Friday, November 30, 2012

TLC Book Tour Book Review - The Lady Risks All - Stephanie Laurens

The Lady Risks All
Title:    The Lady Risks All

Author:  Stephanie Laurens

Review:  I love regency romance and this is another winner from this author.  This is a long book, but I enjoyed the twists and turns of the romance in this book.  Finding out someone is not the someone you thought they were is always interesting and fun.  Especially when you add to it a yummy single wealthy man who wants to do the right thing…every time, everywhere, then you have a mixture worth reading about and romance that is off the charts. 

This is a book worthy of this author and the way she weaves a great tale of romance.  I enjoy this author, but you have to be sure of what you have read and what you haven’t.  She reprints many of her older books from time to time.  I have started reading several books over again by accident. 

If you enjoy romance and especially regency romance you will love this book.  Also this one is about a strong independent women, even with all the rules to keep her a lady.  I love that she took the reins for her own life.  I found it worth my time and yes there is sex so if that is not your thing then don’t pick up this book.

Publisher:  Published September 25th 2012 by Avon
Copyright: 2012
Pages:  496
ISBN:    9780062068637
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars.

Synopsis:   Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor - until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.
Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability - until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.
Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore ... or keep.
Stephanie Laurens 
Author Biography: Stephanie Laurens was born in Sri Lanka, which was at the time the British colony of Ceylon. When she was 5, her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she was raised. After continuing through school and earning a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in Australia, Laurens and her husband moved to Great Britain, taking one of the last true overland journeys from Katmandu to London.

Once in London, Laurens and her husband both began work as research scientists in Kent. They lived in an area surrounded by history. Their own cottage was built in the 16th century, while next door were the protected ruins of an early Roman villa, and nearby was a 14th century castle.

After four years in England, Laurens and her husband returned to Australia, where she continued to work in cancer research, eventually heading her own research laboratory. One evening Laurens realized that she did not have any more of her favorite romance novels to read. After years of thinking about writing her own novel, during nights and weekends for the next several months she began crafting her own story. That manuscript, Tangled Reins, was the first of her books to be published. After achieving a level of success with her novels, Laurens "retired" from scientific research and became a full-time novelist. Her novels are primarily historical romances set in the Regency time period.

Laurens and her husband live in Melbourne with their two daughters.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review - Managing for People Who Hate Managing: Be a Success by Being Yourself - Devora Zack

Managing for People Who Hate Managing: Be a Success By Being Yourself
Title:    Managing for People Who Hate Managing: Be a Success By Being Yourself

Author:  Devora Zack

 Review:  This is a fast, quick, little book to read.  I found it funny and quirky.  Many of the things it said made me think about the times I have had to manage people and how much I hated it.  I found managing others to be uncomfortable and stressful.  This book cleared a few things up and let me know that the kind of management I was doing was not really working for me or for those I managed.

If you are managing others or will be in the future, this is a great book to get your hands on and read.  You will find out what kind of manager you are and how to best make the best manager out of who you are deep down inside.

Publisher:  Published August 27th 2012 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Copyright: 2012
Pages:  192
ISBN:    9781609945732
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars.

Synopsis:   Professional success, more often than not, means becoming a manager. Yet nobody prepared you for having to deal with messy tidbits like emotions, conflicts, and personalities—all while achieving ever-greater goals and meeting ever-looming deadlines. Not exactly what you had in mind, is it?
Don’t panic. Devora Zack has the tools to help you succeed and even thrive as a manager. Drawing on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Zack introduces two primary management styles—thinkers and feelers—and guides you in developing a management style that fits who you really are.
She takes you through a host of potentially difficult situations, showing how this new way of understanding yourself and others makes managing less of a stumble in the dark and more of a walk in the park. Her enlightening examples, helpful exercises, and lifesaving tips make this book the new go-to guide for all those managers looking to love their jobs again.

Devora Zack
Author Biography:  Devora Zack is a nationally recognized expert in the field of leadership development. Her consulting, networking strategies, seminars, corporate retreats, coaching, and strategic plans consistently result in improved productivity and morale.

Ms. Zack consults to dozens of diverse organizations in private industry, federal agencies, and the public sector.

Ms. Zack holds an MBA from Cornell University where she was a full-tuition merit scholar. Her BA, magna cum laude, is from University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. She is honored with active memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Mensa.

Other Reviews:  Jason Armstrong, Amazon Reviews

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review - The Map of the Sky - Felix J. Palma

The Map of the Sky
Title:    Map if the Sky

Author:  Felix J. Palma

Review:   When I book arrived had no idea how large Map of the Sky would be its almost 600 pages in small print.  The small print and the length of the book had me taking my time to read and savor each page of this imaginary tale of H.G. Wells.

The book opens to England with H.G. Wells enjoying the success of his book, World of the World, but is angered when an American author creates his own work of fan faction that has become popular.  The American take Wells on an adventure he will never forget.  Felix Palma takes some of H.G.Wells most famous books and creates his own beautiful work of fiction around those original stories.

Map of the Sky switches to many different stories within the book giving the reader a overabundance of characters and at times questioning if this character is worth investing in or will this person be another number of the many dead the author has strung throughout this book.

The beginning of the book H.G. Wells meets with the American over dinner only to tell the American where he can go, but soon the American take H.G.Well on an adventure he will soon never forget. The book starts to become a can't put down as H.G.Wells and the American go into the belly of London History Museum.  Where they come across a journal lost to time. The story switch to the Journal of a crewman and a ship 60 years earlier who were looking for the center of the earth, but instead came in contact with an alien ship that crashed into earth. The crew of the ship investigates the strange wreckage and soon discovers they are not alone.

The plot switches again to a man, Gilmore, who time travels to the future and falls in love but she will only marry Gilmore if he will find the center of the earth. Than the story moves again back to H.G. Wells and the possible invasion of London by the Martians that Wells remembers seeing in the belly of the London History of Museum.  Each of the separate stories is brought together towards the end of the book leaving no loose ends.

 I can't quite put my finger on why I gave this book 4 out of 5, because it is wonderfully written and full of colorful descriptions. The author impresses me how he is able to switch story to story without getting the reader ever lost and questioning is it worth reading to the end?  The plot is slow moving and I will admit I am used to must faster paced books and that might be the 4 out of 5.  I do feel at certain times the author could have cut out little details that didn't enhance the story and for me was more of a distraction because I become easily lost.  The cover of the book is beautiful and is almost hard not to look at many times while reading though the book.   Map of The Sky takes twist and turns that are enjoyable that science fiction and fantasy readers will love.

Map of the Sky is a beautifully written Fantasy novel with colorful imaginary that will transport the reader though time and space.

The different murder scenes are very descriptive and I personally could have done with less intestines being strung around the room.

Thanks Heidi for this review.

Publisher:  Published September 4th 2012 by Atria Books (first published 2012)
Copyright: 2012
Pages:  680
ISBN:   9781451660319
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:   The New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time returns with a mesmerizing novel casting H.G. Wells in a leading role, as the extraterrestrial invasion featured in The War of the Worlds is turned into a bizarre reality.A love story serves as backdrop for The Map of the Sky when New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry millionaire Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the extraterrestrial invasion featured in Wells’s War of the Worlds. What follows are three brilliantly interconnected plots to create a breathtaking tale of time travel and mystery, replete with cameos by a young Edgar Allan Poe, and Captain Shackleton and Charles Winslow from The Map of Time.
Félix J. Palma
Author Biography: Félix J. Palma was born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain on June 16, 1968. He attended Francisco Pacheco High School and studied Publicity at the University at Sevilla.

His first volume of stories, El Vigilante de la Salamandra (The Lizard's Keeper) showed his ability to introduce fantasy into the every day. He is also author of the storybooks: Métodos de Supervivencia (Methods of Survival), Las Interioridades (Interiors), Los Arácnidos (The Arachnid), and El Menor Espectáculo del Mundo (The World’s Smallest Show).

Palma has also published La Hormiga que Quiso ser Astronauta (The Ant that Wanted to Become an Astronaut), Las Corrientes Oceánicas (The Ocean Currents), and El Mapa del Tiempo (The Map of Time). The Map of Time was the first novel to be published in the United States.

His book have garned many awards. His Los Arácnidos won the Cádiz Latin American Story Award, Las Corrientes Oceánicas won the 2005 Luis Berenguer Award for Novel and El Mapa del Tiempo was awarded the Ateneo de Sevilla XL Prize in 2008.

His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and published in over 30 countries. Palma has also worked as a columnist, literary critic and has given creative writing workshops.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review - Spy in a Little Black Dress - Maxine Kenneth

Spy in a Little Black Dress
Title:    Spy on a Little Black Dress

Author:  Maxine Kenneth

Review:   Spy in a Little Black Dress is a fun take on history.  Jacqueline Bouvier at the age of 21 wrote a letter that is now in the Kennedy Library and it mentions that she was unable to accept a job offer with Vogue because she had already accepted a job with the newly formed CIA.  From this letter Maxine Kenneth has created a spy adventure novel that has Jackie Kennedy as the star.  The book creates a tale of what could have happened to Jackie Bouvier while she was working for the CIA and before marrying the handsome Senator Jack Kennedy.  The book is delightful with its different twist and turns and when she meets up with Jack Kennedy, in the most unlikely places. 

The author takes a little known piece of history and creates a world of international espionage using one of the most famous first ladies of our time.  It’s a very cute and fun tale with moments of that could have happened and while reading the book I found myself giggling knowing I would have made the same mistakes she made on her second assignment working for the CIA.

Spy in a little black dress is the second book and second assignment for Jackie Bouvier.  She is assigned to go to The Havana Cuba and meet with a revolutionary solider name Fidel Castro.  Before she is even able to meet with Castro she is being chased by East Germans because of a treasure map she is looking into.

In Washington DC Jackie meets up with a young actress Grace Kelly who helps her out of a tight squeeze with the East Germans Jackie has labeled as the three stooges. Once Jackie arrives in Cuba she is kidnapped by the same men and almost feed to some nasty alligators, but it is only her quick thinking and her endless training that keeps Jackie from becoming dinner. All the while Jackie has many dress changes one more beautiful than the next.

 While in Cuba she is assigned to meet Castro but when the first meeting doesn't go to plan Jackie soon finds herself dancing with Frank Sinatra and almost runs into Jack Kennedy, all in a small country that is ready to rebel against the tyrant governor of the land.

The author keeps the story light and fun with adding bits of history in with all the fiction. The endless twist and turns make for a fun pool side read but in the end the book had me wishing I didn't know so much about this time in history and only wish the story Spy in a Little Black Dress was the true story of Jackie Kennedy.

I would love to know what she did when she worked for the CIA. Was she an agent or a secretary?  I guess that part of history we will never know the truth.

This book is a clean read and something I would allow my teenager to read.

Thank Heidi for this review.

Publisher:  Published October 2nd 2012 by Grand CentralPublishing
Copyright: 2012
Pages:  352
ISBN:   9780446567428
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:   Inspired by an actual letter in the John F. Kennedy Library written by Jackie and revealing her job offer from the newly formed CIA
When young Jackie Bouvier receives her second assignment from the CIA, she knows it will go better than her first. She managed to survive the Paris job-while looking her best in Givenchy, no less-but now she's completed her official CIA training. So she's excited to show her boss exactly what she can do for her country.
Her new mission: Go undercover in sultry Havana and investigate a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro. But before Jackie can infiltrate the communist cabal, she's in past her hemline in danger. In another exciting adventure, she colludes with Grace Kelly, dances with Frank Sinatra, and flirts with an up-and-coming congressman from Massachusetts.
As the international intrigue escalates, Jackie must use all her finely honed skills to stay ahead of her enemies . . . and make sure spying never goes out of fashion.
Author Biography: Maxine Kenneth is the writing team of Maxine Schnall and Ken Salikof
 Image of Maxine Kenneth
Ken says:
I am an award-winning screenwriter (for Ernest Hemingway Slept Here) turned novelist. I am also a special contributor to the New York Daily News, write book reviews and articles for Publishers Weekly, am a judge for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, and have worked as a studio reader, manuscript editor for bestselling authors and screenwriting consultant. Along with a collaborator, I have embarked on a series of novels about the young Jackie Bouvier, long before she was Mrs. JFK and the First Lady of the Country. Based on a 1951 letter in the JFK Library revealing her possible employment with the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency, I have imagined Jackie as a neophyte CIA agent in the early fifties, having glamorous, dangerous adventures in Paris, Havana and other exciting locations. The next book in the series, Spy in a Little Black Dress will be published by Grand Central Publishing on October 2nd (with a really spectacular cover), and the first one, Paris to Die For, can still be found on bookstore shelves. Both, of course, are available as ebooks. The novels have been an absolute joy to write and I hope the reader will have a similar experience reading about Jackie at a pivotal but little written about moment in her life.
Image of Maxine Kenneth 
Maxine says:
I started writing back in the 60s with my first book, MY HUSBAND THE DOCTOR, chronicling the funny side of being married to an ob-gyn. Next came THE BROADBELTERS, my racy novel about the soft porn book biz, optioned for films by Stanley Kubrick. After my marriage broke up and I founded a hotline called Wives Self Help, my book based on the hotline calls, YOUR MARRIAGE, was published. Excerpts printed in Woman's Day led to my becoming a contributing editor with the magazine and the host of my own CBS daily radio show. In 1982, Clarkson Potter published my book LIMITS: A SEARCH FOR NEW VALUES, a study of the cultural effects of the sexual revolution, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After I remarried, my book, EVERY WOMAN CAN BE ADORED established my reputation as a relationship guru and led to six appearances on Oprah. In 1985, my younger daughter Rona, a beautiful, gifted, award-winning journalist was seriously brain-injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Her courageous battle to reestablish her life after this tragedy and hundreds of stories of other people who came back from losses large and small inspired my book WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER (Perseus, 2002; United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, Korea, and Lebanon).

After answering Ken Salikof's ad in Craig's List seeking a collaborator, I teamed up with him to write PARIS TO DIE FOR, the first in a series of spy novels with Jackie Kennedy as an unofficial CIA agent. The idea was inspired by an authentic letter written by 21-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier in the JFK Library stating that the CIA had offered her a job and she was going to take it. From there, our imaginations were off and running--and so was a whole new Jackie to 1950s Paris for an adventure filled with death-defying exploits, foreign intrigue, romance, and hobnobbing with famous celebrities. Grand Central published the book on July 28, Jackie's birthday. HAVANA TO DIE FOR is slated for 2012.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday in my mailbox

What did you get this week?  What are you reading?
Godsent: A ThrillerKate Skylar is an ordinary seventeen-year-old with an extraordinary destiny. A virgin, Kate suddenly finds herself pregnant with what she believes is the Son of God. But the Catholic Church is convinced Kate is carrying the Antichrist and, assisted by an artificial intelligence known as Grand Inquisitor, will stop at nothing to kill Ethan, her son. Ethan 's only protection is Conversatio, a secret organization dedicated to the Second Coming which may have its own dark agenda. As Ethan grows up in anonymity, ignorant of his true identity and not knowing whom to trust, he must come to terms with his miraculous abilities and make a fateful choice that will determine the future of all mankind. And for Kate, an equally difficult struggle looms, as well as a mother 's devastating choice.

Godsent is a wild religious thriller, a page-turner that keeps you guessing until the very last page. Burton, in his fiction debut, crafts a tightly-wound narrative with a heart-pounding plot and emotional resonance that will ring true to anyone with children of their own, all while the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.  The movie rights have been purchased...see article here.
Taking Action Working Through Procrastination and Achieving Your GoalsDo you find yourself avoiding important tasks? Is it hard for you to make decisions and take action to move your life ahead? This book shows how to work through the psychological issues that drive Procrastination so you can take action and accomplish your goals.

You will learn about the different types of Procrastination, the fears that drive them, and the childhood wounds behind them. You will learn how to work through your fears and practice overcoming procrastination so you can achieve your dreams.

This book is based on the Pattern System, a comprehensive and detailed map of the human psyche.

Taking Action is more than a book. It includes:

* An online workbook
* An online quiz
* Recorded guided meditations
* An online community

Do you find yourself avoiding important tasks?
Learn about the part of you that doesn't want to do them.

When you are faced with a project that must be completed, do you get distracted or busy with other tasks?
Uncover the fears that are behind this avoidance.

Do you decide to do something and then forget about it?
Explore the childhood origins of your fears about taking action.

Is it difficult for you to discipline yourself to exercise, meditate, or eat well?
Understand the part of you that may rebel against your best intentions.

Is it hard for you to make decisions and take action to move your life ahead?
Work through your fears so you can move forward with confidence.

Do you want more self-confidence and success?
Create a practice for overcoming procrastination and accomplishing your goals.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Woman
And the women whose stories are in this book have got it, baby! They are successful, beautiful, giving, inspiring and exude womanhood more than any generation before them. They are sassy and crass, truthful and funny, and have come into their own with all barrels loaded, cocked and ready to go. There is no stopping them as they share their real-life stories with you, the reader.

It’s time to flaunt our stuff, so join us Women—and yes, that’s women with a capital “W,” baby! 

Anthology series information:
Not Your Mother’s Book (NYMB) is a new anthology for a new century. Series creators Dahlynn and Ken McKowen spent 10 years developing titles for the world’s bestselling anthology series [Chicken Soup for the Soul] prior to launching NYMB. But their series is very different; all NYMB books are hip, fun and even daring! No sad, sappy or death and dying stories—EVER!

Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Being a Woman is the first title in the series, which another 30-plus titles under development. Submit your stories for consideration! Guidelines can be found Get published!
The Love Song of Jonny ValentineFor fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, a scathing and unputdownable new novel about America’s monstrous obsession with fame, from the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award.
Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum-pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. His image, his voice, and even his hairdo have been packaged—by his LA label and by his hard-partying manager-mother—into bite-size pieces for easy digestion, sliding down the gullet of mass culture, the biggest appeal to the widest demographic. But inside the relentless marketing machine, somewhere, is still a little boy, devoted to his mother and determined to find his absent father among the countless, faceless fans. Isn’t there?
A twisted, brilliant, and viciously funny coming-of-age story set inside corporate arenas and luxury hotel suites, Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine explores with devastating clarity the underbelly of fame in twenty-first century America’s celebrity culture, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators since Holden Caulfield. From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Kapitoil, this new novel is a literary masterpiece by one of the standout writers of his generation.
The Secret Keeper1961 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
The Girl On The CliffCould a secret from 1914 end a century of heartache?

A tiny figure stands at the cliff edge - hair flying in the breeze. Grania Ryan is hypnotised by the enchanting vision, unaware this young girl, Aurora Lisle, will change her life in countless ways. For Grania is suffering and has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family, in the hope her wounds might heal.

As their paths begin to entwine, Grania's mother becomes deeply troubled … because almost a century of entanglement has brought nothing but terrible tragedy to their two families.

The past is set to repeat its sorrows. A suitcase hidden in the attic of a magnificent house in London during the First World War is where it all began, but could it now hold the key to ending the heartbreak that has beset the Lisles and the Ryans for so long?
Footprints in the Sand: A Piper Donovan MysteryNew York Times Bestselling Author

Plans for a romantic beach wedding are threatened when a bridesmaid goes missing and it falls to Piper Donovan to save the day in the third installment of Mary Jane Clark's enthralling Wedding Cake Mystery series

"Mary Jane Clark is a master at whipping up delicious nightmares for mystery fans…"-Associated Press

It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar sand dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.

But a cloud seems to hover over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the wedding beach. With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex-drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin's future stepfather-or even the bridegroom himself?

As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Feature Friday - The Amateur's Guide to Death and Dying: Enhancing the End of Life - Richard Wagner

Title:  The Amateur's Guide To Death and Dying: Enhancing the End of Life

Author:  Richard Wagner

Synopsis:  A new interactive workbook designed to help us define and achieve a good death for ourselves.

Lessons In The Art of Dying...and Living

Thousands of people will receive a devastating medical diagnosis this year. And for most, what follows is a nightmare of anger, shame, loneliness and passivity. Instead of being encouraged to take a lead role in orchestrating their finales, they are expected to wait patiently for the curtain to fall.

The Amateur's Guide is on the cutting edge of death and dying work. It provides an opportunity to break free from the painful silence our culture imposes on death talk. Whether filling out a durable power of attorney form, completing a death anxiety survey or personally designing a unique end-of-life plan, you will be totally involved and engaged.

This unique seminar/support group format exposes you to a myriad of life situations and moral dilemmas that arise as one faces his/her mortality head on.

Learn from and with people just like you. Ten diverse fictional characters provide essential role models for enhancing life near death. Additionally, six presenters, experts in their field, offer timely advice to help make the end of life less intimidating and more of a rich, poignant transition.

This is about achieving a good and wise death in the context of real dying, with all its unpredictability, disfigurement, pain, and sorrow.

This workbook is primarily for those currently facing their mortality. But concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will all benefit from joining in. Because, as we all know, none of us is getting out of here alive.

October 24, 2012 (Seattle, WA). Let’s face it. Death is unavoidable.  None of us is getting out of here alive. Each year, tens of thousands of us receive a devastating or even a terminal prognosis. Yet, because the subject of death in our society is taboo, few opportunities exist for us to prepare for this inevitability in a purposeful life-affirming way. Instead of being encouraged to take a lead role in orchestrating our finales, we are often lost in a nightmare of fear, anxiety, and loneliness as we wait for the curtain to fall. All that is about to change.

The Amateur's Guide To Death and Dying: Enhancing the End of Life ( is a fascinating and useful new tool to help us address the questions and emotions that arise as we face our mortality.  It is designed primarily for sick, elder, and dying people.  However, concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will all benefit from reading this book.

The topic of death and dying is experiencing a cultural revival not seen since the groundbreaking work of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in the early 1970’s.  End of life issues are being explored in films and on TV as well as in every other media.  Even the Supreme Court has addressed the issue.
From the Author: Dear friends and colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying: Enhancing The End Of Life.

The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying is specifically designed for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder, and dying people from all walks of life. But concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will also benefit from reading the book.

The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying is a workbook that offers readers a unique group/seminar format. Readers participate in a virtual on-the-page support group consisting of ten other participants. Together members of the group help each other liberate themselves from the emotional, cultural, and practical problems that accompany dying in our modern age.

The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying helps readers dispel the myth that they are incapable of taking charge during the final season of life. Readers face the prospect of life's end within a framework of honesty, activity, alliance, support, and humor. And most importantly readers learn these lessons in the art of dying and living from the best possible teachers, other sick, elder, and dying people.

The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying engages readers with a multitude of life situations and moral dilemmas that arise as they and their group partners face their mortality head on.

The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying offers readers a way to share coping strategies, participate in meaningful dialogue, and take advantage of professional information tailored to their specific needs. Topics include spirituality, sexuality and intimacy, legal concerns, final stages, and assisted dying. The book does not take an advocacy position on any of these topics. It does, however, advocate for the holistic self-determination of sick, elder, and dying people, which can only be achieved when they have adequate information.

Facing your mortality with the kind of support The Amateur's Guide To Death And Dying offers does not eliminate the pain and poignancy of separation. Rather it involves confidently facing these things and living through them to the end.

This innovative workbook on death and dying is now available on Amazon and in bookstores. I welcome your thoughts, comments, and reviews.

All the best, Richard Richard Wagner, Ph.D.

Our website:
Author Bio:  He is psychotherapist/clinical sexologist in private practice since 1981.  Seattle, WA

He has been working with terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people in hospital, hospice, and home settings for over 30 years. He facilitates support groups for care-providers and clinical personnel, and provides grief counseling for survivors both individually and in group settings.

He founded Paradigm Programs Inc, an innovative nonprofit organization with a mission to be an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people.

He was honored with the prestigious University of California San Francisco Chancellor's Award for Public Service in 1999 for his work with sick, elder and dying people.

He designs, develops, and produces long and short term in-service training seminars and workshops for helping and healing professionals. He often speaks in the public forum on policy issues related to religion, human sexuality, aging, death and dying, surviving chronic illness, and moral development.

You can reach Richard at:

IAHPC Book Reviews
Marian Ronan

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
I have a huge list of things I am thankful for and the 1st is spending this day
with my family!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!
Happy Family Time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review - I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number
Title:  I’ve Got Your Number

Review:  This is one of my favorite authors.  I find her funny, witty, and most of all her characters are realistic in my world.  Poppy is so much like some women I’ve known that I have put a composite face to her in my mind.  She is sweet and non-confrontational and gets walked on a few times here and there, but she doesn’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily.  I feel like that most of the time.  Sam on the other hand is all business without a lot of personality to match until you get to know him.  I love the way the author describes his smile, this real smile he shares only rarely.  The two together are a delightful mix and the texting is a great addition for this day and age.

The crazy life that Poppy has is her doing and she knows it.  She is a normal person thrown into the deep end of a life she never asked for or expected(after only a few weeks of dating.)  She finds herself in need and the needed item appears and WOW…there goes her life with the twists and turns that make this author so enjoyable to read.  Chick-lit at its finest- in my opinion.

Romance in this book is great, not a lot of sex, just a few suggestions that it was had and enjoyed by all that had it.  I cried at the end…just a happy sap I am at times.  I love books like this...great characters, crazy situations, comedy and drama mixed in unequal yet complementary parts.  This is a cute, fast read well worth your time.  Sophie Kinsella is an author well worth looking into.  I look forward to her next and the next one after that…it is always a joy to pick up her newest and lose myself for a few hours.

Publisher: Published February 14th 2012 by RandomHouse Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780385342063

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 433

Quick Review: 5 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  I love this author and look forward to her newest books.  I got this book at my local library.

Synopsis: I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.
Sophie Kinsella
Author Biography:  Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming ("The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic") to the latest book on being married and having a child ("Shopaholic & Baby"). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Gemma Townley is her sister.

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