Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review - The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert

Title: The Signature of All Things

Review:  This book is quite a departure from Eat, Pray, Love.  I had expected something else and so it took me a bit of time to get into this book, at first I was confused if she was just relating a story before the book really began…but that was the story and the book.  When I accepted that this was a historical novel about a man and then his family and finally his daughter I started to enjoy the book.

I took my time reading this book and that is one of the reasons the review is so late compared to the published date…I had it well before the publish date- but life happened and I wanted to savor this book like a fine wine.  I read a few pages everyday and with over 500 pages to read that took a bit of time- time I enjoyed along the way.  I would find myself thinking about the characters and what would happen next and then read on.  The story was not fast moving, the chapters did not end on cliff hangers so I felt no need to rush along my journey, and this book is truly an amazing journey.  Travels around the globe in the 1800’s took month’s maybe years and this book traveled the globe too far off places where the characters had grand adventures.  Some more grand then others and some just grand enough for a fond memory to form and grow into more.

I love reading about history and this book is a treat for the reader, one that is worth all the pages to get to the end of the story and the end of a remarkable journey- life.  I loved the last chapter and reread parts to try and remember what touched me the first time I finished the book since I turned the last page with tears in my eyes- and yet it was not a sad or depressing ending at all – it was a treat- one well worth the months it took me to read and enjoy.  Some books are worth slowly digesting and thinking about.

Publisher: Published October 1st 2013 by Viking Adult
ISBN: 9780670024858
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 512
Quick Review: 5 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Loved Eat, Pray, Love.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed.

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert's wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
Author Biography:  Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. Her 2002 book The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. 

Her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, spent 57 weeks in the #1 spot on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. It has shipped over 6 million copies in the US and has been published in over thirty languages. A film adaptation of the book was released by Columbia Pictures with an all star cast: Julia Roberts as Gilbert, Javier Bardem as Felipe, James Franco as David, Billy Crudup as her ex-husband and Richard Jenkins as Richard from Texas.

Her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, will be available on October 1, 2013. The credit for her profile picture belongs to Jennifer Schatten.

Other Reviews:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review - No Place Like Rome - Julie Moffett - A Lexi Carmichael Mystery

Title: No Place Like Rome

Author: Julie Moffett

Review: Lexi Carmichael is a 100% Geek girl, gamer, and hacker who has zero social skills and can't tell the difference between a man hitting on her or wanting to be her friend.  In the first two books you meet Lexis friends and future love interest who can't get enough of her brain. No Place like Rome has the sexiest government secret hacking weapon Slash.  No place like Rome has Slash trying to free his Uncle in Rome who is accused of taking money from the Vatican Bank.  Slash asks for Lexis help and they take off to Rome where she meets Slash’s family, friends and possible girlfriends who have a different name for him.  Lexi calls him by this hacker name Slash and finds herself trying to figure out if he has more interest in her besides friendship. Lexis grand plans for a quick in and out backfire as she is the next target which makes for some funny moments between her and Slash. After all when in Rome.

 Lexi Carmichael has to be the most loveable character I have come across. She is 100% geek and has zero street smarts but she tries to think outside the box while putting herself in dangerous places without knowing how she got there. The Author keeps you guess who might be a double agent and who might want to harm Lexi.

I loved the advancement in the relationship between Slash and Lexi and how Lexi had no idea when a guy likes her or just wants to be friends which adds to the laughs causing tears to run down my face. Every geek girl can relate to Lexi at some point in this book which makes it so much fun to read. The author keeps true to the characters she has carefully crafted making you root for some, hoping others you never meet again and others you hope to see again. Though out the book Lexi is always trying to figureout Slash name and at the very end of the book he give her his name and I secretly hopes its true but since he likes to give people a different name I can't believe he is being truthful even with Lexi. 

There is no sex but a lot of sexual tension which again makes for a great chick lit book after all sometimes sex gets in the way of a fun read. There are a few moments of will they or won’t they? I am very excited for the next book in the series and I hope it is a little longer than this book.

This is a great chick lit series and is a quick read but by far my favorite in the series.

Thanks Heidi for this review.

Publisher: Published November 25th 2013 by Carina Press
ISBN: 9781299975125
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 117
Quick Review: 5 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Love books and series like this.
Where I Obtained the Book: I got it free at 
Synopsis:  A Lexi Carmichael Mystery

Italy might seem like a long way to go to hide after a disastrous date. But when sexy uberhacker Slash (no, that's not his real name) asks me to go with him to Rome on an investigation, the timing is sort of perfect. My messed-up love life becomes the least of my worries, though, after the dead body, the near-kidnapping and the discovery of a top secret encrypted file that even I can't hack.

With time running out, there's only one thing to do: call in the legendary Zimmerman twins and my best fluent-in-Italian friend, Basia, to crack the code. Now if only someone could help me solve the mystery of whether Slash is flirting, or if all the kissing is just one of those "when in Rome" things...

But when we finally uncover the secret someone would kill to keep, it's up to me to solve the case and save the lives of my best friends.

Just another week in the life of geek-girl Lexi Carmichael.

Read about Lexi's previous adventures in No One Lives Twice, No One to Trust and No Money Down.
Julie Moffett
Author Biography:  I have always been a romantic at heart. So when I finally decided to pursue my dream of writing a novel, naturally, it was a romance. I have published several novels in many genres – historicals, time-travels and paranormals.
I’m a military brat (Air Force) and have traveled extensively. My more exciting exploits include attending high school in Okinawa, Japan (Go, Kubasaki!), backpacking around Europe and Scandanavia for several months, a year-long college study in Warsaw, Poland and a wonderful trip to Scotland and Ireland where I fell in love with castle, kilts and brogues.

I have a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Language from Colorado College and a M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. I worked as a correspondent for the international radio station, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Washington, D.C. writing hundreds of articles and producing numerous radio programs for eleven years before "retiring" to be a stay-at-home mom and full-time writer in 1999.

I speak Russian and Polish (I married a Pole in 1991!) and love reading foreign literature (especially Slavic). I had a beautiful baby boy named Alexander in 1995. I never knew what joy a child could bring to my life.

If you would like to receive occasional e-mails from me announcing my new releases, please let me know. I also have a newsletter and bookmarks available via snail mail. If you send a legal-sized SASE to the address below, I’ll be happy to put them in the mail for you.

Other Reviews:
Night Owl 5 stars

Monday, January 27, 2014

Book Review - The Broken Circle - David P Bridges

Title: The Broken Circle

Author: David P Bridges

Review: You can tell from the beginning of this book that David Bridges knows about the history of the Civil War and how it affected all those who fought and those who supported them.  It is a story of dedication, love of country, love of state and of divided loyalties.  It is a story that could be told with different characters but still have the same conclusion.

James Breathed is a doctor use to saving lives not taking them.  But he learns that in time of war sometimes you take them and other times you save them no matter what color they are wearing. 

The story starts when James meets Jeb Stuart, later to become a famous Confederate General, on a train ride to Maryland.  The war has not begun but soon will and Stuart tries to talk James into joining his unit he is forming to fight for the South.

James joins Stuart and eventually becomes a Captain over the artillery and the battles in the book are told from this perspective.

Mollie is a young girl that James has known since he was a child.  Both her father and James father are doctors and the families have become fast friends.  Mollie and James fall in love and when they part, for James to join Stuart, Mollie decides she needs to do something for the cause also. So Mollie starts to watch carefully and to listen carefully and is able to collect information that helps the confederacy.  Her adventures add color to the book.

James makes it through most of the war without any outward wounds but the inward wounds are building as the war drags on year after year.  Finally near the end of the war a physical wound happens that gives Mollie and James a chance to be together for a time as he recovers, but he never fully recovers and their love is put on hold while James tries to figure what lies ahead for him.  He tries to give rest to his soul by delivering babies and being the doctor that he started out to be but the pain is sometimes more than he can bare, physically but mostly emotionaly.

This story is well written but a bit to long in places with too much detail that was not necessary to the story and caused it to bog down in places. 

I give this book a three out of five stars, the story is not exciting but is very interesting and a very good read.

Thanks Eileen for this review. 

Publisher: Published September 10th 2013 by "Wipf & Stock"
ISBN: 9781625641526
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 362
Quick Review: 3 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: I love history
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review

Synopsis:  Dr./Major Breathed chooses the cause of the Confederacy over medicine but will that decision cost him the love of his life? James is swept away into a war created by divisions between the northern and southern states. The Broken Circle has elements that mirror a Greek tragedy that sets up the paradoxical inner conflict of saving life as a doctor versus destroying life as a soldier. He re-channels his genius from medical to master warrior and ultimately becomes disillusioned and demoralized. Mollie Macgill utilizes her espionage talents as the two fall in love throughout the course of the war. In the final post-war chapters they both seek redemption from God for their greater devotion to the Southern cause. As they seek to repair their shattered souls the tragic brokenness of James's and Mollie's lives is revealed. The Broken Circle is full of historically accurate battle scenes and the characters are historical people.
David P. Bridges: Authoer & Historian
Author Biography:  David P. Bridges, theologian, historian, biographer, outdoorsman and horseman, began writing about the Civil War period after nearly two decades of serving as an ordained Presbyterian minister. Bridges undergraduate B.S. degree in economics was received from The University of Kentucky. He furthered his academic experience and studied theology and history at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and The University of Chicago, Divinity School. In order to further enhance his writing he learned to fire cannon and fight as dismounted cavalry so that he could participate in Civil War reenactments with the 2nd Virginia Cavalry & Stuart Horse Artillery, based in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bridges' area of expertise is 1850-1950 American history. His first non-fictional historical book is about the Best family, coal industrialists and philanthropists who historically impacted Chicago's history. His second book chronicles the Bridges family in Western Maryland. It shows how industry, politics and conservation worked together to preserve the Woodmont Rod and Gun Club, Hancock, Maryland. Bridges' latest book chronicles the life and Civil War trials and tribulations of Major James Breathed, Stuart Horse Artillery, C.S.A in the novel forthcoming "War, Love & Redemption A Novel Of The War For Southern Independence". He resides in Richmond, Virginia, with his faithful birddogs Angel, Bella and Rosey.

Other Reviews:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review - Beautiful Bombshell - Christina Lauren

Title: Beautiful Bombshell

Review: While the authors hit the right mix of sexy and slightly possible
reality in Beautiful Bastard they went a little overboard in the just plain
ridiculous in Bombshell.  Supposedly our heroes our in Las Vegas for the
bachelor party to end all bachelor parties when it is crashed by the
various girlfriends and fiancé. Of course wild abandon sex happens as part
of a live Vegas sex show, in the seats of a theatre practice, and my
favorite, the restroom of a fancy restaurant/nightclub.

If this story is to be believed you can steal a limousine from a Vegas
casino and nothing will ever happen to you.  But the biggest thing you are
required to swallow is that a not teenage boy is capable of having sex,
drink a ton of alcohol, race around town coherently, and then have rock on
sex a second time in the space of an hour.  Maybe if he was a teen and had
not been drinking a few gallons of whiskey, maybe his refractory period
could have been that impressive.

Plus I get the let’s be sexually adventurous women, but to really find an
accomplished gal who is interested in having public sex multiple times in
one night?  Well it is fiction but the beauty of the first book was in and
of themselves each scenario was believable (on a good night), but this
novella pushed too far out of that realm and made it a caricature of itself
– it magnifies the flaws while downplaying the reality that made it so

Maybe the best analogy is Beautiful Bastard is a really steamy homemade sex
tape featuring a super-hot couple and Bombshell is a overproduce porn with
plastic women doing the pizza delivery guy on the floor of their foyer
within 30 seconds of meeting him.  But at least this time they left the
lingerie in one piece.

Publisher: Gallery Books

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5509-0
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 123
Quick Review: 2 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Enjoyed previous book with the characters Beautiful Bastard.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review

Synopsis:  When Max, Henry, and Will steal Bennett away for a weekend of shenanigans and strippers in Vegas, the first stop of the night doesn’t go at all as planned. With their scheme for a Guys Weekend completely derailed anyway, Max and Bennett begin to play a wild game of stealth and secrecy in order to have their bombshells all over Sin City.
Christina LaurenAuthor Biography:  Christina Hobbs & Lauren Billings write under the combined pen-name of Christina Lauren. Separated by the pesky state of Nevada, these co-author besties talk several times a day, agree that Ruby Pumps is the best nail polish color ever, and would, if given the choice, spend all day staring at the ocean from the San Clemente pier.

Contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

Other Review
Ava's Reviews   4 stars out of 5
Once Upon A Twilight 5 out of 5

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review - Beautiful Bitch- beep - Christina Lauren

Title: Beautiful Bitch

Author: Christina Lauren

Review: I really could not get into this book at all – it is short about 150 pages and yet every page is full of sex.  I had read the one before this so I knew that these two were hot for each other and liked to do it in the most ridiculous places on earth – but come on……some story is necessary between all the sex to tie the sex together.  No one can spend their lives just having sex and still run a successful business and excel at that business and yet both of the main characters do just that.

I guess I need more meat to my books and not as much fluff.  If you enjoy nothing but sex in your books then this is the book for you and by the way this series for you.  I really need something more.  A story line should not be too much to ask out of a book and one that isn't revolving around sex on top of sex with a side of sex and don't forget dessert sex.

Publisher: Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781476754147
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 160
Quick Review: 2 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Enjoyed previous book with the characters Beautiful Bastard.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis:  Just when Chloe’s career starts to take off, Bennett wishes it would all slow down long enough to spend a wild night alone with his girlfriend. But after he refuses to take no for an answer, Chloe and Bennett find themselves with two plane tickets, one French Villa, and a surprising conversation that, predictably, leaves them wrestling under the covers.
Christina Lauren
Author Biography:  Christina Hobbs & Lauren Billings write under the combined pen-name of Christina Lauren. Separated by the pesky state of Nevada, these co-author besties talk several times a day, agree that Ruby Pumps is the best nail polish color ever, and would, if given the choice, spend all day staring at the ocean from the San Clemente pier.

Contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

Other Review
Polished Readers 5 out of 5
Dark Faerie Tales 4 out of 5
Pages of Forbidden Love 3 1/2 out of 5 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Tour Book Blast! Poetry Book- Seasons of Poetry by Ken Ollis - Contest Link- Pump Up Your Book Tour

Title: Seasons of Poetry
Genre: Poetry
Author: Ken Ollis
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 108
Language: English
ISBN – 978-0-59527-906-7
A book of verse so plain and clear
To ease the mind and please the ear.
So easy to read, no burdensome lines.
No lingering stories of trouble times.
This poetry is written in a style different from any I have seen before. Each poem is distinctly different from others within the book. Collectively they are entirely different from any book of poetry it has been my pleasure to read. I believe the poems contained in this book will be of interest to anyone regardless of their station or status in life. This is beautiful poetry that is sad at times, passionate and inspiring at others. The reader can expect to be transported away to different times and places.


My roots are here in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. After leaving for many years I returned to live again among natures beauty and lovely people. My wife and I live in a log cabin on a mountain named Gingercake. We raised two sons and have three grandchildren.
Amazon Book Link - You can view a sample page here and also download a sample to a your Kindle.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Blast! Requiem for Doctor Edward Browne by Richard Dean Smith - Pump Up Your Book Tour - Contest Link

When Dr. Browne's partner retires, his practice is taken over by Dr. Forbes Q. Hazzig, who becomes a zealot for a 'managed care revolution' of 'marketplace medicine.' Browne and his associate Dr. Kennes receive irrational, discordant information from healthcare experts, consultants and economists. Browne learns that rhetoric of a mass movement must be as erroneous as possible promising a vague, glorious future. Hazzig grows immensely rich and gains enormous power relying on intimidation and coercion. Joanna Browne's exhibition of J.M.W. Turner becomes a thrilling success, yet Hazzig's wife succeeds in eliminating Joanna's position at East Valley Museum of Art. Joanna must accept a position at a distant university; her absence devastates Browne.

Browne and Kennes discover managed care was based on a Washington bureau hoax, the 'health maintenance strategy' of 1973: an irrational mass movement, a mass hysteria. Hazzig plots to humiliate and ruin the two doctors; each threat goes awry. Hazzig is discredited; his illusory wealth collapses.

Reunited with Joanna, Dr. Browne receives a disturbing invitation to return to East Valley to be recognized with Dr. Kennes for their efforts to expose the folly of managed care. Browne is reluctant to relive his lonely, troubled, distressed past.
Richard Dean Smith


Richard Dean Smith 48 words The author received medical education at Kansas University Medical Center and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is presently Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Services, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek, California. Dr. Smith lives and practices where managed care had its beginning and its most rapid growth.

Title: Reqiuem for Doctor Edward Browne
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Richard Dean Smith
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 580
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-44013-771-6

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kindle Giveaway January 2014

January Kindle   Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      January Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  4. Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
  5. Author Inger Iversen
  7. Author Carol Davis Luce
  8. The Reporter and the Girl
  9. Author David Pandolfe
  10. Bella Street Writes
  11. Author Bonnie Blythe
  12. Author Elizabeth Seckman
  13. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  14. Just One More Chapter
  15. Author Donna Fasano
  16. Author Lia Fairchild
  17. Author Linda S. Prather
  18. Author Heather McCoubrey
  19. Author M.A. Comley
  20. Jessica Loves Books
  21. Fae Books
  22. Author Cidney Swanson
  23. Lori's Reading Corner
  24. Author Jennifer Laurens
  25. Allergic to Life
  26. ~Owl Always Be Reading
  27. Author J.L. Weil
  28. Buku-Buku Didi
  29. Barb's Wire - eBooks & More
  30. Author Jennifer Gilby Roberts
  31. Another Head Full of Fantasy
  32. Fairiechick's Fantasy Book Reader
  33. Author Kim Cresswell
  34. Mother Daughter Book Reviews
  35. Buried Under Romance
  36. Jenna Does Books
  37. Laurie Here
  38. The Bunny's Review
  39. Bea's Book Nook
  40. Fabulously Girly Book Blog
  41. The Loopy Librarian
  42. Bound4Escape
  43. Michael SciFan
  44. Chapter by Chapter
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Button-the-Push Books and Giveaways
  47. Author S.M. Blooding
  48. Back Off My Books
  49. Author Brinda Berry
  50. Author Christie Anderson
  51. Author Leslie A. Susskind
  52. More Than A Review
  53. Author Heather Gray
  54. Paige Ryan
  55. Fire and Ice
  56. Author Bryna Butler
Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 2/9/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway Copyright © 2014 I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, All rights reserved.

Book Review - January Kills Me - Evan Katy

Title:  January Kills Me

Author: Evan Katy

Review:  Samantha Rialto, middle school music teacher, is trying to pick up some extra cash after divorcing her abusive ex-cop husband. She has a fear of moths and tries hard to do the right thing but ends up making a mess of everything. She decides to employ her photographic skills by following cheating husbands and providing evidence to the wives. After witnessing the murder of a client's husband and his paid "date", she finds herself in a whole lot of trouble and on the run from a killer, who now wants her dead.

Evan Katy created a loveable and funny heroine who is surrounded by a cast people who could be your best friends.  Sam finds herself in the middle of a mystery she wants nothing to do with but can't get away from because the Killer seems to be attacking everyone she knows or cares about.  Ben Parker, Sam's ex husbands partner, cares for Sam but never asked the right questions when her ex-husband drunkenly killed another cop.  They are now are forced together and he is asking the right questions causing Sam to tell him the truth about what happened to her marriage.  Ben finds himself drawn to Sam hoping to keep her safe and hopefully a possible romance. 

Sam has an inner monolog that seems to be vocalized causing the reader to laugh out loud and enjoy the funny places Sam finds herself. 

There is a romance triangle but it’s more fun to read causing for some good laughs.  Ben needs to wire Sam to figure out who might have murdered the man in the alley, but when someone tries to kill Sam, coming out of nowhere, she is reminded of Batman. The more Sam wants Ben out of her life the more he finds ways of being there.
Maxie, Sam's best friend, is every girl’s best friend and someone you want by you side though thick and thin. She is a strong person who keep Sam sane when she feels she is losing her mind and will protect Sam at all cost.  Maxie is brilliant but also very feisty and wants nothing more than to kick someone butt to prove she is scary.

As I finished the book I was excited to find there were two more and I quickly bought them and enjoyed reading them from beginning and end and can't wait to see what happens next to Sam, Maxie, Ben and the rest of the cast who you can't help but fall in love with.

This book is a laugh out loud fun read with dark moments that are lighten with humor.  The reader will find themselves reading this book over and over again.  The reader will never guess who the murderer(s) are until the end of the book and even than she keeps you guessing until the last page.  I couldn't put this book down even if I wanted to because it drew me in from the first chapter with the attack of the moth to the very end. 

Publishers:  Published May 1st 2011 (first published 2011)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 228 Kindle Edition
Quick Review:  5 stars (out of 5)
Why did I read it: It looked funny and was only 99 cents at Amazon.

Synopsis:  January Kills Me is a romantic comedy, an action filled mystery and a cautionary tale of how not to go about recovering from a divorce. For those who like laugh-out-loud funny alongside poignant self-discovery and reclamation of a life gone askew, this novel will fill that requirement.

Samantha Rialto, a recently divorced, defensively snarky middle school music teacher, has taken up surveillance photography as a way to fill the gaps in her educator’s salary. As the daughter of the former Chief of Police it seemed like a reasonable choice for a side job. That is until a particularly cold week in January when Sam finds herself entangled in a mystery involving dead people, copious amounts of cash and a nutty Tai Chi enthusiast.

In a deserted alley two people are murdered and Sam is the only witness. Ben Parker, the detective assigned to the case, is not happy to see her again. A year ago his former partner, Harry Rialto – Sam’s ex-husband – killed a fellow cop in a bar brawl, single handedly tarnishing the local police reputation. Sam never spoke about how Harry treated her while they were married and she isn’t going to start now, even though Ben’s questions about the alley crime scene and her inability to answer them bring up old frustrations and ignite a surprising (and inconvenient) attraction.

Before long, Sam finds herself outfitted with a wire at dinner, nearly run over by a car, and shot at by a trained sniper. Her carefully constructed existence, post-divorce, begins to crumble as the widow of one of the victims refuses to leave her alone, her ex-husband begins stalking her and Ben’s sexy crime fighting skills cause a mild anxiety attack. When key evidence shows up linking Samantha to the murders, things become much more sinister. With the help of her best friend Maxie, Sam will tap into reserves of inner strength left scarce after her wrenching divorce and will have to use more than her considerable wit to stay alive.
Evan Katy
Author Biography:  Evan Katy was born and raised in Southern California. True to her roots she frequently visits Disneyland with her children, loves the Dodgers, and relaxes to the sound of ocean waves. She is currently busy writing the continuing adventures of Samantha Rialto and working on her middle grade science fiction story - A Breach in the Boundary.

Other Reviews:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Blast! History Book- A Conspiracy of Silence: The Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt- Harry S Goldsmith


Pump Up Your Book

This book reads like a detective story in its pursuit of information concerning a conspiracy associated with the physical condition of FDR and its subsequent effect on the country at that time and into the present. A search for this information led to knowledge concerning the political manipulations surrounding the nomination of Harry S. Truman for the vice presidency in 1944.

Details are presented as to how close Truman came to losing this nomination. A recently discovered secret memo now shows that FDR was aware of his deteriorating physical condition that impacted the importance of Truman's vice presidential nomination. It was Truman's belief that FDR personally chose him for this position, but he was led to believe that he was not FDR's choice but became the vice president because of political chicanery. Truman tried unsuccessfully at a later date to disprove this belief. The book contains a host of new information regarding FDR and gives further evidence that FDR was well aware of the impending attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in 1941.


Dr. Goldsmith has been a professor of surgery for 35 years and a student of medical history throughout his life. He has invented several surgical procedures including an operation to treat Alzheimer?s disease and a procedure to treat acute spinal cord injuries. He is an author of 227 papers or book chapters, has edited three surgical texts, and has received honorary degrees from two Chinese universities. He is a surgeon, worldwide lecturer, and advisor on the application of his surgical procedures.
Title: A Conspiracy of Silence
Genre: History
Author: Harry Goldsmith, M.D.
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 289
Language: English
ISBN - 978-0-59584-331-2
Harry S. Goldsmith takes a surprising and historical journey into the last days of one of America’s most revered leaders in A Conspiracy of Silence: The Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In his quest to find the truth behind FDR’s death, Goldsmith sought to find FDR’s medical records. Failing to uncover such documents, he stumbled across a secret memo. This document revealed that FDR was aware of his deteriorating physical condition and knew how it would impact the importance of Harry S. Truman’s 1944 nomination for vice presidency.
Goldsmith contends that the memo was directly tied to the political intrigue involving FDR’s last year of life. The Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt also contains a host of new information regarding FDR and gives further evidence that he was well aware of the impending attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Review - In Falling Snow - Mary Rose MacColl

Title:  In Falling Snow

Review:  Well, this book was interesting when I was finally able to get far enough into it.  At the beginning it jumps around too much and I had trouble keeping track of what time period I was supposed to be in.
That said, the book was an interesting read with some language that I thought was totally unnecessary to the story line, it did absolutely nothing to further the story or to build the character.  My advice TAKE IT OUT!!

The following is taken from the publicity that was sent with the book “A World War 1 novel of love, loss and the strength of two women’s spirits….When Iris receives an envelope bearing the Royaumont logo memories of her bittersweet past shatter the tranquility of her contented, elderly life.  Suddenly, she remembers her first love, her best friend and the tragedy that changed everything.”

The story starts in 1914 when our heroine, Iris, makes the trans-continental journey from Australia to France with the hope of bringing home her fifteen year old brother who had enlisted. While waiting for a train in Paris to take her to the front, she meets the charismatic Miss Ivens, who is starting up a field hospital in an old Abby in the countryside in France.  Since Iris is a nurse and seems to have time on her hands, Miss Ivens enlists her help in delivering supplies to the up and coming hospital.  The experiences she has while there and the friendships she makes shape and change her life forever.

Parallel to the story of Iris’s adventures is the story of a young woman doctor in 1971 named Grace, who is Iris granddaughter.  Her story revolves around her struggle to be accepted into a male dominated work place, trying to balance home-life and a demanding profession with her concerns about her grandmother, who raised her and who is aging badly and the failing health of her sweet little son.

The story was interesting but the reading is slow.  The book at times seems to go on forever and ever and maybe even ever!  It did not keep my interest, but I read to the end and there at the end was a surprise I had not foreseen coming.

The story takes an unexpected twist and I think will take just about any reader by surprise.  The author is very good at descriptive writing and at slowly building the story and her characters.  Her descriptions are vivid and you can see and feel the cold of the winter nights in the old abbey at Royaumont, France.

I give this book of three out of five stars.

 Publisher:  Published August 27th 2013 by Penguin books  (first published September 26th 2012)
ISBN:  0143123920
Page Numbers:  448
Quick Review:  3 out 5 stars
Why I Read this Title:  I love WWII novels and this was sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  A vivid and compelling story of love, war and secrets, set against the backdrop of WWI France. 'In the beginning, it was the summers I remembered - long warm days under the palest blue skies, the cornflowers and forget-me-nots lining the road through the Lys forest, the buzz of insects going about their work, Violet telling me lies.' Iris is getting old. A widow, her days are spent living quietly and worrying about her granddaughter, Grace, a headstrong young doctor. It's a small sort of life. But one day an invitation comes for Iris through the post to a reunion in France, where she served in a hospital during WWI. Determined to go, Iris is overcome by the memories of the past, when as a shy, naive young woman she followed her fifteen-year-old brother, Tom, to France in 1914 intending to bring him home. On her way to find Tom, Iris comes across the charismatic Miss Ivens, who is setting up a field hospital in the old abbey of Royaumont, north of Paris. Putting her fears aside, Iris decides to stay at Royaumont, and it is there that she truly comes of age, finding her capability and her strength, discovering her passion for medicine, making friends with the vivacious Violet and falling in love. But war is a brutal thing, and when the ultimate tragedy happens, there is a terrible price that Iris has to pay, a price that will echo down the generations. A moving and uplifting novel about the small, unsung acts of heroism of which love makes us capable.
 Mary-Rose MacColl

Author Information:  Mary-Rose MacColl is an Australian writer whose first novel, No Safe Place, was runner-up in the 1995 Australian Vogel literary award. Her first non-fiction book, The Birth Wars, was a finalist in the 2009 Walkley Awards. In Falling Snow (October 2012), Mary-Rose's fourth novel, tells the largely unknown story of a small group of Scottish women who ran a field hospital for France in World War I in an old abbey. MacColl holds degrees in journalism and creative writing and lives between Brisbane, Australia and Banff, Canada with her husband and son.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Guest post for Nightmares and other Therapy by D.W. Carver


I am D W Carver, English, married with three sons and live in East London. I have been writing ever since I learned how but have only worked on novels in the last twelve years. My writing process tends to fall into the same pattern regardless of how I promise myself I am going to plan a book.

I have a basic plot idea; add a character with a history he (or more often she) would like to forget and I bring them together. It’s a bit like free-flow modelling with clay – get a lump, soften it give it a twist and a tweak and then inspect it from all angles and see if it is telling you what it wants to be. That doesn’t work for you? Well maybe it’s just me then.

Of course my background: years working in community mental health has a big impact on how situations are processed in my head. I have sat on underground (metro) trains and watched people have anxiety attacks that I know from long experience would have been feeling like an earthquake to them, but went unnoticed by those around them, except for me. That sometimes sets me thinking about plot ideas rather than offering to help. Something else I know from experience – people are almost invariably ashamed of their perceived ‘weakness’ suffering in this way and can feel totally humiliated when they realise some stranger has noticed. So I stay away and just keep an eye out in case this person does something that could be misconstrued by other passengers.

I recall one young man I worked with – six four, three hundred pounds and when he felt as if anxiety was going to explode his body he had to walk close to the nearest person if he was on the street. If that person was female and it was night time, he could be and once was, in serious trouble but it ended well – the police were understanding, his details were circulated and knowing he wasn’t going to be bundled into a police car if it happened again (at his size good luck with that) he found walking alone much easier.
So readers will understand that when I see some street event, I am likely to interpret it in a far broader range than most people and the possibilities are grist to any writer’s mill.

My novel ‘Nightmares and Other Therapy’ involves a young man who has to make his obsessive compulsive behaviour look normal or as close as he can get, if he is to have any life at all and the one time that went wrong was in exactly the worst place. This book has been labelled a horror by some, much to my surprise, but I will admit it is dark. Maybe you would like to make up your own mind?

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