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Too Safe for Strangers/Too Smart for Bullies

For more information, visit http://www.bobbyandmandee.com.

Bobby and Mandee's Too Safe for Strangers: Children's Safety Book

It is a fine line between preparing a child and scaring them…You don’t want to frighten your child and cause them to withdraw. Nor can you ignore the very real threats that exist. Robert Kahn wrote this book within the parameters of that ideal zone. Bobby & Mandee, Too Safe for Strangers is an excellent tool for anyone that cares for children. Unfortunately books like this have become a necessary part of parenting and are included in school curriculum’s nationwide. The book stresses “bad” adults do Not ask children for help, they would ask another adult. (Example – finding a lost pet) “Bad strangers” may offer candy or money to entice a child away from a safe area. Never get into a car with a stranger, no matter what they say. Saying “NO” to adults, yelling at or running from an adult is the opposite of “the respect your elders” lessons most parents instill in their children from a very young age. Which makes all this very confusing for little minds. Too Safe eliminates some of that confusion. We should change ‘how’ we teach kids to interact with adults. If we start telling our children to be respectful to our adult friends and simply polite to a stranger, they can see the difference and will imitate the behavior. Too Safe also includes a test at the end of the book. This should be used to further the discussion, allowing your child to explain their answer in their own words. Thus giving parents an insight into how they are receiving the information and lets you know if they do not understand something.

It is imperative that children understand “bad strangers” can be men or women, young or old. Because there’s no way to identify the kind of strangers children must avoid, rules have to be consistent. The wording and simple illustrations used in “Too Safe”deliver this message in ways kids can understand. Their image of a “bad person” is the boogie-man type…scary, dirty, with fangs, only comes out at night, etc. This books helps them to reimagine a “bad person” realistically. Odds are your child will never encounter one of these “bad strangers,” but if they do, at least they are prepared.

It is very sad that our society has become such a dangerous place for children. But the statistics don’t lie, and we, as parents cannot afford to lie to ourselves. Parents will do anything to protect their children..this little book can help you do that. This isn’t the kind of book you read one time and forget. This is something that needs to be reinforced on a regular basis, especially with younger children. By role playing the scenes in this book and going over the questions in the back, children become more and more comfortable with appropriate responses. And that’s all a loving parent can do.

Bobby and Mandee's Too Smart for Bullies: Children's Safety Book

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time…well, I can’t speak for that far back, but I know for sure back to the 70’s, because I was bullied. Back then everyone said “ignore them and they will pick on someone else,” or “tough up,” everyone gets picked on. The general rule of thought was “bullies are just part of growing up…and it just makes you stronger.” No one took it seriously! Thank goodness times are changing. But we have a long way to go and Too Smart for Bullies is a step in the right direction. The book opens the door to a difficult subject, and gives parents a tool to help children deal with bullies. Once again Bobby & Mandee team up in various scenarios demonstrating appropriate responses if your child is confronted by a bully. Parents are encouraged to role and reverse role play the scenes, followed by the questions and trusted adult list included at the end of the book. Too Smart is a good tool to have in your arsenal against bullies. Speaking from experience, dealing with bullies is no easy task, books like this wouldn’t have stopped the bullies, I would’ve known what to do.

Reviewer’s Note:

I read these books with my 3.5 year old granddaughter several times before donating both to her preschool class . We role played and reverse role played the scenarios in the book. The questions in the back helped us make up our own skits and reassured me that she was understanding the information. We practice what we learned when we go out..if someone says “oh you’re a pretty lil girl,” she squeezes my hand tight and simply says “thank you.” When we run into friends we stop and talk with them, shake hands, give hugs, etc. At first she was uncomfortable not talking to strangers who speak to us first…but the more we do it, it’s become habit for her now. (Which is wonderful!)

4 stars – I recommend this Too Smart/Too Safe to the “Trusted Adults” children are told repeatedly in these books to confide in if they find themselves in a bad situation. (parents, grandparents, guardians, babysitters, teachers, librarians, emergency workers, etc.)


Robert Kahn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Kahn has a Master’s Degree in Education. It was during Kahn’s tenure as a sixth grade teacher that he became concerned about the safety issues that involve children and decided to become a Deputy Sheriff to help educate and protect our youth from harm. He started a Stranger Danger program in local schools and community service organizations. Local law enforcement credits this program in foiling over 40 attempted abductions by strangers. To-date, Robert has given over 20,000 presentations covering 15 different topics on children’s safety issues.

Kahn’s mission is to keep all kids safe, but he can’t be everywhere at the same time. So, with the insight and knowledge gained from his experiences, Kahn began to write a series of children’s safety books. His first book, Bobby and Mandee’s Too Safe for Strangers, is based on his program. His other safety books help children learn how to deal with today’s problems.

All of his books are told in the voice of his own children, Bobby and Mandee! Kahn’s daughter Mandee is the main character although Bobby plays a very important role in the books. As a high-functioning autistic, “If he can understand the books, anybody can!” Kahn stresses the books simplicity so that anyone can benefit from them. Using simple language, the books introduce the concepts and then provide tips on how to deal with them.

The main age when something happens to a child is second grade through young adult. As kids start doing more things alone, it is imperative that they know how to help themselves to stay safe. The goal of the Bobby and Mandee Safety Series is to provide parents, educators and other trusted adults with essential information to share with our precious children to keep them safe in today’s world.

Click to visit "No-Bullying.com"

nobullying.com

 

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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!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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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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Celebrating 50 Years of Literary Excellence To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – pick up your copy today!

To Kill a Mockingbird

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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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Danny the Dragon by Tina Turbin (children’s)

MEET DANNY THE DRAGON …..
What a wonderful new children’s series, from author Tina Turbin!

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy (Hardcover)

Danny the Dragon
Meets Jimmy
by Tina Turbin

ISBN: 0980072115
ISBN: 978-0980072112
Age 4-8 / Pg 32

Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

**Best Book Award Finalist**


What a wonderful story! You will love Danny the Dragon!

This hardcover children’s book is the first in a new series from author Tina Turbin. The first thing you will notice when you pick up Danny The Dragon is that this is an oversized book, allowing for large, detailed images. I was pleasantly surprised by the thicker pages, because popular books in our house tend to be well worn, rather quickly – the publisher seems to have recognized and taken this fact into account when putting this book together. The artwork is amazing, for example, Jimmy has large expressive eyes and freckles, most kids can easily and quickly relate to this character. In the story Jimmy finds a very, very special shell at the beach – the shell TALKS! But like Alvin and Chimpmunks, when the shell is put on display infront of Jimmy’s family, it remains silent. Jimmy takes the shell home and it doesn’t take long for the star of the series to make himself known – Danny the Dragon lives inside the shell. Oh, along with his traveling sidekick – Skipper.

This is a children’s adventure tale that sparks imagination, and entertains through a combination of visual imagery and excellent story telling.  Focusing on politeness, manners and friendship, Danny the Dragon reminds me of the “good old fashioned story books” my Mom read to me years ago. These are important building blocks for children and unfortunately these kinds of stories are becoming a rare find. We are certainly looking forward to the next installments of Danny the Dragon and will be reading and sharing each one with you. This book will be on our bedside table for a while – If you are searching for a new book to share with your little one – I highly recommend Danny the Dragon.

Danny the Dragon "Dreams" Audio CDDanny the Dragon
“Dreams

audio CD – 50 mins

ISBN: 0980072131
ISBN: 978-0980072136
Age 4-8
Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

**Best Books Award Finalist**
Story time – then it is off to Dreams – If you have a fussy sleeper, this CD may be the answer you are looking for!

Danny the Dragon “Dreams” – is a delightful Audio CD – The first chapter opens with the story, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy read by Janice Welch. The narrator does a wonderful job of utilizing her voice to express the emotion of the story…the excitement, fun and curious nature of both Jimmy and Danny the Dragon are translated brilliantly. This story harkens back to a “safer” time – when politeness, manners and friendship were key ingredients in building character. Beautifully done and a must have for every parent that can’t be there to read a story every night. This audio CD packs a one two punch – a good story that is followed by 10 chapters of soothing piano led pieces that are an ideal bedtime treat. (With the last chapter being Danny the Dragon’s Theme Song.) There’s nothing stirring or jolting within the musical arrangements, making it the perfect CD to lull your little one of to Dream land.

DVD available April 13, 2010

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy - DVDDanny the Dragon
Meets Jimmy

DVD  – 21mins

ISBN: B0033G9OBO
Age 4-8
Imagination Publishing Group

www.dannythedragon.com

Available everywhere on April 13, 2010 – Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy takes the 32page hardcover book and puts it on the screen with narration and sign language for the hearing impaired. This is a wonderful DVD for those with hearing impairments – unfortunately there’s a limited amount of children’s stories that offer sign language and I congratulate the author, Tina Turbin, for taking the initiative and adapting this delightful children’s story, so that it can truly be enjoyed by all kids.

In the story we are introduced to Jimmy and his family. They spend a day at the beach, where Jimmy finds a beautiful sea shell…and this isn’t just any ol’ shell… it Talks! Of course, when he shows it to his family the shell is absolutely quiet. After taking the shell home, Jimmy discovers that it really is special…a dragon lives inside. Danny the Dragon and his worldly-wise travel companion Skipper share some amazing tales of their travels with Jimmy. And with this being the first installment in a new series, there’s lots to look forward too.

Visit Danny the Dragon's Website

Pick up your copy of:
Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy – hardcover
Danny the Dragon “Dreams” – Audio CD
Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy – DVD


Reviewer Note:

Big thank yous to author, Tina Turbin and her assistant, Rosie for the opportunity to share Danny the Dragon with my family, and now with you our visitors! What a delightful series – we have read the book several times – it has already earned a spot in the backpack and on the bedside table. Keeping the attention of a curious, rambunctious four year old is no easy feat, however, the images (both on screen with the DVD and the large, beautiful pictures in the book) kept him still…and asking questions and pointing out various objects. For those who worry about hidden agendas in children’s stories – there’s no need for concern with Danny the Dragon – this is a straight forward imaginary tale of friendship, with a healthy dose of manners that’s presented so subtly your child doesn’t realize they are actually “learning.”

Be sure to visit Danny’s website and friend

Danny the Dragon at Facebook & MySpace

Visit Danny the Dragon's Website
Danny the Dragon BLOG

Danny the Dragon @ MySpace
Danny the Dragon @Facebook

http://TinaTurbin.com

cover art courtesy of Imagination Publishing Group and author, Tina Turbin

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Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan

Breathing Water by Tim Hallinan

Breathing Water
A Bangkok Thriller

Timothy Hallinan

ISBN 10: 0061672238
ISBN 13: 978-0061672231
Hardcover, 352pages

www.timothyhallinan.com

William Morrow
an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

A Nail Through the Heart (book 1) {review}
The Fourth Watcher (book 2) {review}

Breathing Water is the third novel in the Bangkok Thriller series from best selling author Timothy Hallinan, and the story keeps getting better and better…for the reader…which translates to fictional chaos and danger for our favorite travel writer, Poke Rafferty, his beautiful wife Rose and their adopted daughter, Miaow. As with the two previous installments, Breathing Water stands alone, independently strong, full of colorful characters and real world dilemmas delivered with a degree of realism that reaches off the pages into the heart of the reader. However, as a series, each book builds upon the last, taking you deeper into the lives, psyche and history of the characters, for this reason I highly recommend reading all three.

The scene opens on a late night poker game, orchestrated by Poke’s friends at the police department. Unbeknownst to some of the players the game was set up as a training exercise. When Khun Pan joins the table, he is not amused and a misunderstanding puts Arthit’s career on the chopping block. To save his best friend, Poke makes a bet with Khun Pan and wins! The prize? Pan’s biography, sought after by Thai journalists and writers for years, Pan had never before agreed to allow, much less participate in such a project. Making this a once in a lifetime opportunity. A flamboyant and controversial figure, Khun Pan is loved and admired by those who view him as a champion of the poor and absolutely despised by the affluent, many of whom are threatened by his political ambitions. Of course nothing is ever easy for Poke and word travels fast about the impending biography – While one side is paying for the book to be written, Poke is contacted by the opposing side and informed the cost of writing this book will be the lives of his beloved Rose and their daughter Miaow. Thus pitting the Rafferty family against some of Bangkok’s most powerful and influential people. And these ruthless people will do whatever it takes to maintain their status and keep their secrets hidden…whatever it takes!

In the background of this high stakes face-off is yet another link in the organized crime chain, stolen babies, modern-day-slavery and sex tourism. It is within this web we meet a young farm girl named Da and are reunited with Miaow’s long lost friend, Boo.  Captured and forced to beg on the streets of Bangkok, Da is dumbstruck when she’s given a baby to care for. Bewilderment gives way to fear when she discovers the baby, she named Peek, will only be with her temporarily, used on the streets as a prop until it is sold to a wealthy family. Boo, a tough, young lad we met in A Nail Through The Heart (first novel) as “Superman,” now, a few years older and much the wiser, is the leader and protector of a group of street kids and holds the key to Da’s escape.

Hallinan merges the two storylines effortlessly, as he reunites Boo with the Rafferty family.
Together with Arthit and his friend Kosit, they formulate a complex, multilayered plan that has no room for error, each step must be executed with military like precision in order to be successful…all of their lives depend on it.

Breathing Water is an exceptional novel – showcasing Hallinan’s appreciation and understanding of Thai culture which is masterfully translated through the narrative, allowing readers a front row seat on a 300 page journey through Bangkok. (For many, like me, this is as close to Bangkok as we will ever get.) His portrayal of Bangkok brings the city right into your living room, which is no simple task as this is a city of fluid contradictions, where you can visit a message parlor type of establishment and pray on your way out at one of the many beautiful statues. For years Thailand has been teetering on the brink of civil war or total collapse, awash in every conceivable type of corruption, as organized crime bosses maneuver, manipulate and control all aspects of Thai life, from the street vendor to the political arena, but because of its dependence on tourism and this underworld control we are not likely to see such reports on CNN. Hallinan delivers the story with an unbridled passion that is intoxicating, addictive and incredibly entertaining. If you are looking for a genuinely good book, written with heart and doesn’t assume the reader lacks intelligence, look no further…Breathing Water is a rock solid selection you will not regret! (And pick up the first two installments while you’re at it! You won’t get much sleep for the next several days, but it is so worth it!)

I could say the third time is the charm – but that would insinuate that the two previous books were in some way lacking – and lacking is something you will not find in a Hallinan novel. The characters are drawn with such meticulous detail that it is impossible to distinguish fiction from fact, the emotional attachment the reader forms with the characters and your involvement with the story itself becomes a part of your life, a relationship that is missed with the closing of the cover. But is quickly rekindled with each new release…So, until the fourth installment…I wait and wonder what’s next for the Rafferty’s…

9780061257223PB Nail A Nail Through The Heart
(book 1 – Bangkok Thriller series)
Read our review of “Nail”

9780061257261fourthwatcher pb The Fourth Watcher

(book 2 – Bangkok Thriller series)
Read our review of “Watcher”

9780061672231breathingwater Breathing Water
(book 3 – Bangkok Thriller series)

William Morrow an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Morrow_Avon Logo-thumb-300x120-1863

Book 4 coming Summer 2010

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Alex Cross’s TRIAL by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo

This title is on RJ's "Top Pick List"   

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard DillaloAlex Cross’s Trial
James Patterson & Richard Dillalo
ISBN: 1600248535
ISBN: 978-1600248535

8CD’s, Unabridged
Read by Dylan Baker featuring Shawn Andrew
Hachette Audio

Available in Hardcover (Little, Brown & Co)

www.jamespatterson.com

The Cross family had more than one hero…”

Alex Cross’s TRIAL, bridges the gap between generations of Cross men – taking us back in time to a turbulent and frightening era in American History, when folks were separated by color and justice was in deed blind…

This novel is a departure from the strong crime drama Cross series – written by the fictional character “Alex Cross” (as was “Big Bad Wolfe”). Thanks to Nana-Mama’s memory and Ben Corbett’s personal journals, Alex was able to put this haunting story on paper and share it with the world. He writes in the introduction – “…it is a story that helps illuminate why so many black people are angry, hurt, and lost in this country, even today. I also think it is important to keep this story alive for my family, and hopefully for yours.” And he couldn’t be more right – it is important…no matter how painful our past, we must learn from it – because those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Attorney Ben Corbett had made quite a name for himself, as a white man, the son of a prominent Mississippi judge, he represented defendants of color during a time in the nation’s history when to do so put your career, family and even your very life in jeopardy. The story opens with Corbett defending a black servant accused of murdering her wealthy white boss. Of course, it comes as no surprise when the all male, all white jury returned a guilty verdict. This sets the stage for an amazing narrative – that follows Corbett
back home, to Eudora, Mississippi on a special, top secret assignment, requested by the President of the United States. Corbett had served under Roosevelt in the military and the President trusted him to conduct an “off the record” investigation and report directly back to him. Rumors of lynchings, terrorist like activities, civil rights violations, etc., if the stories were true, the Klu Klux Klan was alive and well in the south. President Roosevelt gave Corbett the name of the man he wanted him to talk too…Corbett’s contact…Abraham Cross.

Ben Corbett is impressed by Abraham Cross from the moment they meet, he knows Cross is a very special and wise man. At first Ben has a hard time believing the horror he witnessed as a young man is still occurring, however, after one afternoon with Abraham ‘touring’  lynching sites he realizes the Klan is thriving and everyone knows it. As the story continues tragedy strikes the Cross family and the Klan comes calling to collect their “just dues” from Ben Corbett. Will he become a chapter in this secret story he was sent here to uncover? If the Klan has their way…the answer is a resounding and absolute YES!

An incredible, moving story, that hurtles towards the ending with such ferocity you feel as though you are standing on the edge of a mountain and could teeter off at any second.

James Patterson and Richard Dillalo have delivered a story that is as disturbing as it is exciting – the no-holds-barred narrative is so “in your face” it stings and the lynching scenes are drawn with such meticulous detail you can almost smell the lingering odor of death as you read these haunting depictions. The pain, heartbreak and fear is palpable throughout as the eyes of a nation fall upon Eudora, Mississippi. The text is so point on you cannot help but feel flushed with emotion. Alex Cross’s TRIAL is emotionally charged, action packed and tells the story of how a family’s struggle against injustice gave one man the strength to stand against his own for what he knew to be right…not for posterity, fame or fortune –  simply because it was right!

There’s nothing conventional about Alex Cross…narrators Dylan Baker and Shawn Andrew tell this story with heart, courage and absolute dedication to the characters, breathing life into it and with each succeeding chapter they draw the scenes and put you in the center of each…You will be angered by this story, you will probably tear up (or cry, I sure did!), you will feel the pain of those who are hurting and the joy and pride of those who find the courage to stand tall. In a nutshell, you won’t regret the hours you spend with this book.

Happy Reading,  
Mrs RJ
RJ McGill
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The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (audio)

The Brass Verdict
Michael Connelly
ISBN: 1600244017
ISBN: 9781600244018
www.michaelconnelly.com

Unabridged, 10CDs, 11.5hrs
Hachette Audio
Read by Peter Giles

Hardcover, 432 Pages
Little, Brown & Company
 

New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly takes a leap of literary faith uniting two well known characters in one novel and lands softly amid adoring fans and rave reviews. Actor Peter Giles narrates, bringing the characters to life with special wording, accents and voice inflections, individualizing each, making the characters recognizable and believable.  

In 2005’s The Lincoln Lawyer, we were left with Haller’s promise that he would return – and return he has…albeit divorced, estranged from his daughter and recovering from both the gun shot wound and an addiction to pain killers. With his ex-wife (Lorna) as secretary/manager and her fiancée (Cisco), as his lead investigator, Mickey plans to slowly recoup his clientele and rebuild his rolling practice. Operating a lucrative law office from the backseat of a Lincoln town car was but one of his signature tricks and he was determined to reassert himself as the quintessential Lincoln Lawyer.

But his plans for a slow comeback are fast tracked when fellow attorney Jerry Vincent is found murdered in the parking garage adjacent to his office. Summoned to a closed door meeting with Chief Judge Holder, Haller is unceremoniously informed he has inherited Vincent’s practice and is responsible for his case load. A laundry list of cases was the last thing Haller wanted, so he quickly disposed of most of them. However, there was one case he hoped to maintain – that of millionaire, studio executive Walter Elliot, accused of murdering his wife and her lover. 

It would appear Vincent’s untimely demise handed Haller the goose that laid the golden egg, wrapped in box with a beautiful bow…but, then again, nothing is ever as it appears, is it?

Attorney Mickey Haller, from The Lincoln Lawyer’s and Detective Harry Bosch (33 year veteran of the police dept), from the celebrated Bosch series, share the spotlight in this murder-mystery-legal drama, sparring and teasing each other throughout with bits of carefully worded information meant to illicit more than it reveals. Forever questioning the intentions of the other, on the surface they seem to represent polar opposite points of view, but they have a great deal more in common than either is willing to acknowledge.
This novel barely scratches the proverbial literary surface of this brotherly relationship and I am anxious to see Connelly explore this further in the future.

Exciting, interesting and filled with twists that satisfy fully – “The Brass Verdict” is a solid good read!

Happy Reading!
BIGsmily
RJ McGill
WriterTweeter 

CLICK @HERE@ to read an excerpt from The Brass Verdict (via Open Book)

Brass Verdict = cop slang for an execution

 

 
 
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The Gate House by Nelson DeMille (audio)

Gate House by Nelson DeMille (audio) from Hachette

The Gate House
Nelson DeMille

ISBN 10: 1600244106
ISBN 13: 978-1600244100

Also available in Hardcover

Hachette Audio

Nelson DeMille Online

The long awaited sequel to DeMille’s 1990 hit, “The Gold Coast” reunites readers with the Sutter’s, Stanhope’s, Bellarosa’s and all the foo-foo, high class pretentious folks that call the North Shore of Long Island home. Although almost twenty calendar years have elapsed, within the novel, it is half-as long, and begins months after the tragedies of 9-11.

John Sutter, returns to the Gold Coast to handle the final arrangements for an ailing, elderly woman, who had been a dedicated family servant. After sailing around the world and residing in England, it feels almost like a bad case of dejavu, because it seems he is right back where he started. His beautiful ex-wife has also returned and they are now neighbors. It doesn’t take long for the two to find their way to each other and like everything else in this novel, the outcome is predictable. What ensues is a long winded, over blown and excruciatingly slow journey to an all too perfect ending, for characters that are nearly impossible to form any kind of emotional attachment with. The Gate House was disappointing on several levels, mostly because there was simply no element of suspense…even the occasional reader could discern the outcome long before the revelation. Although the narration did add a bit of humor and made the journey a bit easier we’ve come to expect a tighter, more concise story from a best selling author of such caliber.

Here’s to hoping this is the last of the Sutter’s and that DeMille sharpens his pen and returns to the strong, character driven, suspenseful ways of old.

Happy Reading,
RJ McGill
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BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker

BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

BoneMan’s Daughters
Ted Dekker

ISBN: 9781600246043
ISBN: 1600246044
Unabridged, 9CD, 10.5hr
Center Street Publishing
www.teddekker.com

Hachette Audio
read by Robert Petkoff

*Special conversation with author @CD9”
Ted Dekker, author of 20+ best selling novels, beloved by a dedicated following..so how is it possible that many booklovers aren’t familiar with this incredible body of work? Because Dekker’s books have been classified spiritual or Christian – and that tag caused readers to leave the book on the shelf, thus missing out on some of the most prolific, character driven writing penned in recent years. BoneMan’s Daughters showcases Ted Dekker at his dark thriller best!

Good vs evil? Right vs wrong? That fine line that divides the two sides, the one that is usually so easily defined, can, in the right, or should I say, wrong set of circumstances, blur – when confronted by the unimaginable, the impossible becomes not only plausible, but almost understandable, maybe even excusable, right?

BoneMan’s Daughters opens somewhere in the Iraqi dessert, with Military Investigator Captain Ryan Evans’ convoy being attacked. Evans is taken hostage and held in a bunker by a man named Khalid. The newspapers would refer to the kidnappers as insurgents or radicals, neither is accurate. The truth, is far more frightening, Khalid, like Ryan was a father, and his child was killed by a Coalition bombing. The anger and resentment that grew within this man was palpable and he would force Ryan to experience “collateral damage,” first hand! Khalid presented Ryan with a choice, murder an Iraqi child or sacrifice his family in the child’s’ place.

The events in the desert changed Ryan Evans – he realized he had neglected his family, that it would take a long time to heal the wounds his absences had inflicted upon those he loved, but he returned to Austin determined to make things right with his wife, Celine and their adopted daughter, Bethany and move on with their lives. However, fate had yet another twist in store for Ryan Evans, it seems Celine had already moved on…and into the arms of the District Attorney. As for Bethany, well, at 16, with images of NY City and a new modeling gig dancing in her head, she wasn’t interested in Ryan’s new found Fatherly love. With horrific images from Iraq haunting him day and night, divorce looming and losing his daughter, Ryan is on the verge and retreats into himself. And then, the story heats up, shifting into overdrive and barreling straight into Ryan Evans heart.

And the hits just keep on coming…

News Flash – notorious serial killer, BoneMan released from prison on a technicality… BoneMan, that single word conjured up disturbing, hellish memories for locals. The name refers to his method of murder, meticulously breaking the bones of his teenage female victims, without perforating the skin. After a two year hiatus, a teenage girl is abducted…BoneMan’s quest to find the perfect daughter continues. It would seem all eyes would be on the recently released prisoner – but not so…some very well informed investigators see the two year lull coincides quite nicely with Ryan Evans deployment. But Evans doesn’t have time to be upset or offended by such outrageous accusations…BoneMan has his daughter, Bethany and if Ryan can’t find her in time, she will suffer the same fate as the six young girls before her, becoming forever one of BoneMan’s Daughters.

A spine-tingling tale of family, betrayal, suffering, and survival. The narrator’s use of strong inflections, varied accents and emotional tones and speeds breathes life into these fictional characters, making each feel not only real, but personally familiar. Dekker’s use of current events and headline worthy subplots adds yet another level of chilling realism to BoneMan’s Daughters. A well written, well delivered novel that demonstrates Dekker’s ability as a first rate writer and assures us (readers) we have a lot to look forward too.

Happy Reading!
Msg from RJ: "Live, Laugh, Love & Read!"
RJ McGill

follow @MrsRJ Have we met on Facebook?

Also available in Hardcover & Large Print Hardcover
BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

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Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst

Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy HearstPromise of the Wolves
Dorothy Hearst

ISBN 10: 1416569987
ISBN 13: 9781416569985
Hard Cover, Fiction, 352 pages

Simon & Schuster
www.simonsays.com

www.dorothyhearst.com

Available July 7, in Paperback

Dorothy Hearst’s debut, Promise of the Wolves takes you inside the realm of these beautiful, secretive and long ranging animals. Since the dawn of man we have been fascinated by the strength and charisma of the wolf – now, Hearst, delivers a heartwarming tale of friendship and adventure that will leave you longing to run with the pack!

A prehistoric fantasy, set 14,000 years ago, centering around the mythical society of the wolf and demonstrating that even at this early stage of organization and communication, mans impending effect on the ecological and environmental systems were showing. Part legend, part lore and all heart, Dororthy Hearst has struck fiction animal fantasy gold.

A young member of Swift River pack, Kaala is finding acceptance in her adoptive family elusive. The moon-shaped mark on Kaala is thought to be a sign of bad luck and therefore, Ruuquo, the leader, doesn’t trust her. And her desire to be with and interact with humans breaks the most important law…”never associate with humans.” However, the more alienated Kaala becomes -from the pack, the stronger her need to be with the humans grows. Unbeknownst to anyone, Kaala is guided by a spirit-wolf that obviously shares her desire to bring the humans and wolves together, so that they can coexist peacefully. With the help of her pack-mates, a silly raven named Tlitoo and otherworldly guidance from Spiritwolf, Kaala learns the value of friendship and that the future cannot depend solely upon the legends of the past, that there are no absolutes and that survival may well depend on their ability to embrace change. But can she convince the Greatwolves? Or will her need to bridge the divide between wolf and man destroy both of them?

Well researched, historically accurate, but more importantly, the animal personalities and respective voices are so point-on, you can’t help but wonder if Hearst consulted Dr. Dolittle while writing this book. Laying the foundation for such an imaginative trilogy can be cumbersome, run long and become overly factualized, however, Hearst manages to sidestep each of these pitfalls and deliver an interesting, invigorating story that familiarizes the reader with the characters and concepts, yet holding enough back to keep us wanting to know more. I look forward to continuing this series and for a few hours, embracing the fantastical!

Happy Reading!
RJ McGill, resident indie reviewer, 3Rs Den
-RJ McGill

Follow @MrsRJ


Paperback available July 7, 2009

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Shop Indie Bookstores

 

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A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley

a-carrion-death-by-michael-stanley
A Carrion Death

Michael Stanley
ISBN: 0061252409
ASIN: B0010W500K
Fiction, 480 pages
Harper Collins
www.harpercollins.com

www.detectivekubu.com


Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, writing as Michael Stanley have penned an impressive debut novel, recognized as a Debut Dagger and 2008 Minnesota Book Award Finalist. These two African adventurers have enjoyed numerous safaris and are well versed in the ways of the bush. Extensive experience and distinctive writing flair combine to make A Carrion Death a good read!


Stanley introduces readers to the main character, the Assistant Superintendent of Botswana’s Police Department, David Bengu, aka “Kubu.” An appropriate nickname, considering his size and insatiable appetite, as Kubu is Setswana for hippopotamus. A strong, tenacious man, that loves his wife Joy and cares for his aging parents. He doesn’t mind going against the tide and still believes in the old-fashioned values of honor, respect and justice. It is these qualities that will endear Kubu to readers, because he’s a believable, three dimensional character, with strengths and weaknesses we can all relate too.

Detective Kubu is called out to the desert, where a group of scientists on a field trip , discovered a badly decomposed, dismembered body that has also been ravaged by wild animals. Kubu instinctively recognizes he’s dealing with a murder, which is later confirmed by the medical examiner. Investigating this death is compounded by decomposition and what appears to be specific mutilation, meant to hinder any attempts at identification. The search for information on this John Doe leads the detective to Botswana Cattle and Mining Company (BCMC), headed by Cecil Hofmeyr, who just happens to be a golfing buddy of Jacob Makabu…who just happens to be Kubu’s boss! And the plot thickens…

The tense dynamic within the Hofmeyr family is in stark opposition to the loving, warm relationships within the Bengu family. It’s soon revealed that Cecil Hofmeyr’s days running BCMC solo are numbered, as his niece and nephew, Dianna and Angus, will inherit their father’s share of the company on their 30th birthdays and he is concerned his many questionable deals will soon be uncovered. As the investigation continues, Kubu is reunited with old friends, begins to question the motives of some of those close to him and watches, seemingly helpless, as one after another of his contacts is found murdered.


A Carrion Death crisscrosses two genres, thriller and mystery, which at times seems to cause the story to run long and be unnecessarily complex, which is not unusual for a first installment. However, where this series differs is with the strength of their main character, as well as, the incredibly detailed and authentic African scenery, which set this debut apart, leading me to expect great things from Detective Kubu in the future.

Happy Reading!   😉
~ RJ
3Rs Reading Den
©


FYI:
From Wikipedia
*Carrion (from the Latin caro, meaning meat) refers to the carcass of a dead animal. Carrion is an important food source for large carnivores and omnivores in most ecosystems and plays an important role in the circle of life. (Ex. Hyenas, Vultures, Black Bears, Bald Eagles, Raccoons, etc.)

An example of carrion in literature can be found in Julius Caesar, Act 3 scene 1, “this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial”, in which the word carrion implies that the bodies are rotting and infected with disease and bacteria. Another example: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, when the title character kills an unknown bird for food but finds “its flesh was Carrion, and fit for nothing.”

Read the Complete Text online or download PDF – click here for Robinson Crusoe

 

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Fourth Watcher by Tim Hallinan **


The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallinan

The Fourth Watcher
A Novel of Bangkok
Timothy Hallinan
ISBN-10: 0061257257
ISBN-13: 978-0061257254
Harper Collins Publishing
www.harpercollins.com

www.timothyhallinan.com

To say that Timothy Hallinan’s second installment in the Bangkok series starts off with a bang is…well, exactly what it does…from that initial blast to the closing words you are immersed Poke Rafferty’s world, where nothing is what it seems. Whether you’re an international traveler, well versed in Asian cultures or a homebody like me, The Fourth Watcher brings Bangkok to life. The vivid, lush imagery, believable characters and high stakes plot line will keep you turning pages. Hallinan utilizes every tool at his disposal to deliver a complete reading experience. Even the chapter titles add flavor to this remarkable read!

Poke is an ever-so- likable character you simply can‘t help but cheer for! He‘s quick witted and absolutely devoted to his fiancee’ Rose and their eight year old, adopted daughter Miaow. Determined to provide a better life for his two best girls, he decides to write an espionage thriller. Realizing he needs to be familiar with the topic in order to be authentic, he hires Ex-CIA Agent Arnold Prettyman to assist him with his research.  Stumbling upon information concerning a recent flood of counterfeit money from North Korea puts Poke and Rose in the Secret Service’s crosshairs. However, the plot thickens when Rose is accused of passing the fake bills through her cleaning business.

If this weren’t enough to complicate their lives, Frank, Poke’s estranged Father re-enters the picture after years of silence…and he isn’t alone. Poke is apprehensive, but Rose encourages him to give his father a second chance. As usual, where Frank is concerned, trouble is not far behind and this time his connections to the underworld have endangered Poke’s family too.

Throughout the novel Miaow is nothing short of a subtle hero. The adorable, street wise Miaow displays a degree of maturity that is far beyond her tender years. This child’s ability to rise above all the tough, lonely times she endured is amazing, but to do so without becoming jaded is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the healing power of love. The Fourth Watcher is masterfully written, highlighting Hallinan’s knowledge of the culture and his genuine affection for its people. Rich, alluring details draw the reader in, providing a deeply satisfying read. The characters have been assembled with the care of a loving parent and the scenic imagery is worthy of a spot in Louve. I recommend this book to all who enjoy an intriguing story with memorable characters, some easy to love, others, very easy to despise. And with the third book in the series releasing this summer, now is the ideal time to get to know Timothy Hallinan’s Poke Rafferty.
In a nutshell the title of chapter 14 says it best, “It’s not coming from the direction you expect.”

Happy Reading!
~ RJ
3Rs©


😉 A Nail Through The Heart (book 1, Bangkok series)

A Nail Through The Heart by Timothy Hallinan

CLICK HERE to read our review.


Check out both books in this Bangkok series!

Check out both books in this Bangkok series!

 

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Curse of the Bayou by Mary Cunningham (YA)

Cynthia’s Attic series – book #3 – from author, Mary Cunningham
Cover Image

Cynthia’s Attic, Book#3: Curse of the Bayou
by Mary Cunningham
ISBN 10: 1590805755
ISBN 13: 978-1590805756
Echelon Press Publishing

www.marycunninghambooks.com

Curse of the Bayou, Cynthia’s Attic series book #3

The third time really is the charm for author Mary Cunningham, as her latest installment in the Cynthia’s Attic series is the best of the trio. While books one and two are delightfully entertaining, within a few pages of book three, it is apparent that the writer has grown right a long side her two main characters. Blending parallel universes with very real human issues while allowing the reader to suspend the need for reason is a huge undertaking, and one that Cunningham has met and far exceeded with Curse of the Bayou.

On the edge of thirteen, in the year 1964, best friends and time traveling companions, Cynthia and Gus are at it again, drawn to the old trunk in the attic that magically melts the seams of time. The girls land in the year 1914, deep in the Louisiana swamp and quickly find they aren’t swimming with dolphins…it’s alligators! But, this is to be only the first of many heart stopping thrills as they search for Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau Connor, who was last seen traveling down the Mississippi River to sell produce.

The girls receive helpful hints from old friends and stern warnings from new ones. It seems the Mississippi River is home to the meanest, most orneriest pirate ever…one Buzzard Jack LaBuse. A long the way our gutsy tweenies find themselves facing off with shifting plants, scheming baddies and a thieving parrot, just to name a few. Traveling back and forth in time, the girls land in Southern Indiana, on the old Connor farm, where they discover a link between Beau Connor and pirate Jack. Could a family curse be the cause of Great Grandpa’s sudden and mysterious disappearance?

Curse of the Bayou is the ultimate stage for Cunningham’s cooky cast of characters to act out their story. Just as the most intricate web begins with a single strand, so it is with a good series…there’s a basic idea upon which each individual story is built. And while each must stand alone, it must be linked to the original. With three complete books in the series, the supporting cast and their respective back stories can get quite confusing, especially for the target audience, for this reason I would love to see a character list included with future installments.

There are so many directions the author can take with these characters and an endless list of issues, both real and imagined that can be filtered in, that not even the sky can limit this series…Kudos to author Mary Cunningham for delivering a good old fashioned family story, with all the sci-fi perks and jigs to light the imagination of today’s young reader.

Happy Reading!

– RJ

 

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Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

Readers should be prepared for an experience like no other…Earthly Pleasures is a little taste of paradise, right here on earth!   8)

Earthly Pleasures
Karen Neches
Fiction/320 pages
Simon & Schuster; 1 edition
8)
ISBN-10: 0743292480
ISBN-13: 978-0743292481
www.simonschuster.com

www.karenneches.com

Karen Neches’ new novel, Earthly Pleasures is a light, fun read that is filled equal amounts of humor and heart.  At the conclusion of this wonderful novel readers are left to hope that the eternal forever place will be as lovely, fun filled and exciting as Neches’ brilliantly designed and thoroughly developed fictional paradise.

As the story begins we are introduced to Skye Sebring, a greeter in Heaven’s Hospitality Division. Her assignment is to help Earths recently departed through the transition. Meaning, she meets and greets all the newcomers, takes them on a tour of their new ‘home’ and answers their questions. While the main objective of Skye’s fellow angels is to return to Earth, Skye is quite content to remain right here in Heaven.

That is until the day a motorcycle accident brings Ryan Blaine to Heaven. Son of a former president, attorney, star of Heaven’s reality show Earthly Pleasures, Blaine is popular, handsome and engaged. Skye is immediately taken in by Ryan, so when he is jolted back to his physical body on Earth she becomes almost obsessed with the show and with finding a way to be with Ryan. There was something between them…he appeared to know her…how could she remind him of someone? Skye was a ‘new soul,’ she had never been on Earth or had she?

The story takes off from the first chapter and soars right through to the conclusion. There are techno-gadgets that have their basis in reality, but Neches has souped them up. There’s a little of everything, but not so much of any one thing that it over-powers or detracts from the main theme. Well written, fleshed out and delivered with a passionate voice that commands the readers full attention. Earthly Pleasures will tickle your funny bone and touch your heart with a cast of clever characters carefully navigating multiple story lines that co-mingle perfectly to keep you guessing, wishing and hoping. Karen Neches has penned a truly original story that is absolutely brilliant in its’ creative simplicity. Delivering an interesting novel that maintains its’ entertainment level from beginning to end, allows readers to pass the time quietly turning pages…a pleasure, that to a book-lover, sure feels a lot like Heaven.I will be keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

Happy Reading!
   – RJ

 

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CYOA – Volume One

golden-path-book-1.jpg
Golden Path Volume 1
Into the Hollow Earth

by Anson Montgomery
Youth Adventure/Fiction
ISBN 10: 1933390816
ISBN 13: 978-1933390819
Chooseco *(CYOA)

Some may find it hard to imagine how, with a printed book, the reader can actively participate in the adventure…but it’s true. The popular Choose Your Own Adventure has been revamped, re-energized and relaunched, to the utter delight of parents and young adults everywhere. With this ingenious series, the reader has the opportunity to make multiple choices throughout the novel, which changes the plot twists, the characters that you will meet and at what stage you will interact with each. The right choices will lead you, as one of the main characters, into a secret world that exists beneath the Earth’s crust.

As one of the main characters, you (the reader) are, quite literally caught up in the action and your choices effect the other characters and the progression of the story. The Golden Path: Volume One opens with an interesting, scientific prologue, which sets the tone for the scenery, ideologies and difficulties that the people in author Anson Montgomery’s future face on a daily basis. The first chapter opens with a scene every student can relate too…three friends, in the library, studying for a big exam. And through the creative imagination of CYOA, you (the reader), are one of the three. The heart of the story revolves around your parents archaeological dig at Carlsbad, New Mexico and a very odd shard of pottery your friend Peter found outside the dig site. Convinced the artifact once belonged to a culture that predates the American Indians and utilizing the individual talents of each of your friends, the three of you receive special permission from your teacher to work together on the AP History project. It’s true that history effects the future, but you and your friends had no idea how that piece of pottery would devastate your present and put your future in jeopardy.

When you receive a frightening, cryptic email from your Mom, sent from a dead letter drop, you are given the first of many choices…do you follow the instructions from your Mom or go to New York City? Of course your selection will alter the story’s progression, as will each of the decisions you make throughout the adventure. What began as a quest to find your missing parents, quickly spins into a web of questions, that has government officials hot on your trail and could well be the difference between life and death for you all.

Choose Your Own Adventure is an entertaining adventure series that engages reader, however, flipping back and forth, skipping numerous chapters only to go back to them later may be confusing for younger readers. A mix of ancient history, futuristic adventure, scientific learning and creative imagination, woven around three best friends who must use their individual strengths to solve problems together. Utilizing age appropriate narrative, the book deals with family issues, friendships, loss, jealousy, grief and ultimately survival, understanding and healing. I would recommend this book (*& the series) to children who enjoy a book that doesn’t fit the normal definition of “book.” The characters are believable, with just enough futuristic karma to grab the attention of today’s high-tech kids. With four story lines developed to move from Volume One to Volume Two, your individual choices play-out before your eyes. I think parents should be made aware that it is necessary to purchase both volumes, because without the second volume some “choices” are not available, thus changing the outcome. With the website, more information should be available and it allows the kids to participate in activities related to the stories. Definitely worth reading, a solid 3.5 and destined to get better with each new installment.

Happy Reading!
-RJ

 

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