Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Beautiful Struggle by Lilliana Anderson/ CBLS TOUR Review, Author Interview and Give Away

A Beautiful Struggle
by Lilliana Anderson
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 64,000

Buy Links

Katrina Mahoney has a very full life attending university to study a law degree, training for triathlons and now she is working part time as well. She couldn’t possibly find time for a relationship, especially after her last one ended so catastrophically.

Right now she is content focusing on work, study and training while hanging out with her best friend David Taylor, a womaniser with a heart of gold that would do anything for Katrina – except watch her get hurt again.

That is, until the dashing Elliot Roberts, a junior solicitor from her work, shows an interest in her despite their office’s ‘No Dating’ policy.

Katrina struggles with following her heart or following her mind and has trouble seeing where her heart truly lies.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language which may be considered offensive to some readers.


Book Trailer
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Author Interview:

When did you know you were born to write?

I don’t know that I was ‘born’ to write, but I do know that I am ‘addicted’. I’ve always written in some sort of capacity, even if it was simply writing in my journal to keep my head clear – but once I decided that I was going to write a book, I became obsessed with getting my stories out of  my head.

Who influenced you in becoming the author you are today?

My family, I announced that I would like to try my hand at writing and they have all been there, supporting me, every step of the way.

What was your favorite book and author as a child?

As a child I loved Roald Dahl, my very favourite of his being ‘The Twits’ – it was the first book I ever read on my own, and I loved it so much that I devoured everything of his that I could get my hands on.

Who do you read now?

Now, I read all of the popular Contemporary Romance titles. My favourite two being Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard and Vain by Amelie Fisher

Do you read as much as you write?
I try to strike a good balance, but I tend to write more than I read these days. I’m lucky to get a book read a week at the moment and I used to read one every two days.

If you could meet any author of past or present, who would it be?
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible was the most amazingly breathtaking book that I have ever read and the only one I ever cried in.

What would you ask them?
How she writes such beautiful prose. Does she go and live it? Does she simply research it?

What made you select your genre ( which is?)
Contemporary Romance. – Every book idea I’ve ever had has always been of the romantic persuasion. I’m a big fan of couples being drawn to each other and overcoming obstacles to find their happily ever after. So it seemed a natural fit. 

How did you conceive the idea for A Beautiful Struggle ?
Originally I was thinking about writing an erotic short story based around a couple hiding their relationship within the office environment, but slowly the characters started to come alive in my mind and they had a very different story to tell.

What advice would you share with a would be writer?
Just write! Open a document and get your words out – it doesn’t matter if it’s working, just get them out of your head and tweak it later. Then, when you’re finished, decide whether you want to be represented or self published and research the best way for you to achieve your goals.

Do you write with background noise or silence?
I have four children, so always noise! Lol

Describe your writing area, please.

It’s my lounge room. I have a lapdesk, my laptop and a bottle of water. The tv is almost always on, and I tend to have a toddler doing headstands on the couch next to me.

Who is the first person you share the written word with?
My beta readers all get it at once.

Can you tell us a little about your current WIP?

I’ve just started working on a new romance titled ‘Alter’ it’s about a girl who’s life is suddenly turned upside down when she starts blacking out, while her alter ego takes over her life. The romance angle comes from the men in her life who are trying to help her through everything.

Now for fun:

Salty or sweet? Both at the same time (jelly beans and potato chips! Love it!)

Favorite drink? Sparkling mineral water

Cookies, pie or cake? Cookies

Coffee or pop? Coffee

Happy endings, surprise endings, or cliffhangers? Happy

What is your ultimate goal with your writing(s)? To never run out of ideas.

Thank you for your time in answering these questions Lilliana.   It has definitely been a pleasure to have you with us!   



 Author Bio:

Australian born and bred, Lilliana Anderson has always loved to read and write considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer. Besides writing Angelien's biographical trilogy, she also writes contemporary romance and drama all set within Australia.

When she isn't writing she is a wife, and a mother to four children. She has worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities before transferring to commerce/law at university.

She currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne.

Connect with Lilliana Anderson

My Review:

I enjoyed the story of Katrina and where love led her.    However, it is very sexually explicit and should be considered an adult read in nature.   Katrina experienced a bad relationship---brutally physically abusive,  an immature relationship and in the end what we hope is a lasting love.   The twists and turns leading to the right man were amazing and had me guessing what would happen next.   I was surprised and satisfied with the romantic ending of the story.

The story is fast paced and easily read in a day or two, easily understood and enjoyable.   I like to rely on my own imagination for the sexually explicit bits, but if you like it explicit, you won't be disappointed.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Peaches & the Gambler by AT Hicks/Review

Author AT Hicks offered her book to me in exchange for an honest review.   I am pleased to say, I have now completed the book and it was an enjoyable read.


Peaches and the Gambler (#1)

My Review:

Truly, I found this book enjoyable.   I was able to relax and enjoy the story as I read.   And I found the premise of the story refreshing and interesting.   Peaches Donnelly found herself fired and out of work.   She is sucked in with a kind heart and inability to say no to her father's neighbor, whose son had been murdered; worse yet, he is her only child.   The neighbor, Ms Penny was dissatisfied with the ongoing police investigation and asked Peaches to look into Lenny's death and find his killer.   Peaches is about as qualified as I would be to take on such a request, but she does it, including going so far as to accept  work as a stripper at the Club Lenny was last seen at.

The writing is simple and flows smoothly, the voice of the author tender as she develops her characters and moves them forward.   The main character Peaches, is clearly a normal woman with a tender heart who clearly wants to help Ms Penny and bring her some peace over this loss.  It is very difficult for her to say no and she finds herself in a multitude of "bad place to be at the wrong time" and sometimes with the "wrong" person at the wrong time.

I would rate this book at three and a half winks!

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. 

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot...a review

 I was scheduled to read this a few months ago, but due to illness, I didn't get anything more than a promo post posted.   I have now completed the reading and want to share my review of Unmaking Hunter Kennedy.  


 After a car accident--an event he considers a prank gone bad--pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a 'nice' guy.

Funny thing is...Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist...

And that’s when things get out of control...

High School Romance, first love, sweet romance.


My Review:

I loved this sweet romance between a pop rock star and a normal American teen age girl.   Our girl was a beauty to all but herself and she had the low self esteem a lot of girls have to deal with, feeling very inadequate in this world of wild hormones and BOYS!    Oh how I could relate to her in my high school days!   How could she ever hope to compare to the girls who had experience, beauty and confidence on their side.

When the opportunity presented itself to "help" Hunter Kennedy become normal and mostly anonymous, Vere was more than capable of becoming his best friend and assisting in his incognito status.  The book provided a glimpse into the somewhat empty lifestyle being a "star" provides---    A glimpse into the be careful what you wish for side of things---   A glimpse into true loneliness and depression.   The fact that Hunter Kennedy needed to hide from his real life drama, was the only thing that saved him from himself and the despair he felt at being used.  

The writing flowed nicely and I really didn't notice the length of the book as I
 read it.   There was a lot of meaning behind the words in this book.   I frankly adore authors who try to bring out a message to the young people of the world.  It was a very satisfying and enjoyable read and I give it 4 Winks!

Author Info:

I write full time, and I'm all about fate, destiny, and how it feels to fall in love. My favorite thing to write is a first kiss. 

I've worked as an online marketer and develper for Towrrecords.com, FOX TV, and UNM Engineering. I love to teach writing workshops and work with adults, kids and teens who enjoy learning about 'story' and who want to write or learn about story structure and the craft of writing.

I'm blessed with an Italian-Canadian mom and an Irish-American dad. This means my summers are full of huge family reunions, food, yelling and too much travel. When not pining for Tim Horton's to open in Colorado, I ponder Joseph Campbell. His work has inspired me to study story structure and how emotion within a story can move people through time and across cultures. Emotion is the key to everything. I owe JC for keeping me on a journey through world mythologies, folk tales, and the collective unconsciousness while I search for my own bliss in stories.

I'm a member SCBWI, RWA and Pikes Peak Writers. I'm so proud of these hard working writer's groups! 

Representation: I am honored to have Jane Dystel from Dystel and Goderich represent the subsidiary rights for my work. Please contact them directly for any inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights. 

To Contact Anne Eliot, 
Please find me on Twitter @yaromance


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.   I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Review of Sever by Lauren DeStefano

As most trilogys go, the final book will generally answer all of your unanswered questions and then some.  I became somewhat disillusioned with this trilogy about half way through the third book, Sever.  I can honestly say, I do not care for dystopian reads.  Life is depressing enough without reading about the misery of young people who due to a genetic "virus" will not live past age 20 or 25.

The book is well written and once I got to the halfway mark, I picked up interest in learning how the dots were connected.   The author had created a true dystopian setting but it became obvious that Rhine had held some hope in her heart and apparently she was unaware of that hope herself.   She was practical and she was also more open to change than I would have guessed.   In the year she spent away from her brother she had matured, and had allowed resentment and anger to grow and flourish within her.   But Rowan had been exposed to lies about her death(that wasn't).   He had a totally different perspective of the man Dr Ashby was.   Somehow, Rhine remained open minded enough to be still and learn some truths she was totally unaware of.

Secrets from the past were revealed and contributed to the happenings in this third book.    And there is something about the way Lauren DeStefano crafts her words and story that draws the reader in.  I am glad I finished the trilogy and I am satisfied with the conclusions.  

However, I go in search now for something light and fanciful for my next reading adventure.

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cross the Line by Jack Patterson/ Pict VBtour with guest Post

Welcome Guest blogger, Jack Patterson this morning!   (applause from viewers).  Jack tell us who was your largest encourager to read and ultimately write your own books?   What was your relationship like?   Anything to elaborate on?

 When I was a young child, my dad often deployed for military service, leaving me and my younger siblings at home with my mom. With me and my brother as the oldest, our rambunctious nature undoubtedly played a major factor in my mom’s strategy to calm us down. Instead of roughhousing with us like we did with my dad, my mom read to us.

Every night, getting ready for bed became a prelude to some great story of adventure or mystery. I couldn’t wait to hear what was going to happen next.

From the first moment I began writing, my mom has remained my biggest fan and supporter. She wasn’t overly effusive, but that was mostly because she feared she might embarrass me, particularly when I was a teenager. But I knew she was proud. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she once mailed a copy of my sports column to the Atlanta Braves -- the one where I predicted they would win the National League pennant despite the fact that they had the worst record in baseball the previous season. She secretly hoped they would fly me to Atlanta or share my column on a telecast. I knew she was firmly behind me.

When I told her that I was writing a novel, she was the first person in my family to finish reading it. Then she did was she always does -- she started telling other people about it. And when your mom is a librarian, this is always a good thing.

It’s hard to say whether I would have chosen to purse a writing career without my mom’s support, but there’s no doubt she kept nudging me down a path that seems clearer and clearer each day that this is what I was made to do.

Learn more about Jack Patterson at his website www.IamJackPatterson.com and check out his latest book Cross the Line.

Thanks for being with us this morning Jack.   Mother's are absolutely the best fan in your corner!

Important Info:

Pages: 256
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Hangman Books
Publication Date: 11/25/2012
ISBN: 1938848144
Purchase Links:  


 When veteran NFL quarterback Noah Larson finally guides his team to the Super Bowl, his dreams -- and life -- are dashed when his six-year-old son is kidnapped for a unique ransom: lose the game or his son dies. Seattle sportswriter Cal Murphy and photographer Kelly Mendoza get pulled into an FBI sting to help rescue Noah's son in Mexico. But when everything falls apart, Cal and Kelly are left to save themselves, save Noah's son, and save the Super Bowl.

My Review: 

Once again I feel very blessed to have read Cross the Line by Jack Patterson.    No, it wasn't a religious book by any means, but it dealt with issues of right and wrong and when to get involved in someone else's story and when to walk away.  Cal Murphy, a sportswriter, accidentally unearths information that Noah Larson's son has been kidnapped in order to force Noah to throw the Seahawk vs Dolphin Super Bowl Game.   When approached to confirm rumors about a fix being in, he admits what he has learned to his FBI friend.   Whether the guilt of having shared the information with the FBI against Noah Larson's pleas for silence, or whether to assist in Jake's rescue was just the right thing to do, Cal Murphy and photographer friend Kelly Mendoza, risk everything to help save Noah's six year old son.

The writing seemed to flow gracefully and made the book an easy read.  I read it in one sitting and I enjoyed it.   The suspense built constantly and it became a book I couldn't put down.   I wanted to continue until we knew who the top dog was behind this ruthless kidnapping!    The characters were strong and believable and I felt their fears and pains down to my toes.    I felt their relief and their shock as what seemed to be over, wasn't.

If you enjoy suspense and mystery, this has got to be a must read!   It's truly a great read.  I rate this book a 

5 X Winks 

Now for the fun part, for an opportunity to win an e-copy of this terrific book, please enter the Raffle Copter contest below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Author Info:

The first signs that I might like writing about sports -- and be slightly competitive -- appeared when my year two (or first grade) teacher, Mrs. Holland, asked my class to write and illustrate our day. Mine read like this: “The Red team beat the Blue team, 1 to nil. And I won.” The next 47 entries covered my exploits on the soccer pitch while growing up in Ipswich, England.
In South Carolina as a teenager, my dad told me that I could get paid to watch sports provided I could write about it. Sounded easy enough and by the time I was 16, I landed a job at my town’s daily newspaper and had a column on Major League Baseball players from our area. I also covered my first riot there at a sporting event -- and it’s safe to say I was smitten with journalism.
After graduating from one of the best journalism schools in the country, I took a job as a sports editor in South Georgia and learned firsthand about the passion of high school sports in rural America. I thought I knew before, but I didn’t. This was another world.
I also had the opportunity to cover major sporting events like the Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four. It was a thrill!
But nothing was as thrilling to me as uncovering the truth in investigative assignments. I once broke a story about a prominent southern football team’s NCAA violation -- and found out the violating coach had committed suicide only a few months earlier. The story won a national writing award and stoked my desire to write about these issues. It made me realize that the sports world was just another fantastic backdrop for drama.
After writing non-fiction books with athletes, for athletes, and ghost writing for many others, I decided to enter the world of fiction writing. It had been something I wanted to do but never found the time. So, I made the time--and am now having a blast. I hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I enjoy writing them!
Visit me:

Every eBook received for review on the tours for Partners In Crime are given in exchange for an honest review. The eBooks are sole property (copyrighted) of the author and should not be sold, distributed to, or exchanged among other people not part of the tours, nor should they be listed on file sharing sites. Failure to comply with this disclaimer, will result in removal from all future tours.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exhale by Jennifer Snyder/SG VBTour

Inhaling in life is easy. It’s the exhaling—the letting go— that’s the hard part.

Katie Elliot has always known the Conner twins. For years she secretly pined after one, while playfully averting the advances of the other. Once upon a time, she was fine with that. Then came the moment when her twin of preference kissed her and changed everything. 


As if realizing love can be complex—even when it’s reciprocated—isn’t hard enough, tragedy strikes, tearing Katie and the boy she’s always desired apart. Finding herself torn between love and guilt, Katie must learn when it’s acceptable to let go—when it’s finally okay to exhale.
Author Bio: 
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.

My Review:  (Spoiler Alert)

I took my time reading this short story about Katie and her neighbor boys, twins, Derek and Kyle.  This was a young adult read with a pointed message.....DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.........
Kyle loved Katie, but Katie loved Derek and then suddenly it seemed like Katie would have her dreams come true.   This is always when the hand of fate jumps in and knocks you on your butt, not just in literature, but seems to happen in RL too.

So a moment in time changed everything for three young people, their friends and families.
One moment introduced death to Katie and Derek.   One moment ended life for Kyle.    One moment took months for Katie and Derek to think and suffer through their anger, their hurt, their confusion and their guilt.     DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.     The cost may be higher than you are willing to pay.

I became quite invested with the characters in the story and found them to be believable and I appreciated the author tackling this issue.  I also enjoyed the fact that she made her point without dragging the story out to be longer than was necessary.  It moved at a nice pace and was enjoyable reading though sad in places.

I give this read        X  Winks

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Choose You by Bethany Lopez/ SG VBTour


Up until now, Nicole's life has been mapped out for her. She'd go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister's wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?

My Review:

I would consider this romance novel for the young at heart.   It is about two young people experiencing a physical attraction and finding love, then allowing that love to help them overcome the barriers that are holding them back.....coming to grips with who they are as people and what they want out of life.    The characters do grow and mature within the pages of this story.

I would classify it as a young adult romance read and Ms. Lopez does an excellent job of  telling Nicole and Kent's story.    This book could easily be  read in a day and is a
sweet romantic feel good story.   

  3 winks 






Author Bio:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman/ SG VBTour

Shadow of Time

by Jen Minkman

March 1-5


Book Blurb:
 All Hannah longs for is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship.

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams?

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.

My Review:

First let me say, I loved the title,  Shadow of Time.   There is something just elegant about the name of this book and I was intrigued to read it from the get-go!    Oh and I am so glad I got in on the reading and reviewing of Ms Minkman's book.   It was awesome.

Her characters are quite believable and quite likable as well.    Hannah is brave and strong when faced with the things she does not understand.    She is faithful and loyal to her friends and her younger brother and finds herself falling in love with Josh, who she had watched grow up throughout the years.    Now that he is almost an adult and built very sensually, she just can't help but fall for him.

The storyline centers around a curse....a very old and dangerous curse.  It started with Josh and now it includes Hannah too.    There is a lot of Indian lore, spiritualism, and ritual  as well as past life experience in this read.

I loved how Ms. Minkman told her story......smooth and fluent.   I loved the bond between Hannah, Josh and Ben.    I loved watching Hannah and Josh's romance bloom and grow.  It certainly was a read about sustaining friendships, and love throughout the ages.

As a reader, I felt like the author did a lot of wonderful research and I felt like I came away knowing more about Navajo Nation than I ever dreamed possible.   Thank you Ms. Minkman for having the passion and commitment to write such a beautiful book.    I give thi lovely read 

5 winks    





About the Author:

 Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.