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review 2017-03-09 04:22
All You Need is Love!
Plenty of Love To Go Around - Emma Chichester Clark,Emma Chichester Clark

Plum is back with an all new adventure in Plenty of Love to go Around by Emma Chichester Clark!  Life is pretty great for Plum, also known as the Special One by her humans, Emma and Rupert.  She is even adored by the neighbor children, Sam and Gracie.  Until the day that Binky arrives....

Plum cannot believe her eyes!  Sam and Gracie are now the very proud owners of a CAT!  She is certain that no good can come out of this new addition.  Especially when Binky begins to follow her everywhere.

What is this poor pampered pooch to do?  Is it truly possible to be friends with a cat?  Is there really plenty of love to go around?

I was very excited to read the second installment in the Plum series and I was not disappointed.  Clark deals with the complicated emotion of jealousy from an animal's point of view.  I found this found this fresh perspective to be very entertaining as well as educational.

The illustrations are whimsical as well as adorable.  I love how Plum's eyes are so expressive!  I also love that the illustrations are hand drawn.  I feel that more and more drawing is becoming a lost art.

I greatly enjoyed following Plum on her journey through jealousy.  Children of all ages will fall in love with Plum and Binky.  This would be a great story to read before adopting a second pet or for parents who are expecting another child.

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review 2014-11-17 17:59
Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke - Rob Sheffield

It's okay, really. Go ahead sing as much of the song as you can. See that's what this book is about. Being able to let go and just SING! Even if you can't carry a tune, Karaoke makes you feel like it's okay to suck and still be on the stage singing to a bunch of strangers.


"It's a spiritual quest.

This spiritual quest, like so many spiritual quests, involves Bonnie Tyler."


  This book is not just a book about karaoke, it's actually a biography, which for some reason I didn't realize until after I started reading it and a spot in the book made me look at the label on the spine. It has a lot of other stuff in it. Like the time he went to a Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp. (which I felt was one of the boring parts of the book)

"Over the years, I've gotten totally obsessed.

Like I said, I have a karaoke problem.

But admitting the fact that you have a problem is the first step toward making it an even bigger problem."



Rob Sheffield is older than me so the type of music he talks about is not the music I was obsessed with growing up, but there were plenty of bands and  songs I knew. Like -

 The Beatles - he goes through a chapter talking about how during your life you love one Beatles song then in a little while you mature and another one becomes your favorite.

I also never payed attention to what was going on in the song  "She Loves You" until he pointed it out. Weird. (pg 155)


Rod Stewart -

"Nice try, Oedipus, but there are in fact three ages of man:

1. He thinks Rod Stewart is cool

2. He doesn't think Rod Stewart is cool.

3. He is Rod Stewart.

No man ever plans to turn into Rod Stewart. It just happens. There are days when I dread this fate. And there are other days when I think every minute of my life I don't spend being Rod Stewart is a waste of time."


I didn't know that they wouldn't play a line of his song "Tonight's The Night" on the radio because it talked about "spreading your wings". What a joke. Now they have songs like Blurred Lines on the air.


Neil Diamond - Yes, I know who Neil Diamond is, and I could probably sing the whole album of The Jazz Singer. My mom was a big fan , and when your parents are big fans of some one when your little, that means you are too, because it's the only records in the house!

"Honey's sweet, but it ain't nothing next to baby's treat" - Neil not only wrote that line, he kept it in the song. Now, if you or I were trying to write a hit, and we came up with a lyric like that, would we say, "Hey, I think that's a keeper - our work is done here" ? Ah, no. We would immediately crumple the paper, burn the tape, and never mention it to even a closest friend."


 He also talked about movies like Jaws, Star Wars. TV shows like Welcome Back Kotter.

If you know what I'm talking about, then you'd understand this book. I'm afraid the younger generations just won't get some of the references.


Now I'll admit..  at the time I started this book I'd never been to a "Karaoke bar" or to a Karaoke night at some bowling alley or any where else. So I was kinda fascinated by the whole "getting up in front of strangers and singing". I can't believe it's still popular. Doesn't it seem like it's just a crazy fad and it would have been long gone by now?

BUT about halfway through the book my little coffee shop down the road had Karaoke Night. So I bravely took my teenage sons and their friends and we went.

Did I sing? Hell yes! Even my youngest who HATES talking in public got on that stage and became a Showman. He was twirling around kicking out his legs, flirting with the audience.(who were just the people that came with us, Thank God!)

Sheffield talks about when you first start singing you find out whose voice suits you and whose doesn't. this is true. I found mine. It's Pat Benatar. (That's right Hit Me With your Best Shot!) But I can also have the Joan Jett quality


"We came here to be stars

. But it goes deeper than that - we came here to make each other stars."

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review 2014-11-02 04:12
Andrew Grey – Love Comes Around
Love Comes Around (Senses Series Book 4) - Andrew Grey

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: M/M Contemporary

4.25  Hearts


Another book in a wonderful series that brings attention to those among us who live with disabilities, yet show courage and strength on a daily basis as they not only live with them, but they put the disabilities on the back burner and live a full, enriching life despite them.


Love finally comes around to Connor, a carpenter and skilled woodworker, who is hired to fit out the home of Dan Harrington, a wealthy land development executive, for Dan’s soon-to-be-adopted son, Jerry. At first, Connor is upset with Dan when Connor witnesses Dan returning Jerry to the orphanage after spending two weeks with him. Connor doesn’t even want to respond to Dan’s call for an estimate, but is very thankful that he decided to see what Dan had in mind. Connor not only gets to see what accommodations Dan wants made, but also gets the double reward of becoming Dan’s friend and experiencing what it’s like to build your own family.


Slowly, both Dan and Connor discover that they have a great deal in common, including having been “throwaways” as children, deserted by those who should have loved them unconditionally. Both men understand what it is for the children in the orphanage to know that they are rejected and unwanted by most prospective parents. And both men finally reveal their pasts to each other and start to form a bond of more than just sexual attraction.


When a crisis occurs and Dan needs help, Connor drops everything to go to him and support him and the children throughout that difficult period. And when it’s over, both men are left lonely and feeling abandoned when Connor returns to his own home. Connor assumed that he should go back to his own place because he knows Dan needs time with his family. It doesn’t take long, however, for Dan to come after him because the family Dan has begun to build, to create as his “family of the heart” is just not complete without Connor.


I really enjoyed this story, not only for the perspective it brings on what it’s like for the children who are considered “throwaways”, but also because it underlines the fact that we don’t all have the benefits of a “family of origin”. Sometimes we need to build our own families from the people we love. Family is what we make it, and as long as it’s full of warmth, caring and love, it’s everything we need.


I recommend this to fans of Andrew Grey, and to those who love a slow-building romance with strong characters who overcome life’s obstacles and find their HEA turns out to be everything they hoped for.

Source: heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=29700
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text 2014-09-27 09:51
Reading progress update: I've read 23%.
Love Comes Around (Senses Series Book 4) - Andrew Grey
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review 2014-04-01 00:00
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke - Rob Sheffield Music has always been an important part of Mr. Sheffield’s life. As a writer for Rolling Stone magazine he had transformed that into a profession as well. In 2001 Mr. Sheffield was a young widower, had recently moved to New York City and by his own admission was still in the depths of mourning the sudden death of his wife. On a rare night out with friends he was introduced to karaoke and a new love story began … not only with karaoke but with the woman who would, due in large part to her own love of music, not only rescue him from the depths of his self-imposed solitude but also become his second wife.

This book is a little bit love story, a little bit the history of karaoke and a whole lot about the importance of music in our lives. The memories of certain occasions in Mr. Sheffield’s life are emphasized with songs … whether he is quoting lyrics or amusing his reader with anecdotes about his poorly performed (by his own admission) karaoke versions of those songs. Every so often he cleverly worked the lyrics of a song into the flow of his writing and I found myself immediately starting to hum the song in my head. This is the second book I have read recently that made me wish it came with an accompanying CD. He pays homage to most of the popular artists over the last several decades, as well as some lesser-known (to me) ones paying special attention to Rod Stewart, The Beatles and Rush. He moves smoothly from pop music – does anyone besides me even remember “Love Grows Where Rosemary Goes” – through Indie, Country and Heavy Metal. I don’t think he ignored any music genre. All of that “plays” softly in the background as he shares about his parents, his life, living close to the World Trade Center on 9/11, personal grief and falling in love again.

Being of a “certain age” this book included many songs that could be included in the soundtrack of my own life and, although loath to admit it, I have enjoyed one or two Corona fueled karaoke performances myself, so this was a fun read.
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