Libraries and Kindle

For many who use an ereader, a sticking point in choosing an Amazon Kindle over a Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader was the ability to borrow library books. Well that has become a moot argument. The Amazon Kindle will now support borrowing ebooks from public libraries. Now if Amazon will only provide Kindle access to epub and PDF formats it truly will become the perfect ereader (IMHO).


Book 101 – Review: NEXT MOVE YOU’RE DEAD

Next Move You’re Dead is a mystery novel centering around Detective John Cooper as he investigates several seemingly unrelated crimes. He is working on the murder of numerous prostitutes around town. But a routine traffic stop results in the arrest of a prominent city councilman for these crimes. Why? His car has the body of the latest victim in the trunk. Later a well-known lawyer comes home to find his wife dead, apparently by suicide. Why? She has presumably found evidence that her husband is having an affair and rather than deal with it she is killing herself and their unborn child to torment her husband. The question arises just what do these crimes have in common and why is John being contacted anonymously to participate in this “game.”


When I first started reading this story, I thought I had it pegged as a mystery. However, the further I got into the story I realized that this was perhaps more of a mystery and a psychological thriller. I began to question whether John was truly being contacted by an anonymous task master or if he’s simply having a breakdown? Ms. Barton definitely keeps the reader wondering what’s going to happen next. One moment you’re cheering for John to succeed with his investigation and the next you’re hoping he gets the medical help he obviously needs. Ms. Barton has given us a well-crafted story with believable characters but… I wish I could put my finger on it, but there was just something about this story that just didn’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I found it intriguing and interesting while reading but as soon as I finished reading the story was completely forgotten. 






Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 100: Review PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

When I first read that this book involved the story of an angel, Gabriel or Gabe Horn, and demon, Lucifer or Lou Cypher, in Las Vegas, I thought “no way.” Then I began reading and thought “okay this might work.” Keith Darrell has provided a tongue-in-cheek, humorous read about this angel-demon duo in Paved with Good Intentions. They are both sent to earth to fulfill a mission and fail. Rather than dealing with the possible repercussions of their failure by returning to Heaven and Hell, they decide to stay on earth and head to Vegas.


I laughed while reading about the exploits of this dynamic duo. Their sexcapades result in Cory Evian and Violet Adams, a few others, being expelled from their dormitory, Eden Hall. Yes, that’s Adams and Evian being expelled from Eden. This is the action that causes Gabe and Lou’s decision to stay on earth and relocate to Vegas. While in Vegas their exploits continue, but this time Gabe and Lou are playing at being private investigators. They meet shamans, dreamwalkers, vampires and trampires, witches – Morgana le Fay and Samantha Twitch, and warlocks – Perry Hotter, Merlin and Mordred. 


I can appreciate any novel that makes me laugh and this made me laugh. Even better, Mr. Darrell evoked the desire to want to learn more about the characters and cheer them on during their exploits. The story slowed a few times with all of the action and subplots going on but it usually picked up again after a few pages. I may not be sure of how to classify this in terms of genre but I can definitely say I liked it. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 99 – Review: TURBOCHARGED

TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust by Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel



I don’t think that this book qualifies as a diet book per se. The authors present their philosophy or method toward weight loss or more specifically “fat” loss. They do present dietary guidelines, but insist that they don’t focus on caloric restrictions and exercise regimes. Their approach incorporates eight steps to achieving weight/fat loss and boosting the metabolism or “turbocharging” the body.


I have problems with this approach for numerous reasons. First the authors presume that everyone that is obese or overweight is eating as much as 3500 calories each day. I know many overweight people that consume less than 1800 calories each day (possibly eating the wrong things but definitely not more than 2000 calories) and they aren’t losing the weight. Second they state that anyone can do their program even those that are bedridden. Since one of their eight steps includes daily mini-activity sessions (i.e., exercise) that are based on lunges, body weight squats, standing heel raises, etc., I don’t see how people that are either paraplegics or bedridden could possibly commit to this system. In addition, the authors state that this approach isn’t based on calories and one need not count calories but then later state that you’ll need to consume 300-800 calories on “expressway days.” I don’t know what you call it, but this is definitely caloric restriction.


This book is written in a way to attract and keep the reader’s attention. It is definitely written in a way that is easy to understand. I don’t necessarily disagree with many of the premises that the authors put forth in this book, I just challenge the premise that it can and will work for everyone. I don’t feel that any one diet will work for everyone (if there were only one then there would be no more need for books, gyms, etc.) but if this does, then great! For those people that can commit to the food restrictions (no grains or breakfast allowed), daily mini-activity sessions, and temporary caloric restriction days, then this may be the program for you. For the rest of us, this may not be the answer.







Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 98: ARC Review of ORIGINAL SIN by Beth McMullen

ARC Title:     Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure
Author:         Beth McMullen
Publisher:     Hyperion
ISBN:           978-1-4013-2421-6
Release Date: July 2011


Lucy Hamilton is not your typical housewife and stay-at-home mom. She is fluent in over 15 languages and lethal if physically attacked. Lucy is a former covert agent, known as Sally Sin, with United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction or USAWMD. She spent years traveling the world doing whatever it took to ensure global safety. Now she spends her days taking care of her three year old son, Theo. Her husband, Will Hamilton, thinks that she was a government analyst prior to her retirement. Her entire life, prior to her marriage, is fiction. Just when Lucy thinks she is becoming paranoid about someone following her, she finds out that her nemesis, Ian Blackford, is alive and has returned to the US. Then the fun begins.


There are so many twists and turns in this story, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. We flashback to Lucy’s childhood, her early days with USAWMD, her final days with USAWMD, the early part of her marriage and before you know you’re back to the present. Ms. McMullen does a relatively good job of tying together the main and sub plot lines. The characters are somewhat believable although plausibility seems stretched at times. Lucy is confident and then diffident, self-assured then doubtful and fearful. Her husband is a relatively minor character and we never really get to know him. Theo, their son, has more presence in the story and a better personality than his father. Perhaps this is because a mother is willing to do pretty much anything to protect her children. And Lucy definitely fits into this category. She sits in a coffee shop across the street from Theo’s preschool just to ensure no one goes in that shouldn’t be there.


I became bogged down at times and my reading slowed because of the numerous sub-plot lines. Even though this is not a book that I would have chosen to read, and I doubt if I’d even re-read it, it is a well-written and decent read. I give Original Sin 2.5/5 simply because it didn’t really keep my attention and was too involving with all of the action taking place.








DISCLOSURE: I received this book free through the Early Reviewers Program at LibraryThing.com. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Reading Interruptus

I’ve fallen behind in my reading and postings. I have no excuse or reason other than life’s constant interruptions. In my case this is dealing with elderly parents, assorted family drama sagas, power outages (wind blows – power goes off, rain falls – power goes off, snow falls – power goes off) and other assorted issues including preparing for an upcoming move. 


The next few weeks are going to be interesting as I try to keep up with my reading/reviewing/blogging and assorted family commitments, as well as packing and then the actual move. Almost forgot, I’m also attending the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference until 4/17. If you’re an author or fellow book blogger it’s not too late to register. The conference starts today at 12:00 PM EST. 


On the upside, I spent a leisurely Saturday on 4/9/2011 with family in Lewisburg, WV (Voted America’s Coolest Small Town) at the WV Chocolate Festival. Mark your calendar for April 14, 2012 if you plan to be in the area for a “Chocolate Tasting Extravaganza.” This year’s event provided 36 tastings and the choices were amazing. I’m still obsessing over the chocolate pasta (yes…pasta!) with hazelnut ganache. 




OK, back to reading and books…I’m currently reading an ARC of Original Sin by Beth McMullen, courtesy of LibraryThing.com. I hope to have this review posted soon. Until then, happy reading!

Day 102 – Book 97: THE FINAL SUMMIT

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: April 12, 2011


Meet David Ponder, a 74 year old real-estate developer. David has had his ups and downs, financially and otherwise, but through it all he overcomes. After suffering an injury that leaves him comatose, David is allowed to travel through time, meeting various influential people and is presented with the “Seven Decisions for Success.” He then uses these principles or “decisions” as the guiding focus for his life and tries to teach them to others. This is one of the reasons he has been chosen to lead all Travelers in an upcoming summit to decide humanity’s fate. The quest begins to find the answer to the question: “What does humanity need to do individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?”


At its heart this story is meant to be inspirational and motivational. It goes beyond the ‘why are we here?’ question to become a much more fundamental ‘why do we deserve to be here?’ David is allowed to interact with the previous Travelers and let me tell you this is quite the lofty group. He has previously met President Truman, King Solomon, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Civil War Hero), Christopher Columbus, Anne Frank, President Lincoln and the archangel Gabriel. These seven presented him with the Seven Decisions. At the summit he gets to meet and interact with Winston Churchill, Joan of Arc, King David, and George Washington Carver. He is surrounded by a host of great historical figures such as: George Washington, Geoffrey Chaucer, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Albert Einstien, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Michelangelo and John Adams. David is allowed to use the wisdom of five of these great minds to try and discern the answer to THE question before all hope is lost.


There were points when the discussions between David and his appointed Travelers becomes bogged down by too much philosophy. Back-stories are also provided for some of the more obscure personalities, such as Col. Chamberlain and Eric Erickson (World War II hero). Although necessary to a certain extent, the amount of detail given somewhat detracts from the overall story focus. This is definitely a well-written and thought-provoking story. You feel that you know where the story is taking you and then you are taken off course. Although the dialogue between David and the historical personalities is highly fictionalized, it is believable. A good read for anyone interested in inspirational fiction.










Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not paid, required nor otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Great Week on the Horizon

This week is definitely starting on an upswing. I’m enjoying the ARC of my current read (title to be posted later) and I’m looking forward to attending the Book Bloggers and Publisher’s Online Conference later this week. My hope is that I’ll become a better blogger as a result of the information gained. Do you blog? Are you an indie author? If so, then you may want to join us: Book Bloggers and Publisher’s Online Conference