Saturday, February 28, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Lady of Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd #books (Sponsored Review from BookLook Bloggers)

Book Review A Lady of Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Title: Lady of Willow Grove Hall

Sarah E. Ladd

Book 3 of the Series Whispers On The Moors

Book Review Summary

"Secretive Historical Fiction"


The story of A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers On The Moors Book 3) is enchanting, and a story of loss. Oddly enough, the losses are not overwhelmingly sad, perhaps because you rush through them so quickly to get to the real meat of the story. Perhaps the story doesn't feel so sad because the reason the main character, Cecily Faire,  looses the life she once had are her own fault, and they overshadow her future, but her future feels brighter than her torrid past (not so torrid by today's standards).

It takes a few chapters to figure out how Willow Grove Hall comes into play, but I got there in less than a couple hours. Barely wanted to sleep or put this book down. Ms. Ladd, the author, paints a vivid picture of a beautiful young woman who is a twin. The main character is born into a middle class life style with an over-protective seemingly uncaring drunk for a father. Due to some poorly laid decisions, she loses everything she once knew and is thrown into another world. A slightly higher class lifestyle that offers her a chance at something more. Something she'd originally wanted but gave up on, but not in the way you might initially have thought.

"Is it always a sin to tell a lie?" --Cecily Faire, Sara E. Ladd

Friday, February 27, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Echo: Soul Seekers, Book 2 UNABRIDGED by Alyson Noël

Book Review ECHO Soul Seekers Alyson Noel ECHO Book 2 Alyson Noel


Book 2 of Soul Seekers

by Alyson Noël

"Enchanting and Sad"

3 stars
5 stars
4 stars

This book has some very lovable and hate-able characters. I love the native american influences and magical intrigue. This book doesn't seem to end the series, just wish I'd know that first, so I could have waited before starting a series with no ending. I'm a little shocked and confused by it. The is a teenage magic love mystery.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet: JNL's Super Fitness Model Diet: Secrets To A Sexy, Strong, Sleek Physique UNABRIDGED by Jennifer Nicole Lee

Book Review Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet
  • "She's Yelling at Where You Could or Will Be"

    2 stars
    1 stars
    1 stars
    Jennifer Nicole Lee means well and is a very inspirational athlete, but this is a book that is hard to listen to (narrated). I had a few very inspirational moments from this book, which I mention in the podcast, but overall this is not a good audible book. It is probably a better read. Jennifer Nicole Lee is a motivational speaker, and an inspiration to many women. Watch her videos.Her voice never changes pitch, she yells at you the WHOLE TIME! She basically says she cares, believes in you and that you need to believe in yourself and be focused over and over and over and... OVER. I don't need her to motivate me, I want recipes, real tips, thoughts and feedback about training daily. Stuff I could of got for free off bodybuilding dot com, but thought would be good to listen to in a book. I'm glad she loves her job but she is a bit negative and condescending despite saying shes not.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS - A few Suggestions and A Couple Interviews Coming Soon #author #writing #books

Exciting News! Interviews Coming Soon...

As you may know from reading this blog, I have teamed up with a publishing company and book promotion company to get free books in exchange for honest reviews. Thanks to this relationship, I have an opportunity to speak with the publisher and share ideas for blog posts. 

You may wonder how authors start writing or why a book has a certain character, I know I do! So, I requested time for an interview with a couple of the authors whose books I'm reading. This opportunity will give you and me insight into the thoughts and background of published authors. 

I don't want to spoil too much, but figured other bloggers may be interested in what kinds of questions to write when prepping for an interview. My prep time for this was under ten minutes with a note pad and pen. I just started jotting down questions I had about writing, the author, their book, and how to contact them. These are the general questions. Then, I did a little research on my own. With a quick Google search you can read biographies from social networks, see other books the author wrote, and maybe skim their twitter feed to learn more about them.
I normally do a quick search of books and authors for most of my book reviews to give readers a lazy way of connecting with the books, purchasing them, and finding their new favorite author online. Heck some of the authors I've blogged about are now friends and have some of the best social profiles I know of. When I'm bored, Brian Rathbone's dragon jokes never fail. 

Without further ado, here are a few basic questions to use when interviewing an author. I would suggest including a few specific questions about the book, characters, plot, and their hobbies or recent accomplishments. 

BOOK REVIEW: Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights UNABRIDGED by Kyra Davis

Book Review Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights Passion betrayal and Killer highlights by Kyra Davis

"Not My TYPICAL PURCHASE.. But still.. Not Bad"

4 stars
3 stars
4 stars

I originally got this book because I adore Gabra Zackman. She is an amazing narrator. In this book she gives herself an east coast accent that I was not expecting since I got the book without listening to a sample. Plus I'm not normally into murder mysteries but Gabra made this book for me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Emotional Balance and Compassion by Paul Ekman, Dalai Lama

Book Review Emotional Awareness with Dali Lama and Paul Ekman Conversation between: The Dalia Lama and Paul Ekman PH.D. Daniel Goleman offers a foreword, Emotional Awareness

Emotional Awareness

"Educationally Interested but a tough Listen"

Paul Ekman
3 stars
1 stars
3 stars

Would you try another book from Paul Ekman and Dalai Lama and/or Richard Gere?

I adore Richard Gere and enjoy studying Paul Ekman's work but this was rather hard to listen to. It's very solitary not funny and remnant of sitting in a monotone college lecture.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

More antidotes, a story line that can bring you in to make an analogy of the science behind the work. It just needs something to pull you in. It's very hard to understand the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman talking but interesting to hear their world views. I was hoping to learn more about Paul Ekman's work and how it works.

Monday, February 23, 2015

JOURNAL DIARY ENTRY: Reconnecting with long lost friends + Inkly by Sincerely Review

The attached picture shows friends I met in first grade. My father has gone to Japan to see them. I traveled to Paris once and stayed with them. Thanks to Facebook, I can easily stay in touch with many, many people from around the world. Lately I've been trying to think of more ways to stay in touch with friends from around the world, to personalize it. Facebook is starting to become a lot like email, impersonal. Social media has introduced me to hundreds, if not thousands of people whose paths I may not have otherwise crossed. So I like it for that, but it's also addictive and impersonal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists ABRIDGED by Neil Strauss

Book Review The Game Neil Strauss

Book Review: The Game

"I'm glad I'm not him but all women should listen"

4 stars
3 stars
5 stars rating
What made the experience of listening to The Game the most enjoyable?
The story of a pick up artist is sad in its own away. Since I'm not a man, it's hard to tell if this is a really a good judge of how men think or not. Seems like it might be a good judge, but I say that because it offers multiple perspectives. It seems obvious that some people like to use other people, or act like 'players'. This book is about men studying women. Most of the men featured in the book start off socially inept and wind up acting a bit scammy. In a way I'm glad for them, that they are improving themselves and being relatively honest, but really most of them seem to be taking advantage of other people's naivety.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

VIDEO Diary: Bored, Cold, and Tired + Book Review of The Godling Chronicles & Trylle Series

Book Review Trylle Series book 1

F%$# Winter

I'm bored and tired. No sleep again. So blogging, yes that is what I do when I should be on the treadmill and don't want to go outside. I blog and wish I could be outside without freezing my face off, or losing a toe to frost bite. Bike/running/mud season where are you?

Yeah, I could take a nap but I have things I could do. They may not be fun things, but there is always something to do. I could probably go out, but truthfully my one night at the bar this week was probably enough to last me six months. I wouldn't mind listening to Jazz, going to see an art museum, or eating sushi but other than the sushi I can't thing of anywhere I could do that. The art center doesn't have an exhibit right now, I already know my own art inside out, and well a quiet music venue on my own.. I'm not sure I know of anything.

So yes, I'm being lame and pessimistic but I continue to miss spring/summer/fall. I hate winter.

Review: Home Automation Wish List

Smart Home Automation

Some of the following wish list items already exist, in one form or another. Most items on this wish list currently require some additional level of work to integrate into home automation or do not exist in the United States and/or may not easily purchased from a trusted source like SmartThings, Home Depot, or Amazon. For items that do not exist, a use case has been provided.

This list & the case study is not complete, more updates will be made later. Just got tired of writing. Stay tuned.

Wish List

1. Outdoor Home Automation Products
  • Solar Powered
  • Outdoor lights
  • Watering system for garden
  • Parrot integration
  • Fence monitoring (motion, laser)
  • Driveway monitoring (motion, underground car detection)

BOOK REVIEW: Playing with Fire: Silver Dragons, Book 1 UNABRIDGED by Katie MacAlister

Playing with Fire

Book Review Silver Dragons Playing with Fire Katie MAcAlister
  • Overall
    If you could sum up Playing with Fire in three words, what would they be?
    Dragons, Fantasy, and Drama. (Technically that is 4 words, but it reads better that way)

    Who was your favorite character and why?
    The main character was intriguing. She falls in love with Gabriel Tauhou, a wyvern or type of dragon, that takes her on quite the adventure. She has special abilities and he's been waiting for her forever it seems. They get pretty steamy in the book, get it, steamy, you know because he is a wyvern. Anyway she's beautiful, smart, and a strong female lead.
    Favorite Books Best of Books Award by DesaraeVFavorite Narrators Best of Books Award by DesaraeV

Friday, February 20, 2015

‪#‎geekriddle‬ Who am I?

Geek Riddle

My kin have many names 
and we are known by all people.

Sonnets and tales of me are centuries old, 
but new ones are being written.

My kin may be beautiful, graceful, and lithe; 
sometimes they are sturdy, strong, and mature. 

You may guess who my kin are but I am known as the greatest of my kind.

I am so great that even the underworld reveres me.

My consciousness and being are beyond that of a mere man or woman, 
but I may offer them wisdom.

I am known to keep company with a messenger squirrel, 
a gnarly dragon,
 and a fierce eagle.

Who am I?

Journal Diary Entry: Make A Wish ... or Else.

Birthday Greetings

Today is my birthday. I've opted to not make plans this year. I'm terrible at party planning and generally find trying disappointing. I'm also writing this in advance because I assume I will be spending it with Charles freezing my butt off wishing I was on a beach somewhere. I'm a day older. Maybe a bit worldlier than last year. I've gained a few pounds. Settled into a house. Trained Charles to do many more tricks. Over the past year, I've seen new places, traveled, made new friends, run many races, and gardened. It's been a good year, a bad year, a dull year, a happy year, and some days where amazing. Most in fact where pretty great, with a few exceptions. I hope 2015 is even better.

On this day, I wish myself and all my friends happiness. Have a great day.

BOOK REVIEW: Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1 (Book Series) UNABRIDGED by Terry Goodkind

Book Review Wizards First Rule Sword of Truth Terry Goodkind

"Captivating Fantasy"

Would you consider the audio edition of Wizard's First Rule to be better than the print version?
I loved the tv series and this is just as good with a few additional things the tv series doesn't show you. After reading this, I had to go back and watch some of the episodes again. Highly recommend this series.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: Book Look Blogging #bookblogger

Book Look Bloggers

Great News! I'm a BookLook Blogger!

This really doesn't change my blog much, but last night I stumbled upon Book Look and signed up to be a Book Look Blogger. All that means is that some of the books I review will be coming from Book Look, in exchange I will write honest reviews. 

BOOK REVIEW: Firelight UNABRIDGED by Sophie Jordan

Book Review Firelight Sophie Jordan

"This book caught me & kept me interested"


What made the experience of listening to Firelight the most enjoyable?
This book kept me interested all the way to the end. The story has a terrible ending and probably deserves a follow up book. It is just cut off. The book however is imaginative and held my attention and made me want to keep going.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Very imaginative. Loved it.

Have you listened to any of Therese Plummer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Fresh Air NONE by Terry Gross

Book Review Fresh Air Terry Gross

"Educational book...Judging Facial Expressions"

What did you love best about Fresh Air?
I enjoyed Fresh Air as an education about how people judge each other and use facial expressions.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Don't know.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? This would have a hard time being a film, unless it was a documentary but I'd tag it research on human expressions.