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url 2017-08-16 17:40
My Previous Book Reviews

I started by own book review blog on blogger.com as my New Year's Resolution before I ever found out about this website.  I plan to share all of my reviews on both platforms now, but I would LOVE to have people check out my previous posts.




Here's to many more books, many more reviews, and sharing the joy of reading!

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review 2017-08-16 17:32
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

I recently went to Barnes & Noble to buy some books for my birthday.  I found a table that had a buy 2 get 1 free deal, but you had to pick books on the table.  Immediately I knew two books I wanted.  I had no idea what I wanted for the third book.  So I meandered around, picked up a few different books, read a few different pages, and stumbled across this book.  I had never heard of it before, never heard of the author, and had no idea what it was about.  But I've always been interested in cognitive science (science of the brain) and a "why we do the things we do" study of psychology.  It peaked my interest enough where I picked it up and brought it home.  As soon as I started reading it, I realized I would need a highlighter for all of the morsels of knowledge Duhigg provides along the way.

The book covers three different sections.  The first section explains how habits form as part of every day life.  It breaks down the science behind the formation of habits and how we can change them.  The second part of the book shows how to focus on successful habits to grow an organization or company.  The third part looks at large society groups, like churches or the civil rights movement, and how they respond to habits.  Throughout each section, it continually reminds you how the habits are formed.

As I'm finishing the book, my group of friends has decided to go on a diet starting August 1st.  Here I am reading a book about understanding your habits (both good and bad), learning how to change bad habits and create new habits, and finding the insight to recognize why I may have failed before.  What wonderful insight it has provided for me!  I still have to put in the hard work, but at least I feel like I know what to look for now.  I can follow some of the advice and plans in the book to set myself up for a better chance at success.  I really am intrigued to know if my diet will be more successful now that I've read this book.

Not only did the book make me think about my upcoming diet plans with my friends, but it opened up the thought process for a number of different habits I've formed.  To quote from the first chapter, "more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day" aren't actual decisions, but habits.  If we can become more observant and retrospective as to why we have created habits for ourselves, it is remarkable to think of the outcome we may be able to have.  Of course, there are positive habits.  Not all of them are negative.  I guess the point is to sit and understand why the habit exists, if it is a positive or negative habit, and if there is a way to change it for the better.  I may not want to change every habit I have ever formed, but I'm hoping that this book has at least given me the option to change some of my habits for the better.

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text 2017-03-20 16:40
The Book Report: And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso
And the Whippoorwill Sang - Micki Peluso

On The Book Report:

And The Whippoorwill Sang

by Micki Peluso




I love this heartwarming family tale, And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso!  It is beautifully written and I could not put this book down.


It is about a large family handling the constant changes in their lives as the grow up and the heartbreaking lost of one young daughter. The story is part family struggles; part lost, and part romantic comedy. Think a touch of the TV show The MIDDLEs Mike and Frankie.


Micki Pelusos descriptive style as well as her description of emotions and places add charm and meaning to the story. She defines each of her children and family members well. I feel that I really know this family.


When I got this book I was worried about how I would be emotionally while reading it having lost members of my own family. I rarely read non-fiction. But in truth, I was able to fully relate and see parts of my own life that would have been upsetting, now with clarity.


Find Micki Peluso at: http://mallie1025.blogspot.com/

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review 2014-11-02 03:54
Sue Brown – Complete Faith Audio Edition
Complete Faith: Morning Report, Book 2 - Sue Brown

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: m/m Cowboy, Audio



Complete Faith is the sequel to Morning Report and gives us the relationship between Noah and Tommy that many readers had been hoping for at the end of that book. But it doesn’t give us a lot of angst and pain, or crisis, or mystery, or much of the drama that makes a good book great. So, this one is a good story that is actually a bit above average in the audiobook format due to narrator Aaron Pickering who, as usual, does an excellent job. His vocalizations of the various characters hit a range of tones and accents, and when he uses his hot, sexy voice to narrate the hot, sex-filled scenes between couples, it sounds so realistic that I feel like I’m being a voyeur.


The story involves Tommy, 23-year-old hand on the Lost Cow Ranch, gay and in the closet and a virgin because his parents are super-religious and he’s so fearful they’ll find out about him that he’s kept a tight rein on his behavior. And it involves Noah, the pastor of the gay-friendly church which Luke’s family has turned to after their previous pastor proved himself to be a gay-bashing bigot. Noah is 35 years old and is totally smitten by Tommy so when Tommy is finally ready for his first kiss, it’s Noah who’s there for him. And it’s Noah who gives Tommy more firsts, including the courage to come out to his parents. That, of course, doesn’t go well, but Tommy wasn’t expecting it to, and he’s now living on the ranch so the impact isn’t great, other than on his heart.


The story progresses with other friends and ranch hands having their own struggles, Tommy having some minor trouble with one of the bullies he went to school with, then the usual ranch issues. One dramatic crisis involves flash flooding on the ranch and Luke and Simon as the characters most affected, but considering that the story is about Noah and Tommy, there really wasn’t a major crisis involving them. The potential was there in a few different ways. One, with Tommy’s parents being so cold to him, and another time when Tommy had a severe case of the flu I thought it might turn out to be something worse, and even a third time when he was driving to Noah’s in a bad storm, I kept expecting something major to happen to him, but none of those things was ever more than mundane. Even the age gap wasn’t made a focal point in any way. The main drama occurred toward the end of the story and involved Noah’s position as pastor of his church being threatened, but again, it was not a huge issue and was resolved quite simply.


So overall, I’m going to give this one 3.5 hearts— 3 for the story and an extra .5 for the narration. But I am looking forward to listening to the next audiobook in the series because these are nice stories with a sweet romance and sometimes I like it when things to go smoothly for the guys.

Source: heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=29669
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review 2014-11-02 03:31
Sue Brown – Papa’s Boy Audio Edition
Papa's Boy: Morning Report, Book 3 - Sue Brown,Aaron Pickering

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: M/M Cowboy



Wow! I don’t know if I enjoyed this story more for the book itself, or for the voice of Aaron Pickering whose narration of both characters was sexy as hell. More on that later.

Ray Sloane is the assistant to Pastor Noah (Complete Faith) at the newly formed Mustard Seed Church which is being built on the Lost Cow, the farm owned and operated by Luke and Simon (Morning Report). He’s gay, a school teacher, a friend to all, and he’s looking for what the men of the Lost Cow seem to have—someone to share their lives with, both the good and the bad.


He’s pretty much rotated through the bar scene where most of the eligible gay men go so he decides to try his hand at the Pink Palm, a bar that his friends refer to as a dive. There he spots a lonely-looking guy, one who attracts his attention and sets off his gaydar. The guy is older, darkly handsome, brooding, and seemingly enjoying the isolation of his corner seat. The bartender tells Ray that the guy comes every week but rejects everyone’s advances. When Ray approaches, he gets the brushoff but Ray being Ray, he engages the guy in conversation anyway. When he learns the man’s name is Zeke and the guy adamantly claims he’s not gay, Ray puts two and two together and comes up with Ezechiel, realizing it’s no wonder he’s so deeply closeted. With a name like that, his parents must be deeply religious.


It takes him several weeks, but he finally breaks through to the cowboy and when he does, he finds it was worth the wait. It turns out that Zeke is Zeke Jackson, the son of Tony Jackson, the homophobic fire-and-brimstone preacher who has made life hell for the guys of the Lost Cow throughout the past two books. Two years ago, Zeke’s wife caught him with a man, and since then he’s lost everything, including his kids and his job as an elementary teacher. He lives with his parents and works at the ranch of the biggest homophobe in the area, Wade Childs.


As time progresses, however, things come to a head, and Zeke finally breaks away from both his parents and the job and accepts a job offered by Luke and Simon. At the same time, he moves in with Ray. While all this is going on, one of Ray’s close friends, Lee, a young man he’s mentored for years, is severely beaten for being gay and is in a coma. Also, Ray is having problems at school which may result in outing him to his students.

This story unfolds as an action-packed, romance-packed drama with moments of light humor amidst the exploration of very serious issues. It was nice to get to the final resolution which allowed Ray and Zeke to have their HEA.


My enjoyment of this story is due, in large part, to the fact that it’s the audiobook version which, happily, features the narration of Aaron Pickering who does a soft, sweet, sexy voice as well as the deep, gruff, alpha voice he imparts to Zeke in this story. In fact, he has a wide range of vocalizations, doing the females as well as the males. And I can always tell which character is speaking, which is a huge plus in an audiobook. The narration definitely kicked this one up from a 4 to a 4.5 for me. If you can get this book or the whole series on audiobook, do it. You won’t regret it.


I’m going to miss the boys of the Lost Cow Ranch and may have to go back for a visit on occasion, as long as I don’t disrupt Simon giving Luke his “Morning Report”. I recommend this book and this series to those who like angst, religious conflict, hot cowboys, and HEA’s.

Source: heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=29713
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