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

Friday, October 30, 2015

California Sunrise by Casey Dawes--A Review


When Alicia Fuentes walks into Dr. Raúl Mendez’s treatment room, something about the plucky single mom stirs his personal interest. After he diagnoses her son, Luis, on the autism spectrum, Raúl takes a chance and offers support beyond the doctor’s office, hoping friendship might become more.

Grateful for the help, Alicia is tempted by her new pediatrician’s kindness, consistency, and attractiveness, but she has no room in her life for a serious relationship. She’s juggling a part-time job and classes at the local community college to get her life back on track and pursue a cosmetology career.

Between his busy medical practice and his desire to help his family, who was deported when he was a teen, return to the United States, Raúl doesn’t have time for anything or anyone else, either. But his heart won’t be denied.

Hope of a new life arises for them both, but fate and prejudice could threaten their newfound bond. Can their blossoming relationship withstand the political and personal battles that lie in wait?


California Sunrise was an enjoyable romantic read with so many additional veins of interest throughout.  The jealousy of an ex-bestie became a thorn in the side of Alicia, our heroine.  Shame and guilt over her mother's past drove her to believe their relationship was beyond repair. A baby with Ausperger's syndrome drove her passion to be more, do more.    Dr Raul Mendez was also driven by his past and a determination to change things for the immigrant population.    Neither could really afford the time and energy a relationship required, but both needed the friendship and support that a healthy relationship can offer.

The story flowed smoothly, alternately told from Alicia and Raul's points of view.   The characters were believable and the main characters did indeed grow and mature as the story went forward.   Within the pages, I found joy, sadness, and an overcoming spirit...a new definition of family and love.

I rated this book 3 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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 26, 2015

PUP by Christopher Slater--A Review


This is not the story of a hero.

So begins the story of one of the most distinctive heroes you'll ever meet. Drafted into a war he barely comprehends with no taste for combat, Pup will find himself thrust into the very center of the conflict. How he affects that conflict, and how this changes him and everyone around him, is the soul of this utterly unique war story.

Equal parts adventure and farce, tragedy and comedy, PUP introduces an unforgettable accidental hero to war literature, and announces Christopher Slater as a resonant new voice.



This is not the story of a hero. If you were hoping to read about a hero that the biggest star in movies would play on the silver screen then you might want to look for something else to read. There are lots of stories about heroes out there. Look around and find one of those, Im sure there are probably some on the Best Sellers list. This is the story of a screw-up. A grade-A, monumental, epic screw-up. I wouldnt even be writing this down except that my wife wants me to record it so that our children can read it when they grow up. Theres a brilliant idea! If my kids havent figured out how much of an idiot their father is by the time theyre old enough to read this, I might as well provide textual evidence to convince them! My therapist also said that it might be cathartic for me to write it all down. What a quack! He still tells me that I should be proud of myself when I look in the mirror. I look like a cartoon character. Why should I be proud of seeing that in the mirror?

All right, I suppose I should stop stalling and get this thing started. I would say that my adventures began the day I was drafted, but that would be a lie. My adventures probably began the day I was born. I often wondered if the doctor dropped me on my head after he saw me. If he did, is it possible he picked me up and dropped me again just to be certain? Whatever happened on that day, I ended up with all kinds of issues. I havent been diagnosed with anything, part of the reason is because I wouldnt allow myself to be tested, but there are still labels that apply to me: socially awkward, clumsy, forgetful, hyper, geek, spaz, schmo, screw-up, goofball, and clueless are at the top of the list. Those are just the labels given to me by friends and family. My grades never reflected these things. I always scored well in class. I can tell you the capital of Tajikistan off of the top of my head (its Dushanbe, in case you wanted to know), but I couldnt tie my shoes before sixth grade, I still have to think hard to remember my left from my right, and my first attempt to boil water on the stove made it on the evening news.

Of course, everyone has their issues. I have a cousin that is scared to death of ducks. Im not kidding. Every time she sees a duck coming towards her, she breaks out into a cold sweat and looks like she is about to have a psychotic episode. The difference between other peoples issues and mine is the fact that you arent likely to have to confront ducks on a daily basis. People are an entirely different story. I have to confront them every day. To tell the truth, I suck at it.

I could probably write a four-volume treatise on my time in school. Just imagine being in an institution for thirteen years where everyone else knows that talking to yourself in public is strange except for you, and where color-coordinating your clothes is highly suggested and you tend to ignore that suggestion. That pretty much sums up as much of my time in school as I think anyone needs to know. Oddly enough, though, I enjoyed it.

It isnt like I never had friends. I had quite a few friends. It turns out that when you spend most of your time fighting against or trying to hide your quirks, you gain a certain amount of insight into people. That insight turned me into a bit of a problem-solver. People would come to me with their problems and I would listen and help talk them through it. When you do things like that, you get a reputation as a nice guy. The funny thing is that I wasnt a nice guy. Sure, I had manners and tried to treat people decently because my mother would make my life miserable if I didnt, but that wasnt the main reason why I helped. I liked hearing these people talk about their problems because it helped me forget about mine for a little while. I never told any of them that. Im pretty sure it would have ruined my reputation.

I admit it. Im stalling. I could spend several pages just talking about how I managed to never touch the toilet seats in the school bathrooms (they really are gross!), but I know that I would just be coming up with ways to avoid telling the story that my wife and my quack therapist want me to tell. Here it goes. I graduated from high school and had been accepted into a college to study psychology. Thats when the war broke out; Im sure you know the history, so Ill leave the details out of it for now. Ive always had a habit of reading. I read a lot. I read about a lot of stuff. At the time, I had become particularly fond of military action novels. Science fiction was my choice for television and movies, but military action seemed more real to me in books. It always amazed me how they could make the heroes so invincible and the villains so conniving. I think that my sense of patriotism was especially aroused by these novels. When the Second Korean War broke out I went and bought flags in every available size, got red-white-and-blue shirts and hats, and I got all kinds of posters and decorations to show my love of country. Obviously, none of this did anything to actually help the war effort, but thats just the way that I think. I figured that looking patriotic would be my contribution. I didnt really consider enlisting. Id never shot a gun before and I had the upper body strength of a . . . well, everything has more upper body strength than I did. So I figured I would just wear my shirts and hats and shout U-S-A! whenever appropriate and that would be enough.

I remember that I was wearing one of those shirts when the doorbell rang. I had been spending most of the day trying to figure out how to get along with a stranger as a roommate when I got to college. That probably scared me more than anything about going off to school. I dug into my wallet as I went to answer the door. Various groups had been doing door-to-door fundraisers to support our troops in whatever way they could. Hey, I could give a few bucks. I would do my part. I was wearing a patriotic shirt, wasnt I? When I opened the door, the deliveryman asked to see my identification. Maybe it was because he was wearing a uniform, or maybe it was because I was young and stupid, but I showed him my drivers license. He looked at it, double-checked his clip board, and then told me that I was hereby notified that I had been called to active duty through the Selective Service program. He handed me an envelope and then turned to leave. He stopped when I told him thank you. Maybe he thought I was being sarcastic. In truth, it was just an automatic response of politeness. He looked at me with an expression that I couldnt quite place. Then he told me, Good luck, kid. He got in his vehicle and drove off without looking back.

I looked at the envelope that he had given me. I opened it up and found a great deal of information there. In truth, it was information overload. The words that stood out to me as if they had been highlighted were active duty, United States Army. Something about those words disturbed me. Maybe it was the fact that they actually had been highlighted. I read them three times, then dropped the envelope and passed out. The least I could have done was close the door before I passed out. It took my parents two days to round up the cat and dog. My tendency to panic can be so inconsiderate at times.

Its hard to remember a whole lot that happened in the following months. I remember my mother crying a lot. That was no surprise. She wouldnt even let me walk to the neighborhood playground by myself before I was seventeen. By then, I could drive to it. I also remember watching the news a lot. I was really hoping that there would be a breaking news announcement that the Second Korean War had abruptly ended with the enemys unconditional capitulation (I didnt actually expect it to be worded like that, I just wanted an excuse to use the word capitulation). I also did a lot more walking. My therapist tells me that I probably did that so that I could experience more of my familiar surroundings before leaving to a more alien environment. Quack. My mother was crying, the television kept showing depressing news stories, and the dog and cat were constantly trying to escape. I went for walks to get the hell out of there!

The day finally came for me to report for processing. I really didnt want my parents taking me. Thats kind of like having your parents drop you off at school. Its embarrassing. I would know, mine did it until the last week of my senior year. Unfortunately, somebody had to drive me and they insisted. My mother kept giving me kisses when she parked the car. I finally had to speak up. Mom! Stop kissing me!

I dont care if I embarrass you! she replied. Youre my boy going off to war!

Its not that, I insisted. Im so nervous that Im nauseous and I think I might puke all over you. Sometimes you have to hit my mom with the unaltered truth. Imagine my surprise when that just made my mom cry harder. I guess I know where I get some of my issues from.

The processing was . . . unpleasant. After getting all of my information, having me sign a lot of things that I didnt really understand, and then taking away everything that I had brought with me, the military sent me to get a physical. Im not a big fan of physicals. I dont know of anyone who really is, but I think that I hate them more than most. People poking and prodding and asking questions that I wouldnt want to answer if they paid me. Why cant they just have a scanning device like on Star Trek? (Sorry! Flying my geek flag again!) To make matters worse, I had to stand in line in just my underwear with a bunch of other draftees. I guess I should point out that I have never been all that comfortable with being naked, or mostly naked, around others. I always tried to be the last to change in the gym locker room. I dont know why, probably because everyone is in better shape than me. Some people look like you could put five hundred pounds on a bar and they could bench press it without difficulty. I look like I could be the bar. I stood in line not making any real eye contact with the others around me. I shuffled forward whenever I saw the feet of the person in front of me move. I dont know if I should have looked up or not. It might have prevented the shock of what was to come, or it might have prolonged the agony. Ill never know. I only know what did happen, and that was humiliating enough.

I shuffled forward and saw a chair in front of me. Have a seat, a voice said. A feminine voice. A very feminine voice. I looked up and saw a young lady in green scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. She was gorgeous. She was about twenty years old with red hair and a smile that could light up an entire room. I would know. Shed gone to high school with me. It was one of those rare instances that I actually recognized someone. She also recognized me. She smiled that dazzling smile. I was too nervous to smile back, but that didnt prevent other parts of me from . . . responding. While I was standing in front of her. In my underwear.

I dont think that theres any need to continue with that particular memory. Well just say that she checked my blood pressure (it was high at the moment) and my pulse rate (which was dangerously high at the moment) and sent me to the next table. It was difficult to tell if the smile remained one of familiarity or of amusement. Of course, most people who were familiar with me were also amused by me, so six of one, half a dozen of the other. I guess that it was good news that the rest of the people involved with giving the physical were male. It prevented any repeats of that episode. I almost expected to fail the physical at the hearing test portion. I hear everything very well. The problem is that I cant seem to understand anyone. Its like everyone mumbles. Maybe everyone does mumble, and Im the only one that didnt receive the memo. That would be about the speed of things. I was all ready to explain this with a vague hope that it might get me a medical discharge when they stuck a couple of earbuds in my ears. I heard a few odd tones come through the speakers and saw the tech look at his laptop screen. After about fifteen seconds, he removed the earbuds and put an approval on my paper. My hearing isnt . . .

Your hearing is fine. Move on, he interrupted. I started to protest when he looked at me with eyes that did not broker discussion. Your hearing is fine. Move on. I picked up my paper and followed instructions. At the final table was the only man in the room in an army uniform. I sat down in front of him and handed him my physical form. He took a look at it and checked off a few boxes himself. Since he was the final person in the line of tables, I figured that I had better ask him some of the questions that I had. Sir, I have a few concerns. First, I have an unusual hearing issue. I cant always make out what people are saying. Secondly, my stomach tends to get upset when I eat unusual foods. Third, Im not certain that I am in good enough physical condition for the military. Finally, I was just about to start college. Doesnt that exempt me from the draft?

The corporal (I had studied up a little on military rank) had not looked up from his paperwork while I had spoken. He didnt bother looking up afterwards to answer me either. Everyone is trying to go to college now, he began in a bored voice. Because of that, there are no more college deferments. Your tests say your ears are fine. Boot camp will get you into shape, and you can crap your pants after mess call for all I care so long as you dont foul up your weapon. Congratulations, pal. You are now a member of the United States Army. He finally looked up at me. When he saw how scrawny I was and the already-homesick look on my face, I heard him mutter under his breath, May God help us all. And that is how my glorious career in the military began.


I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Pup.   It was clever, unique, hilarious and sorrowful!   I thought Pup might remind of Gomer Pyle, but it never did.   Rather I found myself feeling like his mother, saddened by a fact that he would no longer be my boy, but a man when he returned home.

I loved that the writing seemed self depricating and very tongue in cheek.   My favorite part was the airport scene when he first left for Korea.    The author depicted a gangly, awkward teenager who seemed to do everything incorrectly and embarrass himself in so doing.    However this young man also realized his clumsiness and acjnowledged it.     You know the saying, "It is what it is?"  This fits a description of this story to a T.

Slater often speaks to Pups children as they are reading this book and I found that to be endearing and all a part of Pup's wonderful personna!

If you like war stories and if you like to laugh out loud while reading, this just might be the book for you to read.   I know I'm getting my grandson Noah a copy and I know he will love it as well.    After reading Pup, I can thoroughly agree, it earned the win in the  AUTHORS FIRST NOVEL CONTEST!   Well done Christopher Slater!

I rated this a five wink read!


Christopher Slater was born, raised, and continues to haunt Middle Tennessee. His love of history led him to teaching that subject, which gave him the opportunity to hone his storytelling skills with a captive audience. Once he thought he had sharpened his abilities enough, he decided to start writing for a more voluntary audience. When not writing, Slater enjoys historic reenacting, playing airsoft, and converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. He teaches middle school in Tennessee where he still lives with his entertaining son, very patient wife and a cat that wont get out of his seat. Pup is his first novel. 


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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 23, 2015

That Thing You DO by Maria Geraci--A Review


Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.

When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.

With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?


That Thing You DO is a fun romantic read that made me laugh out loud throughout the story.   The plot was just quirky enough to be realistic as well as humorous.

Geraci produced viable, believable characters, full of life, love and quite capable of making several mistakes in their journey through this novel.  It wasn't a cheesy novel by any means, but the insights into human nature lent themselves to comic relief throughout.  My hat is off to Geraci as she has produced a fun romantic tale that is quite an enjoyable read.

I rated this book 5 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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shadow of Time: the Lost Years by Jen Minkman--A Review


The Americas, 1534. 

A young Navajo man goes on a vision quest to commune with the spirits and find out what his life path should be. Little does he know that his meeting with the Bear, his spirit guide, will change him for good and turn his life upside down. In fact, life has more years in store for him than he could have ever imagined... 


This was a novella, so it was short at only 79 pages, but it describes the many lives of Shash and the tasks that were designated to him through his coming of age vision quests.   Reading about these previous lives gives the reader the advantage of realizing exactly what makes our protagonist , Josh, tick.    What has he seen?   What has he endured? How many friends and loved ones have gone before him?   Has he learned what he needs to carry on through the ages??    This is an intriguing tale of differing viewpoints and a clash of cultures throughout history.   It is the very definition of fear as the native Navajo tribes and the Spanish whites face off to live in the west.   The challenge is to live and share in peace, but the reality of this rough and changing life is ultimately determined by greed.   Truly a fascinating paranormal read that I enjoyed tremendously.

I rated this a 4 wink read.

 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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, October 16, 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah---A Review

Good Morning my reading friends!  It is a great day to be alive!

It's October,the wind is brisk, the sun is shining and I am in my element.  I love the fall probably more than I love spring.   I also love historical reads and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was surely one of  those reads I would have hated to miss out on.

I guess my grandson Noah is a lot like me in this respect.   He loves history and thinks he may want to teach history someday.   He loves to read about the world wars and one of my favorite reads from my teenage years was We thought We Heard the Angels Sing, by Lt. James C Whittaker.    Thinking of that now, I may need to revisit it  in these, my golden years.


In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another. 

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.


The Nightengale is the best book I have read in a very long time.   That whole era with Hitler and the Holocaust has had a very profound effect upon my psyche.   I grew up in the fifties and was taught that the Jewish people were God's chosen people and as a result, I am very empathetic to their cause and their survival.   The inhumanity shown during that period of time was unforgivable and has always resonated within me.  I do not understand how we can mistreat one another to such extremes.

Much as the Nightingale is set during the holocaust, I had never thought about the occupation of foreign lands by the Nazis and what effect that had on the locals.   I had never explored in my mind the perspective of the women left behind as the men went to the front lines, or what a woman could do to help in the war efforts.   Hannah's writing has not only expanded my overall understanding of this historical time period, but it has forced me to review my life and what I would or would not have done had I been in such circumstances.  I must admit, I am so thankful that I have never been up close and personal with war.   I am spoiled and weak...not sure I could deal with these circumstances in any respectable sort of manner.

I fell in love with Hannah's characters....Vianne and Isabelle.    They were very different from one another, Vianne being more accepting, wiser, mature as opposed to Isabelle's assertive, jump in head first, and rebellious spirit.    However both women could not bear to see their countrymen and friends suffer.  The storyline was oppressive as wartime would be....worry, loneliness, food shortages, sorrows and suffering.    And yet, there was always hope.    Even in the most dire circumstances, the human spirit seldom looses all hope and seeks to prevail.   That said, even the smallest victory can be an enormous reward/treasure.   Both of our characters experienced true grit and growth as the war progressed and as they found their respective responsibilities and voices.

I know there are some who could read this 400+ page novel in one sitting.   I could not.   I had to take it slow and mull over the contents until I reached the halfway point.    Then I was invested to the point that I no longer wanted to do the dishes, laundry, or visit with the kids and grandkids.    I wanted and needed alone time with the rest of the story.  And as the last page approached, I sobbed and read to the conclusion through blurred eyes.  I feel through books and Hannah's book left me better than when I started. I am alive with a wide array of emotions and reactions to the story, to the characters and to the author.  This was a phenomenal book!

I rated it a 5 wink read PLUS!!
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 purchased this book for my personal collection.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber---A Review


Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close -- until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite -- a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities -- making amends with her sisters, finding love once more -- she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.


Debbie Macomber has another hit with this touching story of three sisters and her insights into the  Carter family dynamics!  All families struggle with growing pains and there is something about being that middle child that can be bothersome.

Macomber shares her keen insights into this middle child of the Carter family, Cassie.   Macomber's writing is smooth and easy to read.   Her storyline flows flawlessly.   In Last One Home, we get to view the mistakes made by family....a rebellious teenager, parents who try to persuade her it's not true love, sisters who resent the hurt the middle child brought to their parents.   Finally as Cassie lives with the consequences of her rash and youthful decisions, she realizes she needs to leave her abusive home situation and make a life on her own for her and her daughter.  

Cassie's growth and maturity is reflected in the pages of this story, as are her sister's.    This maturing leads to a hesitant reunion and a cautious reconciliation between the three sisters.   The married sisters have issues in their marriages and Cassie meets the man of her dreams through her work with Habitat for Humanity.   However, the romance between Cassie and her gruff boss with Habitat for Humanity, Steve Brody, moves way too fast for Cassie's comfort level.   After years of abuse and estrangement from her sisters, she needs to take it slow and make certain her needs are met and her life is stable.    The romance takes a back seat to that and for me something was lost in the translation from a burning attraction to taking it at Cassie's  cautious pace, albeit, a wise decision on her character's part.

Lots of reminders about family dynamics, the power of love and forgiveness, family values, regrets, life lessons and information about Habitat for Humanity, an awesome organization that helps families in need of stability.

It was an easy read, heartwarming, and satisfying.    I rated this five winks...a little different from Macomber, but refreshing nonetheless.

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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Born and Bred by Peter Murphy---A Review


Danny Boyle was a born angel.

At least that’s what his granny used to say, and she should know � she raised him after his parents proved incapable. When she becomes ill, Danny is reunited with his parents but they do not get to live happily ever after, as the ghosts of the past haunt their days. And when the old woman dies, all of her secrets come to light and shatter everything Danny believes in.

In the turmoil of 1970’s Ireland, an alienated Danny gets into drugs and is involved in a gangland killing. Duped by the killers into leaving his prints on the gun, Danny needs all the help his friends and family can muster. Calling in favors from bishops and priests, police and paramilitaries, God and the devil, the living and the dead, they do all that they can. But even that might not be enough.

BORN & BRED is the first novel in the Life & Times Trilogy, a cycle of three novels that will chart the course of one star-crossed life. It is a work of vibrant imagination from a poetic novelist of the first order.


Finally, I was able to place my hands on Book one in the Life and Times trilogy.
It baffles me that sometimes there are so many books to read and I can't get to the ones I really want to spend my time with.   Who am I kidding....I want to read them all!

Last January I reviewed book 2 in this Irish series and I  was left somewhat confused by the number of characters and their purposes in Danny Boyles story. Let me state right now that this author, Peter Murphy, is a fabulous storyteller. 
His writing flows smoothly and consistently weaving a tale of growing up and those who influence Danny along the way.   What we do is often not what we envision for our lives or the vision that others have for us.   Sometimes, it just is what it is.

I am seriously interested in how Murphy will bring Danny Boyle's story to a conclusion in book three, All Roads.   Will Danny truly become the angel he was thought to be by some, or will he continue to be sinner/saint?

Stay tuned for the end of the series review!    I rated this a four wink read.

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 copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Recap--What I Read

About mid September I finally began reading again.    Welcome Home me!   It's been fun to return to what I love.

Stacy Green's Hear No Lies is a novella, thriller.   It's sort of a prequel to the Lucy Kendall series.   I love a good mystery thriller, but Lucy Kendall's character leaves me conflicted.   Green's writing is superb though.
Then I took the opportunity to read books 2,3 and 4 of Megan Tayte's Cerulean series.   This is a paranormal romance series which has intrigued and captivated me.   Now waiting for the fifth and final book of the series.

Debbie Macomber's Falling For Her was a kindle novella of forty pages.   Although I love Macomber's writing, there was nothing really new or exciting in this short story.

I also read her Christmas story, Mr Miracle.   My review is set to post on December 2.
Colleen Hoover and Taryn Fisher's second installment of Never Never part 2, screamed my name, begging to be read.   I willingly complied and found myself somewhat confused by both the content and the length of the story.    Part two was another cycle of Silas and Charlie losing their memories.   No new info and no closer to the resolution except for a small piece of foreshadowing perhaps.

Yea, I don't like being left hanging either.

Read on my friends.    Read every day.  Read anything and read everything.   Read, read read!    Your inner self thanks you!