Saturday, June 30, 2012

Off Balance scores gold!


With the Summer Olympics 2012 fast approaching, this is the perfect time to get to really know a past olympic superstar, Dominique Moceanu in Off Balance. Readers will remember Dominique as she was a member of the 1996 Women's Olympic Gymnastics team known as the "Magnificent Seven". People know Dominique as one of the greatest gymnastics but what people probably don't know about Dominique is the person, mom, wife, sister, and daughter. In Off Balance Dominique shares a personal look at her life growing up, how she discovered her passion for gymnastics, making the olympic team and finding out she had a sister.


This is a great memoir. I tend to usually stay away from memoirs, only because I don't really want to read about other peoples lives unless it is omeone that I really like. Only because if I find out things I do not like or find the bookk to be dry, then it takes away some for me on that person. None of this was the case with this book. I liked that Dominique made sure that the readers got to know her parents as they are an important part of the story. Dominique could have just briefly glossed over who they were and just focused on her gymnastic career but she did not.

Jennifer was great. I like that Dominique was her idol and the reason why she wanted to do gymnastics. I would have liked to get to know her better in this book but what I did get to learn of her, I thought she had a great personality. Wow, what Dominque had to endure during her grueling training sessions with Bela Karolyi was amazing. It paid off in the end. Although, a sad time for someone as young as Dominique to have to deal with for a coach, even if he was one of the best. I read this book in one sitting. Off Balance scores gold!

The Sacred Mountain

Review by Nancy

When you’ve grown up in Philly, the Southwest is a long ways away. Will had heart-broken that he had qualified for the Eastern Pennsylvania Skateboarding Championships. Not the qualifying part, but the part where he finds out that Mom and Dad have scheduled the same time to volunteer at a reservation Clinic in Arizona. He has to go.


Imagine your 13-ish kid in a total pout. Not fun. But Will’s life is about to change in ways he’d never imagine and skateboarding has just a bit to do with that. Waiting to meet them with his Jeep is Pastor Roger Feathers, in charge of the Clinic and the small reservation church. He has also drummed up a lot of interest in Will giving skateboarding demos in the evening!

Meeting Pastor Roger helps Will loosen up and, when he meets the Pastor’s kids, Jake and Kate who are skateboarders, too he fits right in. There is a friend of Will’s father doing a dig at the place the tribe used to winter and they have found some amazing things, especially if you’re a teen. All the skeletons are missing their heads! There are over 5000 sets of bones and at least that many heads resting in a separate place. Wow! The tale of the ancient tribe is written into the story of Will and his friends. They learn that the chief of the tribe had a son named Eagle Feather who disappeared one day, never to return. He had been studying with a trader who loved God and was trying to help Eagle Feather understand the Bible. History comes to life in more ways than one.

The author of this YA novel has a PHd in Chemistry and a wonderful way with words. Dalen Keys has taken an old tale, revised it a bit and made it part of a great story for young and adults alike. There are many who will enjoy the Indian tale for itself and many more who will understand that God sees all our undertakings , even helping out now and then.

Purchase a copy here

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Messiah Matrix

Review by Nancy

In a thriller that rivals anything Dan Brown ever wrote, The Messiah Matrix threatens to take all your beliefs and toss them into the wind. A priest is murdered in Rome. His assassin is also shot and killed while with another priest. A message was delivered. An artifact is found on the floor of the sea. A Jesuit questions his faith and the history of his Church. An archaeologist uncovers the find of a lifetime and loses it.


A connection between Christ and Augustus Ceasar? The wise men following a star in 17 BC? Curiouser and curiouser! Although you know what they say about curiosity. The Monsignor searching for the ashes of Christ – which he was killed before explaining. Does the Holy See condone murder? Damn Skippy it does!

This book is amazing! The two main characters of Ryan and Emily are the perfect pair of detectives. Will they be more? You’ll have to read the book! Emily’s coin is vital to the history of Christianity in the world, but will they get it back? On the coin, Augustus was wearing a crown with twelve spikes. What’s up with that?

In this tale we have good guys, very bad guys, the Holy Mother Church, good priests and very, very bad priests and one red-headed archaeology professor who, along with one questioning Jesuit and some of his brothers, may be able to solve the conundrum that is The Messiah Matrix.

Purchase a copy here


An American Family is as good as apple pie!



 
Book Excerpt

He wanted his kids to place a long-distance phone call to him and pay for it.


Besides taking an extra-heavy course load, so that he could graduate in three and a half years, Michael had a number of business enterprises on the side. Through his father, he had made a deal with a garment manufacturer in the city to make A E Pi fraternity jackets, which he sold at a nice profit to his fraternity brothers. It worked well enough that he branched out and started doing business with Psi U and Delta Epsilon, and, eventually, his jackets were so in demand around campus that he subcontracted work to guys in other fraternities.

On this Friday in November, a week before Thanksgiving vacation, Michael was trying to clear the lunch dishes early so that he could get over to Psi U and deliver the jackets that had arrived from the city yesterday.

My review

Meet the Perl family...Nathan, Lillian, Jacob "Jackie", Michael, Elaine, Steven, and Bobbie. The day is Friday, November 22, 1963. This day will go down in history as one of the most memorable days in history. The day that President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. The Perl family can remember that day but life does go on. Eventually the Perl family survive the Vietnam War, Woodstock, drugs, aids, homophobia, and the attack of September 11th. No matter, how many different directions, they travel or how hard times get, the Perl family does stick together as they are family.


I am not familar with Mr. Lefcourt's work either in the book world or the movie and television world. What drew me to this book was the book summary. This book sounded like some good, old fashion American goodness. I was looking for something like this and I did find it in An American Family. My only criticism is that it took me a little while to get into this book and attach to the Perl family.

The Perl family is an interesting bunch. I mean this in a good way. While, I had no one favorite, each one brought something different to the story and helped mold it. Michael is not really a bad guy, he was trying to do good but just found it hard to survive like the rest of us middle class folks. Jackie, he was a womanizer. There always has to be one of those. Bobbie was the wild child. Readers could live vicariously through her and remember their own wild days. That is what this book was about. The good and bad times. People who lived in the past during these events will remember them and can relate in some way to one or more of the Perl family. An American Family is as good as apple pie!



How has your personal experience as a Jewish American influenced the book?

My experience growing up as a first-generation Polish American Jew in New York was the genesis of this book. I wanted to capture the emotional and psychological effects of the clash of the immigrant Jewish culture with the adopted American one. I was not interested so much in telling my story personally – this book is not an autobiographical novel – but the story of all immigrant cultures, Italian, Irish, African-American, Vietnamese, as well as Jewish. My father came to New York from a shtetl village in Poland in 1922 not knowing a word of English and became a lawyer; I grew up playing stickball on the streets of Queens and became a writer; my son grew up in Los Angeles, went to Yale and became a humanitarian worker who at the moment is in Kyrgyzstan. This evolution, over merely three generations, fascinates me. Our life experiences have been so different, and yet there is an identity linking us together.

I wanted to set this story against the enormous social changes that took place in the second half of the twentieth century: the cultural rift created by the Vietnam War, the rise of feminism, gay identity, the pervasive influence of music. And to show how my characters navigated these changes. I created the fictitious family, the Perls, and decided to tell the story through the shifting point of view of five siblings, all, like me, born in the 1940’s. I chose the two iconic dates of this period – November 22, 1963 and September 11, 2001 – as a parenthesis to enclose the era.

I was interested in the evolution of the family through all these changes – how it adapts to the most dramatic and sweeping changes and still survives as the emotional focus of our lives. I disagree with Tolstoy: all happy families are not alike.

You can follow the rest of the tour here.

Purchase a copy of the book here

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pictures of You







Revuew by Nancy

After the death of her philandering husband, Eva saw no reason to stay at home while his relatives glared at her. She had never fit in their circle and, while packing up Stephen’s things, she had found a ticket to Brazil for an expedition in search of a topaz stone. Why not? It’s not as if she had a good reason to stay.


At the airport, she spies a good-looking man who stops her breath. Then she is met by a taxi driver and hurried on to the next leg of her journey – the small town where the expedition will begin. She is dropped off in front of a house where the housekeeper doesn’t speak English – nor do the neighbors. After walking the entire village, she ends up where she started, hot, dehydrated and a bit angry. Turns out this is the right home, after all.

Eva and her companions soon meet their leader, Roberto de Carvalho, the mysterious man at the airport! She wakes up in his bed with him kissing her. Not the tour introduction she had imagined! Maria had put her up there to rest and couldn’t explain that it was the boss’ room.

She is overwhelmed by the town, the jungle, the food and by Roberto himself. Until he opens his mouth and calls her a “black widow” searching immediately for a new husband. She is the only woman on the trip and, through her passion for photography, immediately becomes the video person for them all.

They are searching for the Epsinhaco Topaz from a map given to Roberto by an old friend. Do they find it? Possibly. Will Roberta stop nagging Eva for every little thing? NEVER! She is falling in love and he could care less. This is an e-book unveiling of some of Barbara Delinsky’s early works and, while I don’t think I’ve read her before, I am looking forward to more of her titles coming my way. The characters are wonderfully done, the tropic scenery beautifully described and the storyline is exceptional.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Next Best Thing gets a call back from me!





Ruth Saunders lives with her grandma. Ruth is a writer. She has been writing a script for a television show titled The Next Best Thing. Ruth gets the call. The one that will either make or break her. Ruth scores! She and her grandma are moving to Hollywood. Ruth has gotten the green light to produce her television series. While Ruth is busy trying to make her dreams a reality, her grandma is getting paid as an extra.

I was not one of the viewers that watched State of Georgia, Mrs. Weiner's short lived television series. However, after reading Mrs. Weiner's latest release, The Next Best Thing, I have to say that I do feel sorry for anyone who has written and piloted a television series to a major network. It is not an easy task. Us the viewers only see the finished product and don't really know all the grueling details that it takes to make and produce a television series. Only to have the network exectives want to mold the writer's vision into what they feel we the viewers want to see or what they want to see and can show on television. It is no wonder that so many shows are canceled early on. Of course, there has to be this process but you would hope that there could be more of a happier medium.

For me Ruth's Grandma kind of stole the show for me. She just rolled with the punches. One thing that I wished Ruth would have done more. Although, I could undestand why Ruth may not have been able to do so as she had so much pressure to write and produce her television show. The rest of the characters were just alright for me. I did not really connect with them but they did keep things entertaining at least. Why I did like this book, it started off a little shaky and slow for me. Although, once the story did get gooing, I had a nice time. I liked Mrs. Weiner sharing the life behind the camera. The Next Best Thing gets a call back from me!

Pre-order The Next Best Thing on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.


Jen’s "Cupcakes Across America" book tour: What's the next best thing to a perfect summer read? A summer reading with cupcakes! To celebrate the launch of THE NEXT BEST THING (July 3rd 2012), Jen will be embarking on a “Cupcakes Across America” tour to bookstores across the country -- as thanks to all of her fans for their enormous support, she will be bringing delicious cupcakes for the audience catered by local bakeries! The following is a link to her book tour schedule:




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Skeleton Box may have you trying to stuff a few of your skeletons back in the closet!


Gus Carpenter is enjoying a beer with Soupy his fellow hockey team mate after their win at the bar, when there is a knock on the door. It is the police. Something has happened. Gus is escorted to his mother's house where the cops and an ambulance are. It seems that Mrs. B. a good friend of Gus's mother was found dead in Gus's mother's kitchen. It appears to be a break in. The worse part is that Mrs. B. is Gus's ex, Darlene's mother. Gus has a vested interest in solving Mrs. B.'s death.


The Skeleton Box is the third book of the Starvation Lake novels. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. Which is a good thing as I have been wanting to check out this series since the first book but just have not found the chance to until now. There is just one down fall you might encounter like I did by not starting with Starvation Lake, the first book. This for me was that I had not built up a connection with the townsfolk and thus this might have had to do a little with why I was not raving as much as most of the other readers about this book.

Although, I like Gus. He has character and is relatable. Also, he is one smart cookie. Which is a good thing to be smart if you are a reporter. It means that you usually get to the story first and can rub it in the faces of the cops that you caught a connection or solved a case for them. Of course, I would not suggest this route unless you want to make some enemies and have a thick back.

The mystery surrounding the murder of Mrs. B. was slow to reveal. I would have liked more action but still an enjoyable read for a mystery/thriller fan like myself. Also, what is there not to like about this book. Anyone like Mr. Gruley, who can find a way to intergrate both a good murder mystery and his love of hockey gets a A+ in my books. Even if we may clash on our favorite hockey teams. The Skeleton Box may have you trying to stuff a few of your skeletons back in the closet!

Ocean Beach and Wendy Wax





Madeline, Avery and Nicole are back. The ladies have been recruited to star in a reality television show called Do-Over. The show is based around house remodeling. This is just the opportunity that Nicole needed. Especially after her brother, Malcolm's ponzi scheme. Nicole needs a Do-Over. The reality show is a nice way for the three women to spend the summer together. If only the cameras could but out of their private lives.


I have read several books by Wendy Wax now. I have liked them enough to read more books by this author. Ocean Beach is the follow up novel to 10 Beach Road. It is in 10 Beach Road that readers are introduced to Madeline, Avery, and Nicole. I fell in love with these ladies and was excited to reconnect with them again in Ocean Beach. For some reason this time, I just was not feeling this book as much as I had hoped. While, I like Madeline, Avery and Nicole, the drama that they had was just too much for me. This book read too chick it for me. Which is not a bad thing as every once in a while, I need this type of book. It just goes to show though that Wendy knows how to write and give her characters emotions. Because if I did not care about the women, I would have just gone through the motions of reading this book. The one thing that I do like about the ladies is that they pull together in any situation and have each other's backs. They are best friends. The kind of friends you want. This book is a nice follow up to 10 Beach Road.

Wendy Wax on OCEAN BEACH, South Beach and Miami...



Wendy, welcome. It’s nice to have you here today to talk about your new book. My first question is about the setting. OCEAN BEACH takes us to Miami’s South Beach. How did you choose South Beach?


 
There are so many reasons—and I know I’ve already forgotten some of them. I started out compiling a list of places known for their historic architecture and that have a history of valuing and rescuing buildings and homes. Then I began focusing on those that I’d been to at least once. When I started reminiscing about Miami a light bulb went off. It seemed perfect for Ocean Beach in so many ways, not just physically—South Beach is famed for its Art Deco heritage—but because it was a natural when it came to so many of the plot points I had in mind. (Not to mention that Avery, who I wanted to head up this renovation, has been in love with all things Art Deco since childhood.) I headed south and fell for both Miami and a house in South Beach that is a wonderful example of the Art Deco Streamline Moderne style. I knew the minute I saw it that Maddie, Avery and Nicole were going to love it, too.

Did you model the house in the book after the one you saw? Why is it called The Millicent?

I was definitely inspired by the house I saw, which, coincidentally, was just about to be renovated. But there are so many terrific examples of Art Deco and the later Streamline style, and enough buildings and homes designed by architect Henry Hohauser, whose work I especially admire, that The Millicent ended up being an aggregate of many design details that appealed to me. The Ocean Beach Photo Album I’ve posted on Facebook shares some of those—a “porthole” mirror, a fireplace, some of the damage. Oh, and I’ve credited my fictional house to Henry Hohauser, who remains my current architect crush.

The Millicent is owned by Max Golden. He and his late wife Millie (Millicent) are based upon the many famed comedy teams whose careers spanned Vaudeville, radio, nightclubs, television and film. They’re a bit à la Burns and Allen—at least I think of them that way. When they bought the house in the forties, it was named in honor of the woman Max adored.

You mentioned reminiscing about Miami. When were you there?

I visited often as a child. It’s where I swam in a salt water pool for the first time. I remember that once we stayed at the Fontainebleau. I was terribly impressed. We went to Wolfie’s for breakfast and my dad used to bring bagels home to St. Pete Beach whenever his travels took him through Miami. My cousins had a well-known restaurant on Collins Avenue, just south of Wolfies. Later on my brother got married at the Diplomat Country Club in Miami. And I worked on my first feature film there, Night in Heaven.

Did you take your characters to any of these places?

No, but they did see plenty of South Beach. Nicole spots megastars Daniel Deranian (father to single parent Kyra’s baby Dustin) and his wife Tonja Kay by the pool at The Delano while meeting the client she hopes will revitalize her high-end matchmaking career. Avery and Chase escape to The Clevelander Hotel. Nicole and Maddie breakfast at Big Pink. Maddie, Nicole and Avery crash Daniel Deranian’s party at The Setai Hotel to “rescue” Kyra, but overdo the champagne instead. Everybody likes Ted’s Hideaway, a small neighborhood bar next door to Big Pink, as well as the view of the jetty and Government Cut from the beach where Nicole, Avery, Maddie, Kyra and Deirdre go to speak frankly, away from the cameras filming their reality show Do Over. The show is supposed to be focused on the renovation of The Millicent, but last minute instructions from the network has it intruding into every aspect of their somewhat rocky lives.

Now that I think about it, they really get around.

Maddie, Nicole and Avery first met in your novel Ten Beach Road. Do you need to have read that novel to enjoy Ocean Beach?

I don’t think so. I worked hard to make sure Ocean Beach shared any of the back story pertinent to Do Over and the women’s friendship and current circumstances, and I tried to do it without being intrusive. I’m looking forward to hearing what others think and, fingers-crossed, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. At the same time, I’m really excited about those who have already read Ten Beach Road getting a chance to return to the characters’ lives in Ocean Beach. So many people got in touch asking for more of Maddie, Nicole and Avery’s story. So, here it is—and I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Where can we find out more about Ocean Beach, Ten Beach Road and what you’re up to?

I’ve posted a lot of information on my web site, including excerpts of both books. My Facebook page has a

second excerpt from Ocean Beach, plus photos showing research, inspiration and a look at Miami’s past. Both sites list the dates and locations for appearances and signings—and I’m always happy to meet readers and talk books.

Please check it out at www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyWax  and @Wendy_Wax.

Thanks for joining us, Wendy.

Thanks for having me. I appreciate the chance to share news and tidbits about Ocean Beach. I really look

forward to hearing from readers who want to get in touch to share their thoughts and opinions or to simply say hello. Happy summer!


http://www.authorwendywax.com/

facebook.com/AuthorWendyWax

@Wendy_Wax

OCEAN BEACH by Wendy Wax

Berkley Books/Trade Paperback/Original/Fiction

On Sale June 26, 2012/$15.00 ($16.00 Canada)

0-425-24541-1 ● 978-0-425-24541-5

Includes the Readers Guide



Monday, June 25, 2012

Fans of the Notebook will fall in love with Comeback Love.



The story of Glenna and Gordon is lke any other typical couple. Boy meets girl...boy falls for girl...boy and girl breakup. However, how many people can say that they got a second chance at love. Not as many as some would like or hope for.


Flash back to thirty five years ago.

Gordon Meyers is an aspiring writer. Gordon's first assignment is to interview one of the medical students involved in the organization for New York Medical Students for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. The medical student that Gordon is interviewing is Glenna Rising. Glenna and Gordon hit things off. Soon, they are hanging out with each other and becoming more then just friends. Gordon and Glenna's relationship is going well until one day Glenna and Gordon have a fight and Gordon walks away. Gordon has not stopped thinking about

Now years later, Gordon walks back into Glenna's life for second chance at love.

It has been a little while since I had had the joy to sit down and just read a book. I mean emerse myself into the story and the characters. The story of Gordon and Glenna was a sad but happy one. I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. This is because I am not typically a fan of romantic love stories. I feel more in love though with the past but at the end when Gordon and Glenna's past story caught up to the present, then I was excited to see how it would end. I did not see it coming as to part of the reason why Gordon came back. Gordon and Glenna's story was one that is treasured and does last a lifetime. Mr. Peter Golden is a rising author and one to keep an eye on. Comeback Love is a must read. Fans of the Notebook will fall in love with Comeback Love.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wallflower in Bloom is a summer read that blooms to a perfect ending.

Deirdre Griffin has the job that lots of women would kill for. Deidre is manager for her brother, Tag. Tag is a famous guru. Women all over are falling for Tag and his words of wisdom. Deirdre is meeting with an event manager for her brother, Tag. While at the hotel, Deirdre receives a unexpected surprise. A man walks into her hotel room, whie Deirdre is in a stage of undress with her granny panty style under wear, brushing her teeth, looking like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth. As if things could not get worse, the man is drop, dead handsome. The man is none other than Tag's friend, Steve Moretti and he is standing right in front of Deirdre.

I never read Must Love Dogs but I did see the movie adaption from the book and thought the movie was funny. I knew that I had to give Ms. Cook a chance but just never found the time until now. OMG...Wallflower in Bloom will have you laughing and crying at the same time. The words of wisdom that Tag would impart was hiliarous. It would make me do a double take and sometimes go "huh". Of course, sadly but after you reading the saying again and thought about it, it made sense in a round about way.

I wanted to hate Tag because he seemed so self-centered but at the same time, he was kind of ike a lost, sad puppy, who you could not stay mad at for very long. Deirdre was fun but she was like a wallflower. You would not remember her in a crowd. However, she did blossom in the end but very slowly. I wanted her to make a bigger transformation. One let down that I did have with this book was that I thought there would be more dancing or at least more focus on DWTS than there really was. Deirdre was suppose to have this dream of being a dancer but I did not get to see her dance but once during the living show and in practice. RIP...Fred and Ginger...may they live in the great big ocean of life. Wallflower in Bloom is a summer read that blooms to a perfect ending.

Full Body Burden is an intriguing read.


I live about four hours away from Denver, Colorado. I can rightfully say that I am not familiar with the Rocky Flats nuclear plant. I mean that I know of it but did not hear the warnings as other children may have heard from their parents who lived close by to the area like don't get the snow, beware strange glowing rocks (ok, so maybe not this particular warning) but you get the idea.


I got a little more out of reading this book than I thought I would. What I found the most fascinating was the nuclear plant and the last half of the book, where the government and the DOE were held responsible for the after effects of the nuclear plant. Reading Kristen's story about growing up near Rocky Flats nuclear plant and losing friends was sad. I did like getting to know Kristen. Although. I felt like this book was more about the people who lived near the nuclear plant, worked there, and the nuclear plant itself versus really a memoir about Kristen and her family. Not that I am complaining as I did feel like getting to know the people that Kristen grew up with helped to tell the story. Not that you needed to know every detail about the people who worked or lived near the nuclear plant to feel sorry for them and cheer when the DOE was held accountable for the nuclear plant. Full Body Burden is an intriguing read. Even fiction readers will find this book worth a first and second look.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dog on the Roof is an adult's children's book.



As the presidential elections are in the fore front of everyone's mind this year, this is the perfect time to get to know one of the strong contender's Mitt Romney and his family including one of the important family members...Seamus Romney aka the family dog. Mitt decides to pack up the family and travel across the USA. Everyone is going including Seamus. Only Seamus has a front row seat on top of the family car. The family travels to South Dakota, to California, to every place in between and finally Washington, D.C.


I liked the illustrations. They were colorful, detailed, and really helped portray the story. Seamus really stole the show for me in this book. The comments and expressions he made were priceless. Each state's talent or famous landmark that the state was known for was featured. Of course, why Mr. Kluger and Mr. Slavin had great fun pocking at different aspects in the book like rhyming, you can not help but pick up on Mr. Romney's pollitical views in this book. You will either like Mitt Romney or not but I can guarantee that you will love Seamus and this book. Dog on the Roof is an adult's children's book. Dog on the Roof gets two paws up!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mr. Dugoni sold me with Conviction with this book!





David Sloane is having some issues with his step son, Jake. Sloane's friend, Tom Molina suggests that Sloane, Jake, Molina and his son, T.J. all get away for a guys weekend. Things go well until Jake and T.J. are arrested, tried and sentenced all by Judge Earl Boykin. Judge Boykin is a man not to be messed with.


Jake and T.J. have been sent to Fresh Start, a jevenile facility. Only the facility is more like a boot camp and the guards like to break down the children because they can. Sloane and Molina will have to pull out the big guns if they want to save their sons.

I have not read a book by Mr. Dugoni. After reading Conviction, I will be checking out Mr. Dugoni's prior novels. I was hooked. Sloane and Molina make a great team. They bothn have brains and fight for justice. Sloane had guts, which is why I liked him a lot. Neither he or Molina were afraid to get their hands dirty. Some of the characters surprised me. I admit that I did not see the signs of which sides they were really playing for until the big reveal. What I also really liked about this book was that I could see this actually happening in smaller towns. In this case, I would want someone like Sloane to be my attorney and fight for me.
There was kind of like dual stories happening in this book. The one involving Sloane and Molina and Sloane's son, Jake and Molina's son, T.J. Jake is just as strong. He did not go down without a fight. T.J. was more on the quiet side and I felt sorry for him. He was an innocent bystander. Or couse, I would have liked to have seen him have more courage. I culd not stop reading this book. There was plenty of action and drama. I would recommend this book to anyone, who likes a good legal thriller. Mr. Dugoni sold me with Conviction with this book!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

THE RECKONING


My Review

Lanore and Luke are back. They are attending the much anticipated museum exhibit titled "Lost Treasures of the Nineteenth Century". The exhibit is courtesy of Lanore. She is the mystery donor. While attending the exhibit, Lanore experiences a sharp, tingling pain. She knows instantly that it is Adair. This is not good news for Lanore as she was the one that put Adair away for what she thought was a very long time.


Adair escapes his prison, only to learn that the world his once knew has changed a lot. First off people use computers to communicate with each other and two to purchase anything plastic as in credit card is the way to go. Adair has to learn to navigate the new world, while trying to find Lanore. It won't be eary but that is ok as Adair has time. Once Adair finds Lanore, he will make her pay dearly for betraying him.

The Reckoning is book two in The Taker trilogy. I would suggest starting with The Taker. This is a trilogy where it is character driven. While, I could not wait to read this book, I did feel like it took me a little longer to jump right back into it. Lanora and Luke's relationship was more on the quiet side this time. I found Adair to have a stronger presence in the story. However, his and Lanore's reunion was short lived and I wanted more. The flash backs did not always seem to come at good times for me or it could be I wanted to hurry along the story to read faster. Overall, not a lot of action but still enjoy this trilogy. I am excited to read the third book and Adair's story of his life.


Purchase a copy here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Discussing DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS with Lou Aronica




like each of my writing projects to provide new challenges. I find myself significantly more engaged if I'm doing at least one thing with a new book that I haven't done before. For DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS, the novel I just published with Julian Iragorri, that one thing was substantial -- and therefore endlessly interesting.


DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS is the story of four people from four different times whose stories converge in a way that has a profound effect on the protagonist. Writing a novel with multiple viewpoints wasn't the challenge. My last novel, BLUE, had three main characters. What was going to prove difficult here was that all four stories needed to remain completely separate for most of the novel. How were we going to move four stories forward at once? More important, how were we going to do it in a way that felt cohesive and interesting to the reader?

One way was to draw connections between the characters. All of them came from the fictional South American country we created. Three of them had some level of interest in metaphysics. Three of them were fascinated with business and finance. Another way was to attempt to make the individual stories as propulsive as possible so the reader didn't spend too much time wondering why they weren't connecting. There's no shortage of drama in DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS. Alex is running a major company and jousting with his estranged wife. Vidente is reading the futures of others while trying to make sense of the vision she's had of her own death. Khaled has moved from a distant land, discovered that his wife and children have been murdered, and completely unexpectedly fallen in love. And Dro is trying to use success at MIT as a springboard to an influential career as an economist while also navigating a torrid affair with a woman who is his country's most famous international figure.


Ultimately, it came down to dropping enough hints along the way to let readers know that they were reading all of these stories for a reason. I'd like to believe that the payoff DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS delivers justifies this unconventional storytelling technique. We're of course intensely interested in learning how others feel about this. One thing I know for sure, though, is that this was a challenge that kept me fully engaged through the entire writing process.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Orphanmaster comes calling!

It is 1663 in New Amsterdam.


If you an orphan, then most likely you have met the orphanmaster. He is the one that all the children know.

Blandine van Couvering grew up an orphan herself. She has done pretty well for herself these days. Having been an orphan, Blandine has a soft spot for the other orphan children. This is why when some of the orphan children go missing, Blandine takes it upon herself to lead a group and go hunting for the missing children. Blandine is joined by Edward Drummond, a British spy. Suspicions first lead to the orphanmaster but as Blandine and Edward draw closer tothe truth, they learn there is something more evil at work.

This was quite an interesting book. Although, the first half of the book does move slowly. However, if you stick with it, it does get better. I liked the historical aspect surrounding this story, especially regarding the Native Americans and the witika. The idea that a beast could have that much power to make people turn into cannibals is creepy. Unlike some of my fellow readers, I did not have a problem with the grusome eating of human flesh. I can see though, where some could be grossed out as it was emphasized but this was to help tell the story. The whole idea of the orphanmaster had me thinking of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The orphanmaster was in charge of all the lost children and he would lead them away.

Blandine is a strong female protagonist. She really helped lead the story. Being an orphan herself helped as she fought hard for all the missing children. While, I liked Edward too, I was not feeling so much the love interest between him and Blandine. I felt it took a bit of a side seat to the main focus of the missing children. A nicely done first novel by new author, Jean Zimmerman. The Orphanmaster comes calling!
 
Check out Jean Zimmerman's website for extra bonuses surrounding The Orphanmaster like:
 
To make a Hedge-Hog.


Take two Pounds of blanched Almonds, beat them well in a Mortar with a little Canary and Orange-flower Water-


to keep them from oiling.

· Make them into stiff Paste, then beat in the yolks of twelve Eggs, leave out five of the Whites,

· Put to it a Pint of Cream, sweeten it with Sugar, put in half a Pound of sweet Butter melted,

· Set it on a Furnace or slow Fire, and keep it constantly stirring, till it is stiff enough to be made into the Form of an Hedhe-Hog;

· Stick it full of blanched Almonds, slit and stuck up like the Bristles of a Hedge-Hog.







Skios is a comedic, quick, entertaining, summer read!



Dr. Norman Wilfred is a guest speaker at the Fred Toppler Foundation. He will be talking about his theories in science. Oliver Fox is traveling to the island of Skios for a hook up. While at the airport, Oliver has a freak out moment. He wonders what it would be like to be someone else. When Oliver gets the opportunity, he runs with it but will he make the most of it.


While, I was expecting to laugh a lot more then I actually did, there were still some funny moments. My favorites scenes involved Norman and what was happening on his side of the island. It was like watching an Greek tragedy (sopa opera). After one antic would end the next would begin. First with Norman getting a suprise bed mate, to him meeting a goat, to the cleaning lady tossing all the clothing into the pool. It was surpising comsidering Norman's age that he did not have a heart attack from all the stress and excitement. Our course, deep down, I think he enjoyed the drama and different people that he met.

On the other hand, Oliver came off as pathetic to me. He was like the clown trying to get everyone to like him, think he was funny, and impress them all. I was not really buy into Oliver. I wanted him to either commit to what he started or just be him. Which he did try to do. Overall, I did have a fun time reading this book. Skios is a comedic, quick, entertaining, summer read!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Good Dream has heart and soul.



Ivorie lived with her parents until their death. Now it is just her and her dog, Sally. This is on for Ivorie as she does not need a man as she is doing just fine on her own, despite what everyone else may think. Things are going well, Ivorie has started a garden. Ivorie starts to notice beans, tomatoes and other veggies missing form her garden. At first Ivorie thought it was Sally but then Ivorie catches her bandit in action. It is a little boy. Ivorie takes the boy into her home. Soon the whole town learns of Ivorie and the boy. Where did the boy come from and who are his parents? Can Ivorie gain the family that the dreamed of.

Donna VanLiere is a new to me author. After reading this book, I plan to go back and check out Donna's prior novels. The Good Dream has heart and soul. The characters in this book are ones that readers will come to love. Ivorie is strong and has a good heart. She is approachable and this is just the type of person I look for in a story like this..character driven. The Boy spoke lots of depths, even though he did not really speak in this book. The boy grew on me and I felt for him. Be warned once you start this book, you will have a hard time putting it down. I know I enjoyed this book. It is a summer read not to be missed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Questing for Uberjoy


Orion cane not wait for his fiance, Joycelyn to return from her work with the Peace Corps. Once she returns then Orion and Joycelyn aka Uberjoy will be married. Things take a bad turn for the worse, when Orion learns that his Uberjoy along with the rest of the Peace Corp group has been taken. As if things could not get any worse, Orion discovers that the group who took his Uberjoy is part of a sex trafficking ring. Orion travels halfway across the world to save his Uberjoy.

Questing for Uberjoy is book three in the Post-Lux Trilogy. I have not read the first two books in this trilogy but have to say that I did not feel like I was missing anything. The only thing I could see possibly missing was Orion and Joycelyn relationship. Althought, I thought it was pretty evident in this book by Orion's determination to find his Uberjoy. Orion was a man on a mission and he would not let anyone oe anything stand in his way. I liked this. He was a man of action. This book surprised me in a good way. The illustrations in this book were very well done. They helped me to picture the locations that Orion traveled and make the story come alive even more. I thought that this story ended on a strong, high note.

Mary Magdalene



Mary is the daughter of a ship builer. Mary has just celebrated a save return of her father from one of his trips. Everyone has settled down for the evening, when Mary is kidnapped. She is rescued but ever since her safe return, she has not been the same. She keeps having nightmares. As the years pass, the nightmares get worse and Mary even experiences seizures. Her family fears for her. It gets to bad that Mary's husband has to lock her in her room. Things change when a rabbi named Jesus travels to Mary's town. Jesus heals Mary and from that point on, she promises to follow Jesus.


This is the second book I have read by this author and the second story about women from the Bible. Diana really protrays the women from the Bible as the strong women they truely are. I am embarrassed to admit that I kind of remember Mary but am vague on the details surrounding Mary.

Mary was amazing. The stuff she had to endure with the nightmares and being spawned by her family and friends due to the nightmares. Having earned the title Mad Mary. I can not imagine. What a great story though to learn that it was all not for nothing. She was the first to see Jesus when he was resurrected. That is amazing. It just goes to show you that things in our lives may seem difficult and we can not see an end or figure out a reason why but God has a reason and plan and if we listen and wait we will see the answer. I am glad that Diana chose to feature the story of Mary. I can not wait to see which woman she will pick next from the Bible.


“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Donors is a scary, thriller read. Don't be the next victim to scream!

Nathan was at home with Steve, his mother's boyfriend. Steve was mean. It was still going to be a long time until Nathan's mother returns home. Nathan decides to cook himself dinner. Suddenly, Steve comes marching into the kitchen and burns Nathan's arm. Nathan ends up in the hospital in the burn unit, where he will receive skin grafts.


Steve is about to meet his worst nightmare. The Lizard men. The Lizard men are judge, jury, and executor.

This book was full of gruesome, gut-wretching moments. Even I who can read one after anotehr of serial killer books and I mean the dark stuff, had a weak moment that surprised even me. It was the first time when the Lizard men were ripping into Steve and tearing out his intestines. After that, I was fine but this jsut goes to show you that I was really into this book. When Nathan would be in the Lizard men's world, I could see it so real. It was like I could smell the fear, piss, metallic smell of blood and feel the dirt underneath my feet.

For being a horror book, I thought that Mr. Wilson did a nice job. He did bring life to the characters and made me cheer for Nathan. I liked Nathan. He was a good superhero. He was the perfect person to fight the Lizard men. I could not totally hate the Lizard men as I did find them to play part good guys. They punished the really bad guys like Steve and helped the innocent. The Donors is a scary, thriller read. Don't be the next victim to scream!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Into the Darkest Corner



My Review

Catherine has a compulsive disorder. Although lucky or unluky for Catherine, she has met a guy. His name is Lee. What started out as a good relationship, soon turns violent. Lee beats Catherine to an inch of her life and leaves her for dead.


Lee is sent to prison. Catherine starts a new life and changes her name to Cathy. Cathy gets a new tenant in her building. His name is Stuart and he is a doctor. Stuart is trying to help Cathy with her disorder. In the meantime, Stuart would like to start a relationship with Cathy. This will be hard as Lee has been released from prison and is coming for Cathy.

I have seen this book making its way across the world wide web. I knew I had to check it out. The opening scenes with the court room script was good. I thought with this that the story was going to so somewhere good. Unfortunately for me the characters did not do much for me. I felt the story was slow to get going in the beginning and the flashing back and forth was not as smooth as I would have liked. It read kind of like little snippts or dreams of Catherine's. Now, this may have been what the author was going after, which in this case, it worked. My problem was that I was suppose to like Lee in tbe beginning and understand how Catherine could fall for him but I did not see this. All I could see was the signs that he was bad news for her. Of course, this can be blamed on the fact that she was in love, which the saying goes " Love is blind".

Catherine did not have much of a personality for me. She was kind of bland. I don't think it was her compulsive disorder that can be faulted for why she felt the need to check all her locks double and triple times. Or why she had the feeling that someone was watching her. Catherine was right that someone was watching her...Lee. I can not blame Catherine for having her guard up. If I went through what Catherine did with Lee, then I would have my guard up too and it would be protected by my two friends...Smith and Wesson.

The relationship between Catherine and Stuart seemed one sided in the beginneding with Stuart taking the lead. The psychological thriller aspect that I thought I was going to get with Lee stalking Catherine was more on the quiet side until the last half of the book. Overall, a galant effort for Elizabeth Haynes and her first novel.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 with the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Into the Darkest Corner is her first novel; it was named Amazon UK’s Best Book of the Year 2011, film rights have been sold to Revolution Films, and rights have been sold in twelve countries and counting. Haynes lives in a small village in Kent with her husband and son. Visit her website at http://www.elizabeth-haynes.com/

A Q&A with Elizabeth Haynes, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER


WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE BOOK?
It was a dream: I dreamed that there was a man who I knew was bad, but nobody believed me. All my friends were falling for him and the more I tried to tell them he was nasty the more they accused me of being petty and mean. I wanted to write a story about how it feels not to be believed, to the extent that you even doubt yourself. This was the germ of the idea that became Into the Darkest Corner.

At the same time, in my job as an intelligence analyst for the police, I was working on analysis looking at domestic abuse and was struck by how many of the victims did not fit into the stereotypical image of the domestic abuse victim. I wanted to show how easy it is for people to become trapped in an abusive relationship and how difficult it is to escape, especially when you are not believed. After her terrible ordeal, Catherine suffers from OCD and PTSD and I did a lot of research into these conditions.


HOW DID YOU COME TO WRITE INTO THE DARKEST CORNER?

I wrote the first draft in 2008 as part of National Novel Writing Month, which is an annual challenge to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Nano, as it’s called, is an experience shared with hundreds of thousands of other participants around the world and so it’s very different from the usual way of writing a book.


HOW HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE SHAPED YOUR WRITING?

I work as an intelligence analyst for the police, a job that I feel has been sadly overlooked by crime writers! It’s a civilian role which involves analyzing crime and intelligence in order to determine patterns in offending and criminal behavior, which can then be used to direct resources effectively. It’s the ideal job for a writer, because it requires a degree of creativity, the ability to think beyond the available intelligence to ask the eternal question, “what if…?” I’ve learned many things through my job, including that individuals often behave in the most unexpected ways; that things you’re told can’t always be relied upon; and that two apparently honest and trustworthy people may have completely different interpretations of the same situation or conversation.

ARE ANY OF THE NOVEL’S CHARACTERS BASED ON PEOPLE YOU HAVE KNOWN?


Not directly. Some of them have characteristics of people I know, of course, and physically some of them may bear a passing resemblance to real people. Some of my friends suggested names for characters, including my friend Naomi, who wanted the dubious honor of being “first corpse.”

HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR CHARACTERS?

Once I’ve found each character’s “voice,” they almost develop themselves. After a while they become real people to me, and then they just pester me to tell their stories. I do get a sense of disquiet if I’m heading in the wrong direction with one of them. People are often surprising, even imaginary ones.


DID YOU WANT TO PRESENT THE MALE PROTAGONIST, LEE, AS A SYMPATHETIC CHARACTER IN SOME RESPECTS?

I wanted the reader to be able to see why Catherine fell for Lee in the first place. As well as being cruel and manipulative, he himself is damaged and has an element of vulnerability. From his point of view all his actions are motivated by love. What he does to Catherine is inexcusable, but like many violent people he is a victim too, at least in part: a product of the betrayals of his past.

HOW DID YOU CREATE AND MAINTAIN THE BOOK’S DRIVING SUSPENSE?


I didn’t have the whole story mapped out from the start, so a lot of the twists and turns were a surprise to me when they came along. Every time poor Catherine started to relax or feel safe, I’d ask myself ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen to her?’ and then just see how she’d react to it. Some bits of it gave me goose-bumps, and those bits mainly stayed in.


DID YOU FEEL A RESPONSIBILITY TO GET THE DETAILS OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NOVEL RIGHT, FOR EXAMPLE REPRESENTING OCD IN A CERTAIN WAY?

Yes. OCD is a condition that takes many different forms and I don’t think any two experiences of it will be the same. I’m lucky to have a very good friend from university days, Alexia, who is a consultant clinical psychologist. She was able to suggest some useful books to read, two of which I would particularly recommend to anyone who would like further information about OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by David Veale and Rob Willson, which provides a useful insight into treatment options; and The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing by Judith L. Rapoport, which tells the stories of a number of people of all ages with OCD of various kinds.

WHAT MAKES INTO THE DARKEST CORNER RELEVANT TODAY?

Every day, women, men and children are threatened, seriously injured or killed by violent partners or ex-partners. The issue of stalking and harassment is very real and very current. It’s easy to say that something like this would not happen to you, that you would be able to avoid this situation, but I wanted to show with the book that it can happen to anyone.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


I’m always clipping things out of the weekend papers. I have files full of stories about people and situations that have sparked off some idea or theme I’ll probably never write about, but every so often I’ll go back through them and see if anything leaps out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jasmine Nights is a intriguing, fun, enjoyable read!

Saba Tarcan is a singer. She leaves home and auditions for ENSA aka Entertainments National Service Association. Saba becomes the newest member of ENSA. ENSA travels all over entertaining wounded soldiers with their shows. This is a big opportunity for Saba as she has never traveled the world.


Dom Benson is a fighter pilot. Dom is recovering in a hospital after being wounded in combat. It is in the hospital that Dom first meets Saba and hears her voice. She was filling in for a fellow singer. Dom and Saba share a instant connection. Although, Saba starts off their relationship slow. As time passes and with each new location, Dom and Saba's relationship blossoms.

Saba gets an exciting opportunity to assit the British Secret Service. There will be danger.

I liked this book. I thought that Saba and Dom made a cute couple. I do mean cute. Their relationship to me seemed more on the sweet side then the spicy side. While, I don't always have to have spicy, I would have liked it to be more, only for the fact that it would have helped with the story. The story was intriguing but it felt like it was slow moving otherwise. I wanted to get to the "meat" of the story, where Saba helped become a spy for the British Secret Service. This did not happen until the last half of the book. Although, the locations that Saba and Dom travelled to in this book were amazing. I did feel like I was right there with them. I did find the concept that women back then were used as spies during the war an very intriguing story. I was glad to see that Saba was a strong female character. I would have had a harder time believing her story if she was not strong. Jasmine Nights is a intriguing, fun, enjoyable read!

I Suck at Girls




I never read Mr. Halpern's Sh*t MY Dad Says. After reading this book, I am going to check it out. I was laughing my head off at this book. I barely picked it up to start reading and already I found hilarous lines by Justin's father. I was reading them to my husband. It took like forever to get to page six because I would stop and read a line or a conversation that Justin had with his father.


The things that would come out of Justin's father's mouth, had me wanting to crack a beer or two with him and bring up random topics to get his opipions. He gave you the uncensored life lessons. I feared that things would not be as funny when Justin grew up and went away to college but never fear as the laughes still kept coming. Justin's experiences with the opposite sex was sad. I felt for him. I am surprised that he did not get chewed up and spit out. Luckily for him, he found his perfect match with his wife, Amanda. From what I did get to learn about her in this book, she sounds nice.

One final word of advise. So remember when your mother tells you to call every few weeks and you respond that you don't know if you will always be around a phone. you're not leading a fucking expedition to Antarctica. Find a phone and call your parents. (Courtesy of Justin's fatehr). This was one of the funniest autobiographies that I have read. You need to pick up a copy of this book. You will not regret it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Serpent's Kiss is pure entertainment!





Freya's twin brother, Freddie has returned from prison. Freddie believes that Freya's beau, Killian is the one that caused Freddie to be sent away. Freya wants so bad to ask Killian if he had anything to do with her brother's punishment but she can't. This in turn has caused Freya to withdraw from Killian.


Then there is Ingrid and Matt. They are finally going out on a date. It is about time. These two move like molasses. In addition, there is some strange happenings in the house. Tyler's mother believes the hosue is haunted and will not return with Tyler until the problem is fixed. Things are getting interesting.

I missed Tyler. He did not make much of an appearance in this book. Tyler is entertaining and has a bubbly personalility. Even though I can not eat Joanna's baking of sweet treats, I do feel like when I read about them that I am gaining ten pounds. They all sound so yummy. No wonder Tyler can not get enough. Ingrid deserves to have a guy in her life. I like Matt and hopefully, he and Ingrid will work things out in the long run. If Matt can be understanding of Ingrid's powers and Ingrid can quit being so independant and like Matt protect her (not that she needs protecting). Freya and Killian are heating up. I don't really mean in the bedroom, so much as I do the mystery surrounding Freya's twin brother, Freddie. I can not wait to learn the truth about what caused Freddie to be bandished. The family's powers were not show cased as much in this book. I would like to see more of their powers. This series is getting better wich each book. I can not wait to read book three. Serpent's Kiss is pure entertainment!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens. WITCHES OF EAST END was her first in a series for adults. The second in the series, SERPENT’S KISS, will be published by Hyperion in June 2012. Her Blue Bloods series is a worldwide bestseller and has three million copies in print. Her many other books include the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, which is now a reality-television show on the Sundance Channel.


A former fashion and beauty editor, de la Cruz has written for the New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Teen Vogue, among others. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends, and fame for CNN, E! and Fox News.

De la Cruz grew up in Manila before moving to San Francisco with her family. She is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her husband and daughter.

Between You and Me fashion collection



Now, inspired by the life of mega pop-star Britney Spears, comes Between You and Me (Atria Books, June 2012, $25), a fictional examination of the life of a pop icon. We’ve all watched as famous people we adore—or despise—have broken apart on the national screen. But what if you weren’t judging from the sidelines? What if life had put you in the getaway car, the hair salon, the hotel hallway right along with them? Taking aim at the most insidious kind of “stage-parenting” and an industry that ‘produces’ their clients’ adolescences, McLaughlin and Kraus’ latest novel questions what -- and who – is responsible for a celebrity’s destruction. Between You and Me gives a sympathetic portrayal of the implosion of a beloved and promising talent, Kelsey Wade, as her saga unfolds on the pages of every tabloid magazine for the world to judge.


Twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade is trying to build a life for herself far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. Until she gets an offer she can’t refuse. Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey in person since their parents separated them as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has grown into Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrity. But their reunion is quickly overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her parents, as Logan discovers that, beneath the glossy façade, the wounds that caused them to be wrenched apart so many years ago have insidiously warped into a show-stopping family business. As Kelsey tries desperately to break away and grasp at a “real” life, beyond the influence of her parents and managers, she makes one catastrophic misstep after another until Logan must question if their childhood left them both too broken to succeed. Logan risks everything to hold on, but when Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way, Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between rescuing the girl she has always protected…and saving herself.

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have proven again and again that they are masters at exploring the subtle nuances of family relationships—as they intersect with the most current trends in the culture at large. After reading Between You and Me, you will never read another tabloid magazine in quite the same way.

Opensky starting today and for two weeks is featuring items inspired form this book to purchase. Items like red carpet ready accessories to the perfect sunglasses for hiding from the paparazzi, it features pieces chosen by Ali Fedotowsky, Monet Mazur, Kelly Bensimon, Molly Sims, and Nancy O’Dell.





Monday, June 11, 2012

Sorority Sisters will become your new best friend.


The year is 1975.


Laurie is looking for girl power, even if it means she has to find it at University of Los Angeles's sorority house, Beta Pi. Karen is a prim and proper lady. She does what her mother wants her to do. This is why she joined Beta Pi. Her mother felt she should have lots of friends. Ellen was meant to be a sorority girl. She lives for the parties and drinking. Finally there is Diane. Diane is in ROTC, besides being a Beta Pi. This is because, she almost flunked college and her father told her that he was no longer paying unless she found a way to pay for college. Thus this is part of the reason why Diane is so popular with the guys. The other reason is her looks.

The four women form a bond. Not only just through college but even after college. The women laugh, cry, and help each other raise families together.

I have never been in a sorority. After reading this book, I can understand what the appeal might be to join one...the girlfriends you make for life. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I admit that I had reservations as I instantly wanted to label this book a chick lit before I had read it. I liked the four women. They each brought something fun and entertaining to the group. I must admit although that I liked Ellen a lot. She had spunk. She says what is on her mind. There were times that I wanted to scream at Laurie and her poor taste in men. Both Karen and Diane grew up to be smart, wonderful women. Sorority Sisters is a book worth your time and money. Sorority Sisters will become your new best friend.

Courtesy of Claudia Welsh's newsletter

I was a sorority girl. I met women in Alpha Phi who are still my friends, women who are sisters of my heart.


We all have those women in our lives. I wanted to write a story that honors and acknowledges that special bond. It was risky not only because I’d never written a book like this before, but because sorority girls have such a strong image, negative for some people, and that can make a person hate the book based on just the title. In fact, my editor told me she chose the college she attended because it didn’t have a fraternal system; she hated the idea of sororities that much. Talk about an uphill battle! The fact that she bought the book was a huge leap for her. After she read the finished book, she told me that she wished now she’d joined a sorority. Victory!

But this isn’t a book about sororities, not really. It’s a book about women. About how we need each other, and about how women love each other through it all, through bad break-ups and marriage and sickness and children and career changes. We’re there for each other, no matter what. Because with sisters, it’s not about what happens. It’s about no matter what happens.




Sunday, June 10, 2012

Every Day, Every Hour







In Croatia, Luka is being born. He comes into this world a small, fragile boy. Unlike, Dora, who comes out screaming to the world that she has arrived. Luka grows up a quiet boy. He likes to paint. Dora was born to mark and leave her makr in the world. The first day of school is the day that she first saw Luka. He was watching her. Suddenly, he fainted. Dora knew just what to do. She marched over to Luka, kissed him and whispher, "You are my sleeping beauty, only mine, wake up, my prince, you are my prince, only mine."


From that day forward, Luka and Dora were inseperatable. That is until Dora and her family moved. Years passed before Dora and Luka would see each other again during Luka's art exhibit show in Paris. Dora and Luka was to be together but there are other forces tearing them apart.

I really, liked this book. It was like watching a tragic, love poem. Play out in a movie. Dora and Luka were made for each other. Just like the towns folk, I was in awe of Dora and Luka and just knew they were meant to be togerther. Sadly, people were trying to tear them apart. I could understand why. Dora was stronger then Luka and she could overpower him. She was like a intoxiating poison that you know you would stay away from but can not stop yourself from letting it get into your system. Another element that I loved about this story was the location, Croatia. There was just something about this area that helped make the story. Also, the characters all came alive, not just Dora and Luka but all the secondary ones as well. This is why I became so invested in Dora and Luka's story and lives. I thought that Liesl Schillinger did an amazing job translating author, Natasa Dragnic's words into this book.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Big Sky Country with Linda Lael Miller


My Review

Slade Barlow is sherriff in Parable, Montana. This is a big deal. Slade was born out of wedlock. This is why, when his father dies, he does not expect to be mentioned in his will, let alone inherit half of Whisper Creek Ranch. This does not make Hutch, Slade's half bother too pleased. Hutch offers to purchase Slade's half of the ranch.


Joslyn Kirk used to be the town's beauty queen. She and Hutch used to date. Although Joslyn had eyes for Slade. Only Slade would not have known it as he thought she was a spoiled rich girl. Joslyn is only in town to make mends to all the people her step father burned and than she is leaving again. Joslyn's friend, Kendra tells Joslyn that she is not responsible for her step father's actions.

The longer that Joslyn stays in town the harder it is to resist Slade.

It has been a while since I have read a book by this author. Seeing that Linda Lael Miller had a new series coming out, starting with Big Sky Country, I thought I would check Mrs. Miller out again. I have to say that Mrs. Miller does know her cowboys and how to write a good book. I liked Slade. He was a gentleman but he also had a sense of humor about him. When I think of men in uniform, I don't think of sherriffs near the top five of my list but if the guy looked anything like Slade, than I woold have to make an exception. It was easy to see why Joslyn feel for Slade. Although, it felt like it took a really long time for either Joslyn or Slade to admit their feelings toward each other and hook up. For a while, I thought Slade's half brother, Hutch, was going to end up on top. Speakling of which. Hutch was a jerk in tbe beginning but as the story progressed I changed my mind about Hutch and did like him. Good thing as I can not wait to read his and Kendra's story in Big Sky Mountain.

Reading this book, it did feel like there were two stories going on...one involving Slade and Joslyn and the other involving Hutch and Kendra. I would say that this book was more on the serious side and not so much on the lovey, dovey, romance side. Still a good book. I think that fans of this authors will enjoy this new series. Big Sky Country is filled with open skies, romance, good characters, and is a nice start to a new series by Linda Lael Miller!


Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the self-confessed barn goddess now lives in Spokane, Washington. Linda hit a career high in 2011 when all three of her Creed Cowboys books—A Creed in Stone Creek, Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy—debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. To learn more about Linda, visit http://www.lindalaelmiller.com/





1. What inspires you when you’re writing?


Music—especially country. I knew Johnny Cash and his lovely wife June Carter Cash personally, so of course “Jackson” gets the creative juices flowing for sure. Randy Travis is another favorite, and so is Marty Robbins. Something about their music energizes me, big-time, and starts the pictures unrolling in my brain.

2. How much, and what kinds of research went into creating this novel?

I do a sort of ongoing research—I consult a friend who’s an expert on rodeos, for instance. Most of my stories, though, are pure imagination. I try to get things right, but I’m much more interested in giving the reader an emotional experience and a little vacation from the real world.

3. How did you come up with the character, Joslyn Kirk?

Joslyn, like most of my characters, simply came to me as a brown-haired woman returning to her hometown to right an old wrong—one she’d had nothing to do with. As I wrote about Joslyn, she sort of flowered into a person I’d know if I met her on the street. It’s that way with all my story people—they become friends and I’m convinced that they’re real, somewhere.

4. Are any characters in the book based on people you know or have met in your personal life?

Not directly. They’re all composites of many people I’ve known, I suppose; once they’ve gone through the unconscious alchemy process, they develop into unique individuals in their own right.

5. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the book?

I would worry less about getting it perfect and just have fun with the process. Since “Big Sky Country” is the first in a series, the staging has to be just right to carry not only that book, but the others coming after it.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shadow's Edge



For years, Jenna has been on the run. She can remember when she was a little girl and her mother told her that she was special and when "they" came for her that she should be prepared. Only Jenna did not know who "they" were.


Jenna's twenty fifth birthday is approaching. While at the grocery store, Jenna feels a strong presence. It is he, the one with the piercing eyes. He has found her. Jenna knows she should run but she is tried of running. She is making a stand. Although, it could be the wrong move.

This is the first book that I have read by author, J.T. Geissinger. After reading this book, I will have to check out more of her work. There was not a lot of romance happening in this book but that was fine by me. Jenna was a strong female persona that if she had fallen for Leander right away, I would not have believed it. The whole sexual tension and cat and mouse game was fun to watch. When Jenna and Leander finally did the deed in the last third of the book, it was steamy, just like I expected it would be.

Every time that Jenna would challenge Leander, I got a smile on my face. He needed someone like Jenna. What I liked most about this book was the concept. The fact that the characters are not just shape shifters but ones that can transform into vapor. Like clouds of mist, they are not just tied to turing into panthers. I can not remember a book that I have read recently hwere the shape shifters could turn into vapor and float around. I would have to say this book was on the edge of being urban fantasy then paranormal. It was a little on the dark side (which I enjoyed) and had some adult like content. So for the teen readers, I would suggest the reader by like sixteen and older. I hope there will be more books. I would like to see Leander's brother, Christian gets a feature.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jennifer Weiner at BEA




The Next Best Thing, in the next few weeks. Hitting bookshelves on July 3rd, this is one of the most highly anticipated books of the summer and the perfect beach read.
· Jen’s BOOK TOUR, July: The following is a link to Jen’s upcoming book tour schedule, celebrating the launch of The Next Best Thing: http://www.jenniferweiner.com/events.htm





Sea Change, is one not to be missed.



My Review

Ava Whalen marries Matthew Frazier. This does not make Ava's mother happy. Especially as Ava and Matthew will be starting their new life on St. Simon's Island. For someone who has a fear of the ocean, Ava is either brave or really in love.


Ava can not explain it but she feels a connection to St. Simon's Island. It is here that she learns about who Matthew really is. Rumor has it that Matthew killed his wife. Could Ava be living with a murderer?

I am a fan of Mrs. White. Her latest book, Sea Change, is one not to be missed. This book was party mystery, part intrigue, and part romance. I was more intrigued by the mystery part of the story then the present. It was not until about the second time that Ava had a flash back to the past that I figured out the mystery. Then I really got into this story even more. I like the concept of the mystery surrounding Ava and the past. If it was not for the mystery then Ava would be boring. Ava is the type of person that is more suited for being a wallflower then a leader. Although, she did blossom as the story progressed. The rest of the characters were kind of secondary. They did not add too much to the story. Again, the mystery was the best part of this book. I do plan to check out Mrs. White's next book.

Purchase a copy here

Monday, June 4, 2012

Oath of Office


Review by Nancy

Dr. Lou Welcome had been to his own personal hell and back. Addicted to booze, his license revoked, losing his wife and nearly his daughter; Lou had nothing else to lose but millions to gain if he could just stay sober. A friend named Cap helped as his AA sponsor and boxing buddy. Due to his lapse Welcome was committed to helping other docs who were suffering the same issues. Through a group called Physician Wellness Office, Lou shores his stories and helps. Or so he thought.


Dr. John Meacham, someone Lou had been working with and who was showing great strides, suddenly kills his staff, patients in the waiting room and, ultimately dies himself. What went wrong? He lived in King’s Ridge, a small area outside of Washington, DC catering to well-to-do folk. He seemed to have snapped and he wasn’t alone. In the White House, the First Lady was trying to keep control as the President began what was becoming a daily tirade. He was running for re-election and was passing on all appearances to sit in the Oval Office and “stew.” The patient who originally set off Meacham’s rampage because she wouldn’t lose weight; gives herself a tummy tuck with disastrous results. Something’s not right.

What do all these folks for different lifestyles and locales have in common? I was as surprised as you will be when you read the end of this book. Any Michael Palmer book will grab you and hold on until the end of his newest story. This one does a better job than some because, believe me, once you start this you’ll want to finish it and also not want to because it’s that good.

Purchase a copy here