Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review - Merry-Go-Round by Donna Fasano

It's been years since I read a romance book, but I don't think I could have chosen a better one for a wonderfully entertaining evening. Once started, I found I couldn't stop. I found myself laughing and my eyes misting. I emphatized with the main character, Lauren, as she dealt with the day to day pressures of her job, a cantankerous old man of a father, and attempted to get back into the dating game, all the while fighting an overwhelming attraction for the man she just divorced.

By the time I finished this book I felt I truly knew the characters, especially Norma and Lew, and that they had become a part of my life as old, dear friends. Another great book I didn't want to end.

Definitely a 5 Star read.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review - Into Thin Air by Valerie Maarten

Clearly a 5 Star story.

I started this book with some trepidation, knowing the subject matter would be one that appalled me, and sickened me. Like most, I would love to turn my head and pretend these things don't happen in the real world. They do. Into Thin Air opened my eyes not only to the reality of the world Maia, China, India and Becca lived in, but to the real life dangers the internet poses to young girls and boys. I love social media, as does most of society today. I love my on-line friends and family. But I will be much more careful in speaking with my grandchildren about the dangers now. More dilligent in educating them not only to not speak to strangers, but also to not develop on-line friendships that their parents don't know about. Social media is here to stay, as are the dangers related to it.

Ms. Maarten takes you deep into the world of sex-slavery, and the lives of three young women who plot and plan their escape. All seems hopeless until when confronted with bringing another young girl into the same horror that has filed their lives, they fight back. Led by Maia they risk their own lives to save each other, a friendship with bonds stronger than blood. You will find yourself on the edge of your seat, reading quickly to turn the page, perhaps chewing on a nail, as you hold your breath, both in fear and anticipation. A gripping read, that you won't want to put down until the very last page, and even then you will be wanting more.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Recommendation - Into Thin Air by Val Maarten

I started this book last night, and I'm only 25% into it, but doubt can seriously say I love this book. Maia, a young woman kidnapped into sex-slavery at a young age must now make a decision--fight for her life, and the lives of those around her, or die as those before her have.

I really like this young woman. She's forced to make decisions that most of us would never even dream of, and forced to live with the decisions she's made. Could you choose one life over anohter? And what would you do to save an innocent child from going through the pain, shame and degredation you have been forced to live with?

An amazing book by what I believe will soon be an author whose name you recognize.

I look forward to giving you a complete book review hopefully by tomorrow. I truly hate it when life gets in the way of the things I love--like finishing a great book and grabbing another one.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review - Cruel Justice by M. A. Comley

5 Stars

Having read Impeding Justice, I realized I started in the middle of the series and wanted to go back to the beginning. I’m so glad I did. I absolutely loved this book, and was thoroughly irritated when I had to go to work this morning and couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could find out what happened next.

This book introduces DI Lorne Simpkins and her team, as they race against time to find a serial killer who is kidnapping and killing women. I truly enjoyed getting to know Lorne, but even more so her interaction with her team made the book much more enjoyable. As a woman I could empathize with her problems coordinating a full-time, high intensity career along with a marriage and difficult teenager. A tough cop, but also a sensitive woman with needs, desires and the need to be needed.

Not for the squeamish, as some of the murders are rather gruesome. But if you love a fast paced, character driven book that keeps you turning the pages, and watching that percent sign wishing there were more—this is the book for you.

Now onto Final Justice, and waiting for the next New Release!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review - A Cleansing of Souls by Stuart Ayris

I read this book as part of the UK Forum March reads. I'm glad I did. Stuart is my second British author. My first was Mel Comley, and after getting past the differences in spelling, I loved Impeding Justice and will be starting Cruel Justice this evening. But I digress--let's talk about Stuart Ayris and A Cleansing of Souls.

This was truly a difficult book to review. As an American I like my heroes, villians and justice. In this I was somewhat disappointed. As a reader and author who recognizes the truly literary value of a work, and can see beyond my personal feelings and personal prejudices--this book is truly a work of art. The style of this author is so amazing and so beautiful that I just purchased his second book:

You may be asking yourself at this point--why would you buy a second book by an author that you didn't like the first book? Well, I'll explain. My personal experiences in life.

Tom, our main character is a confused young man. You will travel with the author into the very realms of his confusion, his search to find himself and perhaps meaning in life. You will follow him to find out what happened to Little Norman.

Michael, a beautiful character, that is also confused, and perhaps some would say insane. You will follow him into the very realms of his madness, hoping therein to find the answers to his madness, and perhaps justice for a wrong committed.

There was a defining point in the book that changed my feelings for Tom, making him no longer a character I could love. There was a defining point for Michael that bothered me much more. An opportunity missed to right a wrong to get justice for a beautiful young woman, and to save another young girl.

I did not get my justice. I did not see Tom develop as I wanted him to develop. These feelings go back to personal things in my own life. I can't say a lot more without giving away a lot of spoilers, which I prefer not to do.

My rating: 5 Stars

No, I did not get the justice I wanted, nor did Tom turn out to be the person I wanted him to be--but I have yet to read an author who can rival this author's style. His writing takes you deep into the world of his story, and flows with a melody that leaves you wanting more. I'm truly looking forward to starting his second book, and waiting on his third.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Libraries - So much more than just books! Lexington, KY

I've always loved libraries from the first time I set foot inside one. The row upon row of wonderful reading material, the classes, the knowledge. I really loved the knowledge at my fingertips. Lexington, KY has a wonderful group of libraries, with community outreach in many areas. Look what's happening in March:

March 13 and 14 - Homework Help - Resources and volunteers to help K through 12 students with their homework.

March 14th - Eagle Creek Writers Group - Open to all levels of writing experience. All genres welcome.

March 14th - Bright with Colors - A bilingual family storytime program with books, songs and activities celebrating spring. Children will use their imaginations while building early literacy and school readiness skills.

March 14th - King Arthur Book Club - Join us each week for the adventures of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table!

Central Library Gallery Exhibit: The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships

Kentucky is filled with folk traditions, old and new, from basket makers and banjo players to dancers and drummers. Explore the relationships between master folk artists and their apprentices.

As part of Makings of a Master, the Central Library's newly renovated Farish Theater will host several events in April.

AARP Tax Assistance - March 14, 16th and 21st

AARP volunteers will offer free assistance with non-business/personal returns for both Federal and Kentucky filers--available regardless of age or income. By appointment only. For adults. Reservations Required.

Toddler Storytime
Stories, songs, rhymes, and special activities to help develop a love of reading and literacy skills.

Daycares and preschools please call ahead for all children's programming.

Storytime Length30 Minutes

ReservationsNot Required

Age Group(s)2 - 3 Toddler

BranchBeaumont Branch

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 10:00am
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 10:00am

Boogie Down Dance Party!

Join DJ Miss Abby as she spins some great tunes from her old mix tapes. Wear your best dancing shoes and outfit and get ready to boogie down (grown-ups too!).

Daycares and preschools please call ahead for all children's programming.


Wed, 03/14/2012 - 10:00am

LocationCentral Library

ReservationsRequired - Call (859) 231-5500

Audience2 - 3 Toddler
Audience3 - 5 Preschool

First Steps Storytime

Experience fun with songs, finger plays, and books! This story time lasts approximately 15-20 minutes. Great for wigglers!

And that's just a few of the upcoming events for March and April. From taxes to homework and dancing to the Knight's of the Round Table - it's fun for the entire family. Looking for a great night out that won't cost this week's paycheck? Check out the upcoming events and visit your local library. You may just be surprised at how much fun you have.

For a full list of upcoming events:



Saturday, March 3, 2012

The ART of Healing

As an author, words are a daily part of my life. Stringing together descriptive words to create a certain scene, a certain mood. And as Gavin McAllister says: “the impact of the words was in direct correlation to the emotions of the reader. Words could be twisted, knives to open up wounds long hidden. Maneuvered to evoke buried nightmares. Bare the soul, expose the wound”.

We often remember hurtful words, hateful words, words thrown out in moments of anger, depression and despair. And words, as well as images, can be incredibly powerful. They can and do create drastic changes in both your mind and your body.

Imagine a scene for just a moment. Your very best friend is about to reveal something to you. He/she states “I booked us on an Alaskan tour.” Your reaction would be elated. Happy. And you would feel that happiness in both your mind and your body. Now, let’s change the scene. And he/she says: “I just found out I have cancer.” The mental and physical reaction is drastically different. Instead of elation, you feel pain, fear, and perhaps just a little anger. Your physical reaction will also be different. Where before you felt energetic, anticipating the cruise, you now feel a certain tightness and/or depression.

There are some words, like the example above, we can’t control. We can’t control the words being spoken to us, nor can we totally control our mental and physical reaction to those words.

But let’s take a look at everyday life. Are we letting words we speak or hear control us? When you utter harsh words to someone it doesn’t just hurt them, it also hurts you. Your own mental and physical well-being are damaged by the internal conflicts of those words. And how often have you been so sorry for words you uttered in anger, or words you lashed out with when in pain? Words you wished you could take back the moment they were spoken?

We all need love, affection and reassurance. Words attached to emotions. In meditation we often give ourselves positive suggestions. In a deepened state of awareness words like: “I am loved” have an overall positive effect on our emotional and mental attitude as well as our physical health.

But we live in the real world the majority of the day, faced with money problems, finding a job, paying the bills, feeding the family, and just trying to survive. So how do we find time to use words that purify our mind of negative thoughts, lighten our mood and add a positive element to both our surroundings and demeanor?

This is where the ART of healing comes in. Try this for just a moment, paying special attention to how you feel emotionally and physically. Sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” making the hand motions (yeah, I know you’re at work and everyone is going to think you’re nuts—do it on your lunch hour when you’re alone, or go to the bathroom and sing it to yourself). Actually if managers would take a fifteen minute break and have all the employees sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” I bet production would increase because the employees would feel better both mentally and physically.

It’s hard to sing these little nursery rhymes and not smile. An immediate mood adjustment. And those mood adjustments create an immediate physical reaction, allowing your body for just a moment or two to relax the tension that has been building throughout the day. Relaxing the body allows your organs to function easier, and blood to flow to tense areas. Healing to begin.

Can’t bring yourself to sing nursery rhymes? Then choose another upbeat song. Something you like. Something that makes you feel GOOD. Do this several times a day and you should see a noticeable change in both your mental attitude as well as your physical well-being and even perhaps your surroundings. Happy thoughts create a happy atmosphere.

Have a great day. And give someone a smile—it makes you both feel better.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

7 Great Books $1.00 on Kindle - World Book Day

It's World Book Day, and we have some awesome Dollar Day Deals on some truly great books! Prices subject to change without notice.

Amazon.com Widgets

Five Star Reviews

As a professional environmental analytical chemist I was already predisposed to have fun with this new story by Libby Fischer Hellmann, one of my favorite Chicago mystery writers. I was not disappointed; Libby did a wonderful job of interweaving some Georgia Davis backstory, several interesting interpersonal relationships, and tense environmental drama, into a believably frightening murder mystery! The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, which can be a disaster for the reader (and author!) if not laid out well, and Ms. Hellmann succeeded admirably in letting us have the present and past story fragments coordinated beautifully in the push towards the denouement, imho. The resolution of both the mystery and the drama was quite satisfactory, and I greatly enjoyed the looks at the many facets which comprise Georgia Davis!

Five Star Reviews

I really liked this book. But although this is the first one written about Jacody Ives, there is a recently released a prequel titled "Sacred Secrets." That's the book to start with.

"The Gifts" is a supernatural mystery thriller. I'd like to say I couldn't put it down, but honestly, I don't read that fast and I do need sleep at night and still have to go to work each day. So it took me a few days to read it. But it was a fun ride, and the suspense kept me wanting to know what happened next.

I hope it's not too long before Prather's next book. I'm hooked. Unless something unexpected happens, I will read anything she writes.

I'm waiting Linda . . .


Five Star Reviews

Having read the first book of this series, The Gifts, I was so excited to have this prequel released! How did I spend a snowy day you ask? Doing the laundry that really needed attention, baking some goodies for my family, or reading this book for 6 hours straight? If you went with option 3, you win!! I could not put this book down from the moment I started reading it.
Sometimes I find that in a mystery book, you are left to your imagination about the characters, but with Sacred Secrets the characters are rounded out nicely. I was drawn into their experiences, laughed with them and felt everything they felt.

I can't wait for the next installment... keep 'em coming!!!


Five Star Reviews

Utterly impossible to put down. A full throttle read that will keep you guessing until the end. I love the characters and the way that they interacted together.

Catherine is a beautiful reclusive psychic who has assisted the police is several cases. Cody, the detective who is responsible for having Catherine hired has fallen in love with her although he knows nothing of her mysterious background. His love is put to the test when Catherine is considered a prime suspect in a serial murder case.

Cody is forced to work FBI agent, Bryan Wilkes, and the action really begins. Catherine is aided by her friend Rosetta, who is captivating and adds a little humor to a serious situation. Rosetta is a whiz with a computer and promptly gathered information that is vital to solving this bizarre case. Eventually all four are forced to work together and journey into a dark realm that what could hold Catherine's destiny.

There are so many facets to the story that as the reader you want to find out what other secrets are going to be uncovered. The ending was very satisfying as we learn who Catherine Mans really is and what her future will bring.

I would like to thank the author for gifting me a complimentary copy and the opportunity to review this first rate mystery.


Five Star Reviews

Alicia is a murder mystery writer. And someone is copying the murders in her books. She's completely freaked out and worried. Her publisher and son come to comfort her, but it doesn't stop the harassing phone calls or the break in. It also doesn't stop the guilt and worry.

I love a good murder mystery. And this one's a good one. This is a short story that packs a lot into only a few pages. And it's well worth the read. I had no clue until the very end who the murderer was. And I'm usually good at guessing these things. My only complaint was that it wasn't nearly long enough. I can't wait to get my hands on more from this author.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.


Five Star Reviews

Second Chances had a common theme throughout and centered around two families. The lives of two families were forever changed overnight. We first meet Hanna while she is babysitting 7 year old Kadi. As Kadi sleeps, Hanna calls her hot tempered ex-boyfriend who broke up with her because he had already moved on. Hanna tells him she's pregnant and they agree to meet later that night. The next morning, Hanna is found dead. Kadi's father Ryan Crowe, is accused of and eventually convicted of murdering Hanna. Ryan is sentenced to 20 years in prison. Hanna's younger brother, Dain, vows to kill Ryan in 20 years when he is released from prison. The ripple effect of one incident caused many more families to suffer because one person chose to remain silent by not telling the truth.

Second Chances is told from each character's view, but mainly Dain and Kadi. As a reader, we were able to read how each character is feeling and thinking at the time. We were able to understand the purpose of their actions as they happen. As adults, Dain and Kadi end up in the same bar not knowing each other's past. It is now 20 years later and Kadi is on her way to reconnect with her dad. Dain is waiting to make his move to make his vow a reality. He's set to kill Ryan Crowe. Until he runs into Kadi. Dain is struck by Kadi's beauty and Kadi is intrigued by Dain.

I really didn't care for Dain's rage and abusive nature. If he didn't possess such anger and violent thoughts, he could be a really great guy. I personally don't associate with anyone with that type of personality, especially as a parent and wife. I wouldn't want that around my family. When Dain and Kadi were together, they both seemed to spark each other's rage and feed off of each other. At times, their relationship was tumultuous roller coaster.

Kadi plays detective to prove her father's innocence. Meanwhile, Dain is doing his own investigating. With the same passion and determination over finding out the truth, their friendship eventually turns into more. They are both investigating the same case but fail to share what they learn.

Kadi and Dain's love for one another is a strong bond. Through the maze of finding out the truth to who killed his sister Hanna, he is unable to fully give himself to Kadi. At least not until he knows the truth. He needs to know if Ryan Crowe is innocent.

Second Chances is about two families finding a second chance at life, love, family, and the future. Overall, this book was an exciting, romantic, and suspenseful read.

Five Star Reviews
This was a great read. I was rooting for Danielle from the first page. I love the fact that this story is based on real events too.

There are sad and funny moments throughout the book and you find yourself siding with Danielle throughout it.

The writing is superb credit to Mel for such an enthralling read.

A worthy five star read.