A Book and A Review #2

Reviews dedicated to a "just the facts, ma'am!" mentality...with my opinion thrown in!

Hauntingly Disturbing and Chillingly Realistic

White Chalk - Pavarti K. Tyler



Read my full review: http://bit.ly/107JG4r


My opinion: This book was a tough read. Probably my toughest read of 2014 so far. On that note, White Chalk is an excellent read. Again, probably the best book I have read all year.This 250 page book is hauntingly disturbing in its storyline and, as a mother, was a very painful read. I found myself wanting to take Chelle in my arms and tell her that everything would be ok. I had moments of anger, particularly at her parents, followed by moments of somberness and sadness in reflecting back to my teen years and seeing some aspects of myself in her.

The characters in this book were superbly developed and Ms. Pavarti's ability to dissect the dynamics of an alcoholic dysfunctional family unit and the roles each member takes on were superb.  I have counseled numerous girls like Chelle. 

WARNING: This book is not a young adult selection. Aside from the descriptive sexual exploitation that happens to Chelle, this book deals with very adult topics. I would never say to ban a book, but as a parent and a former counselor, one better make damned sure that their teen could emotionally handle the topics within its storyline. Other than that, I would say New Adult and up.


Source: http://abookandareview.blogspot.com/2014/10/white-chalk-by-pavarti-k-tyler.html

A must purchase for ANY organization

The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work - Cheryl Burgess, Mark Burgess

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1bO59j9


My opinion: Have a business that currently uses or doesn't use social media? This book is a must purchase. Ms. Burgess presents very clear, concise and well documented case studies of the best practices in corporate America today. 

No matter the business size or sector, social media is a must in an organization's  strategic marketing plan. Ms. Burgess lays out methods and arguments for inclusion and benefits of social media marketing masterfully.

Fell Flat

Winter Chill - Joanne Fluke

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1dDVg8O


My opinion: I have enjoyed Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mysteries even though they are considered to be cozy mysteries and have to admit that I have grabbed a couple of cookie recipes out of those book that have thrilled my recipients. When I saw this non-cozy mystery by her, I jumped at the opportunity to review it. It was thoroughly disappointing.  Because her other series is fun, it was more engaging than this book.

The writing in this book feel incredibly flat and was WAY too light. It almost had the feeling that the writing simply went through the motions. With characters that didn't rise to the same level of fun as in the Hannah Swensen books, this had the feeling of being a dime a dozen book.

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener: A Mindful Approach to Growing Food in Harmony with Nature - Tammi Hartung

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/17wqYGm

My opinion: This book would probably be more applicable to the novice gardener. As my husband and I have had gardens for numerous years, the better chunk of the information had already been gleaned from numerous other magazines.

The "hand drawn" illustrations in the book were adorable. However, it probably would have been more beneficial to have photographs included of the insects and rodents, so that gardeners would be able to identify them.

Worth every penny!

Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits: Make Your Own Limoncello, Grand Marnier, Bailey's, and 152 Other Innovative Flavor Combinations - Andrew Schloss

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1cYlEho or http://bit.ly/1icYBzc

My opinion: I loved this book!! These recipes were so unique and FRESH. Utilizing fresh fruits, veggies, spices and herbs, the author expertly offered instructions that any novice mixologist could accomplish. This book wouldn't be limited to the novice mixologist though. Consumers pay some big bucks for commercially prepared liqueurs that are present in this book. Liqueurs that can just as easily be prepared at home with a little bit of time and preparation.  

Yes, it is another one on my cookbooks to purchase list.

Another absolute winner from Storey Publishing known for their unique line of cookbooks.

Good premise but too discombobulated

Raven's Fire - John Gubbins

Read the full review: http://bit.ly/17PSO0N


My opinion: I felt that the premise of story better than actual story. The description of the book was a lot creepier than what was produced and promised. This was exacerbated by a number of scenes that came off more as "drama central" versus building tension.  Another issue that I think added to my issues was that the story jumped around WAY too much from POV to periods of time.

Would I recommend? : I wouldn't, but this book might not have rocked my boat. It did have some higher ratings on Goodreads that looked authentic. I also think the price on Kindle is WAY too high for this book.

Exciting New Author!

The Mourning Hours - Paula Treick DeBoard

Great read. This is a new author that I am very excited about due to her ability to develop deep characters and awesome twists that left me guessing to the very end of the book. I really had a whole lotta fun reading this book and it flowed smoothly and quickly.

Jordan's Stormy Banks: A Body Farm Novella - Jefferson Bass

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1azcWhQ


My opinion: I am normally not a huge fan by these novellas written by "full length" novelists to prepare readers for their new releases. I normally give these bits no more than 3 stars and can count just as many that have received 2 stars or less. This is normally due to these full length novelists inabilities to write concisely as is demanded in novellas. In fact, I gave Jefferson Bass' last novella 3 stars just for this reason. Jon Jefferson must have sharpened his pencil because he NAILED IT!! in this release. It is fast paced and the characters are developed superbly with a nice introduction to the new novel without it beating the reader over the head.

What secrets does this small town hold?

A Tap on the Window - Linwood Barclay

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1ahDyY0


My opinion: I would have to say that this was my least favorite of Linwood Barclay's stand alone novels. Most get no less than 4 stars from me. Due to this, it took me forever to get through the book.

Another issue that I found was that I really couldn't "attach" to the characters. This is rare for me as normally I can't put his books down. I must admit that I was very disappointed as fans have to wait FOREVER to get new releases from this dynamic author.

Wedding Belles - Beth Albright

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1ahxs9Z


My rating: 3.5/5 Stars (4 on Amazon/Goodreads)
My opinion: I found this book to be a bit more "chick-lit" ish than the first in the series. On that note, it was still a fun, very light read. I was looking for something with a bit more mystery like the first.

As these books build off one another, readers need to read the first in series first due to the character development.

Can you say "detail oriented"?

Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation - John Ferling

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/19Okbq1

My opinion: This was an excellent, well researched read. The details of what this author knew was amazing and was unbiased in its presentation. On that note, because of the vast amount of detail, this was an incredibly slow read. I was able to read about 10 pages per day to ingest the information.

On that note, I would recommend readers invest in purchasing the book or acquiring a print copy from the library. I found reading it on my Nook incredibly frustrating.



Wonderful debut, but needed some tightening

Cooley Rose - Terry Perrel

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1hVGuxF


My opinion: I thought this was a very good debut. The storyline was interesting and unusual with characters that were pretty complex. On that note, I must admit that there were areas where the writing/storyline appeared to be repetitive and needed to be tightened up.

Bland and slow moving

The Seance Society: A Mystery - Michael Nethercott

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/19O2W8g


My opinion: This book was BLAND! There was a bit of sophomoric feeling to the writing that just didn't suck me into the book. It didn't help that I couldn't warm up to ANY of the characters, AT ALL!

It simply felt as though the story was simply there. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish the book. It just took a very long time to get there from a short, less than 250 page book which I should have been able to wrap up in one evening.

Little Island - Katharine Britton

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1d93Ufd


My opinion: Unlike author's first book, Her Sister's Shadow, this book didn't grab me right away. It took me a good 100 pages to warm up to the story. Once I got past those 100 pages, the story took off and I found it a bit more difficult to put down. 

Little Island is a story told not only from different POV but also 2 different periods of time which didn't help with the "grasping". There were periods where it almost became difficult to follow and I felt myself needing to pay closer attention.

I found that I really couldn't find one character to latch onto that I liked. However, with the storyline, I am not shocked by this. I can't go deeper; otherwise, we would be heading into Spoilerland.

Made My Heart Melt!

Small Town Girl - Ann H. Gabhart

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/15VeVS7
My opinion: HELLO, HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL!!! Let me preface this to say that I am not a huge fan of 85 percent of the Christian fiction literature produced today due to finding it preachy. HOWEVER, Ann Gabhart works for me. Her work is NEVER preachy or condescending and the stories always warm me from my heart down to my toes. This was the case with Small Town Girl. 

Her characters were warm, welcoming and real, and, to boot, the story was incredibly well written and engrossing. I found my sucked into the story like I have been with some of my favorite Janette Oke books. The story laid out well and in good time without lagging or dragging and felt very real. 

Although, this book is number 2 in the series, it could very easily stand on its own.

Just good writin'!   


Beautiful cookbook, but needed more prep photos

Southern Italian Desserts: The Great Undiscovered Recipes of Sicily, Campania, Puglia, and Beyond - Rosetta Costantino

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/1bbkMB1 or http://bit.ly/GGvKEO


My opinion: Laden with beautiful pictures and tasty recipes, this was a beautiful cookbook. Although the recipes come from the south of Italy, I didn't see any ingredients that would be difficult to find in the US. One criticism that I would say, Although the pictures were gorgeous and step by step instructions were given, I would have liked to have seen pictures of the preparation since the recipes were definitely more advanced.

Currently reading

Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
The Bookstore
Deborah Meyler
The Shadow Tracer
Meg Gardiner
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book
Shawn Welch, Guy Kawasaki
The Longings of Wayward Girls
Karen Brown
Weekends with Daisy
Sharron Kahn Luttrell
Really Dead: A Ria Butler Mystery
J.E. Forman
Deadly Devotion
Sandra Orchard
The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work
Cheryl Burgess, Mark Burgess
The Small Hand and Dolly
Susan Hill