Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Bedlam Detective-Stephen Gallagher

 

bedlam detective

What an interesting read!

Sebastion Becker is an investigator for a branch of the government that investigates the competency of the upper crust, from a dingy room in the infamous Bedlam hospital for the insane. Those that have gone mad and cannot handle their own affairs often hire someone to handle them. What the former policeman and Pinkerton agent ends up with is a murder mystery that jars the community to its core.

Sir Owain Lancaster, a wealthy industrialist was the only survivor of a badly planned and in the end disastrous expedition in the Amazon, where all of his family and members of the party were killed,” torn apart by beasts.”

When two young girls are murdered on the moor, Lancaster fears the monsters have followed him home. It is up to Becker to determine the truth and to make sure he is able to handle his own affairs.

This was a riveting story with a good twist in the end! I recommend it for anyone who likes a good historical mystery. I got this book from my local library.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ghostly Grey

grey 1 grey2 grey 3  grey5

Clea Simon has written a charming, cozy series, featuring Dulcie Schwartz, a Harvard, Doctoral candidate, who has the bad luck to find at least one dead person in each book. She is guided by her beloved cat Mr. Grey, who is unfortunately dead. Mr. Grey is not gone and certainly not forgotten.

When Dulcie is in trouble, Mr. Grey speaks to her, giving her cryptic messages, that help her stay alive as well as helping to solve the cases. Murders, apparent suicide, thefts of valuable books, and all sorts of trouble follow Dulcie as she works to finish her thesis, which haunts her dreams.

While she has gotten a rowdy kitten, she still relies on Mr. Grey to aid her. Little does she realize, the kitten and Mr. Grey are speaking to each other.

Add in a nutty Mother, who fashions herself a psychic, an absent boyfriend, and a crazy cast of characters, these books are nothing but fun.

If you are in the mood for a cozy mystery, with a cup of coffee, on a cold winter day, give these a try. You will not regret it!

I got these books from my local library!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

All in a Heap

all in a heap

I have been all in a heap (as my father would say) for months. My RA is bad, my heart failure is not good, my fibro is okay, for now, but the cold is getting to me. The fam is having so many issues and I just haven’t had my heart in blogging. My blog looks all in a heap too. Damn it all….I need to get my messes cleaned up!

My room and closet look like a bomb went off and my tub is full of handbags! I had resolved to clean my closet and discovered that I had more clothes than I would wear in 100 years. Since I rarely go out, I have no need for that ballgown. Why do I hem and haw about getting rid of stuff? I really want a spare space, uncluttered by stuff, and I am having so much trouble getting there.

I have thousands of books and they are not going anywhere, since I am still hoping for my library. (hear that, love??)  I need one really good chair and I will be a happy girl.

I have been reading and hope to have the energy and ability to post some short reviews very soon. (I know I said that a while ago, but this time I mean it dammit !!!!!!)

Here’s hoping you are all still around and I have been reading your blogs regularly.  Hope to see you all soon!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leaves-Michael Baron

leaves
This was one of those books that I did not want to end. I read slowly, savoring each word. Filled with love, angst, family and a charming story, I loved it!
The “leaf peepers” come every year to view the changing of the seasons, staying in the Sugar Maple Inn, owned by the Gold family. For over 30 years, the Inn has hosted a Halloween Party, and the last party is being planned by the Gold children. The Inn has been sold and with the deaths of their parents, the children have decided to sell.
Deborah is the chef at the Inn and is weighing job offers. Corinna is micro managing the party plans. Tyler is a photographer, trying to make ends meet. Maria is suffering through empty nest syndrome, since her daughter went to college. Maxwell is a mover and shaker, considering politics. Some things come together, others fall apart.
The stories of each brother and sister make for good reading. Problems arise, as they do in real families, and success along with tragedy are handled deftly by Baron.
I drug my feet, not wanting to leave the changing colors, and the warmth of the story, only to discover that this is the first in a series! I cannot wait for the next installment, to rejoin my new found friends, and to see how they are getting along.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good family story, as well as a trip to the leaves. I think we all have a little “leaf peeper” in us.

I received this book from Allison at The Story Plant for review, and I apologize for the delay. Thank You!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gossip-Beth Gutcheon



The origin of the word gossip is God-sibling, the talk between godparents with a loving interest in the person being talked about. Most gossip today is not loving, and it usually does not stay between only godparents.

Lovie is keeper of the secrets.

The owner of an upscale dress shop, she hears it all, and keeps it to herself. Her best friends from boarding school, Dinah and Avis, have been enemies for ages, but when their fall in love and marry, they maintain an uneasy truce. Dinah married well and became a gossip columnist and Avis made a name for herself in the wild world of art.

As they age, lessons are learned, loves are lost and found, bitterness and sadness are part of the new scenery. In the midst of it all, Lovie maintains her stoic observation of it all. She is the anchor of this story, and she is deftly handled by author Gutcheon. All of the characters are well written and their voices are true.

The tone of this book put me in mind of the wonderful "women's" movies of the 40's, you know the ones I mean. With the wonderful shoes and great suits. I recommend this for anyone who wants a good read, and to feel that terrific feeling of observing from afar. It is terrific.

I received this book from the publisher for review and I apologize for the delay.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shame

I have been struggling with some health issues. Congestive heart failure has kicked my ass, and a bad flare of RA has made me useless. I have owed at least one review for a terrible amount of time and that will be next. I just wanted to keep you in the loop, so you would know I was still alive! I have missed everyone.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Long Story Short-Illness

From my garden
I Just realized how long it has been since I was last here. I have been reading and doing some reviews, but I have been ill. My hands swelled up so they looked like catchers mitts. (not cute at all)  Made typing hard. At first I thought it was new meds, but no such easy answer. Still trying to figure it out. Feeling better and finally got some energy back so I am ready to rock. I have missed everyone. And am getting ready to make my rounds with comments and much enjoyment!   
      


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Monday, April 30, 2012

Social Punk-Monica Leonelle Blog Tour

I was offered an E-book for review via an email. I accepted it for a blog tour and then could not add it to my reader for some weird reason. So I read it on my computer....long story short, it was not my best choice. Having said that, I have to say that I think it is my advanced age that affected my enjoyment of the story.

Living in a city under a dome, with a father who doesn't understand her, E (or Ima or Cinder) sneaks out and goes to a concert with her friend Dash,against her fathers wishes. When an explosion rocks the venue, and hooded figures start running, pulling her along, she finds herself outside the dome. Dash has apparently been killed and she is with Nahum, and Vaughn. She is told that her reality is virtual and that her rescuer Vaughn has been living in the real world. Food is bad for you and the air is strange in the real world. as are so many of the people. Kind of like now....

 It is an interesting premise. What is real and what is virtual? Can the dome be destroyed? Who will survive?

There is so much action it was rather hard to follow for an old raisin like me. The name changes added to my befuddlement. I want to give this one to Vampchild, my granddaughter to read. I think with her quick mind, she will love it. This is the first of three, and I think I will have to pass, but if Vampchild likes it, I will get her the others.




Monica Lonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (http://proseonfire.com/free-writer-toolkit).





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Replacement Wife-Eileen Goudge

Utterly captivating! The story of a matchmaker, looking for a new wife for her beloved husband, as she battles cancer, is both funny (if you can imagine), heartbreaking and hopeful.

Successful matchmaker, Camille Hart, has discovered the return of her cancer. Her handsome physician husband, Edward,wants nothing more than to find a cure for her. Camille has decided, instead of treatment, that she wants to find a new wife/mother for her family. Someone who will love her kids and help Edward through his grief.

She finds a good candidate in a teacher, who loves kids and is looking for love.Unfortunately, she does not share her plan with Edward. All he feels is rejection, and he turns to a beautiful caterer for friendship.(someone to talk to)

Each is deceiving the other, with the best of intentions, when everything suddenly changes. Be careful what you wish for because it might just come around and bite you on the butt. (and sometimes you get what you deserve).

When I found myself getting angry at Camille for being so stupid and selfish, I thought about what I would do in her place. I became more forgiving.

Bittersweet, and a fitting ending, made me love the story after all. READ THIS BOOK!!

I received this book from Netgalley for review. Thank you!




Monday, March 26, 2012

Redemption Day-Steve O’Brien

redemption day

When Supreme Court Justice Silvio Caprelli is kidnapped, recently fired Nick James is the only person who knows what is really happening.

A terrorism analyst for the U.S. Government, Nick was good at his job. He was looking into a home grown, antigovernment group, the Posse Comitatus, a group hell bent on bring the U.S. Government down.

When videos start appearing on the Internet, with Justice Caprelli denouncing the right of the government to misuse the Constitution, they twist it to their own goals. Nick recognizes the rhetoric. His own hidden past, and family secrets give him the edge he needs.

Blamed by the FBI for some part of the kidnapping, Nick goes on the run, to save the Judge and take down the group.  Aided by beautiful agent Kate, he has to find an invisible enemy, and destroy them before it is too late.

An explosive book with an intelligent hero, ‘Redemption Day’ is a frightening look at our country. Groups like this exist, and that is what keeps you on the edge of your seat, reading to the end.

I received this book from The Cadence Group for review. Thank you!

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The Lilac House-Anita Nair

the lilac house
Meera, cookbook author, wife and mother, finds her world turned upside down when her husband, Giri, leaves a party they are attending, and never returns home. Her son is confused and her daughter is angry. Meera is  terribly frightened.

The house where the family lives with her mother and grandmother, is a bone of contention between Meera and her husband.

Forced to find work, Meera becomes assistant to Jak, an expert in cyclones, who is struggling with his own family tragedy.

Set in India, I did not understand some of the terms,I was still able to immerse myself in the story, which is lyrically written and fascinating. A look into a culture, so different from ours, with shocking customs, beautiful landscapes, and a people who in this case, honor family above all.

Meera’s strength, fears and hope, carried the story along quickly toward a conclusion that will satisfy any reader.

India is a land of color,spice and people who while  sometimes flawed, as we all are, hold their culture above all. Although I did not like or understand some of the ideas expressed, it is after all, their culture, and I have to respect that.

I Received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers for review. Thanks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

So Damn Lucky- Deborah Coonts

so damn lucky

She’s back!

 

Lucky O’Toole, customer relations manager extraordinaire, is back, with dead magicians, a missing body, no Teddy, a pregnant mother and a boatload of crazy gamblers.

Clever, funny and so much fun, the Lucky series is a sure winner.

Like a wonderful box of chocolates you can’t stop eating, So Damn Lucky was one I couldn’t stop reading.

After finding her father, Lucky has her hands full as she prepares for a Halloween séance to speak to Houdini, a crazy sex party, falling for a French chef, and losing Teddy, her longtime love.

Area 51, break ins on the 30th floor, UFO nuts, and the running of her casino.hotel, keep Lucky feeling not so lucky. People living in the sewers under Las Vegas, all add flavor and color to the regular cast of characters.

I love this series, and all I want to say to Deborah Coonts is,

MUST WRITE FASTER!!!! I need more Lucky!

I received this book from FSB Associates for review. Thank You!!

 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Anything Goes-Lucy Moore







A biography of the Roaring Twenties is the sub title for this book, and what fun it is. I think I was born at the wrong time. I was fascinated by the stories and could not put it down!

Full of many short vignettes, about Hollywood scandals, the KKK, Sacco and Vanzetti, most of the important aspects of the 20's are covered.

The writing is fresh, and the chapters are thorough, with characters from Al Capone to Harry Crosby, the Algonquin round table to the Crash. This book hits on a decade that was both amazing and terrible.

Freedom in the form of Lucky Lindy's flight, flappers, movies and the assembly line brought some Americans to heights and distances they could never have imagined.

When it all came tumbling down, things changed quickly, but OH while it lasted, it looked like such fun! What a fun look at a time when so many of us wish we were there. I recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the 20's. It is funtastic!

I got this book from my local library.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Evangeline- Heidi Radford Legg

my evangeline
Evangeline is an Acadian, ready to join her boyfriend Max, an American, in Rhode Island, so she can go to art school. Her father thinks she is going to school in Montreal. He and her mother had been involved in the cause of  Quebec becoming a separate country, for the French speaking people of Canada. Her mother died in childbirth, and she was raised by her father. The French cause was her mother’s cause.
Set in 1995, the book follows Eve, as she caves in to her father’s wishes, leaving Max in the lurch, and going to Montreal. 
Once there, she meets a group of protesters, and gets involved with a mysterious man, who has an odd interest in her. Having failed to get Eve’s father back into the cause, Narcisste, offers Eve a place to paint, as well as the excitement of going out at night to protest.
When Eve overhears his real plan, she is shocked and disgusted. A dark secret in her parents past is about to come to light, when tragedy strikes, flinging Eve into emotional turmoil.
I found myself  getting irritated at the characters, because they were all so manipulative, but Eve was young and sheltered so she at least has an excuse. I did like the story, though. It was new and fresh, a real coming of age story. I like learning new things, and I had not heard much about Acadians or the protesting in Canada.
I don’t know much about this time in Canada, for which my kids chastised me, but it happened long after I was out of school, and I don’t pay much attention to Canadian news. (shame on me). It was an interesting time.
I received this book from the author for review. Thank you!
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Pretty- Jillian Lauren

Pretty is not a pretty story. Bebe has been in a horrible accident that killed her boyfriend and left her drug addled and scarred, trying to make a new life. Living in a halfway house, she is attending beauty school with a variety of characters. As she struggles to make her way, she encounters people who are both good and bad for her.

Breaking all the rules is a way of life for her and she finds some comfort with another bad boy. When her heart is broken, yet again, Bebe finds that her friends may be a better choice than a man.

I did not like this as much as I liked Some Girls (review coming) but it was an okay read. I probably would not have purchased it.

I received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers some time ago. Sorry it took so long, and thank you.

Monday, January 09, 2012

52 Small Changes-Brett Blumenthal

changes
What a way to start the year! Perfect timing…. Small changes, one a week, for a year, can change your life, to become a healthier, happier you! Everything, from reading labels, watching what you eat, drinking more water, going outside, into the sun and giving back can make a true difference.

There are exercises, tips on being with yourself, almost any small thing you can imagine to make life better.

The chapters are short, and the tips are sensible. This might be the book that does the trick for me. It is not overwhelming, and completely do-able.
Common sense things, for sure, but the ones that often get lost in the shuffle in the fast paced lives we live.
Check this one out if you want to be happier and healthier in 2012! I am going to give it a try and hope I succeed!
I received this book for review from Amazon Encore. Thank You!!!!


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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Long Story Short-A New Year 2012

Happy New Year to all and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Thank you to all of my faithful readers and to all the authors, and publishers who provided me with books this year!

Sad to say, the pneumonia has kicked my ass. The Dr. said to forget about Christmas (yeah right) but I think he was right. I am still not well. 

I am going to have to do something that is one of my biggest pet peeves, and post quite a few catch up posts.
Not right now, because the coughing is killing me.

I did not read 10 Steampunk books, only 9. So one challenge failed.
I did read 102 books and my goal was 100, so Yea! I actually succeeded at my 100 book challenge.

My favorite book of 2011 was Open Wounds by Joe Lunievicz. His story was original and his characters were wonderful!

I will be accepting fewer review books in 2012, and reading from my own shelves and using my local library. I am looking forward to reading some of the books I have chosen to purchase.

I will be posting some catch up reviews soon and hope I hear from you soon!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Secret Gift- Ted Gup

a secret gift

It is 1933 in Canton, Ohio, in the midst of the depression, when A Christmas Carol is read in church, resonating with all who were there. Businesses were failing, foreclosures, hungry children who did not learn the word “breakfast” for years. An ad in the paper offered help for the hardworking men of the town.The gift of five dollars from the mysterious B. Virdot would mean so much to the suffering people, feeding and heating homes, but mostly giving hope.

Decades later, the author discovered that his grandfather, Sam Stone, was in fact, B. Virdot, the partial names of his children.

Carefully researching the descendants of the recipients, Gup learns what happened in most cases to the families as a result of this secret gift. Was it enough to save them? Did it give them the hope needed to carry on?

The stories are heartbreaking, hopeful and the desperation of the proud people, asking for help, many only wanting work, not a handout, bring back a time that most of us don’t remember. But we should!

In 1933 welfare was not available. What assistance there was, was arbitrarily doled out by corrupt officials, hence the expression “on the dole”! It was shameful for hard working folks to ask and  they tried to get along on their own, often not succeeding.

Although the current circumstance in our country comes with some safety nets, we would do well to remember “The Hard Times” of the past.

This was touching and well written. With the holidays coming, it is an excellent example of hope and the holiday spirit.

I got this book from my local library!!

 

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Loose Gravel-David P. Holmes

loose gravel

First, let me apologize for my silence. I have had bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. I am just a wreck! Very behind on reviews and challenges, but I hope to catch up as I recover.

 

Detective Harold Bruntz is a mess. Unkempt and mean, no one wants to be his partner and the top brass are trying to get rid of him. The only problem is, he is very good at his job. He is like a bulldog, grabbing on to a case and not letting go, until he solves it. His methods are unscrupulous, and probably illegal as all hell, but he gets his man, or woman as the case demands. He is partnered with undercover cop Yo Yo Brown, who brings her own baggage to the table.

A string of crazy murders lead the duo into the world of incest, porn, mental illness, and the Russian Mob.

Harold is not what he appears, as he and Yo Yo won’t stop in their quest for justice.

This is a gritty (no pun intended) thriller that grabs you by the throat and shakes you until your head rattles.

A very dark, well written book that takes you to the dark places of the human psyche.

Adults only- I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something a little different, with complex characters and one tough new hero.

I received this book from the author for review. Thank you!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Dragonfly Prophecy-Jacquelyn Castle

dragonfly Lexi Blane is living a charmed life, with loving parents and a terrific boyfriend, William. Her life isn't perfect though. She keeps having fainting spells, lasting longer and longer. When she awakes, she finds herself in a different place, her parents are dead and William is only to be seen in dreams.

Lexi was trapped in a place between our world and the next, in a coma. As she struggles to cope with the loss of her old life, Lexi is visited by William, who tells her she can come back to them. After she goes to live with her aunt, Lexi discovers a friend and ally in Chace, a boy she has known all of her life.

Chace has magical powers, as does Lexi, and he helps her to manage them.

Nothing, however, is as it seems. William is telling her one thing, and Chace is telling her something else. A war is brewing between the two worlds.If the other world wins, life as we know it will be over.

Who is telling the truth? Who will win the war? Will Lexi ever see her parents again?

This YA book is fanciful and enchanting. Anyone who believes in love and hope will love it!

I received this book from Maryglenn McCombs for review. Thank you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Before I Fall- Lauren Oliver

Samantha Kingston and her friends are the definition of “Mean Girls”. They torment without reason, and seem to have no problem being mean for the sake of popularity.

After a drunken party, The girls are involved in a terrible accident, which leaves Samantha dead. Except she wakes up and gets the chance to relive the day over (and over and …etc)

Each chance she gets serves a different purpose. Can she save her own life? At what cost?  As Samantha tries to do the right thing, she finds that it is not as easy as she thought it would be. Each day, she is able to change something, to make the day end differently. Would you do whatever you could to save your own life? No matter what the cost?

***Spoiler***

Samantha does not live happily ever after, but the voices in this book are resoundingly true to the voices I hear in my own home.

This book is a good example of a YA book that can be completely enjoyed by an adult audience.

If you knew it was your last day, what would you do? Would you spend it with your family? Would you hang with your friends? Or would you just go batshit??

The questions that this book made me think of, were what endeared the book to me.  This is for adults as well as teens, and if you want a book that will make you weep, laugh and think, then this book is for you!

I received this book from Jamie at Planned Television Arts for review. Thank you!

 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit-Mark Seal


On a much higher note, "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit" was an excellent read! Mark Seal, through interviews and meticulous research has written the story of, Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German immigrant, who came to America and wormed his way into communities, homes and businesses, resulting in fraud, kidnapping and murder.


I think the fascinating thing to me, was the ease with which he was accepted by the smartest, wealthiest people in several different communities, by simply using the name Clark Rockefeller. That people could be so easily swayed by a famous name, backed by what they thought was a huge fortune, simply amazed me.


He stole money, property and quite possible the lives of two of his victims. It seemed that he believed his own lies, nearly believing that he was an actual Rockefeller. He married a very smart woman, had a child with her, took her money and stole her child, when things started falling apart.


Extremely smart, very personable, he rode a wave of conning people, who accepted him without question. The impostor collected art, and people as he constantly improved his mannerisms and speech, so he could continue his charade.


This book works as a true crime story as well as a case study of a very disturbed personality.


I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a who done it as well as a why did he do it.


I received this book from NetGalley for review. Thank you!




Sunday, October 30, 2011

EWWWWWWW

Did you ever read a book that made you feel like you needed a shower after you red it? This was my shower worthy book.

I downloaded this from the library, after half reading the rather murky description. It said it was about a fun loving socialite......I should have checked it out. ICK...her nickname is "Superhead". Of course I did not find that out until I was halfway through. Karrine Steffans was apparently a fixture in the hip hop world, a world I don't visit. She is misunderstood, so she says, after her first book "Confessions of a Video Vixen" hit the NYT  best seller list. So she is apparently a bestselling author. She writes like someone who doesn't do much reading. She claims to be offended by people who are not interesting, and not as smart as she is.

Hmmmmm...I guess she sold some books because she names names, I guess she has a nice house and fancy cars, she survived off of the kindness of the men she slept with, and she is so proud of herself. And she has a child that she is raising in this atmosphere, and oh, she was on Oprah. It is just sad.

While I am far from perfect, this behavior is not something I feel should be put out there for anyone to read. If I want sleaze, I will read Hustler.It does not make me wish I was a skank when I was young. I guess this book was not for me, no way , no how.

Just being reminded of this makes me want to go shower......I wish I could wash my brain.

I cannot recommend this book to anyone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Blood Lie-Shirley Reva Vernick

Finally a good book with blood in the title that has nothing to do with vampires! "The Blood Lie" is a fascinating book based on a real incident that happened in 1928.

Jack Pool is a promising musician, falling in love for the first time, and Jewish. He longs for a Gentile girl, Emaline. He knows his music will take him away from his small town of Massena, New York, and that he and Emaline can never be together.

When Emalines little sister, Daisy goes missing, the town turns against the Pool family and the Jewish population living there. The rumor is that Jews use children's blood to make their special holiday bread. A shocked town starts accusing Jack of using the child's blood,(an actual myth that people believed), as the search for the child continues. When things start to get really ugly, Jack sees his chances growing smaller, for the future he wanted so badly. The Temple is raided, homes are searched and vandalism is perpetrated against the Pool family farm.

The speed with which the town turned upon Jack and his family, shocked me. The fact that it was based on a true incident shocked me even more.

This was a compelling story, written for the YA crowd, but it was interesting for an adult as well. I had wanted to get Vamp Child to do a joint review, but she did not get the chance to read it yet.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in true life, written as a fascinating novel.

I received this book from the author for review. Thank you so much!