Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Deliver Us from Evil

Deliver Us from Evil Deliver Us from Evil by Deborah Hunter-Marsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a difficult subject! Sexual abuse, whether adult or child, is horrifying and has so many lasting effects. It also triggers so many reactions in people. No one wants to believe this happens, especially to society's vulnerable populations, (children, elderly, mentally challenged, etc). Sadly, it does happen. It also happens, though I believe not as often, that some professional people, (whether or not it is intentional), can and do manipulate memories. It is up to the reader to decide which this book is.

I believe her, but that is my opinion. Her story is a sad, often angry, tale. It is backed up by three other victims. I know some may ask why only two of the children? And use that as reasoning for denying it may have happened the way the author remembers. Child abuse, in all its forms, doesn't happen equally in every family. Sometimes only one child is the actual victim, (though all either witness it, or are aware of it, which I consider abuse), sometimes it is some or all. There is no concrete path of abuse. It depends on the trigger of the perpetrator. She did undergo extensive therapy with a couple of therapist. I'm not always convinced by therapist though. Some, in their need to be helpful, or their need to find a problem, can influence the patient. My own experience with life tells me that where money is involved, there is potential for abuse. We all can probably recall a doctor, (any sort), or two who have a God complex. This can also influence memories and diagnosis. So when I read books like this one, I try to read between the lines as much as possible. I am a firm believer in there being three sides to every story. Her side, his side and, pulling from both sides, the true story somewhere down the middle. The author did include copies of letters and did include responses as she recalled them. This gave us a small look from the other side.

The author does include a number of books she read that helped in her recovery work. these include workbooks. I haven't looked into all of them but I do have plans to check them out. I think we all can be kinder, gentler and more forgiving to ourselves. Self improvement is something that anyone can do. Some of the recall scenes in the book are somewhat detailed though not completely graphic. People who have gone through sexual abuse might want to prepare for those scenes.

I appreciate that the author includes a glossary for words that are familiar to LDS followers but may not be known to non Mormons. I also appreciate that she does not bash the church. Abuse can be found in all religions. So can good things. The Church of LDS has many good programs, especially ones aimed at families. Like all religions, though, it's leaders and teachers are human and humans are flawed. The potential for abuse to happen is in all of them. I think the author did a good job with attaching the abuse to the people and not the entire church.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Intercepted by Love: Part 1

Intercepted by Love: Part 1 Intercepted by Love: Part 1 by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wowza! Grab a cold drink and turn on a fan. Rachelle Ayala is bringing the heat!

When Cade's career turns Super Bowl disastrous, he hides out in a college town with his dog, Red. Use to having anonymous sex with many women, he isn't certain about relationships. Andie is the librarian, devoted to her parents and her dog, Gollie. She gets her romance from hot dreams of King David. Would a bad boys searing touch be able to compete with fantasies of a bad boy King? When their dogs meet and mate, Cade and Andie are tossed into each other's paths. Will they be able to move forward from their pasts to be mated, too? Only the dogs know.

This is a story that will bring tears to your eyes, giggles to your mouth and heat to other parts. Football Widows, cuddle up near your honey and those amazing snacks on a chilly, fall football afternoon . Forget the blanket. You won't need it. Warning: If you are listening to the audio version, it is sure to grab your honey's attention. Headphones may be necessary.

I was entertained by Chris Abell's performance. He contributed a lot to the fun of this audiobook with his voice. I really enjoyed the variety in pitch as well as his interpretation of character voices. I loved his enthusiasm.

This story contains sexual references and is intended for a mature audience.
It is a part of a series that does need to be read in order. This book ends with a major cliffhanger.

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Review: Hex on the Beach

Hex on the Beach Hex on the Beach by Gina LaManna
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hex on the Beach was my Facebook book club selection for June. It was my first time reading author Gina LaManna.

This was an absolutely entertaining book to read! When things take a dive for Lily, a couple of unknown eccentric aunts come to the rescue. They take Lily off to a hidden magical island, but is it a magical paradise or will it be the end of Lily? With island residents like the mysterious, handsome Ranger X, cousins as entertaining as their mothers, a cantankerous mixology teacher and a kooky grandmother Lily has a lot of support. Support she will need after the murder of first customer and jealous contenders for her job making island life difficult.

The characters in this book are awesome! The plot was enchanting. I laughed out loud. I worriedly bit my nails. I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. I can't wait to read more from this series. This book gets a definite recommendation!

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Review: Deadman's Tome: Monsters Exist

Deadman's Tome: Monsters Exist Deadman's Tome: Monsters Exist by Deadman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love books of this type. So often I find authors whose work I want to investigate further. This book was no exception. The only author I whose work I had read previously was Theresa Bruan.

I was thrilled with the stories I found in Monsters Exist. There is a good mix of stories in this book. We start with rats which nearly killed me. I have been disturbed by rats ever since I watched the movies Willard and Ben. Anyone remember those movies? My skin was crawling and i knew not even a nightlight was going to keep the fear away. The stories go on to include various thriller chillers. You are certain to find at least one story to keep you checking the floor under the bed before you get out of it. I usually pick a story or two that I found to be particularly frightening. With this book, I am truly unable to do this. I look back on them, decide on one only to remember the goosebumps another gave me and I change my mind. i enjoyed every story I read. I recommend this book to horror and campfire story fans.

Thank you to BookTasters for bringing this book to my attention. The editor provided an ecopy for review purposes. The final copy may be slightly different. All opinions are honest ones.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Color It Review

As a child, some of my favorite indoor pastimes were reading, jigsaw puzzles and coloring. As an adult I have also found them interesting and relaxing to do. Books, of course, come in all genres and for all ages. They grow with you, though I have noticed a tendency to return to my childhood favorites in times of need. Lose a job? Anne was waiting. File for divorce? Anne and her romance with Gilbert was waiting. If you thought you were going to end up an old maid, well, Marilla was happy, wasn't she? Fight with your best friend? Run to Anne and Diana. There was almost nothing that could befall me that Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls, those Little Women or Jane Eyre didn't experience or have advice on. I still turn to them, and a host of others, to comfort me and lead me through the darkness. Jigsaw puzzles also had range. They went from extremely easy pictures of toys with giant pieces to beautiful scenery and 1000's of tiny pieces to complicated 3D adventures that could reduce me to tears. But coloring books, for the longest time, were for children. Not so any longer.

Coloring books for adults have exploded! Quite honestly, I have never stopped coloring. It is, pretty much, the only art I excel at. I'm not saying that I had children, (and welcomed grandchildren), just so I could legitimately purchase coloring books and crayons, but you won't hear me denying that either. So in the past few years I have closely watched the popularity of coloring books surge with a new entry: Adult Coloring Books. Wow! Were there others like me who have sat down to, "color with the children," only to point out all the flaws of a coveted coloring page to those children in hopes of turning their attention to a different page? Don't judge. I didn't fight over the page, (I was Mom so I win. Ha!). I had no idea that so many adults enjoy coloring. I think of all those adults at the store who smiled at me with my coloring books and said things like,

 "we have that one too," or "my children really enjoyed this one."

Were they secretly picking out the best pages for themselves? Going over arguments in their heads so the toddler would let Mommy have the page she wanted? Letting Daddy pick first? With the slew of coloring products now out there for adults, I can only guess the answer is yes. Now, as a result, I have my own coloring books with grown up designs. So are my grandchildren coming to see me or to dip into my coloring books? Hmm. Something to think about.

 A few weeks ago one of those Facebook sponsored posts came up on my feed. I do check out many of those as Facebook has realized they can hold me mesmerized with sponsored posts about books. This one, though, was about coloring pages. Color It was offering 20 free coloring pages delivered to your email. I was on that in a flash, though I did wonder about the quality. Then pages started to arrive and WOW! I loved them! So much so, that, I went to their website. There I found coloring books, coloring pencils and gel pens as well as a journal. Were these people listening in at my house? (No paranoia here. Just because every device has the listening capabilities of Siri, Alexa and Cortana. If they aren't listening until you say their name, how do they hear you say their name? Things that make you go hmm.) I had been talking for weeks about trying gel pens and wanting to do a book journal! Here they were and at a decent price. If I bought them both, I got free shipping. What? Free shipping, for anyone outside of Alaska, is a huge draw, (for me anyway. So many companies charge outrageously to ship to Alaska). The gel pens came in a beautiful kit with zippered case and gel refills. Oh all the coloring I could do! Not to mention how colorful I could make my book journal. So I ordered them and waited. The day came when I got the email with tracking information. Then I kept hearing Tom Petty sing, "The waiting is the hardest part." You know you just sang that. One of the tracking numbers didn't show any information which made me nervous. I contacted the company who were quickly responsive.

 Then came the postman with my journal! Yay!

Then came FedEx with my Gel Pens. Yes, they were shipped separately but they arrived the same day.


Here is my colored Journal cover: 

I love my gel pen kit and my journal! The products are well made and absolutely gorgeous! I'm already planning my next purchase. To keep up with specials, like free coloring pages, and contests be sure to follow them at the links below.

This is not a paid review. I did not get any special pricing or free items, (other than coloring pages sent to my email that are currently available to everyone - check availability on their social media). The review was not requested by the company. I just really love the products and had an awesome experience  with them. I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys coloring. The products I purchased would make great gifts. If you try them, let me know what you think. If you color, feel free to leave a comment telling me about your experiences with it. I'd love to hear about what you are coloring and the supplies you use. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

The Dental Health Cook Book: How listening to your dentist can help you lose weight 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 about eating and dieting. I do believe you can lose weight and become healthier following the diet advice given.
I heard about this book from Reader's House on Twitter. I received an ecopy of the book from the author for review purposes. The final version may be different from the pdf copy. Review based on my honest opinion and thoughts of the book.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Grooming Mr. Right

Grooming Mr. Right 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 while you enjoy an afternoon of fun reading.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Going Gets Hot

Going Gets Hot 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 awhile to read only because I had real life interfering. I would say that you could easily finish this at the beach or on a rainy afternoon. There is sexual activity, (it is not erotica though), so if you prefer it clean this is not your book. The author does have those, too, (check out The Have a Hart Series). If your looking for a spicy n sweet read for a quick escape, definitely get this book!
**I received an ecopy of this book from the author for ARC reading. The review is my honest opinion regarding the story. The released book may contain differences from the ARC copy. **

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Black Tied

Black Tied 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 everything, and everyone, that stand in the way to love and wok. With vivid characters, (who reminded me of several people I know), and a blending of mythology with culture the story balances then blurs reality and fantasy. Black Tied is an entertaining contemporary romance with sweetness and hints of spice rolled into a paranormal egg roll. It is a new favorite of mine. I would definitely recommend it!
this may date me but I would like to add that the characters reminded me of a blend of Bewitched and Josie and the Pussycats. Sapphire and her friends are Josie and the Pussycats while Lao-Lao and Johnny's parents made me think of Endora and Darren's parents. If you remember those shows and enjoyed them, give this book a try. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: Strangers In Another Country

Strangers In Another Country 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...without anger. In my opinion, this is when we can figure things out. When there is no angry accusations, just listening and reflecting. My favorite story in this collection was Betty and The Black Puppy.
The book is not that long and can easily be read in one afternoon. The stories are not connected so you can also choose to read them between appointments or while riding to work. They are stories that you will want to think about, so give yourself time for that.
Thank you to BookTasters and the author for bringing the book to my attention. A pdf copy was loaned to me for review purposes.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

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

Lacking Shades of Grey: A collection of Poems - Volume 1 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, but they might just be what you need to hear.
Through the two books this author has written, I have come to know a little about her. No one who bares their soul and pours their blood out in their writing is truly able to stay hidden. I am humbled by her painful honesty. I think the author is an amazingly brave soul. I wish her the best on this path she walks.
Thank you to the author who sent me an ecopy of this book. I chose to review it. The review is honestly written. The recommendation of this book is sincere.

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Review: Look Behind You

Look Behind You 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 on a readathon weekend. Normally I try to balance reading and listening so I don't fall asleep. With this story and narrator, there wasn't a spot I wanted to stop at.
I would tell my friends to give this book a try, especially those with an interest in mental abuse and those who enjoy unreliable character narrators.
Thank you to Amazon for providing a copy of this book to Prime customers.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

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

Tune In: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale, and Restore Health. A Music Therapy Approach to Life. Second Edition 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 note any differences. I am already working on different playlist for myself; more intentional ones. This book is one of the most helpful books I read this year and will be on my list of books that changed me positively.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the role music can and does play in their life,or in the life of a loved one. Thank you to BookTasters for bringing this book to my attention. Thank you to the author for providing an ecopy for review consideration. All opinions are my honest feelings about the book.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Review: Kay Kay, My Super Hero Koala Bear!

Kay Kay, My Super Hero Koala Bear! 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 child feels as mine do, then you didn't lose any money.

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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...