is a story of life, love, and rising above the acts of war and abuse.

My thoughts...I read this book in a little over one sitting. It spoke volumes to me and I did not want to put it down. The title of the book grabbed my attention because I am in a relationship with a man who is in the military. The characters in the book and the story they had to tell kept me captivated right from the beginning.

This book takes us into the life of one soldier and his family and friends. It is at times heartwarming and then heartwrenching, as only life can be. I give this book five stars *****

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Siren's Call
By Matthew S. Urdan

Throughout our lives, we all come into contact with some amazing people. Some of them come, some of them go, and some of them even stay for awhile. At its heart, The Siren's Call is the story of the love between friends -- what we do to sustain our friendships, and, sadly, what we do to destroy them. Hopefully in that process somewhere lies a bit of redemption.

Steven Perry and Kenneth Pierson are best friends and trusted partners in the successful Detroit law firm they co-founded. They are handsome, young, bright, and at the top of their game with the world at their feet -- that is until Steven's fiancee is killed by a drunk driver. Consumed by grief, Steve can't sleep. So in the middle of the night Steve impulsively drives to Kip's northern Lake Michigan retreat in an attempt to escape and begins to hear voices in his head.

Concerned for his friends sanity, Kip convinces Steve to join him in Hawaii for a much needed extended vacation -- spring break style. Fun in the sun, hilarious hijinks, surfing lessons, remembered dreams and unexpected meetings with friends from home all ensue. But while Steve struggles to deal with his own grief and potentially gestating madness, he begins to suspect Kip is wrestling with his own demons that Kip refuses to reveal -- stressing their relationship to the breaking point. But as Kip's best friend, Steve cannot imagine neither the depth of Kip's deception nor the terrible secret he is hiding.

Filled with raw emotional power and vivid images of the surrounding landscapes, The Siren's Call is an unforgettable story of two friends trying to cope with profound grief the best way they know how and make sense of a senseless personal tragedy. The sirens are calling. Read this book.

Friday, June 22, 2012

At Last
By Barbara Bretton

From the moment they met as children, there was something special between Noah Chase and Gracie Taylor, something that grew and matured right along with them. Despite Gracie's troubled family - and Noah's cold, distant one - they managed to make each other laugh and keep each other's dreams alive...

But Noah's father already has plans for is golden boy's future - plans that did not include the likes of poor, ordinary Gracie Taylor. And when he succeeded in tearing them apart - on the night before their wedding - it seemed those childhood dreams and teenage passions had been crushed by more grownup things, like sorrows and secrets and lies...

Now Gracie has returned to Idle Point, Maine - and so has Noah. Over the years they've wondered if those dreams were just delusions, or it a love like theirs could ever happen again. Maybe they'll find out at last...

My thoughts....I really liked this book. The characters kept me interested in the story, and the author twisted things around just enough to surprise me at the end. I give this book four stars ****.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Across The River: A Mystery
By C. Solimini

Andie Rinaldi has just lost her job at the country's most respected newspaper, her big-city apartment is going condo, her long-distance romance is suffering from travel fatigue, and her twin sister is threatening a relapse of her "impulse control problem." Worse yet, Andie's new employer - the country's least respected celebrity tabloid - has ordered her to cross the river to her tiny hometown and report on a shocking, as-yet-unsolved murder that involves childhood friends...and enemies.

Caught between a rock (the New Jersey Palisades) and a hard place (New York City), Andie finds herself becoming part of the sensational story, while confronting her own past, present, and future.

My thoughts....This book took me a couple of days to read. It barely kept my interest, even though I was wondering "who done it?" by the end (and I guessed incorrectly). The author surprised me and that doesn't happen very often. I give this book two stars **.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Across Eternity: A Novel
By Aris Whittaker

Born a genius; education, wealth, and prestige came easy to Logan Richards. Actually, there wasn't much that Logan couldn't learn or acquire. However, he knew there was more to life than money and power. Logan was determined to find the woman he'd dreamed of his entire life and know what it was like to love her before he died.

Amber Lewis, a waitress for a five-star restaurant in Dana Point, California, was overworked, stressed, and wary of life since her sister, Heather, had passed away. Then, one evening while working she fell hopelessly in love with Logan Richards, a chivalrous man who felt deeply familiar.

For Amber, it was the beginning of a voyage of self-discovery and renewal. For Logan, it was the completion of life. For each of them it was the deepest of love.

My thoughts....I really liked this book. Once again, it was a free Kindle download, and one that I would highly recommend. I give it Five Stars *****

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bubba and the Dead Woman
By C.L. Bevill

Bubba is a good old boy with lots of problems. His ex-fiancee is deader than a door nail and everyone thinks he dun did it. His house is haunted. His mother is running an illegal gambling ring. His dog likes to bite people too much. And he's got to find out who really did it before the sheriff throws him in jail....again.

My thoughts....This is one of the first books I read on my new Kindle and I really liked it. It didn't hurt that the book was free. I just found out you can get in free on the Nook too!! If you like murder mysteries with a touch of comedy, you'll like this book. I give it Four Stars ****

By Robert Kral

Life is like a box of chocolates. Except only an idiot doesn't read the ingredients in fine print before eating one.

The beginning of what will turn out to be the most historic period in Idiotville's existence is innocent enough. The mayor, in need of having insect-infested trees marked with yellow x's removed from the grounds, hires his brother-in-law Charlie, a drunk whose first chance to work for the mayor should have been his last. But with a soft spot for Charlie (or in his own head), the mayor hires him to rid the town of the infected trees -- at the same time as the Tie-a-Yellow-Ribbon-to-Support-the-War program begins. Soon enough, the treeless town finds itself careening from one disaster to the next.

From the Church of Bob to a really poor use of a time machine, from the economy and entertainment to politics and energy, the daily lives of the town's inhabitants are examined in not-so-great detail, sparing no one and noting as it examines the goings-on in a typical American town. For reasons that no one -- not even the mayor -- can figure out, things just seem to go from bad to worse until a re-booting of the town's nuclear reactor just might lead to the greatest triumph the town has ever seen.

A raucus, riotous, and altogether politically incorrect sojourn from the absurd to the ridiculous, Idiotville is a indictment of the idiot in all of us, teaching that burying your head in the sand only leads to suffocation.

My thoughts....I'm sorry to say that I just could not get interested in this book. I have to give it only One Star *.

The Secret Brokers
By Alexandrea Weis

Head of an organization of elite spies, Dallas August is asked to uncover what secrets a reclusive woman, Gwen Marsh, is hiding about a mafia kingpin's death. Dallas must pose as a bodyguard in order to get close to Gwen, but the stubborn woman wants nothing to do with her cool and contentious protector. Dallas soon learns that others are interested in Gwen when he stumbles upon the FBI monitoring her every move. Intrigued by the challenge of her analytical mind and aloof demeanor, Dallas has found his equal in Gwen. But with the FBI and the Mafia vying for the woman's information, he can't afford to lose his objectivity. The sexual tension grows between them until Gwen finally lowers her defenses and confides in Dallas. His job done, Dallas returns to his organization in New York. But an unexpected turn of events leads Dallas back to Gwen's doorstep, where he discovers the Gwen Marsh he thought he was protecting, wasn't Gwen Marsh at all. Determined to find out who betrayed him, Dallas must put his life on the line to search for answers about a woman he thought he knew. Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of....The Secret Brokers.

My thoughts....Another great book from one of my favorite authors! Ms. Weis, you have done it again. I read this book in a little over a day, hated putting it down, can't wait for the next installment of the Dallas August series of books. I definitely give this one Five Stars *****!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Embracing You, Embracing Me
By Michelle Bellon

In a decade when image matters, when the so-called Generation X is swelling with 'future perfect' hopes and pride, 16-year-old Roshell McRady dances her way through High School, never quite admitting that she's ashamed of her trailer park family home.

She listens to Madonna while conjuring creative Top Ramen recipes to feed her younger cousins; she empties enough hairspray until her bangs are feathered and vertical like a lethal weapon; and she agonises over how to convince Gabriel Harrison, the new Mystery Guy in town, to invite her to the prom - a night which threatens to turn into a disaster.

But then life takes a dramatic turn for Roshell, and her life changes forever.

My thoughts....I really liked this book, so much so that I had a hard time putting it down. It took me less than a day to read. I empathized with Roshell and the difficult time she had letting Gabriel know how she felt about him because she was afraid he didn't feel the same. The book didn't end the way I envisioned it, but it was a good ending nonetheless. I give it Five Stars *****

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Churning Cauldron Book 1....The Beginning
By Ronald Dahle

My thoughts.....I am a big fan of most books that have anything to do with U.S. Special Forces, but I just could not get interested in this book.  I have to give it One Star * and that really bothers me.

First Sunday: Spiritual Responses to the 9-11 Attacks
By Donald Robert Elton & Aura Agudo Elton

These inspirational sermons written following the 9-11 terrorist attacks bring back memories and emotions from that turbulent and tragic time in our Nation's history.  They also remind us again, with clarity, the perspective of what is really important in our lives.

My thoughts...This book was not easy for me to read.  A more religious person might get more out of it.  I can only give it Two stars **

The Witness
By Nora Roberts

Elizabeth Fitch's short-lived teenage rebellion began with L'Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors, and a fake ID.  It ended in blood . . . .

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.  The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks.  A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.  Her own security is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms.  She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.

The mystery of Abigail Lowery intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and a professional level.  Her sharp, logical mind, her secretive nature, her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated.  He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, even if he doesn't know what -- and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

Accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, Gleason is about to walk into the sights of very powerful and dangerous men.  And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.

My thoughts....I am a big Nora Roberts fan and this book did not disappoint.  Abigail is a woman who is used to taking care of herself, who has come to believe that she can't trust anyone but herself.  Brooks is just the man to show her that she is wrong.  I just love a good love story.  I give this one Five Stars *****!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

No Dice By Mar Preston

A real whodunit confronts Santa Monica police detective Dave Mason. A city councilwoman in murdered on the eve of a vote allowing a casino consortium to build on the shore of this upscale Los Angeles beachside city. The attractive leader of the coalition opposing the casino now lives with the threat of the killer who fears she could identify him. Mason must stop the killer before he strikes through the flimsy curtain of protection surrounding this scared activist and cop hater.

Mason's investigation lands on the money people: real estate developers, PR flacks, the hotels, the politicians, and their dark shenanigans. The story unravels how casinos penetrate new markets by funding Indian tribes' quest for federal status, as well as peddling influence with local officials to sway public opinion. Billions of dollars in profit, and an explosive secret emerging from Santa Monica's seamy past, turn the nicest people ugly.

~My thoughts~
It took awhile for me to warm up to this book; I almost stopped reading it a time or two, but decided to give it a chance. It ended up catching my attention by the middle, and I was interested in finding out who the murderer was by the end of the book.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Broken Wings By Alexandrea Weis

As a wildlife rehabilitator in southeast Louisiana, Pamela Wells has dealt with her fair share of wild animals, but her reclusive live is forever changed when she meets an elusive former soldier named Daniel Phillips. Sent to Pamela's wildlife sanctuary as part of his parole requirements, Daniel and Pamela quickly clash until Daniel's troubles past unexpectedly comes to light. After serving in Iraq, Daniel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Pamela tries to help ease his condition by introducing him to the healing power of animals. Daniel begins to find peace, and an unexpected kindred spirit in Pamela. Fearing one day she will be forced to give up her beloved sanctuary, Pamela confides in Daniel about her debilitating health. United by their misfortunes, the relationship turns romantic.

Just when Pamela has found someone to love and share her burdens, Daniel skips town, crushing her heart. Suddenly Pamela finds herself alone and in a desperate situation. She has no choice but to turn to a ruthless Louisiana attorney, Bob Patrick, for help. Bob promises Pamela financial security in exchange for a life as his obedient wife. When Daniel unexpectedly returns, Bob is not willing to give Pamela up. Like an ensnared bird, Pam struggles to free herself of her cruel capture. The fight may prove deadly, but Daniel is willing to do anything to save her. Can two broken souls eventually find happiness or, like the broken wings of a dove, will they be forever kept from reaching the heights of heaven.

~My thoughts on this book~

This is the third book of Ms. Weis' that I have read. I love this author's work. I am an animal lover myself, so the plot of this book touched me in more ways than one. I could empathize with the heroine in this book on so many levels. I rejoiced in her finding love with a good hearted man and hurt along with her when he left without a goodbye. I silently hoped she would give him a second chance when he came back into her life, and was elated when she did. There was a point at the end of the book when I started to cry because I was afraid it would end in a way that broke my heart, but I was pleasantly surprised how the author turned it around. Great job, Ms. Weis, I look forward to your next book!!!

Love Undercover By Larry Johnson

Nicholas Watson craves a little mystery and excitement in his life. After all, he is an undercover agent working for a US counterterrorism unit -- which is not exactly the kind of lifestyle that one should have when searching for someone to settle down with. He yearns for love and intimacy but feels that he will never find it, especially since he has already experienced one failed marriage. His life goes into a tizzy when Kalyna, a beautiful and mysterious European, walks into his life. Nick discovers she also works for her respective government's counterterrorism unit. When Nick and Kalyna are thrown together in a work-related encounter, they fall deeply in love -- which is not part of their assignment. Because of their line of work, they can never make their relationship known. They continue to be placed together in professional situations, only to be separated again when the work is done.

Miraculous happenings against unexpected complications that bring conflict to their newfound love simply fuel the fire of their journey. Dangerous circumstances and life itself rises against the possibility of such a relationship between them. Yet the drive for fulfillment of this personal desire in their lives continues to keep the pages of hope turning for the faint possibility of them finally being together freely.

Can love truly conquer all? Can Nick and Kalyna overcome their secret lives in order to be together openly, or will they have to forever keep their Love Undercover?

~ My thoughts on this book~

It started out keeping me on the edge of my seat. I read the whole thing in one sitting, it only took three hours from start to finish. The author surprised me with the ending. I look forward to reading more from him.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Borrowed Heart By Linda Lamberson

Evie Sanders is pretty good at heeding that gnawing feeling she gets when trouble rears its head -- or at least she used to be. Things change when she meets Quinn Harrison one morning after class. Evie would never do anything intentionally to hurt her long-distance boyfriend or jeopardize their relationship, but she finds it increasingly difficult to resist Quinn. Just when things can't seem to get any more complicated, Evie is involved in a fatal car accident. Yet, her death marks a new beginning -- and her new existence as an immortal. It's not long before Evie and Quinn's paths cross again, and she finds herself trying to walk a fine line between bending the rules she must now obey and breaking them.

~My thoughts on this book~

I fell in love with all of the characters, and the story did not go in the direction that I thought that it would. I can't wait for the sequel called "Peace of Mind" that comes out this year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Psyched Out By M.A. MacAfee

Can a human pacemaker implanted in a dog cause the animal to take on human traits? Absolutely! Ollie Kline would answer, and he ought to know. An aspiring psychic detective with a cardiac pacemaker, Ollie is killed in a drive-by shooting outside the Pastime where he tends bar. He awakes inside Mugsy, a pug dog, who also has a heart problem and who receives Ollie's recycled pacemaker. Aware his cardiac device was stolen from his corpse, Ollie wonders what other body parts were taken. Ollie uses his telepathic powers to enlist the help of Nora Cole, the sister of Mugsy's owner. On receiving Ollie's thoughts from the dog, Nora fears she's lost her mind. To verify her sanity, she agrees to help Ollie find his killers. Ollie, Nora, and Mugsy, the pug dog, conduct an investigation which leads them on a merry romp into the illegal side of the human body-parts trade, as well as the dark underbelly of the funeral business. They encounter creepy mortuary workers, graveyard ghosts, and a few brushes with the law -- antics which underscore a common truism: adversity is the wellspring of humor.

~My thoughts on this book~

This book was "different", told from the viewpoint of a murdered mans soul who has found himself in the body of a pug dog. Believe it or not, I felt that the author could have gone into more details of what it was like to live inside the body of a dog. To me, the author was sketchy in this area. But, on the other hand, Ollie using his psychic powers to enlist the help of his owners sister was outstanding.

This book would be a good beach read or something to take on a weekend trip. I was a little disappointed with the ending, however.

Friday, January 13, 2012

AyJay's Millions: An A.J. Carlin Mystery By Jack Wasserman

The most unique PI to ever come down the pike, Jack Wasserman's A.J. Carlin is a noir tour de force who throws all stereotypes out the window. Full of riveting twists and shocking turns combined with well-developed characters and crackling dialogue, AyJay's Millions: an A.J. Carlin Mystery is a first-rate mystery with an unforgettable finish.

~My thoughts

I really liked this book. I am a sucker for a good mystery novel, and this one was something different. I thought I knew how the book was going to end by the time I made it to the middle, but I was wrong and I love when that happens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cancer: It's a Good Thing I Got It! By David A. Koop

David Koop had it all -- a storied business career, beautiful son, and prospects as far as the eye could see. Then a surprise cancer diagnosis turned his life upside down. It was osteo sarcoma -- a form of bone cancer -- and it was growing on his spine. Doctors told him to get his affairs in order.

More than three years later, Koop continues to beat the odds. Cancer: It's a Good Thing I Got It! is his eye-opening account of a remarkable journey through hospitals, treatments, friendships and emotions as he struggles to maintain a positive attitude and will to live. In this frank and uncensored look at one man's battle with cancer, Koop reflects on his life before and after the diagnosis. The surprising conclusion will leave you awed at the strength of the human spirit: far from a death sentence, the medical woes unleash a powerful self-assessment that leads Koop to a whole new sense of purpose -- and the love he has sought all his life.

Full of humor and occasional grief, this memoir of a life still in progress will move you to make changes for the better. You'll come away inspired to live your life to the fullest and embrace the gift of personal relationships. And you'll find hope for meeting the unexpected challenges that can strike when you least expect.

~My thoughts on this book~
Being a cancer survivor myself, I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed in it. The author shares all of his emotions, trials, good and bad days with the reader. The book is written in such a way that you feel like you are sitting and chatting with the author, one on one. This is a book that I will keep and definitely suggest to friends and family to read.