Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday Freedom

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

Title: Freedom
ISBN 9780312600846
Copyright 2010
Pages 562

Quick Review: 4 Stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It: This is the book of the moment, the latest Great American Novel. Plus I liked The Corrections back in the day when Franzen was dissing Oprah

Where I Obtained the Book: I picked this up at my local public library.

Synopsis: Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul, the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter (environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man) she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become a very different kind of neighbor an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes? In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

Review: I liked this book. While I saw in reviews it had some deeper meanings about America in a post 9-11 world, this book worked for me as a dissection of a relationship, the story of a family. I believe that any two people who want to be together AND are committed to the relationship can succeed. Some of those relationships just take a hell of lot more work than others. This story delves into a relationship where one spouse, with the best of intentions, entered into the marriage without being committed. Patty Bergland sought to break free from confining parents, an abused past, a mentally ill best friend, and a frustrated life and married a nice guy who she didn't love 100 percent. Her husband spent his life energy trying to make up that difference until he just couldn't.

What I liked is just when you think Franzen had broken down the marriage to its component parts, he breaks it down even more. His ability to expose the core truth of a relationship and a family is what makes him a genius. I have seen where some people are made uncomfortable by Franzen's writing; or they dismiss it as puerile nonsense. I think it is because in some ways they can see the realities of their own relationships in it. The danger of becoming complacent with the others in our life and having them just slip away due to small negligences before they can be saved. A great marriage requires great work, every single day.

If you want a fantastic read and an on-target analysis of a family, then Freedom is for you.

Author Biography: Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois on August 17, 1959. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1981, and went on to study at the Freie University in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar. He worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences after graduation.
His works include The Twenty-Seventh City (1988), Strong Motion (1992), How to Be Alone (2002), and The Discomfort Zone (2006). The Corrections (2001) won a National Book Award and the 2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He also won a Whiting Writers' Award in 1988 and the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000. He is also a frequent contributor to Harper's and The New Yorker.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Danger in Daring a Lady (The Naughty Girls #4)

The Danger in Daring a Lady (The Naughty Girls, #4)
Title: The Danger In Daring A Lady (Naughty Girls #4)

Author: Emma Locke

Stars: 4 out of 5

A masterpiece in the telling. Lord Darius Alexander or Dare as he prefers to be called meets his match in Caitlin Hart, a land rich but penniless farm owner he meets in a card game in Gloucestershire. While trying to earn back his brother's draft for 100 pounds he finds an inner peace and happiness. However, as in all good romance stories there is agnst, overwhelming sexual attraction, and vices to overcome before true happiness can be achieved. The reader should also recognize the underlying fight against addiction (in this case gambling) which is the cornerstone of this story.
I gave it four stars for content and readability. If you enjoy historical romance this book should be on your must read list.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

Devil-may-care rogue Lord Darius Alexander can’t resist a wager. When a game of cards is suggested at the remote inn where he’s stopped for the night, he antes up his family’s savings, certain his Town bronze will give him the advantage. He never expects to lose his fortune to the irritatingly confident, uncommonly beautiful hoyden daring to play with the men. …Nor does he expect to lose his heart.

Caitlin Hart is known for her good sense. When a ridiculous reprobate tosses his savings onto the gaming table, she doesn’t hesitate to divest him of it. But Lord Dare won’t accept defeat like a gentleman. He suggests a compromise, and before long the handsome scoundrel is working back his losses on her small farm. But her neatly plowed fields might be too close for her heart’s content, for soon she finds herself wondering if she can dare him to stay forever when the last of his coin is tucked safely into his pocket. 

About The Author:
Emma Locke
Emma Locke is a writer and engineer living in the Pacific Northwest, where she loves hiking with her dog, hot yoga and riding out the annual 330 days of rain. Hiking and yoga give her time to plot, the lack of sun makes for perfect writing weather, and as for her day job, the dichotomy seems to work: her analytic side ensures her passionate, satisfying love stories don't mulch under her bed, and her author side forces her to keep writing more. You can Like Emma on Facebook at or check out her books and appearances at  

Monday, March 28, 2016

Motherhood Monday Breath In Breath Out

Being a mom is one of the hardest job I have ever had and I once cleaned guys dorm rooms in college.
Every day is different with different challanges.
7 yo daughter: "Mom can I have more chips."
ME: "No you can't have anymore."
7 Year Old daughter: (running to her room in tears."
Me: (A very confused and lost look as I follow my daughter to her room) "Whats wrong?"
7 Year old with lots of tears running down her face: "What did I do mom? Why can't I have chips anymore."
Me: "Kiddo you can have the chips just not today. I will put a bag in your lunch tomorrow for school."
7 YO: "So I can still have chips?"
Me: "Yes tomorrow for lunch."
7YO: "OK." Leaves her room as if nothing happened.

I am still scratching my head on that one. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

ThrowBack Thursday Avery Flynn

Book Review - Hollywood on Top - Avery Flynn

Title: Hollywood on Tap Sweet Salvation Brewery #2
Author: Avery Flynn
Stars 5 out of 5
Sean O’Dell has found a love and its Sweet Salvation Brewery but he also has a secret he would like to keep hidden at one point he was Hollywood Heartthrob but left it all behind to find something he loved creating the perfect beer.
Natalie Sweet comes home to help her older sister run Sweet Salvation Brewery with her endless clip boards, flow charts, sweater sets and her crazy way she can get anyone organized even the walking destroy Sean O’Dell. 
Avery Flynn creates an entertaining over the top romantic mystery that I was unable to put down until I finished the book.  Natalie is a triplet who just happens to have enough anxiety issues to drive a normal person insane. When a person starts to sabotages her brewery she tries to keep her head on she shoulders even though her anxiety is fighting to keep her locked in her office.  Instead of hiding away she and Sean work hard to discover who is trying to destroy her lively hood and his dream of creating the perfect blended beer.  I love the way the Avery Flynns created fun banter between Natalie and Sean and I will admit it even had me smiling and laughing.
I loved that Sean walked away from the lime light and his mystery of why was compelling and believable again creating characters who came alive on the page.
This was my first book in the Sweet Salvation Series and I plan on picking up book one and I can’t wait to read Olivia’s Story.
Bought after recommended by another Author.  Thanks Heidi
Synopsis:   For years, Sean O’Dell has hidden his past as a Hollywood heartthrob from everyone at the Sweet Salvation Brewery. However, the arrival of nosey efficiency expert Natalie Sweet threatens the status quo. It doesn’t help that with her glasses, buttoned-up sweaters and always pulled-back hair that she’s uncovered one secret already: His attraction for hot librarian types. 

Natalie has had enough of the strong-and-silent Sean submarining her efforts to change the brewery for the better. She’s ready to do whatever it takes to make her vision a reality, even if that means taking down the pig-headed and too-hot-for-his-own-good brewmaster. 

Sizzling attraction battles stubborn determination as Natalie and Sean go head to head in a battle that’s anything but business as usual.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Review: Switcheroo (Gideon Oliver #18) Aaron Elkins

Title: Switcheroo Gideon Oliver #18

Author: Aaron Elkins

Stars 4 out of 5

Another brilliant mystery novel that takes place on the island of Jersey. It has it's beginning at the onset of WWII and the partial evacuation of families from the island. That is followed by a murder and murder/suicide among the same families. Gideon is invited to Jersey to examine some partial remains and resolves the mystery plus and additional murder which takes place.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone seeking a cozy mystery for light reading. I have read other books by this author in the same series.
I gave it a four star rating.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

The Skeleton Detective is back.

A cold case dating from the 1960s draws forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver to the Channel Islands decades later to shine a light on the mysterious connection between two men who died there on the same night.

Swapped as young boys by their fathers during the Nazi occupation, wealthy Roddy Carlisle and middle-class George Skinner had some readjusting to do after the war ended—but their lives remained linked through work, trouble with the law, and finally, it would seem, through murder.

Nobody expects that Gideon’s modern-day investigation will turn up fresh bodies. But old bones tell many tales, and the Skeleton Detective has to be at his sharpest to piece together the truth before the body count mounts still higher.

Declared “a series that never disappoints” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Gideon Oliver mystery series is highly recommended for fans of Agatha Christie and Kathy Reichs.

About The Author:
 Aaron Elkins
Aaron J. Elkins AKA Aaron Elkins (born Brooklyn July 24, 1935) is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'. The fourth Oliver book, Old Bones, received the 1988 Edgar Award for Best Novel. As Oliver is a world-renowned authority, he travels around the world and each book is set in a different and often exotic locale.

In another series, the protagonist is museum curator Chris Norgren, an expert in Northern Renaissance art.

One of his stand-alone thrillers, Loot deals with art stolen by the Nazis and introduces protagonist Dr. Benjamin Revere.

With his wife, Charlotte Elkins, he has also co-written a series of golf mysteries about LPGA member Lee Ofsted. They shared an Agatha Award for their short story "Nice Gorilla".

Aaron and Charlotte live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

* Gideon Oliver Mystery
* Chris Norgren
* Lee Ofsted (with Charlotte Elkins)

Series contributed to:
* Malice Domestic

Monday, March 21, 2016

Motherhood Monday I want to go poop alone!

I know it is a right of passage as a mother to sit in the bathroom and be questioned by her toddler on  her bathroom skills work.

I know you are wondering why don't I just lock the door?

Good questions well honestly it started of with one day I locked the door enjoying the peace and sernity when all of a sudden I head a loud crash and the toddler screaming. in my panic I had forgotten I had locked the door and in the very seconds I thought the very worst.
The toddler was on the floor surrounded by crafts I had put in the center of the table trying to keep him from touching.
I never wanted to feel that panic so I stopped locking the door but at the time my toddler couldn't open the door so he would stick his cute little fingers under the door saysing.
"Momma I need you. Momma I love you. Momma why."  The peace I was looking for was again lost!

Now my toddler is turning 3 in May and he opens the door wide for all the world to see. He questions me on my bathroom stills and why it takes so long.

You might be thinking perfect time to potty train. HAHAHAHAH you don't know my kids.

My oldest Potty trained at 3 1/2 and he gave himself a time table too. NO JOKE!
First I will pee in the potty and maybe  my but I will definably poop in it.  Than when all the diapers are gone I will wear a pull up during the day and a diaper at night just in case. I will again try to poop in the potty. Than when pull ups are all gone I will do everything in the potty.
Guess what that is how he did it for one month!
My kids talk at very early ages it is so cree0py but I love them.

Number 2 came home from Disneyland a week after she turned 3 looked at me and said
"I am never wearing one of theses again." She threw her diapers away and never once had an accident.

Number 3 which I head would be the easiest HA Wrong!  She was 3 going on 4 when she finally potty trained and that was because we told her she couldn't go to preschool until she had been potty trained a full year.

Number 4 has yet to show any interest in the potty unless it is me going potty.

So the bathroom is far from the place I hide from my kids. Everyone says I will miss the day when my kids no longer want to talk to me in the bathroom.  When and if that day happens you are all more than welcome to say "I TOLD YOU SO!"
AS for right now I dream for that day to come with open arms. To Poop and Pee ALONE HEAVENLY.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Help Me Make Awesome Changes to the Blog Book Him Danno

I will admit I love to change things up I mean I think my hair is a new color every 8-10 weeks. Right now its has way took much brown for my liking and I will go with Cooper Red with blonde and purple highlights next time!
I love the title of the blog and that isn't going to change it is more the layout and pictures. Please throw some ideas out on what you would like to see changed?

More blog tours, Blog hopes, guest post, contest, more or less on silly life. Throw out idea and let me know what you as reader, authors and publishers would love to see. This blog is for me but it is more for those who are following.

Comment on this post!

Thank you
Heid and Doug the crazy parents of 4 amazing and equally crazy children.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate‏

The Skeleton Garden (Potting Shed Mystery #4)
Title: The Skeleton Garden

Author: Marty Wingate
Stars: 4 out of 5
This is a darling little mystery set in an old English manor house. It begins with an accidentally death during World War II which is covered up by the perpetrator. It is uncovered by our intrepid American/English gardener who during the course of her investigation resolves other dormant mysteries surrounding several of the local villagers.
I have read other books by this author and was not disappointed by this offering. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a relative non violent mystery.
I give it a 4 star rating.

USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series continues as expert gardener Pru Parke digs up a Nazi warplane—and a fresh murder.

Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.

Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.

About The Author:
Marty Wingate
Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker about gardens and travel. She is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries from Random House/Alibi, about Pru Parke, middle-aged American gardener who moves to England and digs up more than weeds. The first two in the series are The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House, followed by the third in late summer 2015. Her new cozy mystery series, Birds of a Feather, begins in June 2015 with The Rhyme of the Magpie. You can hear Marty on the podcast A Dry Rain, free from iTunes and always available at She leads garden tours to European and North American destinations.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review - Gone - Cathi Hanauer (Loved this book)

Gone: A Novel
Title:  Gone
Author: Cathi Hanauer
Review:  Wow, wow, wow, wow, I don’t even know how to tell you that I loved this book.  It was fantastic, I wanted to keep reading but I didn’t want it to end either.  The closer I got to the end the slower I started to read, I wanted to know what would happen but I also knew that with this sort of book that the ending would really only be another beginning.  I saw myself in these pages and it was fascinating and really made me double take often.  Was this book about me?  Well NO, but WOW…..or did I say that already?  I hope this is expressing how much I enjoyed this book.  5 Stars +.

The struggle in this book for me was who to hate, and who to cheer for or against.  I wanted to hate Eric and then I wanted to hug him.   Whose side should I take?  That is the problem with couple relationships especially in a divorce situation…who do you get to keep in the divorce of your good friends?  What a pain that you can’t keep them both.  Well this book is wonderful, thought provoking, well written, amazing and WOW.  You need to read this book if you are married, or in a long term relationship, or thinking of being in either in the future.  This book will open your eyes and let you know- you are not the only one in how you feel alone in a room full of people you know.  You are worried about you and everyone else is worried about themselves and who can you talk to?

Read this book especially if it is the only one you read this month.  I am still thinking about Eve and Eric and I finished this book a week ago.  Kids, work, church, friends, enemies, spouses, family members and every other thing in your life that pulls your attention is in this book.  How do you decide what is the most important and what you can let go?  That is the question for the ages and I have no answers for you.  Read this book and see yourself and how maybe you can figure out what is truly important before it is gone….for good.
Publisher: Published June 19th 2012 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781451626414
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 368
Quick Review: 5 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It:  Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: From the editor of the New York Times bestselling essay anthology The Bitch in the House and the novel Sweet Ruin comes a compelling domestic drama about a woman who must hold her family together after her husband disappears.It is every woman’s nightmare—or fondest dream. Her husband leaves to drive the babysitter home and doesn’t return. Thus begins Gone, Cathi Hanauer’s sexy, tension-filled new novel.     For the past fourteen years, Eve Adams has worked part-time while raising her two children and emotionally supporting her sculptor husband, Eric, through his early fame and success. Now, at forty-two, she suddenly finds herself with a growing career of her own—even as Eric’s career sinks deeper into the slump it slipped into a few years ago.     After a dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate Eve’s success, Eric drives the babysitter home and, simply, doesn’t come back. Eve must now shift the family in possibly irreparable ways, forcing her to realize that competence in one area of life doesn’t always keep things from unraveling in another.     Gone is a novel about change and about redefining, in middle age, everything from one’s marriage to one’s career to one’s role as a best friend, parent, and spouse. It is a novel about passion and forgiveness and knowing when to let something go and when to fight to hold onto it; about learning to say goodbye—but, if you’re lucky, not forever.
 Profile Picture
Author Biography:  Cathi Hanauer is the author of the novels My Sister’s Bones and Sweet Ruin and the editor of the New York Times bestselling essay anthology The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage. Her articles, essays, and/or criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self, Parenting, Whole Living, and other magazines. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts. Visit her online at

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review Haunted - Foot Work Autobook

Title: Haunted  - Foot Work
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Stars: 4 out of 5

A Friend suggested this book to me but because I was back log with so many other books she had me listen to the Foot Work one day.  I was blown away but this story it was so haunting and tragic. I haven't read the book from the beginning only the synopsis. The premise is very much a macabre parody of human endeavor. Life, suffer and death in some of the most horrific ways.
Foot Work is about two women who learned that aromatherapy, feng shui,reflexology, acupuncture and aura can kill people if done right or wrong. One woman Lentil used her gifts to enhance sexual pleasure without having to anything but massage feet. Making thousands of dollar. She brings in her friend who hasn't earned a lot of money from just practicing "traditional" reflexology. Soon it goes from sexual pleasure to killing people for the Russian Mob. When Lentil decides she is done with this path in life the writer Mother Nature learns her friend was killed with a bullet.
  The story is dark but at the same time pulls the reader in with every descriptive word. 
I never listen to autobooks because my mind becomes easily distracted however this story pulled me in and I couldn't stop listening. 
I have read that each story gets darker and human nature we all hold back comes alive in horrific and deadly ways. I don't think I will read the book as a whole but find certain stories to read.

Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter.

They are told by the people who have all answered an ad headlined 'Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months'. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of 'real life' that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But 'here' turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world - and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell - and the more devious their machinations to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight.

About The Author:

Chuck Palahniuk Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence. The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD. The film’s popularity drove sales of the novel. Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck’s first New York Times bestseller. Chuck’s work has always been infused with personal experience, and his next novel, Lullaby, was no exception. Chuck credits writing Lullaby with helping him cope with the tragic death of his father. Diary and the non-fiction guide to Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, were released in 2003. While on the road in support of Diary, Chuck began reading a short story entitled 'Guts,' which would eventually become part of the novel Haunted.

In the years that followed, he continued to write, publishing the bestselling Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, a 'remix' of Invisible Monsters, Damned, and most recently, Doomed.

Chuck also enjoys giving back to his fans, and teaching the art of storytelling has been an important part of that. In 2004, Chuck began submitting essays to on the craft of writing. These were 'How To' pieces, straight out of Chuck's personal bag of tricks, based on the tenants of minimalism he learned from Tom Spanbauer. Every month, a “Homework Assignment” would accompany the lesson, so Workshop members could apply what they had learned. (all 36 of these essays can currently be found on The Cult's sister-site,

Then, in 2009, Chuck increased his involvement by committing to read and review a selection of fan-written stories each month. The best stories are currently set to be published in Burnt Tongues, a forthcoming anthology, with an introduction written by Chuck himself.

His next novel, Beautiful You, is due out in October 2014.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: FisherDawg

Title: FisherDawg
Author: Lisa L. Phillips
Stars 5 out of 5


This review is written by my 5 year old daughter.
I can read but not great. This book has awesome pictures of a dog and I love looking at all the pictures. My older sister 7 year old read the book to me at bed time. It is really fun book and can't stop looking at the pictures.
Thank you to Lisa L. Phillips and Claudine Wolk for for a copy of the book.
I love getting my kids books in the mail because they first love mail and second love reading. This books is really fun because the author Lisa L. Phillips isn't just the author but the photographer each picture tells the story just as much as the words do. At the end of the book is a recipes for Dawg Cookies.
Fast fun read for the entire family.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Motherhood Monday Being Sick and Spring Break

Things that should never happen over spring break.
1. Lice over spring break (Thank havens that was last year.)
2. Mother being sick.
3. Father being sick at the same time Mother is sick.
4. Yard work that causes Parents to get sick.
5. Mother and Father unable to sleep for some unknown reason.

As you can see the 14 days of spring break has started off with lots of fun. Doug IE Father decided he wanted to get grass to grow in the backyard so he rented a rotor thingy the kids were simply amazed at the machine and wanted to help. So they moved dirt around and sprayed water on the rock/dirt to help dig up the ground. Now if I could only get the kids to work that hard in their bedrooms We would have a clean house.
The day after the dirt was moved around I can down with a cold/allergies that has left me sounding like a teenage boy. For the first time in almost ten years I bought Sudafed and did you know you have to buy it behind the counter? I didn't because that is how long it has been since I have bought any sinus medication due to the fact I was either pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing.
Its amazing what a difference over the counter medication can due for sinus headache its Wonderful!
Yes its is wonderful after 10 years of relying on my body to just go though the processes I am finally able to take medication again that works.
In a nutshell mothers should never be able to get sick and they should never be allowed to be sick as the same time as dad ie Father.
So back to the please forgive me for lack of reviews.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ThrowBack Thursday Perception - Heather Cashman

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review - Perception - Heather Cashman

Perception (The Tigers' Eye Trilogy, Book 1).
Title:    Perception    

Author:  Heather Cashman

Review:    I’m really not into teen\young adult books but I'm so happy I read this book.

 At first I thought the book reminded me of Hunger Games because both worlds have Districts and Hunger Games had the Games and Perception has the Campaign. The difference is how the heroin finds her freedom or her perception of freedom.   It also has the fantasy of Philip Pullman His Dark Materials with the connection between Human and ingenium animal and the unconditional love the human and ingenium have for one another. 

The first few chapters were a little confusing and I wasn't sure what was going on and how the animals (ingenium) and people worked, to be honest I’m still not sure I completely understand even after I finished reading the book.  I have to be honest and tell you I was quite lost at  one time and just hope that the author will clarify the connection in her next book.  At times I would get lost and have to reread the section because the action of the character didn't seem to fit or work with the scene presented in of the book, but I loved the story.  Heather is a fantastic story teller.

 I loved the idea of ingenium in this case a tiger and being able to telepathically communicate with them at all times.  I also loved the fact that ingenium couldn't lie but could only communicate though what they saw as their perception.  The love between the human and ingenuim is beautiful and I wish sometimes I could see myself the way others see me.

I loved the heroin of the book Ardana and her ingenium Rijan.  She was feisty, insecure about herself, strong, doesn't take no for an answer and tries so hard to right wrongs.  She has a twin brother Kade and they telepathically communicate with each other and their ingenium.  In the begining of the book Kade and Ardana were never allowed to be alone with one another, we see how their relationship changes when they are constantly with one another.  Their connection is beautiful and yet a painful bond as they feel each other’s passions, loss and desires.

There is romance in the book but it is fun to read and I have to admit when Ardana wasn't sure of her feelings I wanted to yell " How could you NOT love this guy? I love this guy." the romance is made for teenagers so there isn't anything inappropriate.

There are several themes that float though the book; What is freedom, What is truth, Unconditional love, Choice and Perception?  Ardana explores each of these themes though-out the book and when she finds the answer to the question we learn a little more about her and slowly fall in love with this character. The author had me asking myself the same question of what is freedom and what choices would I make if I was Ardana. I never felt the connection with Hunger Games as I feel with Perception.

With all the popularly of young adult books and how many seem to be a knock off of another I find this book refreshing because it is its own story and book. There are sword fights, death match, romance with realistic charm, and amazing characters you will fall in love with. 

Give this book a try you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait for the next one.

Thank you Heidi for this review..Heidi is a regular guest reviewer with us.

Publisher:  Published June 29th 2011 by Heather Cashman

Copyright: 2011

Pages:  Kindle Version 294 pages

ISBN:  9780983671213

Quick Review:  4 ½ Stars out of 5. 

Why I Read it:  The author was looking for reviewers to read his book, I am a guest blogger here and so Lisa asked if I would take a look at this book.

Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the author.

Synopsis:  Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger's eyes.
More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.

Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn't as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which.

heather photo 
Author Biography:  I write because I have to. That’s the reality of it. When more than a few days go by and I haven’t had time to get into the story (because of editing, formatting, family, etc.), I get depressed, irritable, lonely in a crowd. It is something I can’t quite explain to anyone, least of all myself. It just happens. It also happens between stories. I have more than one series that I am writing, and if I stay too long in Calem without visiting Brynne and Jaxon in my Shifter Series, the same thing happens on a lesser scale. Once their stories are done, I can move on with my writing, but have to go back occasionally and read it. Or decide to write a prequel. (What am I thinking?)

Other than write, I like to spend time with my kids, since it seems so fleeting. They are my best friends. We do everything together. We have TV marathons, go to the mall, bake, take long walks, listen to audio books while putting together puzzles, and generally torment one another with our idiosyncrasies the way all best friends should from time to time.

I am learning to play the piano with my son. I’m not very good at it, but I’ve heard that if you keep learning new things until the day you die, you can fend off Alzheimer’s. I occasionally take a Latin Lesson or two.

I have a garden that takes me back to the reality of where I came from, where I will eventually return, and reminds me to make the most of the in between. I also love the feeling of harvest, the law of reaping what one has sown. It is a feeling of accomplishment and communion with the earth that makes me feel grounded.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Motherhood Finding a good hiding place

Doug and I went to a animal shelter the other night and saw some of the most beautiful little puppies. Each one screamed buy me and it was hard walking away empty handed.
HOWEVER the best part is for a small donation I can have some puppy cuddle time whenever I need it because I knew if I had brought home the Border Collie mix I would have had two kids screaming and refusing to be anywhere near the dog and the other two so excited the little guy would go into hiding.

Spring Break has started and for most parents it is a week of not having to get up early, a week of easy going and a week of fun.
Well we have a modified school year so the one week is really 14 school days. Since my four kids have no idea what it means to sleep in Doug is up at the crack of dawn.  As you can see I didn't say we were up at the crack of dawn because my kids know not to disturb the beast until 6:50am otherwise they will have a really rough day with a very grouchy mom.

Happy I don't have the homework fight however I have only changed that for the "I don't know what I want lunch or the I am not going to eat that for lunch."
Thankfully they love Museums, the library and we have enough friends around I can send them away for a few hours.  I bribe other moms with yummy chocolate treats just so I can have a few minutes of peace.May | 2012 | Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat Brownies, Oreo cookies and cookies dough mix. Heavenly.

Bribes also work for my son who will babysit for a pack of Pokemon cards.

With all that said please forgive for the next 2 weeks as I struggle to find a good hiding place to read and another one to blog the books I have read.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

ThrowBack Thursday

Book Review - The Scroll - Grant R. Jeffrey and Alton L. Gansky

Title:  The Scroll

Author: Grant R. Jeffrey, Alton Gansky

Review:  An interesting tale regarding Israel and many lost relics from Christ’s time.  I found the story fast paced with great flow.  Biblical Archeology is a form of study I didn’t know existed and yet it makes complete sense.  Why not have a group out there to study the Bible by finding artifacts that point to its truth and exsistance. 

The story followed a group of archeologists as they interpreted a found copper scroll to help them find the lost temple artifacts.  Intrigue and suspense keep you reading and turning the page.  Bad guys around every corner and even in their own camp.  This is also a story of faith lost and found.   I enjoyed the ideas presented in this book and yet I have to say that the very end was not where I hoped it would go and at the same time I was a bit confused…oh well you can’t always get everything.

If you enjoy mysteries and especially religious based ones, you will really enjoy this book.  The ending did not detract from the story as a whole.

Publisher: Published September 6th 2011 by WaterBrook Press

ISBN: B004KPM1YE  Kindle Edition

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 352

Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read ItBlogging for Books was looking for reviewers.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by the publisher

Synopsis: One last dig. One final descent into the twisted tunnels of ancient Jerusalem. Will the truth be found among the treasures that lie beneath the holy city?

Dr. David Chambers, a distinguished archaeologist, has spent his professional career uncovering the facts in the artifacts. His work sets the standard for biblical research in the Holy Land. But surrounded by the evidence, David has sunk into an abyss of doubt and a painful experience with a seemingly unresponsive God has left him without hope.

An old friend and mentor reaches out to David, enticing him with the riches described in the enigmatic Copper Scroll. Losing ground with his peers, his fiancé Amber, and his faith, David Chambers has a choice to make. Will he undertake one final dig to unlock a secret that could alter the course of history? Do the secrets of the Old Testament hold the key to the political turmoil of the Middle East?

In a world where faith has been eclipsed by the allure of doubt, The Scroll offers a different journey: a pulse-pounding adventure to find truth worth dying for.
Author Biography:  Grant R. Jeffrey is an internationally known author of more than twenty bestsellers and the editor of the Marked Reference Prophecy Study Bible. Recognized as one of the world's leading teachers of prophecy and an intelligent defense of the Christian faith, Jeffrey appears frequently on television and radio throughout the world. He studied at Philadelphia College of the Bible before entering the business world. Later he earned his masters and Ph.D. degrees in biblical literature from Louisiana Baptist University. He and his wife, Kaye, live near Toronto where they serve in full-time ministry.

Alton L. Gansky is the author of eight popular novels, including A Ship Possessed, Terminal Justice, and his newest release, Distant Memory. He is also the senior pastor of High Desert Baptist Church in Phelan, California, where he has served for more than a decade. He and his wife, Becky, are the parents of three college-aged children.  Photo not found.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Review: #16 Alien Androids Assault on Arizona

 Alien Androids Assault Arizona (American Chillers, #16)
Title: American Chillers #16 Alien Androids Assault on Arizona
Author: Johnathan Rand
Stars: 4.5 out of 5

I asked my son to review a book and he didn't want to write it out so I asked him some questions and he responded to them in his grumble. Gotta love 4th Graders
Mom: What Did you love about the book?
9 Year old review : Pretty much all of it. How the characters think her teacher is an android but not one would believe her. Her teacher is an android. They fly in their teachers spaceship to the Alien planet 407X and how the air was breathable was pretty cool and how they got caught in a prison.
Mom: What didn't you like about the book?
9 Year old Reviewer: Its not quite as good as some of my other books.

 In Scottsdale Arizona Shelby Crusado has a sneaking suspicion she thinks her teacher is a robot but not one will believe her.

About The Author:
 Christopher Wright is the author of dozens of horror fiction books for children and young adults. He writes under the pseudonyms Johnathan Rand and Christopher Knight. Almost all of Wright's books (save American Chillers) take place in his home state of Michigan.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review: Keeping Hope Alive

 Keeping Hope Alive
Title: Keeping Hope Alive

Author: Fran McNabb

Stars: 4 out of 5

This is a sweet romance with a little bit of mystery that brings two people who normally never meet together. I personally enjoy romance mystery novels that have a slow build up so that the romance is believable vs instra love that in the real world would fall apart.
Casey is a strong female who can take care of herself and doesn't need anyone to look out for her. Max needs a place to take it easy while he heels from his recuperate from an injury sustained in the line of duty.  They work well together and I enjoyed the simple banter in the book.
It flowed well and the ending wasn't anything explosive but it fit perfectly to the novel..
This is a sweet, easy quick read for those who want to spend a lazy afternoon.
AC from Netgalley.
I will recommend this friends and family who want a clean Romance with just a little mystery.

Casey Morgan opened Hope Ranch for troubled teens in a rural Texas community, but not everyone welcomed her. The unexplained death of her security guard and other disturbing activities prompts her to advertise for help to make her ranch the safe haven she envisioned.

The lady pointing a rifle at his head wasn’t the greeting Major Nathan “Max” Maxwell expected. Max needed the job to give him a place to finish his recuperation before returning to his Spec Ops team, but instead of the serenity he expected, he walked into a web of deceit and danger.

Torn between his growing feelings for Casey and his need to return to his team, Max searches for the strength to help the beautiful ranch director. Casey wasn’t looking for a man, especially one whose career choice didn’t mix well with her life. Would Hope Ranch give them a chance to find a future together?

About the Author:
Fran Mcnabb
Fran McNabb grew up along the beaches and islands of the Gulf Coast. After spending the first years of marriage in Germany, she and her husband returned to the coastline to raise their two sons. Today they live on a quiet bayou harbor and spend much of the year boating and fishing.
Fran earned both her B.S. and her M.E. from the University of Southern Mississippi, and over the years taught English and journalism as well as presided over writing workshops for various organizations. This love of the English language prompted her to write engaging romances, many of which are set along her native coastline.
She'd love to hear from her readers at

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