Saturday, December 3, 2016

Call of the Cats Review






Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony   by Andrew Bloomfield

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: New World Library

Source: Sent by publisher for review

Book Description:

When aspiring screenwriter Andrew Bloomfield moved into a bungalow in Southern California he soon discovered that he shared the property with a large colony of feral cats — untamed, uninterested in human touch, not purring pets in waiting. But after a midnight attack by predators that decimated yet another litter of kittens, Bloomfield decided to intervene. He began to name and nurse, feed and house, rescue and neuter. Drawing on his time living in Asia among spiritual teachers, he takes us on the contemplative, humorous, and poignant journey of saving these cats, only to find it was they who saved him by revealing a world of meaning beyond his unrealized Hollywood dreams.

Review:

This was an interesting look at a feral colony through one man's eyes. Andrew wasn't a cat person, but quickly became one when he decided to take care of a feral colony behind his house.

He talks about what he learned about himself, the cats, and how it made him feel to protect these cats that most people would steer clear of. If you're a cat person or just an animal lover you'll enjoy this book.

Happy Reading!
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Lost Masters Review






Lost Masters: Rediscovering the Mysticism of the Ancient Greek Philosophers   by Linda Johnsen

Genre: Spirituality

Publisher: New World Library

Source: Sent by publisher for review

Book Description:

Ashrams in Europe twenty-five hundred years ago? Greek philosophers studying in India? Meditation classes in ancient Rome? It sounds unbelievable, but it’s historically true. Alexander the Great had an Indian guru. Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plotinus all encouraged their students to meditate. Apollonius, the most famous Western sage of the first century c.e., visited both India and Egypt—and claimed that Egyptian wisdom was rooted in India.

In Lost Masters, award-winning author Linda Johnsen, digging deep into classical sources, uncovers evidence of astonishing similarities between some of the ancient Western world’s greatest thinkers and India’s yogis, including a belief in karma and reincarnation. Today ancient Greek philosophers are remembered as the founders of Western science and civilization. We’ve forgotten that for over a thousand years they were revered as sages, masters of spiritual wisdom. Lost Masters is an exploration of our long-lost Western spiritual heritage and the surprising insights it can offer us today.

Review:

This was a very enlightening book for me. I find philosophy fascinating and this book introduced me to philosophers I've never heard of.  These lesser known philosophers helped shaped how we think about God and spirituality.

One of the philosophers was Heraclitus who believed the beginning and the end are the same. He taught that we should live by thinking clearly, speaking honestly, acting wisely, and deepen our awareness. The one way to achieve that according to Heraclitus was "the need to cleanse ourselves of our sense of self-importance".

You'll also meet Democritus who refined and popularized atomic theory.  He believed that "Tranquility comes from contentment".

Epicurus is mentioned as well and his philosophy was "The only purpose of life that makes any sense is to enjoy ourselves".

Plato and Socrates and Aristotle are mentioned, but they are not the only ones talked about in this book. This was a book that makes you think and opens you up to a new way of thinking. I highly recommend this book.

Happy Reading!
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving































I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Hope you have time to curl up with a turkey sandwich and a good book!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

L'art de la Simplicity: How to Live More with Less Review





L'art de la Simplicite; How toLive More with Less   by Dominique Loreau (1-3-17)

Genre: Self-help

Publisher: St Martin's Griffin

Source: Good Reads win

Book Description:

Discover the magic of simplicity in this international bestseller, available for the first time in English.
Dominque Loreau is the master in the art of de-cluttering and simplifying. Now her groundbreaking L’art de la Simplicit√©, a huge bestseller in her native France, is translated into English for the first time. Loreau’s principle of “less is more” is set to change your life forever.
Living in Japan and inspired by Asian philosophy, Loreau takes you on a step-by-step journey to a clutter-free home, a calm mind and an energized body. Free yourself of possessions you don’t want or need; have more money to spend on life’s little luxuries; eat better and lose weight; and say goodbye to anxiety and negative relationships.

Review:

This was a great book, it is simple steps we all can do to have a more fulfilling life and how to live with less stuff. We all have clutter and this book will help you clear out the clutter in your home, but in your life as well.

One of the things that stuck out to me was when Dominque tells us that,

"One of the most effective ways to make the most of effective ways to make the     most of each moment is to take charge of yourself. Try to do as many things as possible, by yourself, for yourself."

She says that you should show gratitude for the day ahead and what matters most is not what's ahead, but what you make of the day.

One of the ways to do this is by taking a break. She points out that "changing gear", is the best way to get out of your normal routine and living each moment with intensity. She also believes in mindfulness.

"Mindfulness opens the doors to immense reserves of creativity, intelligence, determination, and wisdom. Living mindfully means keeping your spirit open and free.

She gives useful advice on everything from your outer beauty to your inner beauty, with simple easy things to do. She helps you to live a more fuller life by finding the meaning In every moment.

This book will help you to be happier and live with less stuff. She says,
  "Living in true happiness means seeking to come close to perfection. To be happy, live simply."

I highly recommend this book as a gift to yourself and those you love.



Happy Reading!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Guest post



















I'd like to welcome Carl Schmidt to As The Page Turns.




Short Bio: Carl Schmidt  (Author of Dead Down East)



Carl Schmidt graduated from Denver University with a degree in mathematics and physics. As a Woodrow Wilson Fellow he studied mathematics at Brown University.

Carl lived and traveled widely throughout Asia for seven years, including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and five years in Japan, where he taught English.

Carl has spent dozens of summers in Maine, on lakes and in the woods. He chose it as the setting for this novel because he loves its rugged natural beauty and the charming idiosyncrasies of Mainers. He has also written and recorded three musical albums. This, along with his formal education, proved invaluable when molding the persona and voice of Jesse Thorpe, the narrator of Dead Down East, and endowing him with both a creative eye for detail and a sense of humor.

Dead Down East is the first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series, which includes A Priestly Affair and Redbone.  In 2001, New Falcon Press published his non-fictional book, A Recipe for Bliss: Kriya Yoga for a New Millennium.

Currently, he is a freelance writer living in Sedona, Arizona with his lovely wife, Holly, and their faithful German shorthaired pointer, Alize.



Links:







Notes for Carl Schmidt & his novel, Dead Down East:

Email address:  sedonav@earthlink.net

Book release date:  Kindle:  May 25, 2016    Paperback:  June 26, 2016

Length: 241 pages, 90,000 words

ISBN:  9781533502186

ASIN:  ISBN-10: 1533502188

Genre: Mystery/Humor









Blurb:

Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais.  She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor of Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.



Writing With Humor
(by Carl Schmidt)


I’ve been sitting at my word processor for nearly an hour, alternately squirming in my chair, rubbing the back of my neck and watching the clock, hoping that somehow, some way, the Great God of Mirth will sidle up and whisper to me the secret of writing with humor—so that I can reveal it to you. After all, that’s my topic.
I’m not really sure how to proceed, but I’m not flustered; I’m pacing myself. And what’s more, I lied about it being an hour; it’s only been ten minutes…so far.
The problem with writing about humor is that the reader is geared up to be amused. This, more or less, puts the writer on the spot. It won’t be good enough to Google the topic and paste up the seven secrets of comedy writing. I read them already, and they didn’t make me laugh. People don’t laugh while their analyzing. To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, “People just want to have fun.” And besides, if I cut and paste all seven, I’ll get nailed for plagiarism. So I won’t go there. My mission is to make you laugh.
Now… Fear of failure has always been a great motivator for me. So I’ll get myself going with a pep talk. Picture a manic, red-faced football coach at halftime with his team down by twenty-one points, and I’m the quarterback:

“OK, wise guy,” coach Ditka yells, looking me right in the eye. “You want to sell your book, right? Then you’d better get off your duff and find a way to be funny. Fake it if you have to, but I want to hear a chuckle in the third quarter. Otherwise, the reader will figure out that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, and what’s more, she’ll be pissed.”

Jesse Thorpe is the narrator/private detective of my mystery novel, Dead Down East. Jesse has a cheeky sense of humor, which he allows to leak out now and again, not just because he likes to have fun, but also to maintain calm when things get perilous. The first really dicey moment for him occurs in the middle of chapter four, as he is trying to worm his way through an FBI roadblock. In the first draft, I had chosen that moment to insert a rather lengthy internal monologue, to expose the witty side of Jesse’s nature. I was having so much fun with it that by the time I was done, it was almost fifteen hundred words long. And while I liked the tension it created by suspending the dramatic moment in mid-air—for several pages—eventually I decided that it would be more effective as a prologue for the book. This way, on the very first page, the reader gets a preview of the inner workings of Jesse’s mind, a snapshot of his modus operandi and a quick peak at his girlfriend.
What follows are the first two paragraphs of that prologue. I hope it serves to demonstrate the use of humor in writing, and, most of all, I hope it tickles your funny bone.

Apologies and compliments are two remarkably effective devices for disarming adversaries in life and hecklers in bars. If you consider the socially adept people you know, you’ll see that they use these two conversational tools frequently and with ease. I remember the first time it fully dawned on me how valuable they could be.
Angele and I had been dating for a couple of weeks. Our next planned event was scheduled for Saturday night. So I was a bit surprised when she arrived unexpectedly at my place on Tuesday evening. I guess she decided that there was something that couldn’t wait until the weekend. The moment she walked through the front door, I began to suspect what that “something” was. She had a gleam in her eyes that seared me from the inside of my nimble imagination right down to my insteps. I surmised that she was either ovulating, or she had a sudden urge for a tour of the Thorpe habitat. I began to mentally review the floor plan of the house. “Now, where is my bedroom?” I thought. “I know it was here this morning.”


Monday, November 14, 2016

Doll Maker Review






The Doll Maker: The Forgotten Files   by Mary Burton

Genre: Romantic suspense

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Source: Sent by publisher for review

Book Description:

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.
Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…
She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

Review:

I love Mary Burton's books as they are well written,keep you on the edge of your seat, and a little romance. This is the second book in this series,but can be read as a stand alone.

Tessa has returned to resume her marriage, but Agent Dakota Sharp isn't sure he's good for her. When he meets Tessa again, he's thrown for a loop and wonders why she's returned. After her accident 12 years ago, she has no memory of what happened. Now three of her friends from that night are being stalked and made into living dolls.

Tessa and Dakota must work together to find out who's behind it all and finally get the answers to who killed his sister, Kara and why. They rush against time to find the killer before he can do the same to Tessa.

Happy Reading!
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Sunday, November 6, 2016

On the Reading Table





WHAT’S ON MY READING TABLE

I want to share what’s on my reading table. I hope you’ll want to play along with me and share what’s on your reading table with me .

The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

The instant New York Times bestseller from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder shares how saying YES changed her life. “As fun to read as Rhimes’s TV series are to watch” (Los Angeles Times).

She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today. Her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews?

With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.

The Dollmaker by Mary Burton

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.
Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…
She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

Lost Masters: Rediscovering the Mysticism of thr Ancient Greek Philsophers by Linda Johnsen

Ashrams in Europe twenty-five hundred years ago? Greek philosophers studying in India? Meditation classes in ancient Rome? It sounds unbelievable, but it’s historically true. Alexander the Great had an Indian guru. Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plotinus all encouraged their students to meditate. Apollonius, the most famous Western sage of the first century c.e., visited both India and Egypt—and claimed that Egyptian wisdom was rooted in India.

In Lost Masters, award-winning author Linda Johnsen, digging deep into classical sources, uncovers evidence of astonishing similarities between some of the ancient Western world’s greatest thinkers and India’s yogis, including a belief in karma and reincarnation. Today ancient Greek philosophers are remembered as the founders of Western science and civilization. We’ve forgotten that for over a thousand years they were revered as sages, masters of spiritual wisdom. Lost Masters is an exploration of our long-lost Western spiritual heritage and the surprising insights it can offer us today.

Return of the Continuums by Jennifer Brody

Reaching the surface was just the beginning.
As Myra Jackson and her friends set out to find the First Continuum, Captain Aero Wright and two companions from the outer space Second Continuum find themselves banished for treason and stranded on Earth. Wright has vowed to complete his late father’s mission to recolonize their ancestral planet, but his true mission is to find the mysterious girl who haunts his dreams. Meanwhile, Myra and the young refugees of the underwater Thirteenth Continuum must make an unlikely ally if they are going to survive the hostile surface world and reach their destination, the nexus of humanity’s hope for survival. As their paths begin to converge, the Beacons that guide and connect Myra and Aero begin to prove their power, and a shadowy force with a centuries-old grudge reveals itself.

Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony by
Andrew Bloomfield

When aspiring screenwriter Andrew Bloomfield moved into a bungalow in Southern California he soon discovered that he shared the property with a large colony of feral cats — untamed, uninterested in human touch, not purring pets in waiting. But after a midnight attack by predators that decimated yet another litter of kittens, Bloomfield decided to intervene. He began to name and nurse, feed and house, rescue and neuter. Drawing on his time living in Asia among spiritual teachers, he takes us on the contemplative, humorous, and poignant journey of saving these cats, only to find it was they who saved him by revealing a world of meaning beyond his unrealized Hollywood dreams.

That's what's on my table, how about yours? What's on your reading table.
Happy Reading!

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Goblin Crown Review





Goblin Crown: Billy Smith and the Goblins   by Robert Hewitt Wolfe

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Turner

Source: Sent by publisher for review

Book Description:

Billy Smith is having a rough first day of high school. The new kid at exclusive Francis Drake Prep, Billy embarrasses himself in front of fiery, beautiful Lexi Aquino. He makes an instant enemy in Kurt Novac, the school’s surly star quarterback. Then suddenly Billy, Lexi, and Kurt are mysteriously transported to an underworld teeming with goblins, strange animal hybrids, and powerful magic―the fact that they’re stuck there is probably Billy’s fault, too. With help from an unlikely goblin leader named Hop, the teens soon discover that goblins can be both fierce and friendly, with their own rich language, culture, and history―a history that foretells of a human arriving to claim the Goblin Crown and lead them to victory against the deadly, invading Hanorians. Could Billy―anxious, awkward Billy―be the mythical Goblin King? Could saving the goblin race be his destiny and the key to getting him, Lexi, and Kurt back home?

Review:

I loved this adventure into the goblin world. It has adventure, goblins, and a coming of age rolled into one exciting read. Billy, Lexi, & Kurt end up there and things will never be the same again. The goblins are awaiting their new King, because the prophecy told them the King was coming.

After being discovered by the goblins, Kurt proclaims he's the long lost King, The prophecy states that when the new King touches the crown the ruby eye will light up, but when Kurt puts it on nothing. Then the trio is sentenced to death for trying to steal the crown. They are sent to a camp where they will await their fate.
While there Lexi learns to control her magic and Billy struggles to come up with a way to save them and hopefully help them get back home.

The writing is excellent and we get a lesson in goblin language, goblin names to help us understand them better. I can't wait for the rest of the series to be written.

If you like goblins, goblin wars, and action then I highly recommend this book for Young Adults and adult as well.

Happy Reading!
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Children's Author Natalie Babbit

Children's books author and illustrator Natalie Babbitt died today at the age of 84. She lived in Hamden, CT with her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt. A publicist from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group confirmed her death in an email to Bustle, but could provide no additional details.
Babbitt is best known for her 1976 novel Tuck Everlasting, which eventually served as the basis for a movie and Broadway show of the same name. The book, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, has sold over 3.5 million copies since publication. Babbitt was also awarded a Newbery Honor in 1961 for her work on Knee-knock Rise, and in 1975, she was a National Book Award finalist for The Devil's Storybook.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1932, Babbitt spent her childhood drawing and reading fairytales. Her mother, she wrote on the Scholastic website, gave her art lessons, and Babbitt grew up wanting to be an illustrator, a goal she eventually achieved. She went on to study art at the Laurel School in Cleveland and at Smith College.
After graduation, she married Samuel Fisher Babbitt, and they had three children together: Christopher, Tom, and Lucy. Samuel Fisher Babbitt was actually the first of the pair to try his hand at writing. He took some time from his academic career to write a novel, but he didn't enjoy the hours. Babbitt's sister also tried her hand at a comic novel, but discovered she would need to do some substantial rewrites. From their mistakes, Natalie Babbitt learned that you have to give writing your undivided attention. Years later, she would put that knowledge to good use.
In 1966, Babbitt first flexed her muscles as an illustrator on The Forty-ninth Magician, a book written by her husbandShe continued to write and draw children's stories, even when her husband became to busy to continue writing. In 1967, she released her first solo book: Dick Foote and the Shark. A career was born.
In 1976, she released her most famous work: Tuck Everlasting, which circled around a young girl named Winnie Foster and the immortal Tuck family. When Winnie, just 11 years old, meets "17-year-old" Jesse Tuck, a friendship quickly blossoms. He introduces her to the magical spring that grants eternal life to its drinkers. The tale is a gorgeously wrought story about life, death, and the strange sadness of immortality. The book has never been out of print since its original publication.
Her tireless work to create introspective, thoughtful, beautiful works for children and young adults inspired countless authors, editors, illustrations, and readers to live life fully and wondrously — just like Winnie.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween



Hope all my readers have a safe and happy Halloween.


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