Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm

The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm by Sybrina Durant (Illustrations by Dasguptarts)


Teen Unicorn Fantasy


Everybody loves unicorns! OK maybe not everybody but if you are one that does - this book has an interesting and fun story for teens and older readers plus it includes tons of illustrations to feast your eyes on. It's the tale of a little unicorn who is born into a tribe of magical metal horned unicorns. The poor little thing feels like an outcast because he just doesn't fit in with the rest of them. The story is about his journey to meet his destiny to save the tribe from extinction even though he is not magical and his horn is not like the others.

Want to learn more? Check out the book trailer

This book is available for purchase at:
Amazon ($3.99 ebook/$39.60 paperback)
Barnes & Noble ($3.99)
Smashwords ($3.99)
iTunes ($3.99)
Kobo ($3.99)

About the Author:

Sybrina Durant is the author of several children's picture books and one big illustrated
book for teens and older readers. All of her stories include songs and most were
inspired by her children and grandchildren.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Finding Charlie

Finding Charlie Finding Charlie by Katie O'Rourke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlie, a young woman, has gone missing and her family cannot seem to find her. Her father and her older sister, Olivia, are scared and don't know what to do. The one thing that they don't know is that when they are trying to find Charlie, she's trying to find herself.

This book does a great job of working with both meanings of the title--a physical search to find Charlie by her family, and the search that Charlie does to find herself. The synopsis leads readers to believe that this is much more of a mystery, but really it ends up being a solid family drama with a few twists.

The only part about this book that seemed abrupt is the ending. While the family was just finding all of the pieces and considering how they fit together again, the story's over. It would be interesting to see what happens with this family in the future.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs

In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs by Andrew Blauner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Their Lives is a collection of essays that take a look at the Beatles from the writer's perspective. It covers the entire career of the band with discussions on most of their major hits as well as a few deeper B-side cuts.

Although every essay has its interesting moment, I was surprised that I recognized so few of the writers featured here. I also noticed that there were very few essays included for those second generation fans—the ones that were born well after the breakup of the Beatles and would have a different perspective of the music (though some writers do include these experiences through child/grandchild anecdotes).

Some of the essays approach the songs and memories attached to it as you would expect—the song is representative of a moment in time for the writer, whether that's the first time they heard it or what changed after years of listening. Many of the essays hardly stitch a connection between the song and the main characters of the essay, giving those works the feeling that the song itself is just an afterthought.

And then there are the few special ones in this collection that borderline on the absurd, presenting a Beatles song in such an academic way that you laugh, even though the writer's intention was probably not for it to be humorous at all (even the Beatles themselves thought it was ridiculous that colleges offered courses that deconstructed every line of their lyrics for serious study).

Overall, it's a good read if you want to get into the mood to think about your own first experience with the Beatles or which song is deeply attached to a personal memory. A passage from Rick Moody's essay probably sums up the band and the way we all use their songs as a soundtrack to our lives very well: “Not capable of being confined by British popular music, or psychedelia, or Baroque music, or Indian music, or anything else, but magpies, claiming whatever shiny thing seized them, and refining and repurposing the material.”

*Provided by Penguin First to Read

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon Finding Gideon by Eric Jerome Dickey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finding Gideon is a fast-paced action story that revolves around two mercanaries: the man they call Medianoche, and Gideon. While these two have a past, they seem to have more of a connection than their business. Gideon believes that Medianoche is his father. And Gideon won't rest until he's dead.

When it comes to action scenes, they were well-written and compelling. It's the rest of the book that I had serious trouble with. There are dozens (not exaggerating) side characters in this book that's really supposed to be focused on one man's daddy issues. While extra characters are necessary, I didn't need to know their whole past for them to end up dead two chapters later. If these characters hadn't been given more pages, this book could have easily been 100 pages shorter. I stuck it out until the end, but it just isn't the kind of book I enjoy reading.

*Book provided by Penguin First to Read

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: 360 to Paradise


Coming of Age/Crime


360 TO PARADISE is a roller coaster of sex, drugs and throwing a middle finger at authority. A drama about teenagers transitioning into adulthood. And it ain't silky smooth. The growing pains are like launching off a 50-foot skateboard ramp and smacking headfirst into cement. Welcome to smoking hot babes at East Beach, epic waves breaking at Rincon, massive illegal raves in the mountains, and legendary parties in I.V. - Isla Vista - also known as H.I.V. for all the rampant, drunken sex that goes down. Cody Reese, 18, thinks he's the crown prince of Paradise aka Santa Barbara, California. His golden existence is about to blow up. But now he's got to survive the next 24 hours: * His dealer wants to kill him.* He knocked up his best friend.* And his Parole Officer's dying to throw him back in the slammer. Come hop on the back of Cody Reese's skateboard. And take the ride of a lifetime.

This book is available in paperback ($9.99) and on Kindle ($2.99) from Amazon.


About the Author:

Casey Marx is a writer/photographer/filmmaker with over ten years experience shooting and editing primetime documentaries for MTV, Discovery, Showtime and NBC. He’s made videos for several Grammy-award winning artists, from Tim McGraw, T-Bone Burnett, to raggae-ska legend Tippa Irie. Casey has directed videos for chart-topping acts including Dada Life, OT Genasis, Mickey Avalon, and the Pharcyde, which have millions of views. He graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and lives in Los Angeles.

You can learn more about Casey Marx at his website

You can also follow him on social media:

Book Spotlight: Goodbye Skinny, Hello Size Healthy: A Woman's Guide To Becoming Healthy, Happy and Satisfied




Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world where women of all shapes and sizes are taught to love themselves and were empowered to take care of their bodies. Now open your eyes to the hundreds of daily beauty and fashion advertisements that subliminally tell women they’re the wrong size. These over powering messages have been around for years and continue to affect women’s self-esteem.

According to research from the American Psychological Association, 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. This statistic is alarming and it’s time for women to take back their self-esteem, say goodbye to forcing their body to becoming a size it was never created to become and reach a state of personal satisfaction that’s not associated with numbers on a scale!

In essence it is time for all women to realize that becoming a size healthy is the best size to become! Therefore if you’re ready to make positive changes towards seeing yourself and your body in a more positive manner, this book is just for YOU! There’s no skinny shaming in this movement, just healthy living for all women. Throughout the following pages, Fitness Olympian, 3-Time National Physique Committee Fitness Champion (NPC), In Weekly’s Best Personal Trainer on The Gulf Coast 2016 and Women’s Health and Fitness Expert Laticia “Action” Jackson will help you to discover the following:

How To Love Your Body From The Inside Out
Why Negative Self-Talk Is Destructive
How Your Personal Beliefs About Your Body Affect Your Life
How To Identify Your Body Type and How It Responds To Exercise
How To Set Realistic Yet Challenging Fitness and Weight Loss Goals
Fun Yet Challenging Total Body Exercises To Tighten and Tone Your Entire Body
The Importance of Well-Balanced Nutrition For Optimal Health
How To Shop, Cook and Prepare Healthy Meals For You and Your Family
Palate Pleasing Recipes For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks
How to Become The Healthiest, Happiest Version of Yourself

It's time to TAKE back your self-esteem, self-confidence and become the healthiest, happiest version of yourself

This book is available in paperback from Amazon

About the Author:

Author Laticia “Action” Jackson has been called one of the most dynamic and energetic personalities in the health promotion, body awareness, women’s health, fitness and personal development field. She’s a 2008 Fitness Olympian and 3-Time National Physique Committee (NPC) State Fitness Champion. She’s received both national and international recognition by being featured as a top-level athlete in over 20 health, fitness and wellness publications with her latest feature in Oxygen Fitness Magazine Australia 2017.

She’s been the guest go-to health & fitness expert for TV shows such as C.W. 31 Good Day Sacramento, Blab TV, Council on Aging, WEAR 3 Channel 3, Fitness Friday’s before the Steve Harvey in the Morning Show and many more. She’s the author six women’s health and fitness training books. Her academic background includes a Master’s Degree in Public Health (M.P.H), B.S. Degree in Exercise Physiology, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, Certified Master Level Personal Trainer, Certified Weight Loss Counselor and Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialists. She was voted “ In Weekly’s Best Personal Trainer on the Gulf Coast 2016.

Action Jackson is often called upon from national population health organizations such as The American Heart Association, The American Diabetes Association and The American Cancer Society to use her expertise for nation-wide health promotion and health awareness events that address chronic preventable illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes for at risk populations. Her time in U.S.A.F. prepared her for her current success, provided her with great discipline and amazing ability to connect with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

To find out more about Laticia “Action” Jackson, please visit her website.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Spotlight: Bipolar MD: My Life as a Physician with Bipolar Disease


Health/Fitness, Mental Health


An authentic journey into darkness and light, Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with Bipolar Disease by Paul Golden, MD delves into what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder every day but still carry on a full and satisfying life.

Speaking from personal experience and professional practice, Golden reveals all the struggles and triumphs of living with mental illness as a medical professional. With remarkable honesty, he reveals the details of his manic episodes, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, losing his first wife, shooting himself multiple times and having his medical license taken away upon retirement, but also the many lives he touched and the patients he saved.

“Love, family, education, a career and a purpose are all within reach,” says Dr. Golden. “Those who suffer from bipolar disorder can find both personal AND professional success!”

Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with Bipolar Disorder is the story of a bipolar man who didn't let his illness hold him back.

This book is available in paperback ($14.42) and on Kindle ($6.99) from Amazon. 

About the Author:

Originally from Washington, D.C., Paul Golden, M.D., received his B.S. from Yale University, his M.D, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, his internship and residency from the University of California at San Francisco and his Fellowship in nephrology from Barnes Hospital of Washington University School of Medicine. He became one of the first practicing nephrologists in Modesto, California, where he lives with his wife, Sue, and their two toy poodles. Dr. Golden retired from his medical practice in 2013 to focus on sharing his message about living successfully with bipolar disease. Paul Golden, MD, The Bipolar Physician, is available for speaking engagements. For more information, please visit Dr. Golden’s website.