Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dead Cold


Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller
What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.
On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.
Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.
Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.
The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.



Meet the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.



My Review
Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase was a well-written book that I greatly enjoy reading. I found the serial killer plot line to be very interesting especially with the protagonist being a vigilante detective. Emily Stone was the perfect character to fill this role and I loved how the author made her feel like a real person instead of just a one dimensional character. I found the ending to be rather surprising, but it worked perfectly for the book.

Monday, October 30, 2017


A contemporary paint-every-day watercolor guide that explores foundational strokes and patterns and then builds new skills upon the foundations over the course of 30 days to create finished pieces. 

This beautifully illustrated and inspiring guided watercolor-a-day book is perfect for beginning watercolor artists, artists who want to improve their watercolor skills, and visual creatives. From strokes to shapes, this book covers the basics and helps painters gain confidence in themselves along with inspiration to develop their own style over the course of 30 days. Featuring colorful contemporary art from Mon Voir design agency founder and Instagram trendsetter Jenna Rainey, this book's fresh perspective paints watercolor in a whole new light.

This was an interesting book for me as it gave me a good amount of information about water color paints. Not just about the paints themselves, but the brush strokes and shapes that would allow me to create my own style of painting. I liked the fact that it did not use jargon and that it was perfectly written for a novice.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna

PictureBook Details:

Book Title:  First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna
Category:  Adult Fiction,  314 pages
Genre:  Romance - Contemporary
Publisher:   Elizabeth McKenna
Release date:  Aug 1, 2017
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, ePub PDF and gifted Kindle copy)
Will ship print books to:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few short, mild sex scenes - nothing too graphic. There is swearing by certain characters. Mature themes include drinking/alcoholism, verbal abuse with some physical pushing, AIDS (a minor character is gay), stalking, brief descriptions of child abuse by a step parent, and suicide attempt (overdose).

Book Description:

​Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening again. Ten years ago, despite her best efforts, Lee Archer wanted to be just friends. Now, he wants more, but Jessie's still recovering from a psycho ex-husband. Can she learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?

​Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.
Elizabeth McKenna
Meet the Author:

Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera's Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her site http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.

​Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

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

My Review
First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna was an interesting book as it focused on a woman who has a psycho ex-husband and a boy who used to just want to be friends now wanting to be more. I found the dynamic to be interesting as the two main characters used to be just friends, but now that an interest for more has been put out there the dynamic between them has begun to change. I found myself really hoping that they would make it together and find love with each other  as they both clearly deserved it.

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Find a Topic to Write About to Get Views

How to Find a Topic to Write About to Get Views

One of the biggest problems writers, bloggers, and freelancers struggle with is finding the right topic to write about in order to get their writing seen by as many visitors as possible. The first thing most writers try is performing Google searches on phrases such as: “what to write about”, “picking the right topic”, “what should I write about” and “how to get lots of blog views”. Most of the websites that come up will say that writing about personal knowledge and experiences is one good idea because the writer will already be an expert on the topic. Then there are others sites that will provide a list of the top ten blogging topics, but most of those topics are way overused. How can you find topics to write about that are popular now?
Google Trends
Google Trends is a public online website that is based on the statistic of Google Search; this allows the site to provide information about the topics that are getting the most views. Google Trends provides a list of the topics that are getting the most views at the time the user opens Google Trends. Each one of these popular topics has not only the topic itself, but also the tags, other popular search terms for the same topic, and a graph that shows the progression of the number of views on the topic during a twenty-four-hour period. In addition, a search bar allows users to search terms and topics of their choice in order to see how many views that topic has gotten in different parts of the world over time.
All of this makes Google Trends the absolute best place for bloggers and writers to investigate in order to figure out what topic(s) they should be writing about to get the most views. The only problem is that for bloggers who are in a specific niche topic, many of the most popular topics might not fall directly into their niche, but the search bar will allow those bloggers to search for topics in their niche that are receiving a high number of views.
KWFinder is a keyword research tool that allows users to search the popularity of up to five terms free every day. This site is not as good as Google Trends for finding the best topics to write about in order to get views, because it limits the number of free searches and because it only works off searches. However, this makes it a good site for bloggers who wish to remain in their niche because it allows them to type in the topic of their blog and instantly get twenty-five topics which fall under their search term and the number of searches those topics have received in the previous year.
Overall, KWFinder is better left as an SEO tool, unless the writer or blogger is searching for new topics to blog about within their niche. However, this does require the user to already have an idea of the type of topic that they wish to blog about.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke                   

Saturday, October 21, 2017

How Fiverr Can Help You on the Way to Publication

How Fiverr Can Help You on the Way to Publication

Fiverr is a global website that acts as an online marketplace where buyers and sellers can exchange money for gigs (tasks/jobs). The name Fiverr comes from the fact that the starting cost of all jobs is $5. The main categories of gigs offered on Fiverr are graphics & design, digital marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming & tech, business, and fun & lifestyle.
Even professional authors need help in getting their books reading for publication and then marketing them, but unlike professional authors, not everyone has the budget to go out and hire an agent or a manager. You might be planning to publish your book yourself as a Kindle book and not have the funds to hire the professional to make your book the best it can be. However, if you have $5 you can hire an individual to perform specific tasks to make your book better.
People might not always judge a book by its cover, but a good cover can certainly draw a reader in. On Fiverr, there are many college students majoring in art and graphic design who have the artistic talent to take your dream cover image and make it a reality. For a cover image most Fiverr sellers charge $5-$10, based on the amount of desired detail, and for an additional fee most are more than willing to draw pictures that can be included in your book. Would you like to be able to show your readers what your characters look like?
Everyone makes mistakes; it is simply an unpleasant fact, but readers are not always forgiving of typos and grammar errors that disrupt their enjoyment of an otherwise enticing story. While it is always possible to do your own proofreading, it can be difficult for a writer to catch their own mistakes because a writer will often see what they expect to see. One trick is to read your whole book backwards, but that takes time and willpower. Instead, you can easily hire a Fiverr seller who is an experienced editor with a background in proofreading who you can pay to do it for you. Fiverr editors and proofreaders generally are willing to negotiate their fees based on the number of pages and how detailed you want them to be. You can choose if you want the seller to find spelling and grammar mistakes or if they should also report on any parts of the book that do not make sense to them. They can even offer suggestion on information that could be added or removed from the book to improve the way it reads.
Book Trailer
If you really want to get your book out there in the digital community, there is nothing like a book trailer with animated characters or live actors. As an author, you might not know how to create a book trailer with digital effects which is designed to wow the audience, but there are many college students that do. Would you like to have a video on YouTube that shows the absolute best of your book?
The services offered by Fiverr sellers in relation to marketing your book are diverse and easy to personalize based on your specific needs. Perhaps you would like your book promoted on social media or have promotional flyers posted at colleges or community buildings; no matter what you desire, the sky is the limit and if you can imagine it there is someone who can make it happen!

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke                   

The Cottage Kitchen

Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.

My Review

The Cottage Kitchen was filled with well written recipes, but I found them to also be kind of boring. There was nothing attention grabbing or unique that popped up and said " you have to make me".  That is not to say that the recipes were bad just somewhat average. 

Friday, October 20, 2017


The Sky Throne by Chris LedbetterBook Details:

Book Title:  The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter
Category:  YA Fiction,  300 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:   Month 9 Books
Release date:  April 18, 2017
Format available for review:  print & ebook (PDF and ePub)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Sept 18 to Oct 20, 2017

​Content Rating
: PG + M (No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as "damn", "hell" and "Oh God!", some depictions of violence. No drug use or underage drinking. Some semi-mature themes - suggestion of sexual misconduct by certain characters, but not the actual performing of it.)

Book Description:

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.
Chris Ledbetter
Meet the author:

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USATODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Pinterest


Sept 18 - Library of Clean Reads -  review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 19 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - FLYLÄ“F Reviews - review
Sept 21 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 22 - Adventures Thru Wonderland - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 25 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 26 - The Autistic Gamer - review
Sept 27 - Leels Loves Books - review
Sept 28 - Bookworm for Kids - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 29 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 2 -    Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 -    Dab of Darkness - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 -    The All Night Library - review / guest post
Oct 4 -   A Holland Reads - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 5 -   A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Oct 6 -   Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Oct 9 -   Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 9 -   Splashes Into Books - review
Oct 10 - 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 11 - The Book Drealms - review / giveaway
Oct 12 - JBronder Book Reviews - review
Oct 13 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Oct 16 - Jorie Loves A Story - review / guest post
Oct 17 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Oct 19 - Nighttime Reading Center - review / giveaway
Oct 19 - 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 - Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest - review
Oct 20 - Books for Books - review
Oct 20 - Bookwyrming Thoughts - review / author interview
My Review
The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter was a well written book that I greatly enjoyed reading. It reminded me a bit of the lightning thief, but I found that I actually enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the Lightning Thief. The characters were all well developed characters. I liked the way each character was written as a unique person with their own background. however, Zeus was easily my favorite character I just loved his determination. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Painter’s Apprentice by Laura Morelli

The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author:  Laura Morelli
Category:  Adult Fiction,  350 pages
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  The Scriptorium
Release date:  November 15, 2017
Tour dates:  Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating:  PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
Pre-Order Campaign:
Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package, (ends Oct 31st) which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content. Learn more here and order your copy today!

Meet the Author:

​LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

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


Oct 16 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 16 - Book Nerd - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 - Library of Clean Reads ​- book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 - Just One More Chapter - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 - Books for Books - book spotlight
Oct 18 - Wander Girl Life - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 18 - Reading is My Passion - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 19 - Hooked To Books - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 19 - Hello, my name is Alice - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 - History from a Woman’s Perspective - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 23 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 - A Holland Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 25 - Studentessa Matta - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 26 - Words And Peace - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 27 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 30 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 31 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - book spotlight
Nov 1  - What Cathy Read Next - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 2  - A Mama's Corner of the World - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 2  - Celticlady's Reviews -  book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 3  - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 6  - Literary Flits - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 7  - Dab of Darkness - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 8  - Essentially Italian - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 9  -  T's Stuff - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 10 - 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 - A Soccer Mom's Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 - 100 Pages a Day - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 15 - Monica Cesarato - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 16 - Lukten av trykksverte - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 17 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway

Sunday, October 15, 2017

HubPages for New Writers

HubPages for New Writers

HubPages is a site that allows writers of all skill levels to publish their own original content online and be paid for it. HubPages operates on a revenue-sharing system that pays writers based on the number of views their content receives.
New Writers
While HubPages welcomes all writers, no matter their skill level, it is especially helpful to new writers looking to break into the freelancing field because it allows new writers to show off their writing without being limited to one niche. Unlike blogs where writers need to limit themselves to one main topic in order to generate interest, HubPages is set up so that writers write hubs (i.e. articles). These hubs can be on any topic the writer desires as they are organized on the site by the subject.
For those looking to break into freelancing, HubPages can act as a portfolio for potential clients as it allows writers to show off their writing skills in multiple subject areas. Since the content is published on HubPages, it also proves that the content was not plagiarized as HubPages will only allow writers to publish 100% original content.
Passive Income
Those who write on HubPages should not expect to be able to make enough to give up their main career, but it certainly makes for a nice passive income. The site automatically cashes their writers out when the writer has accumulated $60 in their account. Most new writers will need to write at least ten to twenty hubs before they can enter and be approved for the ad programs, which allow for earning. However, once approved, the writer simply needs to keep writing as the more you publish the more you make. For example, a writer that publishes two to three articles a week can expect to make around $100 a month, depending on how highly viewed the content is.
Obtaining Freelance Jobs
One aspect of HubPages that many people do not know is that a well-written profile can be used to attract freelance writing clients. In order to get clients, the first thing a writer needs to do is to make sure their profile is set to allow people to message them. The next step is writing a profile that will attract clients; the profile should include information about the writer’s life experience, areas of knowledge, and most importantly, the fact that they are open to receiving freelance job offers. Many HubPages writers receive messages asking the writer to feature their book or product in an article on HubPages, and all the writer then needs to do is negotiate their price. Now not all HubPages writers get paid in money; instead some negotiate only for the book, product, or service that the client is advertising, while others will only work for hard cash.
The only limit on how much a HubPages writer can do or make is in the amount of time and/or effort that the writer is willing to put in! It could be very well worth it.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke                   

Friday, October 13, 2017

Appointment with Yesterday

Appointment with Yesterday by Christopher Stratakis

Tour dates: Oct 2 to 20, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is no bad language or violence, but there are references to sex and sexual situations (including between a pre-teen and teen)

Book Description:

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a cheeky and delightful Greek boy growing up in a small town on an island in the eastern Aegean.

Left in the care of his loving grandparents, Yanni endures the deprivation and terror of the German occupation during World War II and finally leaves his beloved homeland and family to rejoin the parents who had left him behind to make a better life for themselves in America.

Filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of love, devotion, disenchantment, and dashed dreams, Appointment with Yesterday is, ultimately, the story of hardships overcome and a determined boy’s journey toward finding his destiny.
Meet the Author:

Christopher Stratakis was born and raised in Greece. After moving to America, he graduated from Drexel University in 1951 and New York University School of Law in 1955. Shortly after joining the law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides in 1960, he became a partner, specializing in admiralty and corporate law.

He has written and published several articles, lectured on professional and historical subjects, served as Legal Advisor to several non-profits (pro bono), and was an arbitrator in maritime disputes. He is the author of Mnimes “Memories” (2010), a book of essays, short stories, and poems that he wrote as a teenager. In 2015, he co-edited Chains on Parallel Roads, a book published by Panchiaki “Korais” Society of New York. In recognition of his extensive community involvement, he has been the recipient of several awards from religious, governmental, and educational institutions.

Mr. Stratakis lives with his wife in New York City. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of three. This is his first novel.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cherry Bombe

Recipes & stories from 100 of the most creative and inspiring women in food today

It’s the first-ever cookbook from the team behind Cherry Bombe, the hit indie magazine about women and food, and the Radio Cherry Bombe podcast. Inside are 100+ recipes from some of the most interesting chefs, bakers, food stylists, pastry chefs, and creatives on the food scene today, including:
Mashama Bailey, chef of The Grey
Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Melissa Clark, New York Times columnist and cookbook author
Amanda Cohen, chef/owner of Dirt Candy
Angela Dimayuga, executive chef of Mission Chinese Food
Melissa & Emily Elsen, founders of Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Karlie Kloss, supermodel and cookie entrepreneur 
Jessica Koslow, chef/owner of Sqirl
Padma Lakshmi, star of Top Chef
Elisabeth Prueitt, pastry chef and co-founder of Tartine and Tartine Manufactory 
Chrissy Teigen, supermodel and bestselling cookbook author
Christina Tosi, chef and founder of Milk Bar
Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker
Molly Yeh, of my name is yeh
The Cherry Bombe team asked these women and others for their most meaningful recipes. The result is a beautifully styled and photographed collection that you will turn to again and again in the kitchen.
My Review
Cherry Bombe was a mixed up bag of recipes. They were all decent recipes, but there was no theme or reason to them so I found the book rather confusing. That is not to say that it was poorly organized because it was easy to find the recipes there just is not a connecting theme.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stairway to Paradise

Stairway to Paradise

Inside the Book

Author: Nadia Natali
Publisher: RareBird Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir
Growing up as Frankie Gershwin’s daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn’t have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn’t what made people happy.
As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.
Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.
We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn’t have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.
It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.
Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible


Meet the Author

Nadia Natali 
Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook.
Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.
DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.
Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.




My Review
Stairway to Paradise was an interesting memoir that kept me interested from the first page to the last. I was honestly surprised at the strength and endurance of the child that became the young woman who took control of her life and changed it for the better. I learned a lot about  the Lost Padres National Forest, which I never even knew existed before reading this book. I enjoyed the book and I would love it if there could be a follow up book with a collection of short stories from the perspectives of her friends and family in order to see different viewpoints on her life!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Grand Central Market Cookbook

Founded in 1917, Grand Central Market is a legendary food hall in Downtown Los Angeles that brings together the many traditions and flavors of the city. Now, GCM’s first cookbook puts the spotlight on unique recipes from its diverse vendors, bringing their authentic tastes to your home kitchen. From Horse Thief BBQ’s Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken Sando to Madcapra’s Sumac Beet Soda to Golden Road’s Crunchy Avocado Tacos, here are over 85 distinctive recipes, plus spectacular photography that shows off the food, the people, and the daily bustle and buzz. Stories about the Market’s vibrant history and interviews with its prominent customers and vendors dot the pages as well. Whether you’ve visited and want to make your favorite dishes at home, or are simply looking for a cookbook that provides a plethora of multi-national cuisine, The Grand Central Market Cookbook is sure to make your kitchen just a little bit cooler.

The Grand Central Market Cookbook had numerous interesting recipes that appealed to me personally. I found many of them to be both tasty and different from what I normally would make. The cookbook was well organized and it was easy to find the recipes that I wanted.

One Summer Night

One Summer NightInside the Book

Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
An offer that’s impossible to accept . . .
Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey Shore. But now, she’s out of options.
The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N | iBooks


Meet the Author

Caridad Pineiro
Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.
Want to receive Caridad’s newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways?
Just visit http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw to sign up.
Caridad values your privacy and will not share your e-mail or personal information.



My Review
One Summer Night was a well written romance novel that was more than just a typical love at first sight. Instead it was about a man who was willing to invest in the woman he loved and work to convince her that he was the man for her. I found the interaction between the characters and the dialogue to be particularly well written. I greatly enjoyed this romance novel and it is the perfect book for reading at the beach!