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Zoo by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge (audio)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1478906170/?tag=rjsviews-20

Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781478906179
  • ISBN-10: 1478906170
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: May 2015

the main character still trying to distance himself from his fathers’ legacy as a crackpot, is giving safari tours

Zoo is a half-baked, science-fiction suspense-thriller, that with some comedy relief and backwards humor could’ve been a very good “spoof,” I really wanted to like this book, but the one dimensional characters were impossible to care about. The artificial pacing and choppy dialogue made it difficult to stay immersed in the story. I have been a James Patterson fan since the  irst Alex Cross novel. Over the years there have been some books that weren’t as good as others, but in recent years there seems to be more bad than good. Only the name on the cover is familiar, – Gone is the masterful storytellers’ voice I had enjoyed so very much.This is especially true with Zoo. I understand this is a collaboration, that there will be a lot of Michael Ledwidge’s influence, however, in previous works I could at least recognize Patterson’s input. Zoo is not absolutely terrible, it’s ok. But with so many number one best sellers to his name, I expect more than okay.

Happy Reading,

RJ

http://www.facebook.com/rjsviews

Also available in Hardcover


    What’s on  RJ’s Wish List?

New Release from Best Selling Author Joseph Finder –
The Fixer


//

 

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The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari (audio)

The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari   Audio Book Review

Richard Montanari’s Website

doll maker

Wow, I’m sorry to say this is the first book I’ve read by Richard Montanari, but it certainly won’t be the last, I have already reserved Rosary Girls at my local library. Honestly, I really missed the boat with this author – but now that I have secured a quiet listening corner, I’m in for the long ride.

Although this is the eighth book in the series, it works as a standalone. There’s enough information about the characters to carry the reader through. And these are well drawn, three dimensional, and easily relateable. Philadelphia Homicide Detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne are interesting, work well as a team, and have a palpable respect for one another. Byrne is more experienced, kind hearted and determined. While Balzano is opinionated and shrewd, with an equally warm heart.  I particularly liked the absence of romantic entanglement.

Richard Montanari weaves multiple angles together into a disturbing tapestry of missing children, murdered children extravagantly posed on painted surfaces, and a convicted child killer weeks away from her final walk. Are they connected? Time is running out for Balzano and Byrne to find out. Throughout the reader discovers information only moments before the detectives. Montanari gives the reader credit and doesn’t spell everything out letter for letter. The Doll Maker is more about motives and concepts, than actual brutality and violence. The latter being the tools used to create his ‘art.’ The creepy tea dance invitations he leaves at each scene add yet another layer to an already colorful piece.

This is disturbing on so many levels – there were entire chapters that gave me goose-bumps (and I don’t frighten easy). Montanari has a gift – the ability to write realistically, believable stories that are the stuff nightmares are made of, but sadly could be the lead story on the news tonight. The Doll Maker is an outstanding book. Period. No matter what opinion you read, good or bad..if you enjoy suspense/thrillers – read this one for yourself.

*DO NOT form your opinion based on the prologue. Yes it is graphic, gruesome and extremely disturbing, but this does not fairly represent the rest of the story.

Happy Reading!

RJ

Goodreads

Hachette Audio

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Carry More by CM4

Samsung Galaxy 5

Simplify with style

Blue Q Card Case for Samsung Galaxy S5  There are several cases available, for both IPhone and Samsung Galaxy Phones, this review is for the QCard Case that fits the Samsung Galaxy S5 *(black onyx).

I had purchased two cases in the past 8 months advertising basically the same features, both of which failed miserably to live up to even the most minimal expectations. So to say that I was a bit jaded and very skeptical about the QCard Case being any different, is putting it mildly. Boy did I get shocked! The QCard Case does everything advertised and does it well. The case fits perfectly (Samsung Galaxy S5), accommodates the on/off and volume buttons, the cut outs on the front for the camera look exactly like the photo to the left. The material is thick and strong, with even stitching which makes it very appealing to the eye. The cash/card cut out will hold 3 cards, I tested it several times. But on a daily basis, for the past three weeks I’ve carried my driver’s license, a credit card and a 20$ bill – it is a snug, secure fit, but not so tight to cause inconvenience. This was the main reason why I wanted a case like this – for the convenience of being able to carry what I need in one hand. The built in audio amplifier is like the cherry on top of a delicious fudge sundae, it isn’t necessary, but sure is nice! I would never have imagined that this feature would work so well, but here again this product surprised me. Music, movies, calls and even my granddaughter’s games sound so much better and nearly twice as loud now that I have this case on my phone.

I am handicapped, walk with cane, so I need everything to fit in one hand, safely, securely and attractively. The Qcard Case does that. I have yet to loose my cash or one of my cards and after multiple drops, my phone is intact. What more could I ask for? If you’re in the market for an All In One Phone Case – look no further!

Q Card Case for Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

 

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Suspicion by Joseph Finder

Suspicion by Joseph Finder

http://www.josephfinder.com

Review repost

I had the pleasure of reviewing this books several months ago. I am reposting the review today because Suspicion has been nominated for the 2015 Barry Award for BEST Thriller. And Suspicion has been nominated for the coveted 2015 Thriller Award for BEST Hardcover Novel. CONGRATULATIONS!
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No Magic

No Magic

  • ISBN-13: 9781468309904
  • ISBN-10: 1468309900
  • Publisher: Overlook Press
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 472

“Over the course of three decades of writing, bestselling novelist Rosie Thomas has earned numerous awards and loyal readers worldwide. Her new novel, “The Illusionists,” set in 1870’s London, is a tale of passion and fantasy, set in the theater world.”

While there’s plenty of showmanship and tricks, this story lacks magic. I loved Water for Elephants, so I was excited to read this book. Now I struggle to give it 3 stars. It’s not that I can state a specific flaw – but the seemingly endless page fillers left several situations unresolved. Not that resolution to any of them would’ve changed the story. Devil Wix is an interesting enough guy, but it felt to me as if the author was always “trying” to make him seem “devilish.” Eliza comes from a lower middle class family and wants to create a life for herself within the theater and build a love with her leading man, Devil. There are sparks between these two, but not enough to carry the entire novel and a whole theater troop too. With what’s here, this would’ve been much better cut in half and published as a short story.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in ♥ ♥BOOK ♥ REVIEWs♥ ♥, Reviews

 

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The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
The Burning Room audio excerpt

audio excerpt

 The Burning Room
author: Michael Connelly
narrator: Titus Welliver

Hachette Audio Books

 

 

www.michaelconnelly.com

 

It’s hard to believe one of crime fictions most popular detectives is nearing retirement. Most 20 year veterans of the LAPD are ready to take it easy, maybe ride a desk – Not Harry Bosch. The department just assigned him a new partner, 28 year old Lucia Soto. She seems eager to learn and while Bosch accepts the role of mentor his sixth sense keeps nudging him…that something isn’t quite right. But Bosch has to put his uneasiness aside when they are handed the politically charged murder case of Orlando Merced. Shot, in a outdoor plaza nearly a decade earlier, Merced finally succumbed to his injuries. Although the shooter had never been identified, it was thought to be a gang bullet gone “astray.” But when the coroner removes the crucial piece of evidence the gang shooting or random violence theory is crushed.

While all eyes were supposed to be focused on the Merced case, Bosh discovers Soto investigating an unsolved arson/murder case. As a child, she survived the fire that claimed the lives of nine children and one woman, in an unlicensed, dingy, basement daycare. Being a bit of a softie, but more importantly being a seeker of justice, Bosh makes room on his crowded plate for this case. But as the two begin to dig into both cases, they become convinced that amidst an ever widening web of guns, fire, murder and politics is a common thread. We follow the rookie and the veteran as they pull the individual pieces together, providing a measure of justice for the victims and a replacement for Harry.

The Burning Room isn’t a bad book, but it certainly isn’t the action packed novel Connelly fans are accustomed too. I kept hoping the next chapter would change the tone and feel of the story, but sadly it seems Harry Bosch is tired, ready to take his gold watch and close the detective chapter of his life story.

Happy Reading,

RJ

Narration by Titus Welliver 🙂

Titus Welliver’s vocal talents are shining bright in The Burning Room. He brings each character to life by individualizing them with an array  of accents, pitch inflections, tempo and tone. With Bosch’s retirement looming, there’s almost a somber tone throughout and Welliver does an excellent job of making the reader “feel” it.

The Burning Room

 

  • Series: Harry Bosch (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455524190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455524198


Harry Bosch Series:

The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013) (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (November 2015)

 

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Along Came A Spider & Kiss the Girls


Author:  James Patterson (Alex Cross #1)
Narrator:  Charles Turner
ISBN-13: 9781619694125
ISBN-10: 1619694123
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
approx. 12 hrs (listening time)
Hachette Audio
audiohachette.jpg


For all the loyal Alex Cross fans out there, Hachette’s release of Along Came A Spider will be a Must Have! Charles Turner’s narration adds a new dimension to the novel that will put chill bumps ontop of your chill bumps. This book introduced the world to Detective Alex Cross and there’s been no looking back. Built like a boxer, a smooth ladies man who enjoys playing the piano, Cross is a loyal friend, loving son, dedicated father and relentless pursuer of justice.

Gary Soneji is the polar opposite of Cross, he’s evil to the core and has one desire..”to commit the crime of the century.” Soneji is a master manipulator, skilled liar and one of the most beloved teachers at the D.C. private school for children of the rich and famous. So when the mild mannered, popular math teacher abducts two students, the secret service is caught with its proverbial pants down…and for this embarrassment someone’s head is going to roll.

Along Came A Spider is the disturbing story of a brilliant, psychopath matching wits with a hard nosed detective. James Patterson knew the one thing that made this killer truly terrifying was his normalcy. This guy was accepted in elite circles, admired by children and worked everyday in the presence of the United States Secret Service…what could be more frightening?

I’ve read this book a couple of times, but the audio book was a new experience for me I really enjoyed being able to sit back, relax and just listen. Charles Turner is an incredible narrator, that gives Alex Cross a strong, well defined voice, while allowing Soneji’s thoughts of himself to sound stronger than his actual voice. It’s a very entertaining audio experience!

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For The Sender, 4 Letters, 12 Songs, 1 Story

For The Sender, 4 Letters, 12 Songs, 1 Story

OverviewSometimes a letter is like a prayer; it’s more for the sender than the receiver. Singer-songwriter Alex Woodard was letting go of his best friend, a Labrador named Kona, and most of his dreams when he received a letter that would change the course of his life.  What began as a song about that letter evolved into a book and album package about real-life letters, featuring Grammy-winning artists and a live show that has sol d out every performance and inspired thousands in its first few months.

Details
Author:  Alex Woodard
Full Length Album included
FOR THE SENDER

ISBN-13: 9781401941215
ISBN-10: 1401941214
Publisher: Hay House
Publish Date: September 2012
Page Count: 127 Hardcover

For the Sender is a woven mix of creativity, a memoir of sorts, but more a baring and cleansing of the soul through music and dialogue. Woodard takes the reader on a journey of healing, giving hope where once there was none, literally changing ones mind on a spiritual level. Inspiring each of us to channel our energy in a positive way, instead of concentrating on the negative. Showing us that the reason the hateful clerk becomes such a lasting and central part of our day is because their behavior was so jarring. While the kindness of others is often overlooked or missed entirely because it is conveyed in simple, often quiet ways. For the Sender challenges us to not only notice, but to become part of the positives.

The music on the CD is incredible. I put on the headphones and listened to the music while reading the book. (Which I highly recommend) I feel this gave me a real understanding of how the stories inspired the music and how music really is the backdrop of our lives. The stories remind us that as long as we are breathing it’s never too late to alter our course. This is an awesome reading/listening experience, there’s something here that everyone can relate too. It asks the reader to look inward and  realize just how amazing your life truly is. For the Sender is a short read (only 127 pages) that’s reverberations will be felt for a very long time.

Happy Reading!

**Contributors: Sara and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), Jack Tempchin (songwriter for the Eagles), Jordan Pundik (New Found Glory)

Click to watch this video

Alex Woodard, Biography

Singer-songwriter and author Alex Woodard has toured nationally behind five critically-acclaimed albums, earning prestigious industry nods and shared the stage with some of today’s most popular acts. Joining a family of prominent musicians in his small beach town home, Alex created For The Sender, a unique book, album, and concert event that features his story of release and redemption woven through songs written about real-life letters. “It started with one letter,” Woodard explains, “and evolved into something bigger than I could have imagined.” Alex was overwhelmed with the letters he received and had no idea it would later turn into a whole new songwriting life.”
Alex lives with a big dog and a bigger horse in the mountains of Idaho. When he is not writing and playing music, he can most likely be found surfing, riding his horse, and reading the incredible letters people keep sending him.

 

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The Competition by Marcia Clark

 

Author: Marcia Clark
Narrator: January LaVoy

ISBN-13: 9781478927228
ISBN-10: 1478927224
Publisher: Mulholland Books

audiohachette.jpg    

 

Make A Place for Marcia Clark on the Best Seller shelf…

Open to a San Fernando Valley, California high school where there’s been yet another school shooting. Special Prosecutor Rachel Knight and LAPD Detective Bailey Keller enter a horrific crime scene, knowing one thing … the heartbroken parents expect answers…and they deserved answers. But with each student interview the picture grows blurrier not clearer. The clues simply didn’t add up to the scene set before them. Survivors describe a Columbine copycat crime… two masked killers interrupted the pep rally and began shooting. Pandemonium erupted, terrified kids scattered, literally running for their lives, as the killers made their way out of the gymnasium, into the hallways, methodically murdering their fellow classmates. The gunfire ended in the library, with two final blasts, as the merciless killers apparently died from self inflicted gunshot wounds. However, when two masks, believed to be those worn by the shooters are discovered in the dumpster this case deviates from its predecessor.

From this point forward hang on to your nightcap, its’ gonna be a long night. Wow, what an incredible reading experience…Clark covered very sensitive and controversial subject matter respectfully, without ever holding back the hard truths that those investigating these crimes must deal with. It’s a chance to look behind the curtain and see the inner workings of these difficult cases.  Especially thought provoking was the dialogue with the forensic experts regarding the personality of a psychopathic killer. There are so many layers within The Competition  it could’ve easily gone awry. However, Clark weaves the various elements together and Clark has woven them together brilliantly. The plot driven style can be tedious and boring, which Clark danced on the edge of in her previous books. However, not this time..the extensive interviews are interesting and insightful, serving not only to move the story forward but to develop the characters as well. Bottom line, this is a good book!

Happy Reading!

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My IPAD for Kids

My IPAD for Kids

Overview – Step-by-step instructions and corresponding step number call outs on photos show you exactly what to do Help when you run into problems or limitations of your iPad or its apps and you need to figure out what to do Tips and Notes to help you get the most out of your iPad Full-color, step-by-step tasks walk you through learning how to use your iPad for home, school, and just for fun Learn how to: – Safely surf the Internet on the iPad to do research for school and find interesting facts.- Use email, texting, and chat apps to stay in touch with friends, family, and teachers.- Have fun (or do group projects for school) using FaceTime and Skype video chatting.- Write emails, search the Web, and launch apps with your voice using Siri.

 

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 2 edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789748649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789748645

 

My iPad for Kids (Covers iOS 6 on iPad 3rd or 4th generation, and iPad mini) (2nd Edition) (Paperback)

First, I found the title misleading, as the book states it is for children in fourth through seventh grade. The bright, colorful layout is attractive and easy to follow. If you had questions or problems trying to get your IPAD set up, the first half of the book will be a huge help. We found the chapter explaining the two cameras the most fun! This book does have its place, however the narrative was written in such a way it was as if they couldn’t decide if the book was to be read by children or adults, as it repeatedly ends with “ask your parents.” There’s some good information in this book, but in my opinion it would have been better as an EBook. There are so many links, apps, etc., it would’ve made it a lot easier to explore.

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in 3R♥s, Reviews

 

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No Way Back by Andrew Gross

No Way Back by Andrew Gross

 

  • NO WAY BACK
  • Author:  Andrew Gross
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061655988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061655982

PAPERBACK EDITION

  • ISBN-10: 0061656046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061656040

Also available as E*Book

No Way Back

Too many? Everything. This book is a like reading a hurricane in the midst of an earthquake, while preparing for a cyclone. There are so many things going on…big ideas,(good ideas), that individually fleshed out, plotted carefully, with special attention to the small details that build the characters, could’ve been two very good books. Unfortunately, what we have is a fast paced, loosely plotted, shoot ’em up body count book that just doesn’t read like an Andrew Gross novel.

Two strangers, brought together by a swirling mix of coincidence and bad luck, are trying to prove their innocence, which may very well get them killed. That is the basics of Andrew Gross’ No Way Back. The two strangers, Wendy, a suburban housewife (ex-cop) and Lauritzia, a nanny (illegally in this country) working for a lawyer and his family. These women will find a way to not only stay alive, but out maneuver Mexican drug cartels, out smart murderers with ties reaching high into the U.S. government, rogue Homeland security agents and goodness knows what else. It’s a hodgepodge of cliche’s and unrealistic plot twists. There’s no depth to the characters. Halfway through the book it became difficult to continue because I simply didn’t care what was going on, nor what was going to happen next. And I wasn’t the only one, the lead ladies in the story didn’t seem to care that their family members were being hunted and killed.
The substance is missing- and without it, I’m left holding a book that is simply readable. Nothing more. If you’ve read Andrew Gross books in the past, read a few “reader” reviews of this book before you start reading it… so that you will lower your expectations.

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Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder (Video) (STRONG MATURE CONTENT)

WARNING: Parental Advisory

STRONG ADULT SITUATIONS, Prison Scenes, Mature Language, Strong Violence (Murder Scene caught on CCTV camera)

Gladiator Days: Anatomy of A Prison Murder, an HBO documentary – where a film crew visited multiple prisons throughout the United States, interviewing inmates, prosecutors and guards – many of the clips displayed at the beginning will be quickly recognized as they have aired on national news outlets. (The “Yard Fights” in California, the prisoner being attacked by a dog while offering no resistance, rioting, etc., etc.)However, the documentary focuses on an inmate on inmate assault and subsequent homicide, captured by the Central Utah Prison security cameras. (Central is located in Draper, Utah)

Troy Kell, at the age of 18, was originally sentenced to life without parole, for a murder that took place in 1986, in his home-state of Nevada. A friend of his, Sandy Shaw, asked Troy to stop a man from harassing her & her family, b/c he wanted her to pose nude. Troy Kell, nor the second boy, William, knew the victim – had never met him and would have had no reason whatsoever to attack the man had it not been for the female codefendant. William, had stolen the gun used in the crime from a neighbor’s home, made it available to Troy the night of the crime & it was subsequently located by Las Vegas PD in his home. The murder of 21 year old Cotton Kelly, in the desert, became known as the “Show & Tell Murder” because the female co-defendant, Sandy Shaw, returned to the seen of the crime multiple times showing the corpse off to her friends. One of the people that had seen this horrific scene reported it to the police.

Kell was transferred to Central Utah Prison as part of a prisoner exchange – and that is where he met Eric Daniels – a white supremacist, with multiple tattoos reflecting his personal ideologies – Daniels was initially sent to prison on a minimal forgery charge. He participated in a riot, was placed in solitary confinement & six months later he actively participated in every aspect of the attack and subsequent homicide.

The security tape that captured the attack is chilling, albeit incomplete – and at first seems to have nothing more to offer than a grotesque view of what humans are capable of doing to each other under certain conditions. However, there’s much more to be discerned from the tape, as well as, the documentary as a whole, if it is viewed with an unbiased, neutral opinion. For example, the extenuating circumstances that allowed three high risk inmates to be left, unsupervised in such close proximity of each other, the hand cuff key, the forged request, allowing an inmate that is on “lock-down” out of their cell, and lastly the amount of time that elapses before any authority figure intervenes – is absolutely reprehensible. (Considering the guards had access to multiple forms of non-lethal weaponry – and yet, not a single voice calls out over the intercom for the inmates to separate, “rack in”, get prone, nothing….Look at the time on the video – the difference between when the first blow was struck and when the victim receives CPR is well over an hour….)

Yes, there are parts of the video that are hard to watch, making it all the more important to not look away! Turning away, shielding ourselves from that which is ugly, unsightly and harsh is what allows this inhumane environment to exist in prison. Placing a non-violent criminal in a supermax facility, sentencing an 18yr old young man to LWOP set all this in motion. What possible good could come from such sentences? When a person is given no chance to do anything positive or constructive…when all hope has been forever erased… what is left? For those in prison…it’s simple – become the meanest, baddest, toughest individual in the house…why? To avoid being abused, defiled and degraded in the worst, most inhumane manner imaginable. And with 90% of inmates eligible for parole at some point in their lifetimes, these hardened, hardcore people will return to our communities and live in our neighborhoods,bringing with them all the hate, anger and bitterness the system instilled in them during their incareration.

I recommend anyone that is interested in “true crime,” human behavior, criminal justice, etc., and all parents should view this documentary, to familiarize themselves with the reality of the prison system – so as to better educate and hopefully deter their children from pursuing a similar path. An excellent tool for alternative schools and programs to utilize – without saying a word, with the simple push of a button the instructor can open the eyes of at risk youth…erasing the glamor and mystique so often associated

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in News, Reviews, Video (DVD)

 

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Excellent Xpresso

 

Bodum Chambord Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker

Budget Price without that dreaded budget taste! The Bodum Stovetop Espresso Maker is a quality product, that does not disappoint…from the reasonable initial investment to the incredible flavor, this is a win, win, for coffee lovers! (Ooops! espresso lovers!)

The petite, retro design, combined with the heavy walled aluminum construction delivers a product that is appealing to the eye, fits even the smallest kitchen, and brews a delicious cup of java. The thick, silicone handle remains cool to the touch, as long as it’s not placed directly over the heat source. . 

Others have commented on the importance of rinsing the pot and brewing several “dummy pots,” before tasting…Absolutely! The oils and metals in the pot need to be “cured,” much like Grandma’s favorite iron skillet, minus the grease of course! To avoid spewing, make sure you have a tight seal between the pieces. After the pot cools, disassemble, rinse with hot water and allow to air dry on a towel. (Tips: Do not leave water in the pot, doing so results in something resembling a science project. Also, if small grinds are stuck in the filter, having a needle close by comes in handy.)

In a nutshell, this is an affordable maker, that brews a wonderful, full-bodied, very tasty cup of espresso. It’s attractive, easy to use, and a breeze to clean. From the moment the unit arrived it’s been used by our family almost daily…usually multiple times throughout the day. We have never experienced a problem that wasn’t self-created. For example: the time someone (ummm…ME, but we’ll keep that a secret), failed to secure the parts tightly, resulting in a lava-like flow all over the stove. I am happy to say it still looks brand new, inside and out, and works like a charm…brewing fabulous espresso in just a few minutes.

A family owned company, established in 1944, the environment friendly spirit has always been their driving force. – This product is inline with BODUM®’s founding principles, where form follows functionality and “Good design doesn’t have to be expensive.”
                                – Peter Bodum (founder)

P.S.
I’m a latte’ lover and I enjoy trying various flavored coffees…my favorite is pumpkin spice. I purchased a frother from Amazon, that produces a thick, creamy, oh so fluffy, milk froth topping, that has to be seen to be believed.

Froth Au Lait Gourmet Hot and Cold Frother
This new version has a HOT/COLD button, allowing you to make those popular iced drinks for a fraction of the cost, without sacrificing flavor!

 

Also available in Black Finish

10617-01

Amazon ID#  B003NG77WM

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Amazon, Amazon.UK, Reviews, RJ's Top Picks

 

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The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

The Castaways
Elin Hilderbrand
ISBN 10: 1600246222
ISBN 13: 9781600246227

Hachette Audio
Read by Katie Hale

Unabridged 11CDs/13hrs

A Summer read that is good anytime of year! A copy of this audio book will take you away from whatever is bothering you and transport you to the beautiful shoreline – where you can live vicariously through an endearing cast of characters that will not soon be forgotten.

 

Interview: author, PC Cast

Mills & Boon Nocturne

Visit Author, PC Cast on~line


  • *Can we expect the same mix of ancient and modern mythology that have become such an integral part of your other novels?

Yes, sort of.  In THE AVENGER my modern heroine travels back to 60 AD Briton and Boudicca’s time.  I very loosely follow historical events, with a touch of magic and mysticism.

  • *Would you call yourself a student of ancient history and myth? Do you enjoy the research necessary to keep the characters “honest?”

I would call myself a fan of mythology.  I am intrigued by certain periods of history, and I do enjoy researching, but I would by no means call myself a historian.  I think history translates more easily onto the page through mythology, and much can be learned about a people through the myths they tell.  For instance, what you learn about me through the myths I create is that I believe in empowering and valuing women.

  • *The Avengers is hotly anticipated – many writers have said this type of anticipation makes them very nervous – fear of not measuring up to the “hype” – how do you feel?

I’m used to being a bestseller and have found that it works for me not to pay attention to hype or critics.  Every time I write a book I set out to tell the story I’d most want to read.  I believe in doing my best each time and letting the cards fall where they may…


  • *The series centers around strong, female lead characters that return to ancient periods to retrieve pieces of a medallion that could alter history – how did you come to select Briton?

I was approached to write one of the Time Raiders novels for Nocturne because I am a military veteran (all of the authors of the TR series are vets).  I was interested because the idea of vets writing with military heroines sounded fun, and then when I saw that Boudicca was one of the choices proposed for time travel I was intrigued as I had been researching her because I decided her daughters would begin the House of Night Dark Daughters.  So I happily signed on!

  • *Do you find it easier to write as part of a team or solo?

Actually, I don’t really co-author with Kristin.  She serves as my teen voice editor.  I do all the writing, and when I’ve finished she goes through the manuscripts and comments on voice and pop references

  • *If you had a chance to work with any writer (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Ray Bradbury!  He’s a genius and I’d love to observe his writing process.


  • *What’s the best advice you have ever been given by another writer?

Just sit down and write the damn book.

  • *Here’s the: “on a deserted island question” – If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have 3 books to read for the rest of your life, what three books would you select?

Well, first of all, three wouldn’t be enough so I’d have to write lots of my own.  But let’s pretend like a series counts as one book, so I’d choose:
1) Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER books,
2) All of Christopher Moore’s books,
3) Tanith Lee’s THE SILVER METAL LOVER

  • *Can you give us a hint about what is next for PC Cast?

Beginning in December my Goddess Summoning Series will be released in the UK, starting with GODDESS OF CAMELOT.  I love this books and hope my UK fans will enjoy them, too! I’m working on pre-production for a film adaptation of one of my Goddess Summoning Books, GODDESS OF THE ROSE, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Thank you, for stopping by The Den and sharing a few minutes with us – Can’t wait to dive into “The Avengers!”

Visit PC Cast Online

Visit UK Publisher Mills & Boon


“You are about to enter a place of power, a place beyond imagining.”

Alex thought communicating with the dead was the worst of her troubles. She couldn’t have been more wrong!

She’s just been sent to 60 AD by a secret army unit to recover missing pieces of a medallion that could change the world.

Alex must use her gifts to entice Druid Caradoc into helping her. Yet soon she’s torn between duty and the man who’s been haunting her dreams. Returning to the present is the noble thing to do, but her heart tells her to stay in this enticing new world of goddesses and warriors.

TIME RAIDERS
Only they can cross the boundaries of time; only they have the power to save humanity.




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The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EWAN McGREGOR & PIERCE BROSNAN

Ghost Writer by Robert HarrisThe Ghost Writer

by Robert Harris

read by Roger Rees
Audio 5CD’s

ISBN: 0743583043
ISBN: 978-0743583043

Simon & Schuster Audio

Visit author, Robert Harris



Click here to listen to an audio clip of The Ghost WriterCLICK HERE to Listen to
an audio clip of The Ghost Writer

Simon & Schuster Audio



Robert Harris’ latest novel, The Ghost Writer sounds like an insider’s account, with all the sordid, juicy stuff we all want to know but will not admit we want to know. Mixing some recent history with fictional characters, in a real world, easily recognizable setting and the result is an entertaining listening experience!

The retired, disgraced British Prime Minister tapped his trusted aide, Mike McAra to help him write his memoir. After the mysterious, untimely death of McAra, a new ghostwriter is hired to iron out the wrinkles, add a little more detail and put the finishing touches on. The ghost joins Lang and his entourage, which consisted of a small security detail, several secretaries, his assistant and many speculated mistress, and his wife, Ruth, on Martha’s Vineyard, where they have rented a mansion. Adam Lang has created this cocoon, surrounding himself with those who are necessary or wanted, eliminating everyone else, including the citizens who turned on him.

Adam Lang’s smooth, charismatic demeanor catapulted him to the top of the political ticket, where he enjoyed high approval ratings. Then the world changed, as the war on terrorism branched off in an unpopular direction, taking with it Lang’s political popularity and casting a long, dark cloud over his legacy. Already being tried in the court of public opinion, the people unabashedly blame Lang for their suffering, as the UK has been the repeated target of terror attacks. And then it goes from bad to worse…Lang may be asked to stand before the International Criminal Court and answer to the charge of war crimes.

Robert Harris is as light with his pen as Fred Astaire was on his feet! Giving us a view of the inner sanctum is like pulling the curtain aside, revealing to the world there is no wizard…when all is said and done we are all human. And that’s what is at the heart of this story…people…living, breathing and flawed.

Narrator Roger Rees brings the characters to life, painting each with stunning audio detail, making them memorable and believable. The audio will keep you riveted,  twisting your thoughts and emotions in a new direction with every chapter. You will laugh out loud,  nod your head in agreement and shake your head in dismay, often all three within moments of each other. Even if you have read the book, the audio offers you a whole new experience!

Happy Reading,

RJ

Love2Listen Accustomed to aging rock-stars, the ghost is out of his element in the political arena, however, he will soon discover the two have more in common than he ever imagined! Ugliness and secrets abide here too…the difference…politicians “bury their stories.”



Flippin' Pages

Author, Robert Harris allows us a bit of insight into his thoughts on the difference between good and bad books –

And what they have in common, these bad books, be they novels or memoirs, is this: they don’t ring true. I’m not saying that a good book is true necessarily, just that it feels true for the time you’re reading it.

– and he couldn’t be more right! The Ghost Writer definitely rings true, the characters are believable, displaying the kind of behavior we have come to expect from politicians. Of course, the actions aren’t always good and more often than not it is the mistakes, mess ups and out right corruption that catapult their memoirs to the top of the charts.

Additional covers:

The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris
Also by author Robert Harris, Conspirata –

Conspirata by Robert Harris (SS)National Bestseller

Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Description

On the eve of Marcus Cicero’s inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome’s leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.

Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar — and it will take all the embattled consul’s wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.

Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero’s slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today’s listeners, documenting a world not unlike our own — where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.



Also from Simon & Schuster

Available June 1, 2010

The Starlet by Mary McNamara

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver *A Lincoln Rhyme Novel*

Simon &  Schuster Audio

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