Monday, November 2, 2009


Terror Time
Author: William P. Robinson
Publisher: Infinity Publishing

I read this book on Halloween, and it was the perfect read for that day! William Robertson has taken a collection of his poetry and short stories and offers readers a book that is both thought-provoking and scary. A couple of the stories are written using characters from his previously published collections of stories, but they stand on their on as great stories too.

Several of the poems, while written simply, are haunting and will stay with the reader for some time. Robertson has a real talent for taking every day thoughts and events and adding a frightening twist.

I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite story, I pretty much recommend them won't be disappointed. If you enjoy cowboy/western type stories, there are a couple here you will enjoy. The author has written a series of books in that genre that I look forward to reading. They are added to my growing to be read list!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stunning Characters, At Turns Hilarious, Raw and Heartbreaking

Author: Sam Moffie
Publisher: Xlibris

Sam Moffie has gifted readers with a really outstanding and unusual read. In great detail and marvelous characterization, he shares a wealth of imaginative and unique life stories of three fantastically eccentric characters. All three of these characters share the same therapist. This therapist has a great impact on all of them, in most unexpected ways.

The stories told by our characters range from hilarious, sweet, sentimental to horrifying and heartbreaking and every feeling in between. Seymour, Constance and Irving come from three different cities (Steubenville Ohio, Boardman Ohio and Brookline Massachusetts) and three extremely different family backgrounds and dynamics.

Totally original and somewhat complex, the tale takes readers to an ending in New York City. Moffie is a talented storyteller, and brings all the gifts of his craft to this wonderful work of fiction. I can't recommend it highly enough!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Suspenseful, Entertaining, Hard to Put Down

The Test
Author: Patricia Gussin
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

When Paul Parnell died, he left behind a fortune in the billions, adult children by three different mothers, and a number of grandchildren and in-laws. Prior to his death, Paul realized that one of the regrets of his life was not being active and available in the lives of his children. His trusted lawyer is instructed to create an iron-clad will that requires his 6 surviving children to examine their lifestyles, morals, and values, and make decisions on what is important to each. The final disposition of family fortune will depend on the decisions made by the children over the next year.

The family dynamics are interesting and somewhat convulted here, much like they are in any family of step children, half siblings, etc. It's interesting to watch the interplay between the sons and daughters, and the way they view themselves and each other. The author uses recent political and international events to weave throughout the story, adding an additional level of realism. The novel chronicles the next year in the family, and marks numerous ups, downs, sadness and happy events.

In some cases, there is almost too much going on, and I found myself having to backtrack once or twice, just to check out familial relationships. In a novel with this many characters, plot twists and subplots, that's to be expected. Some of the twists the book used were easy to see coming, some were not. It definitely held my interest thoughout.

If you enjoy suspense and family intrigue, you will enjoy this book. I plan to read more of this author's work in the future.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Therapists: Add To Your Professional Reference Shelf

Essentials of Premarital Counseling: Creating Compatible Couples (New Horizons in Therapy)
Author: Sandra L. Ceren
Publisher: Loving Healing Press

We all know that a large percentage of American marriages end in divorce. These numbers are even higher for subsequent marriages. No one gets married planning to have it fail. However, many couples put more emphasis on planning the wedding than they do on planning the actual marriage. As a Therapist, you have a wonderful opportunity to assist couples in learning how to make the marriage work after the actual wedding ceremony and honeymoon end. Dr. Sandra Ceren has put together a remarkably easy to follow and understand counseling blueprint for couples considering marriage.

Real life case studies and examples will lead the therapist through a series of ten meetings and discussions with couples. Using her ideas and proven methods, the therapist can assist couples in finding areas of probable conflict, work through them, and emerge a stronger team after counseling sessions.

Dr. Ceren combines education and experence to assist couples in the "art of gracious compromise", lessons that would serve most of us in both our personal and professional relationships. The author writes frankly and honestly about the need to actually know a partner before marriage, and offers quizzes that can help your clients explore each other's personality, personal history and thought processes.

I found the entire book well written, excellently presented and very well organized. It's obvious Dr. Ceren has put much work into this guide. I firmly believe that any therapist hoping to include marital/premarital counseling in their practice should keep a copy of this book close will be referred to again and again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Written In The Great Crime Noir Style of the 40's-An Excellent Read!

Author: Joe Wesley Rowland
Publisher: Outskirts Press

Written in that marvelous style of the 1940's crime drama noir, Timidity can stand on it's own with novels by the likes of Raymond Chandler, Doris Miles Disney, James McCain and Horace McCoy. Joe Wesley Rowland has allowed us to take a step back in time and enjoy a real "old style noir" murder.

Taking place in the late spring of 1945, a hardworking woman, Annette Mosconi, husband missing in action in the war and a son readying for college; is thrown into jail, falsely accused of murdering her boss, a small town attorney involved in a case that could blow the lid off a scandal involving the wealthiest family in town. A corrupt sheriff and a deputy with more testosterone than brains conspire with the wealthy family matriarch to be sure that some secrets stay undercover.

Annette can only count on her son, Rick to help her. But Rick has problems of his own. Suffering from what he calls the "heebie-jeebies" (now known to be social anxiety disorder), Rick has inner demons to fight and conquer to assist his mother in escaping her harrowing ordeal and clearing her name.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well written and suspenseful novel. On a personal note, I also have social anxiety disorder, so I was able to understand what Rick was dealing with on a more intimate level. Filled with suspense, well drawn characters and a well put together story line and plot, any fan of courtroom drama, murder mystery, crime drama noir, or just a good read can enjoy this story.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Motivating and Inspirational, Must Read!!!!

The Upside of Fear: How One Man Broke the Cycle of Prison, Poverty, and Addiction

Author: Weldon Long
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

I am recommending this book to everyone I know! The author delivers a true tale that is heartbreaking, funny, motivational, and feel-good, all rolled into one book.

Growing up, Wally had a father that was distant, and while never really in big trouble, he was a classic underachiever and didn't really fit in well. He married young, and it was a dyfunctional relationship. Neither he or his wife were happy, and neither really knew what was wrong, or how to fix it. One night Wally is out driving around aimlessly (pretty much the way he had lived life up to this point), when he picks up a hitchhiker. Together, the two of them decide to rob a store, and life goes rapidly downhill from there. For the next 20 years, Wally's live is a mess, over half that time is spent in prison, when he is out of prison the time is spent committing crime, drinking, using drugs, and having a son that he rarely sees. With a ninth grade education, he finally realizes in prison that the only way to change things is for HIM to make a decision, change his life, and make it the way he wants it to be. He begins by reading every self-help, religious and motivational text he can get his hands on. The story from there is nothing less than an inspiration. There is truly something here for us all to learn.

Weldon (Wally) Long pulls no punches here, and doesn't try to pretty up the truth of his mistakes in any way. The story is harsh and brutal, and sometimes it's pretty tough to have any sympathy for him. Written with honesty and from the heart, it will make the toughest reader feel a tug on the heartstrings. Teaching himself to share his loving feeling for his son through letters to the boy, he shares a tender and moving part of himself; one he wasn't even aware existed.

If you know someone struggling with life, and feeling that they are just unlucky and ready to give up, buy this book for them. Regardless of your views on religion, whether you believe in God, miracles, or anything else; this book will touch your soul and help you see things differently. I have already loaned it out to a friend, and actually have several more folks in mind to lend it to next. In fact, I plan on buying a couple of copies, one to keep for myself and a few more to share with friends, family and others.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Go-To Book for Alternative/Complementary Health Therapies

A truly complete guide to complementary and alternative health therapies

UnBreak Your Health
Author: Alan E. Smith
Publisher: Loving Healing Press

During these trying economic times, more and more people are looking into complementary and alternative medicine to help them deal with stress related and other ailments, diseases and medical conditions. Besides the use of Western, or traditional medicine, there is a growing interest in the use of alternative therapies. Many people are intimidated by the wide variety of alternative/complementary medical processes and procedures that exist. There is a wealth of information available, not all of it is reliable, and people are unsure where to start researching, and question whether they should even try.

This book is probably the most useful reference I have seen in this large field of study. It's exhaustively researched, and contains information that ranges from A to Z on the spectrum of alternative medicine. It's written in an easy to understand style, and is set up in a very useful format. I especially appreciated the various comments garnered from people who have actually used these treatments, and their opinions and results. In addition to being a great overall reference, it's a great manual for people just beginning to look into these therapies. Additionally, there are available podcasts and interviews with leaders and researchers in this growing field of medicine.

If you have researched alternative and complementary medicine at all, you know that the field is crowded with books and publications, and knowing where to begin your research is daunting, to say the least. Often, traditional medical providers are less than helpful in this area, and the patient is left floundering on their own in trying to understand what is available to them. I think this book has a place on the reference shelves of anyone interested in better understanding this field, and would be invaluable to any beginner in starting their study of the field. In fact, I think this book can easily replace 5 or 6 other books on my shelves, a testimony to it's comprehensive coverage of alternative and complementary therapies. I discovered great information on age old practices, as well as information on brand new therapies that are not available elsewhere.

Any one interested in taking a more active role in the health and wellbeing of themselves and family members could greatly benefit from this comprehensive work. I applaud this author for a truly groundbreaking reference on an important subject for us all.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Good Book for Teens Regarding Sexual Identity Confusion


by Amber Lehman

Pub: Closet Case Press

isbn: 978-0-9795933-6-9

For some people, discovering their actual sexual identity is easy; they are heterosexual and always know that without questioning it; or they have always known they were homosexual. Times have changed, and I think it's probably easier in today's world to be gay or lesbian than in the old days. However, I would imagine that not knowing for sure one way or the other would still be pretty rough to deal with.

This novel deals with a group of teenage friends. When a new girl moves into town and joins the group, the dynamics seems to change a bit. As a teenager, alliances change, petty jealousies come and go, and there seems to be a minor drama going on constantly. In this work, the author introduces us to a group of teens with more than just the minor drama; it's major stuff here. Some of the characters are well drawn, and you feel invested in their life and the goings-on. Some of the characters seem to drift, and it''s much harder to care what actually happens to them. For a first time novel, that's somewhat to be expected; hopefully in future works the author will paint her characters more fully.

There is a lot of sex here, and some graphic depiction. In other instances, it's so glossed over that you are unaware of whether anything actually went on or not. There is actually no real parental involvement anywhere, which I also felt was less than realistic. No one ever seems to have an actual parent giving rules, punishments, etc. Granted, lots of kids today don't have proper supervision; but it bothers me that there is no parental involvement here at all. I think that might have made the story seem more real, and easier for today's teens to identify with. There were some older brothers that seemed in charge of the family dynamics, but that doesn't really ring that true to life.

I'm definitely not a prude, and have no problem with sex when it furthers the plot or seems right for the situation in the story; but some of it is so gratuitious that it isn't really moving the story along and seems to be added just for sex sake. That being said, I do think the story will appeal to teenagers, but it should be older teens, as the author suggests, not younger teens.

I found the story line interesting, and I think that there are many good points here. For teens unsure of the sexual route they are taking, it would probably make them feel better to read about kids with the same issues. I am happy to see that the author made mention more than once of safe sex. That message can't be put forward often enough, in my opinion.

I finished reading this two days ago, and wanted to give myself time to digest and think through the story before reviewing it. There are many redeeming features to the story; but I think too much is left unsaid and unexamined. Life is not full of pat answers to problems, and the book sort of stops at a point that seemed unrealistic. I may be looking at this from the wrong perspective; I am coming at this from the other end of the spectrum, a person 30 some years past the teen years, and with more life experience I tend to view things much differently now than a teenager would; perhaps they would not be disappointed in where the story ends at all.

In all, I do think the author has a bright writing future ahead of her, and would look forward to reading her future work.
Tags: age, coming, confusion, identity, of, sexual, teens

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Ground Breaking Work, But Not For Beginners

Humanizing Madness: Psychiatry and the Cognitive Neurosciences

Author: Niall McLaren M.D.
Publisher: Future Psychiatry Press

There seem to be as many schools of thought on psychiatry as there are individuals in the practice of psychiatry. This excellent work by Niall McLaren M.D. takes a comprehensive and concise look at the major theories of the practice of psychiatry.

The book is well done, set up in a very easy to follow format. Each theory is explained in detail, and the author offers his opinion on the flaws and fallacies of each. It's obvious that much research and study has gone into each review, as well as into the problem areas and better working models. Will everyone agree with every opinion delivered by McLaren? Of course not. However, the review and research does lead to a rethinking of each theory; and many excellent and thought-provoking statements are made. I was particularly interested in the way the author viewed the theory regarding panic and anxiety attacks. It offered me an interesting perspective I had never considered before, and one that actually makes a lot of sense and is practical. I have suffered from panic and anxiety attacks personally for many years, and found much to ponder in his ideas and views.

This is not a book for beginners in psychology/psychiatry/neuroscience. I believe that to really understand and appreciate the depth of work that went into this publication, a reader would need a somewhat more intense understanding than just the basics of the science. I would recommend it to anyone with a working background in the field, and believe that they would find it as thought-provoking as I have.

It will definitely remain on my shelves as a future reference. I fully expect that at some point it will be recognized as a groundbreaking work in the field.

Regain Control of Your Life: Step by Step Guide

Regaining Control: When Love Becomes a Prison (New Horizons in Therapy Series, 4)
Author: Tami Brady
Publisher: Loving Healing Press

Independence means different things to different people. Tami Brady, the Author of Regaining Control: When Love Becomes A Prison, has written an excellent book that speaks to all women, regardless of their personal situation and views on independence.

It's a sad fact of life that many women will live at least part of their lives in poverty, or at the very least, have a tough time making ends meet, often while attempting to raise their children without a spouse or helpmate. Oftentimes through no fault of their own, they will be left in less than ideal circumstances. Reading this book and following the steps and guidelines can help you move beyond your current circumstances.

Written in an upbeat, easy to understand style, Regaining Control helps lead you through the questions you need to ask yourself to plan for your future well-being. Touching on many types of problems, personality issues and lifestyle situations, the author shows that change is possible, and lays out in great detail how to succeed to meet your needs. Any reader will find the checklists, questionnaires and forms to be useful. The book will help you find what's truly important to you, and guide you through the process of setting goals and breaking them down, turning them into steps that are easier to reach, and less overwhelming than looking at the big picture without a gameplan.

My daughter works with abused women in an emergency shelter. When she saw this book, she was excited and impressed to have access to an easily understood, easy to follow manual that she could recommend to her clients. That speaks volumes, in my opionion, about the usefullness of this book.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Great Resource for Survivors of Sexual Abuse-at any age

101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Pocket Book of Wisdom

Author: Amy Barth
Publisher: Loving Healing Press

This is a great book for any survivor of sex abuse, of nearly any age. Written in a very easy to understand format, it is simple and straightforward. The main point is made over and over again.....IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! This little gem of a book reminds survivors over and over, and that's a needed reminder, as most abuse survivors do tend to blame themselves.

The book doesn't cover any new ground in the fight against sexual abuse; but it's purpose is really to assist survivors, not give professionals more knowledge. I have worked with sexual abuse survivors in the past; and all these topics will prove helpful and help with the healing process. Reminding people that there are good days and bad days is essential. It's not like having an illness or disease; it never totally goes away. But working through it can make recovery possible.

If you have a loved one or friend that is dealing with abuse, they will find this book helpful. Read it yourself, and you will gain insight into helping those you love deal with what can be a devasting incident.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Well Written, Engaging, Enjoyable-Water Landing

Water Landing
Author: Jonathan Slusher
Publisher: Cow Chip Press

Pretty often, the day to day grind of lfe gets in the way of really living it. Unfulfilled dreams, relationships, life-long goals etc., can often take a backseat to the day to day. Usually, we need a real wake-up call to become aware of this.

In this novel, our main character, Lukas Kettle, is doing just that. He wants to write, but is working a lab job to make ends meet. His last relationship was several years ago; he still hasn't moved on. In fact, he still sees her everyday at work. He reconnects with a childhood friend, Sara, and they seem headed to a real relationship. Only one problem, Sara is suffering from cancer, and has a few months left to live. Jonathan Slusher, the author of Water Landing, uses a really interesting technique of story telling. Going back in time, he recounts the relationship with Sara, and lets us in on the daydreams and hopes that Lukas pins on this relationship. Near the end of her life, Sara cuts herself off from Lukas, leaving him without closure on the relationship, with only his fantasies of making it work left to him.

Lukas travels back to his hometown for Sara's funeral, and to hook up with some old highschool buddies. In the process, he reviews his life and where circumstances have gotten him thus far.

Told with excellent insight and tenderness, Jonathan Slusher has written a novel that stays with the reader after finishing it. You'll examine your life, and possibly look at things from a different slant after reading. You come to care about Lukas, and mourn Sara's passing with him. I could not put this book down, I found it captivating, well written and satisfying. I look forward to more work by this very promising author.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day of Vindication: Thought Provoking, Frightening

Day of Vindication

Author: James Rupe
Publisher: MidLand

Regardless of your religious or political leanings, I think everyone in America is aware of the potential of another terrorist attack, or perhaps the end of the world as we know it. One has only to read newspapers, online news or watch the evening news on tv to see that this is a real threat to today's world.

Day of Vindication is a chilling story, and one that should give pause and concern to us all. Imagine: A major US City in Texas suffers a massive explosion, numbering millions of deaths and crippling the local law enforcement system. For some time, the rest of us would be unsure just what happened. Newscoverage would be everywhere, but basically telling us nothing new, hour by hour. Then, as confirmed reports come in, we realize it is the worst possible scenerio; nuclear attack. The search is on to find out who is responsible, and if worse is planned.

The story centers on two elite counterterrorism agents, Cassandra “Army” Armendorfer and her partner Raphael Guerra, lead government specialists on a hectic chase. The search for the bombs and terrorists travels far beyond our country's borders. Could the entire world teeter on the brink of annihilation?

This is definitely a well written, well thought out nail biter! The author seems to have done his research homework thoroughly. I don't want to give away too much of the story': suffice to say that it is nothing less than frightening and sobering.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Might Change Your View of our Criminal Justice System

We all know the terrible toll, financial and otherwise, that repeat offenders take on our lives, financially and emotionally. Daily, we read and hear about a person with a long criminal record, known for violence, being released from prision only to reoffend, usually in a horrible manner, only to return to jail again. Over and over, the pattern repeats itself, with heartbreaking results and impact to society and victims and their family members and friends.

Now, imagine you have worked tirelessly with offenders, trying to ensure that they have learned not to commit crimes again, and to return to society and live as law-abiding citizens. This is the case with this novel. A man has given a large portion of his life, emotions and energy to working with offenders, trying to keep them from reoffending. One night, he gets a call, one of the men he is working with has been picked up, charged with a horrendous and nightmarish rape and murder of a beautiful young teenager. When he arrives at the police station, he inadvertently meets the parents of this young girl, and is haunted by their grief and anger.

He decides it's time to change professions; he hasn't the heart to work with these inhuman offenders again. A wealthy and powerful man offers him another option-large sums of money, everything he needs to carry out the job, if he will kill these offenders before they can wreck havoc on society yet again. The people that will be killed are the worst of the worst, people who have committed horrendous crimes against innocent people over and over again, playing the "go to jail, get parolled, offend again" game for far too long.

It's a fascinating proposition. All that money, our taxes, that could be better spent on education, welfare, services for good and law-abiding citizens in need. Taking the wealthy man up on his offer, our main character begins their "novel" approach to crime fighting.

Highlighting long time societal issues and problems, this novel takes a unique and fascinating view of an alternative answer, and the ramifications.

Well written, and filled with suspense, this thought provoking novel will have you questioning the current judicial system, and the problems it has. Wonderful storyline, great characters, and a unique plot make this a great read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Critical Conditions: Essential Hospital Guide

Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive

Author: Martine Ehrenclou, MA
Publisher: Lemon Grove Press LLC

It's an unfortunate fact of life; medical errors and misjudgements occur regularly. By reading this book, you can be prepared to advocate safe hospital care for yourself and your loved ones.

The book consists of over 100 interviews with people who were the victims of serious medical mistreatment and errors. The reader can learn how to best handle problems when they arise; and how to be proactive enough to possibly avoid the problems in the first place. Without undue blame or discrimination against the medical profession, the author shares information on questions to ask, being sure you understand the why and how of treatments and medications. You will learn who is responsible for specific areas of patient care within the hospital, and how to be sure your questions and concerns are addressed immediately and by the proper person.

My father is currently undergoing cancer treatments at a prestigious medical facility in our area. While I and other family members have confidence in the care he is receiving, we also realize that the major responsibility for his safe care rests with us. In today's world of rapidly changing health care, new technology and medicines, etc., it is more imperative than ever that we remain vigilant. This book will help those of us not involved in the medical profession understand how care works, and what to watch out for. I highly recommend this book as required reading for anyone who cares about the quality of healthcare they personally, as well as friends and family members are experiencing. A must read and great book to have on hand for future reference.

Now for something Different.......

Finding the Moon in Sugar

Author: Gint Aras
Publisher: Infinity

Written in a most unusual style; I found this book to be a real winner. The author, writing as our narrator and hero, Andrew Nowak, uses the language (profanity and poor grammar) that we would expect from a stoner and aimless drifter. I thought that was a great touch, although it did make it a bit more difficult at first. It just took me a little time to get into the style of the writing, but once I did, it added realism and a certain sort of grace to the story and the character.

Our hero, Andrew, is a down on his luck pot smoker and dealer, with the dysfunctional family that tends to go along with that lifestyle. I really loved the character of his Grandma, and actually enjoyed his Mom, who would be great on either the Jerry Sprenger show or an episode of Maury. I can enjoy characters without liking them, personally. However, I know some readers have a difficult time with characters that seem unlikeable. That may lead some people to have objections to the storyline. I would recommend they try to look past that, because the tale here is a gem.

Andrew mets up with a beautiful woman in a laundromat, where he waiting for his "connection" to arrive. His appointed purchaser is running late, and he and Audra, the woman strike up a conversation. She makes him an interesting proposition, and Andrew goes home with her for a little bit of boy-toy prostitution. She's beautiful, mysterious and wealthy. Needless to say, our hero falls for her in a big way. She's come to this country from Lithuania, as a mail order bride. When she takes off for her country of birth, Andrew is heartbroken. Using the logic only a stoner/idiot would have, he decides to come up with the money to follow her, and win her undying love.

Of course, Andrew hasn't thought this through very well. Upon his arrival in her hometown of Vilnuis, he realizes that he hasn't a clue how to find her, much less win her back. He finds a cheap place to stay, and decides to try his hand at detective work. He finds a bar and new friends to get high with; and through a comedy of errors manages to hook up with his beloved Audra.

Away from the stablizing forces of her husband and life in the US, Audra has returned to her real self-narcisistic, self absorbed, and spiraling out of control. Andrew finally realizes this, after numerous strange and weird, sometimes sad and alternately hilarious twists and turns. He decides to return to America, but needs some cash. From there, things take even larger unexpected turns, and change his life in a way he could never have imagined.

I took some interesting insights into human nature from this tale. It illustrates the sadness and aimlessness of some lives, and the amazing transformation that falling in love with the proper person can bring to a messed up soul. A very unusual story, written in an entertaining and provocative manner. While this book will not suit everyone, I think many people, myself included, will enjoy the unexpected direction and oddball characters.

Weird Wacky Wonderful Short Stories for Strange People

Return of the Dittos

Author: Dale Andrew White
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing

Dale Andrew White is very strange, dark and kind of "pervy" (in a good way!) . And we are so lucky that he is! This book, Return of the Dittos, is a collection of short stories. Be careful where you read them, because if it's in public, people around you will wonder about your sanity. I read it while waiting for my Dad to finish a doctor's appointment. I can't tell you how many times I realized I was laughing (actually snorting in a ladylike way) way too loudly. I know I got more than my share of stares, worried glances, and those looks you get from people who are watching to see if you are someone harmful.

His writing style varies from old school storytelling to broad satire, to rather bawdy and definitely R rated . The subjects of his 20 short stories are as varied as one can imagine. From the catfighting world of the junior leaguers, to lowly boxboys at the local grocer, to family life at it's most hilarious. There is something here for everyone, and it's all rowdy, raucous and fun. Whoever would think we could laugh at the end of the world? And I certainly didn't know the revisionist humor that was the voyage of Christopher Columbus.

Showcasing his variety of storytelling, I actually found myself tearing up with sentiment, not laughter, at one story. The Author of Moe Howard Died for Our Sins has done it again.

It's a Wild Ride, and nobody does the driving any better than Dale Andrew White!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Body To Bones A Great Read, 50's style!

A Body To Bones

Author: Donan Berg
Publisher: DOTDON Books

This was an excellent book! I have always enjoyed mysteries, especially the ones from the 1940s-1970s, written by authors like Doris Miles Disney, etc.. I always found them most enjoyable because it seems that the characters were more fleshed out, and the storyline was fuller; with more of the emphasis on the story and moving the plot along than with unnecessary sex scenes or graphic violence.

Author Donan Berg takes us back to that style of writing and mystery telling with this novel. A small town, where everyone seems to know everyone else's business. The town is shook to it's foundations when skeletal remains are found in an unused factory outside of town. All the mysteries of the last 20 years come to light, as people in town it the body of a well loved Catholic priest, who "left town" unexpectedly over 10 years ago? Or the remains of a woman who was thought to have left her husband around the same time....or maybe someone who just had wondered into town and met with trouble. The main characters include a likable newspaper editor/publisher, his wife and adopted daughter, her boyfriend, the local sheriff, and assorted town folk. The story builds well, and while the killer is a surprise, it all comes together nicely at the end. I found this to be a greatly enjoyable book, well written and filled with intrigue, suspense and drama.

I look forward to other materials by this author.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Like Suspense? Read this book, It'll keep you up all night!

Author Rick Wallace
Publisher Infinity Pub

Imagine planning your retirement for years. You are looking for an isolated, remote lake front property, building your own cabin, spending your golden years enjoying your spouse, your dog, fishing, boating and the great and beautiful outdoors.

This is where the story of Tim and Joan Henry begins. The couple, both educators, are searching for their dream property. Tim has just retired, and Joan is finishing up a final year. They despair finding a nice property that has everything they want at a price they can afford. Tim finds an ad for a property that sounds exactly right. It is being sold by a man who's father owned it and passed away. The son is anxious to get rid of the property, and the price is excellent. Tim can't believe their good fortune. Joan, trusting her intuition, thinks something is not quite right........and they soon discover she is correct. Was the former owner murdered? Is the local sheriff right in his belief that it was a drug ring, and the fellow was just in wrong place at the wrong time, or is there more to it than that? What about all the crazy stories Tim hears from local store owner, Ike? Not to mention a case of arson and mass murder some 50 years ago.

As Joan and Tim confront odd happenings and scary situations, they begin to wonder if they made the right decision........and if they can survive long enough to figure it all out.

The story is well written. I loved the descriptions of the property, the lake, the local characters and just the over all feeling of the author's view of Maine. The characters are well drawn, and extremely likeable. The plot is great, and moves to a climax that was unexpected, to say the least. At times, I thought I had it figured out, and the with a bit of foreshadowing, I was partially on track.

I think anyone who enjoys a good mystery would like this story. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more from this author.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Death For Beauty
Author Alberto Rios Arias
Publisher Freedom Rivers Books

It is not often that I read a novel that I would personally consider to be a masterpiece. Alberto Rios Arias has done just that with A Death For Beauty. Making no apologizes for the character and lifestyle of Virginia Mae Mercy, her story is laid bare before the reader. Love her or hate her, you will definitely be moved by the story of her life.

Filled with rich imagery, I was totally enthralled through the whole story, laughing on some occasions, and actually weeping in others. The depth of the author's study and research of the particular time frame in American history is without equal. I found the situations and characters to be true to life, and no effort was made to "sanitize" or make allowances for the characters and their failings.

Life hands some of us some truly horrendous circumstances, and good or bad, we are shaped by them. I found Mr. Arias' ability to see into his character and bring her to life to be extraordinary.

There is a truly magical and redemptive quality to the novel. I found the actual autobiographical information about the author and his fight with Marfan's Syndrome to add an additional depth to the story, and I felt the personal journey of his own life added even more depth and character to his perception of Virginia Mae Mercy. I urge all readers to carefully and thoroughly read both the prologue of the story, and the additional information about the author.

Some readers will find this a difficult read, and in some cases, it is. However, you will find yourself moved and touched by the character of Virginia Mae Mercy in ways you can't truly understand until you read her story.

I strongly urge you read this book. It may very well change how you view certain aspects of life, hardship and death.

The Go To Guide for Metapsychology

Beyond Psychology: An Introduction to Metapsychology, 3rd Edition
Author Frank A. Gerbode
Publisher Inst for Research in Metapsychology

In reading this book, I discovered a true gem. I have done extensive research and study in metapsyhics and metapsychology. I believe this to be the absolute best foundation for the study of metapyschology I have ever read. I sincerely wish it had been available to me many years ago. There were certain aspects of the study that always seemed confusing to me, and I spent much time trying to grasp a better understanding.

Frank A. Gerbode has amassed a truly excellent and workable knowledge of the subject. It is offered in easy to comprehend, extremely readable style. The appendix, glossary and other additional information were stellar.

I have long believed that the practice of psychology was incomplete, in that it did not accurately take into account a person's life history and frame of reference for making personal decisions. The practice of metapsychology leads the practioner to use the personal frame of reference, history, experience and belief system of the individual client. Anyone with an interest in the study of psychology, or just in better understanding their loved ones' decision making processes, would find much helpful information here. I will definitely be using this book again and again in research and review.

Well done!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Extremely Helpful Reference On Abuse

AM I BAD? Recovering From Abuse (New Horizons in Therapy)

Author Heyward Bruce Ewart III
Publisher Loving Healing Press
Find Your Way to Freedom Today!

I used to be a social worker, and dealt with cases of abuse on a regular basis. It is an unfortunate fact of life that abuse is prevalent today, and has been for some time. I do know that things have changed slightly for the better, as understanding of the effects of abuse have significantly improved. That said, much remains to be done.

Perhaps one of the toughest parts of dealing with clients, abused, abuser, and family members of both; is getting them to understand the far reaching consequences of abuse. The author, Heyward Ewart III, does an excellent job of illustrating just what some of these consequences are for all involved. Through the use of case studies, discussion and review of psychological theory, and information of on-going research; the author offers hope of healing and working through the abuse for all involved.

There are numerous tests, checklists and questionnaires included. These are extremely useful to the layperson, qualified counselor, student and family members. Anyone in the field of psychotheraphy or counseling will find this book extremely helpful. Some of the areas, of course, are simply review of theory and information already known widely. But even for the long-term counselor there is new information to be gleaned. I consider this work to be an important new addition to the field of study of abuse. If you have a family member who has suffered abuse, or been abused yourself, you will find much here to help you.

I admire the author's ability to speak to all levels of interested people who will be reading this book. I think no one will be confused, or feel that he is talking "down" to you, or dumbing down the info to make it easier to understand. His forthright manner and detailed writing style will make this book informative and useful to anyone in the field or with an interest in the long term effects of abuse.

It is definitely a book that will be referred to again and again by all users. I look forward to reading additional material by this author.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Love, Lies & Murder

Author Gary C. King
Publisher Pinnacle

A successful lawyer, Perry March married the beautiful daughter of one of the most powerful attorneys in Nashville. Through his wife Janet, Perry won a position in his father—in—law's firm and joined the city's social elite. The couple raised two children in a mansion that Janet designed.......

As with the other books I have read by this author, I was hooked from page one.

As a true crime junkie, I follow television, internet, newspaper coverage of these cases with great interest. I personally believe that NO OTHER WRITER covers the intricacies of these cases like this author. A word of warning, if you tend to be a "big picture" reader, you will find this book too detail oriented. For those of us who follow these cases closely, we crave this level of detail. Nothing fascinates me more than learning indepth about the working of the criminal mind, what the killer was thinking, why he did what he did, and how he tries to extricate himself from the crime. Additionally, the police procedural work, the courtroom theatrics, etc., all add tremendously to the details of the whole case. Nothing clarifies the actual case like words taken directly from the mouths of the involved....the criminal (or the accused), the victim or survivors, the families and friends of both, and the law enforcement officials involved.

I recommend this book and author to anyone who needs the details of the cases

His Goal? To Kill An Even 50 Women

Author Gary C. King
Publisher Pinnacle

They called him "Uncle Willie." At night, Robert "Willie" Pickton visited the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The women he picked up never came back...

Count me among the many fans of Gary C. King. As an author, he meticulously researches the crimes he covers. I know that when I pick up one of his books, I will read more details than I will get anywhere else about the story. If you are a true crime junkie like me, you want to understand what the killer was thinking, and what makes him or her behave the way they do. Not that knowing the background of the killer gives him any excuse, of course; but as a student of psychology, I find it truly fascinating.

At any given time in the country, it is believed that there are numerous serial killers at work, many unknown, their crimes yet connected or possibly discovered. The tale of "Butcher" illustrates this point well. The crimes had been occuring for years, and while police felt sure that they were connected, it took quite a while for it all to come together.

King makes a point of including much information about the actual court case, photos, transcripts, etc. I feel that I have personally been in court for the cases he covers, and I can always count on one of his books to be the most thorough and detailed for information on the crime. I heartily recommend you add him to your must read list if you appreciate detail and in depth study of the criminal mind, law enforcement techniques, and victimology.

Yes Virginia, Men Are Pigs....sometimes

Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider's Guide to How Men Think

David M. Matthews


Yes Virginia, men can be pigs. But didn't we already know that? Written with truth, humor and more than a bit of satire and pathos, author David Matthews tells us that what we already thought is true; to some degree. Then he further clarifies the why for us all. In an enteraining and enjoyable way, he explains why they think this way, and perhaps how women may also be at fault for this thought process. As a woman, you either know it, accept it and work with and around it, or you spend a lifetime looking for something that doesn't really seem to exist.

Does he paint men as shallow, sex-driven critters? Yes. Does this reflect poorly on them? Sure. While many women and probably some men will be insulted and consider this to be a step back for us all, taking exception to everything written; even more of us will laugh and recognize our loved ones and ourselves within. And what's wrong with laughing at human nature now and then? I loved this book, and wish I had come across it years ago, back when I was young, naive and innocent (ok, maybe I was never that naive or innocent)but it can help you take the blinders off and look at the game of relationships and the dating game in a more realistic manner. I heartily recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor about life.

Something for Everyone, A Personal Favorite Book

A Pig In The Rumble Seat
AuthorEdward Hujsak
PublisherMina-Helwig Publishing Company

I absolutely loved this book! Thank goodness I don't have to choose a favorite story, I would be hard pressed to do so. All in all, a delightful collection that includes poetry, memoirs of the author's life ranging from tales during the depression to space rocket launches, his work developing the Atlas and Centaur, some fascinating science fiction and even contemporary tales.Mr. Hujsak has a way with words and language that gives the reader the impression of being on the scene for each tale. I found some of them sad, some touching, some laugh out loud funny. In fact, I even read the titular story out loud to my husband, and we both laughed throughout. Perhaps a more glowing recommendation would be that my husband, a total non-reader, actually read several of the stories and enjoyed them. In fact, the book is on his bedside table. He actually plans to read more of it; without me twisting his arm or using other methods of force. I think we are fortunate indeed, that this talented fellow has chosen to share his stories and memories with all of us. There is truly something for everyone in this book.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Perfect Murder? If He'd Kept His Mouth Shut, Maybe!

Author Gary C. King
Publisher Pinnacle

Author Gary C. King is truly a master at the true crime genre. Join him as he tells the story of a hard-pushing political powerhouse, Kathy Marie Augustine. She pushed her way through the "good old boy network" in the Nevada legislature, rising at the time of her death to the elected position of State Comptroller. A nationally known political figure, her death made headlines around the country. Even bigger headlines followed, when it was discovered she was brutually murdered, and who the culprit was.I recall following the case on Dateline, the Nancy Grace Show, and 48 hours. As a true crime buff, I was fascinated by it. I was anxious to find out more, and the author of this book definitely did not disappoint me.

Kathy's killer thought his plan was foolproof. Had he kept his mouth shut, it just might have been foolproof. Choosing a poison that left no physical evidence behind , Kathy's husband, critical care nurse Chaz Higgins, had seemingly pulled off the perfect murder. Kathy had been a political powerhouse, a beautiful, wealthy and sexy woman. It was easy for friends of the couple to see how Chaz had fallen for her. Her domineering attitiude eventually got the best of Chaz, and rather than risk losing the "good life", he committed murder. Were it not for a hardworking Nevada detective, the case would never have been solved. Chaz Hggins made a thoughtless comment to a coworker, and that coworker had a good memory. If not for the continual questioning and probing, the detective may never have heard a report of the comment Chaz made.

Go beind the healines to a story even more riveting than the best work of fiction. Gary King brings details to light that were unmentioned previously, and his insight is very helpful and adds much to the story. I look forward to reading many more books by this author!

Stolen in the Night

Stolen in the Night: The True Story of a Family's Murder, a Kidnapping and the Child Who Survived

AuthorGary C. King
PublisherSt. Martin's Paperbacks

This true crime story heartbreakingly conveys the story of the anniliation of a family. Sexual psychopath Joseph Edward Duncan II brutally murdered a mother, her older son, and her boyfriend. Duncan then kidnaps the murdered woman's other 2 children, young Shasta and Dylan Groene from their idyllic Idaho home.Millions of people watched the horror of this case unfold on the evening news. Detectives and the FBI scrambled to find the missing children, and the nation held it's collective breath, hoping for the best, anticipating the worst.Told with an unerring eye to detail, Gary King's book takes the reader on this heartrending story, from harrowing twists to the tale of a courageous little girl who manages to survive against all odds. You feel the righteous indignation that comes with knowing that a bragging sexual predator was allowed to escape his punishment for earlier crimes, the horror faced by the young girl who he sexually brutalized, and the brother she knows he murdered. This story will haunt you long after you finish reading it, as much from the experiences of the family as from knowing that the system didn't work, and that this monster was allowed to go free. Mr. King writes with great detail, and shares much of the case, the work involved, and the background story that allowed this horror to exist in the first place. I came away knowing more about the faults of our justice system, and what made this psychopath "tick". Knowing that Shasta has been reunited with her father, and is receiving psychological help to deal with her ordeal, brings the book to a decent conclusion. There is no happy ending to this story, and Mr. King doesn't try to paint a picture of one. It's handled with tact, well-meaning and compassion.

Art for The Everyday Joe

The Art Of Everyday Joe: A Collector's Journal ((Website:

AuthorMichael K. Corbin

I've always enjoyed art books, but often felt they were not written for the regular guy or gal on the street. You know, those of us who can't afford the masterpieces, but have a great appreciation of the beauty, individuality and charm of all medium of art work.Lots of great art, lots of great detail, and a totally enjoyable read. I have a new appreciation of art as a whole, and will view many pieces with a new eye. Anyone new to the art world, or anyone intimidated by the style often used to review and describe art will find this guide invaluable. It's going on my keeper shelf, for sure.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alaskan: Stories

Alaskan: Stories
by Tanyo Ravicz
Publisher iUniverse

I couldn't put this book down! The characters are wonderful, richly drawn and eccentric, and I found I cared deeply about them all. As a long time lover of the Alaskan life and peoples, I knew this book would be great fun to read. I did not anticipate just how involved I would become in each story, and they all left me wanting more about each character. Many of these stories have stayed with me long after I read them. Isn't that what we want from a great book? Interesting plot lines, eccentric and warm characters, and great details of all aspects of Alaska life. I will definitely be re-reading this one over and over. If you are an Alaska fan, a fan of the short story, or just love a good read in general, be sure to grab a copy of this book. I plan to pickup anything else available by this author and look forward to much more great reading.

Does the Bible and Science Go Hand In Hand?

Coils of the Serpent
AuthorRaymond Clark Lutz
PublisherInfinity Publishing

I absolutely could not put this book down! The characters were finely drawn, and the action was nonstop. I was extremely impressed by the intense research the author did in putting this novel together. I found myself fascinated, and taking notes throughout. I actually pulled out a bible and did comparison readings, right along with the 3 main characters.As if the actual story of the scientic inquiry of the bible wasn't enough, there is a concurrent story that will also hold you in it's grasp. I actually forgot I was reading a story at some points, and raced along to find out what happened next. If you enjoy thinking and reading at the same time, as well as reading just for pleasure, then this book is definitely for you. Regardless of where you place yourself in the debate of science/evolution versus literal translation of the bible, you will find much to think about in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has grappled with these issues, and I am sure that you will find yourself questioning your previous thinking on the subject. I certainly did, and did not expect to. The richly drawn characters, well thought out and researched plot, and the questions raised will remain with you long after you finish the book.

Addiction-What's Really Going On

Addiction--What's Really Going On?: Inside a Heroin Treatment Program

AuthorDeborah McCloskey
PublisherLoving Healing Press

Deborah McCloskey truly has a passion for working with heroin addicts, and that passion shows through in this book. Each story offers a heart-rending view of an addict and the people who care about them, the addiction and working to the other side, becoming drug free. McCloskey shows that while there is no easy fix, with understanding and care, and the proper medical treatment; all addicts have the means needed to change their life. The characters are richly drawn, and you will find yourself rooting for them and caring about them. The actual discussion on the use of methodone and the psychology of addiction will prove useful to anyone with a loved one, friend, or family member in the grip of any addiction.I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is considering pursuing a career in psychology, social work, or addiction counseling. You will find it invaluable. The book is written to appeal to the every day reader, too. You will learn from it, cry for the addicts, and cheer on the people in the trenchs working with addicts every day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Jolly Good Fellow-A Jolly Great Read!

A Jolly Good Fellow
AuthorStephen V. Masse
PublisherGood Harbor Press

An unexpected story, growing into a memorable and thought-provoking ride. What happens when you mix the holiday season, and a confused young boy with a troubled grifter searching for a sure thing, the big bankroll? This unlikely plot delivers one of the best novels I have read in some time. Richly drawn characters, slowly revealing their inner demons and dreams to each other, offer a fascinating view into the human psyche. You'll care about them, and hold your breath more than once while reading this unusual tale of a kidnapping, a lonely man and a young boy.A welcome mix of humor, suspense, twists and turns, you'll enjoy this book, whether at Christmas time or a sweltering summer day.

2009 Writer Watchdog Self Publishing Director

2009 Writer Watchdog Self-Publishing Directory

AuthorDeana Riddle
PublisherNew Vision Media

Wow! I've read several self publishing help books/directories, and this is by far the most extensively researched and helpful one I have come across.Any question you have about self publishing is sure to be answered here, in an easy-to-understand method and very thoroughly. This book will definitely stay on my reference shelf, and I will be sure to watch for updates by this author as they become available. Anyone considering or planning to self publish will thank themselves for buying this book. It will prove to be a valuable timesaver, moneysaver and sanity saver.

Confessions of a Trauma Junkie

Confessions of a Trauma Junkie: My Life As A Nurse Paramedic
AuthorSherry Mayo JonesPublisherModern HIstory Press

I've always had an extreme interest in the field of medicine. And emergency medicine, especially. Needless to say, I was immediately drawn to this book, based only upon the title. I discovered that it totally lived up to everything the title promised. Thinking about emergency medicine, you realize that the only "routine " in this field would be the non-routine, ever changing situations. Sherry Jones Mayo has the ability as a writer to draw you into the stories, you feel an affinity for both the workers and the patients. In truth, you do feel as if you are a passenger in the emergency vehicle with her. I can honestly say I felt the rush of adrenalin, the nervousness, the dread, the anxiety, and the humor of each situation. Emotionally, I was draw to each story, feelling drained by some, giggling at others, and actually feeling for every person in each story. I couldn't put this book down. Ironically, 2 days after I read it, my elderly father fell at his home. My Mother telephoned me, I rushed to their home, and made the decision to place a 911 call for help. As I watched the paramedics and emt working with my father, I was able to realize what they were feeling, and know how much they wanted to help him and ease my Mom's anxiety. I felt a new respect for these people, and the tenderness and compassionate care they show strangers on a regular basis.I have since passed this book on to four other people to read. All of them have enjoyed it tremendously, and agreed that it gives the non-medical person a rare view of the daily world of emergency medical personnel. I would consider this a must read for any one remotely considering entering this field of work, as well as anyone with an interest in medicine and the world of medical treatment. All patients would probably have a new respect for the emergency medical personnel who care for them after reading it. I look forward to reading other books written by Sherry Jones Mayo. Her storytelling abilities are excellent, and she has a real grasp of personality, plot and writing