Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free on Kindle NOW!!!!

Passing along the latest FREE short-story E-BOOKS from best-selling author Sarah PekkanenALL IS BRIGHT and LOVE, ACCIDENTALLY. They are free on KINDLE now! 

ALL IS BRIGHT by Sarah PekkanenAll Is Bright: A Short Story

Thirty-year-old Elise Andrews couldn’t bring herself to marry Griffin, her childhood friend turned sweetheart, so she let him walk away. Eight months after their breakup, she arrives in her hometown of Chicago on Christmas Eve and hears a voice from the past calling her name in the grocery store. It’s Griffin’s mother, Janice, who invites Elise over for a neighborhood gathering of eggnog and carols.

Walking into Janice’s house sends Elise tumbling headlong into memories of her relationship with Griffin—and with Janice, who exudes the kind of warmth Elise ached for after her own mom passed away when she was six. But Griffin has moved on, and suddenly Elise doubts her decision to give him up and lose her chance at being folded into his wonderful family. Confused and reeling, she goes in search of an answer to a universal question: How do we say good-bye to people we’ve loved without losing everything they’ve meant to us?

Heartwarming and witty, All Is Bright is a charming story about coming home for the holidays—and finding gifts in the most unexpected of places.
LOVE, ACCIDENTALLY by Sarah Pekkanen   Love, Accidentally

From the author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat, an original eBook short story that shows whom we fall in love with may be the biggest—and happiest—accident of all.
Ilsa Brown wasn’t expecting a little, injured dog to lead her to the love of her life. But within months of their first meeting on a street corner in L.A., she and Grif, the dog’s owner, are engaged. Things between them are so blissful that Ilsa is stunned by the tension that erupts during their visit to Chicago to meet his parents, where she discovers that Grif’s old girlfriend, Elise, is still woven into his family. What Ilsa needs to know before she can walk down the aisle is whether Elise is still in Grif’s heart, too. 

Featuring a character from Sarah Pekkanen’s original eBook short story All Is Bright, Love, Accidentally is surprising and heartfelt. It’s a story about taking chances and choosing hope, and discovering what it means to love someone—and to let go of someone you love. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Musing - Life Update...

Life just keeps getting more and more busy around these parts.  I have school full-time and now I am subbing for the rest of the year in a room I was in earlier this year (great on the job training for school)....that leaves me with little or no time to read...anything including books and emails.  I still have other reviewers and readers out there, but not as many as I would like.  I even took a book to my neighbor the other day I knew she would enjoy...also it had been sitting in a pile for over a month.  She loved it and gave me a great review to post...YEAH!!!

So if you have not heard back from me it is because I deleted you....there are many reasons for this and none of them are a personal attack against you or your book.
  1. I deleted your email by accident...this happens more than it should.
  2. I lost you in the other million emails.
  3. I forwarded you to another reviewer and they have yet to respond.
  4. I just could not handle my in-box being so full any longer.
  5. Life dumped more than I could handle on me that day/week/year/.
  6. My plumber is still here trying to work out our plumbing mess.
  7. I have too much homework to get near the computer hooked to the internet.
  8. I have parent teacher conferences and grades to post.
  9. And Many More!!!!
We have all been there so just be patient and I will do my best to get back to you....if not you can resend in a few months....enjoy the reviews we do have posted for now.  Thanks so much, Lisa

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review - Green Beans & Ice Cream - Bill Sims JR.

Green Beans & Ice Cream

Review:   I enjoyed this book and it made me think about what I can offer my children when they do a great job on something or I want them to do a great job on something.  I have one that just hates school and he gets great grades, but is bored.  We have a point system for getting up and getting dressed in the morning and it works pretty well, but some days it isn't enough and it is a battle to get going.  Also his wants with those points keep getting bigger and it he feels it’s not big enough he doesn't care…so we have moved back down the scale to video game time or no video game time, that is working so far.  I think that is one of the problems with positive reinforcement…you keep having to up the ante or they start to think why bother?  Maybe that is kids only….I don’t know.

As a teacher I can tell you that positive reinforcement works well in most situations until the students decide that they are tired of what is being offered and want something new or different, also does it really help them learn to be better students or just better at doing what is needed to get the carrot?  I don’t know.  I just finished a book about offering choices, real choices instead of positive reinforcement…let the kids decide what is going to happen and help them learn that way instead of trying to pay them off for good behavior.
This book is great if dealing with adults or unpleasant tasks that need to be done, but for as much as the author promotes it….I don’t know how far positive reinforcement will get you after using it over and over again…somehow we need to instead work on motivation so that the person getting the positive reinforcement feels rewarded by the job alone and not really by the kind words or carrots.  This is a sticky area and one that really needs more investigation and study. 

Not a bad book if you need to get someone to do something and they really don’t want to do it.

Published:  Published November 5th 2012 by GreenbeanLeadership
ISBN: 9780986021305
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 144
Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)
Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  Green Beans and Ice Cream? At first glance, they don't sound like they go together. But this groundbreaking new book from author Bill Sims, Jr. shows you how the two will combine for your favorite recipe by the first paragraph. It will change forever the way you deal with your family, customers, coworkers, students, and yes, even your spouse! In Bill's thirty year history, he has helped design more than one thousand behavior change systems that have produced tremendous gains in performance and profits at America's top companies including Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, General Motors, and Dupont. Hidden in this book you will find Bill's "secret sauce," and the recipe for rapid, sustainable behavior change and engagement--Positive Reinforcement (PR+) The book explains why positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Use it wisely, and performance moves off the chart. Use it poorly, and the results can be disastrous. Green Beans & Ice Cream analyzes over 100 years of research in the field of human behavioral science, and compares it to "real world, in the trenches" true stories that Sims recounts. It points out clearly that the thing we need the most, is the thing we often receive the least-positive reinforcement and feedback from those around us. Using the techniques outlined in this book, you can master the remarkable power of positive reinforcement, and make a real difference in the world around you. This book is for everyone who must lead others. Whether in the family, the school, or the workplace, it is a "must read" for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team. With this first book, Sims has dropped a stone in the still pond of leadership. The waves will only get bigger.
Author Biography: Bill Sims, Jr., is President of The Bill Sims Company, Inc.  For more than 40 years, the Bill Sims Company has created behavior based recognition programs that have helped large and small firms to inspire better performance from employees and increase bottom line profits.  Bill’s  book entitled Green Beans & Ice Cream-The Definitive Recipe for Employee Engagement, Motivation and Recognition is based on this seminar and his experience having built more than 1,000 recognition programs since. More than 1,000 firms have benefited from consulting with Bill, including Dupont, Siemens VDO, Coca-Cola, and Ford, to name a few.

Bill Sims has spoken at the ASSE’s annual PDCs in San Antonio, Baltimore and recently in Chicago to international HSE professionals and corporate management. He has been a keynote speaker at vast number of conferences globally; for example; the IOSH/NIOSH in Scotland, the Saudi Council of Engineers and at many more locations in the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South Africa and more.

Bill consistently gets high ratings of nearly 95% from attendees. Bill was a keynote speaker at the Annual N.C. Workman’s Comp Education Conference and at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo. He has already been booked by the ASSE Middle East and Kuwait chapters to address large number of international conference delegates – about 1000 in Bharain and over 500 in Kuwait representing technical and corporate management executives from the major Middle Eastern oil, gas, petrochemicals companies and also from their multibillion dollar associated expansion construction project corporations.

Other Reviews:  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review - Number Cross Puzzles - Rich Rollo

Number Cross Puzzles: A Quick and Challenging Workout for Your Brain
Title:  Number Cross Puzzles: A Quick and Challenging Workout for Your Brain

Author: Rich Rollo

Review:   This reminds me of Sudoku with the way only one number can fit in the spot for all the others to fit where they need to be.  As I am starting a new puzzle my mind thinks very much like it does with Sudoku and I eliminate numbers as possibilities until I can find the number that fits.  Once I get the first few numbers the rest just need to be filled in.  I have taken this book to work with me over a few weeks and when I have a break I try to do a few puzzles.  I have tried most of the different formats with the cross numbers and have to say that I enjoy doing these quick puzzles.  I also like that I know my brain is thinking because I can almost feel the wheels cranking around trying to figure out the order the numbers will fit in.

If you like puzzles this is for you and if you feel that your brain is due for some exercise then pick up this book for something to do that is good for you.  Students in math and other classes might find these a challenge and some will give up without really trying, but a few will keep working until they come up with a strategy that works for them in solving these puzzles.

Published:  Xlibris Corporation (August 31, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1477155264
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 196
Quick Review: 5 stars (out of 5)
Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  Aside from being a great form of recreation, puzzles may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study published in the January 23 issue of the Archives of Neurology, people who kept their brains occupied through activities like reading and playing puzzles throughout their lifetime had lower chances of developing brain plaques which in turn are tied to Alzheimer’s disease. Readers who want to start or continue the mind-stimulating hobby of playing puzzles may want to take a stab at “Number Cross Puzzles: Advanced Version Volume 1” by Rich Rollo.

Rollo’s book is a collection of several number cross puzzles that are designed to be both quick and challenging. Some of the puzzles can be completed in a matter of five minutes but each one will require users to employ their problem solving strategies and logical reasoning skills if they want to finish it. The answers are provided in separate pages so readers can check how well they finished the set.

Made for users aged eight and up, “Number Cross Puzzles: Advanced Version Volume 1” is an excellent addition to any puzzle hobbyist’s collection and a wonderful introduction to the exciting world of number cross puzzles.

Author Biography: Rich Rollo holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Carthage College. He has been a teacher for 17 years and is currently teaching fifth grade mathematics in Oak Park, Illinois. He enjoys bowling, golfing and spending time with his wife, two children and three pets.

Other Reviews:  5.0 out of 5 stars puzzle lovers will LOVE this book! March 9, 2013
By E. A. Lewis
I am addicted to puzzles. I am constantly trying new games on the iPad and my phone. When I was younger I was addicted to word finds and crossword puzzles. I am NOW addicted to Rich Rollo's Number Cross Puzzles. I love that this very fun puzzle book challenges my brain in a different way than the computer based games. I love having the book in my hands, folding over the cover and trying to figure out the puzzle! Ever since I received this puzzle book it has stayed in my purse and I take it out anytime I have a few moments between activities If you are a lover of puzzles you must try this puzzle book! 5 stars!

Number Cross Puzzles are for all ages October 18, 2012
By Mimi O'C-Z
My sons and I enjoy the Number Cross Puzzles. It helps them problem solve plus have fun with numbers at the same time. We have quality family time when doing the puzzles as a team! I would highly recommend this Number Cross Puzzles book!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shower of Books Giveaway Hop - Book Feature - Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Product Details
Title: Me Before You

Author:  Jojo Moyes

Published:  Published January 5th 2012 by Michael Joseph (UK) (first published December 31st 2011)
ISBN:  9780718157838
Pages: 482

Synopsis:   Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

One copy of this book can be won on this Blog Hop.  Only US addresses and no PO boxes.  See Rafflecopter:
Jojo Moyes
Author Bio:  Jojo Moyes (born 1969) is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Introduction to Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life—or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s
life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window—is that it forces you to rethink your
idea of who you are” (p. 58).
Louisa Clark never wanted to leave her job at the Buttered Bun. After six years, she felt secure in the routine of
making tea and chatting with the café’s regulars. But when her boss closes the business, the unskilled twenty-sixyear-old must take a new job as a paid companion to a wealthy ex–Master of the Universe, who is wheelchair
bound after an accident. Prickly and embittered, Will Traynor nonetheless opens Louisa’s eyes to the limitations
she has imposed upon her life—and the infinite possibilities that only love can awaken.
A few short years earlier, Will was a major corporate player who bought and sold companies for obscene
profits. He climbed mountains and dated cover girls. All that changed after a speeding motorcycle crushed his
spine. Paralyzed from the neck down and even unable to feed himself, Will’s life as he knows it is over—and he is
not interested in exploring a new one.
Louisa feels intimidated by Will, his commanding mother, Camilla, and the Traynors’ grand home, but the
position pays a lot more than her waitressing job did and her family doesn’t hesitate to remind Lou that she has
few options otherwise.
At first, Will resents Louisa’s very presence. When he destroys a shelf full of pictures, Louisa tries to repair the
damage. Furious, he lashes out, “It would be nice—just for once—if someone paid attention to what I wanted. Me
smashing those photographs was not an accident” (p. 56). Yet, the blowout is a turning point. Louisa stops trying
to second guess Will’s decisions, but also refuses to bear the brunt of his frustration.
Louisa is accustomed to putting herself last. Her parents never hid the fact that they considered Louisa’s
younger sister, Treena, to be the more intelligent sibling. Patrick—Louisa’s boyfriend of six years—is a selfabsorbed personal trainer concerned only with his performance in the next triathlon. As she and Will grow
closer, he convinces her that she deserves more respect from everyone in her life, including herself. Still, Lou has
her reasons for wanting things to stay the same as they have always been.
When Lou learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth
living. She begins researching technologies that can give him more autonomy and looking for outings that he
might find appealing. Each for the other’s sake, Louisa and Will push beyond their comfort zones and, in turn,
change each other in ways that neither could ever have anticipated.
As inspiring as it is heartbreaking, Me Before You is Jojo Moyes’s international bestselling breakout novel—
and the captivating tale of two people whose improbable romance sets them both free.

Book Club Informational Link

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review - Simple and Sold - Sissy Lappin

Simple and Sold
Title:  Simple and Sold: Utilize the Web-Sell your home yourself and POCKET the commission!

Author: Sissy Lappin

Review:   This book had lots of good things to say about selling your home without a real-estate agent.  Some of it is easy to do for anyone and some would take a bit more time and work on your part.  Do you have the time, creativity to stage and price your home?  If you do this book is for you.  A bit of work on your part and you can sell your own home and not have to pay the 6% commission or whatever the rate is in your area.

I have bought 2 homes from people selling them themselves, I have yet to try the process myself.  Instead of an agent we agreed on the price, things that needed to be fixed from the inspection and so forth.  The 2 experiences I had were both positive and maybe I will think about it the next time I need to move.  A lawyer was involved in both sales and coordination with them was more difficult without an agent, the dates were changed a few times and moved around because of missing paperwork…that should not happen when working with an agent and if it did I would ask for some compensation for my lost time.

If  you want to give selling your own home a try them pick up this book- get the tips you will need to know and easy to follow steps to the home selling process.  It will take you time to do this, but what are you going to spend on the commission alone?  Maybe it will save you money and that is worth time in this world.

Published:  Published May 1st 2012 by Launch Publishing
ISBN: 9780984928309
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 179
Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)
Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  Simple & Sold is full of real estate solutions that save you money. With a little training, you can do a far better job selling your home than a real estate agent ever could. Think about it. Who knows your home better? Who is more invested in making the transaction work? If you are selling your home, the Simple & Sold method isn't just a should, it's a must. It will teach you how to sell your home yourself and save the real estate commission, which means saving thousands of dollars and a huge percentage of your equity. Veteran real estate broker Sissy Lappin has created this start-to-finish program to give homeowners practical, relevant advice from a neutral, objective and experienced perspective. Following the steps in Simple & Sold, you'll have all the help you need to make smart decisions about selling your home. Sissy knows that home sales don't have to be nearly as complicated as most real estate agents would make you think. If you handle the process correctly, it's a breeze. All you need to effectively sell a home by yourself is the willingness to learn and follow a system that will put you in control. Simple & Sold gives you the proven tools and the effective strategies used by the best real estate insiders. Sissy walks you through the step-by-step process from start to finish, helping you identify and prevent problems before they start. You'll find that this program will result in your knowing the business better than many agents out there.
Author Biography: The founder of Lappin Properties, Sissy runs one of the most successful real estate firms in Houston; her company was recognized by the Houston Business Journal as "#1 in most expensive homes sold." Sissy delivers exceptional, one-to-one personal service and she does it all from one desk, with one laptop.

Though highly respected in her industry, Sissy is considered a renegade because she is a one-man-show and not a large firm. Now Sissy has taken the proven system she used to build her home sales success and has created the innovative Simple and Sold process that makes it easy for homeowners to price, list, market, and sell their own homes. From her beginnings in one of the worst real estate markets in recent history, she has successfully consulted and negotiated profitable deals all over the country.

Sissy has a wonderful warmth and enthusiasm that translates into her writing. She lives with her husband and two children in Houston, TX.

Other Reviews:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday in our mailbox

What was in your mailbox?
Green Beans & Ice CreamGreen Beans and Ice Cream? At first glance, they don't sound like they go together. But this groundbreaking new book from author Bill Sims, Jr. shows you how the two will combine for your favorite recipe by the first paragraph. It will change forever the way you deal with your family, customers, coworkers, students, and yes, even your spouse! In Bill's thirty year history, he has helped design more than one thousand behavior change systems that have produced tremendous gains in performance and profits at America's top companies including Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, General Motors, and Dupont. Hidden in this book you will find Bill's "secret sauce," and the recipe for rapid, sustainable behavior change and engagement--Positive Reinforcement (PR+) The book explains why positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Use it wisely, and performance moves off the chart. Use it poorly, and the results can be disastrous. Green Beans & Ice Cream analyzes over 100 years of research in the field of human behavioral science, and compares it to "real world, in the trenches" true stories that Sims recounts. It points out clearly that the thing we need the most, is the thing we often receive the least-positive reinforcement and feedback from those around us. Using the techniques outlined in this book, you can master the remarkable power of positive reinforcement, and make a real difference in the world around you. This book is for everyone who must lead others. Whether in the family, the school, or the workplace, it is a "must read" for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team. With this first book, Sims has dropped a stone in the still pond of leadership. The waves will only get bigger.
Better Than ChocolateSweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They'll have a chocolate festival! Time's running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town's behind them, so everything's bound to go smoothly….

Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother's attempts to help aren't helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate.
Once Upon a Gypsy Moon: An Improbable Voyage and One Man's Yearning for RedemptionMichael Hurley watched his world unravel in the wake of infidelity, divorce and failure. In August 2009, he was short of money, out of a job, and seeking to salvage a life that had foundered. Deeply in need of perspective, he took to the open seas in a 32-foot sailboat, Gypsy Moon. The story of his 2-year outward odyssey, deterred by rough weather and mechanical troubles, combines keen observation, poignant thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose. 

Once Upon a Gypsy Moon also presents a rare and much-needed point of view on the familiar spiritual-journey narrative. It offers a star-crossed love story wrapped inside a rollicking good sea tale, but it also has something important to say to the reader about relationships, faith and disbelief, life and death, love and marriage, and what really matters.

A few more I need to list next Monday!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Feature - Evil UnLtd: The Root of All Evil - Simon A. Forward

AuthorSimon A Forward

Synopsis:  The Farce Of The Dark Side. Villains are the new Heroes in this Epic Sci Fi Adventure.

Evil UnLtd: on a mission of indefinite duration, to seek out new evil schemes and boldly go to depths and extremes where no super-villain has gone before.

Sinister supreme genius and super-villain, Dexter Snide, has floated Evil on the stock market and has gathered together a band of fellow villains, whose key challenge now is to ensure that Evil shows a consistent profit.

But Evil has its (some would say unfair) share of enemies: Heroes in all sorts of nauseating shapes and sizes, up to and including muscle-headed action man, Rolph Stengun; and, because Evil is a highly competitive field, rivals, such as the mysterious figure who has his Visigoyle minions shadowing their every move.

What begins as a heist to steal the greatest prize in the galaxy, draws Evil UnLtd into a devious plot to crash their enterprise before it's reached a fraction of its warped potential.

There is one thing of which their enemy may be certain: when anyone draws Dexter Snide into their sinister web, there will be serious disagreement over who gets to be chief spider...
Author Bio:   Born in Penzance in 1967. From the age of about three I was probably dreaming of writing for Doctor Who. Certainly it wasn't a case of just watching it: I'd go to bed with all sorts of adventures and story possibilities buzzing around in my head. From the age of eleven, I knew, whenever any aunts and uncles asked the "What do you want to do when you grow up?" question, the stock replies of jet pilot, train driver, astronaut were never going to be good enough for me. "I want to be a writer", I always said.

By then, I was as avid a writer as a reader and I'd be scribbling all those adventures and story possibilities down, and not just Doctor Who any more: I'd branched out, developing all sorts of wonderful creations of my own. (Many now thankfully lost in the mists of time!) At school, I'd delight in exploring the most fantastic interpretation of whatever essay title my English teacher would hand out, and presenting her with the resulting (usually sci-fi!) adventure. It was also at school, among like-minded friends, that I discovered role-playing games - a hobby where I could inflict my creations and adventures on others. Talk about a vocational pastime.

And all this continued to grow and develop as I was studying a fairly broad mix of English literature, history, art and computer science. So, safe to say, much of my time was based firmly in fantasy, with reality intruding frequently enough to get me through a HND course in Computer Studies and, eventually, land me a career in software engineering.

Since then I've worked variously as a programmer, for a handful of different firms and running my own business, and as a part-time lecturer in IT at the local college. But that was all essentially part of the background, a means to an end, because through it all (apart from, perhaps, a stultifying spell in Bracknell - a sort of monochromatic industrial park Legoland not far from London) the love of writing remained.I am a published author with a number of Doctor Who novels and audio dramas, as well as three novelisations for the BBC's Merlin series to my credit.

Message from the Author:  Meanwhile, among my own original works is a series entitled Evil UnLtd which I have published independently.

Vol 1: The Root Of All Evil and Vol 2: From Evil With Love are currently available for the Kindle and all other ebook formats as well as in paperback. Vol 3: Evil UTD is due to be released on May 25th 2013.

Until May 24th I am donating all royalties to Cancer Research UK and after that date I will continue to donate 50% of royalties. So it's in the interests of a very good cause that I am looking for people who might be willing to post reviews or interviews/features online and help raise the series' profile.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interesting fact

Cenneidigh is almost 5"7'  and weighs 110 pounds fully dressed with shoes.

I am 5"5' and weigh 121 pounds fully dressed with shoes....Cenny is not happy and wants me to gain 100 pounds.  But she did point out that she is taller.

Book Review - Mundo Cruel Stories - Luis Negron

Mundo Cruel: Stories
Title:  Mundo Cruel: Stories

Author:  Luis Negron, Suzanne Jill Levine (Translation)

Review:  Full disclosure-I didn’t read the whole book…it is short…but it is not my thing at all.  Sex, language and the 1st story was about a child having sex with many, many , many people including his priest right after baptism.  Not my thing at all…not even a little bit.

That is about all I can say about this book of short stories….I will not be reading the rest.  My rating is based on my experience and I did not enjoy the bits I did read at all.

Published:  March 12th 2013 by Seven Stories Press(first published February 26th 2013)
 ISBN:  9781609804183
Pages: 96
Quick Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
Where I got the book:  Sent from the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  "Hilarious and heart-wrenching, provocative and pitch-perfect, each story is a tiny, transgressive explosion. I feel inadequate to the task of expressing just how wonderful this book is...read it slowly, and listen close; here is a master storyteller at his finest."
–Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

Luis Negrón’s debut collection reveals the intimate world of a small community in Puerto Rico joined together by its transgressive sexuality. The writing straddles the shifting line between pure, unadorned storytelling and satire, exploring the sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking nature of survival in a decidedly cruel world.

Author Bio:  Luis Negron shares deeply personal tales in his upcoming collection of short stories, called Mundo Cruel, coming out in February 2013.

In Sunday’s New York Times opinion pages Luis shares a beautiful and heartbreaking story about his experiences growing up in an impoverished family in Puerto Rico and the reaction of his parents when he tries to share his joy of reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Suzanne Jill Levine is the winner of PEN USA’s Translation Award 2012 for her translation of Jose Donoso’s The Lizard’s Tale. Her acclaimed translations, which include works by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Three Trapped Tigers) and Manuel Puig (Betrayed by Rita Hayworth), have helped introduce the world to some of the icons of contemporary Latin American literature. She is the translator of the upcoming book of short stories by Luis Negron called Mundo Cruel, out in February 2013.

Other Reviews:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review - Start at the End: How Companies can grow bigger and faster by reversing their business plan - Dave Lavinsky

Start at the End: How Companies Can Grow Bigger and Faster by Reversing Their Business Plan
Title:  Start At the End

Author: Dave Lavinsky

Review:  I love the title of this book…I always find the end a great place to begin…except when reading books that is.  I start at the end of new math problems that I am unfamiliar with, I start at the end in most magazines I read at the drs. office, I start at the end when making goals….what do I want to accomplish, so this is a great idea…starting at the end that is.

This book has some great ideas for growing your business.  If you have a business then you need to be reading.  You can’t expect to improve things without more knowledge on how business works and especially how yours works.  What are you looking to accomplish?  Well that is a good place to start…where do you see the business in 5 or 10 years?  Start there.  Also are you a good leader?  So do your employees follow you and think that you know what you are doing and talking about?  Well that is needed in any business and you need to get better if you feel you are lacking in this area.

Read this book and see how starting at the end with help you achieve what you planned to when you started the business in the first place.  You may need to redesign your business plan…but if it isn’t working now that is a good thing to be doing.  You need this book if you run a business or are part of a team that does….it’s your future… make it a good one.

Publisher: Published October 23rd 2012 by JohnWiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118417447
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 240
Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)- ending came too fast
Why I Read It:  Sent by the editor for review.

Synopsis: Re-focus your business plan and achieve the success your business deservesBusiness owners, and their teams, often lose their way in the midst of the day-to-day stress of generating sales and profits. Whether your goal is selling millions of your product, expanding operations to a new location, or generating more profits, "Start at the End" offers a unique approach and action steps for business owners and entrepreneurs to redevelop your business plan and achieve ultimate success. You'll learn how to re-create your long-term vision and then make continuous progress in achieving that vision while continuing to hit your short-term goals. "Start at the End" offers inspiring stories of other entrepreneurs who have achieved significant success in this area, as well as easy-to-follow exercises and next steps. Shows how to develop a realistic business and financial model based on market dataExplains how to identify and pursue new opportunities, raise capital, and build growth strategies

"Start at the End" gives business owners a chance to take a step back, re-evaluate your business, and redesign your business plan to achieve the success you dreamed of when you first launched your company.
Author Biography: Dave walks the talk. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, having started and exited multiple Internet and product-focused ventures, including Emerge Juice and Nutrition Systems - a wellness products developer and distributor; Shoutmouth - a niche music -focused social networking site; Z Reporter LLC - owner of over 3,000 niche-focused information websites; and TopPayingKeywords - a Search Engine Marketing & Optimization research data firm.

Dave is a past board member of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance and a winner of the Anderson School at UCLA's Knapp New Venture Competition.

As a co-founder of Growthink, Dave has managed more than 150 client engagements across all of Growthink's practice areas. He particularly enjoys helping early stage companies prepare for significant growth as he has done with Dakim, Sandel Medical, XCom Wireless and numerous other businesses. Dave also conducted the market research and wrote the initial business plan for KeySpan Energy Services, now part of National Grid, which grew from zero to over $1 billion in revenues in less than three years.

Prior to Growthink, Dave gained professional management consulting, marketing consulting and market research experience with FIND/SVP (now Guideline), BPA International and The NPD Group.

Dave has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pump Up Your Book - Book Tour - Chimney - David B Seaburn


Join David Seaburn, author of the literary fiction novel, Chimney Bluffs, as he tours the blogosphere April 1 - April 26 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!


When state park ranger Clancy Brisco discovers two bodies and two sacks at the bottom of 300 foot high Chimney Bluffs, he is shocked. When he discovers what is in the sacks, his life is changed forever. Chimney Bluffs is a story about the power of relationships to foster hope and enable healing. Kate and Mitch Duncan adore their young son, Danny; when he dies unexpectedly after a brief illness, they are inconsolable. Mitch believes their only option is to join their son in the afterlife so he will not be alone; Kate agrees to Mitch’s proposal of suicide, not because she believes in the afterlife, but because she feels responsible for Danny’s death. They put two sacks in the back of their VW van, one containing their son, the other containing his toys, and go to their favorite place, Chimney Bluffs, Ice Age spires carved out of the Lake Ontario shoreline. Mitch jumps to his death; Kate lives. Clancy and his young co-worker and friend, Bobby, are overwhelmed by what they find in the sacks. Clancy, furious at what he thinks has been the murder of a little boy, curses Kate as she lies silent on the shore. Over the course of several months, Clancy, Bobby and Kate will not only become friends, but will live together, their private stories mingling in an unexpectedly transformative way. Clancy, the failed husband who always hoped for a family; Bobby, whose brother’s death when he was a boy destroyed Bobby’s relationship with his father; and Kate, who struggles with loss and guilt and, in the end, healing and hope.
Purchase Link:




David B. Seaburn is the author of three previous novels, including Charlie No Face, which was a Finalist for the INDIE Excellence in Books Award in 2011. Seaburn is a retired family psychologist and Presbyterian minister. Seaburn lives in Spencerport, NY; he is married and has two adult daughters and two wonderful granddaughters.



Chimney Bluffs Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 2
Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Wednesday, April 3
Interviewed at Review From Here
Thursday, April 4
Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Friday, April 5
Guest blogging at Alive on the Shelves
Monday, April 8
Interviewed at American Chronicle
Tuesday, April 9
Guest blogging at Allvoices
Wednesday, April 10
First Chapter Reveal and guest blogging at My Devotional Thoughts
Thursday, April 11
Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Friday, April 12
Guest blogging at Confessions of a Reader
Monday, April 15
Book spotlight at My Book Addiction and More
Tuesday, April 16
Book spotlight at Book Him Danno
Wednesday, April 17
Interviewed at Digital Journal
Thursday, April 18
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, April 19
First Chapter Reveal at CelticLady's Reviews
Monday, April 22
Interviewed at Examiner
Tuesday, April 23
Interviewed at Yahoo Voices
Wednesday, April 24
Thursday, April 25
Guest blogging at My Cozie Corner
Friday, April 26
Book reviewed at Maureen's Musings
Saturday, April 27
Book spotlight at Mary's Cup of Tea


Pump Up Your Book

Monday, April 15, 2013

Signed Book Blog Hop - Book Feature - For Internal Use Only - Cari Kamm

Win a signed copy of this book - For Internal Use Only by Cami Kamm - Page down for rafflecoper widget.  Thanks
For Internal Use Only

Synopsis:  Chloe Kassidy has just been accepted into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive art exhibits, Love Through Light. However, with her singular dedication to her career, she soon realizes that in sacrificing her personal life, she has never been in love. A hopeless romantic who is terrified of heartbreak, Chloe begins to enlist the help of her circle of friends to learn about love through their very different stories and experiences.

In Chloe’s emotional rollercoaster to having the greatest love story ever told, she’ll learn that like her photography she must use the negatives in life to develop and prove that she’s a strong woman who found her way to love through light.

In this excerpt, Chloe is anxiously awaiting for the envelope to arrive that contains her destiny. To continue, you can view the book trailer here : http://tinyurl.com/bdr7bfn

Chapter 2
My love for photography had led me down an unimaginable career path. Most currently, it led me to anxiously sitting on a stoop outside the New York City mid-rise building that contained my overpriced one-room apartment. I closed my eyes, allowing the morning light to calm me while I took in the delightful bird chirps and excruciating taxi beeps of the East Village, ignoring the slight smell of urine that accosted my senses.
I started my afternoon again with stalking. I eagerly awaited the mailman’s arrival between 1:06 and 1:13 p.m., while he transported paper fate, sporting his pale blue polyester trousers, tucked in long-sleeve shirt pressed, and Converse sneakers.
We lived and loved through technology, so I was frustrated that my fate was arriving via snail mail and the timing matched every part of the description. Technology was the trusted source of banking transactions, meeting your husband, ordering your groceries, making restaurant reservations and even spying on your pets through a kennel cam while sunburning on a beach. But today, this life-altering letter crawled its way to me by a government official, a man I rarely saw, and never exchanged words with. I was waiting to hear if my dream would come true, and dreading it would never be.
 “Good afternoon,” I said, with a smile, merely able to stare at the navy stripe that lined his pant leg. The clock showed that it was 1:11 p.m. I made a wish.
“What a surprise,” he muttered, while he manhandled the heavy stack wrapped with a thick, green rubber band and passed by me. I studied him meticulously stocking the empty boxes, one by one, approaching my slot.
“Do you mind if I just grab the mail for three-C, please?” I interrupted.
“If that’s what it’ll take,” he moaned.
Between my J. Crew catalogue and my electric bill was a fancy rectangle of heavy stock ivory paper with gold trim. I squeezed the four-by-six response card. Contained in this saliva-sealed envelope were the words that would inevitably change my life. The weight of those words was heavy in my fingers and I was hesitant to open it. Without the answer the card contained, I still was able to hold onto hope.
 My destiny was in my lap with the warmth of the sun counteracting the fresh chill October presented while I flipped from sweating to freezing like an on/off switch. I reassured myself it was only rejection. I had my health and photography. Whether it was amateur or professional, it was still my first love. Even if it was a two-letter response, I would remember my love for art, and how every time I shot I searched for the immense beauty that existed within the balance, tone, and temperature of my tiny frame. Having an image worth a thousand words was never my intention. I wanted to capture one word to describe each photograph. One word can define everything, love being a true example. There is something compelling about visualizing a picture and capturing it. There is nothing compelling about the words, We regret to inform you.
My fingers trembled and taking a couple photographs would be soothing. Photography to me was the perfect cocktail: one part heart, one part head, a dose of imagination, with a splash of patience.
The tearing of the envelope felt like scratches on my heart. I proceeded with caution, hoping this document wouldn’t be only a keepsake to remind me what if.
Inch by inch, I slid out the card to reveal the twelve-point Apple Chancery font and held it to the light, observing the maker’s name in the watermark. Rubbing my index finger over the engraved symbol, I was impressed. The brand, Smythson of Bond Street stationery, supplied paper to the British royal family. I was holding the same stationery as the Queen.
Dear Miss Kassidy,
We write to inform you of your acceptance into the exclusive Bruce Smith Gallery as part of our exhibit for emerging artists, hosted by curator Grayson Gates. You will be receiving your review and luncheon date via e-mail. Please be prepared to present your theme for the Love Through Light exhibit within the deadline. You will be required to exhibit three pieces.
Opening Night & Reception
Friday, February 7, 8:00 p.m.
Bruce Smith Gallery
504 West 22nd Street
I read your acceptance at least ten times, intoxicated with excitement and then Love Through Light offered a swift sobering sense of reality. I began to panic. I couldn’t deny the exhibit theme made me uncomfortable.
The Love Through Light exhibit was inspired by the word photography itself and its Greek meaning, writing with light. As the emerging artists in Grayson Gates’s exhibit, we were to create stories of love. Instead of ink, we would be writing with our three photographs.
 I composed a text to Stephanie, Kate, and Emma, my inner circle. I’m in!
Our bonds from beginnings to endings were unbendable. Each our own elements, but together our friendship made a rare metal.

Cari Kamm 

Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schmutz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her fiancé that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking. More information can be found on her website, CariKamm.com. To check out the book trailer, click here: http://tinyurl.com/bdr7bfn

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Win a Kindle Fire

Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer has launched a new site aimed at bringing you the best Kindle Ebook Deals and Steals.

Each day on feedyourreader.com you'll find a new list of available ebook deals (most for under $3).

And of course there will be lots of  Featured Freebies too!

To celebrate the launch of the new site she is giving away a Kindle Fire, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

Win a 7" Kindle Fire (US only)

Or $100 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $100 in Paypal Cash (International)

Giveaway Details 
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" (US Only), $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends 5/5/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $100-$159 US.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Feature - A Whisper in the Jungle - Robert Mwangi

A Lion in America 1
Deep in the African jungle where even the bravest are afraid to venture, lies a truth that will propel James through his improbable American journey, if he can come out alive. James a village boy in Africa receives a scholarship to go and study in America and he becomes the envy of the whole village. His girlfriend Janny is however skeptical of what a long distance relationship can do to love. But when Janny vanishes from the village, James and his dog Simba plunge into the belligerent forest at the risk of his life and his American dream. Love transcends all. A Whisper In The Jungle is a suspense story full of love, humor and adventure and mystery.

Bio:  I was born under the hills of Mt. Kenya in a post colonial Africa. Most of our teachers in Africa didn’t like us reading western novels because they wanted us to learn about our culture. But many a times I stole myself under a tree with an Enid Blyton or Robert Ludlum and my eyes glowed as I journeyed across the oceans.
            The new me doesn’t write much but the little boy inside me is the one who does all the writing because he believed in those stories then from the bottom of his heart.

Robert Mwangi website:

Amazon website for reviews (avg rating of 4.1 stars):

GoodReads site for reviews (avg rating of 4 stars):

Facebook page

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.