Monday, January 16, 2017

Food, Health and Happiness by Oprah Winfrey

I was very excited when I first heard about Oprah's new book.  I am working on losing weight and have joined Weight Watchers to help with my journey.  Food, Health and Happiness sounded like a great additional tool to help with that journey.  I went to my local Barnes and Noble store on the day it released.  Here are my reactions to the book.

First:  Food, Health and Happiness was on display as I walked in door.  It had a 20% off tag on the cover.  I was surprised at the size of the book.  It was much taller and wider than I expected and when I picked it up it was uncomfortable to hold and read.

Second:  I looked at the price.  $35.00 was the cover price so even with 20% off it was still a pricy book.

Third:  I took it over to a table to check out the content.  I read several of the recipes and was very surprised at the ingredients needed for most.  I keep a fairly well stocked kitchen as I have trouble digesting both gluten and soy and have to cook using mostly fresh ingredients.  To fix most of the recipes I checked out I did not have everything needed making my grocery list cost much more.  I am not talking about the main ingredients but the extras needed for the correct taste.  For a family it would be even more expensive.

I went in to buy the book and left without making a purchase.  I came home and checked the online price.  It was less than the 20% off price at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon but still a little steep.  The next week I got a 20% off coupon for Barnes and Noble and decided to look at Food, Health and Happiness again.

The in store price was changed.  It was now 30% off the $35.00 price.  I had a coupon for another 20% off and as a Barnes and Noble member I also go another 10% off.  30% off made it 24.50.  20% off of the 24.50 made it 19.60.  Then my 10% off of 19.60 made the final price 17.64.  Still a lot when you can buy books with Weight Watchers recipes for much less.

I took it back to look through again and decided that it was not worth the price for me.  I have seen the reviews and they are all over the place.  Less than half are 5 star on Amazon and 30% are 1 and 2 star.

In my opinion this is not a book for the average person.  I found it to be a big disappointment and went from making a special trip to buy on the day it come out passing it up after it had significant addition price reductions.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - January 13, 2017

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Dammit!" Sage's favorite cuss word bounced around inside her van like marbles in a tin can, sounding and resounding in her ears,"

Page 56:

"We don't have cats." Creed opened the door and pointed. "You do now. Those are newborn kittens right there. Recognize the big old hello mother?"

From Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown. I pick this on up at the library used book store. I had not read any of Carolyn Brown's Contemporary Western Romances and thought this would be a good way to start. Since I love cats page 56 really caught my attention.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #70 - Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb, Claimed by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol,

Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It never gets old visiting with Eve and Roarke. This time it is a sniper taking out the citizens of New York. Eve is on this one from the beginning and it is fun to watch her thought process as she get into the mind of the sniper. There are some scenes with Eve and Roarke that keep the romance between the two going and a surprise decision at the end that shows how Eve has changed since she met Roarke. Nice addition to the series.

Claimed by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 5)Claimed by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What happens when you pretend to be someone else and leave before anyone is the wiser. That is what Julietta or Jules did. Now it has come back to haunt her just as she is to be bonded and not to the man of her dreams. I think Jules and Marsh's story would be just a very nice romance if there had not been someone trying to take power and setting Marsh up to take the blame. There is a nice balance between romance and danger. I loved both Jules and Marsh. Both kept trying to do the right things and that kept the plot moving in several different directions. A great addition to the series. I received an ARC of Claimed by the Cyborg from the author in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

THE DIAMOND HEAD DECEPTION by James Blakley - Review and Giveaway

The Diamond Head Deception
by James Blakley


GENRE: Mystery/Thriller



After putting Iowa crop insurance cheats out to pasture, independent insurance fraud investigator Luna Nightcrow heads to Hawaii, but not for a vacation. The Shilpa, an Indian ocean liner, sinks and Luna is hired to determine if it still carries "Pacific Splendor" (a rare diamond insured for $15 million). The trouble is that Luna's not the only one looking for the diamond. Secessionists, sportsmen, and other suspects might sink to any depths to recover or smother Pacific Splendor.



The Diamond Head Deception has something that I often find missing in other mysteries. We are a diverse country but often you do not find that diversity in popular mysteries. Not true in this book. It is filled with people of different racial backgrounds. Not only are there a very large number of side characters they are some of the best fleshed out that I have read lately. Luna Nightcrow is a fraud investigator and comes to Hawaii to see if a very valuable diamond went down with the ship and if so is it still there. She is not the only one to wonder. What follows is an exciting journey that starts in a low key manner and ramps up as the story progresses. The book is well-written. There is a very nice flow to the story and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. While the book is only a little over 200 pages the story is so tightly written that everything fell in place before a very satisfying ending.


Rupee suddenly stopped and look around suspiciously. “Perhaps it is no longer safe to talk here.”

Luna cast an eye over the lounge and noticed a hefty, Hawaiian-looking man standing in the far corner behind them. He wore a tuxedo and was probably just checking out Rupee’s. But the scowl that he shot at them meant that he either didn’t like Rupee’s taste in tux or his taste in women. This might turn out to be a dangerous drink! Luna worried. But looking back at Rupee, she saw that he was still visibly shaken. I’ve got to be the strong one, Luna decided. So, she dragged a red fingernail up and down the back of Rupee’s hand. “Where do you suggest we talk, if not here?”

Rupee’s eyes widened. “Well, this is a hotel; so, it does have rooms,” he suggested.
Luna’s eyebrow cocked curiously. “Where’s yours, Rupee?” she asked softly.
A smile returned to Rupee’s face and he answered, “It’s a big one, Luna, way up high.”

Just what a girl likes to hear! Luna thought.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Blakley was educated at Missouri Western State College and Washburn University. While at MWSC, he was a local and national award-winning columnist and section editor of "The Griffon-News." Blakley worked 10 1/2 years as a page and as an Assistant Librarian for the River Bluffs Regional Libraries of St. Joseph, MO. He currently lives in Topeka, KS where he worked for The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and several years in clerical and customer support capacities for international computer companies, such as EDS and HP.



James will be awarding a $50 Walmart gift card to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Look Back Wednesday - January 11, 2017 - Touchstone by Melanie Rawn

Touchstone (Glass Thorns, #1)Touchstone by Melanie Rawn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Melanie Rawn has set Touchstone in a world with humans and humans mixed with the older races like the Elves, Trolls, Giants, Wizards, and Fae. The four main characters are a theater troupe working to become the best troupe in the kingdom. All theater troupes are composed of four members who use magic to create the illusion in each play. Each member has a specific role to play.
When the story starts Cayden, Rafcadion and Jeschenar are old friends who are searching for a fourth member who will fit into their troupe. Mieka joins them in a trial to see if he fits and they finally have the four members who fit together. From there it is a journey to become the best in the land. Cayden is the main character in the story. He has dreams that tell a possible future. Some of his dreams are about the members of the troupe. Those dreams and his actions after dreaming as well as his interaction with Mieka are the heart of the story

This is the first time I have read a Melanie Rawn book. I was in a world where I was lost for most of the first third of the book. This is the first book in a new series but I wonder if this is an extension of a world she created in a previous series. Touchstone is filled with dialog and is very character driven. There is conflict but it is mostly internal. There were hints of external conflict but nothing was developed. I was left a little puzzled about where the series is going. I guess I will read the next book to see if my question is answered.

Touchstone is an ARC I received form Amazon Vine.

Tor will release Touchstone by Melanie Rawn in February of 2012.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #69 - Saturn Run by John Sanford, Defiant by Dave Bara, Wild Horse Springs by Jodi Thomas

Saturn RunSaturn Run by John Sandford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The premise is familiar; the race to reach an alien artifact. The characters are a mix and are secondary to the story line. The science is very believable and is really the focus of the story. I listened to this as an audio book and it did a good job of holding my attention. I felt the action was predictable and even the surprise ending was not that much of a surprise. Still a good fix for anyone who loves science fiction.

Defiant (Lightship Chronicles, #3)Defiant by Dave Bara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of Defiant in return for an honest review. Defiant is pure Space Opera. Once again Peter Cochrane and his actions are the focus of the story. This is book three in the series and I think that the world building would be very confusing if you started here. I enjoyed the book. It is very action packed; some of which is predictable and some that is surprising. I liked Peter's new wife, Karina, got tired of hearing about his past loves. The story line did make it difficult to ignore either one as they play an important part in the story line. The big problem in the series is solved in Defiant but a new and much bigger problem is highlighted at the end so look for more of Peter and Karina in future books.

Wild Horse Springs (Ransom Canyon, #5)Wild Horse Springs by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of Wild Horse Springs in return for an honest review. Again Jodi Thomas has given us a interesting story line with several romances intertwined. Dan Brigman and his daughter Lauren are characters we met in previous books. Lauren and Lucas's romance is still up in the air but Dan's is unexpected but very,very sweet. While I liked both Dan and Brandi the character's who stole the show for me were Cody, Tess and Thatcher. Cody and Tess are two lost souls who fit perfectly and manage to do it with a lot of humor and laughs out loud moments. Thatcher on the other hand is still a work in progress. Great story, good romances and fun to read; you can't go wrong with Jodi Thomas.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 68 - Into the Firestorm by Kat Martin, Trusting Miss Trentham by Emily Larkin, Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

Into the Firestorm (BOSS, Inc., #3)Into the Firestorm by Kat Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of Into the Firestorm in return for an honest review. The is Luke Brodie's, the last of the Brodie brothers, story. He is full of contradictions and they all come into play when he meets Emma Cassidy. Emma is also full of contradictions. The two make a really great team in a book with a exciting story line. You can feel the connection when the two first meet. From there on it is an exciting ride. This is book three in the Boss trilogy and part of the fun is getting to visit again with some of the characters from the previous books. Into the Firestorm is a great finish to the series.

Trusting Miss Trentham (Baleful Godmother, #3)Trusting Miss Trentham by Emily Larkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of Trusting Miss Trentham from the author in return for an honest review. Letitia Trentham caught and held my attention from the very first scene when she hears "Clang" for every lie being told. Letitia is very wealthy and many have wanted to marry her for her money. The ability to hear lies is why she is still single. The ability to hear lies is her gift from her Baleful Godmother. When Mr Reid approaches her for help she is intrigued. He does not want her for her money. He wants her for her ability to tell truth from lies. The two start on a adventure that changes things for both. A great addition to the Baleful Godmother series. I was expecting the story to go in a slightly different direction and loved it when the author fooled me with a much better plot line.

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where is Lijuan, the Archangel of China? While that is the question that the plot hangs on it is not the main theme of the book. That is the fact that Elena is Raphael's heart and her past is becoming more and more important. Singh does a very good job of weaving Elena's story into every part of the plot. This is a multi-layer story with answers to some of the question while leaving other open for future books. I think it can stand alone but is much better if you have read the series from book one.

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