Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

Music City Salvage doesn't immediately intrigue you.  What does it even mean?   A family business is on the ropes and a old money estate may provide it with a second chance. 

Chuck Dutton's salvage business is struggling so when he is offered a deal that is too good to be true he ignores his gut feelings of wrong and signs up to salvage the Withrow estate.  

Over the years I have had the opportunity to dismantle a business or two.  As grunt teenage labor, salvaging a garage, it was a thrill to find dollar bills used as bookmarks in parts catalogs.  Even more thrilling was the boss, my buddies Dad, let us keep the cash we found.   So I can appreciate how the author imbues excitement and curiosity in her characters.  Some of her characters are not actually there or are they?

The author builds tension in the story and is annoyingly reticent with her clues.   This, of course, feeds the fires of interest and makes this book a page turner.

The relationships of the characters ring true, particularly for anyone who has worked in a family business.

This was a good book and I recommend it.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Secret Affair by Ethan Jones

Kudos to Ethan Jones for diving into the uncharted waters of a new genre.   New genre in that Jones' prior books were action thrillers and this is a chick lit romantic suspense.   No doubt my characterization will offend someone, practically anything you say, offends someone these days but a romantically oriented book with a feminine focus and mild references to reproductive actions and moderate violence but not terribly action oriented and a good story line regardless of those limitations seems like it is much more wordy than a chick lit romantic suspense.

This book showcases personality differences and how they can impact a business relationship.  It also is a launching platform for a new series.

I recommend it.

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch  sees a lonely coyote off of his deck and that provides the book it's title.  Harry is as rigid and stiff neck as usual.  Once again this lone ranger rides against both crime and politics.  This time it's more personal than usual.

Harry Bosch has a slogan everybody counts or nobody counts.  His personal code of ethics once again gets him into trouble.  Harry seems to epitomize the "shooting yourself in the foot" slogan.   He seems to go out of his way to alienate people.   He pays the price of personal pain when some of his smartass antics lead to the demise of not necessarily innocent but not necessarily responsible people. 

Harry shows a vulnerability in a case that leads him to identify where some of his drive and fears originate. Once again Connelly writes a fast moving, entertaining and sometimes horrific story.
I recommend it.

My Dad The Policeman

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ford Key Fob - Intelligent Access key, Battery Replacement

This uses a standard 2032 button battery.  Save yourself a bundle and change it yourself.  I used the Maxell I got at Amazon for $2.72 for a five pack.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, September 16, 2016

No Easy Day by Mark Owen

This is a Seal's story of how he became a Seal and his participation in the raid that led to the death of Osma Bin Laden. 

The author's name is a pseudonym due the continuing threat of terrorism.  The names of his fellow Seals and details of the raid have been scrubbed to protect operational procedures and the safety of the participants.   The human interest factor of what motivates a young man to dedicate his life to the hazardous one of a Navy Seal, let alone providing him with the stamina and strength to become a Seal, was extremely interesting. 

A drive to succeed and a level of stubbornness that must be phenomenal has to be part of the basic character of the Seals.   The training process is either just shy of brutal or perhaps more realistically, calculated to be brutal.  

There does seem to be an addiction to thrills and or adventure.   The author shows a decided preference for field work over any time off.   The mission details were purposely vague to maintain the safety of the participants while still being detailed enough to answer a lot of questions.

This was a thought provoking look into the mind of one of the United States most elite warriors.

To the books author, thank you for your service and your courage. 


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Push Back by Bob McDermott

This is a sequel to Under a Telll-Tale Sky: Disruption Book 1.  McDermott did a great job on this follow up and frankly I would like to light a fire under his fanny to get the third book in the trilogy finished.   This is a post-apocalypse book.  The world as we know it came to an end after a massive solar storm blacks out the electronics of the world. 

There are way two many characters to get into specifics unless I want to do a short story myself.  There are bands of survivors, good and bad whose tales are told.   The interaction between the good and bad provide the story line.   McDermott has the ability to craft both lovable and despicable characters.  This book highlights the good guys but the bad guys play their parts.  

A monomaniac president is the root of the institutionalized bad guys.   The only major government opposition is on a Speaker of the House who is on the run from the bad guys.  

As in my previous reviews of McDermott,  this is a great story, a well done book and a thoroughly captivating read. 

I heartily indorse it.
My reviews can be found at:
web site:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Interview with Anne Zoet author of Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil

Interview with Anne Zoet author of 
Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil

1.      What inspired you to write this book?
The story hit me on a day that I took out for myself away from my high tech work. I was having a massage, which is when I zone-out and don’t think about anything. Oddly, this time, I started creating the Purrball and Burrball storyline the more and more I unwound. I was so relaxed that the whole thing unfolded start to finish.
2.      How would you describe the characters of Purrball and Burrball?
Smart, kind, resourceful and they’re team players. Animals are invariably way more clever than we humans give them credit for. I’ve seen my cats use incredible logic to alter a situation they’re in. I once had a cat run away in a place she didn’t know (the worst weeks of my life searching every day) but she found her way back, though completely unfamiliar with the surroundings. I have another cat, my outdoor cat, who you can see trotting alongside opossums and raccoons in evenings. That scared me so much at first, but eventually we’ve come to see that he has a real relationship with them. He’s so smart and the more I see the wildlife interact with him, the more I see them as clever and accepting and even friendly. The Purrball and Burrball characters came to me before I moved to this area and could witness my cat and his outdoor adventures. But this experience really solidified how Purrball and Burrball should be portrayed as a team. I think that my cat’s experiences with wildlife show that animals are capable of very unexpected bonds with one another.
3.      Why did you choose to write about a cat and a sloth?
I’m crazy about both domestic and wild animals and it is a passion that just gets deeper all the time. I’ve done a lot of research on cats (on nutrition and behavior) as well as love to build cat structures and make toys for them. And, I do not know who could look at a sloth and not smile! They have the sweetest faces and they have so much more to them than the “sloth” slowness we think of. They’re rather industrious buggers and have some funny quirks, like the wildlife that grows in their fur. I firmly believe they should never be pets and should be kept wild. While the story is pure fantasy (as are stories where animals communicate with phones!), I really want to keep one a pet and the other wild and be true to my feelings about that and it would be so lovely to pass all that along to children!
4.      How do Purrball and Burrball use technology in the book?
Purrball, the cat, is unable to send a critical text message, so she asks Burrball, the sloth, if he could tap with his toes to write it. Maybe that’s my wish: I wish my cats would find a way to text me what they’re thinking, lol.
5.      Why did you decide to set the story in Brazil?
It had to be set in the natural habitat of a sloth. I’ve always wanted to see a Brazilian rainforest, so I just created my own. It is roughly in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and their plane arrives in Sao Paulo. Earthquakes are incredibly rare in that region, so all the more surprising that one happens when they arrive. After setting my sights on this area, I’ve seen dozens of photos of both Sao Paulo and the Atlantic Forest that make me long to go there! It is on my bucket list.
6.      What does your writing process look like?
It’s very interesting that verse isn’t the first thing that comes out. I think it all through with as much rhyme as possible, but just let the story be written in prose for a few versions until the story gels. I can picture the scenery faster than I can create a rhyme.
7.      What was the most rewarding moment you experienced in writing Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil?
It was seeing the art that kids created from my coloring pages! I always loved to draw and I didn’t find coloring pages that interesting as a kid. Now that I’ve seen what some kids have come up with (like one used a gold pen to make a gold mobile phone), I think it can be very creative. I look forward to some freehand drawings, if kids post any to my site (and there’s an option for that at
8.      What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing this book?
I’ve done a lot of digital art, but all for technology-related purposes, so letting things take shape (and learning from a very good freehand artist) was new, challenging, and not always what I had wished it would be until I found my style.
9.      You also illustrated Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil. How did illustrating the book compare to writing it?
It was a bit easier, given that I’m familiar with creating digital art for business purposes. To have artistic license was amazing and both writing and illustrating were very creative and fulfilling. In sum, illustrating was easier for me than writing, but both were much lengthier than I had ever imagined. I spent a good six months pulling both together.
10.  Did any of your three cats influence the character of Purrball, either in physical likeness or personality?
All three: one has the coloring of Purrball (I love grey kitties, although I suppose Purrball is a bit blue, really) and she has some cute characteristics—the scene where Purrball is looking up curiously at Burrball is so her! I have another onn who is a squat and roundish cat with intense eyes and sitting frontally she looks like a black and white version of Purrball. And the last cat is the most clever cat you could imagine. I rolled them all into one.
11.  What drew you to writing and illustrating a children’s book?
My niece and nephew were recently of picture book age and I loved reading to them. I fell in love with books that were both beautiful and cleverly written and also reminded me of the years we live with unconstrained imagination. I love that animals are a big part of books for children. I figured I had a lot to say that could help kids fall in love with animals, like I did from a very early age.
12.  What is the key to attracting young readers?
It’s letting yourself be one for a moment—a good picture book can transport you back there.
13.  When did your interest in writing begin? What about your interest in illustration?
Recently, my dad reminded me of the “novel” I wrote and illustrated when I was in fourth grade and a few years ago he found my kindergarten poetry and illustrations. I guess I had it in me a while. He always told me I should write. I didn’t pay much attention to that, but like him, art has been a part of my studies and career and learning to illustrate children’s books is such a logical path in my life.
14.  Which writers inspired you as a kid? Which writers inspire you today?
As a kid, I loved any book with intense colors with much to take in visually on every page (like Where the Wild Things Are). I was always moved by art at an early age and even didn’t want to move from picture books to chapter books! As an adult, I am in love with words as much as the art, so
Chris Van Dusen’s “If I built a” series is the type of book that inspires me to develop both. He is a master at both.
15.  Will we see the duo return in a future book?
They have many adventures ahead! If a picture book were not a short thing, I’d probably be just finishing up chapter 18 at this time because I have so many ideas for Purrball and Burrball. But yes, there’s one in the works already as well as a few other animal adventures that are rattling around in my head.

Here is the LINK to purchase the book. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Time of Torment by John Connolly

This book was good but could have used some back story.  It is clear that Charlie Parker, Angel and Louis are good guys who are "bad".   They appear to have had occult experiences in the past and have persevered.   This story introduces them to the Dead King and the Cut an area of ill repute in West Virginia.

The people of the Cut are isolationists at best and criminally insane at worse.   They have come to an accommodations of sorts with their neighbors by avoiding deprivations in their own backyard. 

Charlie Parker and his crew are private eyes of a sort.  I'm still not sure of what kind of sort.   The crew takes the case of a convicted and released child molester who claims he was framed.  The story takes off from there.

There are some pretty graphic references in the book so if you are faint of heart, you may want to skip it.  I thought the story line was a bit confusing as to the motivations of Parker and company but it was still a good read.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Charlotte's Dragon: The Purple Knight

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mr. Waldorf Travels to the Great State Of Texas by By Barbara Terry, Beth Ann Stifflemire and Vladimir Kirichenko

 As picture books for children go this offers more than just a pleasant reading experience.   This is the beginning of a series and said series provides information and education in a very entertaining and painless manner.   In addition, the oft used but still extremely effective act of, including a lost or hidden object turns the reading experience into a game.

This specific book deals with a visit to Texas where Mr. Waldorf, a walking upright and talking Golden Labrador, discovers the sights and sounds of travel.  Another feature that I particularly like is that the authors infuse the love of reading into Mr. Waldorf's character.  Encouraging children to read should be a goal of every author. 

I recommend the book.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Mom and Dad are Splitting trailer

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.