Please bear with us as we undergo some reconstruction.

Monday, June 27, 2016

{Book Review} The Unspeakable Crimes of Dr. Petiot by Thomas Maeder

The Unspeakable Crimes of Dr. Petiot
by Thomas Maeder
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release: June 7th 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: True crime
How I got it: received a copy from NetGalley

The chilling true story of a serial killer who preyed on men, women, and children desperate to escape Nazi-occupied Paris.

On March 11, 1944, police were called to investigate foul-smelling smoke pouring from the chimney of an elegant private house near the Arc de Triomphe. In the basement of 21 rue Le Sueur, they made the first of many gruesome discoveries: a human hand dangling from the open door of a coal-burning stove.

Proceeding to the rear of the home, detectives found rib cages, skulls, and internal organs strewn across the floor and large piles of quicklime mixed with fragments of bone and flesh. The Gestapo had two offices in the neighborhood—were Hitler’s henchmen responsible for the carnage? Or was it the work of French Resistance fighters purging Paris of traitors and German spies?

As the investigation unfolded, a more sinister possibility emerged. The building’s owner, Dr. Marcel Petiot, was a handsome and charismatic physician whose past was littered with bizarre behavior and criminal activity. When he was finally captured eight months later, Dr. Petiot claimed he was a loyal member of the Resistance who helped kill Nazi collaborators. Prosecutors charged that he was a sadistic mass murderer who lured at least twenty-seven innocent people to their deaths with promises of escape. Estimates of the actual number of his victims ran as high as 150 men, women, and children.

Review: I wasn't sure what to think of this book. It was interesting, I'll give it that. I found it intriguing that Dr Petiot seemed to play off the Nazi occupation. Telling the police he was in the Resistance when he really wasn't and it seemed as though the Nazi's didn't care what he was doing as long as it wasn't bothering them. In the blurb Mr Maeder claim that Dr Petiot is a "sadistic mass murderer". Mass murderer, yes. But sadistic? I'm not sure. To me it seemed the dismemberment of the bodies was more a way to get rid of them, than anything sadistic. Dr Petiot seemed to be more of an opportunistic killer, who was motivated by greed not the need to kill. The trial felt like more of a theater than an courtroom.
I found the overall book to be well written and researched. It was delivered in a factual, not overly exaggerated way that made it easy to digest.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

{Book Review} The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10)
by Darynda Jones
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release: June 28th 2016
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Paranormal Mystery
How I got it: I received a copy from NetGalley

As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…

Review: Ok so this is book 10 in the Charley Davidson series, I have read books 1-7, but when this was offered on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. I know most people would have bought 8-9 first and read them in order, but eh I'm ok jumping around. Ms Jones does a good job glossing over what happened in the previous books, giving the reader enough information to understand the story, if they hadn't read the earlier books. Yet she also doesn't overwhelm the reader with every little detail. But if you don't like spoilers, read the books in order.
I love Charley's characters she is witty, brave, maybe a little foolhardy at times, but she always stands up for what she believes in. Even if it's twice her size, and will flatten her. Yet she has her faults, which endear me to this character. Yet for some reason in this book I felt something was missing, I still can't put my finger on what but her character seemed off slightly. Reyes is still hunky, over protective, over bearing, brooding... basically his character hasn't changed. When you gets these two together, if their not fighting... scratch that even if they are fighting, you get amazing fireworks.
Now my big problem with the book, I really feel that Ms Jones has jumped the shark. Charley is now a god(dess?) from another dimension and Reyes is a god from another dimension. It's like every book we have to up the ante. Personally I find the side plots much more entertaining than the craziness that is Charley's everyday. I feel these little stories are what makes the series and seem to keep getting pushed to the back burner. While the plots are still engaging, and Ms Jones is a talented writer, I find myself wondering if I'll come back to this series when the next book comes out. We were left with quite a cliffhanger, yet I'm not sure it was enough of one to draw me back in.
In the end I leave this book and series with mixed feeling as I love the characters and writing but the plots seems to be spiraling out of control.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

{Spotlight} Solum Series (Can’t Forget: Book Two) by Colleen S. Myers

Solum Series
Can’t Forget: Book Two
by Colleen S. Myers
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication:  June 6th, 2016
Number of pages: 253
Word Count: 82,000
Cover Artist: Elaine Smith

Book Description:

Is it better to be safe or loved?

Four months have passed since the E’mani destroyed the Earth and scooped up the remains. Elizabeth “Beta” Camden was one of those taken. With the help of their enemies, the Fost, she escapes and confronts her prior captors successfully. Though she knows she should remain vigilant toward the E’mani, she follows her heart instead and falls in love with Marin, the sexy Fost warrior..
She should have trusted her first instinct.

This time the E’mani don’t come in force--they slip in silently. And any hope Beta had of a peaceful life is lost. She leaves in the dead of night to find the E’mani stronghold and end them once and for all. But love is a tricky bitch.  It takes a threat to Marin’s safety to make Beta realize, if she can’t forget her past, she won’t have a future.

Amazon    KOBO      Champagne Books     BN

Amazon     BN      Kobo     ARe    Champagne Books

Chapter One
The snowball hit the back of my head dead-on. Bam.
I stumbled forward from the force of the blow. The flakes created a halo of white powder around my head in the cool, crisp air then settled all over my face and neck.
What the…oh no he didn’t. A growl rose in my throat. I turned to confront my foe. I creased my eyebrows and I glared at him, mean-like.
With a smug expression on his face, Marin stared back, tossing another snowball between his hands.
“Elizabeth, you appeared distracted. I wanted to help.” His voice was smooth, deep like aged rum, and echoed in the unique way of his people, the Fost, almost like he was being dubbed. The sound got me every time causing me to shiver, or maybe it was the snow dripping down my back.
“That was helping?” My ass.
“Yes, you were about to walk into a tree,” he said dryly, dropping his ammunition.
I whipped around. Sure enough, a tree loomed in front of me. Dark-gray bark, feathery fronds interspersed with lethal spikes, blue moss climbing its trunk. Yep, that was a tree. Well for here anyway, not like on Earth.
I glanced back at Marin, who stood so trustingly under the boughs of another nearby tree laden with snow. A smile tugged at the corner of my mouth. See, I could help too. He looked hot, literally and figuratively.
 “Okay, thanks.”
With a thought, my power twisted deep inside, and I sent out a burst of air through the branches. They shuddered in response and unloaded their cold, wet contents on Marin’s head with nary a sound.
The snow dusted his brows, his cheeks, and obscured the single streak of dark green that coursed down the left side of his mahogany hair and framed his face. A single flake melted on his lips.
Our gazes met and held. His light brown eyes had a slit pupil that dilated then contracted as he focused on me. I used to find it…disconcerting, but it was just him, along with his long limbs, sharp features, and elaborate tattoos called jatua. All small differences but strange enough to have unsettled me in the past. Now it was so damn unfair how sexy I found him, alien race and all.
Marin raised an eyebrow and licked at his bottom lip, watching me watch him. My gaze followed the path of his tongue.
Heat spread through me as I imagined myself tasting those lips. I tucked a strand of red hair behind my ear. My breath slipped out in a sigh.
He smiled wide. “Lands, I love how you look at me.”
“Stop.” I blushed, twirling back and starting down the path we’d been walking before he ambushed me.
 “How much farther?” I asked when he caught up and bumped into my side.
“We are close,” Marin replied. He was  so busy shaking the snow out of his hair, he didn’t see my smile.
“Are we there yet?”
Ha, so literal. “Are we there yet?”
His hands stopped and his brow crinkled. He looked so confused I had to laugh. Then I tripped flat on my face in my clunky snowshoes and it was Marin’s turn to snicker. He picked me up and settled me against him, my face tucked into his shoulder.
“You all right there?” His words whispered past my ear.
“I’m fine.” My voice came out a lot breathier than I intended. Damn it.
The corner of his lips curled up. He traced the side of my face. Tingles trailed along my skin. I put my fingers over his and stood on tiptoe in invitation. Marin obliged and brushed his mouth along mine. Our lips clung for the briefest of seconds before he shoved snow down the back of my coat.
I shrieked, dancing backward. Cold, cold, cold.
Marin bolted down the path, much more sure in his steps than I.
The jerk. He was lucky he got out of range, or I would have gotten payback.
I fiddled with my jacket to get the rest of the snow out, shuddering at the feeling of wet fabric sticking to my back.
God, I hated winter. The first snow, I marveled like everyone else. Oh, so pretty. The world sparkled underneath the coating of white. Then the freeze set in, the biting wind, the forced isolation. And did I mention the cold? Give me spring or summer any day.
We were traveling to the mines outside the city of Groos. The miners had reached a type of rock they’d never seen before. It was dense and coarse. They couldn’t blast through it, and their efforts were destabilizing the tunnels. They tried to dig around it, but so far they’d had no luck. Nobody knew how thick the vein was or how far it reached. They wanted me to try magical means to remove it. Fat lot of good that would do.
When I caught up to Marin, I gave him the evil eye.
Marin grinned. “What?”
I flipped him the bird.
He grabbed my middle finger, “What does that mean? You do it all the time.”
His brows wrinkled again. “Woman.”
“Man. And don’t talk to me. You put snow down my back.”
Marin laughed. “Sorry.”
“My ass, you are not the least bit sorry.”
“Wait, what does your bottom have to do with this?”
I blinked. Ha, I forgot sometimes that certain expressions didn’t translate. “Nothing.”
He growled and kissed my knuckle before dropping my hand. “I hate when you say that.”
“I know, thus, why I do it.” I grinned and stepped ahead of him with a wiggle in my step.
He swatted me on the ass as I passed. While I acted angry outside, inside I loved when he played. He only ever did it when no one could see him. He was Clan Chief after all, even though he was only five years older than me at twenty-five. The position left him little time for fun and his own sense of responsibility precluded it.
A few minutes later and we reached our destination. A box canyon opened up in front of us, filled with barren trees and snow. At the far end of the canyon, a cave entrance loomed, braced by wood. A single railroad track led out of the opening to the left and a snow-laden press stood to the side, up against the high stone walls.
 Con waited outside the entrance, his red and green Mohawk vivid against the backdrop of white. His stout form and kind face emphasized his resemblance to a Santa, A badass one. No fluffy red suit for him.
Marin inclined his head, straight to business. “Show us this rock.”
 With a flourish, Con gestured ahead, and we entered the mines with cautious steps. Just past the entrance, the light from the two suns outside faded and darkness fell. I slowed and Marin’s hand brushed my lower back.
“Let your eyes adjust for a moment,” Con muttered from behind us.
As I stood there, the walls started to glow. Streaks of aqua phosphorescence lit the pathway ahead.
“What is this?” I asked in wonder, moving in a circle.
“Theris, a weed. It grows in the caves. When you break its shell, it glows.” Con held out a small stick almost like an aloe branch that he snapped before our eyes, and a thin, clear liquid trickled out. “The glow lasts almost a week. We carry some on us at all times. Come, follow me.”
Con led the way down the cramped passageway. Gravel and ice crunched underfoot. The smell of dust filled the stale air. My breath steamed. Damn it. I shivered and rubbed my arms through the jacket. Marin ran his hand down my spine.
It took about five minutes of hiking to reach the antechamber. When we got there, Con stared at me with a hopeful expression.
“Okay, you want me to, you know.” I made woo-woo gestures at the wall.
“Yes,” Con replied.
Four months ago, I’d escaped from an E’mani spaceship and ended up here on Solum. The Fost, Marin’s people and the sworn enemies of the E’mani, took me in and hid me from their foes, but the E’mani didn’t give up easily. In one of their attempts to draw me out of hiding, they set bombs at these mines. Several people had been trapped inside. I’d used my magic to move the rock—how I got magic, I still don’t know—and created a new entrance. Now they wanted me to do it again. No pressure, right?
I reached out and touched the wall. The dark surface crumbled under my fingertips. All throughout the flaky stone, a silver metal streaked. Not dust or ore. This was metal, hard and thick. No wonder they couldn’t get through it.
With a deep breath, I closed my eyes. The power sprang eagerly to my summons. Heat spread outward from my core and my palm tingled where it touched the rock. The chill from being deep in the cave during winter faded.. A pulse vibrated in the air around me, pulling me deeper. I concentrated on that sound, letting it center me. My heartbeat synchronized to the sensation.
One. My skin grew tight. I let my breath rush out in a slow exhale.
Two. The stone warmed underneath my fingertips.
Three. The ground shook in response to the power rushing to my call. I kept my hands square on the wall.
Four. My hair stood on end, strength rushing through me, filling me until the force of the earth beneath my hand made me feel stretched like taffy. My mind screamed from the pressure and I squeezed my eyes shut. I needed to hold it as long as I could. My body shuddered until every pore sweat and my body strained from the contact, pushed to its limits and beyond. And then I shoved all the power out with my mind into the rock.
Please move. Please.
A beat.
Nothing happened.
 “Anything, Beta?” Con asked right next to my ear.
I jumped.
“Nope,” I squeaked out, trying to bring my pulse under control, oddly empty.
“Keep trying,” Marin said and touched the rock to my left. Con did the same on my other side. We all focused this time, but unlike the time we freed the miners, there was no movement. The metal seemed inert. Its light gray color contrasted starkly with the dark-brown stone.
My shoulders slumped. “Nothing. I’m sorry.”
“And this means we cannot mine the ferok, doesn’t it?” Marin asked, rubbing his forehead.
“Correct, it covers the veins,” Con said.
My fists clenched. The Fost had found another metal--ferok. It was pliable and could be imbued with magic. With it, they could shatter the technological defenses of the E’mani. That was a good thing, but the metal kept us from it. And we had so little of the ferok to begin with. This was not happy news.
“Land’s sake, why can it never be easy?” Marin echoed my thoughts.
Marin slapped Con on the back. “We will search the library for more information. You continue to try to mine this rock. See what you can do.”
 Con nodded in agreement as Marin gathered me up and we trudged out of the caves. Silence reigned for the next half hour.
“Stop worrying,” Marin said.
“I’m not worrying.”
“I can practically hear the thoughts racing through your head.”
“I am not worrying.” I enunciated slowly, my steps deliberate
“Yes, you are.”
“Well, fine, I can’t help it. I can’t stop thinking about the E’mani. Without the ferok, we only have our magic and we need more. And there’s this feeling of dread,” I splayed my hand across my chest, “right here, and it’s getting stronger. The E’mani are out there. I know it. I’m not sure why they haven’t attacked us yet, but they will. We need a weapon.”
The E’mani wouldn’t have forgotten about me or the Fost. I didn’t hold out hope that they’d forgotten about the men they’d lost in their attempts to recapture me either.
“The land protects us,” Marin replied.
A snort escaped me. “Magic vs. machine. That didn’t work out so well for you guys the last time.”
Marin tossed me a chiding look. “We survived, did we not? That is what matters. And we have lived as we are meant.”
God, his words made my teeth itch. “You can’t think the E’mani aren’t planning retaliation. They are not a forgiving race.”
I’d know having been their prisoner and all. And the more I thought about the E’mani, the more hatred stirred inside me. I loathed those pale freaks. They’d destroyed my world, in their never-ending quest to “make things better.” Then they brought me here. I didn’t remember much of my time with them, not yet. But I recalled enough to despise them. They were not kind masters.
White eyes stared at me through amber glass, E’mani eyes.
“Hello, Elizabeth,” Xade crooned. Light flashed off the razor sharp edge of the scalpel in his hands. “Time for more samples.”
Marin’s words snapped me out of my memories with a jolt. “We all know the E’mani are coming. But the winter has been harsh, more so than usual. And before they came after you, it had been ages since the last time we saw them. They left this world long ago to recoup their losses after the war. They left even while we were still fighting and maintain only a small presence out in Industry.”
My jaw set. “Good. Industry is where I need to go. I need to find one of their labs.”
Marin sighed. “We have talked about this, Elizabeth. First, you have no idea where to find a lab. And second, you have no idea what you need to do if you did find it.”
“I remember some of what they taught me. And being in the labs, where they kept me, will help me remember even more. I scared them, Marin. Me. When I confronted them—”
“It might not have been you. It might have been all the lightning you were throwing around, or the blade Zanth wielded,” he argued.
I grit my teeth until my jaw hurt. Damn him. Why wasn’t he listening? Tears blurred the path in front of me.
“It was me; I could tell. I know something that can hurt them, I can feel it. The E’mani were frightened enough of me that they came in force to capture or kill me and it has to do with the labs. I know there is something I’m meant to do, and soon. If not, something bad is going to happen.” Chills shivered down my spine. I heard the faint echo of screams—men’s and women’s—from long ago. They had a plan for us, just like they had for Earth. How could I stop it? “Marin?”
“If I asked you to, would you leave with me, today, and travel to Industry?”
Marin blinked. “Today? No, we need to plan these things, you know that, Elizabeth. To go now would be stupid.”
I stomped forward on the trail. “Of course it would be. How silly of me. You’re right.”
“Elizabeth, please.” Marin caught up and put his arm around my shoulder. “We will go to Industry soon. I promise.”
“Yeah, yeah, you keep saying that.” I let my head fall against his shoulder. Arguing with Marin never seemed to end how I wanted it to. No use being pissy about it now. And he was right, which was even worse. To go during winter would be foolish, but still…
A few minutes passed. The snow crackled beneath our feet. It was cold enough, I’d long since lost feeling in my toes.
The entrance to the city of Groos came into view. There was a large chiseled gate built into the natural arch that fronted the valley. They built the gatehouse into the valley walls itself and tunneled above the gate, giving the guards a clear sight line of anyone approaching.
Bas-relief scenes covered the arch’s surface blending with the rock face. One scene depicted a Fost couple embracing in a corner their arms wrapped around one another. In the other corner was a Coreck, a catlike creature that stood on two legs, with a long tongue. Yet another showed a battle. Men fought with swords and spaceships flew overhead. The pictures were so vivid, they seemed to flow across the rock, lifelike and real. My fingers itched to touch the stone. Every time I saw it, I was struck by how natural it appeared. It fit.
Unlike me.

About the Author:

Colleen Myers was raised in a large family in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she grew up on Harlequin teen romances and stories from her mother’s work as a paramedic. She was her high school salutatorian and attended Allegheny College on the Presidential Scholarship.

After college, Colleen spent a year in service in the Americorp giving back to the community at a local Pittsburgh Women Infants and Children Clinic (WICC) before attending Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine on a military scholarship.

Upon completing medical school, Colleen attended residency at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland during 9/11. She earned three meritous service awards from the military along with outstanding unit awards. After serving seven yearsof active duty, she promptly landed a position at the VA to provide fellow veterans with optimum medical care. Still an avid fan of romances into adulthood, her love of the genre inspired her to hone her craft as a writer, focusing on contemporary romance and science fiction. Her background in medicine and the military provide an inspiring layer of creative realism to her stories and characters.

Her first book, Must Remember, the first of the Solum series, is being published by Champagne Press. The sequel, Can’t Forget is the recipient of the 2015 RWA New England Readers Award.

Colleen currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her son, and spends her spare time writing novels.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

{Book Excerpt} Running The Coast For A Cure by Al DeCesaris

Running The Coast For A Cure
 Al DeCesaris
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Published: April 9, 2016
The book is available on Amazon

 In 2014, Al DeCesaris set out on a 1,935-mile solo run from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. He ran to bring hope to his 10-year-old niece Jenna who suffers with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare and life-threatening neurological disorder. He ran to create awareness and raise funds for medical research so a cure can be found.

For three consecutive months, he battled the rigors of the road, endured numerous injuries, encountered wild animals, and narrowly escaped getting hit by more than a few reckless drivers. Yet, he also
experienced the generosity of strangers, had heart-warming interactions with families affected by this devastating disorder, and came to realize - with purpose, determination, and belief - even the seemingly impossible can be achieved.

Running The Coast For A Cure is one man's journey to make a difference for his niece. Told with humor and warmth, Al candidly captures the adversity he faced and the joy he experienced as he ran close to a marathon a day through 14 states down the East Coast. His journey of love and hope will have you running with him, and leave you inspired.

     Author Bio
For the past 10 years Al DeCesaris has volunteered his time and dedicated his efforts to fighting Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare and life-threatening neurological disorder that afflicts his young niece Jenna. Through charitable events, athletic endeavors, and his “For A Cure” books, he has created considerable awareness about the disorder and helped raise significant funds to further the efforts to find a cure.
Al’s crusade began not long after the birth of his niece. Recognizing the need and importance of raising funds for the research and treatment of Sturge-Weber Syndrome, he and his family organized a concert and auction fundraiser called Bands on the Bay. The fundraiser proved to be a huge success and motivated them to turn it into an annual event. Since its inception, Bands on the Bay has raised over $1,000,000. This money has directly supported the work of the Sturge-Weber Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute and helped fund research that led to the discovery of the cause of Sturge-Weber Syndrome.
Even with the success of Bands on the Bay and the DeCesaris family’s contributions to this ground-breaking discovery, Al couldn’t help but think that there was more they could do to further the efforts to find a cure. More he could do.
In 2013, he set out on a solo cross-country bicycle journey in honor of Jenna. Despite great adversity, he biked over 3,000miles from Santa Monica, California to Ocean City, Maryland. Through his Crossing America For A Cure bike ride, he created awareness about Sturge-Weber Syndrome across the country, raised critical funds for medical research, and brought hope to his niece and countless others suffering with this devastating disorder.
In 2014, he took on another incredibly challenging endeavor, this time on foot. Running close to a marathon a day for three consecutive months, he logged 1,935 miles as he made his way from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. Through his Running The Coast For A Cure charity run, he created awareness about Sturge-Weber Syndrome down the East Coast, raised additional funds for ongoing research, and inspired numerous individuals to join the fight against the disorder.
After both his ride and his run, Al wrote books about his experiences on the road: the things he saw, the emotions he felt, the challenges he faced and of the extraordinary people he met along the way. His books about these athletic endeavors, Crossing America For A Cure and Running The Coast For A Cure, are honest, entertaining and, above all, inspirational.
Al’s “For A Cure” books are available for purchase on Amazon. To further the efforts to find a cure, Al is dedicating all profits from the sale of his books to Sturge-Weber research.

 Book Excerpts

 Excerpt 1:
In each of us is the power to make a difference! This isn’t just rhetoric. This is something I wholeheartedly believe, something I’ve observed time and again. So when the cause of Sturge-Weber Syndrome – the rare neurological disorder that afflicts my 10-year-old niece Jenna – was discovered, I knew it was time, my time, to help further the efforts to find a cure.

 I was determined to make a difference in Jenna’s life and in the lives of all those suffering with this devastating disorder. Thus, on the heels of my 2013 cross-country bike ride, which I chronicled in my book, Crossing America For A Cure: A Bicycle Journey Of Inspiration And Hope, I began training for a new charity event – a solo athletic endeavor that would have me running close to a marathon a day through 14 states down the entire East Coast.

 I suppose I could have come up with something a little less arduous (no doubt, my legs would have appreciated it), but I wanted to do something unique and eye-opening to create as much awareness and raise as much money for Sturge-Weber research as possible. My plan was to run (walk … and even crawl, if necessary) on average 22 miles a day for three consecutive months from Lubec, Maine to Key Largo, Florida. Picking up each day exactly where I left off the day before, I would cover every mile (every foot actually) down the coast.

 Now, it’s no secret I’ve never been much of an athlete. And I didn’t have the running experience that would lead one to believe I could accomplish something this ambitious. In fact, even though I planned to run close to a marathon a day, I’d never actually run a marathon. Still, I have something within me that I knew would make this seemingly impossible task achievable – purpose. My purpose is my desire to help my beautiful young niece Jenna live a better life. For her and because of her, I am inspired to fight Sturge-Weber Syndrome on her behalf.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

{Book Review} Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street by Shani Struthers

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street
by Shani Struthers
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
Release: May 6th 2016
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Paranormal
How I got it: Received a copy from NetGalley

“We all have to face our demons at some point.”

Psychic Surveys – specialists in domestic spiritual clearance – have never been busier. Although exhausted, Ruby is pleased. Her track record as well as her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach inspires faith in the haunted, who willingly call on her high street consultancy when the supernatural takes hold.

But that’s all about to change.

Two cases prove trying: 44 Gilmore Street, home to a particularly violent spirit, and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. When Gilmore Street attracts press attention, matters quickly deteriorate. Dubbed the ‘New Enfield’, the ‘Ghost of Gilmore Street’ inflames public imagination, but as Ruby and the team fail repeatedly to evict the entity, faith in them wavers.

Dealing with negative press, the strangeness surrounding Elisha, and a spirit that’s becoming increasingly territorial, Ruby’s at breaking point. So much is pushing her towards the abyss, not least her own past. It seems some demons just won’t let go…

Review: I have not read the first two books in this series and while at times I felt I was missing some back story of the main group over all it really didn't hinder my experience.
This was one of those books that wasn't great but wasn't horrible either. I found the characters to be likeable enough. At times I have to say Ruby annoyed me, her mood flipped around and I wasn't crazy about her unwillingness to help Elisha. The plot was well done, and kept me reading, but I did see where it was leading. Although I was not expecting the twist at the end so that was a pleasant surprise. I did enjoy the ghost bunny, that was a nice touch.
I found Ms Struthers writing style enjoyable and thought that the book was well done on the aspect. While the book was ok, I'm probably not going to search out the first two anytime soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Cup of... #22

Sunday Cup of... is a mash up of 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Hosted by Book Date
Mailbox Monday Located at Mailbox Monday
Weekly Workout Recap Hosted by Run Megan Run
And Weekly Wrap hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin
Basically it's a weekly post where I talk about books, weekly workouts, bloggy things, and possibly not so bloggy things. It'll be a weekly wrap up / news bulletin type deal. Sound good? If you want to link to your own week feel free to post in the comments.

I've had a pretty boring week, the only thing of note is some animal keeps knocking over my rose bush when I leave the planter out. So each night I have to move it to the porch then drag it back out in the morning so it can get sunlight.

The Fit Reader section is going to combine my weekly exercise workout and the Fit Reader post.
I've been trying to do yoga strength training workouts because I like yoga. 

6/5/16: ran on a treadmill for 32m:09s
yoga for 12m:00s
6/6/16: yoga for 26m:36s. 
6/7/16:  Rest
6/8/16: treadmill for 24m:55s
yoga for 13m:43s
6/9/16: Didn't get to workout
6/10/16: Grocery shopping
6/11/16: Wanted to run but wound up having to go shopping again.

Another light Blogging week, I've been playing catch up with reviews so hopefully I'll have more posts for you in the next few weeks.

All links go to Goodreads pages

In my mailbox...


What I'm Reading...
Karma's A Bitch (A Pet Psychic Mystery #1) by Shannon Esposito
Running Man: A Memoir by Charlie Engle
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15) by Janet Evanovich (DNF)
Harley Quinn Vol. 4: A Call to Arms (Harley Quinn II #4) by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones

So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. If you like this idea, go ahead and make your own Sunday Cup of... post, no link back needed. I know some folks commented on the button, you're welcome to use it if you want. Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

{Guest Post} Resolution: Huck Finn's Greatest Adventure by Andrew Joyce

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Shandy has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog. He always has an attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States once co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny the Dog.
Hello, all you dog lovers out there. It's me, Danny the Dog. Andrew took me away from sitting in the shade of a beautiful old oak tree and chewing on a nice piece of rawhide. It seems he needs me to help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about my new girlfriend. Her name is Heather. I have many girlfriends, but Heather is my favorite. She lives on a sailboat a couple of slips down from the boat Andrew and I live on.
First of all, I bet you all think Heather is a dog. Well you’re wrong; she’s a human. I know, no one is perfect, except maybe me. But human or not, Heather is cool. We first met a few months ago when she brought her sailboat to the marina for repairs.
The first time I saw her, I was outside on the dock catching a few rays. I like to soak up a little sun in the wintertime (when it’s cool) to lighten my fur. I think it makes me look more attractive. Anyway, she came off her boat and scratched me behind the ear. It was love at first scratch.
I’m sure she feels the same way about me because she is always giving me “cookies” as she calls them.

They’re really just dog biscuits, but what the hell. A few years ago, Andrew brought some home and I wouldn’t eat one of them. He eventually ended up having to throw them out. But somehow, from Heather’s hand they are oh-so sweet. She also gave me a water bowl as a present.

Nowadays when I take Andrew for a walk, the first thing that I do is run right up to Heather’s boat with my tail a-waggin’ and I won’t move until she comes out and pats me on the head. Andrew doesn’t like the delay to his walk, but he’s so well trained by now, he’ll stand there until I’m ready to go.

But I’m sad as I write these words. You see, Heather is leaving me. Her boat is repaired and she will be setting sail for the Islands in about a week. I would like to go with her, and she has offered to take me, but I can’t leave Andrew. He would be lost without me. He can’t even find his shoes in the morning without my help. And who would write his books for him? No, I can’t go away with Heather. I will miss her, and out of memory of her, I swear I will never eat another dog biscuit once she is gone.
That’s about it for now. If I hurry, I might be able to get home in time to have dinner with Heather. She’s a much better cook than Andrew.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy’s day.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Shandy for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

About the Author:
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR. 
Learn more about Andrew on his website

Resolution: Huck Finn's Greatest Adventure
by Andrew Joyce
It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.
By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.
Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”
When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.
On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.
It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.
They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Cup of... #21

Sunday Cup of... is a mash up of 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Hosted by Book Date
Mailbox Monday Located at Mailbox Monday
Weekly Workout Recap Hosted by Run Megan Run
And Weekly Wrap hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin
Basically it's a weekly post where I talk about books, weekly workouts, bloggy things, and possibly not so bloggy things. It'll be a weekly wrap up / news bulletin type deal. Sound good? If you want to link to your own week feel free to post in the comments.

So friday Dk and I decided to go to the mall, something neither of us has done in years. We stopped by Dicks and he got some clothes I picked up some energy shots, gels, and Jelly beans. We also picked up a second set of D&D dice, a couple things for the kids and various other things we really didn't need. But the coup de grace was DK made me buy a new pair of Nikes. I'm in love with them so far, I've only done one run in them so time will tell if they stay in favor. I am aware that my socks don't match in this picture, my running socks rarely match.

Saturday I put in some flowers and my pumpkin patch. While clearing the area for my pumpkins I found a blackberry bush, which I transplanted to a bucket.
Pumpkin patch

Blackberry it's a bit wilted I hope it comes back

I also found some morning glories that escaped the flower bed and transplanted them back. I bought a peach  colored tea rose to put in my planter with Norm the Gnome.
DK's B-day is Monday so we had his "party" Saturday. Ok it was really just cake, he opened his present, and we had a couple beers while relaxing playing Minecraft. I've become addicted to the stupid game.

The Fit Reader section is going to combine my weekly exercise workout and the Fit Reader post.

This week wasn't quite a bust, I am a little bummed that I didn't get in a strength workout, but happy that I got in 3 runs this week.

5/29/16: Ran 1.50 mi  in 20:39 min on trail
5/30/16: Ran 1.57 mi in 23:18 min on trail
5/31/16: Yoga 10:36 min
6/1/16: Wasn't able to workout
6/2/16:  Wasn't able to workout
6/3/16: Went shopping with DK (ok mostly walking reached 6206 steps)
6/4/16: Ran 2.51 mi in 25:13 min on treadmill and an hour of gardening

Another light bloggy week. I want your opinions I have been toying with turning Sunday Cup of.., into a link up. I have a poll in the sidebar if you want to weigh in.

All links go to Goodreads pages

In my mailbox...


What I'm Reading...
Karma's A Bitch (A Pet Psychic Mystery #1) by Shannon Esposito
Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15) by Janet Evanovich
Harley Quinn Vol. 4: A Call to Arms (Harley Quinn II #4) by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street by Shani Struthers

So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. If you like this idea, go ahead and make your own Sunday Cup of... post, no link back needed. I know some folks commented on the button, you're welcome to use it if you want. Have a great week!