Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning

ISBN #: 978-0956483560
Page Count: 368
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

When schoolboy Tom Oakley discovers he can transport himself through time, he draws the attention of evil men who seek to bend history at their will.

Tom's family are obliterated and he soon faces an impossible choice:

To save the world he must sacrifice his family.


Character List:

Tom Oakley - Main Character - He can "walk" through time; transport himself to any point in history

Septimus - Mysterious man who also possesses powers.  He is Tom's escort as he "walks" through time.

Professor Neoptolemas - The guardian of history as we know it

Charlie - A former English soldier who fought against the Zulus in the 1800's who possesses the power to locate other Walkers

Edward - An English soldier from WWII who can move faster than the eye can see

Mary - "Died" in the Great Fire of London; has the ability to stop time and put up time barriers

Redfield - From another timeline; wants to use Tom's powers for evil


Kathy's Review:

The first in a series, Tomorrow's Guardian is a story of a young English boy who discovers he has incredible power.  Tom is your average 12 year old, dealing with bullies in school and living a normal life when his powers manifest in the form of extremely vivid dreams (of Charlie, Mary and Edward, in their respective time periods).  At once, he is found by Septimus, who shows him what he's capable of.  From there, Tom is brought into the Professor's tutelage and rescues other Walkers from various eras in history.  Just as Septimus finds Tom, so does Redfield, who can alter the course of history for his own evil gain, if Tom will agree to help him.  To up the ante, Redfield goes back in time to before Tom was born and burn Tom's parent's house down, killing them and ensuring Tom is never born.  Obviously, it doesn't work.  To restore everything back to normal, Redfield wants Tom to join him.

This is a fast-paced story and is perfect for a young boy or girl in the 10-12 year old age range, although I enjoyed it, too, and I'm (much) older than that.  The story takes place in London, and as such, it is peppered with a lot of British references and slang that an American child might not understand.  Also, the historical events are those that affected England, and so might not be familiar to the American reader.  That being said, the concept of time travel is pretty universally understood - although some of the loose ends get tied up a bit too neatly in some cases.  Some suspension of disbelief is required.

As I mentioned, this is part of a series - I'm not sure how many books there are, but I could easily see this continuing into several books as Tom goes through his teens.  If you know a tween who is interested in the topic of time travel, or in history (albeit British), pick up a copy of Tomorrow's Guardian.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

ISBN #: 978-1-4391-9705-9
Page Count: 436
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from dust jacket flaps)

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute.  But the minute Lanore McIlvrae - Lanny - walks into his ER, she changes his life forever.  A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met.  He is inexplicably drawn to her ... despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort.  And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and morality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.

Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement.  Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town's founder, Jonathan, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever.  But the price she pays is steep - an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity.  And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation hinges on outrunning her past.


Mandy's Review:

Cover

I am pretty taken with this cover.  The gold lettering and filigree set against the turquoise cover and blurred blackness of a mansion give the cover a little elegance and spookiness, at the same time.

Plot

A skillful blending of past and present keeps the reader intrigued and wanting to know more.  I wouldn't say it's a book I didn't want to put down, but I was taken with its concept and originality.

The reader is introduced to characters who can never die, unless it's at the hand of the one who made them.  They're not vampires, though!  Instead, the author introduces a new, alternative way for staying alive forever.

Main Characters

Lanore - I don't think I have seen anyone more obsessive over a person than Lanore.  This chic just could NOT let the man she loved go ... even after his infidelities and promiscuities.  She was always rushing into situations and then wishing she could take back the irrevocable actions she had done ... kind of annoying, really.

Jonathan - This man was fine.  Every girl that saw him, wanted him.  He was a born player, but I don't blame him.  I think he did it to rebel against the pressures of his family's and society's expectations of his position.

Adair - Born of a gypsy family, he was sold by his father into servant hood.  He endured terrible ordeals at the hand of his master and, when finally free, was changed for the worse as a result.

Overall

I commend the author for uniqueness and for ingenuity, but I did not appreciate the very first word of the novel being the unnecessary and offensive 'GD' explicative.  I saw that and almost closed the book right then and there.  There was no need for it in my opinion.

Other than that, I enjoyed this novel, but probably would not read it again.

Review: The Scar by Michael S. Weiner

ISBN #: 978-1843866572
Page Count: 158
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

As a homicide detective, David Seff witnesses some of the most gruesome things life has to offer.  He puts his life in danger every day that he comes to work, visits perilous areas most people wouldn't step foot in, and deals with the scum of the earth.  Catching criminals is what David Seff does best.  This is why he was chosen to lead a task force to discover who shot and killed the well-respected Reverend Michael.  At first the detective thought it was a random act of violence, but it turns out to be the first victim of a homicidal serial killer.  Throughout the story, you will go back in time to the killer's life as a boy and his desolate life at home with an abusive father, a terrifying encounter in New York City after running away from home, and the grisly murders.  The hunt is on.  Will Detective Seff catch the mysterious man causing hysteria amongst the people of Pennsylvania, or will there be no end to the bloodshed?


Charlene's Review:

The Scar is a psychological thriller that packs a punch!  A relatively short novel of only 152 pages, yet filled with murder, mystery and unexpected twists.  The main character is Detective David Seff, who is assigned to catch a serial murderer.  The book focuses on the ongoing task of catching the killer, but I especially liked how every other chapter is written in the "voice" of the murderer.  We take a look back at a troubled past of abuse and how he came to have a "gift" of seeing evil within people.  His acts of murder are justified to him, and perhaps the victims weren't as upstanding as they seemed.

I thought, at first, that the storyline was too predictable.  I was wrong.  It literally kept me guessing right up to the last chapter.  The Scar occasionally slowed me down with dialogue that didn't seem to flow, and extraneous details, but I have to say it was an entertaining suspense-filled ride.  Upon finishing the book, I had to wonder if I should be disturbed by the mind of the killer, or even more disturbed by how Mr. Weiner managed to come up with this plot line. =)  He is a master of the crime thriller.  Looking forward to his next work!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review - Xannu: The Prophecy by Paul Dorset

ISBN #: 978-1413413502
Page Count: 380
Copyright: 2003


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!


C.J.'s Review:

If you like books that keep you on the edge, wondering what the next step will be in the authors' diabolical mind, pulling for the hero, hating the villain, it ain't here. If you like epic fight scenes loaded with blood and death, beautifully written hand to hand combat scenes, a battle tested hero fueled by an injustice from his childhood, it ain't here. If you're a sucker for a fantasy laced with romance and punched in the gut by a lover's wrong doing, don't come a callin' here. For the love of God, if you just want a break from the endless work days, to just be able to get lost in a story for an hour or two, DON'T COME LOOKING FOR THE REFUGE OF XANNU: THE PROPHECY!

In Xannu: The Prophecy, we have our hero, Teern Truthbringer. We also have our Mother of Perception, Maria something. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that I read this entire book, albeit over the course of a month or two, and still can't remember more names than the two I've given above. We have other characters as well throughout the book that join in on this fantastical journey! (note: any sarcasm derived from this passage is duly deserved)

Let me give you a real short description of the book. 500 year old main character is searching for the "the one" that has been prophesied about. Along the way 500 year old main character enlists the help of others to find said "prophesied about". 500 year old main character finds "prophesied about" but does not know who he is. He travels with him till the last few chapters of the book and finally does his due diligence and proclaims that "prophesied about" is the Xannu.

Now, did everyone follow that? You can thank me later for saving several hours of your time now. Don't get me wrong, there were some parts of the book where I actually stopped reading and gave a round of applause to the author for originality. One thing I can say about this book, there were several original moments I have not seen before. Any respect I built up for this author was shredded after I read the last page and flipped back to the front of the book to see the words "Book One of The Southern Lands Series" on the front cover. Yep, all respect gone. Book One should be Book Done.

With all due respect, I have never written a book, and I know that I'm pretty harsh at times (see: Precious Norman Honor review) but it is justified. Any author that takes their precious time to write stories for other people to read and criticize do deserve some credit for being ballsy, but there has to be a time where you have to evaluate the style in which you write. I commend Mr. Dorset for putting himself out there to be reviewed, but I feel like there definitely has to be a special group of people for this kind of book. I'm just not one of them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: The Man Who Couldn't Eat by Jon Reiner

ISBN #: 978-1439192467
Page Count: 320
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from dust jacket flaps)

Food is not just sustenance.  It is memories, a lobster roll on the beach in Maine; heritage, hot pastrami club with a half-sour pickle; guilty pleasures, a chocolate rum-soaked Bundt cake; identity, vegetarian or carnivore.  Food is the sensuality of a ripe strawberry or a pork chop sizzling on the grill.  But what if the very thing that keeps you alive, that bonds us together and marks occasions in our lives, became a toxic substance, an inflammatory invader?  In this beautifully written memoir, both gut-wrenching and inspiring, award-winning writer Jon Reiner explores our complex and often contradictory relationship with food as he tells the story of his agonizing battle with Crohn's disease - and the extraordinary places his hunger and obsession with food took him.

The Man Who Couldn't Eat is an unvarnished account of a marriage in crisis, children faced with grown-up fears, a man at a life-and-death crossroads sifting through his past and his present.  And it shows us a tough, courageous climb out of despair and hopelessness.  Aided by the loving kindness of family, friends and strangers and by a new approach to food, Reiner began a process of healing in body and mind.  Most of all, he chose life - and a renewed appetite, any way he could manage it, for the things that truly matter most.


Charlene's Review:

The Man Who Couldn't Eat describes life with a chronic disease in a straight-forward way.  Diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and it's completely devastating impact on his body, Mr. Reiner has to come to terms with limitations so severe that most of us could not even envision facing them, not to mention the impact on his family and relationship to the world.  The first chapter opens with a medical crisis and engrosses you, as you travel through Mr. Reiner's life as he grapples to deal with his "new normal," and not always in the most gracious of ways.

Mr. Reiner has an enviable writing style.  His ability to see inside himself so deeply, and explain openly, the affects of NPO (no food by mouth) on his body, mind, and family, is humbling.  This memoir is sprinkled with raw emotion, sharp humor, and insights into a world that is dominated by social eating.  His flashbacks to his family gatherings, and the detailed menus, show how much of our memories are formed around the table.  His favorite, repeated saying in the book is "tell me what you crave and I'll tell you what you are."  I believe this has never been more true than in this fast-paced world.  The thoughts that resounded with me after reading The Man Who Couldn't Eat were that everyone struggles with food, for whatever reason, should read this book.  I also believe it would be a great read for people who are watching people in their life struggling with food, as Mr. Reiner paints a vivid picture of how food rules our world.  A story of pain, isolation, and ultimately, redemption.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Journey #2



And boy does one have to work to obtain and maintain success when it comes to their health!!!  I have come to the conclusion, though, that it's worth it.  It can even be fun and addictive ... in a good way, not a bad way.  I will not be doing the whole diet pill, B12 shots, water pills, etc.  I'd rather lose my weight naturally and with hard work.  No lap band surgeries ... no liposuction ... I got myself in this mess so I'm not about to take the easy way out.

I want to feel my legs burning.  I want to feel weak as a newborn foal when stepping off the elliptical.  I want to be breathless as I work out ... at least until I build up my endurance.  Now, don't worry that I'm over-exerting myself.  I do know when to quit.  I figure, though, that if I feel myself getting weak, breathless and burning then I'll think twice about letting myself get this big again...

Speaking of which ...

I am now below 300 pounds!!!!  I have GOT to keep it below 300 from here on out.  I weighed myself tonight when I got home from work.  If you remember, my starting weight two weeks ago was 301.6 pounds.  When I weighed myself this afternoon, my weight was 298.4 pounds!!!!

This may not seem like a major hurdle to some of ya'll, but I am ecstatic that I am below 300 pounds.  I must confess, though, that I probably would've lost more had I drank more water and ate better for quite a few meals over the past two weeks.  However, I've been on the strict diets where you eat nothing but non-fat foods, no sweets, etc.  For those that can stick with it and enjoy it, I congratulate you.  I, however, am not one of those people.  I love the taste of food ... non-diet food.  My problem has been portion control, so that's what I've been working on.

Granted, there are times that I do eat healthy because I crave a salad or veggies, but it's not a 24/7 thing with me.  If I want a messy California Whopper from Burger King, by jove, I'm getting one!  =)

My other major issue is probably well known to any of you who are Southerners ... sweet tea!  I love the stuff and it goes perfectly with every meal!  I have cut back on it, but I've not cut it out.  Sodas are easy for me to leave alone.  If I want a soda, I usually end up with Sprite or an occasional Mountain Dew.

Anyhow, I see I'm rambling, so I'll close this out now.  I just wanted to share my update with ya'll.  I'll update again in another two weeks or so.

See ya!!!! =)

Review: Still Life With Brass Pole by Craig Machen

ISBN #: 978-1-4610-8900-1
Page Count: 269
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Craig is 16 when he returns from a drug-fueled visit with his dad in Miami to find his mom leaving town with her 23 year-old boyfriend.

In the same moment, his dreams of settling down with his pregnant girlfriend are dashed when she is moved off to Texas by her parents.  Left alone in small-town Oklahoma, he embarks on a deranged, cross-country quest for a family of his own.


Mandy's Review:

Cover

For some reason, the way the title's wording is stylized reminds me of an old movie marquis.

Other than that, I'm not sure what to think about the cover.  Seeing the shadow figure of a pole dancer will either repel people from reading this book or make them curious enough to read it.

Plot

Written as a memoir, this is certainly not a book for young adults or children.  As most memoirs are, this book tells about the author's misspent youth as a juvenile delinquent involving drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and thievery stemming from an un-nurturing family life.

The author relives, often in vivid detail, many sexual, violent and troubling episodes that shaped the person he has become.

Main Characters

Craig - Author and story-teller - Craig definitely has a wicked, twisted sense of humor as he recants the tales of his youth.  Throughout the book, he didn't really seem to have a lot of willpower or motivation, unless it was to do something that wasn't good for him.

Carol - Craig's mom - This woman is so delusional and stuck in the past that there's no hope for her recovery.  She remains purposefully oblivious to anyone or anything that threatens her delusions of grandeur.

Overall

I do like Craig's writing style.  The way the book was written kept you interested, which caused it to be a quick read.  However, due to the language, sexual and precarious situations, I would not recommend this to just any reader.  As a matter of fact, I may even caution you to read this book at your own risk.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Countdown to Love by Julie N. Ford

ISBN #: 978-1599555164
Page Count: 240
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Kelly Grace Pickens is an excited bride - until she's abandoned at the altar. Desperate, she accepts an offer to appear on a reality TV show, Count Down to Love. Her country ways are a stark contrast to the mysterious bachelor from New York. Wading through hurt and betrayal both on and off screen, Kelly discovers that being true to yourself is essential to finding happiness and love.


Mandy's Review:

Cover

Not being a fan of the color pink, this cover would not have drawn me to it had I seen it on a bookstore shelf.  Other than that, the heart, rose and silhouette of the couple exemplify the title pretty well.

Plot

A reality show, similar to The Bachelor, is the vehicle for this classic tale of two people in the search of finding themselves and true love. 

The reader, however, gets a behind-the-scenes look into the life of reality television.  Granted, this is a fictional portrayal of a reality series, but it seems plausible.  The majority of the single girls that the bachelor has to choose from have only agreed to participate in the reality show in order to showcase their talents, hoping for career advancement once the show is over.

How can a bachelor, if he's sincerely looking for love and not a career advancement of his own, then hope to find his true love?  Can one find true love in front of cameras?  Can trust be built when it seems everyone is only out for themselves?

Main Characters

Kelly - This girl is as naive as they come.  Thinking she had found her true love, she is shell-shocked to discover her fiance has skipped town on their wedding day leaving her with the bill and a foreclosed home.  Due to the persuasion of her cousin, she decides to go onto a reality television show to earn enough money to pay for the non-wedding and a new place to live.

Dillon - Worldly and a self-made millionaire, he is the newest bachelor on the reality television show, Countdown to Love.

Trevor - Kelly's fiance - His integrity comes into question throughout this book.  The reader knows about him from the beginning, but we're not really introduced to him until close to the end.  Does he really love Kelly or is he only out for himself?

Overall

This is an entertaining story that I would classify as a light read: Something you can enjoy without doing a whole lot of thinking.  I appreciated having the reality series portrayed as the backdrop of this tale.  It gave the book a uniqueness that I've not seen in any of the other love/romance stories.

Oh, and you don't have to worry about any crude or vulgar language/scenes in this book.  The writing was kept clean, which I appreciated immensely.

October's BintoM Monthly Giveaway (#9)



Have you ever read a book and then wanted to watch the movie made from it? Or, maybe you've seen a movie and then found out there was a book it was based on.  Well, that was the basis of this monthly meme that I started. 

Welcome to Literary R&R's BintoM (Books-into-Movies) Monthly Giveaway! 

Here are the particulars for this month's giveaway:
  • Towards the end of the month, I will post the next month's giveaway. 
  • I will leave it open for 2 to 3 weeks.  At that time, a winner (or winners, if I'm feeling generous) will be chosen and notified. 
  • I will expect the winner to acknowledge the winning email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen in their place. 
  • This is now open internationally
  • You do not need to be a GFC follower to win.  Yes, I would like it if you followed me, but I am not making that a stipulation to participate or to win.

Since October is notorious for being the month for all things scary, October's BintoM Giveaway (ending October 9th) prize pack will consist of:
  
Pet Sematary book/movie combo


Here's a little bit about both:


I have a brand new paperback copy of Pet Sematary written by Stephen King that I bought from Books-A-Million.

Summary:  When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son - and now an idyllic home.  As a family, they've got it all... right down to the friendly cat.

But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth - more terrifying than death itself ... and hideously more powerful.

To go along with the book, I have a brand new copy of Pet Sematary, the movie:


Blurb:  After moving to an idyllic home in the countryside, life seems perfect for the Creed family ... but not for long.  Louis and Rachel Creed and their two young children settle in to a house that sits next door to a pet cemetery - built on an ancient Indian burial ground.  Their mysterious new neighbor, Jud Crandall, hides the cemetery's darkest secret ... until a family tragedy brings the secret to life.  Now, an unthinkable evil is about to be resurrected.

DVD Special Features:

Commentary by Director Mary Lambert

Stephen King's Pet Sematary: Stephen King Territory

Stephen King's Pet Sematary: The Characters

Stephen King's Pet Sematary: Filming the Horror


DVD Info:

102 Minutes

Rated R

Widescreen Version


Main Actors:

Dale Midkiff
Fred Gwyne
Denise Crosby
Miko Hughes


Click here to enter for your chance to win

Good Luck!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop


Welcome to my part of the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop!  This Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books.  The Hop will last from today until October 1st.

Those of you that already follow me know that I have been trying to read my way through the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 in between reviewing books for authors and publishers, so I am more than happy to participate in this Hop.

Here are the particulars for my Hop participation:

  • Giveaway is open to everyone, national and international
  • Depending on the number of entries, I will be choosing between 1 to 5 winners.
  • Winners will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with their physical mailing address.  If winner does not reply within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen in their place.
  • Prize will be winner's choice, but it HAS to be from the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 list.  Please note that if you choose a series, only one book from that series will be sent to you, so please specify the title that you would like to receive.
  • Finally, to view the list of other blogs that are participating in this wonderful Hop, simply click here.

Good Luck!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Third Sentence Thursday (8)


Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books for beating back the forces of OTHER sentences!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence in the comments

This week, my third sentence comes from The Taker by Alma Katsu:


"His hands are heavy on the steering wheel; he is groggy, having woken just in time to make the drive to the hospital for the night shift."


I've felt like this many times while working night shift.  I like that, already, I can relate to a character in this novel.  It is kind of mundane, though, to be a third sentence in the first chapter.  I know, I know ... the author has to set up the book somehow. 

I have heard many good reviews for this book so I am keeping an open mind.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: How You Find A Job Fast by Don Schenk & Ted Leithart, MBA

ISBN #: 978-1937201128
Page Count: 126
Copyright: 2011


Book Teaser:
(Taken from back cover)

I was talking with another hiring manager when he said to me, "I almost always know within the first 30 or 40 seconds if I am going to hire a particular person."

So I asked him, "What would you do if someone walked into the interview and handed you a L.E.A.P. form?" And I described to him the simple form you are about to discover in this book.

He said, "I would hire them on the spot!"

Discover how to make the magic happen for you during the first 30 to 40 seconds of your job-interview!


Kathy's Review:

On a personal note, I just went through the interview process recently, and started a new job a few weeks ago.  So a lot of this information would have been helpful to me during my job search.  Overall, the advice given in the book is good, and it is easy to read because of the personal anecdotes and humor used.  However, the mistakes and typos in the book were plentiful.  Here is my advice to Mr. Schenk and Leithart, MBA (WHY do people put MBA after their name? Any idiot can get an MBA these days): spell check does not equal proofreading.  There were a lot of instances of using "if" instead of "of."  Spell check wouldn't catch that; it's spelled correctly!  Anyhow, that kind of stuff really bugs me. (And by the way, you can hire me as a proofreader!)

The L.E.A.P. system they discuss in the book is a self-marketing tool you can use with potential employers.  The authors also discuss several other methods of marketing yourself such as coming up with a Unique Selling Proposition for yourself, elevator speech about your qualities, and more.  They offer several e-books for download on their website, as well as the L.E.A.P. template.  I visited the site, but it required an e-mail address, and I wasn't comfortable giving up that info.  Not to mention, the form itself, which they go over in the book, has a few typos in it.  So if any job seekers download and use the form - please read it carefully before using!  It could cost you the job to have a spelling error on something that is supposed to be setting you apart from the crowd.

I think with a little bit of tweaking and formatting, this could be a really good job hunter's guide.  As I was reading, though, I kept picturing a tired little conference room in a Holiday Inn somewhere with these two guys standing at a podium, trying to convince some downtrodden folks to part with a few bucks to buy their ebooks.  Hey, everybody's gotta make a buck, right?  In short - great material, but poor execution.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #19


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.  To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

This week's teaser comes from:



"If proof were needed that Dael conversed with ghosts, here it was. Shnur fairly screamed that this was definite confirmation of all he had said about Dael, demanding that he be expelled or killed, and shaking his finger more than ever."


I have many questions ... what was the proof?  Who is this Shnur character and what has he said about Dael?  Why should Dael be expelled or killed?  And what in the world is going on with his finger?  Why is it shaking so badly?

*Sigh* ... So many questions that I will have answers for soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: As Happy As Ling by Carlos Aleman

ASIN #: B003YH9OOY
File Size: 350 KB
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

In the depths of the human heart there is a place, like the bottom of the ocean, where one can look above at the sun sparkling on the surface.  The sky seems like a faraway world, stirring the heart and causing it to create a multitude of dramas, both real and imagined.  And within these dramas, there are parables, as well as lies that teach us truth.  One such simple truth is that perfect love transcends worlds and alternate realities.  And one such reality lies with a man named Diego, who aches with love for a woman named Ling.  The reality of their love is hidden in another world, along with all things that need to be properly hidden.

As Happy As Ling begins with a troubled family and two teenagers that are sent to live with their uncle, Diego.  Diego, experiencing a religious crisis, meets a confused theologian named Belarenus.  Belarenus, a brokenhearted man, tries to hold on to his own faith, and symbolically continues a journey that Diego is unable to finish.  The teenagers, in their own way, chase love and the answers to life, discovering tantalizing visions of truth.  Meanwhile, a raft filled with men is perishing at sea, as a man tells a twisted tale inspired by jealousy and betrayal, designed to veil the truth about Ling's happiness.


Mandy's Review:

Cover

I've always loved looking at dolphins. They always seem to be in such a happy mood.  Perhaps that is why one was chosen to grace the cover of this book ... not to mention the fictional reference to this very scene within the pages of this book.

Plot

There was a lot of sadness in this book.  Every time I thought maybe, just maybe, someone was finally going to end up happy, tragedy struck.  It became sort of depressing after awhile.

Not only was there an abundance of sadness, but it seemed like everyone was questioning religion, spirituality, God, Heaven, Hell, etc.  There were a lot of hypotheses, quotings and different ideas about what people believed, but no real commitment to any one idea or way of being.

The ending made the whole story all worth while.  No, not because it was the ending, but because it gave you some clarity on why the book was written the way it was.  About 3/4 of the way through I was wondering how in the world the author was going to end such a dreary tale.  I can tell you, the ending was perfect and made the book, for me, unforgettable.

Main Characters

Octavio - Father to Cara and Alex - He's a soldier who has served several tours overseas and suffers from PTSD.

Adriana - Mother to Cara and Alex; Wife to Octavio - She's a nurse at the local hospital who makes some unwise decisions that nearly costs her her life.

Cara - Alex's older sister - She's Latina but knows very little Spanish.  She's in love with the neighbor boy who is already in a committed relationship.  She doesn't think highly of herself and almost messes up her future.

Alex - Overweight and nerdy, this young man seems doomed to a life of solitude, but one person changes that for Alex.  Can he maintain his improved lifestyle? Or does he end up alone despite the best of intentions?

Diego - Adriana's brother; Uncle to Cara and Alex - He's a hot shot corporate executive who is unhappy with his life.  So, he gives it all up, moves from the West Coast to Miami and begins teaching his passion ... art.

Ling - A teacher at the school Diego works at - Ling is clinically depressed.  She craves the happiness of a stable, fulfilling relationship, but doesn't trust herself to actually become involved with anyone.  Why the title As Happy As Ling then?  All I can tell you by way of an answer is that is in in no way sarcasm or a play on words.  Ling is truly happy.  You just have to read the book to find out how.

Overall

Although the majority of this book was sad and depressing, I would definitely recommend this book... though I'm not sure to whom.  It is a book that will cause you to contemplate the story line and the author that wrote it.

Unique.

I think that is an apt description.  So, if you like unique books, then I would suggest this title as one to consider.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: Night Machines by Kia Heavey

ISBN #: 978-0615487090
Page Count: 304
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Who would it hurt, if Maggie decided to carry on a torrid affair in her mind? It would soothe her feelings, hurt by her husband's emotional abandonment while he worked on a disturbing new murder case.  It would provide an outlet for the dizzying desire she felt for her employer. It would make her feel loved and appreciated and better able to be a good wife and mother.

But Maggie loses control of the fantasy as lust becomes love, and things she believed confined to her own imagination are somehow known to her spectral lover. A harmless mind game spins out of control and threatens the sanctity of Maggie's greatest treasure - her family.


Charlene's Review:

Wow!

That is what I thought when I finished the last page.  Main character, Maggie, has it all.  A secure relationship with her husband, two adorable children, and a new job doing what she loves.  She is also lonely for her husband, a detective, who is increasingly away from home and preoccupied with a murder.

When Maggie decides that a little harmless dream-time affair might help her through the lull in her marriage, she gets more than she bargained for.  Turns out, Cambien, her boss and fantasy lover, can actually see into her dreams, and ingrain himself into her life, so much more than she ever bargained for.

I received Night Machines in the mail this afternoon (Friday, 9/16).  Somewhat reluctantly, I opened to the first page, thinking it would be some tawdry romance novel.  By the time I reached the second chapter, I was hooked, and read it straight through.  Ms. Heavey weaves personalities together in such a way that you feel you know them personally.  I was caught up in the emotions of all the characters, and mesmerized by the depths of madness that lurk in Cambien's mind.  Every seemingly unconnected detail eventually shows itself to be a part of the bigger picture.  Far more than romance, Night Machines is a thriller, a fantasy, a mystery.  Yes, folks, we have a winner!!  Can't wait to read Ms. Heavey's next book.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Eleanor Roosevelt's Life of Soul Searching and Discovery by Ann Atkins

ISBN #: 978-0983478409
Page Count: 176
On Sale: October 1, 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Noble cause?
Have a dream that needs direction?

Whatever the scale of your rendezvous with destiny, the fact remains it is up to you to live it.  Eleanor's story is a "do it yourself" guide that shows us how to:
  • Persevere in the face of betrayal, critics and exhaustion
  • Leverage media tools to educate the public
  • Discern core issues behind the raucous babble
  • Forge friendships for just causes and personal support
  • Maintain a noble heart in times of trouble
From a childhood plagued with drunks and drama queens, Eleanor must now discard her dependency on Franklin and face off with her grand dame mother-in-law.  Refusing to cave in to society's rules, Eleanor's exuberant style, wavering voice and lack of Hollywood beauty are fodder for the media.

First Lady for thirteen years, Eleanor redefines and exploits this role to a position of power.  Using her influence she champions for Jews, African Americans and women.

Living through two world wars Eleanor witnesses thousands of graves, broken bodies and grieving families.  After visiting troops in the Pacific she says:

"If we don't make this a more decent world to live in I don't see how we can look these boys in the eyes."

She defies a post-war return to status quo and establishes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within the U.N.  She earns her way to being named "First Lady of the World."

The audacity of this woman to live out her own destiny challenges us to do the same.  After all, it's not about Eleanor.  HER STORY is history.

HER LIFE shows us how to live.


Kathy's Review:

Imagine my surprise.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book.  I wasn't expecting to fly through it in two days, either.  But I did both.  Quick and easy to read, this biography of Eleanor Roosevelt is part of the "Flash History" series.  The book is formatted into four sections.  Each section has a "Flash - Context and Comments" section which gives some of the political flavor and backstory to what was going on during this time in history.  The chapters about Eleanor follow, and each section closes with "Reflections for the Reader."  It seems as if this book may be meant for a high school or college class, and the reflections are a way to spark discussion.  Some try to tie Eleanor's life to modern times and events.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how the author made Eleanor so accessible to the reader.  She was a regular woman with insecurities, struggles, and a great need to be loved.  Her childhood is something out of a Jane Austen novel.  Even her marriage to FDR has its fair share of turmoil.  When you hear about Eleanor Roosevelt in a history class, you think of a stuffy, dignified character.  It seems as if she was anything but stuffy.  Not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for her beliefs, Eleanor was a truly inspirational woman.

It was also eye-opening for me to read about the civil rights causes that she championed.  Particularly with race relations and the lynchings that took place during her time.  It's horrific to think that these things happened not that long ago in history.

Peppered throughout the book are quotes from Eleanor's writings, which in themselves are great words to live by.  Here is an example: "Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world."

I recommend this book to all women who want to be inspired, and those who want to learn more about a remarkable former First Lady.  If you do order the book, I recommend that you do so through http://www.annatkins.com/.  The author, Ann Atkins, will donate $1 to charity for each order placed.  It seems like something Eleanor herself would smile upon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

ISBN #: 978-0-375-85711-9
Page Count: 265
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Almost everybody who has grown up in Chicago knows about the Thorne Rooms.  Housed deep within the Art Institute of Chicago, they are a collection of sixty-eight exquisite - almost eerily realistic - miniature rooms.  Each of the rooms is designed in the style of a different time and place, and every detail is perfect, from the knobs on the doors to the candles in the candlesticks.  Some might even say the rooms are magical.  Imagine ... what if, on a field trip, you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you were small enough to sneak inside and explore the rooms' secrets?  What if you discovered that others had done so before you?  And that someone had left something important behind?


Mandy's Review:

Cover

I like this cover because it vaguely reminded me of the cover of an older book that I enjoyed when I was about 9 or 10 years old, The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright.  Just seeing a picture of miniature people walking in tiny rooms is enough to spark the imagination of any person.

Plot

Two kids, in Chicago, find a key while visiting the museum on a field trip.  They figure out that the key holds magical powers, which leads them on adventures to other time periods.

Hhmmm ... two sentences and there you have the premise of this book ...

Main Characters

Ruthie - The youngest of two, Ruthie seems to have it pretty good.  She doesn't think so, of course.  The apartment her family lives in is small and she has to share a cramped room with her sister, but despite that, her family never seems to worry about money.

Jack - An only child in a single-parent home.  He lives in a loft with his artistic mom, Lydia.  They're behind in their rent and struggling to make ends meet.  Basically, he is Ruthie's exact opposite and best friend.

Mrs. McVittie - An antiques dealer who seems close to Ruthie's family.  She's older, has lived a long time and seems a little ... odd.

Overall

For an 8-12 year old (which is this book's recommended reading age), this would be an awesome book.  Full of magic, wonder, adventure, etc.  As an adult, I have some issues with this book.

First of all, Ruthie calls Jack's mom by her given name.  She doesn't say ma'am, Ms. Lydia ... none of that.  Now, maybe I have an issue with this because I've been in the South for 20+ years, but Ruthie's lack of respect annoyed me.

Then we have Mrs. McVittie, whom we learn hasn't been around Ruthie's family for several months.  When she's introduced fully to us, we see that she goes into Ruthie's kitchen, without her parents or sister being there, and begins to make Ruthie soup.

WHAT?!!!

I have a couple issues with this scenario alone ... First, when we meet Mrs. McVittie, we don't know how close she really is with the family.  So why would Ruthie even let this woman into the apartment and tell her she was home alone?!  I don't see this as a realistic situation.  Surely Ruthie's parents would've taught her to not let anyone into the apartment without them or her older sister being there... wouldn't they?

Secondly, I don't know about you, but I don't have any business-related visitors coming over and going into my kitchen without asking to begin making me soup for lunch.  How did this woman even know where the soup was?  How did she know where the pots were to heat up the soup?

If what I've told you isn't enough, there's more ... Ruthie and Jack get away with lying their butt off in this book.  The end result?  They become almost local celebrities!  Talk about rewarding bad behavior!

Now, like I said, I read this as an adult, so I'm going to have an extremely different opinion than an 8-12 year old.  Even so, I really don't see parents going out and helping to promote this book.  As a matter of fact, I think in several years' time, this book will probably be on the American Library Association's banned/challenged book list.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Lori, Runaway Wife by Valentine Dmitriev

ISBN #: 978-1606721735
Page Count: 229
Copyright: 2008


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Pretty, young Lori Becker is a nursing intern at a Queens hospital and is a battered wife.  Professionally skilled, she is socially naive.  Intimidated by her brutal husband, Lori lives in the fantasy world of romance mysteries, idolizing their handsome author, Ian Damion.  A car accident sends Francine Ross, an unmarried, pregnant woman to the maternity ward where Lori works.  The distraught man accompanying Francine is Ian Damion.  Francine's full-term infant is delivered.  Her casual liaison with Ian is over, and she grants him custody of his newborn son.  Ian must return to Washington State.  He needs a baby's nanny.  Concealing her identity, Lori volunteers.  This is her chance to escape from her husband.  Lori matures, develops self-esteem and falls in love with Ian, but when he returns her love and proposes, Lori must confess that she's a married woman.


Charlene's Review:

I was first drawn to review this book due to the focus on an abused woman.  Being a domestic violence survivor, I read everything I can on this topic.  Ms. Dmitriev paints a believable picture of what abuse looks like, along with the fear and desperation that drives an abused woman to escape.  The main character, Lori, is a typical battered woman always fearful of her past coming back to haunt her.  Her boss and love interest, Ian, is a man determined to escape his own past, and unwilling to let anyone close.

The plot is a bit contrived, with Lori happening upon a job as a nanny to the very man she romanticizes.  Alongside this plot are several other sub-plots that weave together to end in a happily-ever-after smorgasbord.  A romance story that's part mystery, part Cinderella tale.  A quick, enjoyable story with many layers, albeit a tad predictable, Lori, Runaway Wife is an entertaining story with a message of hope and new beginnings.  Ms. Dmitriev stresses the importance of having an education and life skills as a means of escaping abuse.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review - Chasing the Red Car: Coming of Age in the McCarthy Era by Ellen Ruderman

ISBN #: 978-1450267182
Page Count: 272
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from book jacket)

Transplanted from her home in the Bronx to the burgeoning San Fernando Valley in 1947, Kim Lebow is faced with trouble on every side.  Her home life is rocky and emotionally unpredictable, while the McCarthy era communist witch hunts strike all around, threatening Kim's father and even reaching into her high school.

The political struggle and personal cataclysms that follow change Kim from an open and caring young girl into a political activist and educator, while leaving emotional scars that only time, and the return of the great love of her life, are able to heal.

Drawing parallels between the political repression of the 1950's and the abuses of executive power after 9/11, Chasing the Red Car reminds us that all politics is personal, and the truth of George Santayana's maxim about history repeating itself can be seen all around us every day.


Characters:

Kim Lebow - Main Character - Through her first person narrative we follow her life through childhood to old age.  She is influenced greatly by her father, Arthur.

Arthur Lebow - Kim's Father - A professor who faces persecution for his political beliefs, which threatens his job and family stability.

Lila Lebow - Kim's Mother - An emotionally unstable force in Kim's life.  Her unpredictable behavior leaves the other family members walking on eggshells around her.

Jonna Lebow - Kim's younger sister, who bears the brunt of her mother's instability.  Kim tries to protect her from her mother as much as possible.

Andrea - Kim's best friend throughout her life.

Mr. Samuels - An influential teacher in Kim's high school life.  Encourages her to express herself through the school newspaper.

Lucien Rahbar - Kim's boyfriend in college.


Kathy's Review:

I don't know too much about this period in American history, I'm ashamed to admit I had heard of McCarthyism before, and knew vaguely about the accusations of being "red" or communist, but I had no idea how far it reached - into the educational system, into Hollywood, and of course, into the political arena.

As the book synopsis says, "all politics is personal," and this is a central theme of this novel.  Through Kim's eyes, we are able to see the toll that politics takes on her family.  Her father, Arthur (whom she calls "Arthur" rather than "dad" - and also has the same first-name relationship with her mother), teaches her to express her views freely.  However, he comes under fire for doing the same.  His character is mysterious - he disappears during critical times when Kim and her mother need him.  It is not until years later that Kim discovers where he was all those times.

Kim is a very young girl at the beginning of the novel, moving to California and expressing apprehension about leaving her friends.  The author tried to infuse the phrasing and mannerisms of a younger child into these early chapters, and to be honest, these were my least favorite of the book.  It fell slightly flat for me.  Once Kim matured to her teen years, the novel picked up and I was much more engaged.

Time skips forward many times during the novel, and there were times that I wished that the author had focused on some of those in-between years and scenes.  Although I enjoyed the first person perspective of Kim, I wish we could have seen more of Arthur's struggle to hide his secret from his family, and more of Lila's inner turmoil.

The novel ends in 2007, where Kim herself is now a professor and facing similar pressure to keep her political views and associations quiet due to the Bush administration's Patriot Act.  The story wraps up with Kim finding some happiness and peace in her life, and discovering the answers about her family.  I thought the story ended on a high note.

Without disclosing my political affiliation, because that's not really my thing anyway, I will say that it's pretty clear where the author's political agenda lies.  And if that's something that will bother you, then this novel is not for you.  But I think the lesson we can all take away, no matter what side of the political fence we sit on, is that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  This is what Arthur taught Kim, and this is the principle that guides Kim's life throughout the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel, although it's not something I'd choose to read if I was cruising through Borders (for a few more weeks anyway).  I was intrigued to see how Kim's story would resolve, as well as her family.  The historical aspect was interesting, especially given my lack of knowledge on the topic.  If you are a student of American history and enjoy politics, this story will engage you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wanted: New Life, New Body, New Me


I wanted to share with everyone my long journey that I am about to embark on.  Please know that I am sharing this with you as a source of motivation for me.  If I tell you the embarrassing things about myself, it will motivate me to want to change them.  I do not need ridicule, but if you are willing to help motivate me and be a support system, I would love that.  Let me tell you what's going on...

We all know there is an "epidemic" of sorts concerning Americans and weight.  Unfortunately, I happen to be one of these individuals ... only I hadn't realized it until recently.  Now, don't get me wrong, I know I'm fluffy.  I'm at least that self-aware.  What I wasn't aware of was just HOW fluffy.  How is that possible you ask?  Well, I believe you're only as old as you feel and if you feel good, then it's hard to realize what situation you're actually in.  So, let me show you the picture that has brought it to my realization:



Just in case you're not sure ... I'm the one in the white tank.  When I saw a side-view of me (and this was taken in July 2011), I was in shock.  I could not believe how big I have allowed myself to become.  This is the biggest I have ever been in my entire life.  So, once the shock wore off, I put a plan into motion.

I now own an elliptical trainer.  I would go to a gym, but I have several issues with that scenario:
  • I like going to the gym with a partner.  All my friends, including my hubs, has work schedules that conflict with mine.  I like to go early in the morning, they'd rather go late at night.
  • The gym has become a meeting place for individuals and not a place for people to sweat their arse off.
  • The majority of people in gyms are skinny or muscular.  I, as a chubby bunny, do not feel like sweating through my clothes, and possibly smelling to the high heavens, in front of people whom I admire.
  • For the cost of a year's membership, I can buy my own workout equipment ... which I did.
I also went and bought a scale that, not only, tells me how fat I am, but also tells me how much of that is body fat vs. bone mass.  It also lets me know about my body hydration.  To go along with all these new fun toys, I bought a tape measure.  I wanted to see exactly how big around I was in various places.

Now, please understand, I'm not saying all of this to get your pity.  I don't want pity.  I know I allowed myself to become like I am.  I am not delusional in any way.  As a matter of fact, I have had several epiphanies the past few weeks.

While working, I've looked around and noticed that the majority of managers and higher ups had their weight under control.  Now, I don't know if the two are in direct correlation with each other, but I believe they are.  If a person can control their weight, they can control their life, job, etc.  (Solely my opinion here)  Since I want to progress in the company I work for, I feel that is another motivational factor for me to get my weight under control.... Not to mention all the health issues that are associated with obesity.

Here's what I'm going to do:  I am going to start tracking my progress on my blog because I feel that if I can get emotional support anywhere, it is amongst book bloggers.  I know my journey has nothing to do with books, but I have met and gotten to know some of the best-hearted people ... and they were book bloggers.

So, to do that, I am about to post some extremely embarrassing information about myself.  To reiterate, if I post embarrassing info about myself, then it will motivate me to do better.  If any of you would like to join me on my journey, but don't want to post embarrassing info about yourself on here (which I totally understand), then please feel free to email me (bannedbookreader@gmail.com) and we can exchange numbers to help motivate each other personally, if you'd like.

Here we go .... *deep breath* ....

Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 301 pounds
Goal Weight: Between 150 - 160



Measurements:

Neck: 19"
Bust: 51 1/2"
Right Upper Arm: 17 3/4"
Left Upper Arm: 17 1/2"
Torso: 47 1/2"
Waist: 46 1/2"
Hips: 56 1/2" (Got that fat pudge below the belly button)
Right Thigh: 31 3/4"
Left Thigh: 32 1/4"
Right Calf: 22"
Left Calf: 22"

I've heard obesity can cause health issues, too, so I'm going to list some health issues I've been having.  It'll help me keep track of where I progress over time.

Bad Vision
Easily out of breath (even bending over to tie my shoes)
No energy
Often Sleepy
Irregular Menstrual Cycle (sorry guys, but it is an issue with obese women)
Swollen Feet/Ankles

I'm not going to commit to updating ya'll on my journey every week, but I am going to try to commit to updating my weight loss/gain and measurements every other week.  I want to keep track of them somehow and this just seems to be the easiest way to do it, so thanks for bearing with me!  =)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blog Tour/Review & Giveaway: Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty by Neil Hanson

ISBN #: 978-0982639108
Page Count: 132
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

A story of family and a journey through Faith, though not in a traditional sense.  The author explores the "coming together" of a family around the deathbed of the patriarch.  With a style that is highly personal, the narrator describes the revelations, discoveries, and growth that occurs within these relationships during the several days of "coming together."

Like so many families today in our world of highly effective medicine and life-support, the family in this story faces the difficult and wrenching questions our culture must face: When does life begin and end? What are the complexions of distinction between bare and primitive "life" on the one hand, and "human-ness" on the other hand?  Where and when and how do we "play G-d" with our decisions to withhold feeding tubes and respirators?  How do we face these questions, and work our way to effective answers?

Woven through the story are descriptions of magical and mystical encounters that inform and guide the life of the narrator, helping to open honest questions about how "religion" aids or obstructs the journey through Faith that most people are called to explore.


Charlene's Review:

Mr. Hanson writes a lyrically haunting book on finding peace amidst end-of-life matters through spiritual surrender.  Written in the form of a letter to his father who has passed, Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty reflects back on the authors own divine encounters, or out-of-body experiences.  It also touches on human relations, and the inability to just be still and connect with the presence of "G-d," Mr. Hanson's choice for the title of a "spiritual mystery beyond understanding."  Faith, and its role in how we live and make decisions is the major focus, however, the humanness of grief and loving relational roles, keep it from becoming a lesson in apologetics.

Forced to make life or death decisions while sitting by his father's bedside, Mr. Hanson reflects on his weaknesses and vulnerabilities in an achingly beautiful way, as he lays his grief wide open and comes upon the "most right decision" he could make for the final transition of his father.  I was able to appreciate his thoughts in a personal way, as I watch my father in his final season of life, and gained a new perspective from his calming words.  Mr. Hanson gives us the keys to living in peace among the uncertainty of life and death.  Love, forgiveness, and the ability to block the busyness and noise of life that inhibits a connection with the presence of G-d.  Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty teaches us how wisdom and truth can enter our lives when uncertainty threatens to hold us back.  Contemplative, poetic, heartrending, unforgettable.


Giveaway Info:

Like what you've read so far?  Great!  You now have two chances to win a copy of this book.  How?  Glad you asked!

Paperback Copy

One paperback copy of this book is available for U.S. residents only.  In order to win this copy, you must be the first person to leave a comment below with your email address.  You will then be contacted by Tribute Books, the promoters of this book blog tour, for your physical mailing address.  If you are not a U.S. resident you will be disqualified from the paperback giveaway and the 2nd person to leave a comment will be contacted.

E-Copies

An e-copy will be given to EVERY person who leaves a comment (with email address) on this post during the rest of the month of September!!!!

Giveaway Requirement

All entrants will automatically be subscribed to Neil Hanson's email newsletter.  Contact information is NEVER shared, and subscribers can unsubscribe at any time.


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