Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word

Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word by Linda Kelsey

Holly is a woman who has it all. A loving husband, a teenage son who loves her, a great job, wonderful friends. But just as she is starting to approach fifty years old things start falling apart. This 50 year old birthday thing symbolizes something to her and she just isn't sure it is a good thing. She looses her job, her husband begins to distance himself, and her son moves on with his life.

So Holly begins to have a crisis. Her relationships - whether they are with her mother, her father, her best-friend, her husband, or her son have all changed. Have they changed because she is so depressed about what being fifty means?

But Holly will learn that fifty is just a number and that there is so much more to her life then she ever imagined. She just needs to get there.

I love these sort of women telling stories through their eyes about their lives books. I am not close to 50 but I can't tell you how many of my friends had problems with their 30th birthdays. I personally didn't let it bother me but many had major issues with getting older in that fashion. For me this book shows that life is not over at any age. The character is strong and caring and a good person - but this mid-life crisis and her behavior during it shows that even a good person can falter. And sometimes it seems like everything bad that is happening is the fault of this one thing - when really it is something that has been building up for a long time. Who knows - maybe what seems like the most devastating of things can actually be something that is the best for you and those around you.

Usually when a book ends a bit on a cliffhanger I don't like it. But in this experience (I won't tell you what the cliffhanger is) I actually think it made it a better book. You can pick how you think it should be ended. You pick where you think the main character should end up.

As a side note - the mother/daughter relationship in this book is quite interesting. Hope feels like she was never a good enough daughter and that her mother never loved her. Where as her mother always felt a bit of jealousy in regards to hope. I actually know several people who have that sort of relationship with their parent - and I don't know if their parent would ever admit it (except maybe under the possibilities of death). That behavior is one of those ones that scar a child for life and seeing it out in the open may bring some sort of freeness for those that experienced it themselves. They are not the only one.

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mother's Day Giveaway

Be one of three people to win a copy of each of the following books to celebrate Mother's Day

1. Miracles of Motherhood
2. Odd Mom Out By Jane Porter
3. Mommy Grace By Sheila Schuller Coleman
4. Beginner's Greek By James Collins
5. The Road Home By Rose Tremain

Same rules apply as usual - Please comment below if you are interested. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you (if I can't find you I can't get you the book).

This contest is eligible to those 18 years of age that are residents of the US and Canada. We will not be able to mail to P.O. Boxes. One entry per person.

All entries are due by May 11th 8AM EST- so enter now!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

By Carole Lynne,
Author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World

To renew and reinvent our lives, WE NEED A PLAN! Here it is: a seven-day process to work with over and over. This plan incorporates physical, mental and spiritual work. Use the whole seven-day process, or choose any one of the days to work with as you create the life you want.

DAY 1: RE-CHARGE A Day of Commitment

Focus on changing your mind-set: This is the day to change the thought patterns playing in your mind. Get rid of phrases such as "I can't." "Why does this happen to me?" "Things always seem to go wrong." "After three bad things happen, life will change for the better." Insert thoughts such as "I can do it." " There are creative solutions to any problem."

Create a visual logo that works for you: Imagine the ocean or the lake, water falls, butterflies, sunshine, moonshine --- whatever works for you. Note the image or images that work for you, and if you begin to feel negative, simply bring one of your positive images to mind. Your image is your logo for positive energy.

Tools for Day 1: Motivational books, music, dance, art, all that is inspirational.

DAY 2: RE-VAMP A Day of Planning

  • What changes do you need to make in your home?
  • What changes do you need to make in your office?
  • What changes do you need to make in your exercise routine, OR do you need to begin an exercise routine (with doctor's permission of course)?
  • What changes do you need to make in your diet?

Tools for Day 2: A notebook and pen, or computer.

DAY 3: RE-CYCLE A Day of Throwing Out

Choose an area of your home, your garage, your backyard, and clean it out thoroughly. Have three boxes set up: one for things to keep, one for things to repair, and one for things to give to others. The hard work begins.

Do not tackle your whole house on this one-day. This seven-day program can be repeated again, and each time you can choose a new area. You can repeat Day 3 every week for six weeks.

Tools for Day 4: Boxes to sort things in, vacuum cleaner, broom, dust rags, music to play to cheer yourself on through this hard day of work.

DAY 4: RE-FRESH A Day of Refreshment

This is a day of reward. If you cleaned out your office or home on day 3, then refresh this space with a new plant or bunch of flowers. Give yourself a present. Open the windows and make sure the light can shine in.

Tools for Day 4: A present for yourself.

DAY 5: RE-TURN A Day of Spiritual Contemplation

This is a day to contemplate your spiritual values and re-turn to the values that are important to you. This is a quiet day of soul searching. In the past two days you have re-cycled some of your belongings and you have refreshed an area of your house or office: you did a lot of physical work. You were involved with a lot of "things." Today, focus on the soul level. Sit and connect with the God of your understanding and ask questions:

  • What is the meaning of my life?
  • What am I here to do in this lifetime?
  • What am I proud of and what advances have I made in my life?
  • Which areas of my life need work?

This is the day to take an honest look at the way you spend your time, the people you associate with, the worries that occupy you too much, the fears that you allow to control you, the anger you may have towards others.

Tools for Day 5: An honest heart and an inquiring mind.

DAY 6: RE-INVENT A Day to Change Patterns

Yesterday was an assessment day. It was a hard day. Today is a day to make plans to change the parts of your life that need changing.

  • Do you have health problems you are not facing? Make an appointment with a health professional or get back to taking care of yourself in the way that you know is best for you.
  • Are you allowing the problems of others to dominate your life? If so this is a day to make plans to change your schedule. If you are a caregiver, find creative ways to get time off. And do not say, "There is no way." Find out what your community has to offer. If the person you are taking care of does not want to receive care from others, then you must be strong and explain that you have to have time off.
  • If you spend all your time compassionately listening to others, remember that you will burn out if you do not have time for yourself. We all know this, but we do not always allow time for ourselves.

Tools for Day 6: A notebook, pen, computer, a telephone, appointment book.

DAY 7: RE-INVEST A Investment Day in All That is Positive

While I hesitate to use the word "re-invest" during this financial crisis, it is time to think about how to best spend your money, how to best spend your time. You have spent an entire week taking a look at your physical and spiritual life. Today is the day to take a good look at your financial life as well. Another coffee for five dollars may not be the best way to go. A lot of takeout food costs money. Are there ways to organize your cooking so that you do not pick up as much food?

Tools for Day 7: Your financial records, your checkbook, a willingness to make changes.


©2009 Carole Lynne, author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World

Author Bio
Carole Lynne
is the author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World. She is also the author of the award winning book Consult Your Inner Psychic, and How to Get a Good Reading From a Psychic Medium. To learn more about Carole Lynne or

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book Feature: What Would Jane Austen Do?

Author: Laurie Brown
Pages: 335
Cost: $6.99
Publication Date: May 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Description: Eleanor is a girl who loves Jane Austen. When she visits England for a festival and finds herself back in time - that is what she thinks of. She must help a pair of ghosts prevent a deadly dual - and save a special man.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Knit Two

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
Description:Another part of the A Friday Night Knitting Club story. We revisit our old favorite characters five years after the death of friend Georgia Walker. Each person has progressed with their lives and things are not always going their way.

Darwin has finally gotten the children she has always wanted. But it is overwhelming being a mother. She feels closer then ever to the other knitters but can they be what she needs when she is so desperate for help?

Lucie is a single mother who wants it all. But life is never that easy. Her daughter seems out of control and her mother is getting older and more dependent on her then ever.

Anita and Marty have had their relationship progress but now that their wedding is upcoming Anita realizes what is missing in her life. She decides to find it - no matter how much pain and heartbreak it brings.

Catherine just wants love. She misses Georgia terribly and has been unable to move on. She wants a family and children - but love is what she needs most of all. Catherine has been unable to open herself up that way though - can she let her heart go if someone is deserving.

Peri has kept Walker and Daughter open - but at the expense of some of her own dreams. Can she find the guts to walk away? Is that what she really wants to do?

Finally we have Georgia's daughter Dakota. Dakota is in college and trying to find her own way in the world. She still loves her mother's friends but between her mother's legacy and her fathers goals - can she find the place she belongs.

The first book in this series touched me and this one continued that feeling. You can't help but see how death has changed each of the characters in this book - some in good ways and others in bad. They each want to hold on to a memory. Their idea of what Georgia was is inspiring - they only remember the good.

Seeing a child move on and deal with her mother's death is interesting. She has all sorts of mother figures that are willing to step in and be different sorts of mother's to her when she needs them. But the thing is she doesn't' really want them. She wants what she can't have.

These books are touching and an interesting perspective on a variety of women's lives and how they interact together.

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics/Women


Friday, April 24, 2009

Book Feature: The Nonesuch

By Georgette Heyer
Pages: 337
Price: $13.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 2009
Description: Ancilla Trent is a chaperone for wild girl Tiffany Weld. Ancilla is willing to do anything to get Tiffany under control. But Tiffany is one to rebel and she takes off to London leaving Ancilla in the middle of a great scandal. Sir Waldo Hawkridge is a generous man who decides to help Ancilla recover Tiffany (and save them both from scandal). But as they travel together trying to find her they find love between themselves.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Feature: Outcast

by Cheryl Brooks
Pages: 343
Price: 6.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: June 2009
Description: Their planet was destroyed and they are the last of their race. A special part man part cat breed. They definitely are good at loving those around them. But because Lynx has a past he will do anything to keep his distance from those around him. He has been hurt and he won't let Bonnie get past his defenses. But she needs and loves him - she can make him more then what he is right now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guest Post: J.W. Nicklaus Author of The Light, The Dark & Ember Between

It all starts at the heart . . .

An astronomer doesn’t just gaze at the stars; she looks into them, through them. The fledgling botanist hunches tenderly over a single daisy studying the petal pattern, then glances up in quiet awe at the spread of wildflower color and patterns present in a meadow full of flowering life.

What do they both have in common? A passion that drives them from within. It’s not something that can be taught, but that’s not to say it can’t be learned. Sometimes it doesn’t take much at all to start a flame anew from a glowing ember.

I’ve known plenty of people who have told me they would love to be able to write better, or even write a book they’ve always had tumbling about in their heads. For some it comes down to simple lack of confidence, while for others it may be fear of rejection. Both only need to be acknowledged and accepted. It’s that easy, and that complex. But like the amateur stargazer or budding botanist, all you really need is that inner voice urging you forward. Somebody, somewhere, will love to read your story, whatever form it may take—not everybody, but if you make so much as one person smile, think, or feel, then isn’t that worth all the effort?

What if you haven’t so much as written the first sentence of your tale? Don’t worry about that, for I guarantee it’s safely stowed and locked away in a tiny sanctuary in your heart. You’ll find it again, I promise. In the meantime read anything and everything. Read what interests you, read for information, read for the sheer pleasure of the act. Most importantly, read with an open mind. Then, if you have the opportunity, discuss what you’ve read with others. The internet is one place to start with if you prefer some level of anonymity. Look for forums or bulletin boards that pertain to your current obsession; it doesn’t matter if it’s discourse on the variants of butter pound cake recipes or heated debate over the virtues of rice paper over tissue paper for origami. Get involved! Search your local newspaper (if you still have one *sigh*) for interest groups that pertain to your particular pursuit.

Reading or writing groups are great for learning the ins and outs of writing. They can seem a bit intimidating at first, but if you remain open to it, and positively constructive, then you can glean an amazing amount from those who have been in your shoes at some point or other.

Next arises a really interesting phenomenon: the urge to write will come to you, unbidden, at the strangest times, moreso as you start writing more often. You’ll be driving and see something, or hear something on the radio that will fire a spark, make some cerebral synapse flare. To pay it disregard is to cheat yourself from exercising your passion. Write as often as you can, as often as you read if possible. Remember, not everything you write will be for public consumption (unless you want it to be). The mere act of writing strengthens links which were once weak.

“Okay,” you say, “I’ve read all my life, and I’ve been trying to write. When do I become an author?”

“When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper.” Simply stated, when you’re ready to be. When you’re comfortable enough to have others parse through your words and thoughts. When you can accept another approach and then re-work it into something stronger. When you can see through the words and understand their proper place in the universe that is your story. When you can see how every letter in your words brings forth the subtle color and evocative feelings that your paragraph ‘meadow’ contains.

You’ll know when you’re ready, just as the astronomer and botanist know. That little voice inside you will tell you . . . but you have to listen.


J.W. Nicklaus resides in a place not entirely fit for human habitation about five months of the year. No pets to speak of, only the apparitions from which all romantics suffer.

An Arizona native, he’s been from one coast to the other, and a few places in between. College brought an AA in Journalism with a minor in Photography, and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. His work experience has run the gamut from Creative Director for a small advertising firm in Tucson to a litigation support bureau in Phoenix (and assuredly some awkward stuff in the mix).

Snow has been featured prominently in his stories, perhaps because of the seasonless cli-mate he lives in. Nature was meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not hidden from the senses. So to that end, he hopes someday to live amongst those who are able to live through four true seasons, and not just blast furnace and warm.

He enjoys the occasional Arizona Diamondbacks game with his son, as well as watching him grow up. The experience of being a single dad has taught him far more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Within the expanse of every waking moment, he hopes his guardian angel keeps its arms open wide and heart ever watchful, for there but for one true Hope goes She.

For more about J.W. visit


A collection of short stories, each a splinter's reflection of the human condition, firmly centered upon our oft tenuous, sometimes tensile bond with Hope, and careening flirtation with Love.

Fifteen stories: From the wispy fog of a love lost at sea, to an orphaned child who delivers a present of her own during a war-torn Christmas. These stories are gentle reminders to each of us of what it is to be human, and certainly of our affinity for the slightest glint of Hope.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mischief Becomes Her

Mischief Becomes Her by Kasey Michaels

Description:Jessica Sunshine and her sisters will do anything to prove that their father was murdered and that he did not kill someone. So in an effort to prove it they decide to take on the dead PI's cases and solve them. One of them must lead them to the murderer.

Jessica Sunshine is a TV reporter who will stop and nothing to get her man. She may be younger the homicide detective Matt Denby but she definitely is a match for him. Neither can deny their attraction for one another. Matt must keep Jessica out of trouble while helping her solve a case if he wants to put his friend (and her father's) name to rest.

I am very interested in seeing where this series ends. I love the little mysteries in the story that help the main characters progress along in their relationships. Unfortunately I feel like there are still a lot of things to be solved before it can end - and as far as I can tell there is only one book left.

What genre would you consider this?


Monday, April 20, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews The Accountant’s Story

The Accountant’s Story

Roberto Escobar with David Fisher

Few men in history have been more beloved and more hated than Pablo Escobar, the most famous drug lord in the history of the world. Born into poverty in Columbia during a time of extensive violence Roberto tells the story of Pablo’s rise from a humble beginning in rural Columbia to the head of a multi-billion dollar drug cartel.

I was hesitant that this book would be a swan-song or love letter of sorts from one brother to another. Instead, I found myself unable to put the book down as I ignored my weekend obligations and opted to be transported into the world of the Medillin Cartel. During the narration Roberto plays the roles of family insider, business partner and historian seamlessly as he recounts both his role in the cartel and his brother’s rise and fall. Roberto leaves a successful career in sports to help Pablo in his illegal business where one of the problems Roberto must deal with is what to do with all of the money coming in from other nations where . It is estimated that Pablo spent $2,500 a month on rubber bands just to hold the money together. As Roberto flips between his roles of telling his story and Pablo’s story he examines the role of the drug trade and how it impacted Columbia both for the better and for the worst. An interesting read for sure. For Roberto who now lives quietly on a ranch in Columbia nursing physical and emotional scars the book must have served as a way to set the record straight on Pablo who plays the dual role in history as philanthropist/ hero and violent drug lord.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Ten Year Nap

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

Description: Being a mother in New York City is no easy task. And each of these mother's decided to stay home and raise their children. But now their children are getting to the age where they need them less and less. This allows or forces the women to realize where their lives are at.

Are they happy in their relationships? What have they been ignoring the last years as they focused on their child and less on the other things going on around them.

What do they really want out of life? Can they get back in to achieving the life goals that they put on hold for their children?

Thoughts: I definitely appreciated the subject matter of this book. The idea of staying home with your children is definitely appealing. Many feel like they have to. They mentally compete with those that have to or chose to go back to work.

What does it mean to go back to work after years of being a mother? How does that affect you in the job market? What does it mean for you in terms of relationships with other mothers? Should you do more or less if you don't have a job outside of motherhood? What happens if you don't feel the connection to your child that you should? How are you supposed to feel if your child doesn't live up to your expectations?

All these are things that anyone who is a mother or who is contemplating motherhood thinks about. How do you be your own person while still being a good mother.

The only thing that I didn't like about the book is I felt there were almost too many prospective. Because it jumps from person to person allowing you a glimpse into each life all of the people and all of the connections were almost too much for me to follow and remember. There were times I would get into a section and be like - oh - I remember that person and what is going on with them.

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics/Motherhood


Friday, April 17, 2009

Well-Read Commuter Reviews Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven

Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven

Sarah Jane Gilman

What this book was about: A memoir of the author Sarah Jane Gilman and her friend Claire’s 1986 globe trotting adventures. The girls have never left the U.S. when inspired by a "Pancakes of Many Nations" promotion during a drunken night at IHOP they hatch a plan to circle the world, starting in China, which has just opened to tourists. From the moment of arrival, they're out of their depth, perpetually hungry, foolish, and paranoid from relentless observation.

From start to finish this book was fantastic. This is the type of book where midway through the first chapter you are not only hooked, you are recommending it to others. Fantastic writing, an exciting story and rich cast of international characters deliver. It also appeals on many levels, it’s a story of travel and adventure in a time before cell phones and the internet, a story of friendship and a story of humanity. It had me yearning for the impulsive days of my youth. Sadly, until I saw the word “memoir” on the cover of the audio book I almost skipped over it. The cover photo and title suggested to me this was a cheesy fiction romance novel. The audio book is read by the author and also contains an interview with the author at the conclusion of the novel. It was interesting to switch from the conclusion of the adventure in 1986 to an interview of the author’s views over two decades later. Not only would I recommend this book, I will be sure to check out Gilman’s two earlier books, Hypocrite and Kiss My Tiara.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

At Grave’s End

At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress Novel)

Description: Cat Crawford is the Night Huntress. She is part vampire and part human. She is in love with a very old (and powerful vampire – Bones). She and her friends must stop the vampires (and other creatures) that are evil – stop them from hurting people.

But her hard work is paying off with not only defeating the bad guys – but now everyone knows who she is. In her line of work this isn’t a good thing.

A vamp has come back to town to defeat Bones, hurt Cat, and also destroy everything she loves. Is Cat strong enough to do whatever it takes to defeat this evil?

Thoughts: Loved it, loved it, loved it. This is my first Night Huntress Novel and from now on I won’t hesitate to pick them up.
The character of Cat is a strong woman who wants to make the world a better place. Even though she has some super powers – she has to deal with things like an unhappy mother, relationship problems, and friends who don’t get the idea that she isn’t available.

For anyone who likes paranormal books – I think this is a great one for you to pick up.

What genre would you consider this?



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Win a copy of Testimony by Anita Shreve

This is is your chance to win an copy of Testimony by Anita Shreve.

Same rules apply as usual - Please comment below if you are interested. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you (if I can't find you I can't get you the book). Five people will be drawn at random on May 22nd!

This contest is eligible to those 18 years of age that are residents of the US and Canada. We will not be able to mail to P.O. Boxes. One entry per person.

All entries are due by May 22nd - so enter now!

For more information on Testimony read below:

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

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"Shreve, consummate craftsman and frequent provocateur, is on fire in her latest novel, a mesmerizing read centering on a sex scandal at a prestigious Vermont prep school....Shreve views all of the characters, even the most flawed, with a good deal of compassion, revealing the heartbreaking consequences of a single reckless act."--- Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (starred review)

Anita Shreve is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including Body Surfing, The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange Prize. She lives in Massachusetts.


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Book Feature: Too Hot to Handle

Author: Robin Kaye
Pages: 405
Price: $6.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casblanca
Publication Date: May 2009
Description: Annabelle is a woman who doesn't want to cook or clean or do any of those traditional woman roles. Dr. Mike Flynn is a doctor who loves to do those things. So when they meet it seems like a match made in heaven. But there are secrets that could keep their love apart.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bone Crossed

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (A Mercy Thompson Novel)

Description: Mercy is overcoming a horrible incident in which she was hurt and forced to kill someone. For Adam the man that believes he is her mate - this is difficult. When the Vampire Queen punishes one of Mercy's friends because of Mercy's actions she knows it is time to get out of town. Surprisingly an old college friend has a problem - a ghost that needs to be removed from her house - and Mercy is the one to do it.

Of course things are not always what they appear. Can Mercy save her friends from the Vampire Queen's wrath? And what really is going on with the ghost that is infecting the house - it is dangerous and that is unusual for a ghost. Can Mercy figure it out in time before someone gets hurt? Mainly her?

I know I have read a Mercy Thompson Novel before but it must have been pre-blog because I didn't find it on here. And I definitely think it is one of the earlier ones because I don't have all the story in my head. For me it took a little while to catch up. I was able to catch up and feel like I knew enough about what happened to know how it related to this story - but it took a while. Personally, I would have liked to start over from the beginning and I think I would have enjoyed it all the more because of it.

But the story is great on its own and definitely kept me intrigued. I think I will be picking up the next Mercy Thompson book that I see.

What genre would you consider this?


Monday, April 13, 2009

Keta Diablo

Here's a little information on Keta's latest books:

PhotobucketDecadent Deceptions, an erotica historical was a 2008 Molly Contest Finalist, released by Noble Romance,

Daring and desperate to win Morgan’s love, Olivia Breedlove embarks on a reckless folly. But everything backfires when Morgan remains one step ahead of her and the game ventures down a path of duplicity and murder.A decade ago, Morgan was a heartbeat away from taking Olivia’s virginity. Her father, Thaddeus, intervened and threatened to meet him over pistols if he so much as looked at his daughter again. But now, Thaddeus is dead and Morgan has no intention of ignoring the ravenous hunger he’s harbored for the blasted woman for ten years. One way or the other, he will quench this burning desire and make her his forever.

Dust and MoonlightDust and Moonlight, my erotica fantasy/time-travel through Siren Publishing (

Balion, Prince of Locke Cress, waited a long time for the forest nymph with lavender eyes to come to him. The dreams told him it was just a matter of time. What they hadn't told him was that he'd lose his heart to the strange creature from another world.
After the serial killer attacked Kira, she awoke in a strange land. Now, she's running for her life from wild boars, wizards, and sorcerers, not to mention a Prince that makes her body melt in all the wrong places. Facing extraordinary circumstances as the evil plots unfold, Kira fights for her life, and for a love that neither time nor distance can ever dispel from her soul.

Land of Falling StarsLand of Falling Stars, erotica historical has made the best sellers' list at Ravenous Romance. (

Penniless, her parents and brother dead, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved childhood home during the Civil War. Another bluecoat is staggering down the hill, but before Sophia allows him to rob and pilfer like the others, she shoots him. How was she to know it was Gavin, the dark knight of her youth, carrying secrets too horrific to imagine and a passion that ignites her deepest desires?

As Sophia gradually discovers Gavin's secret and falls under his seductive charms, she struggles to know her own heart. Can she survive in the Land of Falling Stars, or will she lose it all to the horrors of the War and Reconstruction? And will the Southern lady and the Yankee soldier be able to recapture the bliss of their youth - this time in each other's arms?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book Feature She and I: A Fugue

Author: Michael R. Brown
Publication Date: May 2009
Cost $26.95
Pages: 283
Publisher: Petrarca Press
Description: This book is a book of themes of childhood and development - becoming a woman. What does that mean for you? There are connections between man and woman - they fall in love they care for each other. Told through a series of letters the main character finds themselves and tells the story of that progression.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Promises in Death

Promises in Death by J.D. Robb

Description: Eve is always trying to solve murders. Once they become hers she will stop at nothing to figure out what evil has caused this death. When the death is a fellow officer and the lover of one of her friends - she feels even more responsible for following through.

Chief Medical Examiner Morris fell for Amaryllis Coltraine and now she is dead. Is it because of some sort of police work? Was it a fellow officer? Could it just be random? No one knows and it is Eve's responsibility to find out. But as time progresses Eve realizes that Amy wasn't the person that everyone thought she was - she has a past. How is that going to affect Morris when he is already dealing with a horrible death?

I can say it a million times but I love the Eve Dallas books. It is true. Some give me more of what I want then others - and this one is definitely one that fulfilled my Eve quota for a little while.

For me these books are as much about the relationships and progression of Eve herself into being a person she never thought she could be, as it is about solving some sort of mystery. Eve has grown into someone who cares for other people, are involved in their lives, and can show (in her own way) that she cares. After having such a horrible childhood this is difficult for her.

The best "In Death" books focus on Eve's friends and their progression in terms of how they are moving forward in their lives. And this one definitely does that. Not only does her friend's girlfriend die - requiring him to lean on her, but there is a wedding in the future for another friend and that means celebration.

I would recommend this series to anyone who gets involved with a character and doesn't want to put down a book because it means saying goodbye. Because with these books they just keep coming back to tell you more.

What genre would you consider this?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well-Read Commuter Reviews Outliers


Malcolm Gladwell

What this book is about:

Outliers is a non-fiction book that examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success to those that are on the fringe or the Outliers in their field. In part it attempts to tackle the question: is success, as American’s like to believe, the result of rugged individualism or is there something else at work? Gladwell examines what made the Beatles and Bill Gates so successful.

Did you like this book?
I really liked this book. It was an easy listen. This is Gladwell’s third book and in it he examines success and challenges all of our notions and long-held beliefs about it. Could it be that success is at times a result of accumulated advantages, luck and some practice? I use to believe that for the most part, we make our own luck and now I am not so sure. This book is a must read for anyone in the education profession and would be enjoyed by anyone else with a curious mind. One thing that I can never understand is how one of criticisms most often hurled at the well-loved Gladwell is that he oversimplifies complex sociological phenomenons. I completely disagree. Gladwell has a knack for pointing out the obvious and the way that he makes statistics sexy and accessible for all makes me wonder where he was when I was in graduate school.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Win a copy of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

This is is your chance to win an copy of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson.

Same rules apply as usual - Please comment below if you are interested. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you (if I can't find you I can't get you the book). Five people will be drawn at random on May 15th So enter now!

This contest is eligible to those 18 years of age that are residents of the US and Canada. We will not be able to mail to P.O. Boxes. One entry per person.

All entries are due by May 15th - so enter now!

Well-Read Commuter Reviews It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership

It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

What this book is about:
In his third book since retiring from the Navy, Captain Abrashoff draws on his now legendary management techniques that he used to turn around the crew and morale of the USS Benfold. The management advice is geared towards anyone looking to turn their team into a more efficient and higher performing cohesive unit.

Did you like the book:
I did not read the first two books, It’s Your Ship or Get Your Ship Together, but I wondered aloud, just how many ship leadership/ management references can one man make in a lifetime? Overall the book was very enjoyable and an easy read. I guess in my case since I am driving the book was an easy listen. This book was read by the author which I really like. Books read by the author seem more sincere. In addition to management techniques which can easily be applied in the private or public sector to any size team, Captain Abrashoff also draws on what he has learned since the release of his first book, It’s Your Ship. The book seems to focus more on a team approach and the team as a whole recognizing that great leaders can not do it alone than his first two books.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tax-Free Retirement

Tax-Free Retirement by Patrick Kelly

Tax-Free Retirement This book will teach you how to retire with money in the bank. It talks about how to generate tax-free retirement income and leave money for future generations.

Thoughts:I know I am not a financial wizard. And generally I don’t read books about finances. But with this economy (and everything else) I thought – it might be interesting to see.

When reading this book the thing that stuck out to me the most was the author’s example of a man spending money on a boat. Once they figured out how much it was really costing him (in terms of interest, lost interest, etc) it was way more then he could imagine. It made me want to apply that to everyday costs as well. Eating out – it is costing you definitely more then you are imagining.

I don’t know if he has me totally convinced about where to put my money. He has me almost there (and that is quite a lot). It makes me think – since I was unaware of how things would work with 401K and taxes and death and all of that.

What genre would you consider this?


Book Feature: The Girl She Used To Be

Book Feature: The Girl She Used To Be

Author: David Cristofano
Pages: 241
Price: $22.99
Pub Date: March 19, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Description: Melody was only six when she was entered into the Witness Protection Program. Because of the promise of safety she has been many girls in her lifetime. When confronted by someone who knows her name – she can’t help but be scared – and interested in what is going to happen next.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book feature: Kill for Me

Author: Karen Rose
Pages: 415
Price: $16.99
Pub Date: Feb 2009
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Description: Teenage girls are turning up dead. There is more to this story then just their death's though. When one makes it through it alive - she reveals the secrets behind their disappearances and deaths. Susannah Vartanian and Luke Papadopoulos want nothing more to stop the killing. They need to find out what really the story is behind their disappearances. Can they find things out in time? What about their budding relationship - will that affect their investigation?

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time by Danielle Steel
Description: Coco Barrington has always felt like the daughter that didn't quite meet up to expectations. Her father was a famous agent to the stars. Her mother is a very famous author. And her sister, Jane, is a famous producer. What does Coco do - she is a dog walker.

Coco's life is perfect for her though. Even if she doesn't have the fame and wealth she has everything she wants. She lets her family walk all over her and while she isn't ok with it - she deals. When Jane asks Coco to house sit - Coco can't say no. That is when she meets famous actor Leslie Baxter. Leslie is using Jane's house to hide out and stay out of the paparazzi's eye. When he meets Coco he can't help but feel like she is unlike any other woman he has met before.

But living in the public eye is something Coco has never been comfortable with - and being with Leslie means she will have to get used to it. Can Coco be accepted by him and her family?

I really love how Danielle Steel books are more about relationships then romance. There is usually some sort of love interest in the book - but you spend way more time on the character of the main person in the book and how they interact with those around them then you do on the love portion of the story.

I also enjoyed the thought of seeing things from the person involved with a celebrity's point of view. I have to admit that while I don't go out and buy OK magazine or any sort of other magazine like that - I do enjoy following the gossip blogs on the internet. Having pictures of stars as they go about their daily life is intriguing (a window into a life you just don't have). But the idea that paparazzi has gotten so out of control that it is dangerous is scary. Many times you aren't just hurting the one person - you are hurting many. It definitely has something to do with the wealth involved in taking these sort of pictures.

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics


Friday, April 3, 2009

Book Feature: Secrets Unveiled

Author: Sheshena Pledger
Pages: 319
Pub Date: 2008
Description: This is the story of the Harris Family. They are a crime family that is out for vengeance and blood at every turn. They will stop at nothing to get it. Enter - Nick Miller - who just wants the bad day he has had to end. What ends up happening though melds his world and the Harris's together. Can he live through this bad decision?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book feature: Planet of the Dogs

Author: Robert J. McCarty
Pages: 82
Pub Date: 2007
Publisher: Barking Planet Productions
Description: The story of how dogs came from outer space to Earth to teach all of us how to love. They end up saving the planet and the farmers from an invasion.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Divine Justice

Divine Justice by David Bladacci
Description:Oliver Stone (also known as John Carr) is wanted by the government. He knows it and knows that he has done something that is wrong. But there are reasons for it - good ones. His friends in the Camel Club know he is an honorable man who has saved their lives and they will put theirs on the line for him.

So Oliver takes off - trying to have no connections. When he meets a nice boy who needs his help he follows him back to his home town - Divine. Oliver is only planning on staying a little time and getting back on his feet. Instead he is dragged into a mystery of what truly is going on in Divine. And it isn't good.

Can Oliver figure out what it is in time so that he can help his new friends? What about the governmental people who are after him and will stop at nothing to find him?

This was my first Camel Club book and I thought it would be hard to jump in mid series. It wasn't. There definitely is some history that is important to know - but at the same time it is recapped in a way that keeps you interested but doesn't overwhelm you. In fact I have plans to go back and pick up some of the other Camel Club books and read those as well.

I enjoy these flawed hero's. People who are genuinely good people but something happened to stop that. The law and the world around them wasn't giving them justice so they step up to do what is right. But they are good people who maybe have done bad things (mind you I am not suggesting that anyone should do this in real life - I just enjoy reading about it!).

The fact that Stone is a complex character who won't walk away when things get tough and yet is wanted by the law is interesting. He even understands that what he has done is wrong but he was pushed to do it by the need for vengeance.

What genre would you consider this?

Book Feature: Fifity is Not a Four-Letter Word

Author: Linda Kelsey
Pages: 354
Price: $13.99
Pub Date: March 2009
Publisher: 5Spot
Description: What if fifty? For Hope Lundhurst-Steel it is just a number. But all of a sudden as her world begins to fall about she finds out that for some people 50 isn't what she thinks it is. She loses her job and her relationship with her husband begins to fall apart. What she thought was so good - seems to be floundering. Can Hope find herself and realize what it means to be 50. Can she find out that it means something better then she ever thought?