Monday, September 22, 2014

Ghosting

On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.


My Review

I have to say that when I first picked up this book and saw that it was written all in verses I had my reservations. I thought ok, this is going to be a bust and I am going to put this book down in in a few pages. Well I did not put the book down. In fact, I actually really enjoyed the book. Although, all of the different points of views/voices coming at me all at once was a little difficult to get them all straight. As I kept reading then I was able to figure out who was who and it was better.

In the beginning, I did not care for some of the people in this book. Yet again as I got farther into the book, I grew to care about them all. I called them people and not characters as it felt like I was reading about real people and how they were reacting emotionally to this event brought me into their world. I did not leave until the end.

As I was reading this book, it made me instantly think of this poem. I now have a nice appreciation for books that are different and not written in the same standard format.

Drunk Driving Poem." (The author is unknown.)

I went to a party, Mom,
I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom,
So I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside, Mom,
The way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom,
Even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom,
I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom,
As everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom,
I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me,
So responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away, Mom,
But as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom,
And hit me like a load.
As I lay there on the pavement, Mom,
I hear the policeman say,
"The other guy is drunk," Mom,
And now I'm the one who will pay.
I'm lying here dying, Mom...
I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom?
My life just burst like a balloon.
There is blood all around me, Mom,
And most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom,
I'll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom,
I swear I didn't drink.
It was the others, Mom.
The others didn't think.
He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank
And I will die.
Why do people drink, Mom?
It can ruin your whole life.
I'm feeling sharp pains now.
Pains just like a knife.
The guy who hit me is walking, Mom,
And I don't think it's fair.
I'm lying here dying
And all he can do is stare.
Tell my brother not to cry, Mom.
Tell Daddy to be brave.
And when I go to heaven, Mom,
Put "Daddy's Girl" on my grave.
Someone should have told him, Mom,
Not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom,
I would still be alive.
My breath is getting shorter, Mom.
I'm becoming very scared.
Please don't cry for me, Mom.
When I needed you,
you were always there.
I have one last question, Mom.
Before I say good bye.
I didn't drink and drive,
So why am I the one to die?

Read Pink 2014 - Blog Tour



 





Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000

in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

What’s black and white and pink all over? The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the "one-size-fits-all" breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Beatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers


"Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors."

Karen White, The Time Between


"Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime."

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness

"To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October."

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing



"I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!"

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

"This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren't there yet. There's a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate."

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand

"I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!"

 

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:

Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover

Karen White, The Time Between

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness

Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers

Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand

Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero

Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

 

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October. Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit http://www.penguin.com/readpink" penguin.com/readpink

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule



Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

October 1 – Exclusive guest post with spokesperson Beatriz Williams on   "http://www.lizandlisa.com/"


September 22  http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/" http://thereadersden.blogspot.com/" http://gonewiththewords.com/"

  "http://www.prettysassycool.com/"

September 23  http://www.readingreality.net/" http://yougottaread.com/" http://adriasromancereviews.blogspot.com/

September 24  http://www.kimberlyfayereads.com/" http://nicelyphrasedbookblog.com/" http://www.ismellsheep.com/

September 25  http://www.romancejunkies.com/" http://www.toreadornottoread.net/

http://asoutherngirlsbookshelf.blogspot.com/

September 26   "http://cindysloveofbooks.com/" "http://chicklitplus.com/" http://thebookreadinggals.com/"

*

September 29   "http://litchat.net/"  "http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.com/"  "http://chrisbookblogemporium.com/"

September 30 "../AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary Internet Files/Content.Outlook/S4474672/realitybites-letsgetlost.blogspot.com" "http://gravetells.com/" "http://brittsbookandlifeblog.com/"
  "http://www.sincerelystacie.com/"

October 1  http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com/" http://www.bookrookreviews.com/" http://2bookaholics.com/"

   http://witandsin.blogspot.com/" http://rawbooksonline.com/"

October 2 http://sosaloha.blogspot.com/" http://bookishthingsandmore.com/ http://shaynareneesspicyreads.com/

October 3  "http://todaysdeepsouth.blogspot.com/" http://readingwithstyle.blogspot.com
http://www.grownupbookreviews.blogspot.com/

*

October 6  "http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.com/" "http://www.bookaliciousmama.com/"

 "http://www.chicklitcentral.com/"

October 7 "http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com/" http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/" http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/"

October 8 http://www.flirtyanddirtybookblog.com/" http://www.readerslive1000lives.com/"

     "http://twimom227.com/"

October 9   "http://booklovinmamas.com/" http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/" http://thebookreadinggals.com/"
October 10  http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com/" http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/"

 http://expressionsofahopefulromantic.blogspot.com/"
*

October 13 http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/" http://www.parajunkee.com/" "http://asiturnthepages.blogspot.com/"

October 14 http://readinginblackandwhite.com/" http://www.krbblog.com/

October 15  http://www.abcd-diaries.com/" http://www.fictionalcandy.com/" http://paranormal-bookclub.com/"

October 16  http://sexybibliophiles.blogspot.com/" http://booksniffersanonymous.com/

 http://sexybookreviewsbyshellyandapril.com/"
October 17  http://wickedlilpixie.com/" http//www.addicted2novels.com

  http://www.stephaniesbookreports.com/"


October 20   "http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/blogs.listAll/display/6/Amy-Phelps.html" http://www.thereadingcafe.com/"

October 21  http://www.thebookbella.com/" http://www.thebookcellarx.com

October 22 http://www.thenovellife.com/" http://www.mybookmuse.com

 "../AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary Internet Files/Content.Outlook/S4474672/confessionsofayaandnabookaddict.blogspot.com

October 23   http://www.therockstarsofromance.com/" http://silversolara.blogspot.com/" http://bkfaerie.blogspot.com/"
October 24 http://sunshinemountain2.blogspot.com/

October 27 http://bewitchedbookworms.com/" http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com

October 28 http://readinginpajamas.wordpress.com/" http://turnthepagebookreviews.blogspot.com"

October 29 http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com  http://lovesbooksreviews.blogspot.com
http://tammyandkimreviews.blogspot.com 
October 30   http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com/" http://nobsbookreviews.com
    http://mariescozy.blogspot.com
http://smutbookjunkie.com/"

October 31 http://brynnainshadows.wordpress.com/"  http://loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/"



For more details about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit penguin.com/readpink

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber celebrates the most wonderful time of the year in this heartwarming Christmas novel of romance, hope, and the comforts of home—coming soon as a Hallmark Channel original movie!

Hardcover, 256 pages
Expected publication: October 7th 2014 by Ballantine Books


Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.

Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble.

Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget.
   
 
 
 
My Review
 
I have read all of the Mrs. Miracle books and seen the movies. So when I saw this new book I had to check it out. The magic that I loved so much with the Mrs. Miracle books was not to be found in this book. Not even a little bit. Harry did not have the personality that I grew to love in Mrs. Miracle. Yeah, he was clumsy and learning but nothing about him was very endearing. The relationship between Addie and Erich was fine. I myself did not see or experience the sparks between them. Even though this was suppose to be the focal point of the story.

I wanted to love this book as much as I did the other ones. Yet, I struggled with this book. What should have been a quick read took me about a week to read. This is because I started reading the book and would put it down after reading just a little bit at a time. I did finish the book but only because I kept expecting it to get better. It never did for me.



Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2015 by Gallery Books
A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?



My Review
Overall, a really good book. I would not call it a tear-jerker like P.S. I Love You but still a good book. I was expecting to cry my eyes out. This did not happen. So when I got to the very last few pages, I was surprised when I did feel myself tear up some and shed tears. I was not expecting this. I mean I did like the story and the characters but I never got too emotional. In fact, at times I thought Daisy was mean spirited towards her husband. Although, I could understand her lashing out at him. I still did not feel like he deserved the anger. Jack was nothing but a sweet heart towards Daisy. This may have had a little to do with why I did not get so emotional reading this book. Daisy was human with the emotions she was experiencing but she kept herself at a distance some. Before I Go is a nice first showing for new author, Colleen Oakley.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why Dogs Are


About the Book

“Brian” is a composite of the many children who attended the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) in our hometown of Talladega, Alabama. My husband Ken and I had the privilege to know and work with children who had to learn to live life with one or more disabilities, making us intensely aware of some of the difficulties that accompanied eyes that did not see or ears that did not hear. We also wondered how parents of these children dealt with the challenges that the entire family faced while accommodating necessary differences in daily life for their child with disabilities.

For example, how does a parent teach a child about concepts that are difficult to grasp even without disabilities? How can parents share emotions, morals, beliefs and concepts such as patriotism, charity and forgiveness to a child who cannot hear their explanations? As Helen Keller had to learn, once she made the “connection” between flowing, wet water and the sign for water, her learning increased dramatically. But how do you make a “connection” when the topics are intangible or emotional?

The concept of a loving God is one of those “connections” that must be made for an individual to have a fulfilled soul, regardless of their physical abilities. God uses many means to help people to understand His goodness, creation and grace. Why not a dog? Don’t we all deserve to see, hear, feel and experience God in everything around us?


Why Dogs Are is the 1st in a book series aimed at raising awareness for the roles animals play in our lives to enhance and improve our physical well-being.


My Review

This book is a keeper. Why Dogs Are deserves two paws up! If you love Dogs then you will want to read this book. It is quick, informative, a joy to read, and filled with tons of colorful pictures. Illustrator, Marita Gentry really did a great job of drawing the pictures. They added and helped tell the story. Children will love reading this book over and over again. I myself enjoyed reading this book and learning "Why Dogs Are". This book is the first in the Love Unleashed series. I look forward to reading more books in this series.


The lessons that this book taught was wonderful. God telling the Dog to go to Earth and teach Brian these lessons.

Teach him these two things:

First, to love without expecting anything in return.

Second, to forgive those who hurt him-then to forget the hurt and love them even more.

Then God telling the Dog what he shall be named from this day on was great:

"From now on I will call you DOG-that's GOD spelled backwards!"


FYI- The publisher did provide me a complimentary copy of this book through BookCrash.




Tana Thompson spent 30 years teaching in colleges and universities around the south, watching computers go from huge mainframe technological monsters to carry-in-you pocket smart phone equivalents. Now in retirement, she is following her dream of writing, having interests in children’s literature and non-fiction genres such as memoirwriting and regaling unique travel experiences shared with her late husband, Ken, in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. She is so committed to using her right brain for a change that she also makes jewelry, stained and fused glass, and delights in photography. She lives on her own heaven-on-earth slice of Lake Logan Martin in beautiful Alabama, with 2 “chosen” dogs, 2 rescued dogs and 4 rescued cats.

Tana Thompson wrote her first story in the sixth grade, was encouraged by her teacher to continue writing, and didn’t. But the desire remained in her heart only to be reawakened later in life. In the interim, she earned a Ph.D. from Georgia State University and taught computer and management information systems in several colleges and universities around the south. Her last career position was the most meaningful, assisting teachers and staff at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind to integrate computers into their daily job duties. Her late husband Ken was Vice President at the Institute; together they experienced the exceptional love and devotion of parents, family and teachers working with these exceptional children. The Thompsons also participated in a pet therapy program that saw their two Golden Retrievers, Rambeau and Muttley, form a team that visited nursing homes, classrooms and especially the students of AIDB, where the dogs sensed a “special touch” was required. Muttley earned his “Canine Good Citizen” designation, and proudly wore his official bandana and patch when visiting his special friends.


Purchase a copy here
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Last Breath is a breath taking good read!



From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family…

Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt.

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.

As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated




My Review

This book is more than just a book. The Last Breath is a breath taking good read! Instantly I felt for Gia, her father, her brother, sister, and Uncle. What they all were going through as a family felt very real. From the anger, sadness, fear of facing reality, death, love, and the truth. So many emotions. The author did a wonderful job of weaving them all into the characters and the story.

Right from the beginning however I had a really good idea of who killed Gia's mother and why. However this did not keep me from still reading the book and wanting to see how it would all play out. Again it had to do with the author and her talent for telling a good story. The characters just leap off the pages and invited me to read their story. I look forward to reading more books by Kimberly Belle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Love's Fortune

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.




Review by Blanche Mancuso


I loved this book so much that I did not care that it was book three in this series. I had not read the prior two novels. So as you can tell this means that you can also jump right into this series with no problems. However now that I have finished this book, I want to go back and check out the first two books. I loved everything about this book from the setting, the storyline, the characters, and the ending. Which was a great on by the way. The connection I shared with the characters was awesome.

In fact, I enjoyed this book so much that I had a hard time sitting down and writing a review of this book. You know that feeling you get sometimes where all you want to do is rave and rave about a book but how to do it in way that you don't give away all of the details. This is what happened to me. Again, all I can say is that I blasted through this book and had an enjoyable time reading it.