Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Sugar By: Jenna Jameson and Hope Tarr

SugarSugar by Jenna Jameson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah Halliday is done with the Adult Entertainment industry. With the release of her 100th film, the scary stalker that has been leaving letters and knows the most intimate of details of her life, and one of her friends battling breast cancer – all the signs are there. She leaves the West Coast and returns home to New York to care for Liz and Liz’s son. Nothing prepared her for a chance encounter with billionaire playboy Iraq war hero Cole Canning and what would melt her heart and her body along the way.
A good story, filled with interesting characters, had a storyline and erotica, the scenes were hot and steamy. The secondary characters were an added depth. You will see similarities between the main character and Jenna Jameson and you will recognize Hope Tarr’s writing influence where she put her exquisite stamp. Not the hardest read, not the deepest (pardon the pun) twist, but a good read simply because of the words on paper. This is part of a series.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Dirty Rocker Boys: Love and Lust on the Sunset Strip By: Bobbie Brown with Caroline Ryder

Dirty Rocker BoysDirty Rocker Boys by Bobbie Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who can forget Warrant’s Cherry Pie? Blasting the song that came on almost every hour, and the video that played just as much – Bobbie Brown, the new metal goddess. This is her story. A small town girl from Louisiana, growing up in a volatile home until her mother finally left her father for good sneaking both her and her brother out of the house in the middle of the night with suitcases that were already packed. Winning Miss Louisiana Teen pageant without “trying” to going National second place.
With big dreams, offers from agencys, California was calling and Bobbie was going. Everything this girl touched turned to gold, everywhere she went doors opened – and people took notice. Within the pages are some famous names and crazy stories, some of regular people in extraordinary situations – but what you will find is the dirty, raw truth – the drugs, the alcohol, the fights, the abuse, the self worth, the Hollywood that will eat you up and spit you out and have you come back for more. Ms. Brown is reflective about her own addiction and issues, her lack of ability of being a true mother to her daughter, but even in the darkest of moments she has heart (I even think a romantic) and humor. She expects truth from others and gives it here to the reader.
I couldn’t put this down. The way it was written, part confessional, part conversational – it was so personal – as if I was privy to everything as it happened, when it happened, as she experienced and felt it. Did she dish some fun dirt – yes! Some that I suspected, yes! I also think that there was something of tragedy and personal growth, learning and development – can we learn from others – yes, and there is a lot to learn from Bobbie.

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Review: Mischief & Mistletoe By: Tayna Anne Crosby

Mischief & MistletoeMischief & Mistletoe by Tanya Anne Crosby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A novella fit for the season. Lucien Morgen, Duke of Willynham, has returned to Newgale to end the engagement he found himself still in after four years, to Emma Peters. Admiral Peters was more of a father to Lucien, with the Admiral’s death along with harsh words to Emma the last time they saw each other – this should be simple. That is until Emma’s brother, Andrew, his wife, Cecile, and their children lend a hand once it is evident that there is no greater match for each other.
Emma convinces herself that she is glad to be rid of Lucien, only to find him still beneath their roof (sometimes under some unusual circumstances). Lucien who thought he would be glad to be rid of such a burden, to be released of such fears that have harbored him since childhood, keeps being drawn closer to the light that beams from within the woman that he thought he no longer wanted.
Sweet, quick read. Perfect for that quiet time and a pick me up romance. Filled with wit, humor, and Christmas spirit.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: The Heart of a Duke By: Victoria Morgan

The Heart of a DukeThe Heart of a Duke by Victoria Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a new romance author on the shelves to enjoy and her name is Victoria Morgan!!!

Lady Julia Chandler is tired of waiting, there are bets at Whites about her engagement. When she hears that the Duke is back in town, she races over to meet and confront him. Lord Daniel Bryant is back from America and accosted by his twin brother's fiancee with a kiss that will not escape his memory. A case of mistaken identity, but not a mistake.
Daniel spent ten years away after an attempt on his life. A cryptic letter brought him back and a young girl he once knew has grown up to bring life back into his beating heart, it seems like his to do list has gotten very long :
1. Stop Julia from marrying his brother, Edmund
2. Find out who tried to kill him
3. Rebuild Lakeview Manor
4. Find out who is currently trying to kill him
5. Find out what the cryptic letter "claiming destiny" is about
6. Get Julia to marry him

Shouldn't be too hard.

Love. Love. Love. You will not just fall for Daniel and Julia, the quick wit, the way they are matched for each other, or the storyline filled with action, adventure, and romance (and great back stories for the characters), but you also fall for the secondary characters like Robbie, Brett, Emily, and more.

This is an author to look and keep and eye out for - fresh and talented, you'll be sure to enjoy!

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Review: Bits of Broken Glass By: Martha Reynolds

Bits of Broken GlassBits of Broken Glass by Martha Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*******This is a First Reads *** Thank You GoodReads ****

West Alton High School in Rhode Island is gathering together for it's 25th Reunion for the Class of 1988. For some it's a chance to show off, others to prove something, a few have some amends to make - but in this book, we meet five complicated people, whose lives for better or worse have somehow been influenced by one or all.
Joe Travera, who is gay, victimized and assaulted in high school, went on to be a Hollywood director. Yet Joe's life is missing something and when a few personal crisis occur, he knows the strength he holds to stand tall and face what made him leave home all those years ago.
Cherry Weiss (Patel) former cheerleader, popular girl, finds herself looking at her own mortality battling an aggressive cancer. She decides to hold the reunion, does all the work even as she undergoes a double mastectomy. Her search is on a deeper level than any other attending, if she can make it to November.
Scott Hunter is one of those people that never change, just got older. Now on a pension due to an injury he claimed he got while he worked for the Fire Department, he scams and drinks, lives in the same town and remembers what a big shot he once was. He hopes the reunion might be the thing to recapture his "glory days".
Suzanne Fitch (Thomas) is the girl who everyone knew and everyone was friends with or so it seemed. Now she finds herself married with children but in an empty house more often than not. She has been the keeper of secrets both new and old, will she let them out at the reunion especially when a few need to be told?
Kellie Blunt (Campbell) was the wallflower, the forgotten poor girl, whose half brother murdered their mother. Her life has been through bruises, battles, and scarred more ways than one. With a new face, a great job, a new lease on life, what scars from the past are holding her back from going to the reunion, what is she or who is she afraid to face and why?

Well written, each character very developed. The build up was great, ending tasteful and perfect! Loved it! Those of you that have endured High School will find something in this to connect to, especially if you have put some years between then and now.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: ?How Can My Hate Help Me Love? How to Build the Feelings You Want By: M Cruz & Gregg Loy

How Can My Hate Help Me Love: How to Build the Feelings You WantHow Can My Hate Help Me Love: How to Build the Feelings You Want by Gregg Loy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

********* This is a First Reads *** Thank You Goodreads ***

Can the strong emotion of hate be guided to change your thinking and turn your life to good? The basis is working on Core Catharsis - asking questions, changing scenarios - But maybe I am getting ahead of myself.
I must say I was a little skeptical and felt that it was important not just to read the book, but to put the exercises into action to truly write a review. With the Holiday season full force, this is very simple to do - finding yourself at your boiling point as people shove into you in line, reaching from behind to that perfect last gift on the shelf.. this is one of the reasons why I see car accidents everywhere in the parking lots, the rush for a space, my usual response would be to push back, scratch back as the boiling over had been reached. Okay, I decided to take the steps, to use the exercises I had practiced, I kept cool. My family looked at my response and followed and we have had great shopping experiences (even in the craziness of others). This has spilled over in other areas too.
I think the book is easy to read, funny at times, goes over details in different ways multiple times so that the idea is understood, the exercises are helpful, and the results - well, they are there.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: The Witch's Get By: Diana Janopaul

The Witch's GetThe Witch's Get by Diana Janopaul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An extraordinary story. An otherworldly narrator begins her story, letting us, the reader know, it is a snippet of her life, that she was a liar from necessity and very good at it - but she has no need of it now. Samantha, "Mancy", the village healer, although she wishes not to be called that, for it is only a step closer to the whisper of being called a witch, has kept to herself. The intuition she listens to, the herbs and flowers she gathers, the dreams that guide her - she knows these things are dangerous, knows first hand..from her mother to the woman she studied under, so she never wants coin or attention.
That changes one night, when a man is brought to her gravely injured by his brother, left to heal or die. With her determination she works fervently to heal him and begins to weave a lie even she can not escape - that he is her long, lost husband, William. He is there to heal her too. But soon the whispers begin and witch is muttered.. it might be too late.
Expressive and descriptive, powerful writing in an original story. The reading is so pleasant, like Irish lilt is to the ear. Ms. Janopaul has a voice, I am listening and looking forward to more.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Wake The Dawn By: Lauraine Snelling

Wake the Dawn: A NovelWake the Dawn: A Novel by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The small town of Pineville, Minnesota finds itself caught in one of the largest storms ever to hit. Border Patrolmen, Ben James, looking for Snakeheads (those helping illegals cross the border via Canada) comes across a newborn just as the sky begins to open. The only clinic in town, hosts a physicians assistant, Esther Hansen, who finds that her fears of being ill equipped are realized. With homes crashing down, trees uprooted, drug addicts with hostages - these chapters read fast and with amazing medical, action, and heart.
The main characters are wounded in their own way, one a widower - losing his wife and unborn child, who turned to alcohol to numb the days, only to find purpose in a child left behind, left to die.. the other battling PTSD, hanging on by a thread, afraid that she just isn't good enough, but that is where she is wrong.
As a reader, you will dive right into the pages, enjoy the main characters, but also fall for the town - those secondary characters bring so much life to the book and a deeper dimension. There is also little "lessons" to think about throughout the novel, and the readers guide is great for book group discussions.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: The Secrets of the Notebook By: Eve Haas

The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family SecretThe Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret by Eve Haas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written in a style that reminds me of being with an enthusiastic best friend, getting lost within the adventure, over the storytelling. It all begins with a little notebook, with the fear of the anti-Semitic beliefs growing and her father holding a deep rooted family secret that could end with her, a sixteen year old Eve is seated and told that she is in fact a princess and her great great grandfather who was Prussian Prince August. The secret went on to say that it was his union with his last wife Emilie Gottschalk, the daughter of a Jewish tailor that they were descended from, against his family's wishes and that they will speak no more of this.
Eve understood this was a time of necessary secrets, but this information - to tell a girl that she is descended from royals and a love story could only be on the back burner for so long. Life goes on, from Hitler to trying to get family out safely and regrettably not being able to get her paternal grandmother Anna out of Prague. As the years pass, it wasn't until her father's untimely death that the notebook is located again and the fire inside is once more do ignited do to something... but now was only the time to gather information from her uncle and only limited, this is when she sees a portrait.
For every step Ms. Haas took, she took me with her, every experience not matter how little I was with her and enjoying it. There were moments of deep sadness that reached deep within me I thought I would not be able to shake off were it not for the gentle inspirational words written by Ms. Haas almost like a whisper to help guide you out of the depth that she once found herself staring at.
When she finally goes looking, this becomes her obsession, to find out about Emilie, then to find the missing papers about her great grandmother Charlotte, and in the end to seek out the woman she loved, felt connected to, and missed most of all her grandmother Anna. Ms. Haas's drive takes her into cold war East Berlin, beyond the wall and checkpoint into archives being opened to none other but her, yet denied to the rest of the world. It is this drive that keeps you reading and going with her, heart pounding searching for the answers... and when they come, relief, heartbreak, resolution, grief, and thanks to Ms. Haas hope all comes into play.
There is mystery, intrigue, secrets, loss, hope - you name it, it is in here and it is a true story. I think everyone would find something to love about this book.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: Allegiant By: Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so excited for this book, almost ripped it from my poor teens hands when she put it aside to finish another before diving into this - What? Didn't she want to know what happened to Four, what about Tris? The Divergent?? This was the soap opera I had entered into, the dystopia of factions and uprisings, of relatives that turn on each other (is that where Survivor got it's idea for the last season, faction before blood)...
I turned my back on Black Friday and opened Allegiant thinking that Ms. Roth would lead the reader further down into the path of the amazing story she has created only to find myself angry. The book filled unnecessarily with over 200 pages of what I would consider nothingness, with a conclusion that was to bring the city resolution and a book that brought answers but seemed more like a cop out and yet could have been a good idea.
The factionless have taken over and the Allegiant are gathering for an uprising, but they must go beyond the borders, beyond what they know to search for answers. A few select, including Four (who sometimes goes as Tobias) and Tris, go out and find the Bureau. The answers they find lead to more questions and the uncovering of greater lies. Yet, only one truth remains and that is that only they can save what they hold dear and it is only through love and sacrifice that they can do that - no, I will not give a spoiler..that is enough.
I needed an end to the series and I got one. It's just that simple.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: The Rosie Project By: Graeme Simsion

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A unique and heartwarming tale with a wonderful main character, Don Tillman. Socially inept, a bit awkward, he has character traits that are similar to having Aspergers - yet, the time has come that he must search out a wife. What originally begins as a questionnaire to weed out the unacceptable prospects, such as women who smoke or are habitually late, somehow leads him to Rosie. Rosie on paper is completely unacceptable and is not even capable of being a candidate, but a woman that leads him into another project that reaches him outside of himself and into her world. Thus begins The Rosie Project and the search for her biological father. Don finds himself in all kinds of social situations, requiring him to bartend, to ditch and dine, to jump from buildings, and ignore the routine of his life. People like him can't fall in love can they? And what are the chances of the person loving him back?
A story of growth on multiple levels, filled with moments of laughter and times I felt like crying. Don Tillman is a genuine, astounding character that I am sure a reader will want to return to over and over again to enjoy. You will devour this book in one sitting.

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Reivew: Paddle Your Own Canoe By: Nick Offerman

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious LivingPaddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Nick Offerman best known for that dry sense of humor, that manly fragrance of raw hunted meat and earth, the one who stars as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation.
I so wanted to enjoy this book - with quotes from even Gandalf and a Maple Tree on the back giving rave reviews, why shouldn't I?
I once was told that if you lower your expectations, everything will make you happy - but even then, I am not sure this book would. I bought it as soon as it hit the shelves and began to dive into it's pages, only to put it down for days at a time. Avoiding it almost in the corner of my eye, knowing that I finish everything I start I will have to continue, again, picking up and putting down.
I think this title is a little wrong for what is really within the pages...again, maybe it was what my expectations were. Fundamentals for a Delicious Living, did not include what, in my opinion was any fundamentals, but rather over two hundred pages of his life in college and Chicago. This is more of an autobiography, filled with early childhood, college, Chicago only to skim through falling in love, marriage, and Hollywood finding him.
Within these pages Mr. Offerman offers his grand opinion on a variety of subjects and almost dares the reader to object, which is very off putting after a while. Maybe I like Mr. Offerman best as Ron Swanson and prefer him that way, a character with lines fed to him, small doses, once a week, and no more than that.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: Perfect A Novel By: Rachel Joyce

PerfectPerfect by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Byron Hemmings thought it was an ordinary day until that is his best friend, James Lowe tells him about two seconds will be added to the clocks - that they will be adding time without anyone knowing it. What can happen in two seconds?
Ms. Joyce takes us on a journey into 1972 and how a family and small group of people are changed over those two seconds. With chapters that alternate between past and present the reader is gentle woven into this wondrous tale. Filled with perfect imperfect characters that leave the reader with the profound this is a definite must read - and great for book clubs!!
There is a surprise and a twist, there is also so much within the pages for discussion. Time can be unforgiving and it requires you to be.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: The First Phone Call From Heaven : A Novel By: Mitch Albom

The First Phone Call from HeavenThe First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a firm believer that there is a necessity for food for the soul: be it a walk with nature, quiet time with your Maker, a moment to reflect upon the day, laughter with your loved ones, and books that somehow enter your heart and give a gift that somehow grows from within. Mitch Albom has a special gift of touching my soul, of writing stories that somehow reach within me, touch a piece, plant a seed, and I grow. This latest book is no different.
Coldwater, Michigan is a small town community that wakes one morning to find some of it's residents have received a rather long distanced unearthly call from their departed. Some keep very quiet about this phenomenon while one in particular shouts in loud in praise - loud enough for local news to carry and soon national. Meanwhile, Sully Harding has returned to town from prison, a widower and father, skeptical and worried for his son getting swept up into believing that his mother will call from beyond and begins to dig into what could be the biggest hoax that could have hit this town ever. As the calls continue people from all over flock to the small town to experience the miracle, some come to protest. Along the way Alexander Graham Bell's story is told and so is a tale of faith, hope, and forgiveness.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Starry Night By: Debbie Macomber

Starry Night: A Christmas NovelStarry Night: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, I will have to admit firstly that I am a sentimental sucker come holiday time and no holiday season can come without Debbie Macomber.
A stand alone romance, Starry Night, does not disappoint fans or those looking for the spirit of the holiday romance genre. Carrie Slayton, page six reporter for Chicago Herald is done with art openings and parties, she wants to put her skills to real journalism - the only way get the ungettable, an interview with best selling author and recluse, Finn Dalton.
Finn has spent his life in the Alaskan wilderness, wrote a book, and kept his privacy (thanks to some great friends), but when a reporter lands at his door and is stranded during a snowstorm, something inside him begins to melt. Sparks fly and wounds are exposed as two different people fall in love and re-enter the "real" world, some tests are played and long overdue mending is done - but Christmas is the time of miracles and Macomber.
By no means is this a "smart" book, this is a feel good book, a (dare I call it) hallmark feeling book, one that brings everything right with the world. Why would I give it 5 stars - because, for what it is, it is well written, it is fun, it has drama and you look at your decorated tree, cozy into your chair with some cocoa and a warm blanket, this is the book to have in your hand to enjoy the evening with.

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Review: Merry Ex-Mas By: Sheila Roberts

Merry Ex-Mas (Life in Icicle Falls, #2)Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Welcome to Icicle Falls, Washington. Small town Northwest, postcard perfect - except when you look into some of the lives of the residents. Unfortunately, a few have been badly burned and hurt by cupid's arrow and ended up with some divorces and exes in the mix. The holiday season has just begun, Thanksgiving begins the book and sometimes you have to look deep for what you are thankful for, better or worse.
Cass Wilkes is planning her daughter's wedding and now has to have the almighty absent ex and father to her children along with the wicked mother and sister and child trophy bride come stay.
Charlene Albach kicked her ex to the curb and paid him (literally) to stay away. With the best restaurant in town, what more could she want - that is until he walks in, saying sorry and making her wonder if people can change.
Ella O'Brien lives in the house with her ex until they can sell it, but with him walking around in boxers she doesn't know how long she can take it. Filled with suspicions of groupies and the whispers of her mother in her ear never quite helped his case, but maybe a little Christmas magic can warm even the coldest hearts.
Filled with great characters, both major and minor - a town I would love to live in. Characters that showed both their best and worst in believable situations and written extremely well - I think this would make a great book to crawl into this season - Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: The Spiritual World of The Hobbit By: James Stuart Bell

The Spiritual World of the HobbitThe Spiritual World of the Hobbit by James Stuart Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful companion book to take along with a reread of The Hobbit. Written truly by a Tolkien lover to bring enlightenment and extra spiritual message to the reader. Go in depth within chapters, characters, the development of good versus evil, and the the Divine. References to The Silmarillion and comparisons to Catholicism are made and easily understood, with quotes and verses included.
From leadership to Divine Assistance, this is the book that you want to share and would be a great use in your book club to discuss. Mr. Bell has not left a stone unturned in Tolkien's work, and he reminds us that just as Bilbo - we are unfinished and there is more to us than we even know. I hope you will pick this one up and enjoy the journey.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: Thicker Than Blood: A Collection of Short Stories By: K N Lee

Thicker Than BloodThicker Than Blood by K.N. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**** This Is A First Reads **** Thank You Goodreads****

Three creepy short stories sure to stay with you. They are PG and yet disturbing in a good way.
Thicker Than Blood, a story of twins and the horror of cancer
Where is Katie?, OMG - This one really is on the scary meter, for a short story has quite a bit of twist and turns to make the reader experience twisted darkness... why is a little girl boarded up in her room and her parents not want to see her
The Galloway Lake, has just enough spook in it to make you leave a night light on

Well written and a great glimpse into the writer and her imagination.

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Review: Imagine Believe Become : Unlock Your Potential and create the Life You Desire By: Sullins Stuart, M.A.

Imagine Believe Become: Unlock Your Potential and Create the Life You DesireImagine Believe Become: Unlock Your Potential and Create the Life You Desire by Sullins Stuart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

********** This is First Reads**** Thank You Goodreads *****

Although this book might be under 100 pages, what it contains is infinite.

Sullins Stuart begins with informing the reader that our DNA is 99% identical to each other - this is profound to think that you are 99% identical to Buddha, Edison, DaVinci and others that inspire you.
Mr. Stuart also gives the Imagine, Believe, Become formula. He gives details and examples that help you with your everyday quest. This is not simply a book to go through once, but one to keep by your beside and go through every evening and morning to keep reiterating into your subconscious or into your daily habits.
You are the creator of your world, what will you imagine? Can you believe - without doubt? Will you take action? The power of attraction and determination, and the laws of the universe. Let the author guide you.

And on another note - a portion of this books proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Foundation, making dreams of others come true, how wonderfully profound is that!

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Review: A Christmas Story: Behind The Scenes of a Holiday Classic By: Caseen Gaines

A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday ClassicA Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic by Caseen Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have ever been caught unawares and triple dog dared, or tongue-tied at the awe of the big man (you know - Santa)...
The pure genius of A Christmas Story and the wonderful telling of Jean Shepard has lasted over the years. This is the fan's book. The book written by a fan for the fan.
Mr. Gaines celebrates Shepherd's history and storytelling abilities, embraces Bob Clark's vision and desire for this film, and takes us behind the scene with interviews with casts, workers, and fans alike.
From Brian Jones who bought the Christmas Story House on ebay to Peter Billingsley backing A Christmas Story Musical - no stone is left unturned. Read about how wonderful fans are as they reach out to each other, like Jones (see above) and Tyler and Jodie Swartz as they search for artifacts of the movie before they are destroyed or lost forever.
Hollywood hasn't always been kind to the child stars and even as they speak candidly with the author you can hear the bitter pill being swallowed by some, but all seemingly have positive things to embrace about their experience making this film.
This is the perfect gift, better than a can of simoniz!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Death is but a Dream By: Erin Hayes

Death is but a DreamDeath is but a Dream by Erin Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

******* This is a First Reads **** Thank You Goodreads***

Callista Saunders made a rash decision jumping in front of a bus rescuing a little girl from certain death, but that is what has got her in the predicament she finds herself in now working in the Underworld. Stuck between worlds working for Hades using her police detective skills to be a bodyguard to Plutus and find out just who is trying to kill Hades' son as her body lays in a comatose state.
With every other suspect being a god this isn't going to be easy and the fact that Plutus is the god of wealth and therefore is blind definitely ups the ante. Shadow Assassins and demons come attacking and although Callie might think she has a handle on this, there is one thing that she might not have counted on and that was being closer to the one she was to be protecting.
When the true enemy is revealed (and I will not tell you), there is an amazing race, battles within realms and excitement.

I could not put this book down. Do you like action, adventure, paranormal, mythology, anything to escape within the pages of for an afternoon - this is a can't miss. The characters are intricate, plot thought out and developed. This is so well written, I know I will be seeing this author in the years to come.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS By: Rebecca Eaton

Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBSMaking Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS by Rebecca Eaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

************** This is a First Reads ***** Thank You GoodReads ****

A memoir of Rebecca Eaton, the woman behind the last 25 years of Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! has written her story. A brief introduction of her early life and the roads that led her on the path to WGBH and PBS.
I was really impressed by this memoir simply by the way it was written - uncensored, as if I had sat down to tea with a friend who was telling me stories. Although those stories involved some very personal pains of being a career woman and miscarriages and some laugh out loud moments involving Vincent Price's other half Coral Browne. Ms. Eaton did not skim over the moments that she made some decisions that she wish she could taken back, or those that she second guessed, or the ones ones that she went full force with her gut.
With all the knowledge, the people, the experience, the awards behind the woman that makes up Rebecca Eaton, there is a driven, humble, second guessing, funny, personable, smart, amazing person that comes out of the book and befriends the reader.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review: Flash and Dazzle By: Lou Aronica

Flash and DazzleFlash and Dazzle by Lou Aronica
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*********This is a First Reads ******* Thank You Goodreads ********

This book is going to stay with you long after you have out it down and you are going to wonder how is it that you never heard of it or the author before this?!
This is the story of Rich Flaster and Eric Dazman, their association as work partners and deep friendship. The book is told from Flash's perspective and gives a fresh look into male bonds of friendship. Meeting Daz in college and clicking, they partner up to do campaigns around campus, find themselves inseparable, and in their twenties in New York's advertising world.
When a crisis happens and you have to take a look around, who is it that you see and what is it that you see? This is that story. The story of the depth of friendship and love that two friends have that spans years of their lives. The author does not give the reader a saccharine version, but rather one the reads true and as real as if it had jumped off the page.
I really enjoyed the characters, I found myself laughing and crying (sometimes at the same time), the writing style is fresh and honest, and the way I felt as I was reading and after I put down the book. There is a message here, will you listen to it?

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: The Bridesmaid By: Julia London

The BridesmaidThe Bridesmaid by Julia London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Julia London and I really did enjoy this novella, I just wish it was a novel. The characters, Kate and Joe were very likeable and put in funny situations filled with chemistry.
Think a splash of Planes, trains, and Automobiles a dash of Forces of Nature and maybe a little of 27 Dresses.
Kate is her cousin's maid of honor and must return to Seattle to the wedding, Joe is starting a new job. With blizzards, air controller strikes, and only one car available at Hertz, the two manage to get to know each other. But when the wedding is over and Kate needing to return to New York, is this the end of what maybe fate started?

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Andrew's Brain By: E.L. Doctorow

Andrew's BrainAndrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enter the mind of a cognitive scientist. A man who has observed the life he has lived and those he has affected, sometimes oblivious to the damage he has inadvertently caused more often than not. Written as therapy lessons and we, the reader, as interlopers into the stream of consciousness into Andrew's brain. At times so painful and others laughable, all both fantastical and human at the same time.
Andrew might be flawed, but his story shows the flaws of the world and makes one ask just who the Pretender really is.
Looking for a book to lose yourself within in the pages, the writing so beautiful - almost poetic, something just off but it makes it even more profound... this is it.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: Thirty Postcards Away By: Sara Ventas

Thirty Postcards AwayThirty Postcards Away by Sara Ventas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

************** This was a First Reads Goodreads Giveaway*** Thank You Goodreads****

Take a man that had a wife and a girlfriend, yet has a strange fear of superstitions and is neat and orderly, add a girl that is a whirlwind of emotion, loses track of time and items and put them in an apartment building. With chance encounters, elevator rides, humor, and vulnerability - two characters emerge off the page, Sofia - with snap judgements and a scarred heart and Jamie - wound a little too tight and maybe needs to listen to what he really wants and what is right.
Filled with dashes of what would make a perfect Nora Ephron film, this is the perfect book for a woman to lose herself and share with others.
At first these two might not seem to like each other, then upon second glance they find a spark, it is within a couple dates and the exploration into the other's personality that something seems to grow. Add a family secret, a crazy (ex)girlfriend, a few misunderstandings, a not so best friend, a few moments of omitting, 30 postcards, some more jumping to conclusions, and then ... well, you'll just have to read it!!
I enjoyed this book immensely, found the characters likeable, well developed, dimensional and faceted. Secondary characters were great and are so lovable, some interactions left me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes (I will not look at tour guides the same). Although this book was translated, there was nothing missed or lost in translation - a great story. Recommend for travel, beach, or for just because.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy By: Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3)Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, first let me be honest, I wanted to hate this very badly - Mark dead - who would do that, I mean, that is just sick and evil.
Enter Bridget at 51/52 a widow of 5 years (although parts of the book flashes to a year before), a mother of two - Billy (who has his father's eyes, and makes you cry every time he enters the page) and Mabel (who seems to have her mother's spirit). Mark has quite appropriately died while doing human rights work and has thought way in advanced by making sure his family would be secure - money would never be a problem (no matter how much Bridget spends or how much a Nanny costs).
Bridget's voice is still funny, self deprecating - but... magically she has written a screenplay (is this the same Bridget that worked in publishing yet didn't read at 30), she lost 50 lbs in 3 months yet eats like a garbage bin and drinks like a lush (has children ever made her grow as an adult or losing a husband), she acts like a 20 year old when she finds a toy boy and loses sight of being a mother (which lets face it - makes me hate her, these are Mark's children, no toy boy is worth her not putting his children to bed for). There are funny moments and there are times that Bridget feels so real and relatable - the hectic day to day mother, the deep sorrow and fear of tomorrow, even the crazy unbelievable, but unfortunately a lot of this book felt forced, artificial, and contrived.

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Review: Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason By: Helen Fielding

The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones, #2)The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Locked myself up with Bridget with a re-read for the upcoming release of the new book and found myself liking this book even more than I did the first time I read it.
Do not confuse yourself thinking that this is the movie, because although Fielding had a hand in it, this is much more and - dare I say better, and I wish they could have added more to the movie that was in this book.
Mark and Bridget fiddle with relationship issues - or rather with Bridget's issues of friends and insecurities and not knowing a healthy relationship when she is in it. This of course leads to misunderstandings, jumping to conclusions, friends giving too many opinions, the real Colin Firth, Daniel Cleaver, a Thai prison, and an amazing voice that gives us the adventure.

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Review: Bridget Jones Diary By: Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is of course a re-read - could not resist locking myself away preparing for the third novel.
How I miss the voice of Bridget, fresh, raw, true - filled with humor, observation, snarky self-talk. I think that almost ever woman, if she is honest finds a bit of Bridget in herself. Is it the desperation, the fear loneliness, the wrong guy(s), the wrong choices, the want for something better, and the hope that we are worth it. Bridget is the inner voice - the self esteem, the crazy stalker, the bad eater, and wretched drinker we are.
Now if you think this is like the movie - think twice, yes Fielding had a hand in the movie, so it holds true to style and voice, but the book is different and just as enjoyable.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: From Notting Hill With Love...Actually By: Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill with Love...ActuallyFrom Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How did I not pick up this book sooner?!! Ms. McNamara has an amazing voice that describes the inner workings of my crazy movie/book/happily ever after mind.
Scarlett O'Brien has found herself stuck, looking at her fiancee and wanting more, at her job with her father wanting so much to know about her mother (who ran off), and often daydreaming of the modern day leading man sweeping her into a life where she gets the Oscar. Through some discussion her father and best friend convince her to take some time to get her head straight, one month off house sitting in London, in Notting Hill.
How many moments can Scarlett create that come out of the films she loves - Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, Holiday, Pretty Woman (don't ask), and so many others - well, with interesting secondary characters that pop off the pages all of it is possible, especially with a good looking neighbor that can offer up the adventures of her dreams.
OMG!! This is one book I will re read over and over again. It embodies the Brit Chick Lit, the movies that I find Cinematherapy in, and a great writing style that keeps you wanting more. The storyline was great, although somewhat predictable, but sometimes that is what you need - the best part is the adventure that keeps you going until the ending that was perfect and made for a movie.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Some Kind Of Fairy Tale By: Graham Joyce

Some Kind Of Fairy TaleSome Kind Of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suspend your beliefs and read a tale that glistens like dew in gossamer dreams (or nightmares, depending on your likes).
Tara Martin has landed on her family's front porch 20 years after going missing and she hasn't aged a bit. As her parents, brother, and old boyfriend are confounded simply by her presence and looks, they are asked to listen to a most unusual tale. We, the reader, are privy to reunion and what once was buried is now revealed. The pain becomes fresh again especially when Tara tells her story and that in her mind, she has only been gone for 6 months. But coming back has set off a chain reaction that impacts everyone that she comes in contact with.
Written in such a way, you will find yourself getting lost into a story that is reminiscent of Irish tales and lore. Curl up with some tea in a comfy chair and be lead in the forgotten beliefs of long ago set in the present day.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review: Story Girl By: Katherine Carlson

Story GirlStory Girl by Katherine Carlson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Tracy Johnston is starting a melt down. She has turned thirty, found the best available guy in Hollywood was gay and wanting a marriage so he can hide from his parents, has no one interested in her scripts, rear ended a car, and lost her day job. All can't be that bad in the world.. afterall, it is a hotty that she is kinda into that she crashed into. James Wilson has stepped out of Tracy's dreams, but he carries some major baggage along the way - a writer, a spoiled rich boy, a runner (think Peter Pan Syndrome with a whine). Tracy runs herself from reality, to home which might be too much for her to handle. Her parents are celebrating 35 years, they live on separate floors in the house now, her grandmother has a dark secret she must release, and her sister just doesn't get her.
This is an okay book. I think the characters were somewhat unlikable - Tracy at 30 melting down every other hour it seemed, she is a bit off, and yet has a cruel streak that shows a very ugly center, James feeling weak, whiny, childlike for being 31..the story is a bit pretentious and self edifying - yet, there is humor that can be very hard to put down on paper, a wise mouth, smart alec, way of thinking (think Juno) that shows Ms. Carlson has some unexplored talent for and I hope to see in another book.

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Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown By: Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has come to a time that the vampire infection saw epidemic levels. No longer are you safe without locking down as the dusk turns to night. Unfortunately, Tana awakens after a late night lock down party to find everyone dead other than her, her ex, and a strange vampire. The escape brings her to Coldtown, a city locked down to keep the infected within the walls. Along the way the attraction between Tana and Gavriel intensifies yet once in Coldtown, each have their separate agenda - Tana to make sure she isn't near her loved ones if she goes "cold" from being infected and Gavriel with revenge that has been planned out almost since his making.
I couldn't put this book down, I found myself wanting more and more of the land and story that was effortlessly weaved. Ms. Black's descriptions leave you breathless and entering the world she created. Did the ending feel a little rushed, maybe, a little - but this is a stand alone novel, which has gotten very rare in this genre, so no complaints. I have found an author that I can't wait to read more from and I know you will not be disappointed.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Beautiful Ruins By: Jess Walter

Beautiful RuinsBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is our lives nothing but a beautiful ruin? There is a saying in my family, want to make God laugh - share your plan.
Enter a small forgotten Italian village in 1962, where Pasquale is keeping his father's dream alive and Dee, a movie star has gone into hiding. Flash to the present and infamous Michael Deane has his past confront him.
When Cleopatra was being filmed, Burton found solace in the arms of a new actress, Dee Moray. The result of which led to a pregnancy that Michael Deane chose to lie about and try to manipulate. Dee believing she has stomach cancer and will soon go to Switzerland for a procedure hides away waiting for Burton to show. Finding herself in a small fishing village with a young man, Pasquale, running The Adequate View Hotel and giving her a sense of life.
Each person, including secondary characters, find their pain, their truth, and their way back intersecting their lives once again.
I found this book thoroughly marvelous. The writing had me lost along the cliffs and in the intricate characters, I felt their pain, disgust, joy, and growth as their lives passed with each page. If there is one book you pick up - this is it.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: A Million Dirty Secrets By: C L Parker

A Million Dirty Secrets (Million Dollar Duet, #1)A Million Dirty Secrets by C.L. Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since Fifty Shades there have been others that follow in the same path, I can't say that about this book though. Almost everything that I disliked in James' book was made up for in Parker's.
Looking for erotica, with multi-demensional characters - including secondary, for verbal banter that is as hot as the sex -- it's in here.
Delaine Talbot is tired of watching her mother die and her father close behind. Since her mother's illness, her father has lost work, health insurance, and the life that he once carried. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Lanie has no option but look for fast money and the only thing she has is her virginity and a contract for two years that she is willing to sign.
Noah Crawford lost his parents six years ago in a car crash, came home to find his soon to be fiancee having sex with his best friend and business partner, and then had nothing but problems thereafter. When he went to the auction, he went out of desperation, and what he found was Delaine.
What happens next is a courtship/ownership unlike any other.
You will like the characters and find it impossible to put the book down.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: The Wishing Thread By: Lisa Van Allen

The Wishing ThreadThe Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is Ms. Allen's first novel and within the pages you see the influence of those that came before, such as Sarah Addison Allen.
Enter a world filled with knitting and magic, a family with a history of making spells, a town in need, and sisters forced together under one roof because of a death.
Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie have lost the woman that raised them, their Aunt Mariah. In Mariah's will she leaves The Stitchery to all the girls, although Bitty ran off and got married, Meggie lives like a nomad, and Aubrey was the "guardian" and stayed within the walls of their ancestors weaving the spells that were needed and storing the sacrifices. In some ways, this is perfect timing, for each of them need each other more than ever - Bitty has left her husband and taken her daughter Nessa and son Carson with her to live in The Stitchery, Meggie has been lost looking for the mother she barely remembers, and Aubrey has all but caved into herself and become one with the walls of her hallowed home and given up on love.
The town of Tarrytown (next door to Sleepy Hollow) has secrets and magic in the earth, but the Halperns have plans to demolish the Square and put up a shopping mall - leaving the Stitchery in the path of the bulldozer. It takes the growth of each of the Van Ripper sisters and the love they have to weave a story made for the believer.
A good story, a wonderful beginning from a new author, and perfect for this time of year. Enjoy the growth of even the unexpected, through sacrifice our needs can be met, and the magic that comes from within.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review; Timeless Writing Tips from The Master of Drama Shakespeare for Screenwriters By: J M Evenson

Shakespeare for Screenwriters: Timeless Writing Tips from the Master of DramaShakespeare for Screenwriters: Timeless Writing Tips from the Master of Drama by J.M. Evenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*****************This is a First Reads Goodreads Giveaway, Thank You Goodreads **********

This should be a requirement in any writer's library, it will be a go to for many years to come. Unlock the development of character, story, setting development through the works of Shakespeare. Fifteen plays are looked at, dissected for their value, and compared to recent movies. Each chapter brings key points as a guide to remember to further your skill and challenge you to exercises to fine tune your writing and growth.
Written in a way that encourages and assures the reader/writer that when broken down, the works of Shakespeare can be analyzed to the basics and is not as intimidating as first thought. I found this book to be highly informative, a blueprint for skill development. I also loved the style that it is written in, giving guidance and exercises while not being pretentious in the teachings.
This book is one you will reference all the time, I recommend it for the shelf of a writer, dreamer, and even the Shakespeare fan.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review; Unthinkable By: Nancy Werlin

Unthinkable (Impossible, #2)Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nancy Werlin has come back to make a prequel/sequel of Impossible. This is the story of Fenella Scarborough, the one who became trapped by Padraig and thus began the curse of the Scarborough women.
In Unthinkable, the reader gets a glimpse of what exactly happened to trap Fenella and how the loss of so many women has affected her. Since the curse's lift, Fenella has done nothing but beg for death, the four hundred years have taken their toll. After a confrontation with the Queen, she is told that she must do three tasks of destruction upon her family and if she fails she will return the curse upon herself and all of her ancestors. She is given the Queen's brother, Ryland, to help complete the tasks and he is changed into a cat that can telepathically talk and guide her.
Simple, not quite. When entering the home of Miranda, Lucy, and Dawn (Lucy's infant daughter), Fenella finds it is filled with love, strength, courage, and faith. Throw Walker, a vet in training with roots in nature, into the mix - Fenella might not find the courage inside to hurt those she will come to love.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review; The Arrangement By: Mary Balogh

The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club #2)The Arrangement by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**************** This is a First Read from Goodreads Giveaway, Thank You Gooreads **************

Sometimes the only obstacle standing between two people are themselves. Enter the second installment of The Survivor's Club and the story of Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh. Wounded in war, Vincent has lost has lost his sight and gained a title. Being the youngest in a family filled with women, who smother him and have their hearts set on a marriage, he decides to run away, which at twenty three seems impulsive but is good for his independence.
When Vincent returns to his family home, where he grew up, he is beset upon with the townspeople and with the Marchs. Nothing is better for their daughter than a titled man, even if he is blind, and thus a dirty plan is set in motion to make it impossible for Vincent to do anything but propose. That is until Sophia (the mouse and distant relation ignored by the family) foils the plan and ends up betrothed to none other than the Viscount.
An arrangement is made that they both wish to live independent, they both have goals and wishes that do not necessarily include a spouse or child, and through the marriage after one year's time they can live the lives they so desperately long for. They are perfectly matched and as Sophia finds new ways for Vincent to gain his independence further she wonders if over time he will no longer need her.
A wonderful world Ms. Balogh creates, filled with characters that you are sure to remember and want to come back to. This time I think she outdid herself with such complex characters - one blinded and therefore physically wounded and the other emotional wounded through neglect and harsh, ugly words. As romances go this is one story you will recall and look forward to the next installment in the Survivor's Club.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Austenland By: Shannon Hale

AustenlandAustenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, let me start with the dedication, "For Colin Firth You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends" --- I am now hook, line, and sinker. Is it something in the air, the Autumn sneaking up and my need to curl up with Mr Darcy that has radar choosing such wonderful books and sneaking Bridget Jones on a weeknight.
I am writing with a grin that will stay upon my face for the next few days, Austenland was simply wonderful. Jane Hayes has been given a gift of sorts. When her great aunt Carolyn passes away, Jane is bequeathed the vacation of a lifetime - three weeks in an exclusive resort that lives and breathes the era of Austen complete with wardrobe, actors, and set in the country as Pembrook Park.
Jane has had the fantasy most women have gotten caught up in, of THE Mr Darcy (especially Colin Firth as he exits the water in his wet shirt) but has not been happily set in any relationship, refusing to settle. Her aunt's wisdom of sending her somewhere to immerse her and make her want to run the other way, might just do the trick.
Enter an amazing secondary cast, filled with unforgettable characters, enter a gardener, Martin, and a gentleman, Mr Nobly and let the revelations come. Being at Pembrook is not all it is cracked to be and as Jane tries to enjoy it there is a part that loses herself in the sitting room, the garden walks, the ball and the other part that knows this is not real, a fantasy, and that the people around her are nothing more than actors saying their lines, playing their parts...aren't they?
You will not be disappointed in this book. Now I am waiting for the bookstore to open so I can run in and get another novel written by Ms. Hale

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: The Cross Gardener By: Jason F Wright

The Cross GardenerThe Cross Gardener by Jason F. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will admit that Jason F Wright is one author that I constantly recommend or buy his books for presents. I am a fan, not just of his writing, but of the messages contained in such wonderful stories.

The Cross Gardener reaches in and teaches about love, forgiveness, mourning, and living. It teaches about the promises that have been made to us and that will be fulfilled. This is a story of John, who was born on the side of a road as his mother passed, a boy that entered a family and lost his brother, and a man that not only lost his adopted father but his wife and unborn son. He has his family's orchard and his daughter but until he takes the steps of listening and knowing, he could lose everything.

I LOVE this book and recommend it to anyone and everyone. I know this is one that I will re read over and over and one that must be shared.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Earth Bound By: Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More accurately I would give this 3.5 stars.
Tavia is on the mend, miraculously surviving a plane crash that killed her mother and father along with everyone else on that plane. With her body broken and damaged she is released into the custody of her step-Aunt and Uncle.
Tavia has made a friend in Benson, a guy from the library that she wants more from, she goes to therapy with Elizabeth, lives in a small town and all seems normal that is until...
The world has an epidemic of a disease that is 100% fatal and is only spreading at a rapid rate, a man, Quinn, dressed in period costume makes contact with her, seeing triangles that glow, a mysterious person with sunglasses follows her, she manifests objects from nothing, and soon everything she thought she knew she doesn't.
Tavia is an Earthbound, a goddess that from the beginning had a job - to create. Over many lifetimes and with the one she is supposed to be joined with..Quinn. Caught in a war between the Curatoria and Reduciata, Tavia must find out who she is, what she is capable of, and what she must do next.
This is the beginning of a series and although I liked the premise and the action, I have to ask do I want to continue on this series. It was good but there is a lack of the magic that first drew me to Aprilynne Pike in her Wings series. Maybe this is best saved for checking out at the library or buying second hand and putting on a TBR shelf.

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Review: My Own Mr Darcy By: Karey White

My Own Mr. DarcyMy Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have found a gem - a keeper - a book that had me laughing, crying, cringing, and jumping for joy and not necessarily rooting for Mr Darcy.
Elizabeth Barret has been in love with Mr Darcy since she was sixteen years old and saw the movie with Matthew Macfadyen. No one has ever gotten close enough to her heart, yet alone more than two dates out of her. When her best friend does a little intervention, demanding that she have ten dates with the next boy she goes out with, fate plays a trick.
Chad is nice, friendly, a high school teacher and coach, at first he didn't think Elizabeth was interested in him, but they keep seeing each other finding common ground and friendship. Enter a tall, brooding Matt who owns the bookstore two blocks from where she works and that he looks to have come right off the screen (along with his behavior).
Caught between a dream and what is real, sometimes you have to have the courage to change your dreams and know truly what it is you are looking for.
I truly loved this book and I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: Me and Mr Darcy By: Alexandra Potter

Me and Mr. DarcyMe and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Confession: I have read this before and when I picked it up again I was not disappointed.
Emily Albright refuses to go with her friend and co worker to Mexico for the holidays and as chance has it she finds an ad at the bookshop where she works to go on a tour of Pride and Prejudice. With Mr Darcy being her first love and the dating market lately leaving a bad mark on her, she books the tickets and embarks on an adventure.
Following the style of P&P and Bridget Jones, with characters that are prejudiced and too proud, along with Mr Darcy becoming real to Emily... sometimes it's the real that you are looking for and the fantasy is better left to dreams.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Happily Ever After By: Harriet Evans

Happily Ever AfterHappily Ever After by Harriet Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Think One Day, When Harry Met Sally, anything by Nora Ephron, and a bit of Bridget Jones and you get Happily Ever After.
The book spans years of Eleanor (Elle) Bee's life. From the teen years glanced at filled with an unforgiving father, a mother with a drinking problem, and an older brother that has little understanding or patience for a younger sister. Enter the twenties and the discovery of what she enjoys and gets hired to do. The world of publishing comes alive, along with those people that enter her life and leave a mark (and come in and out for years to come). Due to heartbreak she moves from London to the US and embarks on living up to her potential. Unfortunately, a new sister-in-law that appears callus has designated her as the help her mother needs to get sober and on a trip back for a wedding, Elle is confronted with the realization and death of her mother. Being a survivalist all this gets swept under, until four years later the past confronts her in all it's glory.
I love that Elle is relatable, it takes time to come into oneself and to confront people and situations you were unable to at one time. She makes mistakes, runs from happiness, misunderstands, and is all so human. You will also enjoy the secondary characters that help with Elle's development and a deeper sense of her growth.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: Chasing Rainbows By: Kathleen Long

Chasing RainbowsChasing Rainbows by Kathleen Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bernadette (Bernie) Murphy hasn't had it easy. The death of her baby 5 years ago is too fresh, the death of her father two weeks ago have left a wound, and her husband leaving her for a woman that he got pregnant has toppled Bernie over. She stuffs her feelings, and her waist at times, only to have moments where she blows..and loses or quits or job. Her best friend unexpectedly is having a late life baby, with hormones and a teen daughter, Diane has more things on her mind than being there for Bernie.
Listless and left a book of cryptograms by her father, Bernie sets off on a journey at times she has no clue or inclination taking. Slowly a new her arises from the ashes of her life.
I believe I have found a wonderful author that captures a woman's soul. Ms. Long writes with depth and emotion, taking the reader with Bernie in a development of self. Chasing Rainbows isn't just a title but a way of life that some have stifled or fear, and a way that all hear the calling to take.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: The Morning Star By: Robin Bridges

The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)The Morning Star by Robin Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The final book in The Katerina Trilogy holds up to the others and then some. The book begins with George and Katerina eloping, but with all things - it is not that easy. The lich czar Konstantin is held within Danilo's body, the Order of St John, the Order of St Lazarus, the Order of The Black Lily, and even the bogatyr/czar all come to a head when the search for The Morning Star leads to Egypt.
The Morning Star is a sword that controls the Grigori can only be touched and wielded by a "pure" necromancer, so everyone wants Katerina and is not above kidnapping, taking her to the Graylands, even using black magic rituals. The love that Katerina has for George makes the journey possible and although his body is weak and sick, there is nowhere that she can go that he won't find her or visa versa.
This book was filled with so much action, I was lost in the pages, exploring Egypt to St Petersburg. Filled with twists, turns, and a battle scene not to be missed. A great ending for a wonderful trilogy.

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Review: Figments of Imagination #1 The Pen and The Poet By: Carter Tachikawa

Figments of Imagination #1: The Pen and the PoetFigments of Imagination #1: The Pen and the Poet by Carter Tachikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*********This was a Goodreads Giveaway Read, Thank You Goodreads******

Kellan, from another place and time, has a story that is very haunted with a killer that brought the events that led to his demise. Yanagisawa Umi (Umi) lives in present day Tokyo, she is a writer or at least wants to be.
A mysterious pen is found, a even more mysterious death of a person that has no organs, a killer on the loose with the same M.O. as years before, and the link that transcends all possibility between Kellan and Umi. With similar backgrounds and the same drive to write there is more in common between the two than on the surface.
This is the first book in what is to be six. I look forward to seeing where and how this author is going to take the story. It is well written with some pages that you devour to delve further into the story. There is a "newness" to the writing, yet the story seems fresh and new that the reader finds easy to slip into. The more experience Ms. Tachikawa has the more her talent will develop.
Want a fantasy/thriller/mystery this will fill you, but be warned.. you might find the beginnings of a new author to follow.

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Review: Make The Grade By: Lesley Schwartz Martin

Make the Grade: Everything You Need to Study Better, Stress Less, and Succeed in SchoolMake the Grade: Everything You Need to Study Better, Stress Less, and Succeed in School by Lesley Schwartz Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Step By Step easy guide to help you or your child with school.
This guide provides helpful hints, creative tools, and the development of skills that will help them "Make The Grade".
I consider this a must have for your preteen/teen and would be great to work on and develop the lessons together to give that extra boost.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Chasing Carole by: Barbara Washburn

Chasing CaroleChasing Carole by Barbara Washburn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I must say that Ms. Washburn certainly took the time and effort for the history of Ms. Lombard and the Golden Age - but the story fell flat. A woman finds out that her mother is really Carole's child and not her cousin - goes on an adventure into the life of Carole through her journals and papers that she has received (quite easily) from John Clark Gable. From seeing ghosts, to listening to her mother's tales, and through the headaches - Cassandra makes it through.
Filled with great believable conversations but with the author's stretching to take Hollywood fact and fiction and turn it into the truth of the book leaves me ambivalent.
Storyline - ok
Description and detail - great
Truth - some (I am amazed by people thinking this is a biography like that one Loretta Young's daughter panned out)
I did enjoy losing myself in the time and into Carole. Just for that fact you will enjoy it.

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