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Friday, August 22, 2014

Medical Mystery Endorsed by Amazon Reviewer

Book Title: The Fragrance Shed By A Violet
Author: Lin Wilder
Author Web site: http://www.linwilder.com/
Genre: Medical Mystery
  • ISBN-10: 1630632619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630632618
Purchase at Amazon.com
Use the 'look inside' to read 1st 3 chapters
Reviewed by Susan Toscani originally for Amazon
 
This book is a keeper.....a well-written, page-turning, thoughtful look at personal evolution, forgiveness, redemption. It's a mystery, a romance, and all-around great read. I loved it and, as a former career woman myself, identified with the main characters and many of the issues with which they grappled. Plus, getting to know Max was a treat in and of itself!
 
 
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Book Features Quest for World's Best Chocolate

Title: Chocolatour
Subtitle: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate"
Volume 1

Author: Doreen Pendgracs
Author's Web site link: http://doreenpendgracs.com
Genre: Nonfiction travel, food
ISBN: 978-0-9918901-0-1
Personalized autographed copies can be obtained directly from the author's site at http://chocolatour.net where e-books are also available.
Hard copies are available on Amazon



Reviewed by Susan Fluhr originally for Boomeresque: Baby Boomer Travels for the Body and Mind 
 

 

This first volume of a projected three has convinced me that travel writer Doreen Pendgracs is the “Rick Steves” of chocolate tourism. Like Steves’ books, this volume not only takes us to places, but also provides historical context and information necessary for an in depth understanding of chocolate. Pendgracs’ passion for and appreciation of chocolate is infectious.
In this first volume, Pendgracs ultimately takes us to seven European countries to explore the world of fine, artisanal chocolate, but she starts the book by sharing her travels to cacao growing regions in a remote Amazon jungle area in Peru and on back roads subject to mudslides in Ecuador. Her cacao growing exploration on the island nation of Saint Lucia was undertaken in somewhat more luxurious surroundings. In this chapter, we learn how the cacao fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) is grown and ultimately harvested and processed into chocolate.
If you ever feel the need to explain your chocolate addiction or why chocolate is actually good for you, Pendgracs provides the necessary information in chapter two of her book which is titled, “Chocogasms and Other Health Benefits of Chocolate”.
Although most of us know we like chocolate, the author educates us about how not to just consume chocolate, but how to experience it — much as an oenophile understands and enjoys fine wine. She identifies ten chocolate personalities that we can use to characterize the products of different chocolatiers and then introduces us to chocolatiers she finds noteworthy in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. These chapters will be very useful for travelers wanting to undertake a chocolate pilgrimage along with their visits to the “must sees” of Europe. After reading this book, you will want to and be able to add fine chocolate tastings to your European travel itineraries.
Many people know that Mexican mole sauce combines the flavors of chocolate and chile. In Chapter 12 of Volume One of Chocolatour, the author shares some recipes that employ chocolate in new and intriguing ways. Are you ready for cacao gazpacho or a summer salad with smoked eel, chocolate and pecorino wafers topped with chocolate vinegar?
There is also a chapter about chocolate festivals, museums and attractions around the globe.  Indeed, I purchased my copy of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate (Volume One) at the Hawaii Chocolate Festival in Honolulu, where the author, Doreen Pendgracs, lectured about chocolate. I admit I was a little leery about sitting still for an hour lecture about chocolate, especially immediately after having sampled some of the festival products (chocolate covered bacon anyone?). However, just as in her book, the author kept me and the others in the room engaged as she conveyed her knowledge abut and enthusiasm for chocolate.
While you can (and should) purchase this book for yourself if you are a chocolate devotee or a chocolate devotee wannabe, it would also make a wonderful gift for the chocolate lovers in your life. My copy is inscribed to my favorite chocolate lover — my husband.
 
 
 
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  The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spiritual Memoir Reviews by New Consciousness Review

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Unearthing Venus
Subtitle: My Search For the Woman Within
by Cate MontanaISBN-10: 1780285973
ISBN-13: 978-1780285979
Memoir/womens/spirituality
Authors' Web sites: www.unearthingvenus.com
www.catemontana.comiTo buy the book

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Reviews by Julie Clayton, originally for New Consciousness Review

A true tale, Unearthing Venus reads like a gripping novel filled with outlandish characters and circumstances, interesting locales, and astonishing bravery by an everyday heroine. Readers will be captivated by the humor, raw honesty, heartwarming tone, and unexpected insights along this unconventional journey, which eventually yields  not only personal awakenings, but also universal lessons.
Cate Montana is an ordinary woman, yet she has led an extraordinary life searching for deeper meaning and personal authenticity, allowing the winds of heartbreak and breakthrough to carry her, having faith that the choices she makes will ultimately lead to greater spiritual realization.


This book is “everywoman’s” story revealing the struggles that women in particular, and humanity in totality, endure as a consequence of feminine values being denied and invalidated. And it upholds a greater vision for what humanity is capable of becoming.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Subtlety Gives New Novel Power

Title: The Blanket Hill Insurgency
Author:  Terry L. Wilson
Author’s website link: http://terrywilsonsite.com
Genre: General Fiction
ISBN: 978-1494759490
Reviewer’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Link to purchase


Reviewed by Susan Ward originally for Amazon

In a very restrained, well written style this book brought back to me many things I haven’t thought of in years. In a thorough portrait of a group of friends attending Kent State in the 60s, we see the prior American culture first mingle with the emerging culture, the culture clash, the confusion over the world, and how truly random one’s destiny can be. Unlike too many authors, Terry Wilson Does Not over play a single card. Instead of rushing in and painting epic, romanticized tales of the 60s, he tells his tale simply and with great honesty. It is a story worth telling, worth reminding us all of, and a story that would have been diminished if told in any other way. The end surprised me, because I wanted to remain hopeful for the characters. Perhaps that is the greater message. That in all that happened during this period, there was great loss and we need be reminded of that. A worthy read I would highly recommend. Particularly to young adults.

 

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Let's Have Fun with Food and Learn Table Manners at the Same Time


Title: Shakes, Cakes, Frosted Flakes
Subtitle: Second in the Funny Children’s Poems series
Author: Leslie C. Halpern
Illustrator: Oral Nussbaum
Children’s poetry, ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-0615883267
Paperback, Sept. 3013
Pages: 46
$11.49
Available from Smashwords and Kindle

I was attracted to a book that teaches children table manners, especially table manners in a restaurant. From recent observations, I’d say this little poetry book is sorely needed. Shakes, Cakes and Frosted Flakes is one that includes humor. And it does a good job if we remember that children learn best from what entertains them. There are no dull moments here and each of the gross ones (gross only to grownups!) is an opportunity to discuss how there is a place for some behaviors that aren't appropriate for others.
The opening poem certainly addresses one of the basic table manner tenets:

CLEAN FACE CLUB
Mom says eating
is not a race.
That I should keep
a steady pace,
use good manners
and first say grace,
Clean my plate
and not leave a trace,
put dirty dishes
in their place,
but mostly keep
food off my face.

Isn’t it cute! I thought so!
Another favorite is "The Birthday Party." It gives parent and child much to discuss before the big day. I liked the tutorial at the end of the book and the list of vocabulary words that might be new for this age group.

I like that Leslie C. Halpern is planning more! They will make excellent little gifts for kids—one that will intrigue (and benefit) the whole family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leslie C. Halpern is an award-winning poet, essayist, and author. Her first book was Rub, Scrub, Clean the Tub and Frogs, Hogs, Puppy Dogs is coming. Learn more about Leslie on Facebook.

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Terry Wilson Finds Redeeming Features in Steamy Novel

Title: Girl on the Half Shell
Author:  Susan Ward
Author’s website link: www.susanwardbooks.com
Genre: Romance Novel
ISBN: 978-0615975924
Reviewer’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Link to purchase


Reviewed by Terry L. Wilson originallyfor Amazon 
 
How can a senior citizen male enjoy a romance read about an eighteen year old girl? It’s easy… Girl on the Half Shell is a well written work pulling the reader into feeling the emotions of an insecure and messed up young  lady who is entangled in an affair with a rock-star. Susan Ward effectively uses first person present-tense to open the “lock-boxes” of her main character’s mind. The plot is solid and holds the attention of the reader.

I typically would not finish a book containing the extent of steam encountered in this novel, but because of its importance in the character’s mindset and how well it is handled, I not only finished the novel…. I enjoyed it. The only caution… although there is an acceptable ending, there is a bit of a cliff-hanger set up for a sequel.
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MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Terry L. Wilson is uthor of The Blanket Hill Insurgency.

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Real Life Funny Ole Thing

Title: “I’m Not Talking About You, Of Course”
Author: Barbara Venkataraman
Author's blog: www.Barbaravenkataraman.blogspot.com
Genre: Humor/Essays
ASIN: B00821JBBS
Link to book on Amazon:

Reviewed by Amazon Top 500 reviewer “Tinfoot," originally for Amazon
 
REVIEW
"If Amish people could time-travel to the past, would they notice?"This had me busting a gut along with everything else in this short collection of very witty essays. Frankly, this would have done as excellent source material for stand-up comedians. (Good thing she has her book copyrighted!) Written in an easy, conversational style about everyday topics, this delightful quick-read will likely have you coming back to it time and time again. For those who always enjoyed those light-hearted stories in publications like READER'S DIGEST, this little book will provide the same genuine mirth. 

BLURB
Winner of the "Indie Book of the Day" award for June 7, 2014.

At 7,600 words, this work is a collection of humorous insights into important topics ranging from annoying pet people (“I’m Not Talking About You, Of Course”), to analyzing your inner child (“Irrational Fears”), to living like the Amish in the aftermath of a hurricane (“A Jolt of Electricity”). Other essays examine just how much damage can be caused by a sneeze (“It All Started with a Loud Sneeze”), why it is so complicated to buy a tube of toothpaste (“Ask Me No Questions”), how not to prepare dinner ("Martha, I Let You Down"), making new friends ("Friends in Low Places"), how a parent’s obsessive hobbies can become an inescapable vortex (“Crazy Hobbies”), and why spending the night in a sleep clinic is like being abducted by probing aliens (“Nightmare at the Sleep Clinic”).

If you don’t see yourself in each of these entertaining essays, then I’m not talking about you, of course.
 

 
 

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.