Monday, June 29, 2015

LOVE BY THE BOOK by Melissa Pimentel, Penguin Books

“I stubbed out my cigarette. I’d made a decision. As of tomorrow, no more dating guides. In fact, no more dating. Instead, I’d do all the things I’d been wanting to do—should have been doing—during the time I spent goin on terrible dates. I’d go for long runs, make myself decent dinners, read books I actually wanted to read, focus on building my career, spend evenings in the bath with a bottle wine and a pack of Marlboro Lights—anything I wanted to do, I’d do. Fuck this shit: I was going to date myself for a while.”
-Lauren Cunningham in Love By the Book
by Melissa Pimentel

Love By the Book is Melissa Pimentel’s character Lauren Cunningham’s personal month-by-month journal of tested experts’ advice on dating via guides and on-line dating attempting “meeting-the-love-of-my-life thing.” Well, I must say, this journal is full of surprises, plenty of dates, and hilarious moments many women can relate to their own adventures, including myself.

Lauren shares her most intimate thoughts about dating and the ‘tools’ she used to make it happen. This is a must read for all women and I am giving it a five star rating on the strength of Melissa’s ability to document these adventures with such truth and humor, as it should be. I am in that place as I complete this review:

“I am stubbing out my cigarette (Capri Menthol 120s, not Marlboro),
pouring a glass of Smoking Loon Chardonnay,
with the decision to date myself for a while.”
-Edythe Hamilton

I received this book from Penguin Books through the Net Galley reviewer program in exchange for an honest review, in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A HEART'S BETRAYAL, JOURNEY of the HEART Series, Book Four by Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson

A Heart’s Betrayal opens with Emmie, the sister of Rand and friend of Sarah. Emmie learns of her husband Monroe’s bigamy that drives her out of the home she and Monroe built together. Feeling all alone and lost, Emmie hopes Rand and Sarah will be supportive in her time of need, as she travels to Wisconsin making Fort Laramie her new home. Emmie meets and let Isaac Liddle court her upon arrival, but fears the worst if he learns of the secret that led her to Fort Laramie that can destroy their happiness.

The saga continues in grand fashion bringing Rand’s sister, and Sarah’s friend from back home into the picture. Emmie’s situation adds extra intrigue to the already beguiling historical romance novel. Journey of the Heart is a good mini-novella series, and I recommend to book lovers of historical romance who love to read on a cozy afternoon or evening with a cup of latte or tea, while very much looking forward to the next installment in this series.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the Litfuse Publicity Group reviewer program, in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BRIDGES BURNED by Annette Dashofy, Henery Press

Zoe Chambers, Paramedic and Deputy Coroner, is in her element as she attends to Holt, a man who attempted to rescue his wife from a house on fire which they were previously evicted. Holt becomes a suspect as more homes burns and murder victims become more frequent in their small town.
After discovering a second murder victim and the prime suspect shot, there are more persons of interest added to the list of suspects. No one is safe in the little farm community while the killer is on the loose.

Bridges Burned is the third installment in The Zoe Chambers Mystery series, with Circle of Influence and Lost Legacy being Mystery #1 and #2, respectively. Annette Dashofy is an excellent mystery writer who has a person guessing, never giving a reader the easy task of identifying the true culprit. If you are a crime mystery fan, read the previous novel Lost Legacy, Mystery #2, you will not be disappointed. I recommend to crime, mystery, and suspense book lovers for a day or evening of good relaxed reading.

I received this book from Henery Press through the Net Galley reviewer program, in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A MODERN WAY TO EAT by Anna Jones, Ten Speed Press

A Modern Way to Eat is a Vegetarian cookbook filled with 200 plus recipes made with various grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are looking for gluten-free menu items, Anna Jones adds notes for substitutions for your palate in many of the recipes.

Vegetarianism and Veganism are many times compared to each other as being the same. Vegans do not eat meat, meat-by products, or any food derived animals, insects, or the clothing they wear includes omission of eggs and honey. My daughter has taught me well in the eating habits of Vegans since becoming one herself years ago. Vegetarians, on the other hand, may or may not add eggs, fish, and poultry to their diets infrequently.

This cookbook has an array of dishes any person vegetarian or not, will delight in the healthy ingredients used to prepare these new menu items. Two of the recipes I will give a try are Avocado and Lemon Zest Spaghetti and Full-of-Green Fritters. Loving avocado, lemon, and greens made this an easy choice to add to my culinary recipe list. The photography of the recipes are inviting and make you want to eat right from the page. I recommend this cookbook to all home cooks and chefs alike to add new and refreshing dishes to list of menu items to serve family and friends.

I received this book from Ten Speed Press Publishers through the Blogging for Books reviewer program, in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Monday, June 15, 2015

THE PLANT PLUS DIET SOLUTION by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Hay House

The Plant Plus Diet Solution is comprised of scientific information regarding the food you digest and its effect on your health, and how to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet while omitting processed foods. The information includes chapters on metabolism, carbohydrates, sugar, insulin, and the fat anc cholesterol war.

The Plant Plus Diet Solution is not a recipe cookbook, 48 out of 303 pages contain cooking recipes to sample. The book has a few menu plans, suggestions on checking insulin levels, many references from medical institutions and articles on healthy eating.

If you are seeking scientific information on the hows and whys relating to eating habits and changing your diet, instead of cooking recipes, this is the book for you.

I received this book from Hay House Publishers through the BookNook review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

THE DEVIL'S DETECTIVE by Simon Kurt Unsworth, Doubleday

Thomas Fool’s place of residence is Hell, literally. This novel is set in Hell, a place no one really wants to be or visit. Even though I loved the theme of learning one perspective regarding an inside look at what happens in Hell, I could not connect with the characters. The only scene I liked was the Angels from Heaven visiting for a short time, which was predictable with somewhat humorous dialogue.

The idea of someone committing murder in Hell is a little out of the box but interesting. I am not sure what genre this novel could be placed: mystery, crime drama, or horror. Therefore, I recommend to mystery, crime drama, and horror book lovers who like to read fictional Heaven and Hell themed novels.

I received this book from Doubleday Publishers through the Net Galley reviewer program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Monday, June 8, 2015

SPINSTER: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick, Crown Publishing

“Very few people indeed are happy as solitaries, and they tend to be seen by their neighbours as peculiar or selfish or worse.”
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside by Doris Lessing, 1987

“The term spinster follows an inverse trajectory. It originated in fifteenth-century Europe as an honorable way to describe the girls, most of them unmarried, who spun thread for a living—one of very few respectable professions available to women.”
Spinster by Kate Bolick, 2015

Kate Bolick shares her experiences as a single woman and outsiders outlook of being an unmarried woman by a certain age that labels these women as ‘spinsters.‘ She also discusses five women whose lives are very similar in nature to her own as living single. Edna St. Vincent Millay, Maeve Brennan, Neith Boyce, Edith Wharton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are the women that Bolick considers as her heroes in the ‘spinster’ world because the forwardness of these women solitaries shed light amongst peers in their respective eras.

“…if not married by 26, they are past their prime” is the phrase many people use regarding women who have not snagged a man to marry. No one realizes that some women choose to be single and never give a second thought to the commitment of marriage. Bolick does not bite her tongue when she states “…where once I’d gone for emotionally available men, I was now irresistibly drawn to the noncommittal, who had no interest in making me their girlfriend.” Why is it that society pressures woman into thinking that you must marry and multiply by a certain age placing them as outcasts?  

Kate Bolick writes about her personal life experiences and shares historical experiences of her five heroes as ‘solitaries’ that the world identifies as spinsters. There are plenty of historical facts and new learning experiences (I gracefully accepted) that all women, married or not, should take the time to examine and discover that unmarried women are not a separate people. I highly recommend to single and married women for personal knowledge and education purposes to add this book to their shelves and recommend for a gifting opportunity.

I received this book free from Crown Publishing and Net Galley book reviewer program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

LITTLE CHICK'S BIBLE by P.J. Lyons and Melanie Mitchell, Zonderkidz (Zondervan)

Little Chick’s Bible has eight mini Bible stories with corresponding Bible verses that explain its meaning in seven sentences or less for ‘little chicks’ in the beginning learning stages of the written Word. Melanie Mitchell showing the story’s main theme accompanies mini lessons with colorful illustrations.

I read this book to my five-year-old niece who thoroughly enjoyed it, adding a few new words to her vocabulary. She loved this hardcover plush baby chick covering, which has a fluffy chick on the front, completely covered in fleece on the back and in a plastic snap cover ready for a gift bag. I recommend to anyone that has ‘little chicks’ in their family as a Bible learning experience and great gifting opportunity.

I received this book free from Zondervan/Zonderkidz Publishers and BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SCHEDULED TO DIE, A Carter Mays Mystery #2 by Alan Cupp, Henery Press

Dana is on work assignment and meets Mike in a diner who offers and takes her to a play. Returning to her hotel, she invites Mike in and he subdues and injects Dana with a sleeping drug while informing her when she awakes that he has chosen her as his next project. Dana is given one to year to “live life to the fullest” before Mike will kill her. Mike shows Dana pictures of his previous victims who played by his rules and others who did not by alerting police of his threat (he killed them within six months).

Dana returns home and relays to her friend Erin the horrifying experience she endured while on assignment. Erin suggests she hire private investigator Carter Mays to locate Mike putting an end to the threatening situation. Dana is hesitant but agrees to speak with Mays regarding the eminent danger she faces with Mike.

I cannot say enough about Scheduled to Die the second installment in A Carter Mays Mystery series with When Lies Crumble being the first. Alan Cupp’s prowess in mystery writing is simply awesome and in my top ten list of crime drama novelists. From page one to page 252, there are twists and turns you do not see coming, suspense and mystery to last a ‘lifetime’ that makes you not want to stop reading. I kept telling myself “one more chapter, one more chapter.”

I highly recommend to all crime, drama, mystery, and suspense-reading enthusiasts to grab a copy because you will truly enjoy this reading experience. I am looking forward to #3 in this captivating Carter Mays series.  Alan Cupp does it again!

I received this book free from Henery Press through the Net Galley reviewer program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.