Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Starting Now by: Debbie Macomber Book Giveaway

Thanks to the wonderful people at Random House especially Sue Grimshaw I have a copy of Debbie Macomber's new book not yet released called Starting Now.  This giveaway is open to USA.  To enter simply reply in comments with your email address and I will pick a winner using  This contest ends March 6, 2013!  Good Luck everyone!

The Gift: The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by: Tegon Maus

Title: The Gift: The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield
Author: Tegon Maus
Publisher: Netherworld Books
Pages: 170
Format: ebook
Source: Lightning Book Promotions


Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man's understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess... It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man's soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again - all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.

My Thoughts: 

This book was given to me from Lightning Book Promotions for a honest and fair review.

This book was incredible it starts with Tucker Littlefield entering a bar and telling a story to people in the bar about his encounter with Enon while attempting to rescue a girl named Elizabeth.  When he initially met Enon they had a causual relationship, both untrusting of the other.  As time goes on he learnss to trust Enon and they work together to rescue Elizabeth.  While doing this Tucker ends up injured and it's up to Enon to save him as Tucker sacrificed himself for Enon which connected them with Enon's race of human like creatures that are very big.  This book drags you in wanting to know more and find out if they rescue Elizabeth in time.  Definitely a great fast paced story.
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Summer Spirit by: G. Jay

Title: Summer Spirit
Author: G. Jay
Publisher: Publish Green
Pages: 122
Source: Tribute Books
Format: ebook


Ryan Kinkaid, a successful gay Manhattan antique dealer has had it with life in New York City, especially his random love life. Ryan has what most New Yorker’s want – his own successful business, and a mortgage-free brownstone on West 71st Street. However, at age forty-one he discovers he is lacking one very important thing in his life . . . a meaningful and loving relationship. With summer just around the corner, the approaching heat and his restlessness are reasons for his escape from the city. A four month rental in historic and picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his best friend Lauren was the answer.

Renting a house built in 1810, kindred spirit Nicholas reaches out for contact, and Ryan finds himself wanting to know about the past. However, Nicholas is not the only one wanting Ryan’s attention. Ty, a handsome local man, also has strong desires for Ryan.

The stark contrast of the past collides with the present in this tale of lost and betrayed love, and irrational and undying prejudice.

In the end, all that is left is the affirmation of the value of honesty and commitment in love.

My Thoughts: 

Ryan Kinkaid is tired of one night stands and New York and looking for a break and decides with his best friend to head to New Hampshire for a break and hopefully to find a long lasting relationship.  What he stumbles across is a beautiful house with a haunting spirit.

Nicholas Walsh a young man who died supposedly of diabetes which as a child in the 50's resulted commonly with death.  But Nicholas wants something from Ryan and Ryan is determined to find out what it is.

Ryan also meets a fellow gay man named Ty instantly they form a connection of attraction, and find themselves getting romantically involved.

This book was full of romance and finding the right person and seeing how love can transcend death.  A haunted spirit awaiting the return of his love.
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stuck on Murder by: Lucy Lawrence

Title: Stuck on Murder
Author: Lucy Lawrence
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 230
Series: A Decoupage Mystery #1
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Barnes and Noble Purchase


In the small New England town of Morse Point, Brenna Miller glosses over her painful past by watching her decoupage students create eye-catching projects out of cutouts, glue, and varnish. But when the mayor's body is found stuffed in a trunk at Morse Point Lake, it's up to Brenna to clear her enigmatic landlord's name of murder-before his fate is signed, sealed and delivered. 

My Thoughts:

When small town Morse Point is rocked when the Mayor is found dead in a trunk at Morse Point Lake and Brenna finds the trunk and drags it to the beach to find out that inside is the Mayor who only days before got in a fight of words with Artist Nate Williams who owns the cabins out on the lake.  Mayor wants nothing better than to redo the area and bring in more money.  Breena and Nate find themselves sort of on the outside as being outsiders as they aren't from Morse Point.

We also learn two things what happened to Breena in Boston, which is so sad in it's own way and what happened to Nate that landed them in small town life.  I really enjoy this book and all it entails and I would definitely put it up there with all the other cozy mysteries I read like:

  1. Joanne Fluke
  2. Krista Davis
  3. Phillip Craig
  4. Elizabeth Lynn Casey
  5. Heather Webber
There are so many more but listing them would be silly and very, very time consuming.   This was a great tale of so many mysteries intertwined.  Who had the most to gain by killing the mayor was it the artist? or a Mob hit?  Or a crazy newspaper owner to boost his circulation?  Or is it the jilted wife who's husband has been stepping out on her?  Or a scorned lover.  I really enjoy this new series and definitely recommend it to mystery lovers!
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Sand Castle Bay by: Sherryl Woods

Title: Sand Castle Bay
Author: Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 384
Series: Ocean Breeze #1
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley


In a trade-off she's lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.

For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.

Will fate once again separate them-or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?

My Thoughts: 

This was given to me from NetGalley for a honest and fair review.  Emily Castle heads home to North Carolina after a major storm has occurred and residents of Sand Castle Bay are finally allowed back to rebuild after the storm.  In this situation it brought three women together who use to summer with their grandmother Emily, Samantha and Gabi come to aid their grandmother and rebuild up the restaurant that got damaged due to the storm, which brought Emily face to face with her ex-boyfriend Boone who she ranaway from over 10 years ago.

Boone Dorsett has gone through alot over time married to Jenny who gave him a beautiful son BJ before dying young.  Boone is also having issues with Jenny's mother who blames the death of her daughter on Boone.  Boone and Emily try to keep a safe distance without letting romance creep in. Which with author Sherryl Woods is impossible.

Boone and Emily soon reconnect and work together to try to get Jenny's mother to see that what she is doing isn't what her daughter would want.  This book is great and reminds me on some levels of the Sweet Magnolias and Chesapeake Shores books.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Books To Check Out

On sale next week –

Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian click here to get an Excerpt:

A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara + Scribd excerpt -

Books you can read now:

HOW TO MISBEHAVE by Ruthie Knox – need I say more? – sooo sexy!


THE NOTORIOUS LADY ANNE by Sharon Cullen, a swashbuckling romance fans of Johanna Lindsey will adore.

Coming Soon:

Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox


Hero of My Heart – by Megan Frampton

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Innovera Yakov - The Journey of a Thousand Eyes

Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes

Innovera Yakov – The Journey of A Thousand Eyes takes you into a world of excitement and danger where thoughts and feelings are overheard and minds can travel to other worlds.

Be prepared to immerse yourself in a world where falling in love could cost you your life and nothing is as it seems. Innovera Yakov – The Journey of A Thousand Eyes is the first book in an action-packed fantasy drama series where characters with powers of healing and destruction live, love, compete and disappear without a trace while they are being prepared for the Journey.

Audio Link

Author Kia Garriques

Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series.


Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’

Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’

Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’

Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’

'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her..

'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess.

‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting.

Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’

Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’

Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave?

Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.

Giveaway Details
1 ebook of Innovera Yakov + $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open Internationally
Ends 3/10/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blud and Magick by: Preston Norton

Title: Blud and Magick
Author: Preston Norton
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pages: 264
Format: ebook ARC
Source: Cedar Fort Book Tour


Born from the ashes of the most fierce and powerful entity in all of Trivaesia, Darla was sent to grow up in the outside world with no knowledge of where she came from. When she finds herself wielding new power, she must decide which part of her will rule her heart—the evil from which she was born or the good by which she was raised. 

My Thoughts: 

I received this book from Cedar Fort for a honest and fair review these thoughts are mine and mine alone. This book was so good it follows young Darla who is born from a big evil that roamed the earth prior to her birth.

Darla lives with her Uncle Ed and has spent most of her time moving around when Darla is discovered Ed has to reveal the truth to Darla and her friends Ash and Cirrus.  Ash being a wizard or male witch and Cirrus being a half vampire half human.  Darla learns that she was born from Remmus Alrad also known as The Shadow Lord.  His soul is inside of Darla and many will stop at nothing to bring The Shadow Lord to surface. 

This book reminded me in a way of the Harry Potter books, with the main character fighting against a Dark Lord.  Definitely a great thrilling ride can't wait to see what happens next.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Hoe Lot of Trouble by: Heather Webber

Title: A Hoe Lot of Trouble
Author: Heather Webber
Publisher: Blue Dandelion Press
Pages: 256
Format: ebook
Series: Nina Quinn Series #1
Source: Barnes and Noble Purchase


Meet Nina Quinn, garden landscaper extraordinaire and very amateur sleuth, in this charming cosy series that is perfect for fans of Carolyn Hart.

Nina Quinn has had enough of her cheating cop husband. His affair with his partner has driven her close to the edge--and him out of their home. Nina, the owner of Taken By Surprise, a landscaping business that specializes in surprise garden makeovers, already has too much on her plate--her delinquent stepson has let his pet snake loose in the house, and her nosy mother won't stop pestering her to get her bridesmaid's dress fitted for her sister's upcoming nuptials. But it's the strange disappearance of gardening tools--including a very expensive set of hoes--that really throws a wrench in things. And when she gets a call that her oldest friend's father-in-law, a beloved old man who introduced her to landscaping, has been murdered, Nina knows that it's time to start digging for clues to the frustrating, mysterious, and downright evil things that have disturbed her peaceful Ohio hometown.

My Thoughts: 

Nina Quinn has her hands full between missing hoes and other gardening equipment to a local farmer being murdered and getting request to help, to a troubled step-son after her husband cheats on her and she throws him out.

When local Farmer Joe  is killed she gets asked to help by Bridget, Farmer Joe's daughter in law little does she know that so much is brewing in this town.  She also tries to find out what is up with Riley her step-son who seems very angry lately.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by Ms. Webber she really has a knack to spin a great cozy mystery involving gardening and people Nina Quinn comes in contact with!
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lucky Bang by: Deborah Coonts

Title: Lucky Bang
Author: Deborah Coonts
Pages: 94
Series: Lucky O'Toole
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Purchase Amazon Kindle


Having a blast on the 4th of July in Vegas takes on a whole new meaning for Lucky O’Toole, head of customer relations for the Babylon, a major Strip property, when she discovers a bomb in a friend’s restaurant and narrowly escapes becoming part of the “explosive entertainment.” And this wasn’t the first time. Years ago, when Lucky was small, she’d had another narrow escape. Could the two be related? Missing dynamite, an old grudge, and whispers from the past, force Lucky to delve into dark secrets best left alone. And when her father disappears, things become personal.

My Thoughts: 

This book was adventure from the word go when Lucky rescues people from a local restaurant in Vegas when she discovers a bomb in the ladies bathroom, similar to a bomb she saw as a child.  As she tries to figure out what is going on it appears an attempt is being made on Lucky from someone associated to her father.  What an incredible journey!
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Throne of Glass by: Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloombury USA Children's
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 404
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Source: Turkish version received from publisher DEX.


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salr mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warrios from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... bu tit's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her the best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny then she could possibly have imagined.

My thoughts:

Note: My 16-year-old self wrote this review.

You know how when you like a guy you seem to always pick on one another and you go, "Hey, handsome! If you make me mad, I'll cut your head off?" Well, our heroine Celaena actually has the knowledge and ability to do it.

I've always loved powerful female characters, and Celaena is a beautiful example of that. (Although it's pretty damn hard to keep typing her name, which I'm noticing just now) She's not afraid to be herself and say what she thinks, she doesn't let those around her see her weaknesses and, like I said in the beginning, she could off with their heads if she felt like it. In Adarlan, Celaena is known as the queen of assassins, even though nobody really knows what she looks like. However, when she gets caught, she finds herself imprisoned in Endovier.

Her fame doesn't burn down during the time she's in prison, and one day Celaena finds herself in front of Prince Dorian: if she enters a contest like he's asking her to and succeeds, she'll serve the Kingdom for 4 years, and afterwards have her freedom.

I don't have to mention the journey to freedom, to the life you want isn't easy, right? After a while, Celaena is consumed by the stress of the competition and the curiosity and fear of the mysterious deaths. I have to mention that it's not hard for readers to solve these mysteries because while foreshadowing, the author goes too far at times. But, don't let this bring you down because, as always, it's not what you tell it's how you tell it, and the journey to the end is fun and exciting.

Aaaand there's a love triangle, which makes everything even more fun and exciting! It's this kind of a love triangle: my 29-year-old self was cringing, but my 16-year-old self was very, very excited about it. This, for me, shows that Sarah J. Mass is quite crafty at speaking to her core audience. Don't say I didn't warn you; we're definitely going to split into teams for the Throne of Glass series just like we did for Twilight. I'm TEAM CHAOL for now, but we'll see if I sell him for Prince Dorian later ;)

Lastly, here's some eyecandy: this is the Turkish cover of Throne of Glass

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Candy Store by: Bella Andre

Title: Candy Store
Author: Bella Andre
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 120
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Amazon Kindle


On the verge of losing her candy store, Callie Moore decides to blot out her troubles with a tall, dark, handsome stranger. Derek McNear isn't about to turn down a cute, curvy woman who offers sizzling-hot sex in a commercial refrigerator at his best friend's wedding reception. But the next day, when Callie discovers that Derek is the consultant she has hired to save her store, they find it difficult to concentrate on business. Especially when giving and getting pleasure in each other's arms is so much more fun!

My Thoughts:

Callie's business is in trouble and she needs help to fix it little did she know that help would come from Derek the Candy King.  Callie first meets Derek at a wedding and they soon find they are hot and heavy for one another.  When Callie finds out that he is the one to fix her business her world is thrown upside down.

This was a cute romance to introduce me to Bella Andre her books sound incredible and I would put them up there with Fool's Gold series.  I really enjoyed this one.
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Almost Summer by: Susan Mallery

Title: Almost Summer
Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Pages: 53
Format: ebook
Series: Fool's Gold #6.2


Ever since she was young, Paige McLean has longed to see the world. Still, she never imagined the world would land on her doorstep in the form of a charming British surgeon who needs a place to stay when his plans fall through.

After a devastating loss, Alistair Woodbury has vowed to live his life alone. But in all his travels, he hasn't encountered a town as welcoming as Fool's Gold, nor a woman as caring - or as beautiful - as Paige. Her compassion warms him almost as much as their stolen kisses.

When it's Alistair's time to leave, will his brief visit turn into a lifetime stay?

My Thoughts: 

When Paige stumbles across Alistair Woodbury who has contracted the measles and is highly contagious but that doesn't bother Paige and she brings him home and nurses him to health.  As he starts to recover they learn about each other.  Paige learns about Alistair's wife and daughter who died while he was away practicing medicine in foreign countries.

He learns that Paige has always wanted to visit different places but something has always held her back.  Perhaps she just needed the right guide or shove in the right direction.  In the end as with all Fool's Gold they walk off to their happily ever after.

I love this cute little novellas they help tell romances that may not be worth a full book.  Definitely a great one!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sister of the Bride by: Susan Mallery

Title: Sister of the Bride
Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 77
Format: ebook
Series: Fool's Gold #2.5


When Katie McCormick finds out that her sister is marrying her ex, she finally agrees to a setup for the big day. To her surprise, Jackson is a "catch." But when wedding catastrophe ensues, will their sparks fizzle or ignite into flames?

My Thoughts: 

Everything that can possibly go wrong in this book does from Katie needing a date to this wedding, to her ex trying to seduce her, to her crazy aunt Tully trying to pick up all the men.  Katie ends up taking Jackson to the wedding who she met once when they were younger and basically hated each other when they were small.

Now Jackson is older and hotter than ever, driving Katie crazy.  Katie also has to contend with her critical family who think she has a weight issue, men issues, and everything inbetween.  I really enjoyed this book alot even with it's shortage of pages it goes well with the Fool's Gold Series.
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Everneath by: Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy sent by Turkish publisher
Series: Everneath #1


Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she's returned-- to her old life, her family, her boyfriend-- before she's banished back into the underworld... this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance--and the one person she loves more then anything. But there's just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne işn the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping for her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jck or return to the Everneath and become Cole's queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

My thoughts:

What if I told you a poor little girl (well, high school little; not Coraline little) was sent back to our world to say her good-byes? And that she might be queen if she goes back to Everneath? That she doesn't have a choice? Also that there's a love triangle?

Author Brodi Ashton's parents are Greek myth geeks. In her biography, she states that she "grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, 'so, which mythological character do you most resemble?'" She's now happily married and her books are read by millions, but I imagined how hard her childhood must've been like that, and I felt kinda bad. Then, I decided if it weren't for that, she probably couldn't have written the Everneath series. Therefore, we should thank her parents for these books as well as Ashton herself.

Everneath is a book you'll read in a single breath. I started it going, "I wonder what this is all about?" and before I knew it, it was done, and I was left wanting more. I believe mythology has helped a lot with how it flaws as a story. It draws from Persophone and Hades's myth. Hades sees and instantly thinks Zeus's daughter Persephone is the most beautiful woman in the world, so he kidnaps her and takes her with him to the underground, makes her his queen. Persephone's mother Demeter is devastated about all this, and in the end, Hades comes to an agreement with her: During the year, Persephone will spend some of her time on earth, and some at the underground.

Our heroine Nikki is not Zeus's daughter, obviously, but Cole takes her to Everneath. When she's back on earth, it's 6 months after she's last been there, and it's very hard for her to reconnect with her family and friends. And there's her boyfriend Jack, who never stopped looking for her... Nikki has to go back to Everneath, of course; Cole is trying to take her, Jack's trying to make her stay. I don't wanna spoil anything, so I'll stop here.

I've read retellings of classics like Rebecca and Frankenstein and I've gotten mad at all of them. I was mad because the authors simplified the story way too much. I believe that's thinking your readers are stupid, and there's no way I won't stand against that. Ashton, on the other hand, has blended the myths with a modern, paranormal story very, very well. And I'm sure (I hope, at least) most readers will be curious about Hades and Persephone's story and check out the original.
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Guest Post Writing Romance Novels by: Rachelle Ayala

Writing Romance by: Rachelle Ayala
Love is an emotion both enduring and fleeting, especially romantic love. Falling and staying in love is fraught with rapturous joy among desperate despair. Writing romance is a way of capturing these heightened sensations and weaving a story that makes the reader feel like falling in love over and over again.
Romance can range from sedate to erotic, but all romances demand a happy or at least hopeful ending. Some romances have mild problems with relatively well adjusted characters whereas others are full of extreme drama with severely flawed and dysfunctional characters.
For me, romance is a thread of hope that runs through my story and wraps it up with icing on the top. The journey to get to the happy ending is anything but neat, and I love the push/pull of tortured love, where the path to love is neither straight nor easy. In my stories, I raise the bar constantly by throwing seemingly insurmountable problems in front of my hero and heroine. Sometimes their love turns into hate, and their misery is compounded by distrust and betrayal. The strongest love is oftentimes forged in the fire of adversity, and forgiveness is never far behind love.
A romance is a love story with sexual tension. It may have other subplots, mystery, suspense or historical elements, but the underlying story is the sparring between two hearts battling desire, insecurity, attraction and fear. I’ve written three novels, Historical Fiction, Romantic Suspense, and Women’s Fiction with the romantic plot front and center. My characters are well aware of their attraction, but obstacles crop up to keep them from fully trusting and giving their hearts.
Sexual tension is central to romance, whether it is shown on the pages, or hidden behind closed doors. A story without sex would be one of friendship, loyalty, and devotion, but would not be romantic. I enjoy exploring all aspects of my characters and their development. Leaving out sexual expression would be leaving the story incomplete. Of course, there are various ways of showing sexual tension. A lot can be implied. Even the light brushing of fingertips can be smoldering hot if the emotions behind it are expressed.
A romance is more than just sex and attraction. I’m always finding themes behind my stories: forgiveness, redemption, trust and hope find their way to the happy endings. My characters might have started out flawed, or dug themselves into a deep hole, but love changes them and enables them to forgive and hope for a happy and fulfilled future. Ultimately, romance is optimistic and uplifting. I love reading and writing romance because love can make the world a better place.

Rachelle Ayala has written three romantic novels: Michal’s Window is a powerful and emotional journey as lived through the eyes of Princess Michal, King David’s first wife. Broken Build is a story of redemption and healing where a man learns to love and trust the woman who destroyed his life. Finally, Hidden Under Her Heart is concerned with forgiveness in the face of judgment over abortion.

Author Bio:
Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. She has over thirty years of writing experience and has always lived in a multi-cultural environment.

Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.

Visit her at: Website: Blog: or follow @AyalaRachelle on Twitter.

The Aviator's Wife by: Melanie Benjamin

Title: The Aviator's Wife
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions


For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure.

My Thoughts: 

Wow this book has so much in it.  We meet Anne as she is a student at Smith College and is home with her family in Mexico City as her father is an ambassador to Mexico.  Her family is entertaining Colonel Charles Lindbergh for the holiday and instantly Charles and hooked up with Anne's sister Elizabeth.  

Instead Charles heads in the direction of Anne.  Where they court and go flying in airplanes.  Charles picks Anne as someone he can connect with.  Early on in the marriage Anne learns that she is a partner in every aspect of  their life.  Charles also teaches Anne how to fly and become the first female aviatrix which is a big deal but everything Anne does early on becomes under shadowed by Charles.  He is the front and center of it all, which makes Anne mute until Charles wants her vocal.  In this book Charles is painted as an annoying egotistical jerk.  Anne tries to juggle family life with her love of her husband, which at times can be very trying.

When little Charlie goes missing and later found dead the crime of the century Anne finds herself with so much guilt over her son that she didn't even get to see before he was cremated.  Anne has so much sorrow and sadness but with Charles around she isn't allowed to show the weakness that grief shows.  Not long after that the couple with their new son Jon go to England, Germany and Paris.  Finally they decide to go home or rather Charles decides it's time to go home and fight a new fight about Hitler and Roosevelt.

During this part of the book where Charles turns into a Nazi lover type character speaking out at conventions and speakings.  When people don't listen to him he enlists the help of his wife, figuring no one will go against the mother of the baby who died so long ago.  The opposite ends up happening when Anne writes a article she is attacked. 

In this book Anne learns about loss and finding her own way.  Finding a way that defines her without her husband beside her as he is dying.  Even though I think in Anne's eyes he left along time ago.  Most of this book is a back and forth of how both Anne and Charles dealt with the kidnapping and death of little Charlie Lindbergh.  How they moved on from it.  Anne crying in secret and always looking for her little boy in the streets and Charles having affairs trying to replace his son.

This was an incredible journey of one woman who dealt with so much trying to find her voice among a national hero, when all she wanted was a husband and friend and her son by her side.  I was able to read this in 2 days it was that good.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Art of Falling In Love by: Joe Beam

Title: The Art of Falling In Love
Author: Joe Beam
Publisher: Howard Books
Pages: 213
Format: Paperback
Source: Howard Books Requested Review


This is a book about love—how to fall in love, stay in love, and renew lost love.

The Art of Falling in Love is the culmination of years of research by marriage and love expert Joe Beam. In these pages, Beam reveals a tried-and-true process for finding genuine, lasting love. In fact, this process—or “LovePath”—consists of four concrete steps that anyone can follow. Those who walk this path will fall in love whether they intend to or not, and those who stray from it won’t find true love no matter how hard they try.

This book describes, in a way you won’t find anywhere else, what love is, how to find it, how to keep from losing it, and how to get it back if you’ve already lost it. Insightful, revealing, and practical, yet full of gentle humor, this book leads you through the process that will keep you in love for the rest of your life.

My Thoughts:

This book was given to me from Howard Books for a honest and fair review, in so the thoughts in this review are mine and mine alone.

This is a great book about how to fall in love, recapture love even if you've divorced the one you love, and renewing your love.

The other even uses the practice himself with his ex-wife turned current wife.  I believe as with most self help books that they work if you let them and want to work on the issue.  The bottom premise is love in this book how to attain it, keep it, and improve when the lull in a relationship does happen.  Definitely a great book for those looking to keep love in their life.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

One Sunday by: Carrie Gerlach Cecil

Title: One Sunday
Author: Carrie Gerlach Cecil
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Howard Books


In this humorous and heartfelt novel, a beleaguered young woman must shed her career, identity, and power persona to learn how to love and forgive herself, others, and God.At age thirty-seven, Alice Ferguson has everything an ambitious, intellectual, self-made woman could want. She has captured a career as an editor of a tabloid magazine, launched her own website full of Hollywood gossip, and even clawed her way into a second-hand pair of Prada shoes. She has also finally landed a husband—no small feat, as it required getting pregnant with his baby.

But when Alice becomes pregnant and experiences health problems, her world is turned upside down. To save her life and the life of her unborn child, she must leave Los Angeles and the stress of her bicoastal career, exchanging the late-night parties of sunny California for the suburbs of Nashville. With a weak smile and an even weaker heart, she soon finds herself living with a husband she barely knows, ensconced in a gated community brimming with perky, plastic, pony-tailed housewives. And then, at the gentle urging of a new friend, she agrees to attend church one Sunday afternoon.

What begins as an experiment beyond her comfort zone sparks something much bigger, as Alice begins to look deep within herself only to find insecurity, fear, and loneliness. One Sunday charts an endearing character’s journey from moral ambiguity through madness, tears, laughter, and heartbreak to a connection with the only One who can help heal her.

My Thoughts:

I received this book free from Howard Books for a honest and fair review.  The opinions below are mine and mine alone.

Alice finds herself waking up pregnant and living with her new husband in Nashville as a health scare brought him to the father of her baby.  After a one night stand thinking she wouldn't see him again and least of all finding herself pregnant she tells him that she doesn't need any financial assistance but when her health and that of her baby she finds herself having to give in and live with him.  

In Nashville she is friends with a neighbor and their family and he is a preacher who with the help of his family request that Alice attend service for it might help her.  Alice makes no promises but does agree to attend the one service, not that there is much else for her to do in Nashville when her life is in California.

Through Alice's friends Tim and his wife she learns that sometimes God isn't about doing so much wrong that can't be forgiven that he sacrificed for everyone with his son.  It was a great emotional ride to go on!!
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

If only these female characters could be my friends!

I came across an article on Writer's Bloq that listed the "Top 10 Fictional Female Friends We'd Like to have as Anything Close to Real-life Friends." It's a great list, but I wasn't completely satisfied with it, so I decided to do my "top 5."

Hermoine Granger - Harry Potter Series
Hermione is actually number one on Writer's Bloq's list. Let's face it: who wouldn't wanna have this cute, hard-working, bookworm, smart girl as their friend? We already saw how loyal she is to her close friends Harry and Ron. We can consult her when in trouble, solve mysteries together and have exciting conversations in our book club. Did I mention we'd also get to hang out with Harry and Ron? She wouldn't keep her best friends apart, right?

Violet Baudelaire - A Series of Unfortunate Events Series
Violet is one of the main characters of a series I'm in love with. She's the oldest of the Baudelaire kids, an inventor. Wouldn't you want to be among the first people to try out her new inventions? She's smart, cute and fun. And just how cool would that be to tell people "my best friend's a Baudelaire?"

Jane Eyre - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is a character I've admired since I was little, since the time I started reading actual novels. She's orphaned as a baby, and although she has a loveless, careless childhood, she starts working as a tutor at Thronfield Hall. She's ambitious and opinionated and values independence. If she were a good friend, maybe I'd get some of her good qualities, which would help me out a lot, really.

Josephine "Jo" - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women is THE first novel I've ever read. My mother gave me her copy, which she's had since she was a young girl, and I do remember being at the verge of tears and reading it in one breath. The 4 'little women,' are all different with different strengths. Yet I've always loved Jo. Maybe because I felt close and similar to her due to her being a bit male-ish, always wanted to read and learn while many other girls set out to look for husbands. If she were my friend, we could give the society the middle finger together when it comes to their opinion of what young women should be and should be doing.

Coraline - Coraline by Neil Gaiman
If Coraline was a close friend, I'd make her tell me about her adventures over and over and over again. I'd keep asking her what it's like to come to this world out of Neil Gaiman's pen. She probably would stop answering my phone calls after a while, but the longer she stays a friend, the better for me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Devil's Due by: Rachel Caine

Title: The Devil's Due
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Pages: 297
Series: Red Letter Days #2
Format: ebook ARC
Source: NetGalley


The money Lucia and her new partner received to open their detective agency had come with strings: any assignment delivered via red envelope had to be top priority. No sweat. No one could make Lucia do something she didn't believe in -- right?

Wrong. Lucia soon learned that every choice she made meant life or death for innocent people. No one could be trusted, not even the ex-cop she'd hired -- and fallen for. In fact, Ben might be her fatal weakness, if the powers warring to control the future used him to control Lucia....

My Thoughts: 

Unlike the previous book this one is told from Lucia's point of view and deals with what the Cross Society wants of her, and what they will do to her to get it.

This was crazy with fighting numerous bad guys plus finding out who's out to kill Jazz her partner and who tried to poison the girls with Anthrax.

We also learn more about Ben and his association with the group.  Also his interest in Lucia seems more than just friendly.  I really enjoy this series and glad it's totally different then some of Ms. Caine's other series.  Can't wait to see what is next.
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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by: Muriel Sparks

Title: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Author: Murial Sparks
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
Source: Obtained Turkish translation version from Siren Yayınlari

Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become and iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, freethinking ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy – the 'crème de la crème' – who become the Brodie Set, introduced to a world of adult games they will never forget.

My thoughts:

I don't think I'd ever get a hold of this book if it wasn't sent to me by its Turkish publisher. And that would've been a shame. Miss Brodie is a teacher at an all-girls school in Edinburgh, and the book takes place right after World War I. She's not like the other teachers, which is why she's not the favorite person of the faculty. And knowing that, she's quite paranoid, often expecting someone to deceive her.

While the other teachers focus on subjects i.e. math, history and geography, Miss Brodie gives life lessons to the six 10-year-old girls she's taken under her wing. Not everyone can get on Miss Brodie's radar either; she chooses her girls carefully, often leaning toward those who are unloved and easily manipulated. The books stretches out to a long period of time where we see the girls when they're 10 years old, and then also get a glimpse of their lives when they're grown women. These six girls are in awe of Miss Broide most of the time, but they also question her beliefs and her ways.

Even though this book was written a long time ago, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will make you question your own teachers and how they've influenced who you are. You'll realize some of them gave you the information and expected you to shape it to your liking and beliefs, while some of them told you what they think is the truth and insisted you believe it. You'll see how a woman who's proud of being against fascism tried to shape these six girls into the same mold, and how, in a way, creates her own army. In addition, you'll realize that little girls aren't as innocent as they seem, that they can have evil thoughts.

This is a small, fun book, and I think every book nerd needs to read it.

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The Devil's Bargain by: Rachel Caine

Title: The Devil's Bargain
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Pages: 296
Series: Red Letter Days #1
Format: ebook ARC
Source: NetGalley


"Jazz Callender is an ex-cop struggling to prove her partner's innocence after he is sent to prison for murder, and she's willing to take whatever help comes along ... but she's about to make a bargain with the devil. Approached by a mysterious, attractive stranger with a check and a business offer, she finds herself plunged deep into a world where nothing is as it seems ... not James Borden, Attorney At Law, who fascinates her even as she doubts his honesty ... not Lucia Garza, her beautiful, brilliant new partner with hidden depths and secrets ... not The Cross Society, who seems to be able to know more about the cases she's being sent to investigate than Jazz does herself. With each new revelation, Jazz and Lucia uncover a world of psychic predictions and unseen forces, and find themselves playing not just for keeps, but for souls ... With lives at stake, Jazz finds that every choice she makes is dangerous ... even the one to fall in love.

My Thoughts: 

Jazz is trying to figure how to prove her partner's not a murderer when a lawyer walks into the bar she is drowning her sorrows in, and offers her a red envelope.  Wanting him to disappear which he won't til she opens the envelope.  After an intense fight scene early on she finds out the envelope has alot to offer but is it legit?

While Jazz and Lucia being offered something they both seek a career and for Jazz money to start it and Lucia freedom to make decisions, they decide to take up the offer which at first seems really lame.  Shadowing people, photographing them.  What they don't realize is their real job of saving people.  This book was totally different from her other books but she is incredible with her story of the Cross Society.  I really enjoyed it.
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Secret of Ella and Micha by: Jessica Sorensen

Title: The Secret of Ella and Micha
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 320
Series: The Secret #1
Format: ebook ARC
Source: NetGalley


A rule-breaker with a fiery attitude, Ella always wore her heart on her sleeve. Then she left everything behind to go to college, where she transformed into someone who follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. Now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. But once there, Ella fears that everything she's worked so hard to bury might resurface-especially with Micha living right next door.

Smart, sexy, and confident, Micha can get under Ella's skin like no one else. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. If he tries to tempt the old Ella to return, he will be impossible to resist. But what Ella doesn't realize is that when she left, she took a piece of Micha's heart with her. Now he's determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.

My Thoughts: 

Ella left Micha 8 months ago with no excuses to her absence.  Changing everything about her to be a good girl the total opposite of how she was before she left.  Now that summer break is here she has to go back home, where she left a stricken Micha who wondered what happened to his best friend.

Ella tries to hard to be the opposite of what she really is.  Micha drags out everything he loved about his best friend.  Micha has also been battling his own issues with his father who walked out so long ago.  As Ella deals with her dysfunctional family  a dead mother, alcoholic father, and a brother she isn't connected with since their mothers death.

Both characters grow with the story and find their happy ending but have to work hard for it.  I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to see what happens in the next book in the series.
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The Mephisto Kiss by: Trinity Faegen

Title: The Mephisto Kiss
Author: Trinity Faegen
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: DEX Kitap
Series: The Mephisto Covenant

The eyes never lie. No one’s eyes are darker than Eryx. Not even the Devil’s.

When Jax and Sasha first see Jordan Ellis, they know she is no ordinary teenager. She’s the daughter of the President after all, but she’s also Anabo – a descendant of Eve.

What they don’t know is that Eryx plans to kidnap Jordan and force President Ellis to pledge his soul. If Eryx’s plot succeeds, the consequences would be catastrophic.

But the Mephisto brothers do know about Jordan’s secret identity. And for one of them, she could be the match that leads to their soul’s salvation.

Now it’s a desperate race against time to save Jordan and prevent Eryx’s haunting eyes from discovering her true identity.

A thrilling story of romance, danger, and intrigue, THE MEPHISTO KISS continues the marvelous mythology that began in THE MEPHISTO COVENANT.

My thoughts:

If you haven't a clue about The Mephisto Covenant series like I was, you're in for a treat!

I received this book for review from its Turkish publisher only to find out that it was the second book in a series. So I rushed to the book store to pick up the first one, The Mephisto Covenant, and read them back to back in a very short time. In many books, whether they're adult novels or YA, we're used to war between good and evil, someone from opposite sides falling in love with each other (i.e. Romeo & Juliet). But, for the life of me, I could never have imagined Eve's daughters and Hell's sons roaming the same pages.

The gorgeous cover you see on the left tells the story of Sasha, Eve's daughter (an Anabo), and Hell's son Jax. Like most series, I thought the second book would be a continuation of their story, but I was mistaken. And I'm so glad I was mistaken!

The Mephisto Kiss's main character is a different Mephisto brother (one of Jax's brothers), Kyros (Key). His love interest is a girl named Jordan, whose father is the president of the United States. Similar to Jax and Sasha yet so very different, this new couple bring a freshness to the story. In addition to the characters, I loved, loved, LOVED the scenery the book takes place in. Especially the mountain top where the Mephisto brothers live-- if it exists, someone should organize a tour so we can see it, seriously.

I'm not going to go into details because I keep mixing up the two books due to my reading them very quickly. If you like action, suspense and mystery in your love stories, The Mephisto Covenant series is for you.
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Murder in the Milk Case by: Candice Speare

Title: Murder in the Milk Case
Author: Candice Speare
Publisher: Heartsong Presents
Pages: 256
Series: A Trish Cunningham Mystery
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchase


When mommy and wife, Trish Cunningham, finds the body of pharmacist Jim Bob Jenkins behind the two-percent milk, she knows she' having a bad day. Worse, she's a suspect. Sleuthing to exonerate herself from murder charges, she shakes up a murderer who has nothing to lose by killing any one in the way - including Trish.

My Thoughts:  

When Trish Cunningham wife of Maxwell Cunningham discovers dead Jim Bob Jenkins in the milk case she is determined to find out what happened and to keep a secret about her brother and his street sign in his room.  What she doesn't know is there is no shortage of suspects in this book.

Jim Bob Jenkins is blackmailing numerous people.   He seems to have dirt on everyone in town and is even blackmailing families all over the same secret.  Trish is also having some stomach issues which do resolve as to what they are towards the end of the book.  

This book was definitely different with a cozy aspect.  Trish is as far from an amateur sleuth as they come.  She works at her husband public storage, which Jim Bob's wife is trying desperately to get into.  She tries to charm many into taking her where she wants to get but finds herself out of luck on more than one occasion.  Trish is also dealing with one angry teen, Karen Max's daughter with his late wife.  Karen is mad and taking everything out on Trish until Trish learns what she is really angry at.

This book also had a religious aspect as Trish and Max are religious parents who go to church, teach Sunday School and are very involved with their kids, and family life.  It was a great cozy mystery I thoroughly enjoyed!
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Eating Animals by: Jonathan Safran Foer

Title: Eating Animals
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase


Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to exlpre the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them.

Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. Part memoir and part investigative report, "Eating Animals" is a book that, in the words of the "Los Angeles Times," places jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers."

My thoughts:

With this book, I found out that I have something common with Jonathan Safran Foer: we both tried vegetarianism, but were defeated by the deliciousness of meat. In "Eating Animals," Foer explores in detail our eating habits, why and how we eat meat and where the meat we eat comes from. His research is done in the US, and living across the ocean in Turkey, I really don't think anything's any better here.

Whenever I meet a vegetarian, I always ask, "why?" I'm not satisfied, mostly, because the most common answer I receive is "because I'm against killing animals." I'm not FOR killing animals, but when I think about nature and how the big fish eats the little fish, this doesn't sound like a good enough reason to me. In addition, when they say, "I'm against taking the life of a living thing," it sounds more ridiculous to me because plants have lives too. Foer covers all of this in "Eating Animals," and he also explores how in some countries it's okay to eat dogs and how, in some, human meat can add different flavors to the dish. He talks about how none of us would even think about out cats or dogs, but how we're okay with eating animals we haven't met before.

The way livestock is run today is as bad for us as it is for the nature. I used to love white meat, but now it's the one I'm most disgusted by. The way these animals are tortured on the way to our table is more horrifying than I ever let myself believe, but what's worse is that it's also affecting global warming. In fact, I found out from the book, it's the #1 reason behind global warming.

I myself have vowed off of meat for good after this one. I must MUST emphasize that this isn't what this book is trying to do: it gives you the information and the first-hand accounts, and, after that, it's up to you to decide whether you'll keep eating animals or not.
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