Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini

Sugar Rush is a complete baking course in a book with everything a home baker needs to confidently turn out 150+ sweets with sophisticated flavors. 

James Beard–award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini returns to basics, sharing his expert tips on fundamentals such as making caramel and mixing butter cakes, with accompanying step-by-step photographs, before moving on to recipes for Salted Caramels and Sticky Caramel Date Cake. After mastering the simple method for making light-as-air meringues, anyone can make ethereal espresso marshmallows, mile-high soufflés, and chewy French macaron sandwich cookies. Readers can finally expand their cake and ice cream horizons to embrace flavors as thrilling as those in Brown Sugar-Molasses Layer Cake and Bitter Orange Ice Cream. The 250 photographs include both instructive technique shots to reassure bakers at every turn as well as stunning photographs of the ready-to-eat treats. With Sugar Rush, baking at home has never been easier—or more inviting.



Received for review.

I love looking at cookbooks and I couldn't pass up this gorgeous cover so I simply had to have this!

It is simply packed with recipes in varying levels of difficulty. Some are quite complex and you really need need a more advanced level of baking expertise for those, but most can reasonably be made by someone with a moderate amount of experience.

What I enjoyed most was that everything is beautifully photographed. There are tons of pictures showing you the gorgeous results of each recipe which is inspiring and also very helpful when you're trying to make a recipe.

There are several recipes that I'm looking forward to trying, such as the Citrus Butter Loaf Cake, Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Cherry Crisp.

Overall, this is a stunning book with a huge variety of recipes and would make a lovely addition to any collection as well as a very thoughtful gift.

★★★★★ = Loved It



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Book Excerpt: The Gentle Way of the Heart by Anders Nilsson

Anders Nilsson, author of the book The Gentle Way of the Heart, stopped by to share with us an excerpt from his book.






About the book:

In The Gentle Way of the Heart, scientist Anders Nilssonpresents a perspective on how to navigate life guided by the heart. He believes that each of us has a spark of God deep within and a heart filled with Divine Light. The challenge is to stay connected to this source of vitality and transformation in the hurried and challenging circumstances of modern life.

In The Gentle Way of the Heart, Nilsson provides unique insights, exercises and meditations to launch you on a great spiritual adventure. The Gentle Way is a spiritual path for regaining a sense of who you are at a deep level. Follow its practices outlined in this book and dissolve your false self; allow your true self to blossom. The newfound light within will dispel your day-to-day fears.


A scientist who has a deep conviction of the dance of spirit in the physical universe, Nilsson shows how to create a personally unique and fulfilling life when you live moment-by-moment without expectations or fear. Read The Gentle Way of the Heartand learn how to expand your authentic, gentle, kind self from which a perspective of heart-felt acceptance and forgiveness grows. Enjoy the rewards of more harmony and love in your life.



About the author:

Anders Nilsson was born in Sweden where he has spent most of his life. He received a PhD in Physics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and has engaged in fundamental research in physics and chemistry. In 2000, he moved to California to become a Professor of Photon Science at Stanford University.

Nilsson is currently studying the fundamental properties and structure of liquid water and also chemical energy transformations on surfaces that are, for instance, related to artificial photosynthesis. He has authored or co-authored over 250 scientific papers and one scientific book.

In parallel, and independent from his role as Stanford professor, he has nurtured a strong spiritual awakening that started in the early 1990s, and that has been guided over the years by his own internal voice.

He has led numerous spiritual workshops in Sweden. This is his first spiritual book and his teaching program and upcoming events can be found on the Gentle Way website.



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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Stop the Torment by Joyce Lillis

In Stop the Torment, Joyce Lillis presents an entirely new approach to weigh loss and weight maintenance, offering information, stories and exercises designed to understand the deeper relationship each of us has with food. Once you uncover the long established habits that are at work, you will learn how to conquer your relationship with food. 

Read this book and you will discover how to: 

• Uncover the triggers of what keeps you yo-yo dieting 
• Stop the "inner food debate" about how much and what to eat 
• Recognize eating behaviors when on an "emotional merry-go-round" 
• Digest and metabolize food by learning to trust your body's physical hunger 

This book has been written to help you understand the deep connection we have with food. It is not a book outlining a specific diet. However, it provides insight into how our relationship with food has contributed to the dieting craze in our country. 

With over thirty-five years of experience analyzing,rationalizing and challenging my own behavior with food,seven years ago I decided to get honest with myself and conquer my relationship with food. My hope is that you will relate to the message and stories in this book so you, too, can recognize how food is connected to much more than feeding yourself for nutritional purposes. 

In Part Two, you will find several exercises which will provide important insight into how food and diets have become an obsession in our cultural consciousness. These exercises will allow you to take back your power and begin your journey of conquering your relationship with food.



Received for review.

It's a little difficult to actually take advice from a woman who has never carried more than fifteen pounds of excess weight in her life.  Yes, she yo-you dieted but only for those fifteen or so pounds.  She never lost a significant amount of weight herself but she has helped some women lose smaller amounts of weight - up to about fifty pounds.  Her ideas are interesting but not really applicable to everyone.

The plan itself is worth a look but it can be rather simplistic.  Thankfully it does't require you to purchase any bizarre foods though, which is a nice bonus.  Overall this really isn't for those with a great deal of weight to lose but if you need something to help you lose ten or twenty pounds then it might be a good option.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Author Interview: Steven Fujita author of Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

Steven Fujita, author of the book Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, stopped by for an interview.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm a writer living in Long Beach, California. I grew up in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, attended college in Washington, D.C. In 2010, I published a novella, titled, Sword of the Undead, which is a re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but with the vampire being a Japanese samurai lord. In 2012, I was diagnosed with meningitis, and as a result, was temporarily paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors predicted I would spend about a year in a wheelchair, and another year before I would be walking "normal enough," but did not guarantee that I would regain the ability to walk again. The recovery process has seemed to define my life for the past two years. However, I was walking with a cane within six months and walking "normal enough" within 15 months. Now, at 27 months, I am walking "almost completely normal."


What do you do when you're not writing?

When I am not writing, I am reading novels and non-fiction. When I am not reading, I go out for walks, or otherwise am exercise to continue my recovery from spinal cord injury.


When did you first start writing?

I started writing stories at around 10 years old, and had always churned stories inside my mind. I tried to write out of college, but couldn't "make it," so I just left it as a side passion until technology caught up and started writing seriously again with the goal of self-publication.


Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

No particular book comes to mind, but the movie, Jaws, based on Peter Benchley's novel was an influence, and growing up, I was an avid comic book reader.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

At first, I wanted to write this book because it was really difficult to find information about dealing with spinal cord injuries. I kept wanting to know how I would recover, and how long it would take for various health issues caused by the spinal cord injury to resolve. So, I thought about writing about my experiences as some of the issues I dealt with while recovering from spinal cord injury. But as I wrote deeper into the book, I also wanted my experiences to inspire and motivate people who find themselves in the same situation I had - or really to inspire the reader to face obstacles other than spinal cord injury.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

My favorite part of the book to write was the one titled, "Kaizen," which, loosely translated, means continuous improvements over time - meaning as long as you are moving in the right direction, no matter how small the movement, will manifest into noticeable gains. It was shortly before I wrote this chapter that I was feeling frustrated at the lack of improvement I seemed to be making, but in reality, I was improving all along. And when I realized that, it renewed my motivation to continue working towards a full recovery.


What is best writing advice you can give?

Be yourself and find your voice; the writing will flow more smoothly, and the sincerity will show.


Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Even though the ending is predictable, I hope readers will still find it compelling,and also find it inspirational, motivational, and useful.



About the book:

In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs.

“Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.



About the author:

Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California. Mr. Fujita is the author of the vampire novella, Sword of the Undead and the financial planning book, $10 A Day Towards $1,000,000. In June 2012, as a consequence of meningitis, he suffered a spinal cord injury, which temporarily left him a paraplegic. He wrote about his recovery process in a book titled Toe Up to 10K. He is currently working on his new projects representing his return to supernatural fiction.



Guest Post: Maureen Dawn Healy author of The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids

Maureen Dawn Healy, author of the book The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.






About the book:

In The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids, Maureen Healy tackles the subject of indigo children from a whole new vantage point: energy. Aimed at healers, stay-at-home moms, and parents who are struggling to understand the unique qualities of their indigo children, the book covers such topics as:
  • How indigo energy works
  • How indigos heal
  • The keys to indigo success
You will learn to see indigos from an energetic perspective--how they think, how they make decisions, what they need, how they heal, and what triggers them the most--as well as how to get them back on track, prevent meltdowns, and, ultimately, see them succeed.

The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids is a groundbreaking book that reveals how these new children operate in the world. You'll learn more about your child's energetic system, including how his/her chakras operate differently. Along with this insightful information, Maureen also provides practical tips based on her real-life work with indigo kids worldwide. She shares how to help them manage their energy better, heal from emotional upheavals more completely, and create more harmony in their lives.

Maureen shares real stories of her clients, their experiences and how they found more success with their highly sensitive, stubborn, and even defiant indigo kids.



About the author:

Maureen Healy is a practicing children's emotional health and parenting expert with more than 20 years of global experience. She writes a popular blog for Psychology Today's website, and the PBS series: This Emotional Life. Unique about Maureen is her ability to draw on her background in western science and eastern wisdom to help adults raise happier children no matter what.

More info: www.growinghappykids.com

Book Video Introduction: www.growinghappykids.com/node/55


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Post: William J. Hall author of The World's Most Haunted House

William J. Hall, author of the book The World's Most Haunted House, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.






About the book:

In this unprecedented work, the story of the 1974 Bridgeport, Connecticut poltergeist is at last revealed. A crowd of more than 2,000 onlookers gathered. National media reported jumping furniture, floating refrigerators, and attacking entities.

Decades after the publicity quieted, more than 40 hours of never-before released interviews with police officers, firefighters, and others tell the story as it actually unfolded:

  • Relive the experience, the terror, the rampant emotions, and the unexplainable events that took place in that house as they happened.
  • Have access to revealing excerpts from actual interviews, police reports,and rare documents.
  • Access unreleased audio, poltergeist sounds, and an old radio broadcast.
Return to 1974 and feel the Lindley Street experience from the inside. Find out why it is deemed the haunting that should have brought the paranormal into mainstream science.



About the author:

William J. Hall was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut,where the events of this book took place. He watched the news coverage of the Lindley Street haunting on TV when he was 10 years old.

Hall is professionally equipped to recognize trickery. After more than 25 years as a performing magician, he knows how to create and recognize illusions.

He is experienced in researching the unexplained, from folklore and urban legend to fortune telling, the pyramids, and other mysterious tales. His syndicated 1990's column "Magic and the Unknown" ran for six years in multiple local papers in his home state.

Hall has two sons and resides in Plainville, Connecticut.

For more information about The World's Most Haunted House: The True Story of the Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street please sign up for the newsletter at bill@worldsmosthauntedhouse.com and visit the official website for the book http://www.worldsmosthauntedhouse.com



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Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Post: Anders Nilsson author of The Gentle Way of the Heart

Anders Nilsson, author of the book The Gentle Way of the Heart, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.






About the book:

In The Gentle Way of the Heart, scientist Anders Nilssonpresents a perspective on how to navigate life guided by the heart. He believes that each of us has a spark of God deep within and a heart filled with Divine Light. The challenge is to stay connected to this source of vitality and transformation in the hurried and challenging circumstances of modern life.

In The Gentle Way of the Heart, Nilsson provides unique insights, exercises and meditations to launch you on a great spiritual adventure. The Gentle Way is a spiritual path for regaining a sense of who you are at a deep level. Follow its practices outlined in this book and dissolve your false self; allow your true self to blossom. The newfound light within will dispel your day-to-day fears.


A scientist who has a deep conviction of the dance of spirit in the physical universe, Nilsson shows how to create a personally unique and fulfilling life when you live moment-by-moment without expectations or fear. Read The Gentle Way of the Heartand learn how to expand your authentic, gentle, kind self from which a perspective of heart-felt acceptance and forgiveness grows. Enjoy the rewards of more harmony and love in your life.



About the author:

Anders Nilsson was born in Sweden where he has spent most of his life. He received a PhD in Physics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and has engaged in fundamental research in physics and chemistry. In 2000, he moved to California to become a Professor of Photon Science at Stanford University.

Nilsson is currently studying the fundamental properties and structure of liquid water and also chemical energy transformations on surfaces that are, for instance, related to artificial photosynthesis. He has authored or co-authored over 250 scientific papers and one scientific book.

In parallel, and independent from his role as Stanford professor, he has nurtured a strong spiritual awakening that started in the early 1990s, and that has been guided over the years by his own internal voice.

He has led numerous spiritual workshops in Sweden. This is his first spiritual book and his teaching program and upcoming events can be found on the Gentle Way website.



*This post may contain affiliate links*



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Chained by Night by Larissa Ione

Larissa Ione sets the night on fire with a thrilling new novel of irresistible hungers and immortal enemies in a world as sensual and dark as her Demonica series… 

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans. 

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?



Received for review.

I'm not a huge vampire fan but having read the first book I decided I needed to know what happened in this second volume.

While I wasn't overly impressed by the rather lackluster characters I do have to admit that the author did do a brilliant job of creating a complete world for those characters.  The mythology is well thought out and cohesive.  The problem was that I just didn't care.  Yeah, Hunter is the clan leader and yeah he has to mate with a woman he doesn't like.  Yawn.  There's a lot of angst and it's just a bit wearying after a while.

The romantic aspect left quite a bit to be desired as well.  There was just too much sex and blood and violence and no enough actual romance.  Since the romantic slant was supposed to be a selling point of the book it was rather disappointing to find that there actually wasn't any.

So, while this was well written it's just kind of blah.  If you've read the first book you'll probably enjoy this as well, but don't make this your first introduction to the author's work.  It's not a great first impression.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Book: The Boy in the Skull Mask by Justin Wilson



The Boy in the Skull Mask, by Justin Wilson: a very talented young man, with a gift for writing

Missing some mystery and adrenaline, then this is the book you’ve been waiting for. The author Justin Wilson, is a very talented young man, with a gift for writing. In spite of the fact that he was born with the Asperger’s Syndrome, he is able to do his majoring in literature and write books of great essence, like the one in the subject. His background was always connected with literature, so it is no wonder that he came to love it and appreciated and to try to enrich this world with his writings. He managed to create a book that will keep you hooked in a mysterious way. Once you have started to read the first lines, it will be extremely difficult to let go, until you will reach the end and solve the puzzle.

For any reader that enjoys occult mysteries combined with police tracking and investigation then this is the book to keep the attention focused. In fact, it is hard for any reader not to drawn in by the story, because the author has an incredible talent of composing the book in a way that it is difficult for any reader to let the book from his hands. The author places obscure clues from time to time, meant to puzzle the reader more and to make him want to turn the next page and so on, until the mystery is solved and the truth comes out to the surface.

The bait is placed right from the beginning, in the “Prologue”, where the author is narrating the small story that will turn out to be the starting motive of the book. The talent to depict every detail, from visual to acoustic, really has the property of creating inside the mind of the reader a complex scenario where the entire action takes place. Afterwards, it is a pure pleasure to follow the main character, a female detective named Renee Chavez, in her pursuit to find and put together the pieces of the puzzle, which is causing so much distress in the area. The action takes place in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, which has built its reputation over time as being a place filled with unexplained and occult activity. Although our main character is very sceptic about it, maybe because of its professional forming of always looking for the most objective approach, this point of view will be put to question by a series of events that have no logical explanation.

To even more enhance the level of mystery and incertitude, the author will place in the story an eccentric and very young hunter of supernatural phenomenon. Not being seen with good and trusty eyes by the detective Renee Chaves from the beginning, the circumstances force the two to join forces and knowledge to find out what being or creature is causing such a rise in the number of killings in the area. The combination of two characters, one with pragmatic character always with the feet firm on the ground and the other, more enigmatic and deepen into the understanding of happenings that are science fiction for most of us, is really proven to be the best recipe to create a story where reality and occult entwine.

As you will start reading the book you will notice that the style of the author is very familiar and very much in the way of young people talk to each other. So, it gives the reader the impression that one of your best friends it telling you the entire story. By choosing to use words and expressions that are commonly used in street conversation it is very easy for the author to reach a very large niche of readers, that do not require a university degree to understand the book, just a very high desire to digest some mysteries.

These days it is really hard to find a book that contains both odd happening and police activity without getting the reader bored until the end. But this book is very much apart from the others and any reader will sense that from the very beginning. After you have passed the first pages you will want to know what that creature is and where is it coming from, what are its intensions and why is it doing so much harm. We would like to tell you all about it, but it is better for you to discover the key to this dark secret.



About the book:

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has always been linked to the supernatural and occult, but until today, Detective Renee Chavez dismissed the claims as nothing more than tourist bait. 

When a murder investigation runs her afoul of supernatural creatures, she doesn't know what to make of it. 

The situation grows more complicated by the arrival of a teenaged, eccentric, supernatural hunter, here on his own agenda. 

Despite her mistrust, if she's to stop this monster before anymore innocents die, then Chavez and the enigmatic Zero Ozawa will have to combine their knowledge and work together.

Purchase the book here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1770764194



About the author:

Born with Asperger's Syndrome and a love of Japanese films and arts, writing simply seemed to come natural to Justin Wilson. Inspired by the works of the all time greats, and growing up in the literature loving state of Louisiana, Justin had more than a enough to work with. At twenty-years old, currently majoring in literature in college, he is ready to show everyone that he has what it takes to make in the world of literature, no matter the obstacle.



Review: One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

From the New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads comes a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer. 

Dr. Sheridan Doyle—a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist—is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago. 

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny—in pursuit of a killer—comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself. 

In this masterfully told psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the past and present collide to put Lost Creek’s long-lived ghosts to bed.



Received for review.

This was my first experience with the author so I wasn't sure quite what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.

I just loved Dr. Sheridan Doyle.  He was such a genuinely likable character to begin with and his interactions with his family were just so heartbreaking it made me like him even more.  I also quite liked Rafe.  He was such a nice, solid character that you couldn't help but like him.  

I really liked how the author wove the past and present together into a compelling story of intrigue and murder.  I was up well past my bedtime several nights reading the pages as fast as I could turn them.  

I definitely recommend this fascinating book to anyone looking for a fresh new take on the genre.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Guest Post: Joshua P. Warren author of It Was a Dark and Creepy Night

Joshua P. Warren, author of the book It Was a Dark and Creepy Night, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.






About the book:

There were only three rules when Joshua P. Warren began collecting these stories from around the world: they had to be true, they had to be short, and they had to send a shiver down your spine.

It Was a Dark and Creepy Night presents a wide variety of weird and spooky tales about ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, angels, demons, ESP, interdimensional contact and more. Because each tale is short, this eerie little tome is perfect for a subway ride, a plane flight, or a night entertaining guests.

An internationally respected investigator of the unknown, Joshua adds his insight to these strange experiences. Some tales are too odd to easily categorize, but each one simple or complex transformed an ordinary person's life, revealing a facet of those uncanny phenomena that still leave us wondering…what if?

Imagine if:

  • You met a strange woman who said she remembered Lincoln's funeral, then vanished . . .
  • You dreamed you were being attacked by a demon and woke up to find scratch marks across your body . . .
  • The face of the person in front of you suddenly transformed into that of a reptilian . . .
Remember: These and the many other tales in this fascinating book are true, short, and eminently creepy!



About the author:

Joshua P. Warren was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He published his first book at the age of 14. Since then, he has published more than a dozen books, and has appeared on the Travel Channel, History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery, SyFy, Animal Planet, TLC, and many more networks. He is an on-screen credited feature film consultant for Warner Brothers, and his work has been recognized by CNN, Fox News, Entertainment Weekly, Delta Sky, and the New York Times. A nationally-syndicated radio host and consultant, he owns the Asheville Mystery Museum and the popular Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours. Warren divides his time between Asheville and his Bermuda Triangle Research Base in Puerto Rico. See clips of his work at: www.JoshuaPWarren.com.



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Dark Amelia by Sally O'Reilly

A TALE OF SORCERY AND PASSION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY LONDON—WHERE WITCHES HAUNT WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND HIS DARK LADY, THE PLAYWRIGHT'S MUSE AND ONE TRUE LOVE 

The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair. 

A decade later, the Queen is dead, and Aemilia Bassano is now Aemilia Lanyer, fallen from favor and married to a fool. Like the rest of London, she fears the plague. And when her young son Henry takes ill, Aemilia resolves to do anything to save him, even if it means seeking help from her estranged lover, Will—or worse, making a pact with the Devil himself. 

In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.



Received for review.

I've been fascinated by Shakespeare's live ever since I saw the movie Shakespeare in Love so I was thrilled to read this.

I know I was supposed to care that Amelia was the England's female poet but, frankly, I didn't.  This was written with a very firm feminist view and the constant harping on gender inequality in the age was a more than a bit wearying.  However, the writing and the story itself were good enough that I was able to read this without throwing it against a wall in frustration at its political agenda.

This is really gorgeously written.  The writing has a rare quality to it that transports you into the scene like you are watching it, rather than just reading words on a page.  It evokes the feel of the time period without weighing you down with irritating Old English everywhere.

I never did like Amelia herself, although her activities were quite interesting.  I did, however, find her interactions with Shakespeare himself fascinating.  It was really interesting to see how she she him as both a man and a writer and I have to say that the Shakespeare of this book is pretty darn cool.  I'd certainly want to know him in real life.

This rather lengthy book was actually a reasonably fast read since really drew me in and kept me interested the entire time I was reading.  I never found myself counting the pages until a chapter ended as I might have expected.

So, if you can get past the rather overwhelming feminist agenda of the book this is actually a really fascinating new look at a truly amazing man and I definitely recommend it.  If you like feminist literature you'll certainly enjoy this even more.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Giveaway: Dark Amelia by Sally O'Reilly

A TALE OF SORCERY AND PASSION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY LONDON—WHERE WITCHES HAUNT WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND HIS DARK LADY, THE PLAYWRIGHT'S MUSE AND ONE TRUE LOVE

The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair.


A decade later, the Queen is dead, and Aemilia Bassano is now Aemilia Lanyer, fallen from favor and married to a fool. Like the rest of London, she fears the plague. And when her young son Henry takes ill, Aemilia resolves to do anything to save him, even if it means seeking help from her estranged lover, Will—or worse, making a pact with the Devil himself.


In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.



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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: A World Elsewhere by Sigrid MacRae

The extraordinary love story of an American blueblood and a German aristocrat—and a riveting tale of survival in wartime Germany.

Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but the singular story of her parents’ intercontinental love affair. In Paris in 1927, her mother, Aimée, raised in a wealthy Hartford family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. But the harsh reality of post-WWI Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich’s diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimée’s modest fortune. 

In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she’d left behind.



Received for review.

Despite the really rather disorienting time jumps this as actually a quite enjoyable read about life in Germany between the wars.

Of course, this isn't really about the experiences of the actual working classes in Germany, but rather that of a rich woman from the US (I am embarrassed that she is from Connecticut as it makes the rest of us in the state look bad) marrying a German aristocrat.  Their "struggles" are not really representative of those of the other 99.9% of the German population at the time.  However, despite that this is a rather engrossing read and certainly informative.

I can't say that I either like or admire Aimee.  Considering the political situation at the time travelling to Germany to marry a man and choosing to remain in such an unstable country seems to me outright selfish and irresponsible.  If you want to put yourself in danger, fine, but once she started having children (ultimately six) she really needed to grow up and think about them instead of her.  Unfortunately, her epiphany didn't come until after the war had already started.  She never would have been put in such situations had she not been a spoiled and inconsiderate brat.  

What frustrates me the most is that Aimee is portrayed as some sort of martyr when she clearly was not.  Her family had plenty of money.  She could have returned to the States at any time yet chose to remain in Germany and whine about her circumstances.  It's her fault that she waited too long to get out.  And it's offensive to compare her experiences to those who wanted to get out of the country but couldn't because they didn't have the means to do so.  She had the means but she was too stupid to take advantage of them.  She created her situation and then refused to take any sort of responsibility for it.

Overall though, this is well written and a story that is an interesting if not particularly enjoyable read.  If you are interested in the time period then this provides a unique perspective on the events.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It



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Book Excerpt: Dragonflame by Lawren Leo

Lawren Leo, author of the book Dragonflame, stopped by to share with us an excerpt from his book.






About the book:

Dragonflame is a new and powerful philosophical system that sets forth a magickal equation for achieving spiritual transformation and manifesting one's desires.

From insightful meditations and visualizations to magickal exercises and rituals, this book offers spiritual guidance, with beginners' instructions and advanced practices that will help both novices and adepts achieve transformation in an understandable and reader-friendly format.

Dragonflame will teach you how to:

  • Create talismans to tap into and control personal power.
  • Find and manifest your dreams.
  • Discover new paths for magickal and spiritual development.
  • Make your magick work in a karmically correct fashion.
  • Find and begin creating the metaphorical Philosopher's Stone.


About the author:

Lawren Leo attended Lynn University and Pepperdine University. Since then he has traveled throughout the United States, Great Britain, Western Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, studying esoteric philosophy, magickal arts, and alternative religion, and giving readings. He has been practicing Wicca and High Magick and studying Qabalah for nearly three decades. Presently, he owns a metaphysical boutique called New Moon Books, Crystals & Candles, Inc., in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he also resides. He is also contributing author and editor at the electronic magazine The Familiar and can be reached at www.newmoonbooks.org.


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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: French Roots by Jean-Pierre Moulle

A narratively rich cookbook of French and Californian recipes from longtime Chez Panisse executive chef Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Moulle.

Jean-Pierre and Denise Moullé met on a street corner in Berkeley, California, in 1980; six months later they were married. French Roots is the story of their lives told through the food they cook—beginning with the dishes of old-world France, the couple’s birthplace, and focusing on the simple, pared-down preparations of French food common in the postwar period. The story then travels to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, where Jean-Pierre was appointed executive chef at Chez Panisse when California cuisine was just emerging as a distinctive and important style, and where Denise began importing French wine. Finally, the journey follows the couple to their homes in Sonoma, California, and Bordeaux to revisit the classic dishes of the Moullés’ native country and hone the forgotten skills of foraging, hunting, and preserving. 

Exquisitely written, with recipes that are innovative and timeless, insights on cooking and thinking like a chef, and an insider’s guide to the wines of Bordeaux, French Roots is much more than a cookbook—it’s a guide to living the good life.



Received for review.

I love all things French, so I was thrilled to come across this lovely book. Of course, everyone has heard of Chez Panisse so it was especially interesting to read about the author's journey to becoming its Executive Chef.

The first thing you notice is just how much the Pierre and Denise love food and life. There is just such a joy and richness when they speak about food and cooking that transfers to the reader so you become almost as excited about it as they are while you are reading about their adventures.

This is not your typical cookbook, it's more of a story about food and the love of cooking with a few recipes thrown in than it is about a book full of recipes. That makes it an interesting read as well as a nice source of new recipes.

Most of the recipes are not overly complicated and most home cooks should be able to handle them nicely. These are recipes for those who truly love food so this is probably not for you if you are looking for something to fit into a specialty vegan or low fat diet.

This is a lovely read with lots of nice recipes and packed with gorgeous photographs. Even if you never make a single recipe it is well worth a read.

★★★★ = Really Liked It




Review: The Science of Happily Ever After by Ty Tashiro, Ph.D.

In this playful and informative exploration of the science behind how to choose a great mate, acclaimed relationship psychologist Dr. Ty Tashiro explores how to find enduring love. Dr. Tashiro translates reams of scientific studies and research data into the first book to revolutionize the way we search for love. His research pinpoints why our decision-making abilities seem to fail when it comes to choosing mates and how we can make smarter choices. 

Dr. Tashiro has discovered that if you want a lifetime of happiness—not just togetherness—it all comes down to how you choose a partner in the first place. With wit and insight, he explains the science behind finding a soul mate and distills his research into actionable tips, including: 
  • Why you get only three wishes when choosing your ideal partner. 
  • Why most people squander their wishes and end up in unfulfilling relationships. 
  • How wishing for the three traits that really matter can help you find enduring love. 
Illustrated using entertaining stories based on real-life situations and backed by scientific findings from fields such as demography, sociology, medical science and psychology, Dr. Tashiro provides an accessible framework to help singles find their happily-ever-afters.



Received for review.

Let me just start by saying that although this is supposed to be for both men and women it's clearly not.  It's really about women making intelligent decisions because it's actually women who need to change to find a husband.  I'm not trying to be mean, that's just the way it is.  The author does a good job of explaining the phenomenon with a great deal of supporting scientific evidence, but what it all boils down to is that women need to be less picky.  Men, not so much.  This really isn't a surprise, considering the book is published by Harlequin, but still.

I really liked the author's honesty and friendly writing style.  He's like the best friend everyone wants to have who will tell you the truth no matter what.  Oddly enough, after all his research, he still does believe in a happily ever after - for some people.

So, if you want the scientific evidence to reinforce what everyone already knows - that the Harrys of the world really do end up with the Charlottes - then this is perfect reading for you and I certainly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Lydia's Party by Margret Hawkins

An exquisite and profound tale for fans of Anne Tyler and Anna Quindlen 

Glowingly reviewed everywhere from O, The Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping to sites across the blogosphere, Lydia’s Party sparks “a-ha” moments and heartfelt conversations about friendship, regrets, and ambitions. Margaret Hawkins’s earlier books, all published by small presses, have gained her a devoted following, but this gem of a novel will introduce her to the wider audience she deserves. 

Lydia is hosting her “Bleak Midwinter Bash,” a late Christmas party that has become an annual tradition. Her guests—six friends who bonded twenty years ago over art, dogs, and their budding careers and romances—think they know everything about one another, but tonight Lydia prepares to shock them with a devastating announcement.



Received for review.

This was a nicely written book about friendship but it was a bit cluttered and I was overwhelmed for the first part of the book just trying to keep track of all the characters.  It was, frankly, exhausting.  By the second part things sort of settled in and I was able to enjoy the book a bit more.

I have to say that I didn't particularly either care for or connect with any of the women.  Perhaps this was because there were just so many of them packed into a single book, or perhaps it was just because they weren't particularly likable to begin with.  In any case, that missing bit took away most of the joy from reading the book.

While this was an interesting read, and certainly well written, and I could see the care the author had put into her work it just did nothing for me.  It was good, but not great and did not leave a lingering impression of any kind - good or bad.  It's definitely worth a try though. 

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giveaway: Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert

Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Nothumbria, England

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin’s usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure—the missionary Paulinus— who prophesies that he will ascend to greater heights than any of his forefathers.


Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.


This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade—and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.


The dramatic story of Northumbria’s Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.



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Review: The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

A stirring novel of first love in a time of war and the unbearable choices that could tear sisters apart, from the celebrated author of The Kommandant's Girl 

Life is a constant struggle for the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn't be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day. 

Then Helena discovers an American paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive. Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam—a Jew—but Helena's concern for the American grows into something much deeper. Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee. But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all—and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.



Received for review.

Pam Jenoff always does an amazing job of fully immersing readers in the world of her characters and this is another brilliant experience.

The story is so raw and haunting that it just kept me reading long past my bedtime several nights.  Even though I never really identified with either Helena or Ruth I was quite pleased by the outcome of both their stories.  I thought the author handled a heartbreaking situation beautifully and rather unexpectedly.  It was interesting to see how each twin developed and the final chapter, which revealed their ultimate fates, was deeply satisfying.

I definitely highly, highly recommend this not only to historical fiction fans but to those who just want enjoy a really good story that happens to be set in the 1940s.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

Henry Lambert would rather play video games than spend time in the great outdoors—but that doesn't make him a wuss. Skinny nerd? Fine. But wuss is a little harsh. Sadly, his dad doesn't agree. Which is why Henry is being shipped off to Strongwoods Survival Camp. 

Strongwoods isn't exactly as advertised. It looks like the victim of a zombie apocalypse, the "camp director" is a psycho drill sergeant, and Henry's sure he saw a sign written in blood...

Wilderness Survival Tip #1 
Drinking your own sweat will not save your life. Somebody might have told you that, but they were trying to find out if you'd really do it. 

Wilderness Survival Tip #2 
In case of an avalanche, don't despair. You're doomed, but that's a wicked cool death. 

Wilderness Survival Tip #3 
If you're relying on this book for actual survival tips, you're dead already. 



ARC received for review.

Really, how could I pass up a book about a nerdy guy attending a military style survival camp?  Just reading the book description made me laugh so I knew it would be good - and it was!

The story was genuinely funny and I loved reading about Henry's various adventures at camp.  I actually found myself chuckling out loud at points - it was that funny.  The whole thing is just crazy and funny and an excellent read.  

I also loved the Wilderness Survival Tip provided at the end of each chapter.  Two of my favorites were:  "Always bring a first-aid kit that contains bandages, antiseptic, and a surgeon's operating table." and "If a bear is chasing you, you don't have to outrun the bear.  You just have to outrun the person you're with.  Always bring a slow-running relative for just such an occasion."

This is an absolutely wonderful, funny, perfect for summer read and I highly, highly recommend it to all ages.  I am definitely looking forward to the author's future releases.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Giveaway: Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore




Despair. 
Hope. 
Love. 
Murder. 
Betrayal. 
Mystery. 
Blackmail. 
Romance.

In 1820, a young woman embarks on a journey for a better life in America. She brings with her a three year old son, and plans to live with relatives she has never met in Philadelphia. Her loving husband remains in Ireland, taking in boarders and working the farm to save money for his departure.


Along the way, Jane realizes she is pregnant, then soon is told she is expected to pay rent, and work in a factory. Her new boss begins to sexually assault her, convincing her that a pregnant Irish woman would never find work. She turns to her priest with no results. She is trapped!



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Review: Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore




Despair. 
Hope. 
Love. 
Murder. 
Betrayal. 
Mystery. 
Blackmail. 
Romance.

In 1820, a young woman embarks on a journey for a better life in America. She brings with her a three year old son, and plans to live with relatives she has never met in Philadelphia. Her loving husband remains in Ireland, taking in boarders and working the farm to save money for his departure.


Along the way, Jane realizes she is pregnant, then soon is told she is expected to pay rent, and work in a factory. Her new boss begins to sexually assault her, convincing her that a pregnant Irish woman would never find work. She turns to her priest with no results. She is trapped!



Received for review.

This had an interesting premise but was ultimately a bit of a disappointment.

I wanted to feel for Jane and I know that a woman in the 1800s is different from a modern woman but she was just so stereotypical that she was hard to feel anything for.  An immigrant having to work long hours in a factory, being harassed by her employer, and living without her husband because they couldn't leave their homeland for a better life together.  Yawn.  I really spent most of the time reading this wanting to smack Jane and tell her to get it together and stop her incessant whining.  And, really, I was a bit disappointed with the author for dragging sexual harassment into the book.  It was just overkill and completely unnecessary.

The book was well written and did bring Jane's world to life for the reader, for better or worse.

If you're a dedicated historical fiction fan with a feminist spin you will certainly appreciate the historical detail provided and may enjoy the story.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay



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Monday, September 15, 2014

Author Interview: Mike Robertson author of The Pizza, the Peach, and the Platypus

Mike Robertson, author of the book The Pizza, the Peach, and the Platypus: Creating Your Life of Wonder, stopped by for an interview.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm a speaker, author, musician and storyteller from Austin, Texas. My wife Lisa and I have been married for almost 27 years and we have one daughter, Lindsey, who currently lives in New York where she's writing and doing comedy at the Upright Citizen's Brigade.


What do you do when you're not writing?

Writing is not my full-time job, nor would I want it to be the only thing I did. I'm a professional speaker, a member of the National Speakers Association. That is probably the most fulfilling thing I do, standing in front of an audience, could be a dozen, could be three thousand‚ and saying something that makes them laugh, maybe cry, and, hopefully, be inspired to make changes that can lead to amazing new paths.


When did your first start writing?

I wrote a little bit in school, but then I didn't do anything longer than a letter for quite a few years. My first book was a collection of short, humorous-but-inspiring essays, sort of like newspaper columns. For the next book, though, I decided to write a historical novel about the birth of the movie business. That was a great experience. I set a quota of three pages a day and in a couple of months, I was rather amazed at the amount of work I'd produced. That novel ended up being 101,000 words, and I am very proud of it, both as a story and as an achievement. I learned so much! The story went in directions I never foresaw and even I was surprised how it ended up. It's thrilling when your characters start to become real to you.


Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I was a voracious reader, starting very early. The authors who influenced me most were those who knew that the story is the main thing. I don't like paragraph after paragraph describing the wallpaper and the gentle breeze wafting hauntedly through the‚ never mind! I was impressed with people like Elmore Leonard and William Goldman, writers who got you into the story immediately and then you were hooked.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

The Pizza, the Peach & the Platypus is a book about creativity. That's the topic I speak about in most of my speaking engagements. I'm convinced that most people are stuck at a place in their lives where they stop dreaming, stop believing that there is another level they could reach. So I share with audiences a three-part formula on how to start thinking in a more creative way. When you do that, awesome new possibilities spring up that were never visible before. To illustrate this formula, I share true stories from my life, times when I changed my thinking and wondrous things occurred: a complete career change at the age of 35; how I proposed to my wife in a most creative and unusual way; and even how I managed to lose 75 pounds last year, when I decided to see if even dieting could be done creatively. Short answer: Yes!

After I did this speech, people often asked if I had a book on the same subject; they wanted something to take away with them, something they could revisit later, or share with a friend. So I finally sat down and expanded the content of the speech into this book, adding many additional stories about creative adventures I've had.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Since the book is full of very personal stories, it's hard to choose one. But the story of my proposal and engagement is one that always charms audiences.


What is best writing advice you can give?

For me, it was difficult to get over the feeling that you're writing something that a teacher is going to grade. That causes you to write in a tone that's not natural or comfortable. Instead, try writing something you'd like to read yourself. The vast majority of your audience will NEVER write anything; don't let them intimidate you and keep you from creating something unique and beautiful.
The other tip is to have some sort of discipline. That's not my strong suit, but it's the only way I can produce a book. For this book, I tried to do 1500 words a day. Once I got some momentum, I actually did over 4000 words on a day or two. But without a quota or benchmark, I can procrastinate endlessly.


Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

As I said earlier, it's all about creativity. For that reason, there are a couple of little bonuses within the book. You'll be able to see (and hear) pertinent details from that proposal story. And there's a hidden message in the book that will lead observant readers on a little treasure hunt‚ with a cool prize if they solve it.

It's not a dry, scholarly treatise on being creative; it's a batch of fun stories which can help you awaken that dreamer who is dormant within you. Life is art. Make your mark!



About the book:

If your life were a story, would it be a good read? 

If you're unsure, Mike Robertson reminds you that you are the author of this story and that it is never too late to write a better life for yourself. 

The Pizza, the Peach & the Platypus is a charming book about creativity and the benefits it can bring to every aspect of your life. Robertson uses entertaining, true personal stories from his own life to illustrate many of the possible changes that can enrich your life, too. 

With a simple, three-part formula, you will learn how to use your own innate abilities to become more creative, to solve problems in novel ways, to live a much happier, exciting life. Never stodgy or academic, The Pizza, the Peach & the Platypus is a fun read that will motivate and equip the reader to achieve new heights in business, relationships and even in personal health.



About the author:

Mike Robertson is a professional speaker, writer, musician, and storyteller based in Austin, Texas. He speaks to audiences of all types, sharing his passion for creativity and providing keys for listeners to unlock and enhance their own creative powers. His presentations are also famous for the artistic and surprising visuals which he creates to accompany his words. The design of these items owes much to over 20 years experience as a professional graphic designer. After a presentation to an audience of professional speakers in which Mike shared many of his tips and techniques for creating amazing slides, he began a series of short video podcasts called ClickStarters--available on iTunes and YouTube--which will inspire and excite anyone who uses slide presentations.



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Review: High as Horses' Bridles by Scott Cheshire

It’s 1980 at a crowded amphitheater in Queens, New York and a nervous Josiah Laudermilk, age 12, is about to step to the stage while thousands of believers wait to hear him, the boy preaching prodigy, pour forth. Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, Josiah’s nerves shake away and his words come rushing out, his whole body fills to the brim with the certainty of a strange apocalyptic vision. But is it true prophecy or just a young believer’s imagination running wild? Decades later when Josiah (now Josie) is grown and has long since left the church, he returns to Queens to care for his father who, day by day, is losing his grip on reality. Barreling through the old neighborhood, memories of the past—of his childhood friend Issy, of his first love, of the mother he has yet to properly mourn—overwhelm him at every turn. When he arrives at his family’s old house, he’s completely unprepared for what he finds. How far back must one man journey to heal a broken bond between father and son? 



ARC received for review.

I'd heard good things about this so I was intrigued enough to give it a try.  It was interesting, but I wouldn't particularly call it good.

The story of a father and son coming together at the end of the father's life was pretty standard.  The father didn't approve of the son, they spent years apart, then they reconcile when the father is dying.  What sets this apart is that the entire thing is soaked with religion.  It's everywhere.  Seriously, from the very first page to the last it's nothing but God, church, bible references, etc.  I know this religious aspect was supposed to be a selling point for the book but it really wasn't for me.  It was just too heavy handed and left me irritated more than anything.  It really took away from the story rather than adding to it.

I didn't particularly either like or care about the characters either.  I just didn't care one way or the other what happened to them.  I wasn't excited or saddened by any of their experiences because there was just no emotional connection at all with them.  It was actually a bit of a let down.

While this is very well written and an interesting story about the relationship between a father and son it's really only intended for those with an affinity for religion.  If that's not you then it's probably best to give this a pass.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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