Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Review: The Dental Health Cook Book: How listening to your dentist can help you lose weight

Image
The Dental Health Cook Book: How listening to your dentist can help you lose weight by Stephen Hudson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am really having a hard time with starring this book. It has a lot of information. I liked that and the presentation of it. The recipe part though needs more, in my opinion. I like the recipes included. They went from extremely simple to easy to make. I didn't see any that were very complicated so anyone not comfortable in the kitchen would be able to make them. Unfortunately, in my review copy the ingredient amounts weren't there. This complicates things for inexperienced cooks. There were a few recipes that I tried, guessing and adjusting the ingredient amounts. These turned out well and were tasty, tasty. I would like to see nutritional information added, especially calorie counts since this is cookbook that can help with losing weight.
Though the author makes mention the legal blurbs about entertainment purposes, he makes valid points …

Review: Grooming Mr. Right

Image
Grooming Mr. Right by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a cute romance! Tonya Kappes is a favorite author of mine. Her books are so lively and fun. Time really flies while I read them.
Grooming Mr Right brings Luvie back home from New York City to Kentucky. She goes from fashion designer to pet groomer. Her life isn't turning out to be what she hoped it would be. Can she find love in the town she grew up in or is she better off in New York City?
Tonya Kappes has a down home, comfortable writing style. You open a book and immediately feel at home. The characters are colorful and sometimes trouble but are always a hoot to get to know. Grooming Mr Right is the first book in the Bluegrass Romance series. It is a quick afternoon read. The romance is sweet and fun with sprinkles of spicy kisses and hot embraces. The characters are funny, quirky and caring...good people that you enjoy spending time with. Grab a cold drink, a beach towel and head outside to get some sun…

Review: Going Gets Hot

Image
Going Gets Hot by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rachelle Ayala is one of my favorite authors. She writes entertaining stories that also enlighten. Every book I read by her has been fun and informative. I either learn something I didn't know or I see people and situations from a different angle. Going Gets Hot is no exception.
In high school there were two subjects that made me glassy eyed...math and chemistry. They are useful, no denying, but boring to me. In Going Gets Hot we follow the story of two scientist, Chad and Amber. When I saw they were scientist, I thought to myself, oh no, no, don't take me there. But the author did and I enjoyed it! The story was achingly sweet, though it had enough spice to keep things interesting, and funny. Getting to know Chad and seeing things from his perspective, made me think of the geek loving guys from my school days and see them differently.
The story moves quickly as things in Sapphire Falls tend to do. It took me…

Review: Black Tied

Image
Black Tied by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed Rachelle Ayala's first book into the paranormal romance genre. It is a fresh entry into a saturated genre. Since Sookie Stackhouse struck gold for HBO the genre has exploded. We have plenty of vampires, shifters, dragons, fairies, witches, gods and even unicorns represented. It is hard to come up with something new in this arena. That is exactly what Ms. Ayala did though with Black Tied.
Black Tied takes on the lesser known gods with barely a nod at the major players, and adds in Chinese culture for a delightfully entertaining adventure. The kitchen gods and their fire fighting son are the main gods in this story. When Johnny becomes captivated by Sapphire while fighting a fire in her grandmother's kitchen, he discovers the family's missing Wok of Ages. This sets of a chain of events that will have the reader laughing out loud while wondering if Sapphire and Johnny will be able to work through every…

Review: Strangers In Another Country

Image
Strangers In Another Country by Lawrence G. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book came to my attention through BookTasters. It is different from my usual picks. It is a collection of short stories about life. I enjoyed them. I felt that they rang with honesty. The stories deal with some of life's heavier topics; love, loneliness, racial discrimination, feeling you don't belong anywhere. Yet I did not find the book depressing.
The stories are set in the late 1960's and the main characters are West Indian. The settings are London and Sweden, (my point of view is as an American - I have not been to London or Sweden and speak of things as I see them in the U.S.). I felt they were relevant today, which is sad. You would think with so many years gone by that things would be more balanced with equality. I think books like this one need to be read. It opens your mind to things that still need to be changed. It was, for me, a listening to the other side of things...w…

Review: Lacking Shades of Grey: A collection of Poems - Volume 1

Image
Lacking Shades of Grey: A collection of Poems - Volume 1 by Nicole Settimi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awhile back I reviewed a book titled, Addictarium, also written by this author. That book contained poetry written by the author. In my review, I had written that I hoped the author would someday offer her poetry in a book. Here it is and it is everything I hoped it would be.
These are not fluffy love poems. They are raw, emotional poems that take us inside the worlds of drug addiction and mental health. They are not for the weak. They are not for those who wish to see either of those worlds in black and white. This book is very aptly named because those worlds are grey. They are worlds of love and glory battling with hate and shame; colored by deceitful promises, blind belief, hope and despair. The author of these poems holds nothing back.
If you are an addict or you know an addict, these poems will speak to you. It may not be what you want to hear, for the truth seldom is, …

Review: Look Behind You

Image
Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed listening to this book. There were parts of it where I think the author tried too hard and I did roll my eyes, (I took off a star for this). I try not to do spoilers so I have to leave that you to find on your own. There really wasn't too many times, for me, so it did not ruin the book for me. The bad person is bad from the start and you know it. The other suspects, including Chloe, are not so in your face. This had me believing I had it figured outright away only to question it later on. It is easy to believe the awfully bad person is always the one who did it so these surprises were welcome. The story moves at a fast, smooth pace. I didn't feel jerked around anywhere. My jaw did drop toward the end.
I really enjoyed the narrator on this. I thought she did really well with the pacing and giving voices to the various characters. A big plus, she didn't make me feel sleepy at all. I listened at night…

Review: Tune In: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale, and Restore Health. A Music Therapy Approach to Life. Second Edition

Image
Tune In: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale, and Restore Health. A Music Therapy Approach to Life. Second Edition by Jennifer Buchanan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book about music therapy. It has links to worksheets so you can learn how to apply it to your life. I deal with PTSD. I have always found music to be helpful. I had not thought about it as therapeutic though. I just noticed long ago how music affected me and how I could sometimes change my mood with it. This book helped me understand how music can be effective in aiding many situations and illnesses. The exercises and worksheets are helping me to not only figure out what my playlists should be like, but also other family members. My mom has Alzheimer's, my daughter is bi-polar and my grandsons are autistic. In reading the book and thinking about them, I have realized that music could be helpful to them. All of them react to music. It will interesting to make various playlists and …

Review: Kay Kay, My Super Hero Koala Bear!

Image
Kay Kay, My Super Hero Koala Bear! by Talia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has a good message about bullying told in a cute way. The kids I read it with really enjoyed the koala bear. They were expecting pictures and were disappointed there were none. They all said it would be more fun with illustrations. Another thing they did not like was the mom. They did not like how she appeared to be so angry and condescending. They said she was kind of a bully to her daughter and they weren't happy at all with her. We read it once. The kiddos were okay with it but said they probably won't read it again. They did like the koala bear enough to say they would try the next book.
We firmly believe that not every book is for everyone but every book is for someone. I would recommend that if what bothered the children is something you also don't like, borrow this book and try it out. It might be your child is the someone for this book and you can buy it easily. But if your ch…

Review: Light of Hope

Image
Light of Hope by S.T. Collins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was excited to read this book. I am a domestic abuse survivor. I have worked in social services, starting out like Vicki in this book. My first job in social services was with a Welfare to Work program. Like the story, I recognized that domestic violence was a huge factor in being able to complete the program and maintain employment. Things were changing a lot back then. Welfare was changing. Domestic violence laws were changing. I was able to take a 40 hour domestic violence training and domestic violence in the workplace training that led to me being the domestic violence liaison. I worked very hard. Everyone else in the agency I worked at worked very hard. When I read the synopsis for this book I hoped it would be bringing to light many of the obstacles those on welfare looking to work, domestic violence survivors and minimum wage earners continue to face. I hoped that perhaps it would offer ideas on how to help cl…

Review: The Hotel Marcel Dining Club: By Invitation Only

Image
The Hotel Marcel Dining Club: By Invitation Only by Elizabeth Cooke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is my first time reading an Elizabeth Cooke book. It won't be the last. I enjoyed this book so much! It was like being transported to Paris for a vacation. We join Elizabeth for her stay at Hotel Marcel. This is not her first time there, (or the first book - I must read the others!), as she is greeted warmly by the staff. I loved getting to know the characters and feeling the charm of Paris. I have wanted to visit there since I was a child and had a pen pal from France. The story ends with a beautiful tribute to the spirit of Parisians; their resilience, their strength in the face of tragedy. I loved the line, " Paris Wakes Up and Smiles." I had to look up the song and listen to it. At the end of the book, recipes can be found. I love how they are connected to emotions. I love French cooking. I have tried making several F…

Review: A Spoonful Of Spice

Image
A Spoonful Of Spice by Liwen Y. Ho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Romance is rarely my first choice in reading. It's not my last either. It is a genre that I need to be in the mood for unless something jumps out at me. I was in that stage of reading where I just finished a book I really enjoyed and had no idea what to read next. You know, when you aren't quite ready to leave the world you were in and you are convinced nothing is going to compare. I had gotten this book earlier today and I thought it's a short story. Maybe it will be enough to move me out of the last book. Well it did. The problem is that it was so good I am stuck in another book world! I have not read book one in this series so I have no idea exactly what it is about, (I'm guessing something with summer from the series title). This was a complete story. It was a cute story about a romance that begins in the totally unromantic world of IT. I know, hot guys can be found in the IT department. In my h…

Review: Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery Book One

Image
Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery Book One by Vicki Vass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! I haven't read any of the author's books. I am curious about them now. I definitely want to read more Witch Cat Mysteries so I hope this series continues.
The narrator is a cat. That was something unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable. I am looking forward to more adventures with Terra, the witch cat narrator. I absolutely adore her. I love the way the author mixed in bits of historical elements with spells and lore to create a genuinely fun fantasy tale. I loved reading about the Vanderbilts ties to Asheville. I really enjoy reading about people in history, events that happened and the history of buildings and towns. This book contains all of that in an interesting mystery.
For those who read cozy mysteries and prefer them to be about Christianity, you may want to select a different book. However if you don't mind reading about witches and spells this is defi…

Review: Remember to Recycle: Psychological Suspense

Image
Remember to Recycle: Psychological Suspense by Tantra Bensko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy sh*t! I don't even know where to start. I'm still reeling from the ride and can't distinguish if I have been mind f*cked or had my mind blown. I would hazard a guess as both; first f*cked then blown.
First let me tell you this is part of a series. I did not know that. I was led to this book by BookTasters, (thank you), who were offering as a review consideration book. I prefer to go into those books with little to no information beside genres. So I read it as a standalone. I did suspect, after reading it a bit that I might have missed a book. I was, however, able to fully enjoy and follow this book on its own.
The genre I was given for this was suspense thriller with hashtags of political and conspiracy. I ride the fence on accepting these. I don't know about you but I am freaking tired of politics, lies, fake news along with general crying and whining from all parties …

Review: The Stranger Inside

Image
The Stranger Inside by Jennifer Jaynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have loved Jennifer Jaynes books since I read Never Smile At Strangers. I devoured that series. When I saw this book was coming out I instantly pre-ordered it. Then I waited. I don't think I was ever so impatient for a book to be released! Was it worth the wait? Oh yes!

I never read any of the blurbs about it. In all honesty, given the title, I assumed it was going to be another book in the series. I was surprised when I began it and knew it wasn't. I was not surprised or disappointed at all though by the writing. This author is amazing. You definitely want to carve out enough time to read it non stop. The story will hold you captive. Don't worry though, it moves at a fast pace. I figured it out. Then doubted myself. Figured it out again. Changed my mind. Kept questioning myself and the clues almost to the reveal! Then after the reveal, I was asking myself a new set of questions. I am still playin…

Review: Death in Advertising

Image
Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura Bradford is a new author for me. I learned of her when this book was selected for one of the book clubs I am in. I didn't have expectations when I began reading. I had hope for a fun book. I am happy to say that hope was realized. I'm not going to go into how slowly or quickly I solved the mystery. One: I hate spoilers and try to avoid them. Two: We are all different in our sleuthing skills, reading speed and comprehension. I don't want to look at a review as a contest to see who was faster or smarter. I read these types of books for enjoyment. So if that is what you want to know, you can skip to the next review. No hard feelings. No judgments.
What did I like about this book? The characters, for starters. I connected with Tobi. I absolutely adore Grandpa Stu. Their relationship brought me thoughts of my grandpas and how much I miss them. Sam. Oh how I love this character! For once we have a te…
Image
Bad Boys for Hire: Ryker by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wowza! I woke up way early and couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to give this a listen. Almost four hours passed by without me noticing. I listened, enthralled. The ups and downs, twists and turns had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster. The spicy parts kept me warm on this chilly Alaska morning. This was the first audio book of Rachelle Ayala's that I have listened to. At the end of it I laid there thinking about it versus a print, (or kindle), version. I came to the conclusion that I really enjoyed listening to this one. Normally I pick print. The narrator did a good job. He didn't put me to sleep even though I was laying in my bed. I would definitely listen to him again.

View all my reviews

Review: A Father for Christmas

Image
A Father for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story deals with PTSD. The love interest is a homeless veteran, Tyler. The other part of the romance is Bree and her mother, Kelly. The book is the first book in a trilogy. I actually read the last book first, (that book was my discovery of this author, if I am remembering correctly). In my opinion you should read this in the order it was written. The author has other series where it doesn't matter, (some in which Bree makes an appearance), this trilogy is better read in order.
I have to confess that Kelly is not my favorite character. In real life she would be the friend I keep because I like her family. She is very judgmental but that is her personality and I am happy that the author lets that trait be. None of are perfect. Sometimes, in books, or movies, the character traits are sugar coated when they are negative. I appreciate the author holding true to Kelly even though it makes it difficult to …

Review: Sun Kisses

Image
Sun Kisses by Lynda Beaver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delightful book! I have a few freckles myself but I have cousins who have many more. As I was reading this book, my thoughts turned to them. I thought about how much this book could have contributed to their happiness as children. I wish it came out when we were children. I would have been gifting it madly! Like Emily, they had been teased about their freckles. They would have loved a book about how they came to receive so many freckles.

Emily comes home crying over what a school mate has told her. In ancient times, (haha), she would have been told, "sticks and stones." Recent times she might be told to ignore the mate. But now she has a wonderful fable to help her.

We are all unique. We are all beautiful. I would recommend this book. It is a lovely way to explain freckles.

I enjoyed the illustrations. I wish there were more of them included.

Thank you to BookTasters and the author for bringing this book to…
Image
The Long Road Home by Carolyn Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked the story. It held my interest even though I had a couple of problems with it. I liked a lot of the characters. The ones I didn't I wasn't suppose to. The story moved along at a fast pace and was filled with intrigue. Which brings me to my problems with it. Point of view changed a few times during the story. I can handle that when the author keeps me in the know. With this story, they changed with no real warning or break. Several times I was jarred out of the story by the abrupt change in POV. In all honesty, when I find this in a book the storyline has to have gotten my attention. It is one of the things can can cause me to shelf a book as, "did not finish". The other problem I had was with the character Ken. I felt that there really wasn't any closure with him and I was left hanging. I don't want to go totally into who and why because it would be a spoiler. I would rather you read the book…

Review: The Haunting of Ashburn House

Image
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I selected this book during the final hours of a 24 hour readathon. I had the hope it would keep me reading during my hardest hours of the 24. The creepiness of the story certainly did just that. It actually became hard to put down once the readathon ended. However as I needed the sleep, I put it down. When I picked it back up to finish it, (or so I intended), a hilarious thing happened.
I woke in the early morning hours and could not get back to sleep. I decided I would read a bit in bed. The house was completely dark except for my Kindle. My dog was sleeping next to my bed. Now, you need to understand this book is very atmospheric. For me, the creep factor is high. The writing had totally drawn me in and I was transported to Ashburn House. At a part that involved a lone neglected grave and a dead looking body, (I don't want to tell you if they were or were not dead - sorry), I felt my bed suddenly s…

Review: Playing for the Save

Image
Playing for the Save by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is the fourth book in the series. I have not read every book in the series yet. I had no problem with reading this out of order. My experience with the series is that though the books are connected each can be read as a stand alone.
This book touched me deeply. I have grandsons who are on the spectrum. I had custody of one. The author worked very hard to present an accurate picture of what autism can be like. Autism can be different for every person on the spectrum which makes it an extremely difficult subject to write about. I commend the author for her decision to tackle it. Autism is on the rise but whether that is because there are more cases or because there is more awareness is up for debate. My personal opinion is that it is a combination of the two. Ms Ayala, in choosing to write a story where autism is included, helps greatly with awareness. That she chose to make it central to the plot and to…

Review: A Ghostly Murder

Image
A Ghostly Murder by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Things are heating up in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky. Is there a serial killer on the loose? Is someone out to get Granny? With the election over you wouldn't think so. But strange things are happening and it is looking like Granny is involved. And what is going on with Emma Lee and Jack Henry? Will their romance survive? Tonya Kappes has written another winner in the Ghostly Southern Mystery series. This series is so entertaining to read you don't notice the time flying by! You don't have to read them in order but it is more fun if you do. They are fast reads and, if you haven't read any of them, I recommend a weekend of binge reading.

View all my reviews