Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Book Review -- My Turn - Achieving the American Dream by Jonathan Williams

My Turn - Achieving the American DreamMy Turn - Achieving the American Dream by Jonathan Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is an interesting take on the battle between climbing up the corporate ladder and living a values-based life. The book revolves around Chris and his journey on the corporate ladder in an American firm. In a world that thrives in cut-throat competition, Chris is left wondering about what shape life should take. When it comes to a critical situation, what does Chris choose? Using Chris, the protagonist as the tool, the author presents his views on what takes prominence in living a successful life - being loyal versus being ruthless, being honest versus being clever, being responsible versus being ambitious, being truthful to integrity versus being opportunistic.

The book is carved out very well to bring out aspects of the right and wrong, without sounding preachy in the least. Any of us who has been at the receiving end of the cruel corporate world can empathise with Chris' dilemma. The writing style is thoroughly enjoyable. Williams' writing is smooth and engaging. I felt that the book could have been slightly crispier, as there are pages that are filled with Chris' and his thoughts, long after the reader has gone on to agree with them.

The book is still a nice read and I recommend this to everyone.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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Love, Albert by Lynda Simmons


Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic 

Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time. 



“Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.

Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.

Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”

Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.

“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”

“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”

“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl y-in-the-ice-cube.”

“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”

“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”

The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”

She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.

“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”

Reid raised his head. “A favor?”

“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”

The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”

“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”

Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”

“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”

Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”

Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”



Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Simmons/e/B001KI3Z4O


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Book Review -- Love, Albert by Lynda Simmons

Love, AlbertLove, Albert by Lynda Simmons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Vicky and Reid, who most people would think of as being the ideal couple, are suffering a widening and irrepairable rift in their eight year long marriage. While Reid is the adventurous and boisterous pilot, who loves being above the ground and hates being tied down to the boring monotony of every day life, Vicky needs some stability and firm ground under her feet. Still very much in love with each other, they sadly come to terms with the fact that they are wired up entirely differently and resort to a divorce. They are forced to swallow their bitterness when unexpectedly, Vicky's uncle, Albert passes away. Before breathing his last, he had requested for his ashes to be taken to Oregon and scattered in Jackson's port by Vicky and Reid. Not wanting to scoff at a dying man's wish, the two set off, although reluctantly on a life-changing journey. Does the journey serve to heal their past and help them come back together, is what the story is about.

The story was a brilliant take on diverse themes all at once - wry humour, fading romance, pursuits in life, emotional dependencies and realisation of what one truly wants. The author has a terrific way with words, all filled with enjoyable wit and Albert's character has been used as the tool to bring this element out. The struggle and change of hearts for both Vicky and Reid have been brought out well. The mid-life crisis and how the two overcome it, is heartening to read.

Overall, this was a superb book and I loved it. I definitelu recommend this book for everyone!

My rating for this book: 5 stars

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My Demonic Ghost: Banished Spirits by Jacinta Maree

My Demonic Ghost: Banished Spirits
My Demonic Ghost Book #1
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts
Published By- Staccato Publishing

Rachael has traveled to Whitehaven to visit her father, a trek she can not help but dread given his recent descent into madness. Upon her arrival she realizes his deterioration has not only been mental, it’s been physical as well. His death comes as no surprise, but what she discovers soon after, is shocking when his burden becomes hers.
Lock is a banished spirit who must attach himself to a human host in order to hide from those who would drag him back to hell to be destroyed. When he meets Rachael he finds more than a host, he finds an ally.
Together they must defeat each of the seven sins in order to guarantee Lock's safe passage into the Third Realm, a loophole in creation that would allow him to escape hell and have peace at long last. Through their unlikely friendship, other banished spirits flock to them in hopes of a peace they hadn't dreamt possible.


Book Review -- My Demonic Ghost: Banished Spirits by Jacinta Maree

My Demonic Ghost (My Demonic Ghost, #1)My Demonic Ghost by Jacinta Maree
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story goes that there is a troubled young woman, Rachael, who is burdened with woes much heavier than what someone her age can withstand. When she is forced to travel to Whitehaven, owing to her father's ailment, she discovers that her father is haunted by Lock, a banished spirit. Physically and mentally completely drained, Rachael's father passes away, leaving Rachael all by herself to deal with all the paranormal happenings around her. Lock attaches himself to Rachael to feed from her soul. What begins sourly at first, turns into an unlikely but treasured companionship between Rachael and Lock, but can this suffice in helping them both attain salvation, is what the book takes us through.

I found the storyline interesting, especially because Maree has made a disctinction between spirits who possess the body of victims, and others such as Lock, who feed on the souls of susceptible humans. Lock's characterisation was amusing. Having been banished and being an outcast, he is snappy, rude and nasty to Rachael to begin with, but the reader can soon see through his demeanour and realise that this serves to just hide his fragility and hurt beneath. Rachael comes across as the kind and forgiving foil character, as she forgives even the fact that Lock paved way for her father's death. I am looking forward to the sequels in the series.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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