Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dino Vicelli, Private Eye: In a World of Evils

Meet Dino Vicelli, private eye. Dino is a greyhound dog, who can talk, walk on two legs and dresses to the nines. Dino lives in New York City, where talking dogs are the norm. Dino has his own company called Vicelli and Vicelli. His motto is “Will snoop out anything”.

One day a man comes into Dino’s office. His name is Jim Barnes. Mr. Barnes wants to hire Dino to locate his missing wife. Dino takes on the case, not knowing that he might have taken on more than he can chew. A mysterious female Afghan dog by the name of Jezebel appears in Dino’s office the next day. She warns Dino that there is more to Mr. Barnes than meets the eye and to be careful of him. Dino better watch himself when dogs and humans collide.

Dino Vicelli, Private Eye: In a World of Evils by Lori Weiner is a fun, quick, super sleuth story. I liked that Mrs. Weiner keep the story line simple, fast paced and to the point. Dino is definitely the star of the book. The lost interest Jezebel was good as well. Her name Jezebel was not lost on me as she was trying to distract Dino from solving the case. The ending was a pleasant surprise. One I was not expecting. I hope there are more Dino Vicelli, Private Eye books to come.

Q & A with William Moss, author of Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times

Q: Our world is characterized by war, violence, and conflict, and many of us experience that conflict in our inner beings. What would you say to those who long for inner peace but wonder if it is possible to find?

A: I believe God wants us to find peace and will show us the way, if we are willing to accept it. But for many of us, the peace of God is elusive, and we are not sure how to accept it. How do we search for this peace? Should we isolate ourselves from the world around us by withdrawing and adopting an inward focus, that we might gain that peace for ourselves? Though this seems the obvious answer, I believe those who are in Christ should avoid the kind of self focus and withdrawal that would preclude us from being involved in the solutions of the many problems that confront us. Instead, we search for inner peace because we want to share it, that we may be able to help others. Inner peace, like life, is a gift from God that is for His glory—and it is meant to be shared.

Q: If God wants us to find peace, why is it so rare to meet someone who has truly found it?

A: Obviously, there are many difficulties, distractions, and hardships that stand in the way of our inner peace.

As Paul said to the Galatians, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law of Moses.”

Paul says, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”

Today there are some distractions Paul did not include such as: worry, self-preservation, hunger, lack of money, arrogance, competitiveness, criticism, and illness, to name a few. It is these distractions—whether due to circumstances or the attitudes of our hearts—that stand between us and the inner peace we crave.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...Episode...The Killing Jar

You can guarantee that life for the members of CSI is never boring.

Gil Grissom and his team have their hands full with a new murder case. Only this one is a little different. A teenage boy was found in a motel room dead. He was killed by a millipede. Someone is killing people using deadly bugs to kill people. This killer has a very extensive knowledge about insects and their behaviors. Grissom will have to ask help from his fellow entomologists to solve the murders,

The Killing Jar is book thirteen in this line of books based around the hit television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. These books can be read as stand alone novels. I have only watched a few episodes of this series and have to say that this book was a close second to the series. This book had all the elements that make CSI good, though there were just a few parts in the middle of the book where it moved a little slow for me. The plot for this book was intriguing. Who knew that there were so many different deadly insects that you could use to kill someone. Though, from what I read millipedes do not produce poison but they do produce stinky odors. Fans of CSI, who have not read these books, should check them out.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Two men with the same first name, Noel die on the same night. Is this just a bizarre coincidence or is there some connection to these two men’s deaths? Both men died in different ways.

The first was Noel Rafferty, who was part of a Dublin gang. He was known as “Grassy Noel” because he enjoyed partaking in smoking marijuana over hash. Grassy Noel was one of the top lieutenants in the gang.

The other Noel was also from the Rafferty family. He was the older Mr. Rafferty. His death was being ruled as a tragic accident.

No one believes the two deaths are connected. The only person who does is Gina Rafferty. She will stop at nothing to get justice for her family.

Winterland by Alan Glynn is the first book I have read by this author. I thought it was pretty good. It started out alright but lost some steam throughout parts of the books. Though, the ending was good. The only person I really found of interest was Gina. When she wasn’t in the scenes than I didn’t really pay attention to what was transpiring between the other characters. What made Gina appealing to me was her drive and determination to uncover the truth behind the deaths of her family members. Overall, Winterland is a pretty good novel worth giving it a try.

Rescuing Olivia

Anders and Olivia are lovers. While riding on Ander’s motorcycle, a black Mercedes runs them off the road, leaving Olivia in a coma. Anders was lucky and only sustained a few cuts and bruises. Olivia’s father won’t let Anders anywhere near Olivia.

A few days later, Anders receives the news that Olivia has died. Anders has a feeling that Olivia is very much alive. He goes in search of Olivia. In doing so, Anders uncovers a deep, dark secret that involves Olivia. Can Anders rescue Olivia before it is too late?

I have not read Tell No Lies by Julie Compton, though I have that book on my wish list. After reading her latest novel Rescuing Olivia, I plan to purchase the book soon. This book kept my interest from beginning to end. The whole time I was reading this book, I was cheering for Anders.

After reading the concept for this book and what Mrs. Compton learned from her research made the thought behind the plot for Rescuing Olivia that more scarier and intriguing. As if I needed that because there was enough adrenaline in the story line to keep my heart racing. Julie Compton rescued me into discovering a new author.

Friday, January 29, 2010

He is The Imposter or Is He?

At the beginning of the book, Mr. Kreiling was told by a person that people don’t change. Yet Mr. Kreiling is proof that people do and can change. I liked that Mr. Kreiling shared how he turned his life around and made The Imposter not really about his memoir but more of a guide on how to change and become a better person like he did. Each chapter focuses on different points that are important to changing your life. It does start a lot with the mental aspect.

All of the advice Mr. Kreiling shared in this book was useful and easy to read. I found it interesting how Mr. Kreiling not just shared how his tips helped him but even how you can identify the information in this book with famous people. One example found in Chapter Seven titled: Tragedy at the Altar talks about the relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and Edwin M. Stanton. The Imposter is a feel good book. I congratulate Mr. Kreiling on his current success and future endeavors. He has come a long way from being the young boy who was almost destined to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Catch of a Lifetime

Angel Tritone is the youngest of the Tritone clan. She wants to make a name for herself and prove to her brother Rod that she should be in charge of the Coalition. Angel knows if she can pull off her latest research then her brother will have to give her the job. Angel leaves home in an effort to study humans and their behavior. She hopes to also save the marine life. While out conducting her research, Angel gets chased by a shark, She climbs aboard a boat to safety.

Being a single dad isn’t easy for Logan. Though, Logan loves Michael with all his heart. When Logan finds a naked woman on his boat, he believes she must be an angel as she is beautiful. How will Logan react when he discovers the truth about Angel?

The best and worst thing about this series is that it ended with a great, big splash and the worst thing is…that this series has come to an end. I have enjoyed joining Reel, Erica, Rod, Valerie, Angel and Logan and their adventures with the deep blue sea. Angel and Logan make the perfect couple. The chemistry they shared was so hot that I needed a cool drink of water. I have to admit though that Michael stole the show for me. He was so cute. I only have one last word and that is…you better pick up a copy of Catch of a Lifetime before it swims off the bookshelves!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Watch out for the Spider's Bite

Gin is the Spider, a very deadly assassin with elemental magical powers. There are four different types of elementals…ice, stone, air and fire. Gin controls stone. Gin gets her targets from her friend, Fletcher Lane. Fletcher is the go between for Gin. He is kind of like a receptionist. He schedules the clients and collects the money. Fletcher has scored a big hit with Gin’s next target.

This mission is to eliminate Gordon Giles, an air elemental. Gordon has pissed off someone very bad in order for them to be willing to pay one million dollars to kill him. Things don’t go as planned. Someone has set Gin up.

Detective Donovan Caine has vengeance on his radar. His partner was killed. Detective Caine would like nothing better than to take down his partner’s killer. Detective Caine is hot on Gin’s trail. Can Gin trust Detective Caine to help her bring down the person who set her up or is Gin on her own?

I first discovered Ms. Estep when I read Bigtime. The third book in the Bigtime series about superheroes. I enjoyed that book so much, I went out and purchased the prior two novels. When I heard that Ms. Estep’s next series was going to be more urban than paranormal, I couldn’t wait to check the books out. Spider’s Bite has surpassed all my expectations. It was dark, edgy, and addicting. Gin is a true heroine. She can kick some serious butt. This book should come with a warning…”You will lose track of time, reading this book”. I can’t wait to take a bite out of Web of Lies, the next book in this series.


Jackie Brighton had big ambitions of being more than just a tour guide at the museum. Jackie never imagined that she would wake up in a dumpster and find that she has become a succubus. Jackie went from being a cup size B to a DD. To some this would be a blessing but not for Jackie.

The first person Jackie meets after being transformed is Noah. Noah is a fallen angel. Noah wants to help Jackie adjust to her new life. He won’t be alone. Noah will be helped with another succubus by the name of Remy.

I have only read a few books that featured succubuses. The ones I did read, I enjoyed. After reading Gentlemen Prefer Succubi the first book in The Succubus Diaries, I have now found my favorite author to write about succubus. This book had me laughing pretty much all the way through till the end. The sharp witty comments that Noah would make were great. If someone as good looking at Noah made comments to me like he did to Jackie, I would probably melt and forgive him. I plan to pick up a copy of Succubi Like It Hot, the next book in this series soon. I can’t wait to continue all the fun with Jackie, Remy and Noah.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Sculptor

Someone is replicating famous sculptors by one of the great artist, Michelangelo. Only this killer draws his inspiration from live human subjects.

Cathy Hildebrant has been called in by the FBI for her extensive knowledge as an art historian to help track down a serial killer.

FBI Agent Sam Markham has tracked down many serial killers but none like The Sculptor. He will have to relay on Cathy to help him figure out the killer’s next move as the bodies start piling up.

This book kind of reminded me of the original movie House of Wax starring Vincent Price. That movie was creepy and would give you chills. This is exactly what Gregory Funaro did with The Sculptor. The killer or as he was called “The Sculptor” is one twisted person. I grabbed this book as I was getting ready for bed, which was a bad idea. I ended up staying up reading half the book. I had no clue or what the killer’s motive was till towards the end of the book, which is how it was suppose to be. FBI Agent Markham and Cathy worked well together. Though, Cathy was more the brains between her and Markham. Fans of thrillers will be screaming for joy with The Sculptor. Mr. Funaro has sculpted a place on my bookshelves for life.

Salvation of the Damned

Raphael is on a mission to save himself and the rest of the vampires from being wiped out by a plague. The only person who can help Raphael is Evaline St. Croix.

The moment Raphael lays eyes on Evaline, he almost abandons his mission. If it wasn’t for the fact that his people will die if Raphael doesn’t complete his mission, he would have turned around and left. How mush is Evaline willing to sacrifice for love?

Salvation of the Damned by Theresa Meyers is a tasty morsel of delight. For a short story, I was surprised at how well this book turned out. Usually the story starts out good but the ending is either lacking or rushed. This was not the case in Salvation of the Damned. My only issue I had is that this book was too short. I wanted to see more of Raphael and Evaline. They made a good match. Their love was a long lost one. This book is worth a look or two.

Jenna's Cowboy

Nate Langley has returned to Callahan Crossing. He was off fighting in the war. He is ready to come home and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Jenna Callahan Colby and her son Zach are content living on her family’s ranch, after a failed marriage. Jenna thought she had everything her heart desired…till she saw Nate. Jenna and Nate were high school sweethearts but Jenna’s father felt that Nate wasn’t good enough for Jenna and sent him packing.

Now Jenna and Nate are all grown up. Can these two reconnect and give love a second chance?

Jenna’s Cowboy is the first book in a new series called The Callahans of Texas. I liked the town of Callahan Crossing. The people there were so friendly and inviting. It made me wish it was a real place. I can’t imagine what someone coming back from the war must be going through with nightmares. I thought author, Sharon Gillenwater did her research well on this subject. Nate could have been a very uncaring and depressing character but instead she made readers cheer for Nate. The romance shared between Nate and Jenna was sweet. I have to admit though that there were times when I skimmed thought the middle as I felt it moved a little slow. Overall, though, this book showed promise and I am sure the rest of the series will be pretty good.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Collision of Evil +Giveaway

I would like to thank Mystery Book Promotions for letting me be a part of this book tour.

My review:

American tourist Charles Hirter was out taking a hike, enjoying his vacation in Austria. Sadly, Charles realized too late that this hike would be his last. Charles’s body is discovered. His head was bashed in.

It has been a while since Robert has seen his brother. It came as quite a shock when he received a phone call that Charles was dead. Robert travels to Austria to identify for the body. Franz Waldbaer, the lead detective tells Robert that the authorities can handle the case and Robert can go home to the states. Robert will not leave till he learns why Charles was murdered. Together Franz Waldbaer and Robert team up. What they discover is of importance of national security.

Collision of Evil is author, John J. Le Beau’s first novel. I thought he did a pretty good job. Collision of Evil is what I would call an international thriller. At the beginning of the book, Mr. Le Beau shares true events about World War 2 bombs that were dropped off in Salzburg, Austria. Unclaimed ones were discovered. This helped set up the plot for this book. As far as this book is considered, I do think readers will enjoy this book. It had plenty of action and suspense. The two main characters Robert Hirter and Kommissar Franz Waldbaer made a good duo. With Robert’s drive to avenge his brother’s death and Franz’s determination, I feel bad for any one who gets in their way. Collision of Evil is worth a look.

“John J. Le Beau is giving away a signed copy of his book, Collision of Evil, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to his book tour page, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 5090, for your chance to win. Entries from Cheryl's Book Nook will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on his book tour page next week.”

About the Author

Photo courtesy John J. Le Beau.
Dr. John J. Le Beau is Professor of Strategy and Security in the College for International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany and a permanent faculty member of the Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies.

Dr. Le Beau is also Chairman of the Partnership for Peace Consortium’s Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG), which enjoys a broad international membership. The CTWG is currently addressing the issue of intelligence cooperation against the terrorist target.

Dr. Le Beau is a former Senior Operations Officer who retired from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2005. Most of his intelligence operations career was spent on assignment outside of the United States, including in locations experiencing active terrorism. His intelligence duties included assignments as chief of an operational facility in Europe engaged in counter-terrorist and counter-proliferation operations and intelligence collection, Program Manager of a human and technical collection program involving the Middle East, Operational Chief for an intelligence collection program directed at transnational issues and a counter-insurgency officer in an active conflict area.

In addition to several classified intelligence assessments for the United States Intelligence Community, Dr. Le Beau has authored various articles and papers on the topics of international terrorism and insurgency.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Black Tie Affair Blog Tour

I want to thank Anna with Hachette for letting me be a part of this tour. She is also letting me give away 5 copies of this book. Must be a follower. Open to US and Canada only. NO PO Boxes. Ends. February 18th.

My review:

Fashion curator Athena Smith has dreams about getting her hands on the famed Bertha Palmer couture gowns that the John Clayworth and Company empire has locked away in their Secret Closet. She wants to get the gowns and display them for all to see and enjoy. Athena is checking out the gowns when she inhales some gases. Though not lethal.

The Smiths and The Clayworth’s have bad blood between them. Athena’s father was set up by The Clayworth’s and forced to take an early retirement. Drew Clayworth never imagined he would be back in Athena’s life, especially agreeing to help her figure out if someone has it out for her and her family, even if it means learning the truth about his family.

The Black Tie Affair takes readers into the fabulous and elite fashion world of Chicago. This is Athena’s story. Athena and Drew may have parted ways a long time ago but the chemistry between them is still hot as ever. I thought this was a fun, flirty story. I found it interesting that this story was based on true events that happened to one of Sherrill Bodine’s friends. Who knew that couture gowns could be killer! This book is a quick read. Though this book lost a little of its shimmer from the prior novel, Talk of the Town. I still can’t wait to read Venus and Diana’s stories. Romance fans will fall for Sherrill Bovine and her books.

Author Bio

I’m sure growing up in my grandmother’s house, taking care of my developmentally disabled mother, forged who I am, but I don’t believe any one thing defines me. My philosophy of life is that we are all in this together—and we need to embrace one another with as much grace, humor and compassion as we can muster. I see life as big, bigger, biggest, and I want to take everyone along with me on the journey. I not only attend black-tie affairs and work on charity board projects, but I am also just as likely to be taking a grandchild to lunch and a movie. I’m happily married to John, with whom I eloped when I was an 18-year-old freshman in college. It was quite the scandal. We have four beautiful children and 11 grandchildren.

I won my first writing award in the seventh grade in a statewide essay contest about a television broadcast of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Instead of Silver Skates, they sent real skates, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m only sorry I don’t still have them so they could hang in my office.

While moving 22 times across the country and rearing our children, I sold stories to Fate Magazine, Home Life Magazine and True Confessions. In 1988, I sold my first novel and a week later received a two-book contract from Fawcett. Sixteen novels later, I’ve seen The Other Amanda win the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers’ Award and Talk of the Town chosen by Cosmopolitan magazine as its “Red Hot Read” for February 2009.

Listen to an interview with author Sherrill Bodine.

Author Website

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death

Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death is a collection of short stories about some of Sherlock Holmes’s more unknown and embarrassing cases. As you read these stories you will think these are the most ridiculous cases but they are meant to be that way. They are meant to poke fun at the famous detective and his sidekick, Mr. Watson. Be warned as there is some crude language for those who are virgins to the language of swearing.

Author, Chris Wood brought the same type of style to his book, Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death that I enjoyed so much from the old, classic Sherlock Holmes stories but with some modern twists. There were a few stories that I liked better then the others like The Underpants of Death. It was a real stinker in a good way. I also liked The Problem of the Poultry Affair.

For anyone who has not read a book written by an UK author, then you will either not get their sense of humor or will be slow to embrace it. I have read several novels by UK authors and have found they have a very different style from American authors. They are a little freer with where they pushed the boundaries which can be known as dark or black humor. I wasn’t laughing all the way through this book but when I did, they were good moments. Mr. Wood made me miss Sherlock Holmes. Overall, a pretty good book.

The Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey

For anyone who has ever had a job where you have to deal with customers then you will relate to the everything in this book. Barbara Burke is an internationally known consultant, speaker, and author who specializes in the “people side” of customer service management. In the Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey, Barbara shares her tips for how to deal with customer service situations without losing your cool.

Here are just a few of Barbara’s helpful tips:

AHA! #1 - I will always have problems

AHA! #2 – It’s not about me

AHA! #3 – Problems can be gifts in disguise

AHA! #4 –Just sit there. Do Nothing

AHA! #5- There is no such thing as a difficult situation

AHA! #6- When all else fails, have a SODA (Stop, Observe, Decide, and Act)

AHA! #7 – Withholding judgment allows me to observe what is

AHA! #8 – The nicer I am to myself, the nicer I am to others

AHA! #9 – A simple apology works wonders

AHA! # 10 – The less I talk, the more I learn

I liked this book. I have been in the business of customer service since I started working my first official job when I was sixteen. All in different forms of customer service from …retail to phone. There have been many times when I would go home stressed out and take it out on my husband and not meaning too. I would try taking bathes, reading or watching television to calm down and sometimes it would help for a little while and then I would get that one really challenging phone call or customer and I would lose it again.

Barbara presents how to apply her tips by writing a story about Isabel. Isabel is a mother and she owes for a electric company. Isabel loves helping people but try as she may; she ends up yelling at the customer every time they yell at her. Isabel asks her mentor Olivia how she stays so clam and cool headed. Olivia applies the tips Barbara shares in the Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey. Soon Isabel is loving her job and so can you with this handy book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here comes Demon's Bane

Senn Morel comes from very powerful parents. Both his father and his mother, Lich have great magic. Senn has waited a long time to grow into his powers. Senn can’t wait to do big things with his magic instead of the little things, as he learns how to control and use his gift. His mother tells him to be patient.

Demons have invaded Senn’s world but they haven’t attacked in a while till now. Senn, his mother and others try to defend themselves but they are no match against the demons. The demons possess Lich and take off with her.

Senn accompanied with a group of others travel across the lands to help Senn rescue his mother and rid the land of Kartus from the demons.

I have to admit that there were parts in this book where I wanted the story to move a little faster. I couldn’t figure out why at first till I went back through the book and realized that it was the details. While they were good, there was just so much explanation to everything which I didn’t feel like I needed so much to enjoy the story. Also, I didn’t really connect with all the characters. This is because for me, it seemed that Senn stole the show. He was engaging, charming, brave. Plus it was nice to get to see him grow stronger with magic as the story progressed. Mr. Douglas I can tell does have a flair for good story telling. He did transport me to a world filled with demons and magic in Demon’s Bane.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Girl Missing

Girl Missing is the new revised version of Tess Gerritsen’s novel, Peggy Sue Got Murdered. I listed to the audio version of this book. In a brief interview with Tess herself, she describes this book as her bridge novel from romantic suspense to thriller.

Medical examiner Kate Novak works down in the morgue of a Boston hospital. Kate’s world is about to get turned upside down when the drugged out body of Jane Doe is rolled into her morgue. The only thing that the Jane Doe has to help Kate maybe identify her is a matchbook with a phone number in it.

Kate calls the phone number and leaves a message. Later an Adam Quantrel from a pharmaceutical company shows up at the morgue. He doesn’t recognize Jane Doe but Kate has a feeling that there is more to Adam than he is letting on. As more bodies show up, Kate will have to with Adam’s help figure out what is killing people before it is too late.

Girl Missing is the first romantic suspense thriller I have read by Tess Gerritsen. I have to say that I am more favorable to her darker, gruesome thrillers. Not to say that this book wasn’t bad but I just kept waiting for more intensity in the characters and story line and never got satisfied. I did liked Kate’s determination and drive to discover the truth no matter how risky the situation got. The story line seemed some what predicable. Also, I didn’t really feel the relationship between Kate and Adam. This book was read by Susan Erickson, which I felt she did a good job of trying to bring this book to life. Overall, I think I will stick to Tess Gerritsen’s thrillers.

The Riyria Revelations Saga continues

Skilled thief, Royce Melborn and his good friend and mercenary, Hadrian Blackwater are back. After barely escaping from Essendon Castle, Royce and Hadrian have had enough excitement for a while. They were set up by the wizard, Esrahaddon.

While walking, Royce and Hadrian come upon a girl being robbed by a man. They rescue her. The girl is from the village of Dahlgren. She asks for Royce and Hadrian’s help. She tells them she will pay them. Her village is being attacked by a demon, who is a minion of Uberlin. Royce and Hadrian travel to the village to help. Once again the wizard, Esrahaddon appears. Only this time he hints to Royce to check into Hadrian’s past.

Avempartha is book two in this six part saga by author, Michael J. Sullivan. When I first read Mr. Sullivan’s debut novel, The Crown Conspiracy, I had no expectations. After finishing the book, I wanted more and couldn’t wait to read the next book. This series just keeps getting better and better. Royce and Hadrian at first appearances may not seem like heroes but watch out as they will amaze you with their skills, smarts, courage, and bravery. Avempartha is darker and edgier then the first novel. If you are up for the challenge to try out a new author and discover for yourself what many other readers are already raving about, then you have got to check out The Riyria Revelations saga.

In Avempartha, the wizard hinted about Hadrian and his past. What could be so important about Hadrian’s past. Hadrian’s past is revealed in this book.

The land of Melengar is battling to save their kingdom. Princess Arista and her brother are at odds with each other. Both believe that they know what is needed to save their kingdom. Princess Arista hires Royce and Hadrian to head out across the lands of Melengar to meet with the rebellion leader. It will not be easy as there are others after them. Can the kingdom be saved and when Hadrian’s past is revealed, how will Royce react?

The saga continues with Nyphron Rising. Just like the prior two novels, this saga grows stronger by leaps and bounds. I have become memorized under the spell of Mr. Sullivan. The Riyria Revelations dives into a magical fantasy world that readers will not want to leave. If I ever needed help, I would want Royce and Hadrian on my side. Though, I enjoyed this book, I have to admit that for some reason it took me longer to get into this book then it did the other two novels. It was not for lack of excitement as this book had been of action. There was no real particular reason why. Luckily, this did not deter me from anxiously awaiting the next novel.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Lineup

For mystery thriller fans alike whether it be Ken Bruen and his character, Jack Taylor or Jonathan Kellerman and his character Alex Delaware, then you will enjoy The Lineup. Edited by Otto Penzler. This book lets readers into the minds of crime writers. The authors share the back ground story about how they developed their characters, why they became authors, and even share some about their next book.

I enjoyed reading about Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor. It made him more interesting to me and now I will give his books another try. It was fun learning about Michael Connelly’s childhood and where he grew up. Ever wonder how Mr. Connelly came up with the name Hieronymus Bosch…well you will just have to read about it in The Lineup. There are many authors that are new to me in this book. The Lineup became like a wish list for me of authors and their books I want to read. So if you want the inside scoop on your favorite crime authors…look no further than The Lineup.

The Serotonin Power Diet

The Serotonin Power Diet by Judith J. Wurtman, PhD. and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD. is a very insightful and useful book. It explains what serototnin is and why it can help you with your food cravings.

Serotonin is the switch that turns off your appetite. Serotonin is also the control that restores your good mood after minor and major stresses erode it. When produced consistently and regularly, serotonin prevents the tendency to eat impulsively when stresses occur. So now you ask, serotonin sounds like a very useful thing but how do you produce it regularly? The answer is by eating ….carbohydrates! Hey, Dr. Atkins would dispute that carbohydrates are bad and now you are telling me that they are good?

That’s correct. Think about a time when you gave up eating carbohydrates like candy, French fries, ice cream to name a few. What did you reach for when you encountered a really stressful situation…all of the above foods…but did you eat just one piece or one scoop…no you pigged out and then felt bad afterwards. Well your body requires carbohydrates and when it does not get any on regular bases that is the first thing your body craves when there is not enough of it in your system. The goal is to learn how to eat it in moderate as well as to learn the signs between appetite versus hunger.

I like that this book was put into easy to read and understand words. It also talked about other people, just like me, so that I didn’t feel like I was alone in the battle. One thing to remember with The Serotonin Power Diet is that exercise is also an important role in staying healthy and losing weight. This book outlines a step by step guide to follow for each week. Chapter fourteen is dedicated to a bunch of recipes that you can cook and stay within the limits of The Serotonin Power Diet. If you are ready to become healthy then check out The Serotonin Power Diet.

Check out this article by Judith J. Wurtman, PhD and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please Deliver Us from Evil

U.S. Marshall Roark Holland still has nightmares about Mindy, The little girl that he let down. He was supposed to protect her. This time he has a second chance at redemption. His latest mission is to transport a heart to a key witness, who has heart disease and will die without a new heart.

Brannon Callahan is tasked with the job of flying Roark and the heart safely to their destination. When the chopper goes down, leaving Brannon and Roark stranded, they will have to work together if they want to live.

Mai has no clue where she is. All she knows is that there are some very bad people, who want her to do bad things. Child trafficking is illegal. To find out if Roark, Brannon and Mai survive, then you need to pick up a copy of this book.

Wow…Deliver Us from Evil will have you talking about this book for a long while to come. This book started out with a big punch of adrenaline and didn’t let up till the last page! Roark and Brannon are both very strong, independent characters. I thought they will not work well together; they will end up butting heads. I was wrong as they make a great pair. There were really like two stories going on at the same time…the one with Roark and Brannon and the one of Mai and the other girls. What made this book so good is that the characters were engaging as well as the fact Deliver Us from Evil touched on a topic that is so powerful and sad that it makes you cheer for the good guys to win. I hope to deliver me some more of Robin Caroll and her books.

Watch out for the Angel's Den

The year was 1808.

Emma Daring was getting ready to walk down the aisle and marry, dashing Eric Montclaire. Emma realized that Eric didn’t really love her; he just loved the image of having a wife in order to trick people that he was a respectable man.

Luke Bowen receives a letter from Eric offering him a job, accompanying Eric and Emma on a trek as they plan to follow in Lewis and Clark’s foot steps. Due to Luke’s great talent as a cartographer, he would make a nice addition. Luke can’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity, despite his father’s disapproval. When Luke discovers what type of man, Eric really is, can he save Emma before it is too late?

Angel’s Den is the second book, I have read by Jamie Carie. Just like the last book, I enjoyed it. I read it in one sitting. Mrs. Carie evenly balances the gospel of the Bible in her stories. I instantly felt a dislike for Eric. He is a monster. I felt sorry for Emma. It was nice to see that she grew stronger and keep her faith through the whole ordeal. Luke Bowen was Emma’s guardian angel. This book had both good characters and an even better story line. I want more Jamie Carie.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Book Giveaways 2

As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home.

As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.

Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica's, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancée and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding.

Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the under-represented, from his "office" at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. A mysterious woman with a six year old daughter comes to him for help. She's being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest represented by his old law firm and former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won't back down. He's going to fight for the woman's rights.

But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.


Courtesy of Valerie with Hachette. I am giving away 3 copies of each book for a total of 6 winners.

Must by a follower
Open to US and Canada. No PO Boxes.

Ends February 16th.

More Book Giveaways

HE MEETS HIS MATCH. SHE MEETS HER MASTER. Art gallery curator Joy Montgomery has never liked her body's generous curves. And she's always been too shy to explore her wild side. But tonight, everything is going to change . . . Desperate to save her job, Joy approaches bad-boy artist Ash Hunter and asks him to exhibit his erotic work at her gallery. Ash agrees on one condition: Joy must pose as his model. But business soon turns to pleasure, as Joy experiences a passion beyond her wildest imaginings and Ash finds more than just inspiration in his voluptuous new muse.

Check out the author's website at

Lore is a Seminus half-breed demon who has been forced to act as his dark master's assassin. Now to earn his freedom and save his sister's life, he must complete one last kill. Powerful and ruthless, he'll stop at nothing to carry out this deadly mission.

Idess is an earthbound angel with a wild side, sworn to protect the human Lore is targeting. She's determined to thwart her wickedly handsome adversary by any means necessary-even if that means risking her vow of eternal chastity. But what begins as a simple seduction soon turns into a passion that leaves both angel and demon craving complete surrender.

Torn between duty and desire, Lore and Idess must join forces as they battle their attraction for each other. Because an enemy from the past is rising again-one hellbent on vengeance and unthinkable destruction.

Check out the author's website at


Courtesy of Anna with Hachette

I am giving away 5 copies of each book for a total of 10 winners. Please let me know which book (s) you are entering for.

Must by a follower

Open to US and Canada. NO PO Boxes. Ends February 20th

Audio Book Giveaway

Available for the first time Unabridged on CD in an all-new recording by Scott Brick, the first of the blockbuster thrillers by New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. The book that will change the way you think about Washington - and power - forever.

In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping a burglar behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and the witness is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal slaying involving the president of the United States.

Luther Whitney is the career break-in artist who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alan Richmond is the charming U.S. president with the power to commit any crime. And Jack Graham is the young attorney caught in a vortex between absolute truth and... ABSOLUTE POWER

Courtesy of Anna with Hact\hette. I am giving away 3 copies of this audio book to my readers.


Must be a follower (open to readers and authors)

Must live in the US or Canada. No PO Boxes.

Giveaway ends February 13th

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thursday Night Widows

Virginia is worried about her son, Juani. She believes that he is getting into trouble. She keeps finding reasons to go into his bedroom, hoping to find what…she doesn’t know. Virginia’s husband, Ronie comes home early. Virginia was in the kitchen when she heard a shout and a loud thud. She goes outside to find Ronie, lying on the ground with his leg broken. As they are driving to the hospital, Ronie sounds for Virginia to take him to El Tano.

Teresa Scaglia returns home late from her night out. She finds champagne glasses everywhere, and her husband’s two friends, Gustavo Masotta and Martin Urovich
SUVs in the driveway but no sign of any of them. Unfortunately, in the morning, Teresa will discover her husband, Gustavo and Martin’s bodies at the bottom of their swimming pool.

I really liked how this book started out. It came right up in my face and grabbed me. The adrenaline rush I felt was short lived. I couldn’t find a connection with any of the characters. They lived in their own world. I found the way they reacted to situations a bit over the top. I mean the situations were real but here is an example… Virginia and Ronie’s son, Juani smoked some pot and who knows if it still did not but just because he did it once, he was now on “The List”. A list of kids who do drugs.

One of the other things that I didn’t like was the abrupt change in the story. I took my a moment to realize that the beginning was really the end and that the story then started up going back in time to all the events leading up to the bodies. Though, I did like that the last part of the book tied up all the loose ends and explained what happened.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hollywood Moon

All the cops from 6X63 precinct of the Hollywood Station are back in Hollywood Moon. There are surfer cops, Flotsam and Jetsam, “Hollywood Nate” Weiss, the lovely Dana Vaughn, and several other cops.

Things are never as they seem in Hollywood. The latest case involves a man by the name of Cue Dewey Gleason. Gleason is a man of many faces and names. He runs a big operation. Gleason may be a master of disguise but even he is having trouble keeping straight, who is double crossing whom. The forecast calls for a Hollywood Moon!

For anyone who has not tried Joseph Wambaugh, then I suggest checking out Hollywood Crows and Hollywood Moon. I first tried Mr. Wambaugh with one of his prior novels. While I found this work alright, I also found it a bit dry. I had the opportunity try out another one of his novels, Hollywood Crows in audio format and just fell in love. Christian Rummel is a very talented reader. He just brings these stories to life. Mr. Rummel has also starred in several episodes of Law & Order. Mr. Rummel does the voices for each character, in a way where you actually believe they are al different people and not just one person doing all the voice overs. I like all the characters. Listening o audio version of these books keeps me coming back for more. Be warned though that there is cussing and rude comments made by the characters.

See How Much I Love You

When Montse and Santiago were just teenagers, they met…fell in love and Montse became pregnant. Many years later, Montse a doctor is treating a patient when she discovers that Santiago, the man who she believed had died was far from dead. In fact he was very much alive. Montse has still held a spark for Santiago, even after he left her. She decides to embark on a trip to locate Santiago.

I thought this was an alright book. The love story that was portrayed between Montse and Santiago, I though kind of took second place to the war between the Saharawi and the Moroccans. As far this book goes I liked the authenticity that Mr. Leante brought. I could tell he did his research by the footnotes inserted in this book. They were informative. Sadly, though I didn’t connect with Montse and Santiago, which in turn was really the glue that held this book together. So when I didn’t connect with Montse and Santiago, I didn’t really have much interest. Though, I did finish this book because I did find the story line pretty good.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Lie

Susanne Lasko is poor. She desperately needs to find a job soon, not just for herself but for her mother, who she is taking care of. Nadia Trenkler is married, rich and has everything Susanne wants.

While Susanne was heading to a job interview, she bumped into her twin. Well not really but just about. When Naida first spots Susanne, she believes that they are half sisters. Naida offers Susanne an offer she can’t refuse. Naida will pay Susanne if she will pretend to be her, so that she can get away for weekend getaways with her lover. Also as a plus, Susanne will have access to expensive cars, a huge house and lots of money. All things that Susanne could only dream about. How long will Naida and Susanne be able to keep up their charades before the stakes get too high?

The Lie is the first novel I have read by Petra Hammesfahr. After finishing this book, I now want to check out all the rest of her novels. I thought this was a well written novel. The dynamics between Susanne and Naida were strong. I did not expect Susanne to be as strong a character as she turned out to be. The suspense built up as the story progressed. I couldn’t stop reading this book. The ending was a twist that I didn’t see coming. This book would make a good movie. US readers looking for some one new to read should look no further than Petra Hammesfahr.

Mia the Magnificent

Mia Fullerton has returned from spending the summer at Little Tykes Theatre, a summer camp for kids. While there Mia discovered her love for the theatre and being on stage. So when the school’s play for the Music Man is announced, Mia decides to apply for a small part. There is just one problem…his name is Tim. Tim is Mia’s ex-boyfriend. He cheated on her while away in Maine. He happens to be helping out as a stage hand on the musical. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mia also has to see her other ex-boyfriend, Jake. Mia, Jake and Tim are all in the same driving class to get their driver’s license. This is going to be one wild school year.

Mia the Magnificent is the latest book in the Mia series by author, Eileen Boggess. This is the first book I have read in this series. There were some events of things that happened in the prior novel, Mia the Melodramatic but despite having not read that book, I still was able to enjoy Mia the Magnificent. Mia and her friends encountered situations like any normal teenager. There were plenty of moments throughout this book where I found myself laughing. This series will have teen readers cheering for more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Watch out for Powers

Mariutza blames herself when her grand father dies in her arms, because of The Badness. She was no where near him when The Badness came. Mariutza must find Jaazaniah the Prophet to help save her from The Badness. The problem is that Jaazaniah is a fictional character from her grandfather’s stories.

Jazz is a musician. Recently he has started experiencing visions and he has no explanation as to why. Jazz’s life changes when he meets Mariutza. Can Jazz and Mariutza fight The Badness or will The Badness consume them.

I have to admit that I had mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it had potential but on the other hand, I found that I never really could connect with the story or the characters. There were a lot of things happening all at the same time, which made it a little difficult to follow at first. What did make me keep reading this book is that I wanted to know what The Badness really was…a man or myth? I thought that Jazz and Mariutza didn’t balance out each other that well. Mariutza was the stronger of the two. Overall, I thought this was an ok novel.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Our Hart

Our Hart is the long awaited sequel to My Splendid Concubine by author, Lloyd Lofthouse. It continues on with Inspector General Sir Robert Hart’s life and job in China till his retirement in the early nineteen hundreds. Robert can’t get over the death of Shao-mei. Though, luckily for Robert, he has Ayaou, his other concubine and his loyal servant Guan-jiah to keep him company. Every time that Robert got promoted and had to move, he made sure that Ayaou and Guan-jiah accompanied him. Partly, this was because Robert feared that Payne Hollister would track him down and take Ayaou away from him like he did Shao-mei.

I found it intriguing all the events that took places while Sir Robert Hart was in China. He did play a very instrumental part in helping China and preserving their dynasty. The relationship that Robert and Ayaou shared was both a sad and a loving one. Sad because Robert never married Ayaou. She would always be thought of to others as his concubine but she was much more then a concubine. She was Robert’s strength. Mr. Lofthouse has done a wonderful job bring to life Sir Robert Hart. A person who I knew nothing about till reading these novels. After finishing these books, I feel that Mr. Lofthouse can not write a bad book. Everything he writes is gold. I anxiously await to see what Mr. Lofthouse writes next.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Duty of Love

Charles and Tanya are your typical brother and sister duo. They like to tease each other, play together and care for one another. Sadly, Charles and Tanya are anything but happy. Charles is suffering from depression and Tanya is dying from a mysterious illness. The one thing that keeps their minds off of these things is their father’s great talent at story telling.

Charles and Tanya’s father tells them the story about Prince Cha Cha and Princess Ta Ta and the evil wizard of Fandon. This wizard is unique as he has a rat named Typhus, who lives in his hair. The rat is the wizard’s trademark. Being evil, you won’t think the first thing on a wizard’s mind would be about finding a damsel to spend his time with. The wizard turns his rat into a human, so that the rat can spy on the damsels in order to learn what they think of the wizard. Princess Ta Ta tries to warn people that there is someone who wants to take over the kingdom. Will anyone listen before it is too late?

I thought that this was an alright book. From all the other reviews I read, it seems that I am alone in not thinking this book was great. The only reason I can’t give this book my full approval is because while I was teleported into a vivid world filled with interesting characters, an evil wizard and a princess and a prince, the book for me moved along slowly. There was a point where I even put this book down and walked away from it for a while. Though, the thing I did treasure the most was the relationship between Charles and his sister, Tanya. Charles really cared for his sister and would do anything for her, even take away her pain if he could. Young adult readers would enjoy this book. It did remind me some of a fairy tale mixed with C. S. Lewis with a touch of Harry Potter

Monday, January 4, 2010

Conflicts with Interest

T.R. Morgan of Morgan Homes is pretty good at building homes. He is also a bit of a gambler. Mogan Homes has just been served by the law firm of Sinclair, Sanderson & Starr for defect litigation. The law firm informs Mr. Morgan that the only way they are willing to settle is if his company repairs the wall due to a water leak form a window as well as other damages free of charge to the homeowner, otherwise Mr. Morgan can take his chances in court but currently Mr. Morgan not dealing with a winning hand.

Conflicts with Interest focus on the topic of defect litigation. Before reading this book, I had no clue what defect litigation was or that you could sue a construction company for it. Defect litigation is basically where a homeowner can sue the construction company for a poorly built home if things like cracks in the wall appear, uneven flooring, etc. One thing that the homeowner can sue for is to make the builder replace everything out of their pockets and possibly the cost for the homeowner having to live somewhere else till their home is fixed. I thought this was a pretty good book. I only say pretty good because while I found the story interesting, the characters except for T. R. didn’t grab me and I wanted them to. I felt sorry for T.R. but was glad to see that he didn’t just let Sinclair, Sanderson & Starr get the best of him without a fight. Mr. Ruddy’s knowledge of the construction industry really shows in this book. For anyone who is looking for something different to read, then Conflicts with Interest may be the book for you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Last Word

Police Chief Brill Jessup can’t wait for her daughter, Vanessa to come home from college. Brill hasn’t seen Vanessa for a while. When Vanessa comes home, Brill realizes that a lot has changed like…Vanessa is pregnant. Unfortunately for Brill, the family reunion will have to wait. A killer is on the loose and he is knocking off all of Brill’s officers one by one. Can’t Brill stop the killer before it is too late and can she forgive her daughter for getting pregnant?

The Last Word is book two in the Sophie Trace trilogy. I have not read book one but this fact didn’t take away from me enjoying this book. Though, I do plan to check out book one as well as book three. Police Chief Brill Jessup is strong but she shows in this book that even the strong need a little help every one in a while. From the first moment I started reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down. The story line and characters are both interesting in a good way. This book picks up speed as you move along. I recommend reading this book when you have lots of time on your hands as you are going to want to finish this book in one sitting and that is The Last Word. I can tell you that I never would have predicted the ending. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Come enjoy The Darkness

If you have not read any of these Henry Parker novels by Jason Pinter then you need to. The best part is that most can be read as stand alone novels.

This book continues the story from the prior novel, The Fury. As we learned in the last book, Henry learned that he had a brother named Stephen Gaines. Henry and Stephen’s relationship was very short as Stephen was murdered. The prime suspect is none other then Henry Parker’s father. Henry must clear his father’s name before it is too late. Luckily for Henry, his old mentor, Jack O’Donnell has agreed to help.

Paulina Cole, Henry’ rival has been kidnapped. She was released later but on one condition…Paulina has to publish a story. Could Paulina’s kidnapping somehow related to Stephan Gaines’s death?

I have read several books by Mr. Pinter now and I have to say that I have enjoyed every one of them. I am a fan. The Darkness is a one sit read! Mr. Pinter will get your adrenaline pumping with his Henry Parker novels. Henry is a combination of Clark Kent mixed with a hound dog. Once Henry is on the trail, he is hard to derail; in addition to underneath Henry’s exterior does lay a nice guy. I can’t believe how this book ended. It was a surprise to me. In the author’s notes, Mr. Pinter mentions that this story is fiction but it is based loosely on true events. To think that events like this did happen makes this story scary. I am looking forward to reading The Invited.

New Year Resolutions

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year. I haven't made any resolutions yet other than to be healthy and that is why I wanted to share this article by Judith J. Wurtman, PhD and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD,

Serotonin: What It is and Why It's Important for Weight Loss

By Judith J. Wurtman, PhD and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD,

Authors of The Serotonin Power Diet: Eat Carbs -- Nature's Own Appetite Suppressant -- to Stop Emotional Overeating and Halt Antidepressant-Associated Weight Gain

Serotonin is nature's own appetite suppressant. This powerful brain chemical curbs cravings and shuts off appetite. It makes you feel satisfied even if your stomach is not full. The result is eating less and losing weight.

A natural mood regulator, serotonin makes you feel emotionally stable, less anxious, more tranquil and even more focused and energetic.

Serotonin can be made only after sweet or starchy carbohydrates are eaten.
More than 30 years ago, extensive studies at MIT carried out by Richard Wurtman, M.D., showed that tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, could get into the brain only after sweet or starchy carbohydrates were eaten. Although tryptophan is an amino acid and found in all protein, eating protein prevents tryptophan from passing through a barrier from the blood into the brain. The reason is simply numbers: Tryptophan competes for an entry point into the brain with some other amino acids. There are more of those other amino acids in the blood than tryptophan after protein is eaten. So in the competition to get into the brain, tryptophan is at a total disadvantage and very little gets in after a protein meal like turkey or snack like yogurt.

But carbohydrates tip the odds in tryptophan's favor. All carbohydrates (except fruit) are digested to glucose in the intestinal tract. When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin is released and pushes nutrients such as amino acids into the cells of the heart, liver and other organs. As it does this, tryptophan stays behind in the bloodstream. Now there is more tryptophan in the blood than the competing amino acids. As the blood passes by the barrier into the brain, tryptophan can get in. The tryptophan is immediately converted to serotonin, and the soothing and appetite controlling effects of this brain chemical are soon felt.Our studies with volunteers found that when people consumed a pre-meal carbohydrate drink that made more serotonin, they became less hungry and were able to control their calorie intake. Volunteers whose drinks contained protein -- so that serotonin was not made -- did not experience any decrease in their appetite.

Most of us have experienced the carbohydrate-serotonin effect on our appetite even though we were not aware of the connection. Have you ever munched on rolls or bread while waiting for the main course to be served in a restaurant? By the time dinner is served, twenty minutes or so after you ate the roll, your appetite has been downsized. "I don't even feel that hungry" is a common response when the plate is put down on the table.

This blunting of appetite is not because you may have eaten 120 calories of roll. It is caused by new serotonin putting a brake on your appetite.

Successful weight loss depends on the power of serotonin to control food intake.
The carbohydrate-serotonin connection has a direct impact on our emotional state, too. Drugs that increase serotonin activity have been used for several decades as a therapy for mood disorders. However, our studies showed that natural changes in serotonin could have a profound impact on daily fluctuations in mood, energy levels and attention. In one of our early studies, we found that our volunteers became slightly depressed, anxious, tired, and irritable around 3 to 5 pm every day. At the same time, they experienced, in the words of one volunteer "a jaw-aching need to eat something sweet or starchy." Several studies later, we were able to state that late afternoon seems to be a universal carbohydrate-craving time, and people who experience this craving use carbohydrates to "self-medicate" themselves.

Carbohydrate cravers who consume a sweet or starchy snack are increasing serotonin naturally.

We carried out careful clinical studies to measure the effect of carbohydrates on mood and to make sure that the effect was not just due to taste or the effect of taking a break from work. Volunteers, all carbohydrate cravers, were given a carbohydrate or protein- containing food or drink that had identical tastes. Their moods, concentration and energy were measured before and after they consumed the test beverages. The carbohydrate serotonin-producing beverage improved their moods but the protein-containing beverage had no effect on either their mood or their appetite.

Eating carbohydrates allows serotonin to restore your good mood and increase your emotional energy.

Eating low or fat-free, protein-free carbohydrates in the correct amounts and at specific times potentiates serotonin's ability to increase satiety. You will eat less, feel more satisfied and lose weight.

Here are five tips to get serotonin working for you:

1.Eat the carbohydrate on an empty stomach to avoid interference from protein from a previous meal or snack. Wait about 3 hours after a meal containing protein.

2.The carbohydrate food such as graham crackers or pretzels should contain between 25-35 grams of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate can be sweet or starchy. High-fiber carbohydrates take a long time to digest and are not recommended for a rapid improvement in mood or decrease in pre-meal appetite. Eat them as part of the daily food plan instead for their nutritional value.

3.The protein content of the snack should not exceed 4 grams.

4.To avoid eating too many calories and slowing down digestion, avoid snacks containing more than 3 grams of fat.

5.Do not continue to eat after you have consumed the correct amount of food. It will take about 20-40 minutes for you to feel the effect. Eating more carbohydrates during the interval is unnecessary and may cause weight gain.

Stress may increase your need for serotonin and make it harder to control food intake. Prevent this by shifting protein intake to the early part of the day; i.e. protein for breakfast and lunch and switching to carbohydrates by late afternoon. Eating a carbohydrate dinner with very little protein increases serotonin sufficiently to prevent after dinner nibbling. And the soothing effect of the serotonin prevents stress from interfering with sleep.

Boost Serotonin to switch off your appetite and turn on a good mood.

©2009 Judith J. Wurtman, PhD and Nina T. Frusztajer, MD, authors of The Serotonin Power Diet: Eat Carbs -- Nature's Own Appetite Suppressant -- to Stop Emotional Overeating and Halt Antidepressant-Associated Weight GainAuthor Bios
Judith J. Wurtman, PhD, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet: Eat Carbs -- Nature's Own Appetite Suppressant -- to Stop Emotional Overeating and Halt Antidepressant-Associated Weight Gain, has discovered the connection between carbohydrate craving, serotonin, and emotional well-being in her MIT clinical studies. She received her PhD from George Washington University, is the founder of a Harvard University hospital weight-loss facility and counsels private weight management clients. She has written five books, including The Serotonin Solution, and more than 40 peer-reviewed articles for professional publications. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida.

Nina T. Frusztajer, MD, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet: Eat Carbs -- Nature's Own Appetite Suppressant -- to Stop Emotional Overeating and Halt Antidepressant-Associated Weight Gain, counsels private weight management clients and is a practicing physician and certified professional life coach. She received her master's degree in Nutrition from Columbia University and her medical degree from George Washington University. She lives in Boston, MA.

For more information, please visit and