Friday, January 29, 2016

LSLL Review: Desperate for Death by Judy Alter

Hey y'all! Today I'm going to be reviewing Judy Alter's latest, Desperate for Death. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the last book that I reviewed, so I was somewhat not looking forward to reading this one. But, when I'm reviewing, I always make sure I go in with a fresh perspective and give the book a chance.

Once again, the main character has an obscene amount of internal dialogue. Which, sometimes, is beneficial. This is not the case here. The internal dialogue for this character is extremely judgmental and somewhat vapid. She was a character that found myself not liking and skipping ahead when she would think about anything. Majority of the other characters were likable, which made the story bearable.

As I said before, cozy mysteries are not for me. But, if it's your cup of tea, then read on, my friend. I'll stick to my wheel of randomness!

I received materials from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

LSLL Review- Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay

Hello again! For this stop on the blog tour, I will be reviewing Marcy McKay's Pennies from Burger Heaven. I will admit that I was a bit skeptical when I started to read, because the language shocked me. It isn't vulgar, but the way things are said, the grammar of the main character, Copper Penny. Once I read on, I realized that her upbringing has put her down a path that she may or may not be able to veer away from. I'm from a small town, where it is divided by social class and race. It's still like that to this day, but not as severe. Knowing how the town is separated gave me an excellent opportunity to picture the town, especially Paradise.

It's one thing to think about a pre-teen in a terrible situation, but it's another thing to be able to create a narrative. McKay does a great job making you Copper's life through her eyes. You can vividly picture each character and location, as you travel through the town.You want to root for and yell at Copper at the same time. You want to yell at her mother and everyone else making bad choices, but you also want to help them. It also makes you feel very grateful for the life that you are able to live. I've always wondered what my life would be like if I grew up in my hometown or another town nearby. I know for a fact that it would be drastically different.

I really enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I would. I read it in a day, which is something I haven't done in a very long time. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series.

Ermahgerd! Rafflecopter Giveaway! Win 1 of 3 copies in your choice of print or eBook!

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Also, check out the tour in all its majesty!

1/18 My Book Fix Blog Review

1/19 Hall Ways Promo

1/20 The Page Unbound Author Interview

1/21 Bookishjessp Guest Post

1/22 Because this is my life, Y'all Review

1/23 The Crazy Booksellers Promo

1/24 All for the love of the Word Author Interview

1/25 Books and Broomsticks Guest Post

1/26 Blogging for the love of Authors and their books Promo

1/27 Missus Gonzo Review

1/28 The Librarian Talks Guest Post

1/29 Belle Whittington on Tumblr Author Interview

1/30 Book Crazy Gals Promo

1/31 Secret Asian Girl Review

2/1 Texas Book-aholic Review

I received materials from the publisher for a fair and honest review

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

P-P-P-PROMOOOOOO!!!!!! Carrying the Black Bag by Tom Hutton MD

Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales
Author: Tom Hutton MD

Genre: memoir
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: December 7, 2015
# of pages: 240

In his thirty-plus years of practicing medicine, physician and neurologist Tom Hutton discovered that a doctor’s best teachers are often his patients. From these extraordinary individuals, Hutton gained a whole-hearted respect for the resourcefulness, courage, and resilience of the human spirit. Hutton’s patients—and the valuable lessons they taught—served as the inspiration for Carrying the Black Bag.

Carrying the Black Bag invites readers to experience what it’s like to be a doctor’s hands, eyes, and heart. Imagine the joy of witnessing a critically ill five-year-old who, against all odds, claws her way back from a coma and near certain death. Meet a lonely Texas widower with Parkinson’s disease who hosts elaborate pinochle parties for a pack of imaginary canines. Step into the surgical booties of the author when he attempts to deliver his own child amid heart-stopping obstetrical complications—during a paralyzing Minnesota blizzard.  

Through real-life patient narratives, Hutton shines light on ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. Moreover, this captivating tale captures the drama of medicine—its mystery, pathos, heroism, sacrifice, and humor.



        Each story slipped into The Black Bag is a shining jewel, polished to perfection and written with empathy, sensitivity and humor. Hutton brings to life a doctor's unflagging dedication to the human condition as a healer with utmost respect for each patient fortunate enough to be graced by his compassion and commitment. Every tale once begun, entrances.
        -Antoinette van Heughten, author of USA Bestseller Saving Max, and The Tulip Eaters

        Being a physician is a privilege, in no small part because of the powerful insight it provides into the human condition. Tom Hutton addresses themes of interest to all readers--love, loyalty, family, and mortality, and shows how he could affect a positive outcome, and how he, in turn, was changed by those for whom he cared.
        -William L. Henrich, MD, President, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

        How many doctors have you come across who can write this well, especially for the lay reader? He's a natural, that's for sure! Carrying The Black Bag is a must-read for anyone interested in following a wonderful doctor on his rounds.
        -Bartee Haile, newspaper columnist and author of Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes, and Murders Most Texan

        A wonderful journey through the training, practice, triumphs, and travails of a dedicated physician.
        -D. P. Lyle, MD, author of Dub Walker and Samantha Cody thriller series.

Chapter 9
Heavy double doors banged behind me. I located the unidentified woman responsible for my stat page. A glance revealed a small body eclipsed by monitors, a wheezing ventilator, and a virtual spaghetti bowl of wires and catheters.
Somewhere across the intensive care unit, a ventilator alarm shrieked, a telephone jingled, and infusion pumps thrummed. Nurses with intent facial expressions scurried about the unit on rubber-soled shoes, providing care for these, the very sickest of the hospital’s sick.
(Her husband arrives and provides a surprisingly poignant description, transforming his wife in my eyes)
“Doc, do everything you can.” His voice cracked and faltered before struggling on. He finally blurted out, “I…I love that old gal.”
After his description I no longer could think of Maggie Croft as a shriveled old woman with failing physiology. She had become an energetic harvester who had struggled through desperate decades tightly bonded to her husband. She had evoked the strongest display of public emotion of which I felt Ned Croft capable.
And struggle to save her life we did. We addressed her brain swelling to eke out precious millimeters of space within her skull to buy time for the blood clot to recede. We tried every management strategy to salvage the life of Maggie Croft—but in the end our efforts came to naught.
I recall Ned’s slow pace as he departed the intensive care unit. He pushed at the swinging doors, opening them a crack. Ned glanced back at his deceased wife’s body, his eyes vacant. Ned Croft with his tattered appearance and pained emotions was abruptly lost from view as the doors slammed shut behind him. The complexity of love has baffled the wisest sages. But for me, Ned’s simple utterance said it best. “Doc, I love that old gal.”

Excerpt from Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales (Texas Tech University Press) by Tom Hutton, MD

Tom Hutton, M. D., is an internationally-recognized clinical and research neurologist and educator. The past president of the Texas Neurological Society, Dr. Hutton served as professor and vice chairman of the Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology at the Texas Tech School of Medicine. He now lives on his cattle ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Review- Racing Forward by Mica Mosbacher

There are two kinds of people in life. Those that let life defeat them, and those who punch life in the face and say "Not today, jerk." Mica Mosbacher is one of the latter. But, I'm sure she didn't talk to life exactly in that manner.

I'm going to be honest here, when it comes to memoirs, I am EXTREMELY picky. I can't even explain my thought process when I pick one up to read. I have mental standards to the point where I feel that if you're under the age of 50, you don't get to write one. Just keep living your life until you get there. Of course there are special circumstances, so I judge each one on a case by case basis.

Picking up Mica's book is no exception to my rule. I wanted to know why this woman felt to need to write about her life. I was intrigued, as she did describe herself as a rags-to-riches cinderella story, and she was not kidding. Mica has been knocked down and gotten right back repeatedly and just kept on going. Even after the death of her late husband, she decided to not only learn how to drive, but TO RACE a Ferrari. You go, girl.

I know I haven't experienced the life events that she has, but I can definitely relate to her. You have to keep your head up, and you have to do it with such resiliency that you are back to form and ready to take on what comes next. I admire Mica, and I hope that she continues to race on!