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review 2019-04-05 18:07
Becky will do anything to find out what’s ailing her teenage daughter in this page-turner of a thriller which turns the spotlight on Munchausen by proxy
Saving Meghan - D.J. Palmer

Becky would do anything to find out what is ailing her fourteen-year old daughter Meghan, who has been in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices with unexplained symptoms. She is also frustrated that her husband Carl isn’t nearly as dedicated to finding out what is so obviously wrong. It’s also not helpful when her sister Sabrina, who is caring for their dying mother Cora, isn’t supportive; she also believes that their dysfunctional upbringing has led Becky to act obsessively towards Meghan.

 

When Munchausen by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker constantly seeks medical attention for assumed  symptoms, is suspected as the reason for all of Meghan’s mysterious ailments, the hospital administration steps in. And things heat up in all kinds of ways in this deftly-written page-turner of a book.

 

This is a fascinating exploration of a rare behavioral disorder, of family ties and relationships, of grief, and it’s also a tightly-written medical thriller. D.J. Palmer is a skilled writer; the pacing and tone kept me enthralled page after page with the different character perspectives shifting, with only Meghan’s being written in first-person, as she is the one experiencing the mental and physical anguish of the ‘disease,’ which I thought was a brilliant decision on Palmer’s part. Everything written from Becky’s perspective takes on a tone of anxiety, which fits perfectly with her character, proof of how well the characters are written and drive this novel.

It’s also ominous how dangerously symbiotic the mother-daughter relationship becomes; the relationship between Becky and Meghan then mirrors the one Becky had with her mom and that is pivotal to the story. I’m kind of in awe in how well Palmer psychologically weaves these characters together.

 

There are other plot threads that play a large part in the novel but I will let the reader discover them on their own. The overt exploration of Munchausen by proxy is so well done, and the underlying themes swept me away, so when the twists came out and grabbed me at the end, I was utterly surprised.

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough; it has everything I love in a book: Complex relationships. Family dysfunction. Medical/psychological thriller. Interesting characters. Twists you don’t see coming. Expert writing.

 

*Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy of this book for review!

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/40122065-saving-meghan
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review 2019-04-01 06:40
Thrilling
The Guardian: DARYL (Cover Six Security) - Lisa B. Kamps

This is book #2, in the Cover Six Security series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Daryl AKA "Zeus" comes to help out an old friend.  He owes this old friend more than he can repay.  Then surprises are in store when he finds out who the favor involves.

 

Kelsey has been on the run for so long, she trusts no one.  When her father tells her she can trust Daryl, she has to see for herself.  Then tragedy strikes.

 

This was a fast paced story.  There was such a good sense of characters for this book.  I loved that the heroine was strong, but could understand weakness.  Not going to lie, the heat in this book is set on medium high.  Such a great addition to this series, I cannot wait to read the next installment!  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2019-03-31 22:15
Coffee Boy by Austin Chant
Coffee Boy - Austin Chant

Kieran heads to his new internship at Heidi Norton's campaign office feeling nervous but hopeful. He's been told it's a trans-friendly workplace, and Marcus, the person who arranged his internship, is also a former professor of his, so he figures he'd have the benefit of knowing at least one person there. Unfortunately, he's almost immediately misgendered by one of his new coworkers, who seems confused and uncomfortable when he corrects her. Then he discovers that Marcus isn't there yet and he's going to have to deal with Seth, who immediately strikes him as stiff and intimidating. And also disconcertingly hot.

As Kieran gets used to his new internship, he learns that Seth isn't quite as intimidating as he first appeared, in part because Seth clearly has a major secret crush on Marcus, who is, unfortunately for Seth, both heterosexual and very happily married. To make matters worse, Kieran finds himself developing an awkward crush of his own on Seth.

Chant's Peter Darling was decent but not quite my cup of tea. I was looking forward to Coffee Boy, which I'd heard was a sweet contemporary romance. For the most part, I enjoyed it more than Peter Darling, although I flinched when I started it and realized it was written in present tense, with some verb tense choices in the first couple paragraphs that had me wondering if I was going to spend the whole story encountering odd inconsistencies. Thankfully, the writing smoothed out after that first jarring bit, and I eventually adjusted to Chant's verb tense choice and could even sort of see why he chose it, even though I wasn't a fan of it.

The first half of this story, in particular, made for difficult reading. Lots of instances of Kieran dealing with misgendering, as people saw his long hair and heard his "mean cheerleader" voice and assumed he was a woman. Marcus patted himself on the back for being a good trans ally by hiring Kieran, not seeing that there were additional issues that needed to be addressed. Seth was better, but his habit of snapping at anyone who misgendered Kieran made things worse in some ways, as people began treating Kieran like some kind of workplace ghost or bent over backwards in order to avoid using any pronouns at all when referring to him.

I liked seeing Kieran and Seth gradually relax and get to know each other. Seth was adorable, and I kept having a mental image of Kieran as a puppy nipping at Seth to try and get him to unbend and play around a little. As much as I loved the part when they were finally honest about how they felt about each other, I wish there'd been an epilogue showing them a few months later, after they'd been a couple for a while.

There was a ten-year age difference between them that had a noticeable effect on their lifestyles - Kieran was more comfortable going out to bars, drinking, and dancing than Seth, while Seth was much more financially stable and had a better handle on his life, at least in terms of his career (as far as his romantic life went, he used to be married - he and his wife divorced a while back, although not because he was bisexual). When Kieran and Seth finally admitted to each themselves and to each other how they felt, the age difference was brought up a little, as was the difference in their workplace status (Seth wasn't Kieran's direct supervisor, but he was still in a more powerful and influential position). Both of those things bothered Seth a bit more than they did Kieran, and both were brushed off fairly quickly.

I'm not sure I'd call this a fluffy romance considering how exhausting some of the stuff in the first half was, but it still had some nice sweet moments. I look forward to seeing Chant's future works.

I'll wrap this up with a comment about Coffee Boy's publisher, NineStar Press. This was my first exposure to them and their website has some features that mean I'll be reading more of their publications: they have "category" tags for gender (nonbinary, trans, cisgender), orientation (aromantic, asexual, bisexual, demisexual, gay, lesbian, pansexual), pairing (FF, MM, MMM, MMF, menage), and sex content (N/A, non-explicit, explicit). I particularly appreciated the orientation and sex content tags, as well as the "type" tags (romance, erotica, literary). I've now read one other work besides Coffee Boy published by NineStar Press and consider their tagging to be accurate.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2019-03-25 07:47
5 Tips to Safeguard Your Press Brake Without Sacrificing Productivity

Press brake is a machine tool for bending sheet material. These heavy machines can be risky to operators if used without appropriate safety. According to a study by the US Department of Labor report, every year more than 350 amputations were reported among press brake operators.

 

A major reason behind such injuries is the upgraded access of point of operation at front the of the machine. Plus, an operator’s ability to reach safely around the device to get to the operation point at a side of the machine. Moreover, the back-gauge system creates pinch points which creates a risk with the motion. If by any chance operator’s hand gets trapped between the material and frame, it might cause impalement or amputation.

 

Press brake operators can avoid such risky situations in just a few steps. Before digging brief into that part let’s have a closer look at some of the safety standards that every operator needs to know.

 

 

The Safety Standards

 

The industry follows the ANSI standard for press brakes. ANSI B11.2 is to safeguard method guidance. ANSI B11.19 for design criteria.  Looking at the history of these standards, the original B11.3 came as an approved standard in 1973. There was a revision in the policy in 2002. The current standard is B11.2 which was last updated in 2012. Amada machine replacement parts provide the highest possible safety standards for any press brake operator.

 

To make sure that you are well-equipped with all the safeguards, consider the below-given tips to practice safe sheet bending in your factory.

 

Use Awareness Barriers

 

It is human behavior to perceive red color as a warning sign/barrier. You can use signs like ‘danger’ or ‘warning’ at the back of press brakes in wide red letters. Because the backside of the press brakes cannot be wide open. There are possible risks lurking there. Reaching the die part from the back and a multi-axis back gauge moving with pinch points. If you wish to decide what can be put at the back of the equipment, it will depend on the local OSHA interpretation.

 

Barrier Guards to Rescue

 

Barrier guards can help you with the risk management of press brake. While looking for Amada machine replacement parts online, you must have come across the fact that barrier guard can be the most versatile part to provide a safety layer. You can use them at the ends of most press brakes. They are effective in mounting light curtains with added values as well. With barriers, you can have the openings for material to be fed into the die area. Although they do not allow hand-to-hand processing into that area.

 

Mount Light Curtains

 

Light curtains have been in the business since the mid-1950s. They contain a vertically mounted transmitter and receiver with spaced beams of the laser. It creates a flat sensing field. The key advantage is when human fingers, hands or a whole arm reach through that sensing field, the whole press system stops to avoid possible injuries. If you search the term ‘Amada machine replacement parts’ on the web, you will find many available options for light curtains.

 

One of the reasons that light curtains are a good fit for press brakes is that press breaks can be stopped during the mid-cycle quickly. With hydraulic press brakes, it is possible. On the other side, mechanical press brakes may not be able to deliver the same experience that swiftly. Mechanical friction clutch machines are also known for stopping slowly. Light curtain contains ‘function-tested’ operations. Before operating the press brakes enable these function tested curtains to ensure that they continue to provide enhanced protection.

 

Utilize Laser AOPD

 

This method is one of the newest entry into the safety category. It is included in the B11.2-2012 safety standards that now provides safety guidelines to manufacturers, dealers, and users to implement and practice these standards. This is an acceptable method of safeguarding hydraulic press brakes only per ANSI B11.3 with the collected manufacturers’ specifications. One of the most unique features of AOPD is that it can be mounted with zero safety distance, unlike curtains that should be mounted at a calculated safety distance. It is applicable only to hydraulic press brakes. You can find the same online. They are best suited for box bending, bending with flanges or where light curtains effectiveness is diminished due to excessive muting.

 

Are You Prepared?

 

If you are also a press brake operator, you might have an idea about how dangerous it can be while working with Press Brake machines. When your machine is safeguarded, installed and operated in a correct way, the safety of all the workers remains intact which eventually reduce your operation and insurance costs.

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text 2019-03-18 07:10
Book Blitz - Law & Disorder

Law & Disorder
Liv Arnold
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: March 18th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

Lawyer Juliet Jackson has come head to head with Sergeant Jesse Burns on numerous occasions in court. He is provoking. Pigheaded. Punch-worthy. They don’t get along. Not one little bit. The unfortunate fact he’s also her next-door neighbor brings her loathing off the charts. But when Juliet’s caught locked outside her home in nothing but a skimpy towel, she must swallow her pride and turn to Jesse for help. She doesn’t expect the explosive chemistry between them and can’t help but wonder if Jesse’s as demanding in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks

 

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

His handsome face smirked before he averted his eyes and turned his head, but she could still see the profile of his face. His police uniform stretched across his chest. Wonder if that chest is chiseled underneath all those clothes.

 

Her ears burned hotter than chili sauce, spreading to her neck and chest. No point in putting on a mask this time, because there was no escaping this. Her fingers found the ends of the towel to cover her naked body, but her legs froze on the spot. “I got locked out of my house.”

 

“You got locked out of your house…naked?” A grin spread across his face, revealing the dimple on the bottom lip. She wanted to bite it but didn’t know if it was to hurt him or because of the temperature between her legs.

 

Scowling at his sarcasm, her fingers gripped the bricks of her house and she pulled herself up. “Yes. Why are you even here? Didn’t you have enough of me this morning?

“Never enough.”

Author Bio: 

 

Liv Arnold has worked as a copywriter for several global companies and now runs her own freelance business. She grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and lives with her husband and their spoiled dog, who only eats freshly cooked meals. When she's not writing, Liv's avoiding the gym, devouring a cheese platter, or marathoning way too much TV. And of course, she's a massive book addict and often reads until all hours of the night.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

 

 

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