Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Squeezing the Good Out of Bad by James N. Watkins

Publisher: XarisCom
ISBN: 978-0-578-01006-9
Retail: $12.96

About the Book:

Sour circumstances left you feeling down? Unemployment, foreclosures, divorce, bankruptcy and cancer don't even begin to peel the skin off all the bad news in our world today. At a time in history when the evening news contains more bad than good, people wonder if sweeter days will ever come. In steps James (Jim) Watkins. With a fresh perspective on life, love and the pursuit of happiness, Watkins serves readers a refreshing cup of encouragement and hope.

Written from his own experiences with cancer, unemployment and other life-puckering crises, Jim prompts readers to look at the cup of suffering with eyes focused on the true thirst quencher--Jesus Christ. Readers will be pleasantly surprised at the balance of readability and deep wisdom offered within the pages of Squeezing Good Out Of Bad. With scripture references, humor-filled lists, and a creative manuscript, Watkins brings the bitterness of hard times and blends it with the sweetness of God's presence. He's been there. His transparency is as refreshing as, you guessed it, a tall, cool glass of lemonade.

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of Squeezing Good Out Of Bad via Kathy Carlton Willis Communications, gifted to all participants in this blog tour.  I will be posting a review later in December.


James N. Watkins is the author of sixteen books and over two thousand articles. He is the acquisition editor for Wesleyan Publishing House, an editorial advisor for ACW Press, instructor at Taylor University and a sought-after conference speaker. He’s won Campus Life’s Book of the Year award and various other awards for writing and editing. He’s married to Lois. They have two children and four grandchildren. His family is the lemonade in his life. 

Blog Tour Interview:

1. You've been in the literary world for a while, give us a quick recap of how you got started to where you are today.

By second grade, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I felt the suspension of disbelief was stretched too thin when the real-live puppet Pinocchio became a real live boy. So I rewrote the ending having the wooden puppet die a painful, prolonged death of Dutch elm disease. (At that point, I'm sure my parents and teachers weren't sure if I'd become a writer or a life-long patient at a psychiatric hospital.) I later went on to become the editor of my high school paper, worked at a Christian publishing house as an editor during college, and then dabbled in writing while holding down a real job. Since 1988 I've been writing and speaking full-time.

2. In Squeezing Good Out Of Bad you give many insightful tips on how to turn around sour circumstances. Share a practical way we can be encouraged during tough times.

My "top ten list" of chapter titles 10-4 provide practical steps for dealing with lemons, but the real secrets are found in chapters 3-1. (Yes, like a true top ten list, the chapters are numbered backward.) Romans 8:28 promises that that God is working all things out for our good to accomplish His purpose in our lives. But we have to read on to verse 29 to find that purpose: "to be conformed to the image of His Son."

3. No life is perfect. Can you give us an example of how you got through a challenging situation and were able to use these principles to see the good in it?

I think it's so important that we take our faith seriously, but I certainly don't want to take my situation or myself too seriously. So I create a mental "top ten" list of what good can come about in this situation. For instance, last year I had radiation for cancer and it totally depleted me physically and mentally. My family dubbed it "radiation retardation." Because of that, I was fired from a wonderful part-time job because I just couldn't do it. So, "Top Ten Great Things about Losing My Job": 10. I'll be paying less taxes next year. 9. I've got twenty hours a week of free time. 8. . . .

Our family is going through something right now that is far worse than cancer, and I can't see a single good thing that can come out of it. So, at those times, you just keep hanging on--with white knuckles--to the fact that God loves you and the Romans 8:28 is still in effect.

4. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spare time? What's that? I'm a firm believer in "redeeming the time" so I try to keep busy doing things that matter for the Kingdom. But after my little brain is worn out--usually around 7 pm--nothing beats a session of "Freecell."

5. What's the last book you read and why?

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, the only real reading for pleasure is on airline flights. The King book is research for a book I'm proposing as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

6. What do you hope readers will gain by reading your book?

I wrote the first draft nine years ago, and even though I have a great agent, we just couldn't find a publisher. That was before cancer, family crisis, unemployment. . . . So it's a much more comforting, honest book. And it forced me to not be so flippant and casual about the serious issues people are dealing with. Henri Nouwen talks about "wounded healers." I think, because of the lemons that have piled up in my life, I can more compassionately offer comfort to those buried under a pile of lemons.

Blog Tour Giveaway:

The blog host with the most comments will have the opportunity to send in one commentor's name for the grand prize giveaway. Here's what they'll win:

First prize: Jim will stop by your house with fresh-baked lemon cake and hot lemon tea. (Disclaimer: Offer available only to residents of Corn Borer, Indiana. Alternate prize includes a copy of Sqeezing Good Out Of Bad, mixes for lemon tea, lemon cake, lemonade and assorted lemon candies. Not available where taxed or licensed. Winner responsible for safe and proper use of products.)

If Jim's disclaimer isn't enough humor for you, read on:

When life gives you lemons . . .

10. Don't confuse them with hand grenades (Identify the problem)

9. Check the delivery slip (Determine if it's your problem)

8. Sell them on eBay  (Profit from the problem)

7. Paint smiley faces on them (Laugh at the problem)

6. Join a citrus support group (Share your problem)

5. Use as an all-natural, organic astringent (Grow from the problem)

4. Don't shoot the delivery driver (Forgive the problem-maker)

3. Graft to a lime tree for a refreshing, low-calorie soft drink (Take the problem to a higher level)

2. Grow your own orchard (Live a fruitful life despite—or because of—the problem)

1. Give off a refreshing fragrance (Live a lemon-fresh life)


Virtual Book Tour: Dear Coach: Letters from Home by Lois Herr

Author Lois Herr has stopped by to share with us the profile of an athlete turned pilot featured in her new book “Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII.” Please join me in welcoming Lois Herr.

Thank you for having me! In “Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII” I’ve compiled together a variety of the letters mom and I stumbled across in the attic written to dad, Elizabethtown College coach Ira Herr, by his athletes during WWII, with pictures, scrapbook clippings, newspaper articles and a wide variety of historical information from the time to paint a picture of what life must have been like for these small-town college men and women as not only their country went into war, but so did their friends and family. I hope you enjoy the following profile of letter writer and pilot Wib Raffensperger (featured on the cover of “Dear Coach”).

W.Wilbur (Wib) (Raffy) Raffensperger ‘43

Baseball, basketball and soccer player, Raffensperger was into every sport and would have played football too, if the college had a team. Growing up, he lived near pilots who worked at Olmsted Air Base and that may have sparked his early interest in flying. Raffensperger started flying the BT 13A – The Flying Vulture—in training, moved on to the North American AT-6 and 6A, then the B-17. He flew “Roughneck,” his B-17 across the Atlantic and then on 50 combat missions in North Africa and the Mediterranean. He served in the Tunisian and Sicilian Campaigns and participated in the first heavy bombing on Rome. Later, he would fly test missions and train pilots back in the US on the B-17 and B-24. During one intense period in North Africa, he brought Roughneck back with only one engine. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross; but wouldn’t take the offered time off in England, preferring to stay with his crew. As soon as he came home from the 50th mission, he married Marian Sipling, known as Motz. After the war, Raffensperger joined his father-in-law’s business – Sipling Brothers Garage, a Studebaker and Allis-Chalmers dealership, later buying the dealership with a friend. In the late 50s, Raffensperger entered the insurance and financial services industry as an underwriter and financial planner for Connecticut General Insurance. He then joined the trust department of Farmers First National bank, retiring in 1975.

 Wib Raffensberger with crew of Roughneck located in the first row left hand side.

On a previous virtual book tour stop at I was able to share a letter written by Wib to my father in 1943 in which he responds to my dad’s “fatherly advice” and shares a glimpse of what life is like for him in North Africa. For more exclusive “Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII” material stop by the official tour blog to visit both upcoming tour stops as well as past stops. Already we’ve been able to give away an excerpt, share letters, explore the importance that the “team” dynamic and much, much more!

I hope you have as enlightening of a time reading “Dear Coach” as I did writing it. Thank you again to Crystal’s Reading Room for having me!

Follow the rest of Lois Herr’s virtual book tour by stopping by her official blog to see where she’s headed next!

What Are You Reading Monday - November 30

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see J.Kaye's Book Blog and join in!

Books Completed Last Week:
  • Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro
  • 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr
  • One False Note (39 Clues) by Gordon Korman
Reading Now:
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (review)
  • The Pretty Committee Strikes Back by Lisi Harrison (library)
  • The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Reviews Completed Last Week
  • One Simple Act by Debbie Macomber
  • The Christmas Kitchen
  • Essie in Progress by 
  • Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by 
  • Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  • Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton
  • The Silent Gift by Michael Landon and Cindy Kelley
Reviews to do:
  • 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr
  • One False Note (39 Clues) by Gordon Korman
  • Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Only In Your Dreams by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary -

A slower reading week, but I just found out I am going to have a repeat brain surgery this week (Thursday) so I have been busy trying to get things ready for my husband and I to travel for the surgery and making arrangements and packing my children.  Add in a holiday week and it's been crazy.  I am still keeping up with my reviews and have several posts ready to go to fulfill my commitments while I am in the hospital (which will hopefully only be a few days - I was only in 1 1/2 days in addition to surgery day last time).  So I may miss a day or two, but hopefully not too much more and hopefully this surgery will fix the problems I am having for good.

So if I miss next weeks post think good thoughts about me and I'll be back as soon as possible.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I have been rather remiss lately with posting winners.  I have a lot going on with my health and I promise though not everyone has been listed, all of the winners have been drawn for past contests and contacted.  If some of you haven't received books drop me an email and I'll check on it.  If they are coming from me I will have them out this week.  If they are from the publisher I entered your information and you should get your book soon.

Thank you everyone for entering my contests - I love getting a good response and love giving away books when I can.

Here are some recent winners:

To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt - 

The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz

Irene Hannon - First two books in Heroes of Quantico Series
Cheryl C

More contests coming soon and be sure and check out the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Blog Tour and Review: Knight of Pleasure by Margaret Mallory

Today is my day on the Knight Of Pleasure blog tour.  At the bottom of this post you can find others who are hosting this tour and go here to find my giveaway of Knight of Pleasure thanks to the Forever imprint of Hachette books.

I received my book from Anna Balasi at Hachette Books for this review and tour.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0 

On a funny note I was reading this last night before Thanksgiving supper at my parents and my Dad looks at me and asks what I'm reading now.  Can you imagine telling your Dad you are reading a book called "Knight of Pleasure". We had a good laugh especially when I told him that Knight started with a K.  We had a good laugh the entire night about it.  I love the title by the way.

My Review:
A wonderful and fun historical romance.  This is another time period that I am not very knowledgeable of and I enjoyed reading about it.  I loved the characters and the storyline.  The attraction between Stephen and Lady Isobel is steamy and exciting to read about.  The secondary characters and the political espionage add to the story too.

Lady Isobel is everything I like in a historical heroine.  Strong, knows what she wants and she's an excellent swordsman.  I loved the quick glimpse at the beginning at her at 13 before jumping into the story.  Through the story I loved learning more about her and really liked the way she handled herself.  She is kind and loving, yet strong and has her mind set.  She knows the time she lives in and accepts the idea of arranged marriage, yet she is attracted to Stephen while being promised to another.

Stephen is a womanizer.  Single, in the army and very attractive.  He can attract the women in any town they are in. But he is tired of the meaningless relationships.  They have left him empty.  Enter Lady Isobel who is everything he finds attractive in a woman, however he is in the king's service and she is promised to a French nobleman to help forge alliances between the English and the French.  Yet Stephen's attraction is strong and it's different from anything he's felt before, so will he be true to himself and betray the king?

It's a wonderful story to watch unfold, told with great characters and an entertaining plot line.  The conversation is witty, the scenery interesting and the plot engrossing.  It's a wonderful historical romance.

About the book:

Lady Isobel Hume is an expert swordswoman who knows how to choose her battles. When the king asks her to wed a French nobleman to form a political alliance, she agrees. But that's before the devilishly charming Sir Stephen Carleton captures her heart-and tempts her to betray her betrothed, her king, and her country.

Sir Stephen Carleton enjoys his many female admirers-until he dedicates himself to winning the lovely Isobel. So when a threat against the king leads Isobel into mortal danger, Stephen has a chance to prove that he is more than a knight of pleasure...and that love can conquer all.

About the Author:

MARGARET MALLORY recently surprised her friends and family by abandoning her legal career-and her steady job-to write tales of romance and adventure. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy-in the pages of her novels, of course. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two college-age children. KNIGHT OF DESIRE is her first book so she would dearly love to hear from readers.

Author Website:

 Author Q&A

Participating Blogs: Feature - 11/24 Review 12/1 Feature & Giveaway - 11/25 Review - 12/6 11/26 - Feature & Giveaway 12/4 - Review - Giveaway 11/26/2009 Review, Giveaway 11/27/2009 - Giveaway 11/27/2009 Giveaway 11/30/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/2/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/3/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/3/2009 Feature, Review, Giveaway 12/3/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/5/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/7/2009 - Review 12/8/2009 Review, Giveaway 12/8/2009 - Feature and Review 12/8/2009 - Giveaway 12/8/2009 - 12/08/2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Library Loot - November 26

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

I haven't participated in awhile but just got a good haul from the library today.  I'm having surgery next week and will be out of commission from most everyday activities for awhile, so it's time to stock up on review books and library books.

Here's what I brought home:

Under the Dome by Stephen King - the newest by him and the largest in quite awhile - I'm not even sure I can hold this thing, but I'm looking forward to cracking it open.  I haven't seen the reviews of this one yet, so I don't know if everyone thinks it's good, bad or in-between.

Let Them Eat Fruitcake (86 Bloomberg Place) By Melody Carlson - I enjoyed I Heart Bloomberg so much that I immediately put this one on reserve.  Unfortunately my library doesn't have book 3 and I have book 4 to read for review by the end of the year.  Guess I'll have to hit the bookstore!

Crazy for the Storm: a Memoir of Survival by Norm Ollestad - I think I read about this one on a blog somewhere and it intrigued me and made me want to read it.

Burn by Linda Howard - I have loved her books for awhile and this one sounds good.

The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles - I was introduced to Greg Iles on someone's blog several years ago and since then I have loved his books.  I think I have been through all of his new ones and most of his backlist and have been looking forward to reading this one.

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom - I saw this on blogs when it first came out and it sounded so good - I cannot wait to open this one and enjoy.

The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson - This one just sounds good and our library had it so I had to check it out to read it.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly - with the brief appearance of Mickey Haller in 9 Dragons which I read in October I realized I missed out on the second Mickey Haller book when it came out.  I loved the first one, so it makes sense that I would read this one.

Lots of great reading material this week - now to make time for reading!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review and Giveaway: Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro

Sins of the Flesh

Sins of the Flesh Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro

My rating: 4.25/5.0

I received this book from the author for a tour stop with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

My Review:

Sins of the Flesh is a wonderful start to Caridad Pineiro's new Sins series. I was taken in by the story and I am looking forward to picking up where this one leaves off when Stronger than Sin comes out.

Caterina Shaw is an amazing heroine. She has had a tough time of things, but she remains true to her self and strong. I think she makes the perfect heroine because she is smart and sexy, feminine and tough all wrapped up in one. Being all of those things makes her a perfect match for the hero Mick. Mick is tough guy to the core. Former army and currently a man-for-hire, he has morals and he has a family. He is tired of a life of one-night-stands but doesn't think he's good enough for any one woman. The one place where his soft spot shows is with his family. His love for family shines through from the beginning and only a very special woman can break through the walls he has constructed around his heart.

Add to the great hero and heroine a very engrossing plot line and a lot of unanswered questions that are slowly answered and you have an exciting story.

If it doesn't grab you in the first 25 pages I encourage you to continue because I guarantee that shortly after that the story really takes off and then the book is very hard to put down. The different paranormal storyline is fascinating as it explores science experiments and genetics gone wrong more than vampires and werewolves. But it doesn't go into it too deep to bog the story down, it adds just enough to make the story interesting and different. So if you like your romance paranormal but you want a little something different and if you want an amazing (and hot) romance then Sins of the Flesh is the book for you.

About the Book:
Caterina Shaw's days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment-a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body-and she's been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.

Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he's hunting down is far from the vicious killer he's been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she's a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.


I won a really great lunch tote promoting Caridad Pineiro's Sins of the Flesh release on a twitter contest.  When it came I was sent two of them so I am willing to share one with a lucky reader.  I would share my book but it's autographed and I'm hanging on to it.  Just leave a comment and you are entered.  For extra entries you can twitter, follow me on google, rss or twitter.  Just leave a comment with what you do.  The contest is open to the US and Canada and will end 12/15.

Book Challenges:
100+ Book Challenge
Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009

Announcing: Touching Wonder - A Christmas Radio Special

You are invited to visit to listen to this new Christmas audio special!

uReadBooks presents:

Touching Wonder -
A Christmas Radio Special

Does it seem like you have heard the Christmas story a few too many times for it to still hold the wonder that it once had? With his instant classic, Touching Wonder, author John Blase breathes new life into the story of the Nativity. Just in time for the holiday season, presents a half hour Christmas special featuring excerpts from this new book.

About the book:
Little children understand how amazing the Nativity story is. But, sometimes, as we become men and women, we put away the childlike with the childish. The result? We lose something vital—the wonder of it all. When author John Blase went looking for the lost wonder of Christmas, he went back to the place he’d last seen it—the stories from Luke 1-2. What he found fills the pages of his new book, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas (David C Cook, September 2009), with flesh and bone and dust and night and a baby’s cry; the intimate union of human and divine—the Incarnation.

By boldly imagining the first two chapters of the gospel of Luke, writer, editor, and former pastor John Blase has created an instant classic for Christmastime. In a tale that reads like a novel parallel parked by the record of Scripture, Blase beckons those who could use a little wonder in their lives to step onto the stage of history and witness the long awaited coming of the Messiah. With Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible translation as his backdrop, Blase adds his own voice and commentary to the historic events, exploring the renowned drama from an array of viewpoints.

In Touching Wonder, readers will meet a cast of unruly unlikelies—a frightened teenaged girl, a worried carpenter, a collection of senior citizens, a disillusioned young shepherd, even an angel or two—moving toward the realization that the little one just born is the One. This imaginative retelling of the grand miracle will leave readers wide-eyed, slack-jawed, and heart-full. The Lord is come!

In this lovely and distinctive book to be read…and re-read…and pondered in the heart, young and old will recapture the wonder of the Christmas story by seeing through the eyes of those who lived it. The book’s graceful design and Amanda Jolman’s beautiful line drawings combine to make this a thoughtful Christmas gift as well as a wonder that families will treasure for years to come.

Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas

by John Blase
David C Cook/September 2009

To listen to or download the program, visit

Virtual Book Tour: Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro

Sins of the Flesh
Join Caridad Pineiro, author of the sensual suspense novel, Sins of the Flesh (Grand Central Publishing, Oct. ‘09) , as she virtually tours the blogosphere in November on her third virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

My review is coming later today.  Thank you to Caridad Pineiro for sending and autographing a copy of the book for me to read.  I have a giveaway coming later today also.

About Sins of the Flesh

Sins of the Flesh
Caterina Shaw’s days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment – a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body — and she’s been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.
Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he’s hunting down is far from the vicious killer he’s been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she’s a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.
Caridad Pineiro

About Caridad Pineiro

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Caridad Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library. Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Caridad’s passion for writing led to a determination to become published and share the stories she loved with others. In 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released and a decade later, Caridad is the author of over twenty novels and novellas. Caridad hopes to continue to share her stories with readers all over the world for years to come.
When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista. For more information on Caridad, please visit or

Read an Excerpt

The day the music died, Caterina Shaw did as well. Not physically, although she understood the death of her body was inevitable. She had come to terms with that reality some time ago. She had even managed to deal with the blindness caused by the tumor eating away her brain. But then the pain had become so great that it had silenced the music, stealing away the only thing that had made life worth the anguish.
“You understand this treatment is new and uncertain,” Dr. Rudy Wells explained, his voice smooth and comforting. The touch of his hand, warm and reassuring, came against hers as it rested on her thigh.
“I understand,” she said and faced the direction of that calming voice.
Another person abruptly chimed in, his tones as strident and grating as a badly played oboe. “We’ll begin with laser surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor followed by two different courses of gene therapy.”
Two? she wondered and sensed Dr. Wells’ hesitation as well from the tremble that skated across his fingers. He removed his hand from hers and said, “Dr. Edwards believes that we can not only shut down the tumor growing in your brain, but possibly regrow the portion of your optic nerve that the tumor damaged.”
Caterina’s only wish when considering the experimental treatment had been to stop the pain so that she could play her cello once again. So that her last months would be filled with the vitality her music provided.
It was through her music that she lived. That her mother lived, Caterina thought, recalling the passion she had felt as a small child when her mother had played the piano for her; the way her mother’s fingers had coaxed life from the keys much like she now did with a stroke of her bow and the deft touch of her fingers on the strings of her cello.
Or at least like she had up until the cancer had put an end to her music, bringing her life to a close. Except now she was being told something different.
Caterina had never thought about eliminating the tumor. Every prognosis so far had been that she was terminal. Now these new doctors told her not only that might she live, but that she might actually see again too. She didn’t dare believe that she would be able to get her old life back completely, as well as her sight but . . .
“You think I’ll be able to recover? To see again?” Caterina asked, needing to be sure she had understood correctly.
“The risks are great, my dear,” Dr. Wells urged gently.
“But you qualify for the human trials because of the advanced state of your illness, Ms. Shaw,” Dr. Edwards added, annoyance at his partner evident in the staccato beats of his voice.
Her advanced state which could possibly bring death even with this treatment, Caterina thought. Not that she feared her end. What she did fear was letting the pain in her head rob her of the one thing she could not live without.
Her music.
She knew without hesitation that it was worth any risk to regain that part of her. To drive back the illness so she could play her cello once more and reanimate her heart for as long as she had left if the treatments couldn’t stop the tumor.
“What do you need me to do?”


For Behind the Scenes blogs where readers can find out about the places where the book is set, you can go to:
Sins of the Flesh Banner
Caridad Pineiro’s SINS OF THE FLESH VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Nov. 2 and end on Nov. 27. You can visit Caridad’s blog stops at during the month of November to find out more about this great book and talented author!

Waiting on Wednesday - November 25

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week it's another one of my favorite authors who will be releasing a book early next year.  Ever since I picked up Harlan Coben about 3 years ago I have read each of his new ones as they have come out and have worked on his backlist too.

Caught by Harlan Coben
Release: March 23, 2010

Wendy is a reporter on a mission: She's chasing down the lowest of the low-sexual predators-and exposing them on national television. Her big break comes when she nails a child advocate who works with abused and underserved children. She's there, cameras rolling, when the cops cuff him and the guy realizes his life is well and truly over.

Three months later, the perp is off the grid, missing and presumed dead after the father of a victim claims to have killed him. Wendy, proud to have taken the man down in front of a shocked television audience, has moved on to the story of a missing girl, Erin, in a nearby suburb. The whole country is obsessed with finding this child, and Wendy should be well on her way to journalistic superstardom.

Then is all comes unhinged: Wendy gets a phone call that changes everything. A group of local fathers, out of work and not above vigilante justice, begins to take matters into their own hands on Erin's behalf. Secrets long-buried rise to the surface and Wendy begins to wonder if her assumptions that fateful night three months ago were based on solid investigative journalism-or if she has unwittingly been part of a grand manipulation aiming to destroy and innocent man.

So what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: Fatal Gamble by J.P. O'Donnell

Fatal Gamble: A Novel Fatal Gamble: A Novel by JP O'Donnell

My rating:  5.0/5.0

My Review:

I received this book, Fatal Gamble along with the second Gallagher book, Deadly Codes from the author J.P. O'Donnell. The author himself is very pleasant to deal with so I was looking forward to reading his book. This is my second suspense novel in the week and while I use to read suspense/mystery all the time, my time is now divided because of various review books.

Fatal Gamble will not disappoint those who like PI novels or just general suspense. The suspense is tightly woven and peeling away the layers while reading is very enjoyable. Daniel Gallagher is a very likeable PI. He strives to do the best at his job and in his life. He's divorced and does not like that but realizes it was for the best. He left a prominent police force job to be a PI because of his personality and not doing well taking orders (hey I can understand that). But despite all of that he is not a seriously flawed PI. As I stated last week in my review of The Cutting - I really enjoy the slightly flawed police/PI characters instead of the seriously flawed ones and Daniel Gallagher fits this bill.

In Fatal Gamble, the first book in the Daniel Gallagher series, someone is murdering doctors who were involved in a real estate deal 20 years earlier. Gallagher is hired by one of the deceased doctor's wives to get to the bottom of the financial side of the partnership so she won't be blindsided if there were shady dealings. Gallagher takes the case and is quickly sucked into it, following leads across the country. There is also a nice romance subplot involving Gallagher and his current serious girlfriend Kate, who I also really liked.

Lots of suspense, intrigue, detective work and some romance make up this well-rounded book. I was hanging on until the end wanting to know the who, what and why of this sinister plot. I am also looking forward to picking up the second book in the series, Deadly Codes and hope more follow that one.

Thank you J.P. O'Donnell for sending me your books. You have a new loyal reader.

About the Book:
Twenty years ago, a group of doctors formed a partnership to build a medical office plaza in Massachusetts. While it wasn't the most above-board deal ever made, the doctors have found continued profit and success—until now.

Someone wants the doctors dead, and he or she has already succeeded in murdering two of them. The identity of the killer remains unknown. Is it a madman with a vendetta against the medical profession, a small-time bookie seeking revenge for a shady real estate deal, or a disgruntled former construction manager who was unjustly fired?

The widow of one of the slain doctors has a clue—but she's too afraid to tell the police. She hires Boston private investigator Daniel Gallagher to help track down the murderer. But as Gallagher begins to unravel the mystery, he finds himself entangled in a web of danger and political intrigue.

With the stakes growing higher, Gallagher faces a growing threat to keep him quiet before he reveals the damaging truth. But when push comes to shove, has Gallagher made a Fatal Gamble?

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My Disclaimer:
Though this book was sent to me by the author - that does not guarantee a positive review - my reviews are my feelings on the book and I will be honest about how I like the book. I am not paid for the reviews besides receiving the book.

Teaser Tuesday - November 24


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Gallagher never wanted to be drawn into relationships that affect his judgement and put him in jeopardy.  But this woman was different -- something about her evoked feelings of loyalty and made him want to help her, to exhaust all of the possibilites and push himself beyond the limit.
From Fatal Gamble by J.P. O'Donnell

Book Tour Promo: Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII

Hey everyone - I just wanted to let you know that on November 30th, Lois Herr, author of “Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII” will be stopping by to share a profile of one of the athletes that wrote to her father, Elizabethtown college coach Ira Herr, during WWII.

A collection of not only letters but historical facts, pictures and vivid commentary, “Dear Coach” features letters from WWII that were sent to Lois’s father, the famous Elizabethtown College coach Ira Herr, by various students, friends and family members who once played for the coach. The book gives an inside look at not only the impact of war to a small college community, but that of multiple heartfelt player and coach relationships.

To order your own copy, visit the author’s website:

To learn more about the author and book please feel free stop by her official “Dear Coach: Letters Home from WWII” virtual tour blog and read up on reviews, tour stops and so much more.

Make sure you come back on the 30th to see the profile posted here on my blog and check out the other tours for more information.  This looks like a wonderful book.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Are You Reading Monday - November 23

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see J.Kaye's Book Blog and join in!

Books Completed Last Week:
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (audiobook with son)
  • The Cutting by James Hayman (review) 
  • I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson (library)
  • Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz (audiobook)
  • Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss (review)
  • Fatal Gamble by J.P. O'Donnell
Reading Now:
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (review)
  • The Pretty Committee Strikes Back by Lisi Harrison (library)
  • Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro

Reviews Completed Last Week

  • Knight of Pleasure by Margaret Mallory
  • Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton
  • The Silent Gift by Michael Landon and Cindy Kelley
Reviews to do:
  • Fatal Gamble by J.P. O'Donnell
  • Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Only In Your Dreams by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary -

Another great week for reading.  I'm back on track with my reading and I read some really great books this week - in fact they were all winners.  I decided I didn't have to catch up  on all the book reviews I had on my backlist so I shortened my need to review list to something much more doable.  I'm continuing to stay organized and that is helping with getting my reviews done and posted.  The next few weeks will be busy with reviews and tours that are due and I'm looking forward to reading more good books.  Have a wonderful week.