Book Review: Two Mothers by K. Kris Loomis

22 Mar

A mother’s depression. A ghost’s obsession. A baby caught in the crosshairs.

Anna Jenkins is a new mother suffering from postpartum fatigue. While her husband is finishing up his Army duties before retirement, she travels to South Carolina to set up their house, an old farmhouse her husband bought sight unseen.

It’s not long before Anna realizes there is something eerie about her new home. Although it’s the dog days of summer, the house is unusually cool even without the A/C running. And her baby, who usually screams nonstop, is mysteriously soothed whenever placed in the antique crib that came with the house.

When she uncovers a long-buried secret, Anna must claw her way out of her despondency to save her baby from the clutches of the dead. Will she find the strength to save her child? Or will a disturbed spirit get what it came for?

A psychological slow burn perfect for anyone who likes things that go bump in the night.

 
 
 

 

 

My Review

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

Two Mothers is a novella about a mother in the 1960s and a mother in the present.  Two women connected by a home, both new mothers, and both depressed. Knowing that the house was haunted before Anna did made me wary every time she left the baby in the antique crib. I didn’t think any harm would come to the baby though, would it?

I like how the author is able to make the characters seem like “normal” people. I’ve read several of her short stories and she was able to do that in those as well. Her writing is also easy to follow. This was a quick and enjoyable read and even had a twist. I’m looking forward to reading more by Kris Loomis.

 

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is an eclectic author who writes both fiction and nonfiction books. She is the author of the novel, The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane, as well as the short story collection, The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. Kris has also written several books about yoga and meditation and a humorous travelogue about the time she, her husband and their handicapped cat moved to South America called Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador!

When Kris isn’t at her standing desk writing, you will find her playing chess, folding an origami crane, or practicing a Beethoven sonata on the piano. She lives in Rock Hill, SC with her husband and two cats.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

https://www.twitter.com/kkrisloomis

 

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Playing with a Lion’s Testicles? Really?

22 Mar

Another actual book that I had to look up on Amazon out of curiosity. Playing with a lion’s testicles is an African saying that means to take foolhardy chances.

 

Description from Amazon (sounds like a good read): 

Melissa, an exhausted executive from the city seeks meaning and purpose from her work, and volunteers for a Big Five conservation project in South Africa. Her boss, an over-zealous ranger, nicknamed the Drill Sergeant, has no patience for city folk, especially if they’re women, and tries to send her packing on day one. But Melissa stands her ground with grit and determination, however shaky it may be.

Conflict soon sets the pace with a cast filled with predatory cats, violent elephants, and an on-going battle of wits with the Drill Sergeant. Even Mother Nature pounds the reserve with the worst storm in a century. But the most enduring and profound conflict is the internal battle going on within Melissa, as she tries to come to terms with the guilt surrounding her mother’s death. When death grips the game reserve, it is the very animals Melissa has come to save that end up saving her.

For the reader who has ever dreamed of going to Africa or knows the pain of loss and guilt, LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES will fill your soul.

Book Review: Today I Am Mad by Michael Gordon

21 Mar

Kids feel emotions in big ways! Here’s a great story for helping kids manage their feelings.

Help children learn to identify and regulate their emotions
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion.
Behaving badly doesn’t make you bad
Teaching your kids to deal with disappointment
Learn to tame your temper
Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion

Amazon

 

 

My Review

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

Today I Am Mad is for young children and teaches about anger and how to handle it. I remember feeling angry when I was young but not knowing why made me feel guilty for my anger. Teaching young children that it’s normal to feel angry sometimes and it’s okay is a great idea. Of course, they need to learn how to deal with that anger. Counting to 10 was mentioned which one good way to help.

Poor Josh is having a rough day but he deals with his anger well. The next day he even comforts another child who is on the receiving end of someone else’s anger. It’s a wonderful lesson to teach, although (sadly) because of today’s climate, children might need to be warned to be careful about hugging others.

Today I Am Mad not only teaches dealing with emotions but it will keep the interest of young children. It has colorful illustrations and rhyming text.

 

 

About the Author

Michael Gordon is the talented author of several highly rated children’s books including the popular Sleep Tight, Little Monster, and the Animal Bedtime. 

He collaborates with famous Kids Book Press that creates picture books for people of all ages to enjoy. Michael’s goal is to create books that are engaging, funny, and inspirational for children of all ages and their parents.

Eating People is Wrong

21 Mar

This is an actual book. I looked it up on Amazon which doesn’t have a description of what it is about. Thankfully, Goodreads explains and it’s not as bad as you might think: “Insanely funny depiction of members of the English department at a provincial English university.” In fact, it sounds like a book I’d enjoy.

Best Example Ever

20 Mar

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Guest Review & Giveaway: Moon Games by Shelly Frome

20 Mar

Moon Games by Shelly FromeMoon Games by Shelly Frome

Publisher:  Milford House Press (August 4, 2018)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Female Sleuth, Murder Mystery, Supernatural, Small-town Police Procedural
Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019
ISBN: 978-1620061848
Available in Print and ebook, 264 pages

Moon Games

 

 

 

Description 

At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing coed, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible.  The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to unravel.

 

 

Guest Review by Katy

I’ve just recently discovered Shelly Frome and have been working my way through his back catalog of books so that I can read them all. I love his writing style, his attention to detail and his clever dialog and descriptions. What a talent this man has for story telling and plotting. I feel like all of his books pull me in from the first page and don’t let go till the last! And this one was no different, of course.

 ‘Moon Games’ begins with the exciting pretense that a young girl has gone missing in the Carolina mountains. Miranda Davis is probably not the first person you’d select to go on a search for a missing person. For one thing, she’s a realtor and for another, she’s funny and somewhat scattered. Hardly a seasoned detective who deals with these sorts of things all the time. But she gets pulled into the mystery in much the same way that the reader does, and eventually she agrees to go up to the mountain with her partner, Harry, to have a look. However, there are some suspicious clues about the missing girl that don’t add up. Why was a strange tarot card shoved under the door of a local church lady? Who is the huge, hulking man they see on the mountain, and is he carrying the body of a woman? These are the kinds of questions that had me guessing till the last page.

I love a good mystery and, once again, Shelly Frome delivers just that. I highly recommend this book to all mystery fans like myself or anyone who enjoys a compelling, quick read. I can’t wait to read what Shelly Frome has in store for his next book! I feel like I’m becoming a huge fan of his as I go! ‘Moon Games’ gets 5 stars from me!

 

 

Praise 

“’Moon Games’ is an exceptional novel that will introduce the reader to the protagonist of the book, Miranda Davis who lives in a quaint town in Carolina, and it is here that she has a business. The reader will follow Miranda as she is approached by Cloris Raintree, a church leader who offers Miranda help in exchange for her help in finding a girl who went missing. As Miranda investigate the strange disappearance, more shocking truths are revealed and this book lovers is the premise of the sensational Moon Games.

The themes combined and laced throughout Moon Games perfectly compliment the atmosphere of the book and story.  As I read Moon Games, I found myself racing through it, turning the pages with haste thanks to the addictive nature. The story is unique and has the perfect combination of crime, suspense, and mystery which are all perfectly weaved together by the exceptional author.

Every event, character, and setting is well thought out and planned. Shelly Frome’s writing is detailed in the most immaculate of ways. It is beautifully written so that the reader will be able to immerse themselves in the story from beginning to end without difficulty.

Miranda is a character every reader will be able to root for, her grit and determination to not give up on the case is inspiring and will have many readers care about her. Being able to accompany Miranda on her journey was incredible, it was remarkable to witness her growth along the way and extraordinary to observe how she goes about solving the mystery and troubling situations she was faced with

Frome is an exceptional writer because he grabs his readers attention from the start very quickly and keeps them engrossed until the end. There are no long build-ups that drag in Moon Games; instead, the reader will be thrown into the thick of the story quickly, and the result of this is exciting (and slightly terrifying!).

Overall Moon Games is a superb novel that has everything a reader would want in a story; it has a thrilling narrative, magnificent plot development and excellent characterization that will thrill and excite its readers so of course, I have to award this impressive piece of literature five stars!”-  Aimee Ann, Red Headed Book Lover

“’Moongames’, the eighth mystery by respected author, Shelly Frome, covers a week around Halloween where a coed from a local college goes missing during a hike along the historic Southern Railway tracks that climb the Blue Ridge Escarpment over the Eastern Continental Divide, and the only one who seems to care is a frustrated real estate saleswoman, who must become her own detective agency if this girl is to be found alive.
Frome creates a series of colorful characters who are drawn into this quest, most against their wills, but who, never-the-less, contribute their own special talents to what would ultimately prove to be a race to the finish, with more hairpin turns along the way than the drive along the Amalfi Coast. The famous “Malecon” drive along Havana’s Atlantic shore even plays an important role in the ultimate outcome of this complicated, yet gripping tale of revenge, regret, and greed, with a dash of the Zodiac (thus the Moon) thrown in for good measure.”-       R. V. Helms, Amazon Review

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Gotta give him credit for trying to understand…

19 Mar

when we rarely understand ourselves.

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Book Review: Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy by Paula Finn

18 Mar

Behind every great television show is a group of professionals working at the top of their games—but no one is more important than the writers. And while writing comedy, especially good comedy, is serious business—fraught with actor egos, demanding producers, and sleepless nights—it also can result in classic lines of dialogue.

Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy is a collection of conversations with the writers responsible for some of the most memorable shows in television comedy. The men and women interviewed here include series creators, show runners, and staff writers whose talent and hard work have generated literally millions of laughs. In addition to Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Lear (All in the Family), this book features in-depth interviews with:

James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons)
Al Jean (The Simpsons, The Critic)
Leonard Stern (The Honeymooners, Get Smart)
Treva Silverman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
Ken Estin (Cheers)
Matt Williams (Roseanne, Home Improvement)
Dava Savel (Ellen)
Larry Charles (Seinfeld)
David Lee (Frasier)
Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Mike Reiss (The Simpsons)

From these conversations, readers will learn that the business of writing funny has never been all laughs. Writers discuss the creative process, how they get unstuck, the backstories of iconic episodes, and how they cope with ridiculous censors, outrageous actors, and their own demons and fears. Sitcom Writers Talk Shop will appeal to fans of all of these shows and may serve as inspiration to anyone considering a life in comedy.

Amazon

 

 

My Review

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

I have always enjoyed TV sitcoms, especially some of the older ones. I’ve seen The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond so many times that I know every episode. So, when I was offered a free copy of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, I was thrilled. 

Paula Finn interviewed many of the creators and writers of popular sitcoms mostly from the past. The result is an engrossing and amusing book full of stories about how each writer got his or her start, stories about the different stars, and certain favorite or interesting episodes. And, of course, these are writers of comedy so they are naturally funny. Also after each interview are quotes from different writers which made the book even better. 

What I found fascinating was how many characters were supposed to be on only one or two episodes and they became regular stars on the show. A good example is Reverend Jim played by Christopher Lloyd on Taxi who was my favorite character. 

This is a great book for anyone who enjoys comedy or is interested in sitcoms overall. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read it again in the future.

 

 

 

About the Author

Paula graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology.

As the daughter of Honeymooners writer Herbert Finn, she grew up in the culture, surrounded by the brilliance and wit of her father and his colleagues. A Los Angeles native and original “Valley Girl,” she has authored ten gift books including When Love Isn’t Easy and Make This Your Day. In the 1980’s, she made a name for herself as Blue Mountain Arts’ most prolific inspirational writer.

Once featured on ABC TV’s 20/20 show, her inspirational writings have been translated into several languages, and have been licensed worldwide on top-selling gift products. Over two million fans have reposted Paula’s most popular quotes on their personal and commercial websites. A former college English teacher and TV documentary researcher, she currently lives in Studio City, where she is Mom to “Puff Finn” the cat and is a favorite auntie to several of her friends’ dogs.

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Self-help

18 Mar

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Someone Doesn’t Want You to Read These Books

17 Mar

A clever and creative incentive for teens to read!

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