Monday, June 30, 2014

Featured Book: Amazing Lemonade Recipes To Thirst For! by Amber Richards

About the book:

Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing evening brimming with tangy, citrus flavors, or sipping a tall, refreshing glass of classic lemonade on a hot afternoon, this e-book contains 42 amazing lemonade recipes to quench your thirst.

Harness the cleansing power of all-natural lemon juice with creative recipes the whole family will enjoy, perfect for entertaining guests, with a unique twist on an old fashioned favorite.

Discover the health benefits and healing antioxidants found in fresh lemonades and hot lemon drinks to enjoy year around. Not only can they quench your thirst, they can aid in healing sore throats and a quick immune boost to fight off colds and flu.

Enjoy rich blends, from spicy, herbal remedies to delicious fruity lemonades. You’re sure to savor the cool and refreshing taste of natural lemon with every recipe you uncover.

Featured Book: Nuclear Farm by Charles C. Anderson

About the book:


The U.S. President and the Prime Minister of Britain receive a startling warning. If they come to the aid of Israel in the coming Islamic Jihad against the Jewish state, martyrs hidden in their countries will destroy entire cities with nuclear warheads already in place. Any doubts the U.S. president has about nuclear weapons being in the hands of Islamic Fundamentalists are shattered with a mushroom cloud over the remains of Ras Tanura, a key Saudi oil export terminal near the Strait of Hormuz. One man and his wife have unique skills to address this nightmare. Their brainiac kids join them to track down one nail-biting threat after another. 

NUCLEAR FARM is the second novel in THE FARM series by award-winning author Charles C. Anderson.

About the author:

Dr. Anderson is a retired Naval Officer, an emergency physician, a critical care physician, and a weapons specialist. He is an expert on Colonial Virginia, the Civil War, limestone caves, and military installations in Hampton Roads, Virginia, all key subjects in this novel. The plantation depicted in this book has been his family's home since 1743.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Golden State by Michelle Richmond

Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Anna Quindlen, Golden State is a powerful, mesmerizing new novel that explores the intricacies of marriage, family, and the profound moments that shape our lives.

Doctor Julie Walker has just signed her divorce papers when she receives news that her younger sister, Heather, has gone into labor. Though theirs is a strained relationship, Julie sets out for the hospital to be at her sister’s side—no easy task since the streets of San Francisco are filled with tension and strife. Today is also the day that Julie will find herself at the epicenter of a violent standoff in which she is forced to examine both the promising and the painful parts of her past—her Southern childhood; her romance with her husband, Tom; her estrangement from Heather; and the shattering incident that led to her greatest heartbreak.

Infused with emotional depth and poignancy, Golden State takes readers on a journey over the course of a single, unforgettable day—through an extraordinary landscape of love, loss, and hope.

Received for review.

I'll admit that at first this seemed just a little too out there for me.  With California on the verge of seceding from the rest of the United States, and San Francisco in chaos it seemed just a little too unrealistic.  The author did a brilliant job of making everything seem completely real and urgent. 

The author jumped around in the timeline quite a bit which was confusing at first, but quickly made me want to find out more... and more.  The bouncing around actually added to the story instead of taking away from it.

Julie was not someone I really sympathized with or even liked.  I understood where she was coming from, but she still bothered me.  The real turning point came when she questioned her marriage and whether she and her husband were really a family if they didn't have a child.  I found that extremely offensive that you're not really a woman or a "real" family if you don't have children.  That a woman's sole purpose in life, even if she is a doctor, is to have children, and that without them she and her relationships have no real worth.

Despite my mild dislike for Julie I found the story very intriguing.  It drew me right in and I found myself reading as fast as I could to find out what happened.

Overall this was a very well written, thought provoking novel that I certainly recommend.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose edited by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil

Fans of Go Ask Alice will devour Dear Nobody, a real teen's diary, so raw and so edgy that it's authenticity rings off every page.

They say that high school is supposed to be the best time of your life. But what if that's just not true?

More than anything, Mary Rose wants to fit in. To be loved. And she'll do whatever it takes to make that happen. Even if it costs her her life.

Told through the raw and unflinching diary entries of a real teen, Mary Rose struggles with addiction, bullying, and a deadly secret. Her compelling story will inspire readers—and remind them that they are not alone.

Received for review.

Ah, the days before social media and camera phones took over our lives and took any bit of privacy.  The journals were written in the late 90s when the writer actually had to think and act for herself.

I'm not sure that liking this would really describe how I felt about this.  It was interesting, and at times you really felt for Mary Rose.  At others you couldn't help but imagine what a good reality television show this would make with the drugs and bad behavior and her mother and her mother's abusive boyfriend.  The whole white trash thing was just too much at times.

What saved this from reality television crap was Mary Rose's heart, intelligence, and creativity.  It's such a shame that she was born into such a horrible family.  She could have been a completely different person if she hadn't been subjected to them and made some very, very poor choices on her own.

Overall, this was alternately frustrating, sad, and amusing.  It's a thought provoking read and I definitely recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Featured Book: Welcome To The Zone by Scott Ford

About the book:

“Scott has devoted his entire professional career to understanding and mastering the zone in tennis. His training system is both effective and practical. His approach clearly demonstrates the importance of visualization in achieving peak performance.” – Dr. Jim Loehr, author of The Power of Full Engagement Flow

The zone, peak performance…there are different names for it, but you know how powerful it is when you’re there. Conventional coaching wisdom says there is no reliable formula to reach that state, but Scott Ford is here to turn that thinking on its head. Inspired by his own experience, Scott developed The Parallel Mode Process, a real protocol to get in the zone. Peak performance is directly related to enhanced consciousness, and you can learn to create it. The body-mind presence that Scott teaches has useful applications in all parts of your life, but if you’re looking to improve your tennis game exponentially and consistently, Welcome to the Zone is the book for you. Get in the zone by choice, not by chance!

About the author:

Author, clinician, and performance specialist, Scott Ford has presented his unique approach to playing tennis in the zone at the prestigious: USTA National Tennis Teachers Conference USPTA World Congress on Tennis Canadian National Tennis Teachers Conference 2000 Pre-Olympic Congress of Sports Science and Health in Brisbane, Australia. Scott teaches at the Colorado Athletic Club Inverness in Englewood, Colorado. For more information visit:

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: The Jaffa Resonance by Patrick Delaney

The spectacular heist from the San Martino Cathedral in Lucca had cost a security guard his life. But now the priceless icon lay in splinters on a seaside loading dock. The theft is a shock to Professor Johann Krugel, but not the destruction. After all, the thieves were acting on archeological research lifted from him. Someone else knew that a civilization lost to history had left behind objects of tremendous power. Some of these became sacred icons of the world's great religions, while others remained safely hidden. Until now. The professor's graduate student Jose Santiago forays into the remote Yucatan to locate a site crucial to their theory. But the clandestine force responsible for the theft is more than willing to play rough. When his protégé fails to return, Professor Krugel decides it's time to lose himself across the border in Mexico. He's quickly in trouble and alone in Ensenada. A chance encounter with stranded sailor Mike Dylan leads him to a long gamble. And then there is the scintillating Alexis Santiago. She claims to be the sister Jose had never mentioned. From her lips, Dr. Sean Casey first hears that his friend is missing. A skilled neurologist deals with death and the intangibles of the nervous system on a daily basis. He is drawn in, but is it by the intrigue surrounding the missing graduate student or by the enigmatic young woman? The cascading events challenge Dr. Casey's perception of himself as a healer, and place him on an intercept course with some of the greatest relics known to history. Dr. Casey and Alexis journey deep within the rain forest in search of the truth. It's a dangerous trek downriver between the indigenous peoples, the drug trade, and the DEA. And that's just to make it to the temple where Jose disappeared. An ancient labyrinth of slippery stone, false passages, and utter darkness. To survive, Casey must follow his instincts and his heart, something that has never come naturally.

Received for review.

I always enjoy a good adventure story so I was excited when I came across this intelligent, well written book.

This brilliantly meshes adventure, intrigue, the drug trade, a religious artifact, and the Vatican to provide a throughly enjoyable read.  When you throw in the requisite beautiful woman as a love interest it's a potent combination.

This is a perfect summer read which I definitely recommend.  Fans of Steve Berry and Dan Brown should certainly add this to their Must Read list.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Featured Book: A Complete Guide to Public Speaking 2nd Edition by Joe Grippo

About the book:

This is the 2nd Edition of this book. The first, published in 2009, won a Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Non-Fiction. 

Since then many new software tools for enhancing presentation visual aids have been introduced and are discussed herein. Regardless of your profession, e.g., business, science, engineering or government, communicating in front of others is useful and becomes even more of a necessity as one progresses in an organization.

Many topics are presented herein such as: Ancient human versions of Facebook and Twitter, the Evolution of Verbal & Written Communication, Factors to Consider Before Designing a Presentation, Winning Over an Audience, Opening & Closing Techniques, Developing Each Part of Your Speech, Taking the Terror out of Public Speaking, Deadly Mistakes to Avoid, Pros & Cons of Using Visual Aids, How to Avoid “Brain Death” When Speaking and much more. Many vital speaking tips are also presented such as: the use of humor; awareness of the role your eyes and gestures play; verbal & body language; strong words to use & weak words to avoid; speaking speed & pauses; strategies for handling hostile questions & audience members; “security blankets” to avoid and even tips for making a presentation to your boss and management

On-the-job presentations are emphasized such as those within corporations and other organizational entities, business and technical conferences, symposia and scientific poster sessions. The public speaking strategies and tips are described in a straightforward and easy-to-follow manner.

The author uses his extensive education, 35 years of management consulting and executive management experience, as well as research on public speaking to present a useful guide for presentations in any setting. As William Hewlett, Co-founder of the Hewlett Packard Corporation said: “How can I trust someone to manage multi-million dollar projects if he or she can’t manage a half-hour speech?”

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: The Beginner's Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods by Teresa Marrone

Drying is a simple and easy way to preserve fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs. This comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know to get started, whether you are using a dehydrator, your own oven, or the sun.

Expert Teresa Marrone thoroughly covers the basic techniques, all the way through storing and rehydrating your dried foods. From apples to watermelon, asparagus to zucchini, basil to beef, you'll find solid instructions that will ensuregreat results every time.

Marrone also includes recipes for using your dried foods in a wide range of delicious dishes, from pies and cookies to stews and casseroles. There are even instructions for drying fresh pasta and making vegetable snack chips and baby-food purees.

E-galley received for review.

I have a rather large garden and love to use my dehydrator for everything from apple and banana chips to dried carrots so I was very excited to discover this book.

The author covers absolutely everything you need to know about drying all kinds of foods, from preparation, equipment, the drying process itself, and safe storage.  She addresses each fruit and vegetable individually and tells you exactly what you need to do to prep and dry each one.  There's even an entire section on herbs and spices.  She even covers meats and jerkies.  Then she goes even further by discussing leathers and baby foods.

Once you've followed the author's instructions and are left with piles of beautifully dried foods safely packed away in your cupboards you may be wondering how you're going to use them all.  Thankfully the author offers dozens of yummy recipes that use your bounty as well as providing all sorts of pantry and gift mix ideas.

Everything is extremely well done from the first page to the last.  Whether you are new to drying foods or already a pro this is a great manual to have on your shelf and a true must buy for anyone interested in the subject.  I highly, highly recommend it!

★★★★★ = Loved It

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Featured Book: Co-Creating a Brilliant Relationship by David A. Yeats

About the book:

What has been written here is a great key to a satisfying and conscious life. This book proposes a path to creating and co-creating together a brilliant relationship - one that offers the rewards of deep connection and love, wise intention, rich meaning, and immense joy. Who knew that there might actually be a well defined path to these riches? It's a path that we shape and author as we care for ourselves and for our partner, and as we intuitively discover and nurture the core goodness of our own being. We'll describe stages of relationship and the stages of self that we humans might grow toward, and we'll introduce a relationship model designed to mend past wounds so we might co-create a deliberate and rewarding life together now. We will also explore ways we might deepen our personal relationship and awareness with ourselves - an awareness that goes beyond our culture to an interior world few of us have been introduced to - a grounded, calm, and centered awareness that, in time, circles its way back to enhance our partnership and enrich all of our relationships. From this quieter point of view, we may come to discover a deeper sense of the possibilities for connection, meaning, and joy that our life relationships have to offer - the most fantastic journey of all time.

About the author:

David A. Yeats, L.C.S.W., has been a practicing psychotherapist in Boulder Colorado for 28 years, and is married with five adult children. He has seen that the common denominator for virtually every client or couple, indeed, for all of us, is the quality of our relationships - with partners, with ourselves, and with the world at large. And so the focus of his clinical work has been to assist clients with answering the question: "How can I better my relationships, and therefore better my life?" This book suggests a clear, accessible, and powerfully rewarding answer to that question.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: Communicating with the Divine by Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis

"All seekers of truth yearn for the mystical experience. In this remarkable journey, you do not walk alone. With you is your indispensable partner to success—the spiritual hierarchy.” The Angelic Keys to Fulfilling Your Life’s Purpose

In their newest book, award-winning authors Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis explore the sacred art of communing with celestial beings. Reading of Martin’s extensive direct clairvoyant experiences, this book will teach you to work closely with angels, archangels, and other divine beings who guide you in day-to-day living and help you achieve your destiny. You will learn how to strengthen your intuitive powers and hear what the divine is telling you, and thrill to accounts of Martin’s compelling personal encounters with celestial beings and her eye-opening encounters with dark spirits.

Communing with the Divine is a practical training manual and an inspirational guide, with full-color illustrations of celestial beings and their auric composition. In it, you will discover: Various types of angels, including joy guides, teaching angels, and guardian angels Techniques to call on Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and other archangels Ways in which leaders of the spiritual hierarchy influence your life The nature of evil and the importance of spiritual protection Keys to psychic and spiritual visions and clairvoyance Meditation tools to access celestial realms with more than fifty meditative prayers that call on Divine Light and celestial beings for wisdom, love, prosperity, healing, peace, guidance, inspiration, and much more

Received for review.

Whether you believe in the author's clairvoyant experiences or not this is a fascinating discussion of angels and spirits and their potential influence on your life.  It comprehensively covers the various types of angels and how to call on them, as well as covering the darker spirits and how to protect yourself from them.

What really intrigued me was the author's personal experiences with the various spirits and how she dealt with them and what she learned.  Everything was thoroughly described and quite well written.  It's very clear that the author fully believes in her experiences and her interpretations of them.

This is a very well written, intelligent volume packed with information.  If you're into angels then this is a great new look into the subject that is sure to provide you with much food for thought and I definitely recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Giveaway: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

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Author Interview: Deborah Harkness author of The Book of Life

Deborah Harkness, author of the book The Book of Life, stopped by for an interview.

In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!

There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here?

Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues?

Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.

From the moment Matthew and a pregnant Diana arrive back at Sept-Tours and reinstate themselves back into a sprawling family of witches and vampires, it becomes clear that the meaning of family will be an important idea for THE BOOK OF LIFE. How does this unify the whole series? Did you draw on your own life?

Since time immemorial the family has been an important way for people to organize themselves in the world. In the past, the “traditional” family was a sprawling and blended unit that embraced immediate relatives, in-laws and their immediate families, servants, orphaned children, the children your partner might bring into a family from a previous relationship, and other dependents. Marriage was an equally flexible and elastic concept in many places and times. Given how old my vampires are, and the fact that witches are the keepers of tradition, I wanted to explore from the very first page of the series the truly traditional basis of family: unqualified love and mutual responsibility. That is certainly the meaning of family that my parents taught me.

While there are entire genres devoted to stories of witches, vampires, and ghosts, the idea of a weaver – a witch who weaves original spells – feels very unique to THE BOOK OF LIFE. What resources helped you gain inspiration for Diana’s uniqueness?

Believe it or not, my inspiration for weaving came from a branch of mathematics called topology. I became intrigued by mathematical theories of mutability to go along with my alchemical theories of mutability and change. Topology is a mathematical study of shapes and spaces that theorizes how far something can be stretched or twisted without breaking. You could say it’s a mathematical theory of connectivity and continuity (two familiar themes to any reader of the All Souls Trilogy). I wondered if I could come up with a theory of magic that could be comfortably contained within mathematics, one in which magic could be seen to shape and twist reality without breaking it. I used fabric as a metaphor for this worldview with threads and colors shaping human perceptions. Weavers became the witches who were talented at seeing and manipulating the underlying fabric. In topology, mathematicians study knots—unbreakable knots with their ends fused together that can be twisted and shaped. Soon the mathematics and mechanics of Diana’s magic came into focus.

A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story?

It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.

Diana and Matthew, once again, move around to quite a number of locations in THE BOOK OF LIFE, including New Haven, New Orleans, and a few of our favorite old haunts like Oxford, Madison, and Sept-Tours. What inspired you to place your characters in these locations? Have you visited them yourself?

As a writer, I really need to experience the places I write about in my books. I want to know what it smells like, how the air feels when it changes direction, the way the sunlight strikes the windowsill in the morning, the sound of birds and insects. Not every writer may require this, but I do. So I spent time not only in New Haven but undertaking research at the Beinecke Library so that I could understand the rhythms of Diana’s day there. I visited New Orleans several times to imagine my vampires into them. All of the locations I pick are steeped in history and stories about past inhabitants—perfect fuel for any writer’s creative fire.

Did you know back when you wrote A Discovery of Witches how the story would conclude in THE BOOK OF LIFE? Did the direction change once you began the writing process?

I knew how the trilogy would end, but I didn’t know exactly how we would get there. The story was well thought out through the beginning of what became The Book of Life, but the chunk between that beginning and the ending (which is as I envisioned it) did change. In part that was because what I had sketched out was too ambitious and complicated—the perils of being not only a first-time trilogy writer but also a first time author. It was very important to me that I resolve and tie up all the threads already in the story so readers had a satisfying conclusion. Early in the writing of The Book of Life it became clear that this wasn’t going to give me much time to introduce new characters or plot twists. I now understand why so many trilogies have four, five, six—or more—books in them. Finishing the trilogy as a trilogy required a lot of determination and a very thick pair of blinders as I left behind characters and story lines that would take me too far from the central story of Diana, Matthew, and the Book of Life.

A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the secrets contained in the manuscript are at long last revealed in THE BOOK OF LIFE. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation. What was the story behind your discovery? And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?

I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations, Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in Oxford between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.

Are there other lost books like this in the world?

Absolutely! Entire books have been written about famous lost volumes—including works by Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare to name just a few. Libraries are full of such treasures, some of them unrecognized and others simply misfiled or mislabeled. And we find lost books outside of libraries, too. In January 2006, a completely unknown manuscript belonging to one of the 17th century’s most prominent scientists, Robert Hooke, was discovered when someone was having the contents of their house valued for auction. The manuscript included minutes of early Royal Society meetings that we presumed were lost forever.

Shadow of Night and A Discovery of Witches have often been compared to young adult fantasy like Twilight, with the caveat that this series is for adults interested in history, science, and academics. Unlike Bella and Edward, Matthew and Diana are card-carrying members of academia who meet in the library of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Are these characters based on something you found missing in the fantasy genre?

There are a lot of adults reading young adult books, and for good reason. Authors who specialize in the young adult market are writing original, compelling stories that can make even the most cynical grownups believe in magic. In writing A Discovery of Witches, I wanted to give adult readers a world no less magical, no less surprising and delightful, but one that included grown-up concerns and activities. These are not your children’s vampires and witches.

About the book:

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

About the author:

Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Featured Book: 2ND EARTH by Edward and Eunice Vought

About the book:

When you fall asleep on the subway, you can wake up out of this world!

When Jon Gorman and his buddy Tim, both Navy Seals, hopped on the subway from New Jersey to Manhattan late one night, the long day and the motion of the train soon lull both of them to sleep.

When it comes to a stop, they wake to find the train has been abandoned, in the middle of a tunnel, somewhere under the streets of New York.

As they make their way out to the street, they encounter a girl running for her life, in a world they no longer recognize.

They will soon find out just how strange reality can be.

About the author:

Ed and Eunice wrote 2ND EARTH for their six children who are big science fiction fans. They have always been fascinated with the concept of parallel worlds and often speculated what it might be like to be among the only survivors of the near total destruction of the world as we know it. They are currently working on a follow-up to 2ND EARTH along with continuing with their Best Friends series. They reside in Marion, Ohio where their greatest joy is their two granddaughters.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: Happy Hormones Slim Belly by Jorge Cruise


Science has revealed that most women are drawn to carbs, or “Sugar Calories,” due to a biological imperative to balance hormones.

The irony is that you must cut Sugar Calories to lose weight, but you must also eat Sugar Calories to balance hormones.

With Happy Hormones, Slim Belly™, you will discover the newest dietary science for women over 40: Women’sCarb Cycling™.

It balances your hormones so you can lose up to 7 lbs. in a week, then 2 lbs. weekly—guaranteed!

Received for review.

I really like Jorge Cruise and have read several of his books so I was excited to read his latest released.

Jorge goes into exactly why hormones play such a large role in weight gain in women and just what you can do about it.  He presents his diet plan in a clear, concise way and provides day by day meal plans.  He also provides dozens of recipes for foods that are acceptable in his diet.

What I wasn't thrilled with was that this diet does not take into account any food allergies, so if you're allergic to nuts or dairy this is not the diet for you.  It is also definitely not for vegetarians either.  However, if you don't have any food sensitivities and enjoy an omnivorous diet then this is an excellent plan full of dishes that fill you up and satisfy your cravings.

Be aware that this also requires some specialty shopping in order to have the supplies you need to make the recipes.  You'll need to pick up lots of coconut or almond flour, stevia and Truvia, and protein powder.  Most of these are available online, but it's worth a heads up.

Overall this is an intelligent, well thought out plan that is sure to work well for women who follow its rules and I definitely highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Featured Book: One More Dance by Valentine Cardinale

About the book:

At a wedding in Italy, Julian Case, a Manhattan realtor and widower, meets Alegra Rossini, a university professor and single mom, and is struck by her beauty, grace, and playfulness as they dance the night away.

On the plane back to the States, he’s already making plans to see her again. But when Julian enters his home in New Jersey, he discovers his son has been savagely attacked and left for dead. Fearing that whoever beat the young man into a coma will try to finish the job, Julian puts his life on hold to help track down the mysterious assailant.

Can a father unlock the secret connection and find his son’s attacker before it’s too late? Will Julian lose his chance at new love? And what about Alegra? Will she let this promising relationship slip away from her? Together, can they weather the storm and let love in their lives again for one more dance?

About the author:

Valentine Cardinale, a graduate of Iona College and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, enjoyed a successful career as the editor of leading magazines in the advertising and pharmacy fields before writing fiction. One More Dance is his third novel, following The West Side Kid (2009) and The Terranovas: A War Family (2005). Val lives in New Jersey. Visit him at

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Excerpt: The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax

Wendy Wax, author of the book The House on Mermaid Point, stopped by to share with us an excerpt from her book.

Excerpt from THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT by Wendy Wax

There had been a time, many times actually, when William Hightower would have left rehab in a limo. That limo, sent by his record label, would have had tinted windows, a fully stocked bar, and an eager woman with long legs, big breasts, and a talented mouth perched on the back seat.

His release would have been celebratory and newsworthy with photographers and fans jostling each other outside the gates so that they could snap photos and scream his name as the limo sped by.

The articles and news stories would run for weeks after his release. Each would begin with pictures of him on a stage surrounded by a vast, undulating sea of enraptured fans. Back when the braid that hung down his back was darker than the night sky over a Florida swamp. When he’d swaggered across a stage as if he owned it. As if he were a real Seminole warrior and not a scared kid from a dusty no name town who had two drops of Native American to every gallon of Florida Cracker blood in his veins.

Back then the alcohol and drugs were just part of the gig. They hadn’t yet slowed his fingers or marred his voice, or eaten away the muscle and sinew that held him together, like termites gnawing on a wood shanty. The pain of watching his little brother leave their band, the aptly if offensively named Wasted Indian, in a hearse, hadn’t yet been carved into his face like a name slashed into a tree trunk. Back then the roar of the crowds had convinced him that he was alive. And destined to be young forever.

Today the car that whisked him away from rehab had not been sent by a record company and did not contain drugs, alcohol or a woman, eager or otherwise. It was a muddy brown BMW driven by his angry, tight jawed son whom he barely knew. The only one left from that once-vast sea, the only one bound by the obligation of blood.

“Thanks for picking me up,” Will said.

A grunt was his only answer. Which was perhaps more than he deserved.

“And for arranging my … stay.” It was as close as he could come to admitting that he, William Hightower, who had made and blown millions, couldn’t have afforded the month spent at Three Palms Whole Health Center, which practiced an holistic and adventure based approach to beating one’s demons. Not even if he’d wanted to go there.

There were no gates to drive through. No waiting press. No screaming fans. Just a clean modern building sandwiched between a lake where he’d paddled a kayak until his muscles burned and a pool where he’d numbed his mind and his body with lap after lap. He was leaving far fitter than he had arrived. Fitter than he’d been since he’d played his first gig at seventeen. He’d give the Three Palms folks one thing; they’d forced him to clean up his outside while they’d hammered away at his interior. As if there were anything left in there.

The hair that had once hung down his back barely brushed his shoulders; the glossy black was streaked with gray. His face, bruised and battered by 61 years of hard living was still dominated by a hatchet of a nose and high harsh cheekbones that the camera had once loved. His dark eyes were framed by a spider’s web of lines, but they were clearer than they’d ever been; allowing him to see the world around him as it really was; stark and unrelenting.

They drove south from the hermetically sealed town of Westin, Florida in silence, palm trees sliding by, bold blasts of tropical color climbing walls and snaking up tree trunks. The flat morning light was unforgiving, leaving only the stingiest triangles of shade.

In Florida City the turnpike emptied onto US-1 then onto the two-laned eighteen mile ribbon of asphalt that locals called ‘the stretch.’ It was here that the real world began to dissolve while paradise crooked its finger just ahead. Even on the crappiest day ‘the stretch’ could cause heart rates to slow, stress levels to drop, and brain synapses to fire less frantically. But today Will’s mind flitted at random as Tommy drove sedately, his eyes fixed straight ahead.

Despite the open windows the silence between them hung hot and heavy, stuffed with things that had never been forgiven and which Will sincerely hoped would never be discussed.

A chain link fence was all that held back the scrub and brush as they skirted the Everglades and crossed over the Monroe County Line. Will stole the occasional surreptitious glance at his son, who had inherited his size and coloring and who looked so much like the younger brother he’d been named for that it hurt to look at him. He thought about the boy’s mother, who’d been a casualty of the life they’d lived, too. So many people gone for no good reason.

From the top of the Jewfish Creek Bridge sun glinted off the impossibly turquoise water that flanked them and a warm salt breeze tinged the air and rifled Will’s hair. In Key Largo scuba and bait and tackle shops began to fly by. A strip mall sign promising Pilates in Paradise caught his eye.

The silence spooled out. Will’s eyelids grew heavy. He was close to nodding off when Tommy said, “I talked to the bank. Then I brought in a Realtor to look at Mermaid Point.”

Will’s eyes blinked open. This was what happened when you gave your only blood relative power of attorney. In case of emergency. Never thinking that you might be thrashing it out in rehab when they decided to declare one.

He’d bought the tea-table shaped key on a whim back in the early eighties when Key West had ceased being a place to hide out, kick back and chill. When cruise ships began to arrive and depart daily and crowds longing to be wild and eccentric planted a flag and declared Key West their capital of crazy. Everyone he cared about had fled. Will had only made it seventy-nine mile markers up US-1.

“I’m not interested in selling Mermaid Point.” Not his island. Not ever.

They were passing through Tavernier. Mariner’s Hospital and McDonald’s flashed by and then they were crossing Tavernier Creek. Soon they’d be on Upper Matecumbe, the third of Islamorada’s four keys.
Almost home.

“Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t sell the island without doing something about the house and the outbuildings,” his son said. “Not in the condition they’re in.”

It was Will’s turn to grunt. When he’d bought Mermaid Point it had been one of many homes Will owned. Now it was all he had left. All he wanted to do when he got there was stretch out in a chaise by the pool and zone the hell out. Which wouldn’t be anywhere near as easy without a drink or a joint in his hand.

At the moment he was trying not to think about how he was going to live the next week, let alone the rest of his life, without numbing up. He wasn’t sure his pool—or even the Atlantic Ocean, which his pool overlooked—were big enough to swim the number of laps it would take. He didn’t know if there were enough laps in this world to make the need to detach go away.

“The thing is if the house and grounds could be renovated it would make a great place for an island vacation or a corporate retreat. And you could keep the rooms rented out all the time — I mean you’re still a name. People would pay a fortune to come stay in a property owned and operated by William the Wild.” The tone was derisive. As if he were relating something that he didn’t understand but he knew to be true. “You could make a living as the ‘genial host’ of the Rock n Roll Bed and Breakfast. Or, I don’t know, maybe we should just call it the Wild House.”

“You’re joking.”

Will kept his voice even. He wasn’t even home yet. He was not going to get worked up. Hadn’t he just spent a month trying to learn how to stay calm and in control? “And it’s not like you’d ever get approval for a Bed & Breakfast. There’s an ordinance against them. And a moratorium on building.”

Tommy shook his head dismissively. “That’s just semantics and small town politics. And I never joke about money.” Of course, he didn’t. The kid was a damned Investment Banker with a calculator for a brain. If he didn’t look so much like a Hightower Will might have doubted the paternity test. “Unless you want to end up on the sofa sleeper in my living room? Or an old age home for former rock stars?”

Will crossed his arms over his chest and turned an eye on Tommy. He’d used this look to good effect with record people who’d wanted to turn him into some fancy boy crooner when he was a rocker through and through. And with fans who didn’t understand boundaries or personal space. “That won’t be happening.” If he’d earned anything in all the decades played out onstage, it was privacy. “There’s no way in hell I’m sharing my island or my home with strangers.” He shuddered when he thought of wide-eyed honeymoon couples or worse, sad-eyed retirees in the bedroom down the hall.

You didn’t own a slab of coral rock barely tied to land if you wanted strangers anywhere near you.

His son turned and looked at him. “Well, I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice. You don’t have enough money to live on without using your sole remaining asset one way or the other. You can sell Mermaid Point and the structures on it and live frugally for the rest of your life.” His tone indicated he didn’t believe William had the ability to do any such thing. As if he’d been born to wealth and hadn’t earned his fortune one damned song at a time. “Or you can renovate, play the host to anyone willing to spend the money, and at least keep a roof over your head.”

William’s throat was so parched he could barely swallow. He didn’t know how he’d made such an obscene amount of money and ended up with so little. Or how the son who despised him had come up with such a horrifying plan.

A drink would have smoothed things out. Would at least allow him to pretend he wasn’t a broke, recovering alcoholic. Slowly, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a tootsie roll pop. He unwrapped it carefully and placed it in his mouth as they passed Whale Harbor Marina. The Lor-e-lei whizzed by on his right. Pretty soon they’d see Bud n’ Mary’s Marina which would make him as good as home. He sucked on the thing in silence refusing — in a ridiculous test of will— to give in and bite into its chewy center like he wanted to.

Danielle, his favorite group leader at the facility, had given him a large bag of the pops as a going away present. Idly, he wondered why no one had ever invented a whiskey-flavored version with a shot of Jack Daniels in the center. Maybe that’s what he should do to get back on his feet. Invent an alcoholic version of the Tootsie Pop.

He turned his head to hide his smile, concentrating on the hard, sweet candy in his mouth. Maybe an alcoholic but sugar free version so all the poor alcoholics didn’t become diabetic on top of everything else. He crossed his arms on his chest and let his eyes skim over the familiar surroundings as he sucked on that candy shell.

He could tell by the position of the sun that sunset was only a few hours away. From Mermaid Point he could watch the sun rise over the Atlantic in the morning and see it set over the Gulf every night; both were sights he hadn’t gotten tired of seeing yet.

Back in the day he could have scribbled down a hit song on a napkin between sets in a bar. But that was then. Before he’d turned as old as the fucking hills and lost most everyone he’d ever cared about. This was now. And he was pretty certain that he didn’t have so much as half a melody hidden anywhere inside him.

About the book:

In this new novel from the author of Ten Beach Road and Ocean Beach, three unlikely friends who were thrown together by disaster get a do-over on life, love, and happiness . . .

Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . . .

About the author:

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of nine novels including Ocean Beach andTen Beach Road. The mother of two college-age sons, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, and is doing her best to adjust to the quiet of her recently emptied nest.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Featured Book: Shock and Awww in the Cul-de-Sac by John Douglas

About the book:

John and Jessica had it all: a seemingly perfect balance of careers, family and love. But after 23 years of marriage—and on the day after their youngest child’s graduation from high school—Jessica lets John know that she no longer wants to be married, leaving John, the kids, their family and friends floored by this stunning revelation. Shock and Awww in the Cul-de-Sac is the story of John’s journey through the uncharted territory of life as a single father: therapy sessions, the pain of repeatedly telling family and friends the sad news, reentering the dating scene, and ultimately finding a new life for himself. All the while, John tries to appear strong on the outside for the kids as he goes through the many ups and downs of divorce. Emotional memories pop up, new life experiences are formed, and the pitfalls of the divorce process are revealed in a realistic yet upbeat and humorous way. The story takes many twists and turns, as a man who is emotionally devastated tries to find the strength and will to reshape his future—a future that will undoubtedly be very different from the future that he had pictured. This is a heartfelt, honest book that will resonate with anyone whose life path has taken a sudden and unexpected twist.

About the author:

John Douglas was a teamster for 10 years in a grocery warehouse. He graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and taught for 11 years. He and his students won the Scholastic “Kids Are Authors, Too” contest with a book titled One Day in the Life of Bubble Gum in his first year as a teacher. Born in La Crosse, Wis., John now resides in Lake Ozark, Missouri.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Author Q&A: Wendy Wax author of The House on Mermaid Point

Wendy Wax, author of the book The House on Mermaid Point, stopped by for a Q&A.

Thanks for joining us and sharing news of your new novel THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT.

So many readers are delighted to have a chance to be back with Maddie, Avery and Nicole, the characters you introduced in TEN BEACH ROAD a few years ago. Was it difficult to get back into their lives?

You know, I thought it would be. I was still so caught up in the fun of WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY and readers’ response to it, that I began to question whether I’d be feeling “at home” with the reassembled ensemble as I had when I wrote OCEAN BEACH. As it turned out, I found myself immediately at ease when I started that first chapter and looking forward to finding out how they would tackle the challenges I knew were coming. I know it helped that I had already spent time with them while writing my holiday novella, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH.

Has a lot changed for the women of TEN BEACH ROAD since OCEAN BEACH?

There have been some big life changes, but the characters are still friends, still taking things one renovation at a time. The cast of “regulars” has gotten bigger as characters from the first book have become more involved from one book to the next and become known to readers. Mermaid Point becomes host to the entire Do Over cast and crew— some with small roles and others central to the plot. You’ll find everyone from Kyra, Dustin and Deirdre to Chase, Joe, Troy and everybody’s favorite, charming network executive Lisa Hogan, who once again claims the element of surprise as her ace in the hole.

For those who are just now discovering the novels these characters share, will you give us some background?

You bet. Readers first met Maddie, Nicole and Avery when the three were deeded ownership of Bella Flora, a crumbling historic home on Florida’s Pass-a-Grille Beach, in TEN BEACH ROAD. At that time, all they dared hope was that renovating and selling it would let them rebuild their lives and the bank accounts drained by a Ponzi scheme. They had no idea they’d end up living together for the next two summers, hammers in hand, starring in their own DIY reality television show, Do Over. Indeed, in their second book, OCEAN BEACH, the women—still in desperate straits financially-- headed to Miami’s South Beach, with another project and cameras rolling to film their first season. In THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, the show is about to make its on air debut even as they film their second season. This time they’re in the Florida Keys where they’re expected to turn Mermaid Point, the private island of aging, down on his luck rock legend William Hightower, into a bed-and-breakfast. Against his wishes, of course.

Rock ‘n roll and renovation? How did you arrive at that combo?

It started with again needing a character who, to begin with, could afford the sort of house that would make an interesting television setting. So I started thinking celebrity. Then, during my early research, I fell in love with the Florida Keys. I was headed to Key West when I was shown a private island in Islamorada that I just had to have. Then I needed a really high profile, extremely wealthy—at least at one time—mega star. Lots of musicians lived and partied in the Keys and before I knew it, I was thinking about some of my favorite bands and Southern rocker William “Wild Will” Hightower was born.

Who are some of your favorites?

The Allman Brothers, Lynrd Skynrd, Wet Willie . . .

It was a kick revisiting those times and walking down my own memory lane helped me imagine Hightower’s music being just as magical as that of the musicians I followed and the wild ride that is part of his past.

I may have had a bit too much fun with the musical memories called up during the writing. I actually ended up trying my hand at a ballad, Mermaid in You, one of the songs for which my mythical Hightower became famous. As part of the release of THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, I touched base with two young musicians who are sons of a friend. Their group is the 10th Concession and they’re well known in the southeastern U.S. They looked at my lyrics and, while I was quickly demoted from writer to co-writer, they worked with me, created the music and now the song has been record- ed. It has its live performance debut along with the book on June 30th and will be available as a free download. I hope you’ll check it out. Info will be posted on as we get closer to the date.

What's next?

I am happily up to my neck in a new book. But I’m still debating so many different ideas that I don’t want to share too much yet. Lots keeps changing. It is, however, set in Manhattan and at New York’s Lake George. More to come . . . As always, I’ll be sharing more book news on my site, on Facebook and other places. I hope everyone will visit with me in those spots. Also, appearances for and the latest about THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT will be shared online along with giveaways and other updates.

Thank you, Wendy.

Thank you! I appreciate being able to share THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT with you and visitors to your site.

About the book:

In this new novel from the author of Ten Beach Road and Ocean Beach, three unlikely friends who were thrown together by disaster get a do-over on life, love, and happiness . . .

Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . . .

About the author:

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of nine novels including Ocean Beach andTen Beach Road. The mother of two college-age sons, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, and is doing her best to adjust to the quiet of her recently emptied nest.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Featured Book: Liar Liar Panties on Fire by George

About the book:

Nicholas and Yvonne are having an affair, and their relationship is exposed when their grown children, who are married, walk in on them. Their relationship is further complicated by the fact that Nick is the chief of police of Eagle’s Beak, and Yvonne is the town’s mayor. Nick is a government-trained interrogator and a highly skilled liar. Yvonne, a scientist, is interested only in the truth. She is also the CEO of a company developing breakthrough technology in lie detection and mind reading. Nick, an investor and technical guru, reports to Yvonne, and together they’re in the high-tech business of prevarication-based neuroscience, reading and recording the mind as its neurons fire in deception. Their romance is shaken by sudden events—lies and truths, love, sex, and the town’s first murder. When the U.S. government begins to investigate Yvonne for sabotaging their contract with her company, they subpoena Nick to testify against her, and she is indicted and faces trial. As Nick investigates, he finds there are answers that just don’t seem to ring true. He is amazingly good at ferreting out the truth—but can he and Yvonne untangle the web of lies and come out unscathed? Find out in Liar Liar Panties on Fire.

About the author:

George is an engineer whose passions are family, love, fun, technology, and writing. Liar Liar Panties on Fire is his third novel, and it is dedicated to his lovely wife, Carol, who passed away last year with breast cancer. Let’s fight the fight and find the cure. He lives in Montana and California.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Featured Book: Home by Donovin Freeman

About the book:

Spanning 3 decades HOME is the epic tale of 4 young children moved down south by their strong willed, sharp tongue, no nonsense grandmother Cathy.

Set in her ways the children, Tara, Kim, Hallie and Mike realize that its Cathy's way or the highway.

A story of survival, tough love, and hope, you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll love HOME.

About the author:

Donovin Freeman was born in Charleston, SC. At the age of 8 he moved to College Park, GA. After graduating from M.D. Collins High School he attended Chowan College. Donovin is a screenwriter and novelist. His first novel Home is critically acclaimed and his follow up Home Again is certain to receive just as much attention.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Featured Book: Lost Causes by Donna J. Thompson

About the book:

When beautiful Psychologist Casey West goes to Detective Karl Larkin with a wild story about the mental hospital where she works, he quickly dismisses it. He has worked in Springfield for twenty years and Lakeview has never had a complaint lodged against it.

But when Casey’s friend, a nurse named Trudy Madison, is brutally murdered and the management’s story doesn’t agree with the evidence, Detective Larkin begins to think Casey’s story doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

Having friends in high places, Jerry Connors, who runs Lakeview, uses his influence to stop the detective’s investigation. Casey then begs Larkin to allow her to become his eyes and ears inside of the place. Will she help him crack the case, or will she wind up dead like her friend?

About the author:

Donna J. Thompson is a reader turned writer. She believes that everyone has a story and her observation of people helps her to write about complex characters, and make them come to life. This is Donna J. Thompson’s second novel. Lost Causes isn’t a who done it like her first, but it will keep you wondering why they are doing it until the end.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Featured Book: Rational Polemics by Richard Todd Devens

About the book:

Rational Polemics is a provocative, controversial, outrageous book that dares to challenge the ideas and values that most of the world has been spoon-fed from infancy onward. With personal anecdotes, tongue-in-cheek humor, and refreshing candor, author Richard Devens thinks outside the traditional strictures of convention and morality, and asks important questions, including: Does poetic justice exist? Is forgiveness always the best method to achieve closure? Do we have the right to end our own lives? Should drugs be legal? Can prostitution be beneficial? If you’re ready to consider the true nature of evil, to look at the hypocrisies inherent in religion, to think about whether humanity really is a “higher form of life,” and to open your mind to new ideas about subjects ranging from adultery to cannibalism to rude people and distracting background music, Rational Polemics will be a welcome breath of fresh air from a writer who might be one of the most original thinkers of our time.

About the author:

Richard Devens is a classically trained pianist, piano instructor, and writer. His article What Is Talent? appeared in the September-October 1992 issue of Piano Guild Notes. Earl Wild-The Romantic Master, a full-length interview of the late great piano virtuoso, was the cover feature of the November-December 1996 issue.

Richard is co-author of the book Martial Arts for Kids (Weatherhill, 1997). He has also contributed articles to WUSHU KUNG FU, Official Karate, Karate/Kung-fu Illustrated, and BLACK BELT. He lives in New York.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Featured Book: SG - Suicide Game by Haidji

About the book:

SG - Suicide Game is a metaphor about the society where persons almost kill themselves to achieve their goals and forget their dreams, but, in the book you will find also real love, friendship, loyalty, hope and an unexpected finale showing the good essence of the human seed. Eight thousand candidates sign up for the Suicide Game. Only one can win. Their destination is the Night Stadium: a place of makeup and music, fear and adrenaline, blood and romance, celebration and death. Each candidate has his or her own reason for entering the Game. The Council runs the Game. The outcome of the Game is left to the laps of the gods. The candidates will jump to their deaths in order to win everything, before capacity crowds in the Stadium. The public follows every jump, live on TV and mobile device screens, choosing their favorite candidates and betting on their lives. Who will win the game? Candidate 0907 - Moma - the terrorist? Candidate 1518 - Fabio Giovanni Cristiani - the cyclist? Candidate 3507 - Anthony Henrik Gustav - the lawyer? Candidate 4914 - Jens Plaato - the politician? Candidate 4918 - Sarah Mondstein - the career woman? Candidate 5151 - Bianca White - just a girl ? Candidate 7195 - The Scientist? …Or is it a completely different Candidate? The Game’s community also includes geeks, mafia, makeup artists, master chefs, models, musicians, spies, terrorists, and many others. It boldly imagines a place where death and denial are interwoven with hope, choices and the innate desire for happiness. Impressive in the totality of its vision, it is an exploration of the best and worst things in our lives, our nightmares, and especially our dreams.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Book Depository

About the author:

Artist, painter, designer, photographer, performer


Her interest on art began at the age of four when she got a Blackboard for Christmas

As she was 12 she started to write her stories and poems.
Handwritten and hand painted books for family and friends.

There is a very spiritual feel to her work, almost an otherworldliness
A captiving blend of brasilian flair, teutonic precision and dutch pragmatism makes Haidji's work unique, appealing and thought-provoking.

Connect with the author:


Author Page on Amazon


Facebook Book Page

Facebook Official Page

Goodreads Profile

Google +: Haidji H