Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bodybuilding for Weight Loss

Do you want to take part in a workout that has stretched across the ages, from all around the globe? Do you want to build muscle while dropping pounds? Body building might just be for you!
With a detailed history of body building from its first appearances until its inception into the Olympics, you will find all the tips you need to succeed in body building for your specific goal. Complete with formulas to discover your perfect weight loss plan, detailed exercise instructions (with images), and tips on dieting, this guide has everything you need to begin your journey.
 My Review

For a quick overview of just how important body building and diet is in everyone's life, this is a good book. Mr. Eaton does a very good job of explaining in easy to digest information body building and diet. I like that this book features some exercises with step by step guide and pictures on how to do the exercises. Although, for the bench press I think it is important to point out that it is very important that new beginners do not over extend/lock out their arms when the bar is held in the overhead position. Also, I have been taught to not let the bar touch the chest in the down position but to stop when your shoulders are parallel to your chest about 3 inches from touching your chest.

I appreciated that Mr. Eaton talked about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This is a good way to get cardio in a short amount of time. A very beneficial way to exercise. Then there was the diet portion of this book where Mr. Eaton explains the importance of protein. Yet, I would caution about using Apple Vinegar straight from the bottle. You should dilute it some if you are going to consume it straight from the bottle as it is very high in acid and it can eat at your body. I had done this before and my throat was raw from the acid. Overall, through as I stated this is a good book.

Meet the Author

James Eaton is a passionate Self-Help, Fitness, &; Education Author who resides in Hinesville, Georgia. He is also a seasoned Affiliate Marketer, Entrepreneur, and Private Protection Officer. Hailing from Selma, Alabama, James’ love of helping people and all-things fitness began early on and it has stayed with him ever since.

During his youth, James would spend countless hours locked up in his room jotting down his book ideas. It wasn’t long before he realized that his newfound passion could become something more: a platform in which he could positively impact other people and enhance their lives in a multitude of different ways.

One of James’ main influences throughout his writing career has been a wellness book by Kevin Trudeau entitled “Natural Cures.” But most of all, he is inspired by his amazing family and his unwavering drive to succeed so he can help as many people as possible on their journey to optimum health, wealth, and happiness.

Fitness and writing aside, James enjoys reading inspirational books (“The Magic of Thinking Big” is one of his all-time favorites) and maintaining a positive attitude through the inevitable ups and downs of life. He is also big on organic food—especially organic chicken, turkey, and roast beef.
Additionally, James’ favorite color is blue and his favorite movie star will forever be Rachel McAdams. One of his most notable accomplishments to date is remaining on gold phase for eight consecutive months during his stay at Job Corps. James holds a Certification in Security & Private Protection Services.

Both infinitely determined and loving, James aims to write books that empower individuals to become their very best versions and lead fulfilling, healthy lives. Just as persistent, he will do whatever it takes to become a bestselling author.

Recently, James released “How to Save Money Through College” and is planning on creating more books that assist people from all walks of life in bettering their lives.

Book Excerpt:

Body building as a part of weight loss is not a modern and new method. People from ancient Greek and Egypt civilizations were lifting rocks and other heavy tree branches as a part of building their body. It is considered that the modern western body and muscle show as well wrestling started in Europe during the years 1880’s and 1900’s when men used to build their body and perform a public display as well as challenge other men to display their body and also to challenge them against a hand to hand combat. Body building is also thought to be established in India during the medieval periods and Indus valley civilizations when men would challenge other men to lift a specific rock to display their strength and power and thus to show their dominance and superiority.

The father of the modern body building is thought to be Eugen Sandow. It is evident and prominent that he brought body building competition and wrestling matches to the world as he has screened them in his 1936 musical Oscar winning film, Florenz Ziegfed. Sandow also constructed a special stage for these men to display their highly worked out bodies and also to conduct and perform many wrestling matches to show the ultimate strength and power of these flexed muscles. It is thought that the invention and the creation of body building equipment such as tension bands, dumb bells and stretchers were done by Sandow. He is considered to be responsible for them to be popular and commercially available in the market.

During 1903, Sandow organized a completion which called all the body builders to display their bodies and the competition went on to be a huge success in Europe as 1000’s of mix culture and body building enthusiasts turned up for the event. The winner was presented with a Bronze statue of Sandow himself and to this day, the most prestigious body building stage show Mr. Olympia, presents the same Sandow Bronze trophy for their winners every year.

In 1994 a similar body building game show was conducted in New York City and the winner was to receive the title of the ‘best developed man in the world’. The title and the award went to Al Treloar.

The golden age of body building started during the early 1960’s. This sudden craze for building the body was partially due to the after effects of World War 2, which made people encourage all the men and boys to build muscles and body for safety. The sport of weight lifting was later added to be one of the Olympic event by 1970. Ms. Olympia was also started in 1980’s where women body builders could display their curves and body.

But as body building transformed from a past time activity to more of a competition there was an increased use of many steroids and drugs for buffing up the muscles of the body to get a front lead in the competition. The increased usage of drugs and steroids not only began creating a threat for the health of people but it also played a crucial role in destroy the game balance. All the steroids and drugs such as pro hormones which enhanced the body muscle parts were banned and they were not sold without actual prescription from the medical officers. Body builders began to understand the importance of consuming more calories than an average human being. They began consuming more amounts of food that were rich in carbohydrates and proteins and less rich in fats and sugars. The content of fats and sugars consumed by the body builders varies greatly from one individual to another and solely depends on the goal and result that is expected by the body builder.

In 1990 Vince McMahon who is also a wrestling enthusiast as well as a promoter started an organization for all the body builders and named it the World Body Building Federation. He introduced the modern WWF styled wrestling matches and brought bigger prize money and rewards to the body building competitions. McMahon also started a WBF magazine which was targeted towards all the body builders and their fans all over the world. He also so bought 6 body builders in a 3 year contract to wrestle and these wrestling matches were recorded and later telecast on TV as TV shows. But later McMahon abandoned the whole project of WBF due to insufficient funding and due to the enormous pressure of managing a TV show, magazine and a whole federation as well as paying 6 wrestlers a 6 figure salary. International Federation of Body builders was formed during the early 2000’s and they requested for an event in the popular Greek game, Olympics. Their request was allowed the same year and the event of weight lifting was included in the Olympics.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Size Matters

The rules of (fake) engagement . . .
Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancee! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off . But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

My Review

I just love when a book turns out to beat my expectations. Reading this book was such a delightful time. I can not remember the last time that I laughed so much or so hard. It was so funny that I had to share some of those moments with my husband. He even could not contain himself from cracking a smile.

Some lines from the book: "I came to fill your hole", "That's about how long it's going to take me to spackle your hole" "Sweetheart, if I was screwing you, you'd know it". 

Sam had me in the palm of his hand with all of his sweet comments and positive attitude towards Leah. She dissed herself a lot, yet Sam made her seem like she was the most beautiful woman around. Which who is to say that all women have to be a size 2. As long as a woman is confident in her own skin and has a great guy who loves her for it, then she is a winner. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I am looking forward to many more laughs. Alison Bliss strikes gold with Size Matters!

When All The Girls Have Gone

Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we'll go to for the truth... 
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished. 

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.  

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn's closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn's past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...

My Review

It has been a very long time since I have read anything from this author. Yet, when I saw this book I thought now was as good a time to start again. The story started out fine. To the point that I did keep reading. Yet, after getting to chapter 26 and not feeling any strong emotions towards Charlotte, Max, or the disappearance of Charlotte's sister, I put the book down for good. There just seemed to be a lot of nothing really happening but talking. The intensity knob needed turned up to high and then I may have stuck with this book longer.

One-Way Ticket Home

Inside the Book

Title: One-Way Ticket Home
Author: K.C. Hardy
Publisher: Casbury Lane Press
Pages: 262
Genre: Christian Inspirational Fiction
Days before boarding the plane to Italy for her daughter’s wedding, Julie Whitaker receives an unexpected phone call from her past. The memory of Mark Jennings, a handsome and charming Top Gun pilot, had haunted her for decades. Their fairy tale wedding was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but it quickly turned into her worst nightmare.

Starting a new a life without Mark proved to be much harder than Julie had imagined. But in her darkest hour, God revealed Himself in a miraculous way, giving her the strength she needed not only to battle depression, but to face a diagnosis of breast cancer that threatened to cut her life short.
Now, amidst the splendor of the Italian Alps, on the eve of her daughter’s wedding, Julie’s thoughts are catapulted back to Mark and the reason for his call.  After thirty years, will Julie have a chance to see him once again? And would she even want to?

Based on true events, One-Way Ticket Home will take you on an unforgettable journey of love, loss, hope and forgiveness. With grace, candor and an indomitable wit, K.C. Hardy reminds us that it is often in our darkest hours, that the strength of the human spirit shines the brightest.

For More Information

  • One-Way Ticket Home is available at Amazon
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

My Review

I give it up to author, K.C. Hardy as she shares her own personal story that helped inspire this story. After reading this book, it could not have been easy but it shows what a long way and growth that the author has writing this book. I have never really understood how women or men can stay in an abusive relationship. Yet, reading this story and how Julie and Mark's relationship started out as a fairy tale and ended up a nightmare did give me a greater insight into an abusive relationship. So, glad that Julie found her faith in God and was able to get out in time. Also, Julie learned to love again. She found a great man in Tony and God showed that miracles do happen in the results of Julie and Tony's two daughters, Allie and Zoe. Additionally, what I enjoyed reading was how Julie found strength in scripture while overcoming her breast cancer. This is a good book.

Book Excerpt:
An out of the blue and totally unexpected call from Mark the following week, only served to punctuate the tumultuous feelings I’d been experiencing over the past few months.  It had been five years since I’d last heard from him and I was surprised by how quickly old wounds were ripped open.  Wounds I thought had healed so well that the scars were now invisible to the naked eye. Those first couple of years after leaving San Diego there hadn’t been a day that passed by without thoughts of Mark.  And yet, after marrying Tony, he’d almost become a rare afterthought.  A memory only conjured up when Roberta Flack’s soulful voice carried across the radio waves or when I subconsciously

Meet the Authors

Kristie Hardy, whose life is the inspiration behind this book, holds a B.S. in Education, a minor in English, and is a former teacher.  But her most recent profession as a private investigator spawned a desire to unearth the long-suppressed details of her own personal story.  She is a mother of two, and a thirty year metastatic breast cancer survivor. Kristie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband.
Cate Hardy, Kristie’s daughter and co-author, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.  Cate lives in San Antonio, Texas with the loves of her life: her husband and two children.
Kristie and Cate are the mother/daughter writing team of K.C. Hardy. Their latest book is the Christian inspirational fiction, One-Way Ticket Home.
For More Information

Good Vampires Go to Heaven

New York Times bestselling author SANDRA HILL continues her sexy deadly angels series with a good demon who might finally get his vangel wings…


Two-thousand-year-old vampire demon Zeb is supposed to spend eternity turning mortal sinners into bad guy Lucipires like himself. That way, they can grow their numbers and fight the vampire angels known as Vangels. But Zeb is a bad boy in a good way—secretly working as a double agent for none other than St. Michael the Archangel in hopes of one day earning his wings. Problem is, Zeb’s betrayal is discovered.

Hello, demon dungeon.


Until Regina, a foxy, flame-haired Vangel witch on a rescue mission, busts out Zeb, along with three oddball Lucipire witches. Hello, temptation!


Their escape unleashes a war to defeat all Vangels forevermore. In an epic madcap battle between good and evil, a Demon just might earn his wings . . . and spend eternity with the Vangel of his wildest dreams.

My Review

This is the first book I have read in this series. Although, I have not read any of the other books, this one can be read as a stand alone novel. In this case I don't think it was a matter of an issue where I had not read the prior novels in order to establish a relationship prior to reading this book. My problem is that I just was not as engaged in Zeb and Regina together. Regina a little less. Zeb was alright.

If I had been engaged more with the characters then I may have been able to continue on reading this book instead of getting a third of the way in and quitting. In addition, if there had been more going in with some action and keeping the story flowing faster this would have helped. Because I am intrigued by this series concept of vangels I will check out other books in this series for a second chance.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Dollmaker

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.

Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…

She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

My Review

It has been a while since I have read anything from this author. This was a choice. The last couple of books I read from this author had lost its luster for me. Yet, this book sounded like the perfect time to read something from Mary Burton.

Although, this is the second book in the Forgotten Files, it can be read as a stand alone novel. Instantly, I connected with the story and the characters. Again, I was not familiar with Tessa and Dakota's relationship but I found them to be very professional. Tessa is a strong woman. I liked that she said it how it was with Dakota but did not fall all over herself in sorrow either. I felt for Dakota. The tragic event from his past really has shaped him into the man he is today.

The killer had a good presence in this story. The fact that the identity of the killer was kept secret until the end was nice. However, what I enjoyed the most was that the author was not trying to feed me with false information to lead me down a wrong path until the big reveal. Due to this fact, I probably should have seen the killer's identity coming but I did not. I am once again a fan of Mary Burton's. I plan to check out the prior book in this series and can't wait to read the third book as well.

Fair to Hope

Author: Sam Reed
Publisher: North Loop Books
Pages: 222
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Velma had lived two lives: her first as a former foster kid, and her second as an unlikely recruit into a secret order that satisfied her need for retribution. Her fifteen-year-old self had given up on hope, but after three years with the Taram, she’d found her life’s purpose.
That is, until she is surprisingly named Kachina, the fabled chosen empowered to fight the last battle for the fate of the world. Having to kill someone she loves was never part of the bargain, even if it means saving everyone else from damnation.
Building a normal life free from the pull of the Taram—seems like the only answer to her prayers. Except her best friend, the other Kachina, is coming. The legend is clear that one of them must die.
Velma will have to weigh the cost of her life against a world that’s constantly betrayed her and quite literally decide if she’ll be damned in dying, taking the whole world with her.

My Review

This book held a lot of promise to me. In fact, I was intrigued in the beginning. Although, I do agree with other readers that the story did seem to start in the middle versus the beginning. Right away, before really getting to know Velma, she was named Kachina. Which for a while there was not a lot known to me about just how important the role of Kachina is. This is because not a lot of details were given. Additionally, the story seemed to jump around a lot, so it was hard to follow. Kind of like the movie with Tom Hanks and Hallie Berry called Cloud Atlas. If you have ever watched this movie you know what I mean. I have watched it twice and each time I still seem to pick up on things that I did not see the last time. This is because the plot moves around a lot with tons of characters and just as you are starting to find the groove, the story jumps again either in the past or the present. If this plot had been grounded a little more with stronger voices for the characters and action then my thoughts about this book would have been different. For a short book it was long.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sam Reed is a born and bred southern girl who grew up reading Toni Morrison, Archie Comics, Christopher Pike, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. When she’s not thinking of what to write, she is napping or eating, going to church, wishing she could sing, trying to perfect her Grandma’s biscuit recipe, watching A Different World reruns, sitting in the sun—or reading a book.


Book Excerpt:
It had been twenty-three days. I wrapped and rewrapped the bandage around my waist, praying my ribs were bruised not broken. I bought more ramen in packs of ten and camped out in the motel, eating the chicken-flavored noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tried to sleep, but he was always in my dreams. Once I closed my eyes, thoughts of him came roaring back like waves before a storm.
Bribed by the brightness of day I could almost remember us as a fairy tale, detach myself like it was someone else he’d sat next to that first day eating an ice cream cone and an apple, telling me I was beautiful. That we were “forever.”
At least it wasn’t just me. He’d had Nita fooled, too. She’d watched the two of us after quarantine training, sitting to hear from the elders, eating lunch outside in the sunshine, whispering secrets, laughing, trusting—she would have warned me if she’d known. She was the only person left to trust.
It was easier to think about Nita, even though I waited every day for her to come, to find me and drag me back. At night the sound of cars, people in the hallway fumbling with their motel keycards, the muted tumble of the ice machine all bruised the air like an omen. I kept the shades closed and the volume on the TV low. I made mental checklists of the redeemable points: I was alive, there was still money left, still noodles in colorful wrappers stacked next to the TV, the air conditioner worked today. That was okay until I blinked and saw his face, until the memory of his smile pushed against any safe space I tried to build, then the tears found room all over again.
I would not cry. I would do something. Figure something out. I’d make a plan, and it would have to be soon, very soon. It had been twenty-three days. My connection to the others was still too strong.
Nita would be coming.

Too Hot to Handle

When rescue looks like a whole lot of trouble . . .
The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted-ass car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn't seen in years. When rescue shows up—six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle—Rita's pretty certain she's gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .
Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in this town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he's about to be sorely tempted. There's something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn't just for tonight—he's forever.

My Review

When I first started reading this book, I got excited because Rita, and her siblings, Belmont, Aaron, and Peggy were funny. You could tell that despite not seeing each other for a long while they still shared love for each other and would do anything to protect one another. Even if it means taking on Jasper. Although, from this comment "Feel free to annoy my sister, but bring her back alive. I am not thinking that they would be much of a battle.

While I did enjoy this book, I was thinking that it was going to be funnier then it turned out to me. I hardly found myself laughing after the first chapter. Yet, I can't deny the chemistry between Rita and Jasper. However, I realized that there can be times when characters using the "f" word too much. Like Jasper in this case. He would use it a lot when communicating with Rita during their make out and sex scenes. For me I felt drawn back some from the romance as if it was more aggressive then hot and sexy. Although, I would not mind being rescued by someone like Jasper. I got a sneak peek of the next book and it focuses on Belmont. There is something going on with him and Sage that I would like to know more about. So I would be willing to check this next book out.  

When I cast TOO HOT TO HANDLE in my head (and on my Pinterest boards o’course!) I used a more introverted version of Emilia Clarke as Rita Clarkson. All the shiny effervesce and beauty of a brunette Emilia, with more dark makeup and clothing. This is the picture I sent to my editor when casting for the cover, because I think it captures Rita’s personality:"

As for Jasper, he is described in the book as a young, revamped Matthew McConaughey and I think his personality totally matches that of a young carefree (non naked bongo playing) version of the actor. I promise he doesn’t say “alright, alright, alright,” but he does have that cool guy, ladies love me spirit. Scott Porter from Hart of Dixie would be my choice to play Jasper in a film"


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beware the Red Death

What happens when everything you believed turns out to be a lie?

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother, Wilky, discovers a cure to the plague, her world turns upside down. Branded as traitors by the corrupt High Priest, Aaliss and Wilky are forced to seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she'd ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home, but when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed. Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or... might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?

My Review

Despite not being fully committed in the beginning, I still found this to be an enjoyable read. I like the world that the author built. Very dystopian. This is important for readers who are a fan of this type of genre. Which I am a fan. The world plays a very important part in these books.
Aaliss is a good, strong female heroine. Her brother, Wilky brought a nice element to the story. He had this innocence about him that was refreshing. This was great because the story as a whole and the most of the other characters are dark. Wilky is the light. Yet, I do agree with another reader's comment that there were a lot of characters introduced to me in the beginning and it was hard to keep them all straight. The short chapters also did not help as I the reader would barely get to know one of the characters and then the next chapter would be a different voice. A good book overall with a nice tie into the next as the world and characters have all been set now in this first book.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Moments of Choice

Inside the Book:

Author: Linda L. Singh
Publisher: Write Stream Publishing
Pages: 260
Genre: Biography
How does a young girl emerge from humble beginnings in a rural, four-room house and an adolescence characterized by abuse and homelessness to become a Major General in the United States Army and an Executive with a leading global professional services company? For Major General Linda L. Singh, it was a series of moments. From choosing forgiveness over resentment, love over fear, discipline over recklessness, and hard work over dependency, Singh takes readers on an inspiring journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance. With courage, honesty, and passion, she divulges how she learned to understand the value in every choice and experience, armed with unwavering faith and determination. Along the way, Major General Singh acknowledges the multitude of mentors and role-models who assisted her in her transformation from homeless teenager to self-assured leader, wife, and mother – a path that eventually led to her installation as the Commander of the Maryland National Guard. Want to follow her example and rise above your current circumstances? Read Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership by Major General Linda L. Singh.

My Review

I really and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I felt that there was a good balance between Major General Singh's personal life and her military life. The way both lives intertwined with each other to shape the person that Major General Singh is today is great.

Major General Singh had a rough life but sadly not any different then some people growing up. I am blessed that I did not have to deal with the situations that Major General Singh encountered like being homeless, rape, abandonment or a spilt family. My parents love both me and my sister. We had a nice home growing up and never had to look forward to either parent having "drinking days".

There is an analogy that Major General Singh references and that is a tree. I like this reference as we are all trees. Each branch is a different path that we have taken in life (good or bad). It is how we learn from our choices that help us to grow and have a strong root base.

To quote Major General Singh "You often hear people say, "Live life to the fullest." For me, it meant living the life I desired to have and refusing to allow others to set the agenda."


Monday, November 21, 2016

Westobou Gold with Hawk MacKinney + Giveaway

Book Description:

The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persist.

In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawn lit the pungent Turkish coffee permeates Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnaws a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seem a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archaeologist PI Craige Ingram into the cross-hairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottoes beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Author's Bio:

Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works. Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.

Connect with the author:  Website

How did you do research for your books?

Moccasin Trace is the family background of PI Craige Ingram, the protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. I spend a great deal of time in the library reference sections and examining original documents such as diaries and letters. The Internet confirms "stuff", but I also search and verify information. Craige Ingram has a lot of family history that is fleshed out in a "Southron Dixie" setting. One must always check AND recheck sites, settings, and events…the whole microcosm often only ghostly images from which to create a story. Some smaller county libraries are jewels of the undiscovered.

 For the Sci-Fi The Cairns of Sainctuarie, the titles delve into the quantum dimensions and demand an opposite approach to the historical. I research historical details and read scientific papers and try to keep up to date on particle physics discoveries in an effort to keep any new facts accurate. It keeps me on my toes – ain’t it fun!

 What made you write a book about thriller-mysteries and Sci-Fi?

Thrillers: Today’s headlines - murder and mayhem, forensic reports and police records highlighting gruesome twisted perversions. It’s scary and revealing…Monsters of the Id lurk in all of us. That theme is threaded throughout Westobou Gold in its twists-double-twists. It’s fiction…but all are based on real-life events.

Sci-Fi: I enjoy delving into the endless palette of SpaceTime and settings that can be made real with elusive adjustments between limitless characters.

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Two – (1) retired navy officer, (2) retired post-doctoral faculty in universities in the US, Jerusalem and England.

 Do you snack while writing? No. Favorite snack? Potato chips… haven’t had any in years.

 What genre do you write and why?

Mysteries-Thrillers series –The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series (The Hidden Chamber of Death, Westobou Gold)

Sci-fi series – The Cairns of Sainctuarie (The Bleikovat Event, The Missing Planets)

Historical romances – Moccasin Trace

Genres are scrabbled words for tweaks in a "gemisch" of setting and Spacetime…everyday folks whether backcountry or alien worlds…dealing with the same dreams, conflicts, failures, successes. The `because’ for the `why the genre-mix?’ My coalminer grandma spent after-supper starry lightnin’ bug evenings learnin’ me to loose my imagination-fancies…yarns I’ve yet to spin span galaxies as well as the local barnyards and boudoirs.


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On Top of the World

Inside the Book

Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction/Multicultural/Humor/Satire
2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.  

They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it’s been three years since they've spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.  

Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?   Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.

My Review

I feel like I was reading a different book from the other readers. Every review that I have seen thus far was how much everyone enjoyed this book and the twist on a classic story of Scrooʝe. This is where I do agree with the readers. I liked this modern day twist on this classic. However, the biggest reason I wanted to check out this book is due to the promoting of this book being a satirical, comedic read. I have read books in this category and had both reactions...good and bad. Yet, when it came to this book I thought it would be like black humor. Which is more of a dry humor but funny and maybe even a little crude. This is the book I was expecting. Sadly, I did not get this outcome. I hardly laughed. There was so more hope that I had for this book that I kept reading it despite my lack of interest; just waiting for the turning point but it never came for me.

I never really understood why Belle still held feelings for Scrooʝe. Scrooʝe was a jerk. Even when the story flashed back to when Belle and Scrooʝe first met, I had no love for Scrooʝe. Belle on the other hand was a dear heart. As I stated this book may not have been for me but you find try it out yourself as I seem to be in the minority group.

Purchase Information:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

Meet the Author

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb’s hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David’s grandmother’s radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they’d think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).


Book Excerpt:
The devil doesnt wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.
That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. Id been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.
When I first met Scrooʝe, helike most humans with XY chromosomeswas a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campuslost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey. He was just plain pitiful.
But I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldnt look away. Something between us was magnetic.
Hey, what can I say, I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my familys garage into a makeshift animal shelter, and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.
So naturally, one look into Scrooʝes sad puppy dog eyes and I felt right awayhe was the one.
Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and best friends. Of course, I had to clean him up, but after a few months under my tutelage everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips and sexy broad shoulders he was the cutest boy on campus.  Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.
That was how it all started. Who could have known that a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy Id ever met, and transform him into musics biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk? And a whole lot messier! Not me.
Without a doubt weve traveled a long crazy road together. Scrooʝe was the first boy I gave my heart to. Our relationship went from me rescuing him in college, to him rescuing me in law school, to our emergence as musics power couple. He was the artist/entrepreneur, and I was the best lawyer love could buy.
And now, were strangers.
Its been three years since weve seen or spoken to each other, and sometimes, against my better judgment, I find myself thinking about him and feel a smile creep across my face. 
This morning was one of those times when my thoughts turned to Scrooʝe. Normally Id tell myself off for not letting go, but today I gave myself a break. After all, it isnt every day that you might not just run into your ex, but do it live on television at Hollywoods biggest event.
“Everything’s gonna be fine, girl,” I told myself as I contemplated everything that could go wrong if we ran into each other at The Awards. I was especially dreading an untimely re-emergence of my long-standing klutz curse.
My whole life, Id been jinxed with inopportune clumsiness. As the ring girl at my parentsvow renewal, I stumbled, fell in the grass, and lost the rings. As a tiny ballerina, I was the best in my class, until the day of the recital when I went tumbling down like Humpty Dumpty.
Now with the whole world watching, I simply could not afford such an embarrassing spill.
As I sat in the back of a sleek limousine on my way to the ceremony, gazing up at the L.A. skyline, nervously checking my hair in the mirror for the dozenth time in half a dozen minutes, I tried to push down the queasiness threatening to erupt from the pit of my stomach. The last thing I needed was to step onto the red carpet covered in this afternoons lunch. The paparazzi would surely have a field day with that one.
Well, like I said it was exactly three years to the day that I stomped out of Scrooʝes life, but tonight we were both nominated for Awards. I knew God worked in mysterious ways, but now I was convinced she also had a sense of humor. 
I never thought Id be nominated for anything, but life had other plans. After we broke up, I quickly discovered that the best cure for PTRS—post-traumatic-relationship-stress—was writing. By the time I finished hammering those computer keys, I was author of an award-winning, best-selling, drama-filled, tragically comic novel that Hollywood just had to have. Now here I was nominated for an Award as one of the producers of the years biggest movie.
Once word got out that I was nominated, I was immediately blessed (or cursed depending on your view) with a merry-go-round of opinions. From my hair to my makeup to my shoes to my dress, from my eyebrows to my voice, to making sure I didnt have ashy kneeseveryone had an opinion. Normally I was unflappable, but with so many people giving so many conflicting opinions I was suddenly a nervous wreck. Finally, I stopped answering the phone because I couldnt take any more unsolicited advice. If someone did manage to reach me on the phone, before they could even say a word Id say, No, I dont know what Im going to wear, and no, I dont know how Im doing my hair,before abruptly clicking off. Unbelievable, Russell Simmons can show up without a tie and wearing sneakers, yet still be a style icon. But let a woman have one eyelash out of place and itll be the lead on the evening news.
Two nights before The Awards, I tried to veg out with an episode of Soccer Moms From Hell. But before I could lose myself in the drama, my cell phone buzzed with a text. Oh, come on!I yelled, throwing my hands up unnecessarily dramatically. Then I looked at it. It was from my father. He wrote simplyBe you.
At least there was one man in the world I could still count on.
Two days later, on my way to The Awards I tried to wrap my head around the idea that Id soon be standing on the stage with millions watching. This was not part of the plan. I was a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, not at all attracted to the limelight. So, as I pulled up to The Awards, my nerves fluttered in my stomach like butterflies. But despite my anxiety, when I last checked the mirror I didnt look too shabby. Thank God, Michelle Obama isn’t the only one who looks perfect in a Carolina Herrera gown.
As I climbed out of the limo and walked the red carpet, waving at the crowd gathered to cheer on their favorite artists, I thought about everything that had led up to this moment and even though I was anxious on the inside, on the outside I smiled as if I werent the least bit concerned all while praying for two thingsplease, dont let me fall in front of all these people, and please, please, dont let me run into Scrooʝe.