Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: Farewell My Loves by Amber Farman

In the aftermath of hearing the words metastatic breast cancer , Meredith Mathews devises a plan to start the ball rolling on her impending departure. As a selfless, devoted wife and mother, she believes that finding her replacement will help her family heal more quickly after she passes. When an unexpected friendship grows deeper than she imagined it ever could, she begins to question all that she believes in. Farewell My Loves is a love story about our undying need for human connections. It traverses a maze of boundaries and challenges inherent in living a life unscripted, bent on not conforming to the desires of others.

Received for review.

Despite being incredibly depressing this was a very well written story.

I didn't actually like any of the characters and I found the switching from character to character with each chapter more than a little disorienting.  However, the story was incredibly well written and that alone kept me reading.

I found myself thinking over and over again while reading "This is is f****d up!" but I couldn't put it down.  Really, a woman dying of cancer tries to find a new wife and mother for her husband and children only to discover that she has a ... unique relationship with the candidate.  It's just so messed up.  It's not quite V.C. Andrews territory but it's still soap opera "OMFG!  What?!" worthy.

This is certainly not for everyone, but if you do give it a try I can assure you that you will, at the very least, have spent some time with a book that you can't wait to discuss with your friends and family.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Raine by J.C. Valentine





Raine Forester was an average girl leading an average life. She slipped beneath everyone's radar, until Camron Moss, the most popular guy in school, took interest in her and changed everything. Some acts are unforgivable. Raine thought she'd been accepted. She thought she was one of them. She thought she was in love... until one moment made her realize she'd trusted the wrong person. Lies are told, hearts get broken, secrets are revealed, and sometimes, true love is found in the least likely places.

Received for review.

This sounded intriguing and I wanted to like it more than I did but it unfortunately was not a truly enjoyable read.

This was ultimately formulaic in that Raine is seduced by the popular guy only to discover that he's a jerk.  I gather we're supposed to feel for the Mandy Moore-esque Raine but she really just annoyed me.  I mean, come on.  Just when you think she can't get any stupider she does.  She keeps putting herself in ridiculous situations and then is surprised when something bad happens.  I just wanted to smack her.

The writing was good and, apart from some glaring proofreading errors (the "peeks" of her breasts rather than "peaks"), this was a decent read.  If you enjoy rather far fetched teen drama then this would be an excellent choice but otherwise I really cannot recommend it.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Book: The Last Exit by Darlene Cox

About the book:

When children commit crimes, it is often the families who pay the highest price. Most parents wish the best for their children when they are born. That's what being a parent is all about. Unfortunately, that isn't always how things turn out. The lives of three families will forever be changed when a young teacher is found dead at a popular lakeside resort near the small town of Galvin, Texas. It was nearing the end of the school year for the senior class of Galvin High School; Senior Sneak was being held at Lake Winona on a sunny day in June. What started as a perfect day turned ugly when the battered body of one of the female chaperones was found dead in the woods abutting the lake. Lying beside her on the ground was Carl Marshall, Jr. ("Junior"), his body covered in her blood. Despite the absence of clear and convincing evidence that he was guilty of the crime, Junior was immediately taken into custody and charged with Homicide in the First Degree. No further investigation was conducted. Once the state had Junior in its sights, the game was over. Texas justice moved quickly. Junior was a minor child, barely seventeen years of age when a Mason County jury sentenced him to die. After fifteen years of appeals, all of which were rejected, his last chance to escape death by electrocution is commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment. Who will pay the highest price as this young man faces the last exit?

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Book: Ask Bob by Peter Gethers

About the book:

A wise, witty, sometimes heartbreaking love story about a pet doctor who discovers that the best relationships are often the most surprising 

Dr. Robert Heller is one of New York City’s leading veterinarians, and his “Ask Dr. Bob” advice column is hugely popular among pet-lovers. Yet Dr. Bob understands animals a lot better than people, and he definitely could use some advice of his own—especially when it comes to his family. His father is angry and controlling, his mother is nearly invisible, and his brother seems bent on destroying not just his own life but the lives of everyone around him. As for Bob’s wife, Anna, she is all but perfect, assuming one can ignore her own colorful but deeply dysfunctional clan. And then, just when Bob thinks he’s figured out what it takes to thrive in the human world as comfortably as he does among cats, dogs, and hamsters, tragedy strikes. How can he go on living when he is suddenly, soul-killingly alone? 

In previous books, Peter Gethers has written charming true tales about what a man can learn from a beloved cat. Now he ventures into new territory with a funny, touching novel about a pet doctor who finds out what it means to be human, and what a family must do to truly become a family. Full of unforgettable characters, Ask Bob will remind everyone that sometimes we need a lot more than love to make the world go around—but that love is an awfully good place to start.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Legally Tied by Chelsea Dorsette

**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual content. 

When prosecuting attorney Nick Olson meets interior designer Lyndsay Welch, both of their lives are turned upside down in ways they would never have imagined. 

Not long after Lyndsay is introduced to sex parties and erotic lingerie shops by her best friend, she finally submits to her sexual desires for Nick which she had been vehemently trying to deny since they met. 

While being breathlessly swept away by this handsome and powerful attorney, little did Lyndsay know, her life would soon be turned upside down by a senseless murder, a violent kidnapping, a tragic death, and a devastating break up. 

Unable to face any more grief, Lyndsay moves to the quiet little seaside town of Bristol, Rhode Island to get a fresh start. Just as things are starting to finally quiet down, an unexpected visit from someone in her past comes knocking at her door, changing the course of her life...forever

Received for review.

This was really one of the more depressing "erotica" novels that I've ever read.  While it certainly was saturated with sex it also had some frankly bizarre moments with a kidnapping and beating.  It was just so strange.  Erotica is supposed to be light and fun and this just dragged me down.

What brought this from three stars to two though was the pregnancy issue.  

Spoiler Alert!

The couple breaks up because the woman says she does not want children - for some complicated reason due to losing her mother at an early age.  Then the guy decides to get back together with her anyway, resigning himself to never having children only to discover that, oh my god, the girl has changed her mind and is now pregnant.  Her pregnancy was her wedding "gift" to the guy.  Um, yeah.  The whole thing is just so screwed up I was ready to throw the damn book against a wall.  So, like every other author (and 99.9% of women), the author just had to ruin everything by having the girl change her mind about children.  It would have been infinitely better had the story just played out without the pregnancy.  It was just that depressing.  It was seriously just as disappointing to read about as when you saw Diane Keaton hook up with Jack Nicholson instead of Keanu Reeves in Something's Gotta Give.  I really found myself hoping that I had fallen asleep and that the horrible plot twist had never happened.

Overall, if you want standard chick lit mixed with lots of sex then this is for you.  If you're looking for actual erotica then you may want to look elsewhere.  I really cannot recommend this at all.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Rules for Riders by Natalie Scott

Rules for Riders is a fast and furious coming of age novel set in the world of equestrian riding. After a near fatal riding accident, Bebe Barkley is banned from riding and sent off to boarding school. There, she meets her roommate and fellow equestrian rider, Finn Foxley. The girls devise a scheme to get themselves kicked out of boarding school in order to return to the world that they love. Once back on the circuit, former friends become deadly rivals. 

Enter Bebe's handsome trainer, Billy O'Reilly who will reinforce seven rules for riders in order for her to successfully compete. Through a series of tragic events, both girls are forced to abandon their dreams of Olympic gold. Bebe ventures down a dark road of self-destruction as she breaks every rule Billy taught her, only to be forced to relearn them in order to reclaim her life. Rules For Riders is a tale of lost dreams and the struggle to create new ones.

Received for review.

I started this thinking it was going to be a rather upbeat book about a girl who loved horses but that was not the case.  Bebe does not love horses.  She loves the thrill of riding but not the horses themselves.  She just likes the adrenaline rush, which she could get from doing anything else.

The chapters are fairly short - just a few pages at most - which make for nice pausing points, but they also make for extremely choppy reading.  There are seriously 75 chapters in just over two hundred pages.  It's a bit much.

The characters are annoying at best and vile at worst and remind me of the nasty characters in Gossip Girl.  It's a world of money, luxury, and beautiful people feeling sorry for themselves and hurting others.

Overall, if you enjoy reading about obnoxious people a la Gossip Girl you will thoroughly enjoy this.  If not, then give it a pass as you will find it more than a bit frustrating.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: Plus One by Christopher Noxon

“Plus One is a smart and funny novel about Hollywood, but where it truly shines is in Noxon's stunning and painfully accurate depiction of the complex rhythms and growing pains of a marriage.” — Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go "

Well observed, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny, Plus One tells a story from the inside of show business about being on the outside."— Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men

Christopher Noxon's debut novel Plus One is a comedic take on bread-winning women and caretaking men in contemporary Los Angeles. Alex Sherman-Zicklin is a mid-level marketing executive whose wife's fourteenth attempt at a TV pilot is produced, ordered to series, and awarded an Emmy. Overnight, she's sucked into a mad show-business vortex and he's tasked with managing their new high-profile Hollywood lifestyle. He falls in with a posse of Plus Ones, men who are married to women whose success, income, and public recognition far surpasses their own. What will it take for him to regain the foreground in his own life? 

Christopher Noxon is an accomplished journalist who has written for such publications as the New Yorker, Details, Los Angeles Magazine, Salon, and the New York Times Magazine; his first book, Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-Up (Crown), earned him interviews on such shows as the Colbert Report and Good Morning America and generated features in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Talk of the Nation; Ira Glass of This American Life called the book "an eye-opener." Noxon happens to be married to a top TV writer/producer and does the school chauffeuring for their three children, so he knows whereof he speaks regarding Plus Ones. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Received for review.

Very, very rarely do I come across a book that makes me laugh so hard that my Starbucks comes out my nose but this managed it.  Once scene involving a medical procedure had me laughing so hard I actually had tears flowing down my face.  Seriously, it was that funny.

From the very first page you can't help but love Alex.  He's such a great character.  He's just so incredibly real and fun and someone you'd actually like to know in real life.  He actually reminded me a bit of Marshall on How I Met Your Mother as played by Jason Segel.  Crazy stuff just seems to happen to Alex on a regular basis and you just enjoy seeing how he's going to resolve the latest situation.

This is the guy equivalent of Bridget Jones's Diary.  It was seriously that good.  I want another book by the author and I want it now!  I definitely highly recommend this pure awesomeness!

★★★★★ = Loved It

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Featured Book: When I Grow Up I Want to Be in the U.S. Army! by Wigu Publishing

About the book:
When Jake's teacher assigns a "career" project, Jake decides he wants to be a soldier in the United States Army. Jake and his father visit an Army surplus store to find items he can use to present his project. As they search the store, each item makes the history and proud spirit of the U.S. Army come to life for Jake and readers alike. Through Jake's discoveries, readers are introduced to the history of the U.S. Army, what soldiers' duties include, and the equipment they use. "As an educator, I am highly impressed with this motivating, engaging, and very informative Wigu book about America's Armed Forces. Families and teachers will find the book's content and lively illustrations to be both positive and very well expressed. Well done!" -Helene J. Sherman, Ed.D., Professor, Associate Dean for Educator Preparation, University of Missouri-St. Louis

About the author:

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Author Interview: Judith Haimes and NanC Hensley authors of The Hand of Karma

Judith Haimes and NanC Hensley, authors of The Hand of Karma, stopped by for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Despite an eleven year age gap, my sister NanC and I are best friends and always have been. We have shared all of the ups and downs that families experience and supported each other through the good and the bad.

What do you do when you're not writing?

When we're not writing, NanC and I are involved in the entertainment industry. NanC produces Rock N Roll shows, and I work more behind the scenes. Nanc is a licensed hypnotherapist and enjoys helping her patients overcome their adversities. We both love to travel, and over many years have been involved in police work as professional psychics.

When did your first start writing?

I published my first article in Fate Magazine when I was sixteen years old, and have been writing ever since. I was a columnist for Creators Syndicate on Recovering from Grief. NanC has been writing for most of her life.

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

For me, it is Margaret Mitchell. She paints vivid pictures with words. NanC has so many favorites, to name one would be like picking a favorite child.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

We began writing Hand of Karma after NanC received the news that she had stage 3 breast cancer. The women in our family are very strong, but we needed a diversion from concentrating on the negative aspects of cancer. We decided to write a book based on what we know. The extensive work we did with several police agencies gave us a wealth of source material.

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

My favorite part of the book is the ending because it shows the reality of karma. Everything you do comes back on you one way or the other, for good or ill.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Don't give up your dream or the passion to write. Sometimes the hardest part is writing that first rough draft. Focus on getting your ideas on paper. Write from your heart and use your past experiences.

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

We hope that you'll enjoy reading this book as much as we enjoyed writing it. Hand of Karma is a fast read; you can pick it up at the airport in New York and be finished by the time you land in California. However, it also makes you think twice about how your actions ripple out into the world, and how those ripples will find their way back to you.

About the book:

“The Hand Of Karma”  a thriller written by sisters NanC Hensley and Judith Haimes was an idea born from a devastating life event.  Hensley had just found out she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer, when she broke the news to her sister, the pair decided to write as a form of therapy.  Started during Hensley’s chemotherapy sessions, under the pen name “Haimes Hensley”, the two sisters and best friends journeyed through the ordeal of cancer together and created a serial killer by proxy thriller that has left readers begging for more.

The book has been hailed as a “must read” and “hard to put down” by readers and critics alike.  The story takes readers through the skillful manipulation of a psychotic man by a brilliant and emotionally warped woman. Allison Rogers, a psychic, picks up clues through contact with a place where one of his crimes was committed, but she is unable to convince the unbelieving police that her vision represents real events. Angered by the refusal of the police investigators to accept what she tries to tell them about the killer, she resolves to put the crime out of her mind and concentrate on her project of exposing false psychics who prey on gullible people eager for easy answers to their problems. But that project crosses the killer's trail, and Allison is caught up in a web of events that make her a target of the killer.

About the authors:

Judith Haimes worked with law enforcement as a consultant. She is a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the national writer's organization--Sisters in Crime. She was a syndicated columnist and is the subject of the book, Judith. She resides in Clearwater, Florida with her husband.

Nan C Hensley is a member of Sisters in Crime--a national writer's organization, worked as a consultant with law enforcement, and has been aClinical Hypnotherapist since 1992. She has published numerous articles on the topic of metaphysics. She currently lives in Pinellas County, Florida.

Review: Five Days by Matt Micros

After a particularly frustrating day at work, high school math teacher, Mike Postman's afternoon walk along the Connecticut shoreline is interrupted by the screams of a boy who has fallen in off the pier and can't swim. Mike dives into the cold waters, saving the boy, but drowning himself in the process. And yet, because of the heroic way he died, he is given the opportunity to go back and re-live any five days of his life. They can be days he enjoyed and wants to re-experience, or days in which he had regrets and wants to make amends. The days he chooses, end up not being just days that impacted his life, but also days that had an impact on history. Reminding us where we were during events both inspiring and tragic, Five Days forces you to ask yourself, "Which days would you choose?"

Received for review.

This was an incredibly deep and touching book and certainly very thought provoking.  The main character's choice of days (including 9/11) was genuinely interesting and made me think of which days I would choose if given the chance.

This beautifully written book is full of emotion and heart and alternately leaves you smiling and brings you to tears.  It's truly a must read and I definitely highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

Fiction. Mystery. Ben Jones, the protagonist of James Anderson's haunting debut novel, THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER (Caravel Books, 2015), is on the verge of losing his small trucking company. A single, thirty-eight-year-old truck driver, Ben's route takes him back and forth across one of the most desolate and beautiful regions of the Utah desert. The orphan son of a Native American father and a Jewish social worker, Ben is drawn into a love affair with a mysterious woman, Claire, who plays a cello in the model home of an abandoned housing development in the desert. Her appearance, seemingly out of nowhere, reignites a decades-old tragedy at a roadside café referred to by the locals as The Never-Open Desert Diner. The owner of the diner, Walt Butterfield, is an embittered and solitary old man who refuses to yield to change after his wife's death.

ARC received for review.

I wasn't sure at first what to expect of this novel.  I was, frankly, expecting a rather run of the mill fluffy cozy mystery with a male main character instead of the usual female but this was so much more.

There is a mystery component, and certainly more than bit of romance, but there's also a deep, quite beautiful story of a man's struggle in life.  You really feel for Ben as he worries about his livelihood and future.  There's just something about him and the way he is written that makes you really connect with him and genuinely care about him.

Overall this was a very well written book full of heartbreak and struggle.  It's not happy, upbeat, or light but it's definitely an engrossing and fulfilling read and I certainly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Featured Book: Skinny Little Tree by Jayme Martin

About the book:
"All the seasons are worth living..." "May Skinny Little Tree, Wiggly Worms, and Little Leaves remind you that all the seasons of life are worth living."

About the author:

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Cookie's Case by Andy Siegel

Tug Wyler is embroiled in the mysterious medical malady of a sexy stripper who slipped on a banana peel during her signature act 

Cookie, an angel in stiletto heels, is by far the most popular performer at Jingles Dance Bonanza. To her devoted audience, she’s a friend, therapist, and shoulder to cry on, all rolled into one. While meeting an old pal at the club, Tug doesn’t expect to pick up a new client but quickly realizes the gallant Cookie—dancing in a neck brace, each leg kick potentially her last—is in need of a committed champion. 

Righting wrongs is never a simple task for Tug, a sharp-witted and unorthodox trial lawyer who repeatedly finds himself in the middle of unusual cases and causes. But that doesn’t stop him from trying. Believing that Cookie is the victim of a spine surgeon with a sloppy touch, Tug takes her case. But as he seeks both medical remedy and a fair shake for Cookie, he realizes—a tad too late—that sinister sights are now trained on him. In Cookie’s Case, this offbeat attorney will go farther for justice than he ever has before.

ARC received for review.

This was my first experience with the author and his character, Tug Wyler, so I wasn't sure quite what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.

This was very well written and just zipped right along.  I found myself vaguely surprised when I got to the end and realized that it was over so quickly.  It was like discovering that you just ate the last potato chip in the bag but that you still want more.

Tug was a fun character and I found myself genuinely liking him.  I especially enjoyed his conversation with his wife about her Candy Crush Saga addiction.

Overall, while the actual case wasn't overly enthralling Tug and the other characters made it enjoyable.  This is a light, fast read that legal mystery fans are sure to enjoy and I certainly recommend it.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Author Interview: Jim West author of Libellus de Numeros

Jim West, author of Libellus de Numeros, stopped by today for an interview.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I am a Cyber Security Expert working for the US Military overseas. It keeps me quite busy needless to say.

When did your first start writing?

I started the story over a decade ago, but left it for many years. I picked it back up last summer. I am happy I did follow it through.

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

Jules Verne and Alexander Lloyd. Their books were simply magical to me from a science fiction and fantasy perspective as a young reader.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

My two daughters. They both are part of this story in many ways. The main character of Alex is based upon them both.

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

The first chapter I completely wrote and has hardly changed a bit since it was written is 'Honor and Punishment'. I felt that chapter captured exactly the vision I had in my mind.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Follow through with your story. Finish it no matter how 'bad' you think the writing is. Just to get to 'The End' is a significant accomplishment that many never reach. More people say I would LIKE to write a book, or I have an idea...but it is an entirely different thing to actually put in the hours, the restless nights, the cases of writer's block, etc to see it all the way through.

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

Young readers should know that this book, much like real life doesn't always have super happy endings. Also every ending is another beginning. This is just the first book of four in my series and the next will be out by this Summer. Keep in touch with the series on the website at MagicaeMathematica.com, or social media on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About the book:

What is the missing variable?

Alex, a young precocious girl, mysteriously gets transported to a strange world where Latin and Math combine in formulas and equations with magical effects. With a cruel council leading the only safe city of its kind in this world, she will have to prove her worth to stay as well as help this city as it is the target for two evil wizards who seek to destroy the city and its ruling council.

Will the council's mighty army of guardians be enough to repel the onslaught of the two wizards' wrath?

To help the city and also get back home, she will need the help of the greatest mathematician of all time, Archimedes. In a world where math is magic, Alex wishes she paid more attention in math class.

About the author:

Jim West was born in Killeen, TX in 1977 and grew up mostly in central Louisiana. For over 18 years he has worked in the Cyber Security field and came up with the ideas and concept for the Magicae Mathematica series about a decade ago. His first book of the series, Libellus de Numeros, is one he hopes will resonate with its young readers. Jim is a father of two SMART and beautiful girls whom he loves dearly and when he himself is not away 'saving the world' they live in Dubai, UAE with his wonderful wife Eman.

Featured Book: Discovering the It Factor within You by Leesa Rowland

About the book:

Why do some people walk into a room and instantly command everyone’s attention and admiration, while others go unnoticed?

What makes the difference?

The answer is the “It 
factor,” an inner, positive light that illuminates the darkness and dispels the negative.

The vibrant sunshine of 
charisma resides within every individual soul, just waiting to be revealed— and this book is your first step toward discovering your own bright light!

About the author:

Leesa Rowland is an actress and animal advocate who went from the family ranch in Texas to the bright lights in Hollywood and New York.  After earning her broadcast journalism degree at Texas Tech, Leesa went to Los Angeles to study acting at the Stella Adler Studios.  She has had a successful career in acting, and has a vast cult following for her roles predominantly in horror movies.  She is primarily known for her role as Victoria in Troma Entertainment’s “Class of Nuke ‘Em High,” parts 2 and 3, Starz Channel’s “Return to Nuke ‘Em High” and as Phyllis in Travis Campbell’s thriller “Slaughter Daughter.”

Leesa is a people person; she enjoys identifying one’s prime assets and attributes.  As a result, she is now sharing her wisdom to help others discover their inner stars in her new book Discovering the It Factor within You.  She invites readers on a compelling journey through her past and her contemplative path to self-discovery.

In addition to her professional work, Leesa’s most proud accomplishment is being the founder and president of the nonprofit organization,Animal Ashram, an animal welfare group located in New York City.  Leesa is also active on the New York City charity circuit and is predominantly supportive of children, victims of domestic violence and animal causes.  She has studied method acting, yoga, spirituality, charisma, Buddhism, and metaphysics for over twenty years.

Review: Next! by Barbara Summers

Since launching her professional matchmaking business in 1986, Barbara Summers has engineered the match for hundreds of married couples. In Next! A Matchmaker’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right, Ditching Mr. Wrong, and Everything In Between, Barbara extends her expertise to all women who want to find—and keep—the right guy. 

In her high-spirited guide to finding love, Barabara claims there are many “someones” for everyone. In a world of rich possibilities no woman should ever buy into the mentality that she’s unworthy of love, or feel she must settle for less than she wants, or stay in a relationship when the love is gone. 

Readers are invited to begin their search by creating a “Dream Match List” of Must-Haves, Nice-to-Haves, and Deal Breakers. While exploring the do’s and don’ts of dating, Barbara shares stories of her experiences with clients and her own (many) marriages. We learn the red flags of potential disasters and ways to recover from heart-wrenching breakups. And if we suddenly feel ready to make the leap into marriage, she recommends turning to the Marriage Practicality Checklist to help us decide if we’ve really found a good match. 

From what to expect on a first date to when to call it quits, Barbara delivers thoughtful instruction with humor and generosity. Most of all, she never wants a woman to be “stuck.” This won’t happen if we follow her advice: be fearless and know when to say “Next!”

Received for review.

From the very first page you can tell that the author really does want the best for the reader and that she does want you to get married.  Despite the absurdity of it she truly believes that there is not only one right person for everyone, but possibly several - as in not just The One, but The One, and The One, and The One.  It seems a little optimistic at best to think that everyone can meet the right person and get married if she so desires.  

However, the author follows her "believe it and he will manifest" theory in the very next chapter with the stipulation that while you can have everything you want you shouldn't ask for too much because you're too high maintenance.

Among the things that disturbed me the most was that the author believes that women should not have cats if they want to get married because men don't like cats.  This was on top of the recommendations to exercise, diet, get cosmetic surgery, and do whatever else she thinks it takes to get a man.

Overall, this was an interesting read and if you're about 22, desperately want to meet Mr. Right, and have no self-respect or common sense then this is a great read for you.  If you're not then give this one a pass.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: The Washington Lawyer by Allan Topol

In the high-stakes world of Washington politics, hotshot lawyer Andrew Martin is being put to the test. When long-time friend Senator William Jasper calls, it’s with explosive news—and a favor to ask. A sex tryst at Martin’s beach house in Anguilla has gone awry and former model Vanessa Boyd is dead. Just how far will Martin go to protect the chief justice nomination he’s built his entire career on? 

Staggered by the sudden death of her twin sister, archeologist Allison Boyd drops everything to fly home to her grieving family. But when she realizes that the pieces to the puzzle simply won’t add up, she is determined to discover the truth behind her sister’s death. Launching an investigation that will unveil a treasonous plot backed by foreign interests and enabled by blackmail, Allison finds herself up against something bigger and more lethal than she could have ever imagined. With Martin’s star associate Paul Maltoni at her side, she uncovers a complex, interconnected web of lies that will expose some of Washington’s most influential power players. And she will not rest until she sees them ruined.

From the best-selling author of the Craig Page series, The Washington Lawyer is a penetrating glimpse into Capitol Hill’s seedy underbelly. High-powered DC lawyer Allan Topol impresses again with this escapade into the intricate underpinnings of Washington’s elite, drawing you into a net of questionable morals, deadly intrigues, and treachery from which there is no escape.

ARC received for review.

I always love a political or legal thriller so I simply could not pass this up.  It favorably reminded me of John Grisham's early books where there was actual care taken with the plot and characters.  The author clearly did his research and knows his stuff and that comes through in every scene of the book.

What surprised me the most about the characters was not that I disliked Martin (who was a slimy individual anyway), but that I disliked Allison as well.  While investigating her sister's potential murder she was outright nasty and when she learned the truth and went to the newspaper and not to authorities it just tipped me over the edge from mild distaste for her to outright dislike.  I guess she and her sister had quite a bit in common after all.

Overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable, beautifully written story full of twists and turns and incredibly believable (if unlikable) characters.  I flew right through the story desperate to find out what happened next and hardly blinking the entire time.  I definitely highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys political thrillers as you are virtually guaranteed to enjoy it.  I am eagerly awaiting the author's next release!

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Giveaway: The Washington Lawyer by Allan Topol

In the high-stakes world of Washington politics, hotshot lawyer Andrew Martin is being put to the test. When long-time friend Senator William Jasper calls, it’s with explosive news—and a favor to ask. A sex tryst at Martin’s beach house in Anguilla has gone awry and former model Vanessa Boyd is dead. Just how far will Martin go to protect the chief justice nomination he’s built his entire career on?

Staggered by the sudden death of her twin sister, archeologist Allison Boyd drops everything to fly home to her grieving family. But when she realizes that the pieces to the puzzle simply won’t add up, she is determined to discover the truth behind her sister’s death. Launching an investigation that will unveil a treasonous plot backed by foreign interests and enabled by blackmail, Allison finds herself up against something bigger and more lethal than she could have ever imagined. With Martin’s star associate Paul Maltoni at her side, she uncovers a complex, interconnected web of lies that will expose some of Washington’s most influential power players. And she will not rest until she sees them ruined.

From the best-selling author of the Craig Page series, The Washington Lawyer is a penetrating glimpse into Capitol Hill’s seedy underbelly. High-powered DC lawyer Allan Topol impresses again with this escapade into the intricate underpinnings of Washington’s elite, drawing you into a net of questionable morals, deadly intrigues, and treachery from which there is no escape.

The publicist has generously provided one copy for giveaway!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
US only.  No PO Boxes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos by Simon Tofield

"Tofield's cartoons stand tall--hilarious, loving observations of a privileged and bossy housecat...What elevates Tofield's simple but expressive line drawings above the large litter of competing kitties is his keen grasp of cartoon physics and comedy cat antics. With a pitch-perfect pen, he captures the simple, realistic acrobatics of cats tumbling with toys or gracefully stretching out in the sun, and chronicles their adventures in pantomime stripes that pit them against household objects, their owner, and each other. Cat owners and aficionados will have several delighted 'Yes, cats really do that!' reactions reading this." --Publishers Weekly (review) "

Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos is the third book in a series of print cartoon books tied to Tofield's Simon's Cat YouTube channel, which has more than 30 of his charmingly illustrated cat cartoons." --Publishers Weekly (feature) 

"The power struggles between these two felines will certainly be familiar to anyone who has brought a new pet into the mix. Tofield has several cats in real life and bases the book's believable personalities on his own feline observations." --Cat Fancy 

"The phenomenon that is Simon's Cat has hit an all time high! The YouTube videos of the cartoon feline have reached 200 million views online and the latest film, which is currently both the No. 1 'Most Liked' and 'Most Viewed' film on YouTube, received a million views in just two days. Simon's Cat has continued to evolve with new characters and story lines that every cat owner can relate to!" --Your Cat 

"Tofield's line drawings are fantastic. He is able to capture the essence of a cat with just a few pen strokes." --San Francisco Book Review (5 stars) 

"One of the hottest publishing properties of the year...What makes Simon's Cat so infinitely irresistible? There's the cute factor, but what sets Tofield's cartoons apart are the truly comic moments of pure cat-ness: the merciless patting at a half-dead fly, the single-minded determination, that weird little dance thing that segues seamlessly into a look of utter boredom." --Irish Times

"Through silly pranks and stupendous surprises, the story of Simon's cat and the kitten is truly a great one. And the greatest surprise yet? The entire book is in pictures!" --National Geographic Kids DogEared Book Blog 

"Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos continues the tradition of whimsically wordless, black-and-white cartoons about the antics of the playful, pushy, and ever-hungry pet...Although Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos inevitably invites comparison to the popular newspaper comic character Garfield (and 'the world's cutest kitten' Nermal), the wordless, often action-filled panels are quite different in that they feature pure, rambunctious feline behavior, as any cat owners can attest--any anthropomorphic elements (such as the cat or the kitten pointing to their open mouths while hungry) are just what real cats would do if they could! The gentle humor of Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos makes it a choice gift for cat lovers everywhere." --Midwest Book Review 

With over 200 million hits on YouTube, Simon's Cat is a genuine word-of-mouth phenomenon. Fans from all over the world have fallen for this adorable but anarchic feline who will do just about anything to be fed. Simon Tofield's beautiful drawings and warm humor come alive on the page in this irresistible humor book--an outgrowth of the enormously popular short films featured on YouTube. 

Like all great cartoon creations, from Peanuts to Asterix, from Garfield to Tintin, Simon's Cat has continued to evolve by introducing new characters and new story lines. After the runaway success of the first two books (Simon's Cat and Simon's Cat: Beyond the Fence), Simon welcomes a cuddly's millions of fans.

Received for review.

As I've mentioned before I'm a complete Simon's Cat addict and have been known to force friends and family to watch his YouTube videos on my phone so I simply had to have this book for my collection.

This was just as cute as I'd come to expect from other Simon's Cat books and had a decided Garfield and Odie feel to it with the various shenanigans Simon's Cat and the kitten got up to.

Overall this is an adorable book and a must have for all Simon's Cat fans.  All cat lovers are sure to appreciate it as well.  I definitely highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Author Interview: Austin Dragon author of Hollow Blood (Sleepy Hollow Horrors, Book 1)

Austin Dragon, author of Hollow Blood (Sleepy Hollow Horrors, Book 1), stopped by for an interview.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I hire people for a living. I'm a corporate recruiter.

When did your first start writing?

My first book was at 3 years old (seriously --six pages and illustrated with big letters for the story and I still have it) and I was writing detective novels in middle school, but then adulthood and a career started. Until by first published book in 2013, I hadn't written a word of fiction in more than 15 years!

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

I would say my writing is more influenced by movies. To name a few recently read fiction books that I really enjoyed would be the Hunger Games, Wool, and re-read some classic Stephen King.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Hollow Blood (Sleepy Hollow Horrors, Book 1) was of course inspired by the original Washington Irving classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. My second book, Hell's Menagerie (After Eden Series: Tek-Fall, Episode II) is the continuation of my science fiction and international series I began with in 2013. It was inspired by asking myself: "What if I could travel seventy-plus years in the future. What would I see?"

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

In my classic horror novel Hollow Blood, it would be the main character's showdown with a villain in the second part of the book. In my sci-fi novel, it would be the character, the Keeper arriving at the 'Zoo' and meeting all her sister-daughter clones, among other things.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Do it! One can find a million excuses not to write. Find your routine (write in the morning, write at night, drink lots of coffee, have music in the background, whatever it is), set the time aside, and commit to the craft as if it was your full-time job and your only priority.

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

What I'd like readers to know is that this is the year I officially become a multi-genre author. My science fiction series is provocative and thought-provoking. My classic horror novel, maintains the spirit of the original work, but add its own creepy and unnerving twist on things. Later this year, I add mystery, young adult dystopia, and fantasy to my list of works.

About the book:

This is not the fake, Hollywood-style Sleepy Hollow American television series. This is the true, terrifying story.

Hollow Blood! Book One of the debut Sleepy Hollow Horrors by Austin Dragon. Ichabod Crane is dead! Everyone knows it. The Horseman took him—like so many others—one dark night in 1790. All that remained of the town’s amiable schoolmaster was his hat on the side of the road, with a shattered pumpkin beside it. But soon the fearful townspeople of Sleepy Hollow realized that the terrifying Horseman, that haunted their region for ages, had also disappeared, inexplicably, after that night. They were free!

That was 10 years ago. And a lone stranger has come to their quiet town. He is friendly enough, well-mannered, educated, but there is a secret about this man—he is not what he seems. Suspicions grow. The whispers of gossip begin. All of Sleepy Hollow is soon turned upside-down when they learn the truth. It is only the beginning, as they find themselves in the path of his black vengeance, his hunt for the foul murderer of Ichabod Crane. This stranger threatens not only their lives by his presence, but their very souls by bringing about the return of the hellish Headless Horseman!

For Sleepy Hollow, will death be upon them all!

Hollow Blood is Book One of the two-part Sleepy Hollow Horrors. Book Two, The Devil’s Patch, will also be released on March 30th! If you love quality horror and scary books, grab your copy of Hollow Blood today.

About the author:

Austin Dragon is author of the After Eden Series, including the After Eden: Tek-Fall mini-series, and the new Sleepy Hollow Horrors. He is a native New Yorker, but has called Los Angeles, California home for the last twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, political junkie, movie buff, campaign manager and staffer of presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, and dreamer.

In 2015, he releases the next books in the science fiction series along with brand new series and new genres!


Review: Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach

By the author of the bestselling The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever, the hilarious and romantic novel set in a crumbling bed and breakfast 

In her effortlessly winning novels Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach charmed readers and critics alike with her generous prose and hilarious dialogue. With Heartbreak Hotel, Moggach has triumphed once again. 

When retired actor Buffy decides to leave London and move to rural Wales, he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. 

In possession of a run-down bed and breakfast that leans more toward the shabby than the chic and is, quite literally, miles from nowhere, Buffy realizes that he needs to fill the beds—and fast. Otherwise, his vision of the pastoral countryside will go up in smoke. 

Enter a motley collection of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) nebbishy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle. But under Buffy’s watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers finds that they have more in common than perhaps they first thought. 

A charming romantic comedy that will captivate even the most determined urbanite, Heartbreak Hotel is a supreme entertainment.

ARC received for review.

I am among the possibly three people on the planet who neither read nor watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel so this was my first experience with the author and I can't believe I waited this long!

This was an absolutely perfect read full of charm.  You couldn't help but love Buffy from the very first page.  He was just adorable!  The motley collection of guests at his B&B were sweet and funny and people you would genuinely like to know in real life.

I loved the entire book but by far the best part of it was the very last chapter which wrapped everything up beautifully and left me closing the book with a teary smile.

If you are already a fan of the author then you are sure to thoroughly enjoy this.  If this is your first introduction to her then prepare to be wowed.  I highly, highly recommend this gorgeously written, touching book!

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Featured Book: Vic: Terror Incognita by Jerry Gill

About the book:

After a little camping trip that was mostly fun, and a rumble in the streets that brings the Deputy Sheriff calling, Vic and her friend Lin Li head off on their next travel adventure.

No danger this time, they say. Eat good food, see exotic locales, little hiking, lots of photos. They do get all of that. And more.

The cave dwellers, the madman, the dinosaur, the great apes, the snakes, the headhunters. And is Lin going to betray Vic for something so simple - to save her own life?! And Vic is still waiting for a call or letter from Stu James. For starters!

Just when things look straight ahead, there's a wall or a twist. Non-stop action. Accurate historical and nature settings. 

The #1 awesome adventuress from the 1920's in her 4th book and if you crave action you won't be disappointed!

About the author:

I have written/edited/published for years but it was non-fiction, especially directories. The government decided to do some things that impacted my products, and spent years postponing proposed changes. My customer base was pretty much decimated. Oh well...life.

Wake up! When I was 10 or 12, I read The Eternal Savage by Burroughs (in two parts, 1914 and 1917). I immediately went looking for a sequel. There never was one. I re-read the book a few times and in 2013 decided I'd do the sequel myself. I re-wrote the beginning, sequel (#2), then #3, #4 as of February 2015. It will require 4-5 more at least to use the scenes already in my head.

Why Vic instead of a Victor? I have four fantastic hanai neices. Women have it better now than once upon a time but still people don't give them deserved credit. I wanted to create a character that wasn't a vampire or super hero, just the girl next door but with a goal and unwilling to let anything stop her. Vic remembers when life was stupendously savage, when actions we might today equate with extreme bravery were just daily life. Vic's motto: You don't need to be brave, you just need to do what needs done.

Obviously a great influence is Edgar Rice Burroughs. I liked all his work but especially his less celebrated books. I read most Tarzan books but preferred stories like Eternal Savage, Pellucidar novels, the Moon Trilogy, Beyond Thirty, Land of Hidden Men, The Oakdale Affair, Time Forgot books, and so on.

ERB was not my only influence, though, I remember trying to read a Hardy Boys book and never finished one. Tried Nancy Drew and loved it. One part of the formula for Nancy books is inclusion of real facts. For example I recently re-read Moss Covered Mansion and it had a fantastic description of visiting the Kennedy Space Center before a launch in the 60's. I try to include real facts without making it a travelogue. And although there is a sci-fi component to the books (and will continue to be) I want Vic to always do things that are possible. Often they are far from easy, and definitely not recommended as many of her actions are very dangerous - but always possible. On the website under references I give all the places where I dug up info for the books.

Nancy Drew and ERB had influential helpers. All those writers who contributed as Kenneth Robeson to Doc Savage and The Avenger were great influences, also. I read all of both series.I figure if my writing can bring readers even a tiny fraction of the pleasure I was given by those writers of yesteryear, it's worth anything I put into it.

Lots of information about Vic and the books are on the website http://www.vicplanet.com. References are listed, non-English vocabulary used in the books, discussion questions for book clubs, reviews, excerpts, trailers and more.

Each novel has it's own board on Pinterest. Just go to https://www.pinterest.com/glbwandvic/ You can follow me and Vic on Twitter if interested @vicaction I spend about an hour per day on Twitter. Twice I read through the most recent 100 tweets. I usually retweet several on many topics. It's not just Vic stuff. I follow back 99% of the time. I send thank you tweets to new followers. I send about 5-10 tweets myself. Some are quotes from Vic or others. Some are about coming books. Some are review quotes. Some are none of the above.

A fan set up a Vic fan group on FaceBook. It would be great if you joined. No cost, no work. If you ever want to talk about a Vic book or rellated you have a place to go. I have nothing to do with the group (I think it would be tacky to join a group for my own character) but I will try to always give advance notice of next book and such, discounts and that sort of thing. Nothing to lose, maybe something to gain. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1474401092816543/

Finally, a request to share. I'm told reviews help. Amazon uses them to determine what customers see when they search. When you read a Vic novel, please write a review. Long, short, whatever. Post it on Amazon, GoodReads, Shelfari, Barnes and Noble, your own blog, anywhere! And tell people, on social media and face to face. Surprising how many lovers of action/adventure are in the closet. If they are not interested, that's that. If they are....imagine how happy they will be that you introduced them to Vic Challenger! If you tweet here's a tweetable with pre-counted characters - just think of all the work THAT saves you! Whew! - Found an awesome super #action #adventure series. Vic Challenger. Try it! http://www.vicplanet.com

Review: Women After All by Melvin Konner, M.D.

A lively, richly informed argument for the natural superiority of women from the acclaimed author of The Tangled Wing.There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression.It is called maleness.In Women After All, Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. With patience and wit he explores the knotty question of whether men are necessary in the biological destiny of the human race. He draws on multiple, colorful examples from the natural world—such as the mating habits of the octopus, black widow, angler fish, and jacana—and argues that maleness in humans is hardly necessary to the survival of the species.In characteristically humorous and engaging prose, Konner sheds light on our biologically different identities, while noting the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. We meet hunter-gatherers such as those in Botswana, whose culture gave women a prominent place, invented the working mother, and respected women’s voices around the fire. Recent human history has upset this balance, as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike. Provocative and richly informed, Women After All is bound to be controversial across the sexes.

Received for review.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but I just couldn't.  I know I'll get all sorts of horrible messages about how I'm betraying my sex by not being all "rah-rah this book is awesome because women are better than men" but that's just too bad.  I was not impressed.

This is about females being biologically superior to men and how women are better all around than men which is especially odd since the book is written by a man.  What really grated on my nerves was that it wasn't about gender equality but how women are actually better than men.  It's a giant book of feminist propaganda that felt like nails on a chalkboard while reading it.

Granted the author does support his theories with scientific evidence but it's the way he presents them that bothers me.  It's all "down with men, women are better".  It just felt so Animal Farm to me - men and women are equal but women are more equal.  It's just annoying beyond belief.

This is well written and the author clearly put a lot of work into it but I just can't recommend it unless you're a member of the "women need men like fish need bicycles" crowd.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review: Simon's Cat vs. the World by Simon Tofield

Selected by Publishers Weekly as a Big Indie Book of Fall 2013! 

"Cat lovers will adore this and will nod in recognition of real-life cat behavior; cartoon fans will delight in Tofield's graceful skill in capturing the slinkiness, stealth, and self-absorption of our feline masters." --Publishers Weekly 

"Fans are in for a treat as favorite characters, as well as new faces, run amok in world full of surprises." --Cat Fancy 

"This book will delight fans of Simon's Cats and cat lovers, and makes a great stocking stuffer." --The Conscious Cat 

"Of all of the Simon's Cat books, I believe that this one is my favorite!" --Cat Chat Blog

"A delightfully funny collection, Simon's Cat vs. the World makes an excellent giftbook for cat lovers everywhere." --The Midwest Book Review 

"A fun and fast read...Great for bringing the laughs to you or the Simon's Cat fan in your life." --Catsparella 

"Page by page, I enjoyed everything in this book and it made me smile. It’s a keeper." --Journey of a Bookseller 

"Less cynical than Garfield, and hipper than Heathcliff, Simon's Cat is irresistible." --Shelf-employed

"Lots of things happen in the pictures of this book...It is a fun book to read and look at." --San Francisco Book Review/Sacramento Book Review (Reviewed by Raif, Age 4) 

"Simon's Cat vs. The World is one of those books that manages to stay interesting for both parent and child (or just a kitty-loving adult in general)...this internet-cat book does not disappoint." --Glorified Love Letters 

"Single-panel illustrations distill the essence of cat humor into beautifully rendered fullcolor pages." --ForeWord Review 

"Tofield's cartoons stand tall--hilarious, loving observations of a privileged and bossy housecat...What elevates Tofield's simple but expressive line drawings above the large litter of competing kitties is his keen grasp of cartoon physics and comedy cat antics. With a pitch-perfect pen, he captures the simple, realistic acrobatics of cats tumbling with toys or gracefully stretching out in the sun, and chronicles their adventures in pantomime stripes that pit them against household objects, their owner, and each other. Cat owners and aficionados will have several delighted 'Yes, cats really do that!' reactions reading this." --Publishers Weekly, on Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos

"What sets Tofield's cartoons apart are the truly comic moments of pure cat-ness: the merciless patting at a half-dead fly, the single-minded determination, that weird little dance thing that segues seamlessly into a look of utter boredom." --Irish Times 

Simon's Cat proved his authority in the house. He returned victorious from his adventures beyond the garden fence. He prevailed after the chaotic arrival of a new kitten. Now he takes on the world! Illustrated in glorious full color, this volume explodes from the page with mesmerizing levels of detail. Simon's Cat films have over 360 million YouTube views!

Received for review.

I'm a huge Simon's Cat fan and watch him all the time on YouTube so when I saw his new book I, of course, snapped it up.  There may possibly have been a Gollum type moment where I stroked the cover and murmured "My Precious".

This was just as fun as the other Simon's Cat books that I've read.  The artwork, obviously, was beautifully done.  It's so nice to see Simon's Cat in color!  

All the scenes were completely adorable but my favorites were Zebra, Oscar, Sharing, Novelty Hats, the Beanbag, and the Kitchen Window. 

There was also a lovely sheet of Simon's Cat stickers which I did not share and have now plastered on my phone (case) and every other available surface.

This is a must have for all Simon's Cat fans!  It is also a lovely read for any cat lover in general.  I definitely highly, highly recommend it!

★★★★★ = Loved It

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review: Catch Us If You Can by Marc Feinstein

"Catch Us If You Can" is a coming-of-age tale of small town but urban youth growing up in the late 1960s trying to untangle the answer to Bruce Springsteen's haunting question: "Is a dream a lie if it don't come true or is it something worse?" 

It is 1967. In Oldbrook, where basketball is a religion and making the high school team is a confirmation, Gene Gennaro is sailing through his freshman year, blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time —- sports, girls, and Rock & Roll. When a tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by the fateful day, he begins a journey through the berserk times. 

For Gene, the Summer of Love is a summer of healing, buoyed by The Beatles and basketball. The next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five basketball teammates; most of all, Reuben, his best buddy since before kindergarten, whose lifeline at times turns into the rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, testing their classically loyal friendship.

Received for review.

At nearly five hundred pages this is long.  Very, very long.  Unfortunately, it is also incredibly slow paced and suffers from excessive use of both SAT words and ridiculous amounts of descriptions about everything.  Alone they're bad enough, but combined they do not make for a particularly enjoyable read.

The story sounded promising but was just so slow moving and the writing so bloated and unnecessarily literary that it lost any sort of enjoyment for me before the first chapter was over.  I limped through but I really had to force myself to open it every single time.

Overall I really cannot recommend this.  It has promise but it could really do with the services of a heavy handed editor. 

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Guest Post: Keidi Keating author of Experiences from the Light

Keidi Keating, author of Experiences from the Light, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.

About the book:

Experiences From the Light shares more than 50 fascinating stories of extraordinary, true-life adventures of light, including spiritual awakenings, near-death experiences, unexplainable synchronicities, and stories of love and heart.

It sometimes seems that the world in which we live is falling apart. We are experiencing more turmoil than ever before and desperately seeking a light in our lives. Experiences From the Light will teach you to have faith in your life situations, warm your overwhelmed heart, remind you to look for the signs that the universe provides, and awaken you to new and bright possibilities.

The stories in Experiences From the Light will astound and hearten you:
  • An ill woman's story of how she came close to death, and the extraordinary aftermath visitations by masters, angels, monks, and Biblical figures.
  • How one woman found herself out of her body and walking up a staircase to a door of great light as her grandmother crossed to the other side.
  • How a man's distressing illness was instantly healed after he crossed into the light. Years of pain and suffering vanished in an instant, and the symptoms have not returned since.

About the author:

Keidi Keating experienced a sudden spiritual awakening at the age of 30, after a series of transformational healing sessions. One night, an orb of glowing white light appeared in her bedroom and instructed her to put together a book of light to assist and support others on their journeys to enlightenment. She gathered some of the planet's greatest spiritual teachers and authors to contribute chapters. Three years later, after a lot of hard work and synchronistic magic, The Light spilled its rays to readers. Keidi now speaks at events throughout the world, and she continues to write books that empower people to awaken their divine inner light. She lives in Ketchum, Idaho. Her Website is www.keidikeating.com.

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