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

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


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.

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.