Archive for January, 2013

Spirit Horses by Alan S. Evans

January 22, 2013

While searching for a book that was not on my ‘read and review’ list requested by authors, I came across Spirit Horses, and the title alone captured my attention.  The description stated it was about the Shoshone culture on a reservation in Wyoming and it included wild mustangs. I was hooked and couldn’t put the book down. The novel is absolutely captivating on every page.

The writing is outstanding, describing the beautiful scenes in Wyoming and the intense characters throughout the book. The main character, Shane, is a horse trainer, one of the best in the circuit. I felt like I was sitting in the saddle with Shane while he trained these beautiful animals.

Spirit Horses is a combination of genres: fiction, adventure, romance, suspense, and a great western. To say more about the story would be an injustice to the reader. Feel confident if you enjoy the genres I’ve listed, and love horses, reading about the Shoshone culture, and wild mustangs in Wyoming, you will love Spirit Horses as much as I did. I have not cried reading a story in a very long time.

A perfect way to end a great book is with an unpredictable ending. Alan S. Evans nailed it in Spirit Horses.

Advertisements

A Dose of Tia: How a Woman and Her Rescued Dog Embraced Life through Volunteering – and How You Can, Too by Dina Mauro

January 16, 2013

Volunteer brings Pet Therapy to Hospitals

If you are a dog lover and are looking for a way to volunteer, A Dose of Tia will impel you. Dina Mauro explains how she becomes a volunteer at a hospital with her English Pointer, Tia. She takes her readers on their walks through the Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, stopping in different rooms bringing smiles to patients.

Each chapter of A Dose of Tia is a journal entry describing the patients she and Tia visit.  Mauro makes up the patients’ names, as she is not privy to them. The stories are short and written to entertain while bringing awareness to volunteerism.

Mauro shares her own thoughts and feelings, stressing the importance of finding the perfect match when deciding to volunteer.  A Dose of Tia is written to motivate and enlighten readers that volunteering is important.

Um … Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet (Again) Return to Yuck Kingdom by Jeff Rivera

January 15, 2013

Capsized AGAIN!

Falisha flushes her annoying brother, Jesse, down the toilet again. This time the adventure in Yuck Kingdom is expanded to new characters, some nice, and one not so nice. Kids will like the conflict between the good guys and the bad guy.

More rhymes will keep the kids laughing as they share the trip in the sewer once again.

I don’t think the parents are needed in Um … Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet, for the simple reason there are more single parent families today. I would omit ‘Think’ in the title because Falisha was absolutely sure she flushed Jesse down the toilet!

Um … Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet by Jeff Rivera

January 15, 2013

Capsized!

What kid wouldn’t like ‘Yuck Kingdom’? Its streets, trees, and hills are made of fun kid rhymes that match what the inside of a sewer pipe looks like.

Falisha flushes her little annoying brother, Jesse, down the toilet. Of course, she has to find him quickly, which means she has to get down and dirty in Yuck Kingdom. There’s an adventure down the toilet for kids to enjoy while Falisha looks for Jesse.

While Um … Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet, will probably be a fun read for a lot of kids, my concern is with the parents. I think they should be omitted, letting the brother and sister handle the situation on their own.

Also, I think the title should read, I Flushed My Brother down the Toilet, after all, she did!

Closure by Gillian Hamer

January 15, 2013

Mother Knows Best

A six year old boy, Jake, is a reincarnation of an eleven year old boy, Jacob, who helps solve the murders of young women in North Wales.

Professionals diagnosed Jake’s nightmares as the grieving process for losing his father.  His mother, Helen, knew this was not the case. She felt strongly there was a deeper reason for Jake’s suffering. She was correct.

Jacob channels through Jake to help save the last woman kidnapped. Helen decides to trust the suggestion of a friend’s friend and travel to the location Jake sees in his nightmares, an island in North Wales.

Is Jacob’s channeling successful? Are they too late to save the last victim? Does law enforcement get involved? Do they catch the serial killer?

Read Closure, by Gillian Hamer, if you enjoy a good mystery, suspense thriller that’s hard to put down. Page after page is packed with unpredictable conflicts.

20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith

January 13, 2013

A strong message of encouragement

Robert D. Smith writes an abridged version of a self-help book to guarantee that everyday counts – making no excuses. He offers his opinions and strategies for success, such as; saying yes to new possibilities, not assuming you are the victim, and never be misled by the hours in a day.

Even if you don’t agree with all of Smith’s strategies, 20,000 Days and Counting reads as an expressway to ‘hurry up and decide’ to control your life – specifically the present moment. The book serves as the perfect device to get back on track, or to start creating a track.

20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith is a short and practical tool one can apply to improve your life – even as you read. Smith practices what he preaches and wastes no time.

I’m 21,436 days and counting.

Road to Tomorrow by Mary Metcalfe

January 8, 2013

Domestic abuse, children’s deviant behavior, TBI/PTSD, all intertwined in a love story, describes Road to Tomorrow.

The main character, Andrea Garrett, left her two children with her twin brother, in order to escape her abusive military husband, Sean. Sean’s parents kept a deep secret about their son – he killed animals as a young child. The military wasn’t aware of Sean’s dark side, thinking he was going to make the perfect soldier. Andrea was young and naïve, thinking he was going to make a perfect husband. Everyone was wrong.

While Andrea fled, she had an accident, and people from a small town came to her rescue, in more than one way. Her new friends included characters from Mary Metcalfe’s other book, New Beginnings.

I thought it would be fun to read another of Metcalfe’s books – to follow her characters. Sadly, it was not. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know I do not enjoy stories that are predictable, and for me, Road to Tomorrow was predictable.

The love story between Andrea and her new boyfriend, Kyle, seemed textbook boring. Her kids were too perfect, even her friends, new and old, portrayed perfection.

However, I do think Metcalfe’s messages were necessary and effective: get your child help at first signs of trouble, do not sweep it under the rug; women should leave abusive relationships; and the military and civilians need to educate themselves about TBI and PTSD. I think Metcalfe did an excellent job with Sean’s character suffering from TBI.

I would recommend Road to Tomorrow for the young adult reader.


%d bloggers like this: