Title: Prophecy Girl

Series: Lacuna Valley

Author: Faith McKay

Published Date: Nov 20, 2012

Publisher: Self-published by author

Format: ebook

Pages: 211

ASIN: B00A801I2Q

Copy provided by: author

Genre: fantasy, YA

Add to: Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis: Ever since Samantha Winthrop’s mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by “praying” for them? Are Sam’s dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he’s guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?
While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?

My Review: First, I’d like to thank the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.
This was a book I really wanted to like. The first chapter though was horrifying and  heartbreaking to me as a parent. Where the heck is DSS when you need them?! And what is up with the dad? Is he so frigging blind?! I never got his character or why his character was even there. Maybe it would have made more sense to me if he was one of those “dead before the story” dads. Unless there is more to his story. 
I didn’t find the ending to be all that well-explained. I understood the basic gist of it, but again….where’s the dad? 
Nick and Sam were cute together. They make good friends, but I’m still on the fence about them romantically, which is probably how Sam feels too. 
While it was a nice read, I’m still pondering whether I care enough about the characters to read the next book in the series.


REVIEW: Awakening the Mobster by Amy Rachiele

Title: Awakenig the Mobster
Series: Mobster series
Author: Amy Rachiele
Published Date: August 2012
Publisher: Self-published by Author
Format: ebook
Pages: 120
ISBN: 1479286958
Copy provided by: author
Genre: YA romance
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Smashwords / Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis: What draws and binds people together-circumstance, experience, blood? Can you change what you’re made of or is it predestined? If you fight it, will it just come back to you ten-fold?

Antonio and Megan are running. Running away. Megan’s father told them to. Antonio and Megan fly to South Bend, Indiana. They are hiding out at Notre Dame until it’s safe to come home. But will it ever be safe with the line of work Antonio and Megan’s father do? There is no escaping the mob. It’s part of your existence.

Review: I’ve completely fallen in love with Antonio and Megan. And yes, now I’m hoping for something to happen between Vito and Erin. I think he’d be good for her. It looks like that’s where the author is headed for those two.

Where the first book ended is exactly where the second book picks up, and even though they go to South Bend, it doesn’t stop the Mafia action. I guess once you’re in, you’re in for life, but its not like they’re trying to get away from the lifestyle.

Antonio is still doing things for his dad behind Megan’s back, and when she finds out, she’s accepting. I still want to know why Megan’s mom is the way she is, and I’m hoping that comes out in the third book.

Overall, the book was another quick, enjoyable read.

REVIEW: Grieving God’s Way by Margaret Brownley

Title: Grieving God’s Way
Series: none
Author: Margaret Brownley
Published Date: Jan 24, 2004
Publisher: Winepress Publishing
Format: paperback
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 1579216641
Copy provided by: Booksneeze
Genre: spirituality, grieving
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis: If It’s been six months A year Two years (or more) And you still feel Depressed Joyless Lost Alone IFYou’re afraid to tell anyone That you’re still grieving For fear they’ll think you’re crazy If you feel the need to hide your feelings behind A smile . . . and try to pretend everything is okay . . .Then what you’re feeling is perfectly normal. Did you know that it can take as long as five years or more for a person to adequately work through grief? But because we live in a fast-paced society, we often sweep grief under the rug, or ignore it altogether. Medical experts now know that unresolved grief can cause such health problems as headaches, depression, back pain, and even heart disease and cancer.”Grieving God’s Way” is a book made to order for the grieving spirit. It will help you gain new insight into the grieving process, gain more appreciation for friends and family, and come to understand God’s plan for healing heart and soul. It may even help cure your back.

Review: I was given a copy of this book by Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. This review is probably going to be one of the hardest for me to write. It was one of the hardest books for me to read. I kept having to put it down and walk away from it. I’m not a God person, and even though I went to a Catholic school most of my life, I’ve never read the Bible in its entirety. As I tell people, me and God, we’re still working out our relationship. But the obvious religious overtone was not what made me put it down numerous times and walk away.

You see, Christmas Eve this year will be two years since my uncle died. He raised me after my dad died when I was 13. He was in my life longer than my dad was. Uncle Jimmy had a relationship with God that was enviable. God was his best friend, but he wasn’t a Bible-thumper, or a 5 times a day church-going wierdo.

So I guess in reading this book, I was hoping that I would find some sort of solace. Instead, I found wounds that haven’t healed yet that I thought had. Perhaps reading the book in daily increments as it should be read, will be easier. But trying to sit down and read it all in one or two sittings was just too hard. It brought back so many tears that I had hoped were already shed.

So, if you’ve just lost someone, it’s a good book. Just read it a little at a time.

(Yeah, that’s Uncle Jimmy and yours truly, circa 1980ish)

REVIEW: The Mobster’s Girl by Amy Rachiele

Title:Mobster’s Girl
Series: none?
Author: Amy Rachiele
Published Date: June 2012
Publisher: self-published by author
Format: ebook
Pages: 124
Copy provided by: friend
Genre: YA, contemporary
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis: You can’t help what family you’re born into or what lies they keep from you. You can’t help it if they mold and shape you just the way they wanted. Are monsters born or made?
Antonio and Megan have a timeless issue. They were told to stay away from each other. They try, they really do. But they are drawn to each other.

Review: A few weeks ago I saw a review for this book and knew I needed to read this book. So, when I saw that the author was offering the second book, I jumped at the possibility. I have the second book, but since its a continuation of the first, I had to read the first before.

Yesterday I was at work for 12 hours, and was exhausted. I figured I would start this book and fall asleep a few pages through. Nope, that didn’t happen. Three hours later, I was still awake and completely finished it. I could not put this book down!

Its the ultimate bad boy and the ultimate good girl. They fall in love, and their families are against it. Every good girl falls for a bad boy. I know I did when I was younger, heck, I married one!

The only bad thing about the book was that the twist was a little predictable. About halfway through the book I started having a niggling little feeling, and sure enough, I was right.

I can’t wait to curl up tonight with the next book!

REVIEW: When Angels Fall by Stephanie Jackson

Title: When Angels Fall
Series: none
Author: Stephanie Jackson
Published Date: August 15, 2012
Publisher: S.O.S. Publishing
Format: ebook
Pages: 309
ISBN: 1478195568
Copy provided by: author
Genre: fantasy, YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsisDanielle Coulter had never believed in anything except her mother, hard work and heartache. She never had time for religious fairytales. But when her mother died, Dani was forced to believe…or die.
Not only was she forced to accept that God and Lucifer are real, but also that she is the last living descent of God on Earth. An undeniable fact when the Archangel Gabriel fell to Earth to protect her.
Archangel Gabriel; banished from Heaven over four million years ago for refusing to kill his brother, Lucifer, was about to get a second chance to re-enter Heaven. He was sent to Earth on a mission from his Father to protect the last Daughter of God; the last woman to carry the Blood of God on Earth, and kill his brother, once and for all.
Gabriel had never expected to feel anything for Dani, but he soon found himself willing to fight Heaven and Hell to keep her safe, even if it meant his own destruction.

Review: After reading Rapture by Lauren Kate, I’ve been burned for angel books. I’ve been so afraid that a happy ending just wasn’t possible, but this book actually has a happy ending. And not to be snide or intending a pun, but Thank God!

As every page progressed, I found myself caring more and more for Dani and Gabriel and hoping that there would be a happy ending somewhere in there.

I found Dani to be stronger than your typical whiny YA heroine. Gabriel started out as a snotty “I’m better than you because I’m an angel.”, but quickly got cut down to size. One of my favorite quotes is from the beginning of the book:

“Gabriel? As in the Archangel Gabriel?” she asked in a little bit of the awe that Gabriel had been waiting for.

“Yes,” he said.

“Wow, you’re like a really upper level angel.”

“I guess that’s one way to look at it,” Gabriel said.

“It’s the only way to look at it. One of the four Archangels is in my house!” Dani said. “If my grandmother was still alive, she’d shit herself!”

And…the awe was gone.

There were a few grammatical and spelling errors in there that threw me, but it didn’t detract from the story line at all. Totally loved the book, will definitely be reading this one again.

REVIEW: The Curses of a Thousand Mothers – How We Pursue Joyful Sins by Thejendra BS

Title: The Curses of a Thousand Mothers – How We Pursue Joyful Sins
Series: none?
Author: Thejendra BS
Published Date: Aug 16, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: ebook
Pages: 10 (Amazon has 28 pages for the paperback)
ISBN-10: 1479130583
Copy provided by: author
Genre: Spirituality
Add to: (not listed in Goodreads)
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: ‘Have you committed any sins today? No? How about yesterday? No? What about the day before yesterday?’
‘Hey, stop asking stupid questions! I am no sinner.’
‘Oh, come on, tell me the truth. How many sins did you collect today?’
‘Now stop accusing me, okay? What sort of silly discussion is this? I said I am no sinner.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, I am damn sure! But how are you damn sure?’
‘Look, I pay my taxes, I am a law-abiding citizen, I haven’t killed anybody, and I give the best to my family, and hence I am no sinner! Stop asking rubbish questions.’
‘Besides, I don’t believe in such ancient crap.’
‘But why don’t you believe in it?’
‘Hey, it is the 21st century, stupid! Concepts like sins are just superstitious garbage. It is pure nonsense, idiotic, lies, hogwash, foolish, silly, brainless, humbug, bullshit, irrational, crazy, absurd, ridiculous, stupid and gobbledygook, believed only by spiritual lunatics who have lost the plot! I laugh and sneer at such trash!’
‘Hmm, okay. I loved your maniacal laugh. So what sins have you committed today?’
‘Hey, are you on rewind or something? Didn’t you understand what I said? I told you I am no sinner.’

My Review: Basically this book is how we all encourage sin to occur because we’re all invested in this high technology, fast paced world that allows things such as sweatshops and slave mining to occur so that we can continue getting the next big thing.

I don’t agree with the author’s point of view. For example, his point of view is that because I buy an IPad (and a million and one other people), I am encouraging the manufacturer to find more cost effective ways to mass produce IPads, which may include sweatshops. I disagree with this. The basics behind any economy is supply versus demand. However, I do not go to the CEO of Apple and put a gun to his/her head demanding that they use sweatshops to produce the product. That is a morality issue that falls square on his/her shoulders. Let’s take another look at that idea. Say I work 40 hours a week, and I work efficiently. I don’t do anything strange to doctor the results of my work, I simply work efficiently. My boss sees me work efficiently, and sees that I can do the work of myself and a part-time worker, so he decides to fire the part-time worker. Is it my fault that the part-time worker lost his job? Should I work less efficiently to make sure that all my co-workers keep their jobs?

As one person told me once, “I am not responsible for another person’s actions.”

Most of you who read my previous review of another of the author’s books remember the scathing I gave because of the price. Well, this book is 10 pages long on Adobe Reader. The ebook is sold on Amazon for $0.99. If you’re willing to pay that for 10 pages, I don’t consider that to be too bad a price. However, the paperback, which is listed at 28 pages, is sold for $4.75.

I think I’d rather spend it on a extra large frappaccino from Starbucks who may or may not be employing sweatshops in their production of their cups.

REVIEW: Mind Candies for a Lousy Day by Thejendra B.S.

Title: Mind Candies for a Lousy Day
Series: Short and Snappy Guide Series
Author: Thejendra B.S.
Published Date:7/23/2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: ebook
Pages: 19 pages on my Nook (Amazon says 48 on paperback edition)
ISBN-10: 1478284374
Copy provided by: author
Genre: motivational
Add to: (unlisted on Goodreads)
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 1 1/2 stars

Synopsis on Amazon: Just type the word stress in any internet search engine and it will throw up a million pieces of information on it and the harm it can cause. Mankind (and even animals and plants) has always been plagued by stress from ages. On our planet the number of reasons why people get stressed or agitated could run into thousands. For example, the modern crazy workplace is one of the single biggest sources of stress for employees and their families. A stressed out employee can not only cause problems for himself, but also cause various problems to all his family members. And you cannot simply ignore stress as it is a serious health matter and will deteriorate you with time. So what do you do? The common methods of stress reduction are attending mind-body workshops like meditation, yoga, going to a counsellor, or taking some prescribed medicines, etc. But such methods take time, cost and effort. However, there is another stress management technique that is simple, cost-effective, non-medicinal and extremely powerful. And you don’t need any professional help to use this technique unless you are a severe medical case. This is the technique of regularly reading Inspirational quotes by famous personalities over the ages. How will reading quotes help? It has often been observed that a short piercing sentence, a stinging insult, or a chance remark by someone can have a terrific impact on you than a long sermon or advice. For example, I remember reading a true story of a bankrupt businessman on his way to commit suicide suddenly stopped in his rogue pursuit by accidentally reading an inspirational quote on some billboard. So a famous quote actually saved his life by giving him a sudden dose of inspiration to continue with life no matter what. Such is the power of an inspirational quote. This inspirational effect is very similar to how a small pin can puncture a high pressure balloon or a car type. And most inspirational quotes are also short piercing sentences of wisdom that can puncture your high stress and change your life in an instant. It is like taking an aspirin for the tormented mind. So whenever you are feeling doubtful about your own abilities, when disappointments are staring at your face, and you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel simply dive into some great quotes in this book, and you will begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. And if you make a habit of reading inspirational quotes regularly you will experience a stark difference in the way you think, act and behave henceforth. Like tiny homeopathic medicines, these gems of wisdom can gradually make you calmer, handle criticism, understand mankind better and become well equipped to tackle life’s ups and downs. But what is a mind candy? Instead of calling them inspirational quotes I call them as mind candies because they make your mind sweet, just like regular candies make your taste buds happy. Thousands of such literary gems have been stated by hundreds of famous personalities over the ages. This book contains a list of carefully selected mind candies to puncture your bad moods created for the usual reasons like hopelessness, fear of the future, insecurity, bad bosses, family and health troubles, city life, etc. Hope you will like them and more importantly read them regularly. Why read regularly? That is because stress is like dust and will invade your mind again and again, so it must be dusted again and again. So let us start.

My review: I don’t think I’ve given any book on this blog such a bad review.

I’m not even saying its a bad book for its content. When I open it in Adobe Reader, it is 19 pages. Seventeen of those pages are the actual content…quotes from different people: celebrities, athletes, etc. They’re all inspirational quotes that you can find anywhere on the Internet. Just type in Inspirational Quotes in Google and you get over 51 million hits in less than a second.

The quotes are wonderful. My favorite is one from Vince Lombardi: “Its not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”

However, are they worth the price tag of $5.95? Let’s put it in perspective….

One of my favorite inspirational books similar to this one, is a book I was introduced to when I was in high school: 14,000 Things To Be Happy About. Its a listing of literally 14,000 different small things to be happy about. My religion teacher would pull the book out on request and read a page to us if someone was feeling stressed that day. 14,000 is 611 pages in paperback and sells for $8.95.

While the premise behind the book is decent, the price tag is ridiculous. Its not worth the amount of money you will pay.