Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever

eleventh hour can't last forever The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever

By Alison Johnson

Published by Cumberland Press

ISBN: 0967561922

191 Pages

Received a review copy from Newman Communications, Inc.



Product Description (from the back of the book): Two tons of silver and gold coins, hundreds of thousands of nickels, dimes, quarters, and gold pieces. They were under our beds, in the kitchen cupboards, up in the attics, in the bottom of dresser drawers, in holes in the ground. My father was obsessed with gathering up these coins and hiding them away in any likely spot in the houses and garages and store buildings he owned in our tiny town on the mid-Western prairie. Nothing could shake his belief that the total collapse of the American economy and government was just around the corner, a collapse that would bring anarchy and rioting in the streets.

With this shadow of Armageddon always hanging over him, Dad believed that he could save his family from disaster only by collecting as much gold and silver as he could lay his hands on.

This fear of a future calamity that might leave his family penniless so dominated Dad’s thoughts that he failed to see how his blind absorption in amassing wealth created family problems that would lead to his oldest son’s hopeless alcoholism and his wife’s mental collapse. My sister grew up so insecure that she eventually turned to the stars for answers to the frustrations of her life, immersing herself in the study of astrology. In the fairy tale, King Midas’s daughter was miraculously restored to life after she had been turned to stone by her father’s desire for gold, but Dad’s destructive influence on his family could not be so easily reversed.

The General Review: The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever is a brutally honest, first-hand account of how hoarding money can ruin a family. Written from the authors perspective, Alison Johnson tells a heart-breaking story of the long-lasting effects an addiction can have on loved ones.

Likes: I appreciated the author's honest and candid perspective of her fathers gold and silver addiction and how his hoarding had a huge and detrimental impact on each person in her family. While the story the author told is sad and unfortunate, I thought that Alison Johnson shared her account in a bold, straight-forward way that would appeal to most readers.

Dislikes: There was nothing about this book I disliked.

Closing Comments: I originally chose to receive this book to review because I thought the subject matter was unique. I recommend The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever to anyone who is a fan of memoirs or has a fascination with hoarding.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

11 Months Down, 1 More To Go…

I am overly ecstatic today. My internet is finally fixed!!! Shortly after my last post, my roommate decided to change internet providers. According to my roommate, there was some problem with the router, then the replacement router crapped out too. Three routers later, we are online!

At the beginning of November, I won one the coolest concert tickets to date: Stone Temple Pilots!!! Here are a few pics:

IMG_0855 IMG_0862

IMG_0863My friend Chris and I saw Dave Matthews play an acoustic set to celebrate the opening of the first Microsoft retail store at a local mall. The place was packed and crazy, but well worth getting to see and hear Dave Matthews.

IMG_0875  IMG_0883

I said in my last post that I would post a book review, and I had every intent on keeping that promise. Now that my internet is working again, expect more book reviews! I’ve accepted a few books to review and I have a couple of reviews that way past over due that I need to post. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

October: A Little Late….

I finally have a little free time to write about the month of October… it’s only 2 weeks late :)

At the beginning of October my friend Chris and I checked out The Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. It’s basically Paul Allen’s tribute to Jimi Hendrix and other music memorabilia. For as much hype as the EMP gets, I wasn’t that impressed. What did impress me, however, was the Science Fiction Museum, also located in the EMP. It’s a definite must for any SciFi fan.

I took a week off of work and ended up doing a lot of fun stuff.

On the first day of vacation I saw the silent black and white film “Underworld” at the Paramount theatre, complete with a live organist playing along with the movie.

On the second day of vacation I saw the play “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” at the ACT Theatre.

On the third thru sixth day of my vacation I went to a festival called the City Arts Fest, put on by City Arts Magazine, a local Seattle publication. They booked a handful of bands each night of the festival, which concert goers could either buy individual tickets to each show, or buy a wristband and get into any show they wanted to. My only complaint about the festival is that they scheduled many great concerts at the same time, and I had to choose which band I wanted to see the most. I ended up choosing:

  • 1st Night – Gogol Bordelo and Forro in the Dark
  • 2nd Night – Roky Erickson, the Maldives and Massy Fergusen
  • 3rd Night – The Vaselines, Dum Dum Girls and Young Evils
  • 4th Night – She & Him and Mike Coykendall & the Golden Shag

And on the 7th day of vacation I rested :)

To close up the month of October, I had the opportunity to go to a Seattle Sounders playoff game on Halloween. Unfortunately, the Sounders lost, but I had a lot of fun at the game anyways.

I’ve been asked a few times if I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, and sadly the answer is no. I really wanted to, but I hardly update my blog. I definitely don’t have time to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

Oh, and speaking of never updating my blog… I’ve been considering what to do with my blog. I’ve thought about shutting it down and just commenting on the blogs that I follow. I really enjoy writing book reviews, but I never have the time to write them. I keep turning down books to review, not because I’m not reading, but because I feel bad that I don’t have time to provide the author and/or publisher with a timely review.

But…… I’ve decided that I want to keep my book reviewing blog alive! I’ve recently accepted a book to review and hope in the next week or so to post the two book reviews I’ve been meaning to do since summer. With fall here and winter quickly approaching, I hope to be spending the cold nights curled up with a cup of tea, a great indie book and my laptop.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ah, September! What a fun month!!

September was crammed full of great events! I was so busy, I didn’t get a chance to write the book reviews I promised last month. Now that fall is here, I’m hoping to return to the regularly scheduled programming on this blog.

I started out the month by checking out the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) with my friend, Chris. SAM has free admission the first Thursday of every month. I really wanted to check out the Kurt Cobain exhibit before it ended. I was very disappointed. The exhibit was actually art inspired by Kurt Cobain instead of his own art and was mixed with the work of Andy Warhol. After walking thru the Cobain/Warhol exhibit, we checked out the rest of SAM. 

Labor Day Weekend was awesome because I won my coolest radio concert to date…. BUMBERSHOOT!!! For those of you not from Seattle, Bumbershoot is a 3 day music and arts festival. On top of winning 2 passes for the whole weekend, I also won private mini concerts for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Crash Kings and Courtney Love. We saw 29 bands over the weekend! I didn’t take very many pictures because I wasn’t close enough to the stages, but here’s a few from the private concerts.

IMG_0771 Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros


Crash Kings


Courtney Love


The Space Needle on a beautiful day

The weekend after Bumbershoot, I won another radio contest, this time to see The Smashing Pumpkins (or as I like to refer to them as Billy Corgan and friends). It was a great concert, but I really wished they played more songs from the 90’s. You can check out Chris’ review here.

Just a few days after seeing The Smashing Pumpkins, Chris got to review The Gaslight Anthem and had an extra pass, so I got to tag along. You can check out his review here.

The night after The Gaslight Anthem, I got to see Brandon Sanderson at University Bookstore!!! He read from his newest book, “The Way of Kings”, answered questions from the crowd, then ended with a book signing. Sadly, I did not have anything signed.


I got to tag along for another concert Chris was reviewing, this time for Massy Ferguson, Cody Beebe & The Crooks and Curtains For You. Chris writes way better concert reviews then I do, so check out what he had to say here.

Last month I mentioned that I won tickets to Vampire Weekend, but the show was cancelled. It was rescheduled for a different venue. They put on a good show, but I really enjoyed the opening band, The Head And The Heart.

I attended my first Oktoberfest, where I sampled 5 beers and had a great time people watching. I really wish I took some pictures, but at the time, I didn’t think about it.

Just when you think I’d be sick of concerts (NEVER!), Chris won 2 contests back to back! The first show was for Matt & Kim. I’m not a huge fan of their music, but they put on a very high energy show. We got to meet them for a few minutes before the show and they are very cool. I just checked to see if the pictures were posted for the Meet and Greet with Matt & Kim and they were not.

The next night Chris won tickets to see Arcade Fire, which I really wanted to buy tickets for, but could not afford it. Their concert was amazing, probably one of the top 5 concerts I’ve ever seen.

I was interviewed by my blog-mentor, Shelley, from Layers of Thought on my NaNoWriMo experience last year. Check out the interview on her blog here. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, Shelley does a great job explaining it. NaNoWriMo is a great way for any aspiring author to challenge themselves to write!

I think that about wraps it up for September. As you can see, I have very good excuses for not writing book reviews. I’ve considered writing concert reviews, but as I said earlier, I don’t think I’m very good at writing them. Now that Fall is here and the weather will be soon turning rainy, I anticipate my book review posts to increase.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What!? Summer is over already?

Ah, Summer. Why did you forget Seattle? Did we do something wrong?

It’s already September! I can’t believe how fast the last few months have flown by. This post is a little late because the last week has been crazy busy with fun stuff, but I’ll save those events for another post.

Early in August, a friend and I checked out a great local band called Cody Beebe and The Crooks at a local bar. Here’s some video I found on YouTube that was taken that night.

I also went to the CD release party for Brad’s newest album called Best Friends? If you’re a hardcore Pearl Jam fan, you’ll know that the guitarist for Pearl Jam, Stone Gossard, plays in Brad, along with Shawn Smith (vocals, keys), Regan Hagar (drums), Keith Lowe (bass) and Mike Berg (keys).  I couldn’t find any footage of the concert that night, but the venue was packed and the band’s performance was amazing. Below is a promo video for Best Friends?

I won yet another radio contest, this time to see Vampire Weekend. Before the actual concert, the radio station hosted a private performance of Vampire Weekend for the contest winners at the Gibson Showroom. The band played 3 songs acoustically, then signed autographs and posed for pictures afterwards. Unfortunately, the lead singer of Vampire Weekend had to cancel the concert later that evening because he had enflamed vocal cords. The concert has been rescheduled for mid-September. Below is footage the radio station filmed of Vampire Weekend performing a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book review. I have two reviews that I will post very soon (after I write them, of course!). The first one is called “Annexed” by Sharon Dogar and the second book is called “The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever” by Alison Johnson. I hope to have both reviews up in the next week or two.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thank God July is Over!!

I started this post a few days ago, but I keep getting sidetracked. It's about time I finish it! June was a very uneventful month. I can't say the same about July. I was very busy.

The month started out with car problems. My car kept dying on me, so I took it in to the mechanic. They informed me I was having some sort of electrical problems, which might me causing my car to die. So I got that fixed.

Since summer finally decided to show up in Seattle, I decided to spend a Saturday at the beach.


I used some vacation time and took a week off of work in the middle of the month. The Friday before my vacation started, I won Kings of Leon tickets from a local radio station. The concert was for the next day, so I started off my vacation driving 3 hours away to The Gorge, an amazing concert venue. The Features and Built to Spill were great opening acts for Kings of Leon.

 012 020

The Bite of Seattle was also happening the same weekend as the concert, so I went to that Friday night and Sunday. We saw a few great local bands and ate yummy food from local restaurants.

While on vacation, I spent one day wandering around Pike Place Market (one of my favorite places) and the Seattle Waterfront with a friend. Later that night we checked out a local band playing at a bar, but before, we took a quick walk to check out a famous Seattle landmark, The Fremont Troll. For those of you not from Seattle, The Fremont Troll lives under a bridge just north of downtown Seattle. Yes, the troll is holding a real, full size VW Bug.


At the end of my vacation I drove to my hometown to spend the weekend with friends. We spent a lot of time at the river and my shoulders got really sunburned.

My first day back to work after my vacation, my car wouldn't start in the morning so I got a ride to work from a co-worker. After work I called roadside assistant to get a jump. They guy who showed up jumped my car and told me to drive around for a half hour to charge the battery. About 15 minutes into my drive, my car started to act up and wouldn't accelerate. I coasted into a parking lot. I called roadside assistant again, and he jumped my car, but it wouldn't shift into drive. I had to leave my car in the parking lot over night. The next day I had to have my car towed. My fuse panel was melted and the wires to the alternator were burned. The dealership had to order parts, so I was without my car for a few days.


With the exception of the car problems, July was a great month! Hopefully I'm done with car problems for a while!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: The Change Artist

the change artist

The Change Artist

By Carla Rieger

Published by Anand Publishing

ISBN: 9780968827284

456 Pages

Received a review copy from www.indiereader.com


Product Description (from the back of the book): The Change Artist is a compelling suspense novel that provided a subtle, yet pervasive message of acceptance, growth and hope. Written by creativity catalyst, Carla Rieger, The Change Artist takes you on a gripping and unpredictable adventure. Set to inherit millions, a young accountant named Fran discovers, upon her father’s death, that nothing in her life is what it seems - including her father’s true identity.

From Vancouver to Vienna of today and through the Sahara desert and carnival entertainers of the past, we take the emotional journey along with Fran as she discovers a sister that she never knew existed, uncovers her father’s two hidden lives, and frantically searches for the truth - and herself.

The Change Artist blends Rieger’s powerful recipe for mastering self-change with compelling storytelling, all the more potent because it is inspired by true events from the author’s life. If you have ever searched for more meaning in life, this book will seize your interest from the first chapter. Be prepared for a very personal and thought-provoking voyage into what it means to be a Change Artist.

The General Review: The Change Artist is an inspiring, intriguing story that will take you on an adventure around the world and back in time with the protagonist as she discovers her father’s hidden past by piecing together cryptic hints. Mysterious and captivating, this book will hold your attention until the last page is turned.

Likes: I’m a fan of World War II historical fiction and I thought Carla Rieger did an excellent job researching the life and times of the Romani culture before and during the Holocaust.

Dislikes: I thought that this book was well-researched and well-written. There is nothing I dislike about The Change Artist.

Closing Comments: I recommend The Change Artist to those who are a fan of World War II fiction. This book was so mesmerizing, I could not put it down!

If you’re interested in purchasing The Change Artist, here’s the link to buy it from indiereader.com (I don’t receive compensation from indiereader.com)

Below is the book trailer for The Change Artist

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Half of 2010 is already gone!

Have you ever had a month fly by, but looking back, you didn’t really do anything eventful? That’s how June felt to me.

I’ve been geocaching every weekend. This past weekend I tried to introduce my 10 year old niece to the wonderful world of geocaching, but we went 0 for 6. My niece wasn’t too discouraged, since I let her play at the parks we visited. Two of the caches were stolen, one we couldn’t figure out how to get on the trail without cutting though someone’s yard (later we learned that you have to go though the cemetery to get to the trailhead). Another trail had a group of teenage boys smoking and drinking at the trailhead. One needed an extraction tool (tweezers or needle nose pliers), which I did not have on hand. The last one was in a rock wall and we just couldn’t find it.

To date I have logged 18 finds! Here are a few pictures of the more fascinating geocaches I’ve found.

002 - CopyA toy rat hanging out in a shrub. I actually screamed when I spotted it because I am VERY afraid of rats.

027  028

A plastic rock underneath landscaping at a local clock shop. The owner of the store caught me poking around and kindly gave me a hint to the cache whereabouts.

033 035 - Copy

The cache was actually hanging off the back leg of whatever this interesting creature is.

I’ve also been playing pool a lot lately. A few of my friends are on a pool league, so I’ve been hanging out with them, trying to learn a thing or two. I don’t plan on joining any pool leagues in the future, but I do enjoy playing and have even noticed improvement in my game.

That’s about it for my month of June. I’ll try to make July a little more exciting. Watch for book reviews sometime near the end of the week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: The Mistborn Series

Mistborn Well of Ascension Hero of Ages
The Mistborn Series

By Brandon Sanderson

Published by TOR Fantasy

Mistborn: The Final Empire ISBN: 0765350386, 644 Pages

The Well of Ascension ISBN:0765316889, 796 Pages

The Hero of Ages ISBN: 0765356147, 724 Pages

Purchased all three books from my local bookstore

Product Description (from the back of Mistborn: The Final Empire): Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

General Review: The Mistborn Series is a fantastical, complex, dystopian story that has it all; love, betrayal, action, suspense and a sci-fi element. This series is fast-paced, addicting and will hold your attention until the very end.

Likes: I was extremely fascinated by the power of Allomancy. The author goes into great detail about the power of Allomancy. I also thought the author did an awesome job building the characters and their talents. And I liked the fact that the protagonist is a female.

Dislikes: There is absolutely nothing I disliked about this series. It’s that awesome!

Closing Comments: The Mistborn Series is a great fantasy series for hardcore fantasy fans and a great introduction to the genre if you’re new to fantasy. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good read.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Learning How to Find Geocaches

Earlier this week, I shared that I started a new hobby called Geocaching (www.geocaching.com). I mentioned that a friend and I went out last Saturday to find our first cache. We didn’t find it, but I was hooked on the search.

On Monday, I used my Geocaching iPhone App and discovered that there are a few near my work. So, after work I went in search of one a block away on a walking trail. I found it very quickly!! Here’s the pics of that find:

036 Do you see it? I didn’t at first. But after I moved the bush aside, I found…


My first Geocache!!!

Inside was a log book to sign, and a bunch of other stuff. I didn’t get a good look at everything inside because there were muggles (geospeak for non-geocachers) walking on the trail. I had enough time to sign the log book and and rehide the cache without being seen by others.

Since then, I have found 6 more!

I found this one next to the library, hiding behind a park bench. It only held a tiny log book, a quarter and a ring. I signed the log book and didn’t take or leave anything.

040 038

I found this one in a rock wall. It was an Altoids can! Again, I just signed the log book.

041 042

This one was a little tricky, because it’s right in front of a walk-in clinic at a bus stop on a very busy road. I went during my lunch hour, but there were so many people around, I left and came back later in the evening. It was hidden under the ledge.

044 045

I almost overlooked this geocache. It was hidden in a rock formation in the corner of a gravel parking lot. At first I didn’t see the black film canister.

050 046

Today, a friend and I went back to find the first geocache we tried to find. The trail was still muddy, but I wore better shoes. In one spot my foot sank above my ankle. A lot of the trail was overgrown. I have lots of little sticker bush cuts on my legs. But we were determined to find it. At last, we finally located it!!!

004Do you see it? My friend didn’t at first, but there was something that caught my eye…


YES!! Victory at last!!!

There was one other I found, but it was in a very public place. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by taking pictures of it, so I just signed the log book very quickly and returned it to its spot.

I’ve tried to find a handful more, but wasn’t able to locate them because of muggles, time constraints (I’ve been going on my lunch breaks) or I just can’t find the darn thing. When I have more time, I’m going to go back and try to find the caches.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am

just don't call me ma'am

Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am: How I Ditched The South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed To Survive My Twenties With (Most Of) My Dignity Still Intact

By: Anna Mitchael

ISBN: 9781580053167

256 Pages

Published by Seal Press

Received a review copy from Newman Communications

Product Description (from publication received from Newman Communications): Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact is Mitchael’s hilariously truthful tale about one woman and the choices that add up to be her twenty-something life. Detailing impulsive moves to new cities, domestic disasters, and even the occasional nervous breakdown, this is a book for every woman who has ever woken up one day and wondered how she ended up smack dab in the middle of a life she doesn’t completely recognize.

The story of a Southern girl who sets out to find a new home – and instead finds herself – Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a disarmingly humorous (and candidly honest) account of growing up…and it’s a tale in which each and every reader will see some part of themselves.

The General Review: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a witty, hilarious and honest biography of events that happened during her second decade. Mitchael candidly shares her biography with sarcasm, grace and Grandma’s wisdom.

Likes: I liked how easy it was to relate to the authors experiences. I also absolutely loved Mitchael’s writing style. She tells it exactly how she sees it and she doesn’t hold back.

Dislikes: There’s not much I disliked about this book. I would have like to have seen the events in her book depicted in chronological order.

Closing Comments: Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am is a great read for any woman in her 20’s (or any age!) trying to find herself in this crazy world. I’m looking forward to seeing where life takes the author in her 30’s. She had a great blog – www.annamitchael.com. Congratulations to Anna on the arrival of your baby boy last month!!!

I Blinked and May Disappeared....

Wow! May flew by! I didn't do anything really exciting, but it seemed like I was busy all the time. Work is busy as always and I seem to find something to tie up my time after work. I haven't forgotten on book reviews. I plan on posting a book review very soon.

Here are 2 noteworthy activities I've done lately-

At the beginning of May I won tickets to see 2 Door Cinema Club. Here's a few pics:

Opening Band - Leadspeak

Opening Band - The Emergency

2 Door Cinema Club

I tried a new hobby this weekend. It's called Geocaching. Basically it's a treasure hunt, but you use GPS to locate the "cache". People hide the caches all over the world and post the GPS coordinates to the Geocaching website for other adventure seekers to find. If you have an iPhone, there's a spiffy app you can download that almost makes the hunting idiot-proof. I say almost because, well, you'll see.

This Saturday was finally sunny in the greater Seattle area. I called up a friend to invite him to go Geocaching with me. After explaining what it was, he was game. We picked a park and I used my fancy Geocaching app on my iPhone to locate caches in the area. While there were a few caches in the area, there weren't any parking spots. Apparently everyone was out enjoying the sun. So we decided to try a larger park. We found a parking spot and I located a geocache within 300 feet of the parking spot. After walking around for a while trying to find a trail into the woods, which is where the app is indicating the cache is, we find we're getting farther and farther away from the hidden cache. So we back-tracked and headed in a new direction. After walking for awhile we found another trail, but it looked overgrown. We ignored it and continued on our way. Still not any closer to the cache, we head back to the car to drive to a different part of the park. We got out of the car near a petting zoo and started walking toward the cache, hoping to find a trail. A petting zoo employee noticed us wandering around aimlessly looking at my phone and asked us if we were looking for a trail. She told us to go back to where we were originally, because there was no entrance to the trails from the petting zoo. We told her what we were looking for and she told us that the rangers may have removed the cache because tons of people were walking around with GPS devises and the hider of the cache didn't have permission to leave a cache at the park. Great, now we just wasted all afternoon looking for a cache that may or may not be hidden.

As we were leaving, we passed the trail we ignored earlier. I mentioned we should try it and see if the cache was removed or not. So we park again and explore the trail. We soon find out the the trail is muddy and is slighly washed out in one spot. We carefully make our way around the washed out spot and continue on our way. A short while later, the trail gets very steep and is very muddy. I can't go on because I'm just wearing flip flops (unless I want to slide down the trail on my butt), so I recommend turning around and attemping to find another cache somewhere else. He wants to continue on, so he heads up the trail with my phone, leaving me by myself in the middle of the woods. Without my phone. He's gone 15 minutes. And he didn't locate the cache.

The trip wasn't a total fail. It was fun to go hiking on a beautiful day and it was good to learn how to use the Geocaching app. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures because I was so focused on finding the cache. Now that I know what to expect, I'll take more pictures and share my experiences on my blog.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where did April go?

The month of April was a crazy month for me. I settled in to my new place. Work is busy as usual. I had a really bad eye infection. But I always try to have a little fun. I went to a couple of concerts:

Angels and Airwaves at the Showbox Sodo



Civil Twilight at the Highdive




I went to a Seattle Mariners Game



This is a pic of the roof closing because it started to rain.


In book blog related news, I posted my first giveaway, a book called The Life O’Reilly by Brian Cohen, which was won by Logan from Rememorandom. Mr. Cohen read my review and was kind enough to offer an autographed copy of his novel to give away.

I was also contacted by indiereader.com to do book reviews for them. If you get a chance and enjoy independently published novels, I encourage you to check out their awesome selection. (I don’t receive any compensation from indiereader.com, I just love to support independently published authors)

In my last post I mentioned that I had 3 ulcers on my left eye. They have totally healed, so I don’t need surgery!!! I’m a little behind in my book reading because the ulcers made me very sensitive to light. Also, my book review pile is becoming overwhelmingly high, so I plan to post reviews soon before it falls over. I’m just glad I can see again!

Monday, April 26, 2010

....And we have a winner!!!

Last week I posted my first giveaway, an autographed copy of The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen. The winner is......................

Logan from Rememorandom!!

Logan, I hope you enjoy the book!

Also, I know at the beginning of the month I promised a book review on Mondays and Thursdays. About a week after I posted that promise, I got a really bad eye infection. Come to find out, I have 3 ulcers on my left eye. These ulcers and the eye drops to heal my eye have made me really sensitive to light. I have to stare at a computer monitor at work, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is work on my laptop. As soon as my eye is back to normal, I will post more frequently. I have a bunch of books piling up just waiting to be reviewed!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Giveaway: The Life O’Reilly

life o'reilly

Yay! This is my first giveaway! I am giving away an autographed copy of The Life O’Reilly by Brian Cohen.

If you missed my review, check it out here or check out Brian Cohen’s website at http://briancohenbooks.com.

If you want to enter, just leave a comment saying so! This contest is also open to my Facebook friends. Just comment on this post saying you want to be entered into the contest.

Entries will be accepted until 12:00pm PST on Monday, April 26th 2010. A winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on my blog and notified by email.

Good Luck!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: The Life O’Reilly

life o'reilly

The Life O’Reilly

By Brian Cohen

Published by iUniverse

ISBN: 1440150257 (isbn13: 9781440150258)

276 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Romance

Received a review copy from Mr. Cohen’s Publicist, Kelley & Hall Book Publicity

Product Description (from the back cover): On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park. Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream. But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing this personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally – his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her young son, Jordan. A far cry from Nick’s specialty of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life. But Nick gets much more than he signed on for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself. Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest – and possibly final – challenge: a battle for his own survival.

Exploring the flaws of being human and the importance of controlling one’s own destiny, The Life of O’Reilly reminds us how precious life is and how quickly and tragically it can change. Written with great empathy, The Life O’Reilly is an emotional and unforgettable tale that will challenge one’s expectations of the modern love story and introduces a poignant and sensitive new voice in fiction.

The General Review: The Life O’Reilly is more than a modern day love story. It’s about identifying what you really want out of life and going after it. This book will have you cheering and sympathizing with the protagonist as you turn page after page.

Likes: I really enjoyed the plot. Without giving too much away, there was a twist I did not see coming.

Dislikes: I thought that in the beginning of the novel, the author did an excellent job describing the protagonists feelings and surroundings. I felt the end of the book was not as detailed.

Closing Comments: Overall, I enjoyed The Life O’Reilly. If you’re looking for an inspiring romance novel to read, I suggest you pick this book up.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: Sanctuary



By N.E. Julian

Published by iUniverse

ISBN: 1440133093 (isbn13: 9781440133091)

332 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Romance

Received a review copy from the author

Product Description (from the back cover): Nineteen-year-old Lea Kostovic, a cynical and emotionally fragile former university student, has been abandoned by her family at the outset of a Balkan civil war during the late 1990’s.

Major Ed Russell is a gruff yet idealistic divorced American army officer stationed in the former Yugoslavia on a peacekeeping mission. While manning a border checkpoint, Russell learns that Lea intends to head south to find her family and must convey to the young woman that the borders will not reopen until spring. Lea realizes that as a person of Croatian descent, neither the Serbs nor the Muslims will take her in. The thought of roaming the countryside for months – freezing, starving, and alone – prods a wary Lea to accept Russell’s offer not only to work for him as an interpreter, but also to stay with him. There’s just one condition to their simple bargain – Lea must trade sex for protection and survival.

A complex relationship ensues, and as Russell and fledgling artist Lea begin a new life in America, they attempt to build a marriage from a barter that originally had nothing to do with love and respect.

The General Review: Sanctuary is a refreshing and unique modern day love story between two very unlikely people. Historically well-researched and and very engaging, readers of Sanctuary will be thinking about the story-line long after the book is finished.

Likes: I enjoyed how simple this story was. There was no antagonist, no major climax or conflicts. Just a simple love story about overcoming emotional obstacles, circumstances and preconceived notions. The book was written in such a way that kept the reader interested and was in no way boring. I found myself fascinated with how the main characters interacted with each other, especially coming from very different backgrounds.

Dislikes: I was a little disappointed with the ending of the book. I felt like the book flowed beautifully then the author abruptly ended it with a nice bow.

Closing Comments: Sanctuary is a very well written independently published novel. A must read for anyone who is a fan of romance. I look forward to reading more from N.E. Julian in the future.