Monday, November 16, 2009

I, Alex Cross

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316018783


My Review:

Don't mess with Detective Alex Cross, especially when it comes to his family members. With one family member murdered, and another in the hospital fighting for their life, Cross sets out to help solve a very personal murder case--a series of brutal murders that, not only involve his niece, but will take him to the top echelons of the US government.

James Patterson brings to the table, once again, all of his previous masterful talent and bold imagination. Although, some passages may disturb the squeamish, I was held captive throughout the entire book. I especially like the surprise ending.

This may be one of Patterson's best efforts yet. The thriller is written in short chapters, which I like, and the font is large enough to make reading enjoyable. The prose is clear, succinct, and paints a picture of full-blown evil and terror. A fast read.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

True Compass / Review

Author: Edward M. Kennedy
Hardcover: 532 pages
Publisher: Twelve; First Edition, First Printing edition (September 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446539252


Book Description:

In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Edward M. Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story--of his legendary family, politics, and fifty years at the center of national events.


My Review:

In the last years of his life, Edward Kennedy tells his own story. It is not only his story, but the memories and accounts of his treasured family members. No matter how one feels about this complex historical figure, the reader must admit that his life and career was an important slice of the American political process. His contributions will long be remembered and he will no doubt go down in history as a model figure of the democratic party. This book is very well written and should be read for its historical value.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't Look Down

Author: Davis Dawson
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Bridgeross Communications (August 17, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0981003753


Book Description:

Four men, age 18 to 81, have murdered, and now share a room in the secure forensic psychiatry ward of a mental hospital. Who better to get inside their heads, and find both the tragedy and comedy of their lives than Canadian psychiatrist and novelist David Laing Dawson. Three of Dawson's previous novels, Last Rights, Double Blind, and Essondale have been published in seven European countries, the US and the UK. Dawson's novels have been described as a cross between Elmore Leonard and Seinfeld and as close to reality as it gets.


My Review:

This is a disturbing, yet compelling story of four seriously ill patients who share a room on a ward in a mental hospital. Though the characters are tragic, the author creates moments of humor and warmth. It was well-written and a fast read.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Walk For Sunshine

Author: Jeff Alt
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Dreams Shared Publications; 3rd edition (September 12, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0967948231

Book Description:

Jeff Alt shares his "Life Lessons from the Trail" and much more in the new edition of A Walk For Sunshine: A 2,160-mile expedition for charity on the Appalachian Trail."


My Review:
What a fascinating book! It's a journal of stories, maps, and photos that made me feel good and wish that I, too, could have the courage to hike and explore the beauty of the Appalachian Trail. It was not only inspirational, but made me feel like I had been there with him all the way! This was an easy, delightfully refreshing, quick read.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)


Dream Reachers



Authors: Chase Von and Betty Dravis

Paperback: 476 pages
Publisher: VonChasePublishing (May 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0976678780

Book Description:

"Dream Reachers" is a magical mix of success stories and interviews with people who have dared to stretch to reach for their dreams. From living legends to legends-in-the-making, the subjects of this book let their imaginations soar. Author Betty Dravis shares her experiences as a young journalist when her idols, like Clint Eastwood and Jane Russell, walked right out of the limelight and into her life...for brief, memorable moments. Author Chase Von, a celebrity interviewer and poet, shares his current interviews with high achievers in the arts: acting, writing, painting, photography, music and dance. As these achievers tell you in their own words why they kept stretching to reach their dreams, they enchant the readers with their determination, inspiring them to DREAM BIG. With over forty compelling stories and interviews, this literary work casts new light on what it takes to be a Dream Reacher. These are stories of how even disasters can turn into dreams, challenges into opportunities, with the right attitude of perseverance and determination. Whether you dream of walking the red carpet in Hollywood, taking the Big Apple by storm, having a cottage with a white picket fence––or all of those pleasures––this book will inspire you to “stretch” to make your dreams come true.



My Review:

This book shares the stories and interviews of extraordinary people, who were determined to reach their dreams. It show us how determination can lead to success, how misfortune can be overcome and even give purpose to our lives. It is not only inspirational, but gives us hope when we face road-blocks.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Embellish

Author: R. L. Sloan
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432740326

Book Description:

Revenge has never tasted so sweet...

As a young girl, Solis Burkes is raped at the hands of ruthless school bullies-an incident that haunts her into young adulthood. Then she meets Nacio, a strikingly handsome man who seems to know everything about her-including the painful past Solis hasn't told anyone about. But what Solis doesn't know is that Nacio has been with her every step of the way, protecting her ever since that fateful episode.

It's a destiny he's been working up to for the last 257 years.Now, as Solis enters a dark world of vampires, voodoo, and passion, she'll need all the protection she can get. Unbeknownst to her, those responsible for Solis's rape have returned. Connected to the evil voodoo Priestess Aldicia, they'll stop at nothing in their plans to spew violence and mayhem throughout the city. And an old family feud dating back centuries puts Solis first on their list of targets. But not if Solis can unravel the clues fast enough, and inflict her own brand of revenge...Embellish mixes sexy romance with high-stakes paranormal intrigue for a keeps-you-guessing, fast-paced and savvy thriller, right up until the shocking finale.


My Review:
Vampires are currently in vogue now, so for someone looking for a fast-paced paranormal thriller about vampires and voodoo, you have come to the right place! This book is filled with page-turning drama, romance, and high-suspense. It's well-written, and sexy, as well. A fast read and thrilling to the very last page. And the cover is beautiful, too. Wow! It's the complete package!

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Magician's Book

Author: Laura Miller
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (December 3, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316017639

Book Description from inside cover:

The Magician's Book is the story of one reader's long, tumultuous relationship with C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

My Review:

Some may avoid this book when they consider it to be written from a skeptic’s point of view, and includes criticism of the much loved C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. I thought I might find it offensive, too, but to the contrary, I found it to be quite insightful, thought-provoking, and inspirational. Laura Miller has put together a work of beauty, a feast of childhood memories. The Magician’s Book has a spiritual quality-- that mystic veil of childhood awareness, the ability to see and sense things adults have long forgotten. It returns us to the books we loved so long ago; and our child-spirit, the awareness of something eternal, innocent, trusting, and beautiful.

This is a book lover’s book that reminds us of the precious volumes which shaped and formed, in large part, who we are today.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheerful Money / Review

Author: Tad Friend
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;
(September 21, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316003174
My Review:
How many ways can a reviewer say boring? I hoped this would be an exciting look into the elegant, distinguished, old-fashioned WASP lifestyle. I wanted to read, to experience, in some secondhand way, the glitter, the sparkle of the wealthy and socially elite. What I did get in this book was a lot of painfully boring stories, dry humor that I didn't think was funny or wasn't able to relate to, and affiliations that meant nothing to me. I wanted to love this book, but woe is me....I just didn't.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

W.O.M.A.N. / Review


Author: Gina Cloud
Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (June 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439236313

Book Description:

In this revolutionary book, women (and men!) will learn a new perspective that empowers them biologically, sociologically and personally -- all from the inside out, through their own eyes, and free of media stereotypes and myths. With insight and humor, Gina Cloud guides the reader through a rich, soulful and thought provoking journey into each letter of her powerful acronym, W.O.M.A.N., introducing a new way to live a unique, true-to-yourself life. She reveals the wisdom of women’s bodies, long ago lost in places like the menstrual cycle, and shows how beauty is not skin deep, but soul deep and spirit fed. You’ll feel inspired and ready to celebrate your hormones and your unique biology as a woman. You’ll find new definitions for PMS and explore other revolutionary concepts that will excite and empower you. This book is for women everywhere who are tired of feeling like they’re not enough and want to feel good in their own skin.

About the Author

Gina Cloud is an internationally known radio talk show host, author, inspirational speaker, life coach, dancer, mother, and a passionate W.O.M.A.N. Her show is heard in 250 countries. She is also the creator of a unique workshop (The Sacred Facts of Life) for ‘Tweens which teaches young girls the birds-and-the-bees talk from a one-of-a-kind and empowering perspective. She has spent the last 25 years developing this revolutionary body of work based on the powerful – often misunderstood, misrepresented, even despised – biological cycles of women. Her work is the alchemical blending of self-help techniques from every part of the world. She is an expert in nutrition, alternative health strategies, and natural beauty. She is also an advocate for women creating images of woman that are woman-made. She is a native of New Orleans and currently lives in Los Angeles with her daughter.

My Review:

How does one start to express an amazing experience? I see through new eyes, feel through new senses, have become empowered in new ways after reading this profound and insightful new book by Gina Cloud. It fed my spirit and soul and made me more aware of my value as W.O.M.A.N.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let It Bleed / A Review

Author: Ethan A. Russell, Gerard Van Der Leun
Photographed by: Ethan Rusell
Format: Hardcover: 256 pages.
Publisher:
Springboard Pr (11/02/2009)



Book Description:

LET IT BLEED takes you where no Rolling Stones book has before. Author and photographer Ethan Russell was one of only sixteen people--including the Rolling Stones--who made up the 1969 tour. He was with them in their hotel rooms, at rehearsals, and on stage. He tells the story of this monumental and historic tour firsthand, including recollections from band members, crew, security, and other sixties icons--like Abbie Hoffman and Little Richard--they met along the way. And he also includes amazing photos of the performers who toured with the Stones that year: the legendary Tina Turner and B. B. King. Through vivid quotes taken from his interviews with the band and crew, and through more than 220 revealing photographs, Russell takes you behind the scenes for an uncensored look inside the Rolling Stones' world at the end of the sixties. It was an idealistic time, with an overarching belief that music could bring us all together. But the events that led to the terrible violence and stabbing death at Altamont would change rock and roll forever.


About the Author:
Ethan Russell is a multi-Grammy nominated photographer and director. He is the only photographer to have shot album covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. Ethan produced music videos with Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, kd lang, Rosanne Cash, Hank Williams, Jr. and Randy Travis, among others. He is also an award winning creative director and the author of Dear Mr. Fantasy (Houghton Mifflin 1985).

My Review:

Let It Bleed (The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and the End of the Sixties) is a comprehensive look at the remarkable 1969 Rolling Stones tour. Photographer, Ethan Russell, has documented with intimate, detailed photographs and interviews, the story few people have seen or have known before now. He takes the reader behind the scenes and gives them a firsthand look into the lives and journey of one of the most legendary bands to ever perform on any stage.

The infamous Altamont rock concert at the Altamont Speedway in northern California, held on December 6, 1969, is also featured in this large "coffee-table" style book. Headlining that night was The Rolling Stones, and several other famous bands, with the Rolling Stones taking the stage as the final act. Violence erupted during the concert, leaving several dead, including one fatal stabbing. Many had thought this 300,000 fan event would be another Woodstock, but instead, became a tragic experience for both the fans and for The Rolling Stones.

I am amazed at the numerous (on almost every page) personal, and many times intense photographs. I loved this fantastic pictorial documentary and will leave it on a table in my home for other fans to enjoy. I would definitely recommend it.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Locked In



Author: Marcia Muller

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446581054



My Review:


Written with the precision of a master craftsman, Locked In, by Marcia Muller will excite her fans, just as her previous works have stirred and thrilled them in the past.

In this book, Detective Sharon McCone is shot in the head by an unknown gunman. The devastating injury leaves her unable to move or speak. She can only blink her eyes in response to questions, but her mind is as sharp as ever. The reader enters Sharon's thoughts and misery as she confronts her fears and her frustration. Is she going to die? Will she be taken off of life support? She cannot communicate, so how can she save herself, or find the person who did this to her? Sharon is on a rollercoaster ride between death and life.

Ms. Muller's latest mystery is well-developed, unique, suspense filled, and very moving. It was also a fast read. I finished it within 24 hours

Monday, September 28, 2009

Love You To Death

Author: Shannon K. Butcher
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446510297

Book Description:
Delicate, expressive hands...long, graceful legs...One man is looking for his perfect woman--and he'll stop at nothing until he finds her.

It's been days since reporter Elise McBride has heard from her sister, Ashley. She's convinced Ashley has met with some kind of foul play, especially when she learns that bodies of other missing women have surfaced in and around Chicago--all victims of a brutal serial killer. Convinced her sister is still alive, Elise vows to risk everything to save her...The last thing ex-cop Trent Brady needs is more blood on his hands. Yet when he catches Elise breaking into her sister's house, full of reckless determination and fear, he knows she needs his help. But just as desire ignites between them, a twisted madman sets his sights on Elise. Hell-bent on possessing her for himself, this psychopath won't rest until he has his perfect woman.


My Review:

The story opens as reporter, Elise McBride, has just flown home from Hong Kong to look for her sister. Ashley hasn't been heard from in several days, so Elise knows something has to have happened to her... something very serious. Almost immediately after arriving at her sister's house, she meets Ashley's next door neighbor and former cop, Trent Brady. Elise is satisfied that her sister has met with foul play and sits out to prove it, not heeding the dire warnings of Trent.

Elise convinces Trent to help her look for Ashley, and they soon discover they are searching for a crazed serial killer who mutilates the bodies of his victims for his own deviant purposes. Eventually, the gorgeous Elise becomes the killer's idea candidate as he sets her up for murder. Can Trent save her from a gruesome death? Will they find Ashley alive?

The author delicately spins suspense and drama, touching on a bit of horror here and there, as the books forges on to it's dramatic climax. Building layer upon layer, character upon character, this well-developed story steadily unfolds, holding the reader spellbound with anticipation. Although, gory in some parts, it is fast moving, romantic, steamy, and very exciting.

I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

(Thank you for the Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Chosen By Desire

Author: Kate Perry
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044654101X


Book Description:
It's down to the wire and Carrie Woods is leaving China without the proof she needs for her thesis: Wei Lin's journal. While on a final tour of the monastery, Carrie finally locates the scrolls and attempts to photograph the documents. Caught in a sticky situation, Carrie takes the scrolls, only to notice a mysterious monk watching her--the same monk that she's seen each time she's taken a tour. Unable to return the scrolls, she travels back to California and isn't too thrilled when she notices the monk at the airport.

Maximillian Prescott first came to the monastery as an orphaned teenager when he inherited the Book of Metal from a distant uncle he hardly knew. After spotting a woman stealing from the monastery, he follows her to get back the documents he knows she's stolen. Max is further intrigued when he finds out that the chatty woman is friends with his archrival, Rhys Llewellyn, and he will stop at nothing to get back everything he's lost.

My Review:

Carrie Woods, a scholar of Chinese history, has a burning ambition to teach at Cal, but first she needs something really special for her thesis--something that will get the attention of the board-something groundbreaking. To gain the information she needs, Carrie travels to a Chinese monastery, and there she steals (she calls it borrowing) precious ancient scrolls and documents.

The mysterious, Maximilian Prescott, a monk, who is living at the monastery is immediately captivated by her, but knows he must find a way to recover the manuscripts, while at the same time is sexually fantasizing about her.

Will Carrie fall in love with Max? Will he find out her secret? Will she risk her career goals to be with him? Can trust between them be restored?

This is a romantic paranormal mystery that is so erotic, so sizzling, the reader is in danger of being consumed by its heat. The book is filled with passion and danger. A very good read.

(Thank you for Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Diamond Rio (The Story of Diamond Rio)

Author: Diamond Rio with Tom Roland
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 15, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1595552685

My Review:

For over two decades, the formidable Diamond Rio has thrilled music fans by turning out hit after hit singles, like Meet Me In The Middle; Norma Jean Riley; Love a Little Stronger; Walkin’ Away; That’s What I Get For Loving You; Imagine That; Unbelievable; One More Day; and Beautiful Mess. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and was happy to see this book in print. So when Beautiful Mess (The Story of Diamond Rio) was released, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The book begins with their 2005 disastrous performance at River Front Park in Nashville, Tennessee and goes on to take fans and readers through the ups and downs of the bands career. Chapters include: Edge of Disaster; Tennessee River Boys; Marty Roe; Dan Truman; Jimmy Olander; Brian Prout; Gene Johnson; Dana Williams; Wild Ride; Team Rio; Nowhere Bound; Revived; and also includes a list of Diamond Rio’s Top 20 Country Hits, and their major awards and nominations. It is filled with photos of the band and their families.

The book did not disappoint me. In fact, I walked away with even more respect for the band members and their music. I highly recommend it to Diamond Rio fans.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for my review copy.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The First Thirty Seconds

Author: Stephen M. Armstrong
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1439245894

Book Description:

The First Thirty Seconds offers suggestive prompts for improving the management of one's behavior, thoughts, emotions, and relationships. It is presented in a unique format juxtaposing a relevant concept with a suggestion for further reflection. The result is a book that is effective as a personal growth resource and a library of thoughtful guidance.


My Review:

I am completely delighted with this book of inspiration. Each page provides the reader with an insightful and life changing thought, with a reflection after each. It's an easy to read book which doesn't take a lot of time out of busy lives. I read one or two pages every day and try to apply what I've read to my life. Chapters include: Thoughts; Feelings; Relationships; Power; Living Ideas; Character; Spirit; and much more. It is the perfect book for anyone who is looking for the motivation to improve their life.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

THE WINNER IS.....

The winner of Dreamer is DebbieF. Congratulations! Please email your address to me, so I can send you book.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DREAMER Giveaway

Author: Phillip Davidson
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (June 29, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1440149267

Book Description:
There are some things too terrible to forget. Even if you
manage to escape a memory, it will often return at night to haunt your dreams. Such is the case
for Major David Elliot in Dreamer by Phillip Davidson.

The images from a rainy Vietnam night have followed David to 1982 and still trouble his sleep.
On that night, he was ordered to execute a member of his Special Forces unit, Jude, who had
betrayed the team. But just as he was about to kill Jude, David's hand was knocked away by an
unseen force, allowing Jude to escape into the jungle.

What happens next affects the lives of each man in David's unit and follows them for many
years to come. When a crisis with David's wife, Sunny, brings the men begrudgingly back
together again, they come face to face with more powerful forces than they realize.
Dreamer offers an interesting perspective on the choices people make in life and the not-so-
subtle ways in which those choices are affected by higher powers. Davidson uses God and the
devil as characters who take the human form and are very much a part of the decisions people
make. The result is a compelling story that weaves elements of both fact and faith into one
cohesive narrative.
My Review:
I'm not going to do a long review, because there is enough said in the Book Description above, so I will just say this: Book lovers will know they have found a new favorite author when they read Dreamer. Powerful and thought provoking! (Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

I am giving away 1 copy Dreamer on September 18th.

Rules are:
*Leave a comment with your email address for 1 entry.
*Become a follower for 2 entries (let me know if you already follow)
*Open to US and Canada residents only
*No PO boxes, please.
Good luck and happy reading!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looking For Dad

Author: Frank Gorin
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Open Path Books (June 25, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0615216536


Product Description:


“Looking For Dad” is the quixotic, sometimes melancholy but more often funny confession of a youth searching for personal identity. It’s a search for a father figure (his own father died when he was two years old). What begins as a quest for God (“Father”) and a hunger to be a priest (“Father”) leads eventually to an emotional breakdown and abandonment of the dream. In middle age comes an awakening via Zen Buddhism and then, with reluctance, a renewal of his old journey, with a surprising, if unorthodox, finish. “You needn’t be unbalanced to make a complete fool of yourself in religion,” writes the author, “but it helps." The main events of “Looking For Dad” are a kind of time-piece, transpiring in the late 1950s and early 1960s, just before the Second Vatican Council changed the facade – some say the foundation – of Roman Catholicism. And so a good part of the story moves inside that musty, mysterious environment of authority, archaic symbols and Latin speech. The “oriental” aspect, covering experiences in Zen and Theravada Buddhism, will appeal to the growing number of readers interested in Asian spirituality topics, including fresh literary approaches to the Dharma.

My Review:
This is well-written... an interesting, thought-provoking book.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On The Bluffs

Author: Steven Schindler
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: The Elevated Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0966240812

Book Description:

SOMETIMES THE BIGGEST LIES ARE THE ONES WE LIVE. While Brian DeLouise was working the graveyard shift at a conspiracy theory-crazed radio station his wife was alley-catting around Washington, DC. But a cheating wife and a dead-end job no longer made him angry or depressed. He was just numb. It took a daring brush with death to awaken his senses and a few clicks on Google to begin a journey to recapture a love he believed was gone forever. Brian finds his lost lover in a rundown mansion on the windswept bluffs of Cape Cod, where he must confront a fast approaching evil while he risks losing everything he now cherishes.

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Bronx, Steven Schindler's first two novels, Sewer Balls and From the Block, are artfully gritty portrayals of the neighborhood characters who hung out on the stoops, playgrounds, rooftops and barstools during the crazy days of the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. Both books offer a heavy dose of mad, inner-city youthful adventures laced with awkward teenage sex, rock and roll, and the search for the perfect egg cream, i.e. the essence of life itself. His third novel, From Here to Reality (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books), is a hilarious send-up of a transplanted New Yorker's foray into the early days of reality television in Hollywood, and received praise from Jay Leno and Roger L. Simon (The Big Fix) Schindler's soon-to-be released novel, On the Bluffs, is a thrilling love story wrapped in a dysfunctional family mystery that begins on the trendy streets of Washington D.C. and winds up in a rundown mansion on the bluffs of Cape Cod.


My Review:

This book's author is new to me, so I didn't know what I would find or how I would like his writing. But to my surprise, I found a gifted writer. His story of Brian DeLouise is one filled with romance, mystery, suspense, and danger, with a little humor thrown in. The lead character gets a second chance at love, but also confronts evil.

This is a book that is superbly written, exciting, and unforgettable. It is one that I will read again.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Show No Fear

Author: Maliss Melton
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0446509272


My Review:
Lucy and Gus were lovers in college, until she joined the CIA, for deeply personal reasons. After his father was killed in the World Trade Center, Gus joined the Navy Seals.

When the story begins, Lucy has become a respected CIA agent, and Gus, a top Navy Seal. As fate would have it, the two former sweethearts are reconnected when he is called to rescue her from certain death.

Much to their dismay, they are later assigned to pose as husband and wife, and sent on a secret mission with a UN team, to the jungle of South America. The mission is to negotiate the release of two American hostages. If their identities are discovered, the two could face torture and possible death.

As Gus and Lucy rediscover their passion for each other, Lucy deals with her own demons and inner darkness. Guilt has caused her to bury her strong affection for Gus, the man she adored in the past. Can Gus help Lucy overcome her demons and recover her deep love?

Together in the untamed jungle, fighting the war on terror, Gus and Lucy also fight for their life and love.

The book was well-written and gave some exciting details about the life of CIA agents and Navy Seals.
(Thanks to the Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)


Friday, September 4, 2009

Lori's Song

Author: Lori Foroozandeh
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432738291

Book Description:
Though she endured a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, nothing would ever equal what happened to her in Iran the weeks following 9/11.

Lori, an American married to an Iranian, had been working and living as an ordinary member of Iranian society for almost 4 years when she had heard rumors that the U.S. was going to be attacked. That was on September 9, 2001. She tried and failed to call home and give warning.The news that all those rumors were horribly true came on September 11th 2001. That was when her husband suddenly announced that they had to go back to the States in case there were repercussions.

On September 12, 2001, Lori and her husband were at the Shiraz bus terminal intending to catch a bus to Istanbul and from there to Heathrow and home to the U.S.A. They were totally unprepared for the convoy of troop carriers that suddenly drove up and the armed men who came pouring out to take the hapless couple prisoner.There was no explanation offered. The men took Lori's husband one direction and she another, pushing them blindfolded into the back of the troop carriers with other prisoners, mostly Iranian. Who the armed men were was anybody's guess but they took their prisoners to POW camp in unfamiliar territory and there, Lori was held, tortured, raped, and starved with them for over a month. Her husband was not to be seen again.

Lori was rescued with one of her fellow inmates by the girl's family and, after riding a llama for 1-2 days over mountainous terrain; she arrived at the Iran Immigration center. By then, she weighed in at only 70 pounds, was still suffering from the many injuries she'd received at the hands of her torturers, and wanted badly to get home to her family in the USA. Even then, she had to fight Iranian Islamic bureaucracy to have permission to go, as the husband was unavailable to grant it. In any Islamic country, unknown to many western women, the husband or guardian's permission is always required for a woman to travel anywhere.

Lori had been married to Mohammad for 9 years and thought she could trust him but, since their arrival in Iran in 1998, his personality and behavior had changed so radically as to make this most recent nightmare highly suspicious.The events told here are true. It was no coincidence that this American citizen had been placed into a concentration camp. In fact, it raises many questions and should be a caution to many!


My Review:

Lori Foroozandeh tells her own story in this eye-opening book. This is the extraordinary true story of an extraordinary life. It is a must read that tells the heartbreaking story of one woman's pain, courage, and ultimate victory over evil.


(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

The Way Home

Author: George Pelecanos
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 12, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316156493


My Review:

This thriller by the popular author, George Pelecanos, is set in Washington, D.C., and spins the tale of revenge and suspense. After reading The Night Gardener by Pelecanos, I knew I had found another great author. The Way Home is just as good--maybe better. It's no wonder President Obama took it with him to read on his summer vacation. Good reads!

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Swimsuit

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316018775
My Review:
This was my first audio CD, and I could hardly wait to listen to the great James Patterson’s new work, Swimsuit. I figured I would listen to it while I drove on long trips, instead of listening to the same old thing on the radio.

The story is about Henri Benoit, a diabolical serial killer, who makes snuff videos for a group of perverted individuals. It was so perverse, so hideous, so disgusting; I got to about the sixth chapter and turned it off forever. I was depressed for days afterward. This was definitely not for me, and in my opinion had no redeeming value.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review CD.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Distant Thunder

Author: Jimmy Root Jr.
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: American Book Publishing (August 10, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1589825535

Book Description:

The prophet Ezekiel was never taken seriously when he predicted the destruction of Israel s enemies; unfortunately for them, he was right. The truth of Ezekiel s words will be felt by the entire modern-day world, and it seems chaos will reign supreme. In the midst of the ensuing mayhem, Pastor Ty Dempsey arises as the man who is able to connect modern-day occurrences to the teaching of old. Meanwhile, Israeli pilot Moshe Eldan starts to see the truth of the prophecies in his daily dealing with terrorists. Dempsey and Eldan soon realize that they are part of a bigger plan; however, they are not alone. This thriller provides an answer to an age-old question: What would happen if the entire world turned on Israel? This thriller provides the answer in a fast-paced read, filled with all the action and adventure that usually accompanies the end of the world.


My review:

If you love page-turning drama with biblical prophecy thrown in, then you are going to like this one. It's a thriller from start to finish and may even keep you awake some nights. A keeper.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Frozen Tears

Author: Mary Ann MacAfee
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1439218196

Book Description:

In Alaska's stunning but brutal interior, where white and Native cultures clash, Kale Weaver struggles to survive a devastating tragedy that becomes the genesis for her allegiance to wolves and the circumstances making her target of a primitive superstition. Aided by her best friend, a worn-out helicopter pilot, and the bond shared with a wolf shaman, she then struggles against what follows: the bigotry and rejection imposed on her and her half-breed son,until she is challenged by the ultimate ordeal. Whatever the risks, she must fulfill a wish for her young son that she had never imagined for him. But above all, Kale's page-turning journey shows that love can triumph over life's most dire challenges and painful losses.

My Review:

Set in remote Alaska, this book offers all the elements for a good read-- love, loss, triumph over adversity, and the feel of a rich adventure in America's last frontier. Highly recommended.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Author: Jennifer Weiner
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Atria (July 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743294297


My Review:
Just when 9 year old Addie Downs needed a friend, Valerie Adler showed up on her doorstep. Valerie and her mom had just moved in across the street, and being the free spirit that she is, Valerie came over to introduce herself. Although they were complete opposites (they say opposites attract), from that day the girls became best friends and continued until high school.

After years of separation, and hard feeling between the two, Valerie shows up again at Addie’s door in the middle of the night, believing she has possibly killed a fellow classmate after attending a class reunion, and begs for Addie’s help. Addie is furious and can’t understand, after what happened in high school, how her former friend could have the nerve to face her. Addie finally agrees to help Valerie search for the body, which turns into an adventure she would never have expected.

Even though the book is terrifically descriptive and fun to read, it does begin to lag a bit in the middle, but redeems itself after a couple of chapters. It is definitely chick-lit, entertaining, and very witty.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gingham Mountain

Author: Mary Connealy
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602601410

My Review:

Grant, a single man, who had been an orphan himself, couldn't resist taking in needy children when the orphan train rolled in each year. Even though, he lived in run-down, crowded conditions, he knew that some of the children would not find a home unless they found it with him. He had taken in as many as twenty-five, over the years. Many of them had grown up, moved away, and married. But one thing was for sure, his children all loved him.

Enter, pretty and feisty Hannah Cartwright, who had just recently come into town with a chip on her shoulder. She had been a badly abused child when she was younger and didn't trust men at all. Determined to "save" Grant's orphans from what she thinks is abuse, Hannah fights Grant, "tooth and nail" until she finally understands the good man he really is.

This lovely book has romance, suspense, and humor all woven together to make another great novel by the Christian author, Mary Connealy.

(Thank you to Barbour Books for my review copy.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Castaways

Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316043893



Jeffrey and Delilah, Phoebe and Addison, Eddie and Andrea, Tess and Gregg--all best friends. Their lives were intertwined, they were happy when they were all together, even calling their group The Castaways, until there is a terrible accident at sea. Tess and Gregg are dead.

With the unexpected death of Tess and Gregg, facades are destroyed, wiped out; only truth remains in the heart of each friend. The secret life of each member of The Castaways comes alive with the telling of their personal history, their private thoughts and hidden actions.

I didn't want to miss a word of this fascinating novel. The author's writing is as smooth as a good wine-- creating, layer upon layer, a tale of friendship, love, lust, and guilt.

My favorite line from the book is, "The stories that made up the world, were infinite, like the stars." Some of those stories make up this book. By the time I finished reading, I felt like I had been an intimate friend of The Castaways.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Strange But True, America (Weird Tales From all 50 States)

Author: John Hafnor
Illustrator: Dale Crawford
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Lone Pine Productions; 1st edition (August 31, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0964817551

This book is certainly one of the most unique books I've read recently-- with it's freaky facts from all 50 states. If you're looking for an evening of fun reading, you will find it here. It's also one that you can put down and pick up again as time allows.

Do you want a few little tidbits to share with friends and family-- this is just the book to read. Each chapter is short, but full of punch! It would also make the perfect gift for a history enthusiast. A very interesting read.

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Can See You

Author: Karen Rose
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446538345


Book Description:
New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose delivers her latest pulse-pounding suspense novel, where the line between the virtual world and everyday reality blurs when it comes to murder.

Eve Wilson's face was once scarred by a vicious assault. Terrified and ashamed, she escaped to the online realm, where she could choose the face she allowed people to see. Years later, her outer scars faded and inner scars buried, Eve has fought her way back to the real world and is determined to help others do the same. Now a graduate student moonlighting as a bartender, Eve researches the addictive powers of online communities. When her test subjects begin turning up dead as a result of apparent suicides, she doesn't know where to turn.

Homicide detective Noah Webster is one of the few people who believe the victims are connected murders. Eve becomes Noah's online guide and realizes that the handsome detective may have secret scars as painful as her own. As Eve and Noah chase a killer who is always one step ahead of them, together they try to overcome the tragedies of their pasts and learn to trust again, but they soon discover that danger is much closer than they think.


My Review:
This is the story of two broken souls and their connection to a serial killer.

Eve Wilson, disfigured and traumatized, believes she will never find real love again. Homicide detective Noah Webster lost his wife and child in an automobile accident, and is now a recovering alcoholic.

The mystery begins with the grim details of the murder of Martha Brisbane and continues as multiple killings take place. Eve Wilson and detective Webster work closely together to find the killer and in turn, find each other.

This is a complex tale of fear, evil, and suspense. The story skillfully balances on the edge of tension and horror. It is a book that will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning, and will have you checking to make sure you have locked and double-bolted all your doors.

This is undoubtedly one of the hottest reads of the summer.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy To 102

Authors:
Kathy N. Johnson, PhD, CMC
James H. Johnson, PhD
Lily Sarafan, MS
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Home Care Press; 1st Edition edition (June 18, 2009)
ISBN-10: 061528194X


Description:

We are living longer than ever. Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of our population. Before we know it, 102 just may become the new 75. As we live longer, though, we want to enjoy improved health-span alongside increased lifespan. Happy to 102 lays out all those factors diet, exercise, sociability, mental challenge, sense of purpose that make the difference not only in how long we live but in how well we live. Based on groundbreaking scientific research of the longest living people on Earth, Happy to 102 spells out precisely what it takes to delay or escape Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases, slow down the process of aging and enjoy better health in our senior years. With an emphasis on aging in place with in-home care, Happy to 102 unlocks the secrets to longevity and inspires us to live happier, healthier lives at any age.


Authors:
Kathy N. Johnson, PhD, CMC is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager serving the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Doctorate in Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
James H. Johnson, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and the award-winning author of seven books. A former university professor and department chair, he holds a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Lily Sarafan, MS is a corporate executive and advocate for aging in place. She holds Masters and Bachelors degrees from Stanford University


My Review:

For those of us who wish to live long and happy lives, this is the book to read and keep on your nightstand, kitchen counter, or desk. It gives so many healthy hints! I loved reading it and I can assure you, I'm going to incorporate the information in the book into my own everyday routine.

Some topics in the book are:

*You Age What You Eat

*7 Super Foods That Prolong Life

*Aging Well Is No Accident

*We Can Control Our Life Timetable

It also deals with depression in seniors, physical activity guidelines, support networks, and much more. I highly recommend this important book.





Monday, August 10, 2009

The Anti-Alzheimer's Prescription

Author: Vincent Fortanasce, M.D.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Gotham (July 31, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1592403794

At last there's a book that gives, old and young alike, the prescription, and hope of never developing the dreaded condition known as Alzheimers. I believe if we all followered the steps given to us in this book, we could live a long life of physical and mental vitality.

There are clear guidelines. Some of the chapters are:

*Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

*The 4-Step Anti-Alzheimer's Prescription

*Diagnosis, Treatment, and The Future of Alzheimer's Disease


After reading this well-written and user friendly book, I feel I have a much better understanding of how to resist developing this terrible disease. I would encourage everyone to read it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Author: Quentin Tarantino
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 17, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316070351


The screenplay opens in the countryside of Nancy, France. A French family watches the road below their farm as a Nazi town car convertible drives up the road to their farmhouse. The farmer tells his family to go inside while he awaits what he knows could very well turn into a deadly confrontation-- thinking of the Jewish family hidden under the floorboards of their home. After an interrogation, violence erupts; all but one of the Jewish family is killed. A teenage daughter, Shosanna, survives and escapes into the nearby forest.

In chapter two, the reader is introduced to Lt. Aldo Raine, a hillbilly from the mountains of Tennessee. Raine is putting together a group of eight Jewish-American soldiers who want nothing else but to kill Nazis. In a plan to send a message to the Third Reich, he expects one thing from his men and that is for each one to take at least 100 Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of dead Nazis, or they better die trying.

Full of hatred, Shosanna ends up in Paris where she meets the ruthless Lt. Raine and his men, known as the “Basterds.” Shosanna and the brutal group of scalp hunters share one mutual desire and that is to kill as many Nazis as possible. A perfect plan is then created.

This is a thrilling, action-packed book by the award winning writer and director, Quentin Tarantino.

(Thanks to Hackette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Marsha Altman Interview on Monday, Aug. 10th

I'm hosting author, Marsha Altman, at EVERYTHING VICTORIAN on August 10th. She will be answering questions and talking about her new Jane Austen sequel, The Plight of the Darcy Brothers.

A set of The Plight of the Darcy Brothers and The Darcys and The Bingleys will be given away to one lucky winner on August 15th. So please stop by on the 10th for a visit with Marsha and enter the drawing.


(Thanks to Sourcebooks for the giveaway.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giv, The Story of a Dog and America

Author: Boston Teran
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: High-Top Publishing LLC (June 15, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1567030556

Product Description:

"My name is Dean Hickok, sergeant, late of the U.S. Marines. I nearly ran down a dog one night on a back road during a Kentucky rainstorm. The dog, it turned out, had been made to suffer and left to die in a crate. But his will to survive, his determination to overcome the many cruelties inflicted upon him, and the ultimate and unabated goodness that abided in him afterward, are the actual reason these pages bearing my name exist at all. I was profoundly wounded of heart and empty of purpose as I drove through the Kentucky darkness that night. I had recently returned from Iraq, the lone survivor of my squad, when my headlights bore through a sweeping rain to find him there, stumbled and fallen. Both of us being on that same road, on that night, and at that moment, was not an accidental happenstance but the poetry of fate. For as much as I saved a dogs life, he saved mine."

My Review:

The story of Giv is not only the story of a dog, but is at the same time, an American adventure into some of the most tragic events in our history. It is a story that is well-written, sensitive, spiritual, and will touch the heart of all who read it. This one gets 5 stars!

Elemental Shaman: One Man's Journey Into the Heart of Humanity, Spirituality & Ecology

Author: Omar W. Rosales
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (April 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0738715018

Book Description:
This fascinating true story chronicles one man's journey into the mysteries of spiritual consciousness and the indigenous healing practices of four shamanistic traditions: Toltec, Cherokee, Maya, and Buddhist.

In his travels around the globe, Rosales witnesses the powerful channeled spirit Niño Fidencio, receives messages and healing from a Toltec shaman, and experiences a dramatic soul retrieval from a Cherokee spiritwalker. Rosales travels to Guatemala, where he meets a Mayan high priestess, or a'j' r'ij, and the secret brotherhoods called cofradias, whose mission is to guard Maximón, the last living Mayan god. Rosales's last journey is to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, where he spends time with a holy lama.


About the Author:
Omar W. Rosales (Vancouver) is a world traveler who writes extensively on the topic of archaeology, culture, and spiritual matters. He holds degrees in anthropology, economics, and law.

My Review:

This true story begins when the author's mother walks to her car, in a parking lot, and finds the pavement around the car circled with some sort of ash and sprinkled with blood. She steps across the line and enters her car. Shortly after this, she becomes ill. Her son is determined to find the answer to his mother's mysterious disease, where it came from, and what the ash and blood is all about.

This book captured my attention from the first paragraph and I could not put it down until the end. It is mesmerizing, mysterious, and intriguing. As soon as I began to read, I knew that I was entering into a holy adventure with the author. A stunning book.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Night Gardener

Author: George Pelecanos
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 10, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316056502

About the Author:
George Pelecanos is an independent-film producer, an essayist, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, a producer and an Emmy-nominated writer on the HBO hit series The Wire, and the author of a bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C.


My Review:
Detectives Gus Ramone, "Doc" Holiday, and T.C. Cook come together to solve a twenty year old mystery. In 1985 three teenagers were murdered in what was called The Palindrome Murders. Twenty years later another teenager is murdered in the same fashion, which leads the three detectives to believe the killer is on the move again.

The story takes place around the Washington, D.C. area, where the author describes the places and events in a way that makes the reader feel they, themselves, are invisible spectators within the novel.

The book is filled with the raw dialogue of opposing cultures--the tough talking homicide detectives and the street-smart criminal gang types. Although, this is primarily a man's book with lots of macho bantering, it is an exciting modern mystery that can be thoroughly enjoyed by all. It's a page-turner from beginning to end!
(Thanks to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

As Long As He Needs Me

Author: Mary Verdick
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (June 22, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1432724274

In honor of their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, Kitty and Clem Johanssen set off on what's supposed to be a dream vacation: a gracious cruise up the East Coast from New York to Montreal. But in a hectic rush to embark, Clem foolishly loses his cash to a couple of street swindlers. Unbeknownst to Kitty, the incident sets off a profound introspection of Clem's weaknesses, regrets, and mortality - amplified by the sudden appearance of his old war buddy-turned-politician, T. McCollough Boyle, during a shore excursion. As Clem grows more distant throughout the trip, Kitty falls in with an attractive - and mysterious - Englishman named Toby Knight, who offers everything Clem doesn't: grace, charm and hopefulness. Now, the slowly smoldering confrontations of the last three decades - the deep-seated resentments, half-buried insecurities and burning passions - will surface in a confrontation so powerful it will test the limits of the couple's love. At once, unsettling and compassionate, As Long as He Needs Me is a psychological novel of faith, memory, love and the unyielding supremacy of time.


My Review:

This is a novel of love, faith, rejection, and commitment. A look at the trials and successes within a relationship make this a book worth reading. Well written. It's a keeper.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tales of Priut Almus

Author: Robert Belenky, PHD
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: iUniverse.com (April 23, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1440131511

Book Description:
Thirteen-year-old Serogia was thrown out of his house by his drunken mother after his father died. Eleven-year-old Anya doesn't have many friends and is always sad; when she looks in the mirror she sees an ugly girl. Her ten-year-old sister Sashinka is shy, tough and fun loving. Their only living relative is their drunken father.

These are just three of the children who were living at Pruit Almus, a children's shelter in St. Petersburg, Russia, when author Robert Belenky began his visits in 1998. He returned many times during the next ten years. In Tales of Pruit Almus he presents his interviews with children and staff as he participates in this humane and innovative shelter unusual in that it focused on preparing children to create and live in a democracy.

Finally, we meet Almus' founding director, enigmatic man of the theater, Mikhail Markarievich, who provided the courageous vision.

The fifth in a series of books focusing on raising children whose lives have not been easy, Tales of Pruit Almus describes how this home has become a monument to the spirited and humane ways to raise children who are in need. Pruit Almus is a model of what may be possible for the United States in the realm of education and child care.

My Review:
This amazing book is well-written and gives tremendous insight into the plight of the "throw-away" children of Russia. The format for the book is a series of stories and observations describing the author's interactions with the children and staff of Pruit Almus. It is a reading experience that will not soon be forgotten.






(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aging With Grace

Author: Greg Liberman
Paperback: 158 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 28, 2009)
ISBN-10: 143923681X

Book Description:
Grace, a middle aged housewife, is dissatisfied with her looks, her husband and her lifestyle. Grace is certain that she was meant to lead a more exciting life than the one she finds herself in. She finds the thrill she is looking for and more when she reconnects with a high school friend through a social networking website. Suddenly, Grace is hobnobbing with celebrities, wearing designer clothes, and being wooed by Victor, a mysterious Hollywood powerhouse. Soon, Grace is flying off to Malibu on a whim to hook up with Victor, all the while lying to her husband and her two daughters. Grace has no qualms about accepting all Victor has to offer: a fabulous beach house in Malibu with closets full of designer clothes, plastic surgery, a part in a movie as well as a lavish lifestyle. Does Grace finally get everything she always wanted and deserves or is there more to Victor than meets the eye? Find out in this exciting and fast-paced look at selfishness and desire.

My Review:
Grace was once a beautiful young woman. Where did the time and the beauty go? Why didn't she have the life she had dreamed of?

Grace, a middle-aged woman, is not unlike many women her age--a wrinkle here and a wrinkle there; a few kids; a boring life; time passing quickly. But when Grace reconnects with her old friend, her life begins to take on a life of its own.

This book follows self-centered Grace, through the twists and turns of what she believes is the life she has always dreamed of. Is it all it seems to be?

The book is well-written and a quick read.

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

The Impostor's Daughter

Author: Laurie Sandell
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 29, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316033057


Laurie Sandell has written and illustrated an intriguing and fascinating book with a unique format. Even though it is illustrated like a comic-book, it deals with the serious issues of deceit, drug addiction, the discovery of deep family secrets, and the journey into finding one's true self.
The author decribes in detail how she idolized her larger-than-life father until she found evidence that he was living a life of lies and deception. What should she do with the information she has uncovered? How does she deal with who she is becoming? Does she find true love at last? How does she come to terms with family secrets?

This book is realistic, contemporary, youthful, and a fast read.


(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Understanding Other People:The Five Secrets to Human Behavior

Author: Beverly D. Flaxington
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: ATA Press (April 13, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0615272290

Book Description:
This book should not be missed by anyone who wants to improve the quality of their relationships! Leveraging decades of experience working with people in many different areas and experiences, Beverly Flaxington has found a way to explain to all of us what we simply don't learn naturally - how to understand and communicate with others more effectively. Readers will gain the insights they need to identify relationship missteps, and then apply easy-to-learn techniques to bring relationships to a more meaningful level in both personal and business settings.


My Review:
The author has written a "must read" book on understanding and getting along with other people. How many times are we frustrated with people we either live or work with? Now there's a concise book, with simple steps, telling us how we can live happily while managing our reactions.

Here are a few things it contains:

*Behavioral styles come between us
*What is my experience?
*You better appreciate what I've done for you
*Step outside yourself
*How to interact with and influence others
*Hey, stop yelling at me!

Everyone on planet earth should read this book. Then, perhaps, we can start living in a more peaceful world.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Naamah's Kiss

Author: Jacqueline Carey
Hardcover: 656 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 044619803X

Brief Description:
"Moirin has a secret.... From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life--the bright lady and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, Moirin learns only when she comes of age how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is......"

First, let me disclose the fact that I have not read the other books in this series, which puts me at a terrible disadvantage. When I began to read this book, I was immediately confused by Moirin’s complicated heritage, her lifestyle, and the history of her people. I felt as if I was reading a foreign language.

I will say, though, the author has a unique writing style and great creativity. Even though I wish I had more background from reading her earlier books, I did appreciate her interesting characters and imaginative story-line.

My advice, to anyone who is just becoming familiar with the series, is to start with the first book and continue forward from there. Although, this one could be called an interesting read, I feel it is best to start fresh from the very start. It will certainly be less confusing and much more enjoyable in the long-run.


(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

DUCHESS OF DEATH, The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie

Author: Richard Hack
Hardcover: 284 pages
Publisher: Phoenix Books (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1597776203

Product Description
"Although she is the most popular novelist in history, with over two billion books sold worldwide, Agatha Christie lived a life shrouded in secrecy and fueled by curiosity. Nearly as notorious for her aversion to the press as she was for her 80 books and collections of short stories, Christie made no secret of her need for privacy. Utilizing over 5,000 previously unpublished letters, notes, and documents, award-winning biographer Richard Hack allows Christie to write again, 33 years after her death.

DUCHESS OF DEATH is her story, as full of romance, travel, wealth, and scandal as any mystery Christie ever crafted.There have been numerous biographies of the Queen of Crime, all of which claim to be definitive. However, DUCHESS OF DEATH is the first to draw from such an enormous number of previously unpublished correspondence and notes, effectively establishing it as the most authoritative, penetrating look at the personal and literary life of Christie."


My Review:
Not only was Agatha Christie a prolific mystery writer, but she also created mystery as she lived her own life. Mystery seemed to follow her. In any case, her name is synonymous with suspense.

Richard Hack has created in Duchess Of Death, a work that will delight Agatha Christie fans. He gives the reader an extraordinary glimpse into the mysterious life of an extraordinarily gifted legend.
(Thanks to Library Thing for my review copy)


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Talking Baby: Simple Techniques To Encourage Your Baby To Speak Sooner

Authors: Jeremy & Karina Sweet
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Jema Alka Worldwide Publishing (May 12, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0615243827


Becoming a parent isn't easy and babies don't come with instruction manuals. From birth on, we are faced with a thousand questions about childcare and development.

Example: It sometimes becomes a great worry to parents when their baby seems to be slow at picking up the simple words we use everyday. Much of the time one doesn't know where to turn for advice.

Now we have a concise and intelligent book we can turn to for help when we need it. Jeremy and Karina Sweet have written a wonderful guide which gives techniques that encourage our babies to learn to speak sooner.

Some of my favorite chapters are:
-A Happy Home
-Praise Pays
-Got Book?
-TV Good?
-Prop It Up

If you are a parent or grandparent looking for help, you will certainly want to buy this excellent easy-to-read book which will, no doubt, jump-start your child's vocabulary.


Ageing Well, A Guide to Rejuvenation and Longevity

Author: Dr. George Cromack, D.C., F.I.A.M.A
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (April 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1432733656

"There is a reason why more and more people today are turning off to traditional healthcare and turning on to alternative therapies and natural medicines-and it's not just because they're more affordable.

Ageing Well not only explores the latest health practices but takes you on a journey that examines the most beneficial ways you can make your body healthy and strong.

In Ageing Well, you'll learn about:
-Chiropractic techniques and how they should be done
-The effects of the foods we eat
-The invaluable benefits of Super-foods, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes
-The techniques of ridding your body of inner and outer toxins
-The types of exercises that will have you up and moving - and feeling great again"

I am amazed at the wealth of health information covered in just 150 pages. The reader will learn about diet, the correct pillows for sleeping, lumbar supports, inversion slings, traction units, gallbladder cleanse, fasting, strength training, and much, much more.
This is an important resource for good health.



Sunday, July 12, 2009

Across The Pond

Across The Pond
Author: Storyheart
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation; 1st edition (September 25, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1436371767

"Finding himself packed off to friends in the USA, fifteen-year-old English-born Fred Squire is not happy.....

Then he meets Brittany."

After reading several adult mysteries this spring and summer, I was ready for some light reading. Across The Pond is just that--teenage romance, adventure, and a happy ending. There's nothing better than young love, is there?

Not only was this a nice story that I would recommend to my children, but I was fascinated with all the language differences, too. For instance, a word that has a certain meaning to we Americans may have a completely different meaning to the British. I must say I got some giggles from those examples.

This book is fun, romantic, and a quick read. I recommend it to young and old alike--anyone who is looking for a fresh, unforgettable story.... especially, as summer reading.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between


The Light, The Dark and Ember Between
Author: J.W. Nicklaus
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: American Book Publishing Group (May 14, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1589825055


Cover Description:
"This book is a collection of uplifting images that delve into the reflections of the human condition. These stories will cause you to think, laugh, and even cry at the beauty of emotional memories. You will smile at the thought of love lost and found again in "Paper Doll." You will think about your life's choices in "10:18." You will cry tears of joy while reading about the hidden gift in "Winter Rose." This is a must-have collection of thought-provoking reflections perfect for your bedside or the beach."

If you are a fan of inspirational short stories, this is the book for you. You will smile a little; perhaps cry a little; and find joy in the pages of this small book with a deep emotional impact.
A few of the fifteen stories are:
*Streetlamp
*The Run
*Paper Doll
*Blind
*Winter Rose
*In The Name of Love
....and others which you are sure to enjoy.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sassy by Gloria Mallette

Sassy
Author: Gloria Mallette
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Gemini Press; 1st edition (May 22, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0967878934

Myra Barrett lie dying--stabbed over and over by the man she was secretly dating and who she had fallen in love with. Her best friend, Carrie, lay dead nearby.

Why? Why was this happening? She had so much to live for--her career; her child. Thoughts raced through her head as life drained from her; her killer still standing over her helpless body. He would soon shower, and dress in fresh clothes, in her own apartment before attending another important date with someone very special.

Four hours later, Sassy Davenport, a popular romance novelist, is having a book signing party. The line is long. This had been a good night for selling her latest novel. Norris Yoshito, is the next customer to ask for her autograph. As their eyes meet, they are instantly drawn to each other. He wants to meet her afterward, and a romantic relationship develops.

As multiple murders unfold in this unforgettable novel, the reader is held spellbound from the opening paragraph. Will the murderer be caught before it's too late for Sassy?

This is a thriller that I couldn't put down...I read it within 24 hours! For mystery lovers, this is a "must read."
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)