Friday, February 28, 2014

The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, Random House Publishing

FBI Agent Kate O’Hare and the FBI’s most wanted, Nicholas (Nick) Fox, are acquaintances in an uncommon way. The FBI lets him escape from prison to work for them. He agreed to find The Rooster stolen from the Smithsonian because the Chinese Government will be arriving to bring it home.

Since no one must know that Kate and Nick are working together, the story is, she is tracking him down for escaping from prison.

Nick finds the culprit, Carter Grove, ex-chief of staff for the White House. Grove now owns the most elite private security agency, Black Rhino. They work for the Pentagon fighting wars overseas, undercover. Nick has to create an elaborate plan and hire a skilled team to keep Grove off his trail, once he steals The Rooster back.

After discovering the person who stole his statute is Nick Fox, the ruthless Carter Grove makes plans of his own.  Everyone knows that Grove’s plans never fail.

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg’s novel is exciting and entertaining. Their crime suspense story is full of action and adventure. The characters are fun and there is plenty of humor. I recommend this novel for those who love crime fiction. This one is definitely a home run.

I received this book free from Random House Publishing Group, Bantam-Dell for this review.

The Beginning (Demon Drivers Trilogy) Book 1 by Ryan Schneider

It is Parker birthday and he is at the arcade instead of being at school. The arcade collapses and he is stuck under the rubble. After being rescued, he finds out that his mother did not make it after the attack on Earth. Parker’s dad is away on military duty and was to come home for his birthday. Instead, he visited by military personnel stating he father is missing in action. What a way to start your birthday.

Bubba and Sunny are Parker’s best friends. They it is decided they will not let anything separate them. Soon afterward, they go to a toy store promotion for the new ‘Go-Boy’ movie. They meet Go-Boy (Colby), and Parker gets to try on the Go-Boy suit. Two mysterious men kidnap Parker from the toy store. His friends, Bubba and Sunny, along with Colby decide to go after them and rescue Parker. The adventure they embark on is not exactly what they expected it to be. Will Parker, Bubba, Sunny, and Colby ever see home again?

I must be honest. I am not a fan of futuristic science fiction. Nor do I usually read teen novels. Well, Ryan Schneider has changed my mind about both. This book is entertaining and written like a movie. I would have liked less descriptive paragraphs. However, just the same, it was a very good novel. I recommend this novel for teens who love science fiction. 



The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

Counterfeit Gospels by Trevin Was

Essence of Living Faith by Michael Gifford


Star Cartographer by Zach Alexander

Cerulean Seas by Jenn Brink

Turning Blue to Blue by Kartika R. Anderson

* I will be posting at least 2 reviews this evening :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014



We have reached 3,000 views! 

Now, it's time for a giveaway!

Enter in the form on the right--------->



The Scarlet Letter by Julie Cannon
Abingdon Press

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
Random House-Ballantine

The Chase by Janet Evanovich  & Lee Goldberg
Random House Bantam-Dell


The Beginning (Demon Drivers) by Ryan Schneider

Star Cartographer by Zach Alexander

Cerulean Seas by Jenn Brink

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


* You  may request a book review

What you need to do:
1) Fill out the contact form to the right------>
2) Send  me a copy of your book for review
3) Give one book for blog giveaway

The Power of Visual Storytelling by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

“Pictures are the basis of our storytelling, but no one seems to want to admit it.” A picture will attract my attention to look at an ad, a book cover, or magazine. If you think about it, it will attract you also.

This book starts with the history of visual storytelling, giving key statistics for marketers. There are different types of visual content that is employed in marketing. Sometimes it is used in conjunction with text or word art. The types of content discussed are videos, photography, graphs, and cartoon images just to name a few.

Chapter 2 includes the seven elements of visual storytelling and its importance in visual marketing. Chapter 3: Power of the Platform, discusses storytelling on social networks such as Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and others. I must investigate the lesser known, Slideshare and Vine. Each social media outlet has its own in-depth section. Ekaterina and Jessica share how to engage with the audiences.

Chapter 4: Brand & Product Marketing and Chapter 5: Real-Time Marketing delves deeper into creating your ultimate visual storytelling goals. They ask the question, “…how do you make the centenary commemoration strike a chord with a younger, more tech-aware audience?” It is all explained, with examples, in this section.

The Notes section is a list of reference links for all five chapters. This, in itself, is an excellent resource of information. I recommend this book for business-minded individuals and professionals wanting to take the next step in branding themselves.


I received this book free from McGraw-Hill Publishing for this review.

Miraval’s Sweet and Savory Cooking by Justin Cline Macy and Kim Macy, Hay House

Miraval Resort and Spa Chef’s Justin and Kim Macy have collaborated on a cookbook with delicious recipes to be created at home. The foreward is penned by Michael Tompkins, CEO, Miraval Resort and Spa, “…a sweet and savory balance between the chefs on a personal level, too…Justin Cline Macy is Miraval’s executive chef, and Kim Macy is the pastry chef—and they’re husband and wife.”He also states, “Justin looks for ways to reduce added oil,…..Kim chooses to use smaller amounts of rich ingredients…”

The Chefs give their secret ingredients they like to use. Kim, “fresh seasonal berries”, and Justin, “Miraval’s balsamic reduction.”  They belive some of the best equipment used in any kitchen is: blenders, coffee griners, cutting boards, fine mesh strainers and fish spatula to name a few. Their recipe book is divided into six sections with delectable sounding dishes. I picked a few recipes from each section:

Kim’s Breakfast Treats, Quick Breads, and Yeast Breads: Rosemary, Garlic, and Honey Focaccia; Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Scones
Justin’s Soups, Salads, and Appetizers: Scallops with Lemon Vinaigrette and Frisee; Roasted Baby Beet Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Justin’s Main Dishes: Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Fruit Salsa; Sear Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Sauce
Miraval Basics, Accents, and Side Dishes: Balsamic-Onion Relish; Parmesan-Sage Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Kim’s Cookies, Bars, and Baked Goods: Coconut Lime Bars; Mint Chocolate Macaroons
Kim’s Cakes, Custards, and Other Desserts: Tiramisu Torte; Low-Fat Lemon-Buttermilk Pound Cake; Meringue Tartlet Crusts

I recommend this cookbook for everyone who loves to cook. This would be a great addition to enhance your culinary skills.

I received this book free from Hay House Publications for this review.

Time Management by Brian Tracy, O'Reilly Media

“Your ability to manage your time…will determine your success or failure.” This is how Brian Tracy begins his book on time management. He also gives “the Four D’s of Effectiveness”: desire, decisiveness, determination, and discipline. Each is discussed in further detail in the book. I agree when Mr. Tracy states, “time management is a business skill…a skill that you can learn, practice, and master.”

In Chapter 1, The Psychology of Time Management, Mr. Tracy says, “How you think and feel about yourself largely determines the quality of your life.” This will determine how far you will succeed in your endeavors.

He gives advice on tasks and activities in the section ‘The Important vs. the Urgent’. Further, in Chapter 11, there is a discussion on delegating tasks to other. In addition, we all know at one time or another, we have procrastinated. He deals with that monster in Chapter 13, ‘Overcome Procrastination’.

Now that you have overcome procrastination, he further guides on the importance of an organized workspace. Clean desk, clean and organized mind. It is hard to find what you need when your desk is full of clutter. He concludes with a final point: “time management is the concept of balance.’ You must learn to balance work and outside relationships, “A wise old doctor once observed, “I never spoke to a businessman on his deathbed who said that he wished he had spent more time in the office.”

Also included, is a free sample excerpt from ‘Success Under Stress’ by Sharon Melnick, and a short quiz to determine your survival under stress.

Brian Tracy’s books teaches how to organize, delegate, and developing a reading system. It is a self-enhancement learning guide. I recommend this book for business professionals, small business and corporations. I received this book free from O'Reilly Media for this review.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cold in July by Joe R. Lansdale, Tachyon Publications

Ann wakes her husband, Dane, in the middle of the night because she heard something. Dane goes downstairs to find an intruder standing in the living room. Shots ring out and the intruder is dead. Dane is still in shock the day of the funeral for the intruder, Freddy Russel.  He goes to the funeral against police advice. There he finds the father of the slain criminal, Ben Russel (Russel).

Russel  threatens Dane and his family because of the killing. Dane goes to the police and they really can’t do anything because Russel hasn’t done anything yet. One night, Russel breaks in and tries to kill Dane’s son, Jordan. He is caught and goes to jail. Dane finds Russel’s wallet under the bed in his son’s room. He looks at the pictures in the wallet and discovers the man he killed is not Russel’s son.

After having Russel released from jail, they both want to know who it was that Dane killed that night. If it wasn’t Russel’s son, then who was it? That meant Russel’s son is still alive. They hire Russel’s friend, Jim Bob Luke, a private investigator to find Freddy. Jim Bob finds Freddy and tells Russel and Dane. What ensues afterward, you will not believe. Was it  a mistake finding Freddy? Will they make it out alive?

Joe R. Lansdale has written a novel that had me totally engrossed from page one to the end. It made me laugh in parts, but was mostly suspenseful. The characters were very likable, with Jim Bob being my favorite. Mr. Lansdale gives insight at the end of the novel for the idea that made this novel possible. I recommend this novel to all who love crime mysteries and suspense fiction with a bit of humor. Great book!

I received this book free from Tachyon Publications for this review.

This review is also posted at:








RELEASE DAY SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg


THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Bantam – Random House
On sale: February 25, 2014

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line.

Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.

Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad.

A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.


Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

Connect with Janet

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Google +Fancorps


Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.

Connect with Lee

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Google +

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fortune & Fame by Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Touchstone

Ms. Murray and Ms. Billingsley brought characters together from previous novels, ‘Jasmine’ (Murray’s, A Sin and A Shame) and ‘Rachel’ (Billingsley’s, Let the Church Say Amen). When these two women come together there is to be trouble in the making.

It all starts when Melinda, Rachel’s friend, approaches her to star on a reality television show named First Lady. Rachel is shocked to find the true name of the show will actually be First Ladies. Then Jasmine appears, as well as Mary (Rachel’s nemesis) and Natasia (Jasmine’s nemesis).  Jasmine begins to think, “Yes, Jasmine should have definitely left Rachel rotting that Chicago jail. If she had, then she’d be the one with a reality show.” If she could only find a way take the spotlight away from Rachel and make Natasia go away for good.

Natasia has ulterior motives, “But now, Natasha wondered if Melinda knew any of the dirty details that were part of Natasia and Jasmine’s history….All she had to do was figure out the right way to make her presence known. And once she did, she’d see Hosea Bush again.”

Mary is forced into the reality series by her pastor husband, “The old Mary, the con artist always looking for a come-up….But the new and improved Mary….had renewed her relationship with God…” Without her knowledge, Nathan announces to the congregation, “That’s right folks, my wife will be starring with Rachel Jackson Adams. Several people applauded and Mary felt sick to her stomach.” What was she going to do now? What has Lester done?

Each of these First Ladies had their own personal reasons for being there, yet they had no idea that genuine reality would step in and nearly destroy their lives.

Ms. Murray and Ms. Billingsley have collaborated on an exceptional novel that is hard to put down. Joining the forces of Jasmine and Rachel was utterly genius making this novel explosive and entertaining. I highly recommend, if you are not familiar with the work of either novelist, Murray or Billingsley, now is the time to jump on board because they do not disappoint.

I received this book free from Touchstone for this review.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beating Arthritis Alternative Cooking by Baker Dan, Baker Dan LLC

Baker Dan opens his book with the question and answer, “How do you handle food restrictions?...Don’t panic, you can still enjoy a varied and versatile diet even if you’re restricting certain foods.” He goes on to explain that he had been diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis (PRA). The first signs were redness on his right index finger. He decided that it was time to create a cookbook with all natural recipes. Baker Dan’s recipes are all gluten-free, lactose-free, no added sugar, and Kosher.

He states, “…an alternative cooking regimen can lower or free you from reliance on medication.” He includes the ‘Self-Study and the Safe List’ which manages food to eat and avoid. He also recommends getting a medical checkup, trying a cleansing diet guided by your doctor or dietician, re-introducing foods to your diet, and sticking to it. 

Baker Dan says, “There are three major ways to create variety: cook the ingredients differently, treat the ingredients in different ways, and combine the ingredients with other ingredients.”

There were a few unique recipes I would like to try: Tuna and Zucchini Omelet and Grits Pudding. I never imagined that tuna and zucchini would work well in an omelet, let alone that pudding could be made from grits. There is also a recipe for ‘Light Tortillas.’ Each recipe includes nutritional facts and portion servings.

The Appendix offers a ‘safe list’ of ingredients that is personalized for Dan. He suggests consulting with your personal physician to create your own safe list. I recommend this book for people who want to change their diet to one with all natural ingredients.
I received this book free from Story Cartel for this review

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What's on the Reading List?

Publishers List

Miraval's Sweet & Savory Cooking
Justin Cline Macy & Kim Macy
(almost finished)

Beating Arthritis Alternative Cooking
Baker Dan
(almost finished)

Time Management
Brian Tracy (97 pages)

Authors Request

The Beginning (Demon Drivers)
Ryan Schneider

Star Cartographer
Zach Alexander

Cerulean Seas
Jenn Brink

By tomorrow, I will have finished the cookbooks 
and adding two more :)

Six Figures by Fred G. Leebron, Open Road Integrated Media

Warren Lutz and his wife, Megan have relocated to Charlotte. Warner has begun a new job at a non-profit organization. Megan begins working at an art gallery. They have two children, Sophie and Daniel.

Warren and Megan both want to live a prestigious life. Shortly after the move, they purchase a home knowing Warren is still in the probationary period of his employment. Everything is going at a steady pace until an audit uncovers misappropriation of funds at Warren’s job, and Megan is attacked at the art gallery. With her injuries, Megan has to be hospitalized and Warren, the main suspect, is arrested. Warren may not go near Megan and will only be able to see the children under court-ordered supervision. Where will they go from here?

Megan’s mother does everything she can to keep Warren away from the children and Megan. As Warren and Megan work through their situation, Megan has second thoughts. Did Warren really attack Megan? Why can’t she remember?

Fred G. Leebron has written a mystery novel that will have you turning pages quickly. The short story starts out a little slow but picks up towards the middle of the book. It left me wondering if there would be a follow-up story. I recommend this novel to readers who like short stories and mystery novels. I received this book free from Open Road Integrated Media for this review.

Shirley, a Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell, Penguin Group

Fred Nemser and his wife, Rose, travel to North Bennington, Vermont to accept a position at Bennington College he was offered. They will be staying with Stanly Edgar Hyman and his wife, novelist Shirley Jackson. Upon arrival, Shirley says, “I’m a witch,” she said calmly. Now come inside come inside and let’s get you settled. Rose, is it?”

After a short time, Rose meets friends and students of the Hymans during regularly scheduled dinner parties. Rose begins to feel that she does not fit in because she has nothing to contribute to their conversations.

Amid town gossip, Rose finds that people believes Shirley is a witch and has something to do with the disappearance of a college student named Pamela. Since it was known that Stanley is a womanizer and Shirley is a jealous person, Rose suspects the same thing. Stanley and Shirley continually deny knowing the missing girl. In the meantime, Rose tries to build a relationship with Shirley but does not quite connect the way she wanted.

While Fred is working at the college, he has an affair with one of the students. Because they live with them, this adds to Rose’s stress of trying to fit in with the Hymans. Rose is trying to find her place in life and wants to know what happened to Pamela, along with the desire for Shirley to like her. 

Susan Scarf Merrell’s novel is written in a very descriptive manner without much dialogue. This was a hard read for me, as I prefer more dialogue between characters. The plot itself was very good but there was no depth. I would have liked to see more detail as to the whereabouts of the missing girl. As for the character of Shirley, it would have been nice to know whether she was indeed a witch. I recommend this book for those who prefer a descriptive style of writing with less dialogue. I received this book free from Penguin Group for this review.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review Requests


* You  may request a book review

What you need to do:

1) Fill out the contact form to the right------>

2) Send  me a copy of your book for review

3) Give a copy of your book for blog giveaway

What's on the Read List?

Publisher's List

Six Figures by Fred G. Leebron (finished, posting tomorrow)

Shirley, A Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell (almost finished)

Sweet and Savory Cooking by Justin Cline Macy & Kim Macy (starting)

Author's Request

The Beginning (Demon Drivers) by Ryan Schneider (halfway through)

Star Cartographer by Zach Alexander (reading)

Cerulean Seas by Jenn Brink (starting)

At the Confessional and Other Calamities by Belangela Tarazona

Caridad has been chosen to escort her grandmother, Piedad, to Mass on Sundays. Her sister, Dolores, was granny’s escort but had to go out of town to stay with their grandmother, Mildred. In their family, this is considered an honor. “…here I was, presented with the offer that also meant a step up in the family hierarchy.” However, Caridad still thinks about her sister Dolores.
Granny Piedad reminds Caridad that she must confess all her sins to the Priest on Sundays. Caridad thinks she has no sins, so she tells lies in order to have something to confess. Her little tales gives her nemesis, Nazaret, more ammunition against her. Eva, Caridad’s best friend, gets involved. 
What will Caridad do? Will she confess the mess she has gotten herself into with the tall tales? What was the real reason Dolores had to leave? Caridad soon finds out.

Belangela Tarazona’s short story novel is a cute account in the everyday life of a Catholic teen. It is a humorous tale and Caridad is my favorite character. She is a very inquisitive and fun heroine. I do not speak Spanish; therefore, I could not interpret some of the short excerpts. I recommend this book for teens and lovers of short stories.
I received this book free from Story Cartel for this review

A Godward Heart, John Piper, Multnomah Books

John Piper has written a collection of short meditation devotionals. “For reasons not entirely explainable, God can make a single paragraph life changing.”

Each of the fifty chapters has different verses from the Bible that Mr. Piper interprets. His references are geared toward strengthening one’s faith in their walk with God. The chapters are short but powerful. The majority of the chapters are only three to five pages with a few chapters at six pages.

Mr. Piper made an interpretation in Chapter 9: Covering the Chasm, “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25). Now there is shame. Why? Because the foundation of covenant-keeping love collapsed. And with it the sweet, all-trusting security of marriage disappeared forever.” He explains that the first sin affected the trust between Adam and Eve, causing the security to be broken.

My favorite section comes from Chapter 41: Does Anyone Standing by the Lake of Fire Jump In? When speaking of non-believers, Mr. Piper makes a very good point when he makes the statement,  “…whatever he believes or does not believe, when he chooses against God…He is not…preferring the real hell over the real God. He is blind to both.”

Also included is Chapter 48: Creating Pointers to the Greatness of Christ. This chapter is in relation to social media. He uses Twitter to tweet verses from the bible. He feels it may deter someone from following idols and encourage them to read about God’s goodness. “In spite of all the dangers, Twitter seemed like a risk worth taking.”

John Piper has written a meditation book covering numerous topics that we deal with every day. Each of the fifty meditations are notated with verses from the Bible. As I read this book, I read verses before and after the referenced verse in my own Bible. I recommend this book for those wishing to seek more understanding in their walk of faith. It would also benefit Bible study groups.
I received this book free from Multnomah Publishing for this review.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finished One, Starting Another

I have finished reading A Godward Heart by John Piper. Review will be up tomorrow!

Enter Giveaway!

Kindle Fire Valentines

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7" (or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash).

Something for Everyone!

Product Page

Take a look around my Product Page! There's something for everyone. I will be adding more advertisers soon....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Up Next?

I am currently reading...

Publishers List -  Review Deadlines

A Godward Heart by John Piper (almost finished)

Shirley, A Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell (just started)

The Author's List is read in order by the 
date of  request by the Author. 
I always add one or two books to my Current Read List 
depending upon when my Publisher Review deadlines are due.

Author's List - By Date of Request

The Beginning (Demon Drivers) by Ryan Schneider (halfway through)

Star Cartographer by Zach Alexander (will start tonight)

Casting Shadows Everywhere by L.T. Vargas, Smarmy Press

Who is Jake you say?

“Killing someone is a lot harder than you’d imagine….See, I was someone get strangled once when I was 9.”

Jake is a teenager who keeps a journal of different occurrences in his life. The person he looks up to is his cousin, Nick. The person referred to in the above statement is 13 year old Tony Vasser, a fellow classmate. From a short distance Nick sees Tony attack Jake and takes the matter into his own hands, literally.

Some years later, Nick is 24 and training Jake in the trade of burglary for which he had already been jailed.  During these escapades, Jake pens his feelings for Beth, a school classmate, and topics that are being discussed in his Psychology class. The lessons he learns in his Psychology class relates to Nick’s psychological way of thinking.

One day while at Nick’s apartment, Jake discovers the body of Tammie, Nick’s girlfriend. From that point, everything in Jake’s world turns upside down. What will Jake do now? Does Nick know he discovered Tammie’s body? Is he still an apprentice of Nick, or does Nick become an apprentice of Jake?
L.T. Vargas has written this novel as a conversation between Jake and the reader. It made me feel as if Jake were talking directly to me. I could not personally relate to any of his situations, but I am sure some teenagers will be able to. Adults should read this novel as well, just to keep a watchful eye on their children and whom they hang out with. I recommend this book for both teenagers and adults. Very good read!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who is Jake?

Who is Jake? Wait for my review to find out!

Tour Page

I will be adding an Author Tour Page to my blog very soon....

Still Reading!

Still reading.......

Casting Shadows by L.T. Vargas (almost finished)

The Beginning (Demon Drivers) by Ryan Schnieder (still reading)

A Godward Heart by John Piper (taking my time, daily devotional) :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray, Touchstone

Miriam, Emily and Michellelee have been the best friends since their college days at USC. Miriam’s husband, Chauncey and Emily’s husband, Jamal are firefighters and have been best friends since childhood. While at lunch with her girls, Michellelee, an evening news anchor, gets a call to cover the fire at a local school. She informs them, “more than twenty children....and three firefighters were rushed to the hospital….”

Chauncey does not make it. His death has affected Miriam and Jamal the most. They share their thoughts, “He nodded slowly…I know this may sound a bit crazy—…but I can feel Chauncey. Like he’s still here.” Miriam responds, “Before he even finished talking…”that happened to me…I can hear him saying…We spoke together, “Everything’s going to be all right.”

The novel shifts back and forth from the present to the past. Miriam reminisces on how she met Chauncey for the first time and how the relationship developed. In between reminiscing, her relationship with Jamal grows stronger. Miriam’s mother-in-law invites her and the boys to live with her and Chauncey’s brother, Charlie. She accepts, but holds off moving right away.

Will Miriam decide to go forward with Jamal and a forbidden romance? Will she realize that it could destroy her best friend’s marriage and their relationship? What do you think will happen?

Victoria Christopher Murray has done it again. She has penned a moving story of ultimate grievance. This is her fourteenth novel and she does not disappoint. The ending will definitely surprise you, along with the author’s note. I recommend all persons who want to read a truly moving romance novel, read this and feel the love.

The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer, O’Reilly Media

“I realized something had to change…” starts this book of discovering ways to start and maintain a side-gig. Ms. Palmer discusses how she started her side-gig, “To make this happen, I needed two things: more power and more money.” She interviews several side-giggers, “Almost all…..said their idea started as a small hint in their minds…” If you have an idea that seems to nag at you, put it on paper and work it through.

Ms. Palmer states, “This book will help you get your side-gig ready to launch—“
True to her word, Ms. Palmer gives excellent examples from herself and other side-giggers who launched their businesses. They give their start-up story, any obstacles they overcame, and the results of their efforts.

The meat of the book is in the following: Epilogue: The Future of Side-Gigs, “When I checked back in with side-giggers months after first interviewing them, as I was completing this book….” Handbook: Exercises and Worksheets include finding your gig and creating a game plan along with other pertinent information. Appendix A: The Top Fifty Side-Gigs and Appendix B: Star Side-Giggers gives a list of side-giggers interviewed in the books along with their respective links. Appendix C: Five Common Pitfalls to Avoid refers to areas you should consider fully before starting your side-gig. After the Index, there is a free sample chapter from ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur’ by Susan Urquhart-Brown.

Kimberly Palmer has written a book that is beneficial not only to side-giggers, but to anyone considering starting a business. Your idea may start as a side-gig and eventually turn into a full blown industry business. I recommend this book full of generous information for all, side-gigger or not.

I received this book free from O’Reilly Media for this review

Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith, Simon and Schuster Publishing

Martin Grey, a black lawyer, has won a discrimination case against a superstar attorney, Damon Darrell, who represents the largest automobile manufacturer of tires in the world. Shortly afterward, Damon offers Martin membership into a secret society of black men at the top of the professions.
Solomon Aarons who is CEO of AFG to one of the biggest brokerage firms on Wall Street. Kwame Jones, he and his wife are co-owners of the biggest advertising firms in the country. Tobias Stewart, founder and owner of Tobias Media, owns and operates an insane number of cable networks, radio stations, and newspapers in every corner of the United States and Europe. Carver Lewis is a high profile real estate speculator rich from infomercials. These men are under the guidance of their leader and mentor, Dr. Kasim.

Dr. Kasim believes that black men in general are infected with ‘black noise’. Kasim explains, “Black noise is screams….The screams of our kidnapped, enslaved, tortured, raped, and murdered ancestors crying out for vengeance.” Dr. Kasim has built a retreat for those who follow him, Forty Acres. This fort is where his followers come to live the life of a slave master over people who’ve been kidnapped just for their cruel and abusive use. The families of these men know nothing about Forty Acres, only that the men are ‘white water rafting’.
Martin is not comfortable with the inhumane treatment of the slaves and decides to do something about it. With this decision, he not only puts his life in danger, but the lives of his family as well.

Dwayne Alexander Smith with his first novel has written a story with an incredibly entertaining plot. The first chapter of this novel took hold of me and would not let go. By chapter three, I could not read fast enough. Before I knew it, I was already at chapter twelve. I can only hope there will be a second book as the ending left me wondering if there will be a follow-up.  If there is ever a movie scripted from this novel, I can definitely see Michael Ealy and Idris Elba in starring roles. I recommend this novel for those who love page-turners, mystery and suspense. Job well done to Dwayne Alexander Smith, job well done!

I received this book free from Simon & Schuster for this review.

What Are You Reading?

I am currently reading:

 A Godward Heart by John Piper

Casting Shadows by L. T. Vargas

The Beginning (Demon Drivers) by Ryan Schneider

Next Up Please! #2

Finished Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray.....all I can say is 'never say never' up tomorrow!

Next Up Please!

Just finished The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer, very good pointers and handbook. Review will be posted tomorrow....

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Third Rule of Ten, A Tenzing Norbu Mystery by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay, Hay House Publishing

Tenzing ‘Ten’ Norbu was a Tibetan monk and LAPD Detective in the Robbery and Homicide division. He now uses his training as a monk and skills as a police officer for his new self-owned business, Private Investigator. His friend, Mac Gannon, calls to have him investigate the disappearance of Clara, House representative Elizabeth ‘Bets’ McMurty’s housekeeper. Clara is the cousin of Mac’s housekeeper, Sofia, who also turns up missing. They both work for the same housecleaning service.

Ten is at home when an attempted burglary takes place, shooting two of the three culprits. He thinks it has something to do with the disappearances of Sofia and Clara. Little does he know that the head of the drug organization is ‘Carnate’, a nemesis from long ago who is using a different name.  Trying to figure everything out, Ten takes a bike ride and notices a van similar to the one he saw at Mac Gannon’s place. This leads the investigation in another direction.

Tenzing employs the help of friend, Clancy, to help in the surveillance of the housecleaning service company. He then follows a lead to a hospital in the desert of Mexico. What is this hospital doing here in the middle of nowhere? Is this the headquarters of Carnate? What is Mac or Bets involvement in this situation? Nothing is as it seems to be, until Tenzing puts the pieces of the puzzle together.

Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay have collaborated on a mystery novel that is full of questions you want answered right away. You will enjoy the different situations Ten gets himself into, but with his specialized training he goes with his instincts. It was a little slow starting, but picks up and takes off. Also included is Chapter One of the novel, The Fourth Rule of Ten. I recommend this novel for mystery lovers and puzzle solvers alike.
I received this book free from Hay House Publishing for this review.

Ways To Say "I Love You" on Social Media

Ways To Say "I Love You" on Social Media

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Darryl Ray, Ed.D, IPC Press

“I have been a psychologist for over 35 year. Before I went into psychology, I thought I was destined to be a minister…I helped train ministers, chaplains and other church officials…I saw layer upon layer of complicity in sexual scandals and financial fraud…Not all displayed this behavior, but almost all participated in hiding or ignoring it…This experience led me to a deeper study of how religion works…What if we took religion out of sex?” Yes, some church officials are guilty of these charges, and they have repented, asked forgiveness and will answer to God for their actions. We are not to judge anyone for his or her sins against the Father. They are only human; they are not perfect men as Jesus was.

Dr. Ray states who will benefit from reading his book, “…young and not yet experienced in marriage…in a new relationship….married 10 or 20 years or more…if you are religious…” It seems he wants to reach out to those who have been taught by their religious leaders and parents that religion stops them from being able to have a satisfying sex life.

Further, Dr. Ray says that religions are changing their views and but does not change who we are. He further comments that the basis of their foundation comes from obsolete text located in the Koran, Bible, Book of Moron and other biblical teachings. Nothing in these holy books are considered obsolete or outdated to those who believe in them. In the Bible, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The Amish, for example, raise their children up in the church. At age fourteen or fifteen, they experience the traditional Rumpsringa. They are given the chance to learn how the secular world operates. Afterward, the ‘youngie’ are free to choose whether they will continue in their faith. A little known fact is that 85% out of 100 of these teenagers return to the Amish faith.

Chapter 4: Did Jesus Masturbate? “If he existed, he probably did at some point in his adolescence….If Jesus was asexual, he might never have masturbated….Maybe he was eunuch from birth. In that case how can a eunuch give advice about sex and marriage?” Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee…” Jesus was part of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He came through the Holy Ghost in the form of a man who was perfect without sin. He was neither asexual or a eunuch, he was a spirit in the body of a man.

“Growing up in a religious environment….they learn that some practices or ideas, such as homosexuality, lust, masturbation and pornography are sinful.” “Sexually inhibited or frustrated people will eventually express sexual energy, but in ways that may be destructive of self or others.” In my opinion, if their walk with God were strong enough they would not entertain those thoughts, which can or will cause guilt or shame Dr. Ray is speaking on.

“Dr. Ray is one of the few psychologists who directly challenges religion as a impediment to healthy human sexual and relationship development. In 1990, he left religion altogether and turned his attention to the study of religion as a human phenomenon.” This book proves his beliefs against religion and his challenge to others to believe as he does. They are more subjects Dr. Ray cover but if I touch on those, this review would turn into a book itself. Sex & God is a must-read for those who want to know how non-believers think and feel.
I received this book free from IPC Press for this review