Monday, January 26, 2015

Almost Perfect Blog Tour + Giveaway





Book Details:Book Title: Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning
Category: Adult fiction, 319 pages
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Beltor
Published: January 2013
Available in: Print
 Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Two unlikely friends, an old woman and a boy with special needs, take an aging champion to Westminster Dog Show, and heal their troubled families.

Seventy year-old Bess Rutledge has fantasized about winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life, but now she has decided she is too old to follow her dream.   She meets Benny, an angry fourteen year-old with mild autism and ADHD, who has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother.  He becomes convinced that winning Westminster with McCreery, Bess’ aging champion standard poodle, will finally make his mother proud of him.  Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy.


Where to buy the book:

Amazon

My Review
When I read the book summary about this book I thought it would be good. However I did not expect it to be this "good". I am so glad this book is one to be read. Share it with your friends and especially dog lover friends. They will enjoy this book and thank you for introducing them to it.

Bess and Benny are both wounded souls that found the true meaning of love and friendship. Although the rest of the characters in this story were just as good like Bess's sister and her son. In fact, no one seemed like a character but friends that I would want to have and get to know. You have to have patience, an open heart, not afraid to stand up and not have others tell you "No", and of course the right dog does not hurt either. Which speaking of dogs, McCreery and Breaker were just as great as Bess and Benny. They both are stars as well. I can not pick a favorite. Ok, I lied. I did have a favorite and it was McCreery and Breaker. They both brought something different to the story. McCreery for his knowledge and patience. Breaker for his joyous attitude and willingness to learn. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Overall, I had such an enjoyable time reading this book and would recommend it to others. It is a quick read and one that you will cherish for a long time afterwards.

Please note: Raising puppies are a lot of hard work so please don't get one unless you are ready to fully commit 100%.


Westminster Dog Show and this year that show takes place from Feb 16-17​





 
Meet the Author:

Diane Daniels Manning is the co-founder and director of The New School in the Heights, a therapeutic school in Houston, Texas which helps children dealing with social-emotional challenges find success in school and life. She has a Ph.D. in Education and a post-doctoral M.P.H from Harvard and is a practicing child psychoanalyst certified by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Formerly, she was the Director of the Reading and Learning Disabilities Clinic at Tufts University, Lecturer and Research Associate in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Harvard, and Chair of the Department of Education at Tulane University. She learned the inner workings of dog show kennels by writing an authorized oral history of a lifetime President of the Poodle of Club of America. Her writing awards include the Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Prize and the Women in Film and Television Short Script Competition.

When not at The New School, Diane and her writing partners, a Standard Poodle named Misty and a rescue cat named Elvira, convene at the keyboard to share great thoughts and plan the dinner menu.

Connect with her:  

https://www.facebook.com/diane.danielsmanning?fref=ts

Q1. What made you want to write about the character Benny, a boy with an anger problem as well as ADHD and mild autism?
I am the founder and executive director of a special education school in Houston called The New School in the Heights. Children with issues similar to Benny’s are part of my every day world.

Q2. Is the character of Benny a real child?
Benny exists only in my imagination. He is an amalgam of many children I have had the privilege to know as a therapist and as the director of a school for special children. Actually, the children in my school usually do not have Benny’s learning difficulties, just his emotional needs.

Q3: The other main character, Bess, is a seventy year-old woman. What made you pick her to become Benny’s friend?
I am interested in women who do unusual things for their generation. The real-life model for Bess was like that. Although it doesn’t come out in the book, she was an early graduate of Columbia School of Architecture and when she graduated, the only job she could get was being a secretary.
Most books have an old man as mentor. I thought we could use a change!

Q4. The dogs in the book help both characters grow, especially the boy. What makes a good therapy dog?
Benny comes to see himself as having a special gift for the first time in his life as he masters the art of showing dogs, but, technically, the dogs in the book are not therapy dogs. Therapy dogs need to be gentle, calm, and able to handle surprises. Some breeds tend to have these characteristics more than others, but almost all breeds (and many mixed breeds) have some dogs who can qualify. Official therapy dogs must go through a vetting process.

Q5. The Town of Redding, Connecticut, where you grew up is featured strongly in ALMOST PERFECT. How did it influence your writing career?
Putnam Park, The Mark Twain Library and Gallows Hill in Redding, Connecticut, are places I knew as a child. Even back as a child reading my book on the floor of the library founded by Mark Twain, I dreamed of being a writer. Living on Gallows Hill Road also undoubtedly sparked my young imagination.

Q6. How do you handle writer’s block?
Fingers crossed, that is not a problem that has plagued me. Of course, I do get stuck briefly once in a while, and then I find the cure is to just keep typing. Almost anything will do, and the next thing I know, my next chapter is on its way.


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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Forgotten Superfoods Magic: The Ultimate Shortcut to Increase Longevity, Look Younger, Burn Fat & Supercharge Your Brain





My Review
Purchase a copy


I have heard of superfoods but never really gave the idea too much thought. This is probably because I don't know much about this subject matter and I am not really a diet person. Yet after reading this book, I am more familiar with superfoods and will start incorporating some of them into my food lifestyle.

I thought the author was very knowledgeable about this subject matter but wrote this book in a very easy and understandable way. I was thanksful for this. THe only word that I was not really familiar with was Spirulina. It is a sea-green alga. The author did take the time to explain what it is and how it is beneficial to me.

Some other ideas that the author shared are:

Pumpkin oatmeal. Yum and super easy to fix. It consists of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, milk, and whatever toppings you want like blueberries, almonds, etc.

I love to eat breakfast casseroles. So going to try this one. Leeks, spinach, goat (I like goat chesse) and cottage cheese. Combine all of the ingredients into a dish and bake for twenty minutes.

I can still eat my dessert with candy apple wedges. Apple slices with dark chocolate and walnuts. Or the Rain Berry cake. The crust is made out of crushed walnuts. The filling is just Greek yogurt, mushed blueberries (although I would probably eat them whole) with cardamon and honey. Super easy to make and good for the heart and digestion.

I like that I don't have to make a drastic change in my food habits and can start right away with making a new start.

My only bad word that I have to say about this book is that I wished the author would have told me like what temperature to set my oven to and for how long for the baked dishes.

Cold, Cold Heart


#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag delivers a shocking new thriller

Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until a notorious serial killer tried to add her to his list of victims.  Nearly a year has passed since surviving her ordeal, but the physical, emotional, and psychological scars run deep.  Struggling with the torment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, plagued by flashbacks and nightmares as dark as the heart of a killer, Dana returns to her hometown in an attempt to begin to put her life back together.  But home doesn’t provide the comfort she expects.

Dana’s harrowing story and her return to small town life have rekindled police and media interest in the unsolved case of her childhood best friend, Casey Grant, who disappeared without a trace the summer after their graduation from high school.  Terrified of truths long-buried, Dana reluctantly begins to look back at her past.  Viewed through the dark filter of PTSD, old friends and loved ones become suspects and enemies.  Questioning everything she knows, refusing to be defined by the traumas of her past and struggling against excruciating odds, Dana seeks out a truth that may prove too terrible to be believed…



My Review

This was a good book. Also a fast read. Despite the fact that I found the intensity level lacking some. I thought it would have been higher. The characters were middle of the road. Nothing too special about them. Also not too many twists or turns in the plotline. Fans of mystery stories will probably figure out the whole story fairly early into the story. The obvious choice had too many clues pointing at them to make you really believe it was them.

I was really interested in Dana and what she had survived with her ordeal. Yet I was saddened when I realized that it had nothing to do with the story. Although I was greatful that Dana had a story behind her. It did make her a strong character and added depth to her. Besides the intensity that I talked about, if the rest of the characters had been more engaging I would have liked this book better. Still I am happy with it and do look forward to reading the next book by this author.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over


From a former FBI Special Agent specializing in behavior analysis and recruiting spies comes a handbook filled with his proven strategies on how to instantly read people and influence how they perceive you, so you can easily turn on the like switch.

The Like Switch is packed with all the tools you need for turning strangers into friends, whether you are on a sales call, a first date, or a job interview. As a Special Agent for the FBIs National Security Division;s Behavioral Analysis Program, Dr. Jack Schafer developed dynamic and breakthrough strategies for profiling terrorists and detecting deception. Now, Dr. Schafer has evolved his proven-on-the-battlefield tactics for the day-to-day, but no less critical battle of getting people to like you.

In The Like Switch, he presents these techniques for how you can influence, attract, and win people over. Learn how to think and react like your favorite TV investigators from Criminal Minds or CSI as Dr. Schafer shows you how to improve your LQ (Likeability Quotient), spot the lie; both in person and online, master nonverbal cues that influence how people perceive you, and turn up or turn down the intensity of a relationship.

Dr. Schafer cracks the code on making great first impressions, building lasting relationships, and understanding others &; behavior to learn what they really think about you. With tips and techniques that hold the key to taking control of your communications, interactions, and relationships, The Like Switch shows you how to read others and get people to like you for a moment or a lifetime.



My Review


I had so much fun reading this book. Which may be surprising that I am saying this. Because when you think of self-help books, you don't always think "fun". Yet, this book really did won me over. Right from the start it took my a long time to get through the first chapter. The reason is because I kept putting the book down to run to my co-workers to show they a paragraph a had just read and wanted them to read. I learned so much from this book.

To be honest I had picked up this book because I thought it would be interesting reading material to learn from an ex-FBI agent. Yet, again as I said prior that I learned a lot from this book than just reading it. Very practical skills that everyone needs to navigate through today's world. Especially in the technological world that we reside in. We have gotten away from face to face encounters and therefore no one knows how to effectively communicate with one another. It is so sad. Therefore if people knew the signals that they came to others then they could communicate even without words. You have to check this book out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Vampire of Vancouver Cover Reveal


Title: The Vampire of Vancouver (Lovers and Liars #2)

Author: Liz Meldon

Series: Lovers and Liars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Cover by: Humble Nation

Release Date: February 10, 2015



~ Synopsis ~
 The Vampire of Vancouver (Lovers and Liars, #2)

Aphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn't expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn't exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn't thought taking a beautiful partner along would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.
Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.


About the Author


About the Author: Liz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about snarky characters of her own, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, working on her fanfiction, loitering on social media, or selling tickets at a theatre.
In the past year, she has written six romance novellas as a ghostwriter. Three have been published and are doing well. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.


Follow the Author:

 Website //  Twitter // Goodreads // Tumblr // Pinterest
 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carly Phillips – Dare to Love Kindle Worlds Release

Carly Phillips – Dare to Love Kindle Worlds Release

New York Times bestselling author, Carly Phillips has licensed her Dare to Love world to Amazon so that other authors can bring you stories that are extensions of her DARE TO LOVE world. You’ll see familiar faces, maybe even characters you met on my pages and wondered what happened to them.

As the world is licensed to Amazon, the books are available on Amazon only. If you aren’t a Kindle user, no worries! You can still read the stories on the FREE Kindle APP that you can download on your computer, smart phone or tablet. Check out the 9 books releasing today below!




Hot Dare – Avery Flynn

He shows some of his best moves off the field.

Hell is a Miami Thunder fan cruise to the Bahamas—at least, that’s how Colt "45" Butler sees it. But with his job as the team’s starting linebacker in question, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to prove he’s a team player. Plus, the prospect of having his one-night Vegas fling, Angie Diaz, as his VIP liaison for the cruise just might make the whole ordeal tolerable. All he needs it to get her back in his bed for some Vegas-rules fun on the high seas. 

Cheap wine and expensive ice cream, that’s how anyone fool enough to get involved with a Thunder football player always drowns their sorrows after getting dumped. Angie Diaz isn’t about to become one of the many—no matter how close she got to the look-but-don’t-touch line with the hot linebacker. Mixing business and pleasure with Colt is one dare her heart can’t afford to take…but being with him day and night is making is a dare she can’t resist.

 

Dare Me – Kelly Jamieson

Love hurts…even when you don’t believe in it…

Interior designer Micki Arnott is anticipating her boyfriend’s marriage proposal with excitement. She and prominent businessman Garrett Caulfield have been seeing each other for over a year and they’re in love. Okay, maybe Garrett hasn’t actually said those three little words, but Micki knows he feels them. But instead of a diamond ring, Garrett hands her a contract...

Garrett wants Micki to move in with him, to commit to him and only him, but he doesn’t believe in love and marriage. After watching his parents cheat and hurt each other all while proclaiming their love, that’s not what he wants his life to be. A contract seems like the perfect way to make sure he and Micki both understand the parameters of their relationship.

When Micki throws Garrett’s contract in his face and tells him to never call her again, he’s shocked and confused. He’s not a quitter, but he’s not going to fight with Micki like his parents did. Micki knows she’s doing the right thing—she deserves to be loved and isn’t going to waste her life on a man who doesn’t even believe in love. Garrett blames his misery on too much scotch...but what if that pain isn't really the mother of all hangovers...what if it’s...love?

 

Truth or Dare – Allie K Adams

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Roadhouse series…

He truthfully believes he’s better off alone. She challenges him to live up to the Dare family name.

Adam Dare has never asked for anything from his biological father. Robert Dare lives in Florida with not one but two families. While the rest of his half brothers and sisters grew up surrounded by family and eating from a silver spoon, Adam was an only child in Montana, living off the land and struggling to survive. Now a respected vet with his own practice, he’s facing an insurmountable task, one where he needs all the help he can get. Discovering a pretty, yet troublesome stowaway in the bed of his truck only adds to the mounting chaos. Adam doesn’t have time to deal with her during branding season, yet can’t deny the overwhelming draw to her. A litter of Dares are on their way to the luxury ranch he’s working at, and he can’t afford any distractions—especially one with golden blonde hair and pretty cornflower blue eyes.

Amber Bigsby has lived on her own since the day after graduating from high school. After a disastrous date takes a dangerous turn, she hides in a pile of hay in the back of a truck, only to awaken to find herself at a ranch in Montana, searching for the cowboy who saved her. When she spots Adam, she’s drawn to him to like a moth to a flame. Discovering he’s a Dare has her torn between running away and giving in to temptation. Maybe it’s time to play a little truth or dare…

If she wins, he’s forced to face what it means to be a Dare. If he wins, the truth comes out. The two may not be exclusive. All bets are off when love is on the line, especially when playing…

TRUTH OR DARE

This story can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the "Dare to Love" world created by Carly Phillips. However, it’s best served with a healthy dose of the other Dare stories on sale now. 

 

 

I Dare You – Leslie Kelly

A Leslie Kelly story set in New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips' "Dare To Love" Kindle World!

Marcus "Big" Bigsby is retiring after a successful NFL career, ready for a quiet, simple life on a ranch in Oklahoma. But his plan to forget the past is rocked when he comes face-to-face with his high school dreamgirl, the one who got away...the one he never forgot. 

Blair Tremaine has heard Marcus is living in tiny little Caribou, but she's done her best to avoid him. She'd been crazy about him in high school, but they'd always seemed miles apart--her the bookish rich girl, him the football-playing farmboy. 

Now they're thrown together again, and this time nothing will stop them from finally getting what they've always wanted: each other!

 

Daring Masquerade – Alannah Lynne

When a hired heartbreaker falls for her target, both their hearts are at risk…

For the past five years, Becca Irving (aka Carmella Jones, aka Karma) has worked as a

hired heartbreaker, seeking revenge and justice against men who thoughtlessly hurt the

women who love them. She expects her next mark to be just as callous, but Jon isn’t

her typical target. He’s a good man with a loving nature and dominant streak that

crushes her walls and tempts her into believing love can be real and lasting.

From the moment he lays eyes on the beguiling redhead, Jonathon Ridgeway is

hooked. When a sensuous dance leads to an erotic weekend aboard his boat, he

realizes he needs more than a brief affair with the complex and tantalizing woman.

But neither Jon nor Becca are who—or what—they seem. Will he be able to forgive her

past actions? Can she overlook his? Or will they both be left brokenhearted by the

secrets of their past?

 

Daring Attraction – Melanie Shawn

When it came to star athletes, it didn’t get any hotter than Cole Carson. The starting quarterback for the Miami Thunder had game both on and off the field. But when he met Julianna, he knew that he’d have to bring more than just the status quo to the stunning, single mom’s already-hectic life if he had a chance of winning her heart.

Life had tackled Julianna Perez with some pretty harsh hits, but she’d take them and more if it meant providing her ten-year-old with a safe and stable environment. Living by her to-do lists and focusing on Anthony’s needs, the breathtakingly beautiful single mother never acknowledged her own until they were brought to the surface by a sexy football player.

A commanding captain on the football field, Cole knew how to take the lead in every situation and he wanted to be the solution and more for his newfound love. But will he be able to navigate through the complexities and realities of being with a single mom, no matter how badly he wants to right her world? Will Julianna trust Cole enough to let him into the stable life she created and protected for Anthony and for herself?

With love on the line, Cole and Julianna will both be forced out of their comfort zones in…Daring Attraction

 

 

Dare Me Once – Marquita Valentine

All police detective, Bryce Sinclair, wants is two weeks away from it all, and his grandparents’ cottage on the Chesapeake Bay shore fits the bill. A fridge full of beer and blue crabs is all he needs. Though, the hot, little waitress at the pier would be a welcome addition. He’s not looking for forever, just a good time.

Kayla White doesn’t have time for tourists who try to buy her personal time instead of her award winning crab cakes. She’s too busy trying to start over after the last man stole her heart…and cleaned out her bank account. But, when a sexy, smooth talking stranger catches her attention, will she dare take a chance on him?

 

 

The Billionaire’s Dare – Lauren Hawkeye

THIS IS A NEW STORY FROM CARLY PHILLIPS’ DARE TO LOVE SERIES VIA KINDLE WORLDS.

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson...

What happens in New York...

Evangeline Wyatt, the brand new "team behaviour manager" for Miami Thunder, doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she’s told herself since being burned by one of the Thunder’s biggest playboys. It’s the height of humiliation when she finds herself stuck accompanying said ex to a New York kink club to keep him out of the tabloids. But when she meets a sexy, slightly familiar looking stranger with whom chemistry instantly sparks, she finds herself letting go... only to be reminded why her rules were there in the first place.

Nick Aitken is the star rookie of the New York Vikings, a team with a longstanding rivalry against Miami Thunder. At first he approaches the admittedly delectable woman only because she’s with one of his biggest opponents. But what ignites between them is more than he can resist...

Evangeline is certain that they’re all wrong for one another. Nick’s not so sure. But he’ll do anything for a second taste...

Anything. "Evangeline, I dare you..."

 

Daring the Player – Robin Covington

Raised by a pro football legend, Miami Thunder wide receiver Rep Grissom has a career most would envy.  A toxic marriage with a party girl almost put him on the sidelines, but now he keeps his head down and makes the moves on the field that leave younger players in his dust. Now all he has to do is maintain the status quo and he’s guaranteed a lucrative new contract at an age when most guys are retiring.

Lola Corbin is used to leaving all the big boys in her rearview mirror. The lead singer in the worlds biggest rock band she fills up arenas and closes down the clubs but with the group on the brink of breaking apart her future is uncertain. Years spent on the road has left her with nothing at home except platinum records on the walls, an empty fridge and a cold bed. For the first time, she’s looking for something and someone beyond the spotlight.

When Lola’s first night in her condo ends with Rep breaking up a fight he realizes that temptation has moved in next door. Lola doesn’t usually go for the strong and serious type, but the more she sees of her neighbor, the more she wants. When a thank you dinner turns into dancing and a hot tryst in the back of the club their attraction cannot be denied. But when Lola-induced trouble results in a front-page-career-ending spectacle the player must decide if he’s going to be as daring with his heart as he is on the field.

 



Buy links:

Kelly Jamieson Dare Me   Avery Flynn Hot Dare   Allie K Adams Truth or Dare Melanie Shawn Daring Attraction Robin Covington Daring the Player Alannah Lynne Daring Masquerade Leslie Kelly I Dare You Marquita Valentine Dare Me Once   Lauren Hawkeye The Billionaire's Dare COMING SOON!*
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

All That Burns

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?

   
Paperback, 464 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2015 by Harper Teen
 

My Review

I never read All That Glows. Yet this fact did not have any effects on me reading the second book and enjoying it. I was able to jump right in and start reading it. I had a really good idea of what transpired in the first book. Even having just started this book and not being that familiar with Emrys and Richard's relationship, I knew it was real and could feel the love they shared for each other.


While I did like the world that the author built, I did feel it was lacking some in the magical element that I was hoping and craving for. I thought that it would be more showy in the way that I would see characters using their powers. I say others because I knew that Emrys had lost her's. Also, the story was fine but lacking in the action. Which did not happen until about the last third of the way and even than it was mild. Then there is the ending. Which was good but to read all the way to get this ending was a little bit of a let down. Still I will check out the first book and am interested in seeing what the author comes out with next.