Reading Goals

25 May

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Book Review & Giveaway: Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones

24 May

Dr. Seuss is a classic American icon. Whimsical and wonderful, his work has defined our childhoods and the childhoods of our own children. The silly, simple rhymes are a bottomless well of magic, his illustrations timeless favorites because, quite simply, he makes us laugh. The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and so many more, are his troupe of beloved, and uniquely Seussian, creations.

Theodor Geisel, however, had a second, more radical side. It is there that the allure and fascination of his Dr. Seuss alter ego begins. He had a successful career as an advertising man and then as a political cartoonist, his personal convictions appearing, not always subtly, throughout his books—remember the environmentalist of The Lorax? Geisel was a complicated man on an important mission. He introduced generations to the wonders of reading while teaching young people about empathy and how to treat others well. 

Agonizing over word choices and rhymes, touching up drawings sometimes for years, he upheld a rigorous standard of perfection for his work. Geisel took his responsibility as a writer for children seriously, talking down to no reader, no matter how small. And with classics like Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Geisel delighted them while they learned. Suddenly, reading became fun.  

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I knew very little about Theodor Geisel before reading this fascinating biography. I think it would be almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of Dr. Seuss. His books have helped millions of children to learn to love reading. I remember my mom reading his books to me, and I loved reading Green Eggs and Ham to my son. I have a stack of his books waiting to read to my grandson who is just a couple of weeks old.

Besides writing children’s books, Geisel was also a political cartoonist and worked in advertising. He wrote the lyrics the to the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He was also one of the producers and wrote the lyrics to the songs in the 1970 TV special “Horton Hears a Who.”

Geisel had his ups and downs like we all do, and I was surprised that he had an affair with the wife of a good friend. In 1967, his wife Helen committed suicide because she couldn’t bear to lose him. The fact that he married his lover a year or so later didn’t set well with me. However, no one is perfect and no matter what he did in his personal life, his work speaks for itself. 

Although I don’t read much nonfiction, I enjoyed reading Becoming Dr. Seuss. I did think there were parts that gave a little too much information, especially at the beginning. Overall, though, it’s a book that’s an interesting read for anyone because we all know who Dr. Seuss was! Or at least we all know his works.

 

 

 

About the Author

Brian Jay Jones is the critically-acclaimed, bestselling biographer of some of the world’s most iconic creative geniuses. His most recent biography, Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of An American Imagination (Dutton, 2019) will be published in May 2019.

His 2016 biography of filmmaker George Lucas was the first comprehensive biography of the influential creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones in nearly two decades. George Lucas: A Life (Little, Brown, 2016) was praised as “definitive” (New York Times), “whiz-bang” (People), “must-read” (Parade) and deemed by Rolling Stone as “the one biography for casual and die-hard [Star Wars] fans alike.”

Brian’s second book, Jim Henson: The Biography (Ballantine, 2013) was a New York Times bestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers. The first full-length biography of the iconic creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson: The Biography was celebrated as “illuminating” (The Atlantic), “insightful” (Parade), “masterful” (Kirkus) and “compulsively readable” (The AV Club).

Praised by the Washington Post as a biographer of “slightly off-center American geniuses,” Brian’s biography of Washington Irving (Arcade, 2008), was hailed as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon. The Associated Press deemed it “authoritative,” the Washington Post called it, “engaging,” while the New York Times summed it up simply as “charming.” Which pretty much made his year.

Born in the Midwest and raised in the Southwest, Brian has a degree in English from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and speechwriting. He spent more than two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter for elected officials at all levels of government, including nearly ten years in the U.S. Senate.

He lives in Virginia with his wife and a very excitable dog who refuses to stay off the furniture.

 

 

Giveaway – today only!

The Truth May be Puzzling

22 May

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: It’s Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr

21 May

Book Title: It’s Murder My Son by Lauren Carr
Series: A Mac Faraday Mystery (Book 1)
Category: Adult fiction, 288 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery
Publisher: Lauren Carr
Release date: June 23, 2010
Tour dates: May 1 – June 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG (It’s a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)

 

 

What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday’s life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This confidence would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America’s Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself “Pay Back” begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.

Three months later, the file on her murder is still open when Mac Faraday, sole heir to his unknown birth mother’s home and fortune, moves into the estate next door. Little does he know as he drives up to Spencer Manor that he is driving into a closed gate community that is hiding more suspicious deaths than his DC workload as a homicide detective. With the help of his late mother’s journal, this retired cop puts all his detective skills to work to pick up where the local investigators have left off to follow the clues to Katrina’s executer.

To read reviews, please visitLauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.
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My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read several of Lauren Carr’s books about Mac Faraday and his family and they’re always a good read. I was thrilled to listen to the first Mac Faraday book. I knew his story from reading later books but it was nice reading how his life of wealth began as well as the start of his relationships with Gnarly, Archie, and his brother.

Mac started his new life in Deep Creek Lake helping to solve a murder mystery. He just thought he was going to be retired! There’s also a thief that the town is looking for…will he be able to figure out the murder and the thief? It almost seems like one of his mother’s novels come to life. There’s never a dull moment in Deep Creek Lake!

The characters are great, and I feel like I know most of them already. I also like the narrator. I’ve come to associate his voice with Lauren Carr’s books/characters. Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m going to listen to #13 in the Mac Faraday series.

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

 

Giveaway

Ends July 6, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

A Great Pilgrimage

20 May

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Book Review & Giveaway: Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney

20 May

Book Title: Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney
Category: Adult Fiction, 221 pages
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing
Release date: February 2019
Tour dates: May 20 – 31, 2019
Content Rating: R (for language and graphic murder scenes)

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The dazzling lure of Olympic gold fame is a spotlight glare hotter than any fifteen minutes of fame. During plans for a cross-country ski vacation, Aspen Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Detective David “Spinner” Krespinak and SEAL-bud Craige Ingram are ensnared by glamour, upmarket glitz and bling, and greed in the deadly champagne powder world of a money-gets-you-anything high-country ski-mecca. Body parts start turning up in the most unlikely places. As the two friends start their investigation, A hornet’s nest of the local elite do not want the publicity. For good reason it seems, they may be part of the mystery of bodies and body parts piling up at the morgue.The closer they get to the killer, the more confused they become. Who is behind the murders and mutilation? The list of suspects grows as they close the net on the killer. The tender underbelly of Aspen is not what it seems. It is a raw open sore that oozes blood, drugs, and murder.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read the first three books in The Moccasin Hollow Series so I was happy to read the next book about Craige Ingram and his good friend Spinner Krespinak. It did not disappoint.

Craige finally takes a vacation from Moccasin Hollow to spend some time with his buddy Spinner in Aspen, Colorado. Instead of a typical vacation, though, murders are piling up and Spinner, a detective with the police department, has his hands full. He ends up accepting Craige’s offer of assistance with the murders.

Like the other books in The Moccasin Hollow Series, it took me a while to get into the book, I think partly because the author includes a lot of back story at the beginning so it does stand alone if you haven’t read the other books. Once I got into Dead Gold it was difficult to put down. There’s so much going on, and I had to keep reading to learn how all of the pieces would fit.

If you like a good mystery with some twists and strong characters, I definitely recommend Dead Gold.

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Meet the Author

 

Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. His titles are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series—murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Hidden Chamber of Death, the first book in the mystery series, was followed by Book 2, Westobou Gold and his latest, Book 3, Curse of the Ancients. All have received national attention. The Bleikovat Event was Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets. Vol III, Inanna Phantom is in final galleys.

Connect with the author: Website

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Giveaway!

Ends June 7, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Nothing Half so Good

19 May

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A Reader’s Manifesto

18 May

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Book Review: Shades of Justice by Carolyn Arnold

17 May

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NEW RELEASE…

Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD.

 

 

 

 

Available to buy from…

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indigo-20        bam-20-high   Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

 

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the ninth book in the series but it’s the just the second one I’ve read. I read the eighth book, Power Struggle, so I already know the characters a little. Shades of Justice does stand on its own though. When things from the past come up, enough backstory is given so that the story is easy to follow.

Detective Madison Knight is assigned to solve the double homicide of the wife of a wealthy businessman and a man that no one can identify. Of course her boss wants Madison to walk on egg shells when around the family because he doesn’t want the police department to lose the family’s contributions. This just adds to the conflict between the two because Madison is determined to do her job no matter what.

Madison is also having a journalist look into some cops who she thinks may be dirty. She can’t do it on her own because she can’t be found investigating these people, especially since they could be tied to the mafia.

On top of everything else that’s going on, Madison’s best friend is getting married in just a few days. She has a lot on her plate and even though she’s focusing on the case and doesn’t spend any time with her boyfriend, he’s still supportive when she needs him. And she needs support because even the wedding is a major source of stress for poor Madison.

Shades of Justice is a detective murder mystery with a lot of suspects, a cold case, a few twists, and a touch of romance. What else can you ask for? I look forward to reading the next Madison Knight book whether I go back and read the 1st one or go on to read #10.

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM
THE DETECTIVE MADISON KNIGHT SERIES

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI,
Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club,
and Hawaii Five-O.

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Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Power Struggle, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).

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About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Pinterest  Goodreads  Amazon Author Page

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Poem of Life

16 May

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