Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fractured Legacy by Skye Callahan

 *Image from Barnes and Noble Nook Website

I've been doing a lot more reading on my Nook lately and I'm so glad!

It gives me the opportunity to read new authors; especially when I get the free download!

Fractured Legacy was a free download. This is one of the smartest things an author can do IF they have any talent at all. Below is my review.

The story line was very good. I loved the characters and the way the author built them without getting too detailed. You had a good feeling for who they were, without feeling like you knew their every more. I think this was a good move on the author's part because it kept you wondering sometimes. Nothing was "easily" guessed and the ending, while not dramatic, was definitely not something you knew almost 2 chapters into the book.

Callahan's style of writing is excellent. The only complaint about the Nook version was that there were about 6 or so VERY obvious type-o's that jump out! For me, type-o's mean that you didn't spend that few extra bucks to have someone decent do some editing. Yes, this is my husband's company and I do have a bit of an "investment" in that link. Full disclosure here. But truthfully, the book was short enough that a decent editing job would have been fairly inexpensive with Z e-SSISTANT SOLUTIONS and made a much better impression.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author does NOT take the time and effort to edit well. It's too difficult to edit your own work; so get someone else to do it. I don't care if it's a friend or relative at least they will see obvious type-o's. You can choose to hire an inexpensive editor for small books and specify that you don't want the writing changes but only type-o's. Things like this can make or break small, new authors.

So now that I got that off my chest (I will rant like this anytime I see a number of type-o's ... sorry!) I'll go back to the review part.

The characters are well written and go into enough depth that you aren't bored. Based on a paranormal activities company that is suddenly taken over by a new "boss." The book takes place in a somewhat small town and you immediately get the sense that this town is large enough to keep a semi-low profile yet small enough to know many people. It's obviously large enough to have paranormal actions going on that are regular enough to warrant a company to deal with that particular town and perhaps surrounding towns.

Because the book is a "shorter" story (I think because it's a first time Nook release to introduce readers to the series) there's not a whole lot of time spent on detail. This minimal detail can be a plus or a minus, depending upon whether you're in for a long read or just enjoying a short enough read that can be done in a day or so. Personally I don't think it took anything away from the book and allowed for the author to get her work out there while being able to put more detail in her next works.

The book is short but not too short. The plot keeps you interested and even wondering if you do or don't have the answers. I love the paranormal so I enjoyed this type of work. The author is definitely one I'll be keeping on my radar.

Fractured Legacy is book 1 in what is listed to be a "series" of books. Book 1 (for free) on Nook and then Book 2 in the series; Beyond The Divide (for $2.99 on Nook) is all I currently see listed. I'm hoping the author comes up with more in the series!

I'll be purchasing the next book in the series for sure. While I've viewed other books from this author I may hold off on the other styles of writing she does. Just not my cup of tea. However, the Fractured Legacy Series is definitely worth the read. Try it for free, with nothing to lose. Then if you love it as much as I do grab the inexpensive 2nd in the series!

I would give this 4 Stars on the 5 Star scale! With book 1 you're not taking any real chance other than possibly finding another author you enjoy. If you enjoy the paranormal this author has found a way to bring some light, enjoyable stories into your world. Grab it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

EAT ALL DAY - DRINK ALL DAY: A Never-Hungry way to get slim and stay slim

A Book Review of:

EAT ALL DAY - DRINK ALL DAY: A Never-Hungry way to get slim and stay slim

By D.G. Long

I decided to check out the Eat all Day - Drink All Day weight loss plan for a couple of reasons. Having been recently very successful in losing over 100 pounds, the natural way and not with surgery, I feel I have a pretty good insight to the world of weight loss. I’m always looking for new recipes, new ideas, and ways to enhance this new lifestyle. I’m also kind of at a “loss” plateau but still “losing” inches while exercising so I was hoping to find some new ideas for changing up our routine of eating a lot of the same old things.

This book intrigued me because it seemed like a simple approach to creating healthy recipes. Once I opened the first pages I realized not only was I right but the recipes were amazing. Filled with tons of great recipes, some of which I've put on my "regular recipes I make" list, the only disappointment I had was that the author only puts calorie counts. There is a reason for this, as the author's entire thought process on weight loss is a simple and truthful one to some extent. She believes losing weight is a matter of Calories In versus Calories Out. I do agree with her to some degree but unfortunately in today's world we should also be very conscious of the items we're putting into our bodies to the point that we at least can easily see things like fiber content, fat content, and so on.

I personally think if more nutritional information were offered for the recipes she could even sell more books to those on other programs that work for them. However, the author is adamant about it all being simplified to caloric intake and output so I fully understand why the book is written in the style it is written.

I love the fact that the author is "one of us" so to speak. She's not some doctor who weighs the perfect weight and has never struggled with weight issues but has read up on it all. She's knowledgeable because she's been there, done that and isn't ashamed to say so. You can always tell when a recipe book author who is targeting weight loss and healthy eating lifestyle change isn't a person who's ever really had to struggle with the issue of weight. Those books tend to be very formal, factual, and informational but often unrealistic in real life. Sure, who wouldn't love some gourmet eating but who has the time to not only whip up their "ideas" for weight loss but afford half the items they want you to buy?

Eat All Day's author is not only realistic but uses REAL food and doesn't take all day to create her recipes. I truly love the book. As for having to figure out the rest of the nutritional information (because I also like to know how much fiber ,fat and general nutritional info is in my food) it's not that big of a deal as I utilize the SparkPeople.Com recipe builder if I'm wondering. However, many of the recipes are so basic you just know that it's okay and either high in fiber, etc. and works with your new healthy lifestyle.

So exactly what's inside? Well, without giving it all away let me peak your interest with a few titles of some recipes offered. You can start your day with Mexicali Eggs, sip on a chocolate cheesecake shake, or enjoy an exquisite dinner with Bravissimo Chicken (sounds way more "foo foo" than it really is!) just to name a few. The book is divided into sections including drinks, salads, beef, seafood, and so on. You can find anything you want easily with the reference area both in the back of the book and the table of contents so you're not fumbling for that recipe you saw. The book is small enough to be handy, yet filled to the brim with real food ideas and recipes. Simply said, its simplicity is its best feature and that's not normally the way most weight loss books are. Perhaps that's why most weight loss plans are often tossed aside after just a few weeks or months.

The author has a bit of a sense of humor also, which once again justifies her ability to truly give good advice on how she's lost weight because she is very "real" in her approach. No matter what "diet" (I hate that word too and rarely use it) you're on or if you're just ready to take a no frills approach to losing weight, this book is a must for everyone's collection of recipe books. Real, down to earth, and quite yummy in content I think Ms. Long has nailed this recipe book perfectly. My only other "complaint" about the book? I'd love to see it twice its size!

Kudos to a great job Ms. Long. You've done well for those who are tired of complicated, full of crap systems to suddenly be thin. You're realistic approach is refreshing and your recipes delicious!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Hot Dog Stand In The Himalays - Review

A Hot Dog Stand in the Himalayas is a very quick read. Well written, it is from the view of a child who tells about her wonderful and memorable relationship with her grandmother. It's a group of small quips and memories, moments caught in time as if they are mental snapshots.

Written with style and ease, the author truly makes you feel as if you are there. It had me longing for the days I had spent with my own grandmother and wishing I had written down such vivid moments that may have seemed "normal and everyday" to most but so special in hindsight.

You will smile at the ideas, chuckle at the childlike love and actions, and enjoy every moment that you are allowed to spend inside the mind of a child.

As I read I couldn't help but wonder "Why the title?" but as seemingly fit it all came together in the fashion you would expect of the entire story as it's told.

I guarantee you will walk away from this quick read, glad that you were given these few moments in the life of a family and yearning for the memories of your own childhood that made someone in your life that "very special person." Wonderfully written and definitely the bright beginning of an author that I hope to see more of as time goes on. Truly enjoyable.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

StarConnect - A Way to Become A Star?

I've decided as part of my "reading" blog I have to start including my electronic reading.  My last blog post was on reading a Nook Book so I thought why not start reviewing some websites that have been called to my attention too?  So welcome to my first "Website Review"; since reading comes in all shapes, sizes and styles! Right?

With the world of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" and " America's Got Talent" you  have to take notice of the sudden onslaught of interest in those who are hoping to reach stardom.  In seeing this increase in competitive programs on television shows that not only are there millions of people out there hoping to reach the stages of being a star but there truly is some talent that may go untapped too.  How many people slip through the cracks of these shows?  Can they really find every wonderful and outstanding star material when literally searching through hundreds of thousands of entries each and every day?

That's where sites like StarConnect may come in handy!  This site offers a slew of information and help in helping you start joining the ranks of stardom.  While they don't hand you promises of instant stardom they do offer you tips and answer questions that many people who didn't "grow up in the industry" might have.  They also offer the ability to create an online Bio.  StarConnect is based on the ideas from StarCentral Magazine.  It was created to give options to those who are looking to get into the entertainment industry and focuses on both the local and international industry.  You can take your talents as far as you'd like with this site, staying local or going full tilt and finding people interested in your talents and look from all over the world.

If  you're someone that is hoping to break  into the entertainment industry this is an amazing resource to join a social media site that joins like minds.  You must provide an online Bio that will go through an approval process.  This keeps everything from spammers to fake members who may prey upon the hopeful from having easy access to those who are members of the site.  Once your Bio is approved you become a member with all the privileges.  These privileges include being able to update photos, events, and promote yourself and your talents on the site.  You can engage in conversation and communication with like minds and others in the fields, giving and taking together to help one another.  You may find out about up and coming events that are close enough to your locale that you could attend, trying to get that break you're looking for.  You may find some colleagues that are very similar in the type of entertainment you are looking for who will be willing to share some secrets, information and even mentor you if they've been out there in the field for a while.

I really see this community as a positive and great way for anyone who is already in the entertainment field looking for their break or thinking of getting into the field to join.  There are limitations of age and other fine print (not really fine, but well spelled out) on the site to check into.  You need to check this site out if you have your sites on stardom! Check them out! StarConnect will have you feeling like a star, while giving you tips, hints and so many ways to connect with others.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Book Review

I  haven't posted in sooooo long! It's not because I haven't been reading but more so I've just found so few hours to do things like blogging anymore! I suppose that's a good thing, it means I'm keeping busy right?

I can't believe I have literally not blogged since 2010 on here! I won't try to catch up with all I've read but I will try to add some new material.

For Christmas my love bought me a Nook.  I wasn't sure how I would be with it. I love high-tech stuff but when it comes to my reading I tend to have a heart based upon holding a book in my hands.  I bought this amazing pink (my fave color) gummy protector and a pink zipper carrier/cover off ebay for really cheap and decided "OK, now I have to get serious and truly start reading off it!"  I still wasn't sure about giving up holding those sweet, soft pages that I was so used to and grew up with though. Well that was quickly dismissed with my first download.  In the beginning I used to think that I wouldn't be too keen on paying $10-$15 or so for a book I couldn't share with others because I really love to share my books; so I basically scanned and downloaded every "freebie" they had on Barnes and Noble.  I still don't think I'll be able to read all those let alone the ones I have or want to purchase! 

Which leads me to the first book I purchased for my Nook, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I had been listening to everyone saying how amazing the series was and kept saying "I'll have to get those" but with all the books I have sitting here waiting to be read on my bookshelves and those that I get for book reviews (although I rarely even do those anymore because of time limits and it seems lack of paying ones getting worse and worse) I never really got around to buying the first of the series.  I decided that I'd bite the bullet and buy my first book for my Nook because to be honest I really, really loved the idea that I could easily take my book with me (tucked in my purse safely) without forgetting the book someplace (somehow you are a lot less likely to leave a Nook LOL) and decided why not begin the series I keep saying I'm dying to read?!

I had often read where people would say "It was hard to get into but when you finally did it was great" however, I really had read so many "It was amazing" types of reviews that I kind of pushed the others aside. It looked like something I would enjoy and B&N had The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on sale for 1/2 price at $5 so I figured my first paying download would be a deal too. 

I started to read it and I was so intent on wanting to read it that I really did push and push. After about the first 30 pages or so I found myself stopping and saying "Are people insane? THIS is what is so wonderful and amazing?"  In all seriousness I honestly debated just considering it a loss for my money and quitting but I thought perhaps if I put it down for a bit maybe I'd "get it" better later on.  

I tweeted about my "lack of interest" or the slow pace of the book and a ton of my fellow Reading Twitter Friends quickly responded with "I swear, if you can get past the first 100 pages or so it is amazing!"  I will admit that I am NOT one to force myself to read something.  If you don't have me within the first chapter or so I just consider it a loss.  Perhaps that's the wrong attitude but for me I truly feel as though I have so many options out there and so much waiting to be read that I see no purpose putting myself through hell as I trudge through the pages of something "hoping" it gets better.  I decided to believe them, because those same posts came to me in quantities and in particular by one of my fellow reading twitter friends that really seems to enjoy the same books as I do so I trudged on.  All I can say is I AM SO GLAD I KEPT READING!

Seriously, the book is excellent!  While I really wish the author would understand how to make the ENTIRE book as interesting as the rest of it, I have to admit that there was a point where you went "BAM!" and realized why all the boring stuff (although I still think it could have been written better so you'd be more interested) all pulled together to create this amazing story.  If you're looking for an amazing book and series to read for the summer I highly recommend The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I can't wait to get started on book two of the series but I keep forgetting to grab a B&N gift card to make my purchase (I refuse to put books on "credit" and pay that  much in charges/fees when I can use a gift card to purchase them).  

The story not only took twists and turns that you never expected but was so well written, as opposed to the beginning, that I almost wondered if the original author hadn't been replaced!  The characters are truly intriguing and range from quirky to slightly insane to completely whacked. LOL  The writing style finally became smooth and easy flowing, making it a quick read once I hit that top of the long trudged mountain that was making it so hard to read!  Just when you think you have it all figured out you suddenly realize you're wrong. Best of all, just when it's all finally wrapping up you realize you wish the book were going to keep going! To me that's the best sign of a good book, not only that you don't want to put it down but you also don't want it to end.  

Of course if you couldn't tell by now, I give The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo a definite 2 thumbs up review.  It's wonderful and intense, intriguing and interesting, edge of your seat reading.  While I'm still very disappointed in the fact that the author for some reason had to bore the reader to death for so long in the beginning, I do kind of see his reason for writing what he did but just not HOW he did I guess.  I truly am one of those that say "Push on, keep reading it, it will be sooooo worth it!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Monster On Top Of The Bed - Review (Children's Book)

I don't get the chance to often read and review a children's book so when the opportunity came I was pretty excited. As a matter of fact, you can see by my history of book reviews on my personal site that I don't often add on many childrens books and the reason is simply because most don't warrant a true mention.

Most kids books I've reviewed, I can honestly say I'm less than thrilled with. Being a mother to 3, now grown, children I know what kids love. Reading was and is an integral part of parenting in my world. As I look forward to being a "grandma" some day I can't wait to pull out all those books we loved to read as a family and read to my grandchild but I also can't wait to share some of what will become our favorites either and I'm quite certain The Monster On Top of The Bed will become one of them!

My original beginnings with The Monster On Top of The Bed began with some editing work I did. The author contacted me and asked for a quick look-over on the book and to make some suggestions. Generally I just prepare myself for some less than meaty reading, small words tossed together with very little true meaning and most of the time some pretty unexciting pictures. I've even had kids books with NO pictures?! I'm an adult with a slightly higher attention span and I appreciate pictures! Kids LOVE great pictures to go with the story!!!!!! When I got this one I was so very pleasantly surprised! This not only has a real story line but something a little different and ends up being very educational! I would almost recommend it as a teaching book also, as it uses some very unusual techniques to show

As I read The Monster On Top Of The Bed from I was impressed. It is simply a wonderful story about a little girl, Suzy, (the monster) who scares Karrit (the one who's afraid of the "monster" on top of the bed), and how funny it can be when you don't realize that things aren't nearly as frightening in real life as you might "think" they are! The wonderful use of "play on words", such as the poor monster Karrit being afraid Suzy's going to eat HIM because he heard her say she loves to eat "Carrots" is just adorable and funny. It takes a subject that can be frightening to a little one and makes it comical and fun. In the end you'll be chuckling along with your little one about the silliness of Karrit and Suzy and I'm going to guess you're going to be asked over and over to read this story!

The artwork is quite good also. Unlike many books that toss a few pictures together without much thought, even the discussion section at the end of the book makes you realize there was a lot of time and effort put into each and every picture. For example one of the questions they ask is "Why does Karrit's nose change color?" and after you read the story you realize that wasn't a big deal in the book but the picture clearly shows Karrits nose in different colors! This question make you and your little one ponder "why" and come up with some of your own ideas! You'll go back and read it again and again to try to come up with some answers to the questions they ponder at the end for you to discuss! It's wonderful. You'll talk about friendships, worrying about things that maybe you shouldn't worry about, and so much more!

I highly recommend this wonderful and delightful story to you. If you have a little one to share it with... it's going to be well worth it to make a regular story you share! So click on the site and take a look. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fun & adventurous monsters can really be! AND when you purchase the book in pdf format from the site, you get an e-book that can printed and shared with your kids, giving each their own copy to draw in, write in or even cut out and use the pictures to decorate their room! It's a wonderful way to bring a book to life! Remember when we used to get in TROUBLE for writing in our books!? Not anymore! This way they truly make the book their own & can reprint it often, keeping one "good copy" to read, while having a copy to make into their very own treasure!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Promised Land by Michael T. Darkow

A "Promised" Heartfelt Story
  review by: Beverly Pechin for Review The Book

My biggest problem with finding the words to "review" this book was that I didn't want to scare anyone off. I'm not sure if it's unfortunate or fortunate that words like "heart wrenching" and "intricate" quickly come to mind but there's no way around it, this book is both. The characters are so intense that you feel as though you must pay close attention to who they are and where they fit in; later to find that they simply fall into place and all connect at some point. The story line is so intense and deep that you cannot walk away from reading this book without questioning man's mindset and ease to hate.

The story begins in nearly what we would think of as mankind as "the beginning". A poor shepherd saves the life of a Prince, and so the story begins and carries on through the generations of lives of the Jews and later, those who live in Israel/ Palestine.

Many of us think we know and understand the trials and tribulations of those who have lived and died in the Middle East. Israelites and Palestinians have fought for what seems a lifetime of lifetimes for a land they feel is theirs, but in the end we rarely know or understand the beginnings or the people behind the battles. We see torment, death, hatred and so much more that overwhelms the true stories beneath the battles... until now.

While the work of Darkow is one of fiction, there is no question that it is based on many facts and uncovering of families involved throughout the years in this part of the world. From the story of a war torn Germany and it's flight of Jews back to their "homeland" to the almost recognizably similar fight seen from the other side of the battle, the Palestinians, against the Jews. What set me aback the most was the very distinct likeness that these two groups of people seemed to battle, yet never realize the similarities of their ethnicity intertwine only to find hatred.

The hardest part of the book is the amount of characters who vary from place to place, time to time, family to family & generation to generation. At first it may seem overwhelming, but once you realize you should just read and they will fall into place it all settles into your mind and comes together like pieces of an intricate puzzle. I don't say this to put off any would-be readers, but instead to enlighten them not to be put off by the quick introduction to many names and faces, sometimes overwhelming you but in the end all just falling into place. Any good author has the ability to do this with a group of characters yet few are able. Darkow's talent to easily pull each and every character into place is recognized by any reader to be not only a "must" in such an intricate story but a talent not to be overlooked.

What hit me the hardest with this book is the ironic twist of stories, intertwining literally exact stories of being treated like animals instead of humans yet each forgetting their own mistreatment as they mistreat others almost in the same way. The lack of humanity, the true grit of hatred overcoming any remote inkling of human kindness makes you not only ache deep within for what has gone on and continues to go on in this region of the world but question mankind himself and how they can sometimes be so quick to forget.

This story hits hard. It rings of so much truth you have to remind yourself that it's a work of fiction. It hits so hard that you realize we, as humans, may have be able to love without hatred interfering in our hearts. Simply put, Darkow has managed to bring a piece of the world that so many of us thought we understood or knew and put us into the reality that we haven't a clue what our own hearts can do or become. The best part? Perhaps in the end some of us can become what we are meant to be, "human", instead of what we have become. Perhaps there is a hope, even for a part of the world that seems to have always functioned with hatred surrounding it.

On a 5 Star Scale.... OUR PROMISED LAND rates at 4 1/2 Stars!