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review 2018-01-22 10:00
Release Day Review! Wicked Times Two (Wicked Brand # 3) Tina Donahue
Wicked Times Two (Wicked Brand Book 3) - Tina Donahue



Burned by her cheating boyfriend, Jasmina is finished with the idea of forever after with any guy. That fairy tale doesn’t exist—at least not for her. From now on, protecting her heart and letting pleasure rule is her motto.


Lucky for her, she has the perfect men in mind. Noah and Kyle, two of the hottest cops in West Palm Beach. She hasn’t been able to get them out of her head since they handled an altercation at Wicked Brand, the tattoo parlor she manages. When they come back to get inked, sparks fly.


Noah’s ready to play, and Kyle’s on board. All they want is her—submission, bondage, spanking…no strings or regrets. Seductive days roll into steamy nights, igniting feelings the guys hadn’t expected and Jasmina can’t deny.


What began as a sensual adventure could turn into so much more…if Jasmina can risk a different kind of love.


Each book in the Wicked Brand series is STANDALONE:
* Wicked Takeover
* Wicked Seduction 
* Wicked Times Two






Wonderful, solid and compelling characters that grabs readers’ attention and refuse to let go. The chemistry between Jasmina and her two sexy cops is electrifying and readers can fell it as it practically leaps off the pages and this romance isn’t all about the heat, although I promise you there is plenty of that, it’s about building a unorthodox relationship between one woman and two men.

Readers can’t help but get caught up in the suspense, the burn and the emotional turbulence that builds through the story as what starts out as something fun turns into so much more.


I haven’t read the first two books in the Wicked Brand series yet, but I will definitely be taking care of that. I was completely caught up in the story from the very beginning and I am looking forward to reading more about Wicked Brand.




Wicked Times Two is the 3rd Book in the Wicked Brand series.


And is available in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks


Tina Donahue can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub    Amazon   Facebook   Twitter


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review 2018-01-01 21:31
Tudor Book of Days by Tudor Times
Tudor Book of Days - Tudor Times

The Tudor Book of Days is a more lovely and useful book than I had anticipated. Set up as a perpetual calendar, it can be used for multiple years with notes about special days accumulating through time. It comes fully stocked with Feast and Saints days that would have been an important component in the Tudor era Books of Hours that were prized possessions of their day. Each day also includes a notable event of the Tudor era, providing one with a link to the past to begin every day.


Besides all of this, an index is included which provides a summary of each person mentioned in the daily facts. Therefore it is easy to learn more if the notable person or event of the day is one that is unfamiliar to the user, and the book becomes much more than a simple daily diary.


This book is an example of the high quality standard I would expect of Tudor Times. A sturdy yet beautiful hardcover and thick pages make this a perpetual diary that will last for years to come. It is so lovely that I was at first hesitant to write in it!


I look forward to making use of this book to track important historic dates and organize my blogging schedule with relevant information. I have attempted to develop something like this diary on my own with mediocre results, so I am especially thrilled to have the Tudor Book of Days as an addition to my desk that is both useful and attractive.

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review 2017-12-27 20:10
Everything is Normal: The Life and Times of a Soviet Kid - Sergey Grechishkin

An amazing story of growing up in the Soviet Union during the 1970-80's. The author very capably describes what it was like to be a child and teenager during this time.
I was surprised to read that his childhood was much like mine (in the U.S.) in some ways. School, friends, crazy hijinks. But different in so many other ways. Shortages of food and other goods, standing in lines, and limited news to mention a few. He describes how the country dealt with the death of Brezhnev, and on through the next several short lived rulers, to the freshness of Gorbachev.
For example, a few lines stood out to me.....
"She got me an awesome present: a piece of chewing gum. Had I been given such a thing several years later, I would have squirreled it away to share with my friends on some meaningful occasion".
"Many foodstuffs Westerners take for granted didn't exist in the Soviet universe even as a concept. There was no such thing as breakfast cereal, peanut butter, or ready-made-and-eat meals of any kind. We had never heard of yogurt, burgers, french fries, marshmallows, tea bags, popcorn, cookies with fillings, or a hundred other delicious items".
I was surprised at the rigors of their schooling. "In fifth grade, we began to study organic and inorganic chemistry, astromony, physics and ever more advanced math. These were mutli-year courses, and none of them were optional".
There was also "basic military training", taught in grade school. It was taught in the classroom, and "taught us simple and useful life skills, such as how to assemble and disassemble a Kalashnikov, an AK-47 assault rifle, in less than thirty seconds".
As far as basic rights, the author described it well when he stated, "In the Soviet Union, there is freedom of speech. But it's not written anywhere that one should be free after his speech".
I found this book to be fascinating, enlightening, and easy to read. I really hope that it is a big success, so others can learn about what it was like growing up in the Soviet Union.

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quote 2017-12-23 08:44
He said, I ain't got nothing but hard times and bubble gum and I´m fresh out of bubble gum.
In Country - Bobbie Ann Mason

This quote is flawed... but I do tend to overthink things.  Not sure what page because I´m listening to the audio book but it is in Chapter 17.

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review 2017-11-29 00:00
Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees' Songs, One by One
Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees' Songs, One by One - Mark Arnold,Michael A. Ventrella

Some rock ‘n roll histories are designed to tell the stories of significant performers, genres, composers, producers, or record companies that shed light on the backgrounds, influences on, and legacies of their respective subjects. Some rely on considerable research, interviews, or their own experiences to go behind the scenes to show how popular music was made. Some of these histories go beyond the music and reveal much about the culture of the times and and are more than an exploration of a particular band or performer.

Other books have a more specific focus with a much more targeted audience. Such titles are often written by devoted fans and are usually meant to interest fellow aficionados of a particular group or personality. Such is the case for Looking for the Good Times—it’s obviously meant for Monkees fans who don’t mind reads based on personal opinions and not so much critical analysis.

Following a concise history of the group, The book looks at the complete Monkees song canon arranged in chronological order based on recording dates. The authors believe this order also helps show the evolution, or devolution depending on your point of view, of the band as it changed more than some listeners might think. The authors include pretty much every song issued during the 1960s run, many tunes issued on various compilations in the subsequent decades, some tracks the authors never heard but apparently found listed somewhere, alternate takes, rehearsal jams, and some rehearsal bits released on one post-break-up collection or another. A sample “analysis” should illustrate what the book is all about:

VALLERI (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
Monkee involvement: Vocals by Davy Jones
Recording dates: August 6,1966; August 27,1966; December 26,1967; December 28,1967
Highest chart position: #3 single
Original release date: March 2,1968 from 7" single and THE BIRDS, THE BEES

Mark: I love, love, love this song and its brass. I also love the flamenco guitar even if Nesmith really isn't playing it. The version I love best is the fade-out version from this album rather than the abrupt cold ending.
A first recorded version appears on the 2006 MORE OF THE MONKEES DELUXE EDITION CD. This is one is basically the version heard on the TV show, which originally appeared on MISSING LINKS, VOLUME 2 (1990). It's a little more lax than the punched-up single version.

Michael: I don't share in the love for this simple little song. In fact, Michael Nesmith is reported to have said that this was the worst song ever. I don't think I'd go that far. The performance is pretty good, and the horns improve the song tremendously from the earlier version done for the TV show, but the words are simple and the tune basically consists of the hook and then two lines, repeated in various ways.
This song fits much better in 1966 when it was first recorded, before the show even debuted. They redid it here and added horns, and it is a better version but it still sounds dated, since music had changed so much in that short period of time.
This was their last hit single, released at the tail end of the TV show before the summer repeats kicked in.

While promo for the book touts interviews with folks like Gene Cornish (The Rascals), Ron Dante (The Archies), Tommy James (The Shondells), Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), and actor Butch Patrick, these aren’t interviews but are instead short anecdotes and remembrances by fellow travelers of ‘60s popular culture. Not essential reading, but little bits of fun. Just like the introduction written by Howard Kaylan of The Turtles.

Clearly, interest in the music of The Monkees will be what draws readers to this volume, or not. Unless you’ve devoted the same amount of time to listening to all those hours of Monkees records, out-takes, deep cuts, and alternate versions, readers will likely learn all sorts of trivia they didn’t know before. Me, I decided there’s a large body of Monkee music, especially the Missing Links collections, that I have missed and should try out. Others might like to compare their own knowledge with the authors. For example, the writers don’t seem to know Buffy Ford Stewart, the widow of ex-Kinston Trio member John Stewart, inspired "Daydream Believer," and recorded her own version of the song with Davy Jones in what many believe was his last recording session. Oh, and she really was a homecoming queen.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the title to this book—“Long Title?” Well, a not-so-important observation. If you’re a Monkees diehard, here’s a little nugget for you.

This review, in a slightly different form, first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Nov. 29, 2017:

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