Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Bremer Detail: Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World

Baghdad, 2003: An elite group of private security contractors is charged with protecting the American who rules IraqIn May 2003 President George W. Bush appointed Paul Bremer as presidential envoy to Iraq. Bremer banned the Ba'ath party and dismantled the Iraqi army, which made him the prime target for dozens of insurgent and terrorist groups. Assigned to protect him during his grueling sixteen-hour days were Blackwater security expert Frank Gallagher and a team of former Marines, SEALs, and other defense professionals. When they arrived, Baghdad was set to explode. As the insurgency gathered strength Bremer and the men who guarded him faced death daily. They were not in the military, but Gallagher and his team were on the front lines of the Iraq War. This fascinating memoir takes the reader deep behind the scenes of a highly dangerous profession.

My Review

I can honesty say that I don't remember hearing about the big Blackwater scandal. Of course, I don't follow the news too much. I feel that the news that is reported is not a true and accurate account of events and is one sided. Not really freedom of speech. Plus it is so depressing to read the news anymore. All I see is crime, killings, and children dying. This is why I stick to the world of books. So anyways back to this book. If you have read my reviews then you are familiar with the fact that I enjoy reading military themed non-fiction books. I saw this book and was intrigued to know what it is like to protect the most threatened man in the world.

I have to say that it is no walk in the park. One of the funniest things I read was when Frank got the call to be part of the Blackwater team. He thought no big deal he would be gone for 30 days and come back. Man was he in for a rude awakening. I applaud guys like Frank and his team for what they do. It takes a special kind of person to risk their lives every day for someone else. I will know add people like Frank to my list of people to respect besides the military men and women. It is easy to honor the military as they are front and center but easy to forget about people like Frank. Again, you will never hear all the good things that these guys do but you will remember the bad from the scandal. This book really gave me a very insightful look into what it really is like to protect the most threatened man in the world.

Warning as there is language used in this book.

Chained by Night

MoonBound Clan Vampires book 2
Pocket Books
September 30, 2014
ISBN-10: 1476700184
ISBN-13: 978-1476700182
buy from: Indiebound | Borders | Amazon | Powell’s | B & N

Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation.To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

My Review

I have read other books by this author but this is the first book I have read of the Moonbound Clan Vampire books. I have to say that this is how I like my vampires...tall, dark, sexy, a great lover, and protector. Just like Hunter. Even Hunter's name is a good one. Aylin is a excellent companion to Hunter. She is strong and very likable. Together, these two were hot together. Like if it was winter, there would be no snow as they would have melted it. Plus the story line for this book was a nice one as well. It was not just your typical vampires fall in love or even vampires against vampire hunters. It has depth. Also, there is a happy ending. After reading this book, I now plan to go back and read book one, Bound By Night.

MoonBound Clan Vampires book 1
Pocket Books
September 24, 2013
ISBN-10: 1476700176
ISBN-13: 978-1476700175
buy from: Indiebound | Borders | Powell’s | B & N | Amazon

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

 A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stone Cold Touch

Hey, Stephanie Meyers, this is how you do a love triangle. I tried to read the Twilight books but they were not for me. OR I should clarify that I attempted to read the first book. I did see the movies but only after the second one came out. I just never really felt the romance between Bella and Edward or even Jacob. Edward made me feel uncomfortable. Yet, I really felt and experienced the passion with Layla, Roth and Zayne. The heat was coming off the pages of the book. Although this time it was more between Layla and Zayne. Not that I am complaining as these two were hot together.

This book was really good. This is because the banter between Roth and Zayne was off the charts. They were whipping the one line zingers at each other so quickly I almost got whip lash. I was laughing at the insults they were giving each other. Layla's friends rocked too. They had bigger parts in the story as well. Also, it was cool to get to see the Warderns shape shift more. Layla and her powers are really growing and changing and making her very interesting. The way this book ended has me even more antsy to get my hands on the next book in this series.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove

Bright siblings—and amateur inventors—Nick and Tesla Holt are back in this fourth installment of their whiz-bang middle-grade series. This time, the twins are out to save science itself, as they race against the clock to figure out why a robotic assortment of history’s greatest scientists and inventors keeps going haywire. Is this sabotage, robo-geddon…or something more sinister? To unravel the mystery, they’ll have to keep adding all-new gadgets to their cyborg glove as they stay one step ahead of a hidden adversary. Together with zany scientist Uncle Newt and their friends Silas and DeMarco, Nick and Tesla won’t give up until an answer is found…but can they do it before time runs out? In this book, readers will learn how to construct a super-cyborg gadget glove that has four incredible functions: LED signal light, ultra-loud emergency alarm, handy sound recorder, and UV secret message revealer. Science and electronics have never been so much fun!

My Review
I first started this series because I thought my nephews would like these books. They do but so do I. I have grown close to Nick, Tesla, their uncle, and friends. I enjoy seeing what fun mischief that Nick and Tesla will find themselves in next. Each book is a grand adventure in itself. Plus, I like the fact that the books feature step by step instructions on how to make some of the cool gadgets that Nick, Tesla and their friends use to help them solve each mystery. The one featured in this book really has me excited. So much in fact, that I just might have to make a super-cyborg gadget glove or two of my own.

Butterfly Skin


A new psychological thriller that will take you into the dark depths of contemporary Russia.

Moscow is plagued with a series of gruesome murders. Ksenia, an ambitious young editor in the news department of a small but influential online journal decides to track down the serial killer, devising an elaborate website to entrap him and thereby boost her company's profile. She soon realises, however, that her obsession with the psychopath reflects something more deeply disturbing: her own unconscious mixture of horror and fascination with the sexual savagery of the murders.

Through his riveting plot and singular characters, Kuznetsov explores the sometimes pathological fallout resulting from our instant connectivity in the emerging world of emails, facebook, twitter, and other forms of electronic “intimacy.” The novel has enjoyed a cult following in Russia.

Purchase a copy

My Review

This book is not your typical horror/serial killer book. It reads a little slow but it also reads like the poetic diary of a serial killer. Which sounds both intriguing and scary to climb into the mind of a psychopath. I am going to stop right here for a moment and throw out a huge warning that if you do not like gore then do not read this book. There is a lot of details spent talking about the murders. Which for me was not a problem. But for others it could be and even cause nightmares. One thing I did find interesting was how the killer talked about killing the women but in seasons. So, how spring affected the woman and how she died did differ from if the crime took place during winter. As much as I did like this book and the concept of it being very poetic, this very idea also kept me distant from the characters in the book. I did not become as emotionally attached and thus the reason that sometimes I struggled with the book in parts and stating it read slow. Overall, though I did like this book. International authors need to be recognized more for their work. With books like Butterfly Skin it does help.

A Choice Between Boredom and Blood


About the Author
SERGEY KUZNETSOV was born in Moscow in 1966. In the 1990s he achieved a high profile as one of the pioneers of the internet in Russia, and has written for The New York TimesHarper’s BazaarPlayboyVogue and L’Officiel. His groundbreaking thriller BUTTERFLY SKIN has been translated into six languages, and in 2001 he became the first Russian journalist to receive a Knight Fellow scholarship from Stanford University. Besides being an entrepreneur and writer, he is editor-in-chief of Booknik, an internet publication on Jewish literature and culture. He lives in Paris.
About the Translator
ANDREW BROMFIELD has been a full-time translator from Russian for more than twenty years. He was a co-founder and original editor of Glas, a journal of modern Russian literature in English translation. His numerous translations include Mikhail Shishkin’s Letter-Book (The Light and the Dark), works by the Strugatsky brothers, Vladimir Voinovich, Pavel Pepperstein, Olga Slavnikova and Andrey Kurkov, as well as most books by Victor Pelevin and Boris Akunin, Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Dead Man’s Memoirs (A Theatrical Novel) and A Dog’s Heart (An Appalling Story), Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace – the Original Version and the two-volume Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bront√ęs—but without the dying-young bit.

By sixteen, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar—written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

My Review

You know you are in for a wild ride when you crack open a book and one of the first lines in the first page of the first chapter is "I am not asleep." " I am masturbating." Yep, and from this point on the book only gets crazier and crazier. Joanna's father is one of those dads that you either like or don't like. There is no in between. Then there is Joanna's mother. I liked her a lot. She told it like it was. Finally there is Joanna. She is just like a typical teenager. She always has something to say. Often times without a filter. Also, Joanna seemed to have lits of angst. Which again could be because she is a teenager. I like that she did not let her "plus" size status keep her from being shy. A word that I would not use to describe Joanna. Thus the reason for the language. There is lots of language. However I was not offended by it because it actually had a purpose and was not just used to be used.

OMG line in book page 114 as quoted by Joanna's mother because Joanna was being dramatic about her job. "Maybe you could work in Argos as a prostitute." "They could list you in the catalog, and people could queue up and wait for you to come down the conveyor belt."

About this author

Caitlin Moran had literally no friends in 1990, and so had plenty of time to write her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen. At sixteen she joined music weekly, Melody Maker, and at eighteen briefly presented the pop show 'Naked City' on Channel 4. Following this precocious start she then put in eighteen solid years as a columnist on The Times – both as a TV critic and also in the most-read part of the paper, the satirical celebrity column 'Celebrity Watch' – winning the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011. The eldest of eight children, home-educated in a council house in Wolverhampton, Caitlin read lots of books about feminism – mainly in an attempt to be able to prove to her brother, Eddie, that she was scientifically better than him. Caitlin isn't really her name. She was christened 'Catherine'. But she saw 'Caitlin' in a Jilly Cooper novel when she was 13 and thought it looked exciting. That's why she pronounces it incorrectly: 'Catlin'. It causes trouble for everyone.

Monday, September 22, 2014


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

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

My Review

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

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

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

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

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

Read Pink 2014 - Blog Tour


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

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

in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen White, The Time Between

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

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness

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

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing

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

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

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

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand

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


Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:

Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover

Karen White, The Time Between

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness

Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers

Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand

Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero

Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes


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

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

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mr. Miracle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before I Go

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why Dogs Are

About the Book

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

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

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

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

My Review

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

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

Teach him these two things:

First, to love without expecting anything in return.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase a copy here
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Last Breath is a breath taking good read!

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

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

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

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

My Review

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

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Love's Fortune

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

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

Review by Blanche Mancuso

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

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reticulum Blog Tour + Giveaway

Title: Reticulum
Author: Marta Salek
Genre: NA Fantasy
Release Date: September 2014
Matthew’s life has one focus: magic. Pleasure, for him, is achieving the unachievable, learning that which has never been understood before. The Reticulum is a dream come true—a magic that promises him everything. With it whispering in his mind, what other companion does he need?
Andrea is determined to take on the world and her talent is such that she might just succeed. But an apprenticeship with an unscrupulous wizard shatters her self-confidence, leaving her friendless and alone.
When the two meet, they learn that isolation is not inevitable, after all. That being able to break the laws of the universe means little if there’s no one to break them for. That when you allow yourself to need, and trust, and love, you can take on anything.
Marta lives out in the hills of Australia with her partner and assorted fluffy roosters, chickens, sheep, alpacas and one dog (who may or may not have fleas). When not working or writing, she passes the time trying to grow vegetables and running over irrigation pipe with her ride-on mower. In a past life, she spent her days programming (or screaming at) computers and writing lengthy emails which were reported to give her managers headaches. Now, she’s more gainfully occupied as a nurse, which legitimately allows her to amuse herself by asking people about their bowel habits.
9/11 Musings in Fiction Alley : Review and Giveaway
9/12 For Whom the Books Toll : Spotlight & Giveaway
9/13 : Mythical Books: Interview & Giveaway
9/14 MichaelSciFan : Interview & Giveaway
9/15 : Cheryl’s Book Nook: Spotlight & Giveaway
9/16 WS Mamma Readers Nook : Interview & Giveaway
9/17 Deal Sharing Aunt : Spotlight & Giveaway
9/18: Deborah Jay: Spotlight & giveaway
9/20 Daniel Is Reading: Review, Interview, and Giveaway
9/23 Coffee and Characters: Interview and Giveaway
9/24: Cheryl’s Book Nook: Spotlight & Giveaway
9/25 Dalene’s book Reviews : Review & Giveaway
1. What inspired you to write Reticulum?

I read a lot of fantasy as a child. Always wished that our world could have a bit of magic in it, and always dreamed that maybe one day I'd discover some latent, hidden talent in myself… Not to be, sadly, but in the midst of all those dreams and daydreams, I constructed for myself a handful of magic systems, built out of all those ones I'd most loved in the books I read (Isobelle Carmody's, Robert Jordyn's, Susan Cooper's, etc). If there could be magic out there, this book is really how I'd like it all to work. One day I decided to write those magic systems down. And to make it sound less like a thesis outlining the scientific framework of my imaginary world (because let's face it, that's really what Reticulum is!), I decided I'd better stick a couple of characters in, as well :).

2. What character do you most relate to?

My main ones… that's why they're my main ones :). Like Matthew and Andrea, I'm much more at home skulking in a corner somewhere thinking my own thoughts or reading a book (but not practising magic) than socialising. They're both a lot smarter than me, but like them, I was always the person asking awkward questions in the middle of class (all those years ago when I was young). I've just started my new nursing career, so Matthew's obsession with healing is based on my own newfound interest in healthcare. There's a lot of me in both of them.

3. What obstacles did you face while writing?

Only one obstacle, really - doubt. I know what good writing is, and I know mine has a long way to go. Sometimes that depresses me. Sometimes it depresses me that, in some ways, it's so easy to get published now (lots of small presses out there; lots of people self-publishing with only the barest nod to good grammar and strict proofreading). The sad fact is that while of course there are exciting, well-written new books being produced, there are even more just don't match the quality of those I love so much. And sometimes (often) I worry that my stories will be just more of a bad bunch.

It can be hard to keep writing if you allow yourself to think like that. But the thing is, at the time I wrote Reticulum, I really wanted to write. I was busy finishing off a second degree, in a completely different field to my previous studies, and that was stressful. Writing, when I wrote just for myself, was a release. The trick is not to think about what might happen with the book after you finish. Just get lost in the story that's in your head, and don't worry too much about the quality of what you're producing - not at that point. That's what editing is for, and you can't edit what you don't have written down. And if after the editing is done, you realise the finished story (short or long) isn't really of publishable quality, as I've done with many of mine, then so be it. At least you had the joy of living in that world for a little while as you wrote it. That's worth something.

Otherwise, no real obstacles. I'm a very organised person. If I want to do something, I will time-manage and make sure there is space in my life for me to do it. I set myself writing goals and achieved them - that's all there was to it.

4. Will there be a second book?

Not in the Reticulum's universe. I've satisfied myself that there is a good way for the three different types of magic to act and interact. Now that that's settled in my head, I don't feel the need to write about them any more.

5. Where else might we have seen your writing?

I've had the odd short story published here and there - Aurealis SF&F and Perihelion SF are the two people are most likely to have heard of, and the latter probably only if you're an Aussie. There aren't very many stories. Don't hunt around too hard!

6. What is your process like? Do you outline, free write, etc..?

Reticulum was very much outlined, probably because the magic had been in my head for so long that I knew what I wanted it to do and how it had to develop. Plus this was the first thing I'd written in, what… thirteen years? More? I felt more comfortable with a plan. I actually started writing this story as part of Obernewtyn.Net's (a fan club for Isobelle Carmody - if you like fantasy and haven't read hers, go do so now!) summer writing challenge, and as such I was sharing first draft snippets with a bunch of lovely people who I'm happy to now call my friends. They egged me on. It's fun having people discussing what you're writing and making predictions about what's going to happen. It also helps when that doubt I mentioned earlier is getting particularly nasty.

Otherwise, I write in a linear fashion - it's only once I get close to the end and I'm trying to wrap things up that I might write paragraphs out of order, mainly because my plans never quite extend to the end. I know roughly how a story will finish, but there are always story arcs that I need to find a neat way to terminate. After I finish a draft, I leave it for a period of time (at least a month), then do an edit where I typically prune out at least 15% of the book's original waffle. If any of my friends are feeling in a benevolent mood, I feed them chapters and get feedback and edits in return, which I then incorporate. I then do another couple of passes, always with at least a couple of weeks in between, until I get sick of the story. At that point, if I'm smart, I leave it alone for a good few months. When I return to it, I'm almost always so embarrassed at the writing that I shelve the story :). I have to admit, rereading parts of Reticulum in the last proofread I did, a good year after I finished the story, made me cringe - if I had my time around, I don't think I would have sent it out anywhere! But I guess that's part of the writing process, isn't it? Read your early stuff and weep. Or maybe it's just me.

7. What additional information would you like to share with your readers?

Nope - ask me something specific, or you get nothing from me! My life is not interesting enough to share with the general public.
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lily Love is an awesome book

Caroline used to have it all: she was madly in love with her husband, Peter, and they worshiped their beautiful baby girl. But as Lily grows into a toddler, Caroline notices that her daughter seems to live and act with a disconnect, and soon the perfect future Caroline had envisioned, along with her marriage, begin to crumble. Now she and Peter are no longer lovers, they're plaintiffs in the throes of divorce while still struggling to care for Lily. After years of blame and overwhelming despair, Caroline's chance encounter with a stranger at University Hospital opens her eyes to the prospect of accepting new support, new loves, and new dreams.

From the acclaimed author of "The Final Piece" comes a story of a family broken and unable to cope with a daughter's disability. And a mother who finds that letting go of the life she imagined may be the only way to get to the life she was meant for.

My Review

Lily Love is an awesome book. The author drew me into Caroline and Lily's world instantly from the first page. I like Caroline thought that her ex-husband, Peter was going to be a jerk. He turned out to still be a loving husband and father. He was kind to both Caroline and Lily. Which made me like him as well. Plus what I really liked about this book is that the author did not dwell much on the battle between Caroline and Peter for custody of Lily. The author just wrote the story as two parents trying to do the best they can for their child. So any parent who has a sick child could relate to Caroline and Peter.

Lily is such a cutie. I like that her disability was not portrayed as a weakness but as something that made her unique and gave her lots of personality. I would have liked to have seen her featured a little more. The budding romance for Caroline was a nice one. She is human and that human interaction with Tate was nice. There was one point where I was not sure how the story was going to go with Tate as he was wildly professing his love for Caroline and he seemed to come on really strong but it turned out just fine. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Savaged Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title:  Savaged

Author:  Nacole Stayton

Genre:  Contemporary Romance 18+

Publication Date:  September 12, 2014

Cover DesignSommer Stein

Event Organized by:  Literati Author Services, Inc.




The twist of a knife shredded Niko Kincaid’s world all around him, leaving him with two choices—accept his fate and die, or fight to live.

He chose to fight, but the aftermath became a daily reminder, carved into his once flawless flesh.

Despite years of self-imposed solitude, Niko hungers for companionship and suffers from an aching loneliness that the darkness cannot satisfy. He temporarily soothes his pain with women, hired women, whose only purpose is to service him.  Easy.

He didn’t expect a complication like Cambree Evans, but desperation corrupts even the most innocent.

When emotions blend with lust, will Cambree's softness and ability to look past Niko's flaws be the one thing that releases him from his own personal hell?

Will the monster in the dark prove that his savaged heart is worth saving?






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About the Author

Nacole Stayton is the Amazon Bestselling author of The Upside of Letting Go, as well as other new adult and contemporary romance titles, including A Graceful Mess and In the Lyrics. She is twenty-something years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass State where she spends her days working at a local hospital in the billing department and nights writing vigorously on her current novel. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors, Nacole enjoys the finer things in life, like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle. She is passionate about her faith, family, and The Vampire Diaries.

Connect with the Author

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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$50.00 Amazon Gift Card and 2 Signed Copies of Savaged


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Six Fun Facts about character Niko
Niko has a tortured soul.

His favorite hobby was playing basketball.

He has a passion for cars.

He loves sex.

Growing up, he wanted to be just like his father.