Book Review · Books

Winter Of The Wolf

Bean’s best friend is her older brother, Sam, who named her back when he was two. He was that thrilled to be getting a little sister. Bean also, has her long time BFF, Julie. High school life seems fairly mundane and normal until the night of Sam’s best friend, Skip’s party. Sam hasn’t finished his paper, so their mom grounds him from going. He’s ticked off and fuming.

Julie and Bean were supposed to have a BFF sleepover, but that night their parents have company over. Bean gets their mom to ok Sam to quickly take her to go pick up Julie since Bean is only a freshman. That night a bad storm is ragging and the conditions are awful. The conditions were ripe for what happens next. The accident is horrific with a deer running out in front of the car and a tree stopping them.

Sam is gutted by the accident. Julie and Bean watch him go in the pouring rain to briefly lay himself over the dead deer. They get him to stumble home where his parents realize that he has a big gash down him and he’s bleeding a lot. His mom cleans him up and he retreats to his room to work on his paper. Bean and Julie go to their room.

Awhile later they hear a horrific scream. They rush to find Bean’s mom staring into Sam’s room. Bean can’t erase what her eyes are seeing. The paramedics are called and they all race to the hospital.

The end result is Sam is gone. Bean can’t fathom life without her brother. The cause of death is ruled one thing, while Bean determines it can’t be that. Sam loved his life. She determines to figure out the reason for his passing, to dig deep behind the supposed cause of death. Will Bean ever figure out the true reason?

I received my complimentary copy of Winter Of The Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler from Greenleaf Book Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel tackles the heavy topic of death and how Bean and her family each handle Sam’s passing.

Book Review · Books

No Truth Left To Tell

The cover is intriguing. What looks like tornadoes are in the background, the sky is red and in the front is a noose. That imagery alone makes you wonder if the story is about a natural disaster. This novel takes us to Lynnwood, LA where it’s racist past is still remembered. The town square by the courthouse is where people were lynched.

Daniel, the Grand Dragon of the local KKK wants to rile things up and decides to burn a few crosses at prominent places around town. One place was this little old lady’s front lawn. The pure terror of it caused her to have a heart attack.

Enter in Adrien Rush, the federal civil rights prosecutor from DC, who swoops in to get justice for the cross burnings. In trying to get the grand dragon to talk, Adrien realizes this group plays dirty. Will Adrien be able to get justice served?

I received my complimentary copy of No Truth Left To Tell by Michael McAuliffee from Greenleaf Book Group Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are of my own choice and mine. This debut novel is fast paced and interesting to see the inside workings from a prosecutor’s viewpoint.

Book Review · Books

Death Is But A Dream

First off the cover is unique. It makes me think of an old school composition notebook with the style of binding. The colors on the cover are vibrant. The topic of this slim volume is one we like to avoid: death. Not just death, but our dreams we have before we pass on.

Dr. Kerr is a doctor at Hospice Buffalo. He wanted to give a voice to those in the process of dying, to have these patient’s voices be heard fully. He shared cases of all different types of patients from children, to couples, to those with a rough and tumble past, as well as mentally/physically challenged. He wanted to share what type of dreams they are having and how these dreams helped the patient graduate towards accepting that they were going to pass.

If you are into dreams then this book may be of interest. Dr. Kerr wasn’t looking to interpret these patients dreams, but to see how they helped each patient in having resolution.

I think each patient who graciously allowed themselves to be interviewed was fascinating, insightful and comforting. How can dreams before death be of comfort? I think Dr. Kerr noticed a pattern how the person’s dreams helped the person come full circle regarding their life.

I received my complimentary copy of Death Is But A Dream by Christopher Kerr from Avery, care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own choice. This book was hard to put down. Even though the topic we all have to face some day isn’t easy, this book I think is a great conversation starter and after finishing it I actually feel more comfortable with the topic. We don’t get to choose if our passing will be sudden or gradual, hence why we have to be spiritually prepared at all times.

Book Review · Books

Kidnapped on Safari

Do you like Africa, suspense, mystery, danger and a unique cast of characters? Kidnaped On Safari is the story of Pero, a wildlife TV show producer on set in Africa when his Safari guide, Mbuno learns that his son has been kidnapped. Pero has been through many harrowing adventures and when he decides to help Mbuno rescue his Safari guide’s son, they have no idea what they’ll be stepping into.

Two of the gentleman on the safari that Mbuno’s son was kidnapped on arrive back and explain that they were on the safari to take pictures of the wildlife. Pero wonders why someone would want to kidnap Mbuno’s son, but after enlarging the photos Pero realizes there’s more involved then it appears.

This novel is short, but action packed. I like how each chapter is written in the native tongue of the country where the novel takes place, plus the African characters speaking in their native language I think is a great authentic touch to the story. I haven’t read the first two books in this series, but thankfully Pero explains some of his past adventures.

I received my complimentary copy of Kidnaped On Safari by Peter Riva from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own choice. After a previous thriller book I think I’ve determined I’m partial to psychological thrillers, though if you enjoy more tame thrillers then Kidnaped On Safari may be a great pick.

Book Review · Books

Firewall

Emma Streat is trying to get her life back together after her husband was killed two years prior. Her sons are away at college and she’s trying to start over, but first she must help her godmother. This woman raised her after her parent’s deaths and Emma loves her like a mother.

Her godmother has a problem though because she got a threatening note promising her secret will be released if she doesn’t cough up lots of money. Emma is asked to help and it’s the last thing Emma wants to get entangled in. She was about to go on vacation, but instead heads off overseas to help her godmother.

This mystery novel is very fast paced with short chapters. The characters are distinct, vibrant and it plays out like a blockbuster action movie. If you enjoy mysteries, action and romance then you’ll enjoy this book. It is part of a series, which I haven’t read, but thankfully you are given background so you don’t get lost.

I received my complimentary copy of Firewall by Eugenia Lovett West from Sparks Press, care of FSB Associations. The views and thoughts are my own. This author writes enticingly and I will definitely keep an eye out for other titles by her. Now that I’ve glimpsed a peak into Emma’s world I want to read the earlier books.

Book Review · Books

Flying Alone

I am not into airplanes or flying. Reading about the intricacies of flying sounds a tad dull to me, but Flying Alone, is a memoir that not only educates on flying, but takes you into the world of aviation from a women’s perspective back when female pilots weren’t as common. Beth wanted to fly a plane since she was younger. In her twenties she started her dream by taking different flying jobs and along the way she fell in love with her instructor. Steve was not only cocky, but piecemealed his affection towards Beth.

This memoir focuses on how sometimes to gain our confidence we have to go through life trials. Beth struggled with a possible MS diagnosis and survived some very harrowing flights for her job, had colleagues who didn’t make it back from their flight and had to deal with moody Steve.

I received my complimentary copy of Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York from FSB Associates. The views and post are of my own accord. This is a satisfying book filled with action, adventure, love, personal growth and success. If you love planes, flying and memoirs, then this book will be perfect for you.

Book Review · Books

The Transformation

Everyone deals with some kind of trauma in their life. No matter how large, or small all types of trauma are valid. The Transformation by James Gordon, MD is a book about ways we can tackle our trauma in healthy, creative, engaging ways.

Some examples provided in this book are:

Drawing a picture of how you see yourself now, then drawing how you see yourself with your current challenge, and finally drawing a picture of what you’ll look like once that challenge is resolved. I’m not the greatest artist, but I love to doodle and I think this is a great way to visualize how we see our trauma and how we can unearth a solution by being artistic.

Dancing and shaking stress off. I am not a dancer. I have to two left feet and always feel weird dancing in front of people. I believe this idea could help us get exercise, allow ourselves to be silly and literally shake away our trauma.

Visualization can sound woo woo. This example is a way for you to discover your place that you feel safe at/in. I recall doing a visualization exercise in around 1st grade. It does take some decent imagination, but as an adult I have visualized I was laying in a warm bath and it helped me relax so I could fall asleep at night.

Finding your guide to give you guidance. This idea is one I’m personally not comfortable with.

Be part of a healing circle or group. This suggestion made me think of going to PFLAG, which is similarly run. It’s confidential and laid out in a similar way where you can share if you want to, but not required and there’s no pressure to.

Creating a genogram. To me a genogram is like a family tree that you detail with personal information about who you are able to, to see any generational themes. I think this example is fascinating as it helps us see how our ancestor’s choices affected our lives today.

There are other great examples, but I want you to be inspired to read the whole book. I am glad I read this book. It’s not long in length, but thick in information. I would recommend reading it with a highlighter and note tabs because there is a lot to absorb. I received my complimentary copy of The Transformation by James Gordon, MD from Harper One, care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own will.

Book Review · Books

Rouge

Are you a girlie girl? Do you love makeup? Do you drool over buying a new lipstick, or mascara? Do you like the 1940’s era? If so, do I have a fun novel to recommend.

America in the 1930’s to 40’s was the era where women went from just being house wives to having to get a job to help with the war effort and help provide extra income for their families. Enter in Constance who created a business where house wives could sell makeup door to door. This would give them time out to socialize, but also, earn some extra money. Next you have Josephine who built her own beauty brand, opening salons all over the USA and abroad. Two cosmetic leaders who want to be number one no matter the cost. Then there is CeeCee, a biracial lady who discovered a way to keep her hair just right for her and her fellow African American sisters, Will she be able to compete with Constance and Josephine? Who will win as the ultimate beauty leader?

This novel takes you behind the scenes of the rivalry between two cosmetic queens and what happens when they only will accept the best and are determined to win. There is romance, mystery, suspense, humor and, of course lots of makeup talk. This book is beautifully written and brings this era to life.

I received a complimentary copy of Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum from St. Martin’s Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are my own and of my own will. I rarely wear makeup. I like the idea of it, but my skin is so sensitive I only can use select lipstick, or lipgloss. This novel brought back the exciting moment of buying a new lipstick and trying it on. This book makes you proud to be a woman and show off your beauty. I think my favorite part is the very end of the last chapter. This book was very satisfying. Thank you FSB Associates and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to get to read this fascinating novel.

Book Review · Books

She’s So Cold

True crime can be fascinating and disturbing. In, She’s So Cold, criminal defense attorney, Don E.McInnis delves into the murder case of Stephanie Crowe.

This murder case is intense. This book goes over the interrogations of Stephanie’s brother Michael and his two friends Aaron and Joshua. I can’t fathom being fourteen and being grilled for hours. I’m a wuss when I get my dad asking questions let alone being grilled by the police, etc. All because Michael didn’t act as openly upset the day his sister is found murdered. Due to this he’s seen by police as potential suspect.

I received my complimentary copy of She’s So Cold by Donald E. McInnis from J & E Publications, care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own will.

Book Review · Books

Happy Money

Do books about money make you want to take a nap? Do they bore you to tears? This short yellow book with the smile on the cover will keep you turning pages to the very end. I’m not into reading finance books. It’s a rare occurrence, but the title Happy Money sounded like a happy book, so why not try it?

I dove in and wondered what financial gems I would find. This book isn’t about numbers. This book is about how our views about money help shape how it effects our lives.

It shares the different types of views we can have and what type of emotions the topic of money can bring up for us. This is fascinating because you don’t necessarily put two and together. I know I didn’t before I read this book. I learned a lot about myself.

Another topic that comes up in this helpful book is how important relationships in our lives are in regards to money. I don’t mean merely asking someone to help you out with EOC, but how having people in our lives that we can trust to help us out (not just fiscally) is imperative. If we had a big groups of friends and family to help us when life turns ugly we wouldn’t be stressing about how much we have in our bank accounts. Not that it gives you a license to mooch off others.

Lastly, the biggest message I took away from this book is how vital thankfulness is in our lives. Being thankful for small things helps gives us room to receive and be thankful for even bigger things. We really don’t need all the bells and whistles that commercialism throws at us on the TV, radio and social media. What do we truly need to be happy? We all have our own scale of what we feel will make us happy. This book made me rethink what I truly need to make me happy.

I received a complimentary physical and digital copy of Happy Money by Ken Honda from NetGalley, care of FSB Associates. The views expressed are of my own accord and my own. This book I believe will become a classic. It’s motivational, educational, and challenging. It’s a keeper.