Wednesday, October 30, 2013

G152 Book Review of Before the Larkspur Blooms by Caroline Fyffe

Name of Book: Before the Larkspur Blooms

Author: Caroline Fyffe

ISBN: 978-1612187136

Publisher: Montlake Romances

Part of a Series: Prairie Hearts

Type of book: Wholesome, Wyoming, slight inaccuracies, 1881-1882, second chances, wholesome romance, trust, family of all types of people

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

Caroline Fyffe returns to the windswept prairies of Wyoming with a beautiful story of rekindled love…

Thomas Donovan spent eight long years in prison, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Finally released, he returns home to Logan Meadows, Wyoming, to discover his parents long buried and his neighbors wanting nothing to do with him. Suddenly the fresh start Thom longed for seems downright impossible until a spirited beauty from his past becomes his unlikely champion, and the walls around his injured heart begin to crumble?

Hannah Hoskins was brokenhearted when Thom Donovan was sent away. While the rest of the town was quick to brand him a no-count thief, Hannah always knew better. Now the boy she once loved has returned home a man ? a man whom Hannah's suitor, the town's deputy sheriff, is determined to destroy. When a crime spree starts anew, suspicion immediately falls on Thom, and it's up to Hannah to prove his innocence, earn him a second chance at life ? and win them both a second chance at love.

Characters:

The characters seemed to be two dimensional to me instead of three. There is an attempt at making them three dimensional though, but for some odd reason it didn't work for me. Hannah was married to the deputy's cousin and has a young son. She is hardworking, brave and isn't afraid of going after what she wants. Thomas Donovan has put the troubled days behind him and only desires to seek peace and make up with people. He is best described as helpful, talented and despite his words has a soft heart. There is Hannah's mother that acts snooty, then Ivan (why does a dog have a Russian name I wonder?) who is a rescuer and seems to love everyone, and so forth. I do apologize that the novel isn't for me.

Theme:

Second chances are possible

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from Jessie's, Hannah's, and others' points of views. The people it focused on is Hannah and Jessie as they strive to overcome their pasts and to forge ahead and get used to some changes such as the railroad beginning to come through town or else Thomas Donovan returning back from prison and so forth. For some odd reason the book didn't really drag me in and cause me to care for the characters and so forth. Whenever I get a book, I often end up reading the last words. I am always asked why I do this, and what would be the point of reading the book if I know how it ends? I always reply that its the journey that matters not the ending when it comes to books. For example, in romance novels one knows that there will be happy endings, but the question is how do they reach that step? Unfortunately this one didn't hold my attention nor is there tension, and I was able to predict easily what is going on.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

gender female
website http://www.carolinefyffe.com
twitter username carolinefyffe
genre Romance, Historical Fiction
member since June 2008

USA Today Bestselling Author Caroline Fyffe was born in Waco, Texas, the first of many towns she would call home during her father's career with the US Air Force. A horse aficionado from an early age, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Chico before launching what would become a twenty-year career as an equine photographer. She began writing fiction to pass the time during long days in the show arena, channeling her love of horses and the Old West into a series of Western historicals. Her debut novel, Where the Wind Blows, won the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart Award as well as the Wisconsin RWA's Write Touch Readers' Award. She and her husband have two grown sons and live in Kentucky.

Visit Caroline at www.carolinefyffe.com
See her photographs at www.carolinefyffephoto.com
http://facebook.com/caroline.fyffe
Twitter @carolinefyffe
Write to her at caroline@carolinefyffe.com. She loves hearing from readers!

Opinion:

I'm sorry to say that this is not my style of reading. There is a little religiosity in there in terms of god and church, which didn't bother me, but it seemed way too wholesome and ideal. What I did like was the dialogue and that this time the heroine was pursuing the hero. I hadn't read the previous book, thus I wasn't certain when it came to characters and wasn't very nostalgic. I also didn't feel a lot of tension in the book and whatever tension existed was only to keep the story going, or so I thought. I also loved the book cover, although the flowers look like bluebonnets. Also everything felt resolved and several interesting plot points such as one with Jake and Daisy wasn't explored properly, or so I felt. Last year as well I read a book about Rin Tin Tin and the German Shepherd breed became known after 1899, and the book takes place in 1881 which is a minor gripe of mine. I did like that she mentions of the prejudice shown towards minorities, although I'm surprised that Thomas didn't end up going to a Catholic church.

 Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G208 Book Review of Gracious Living Without Servants by Brenda Cronin

Name of Book: Gracious Living Without Servants

Author: Brenda Cronin

ISBN: 9780985233839

Publisher: Stoneslide corrective

Type of book: 1991, widowhood, May/December romance, newspaper, investigation, reporter, wealth, Washington area

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

Juliet has done the right thing all her life, and where’s it gotten her? She’s a thirty-year-old widow who’s had to move in with her parents.
Things start to look up when her glamorous—but married and much older—neighbor Seth seems to be flirting with her and his wife helps her land a job at a local paper.
Then she’s assigned to investigate Seth’s wife. Juliet is quickly immersed in lies, manipulation, and a deepening sex scandal. But she feels alive for the first time in a long time.
Maybe she needs to do the wrong thing for once. Or maybe she’s headed for disaster.

Characters:

There's actually very little back-story on Juliet and her marriage. The reader is given only snippets here and there, but nothing on how marriage has shaped Juliet and so forth. Juliet is best described as fair, doesn't back down easy and not very sentimental when it comes to her relationships. She is a very strong character and doesn't let anyone or anything deter her from justice. Seth is best described as a perpetual playboy yet he continues to stay married to Naomi, he's also not a talented lawyer and he's concerned with appearances. He prefers to do his own thing and doesn't share much interests with Naomi. Naomi is best described as generous, messy and she might also take advantage of people. I think she also is in the moment and doesn't think whether or not her actions will have consequences.

Theme:

Life doesn't follow a rulebook

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from Juliet's and Seth's points of views, although I think we do get to see Naomi here and there. I was surprised that I liked it a lot, and of the double standard that Brenda Cronin employs. First of all I don't approve of May/December romances, nor do I approve of taking advantage of teens in any shape or form, but I couldn't help but pinpoint the difference between the consequences of Seth's affairs and consequences of Naomi's affair. It really reminded me of two Japanese dramas that I have seen; one is of a male teacher and female student and how it seems that the male teacher suffered very little consequences for his actions; the female teacher and male student suffered a whole lot more life-changing consequences when they are in a relationship. In the book itself, what impressed me was the setting and the dialogue between the characters. For some odd reason, Juliet and Seth really lacked chemistry in the beginning.

Author Information:

(from TLC website)

Brenda Cronin writes for The Wall Street Journal, where she has worked since 2001. Her short fiction has been published on both sides of the Atlantic. This is her first novel. Born in Washington, she was raised in Connecticut and lives in New York City.







Opinion:

This book certainly raises a lot of questions for readers, and as I was talking to my friend Jennifer, I pointed out the double standard that was employed in the book. I was curious of the title, and that it happened to be a subsection of an etiquette book. Reading an excerpt from this book, I think I finally understood it, I hope. The section that's referenced in the book talks and encourages planning the night before so in order not to be rushed and for the day to go well. In other words,an ideal that not a lot of people can live up to. Hard work goes into smooth life, in other words. But here the title acts paradoxically, especially when reading the summary of the book. Juliet tries to follow directions prior to beginning of the book, but it didn't go as smoothly, so what happens when she does wrong things? Secrets, unpredictable life emerge from the cocoon of veneer and turns her into someone she never imagines.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Brenda’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, October 15th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, October 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, October 23rd: Bibliotica
Monday, October 28th: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, October 30th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, October 31st: A Simple Life, Really?
Tuesday, November 5th: Anita Loves Books
Thursday, November 7th: Brooklyn Berry Designs
Monday, November 11th: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, November 12th: A Book Geek
Thursday, November 14th: Obsessed Italian Brat



4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

G149 E-Reading Book Review of Corpus of a Siam Mosquito by Steven David Justin Sills

Name of Book: Corpus of a Siam Mosquito

Author: Steven David Justin Sills

ISBN: 9781475116267

Publisher: Alcibiades Press

Type of book: Thailand, art, reflection, philosophy

Year it was published: 2008

Summary:

This explores the life of a Thai man in dire poverty rising to success and control of his life as a prostitute artist

Opinion:

This time I didn't even get an opportunity to read word/sentence per paragraph. Why? I was reading an e-version of it, and for some odd reason it formated horribly on my e-reader. From what I can tell though, it seems to be either a prequel or sequel to Nawin, or at least it contained the same named characters which I doubt is a coincidence. I was too frustrated with the e-reader to pay much attention to the story, although it seemed to be the same old song and dance routine that I am familiar with.

 Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G148 E-Reading Book Review of The Unfettered Life of Kenyon of New Orleans by Steven David Justin Sills

Name of Book: The Unfettered Life of Kenyon of New Orleans

Author: Steven David Justin Sills

ISBN: 9781475116182

Publisher: Alcibiades Press

Type of book: Louisiana, morphine, scoliosis, philosophy

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

This is a fictional account of a woman with a deteriorating ailment who is in solitary confinement and, because of morphine, slipping in and out of consciousness.

Opinion:

Yet once more I must write the review and say that its typical of the author. I am beginning to get headaches from reading his books, but I must in order to look forward to more pleasurable activities. The book is very similar to modern art, which I don't like, don't understand and can't stand.  This is written from the woman's point of view, and I don't get how this is supposed to be a classic so to speak, or rather the author thinks its supposed to be a classic. In a sense that no one gets the story the author nails it, but often classics are forced upon people, and most of the mass public doesn't like classics because they bring back memories of dead language, sitting in a classroom and feeling frustrated and thinking, "what's the point?" Indeed, what is the point of this book besides getting a dictionary and looking up words?

 Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

G145 E-Reading Book Review of An Apostate: Nawin of Thais by Steven David Justin Sills

Name of Book: An Apostate: Nawin of Thais

Author: Steven David Justin Sills

ISBN: 9781475122336

Publisher: Alcibiades Press

Type of book: Train travel, homosexuality, marital problems, Thailand, artist, Laos

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

This is the story of a successful artist in Thailand on a journey into Laos, seeking to discard relationships of the past and embark on something new

Opinion:

This has similarities with with Tokyo to Tijuana; that of a man realizing he's gay and endless put downs of romance, love and becoming connected to a partner as well as repetition of same ideas and so forth. The good news is that the book is much shorter, but it continues to be frustrating as well, although not as frustrating as Tokyo to Tijuana. Basically a playboy artist named Nawin travels on a train and meets a Laotian man whom he likes and the two spend the trip together while he reflects over and over and over over his age (forty) his broken marriage and the death of a woman named Kimberly from post partum depression. Its a philosophical work, but I have to admit that once more the used words really put me off from enjoying it.

 Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G150 E-Reading Book Review Tokyo to Tijuana: Gabriele Departing America by Steven David Justin Sills

Name of Book: Tokyo to Tijuana: Gabriele Departing America

Author: Steven David Justin Sills

ISBN: 9781475116243

Publisher: Alcibiades Press

Type of book: Homosexuality, discovery of self, secrets, too intelligent

Year it was published: Originally 2003

Summary:

This story contrasts the lives of two people: Gabriele and Sang Huin in their search for finding their place in society without sacrificing individual liberty.

Opinion:

I hate being mean; yes I do, believe it or not, but for some odd reason the story angered me. I tried to read it, but there was something detestable about Gabrielle and Sang Huin that I merely skimmed through the whole book, and even that was more than enough. From skimming the author's previous works, one can tell that he's an extremely well-read and intelligent man, but his style is not for me, unless you enjoy running to a dictionary every minute trying to translate words such as lugubrious and so forth. Somehow the story is removed from beyond the realm of everyday and only those who are into abstract will likely enjoy it, which on goodreads aren't really many. (The book been out since 2003, and not a single written review!) Even from skimmings I feel that he tends to put down women. This book is something akin to philosophy which I didn't like and the masculine version of White Oleander. He removes emotion from just about everything, and I really did desire to pull my hair out while reading it. The book also taught me a very valuable lesson: go outside and experience life and emotion instead of trying to remove yourself from it. If you remove emotion completely, then you alienate majority of your reading public. You find yourself with characters that a reader can't relate to, as well as issues that a reader doesn't really care about. Maybe I was brought up the way I did, but I don't really care much about philosophy. I have tried to study some of it in college, but my second class wasn't exactly successful and I realize that I was bored by it. I want to make my own connection out of life and its reasons. Readers and people respond well to pathos and logos, especially if a brilliant book mixes them together. This was not a brilliant book at all. Since there isn't much summary, I'll also mention what its about: Sang Huin (Shawn to his friends, as the author reminds his readers all the time, but rarely uses the nickname,) travels to South Korea and wants to get in touch with himself. He is gay, by the way. He reflects on life, disappointments and so forth and then begins to write the story of Gabrielle, sort of his female alter ego and tries to discover himself as well as come to terms through her.

 Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

0 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G147 E-Reading Academic Essays on Miscellaneous Authors Representing the Classics of the Western Canon: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Nietzsche and the Very Canon Itself

General Information:


Name of Book:  Academic Essays on Miscellaneous Authors Representing the Classics of the Western Canon: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Nietzsche and the Very Canon Itself

ISBN: 9781475116274

Publisher: Alcibiades Press

Year it was published: 2012

Author: Steven David Justin Sills

About the Author:
(from goodreads.com)

url https://www.goodreads.com/StevenDavidJustinSills
born in Moberly, Missouri
gendermale
websitehttp://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/boo...
twitter usernamepoetinasia
influencesClassical books of the Western Canon
member sinceMarch 2008

Contact me at poetinasia@gmail.com.
Facebook: Steven David Justin Sills

Summary:

The following academic essays explore the works of various writers of the Western Canon

1. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Sumerian Literature

One Sentence Summary:

An examination of the Epic of Gilgamesh and how it became one of the great "classics."

2. The Greeks

One Sentence Summary:

A criticism of Edith Hamilton's ideas and thoughts towards Greek culture.

3. Aeschylus

One Sentence Summary:

Discussion of Aeschylus's Oresteia plays and their meanings on revenge

4. Plato

One Sentence Summary:

Description of Aristotle and Plato's reluctance to push the precepts to society at large.

5. Ancient and Renaissance Writers on Friendship

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how important friendship discussions were during the Renaissance

6. Homer

One Sentence Summary:

Describes some reactions to Homer's works.

7. The Spartans

One Sentence Summary:

Description of criticism of Paul Cartledge's work titled The Spartans.

8. Aristotle

One Sentence Summary:

Describes and goes into detail of Nichomachean Ethics that was written by Aristotle.

9. Boethius

One Sentence Summary:

Description of his work, how there has to be good despite the bad.

10. Dead Sea Scrolls

One Sentence Summary:

Description of the way Dead Sea Scrolls were written as well as what people thought.

11. Beowulf

One Sentence Summary:

Description and criticism of Beowulf and how its more epic than Gilgamesh.

12. The Pearl Poet

One Sentence Summary:

Description of the work which is opposite of The Green Knight

13. Dante

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how Dante coined the terms of heaven, purgatory and hell through his work

14. Beroul

One Sentence Summary:

Discussion of The Romance of Tristan and how it lacks morality.

15. Marie de France

One Sentence Summary:

Description of trying to bring significance to heavenly bodies.

16. Dreams

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how dreams were important in Medieval literature.

17. Chaucer

One Sentence Summary:

More about dreams and how they are used in The House of Fame as well as The Book of the Duchess.

18. The Renaissance

One Sentence Summary:

How Renaissance was important to the world

19. Petrarch to Shakespeare and Donne

One Sentence Summary:

How Petrarch is unique with a poem titled To His Mistress Going to bed.

20. Descartes

One Sentence Summary:

Description of Descartes' method and philosophy.

21. Machiavelli

One Sentence Summary:

Description of Machiavelli's work and what he introduces the world to.

22. Rabelais

One Sentence Summary:

Does he write ribald humor or are his things true literature.

23. Montaigne

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how sometimes Montaigne is brilliant but doesn't see the future.

24. Cervantes

One Sentence Summary:

Whether or not Don Quixote is crazy.

25. Marlowe

One Sentence Summary:

How he disabuses the notion that comedies are deadly and serious.

26. Shakespeare

One Sentence Summary:

How Prosper tries to end a cycle of being subservient and so forth.

27. Milton

One Sentence Summary:

How he is like in brevity.

28. Locke

One Sentence Summary:

How John Locke is an optimist.

29. Smith

One Sentence Summary:

How Smith saw things as well as how he moved away from the ancient philosophers.

30. Khaldun

One Sentence Summary:

The start of trying to make sense of the world.

31. Tocqueville

One Sentence Summary:

How Tocqueville saw America and a democratic man.

32. Rousseau

One Sentence Summary:

How Rousseau's work and a rebulta to Thomas Hobbes is a critique.

33. Smith

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how Smith goes against the evolving ethics.

34. Marx

One Sentence Summary:

Description of Marx's thoughts and ideas.

35. Kant

One Sentence Summary:

Description of why man can care for greater good.

36. Swift

One Sentence Summary:

Description of his work Gulliver and how to appreciate it.

37. Rousseau

One Sentence Summary:

More description of Rousseau's work.

38. Austen

One Sentence Summary:

Is there more to Austen's novels than only romance?

39. Wollstonecraft

One Sentence Summary:

Descriptions of her thinking.

40. Dashkova

One Sentence Summary:

Descriptions of her memoirs and how important she is.

41. Autobiography and Memoirs

One Sentence Summary:

Memoirs and autobiography in 18th century that were masterpieces.

42. Paine

One Sentence Summary:

Description and amazement at how he probes the truth of christian myths.

43. Gibbon

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how Gibbon tries to make his claims have a moral stance.

44. Dumas

One Sentence Summary:

Description and apperciation of Monte Cristo as a psychological portrait.

45. Dostoevsky

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how a man is haunted by his conscience

46. The Enlightenment

One Sentence Summary:

Description of how important the times are.

47. Levine Versus Bloom on the Western Canon

One Sentence Summary:

The Middle way between Levine and Bloom.

48. Nietzsche

One Sentence Summary:

Description of the will for power in the works.

49. Short Essays on Greek History

One Sentence Summary:

Description of some essays that talk about Greek History.

50. Communism and Literature

One Sentence Summary:

Comparison of Communism in reality vs the Pre-Bolshevik works.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Coming Up...Week 43 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

N/A

What I'm Reading right now:

Academic Essays on Miscellaneous Classics of the Western Canon by Steven David Justin Sills (e-book)

The following academic essays explore the works of various writers of the Western Canon

Chapters: 8 out of 50

Pages: 94 out of 442

What to Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel


Announcing the prequel. From Heidi Murkoff, author of America's bestselling pregnancy and parenting books, comes the must-have guide every expectant couple needs before they even conceive the first step in "What to Expect: What to Expect Before You're Expecting." An estimated 11 million couples in the U.S. are currently trying to conceive, and medical groups now recommend that all hopeful parents plan for baby-making at least three months before they begin trying. And who better to guide wanna-be moms and dads step-by-step through the preconception (and conception) process than Heidi Murkoff? It's all here. Everything couples need to know before sperm and egg meet up. Packed with the same kind of reassuring, empathetic, and practical information and advice and tips that readers have come to expect from What to Expect, only sooner. Which baby-friendly foods to order up (say yes to yams) and which fertility-busters to avoid (see you later, saturated fat); lifestyle adjustments that you'll want to make (cut back on cocktails and caffeine) and those you can probably skip (that switch to boxers). How to pinpoint ovulation, time lovemaking, keep on-demand sex sexy, and separate conception fact (it takes the average couple up to 12 months to make a baby) from myth (position matters). Plus, when to seek help and the latest on fertility treatments from Clomid and IVF to surrogacy and more. Complete with a fill-in fertility journal to keep track of the babymaking adventure and special tips throughout for hopeful dads. Next step? "What to Expect When You re Expecting," of course.

Chapters: 6 out of 11

Pages: 94 out of 191

Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas



A spellbinding story of forbidden love, spanning three continents and three decades. Set against the Independence struggles of two British colonies, OMA is ultimately a story of personal triumph against a brutal fate, brought to life by a multicultural cast of characters.

Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, is brought up among the servants of a pre-war English household in India. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.

Nataraj, raised as the son of an idealistic doctor in rural South India, finds life in London heady, with girls and grass easily available… until he is summoned back to face raw reality.

Saroj, her fire hidden by outward reserve as an ember glows beneath ashes, grows up in Guyana, South America. When her too-strict, orthodox Hindu father proves to have feet of clay she finally rebels against him... and even against her gentle, apparently docile Ma.

But Ma harbours a deep secret… one that binds these three so disparate lives and hurtles them towards a truth that could destroy everything.

Chapters: 4 out of 75 plus epilogue

Pages: 32 out of 530

Till Morning Comes by Suyin Han


Alone in exotic Chungking, beautiful foreign correspondent Stephanie Ryder is warned to keep silent about the atrocities she witnesses in the city’s teeming slums. Defying a brutal Kuomintang officer, she is swept to an electrifying first meeting with Dr. Jen Yong, a handsome, dedicated and compassionate Chinese surgeon. For Yong, a sexual liaison with an American woman could mean a death sentence. For Stephanie, an affair with an Asian man would cause an irreparable breach with her Texas millionaire father. But just when danger threatens to separate them forever, their passion bursts into flame…and carries them on a fabulous romantic journey from the stormy depths of fear and desire, to the moving affirmation that enduring love is truly a many-splendored thing.

Chapters: 11 out of 27

Pages: 229 out of 620

The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

Kevin Wylie's crooked boss wants to run him out of town, and Kevin's long-time girlfriend is ready to take a hike. He decides that now is the time to leave Miami, visit his father, who he hasn't seen in 28 years, and get some answers. Heading back to his hometown, he doesn't realize that he and his dad will become embroiled in a murder case.

The victim, one of the richest and most-hated corporate criminals in America has been dubbed The Alligator Man since pieces of his clothing were found in a local swamp. Billy Fuller had every reason in the world to want Johnson dead and all the evidence leads right to his doorstep. But legendary trial lawyer Tom Wylie believes in Billy and he and his son reunite to fight the courtroom battle for Billy's life.

The Alligator Man is a story of greed, anger, love, redemption and two powerful trial attorneys who fight to the end-- and risk everything--for the truth.

Chapters: 51 out of 89 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 193 out of 388

The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu, Edward G. Seidensticker




The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. It is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world. Until now there has been no translation that is both complete and scrupulously faithful to the original text. Edward G. Seidensticker's masterly rendering was first published in two volumes in 1976 and immediately hailed as a classic of the translator's art. It is here presented in one unabridged volume, illustrated throughout by woodcuts taken from a 1650 Japanese edition of The Tale of Genji.

Chapters: 3 out of 54

Pages: 49 out of 1090

Future Books I will read:

An Apostate: Nawin of Thais by Steven David Justin Sills (e-book)

This is the story of a successful artist in Thailand on a journey into Laos, seeking to discard relationships of the past and embark on something new

Chapters: 40

Pages: 292







The Unfettered Life of Kenyon of New Orleans by Steven David Justin Sills (e-book)


This is a fictional account of a woman with a deteriorating ailment who is in solitary confinement and, because of morphine, slipping in and out of consciousness.

Chapters: 18

Pages: 203

Corpus of a Siam Mosquito by Steven David Justin Sills  (e-book)


This explores the life of a Thai man in dire poverty rising to success and control of his life as a prostitute artist

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 189

Tokyo to Tijuana: Gabriele Departing America by Steven David Justin Sills (e-book)

This story contrasts the lives of two people: Gabriele and Sang Huin in their search for finding their place in society without sacrificing individual liberty.

Chapters: N/A

Pages: 487

Healing Rain- Karen Anne Stewart(e-book)

Shattered when Raina runs after his marriage proposal, Kas is hell-bent to find her and bring her home, where she belongs. He will bend every law necessary to do so, willing to do anything to protect Raina from her demons and the men who haunt her, going as far as placing his career and life on the line to save hers. Raina will give up everything she has worked so hard to achieve, even flee the country to keep Kas from the wrath and powerful reach of her abusive father.
In the midst of the FBI team closing in on the Ghost, another ghost from Raina's past taunts her, promising that she will be his. Meanwhile, a different trafficking ring is gaining strength in New Jersey. Michael solicits Raina's help, needing her smooth, sultry voice to win the audition for the new singer in the ring leader's swanky night club. Raina knows her life is in jeopardy with the dangers of being undercover, but she is blindsided when she discovers that it's her heart that is threatened with a mortal blow.
Raina tries to heal from the nightmares of her dark past as the grisly bodies of innocent victims surface when the team gets closer to discovering the identity of the man responsible for the infuriatingly clever and powerful slavery ring. When Raina finally comes face to face with the Ghost, he quickly engulfs her in a twisted game of cat and mouse, delivering a veiled threat as he slips through her fingers. As the ghosts of her past and present ensnare her in their deadly web, Raina realizes the danger has just begun.

Chapters: 29

Pages: 238

After Rain- Karen Anne Stewart (e-book)


“A story intricately crafted with amazing characters and scenes that will leave a lasting image on readers. Raina is the perfect heroine, sweet and caring, but strong at the same time. The risks she is willing to take to save and protect others left me in awe. A great series with romance
and suspense.” Christine Janes – SheReadsAlot.com

Finally able to put her harrowing past to rest, Raina looks forward to her future with Kas, but the Ghost has other plans. As the FBI team gets closer to taking down the largest human trafficking ring in the modern world, the Ghost begins a wicked game, making Raina the pawn and the target. Never before encountering a worthy adversary, he’s fascinated by Raina and is enjoying the refreshing challenge of her intellect.
The danger ignites to a blazing new level, and Kas struggles between the need to finally exorcise the Ghost and his need to protect his wife. Tension mounts as an internal battle wages, tormenting Kas as he watches Raina put her all into taking down the man responsible for horrific sex slavery and gruesome deaths. When a new player takes control, Jefferson orders the end of the Ghost’s game with Raina, which results in one final, devastating act, leaving Kas desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to save her…by whatever means necessary.

I'm beyond thrilled to announce that After the Rain will be live by the end of October. A huge THANK YOU to everyone I have had the amazing chance to connect with along this journey so far!

Chapters: 24 plus epilogue

Pages: 234

Before the Larkspur Blooms by Caroline Fyffe

Caroline Fyffe returns to the windswept prairies of Wyoming with a beautiful story of rekindled love…

Thomas Donovan spent eight long years in prison, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Finally released, he returns home to Logan Meadows, Wyoming, to discover his parents long buried and his neighbors wanting nothing to do with him. Suddenly the fresh start Thom longed for seems downright impossible until a spirited beauty from his past becomes his unlikely champion, and the walls around his injured heart begin to crumble?

Hannah Hoskins was brokenhearted when Thom Donovan was sent away. While the rest of the town was quick to brand him a no-count thief, Hannah always knew better. Now the boy she once loved has returned home a man ? a man whom Hannah's suitor, the town's deputy sheriff, is determined to destroy. When a crime spree starts anew, suspicion immediately falls on Thom, and it's up to Hannah to prove his innocence, earn him a second chance at life ? and win them both a second chance at love.

Chapters: 44

Pages: 281

Ida's Story by Steven A. Segal 


As he pulled up and shut down the engine, he took a deep breath to calm himself, and in that instant, the flash of anger he had felt the night he was torn from his mother returned. He shook it from his mind, slid out of the seat, and went up the stairs to the front door. Ida opened the door and threw her arms around his neck with exactly the same loving abandonment he had seen her often leap into his father's arms so many years ago. She hung onto her boy, hung on tight with her face buried in his shoulder and sobbed. He wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, fighting hard for control. He couldn't help himself. Her tears and unrestrained love swept away his resistance. He stood up straight, lifting her off her feet. They stood there, mother and grown son, in the open doorway, holding each other in an endless embrace as their tears rained down. Ida's life reveals the story of an incredibly resilient human being born in a Boston ghetto in the late 1870s who fights to survive, educate herself, and protect her family in the midst of the rampant political and social corruption of the early 1900s, the wide-open crime of mob violence of the Prohibition era, the economic destruction of the Great Depression, and the devastating tragedy brought on by the rise of Nazi Germany as it engulfs the world in the chaotic senselessness of World War II.

Chapters: 42

Pages: 466

The Distancers- Lee Sandlin 



A sweeping, lush, and quintessentially American tale that is heartbreaking, hopeful, and cut from the very fabric of the heartland.A VINTAGE ORIGINAL.

In The Distancers, seven generations worth of joy and heartache is artfully forged into a family portrait that is at once universally American yet singularly Lee Sandlin's own. From the nineteenth century German immigrants who settled on a small Midwestern farm, to the proud and upright aunts and uncles with whom Sandlin spent the summers of his youth, a whole history of quiet ambition and stoic pride-of successes, failures, and above all endurance-leaps off the page in a sweeping American family epic. Touching on The Great Depression, WWII, the American immigrant experience, the uses of proper manners, how to ride the rails in the dust bowl years, and home brewing during prohibition, The Distancers is a beautiful and stark Midwestern drama, about a time and place long since vanished, where the author learned the value of family and the art of keeping one's distance.

Chapters: 11 plus prologue and afterword

Pages: 191


The Secret of Emotions (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #1) by Justice Saint Rain


If following your heart has repeatedly gotten you into trouble, but to follow your head feels like a kind of soul-death, then this book will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. It will teach your head how to understand the language of your heart, and teach your heart how to speak the language of God.
This book explains that our emotional sensations tell us about the virtues we are experiencing, and that these virtues are reflections of the qualities of God in the world. Making the connection between emotions and virtues gives us a whole new vocabulary for understanding our feelings. Since most people make their life-choices based on their feelings rather than reason, understanding the meaning of our emotions is the SECOND-most important lesson we can learn in this life.
The MOST important lesson is that virtues are our path to the Transcendent. Whether you call it God, Higher Power, Creative Spirit, or just your better self, we are all born with a longing to become more than we are right now – to demonstrate that we are, indeed, created in the image of the Divine.

Chapters: 8

Pages: 1-76 out if 267

4 Tools of Emotional Healing (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #2) by Justice Saint Rain



Though they are not quite the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the painful emotions of shame, anger, loneliness and fear have destroyed countless lives. The need to numb and distract ourselves from them leads us to engage in behaviors that only draw us deeper into shame and isolation. We do not need distractions or drugs, we need healing. This healing is not about solving our problems; it is about making us whole.
This book explains how the qualities of honesty, forgiveness, compassion and faith can ease the pain of these negative emotions by filling the empty spaces they represent. Emotions are messengers. Positive emotions tell us when we are experiencing the presence of virtues such as kindness, and justice. Negative emotions tell us which virtues are missing in our lives. By developing our own capacity to practice these four core virtues, we not only heal our painful emotions, but we become masters of our own feelings. This book builds on the understanding of emotions explained in The Secret of Emotions, book one in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy, but is a stand-alone introduction to the practice of Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion and Faith.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with anger, shame, loneliness or fear, this book will jump-start the healing process. This series can be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.
This book is the second of three in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy. Look for excerpts on our FaceBook page of the same name. Other books in the series include:
The Secret of Emotions
Longing for Love

Chapters: 11

Pages:  77-171 out of 267



Longing for Love (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #3) by Justice Saint Rain


The problem with most relationship-advice systems is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

But we aren’t rational. If we were, life would be much easier.
Longing for Love backs up to the beginning – explaining how our irrational infatuations are based on familiar patterns rather than healthy attraction. It teaches us how to retrain our hearts to love the kind of people that will nurture our souls, not just satisfy our lusts. Full of profound insights and practical advice, it is unlike any relationship guide you’ve ever read.
The problem with most relationship guides is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

This is book three in the series Love, Lust and the Longing for God. In the first book of this series, The Secret of Emotions, I explain that emotions are sensations that tell us about the attributes of God, or virtues, that we experience in our environment, and that love, in particular, is an attraction to these virtues.

An understanding of these two ideas, especially the second, is critical to any attempt to find true love and have healthy relationships.

The goal of this third book is to expand our ability to recognize and become attracted to virtues so that we fall in love with people who are ready to have healthy, nurturing relationships. We will take a look at what these ideas look like when applied to finding and building healthy relationships in the real world.

How does our understanding of the relationship between emotions and virtues help us find healthy people to be friends with?

How does understanding the difference between love and lust change the way we enter into sexual relationships?

How do we tell the difference between the sensation of love and all of the other sensations that are generated by relationships?

How do we maintain healthy relationships once we commit to them?

How do we avoid temptations that can destroy the relationship we have?

These are the questions that we will be exploring in this third book. If you are unsure of the answers, then this book is a good place to start.

This series can also be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.

Chapters: 11

Pages: 175-265 out of 265

Seeing Through the Eyes of My papa's heart- Lamarr Wenrich





He slipped away...creating his own reality, a peaceful existence within a tortured mind...This lost soul without roots would spend his life seeking, craving, searching for love, acceptance and an identity...forever shaped by the cruelty of life...No one who crosses this gentle man's path would imagine that he endured such a cold, cruel and demeaning upbringing--void of love, affection or any notion of self-worth. Until the mention of his father's name...it brings him to his knees and tears flow down his cheeks unabashedly. How did he control his demons of anger, hate and vengeance that surely fumed at the surface? Was it fear that kept his emotions from spilling over, or had he always known, innately, there was more to be discovered than the cruelty he knew...a warmth and love he yearned for...

Chapters: 24

Pages: N/A



Tainted Angel- Anne Cleeland 


A deadly game of deception
A notorious beauty with a shadowy past

In the time of Napoleon, Vidia Swanson appears to live a gilded life of ease and luxury. Beneath this façade, however, she works for the Home Office as an ‘angel,’ coaxing secrets from powerful men who may or may not be traitors to the Crown. In the course of her latest assignment, matters take an alarming turn when she realizes that her spymaster suspects that she is the one who is tainted--a double agent working for the enemy.

Lucien Carstairs is a fellow agent with his own dark secrets--unless he is setting an elaborate trap to reveal her own supposed treason. Backed into a corner, she can only hope to stay one step ahead of the hangman in a race to stop the next war before it destroys them--and destroys England.

Tainted Angel offers up a compelling game of cat and mouse in which no one can be trusted--and anyone can be tainted.(

Chapters: 47

Pages: 350

The Curtain - A Novel by Patrick Ord





Have you met Henry Maddox? He knows you — not personally of course… he really only knows your data. But from that data he actually may know you better than you think you know yourself. Henry knows where you’ve been and what you’ve bought. He knows all of your friends. Henry not only knows your behaviors, he understands your tendencies. And from those tendencies, he can predict what you’re going to do before you’ve actually done it.

Who is Henry Maddox? He is a 21st century marketing consultant and he specializes in highly personal and irresistibly persuasive advertising.

Henry’s strategies combine modern data mining (Big Data) techniques with other advanced and controversial marketing practices (Market Fragmentation, Cross Promotion, and Conglomerate Propagandizing) to the point where consumers don’t even know their being sold. Businesses love Henry because he not only moves product, he actually controls their customers.

But when Henry is forced to face how his techniques affect real people, he realizes he has inadvertently given corporations the power to destroy society for their own ends.

THE CURTAIN explores the effect that increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques have on communities, families, and individuals. In an age of digital distractions, who remembers the transcendent morality that has allowed past civilizations to prosper? When corporations have the influence and motive to define people by what they consume, are we as individuals losing the substance of who we really are?

Chapters: 36 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 309


Living Reed: A Novel of Korea-Pearl S. Buck




The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.

Chapters: 3 plus epilogue and historical note

Pages: 478




Sons- Pearl S. Buck



Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.

Chapters: 29

Pages: 313







A House Divided-Pearl S. Buck


"A House Divided," the third volume of the trilogy that began with "The Good Earth" and "Sons," is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His cousin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family

Chapters: 4

Pages: 343



The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein



A lush, exquisitely rendered meditation on war, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the story of several families, American and Japanese, their loves and infidelities, their dreams and losses, and how they are all connected by one of the most devastating acts of war in human history.

In this evocative and thrilling epic novel, fifteen-year-old Yoshi Kobayashi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an ardent expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home on a March night when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead within hours and half the city in ashen ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.

Chapters: 9

Pages: 378

The Carrion Birds- Urban Waite




Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with violence, vengeance, and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction-the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living

Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower and father who has made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm, cool, and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.

But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home to Coronado, New Mexico, to see the twelve-year-old son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years. One last job will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival's stash. Simple, easy, clean.

Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now, the runners who have always moved quietly through this idyllic desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a clever plan or Coronado's newly appointed lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.

Relentlessly paced and beautifully orchestrated, with refreshingly real, vulnerable, and very human characters and a vivid sense of place, The Carrion Birds is an unsettling and indelible work of literary noir in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.

Chapters: 5

Pages: 270

Friday, October 25, 2013

G58 Book Review of Truths and Roses by Inglath Cooper

Name of Book: Truths and Roses

Author: Inglath Cooper

ISBN: 9780615701585

Publisher: Fence Free Entertainment, LLC

Type of book: Romance, clean, 2000s, Virginia, football, history, secrets, violation, trouble reading, books, library, high school romance

Year it was published: 1994 (updated for 2012)

Summary:

When Will Kincaid’s professional football career comes to an abrupt end in a single night, he’s left to figure out what he’s going to do with the rest of his life. He heads home to the small Virginia town where he grew up and crosses paths with Hannah Jacobs, the only girl in high school who had ever rejected him. It’s Hannah who once made him question the choices he had made, and it’s Hannah who’s making him question them all over again. But with the weight of a secret he’s managed to hide from the world his entire adult life hanging over him, he can’t afford to question his choices. Hannah Jacobs had once made the choice to deny her feelings for Will Kincaid, at the time finding it the only possible option for a young girl intent on burying a nightmare she only wanted to forget. The life she’s made for herself as a librarian in Lake Perdue is a quiet one, and she’s hardly prepared for the day when Will rams his fancy Ferrari into her dependable old clunker. But for Hannah, Will Kincaid can only stir up memories she had long ago put away forever. And there’s nothing at all good that can come from bringing them back to life again.

Characters:

The characters are changeable throughout the novel, often surprising the audience with their actions and plans: Hannah is closeted away from life, only working and visiting an aunt. She doesn't have a life and doesn't even want one. In high school she had exciting plans but she has gave up on them and doesn't seem to regret it. Will, on the other hand, is a football player who doesn't seem to know what to do with his life now that his football career is over. He is also obedient to his father and does his best to impress him. When the two meet, Hannah changes herself, facing her past and doing her best to not be afraid, and Will also finds an unexpected path and even faces up to his father over a secret.

Theme:

Take risks to find love

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Hannah's and Will's points of views. Some of the plot lines weren't explained clearly and somehow sprang out of the dark. The author does attempt to add closure to certain things, but I feel she doesn't succeed as I hoped she would. I'm sorry, but I just wasn't excited about the book as I hoped I would be.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

url https://www.goodreads.com/InglathCooper
born in The United States
gender female
website http://www.inglathcooper.com
twitter username inglathcooper
genre Romance, Literature & Fiction
influences LaVyrle Spencer, Kristin Hannah, Anita Shreve, Luanne Rice, Jodi Picou...more
member since April 2011

Virginia author Inglath Cooper fell in love with reading as a little girl, devouring most of the books in her elementary school library. At some point, she decided she wanted to pursue a writing career, creating romance fiction that did for others what her favorite books have done for her. “I love character-driven books that leave me feeling as if I’ve really known these people and make me wish I didn’t have to turn the last page.”

“Romance fiction has always appealed to me because it deals with so many of the relationships in a woman’s life. Not only the love of her life, but often her relationship with her mother, sister or best friend. Romance authors have so much room to explore many of the meaningful moments and transitions in women’s lives. And who doesn’t love a good love story?”

Inglath most often writes stories about love and life that are set in small Virginia towns like the one where she grew up. “I like to think the flavor of my hometown shows up in my books both in their setting and through the characters who people it.”

When aspiring writers ask her how to be an author, she says, “Everything I know about writing books I learned from reading books.”

Inglath has been chosen as a RITA® Award winner for best long contemporary romance novel given out each year by Romance Writers of America. Her books are available through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, itunes.com, and Kobobooks.com.

Outside of writing, Inglath is actively involved in dog rescue, working with The Franklin County Humane Society to place dogs and cats in need of rehoming. She volunteers her time in every capacity possible: serving on the Board of Directors, fundraising, photographing dogs and cats available for adoption and serving as a foster home. “Helping an abused or neglected dog go on to have a wonderful life with a family who loves them is more rewarding than I can possibly say.”

Opinion:

From the series titled Single Fathers, I seriously thought Will Kincaid would be a single father. (Didn't happen...) I think when I read this book, I was perhaps in the wrong mood to read it. Its a sweet and touching story of a football hero who has a crush on an intelligent woman (yay!) but I think at the moment I was and kind of am going through some frustrations in my life. I guess I'm going through some cynicism in my life. What I have liked in the book is that it lacks sexual scenes which means you are welcome to share it with a family member, and its not religious, and also a jock man and a nerdy girl fall in love which makes it an unusual pairing when comparing it to a popular girl and a nerdy boy. The relationships between the townspeople and Will and Hannah are sweet. What I didn't like about the book, however, is that the characters didn't seem memorable, and the story seemed to be predictable, at least for me. I also was disappointed that Will wasn't a single father as I hoped he would be.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G165 E-Reading Book Review of Killer Rumors by Antonello Fiore

Name of Book: Killer Rumors

Author: Antonello Fiore

ISBN: 9781300183334

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: Mystery, thriller, church, killings, twists, 2000s,

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.

Characters:

I honestly liked Frank and Lorenzo. Both of them are described as devoted, determined, lucky and gutsy. Tom Blanchard can best be described as angry, determined and vengeful, although he really has taken a wrong way to avenge himself, and I would have wanted more of his background explored, and the same goes for The Solution.

Theme:

Things are not what they seem

Plot:

Its written in first person narrative and third person narrative; first person narrative from Frank Rinelli the detective, and third person narrative from either The Solution or Tom Blanchard. The book is very action oriented and doesn't do a lot of focus on characters and their motivations. While the reader does see some of the detectives' personal lives, most of it is dedicated to capturing Tom and The Solution. Its also a quick read, although the division into short chapters didn't really work for the book.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born in Montreal, Canada
gende male
website http://antonellofiore.webs.com/
twitter username fioreantonello
genre Mystery & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction
influences James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Mitch Albom
member since September 2012

Opinion:

The author has contacted me and asked if I wanted to read the book, to which I agreed. The plus of the book is that there's something addictive to it which kept me reading and finishing it in a few days as possible. I liked the mystery and some twists I found to be intriguing. Despite the addictive nature of the book, I have noticed some faults which included giving away the killer and his motivation right at the very start. And in some cases I also was able to figure out few things before the detectives could. The book is very action oriented and there isn't a lot of character exploration, at least when it comes to the villains, sadly enough. I actually enjoy exploration of antagonists and why they do what they do.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

G146 E-Reading An American Papyrus 25 Poems

Opinion:

Its odd that I'm not a poetry person; I'm pretty sure I'm good at reading and reviewing fiction and Non-fiction, yet poetry is something that has always been forced upon me. I never really cared for it for one reason or another. I'm not putting down poetry, but its something hard to wrap my mind around. If I was asked to discuss poetry found within Tale of Genji or somewhere else, perhaps I might do a better job; but with this I am a failure. I don't feel comfortable with the language that the author chooses to use, nor of the descriptions and metaphors. I am familiar with nature, with love, but I'm not liking the poetry and imagery he chooses to use.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

G103 Book Review of Azlander-Second Nature by Gabriel Brunsdon

Name of Book: Azlander- Second Nature

Author: Gabriel Brunsdon

ISBN: 978-0-9874656-5-8

Publisher:  Published December 12th 2012 by Gabrielle Brunsdon

Type of book: Fairies, demons, reincarnations, lives, romance, relationship, different worlds, video games, struggles

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

AZLANDER is a fantastical esoteric journey throughout the realms of Faerie, of Hell and the virtual worlds. Snapshots of magic, spiritual insights - telling of the elven Puck who was formerly known as Robin of the Forest and his travels throughout the mortal world today.

Characters:

I found the characters to be interesting and multidimensional, at least that of Puck and Goober and Eric. Marley had potential to be interesting character, but for one reason or another I felt removed from her and I only saw barest glimpses of her life before she disappeared once more. I liked that Puck was multidimensional and was more kind than mean. With some characters I had difficult time keeping track of them, such as Marc and so forth. I kind of hoped of deeper reasons to be evil than the simple just because.

Theme:

There are worlds beneath and above ours.

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from almost everyone's point of view. I had difficulty following the narrative, although I did understand what was going on; in beginning Puck is Marley's caretaker and is worried about the world, in particular of a video game that's taking over the whole world literally. There are dark entities, plans to take it down, and so forth. Puck also does his best to do good around everyone, and meanwhile the reader explores the characters' histories and the possible world that no one is aware of. Its a blend of fantasy and sort of realism. I guess now that I think about it, in an odd way its sort of like Dante's Inferno.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

url https://www.goodreads.com/AZLANDER
born in Richmond, Australia
website http://www.AZLANDER.COM
twitter username Gabriel Brunsdon
genre Fantasy, Spirituality, Paranormal
influences George MacDonald, Leonard Cohen, Thomas A'Kempis, E.R.E. Edison
member since December 2012

Opinion:

I honestly feel bad that I ended up not liking Azlander-Second Nature. I really did like the potential of the book; the world of fairy and human, and Puck, which I always picture from Disney's Gargoyles. I liked Puck's character and the possibilities that the book offered in terms of magic and being guardians of humans as well as interesting views on World of Warcraft game and so forth. A lot of the novel was confusing for me personally. The plot and story jumped constantly from one time to another without any warnings; one minute I was stuck in modern century then the next I was back with King John and Richard the Lionhearted in 1200s. The chapters were only a few pages long but had little connectivity with one another. Also the summary only matches the ending of the book instead of the entire book. Plus, I didn't understand or get the nature of Azlander. I know that he is some sort of messiah who happens to be a lion, I think, but how does he relate to Puck and to others?

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G40 Book Review of The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister

Name of Book: The Lost Art of Mixing

Author: Erica Bauermeister

ISBN: 978-0-399-16211-4

Publisher: Putnam

Part of a Series: The School of Essential Ingredients a.k.a Monday Night Cooking School is a prequel.

Type of book: Cooking, restaurant, food, rituals, memory loss, relationships, surprises, changes, capturing lives and moments, 2000s

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind—and links that break—The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.

Characters:

The characters are well rounded and unique; each one having a different personality and desires. There are a few repeat characters such as Lillian, Tom, Chloe, and Isabelle, and I also would have liked to know what happened to other characters from the previous book. Food plays a huge role in their lives, and there is also discussion on the meaning of rituals and the author has done a good job of devoting a chapter to each of the characters as well as showing off their uniqueness. With the new characters, Al is devoted to numbers and to structure; Finnegan who desires to capture people's stories before they are gone; Louise who refuses to give voice to her inner demons, then there's Abby, Isabelle's oldest daughter who sees herself as a bad guy. The lives become unexpected and much more rounder than before.

Theme:

Food plays a huge role in life

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from all the characters' points of views. While the book does answer some questions, it seems to neglect answering others, and its up to the reader to interpret it the way they want to. Its a chapter per character, each chapter featuring different character and in there we become more familiar with their thoughts, ideas, history  and motivations.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
Pasadena, California, The United States

gender
female

website
http://www.ericabauermeister.com

genre
Literature & Fiction, Nonfiction

influences
E.M. Forster, Jane Austen, Susan Vreeland, Joanne Harris Alice Hoffman...more

member since
February 2009

About this author

Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the novel The School of Essential Ingredients and the upcoming novel Joy For Beginners (June 9, 2011). The School of Essential Ingredients is currently being published in 22 countries and Joy For Beginners was recently selected to be performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles (June 12, 2011). Erica Bauermeister received a B.A. from Occidental College and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She is also the co-author of 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide and Let's Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.

Opinion:

Just like The School of Essential Ingredients, this book also has mixture of food and memories and humanity in a delightful blend of life. It is pretty necessary to read the prequel to this book. I called it "food pornography book," not because its dirty, but because in the book, food is a necessary ingredient that enriches and enlivens human lives. There are some differences between the two; one is that a few chapters had a repeating character, while in the previous book every chapter featured a different character. I did find it a delightful read, but I think that something like this can only be read once every few years, for some odd reason it doesn't call me back to re-read it over and over.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Coming Up...Week 42 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman

NEW YORK CITY, 1992. At the American Academy of Classical Art, popular opinion has it that the school’s handsome and mysterious founder, Raphael Sinclair, is a vampire. It is a rumor Rafe does nothing to dispel.

Scholarship student Tessa Moss has long dreamed of the chance to study at Rafe’s Academy. But she is floundering amidst the ups and downs of a relationship with egotistical art star Lucian Swain.

Then, one of Tessa’s sketches catches Rafe’s attention: a drawing of a young woman in 1930s clothing who is covering the eyes of a child. The suitcase at her feet says Wizotsky. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of Rafe’s life, was lost during the Holocaust.

Or was she? Rafe suspects Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened.

As Rafe finds excuses to interact with Tessa, they cannot deny their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction forbidden by the Academy Board and disapproved of by anyone familiar with Rafe’s playboy reputation and Tessa’s softhearted innocence.

But Tessa senses the truth: despite his wealth, his women, and his townhouse filled with rare and beautiful treasures, Rafe is a haunted man…for reasons that have nothing to do with the rumors they whisper about him at school.

Intensely romantic and deeply moving, The Color of Light blends fact and fantasy in an unforgettable tale of art and passion, love and war, guilt and forgiveness, spanning the New York art scene, high-fashion magazine publishing, the glittering café society of pre-World War II Paris, and the evil stalking the back roads of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Ade: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker


In this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.

Haunting, exquisite, and certain to become a classic, Adé will stay with you long after you put it down. This is a timeless love story set perfectly, heartbreakingly, in our time.



Azlander: Second Nature by Gabriel Brunsdon

AZLANDER is a fantastical esoteric journey throughout the realms of Faerie, of Hell and the virtual worlds. Snapshots of magic, spiritual insights - telling of the elven Puck who was formerly known as Robin of the Forest and his travels throughout the mortal world today.











The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister 


Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind—and links that break—The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.

What I'm Reading right now:

Killer Rumors by Antonello Fiore (e-book)

Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.

Chapters: 31 out of 99 plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 78 out of 255


Till Morning Comes by Suyin Han


Alone in exotic Chungking, beautiful foreign correspondent Stephanie Ryder is warned to keep silent about the atrocities she witnesses in the city’s teeming slums. Defying a brutal Kuomintang officer, she is swept to an electrifying first meeting with Dr. Jen Yong, a handsome, dedicated and compassionate Chinese surgeon. For Yong, a sexual liaison with an American woman could mean a death sentence. For Stephanie, an affair with an Asian man would cause an irreparable breach with her Texas millionaire father. But just when danger threatens to separate them forever, their passion bursts into flame…and carries them on a fabulous romantic journey from the stormy depths of fear and desire, to the moving affirmation that enduring love is truly a many-splendored thing.

Chapters: 10 out of 27

Pages: 204 out of 620

What to Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel

Announcing the prequel. From Heidi Murkoff, author of America's bestselling pregnancy and parenting books, comes the must-have guide every expectant couple needs before they even conceive the first step in "What to Expect: What to Expect Before You're Expecting." An estimated 11 million couples in the U.S. are currently trying to conceive, and medical groups now recommend that all hopeful parents plan for baby-making at least three months before they begin trying. And who better to guide wanna-be moms and dads step-by-step through the preconception (and conception) process than Heidi Murkoff? It's all here. Everything couples need to know before sperm and egg meet up. Packed with the same kind of reassuring, empathetic, and practical information and advice and tips that readers have come to expect from What to Expect, only sooner. Which baby-friendly foods to order up (say yes to yams) and which fertility-busters to avoid (see you later, saturated fat); lifestyle adjustments that you'll want to make (cut back on cocktails and caffeine) and those you can probably skip (that switch to boxers). How to pinpoint ovulation, time lovemaking, keep on-demand sex sexy, and separate conception fact (it takes the average couple up to 12 months to make a baby) from myth (position matters). Plus, when to seek help and the latest on fertility treatments from Clomid and IVF to surrogacy and more. Complete with a fill-in fertility journal to keep track of the babymaking adventure and special tips throughout for hopeful dads. Next step? "What to Expect When You re Expecting," of course.

Chapters: 5 out of 11

Pages: 84 out of 191

The Supreme Macaroni Company  by Adriana Trigiani 


For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This historic business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the school teacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.

A piece of surprising news is revealed at The Feast of the Seven Fishes when Valentine and Gianluca join her extended family on a fateful Christmas Eve. Now faced with life altering choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: "A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything." The proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves-the bitter and the sweetness of life itself.

Romantic and poignant, told with humor and warmth, and bursting with a cast of endearing characters, The Supreme Macaroni Company is a sumptuous feast of delights: a portrait of a woman and the man she loves, her passion for craftsmanship, and the sacrifices it takes to build and sustain a family business while keeping love and laughter at the center of everything.

Chapters: 5 out of 13

Pages: 105 out of 332

Truths and Roses: A Love Story by Inglath Cooper

When Will Kincaid’s professional football career comes to an abrupt end in a single night, he’s left to figure out what he’s going to do with the rest of his life. He heads home to the small Virginia town where he grew up and crosses paths with Hannah Jacobs, the only girl in high school who had ever rejected him. It’s Hannah who once made him question the choices he had made, and it’s Hannah who’s making him question them all over again. But with the weight of a secret he’s managed to hide from the world his entire adult life hanging over him, he can’t afford to question his choices. Hannah Jacobs had once made the choice to deny her feelings for Will Kincaid, at the time finding it the only possible option for a young girl intent on burying a nightmare she only wanted to forget. The life she’s made for herself as a librarian in Lake Perdue is a quiet one, and she’s hardly prepared for the day when Will rams his fancy Ferrari into her dependable old clunker. But for Hannah, Will Kincaid can only stir up memories she had long ago put away forever. And there’s nothing at all good that can come from bringing them back to life again.

Chapters:16 out of 64 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 64 out of 274

The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu, Edward G. Seidensticker


The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. It is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world. Until now there has been no translation that is both complete and scrupulously faithful to the original text. Edward G. Seidensticker's masterly rendering was first published in two volumes in 1976 and immediately hailed as a classic of the translator's art. It is here presented in one unabridged volume, illustrated throughout by woodcuts taken from a 1650 Japanese edition of The Tale of Genji.

Chapters: 2 out of 54

Pages: 20 out of 1090

Future Books I will read:

Healing Rain- Karen Anne Stewart



Shattered when Raina runs after his marriage proposal, Kas is hell-bent to find her and bring her home, where she belongs. He will bend every law necessary to do so, willing to do anything to protect Raina from her demons and the men who haunt her, going as far as placing his career and life on the line to save hers. Raina will give up everything she has worked so hard to achieve, even flee the country to keep Kas from the wrath and powerful reach of her abusive father.
In the midst of the FBI team closing in on the Ghost, another ghost from Raina's past taunts her, promising that she will be his. Meanwhile, a different trafficking ring is gaining strength in New Jersey. Michael solicits Raina's help, needing her smooth, sultry voice to win the audition for the new singer in the ring leader's swanky night club. Raina knows her life is in jeopardy with the dangers of being undercover, but she is blindsided when she discovers that it's her heart that is threatened with a mortal blow.
Raina tries to heal from the nightmares of her dark past as the grisly bodies of innocent victims surface when the team gets closer to discovering the identity of the man responsible for the infuriatingly clever and powerful slavery ring. When Raina finally comes face to face with the Ghost, he quickly engulfs her in a twisted game of cat and mouse, delivering a veiled threat as he slips through her fingers. As the ghosts of her past and present ensnare her in their deadly web, Raina realizes the danger has just begun.

CHapters: 29

Pages: 238


After Rain- Karen Anne Stewart


“A story intricately crafted with amazing characters and scenes that will leave a lasting image on readers. Raina is the perfect heroine, sweet and caring, but strong at the same time. The risks she is willing to take to save and protect others left me in awe. A great series with romance
and suspense.” Christine Janes – SheReadsAlot.com

Finally able to put her harrowing past to rest, Raina looks forward to her future with Kas, but the Ghost has other plans. As the FBI team gets closer to taking down the largest human trafficking ring in the modern world, the Ghost begins a wicked game, making Raina the pawn and the target. Never before encountering a worthy adversary, he’s fascinated by Raina and is enjoying the refreshing challenge of her intellect.
The danger ignites to a blazing new level, and Kas struggles between the need to finally exorcise the Ghost and his need to protect his wife. Tension mounts as an internal battle wages, tormenting Kas as he watches Raina put her all into taking down the man responsible for horrific sex slavery and gruesome deaths. When a new player takes control, Jefferson orders the end of the Ghost’s game with Raina, which results in one final, devastating act, leaving Kas desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to save her…by whatever means necessary.

I'm beyond thrilled to announce that After the Rain will be live by the end of October. A huge THANK YOU to everyone I have had the amazing chance to connect with along this journey so far!

Chapters: 24 plus epilogue

Pages: 234

Before the Larkspur Blooms by Caroline Fyffe


Caroline Fyffe returns to the windswept prairies of Wyoming with a beautiful story of rekindled love…

Thomas Donovan spent eight long years in prison, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Finally released, he returns home to Logan Meadows, Wyoming, to discover his parents long buried and his neighbors wanting nothing to do with him. Suddenly the fresh start Thom longed for seems downright impossible until a spirited beauty from his past becomes his unlikely champion, and the walls around his injured heart begin to crumble?

Hannah Hoskins was brokenhearted when Thom Donovan was sent away. While the rest of the town was quick to brand him a no-count thief, Hannah always knew better. Now the boy she once loved has returned home a man ? a man whom Hannah's suitor, the town's deputy sheriff, is determined to destroy. When a crime spree starts anew, suspicion immediately falls on Thom, and it's up to Hannah to prove his innocence, earn him a second chance at life ? and win them both a second chance at love.

Chapters: 44

Pages: 281

Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas


A spellbinding story of forbidden love, spanning three continents and three decades. Set against the Independence struggles of two British colonies, OMA is ultimately a story of personal triumph against a brutal fate, brought to life by a multicultural cast of characters.

Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, is brought up among the servants of a pre-war English household in India. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.

Nataraj, raised as the son of an idealistic doctor in rural South India, finds life in London heady, with girls and grass easily available… until he is summoned back to face raw reality.

Saroj, her fire hidden by outward reserve as an ember glows beneath ashes, grows up in Guyana, South America. When her too-strict, orthodox Hindu father proves to have feet of clay she finally rebels against him... and even against her gentle, apparently docile Ma.

But Ma harbours a deep secret… one that binds these three so disparate lives and hurtles them towards a truth that could destroy everything.

Chapters: 75 plus epilogue

Pages: 530

Ida's Story by Steven A. Segal 

As he pulled up and shut down the engine, he took a deep breath to calm himself, and in that instant, the flash of anger he had felt the night he was torn from his mother returned. He shook it from his mind, slid out of the seat, and went up the stairs to the front door. Ida opened the door and threw her arms around his neck with exactly the same loving abandonment he had seen her often leap into his father's arms so many years ago. She hung onto her boy, hung on tight with her face buried in his shoulder and sobbed. He wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, fighting hard for control. He couldn't help himself. Her tears and unrestrained love swept away his resistance. He stood up straight, lifting her off her feet. They stood there, mother and grown son, in the open doorway, holding each other in an endless embrace as their tears rained down. Ida's life reveals the story of an incredibly resilient human being born in a Boston ghetto in the late 1870s who fights to survive, educate herself, and protect her family in the midst of the rampant political and social corruption of the early 1900s, the wide-open crime of mob violence of the Prohibition era, the economic destruction of the Great Depression, and the devastating tragedy brought on by the rise of Nazi Germany as it engulfs the world in the chaotic senselessness of World War II.

Chapters: 42

Pages: 466

The Distancers- Lee Sandlin 


A sweeping, lush, and quintessentially American tale that is heartbreaking, hopeful, and cut from the very fabric of the heartland.A VINTAGE ORIGINAL.

In The Distancers, seven generations worth of joy and heartache is artfully forged into a family portrait that is at once universally American yet singularly Lee Sandlin's own. From the nineteenth century German immigrants who settled on a small Midwestern farm, to the proud and upright aunts and uncles with whom Sandlin spent the summers of his youth, a whole history of quiet ambition and stoic pride-of successes, failures, and above all endurance-leaps off the page in a sweeping American family epic. Touching on The Great Depression, WWII, the American immigrant experience, the uses of proper manners, how to ride the rails in the dust bowl years, and home brewing during prohibition, The Distancers is a beautiful and stark Midwestern drama, about a time and place long since vanished, where the author learned the value of family and the art of keeping one's distance.

Chapters: 11 plus prologue and afterword

Pages: 191

The Secret of Emotions (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #1) by Justice Saint Rain

If following your heart has repeatedly gotten you into trouble, but to follow your head feels like a kind of soul-death, then this book will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. It will teach your head how to understand the language of your heart, and teach your heart how to speak the language of God.
This book explains that our emotional sensations tell us about the virtues we are experiencing, and that these virtues are reflections of the qualities of God in the world. Making the connection between emotions and virtues gives us a whole new vocabulary for understanding our feelings. Since most people make their life-choices based on their feelings rather than reason, understanding the meaning of our emotions is the SECOND-most important lesson we can learn in this life.
The MOST important lesson is that virtues are our path to the Transcendent. Whether you call it God, Higher Power, Creative Spirit, or just your better self, we are all born with a longing to become more than we are right now – to demonstrate that we are, indeed, created in the image of the Divine.

Chapters: 8

Pages: 1-76 out if 267

4 Tools of Emotional Healing (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #2) by Justice Saint Rain


Though they are not quite the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the painful emotions of shame, anger, loneliness and fear have destroyed countless lives. The need to numb and distract ourselves from them leads us to engage in behaviors that only draw us deeper into shame and isolation. We do not need distractions or drugs, we need healing. This healing is not about solving our problems; it is about making us whole.
This book explains how the qualities of honesty, forgiveness, compassion and faith can ease the pain of these negative emotions by filling the empty spaces they represent. Emotions are messengers. Positive emotions tell us when we are experiencing the presence of virtues such as kindness, and justice. Negative emotions tell us which virtues are missing in our lives. By developing our own capacity to practice these four core virtues, we not only heal our painful emotions, but we become masters of our own feelings. This book builds on the understanding of emotions explained in The Secret of Emotions, book one in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy, but is a stand-alone introduction to the practice of Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion and Faith.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with anger, shame, loneliness or fear, this book will jump-start the healing process. This series can be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.
This book is the second of three in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy. Look for excerpts on our FaceBook page of the same name. Other books in the series include:
The Secret of Emotions
Longing for Love

Chapters: 11

Pages:  77-171 out of 267


Longing for Love (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #3) by Justice Saint Rain

The problem with most relationship-advice systems is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

But we aren’t rational. If we were, life would be much easier.
Longing for Love backs up to the beginning – explaining how our irrational infatuations are based on familiar patterns rather than healthy attraction. It teaches us how to retrain our hearts to love the kind of people that will nurture our souls, not just satisfy our lusts. Full of profound insights and practical advice, it is unlike any relationship guide you’ve ever read.
The problem with most relationship guides is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

This is book three in the series Love, Lust and the Longing for God. In the first book of this series, The Secret of Emotions, I explain that emotions are sensations that tell us about the attributes of God, or virtues, that we experience in our environment, and that love, in particular, is an attraction to these virtues.

An understanding of these two ideas, especially the second, is critical to any attempt to find true love and have healthy relationships.

The goal of this third book is to expand our ability to recognize and become attracted to virtues so that we fall in love with people who are ready to have healthy, nurturing relationships. We will take a look at what these ideas look like when applied to finding and building healthy relationships in the real world.

How does our understanding of the relationship between emotions and virtues help us find healthy people to be friends with?

How does understanding the difference between love and lust change the way we enter into sexual relationships?

How do we tell the difference between the sensation of love and all of the other sensations that are generated by relationships?

How do we maintain healthy relationships once we commit to them?

How do we avoid temptations that can destroy the relationship we have?

These are the questions that we will be exploring in this third book. If you are unsure of the answers, then this book is a good place to start.

This series can also be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.

Chapters: 11

Pages: 175-265 out of 265

Seeing Through the Eyes of My papa's heart- Lamarr Wenrich




He slipped away...creating his own reality, a peaceful existence within a tortured mind...This lost soul without roots would spend his life seeking, craving, searching for love, acceptance and an identity...forever shaped by the cruelty of life...No one who crosses this gentle man's path would imagine that he endured such a cold, cruel and demeaning upbringing--void of love, affection or any notion of self-worth. Until the mention of his father's name...it brings him to his knees and tears flow down his cheeks unabashedly. How did he control his demons of anger, hate and vengeance that surely fumed at the surface? Was it fear that kept his emotions from spilling over, or had he always known, innately, there was more to be discovered than the cruelty he knew...a warmth and love he yearned for...

Chapters: 24

Pages: N/A


Tainted Angel- Anne Cleeland 

A deadly game of deception
A notorious beauty with a shadowy past

In the time of Napoleon, Vidia Swanson appears to live a gilded life of ease and luxury. Beneath this façade, however, she works for the Home Office as an ‘angel,’ coaxing secrets from powerful men who may or may not be traitors to the Crown. In the course of her latest assignment, matters take an alarming turn when she realizes that her spymaster suspects that she is the one who is tainted--a double agent working for the enemy.

Lucien Carstairs is a fellow agent with his own dark secrets--unless he is setting an elaborate trap to reveal her own supposed treason. Backed into a corner, she can only hope to stay one step ahead of the hangman in a race to stop the next war before it destroys them--and destroys England.

Tainted Angel offers up a compelling game of cat and mouse in which no one can be trusted--and anyone can be tainted.(

Chapters: 47

Pages: 350

The Curtain - A Novel by Patrick Ord




Have you met Henry Maddox? He knows you — not personally of course… he really only knows your data. But from that data he actually may know you better than you think you know yourself. Henry knows where you’ve been and what you’ve bought. He knows all of your friends. Henry not only knows your behaviors, he understands your tendencies. And from those tendencies, he can predict what you’re going to do before you’ve actually done it.

Who is Henry Maddox? He is a 21st century marketing consultant and he specializes in highly personal and irresistibly persuasive advertising.

Henry’s strategies combine modern data mining (Big Data) techniques with other advanced and controversial marketing practices (Market Fragmentation, Cross Promotion, and Conglomerate Propagandizing) to the point where consumers don’t even know their being sold. Businesses love Henry because he not only moves product, he actually controls their customers.

But when Henry is forced to face how his techniques affect real people, he realizes he has inadvertently given corporations the power to destroy society for their own ends.

THE CURTAIN explores the effect that increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques have on communities, families, and individuals. In an age of digital distractions, who remembers the transcendent morality that has allowed past civilizations to prosper? When corporations have the influence and motive to define people by what they consume, are we as individuals losing the substance of who we really are?

Chapters: 36 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 309

Living Reed: A Novel of Korea-Pearl S. Buck



The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.

Chapters: 3 plus epilogue and historical note

Pages: 478




Sons- Pearl S. Buck


Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.

Chapters: 29

Pages: 313






A House Divided-Pearl S. Buck

"A House Divided," the third volume of the trilogy that began with "The Good Earth" and "Sons," is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His cousin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family

Chapters: 4

Pages: 343



The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein


A lush, exquisitely rendered meditation on war, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the story of several families, American and Japanese, their loves and infidelities, their dreams and losses, and how they are all connected by one of the most devastating acts of war in human history.

In this evocative and thrilling epic novel, fifteen-year-old Yoshi Kobayashi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an ardent expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home on a March night when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead within hours and half the city in ashen ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.

Chapters: 9

Pages: 378
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