Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review: Slave Queen By H.B. Moore

Slave Queen (An Omar Zagouri Thriller #3)

Title: Slave Queen

Author: H.B. Moore

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

 This is a story which I found to be remarkable in its complexity. The author has taken a bit from history and woven a story which weaves between then and now and it has been done so neatly that it feels like silk to your senses. The plot, characters, and storyline all move toward the grand finale and does not leave the reader wondering what occurred.
I have given this book 4.5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a book with a different twist on history.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
(As an aside I just happened to be in Istanbul and had the opportunity to again visit and tour one of the sites in the story. Frank)    
Thank you Frank.

Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making.

Targeted by an antiquities collector who’s also descended from a chief rival for the ancient throne, Zagouri soon uncovers a modern-day conspiracy that threatens the lives of his family and the security of a nation.

To expose the plot, Zagouri must team up with Naim, the son of his nemesis, who heads an international black-market operation that may have ties to the killings. From ancient Constantinople to the present-day Middle East, Zagouri is on a collision course with history. Time is running out to solve a royal mystery and stop a ruthless killer—one who has Zagouri’s name on his hit list.

About The Author:
H.B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.

Alternate Goodreads Page: Heather B. Moore
Please join Heather's email list at:
Twitter: @heatherbmoore
Facebook: Fans of H.B. Moore

Literary awards: 3-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 3-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review Her Darkest Nightmare By Brenda Novak

Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Title: Her Darkest Nightmare

Author: Brenda Novak

Stars: 5 out of 5

I can't believe I am saying this but this is my first Brenda Novak novel.
I hadn't read the prequel (Hanover House) and even though it refereed to the events that had happened in the book. The author keeps the reader connected to the events that happened.  There were a few really long passages that you will be able to jump to enjoy more of the fast pace or romance in the book. If you do then you miss the essence of the book and what makes Evelyn Talbot desire to understand the psychopathic mind.

The author doesn't sugar coat the experience Evelyn went though which makes the story seem all the more real.
The romance is interesting because of Evelyn background but what she was more hung up on was their age than sex.  Which got really old after a while but if you read deeper you will see it was the only excuse she could come up with to stay away from the one man who made her body wake up after years of hiding.

The end was interesting but some of it felt thrown together and other parts got a little confusing.
In all the story, characters, settings, who done it and not to mention throw in a bunch of crazy murders. This book will have the readers enjoying every second and wondering what level does your neighbor falls in the Psychopathy Checklist—revised (PCL-R)
I loved this book and please to read more by Brenda Novak
Advance Copy from Netgally

First in an electrifying new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak
Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart.
Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. . .and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same.

About The author:
 Brenda Novak
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day! 


Monday, August 29, 2016

Still Sick

I wanted to post something fun about motherhood but right now I just want to world to eat me up and leave me alone.  I am still sick but the cold has caused me asthma to act up and my son decided to bring home hair pestilence that will not be named in fear they will jump to another head.
Enough said I bet your head it itching now.  Thankfully it was my oldest son so I was able to buzz his head and have only found dead nits.  However my daughter looks like she might have had one live nit in her hair this morning. Heaven Help me Now!!

Everyone lied to me about Motherhood and do I plan on spreading that lie? YES I want my children to experience Lice.  The hours of combing though hair to find that one little nit that might caused an outbreak in the house.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What are you reading this weekend?

What are you plans this weekend? Since I am still sick I am cuddling up with several books. All are either Romantic or Romantic Suspense.  I am not sure why but I have been on a kick with these easy fast reads.

Please share what you are reading on Facebook, Twitter or even here I would love to find some new authors to spend my hard earned mommy money on.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review The Stanger By Anna Del Mar

 The Stranger (Wounded Warrior #2)

Title: The Stranger (A Wounded Warrior 2)

Author: Anna Del Mar

Stars: 3 1\2 out of 5

I wanted to say I loved the this book but I really only enjoyed the banter between the two lead characters otherwise the book was really cheesy and very predictable.
The setting in Alaska help sell the supernatural side of the story but honestly it seem like she couldn't full commit to that side of the story and it fell flat many times. Sometimes I felt like it was two different authors writing this book The way she writes the sex scenes and the way she write the action or down time in the story just didn't have the same voice and would pull me out of the story. I really wanted to like the story but it really wasn't anything fresh or new. I loved the banter in the story but it would end to quickly.
I wish I could say this story is unforgettable but I only just finished it two days ago and I had to look the story up again.
Received Advance copy from Netgally 

 When a mysterious stranger is your only hope…

The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can't ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.

Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.

All defenses are down

After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska's ruthless winter.

Book two of the Wounded Warrior series

This book is approximately 110,000 words

About The Author:
Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday Book Review - Killer Cupcakes - Leighann Dobbs

Throwback Thursday

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review - Killer Cupcakes - Leighann Dobbs

Title: Killer Cupcakes

Author: Leighann Dobbs

Review:   Lexy Barker has finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend, has a hot cop, Jack Portillo  who lives next door and settled down in  her grandmothers house. Life seemed perfect until her ex boyfriend is found murdered by Lexy's cupcakes.

Lexy's grandmother and her iPad friends try to solve the case so Lexy can reopen her bakery.
This book is as cute, predictable sweet as the cupcake recipes at the back of the book. The romance is obvious from the first chapter which kind of took away from the build up as I like to call it 'Will They? Won't They?' moment.
The second the murder enters the picture it’s so obvious that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading.

If a book has fun and interesting characters with lots of humor it can make up for the weak and predictable plot but this novel had none. Lexy was too sweet, Jack was too flat and grandma and her "detective club" were lacking something.

I love Nancy Drew when I was a kid and sometimes pull them out for fun but as an adult I want mysteries to be exciting, intriguing not predictable and flat.

I found several grammar and spelling errors though the book and that is the reason I gave it two stars instead of three.
Thank you Heidi for this review.
Pages:  Kindle Edition, 146 pages
Published:   November 2012
Quick Rating:  2 out of 5 stars
Why I read this title:  Free on Kindle
Synopsis:  Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She's finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.
But her blissful life doesn't last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbor detective Jack Perillo.
With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.
As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it's a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.
Will Lexy get her man?
 Leighann Dobbs
Author Information:  Leighann Dobbs is the pen name of a not so famous author who lives in New Hampshire with her husband, her trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and her beautiful rescue cat, Kitty. She likes to write romance and cozy mystery short stories and novelettes perfect for the busy person on the go. These stories are great for someone who doesn't have a lot of time for reading a full novel. Why not pick one up and escape to another place the next time you are waiting for an appointment, enjoying a bath or waiting to pick up the kids at soccer?
She also writes books about healthy eating under the name Lee Anne Dobbins.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review Curious Minds

Curious Minds (Knight and Moon, #1)
Title: Curious Minds

Author: Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Stars: 5 out of 5

Curious Minds is a quirky book with an endless supply of color for characters who will make you scratch your head and laugh.
The writing is up beat and never once lose it flow as well as the banter between Emerson and Riley. The main characters are well developed each having a drive and reason for what they do. The banter will get a little old and might get you a little lost if you are not paying attention but for the most part it is a fun read.
Each characters is just as odd as the next but all seem to have a reason to be in the book.
I can't wait to read the next on in the series.
Advance Copy from Netgalley

Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring the invincible and incompatible pairing of Knight and Moon.

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

About The Authors:
 Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.
 Phoef Sutton
Phoef Sutton started as an actor and playwright in college; he was lucky enough to go to a small liberal arts college in Virginia, James Madison University, which encouraged student playwrights. Phoef was one of the only undergraduates to win the Norman Lear Award for Comedy Playwriting. After graduation, Phoef had plays produced at various regional theaters around the country, had his award winning play BURIAL CUSTOMS selected for publication by the Theatre Communications Group and was awarded a National Endowment for Arts Playwrights Fellowship.

After marrying and moving to Los Angeles, Phoef started his career at the NBC television show CHEERS. He stayed with the show for eight years, working his way up from staff writer to executive producer, winning two Emmys and a Writer’s Guild Award. A greater training ground for a writer could not be imagined.

After CHEERS, Phoef has produced and created a number of television shows and consulted on others, including NEWS RADIO and BOSTON LEGAL. He is honored to have won a Peabody Award, a GLAAD award and a Television Academy Honors award for this work on BOSTON LEGAL. Recently, he has worked on critically acclaimed series TERRIERS for FX and THE SOUL MAN for TV Land, DEFIANCE for SyFy Channel and ALPHA HOUSE for Amazon.

He has directed a short film – a suspense tale called ‘TIL DEATH. ‘TIL DEATH has been shown and various film festivals around the world and received prizes at the Garden State Festival and WorldFest in Houston, Texas.

Phoef has also worked for many years as a screenwriter and script doctor. MRS. WINTERBOURNE, directed by Richard Benjamin was an adaptation of a novel by one of his favorite authors, Cornell Woolrich. THE FAN, directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert DeNiro was an adaptation of the novel by Peter Abrahams.

Phoef is a published novelist – FIFTEEN MINUTES TO LIVE, a romantic-thriller; DEAD MAN: THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, a horror novel and its sequel DEAD MAN REBORN.
2015 is a promising year for Phoef, with the debut of his collaborations with Janet Evanovich, WICKED CHARMS and publication of his hard-boiled crime novel CRUSH.

Phoef lives in South Pasadena, California with his wife Dawn and his daughters Skylar and Celia.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

 Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Title: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Author:  Erik Larson
Stars: 5 out o5
Erik Larson is the author of five best sellers including the Devil 
in the White City and The Garden of Beasts which collectively sold more 
than 6.5 million copies.  His books have been published in 17 different 
countries (this taken from the back of his book)
Dead Wake is a 
very interesting if somewhat long book.  The writer goes into quite a 
bit of back ground about the lives of the people involved in the sinking
 of the Lusitania, a luxury ocean liner, on it's way from the United 
States to England in the year 1915.
W W 1 was going on and 
England was losing to Germany, but in the United States life was going 
on as normal even with all the bad news from Europe.  Pres Wison is in 
office and a side story in the book speaks of his courtship of a Miss 
Edith Galt.  After the death of his 1st wife Pres. Wilson goes into deep
 mourning but still has a country to run and a public to answer to.  He 
has a hard time trying to remain focus and for a while loses his his 
way.  His romance with Miss Galt adds and interesting side to the story 
of the sinking of the great ship.  
I found the story most 
interesting in that the author goes into the back stories of the 
different passengers whom you think survived the sinking, but not always
 so.  Not only were people lost but very valuable paintings by famous 
artists, and an original manuscript of "A Christmas Carol" by Lewis 
Carroll, irreplaceable treasures lost forever.
The author gives 
you many things to think about, was the sinking because of carelessness 
of the British government war room or was it a purposely and precise 
"accident" to cause the Americans to finally make a commitment and come 
into the War?  
He also tells the story of Captain Turner, the 
Captain of the Lusitania, gives a brief back ground on him helping the 
reader to realize that he was very capable at his job and that the 
sinking could not be laid at his feet as the "Room 41" tried to do.  
Did it work? Did it not? 
 interesting back story is about the captain of the U boat, Schwieger, 
and how successful he was at the amount of ton age he sunk up to and 
including the sinking of the great liner.  His family is later 
interviewed and spoke of him feeling sick as he watch the passengers 
struggling in the 55 degree water, how he put the periscope back down so
 he didn't have to watch their last struggles.  But his official record 
tells a different story.  
At the announcement of the sinking of
 the Lusitania all England and America were in shock, but in Germany 
there was cheering and great happiness making Schwieger a hero of the 
Fatherland.  The loss of life was appalling, but at least this time it 
didn't have any thing to do with "classes". 
I give this book five stars out of five!  A great book!
The book is informative, interesting, very well written, 
Thank you for the Review Eileen. 

 On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

About The Author:

Erik Larson 
Erik Larson, author of the international bestseller Isaac's Storm, was nominated for a National Book Award for The Devil in the White City, which also won an Edgar Award for fact-crime writing. His latest book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, has been acquired for publication in 20 countries and optioned by Tom Hanks for a feature film. Erik is a former features writer for The Wall Street Journal and Time. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and other publications.

Larson has taught non-fiction writing at San Francisco State, the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and the University of Oregon, and has spoken to audiences from coast to coast. He lives in Seattle with his wife, who is the director of neonatology at the University of Washington Medical Center and at Children's Hospital of Seattle, and the author of the nonfiction memoir, Almost Home, which, as Erik puts it, "could make a stone cry." They have three daughters in far-flung locations.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review Stephen King and Philosophy

Stephen King and Philosophy

Title: Stephen King and Philosophy

Author\Editor: Jacob M. Held

Stars: 5 out of 5


I found the insight and philosophical issues address in in many of Stephen Kings book interesting and this story. From Carrie to the Dark Tower series each book deal with the horrifying and often supernal side of the human mind. IF you get past the imaginary of Stephen King you find he write about the human condition and how people react to the unknown. Each Novel brings up questions we all much find answers for ourselves.

This book dives into those questions and answer we have to find and justify. This book has a look at the different series and books written by Stephen King and the questions he sends out to readers as they find themselves pulled from word to word. A questions is brought out is Stephen King another philological like Aristotle and Plato using words to imaginary to help the human mind discover what they need to find out for themselves.
FYI if you haven't reads some of Stephen King Novels this will ruin some of those stories and plots. So read with cautions.

Received Advance Copy from Netgalley.

 Haunting us with such unforgettable stories as The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Salem s Lot, Carrie, The Green Mile, and Pet Sematary, Stephen King has been an anchor of American horror, science fiction, psychological thrillers, and suspense for more than forty years. His characters have brought chills to our spines and challenged our notions of reality while leaving us in awe of the perseverance of the human spirit. The first book in the new Great Authors and Philosophy series, Stephen King and Philosophy reveals some of the deeper issues raised by King s work. From retribution, freedom, and moral relativity, to death and insanity, the chapters of this book expose how King s stories access the questions and fears that haunt each of us in the middle of the night."

About The Author: Editor:
Assistant Professor of philosophy at the University of Central Arkansas specializing in legal and political philosophy, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and applied ethics.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review Throwback Thursday Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review The Matchmaker's Replacement Wingmen Inc., Book 2

The Matchmaker's Replacement (Wingmen Inc., #2)
Title: The Matchmaker's Replacement (Wingmen Inc., Book 2)

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Star: 4 out of 5

The Matchmakers Replacement is a quick fast space story that is the traditional of the love hate relationship and falls back on some of the cliches.  What makes up for that is the quickly dialogue, fast pace of the story and well developed characters. It has its crude moments, sexual tensions and thankful doesn't end as you would expect.
Rachel Van Dyken took a old a tried story and created s fun, laugh out loud fast pace story that will have the readers enjoying every last pun, fight and kiss. This books has sex, crude humor, sexual tension and lots and lots of laughs.
Received a AC from Netgalley

Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.

Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

About The Author:
 Rachel Van Dyken
 Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review The Book of Beloved (Pluto's Snitch #1)

 The Book of Beloved (Pluto's Snitch #1)
Title: The Book of Beloved (Pluto's Snitch #1) 

Author: Carolyn Haines

Stars:  5 out of 5

A mystery/ghost story set in the deep south of the Mobile Alabama vicinity. The story and subject matter have a chilling factor to them which is true (unfortunately) to the time period of the plot. The heroine is both brave and gutsy in her pursuit of the truth and does not allow the numerous obstacles deter her from the truth. In the last pages, the author sets forth in bare bones, what will surely be the plot for the second book in the series.
I have given this book a five star rating and recommend it to anyone who enjoys either murder mysteries or ghost stories.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

Thank you Frank for you wonderful Reviews. 


As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.
But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…

About The Author:
 Carolyn Haines
 A native of Mississippi, Carolyn Haines is the author of over fifty books in multiple genres. She was named the 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award and is the recipient of the 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

Haines teaches fiction writing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Active in animal rescue, she has twenty-one "critters" —horses, dogs and cats.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Motherhood Monday Car Seat Install the New Olympic sport

The last few days I have been putting my 3 year old in his car seat and he complains it is too tight.As I push, twist and try hard to put those belts together my toddler is crying as I pinch his legs once again.
 My heart aches as he cries. "My momma hurt me." It doesn't matter if it is kid 1 or kid 4 no Momma wants to hear that ever.

Today I decided I was going to loosen up those straps just enough so I won't pinch those tiny legs. 

  They make it look so easy in the book. Set car seat into the sit, take these clamps and put them into the hooks buried in the seats, tighten until the seat no longer is able to move. Take the long strap in the back of the seat and anchor down into the back of the seat. Easy.  Look she isn't even sweating and she has a big smile! EASY!


After taking the seat out to fix the straps I try to put it back in.  Setting down in the bench seat. Easy. Finding those hidden hooks as I put one knee in the car seat and push down. Hard but I can do it.  Now for the other side. Not so easy I now need both knees to push the car seat down into place. My head is hitting the ceiling of the car. My toddler is running around the garage asking me when I was going to get done. I think? That or he was asking to watch something on TV. I finally find the small anchor and push the hook in.
"Momma don't hurt my seat!"  My toddler is yelling over and over again as I am trying to fix the seat.   

I try hard not to get upset and yell back that I am not hurting the seat but the seat is hurting my knees, back, arms and hands.
 I start to pull on the strap to tighten the anchors down but nothing moves moving.  I start to tug a little harder but nothing. I am now put all 125lbs into the car seat pulling as harder and harder to get the straps to the anchor to tighten as I can to get the strap to move but nothing. (Did you think I forgot about the little button you pushing down to get the belt to move?) No. I am pulling with all my might and nothing is moving.

Once again my toddler is shouting "Mom don't hut my seat." Finally I get it tight enough (But not where it should be) and I add the car seat belt threading it though the carseat.  My hands are getting scratched from the plastic that has taken a beating over the few years we have had the seat. Finally it is all in and I put the last anchor in place.  BAM!

I sit back just and realized I worked out harder than I did with my cardio this morning and my heart was up to 165 beats per min during the work out. CarSeat workout 185 beats Per Min.

As I climb out I realize the seat moved with my knees. AHHH. I decided he will survive the short ride to the Fire Station where they can tighten the seat for me.

The new Olympic sport install carseat with your child telling over and over at your because they need something.

Oh I forget to dump the seat out of all the goldfish.

#Parenthood isn't it grand!!

Why is August 15th Important?

Why is August 15th Important?

Because this goof ball Married me!

Because of work we are hardly together for this special date but if it wasn't for this guy taking a chance on a loud mouth, feisty, fake blonde. My life would be boring and not nearly enough laughs. 
13 years and only for four years did he see my natural color brown and he still stuck around.

I was so scared the day my best friend asked me to marry him but deep down inside I knew it would be my greatest adventure.  I love you forever and always!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review: IQ by Joe Ide‏

Title: I.Q.

Author: Joe Ide

Stars: 4 1\2 out of 5


An excellent story about a brilliant young man, who gets derailed, after the hit and run death of his older brother who was also his mentor. Through many ups and downs he is able to reconcile what he has caused and what he needs to do to be the man his brother's saw him to be. While not a Cinderella story it is one that will give you hope and restore a little faith in good over evil. It contains some language that will upset some readers but is true to the story being told.
I gave it 4.5 stars and would recommend it to anyone seeking a story that has a different twist on right and wrong.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch.
They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he's forced to take on clients that can pay.
This time, it's a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.

About The Author: 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: The Crepes Of Wrath by Sarah Fox (A Pancake House Mystery)‏

The Crêpes of Wrath (A Pancake House Mystery #1)
Title: The Crepes Of Wrath

Author: Sarah Fox

Stars: 4 out of 5


A well written murder mystery that piqued and maintained my interest from beginning to end. It has very little violence and a good amount of clues provided to keep the amateur detective, in all of us, on track to eventually solve the knotty problem which was presented to us. The main character is believable and likeable which is a key ingredient in any story.
I have given this book 4 stars and would read other offerings by this author.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

In the debut of a delightful cozy mystery series, Sarah Fox introduces a charming new heroine who finds herself in a sticky situation: stacking pancakes, pouring coffee, and investigating murder.

When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.

After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

About The Author:
 Sarah    Fox
Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Sarah is the author of the Music Lover's Mysteries and The Pancake House Mysteries.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Motherhood Monday Life as a Mom of 4

When I decided to be a mom I really don't know what I was thinking.  Really I have no idea what I thought it would be like. What I would be like. I just knew it was time to have kids and someone else would raise them. Preschool, daycare, heck a nanny. Just not me. No way was I ever going to stay home because all I would do is messed up there amazing little brains.

Fast forward 10 years and guess what? I am the one staying home 24 hours day to make sure these human I gave birth to are going to be some pretty awesome adults. 

A few days ago one of my kiddos came home and said that their friend didn't agree with them.  They didn't understand why they felt that way.  I sat the little one down and said it was ok they didn't agree as long as you can still be friend.  I told her one of my friends and I live almost completely different lifestyles and we don't always agree on certain things but we care for one another and love each other.
I told my little one it is all about respecting each others difference and finding friends who uplift, love, and understand boundaries. My closed friend and I are completely different even how we raise our kids and yet we can laugh together, cry together, be crazy and still disagree and yet we love each other. 

We gave each other hugs and my kiddo went off to play.  I realized in some ways adults still can't do that. Accept each other differences and still love the person.  I will not always support my friends in all their decisions and they will not always support mine, however it is all about loving and accepting each others difference and setting boundaries.

My kiddo is still friends with this person and they get along just fine.  They protect each other and laugh together but when the person does something my child can't stand for they will tell their friend and leave it up to their friend to decide what they will do. My child will stand up for those who are picked on, shy, and in need of a friend. They will follow the crowds and they will stand out but most important they will be a good friend. 
As a adults I am the example to my kids on how to be a good friend.

I am so happy I am the one to raise my little ones because they teach me valuable lessons every single day.  Even ones I don't want to learn. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Movie Review Bad Moms

Movie Review Bad Moms
Stars 5 out of 5

The second I saw a preview for this movie I knew I needed to see it.  Who doesn't feel like a Bad Mom or parent from time to time.  I do all the time.
The movie has three moms who can't seem to figure out life.  Each one struggles to find the right balance. Mila Kunis character is the perfect mom who works, makes amazing dinners and seems to have it all. Soon she discovers she is done not just being mom but being the perfect mom. She finds two other moms Kristen Bell is the stay at home mom who is overwhelmed with not being able to leave her kids without guilt and Kathryn Hahn is a single parent who doesn't know how to be a mom so she stops trying. All struggle with being full time moms who can't find the right balance. 

The movie had me laughing so hard I nearly spit out my dinner. I ended up whipping away tears from laughing so hard.  This will be my girl movie that I watch when I need to be remind not to take life so serious.
I loved this movie. The movie has sex, swearing but has a great message for mothers who feel lost in the world.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday Sleeping with the Crawfish - D J Donalson

Throwback Thursday

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review - Sleeping with the Crawfish - D J Donalson


Title:  Sleeping with the Crawfish
AuthorD J Donaldson
Review:  This was a better thriller then the last one I read - more mystery and thrill for sure.  I am not keen on the degrading comments about women- no matter how old the characters are-that was a bit off putting for sure.  But the mystery was good and fast paced it kept me sweeping the pages since it was on my Kindle.
I liked the characters and the mystery with the twist at the end.  I really did not see that coming until it did and then I was like – How did I miss that?  I enjoyed the story and the relationships between the characters.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.  The close calls the characters found themselves in were scary and heart stopping as they worked out ways out of the scrapes and near death experiences- I would be dead if it were me in similar situations-not a fast thinker or coordinated in many ways- thank heaven my life is boring and no one wants to kill me.
This is a series but this is the only one I have read so far and it wasn’t difficult to get caught up knowing what was happening or had happened between the characters in the past books.  If you like a good mystery/thriller and I think this is a good one for you to read.  So check it out!!!
Published:  Astor + Blue Editions (April 2, 2013)
ISBN:  978-1-938231-41-4
Page Count: 310
Quick Review:  4 1/2 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Sent for review
Synopsis:   When a fresh cadaver is delivered to his lab, forensic pathologist Andy Broussard discovers that the deceased is a convict supposedly serving time in the Louisiana state prison -- and prison officials claim that the man is still in his cell. Broussard enlists the help of his former colleague Kit Franklyn to discover the truth behind the bizarre turn of events. Kit travels up to the prison to photograph and fingerprint the convict. However, upon her arrival the prison officials claim that the convict in question died during the night and was cremated immediately. Meanwhile, Broussard follows another lead and finds himself drawn into a sinister murder plot. Now, in order to survive, Broussard must quickly determine how these events are connected.
Author Information:   D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.
He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Product Review Daily Burn (Not Yet 30 Days) First of many reviews

Product: Daily Burn

  Daily Burn is redefining fitness with online workout videos, supplements, nutrition & coaching. Streaming at home & on the go. Start your 100% free trial now

Stars: 5 out of 5

I am not a fitness nut.  Just wanted to get that out of the way.  I will go to the gym if I have a membership but that means I would have to go to the gym and sign up.  Which is scary because all those people walking around with amazing bodies NOT to mention those fitness classes where everyone looks like they were born to move.  I always look like the crazy person in the corner trying so hard to look like I know what I am doing when in fact I was once asked if I was having a fit. Nope just trying hard to do burpees. 

 Also my kids hate I mean HATE the daycare. I have no idea why but they hate going in.  Within 15 mins of starting my elliptical or the class I would be called away to calm down my kids.

Seriously I wanted to be in the daycare it looks like so much fun! Enough said the gym and I were not compatible and than I had three more kids so the gym was only a daydream.
The 50-100$ a month cost had to go to shoes, clothing, diapers. Endless diaper.

I decided to save money and buy DVDs.  I found a couple I liked but soon I found myself getting bored and the workout were no longer challenging. I found that I was buying a new program a year that would range from 50-100$ every 6 months.

Than baby number 4 arrived and my life was too busy to workout let alone sleep. 

Wednesday July 20th I realized I would have 3 kids at school. My youngest is 3 years old and we have quite time every day for two hours.  I thought what am I going to do? 

I did my research and found Daily Burn which is free for 30 days. It has 19 different programs (Each program has 5-10 different workouts) which follow each fitness instructor for a week straight.  Each program has Meal Plan, advice from the fitness instructors as well as Life articles to help you reach your goal.  You are able to record your weight as well as daily challenges. (Plank, Sit ups, Push Ups, Burpees and more.)

The site gives you Nutrition area where it will give you a sample meal plan to follow as well as recipes to create your own meal plan or you can follow their plan they give you each week with your program of your choice. (Example Below)

What do I think?
If you are a self motivator this is great!  It has everything you need to start your healthy lifestyle all from home but you have to be willing to start and not quit or use excuess.
I am doing the Cardio Sculpt. Oh my gosh the first day my legs were jello and the following morning I could hardly move.  Sitting down, going up the stairs, just about anything that required movement I though I would never be able to sit without wincing in pain. Muscle pain but pain none the less. Every morning I wake up at 6am ready to Sculpt but I found that they had morning workouts live too.  I am stucking with my 13 week program which I am still working though.  
Each fitness route has three different levels for those of us who haven't worked out in a few (Cough Cough) years. I started out on the easy level and I am working my way into the harder positions. 

The daily challenges are fun because you can watch how you progress.  Example I went from two push up to 10 push ups. That might sound funny to you but I have never been able to do push ups due to a childhood injury. 

I love being able to do it from home and no one can see me "having a fit" no one is laughing at me but myself as I try to kick during the kick boxing session. Oh my gosh it was too funny. Even I laughed as I sweated out a gallon of water.

You have to be a self starter I can't tell you enough.  If you want to lose the weight, or tone muscle you need to follow the program as well as be a self starter.  

Unless something changes I plan to keep with the 13 week program and add a few other episodes or programs or classes however you want to look at it into the 13 week program. (Abs I haven't seen those ever in my life but lets see how it goes.)

Sample meal plan

  • Breakfast (7 am): Egg Burrito: 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites + ¼ c black beans + 2 tbsp salsa + ¼ chopped avocado + 1 corn tortilla
  • Snack (10 am): ½ apple (sliced) + 10 almonds
  • Lunch (12:45 pm): turkey pita sandwich: 3 ounces of turkey + ¼ chopped avocado + romaine and spinach leaves + onions + tomatoes + ½ whole wheat pita + ½ red pepper (strips)
  • Snack (3:30 pm): 1 low-fat string cheese + 1 cup strawberries
  • Dinner (6:30 pm): Sauté 4 ounces of chicken breast + 1 tsp olive oil + chopped carrots, snow peas, diced red pepper, chopped yellow onion + 1 cup brown basmati rice

 They do sell their own products and some of the fitness coaches do push the products but you can buy them anywhere.


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