Book Review & Giveaway: On the Ledge by Amy Turner

On the Ledge: A Memoir by Amy Turner

Publisher:  She Writes Press, (September 6, 2022)
Category: Memoir, Dysfunctional Families, Mental Wellness
ISBN: 978-1647422257
Available in Print and ebook, 256 pages

On the Ledge

In 1957, when Amy Turner was four years old, her father had to be talked down from a hotel ledge by a priest. The story of his attempted suicide received nationwide press coverage, and he spent months in a psychiatric facility before returning home. From then on, Amy constantly worried about him for reasons she didn’t yet fully understand, triggering a pattern of hypervigilance that would plague her into adulthood.

In 2010, fifty-five years after her father’s attempted suicide, Amy—now a wife, mother, and lawyer-turned-schoolteacher—is convinced she’s dealt with all the psychological reverberations of her childhood. Then she steps into a crosswalk and is mowed down by a pickup truck—an accident that nearly kills her, and that ultimately propels her on a remarkable emotional journey. With the help of Chinese Medicine, Somatic Experiencing, and serendipities that might be attributed to grace, Amy first unravels the trauma of her own brush with death and then, unexpectedly, heals the childhood trauma buried far deeper.

Poignant and intimate, On the Ledge is Amy’s insightful and surprisingly humorous chronicle of coming to terms with herself and her parents as the distinct, vulnerable individuals they are. Perhaps more meaningfully, it offers proof that no matter how far along you are in life, it’s never too late to find yourself.


Guest Review by Sal

I couldn’t put down this memoir, and I will be thinking back on it for a long time to come! ‘On the Ledge,’ starts with the suicide attempt of the author’s father, and does not let up on the strong emotional context from there.

You see, at the age of 59, author Amy Turner was involved in an accident where she was hit by a truck while crossing a crosswalk. While many of us would take this as an excuse to spend the next few months in bed, Turner quickly returned to work and her regular life—maybe even a little too quickly. Although she insisted that she felt lucky to have only sustained a minor concussion, Turner began suffering from PTSD and contemplating the trauma in her life that led to her accident in unexpected ways.

It all began in 1957, when Turner was only four years old. At that time, although she was unaware of it, her father attempted suicide by threatening to jump from the ledge outside of his hotel room window. Turner’s father had to be talked off the ledge by a priest and the incident made the national news at the time.

It took years for Turner to discover what happened that day, and years for her to unpack everything that came after. From her constant distress about her father’s emotional state, to her mother’s dismissive nature and latent alcoholism, Turner ended up as a deeply traumatized adult. It took her accident and the time that she spent healing afterward (both physically and emotionally) for Turner to truly see how her parents choices had affected her.

An excellent look at families and trauma, ‘On the Ledge,’ is a real gem that I highly recommend. I can say that this book made me take a good look my own life and made me feel just a little more accepting of it and my parents as well.

About the Author

Amy Turner was born in Bronxville, New York, and is a graduate of Boston University, with a degree in political science, and of New York Law School, with a Juris Doctor Degree. After practicing law (rather unhappily) for twenty-two years, she finally found the courage to change careers at forty-eight and become a (very happy) seventh grade social studies teacher.

A long-time meditator and avid reader who loves to swim and bike, Amy lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Ed, to whom she’s been married for forty years. They have two sons. On the Ledge is Amy’s first book.



This giveaway is for 2 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on October 5, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.


Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Sept 6 Kickoff & Guest Post

Gud Reader Goodreads Sept 7 Review

Vicki I’d Rather Be At The Beach Sept 8 Review

Bookgirl Amazon Goodreads Sept 9 Review

Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Sept 12 Review

Tracee I’m Shelf-ish Sept 13 Review & Excerpt (postponed)

Karen Amazon Goodreads Sept 15 Review

Becky Life As Rog Sept 20 Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Sept 21 Review

Bee Book Pleasures Sept 22 Review

Amy C. Amazon Sept 23 Review

Sal Bound 4 Escape Sept 26 Review

Linda Goodreads Sept 27 Review

Laura Celticlady’s Reviews Sept 28 Review

Nora S. Storeybook Reviews Sept 30 Review & Guest Post

Gracie Goodreads Oct 3 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 4 Review

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New Releases

From a Dormitory Window

A coming-of-age true story about first love during A-levels

About the Book:                         

For the author as a young lad, there was nothing particularly special about growing up abroad. It was rather taken for granted providing numerous benefits: half-day schooling, almost continuous sunshine and sandy beaches. It was an idyll that was to be rudely shattered with the advent of teenage years with an education that could only be continued via a boarding school in the UK. A rude awakening it proved to be, and the author vividly portrays the brutal juxtaposition between the two contrasting lifestyles.

The author then faithfully documents life in the senior boarding house whilst studying for A-levels. A two-year period underscored by a war of attrition with school discipline and tetchy teachers! But then, in the final year of study, a disruption that put all else in the shade. Falling in love with a young lady in the academic year below changed everything.

From that time onwards, priorities were, to paraphrase W. H. Auden, ‘jumbled in one common box…’ What would come out on top? There was surely only one answer! The author takes us through that final year of study during which an increasing love of poetry and literature is more than matched by an obsession with a ‘country girl’. The story, told in conversational style, is a mixture of humour, melancholy and with periods of contemplation and reflection – and, as might be expected, is laced with the arrogance of youth!

Excerpt from Book:

“The inherent interest in this attractive young lady, coupled with a continuing close study of romantic English Literature, is now providing an irresistible combination. It seems logical and common sense to test out the skills one might possess, combined with what one has learnt. However successful or otherwise, the poetry written cannot be handed in to Ducky for evaluation! It will have to stay hidden. A recent study period in the school library had the added and unexpected bonus of Barbara also doing some research and reading. Well, hardly unexpected! Once the knowledge of her study periods had been gleaned, it was odds on that she could be found in the library at specified times. It has been possible to sit at the same table as Barbara whilst in the library but, generally, opposite her so that any interest did not appear too obvious, particularly with others studying in the library. The golden rule of library research and reading – no talking. There has been, however, a mutual acknowledgement of the others presence, with attendant smiles being exchanged. Have you noticed, Barbara, that there has been considerably more interest in you than in the library books detailing, for instance, the events leading up to the end of the French religious wars? The library study periods have spawned the following, scribbled out in this dormitory room at an ungodly hour – but the mind is brimming over – the brain is bursting, in turmoil almost, with the vision of this young lady.

Somehow, it needs to be expressed,

What thoughts surrounded that pretty-head,

Whilst quietly she sat and mused?

Was her heart firmly implanted on future love?

I envy him: to feel that smooth light inviting skin,

Her light brown hair falling far down her back:

Oh creation, what does she lack?

The firm face matches an excellent figure,

A sturdy stance, an upright walk.

Oh, for a small chat, a private talk with her:

Is that calm temperament so real?

Then to touch those smooth rose cheeks,

To feel her charm.

But oh, I am troubled by the most horrible thoughts.

Dear Barbara, are you really as quiet, as tame, as you look?

“From a Dormitory Window:  A Boy’s Life & Love at Boarding School” by Ian McCart is available in hardback from Amazon at:

This book is also available in paperback at:

You can download the e-book version from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956


I Meant No Harm

A real-life account of the challenges of becoming a successful surgeon having learned the skill in turbulent and troubled times

About the Book:                         

What does it take to become a surgeon? There are many prerequisites to be a successful one. Those range from maintaining composure when the unexpected happens. Having the mental and physical endurance that matches the unpredictable nature of surgery. Communication and leadership skills. Above all, the humility of adopting an ongoing strive to learn in order to sharpen one’s skills, such as critical analysis and creativity.

Achieving these goals appears challenging, but for them to be achieved in exceptional circumstances of escaping a war-torn country, traveling between cities, working as a second class citizen and fighting to save patients and loved ones lives is captivating.

“I Meant No Harm” provides a distinctive perception into many turbulent journeys through illness towards cure. Those who succeed in their journey become the lighthouse that guides the surgeon through the dark times. Those who succumb to their illness while battling their disease leave their surgeons scarred for life.

Excerpt from Book:

“It was 6th August 1994. I swore my oath to help people and do no harm the day I graduated from Baghdad Medical School, after surviving the second Gulf War.

Having been through the first Gulf War as a child, you’d think this one would be different. I was wrong. To be told as a third-year medical student, just before the mid-term exams, that there was a good chance we would be hit with chemical weapons, was rather daunting. We were told to expect the worst. Wrap your face with a wet towel, trench through the flood of dead birds, and hope.

Nevertheless, we were still expected to continue our preparation for the mid-term pharmacology exam, which was supposed to take place on 7th January 1991. At the time, my cousin, an officer in the army, managed to get us four chemical masks. We were a family of five, with my father as a retired university professor (being against the principles of the Arab Baath Socialist Party principles), my mother a gynaecologist, and then me and my older two sisters, all medical students – third, fourth and sixth year.

We had an argument between us, with each one declining to get a mask to save the four masks for the other members of the family. We eventually decided to donate all the masks to another family, and I was given the task to prepare a WMD (weapons of mass destruction)-proof of our house!”

“I Meant No Harm:  Sculpted by War, Motivated by Scalpel” by Ali Thwaini is available in hardback from Amazon at:

This book is also available in paperback format from Amazon at:

You can also download the e-book version from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956

Audiobook Review: Off Grid by Magnus Leijon

“Daniel feels trapped by the daily work grind in the financial world, and the harsh Swedish winter climate. He accepts an offer to manage and develop a tourist business in Belize, and moves there with his American wife and two young daughters. Initially, they seem to have found paradise on earth, but little by little he finds himself involved in a psychological game unveiling the ultimate stake… life itself.
OFF GRID tells the true story of a family that decides to pursue their dream, and their experience when the dream transforms into the most horrific of nightmares.”


My Review

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

Magnus and his wife did what many of us dream of doing: leaving the grind of every day and moving to Belize. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be paradise turned out to be a terrifying experience. That sounds like a good novel, but to be a true story…yikes!

This is a theatrical audiobook in which the Magnus Leijon’s family performed their roles from the experience. I thought that was great. I usually enjoy theatrical audiobooks, and I liked the different voices in this one, but the music was distracting. It also took some getting used to the author’s voice as narrator.

This is a good story, but I think I would have liked it more if I had read the book rather than listening to the audiobook.

Audio sample

About the Author

Magnus Leijon was born 1979 in Värnamo, Sweden. As a kid, he was fascinated about the rainforest and spent countless hours drawing pictures of wild nature, telling his mom that one day he would indeed live there. He even sold shampoo to his neighbors, by buying one bottle at the store and mixing it up with 3 parts water.

All the money gained from shampoo production was donated to purchase raw forest in South America, to be protected from mankind. He met his wife, a Texas native Swedish exchange-student, and on their first date, it became clear that she shared his dream of living in harmony with wild nature, specifically in the tropics. Magnus pursued a career within Finance and was appointed Global Head of Derivatives Sales at Swedbank, one of the top four largest Scandinavian banks, by the age of thirty. But the dream was still calling, from deep within, until they could no longer resist.

Off Grid, is Magnus’s first novel and depicts the true story of how his dream turned into a real nightmare.

Book Review & Giveaway: Square Up by Lisa Dailey

Square Up by Lisa Dailey

Square Up: 50,000 miles in search of a way home by Lisa Dailey
Publisher:  Sidekick Press, (March 30, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Travel, Family Travel, Adventure Travel, Grief
ISBN: 978-1734494556
Available in Print and ebook, 272 pages

Square Up


Have you ever wished you could run away and leave your life behind? Born on the “Day of the Wanderer,” Lisa Dailey has always been filled with wanderlust. Although she and her husband had planned to take their family on a ’round-the-world adventure, she didn’t expect their plans to come together on the heels of grief, after losing seven family members in five years. Square Up shows us that travel not only helps us understand and appreciate other cultures, but invites us to find compassion and wisdom, heal from our losses, and discover our capacity for forgiveness, as well as joy.

Guest Review by Laura L.

One day when she was in her early 40’s, Lisa Dailey woke up and wanted change. Not from her family, her husband and two teenage sons were the best things in her life and the only people that had gotten her through the recent, devastating loss of several family members, ranging from her mother and father, to her 23-year-old brother. No, Dailey wanted a change of scenery. After suffering so much loss in only the span of five years, she wanted to get away from her normal life and see the world while she and her family were still young and able to travel. Yet, she was anxious about it at the same time and need some coxing from her husband. So, after coordinating everything and getting discounted passage on military planes (due to her husband’s work with the military) that’s exactly what they did.

Starting in Hawaii, the Dailey’s traveled to Guam, Okinawa, Singapore, Vietnam (where her husband had agreed to volunteer in a dental practice for one month) and many other countries including Spain and India. Along the way, Dailey found a way to remember what was most important to her in life and to begin letting go of the trauma that she had suffered from her tremendous losses.

One of my favorite moments in this memoir was the part where Dailey recounted the experience of spreading her mother’s ashes on a hidden beach in Guam, with her uncle and his family. Although Dailey and her mother had a tense relationship, she felt grateful that she was able to bring her mother to a beach that she loved one last time and reconnect her remains with nature.

This memoir is an absolute work of art on Dailey’s part and one that I will be thinking about for a long time to come. For stellar writing, and a 5 star reading experience, ‘Square Up: 50,000 Miles In Search of A Way Home,’ is not to be missed!


“Lisa Dailey weaves an extraordinary and fascinating tale of her journey around the world with her family. But this is far more than a travel story; it’s a merciful, compassionate story of how traveling experiences can offer insight, perspective, and healing. As a therapist, I can say that I’d recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with profound loss or serious anxiety. It is a story of self-compassion, not self-pity, with moments of charm and humor that delight throughout. If you loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, you’ll adore this story.”-Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, author of Filling Her Shoes

“Lisa Dailey is a woman after my own heart. She understands that both the discomfort and adventure of travel can change-and heal-us. In Square Up, in the throes of grief after several family deaths, Lisa and her husband, Ray, take their children around the world to places as far-flung as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Ghana. For the rest of her family, the trip is an opportunity to see the world and stretch their worldview (they visit a temple filled with rats and venture into the culinary enterprise of eating tarantulas, after all). And while all of this is riveting, indeed a treat for lovers of travel writing, what really captures the heart in this memoir is the way the narrator finds her way, after nearly being crushed by her recent losses, to peace of mind and self-compassion. Square Up is full of grace and love and gentle warmth-an authentic story of love of self, family, and, of course, travel.”-Cami Ostman, author of Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents

Square Up by Lisa A Dailey is a memoir that will capture the hearts of fans of travel and adventure, but the story is far more spiritual than entertaining. Dailey shares her grief and the pain she experienced after losing family members within five years—her parents and twenty-three-old brother included. The void their loss left in her heart was huge. But then traveling around the world with her family—her husband and two sons—changed everything. They had planned the trip for years and had looked forward to it with excitement. In seven months, this family would travel to thirteen countries and across four continents. What makes it a unique experience? There is a lot of excitement reading this book as the reader follows the itinerary of the author and her family, but there is far more to that. Lisa A Dailey’s travels across different countries brought her into contact with different cultures and people, and the encounter with new places, with nature, with people, provoked something deeper in her, an inner journey towards healing. Lisa A Dailey understood that the world is filled with life and a lot to celebrate, and each step they took away from home led her further away from her pain. The author writes in a mesmerizing and exciting voice and it is interesting to follow how she explores her emotions. Square Up is observant and the author pays attention to detail, offering tips that travelers can use and recreating wonderful sights that readers would want to visit. It is both entertaining and very informative.”- Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

“For someone who hasn’t traveled more than a few miles from she was born (that would be me) this book was a grand adventure around the world. I enjoyed myself immensely as I was able to touch, taste, smell and see each destination and it’s mysteries through the narrators stunning descriptions. As well, the underlying story of how the narrator struggled with her deep sense of grief mixed with anger at all the loss of life she’d witnessed, tugged at my heart strings. This story will allure you with its travel, break you open with it’s pain and send you away feeling stronger and more hopeful than ever before.”- Lorinda Boyer, Author of Straight Enough: A Memoir

About Lisa DaileySquare Up by Lisa Dailey

Lisa Dailey is an avid traveler and writer. In her time abroad, she unearthed new ways of looking at her life through her discoveries in remote corners of the world and she continues to enrich her life through travel. She is currently working on a recipe anthology as well as her first work of fiction. A native Montanan, Lisa now makes her home by the ocean in Bellingham, Washington, but returns to her roots every summer for a healthy dose of mountains and Big Sky. Lisa is the owner of Silent Sidekick and Sidekick Press where she helps guide authors through their publishing journey. Author Website: Travel Blog: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:  & Pinterest:


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This giveaway is for 3 print copies One for each of 3 winners. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on February 12, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 17 Kickoff & Interview Becky
Life as Rog Jan 18 Review Gud Reader
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Amazon Jan 24 Review Denise D.
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Toots Book Reviews Jan 26 Review & Excerpt Jas
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Square Up by Lisa Dailey

Book Review & Giveaway: Finding Sisters by Rebecca Daniels

Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find Her Birth Family by Rebecca Daniels

Publisher: Sunbury Press (September 14, 2021)
Category: Non Fiction, Memoir, Genetic Genealogy, Adoption, Family Reunion, Extended Families
ISBN: 978-1620065587
Available in Print and ebook, 125 pages

Finding Sisters by Rebecca Daniels

Where does she come from?

Who are her genetic parents?

Who is she?

Does she even want to know?

With almost no information of her genetic heritage, adoptee Rebecca Daniels follows limited clues and uses DNA testing, genealogical research, thoughtful letter writing, and a willingness to make awkward phone calls with strangers to finally find her birth parents.

But along the way, she finds much more.

Two half-sisters.

A slew of cousins on both sides.

A family waiting to be discovered.

With the assistance of a distant cousin in Sweden and several other DNA angels on the internet, Daniels finally comes face to face with her birth mother just months before her passing. Join in on this author’s discovery of family and self in ‘Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find Her Birth Family.’


Guest Review by Sal

“So, when my friend told me she was thinking of having a DNA test and thought I should do one, too, the only real reason in my mind to do the test, especially now that I was in my 60s, was to discover any medical history that might come from knowing about my birth parentage.”–Rebecca Daniels, “Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find Her Birth Family.”

Imagine your entire life getting upended by a single email. That was the reality for author and former adoptee, Rebecca Daniels.

In 2015, after giving her information and DNA to an online genealogy service, Rebecca was contacted by a man who identified himself as her distant cousin, Thomas, who lived in Sweden. Thomas agreed to help Rebecca seek out her birth family because of his own interest in genealogy and the results are lovingly related in this memoir, “Finding Sisters.”

Anyone who finds genetics and ancestry fascinating (and why wouldn’t you?) will love this memoir. Not only does Rebecca tell her own story and the details of finding her birth mother, two half sisters, and lots of first, second and more cousins. She also adds a lot of facts about the science behind DNA testing and exactly how it works.

Creating the perfect balance between memoir and scientific information, the writing is both beautiful and captivating. I found myself, as a reader, truly invested in where her story was going next and how exactly she was going to handle contacting her birth mother for the first time in 60 years.

Thankfully, I was not disappointed in how this memoir played out, and I don’t think you will be either. This is a treat for memoir-lovers and science-lovers alike and a touching book that is meant to be enjoyed!

About the Author

Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s.

She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak: Exploring the Effects of Gender on Their Work (McFarland, 1996, 2000) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. After her retirement from teaching, she began her association with Sunbury Press with Keeping the Lights on for Ike: Daily Life of a Utilities Engineer at AFHQ in Europe During WWII; or, What to Say in Letters Home When You’re Not Allowed to Write about the War (Sunbury Press, 2019), a book based on her father’s letters home from Europe during WWII.

She had always known she was adopted, but it was only as retirement approached, and with a friend’s encouragement, that she began the search for her genetic heritage through DNA testing. Finding Sisters explores how DNA testing, combined with traditional genealogical research, helped her find her genetic parents, two half-sisters, and other relatives in spite of being given up for a closed adoption at birth.

She is currently working on a new memoir about her late-in-life second marriage and sudden widowhood titled Adventures with the Bartender: Finding and Losing the Love of my Life in Six Short Years.



This giveaway is for 1 print copy and 1 pdf copy. Print is open to the U.S. only and pdf is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on February 26, 2022, midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 3 Kickoff & Interview

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Jan 4 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Jan 5 Guest Post

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Jas International Book Promotion Jan 10 Review

Bev Amazon Jan 11 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews Jan 12 Review & Guest Post

Dee G. Amazon & Goodreads Jan 13 Review

Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Jan 14 Guest Review & Interview

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Am Goodreads Jan 18 Review

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 27 Review & Excerpt

Sal Bound 4 Escape Jan 28 Guest Review

Suzie M. My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Feb 1 Review & Guest Post

Denise Amazon & Goodreads Feb 8 Review

Danielle Urban Book Reviews Feb 10 Review & Excerpt

Bookgirl Goodreads Feb 15 Review

Lynelle Inspire to Read Feb 21Review & Excerpt

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Bee Book Pleasures Feb 24 Review &Interview

Sage N. Goodreads Feb 25 Review

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Book Review: You What?! by John Chase, MD

Did you ever wonder what it is like to be a medical doctor, especially a surgeon?
John Chase MD pulls back the curtain (like Toto in the Wizard of Oz) on what your doctor encounters in the practice of medicine and orthopaedic surgery.
How they choose a practice to join. The challenges they see on a daily basis. The crazy things patients say and do (“You What?!”) What it’s like in an operating room.
Insight that is easy to read for those with no medical background. Stories you will laugh at if you do have a medical background.
A fun book with perhaps a few life lessons learned in a 35 year Orthopaedic surgery career.

My Review

As a retired RN who worked on an orthopaedic floor years ago, I really enjoyed You What? The way it is worded, it is written mostly with medical students in mind, but anyone will enjoy the stories. It has advice for doctors from starting practice to seeing patients to surgery.

So many doctors have a poor bedside manner, and I’d never thought about why, but the reason for that is in this book: doctors spend so much time studying that they don’t have time to go to social events, so they don’t develop social skills.

You What? is divided into three parts. This first part is titled “Your Practice,” and it contains a lot of funny patient stories, good advice for doctors but some that is good for anyone, and sweet stories about patients.

One thing that tickled me was the crazy things people say they’re allergic to including “everything.” Or the patient who left because they didn’t want to be weighed. I always complain when they weigh me but walk out? I never even considered that!

A lot of the advice given for doctors is good advice for everyone. For example, I’m a big proponent of smiling. It can not only make a doctor’s visit better, but it can also make any interaction better. Having to wear masks has made me aware of how much I smile at others and how much I miss bringing a smile to others’ faces just with a smile.

The second part is titled “Your Rewards,” and it’s obvious that Dr. Chase appreciates the connections he made with others, especially the good friends he made because of his practice. There are many other benefits he has listed, but the one that touched me was a mission trip that he went on. He met a boy there whose life was transformed because of the doctor taking an interest in his case.

The last section is titled “Your Life” and is mostly for those going into the medical field. Again, a lot of the advice is good for anyone. He talks about a parenting fail when he took his young daughter to a Sugar Ray concert. I felt, however, that it ended up being a parenting success because he made them leave after the first song.

According to Dr. Chase:

“The secret to having a great life (inside or outside of medicine) is to remember to do three things:

1. Be conscientious and responsible. Take good care of your patients.

2. Treat people decently. Take good care of people, most especially your family.

3. Enjoy yourself along the way. Take good care of yourself.

Do the things that will make you a success based on your own criteria, not somebody else’s.”

Perfect advice!

About the Author

John Chase is an Orthopaedic surgeon who, with recent retirement, found himself with time and information about the practice of medicine he wanted to pass along. Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Florida began his academic and surgical preparation for a career in Orthopaedic surgery.

Book Review: Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups by Andrew Joyce

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.


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.

These stories are great. I think it was a good idea to put them all together in one book even though they’re different genres. It’s like a surprise bag…you never know what you’re going to get!

Some of the stories are true. One that really got to me is “The Swamp” because it’s a true story, and it was scary and suspenseful. It’s one of those stories that many of us look back on thinking that we were lucky to survive our teens and twenties. Other stories were funny, heartbreaking, short and sweet, historical, romantic. It’s all here.

I almost didn’t accept this book to read and possibly review, but I decided that I could read one or two stories before bed when I had a few minutes. I’ve had the book for quite some time and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it for a few minutes many nights before going to bed. I definitely recommend Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups especially if you’re looking for something that you can pick up and read for a few minutes, read before bed, or read in between longer novels.

About the Author

Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.



The Mothers

The reappearance of Mariela Fairman’s husband, seven years after he mysteriously vanished, launches her into a tortuous whirlpool of love, guilt, hope and loss. Living on the south west coast of Ireland in a dilapidated manor house that is both a retreat and a prison, struggling to raise her cold and rejecting son, and caring for a man who is confused and dangerous, Mariela fights to make sense of who she is. As her life intertwines with those of two other women, both with their own secrets, she learns how, and crucially, where, to look for meaning, even if it challenges her to accept the existence of a world beyond the human one she knows.

“The Mothers” is a thoughtful and provocative story of maternal guilt, a modern fairy tale that asks what we think we know and how we understand what happens to us. It follows one woman’s quest for survival as her dreams disintegrate and she is thrust into an existence that sets life against death, reality against fantasy, and motherhood against selfhood.


“Deliciously melancholy storytelling.”

“A great build-up of mysteries to unpack as the story continues.”

“The language and imagery used in this piece are wonderful, a joy to read”

– Judges’ feedback, Jericho Writers Friday Night Live Competition 2020

Excerpt from the Book:

“I hold my breath, try to still my shaking limbs, wait for answers. Conor is smiling now but with eyes that remain blank and faraway, and I know that he is not here, not with me. Still I wait, hoping, afraid to move, scared to risk dispelling the air of possibility. When his words come, they startle me.

‘It was the best night of my life.’

I breathe out through my nose, shoulders falling, trying not to let my confusion show in the squeeze of my hand. I am so hoping for more but to ask for it is terrifying. He is smiling as silence drops with the suddenness of a tropical rain shower, and his eyes close. Today will not be the day that I learn where he has been for the past seven years.

As I sit trying to still my mind, the crow that had taken up residence in the tree outside since Conor’s return mocks me, laughs at my fruitless wait, caws at me with disdain before flapping its ragged wings to fly in search of its companions. Crows began to roost in the trees lining the driveway when Conor returned, sentry-like, squawking whenever I leave the house. Harbingers of bad luck or goddesses of fortune, depending on who you listen to, their harsh cries send shivers through me every time they herald me leaving the house, so that I hasten out of their sight.

Leaving the bedroom on tiptoes, I turn for one last look at Conor, and to check that the crow is not watching me.”

“The Mothers” by Nollaig Frost is available in hardback from Amazon at:

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Lift Your Chains, I Hold the Key

My mother’s and my own personal history in witchcraft with its revealed secrets as we accepted the traditions of our kinsfolk.

Our phenomenal conversions to Christianity including an up close and personal meeting with Jesus Himself and examples of His outrageous grace toward us.

Furthermore, God Himself revealing how He is the most superior Spirit being in the whole universe.

On top of all that, the revelation in supernatural power that Jesus’ sacrifice made a public spectacle of His archenemy on the cross.
And in addition to all this, came Divine wisdom of the differentiation between the Holy Spirit and the lesser spirits.

And into the bargain, God showing us Satan’s beginning and end and why it is nonsensical to serve him as master, compared to our holy destiny we have here on the earth in Satan’s territory, the atmospheric heavens as a mortal, and eternal life with Jesus as Master to boot.

I ask you, why would you spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Excerpt from the Book:

“My mother was born with an inherited demon from ancestry from her side of the family, steeped in witchcraft, some were even members of a witch coven. My mum was constrained by the activity of familial spirits that function linking with family lineage.

The devil, Satan himself, uses to great advantage unconfessed sin; if sin occurs and persists unsettled, especially in the area of witchcraft, then the enemy of our souls has a legal right of claims, combining the biblical principle of “the visitation of the sins of the fathers on the children” (Numbers 14:18).

If my mother’s great-grandmother or other ancestry further than that, practised occultism, they would have partnered with evil spirits and become possessed by them and experienced divination powers. Because my mother’s ancestors did not surrender their powers to Almighty God and lay them down for the power of the Holy Ghost and gain holy spiritual powers to be used correctly as God sees fit, for the furtherance of the Kingdom of Light, then the curse carried on through the generations.”

“Lift Your Chains, I Hold the Key” by Theresa Trahan is available in hardback from Amazon UK at:

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My Man and Me

George Stephenson is approaching his fiftieth birthday, disappointed with life, and only too aware of his many failings. His troubled marriage to Dawn appears to be crumbling, egged on by his successful neighbour Derek. His relationship with his son Paul has become detached. Something has gone horribly wrong in their son’s life that he won’t share with them. And there’s something big that only Paul’s difficult girlfriend Danni knows about – and she’s not telling anyone. On top of all of that, they’re on to him at work. But this life starts to be transformed in what seems like a random series of events. Is it all down to chance and good fortune? Or is someone, or something, from deep in George’s past orchestrating events to turn things around for the Stephenson family?

Excerpt from the book:

“So, when Roberto came along, with his short hair and clean fingernails, and his good manners and job at the bank, compromise didn’t seem so bad. He’d started calling in at the bar with his books to study for exams. They’d got talking. His flat was clean. The fridge was full. Less sexual electricity, but more real electricity. The sort that makes light bulbs work. And he was a good man. Loved his mother.

And he loved her. Rachel, from Hackney, East London, the gentrified bit. Daughter of a lawyer. Stepdaughter of an architect who owned a lot of land. In possession of a good education, apart from English Literature, grade D. With a wayward side that nobody could explain.

But the real problem was, their names were so similar – Rodolfo and Roberto. Both beginning with R, both three syllables, and both ending in O. Not great planning that. You had to be very careful, especially in the morning. She’d got it wrong once, but got away with it. Roberto hadn’t noticed. Or was it Rodolfo?

Where the hell was Rodolfo?

He’d been late a week ago as well. The night when so many things changed. It hadn’t been Rodolfo, or Roberto, or Rupert, that she’d been thinking about for the past week. She’d done nothing about it for too long, but now she was determined.

She stubbed out the half-smoked cigarette, took out her phone, and sent the text message to Danni.”

Amazon Reviews:


5.0 out of 5 stars  Great story and really well-written!

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 June 2021

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Really enjoyed this book! Intriguing storyline with hidden depths, fascinating characters and darkly humorous at times. This is the first fiction novel I have read in a long time and it has inspired me to read regularly again. I understand it is the debut novel from the author and I keenly await his next one!

James d

5.0 out of 5 stars  A great read!

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 July 2021

A fantastic, darkly humorous thriller. So enjoyable that I finished in a day!

“My Man and Me” by Nick Dahlgreen is currently available in hardback from Amazon UK at:

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Live a Life to Die For

From the icy wastes of the North Pole to the vast expanse of the Sahara, from the stormy reaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the dizzying heights of Mount Everest, Live a Life to Die For is an adventure like no other. Roger Davies has rowed, trekked, raced – and played the odd game of weird rugby – across some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet, and his epic story is packed with spills, thrills, high comedy and personal tragedy.

But this book is much more than a great outdoors adventure; it is the story of one person’s struggle to throw off the shackles of alcoholism, to come to terms with the after-effects of brutality and trauma, and to leave the grey margins of the criminal underworld behind him. Along the way, he meets an extraordinary cast of characters: the good, the bad, the heroic and the plain crazy.

Join Roger on his quirky, unique journey, from thug, to charity worker in Africa, to record-breaking adventurer; and find out how he overcame the burden of his past and learned to Live a Life to Die For.


“I had the pleasure of sharing Mount Everest with Roger and his lovely wife Lesley on yet another challenge Roger had undertaken. He is a great man with a remarkable story and I was massively inspired by his determination and drive and his never say die attitude. I am honoured to share a Guinness world record with Roger and have no doubt he will continue to inspire us all!” – Shane Williams MBE

“Roger is ‘hard wired’ for success. If he can beat cancer, he can easily beat the Channel!” – Jock Wishart

Amazon Reviews:

Lesley Pender

5.0 out of 5 stars  Wow! Inspiring – I couldn’t put this Book down!

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 July 2021

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Roger really has had a roller coaster of a life. What hope he shares that life is indeed what you make it. He’s suffered abuse at school, near death experiences though violence and addiction and turned his life around completely! Great read, I’m off to find my adventure!!


Patrick Desmond Harrington

5.0 out of 5 stars  Inspirational account of a life transformed

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2021

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This is a brutally honest and candid account of a life spiralling out of control, plummeting the depths of despair and criminality and taking the author to death’s door. The amazing transformation is both moving and inspirational. Roger’s life has truly been well lived and he has become a loved and respected member of the world of adventurism and the wider community.

Jaw dropping adventures allied to selfless acts of charity!

“Live a Life to Die For” by Roger Davies is available in hardback from Amazon UK at:

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Book Review: Sleuth: Tales of a Private Eye by R.L. Lesnick

This book includes my struggle to get into the business without the required licensing qualifications. It includes nine chapters containing dozens of my more colorful cases in various parts of the country; some hilarious, some tragic, some dangerous, and some highly illegal. (The statute of limitations has passed.) These cases include bitter custody battles and divorce cases, insurance fraud, employee theft, the Castellanos hit by John Gotti with NBC news, drug dealers with NBC news, various surveillances, crossing the line with illegal wiretaps, perks of the job and more. Sleuth provides the reader with incredible firsthand insight into the private investigative business which I believe, you, the reader will find fascinating and entertaining. With almost three decades of investigative experience, my story and case studies make this book quite unique. But there is much more to the story.


My Review

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

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but I’m really glad I accepted this book to review. It is so interesting! Bob was a PI for many years and he recounts cases from those days. His writing is straightforward, even blunt, and told with humor. This is a book that I’m not only recommending to my readers, but to friends and family who don’t read a lot.

There were several cases that I found interesting, so I thought I’d list a couple favorites:

A woman wanted Bob to find her husband with a stripper she knew he was still seeing. She wanted him to let her know when he found him. When he did, she came to the strip club, beat up her husband, then jumped up and down on his Mercedes.

There was an insurance fraud case involving busses, passengers, doctors, and lawyers. A big case that left me shaking my head.

Some of the people in these cases are unbelievable. In fact, at the end of several chapters, he writes, “How do these people find me?”

The author also had a decked out surveillance van. He ended up helping other agencies build their own vans and he helped police and newspeople with surveillance. Some of those stories are exciting! His van has been on several TV shows and one studio even purchased it after he retired.

I definitely recommend Sleuth but be warned: it needs editing.

About the Author

Robert L. Lesnick has been a private investigator for 28 years. He has worked local, national and international cases. He is now retired and working on his golf and pool game. He served in the U.S. Marines from 1964-1970 coming home with all the big parts. He enjoys good single barrel Bourbon; his favorite is Eagle Rare but keeps a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15 year around for special occasions.

As a younger man, he was an avid scuba diver in the North Atlantic; although he has dived in many parts of the world.

He lives in New Jersey with his lovely wife, Rina.