July 5, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson


I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review

Publication date: June 16, 2015
Number of page: 352
Genre: Christian Fiction

Synopsis:
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents' cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family's cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She's mourning her father's passing but can't let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1HuCCkT 

What did I think about the story:
I really enjoyed this book. One thing that I really liked about this story was the mystery and secrets in Heather's family history. I thought the way the author wrote this story from different view points was nice and for me it made the book read even faster. I found myself reading faster so I could see what happens next. The mix of romance and mystery in the story was a nice combination. The characters were very well developed and seemed so real. If you are looking for a book that sweeps you away and is a good read then I recommend this book for you. 

What did I think of the cover:
I thought this cover was very nice and classy looking. 

My rating
4.5

About the author:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

Find Melanie online: websiteTwitterFacebook

Be sure to check out Litfuse Group to see more reviews

July 4, 2015

The Hormone Reset Diet by Sara Gottfried, M.D.


Publication date: March 17. 2015
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Diet, Self Help

Synopsis:
The Harvard-educated physician and New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure shows you how to grow new receptors for your seven metabolic hormones, making you lose weight and feel great fast!

When it comes to weight loss, most people don't think about hormones. But when you develop resistance to your seven major metabolic hormones--cortisol, thyroid, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, insulin, and estrogen--your body adjusts by increasingly raising your hormone levels and ultimately slowing down your metabolism. And a slower metabolism leads to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The solution, Dr. Sara Gottfried contends, is to reset the efficiency of your hormones by repairing and growing new hormone receptors.

Based on leading scientific research, The Hormone Reset Diet is her proven weight loss and energy program to reverse hormone resistance in just three weeks. It will help you: Boost your metabolism and calorie burning by growing new and fresh thyroid receptors; Increase your weight loss by re-balancing estrogen and progesterone receptors; Reverse your aging by resetting glucocorticoid receptors (for better processing cortisol).

For the last twenty years, this Harvard-MIT educated physician has helped thousands of women address the root hormonal causes of what bothers them most: excess weight, lack of energy, aging, and illness. Going beyond her bestselling The Hormone Cure, this program is the next generation of her deep understanding of hormonal optimization for rapid weight loss.

What did I think about the book?
I thought the book was interesting and informative. I am thinking of trying this diet to see if it works. What the author was saying makes sense to me. I have read her book The Hormone Cure as well as I think she knows what she is talking about. I do like that she included recipes in her book as well as some stories and/or comments from her patients that have went through this reset. What I did not care for about this book was that at times it seemed like you were reading the same things from chapter to chapter. There were parts of it that were a little dry for me. I thought the science portion of the story was a little too long for me. Not a bad book just needed a few tweeks for me. 

What did I think of the cover?
I thought the cover was ok. It did what it was supposed to by catching your attention to get you to want to read the book. 

My rating
3.5


Discovering The New York Craft Spirits Boom by Heather D. Dolland


I received this book from Waldorf Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: July 4, 2015
Number of pages: 148
Genre: Non-fiction

Synopsis:
By first introducing a unique take on dining, All The Tastes of New York, now introduces us to the new movement, "Farm to Glass" through new book, Discovering the New York Craft Spirits Boom. 

Discovering The New York Craft Spirits Boom", chronicles the lives of 30 Craft Distillers throughout New York State, from Brooklyn to the Finger Lakes. Distillers that distill spirits such as Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, Vodka and much more! Each story is as varied and unique as the brands that they create.
 
It is an intimate look into their struggles and triumphs, and their decisions to be embark upon this spirited journey! A journey that would not have been possible without the changing of laws and regulations that made distilling in New York once again legal since the days of Prohibition. This being championed by a governor who has cast himself as "the most booze-friendly chief executive" in state history.

What did I think about the book:
I thought this book was very interesting. I liked learning about the different distilleries and the craft spirits. It was nice that there were recipes included that you can use these spirits in. A fun book for anyone interested in spirits. Even though I do not drink all that much I still thought the book was a good one. This book would also make a good coffee table book. 

What did I think about the cover:
I liked the cover of this book. It should both what the book was about and where it takes place. 

My rating:
4 stars

About the author:
In September 2014, my company was hired to plan the launch party for Astoria Restaurant Week. Given my extensive experience promoting wine and spirit brands, we were responsible for compiling the alcohol vendors and made an effort to seek local brands. 
During that process, I discovered a number of the distillers that are featured in this book. What was especially fascinating was all that happed that allowed this new industry to exist. The journey of writing this book was one of the most fulfilling and fascinating experiences of my life.
While reading this book, you will likely be able to recognize yourself or someone you know in the stories of each distiller. They are all very ordinary people who wanted to do something meaningful in their lives. These are not huge conglomerates. They are men, women, friends and couples who wanted to create something that they could share with the world. 
I have also provided opportunities for engagement, so if you will like to visit a distillery, visit your local liquor store or restaurant or make cocktails, all of the necessary information has been provided! 
Enjoy!

July 3, 2015

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett


I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review

Publication date: June 16, 2015
Number of pages: 320
/Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
Series: Golden Gate Chronicles #2

Synopsis:
Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?

Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask---is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1IGu1bg 

What did I think about this story:
I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how it starts just after the great earthquake and tells us how they are rebuilding the city and lives. You can tell this author did her research of historical facts as they were spot on. I also like how the romance is blended well with the historical part of the story so it does not seem like a mushy in your face romance book. The author has a way with her story telling that she makes you feel as if you are a part of the story. I thought the characters were very well developed and you felt as if you knew them well by the end of the book. This is the second book in this series and I suggest that you read them in order as this book picks up where the first one left off. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. 

What did I think of the cover:
I really like this cover it not only gives us a picture of the main character but a view of where this book takes place. 

My rating
4.5

About the author:
Karen Barnett is the author of Beyond the AshesOut of the Ruins, and Mistaken. Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she's not writing novels, she loves speaking at women's events, libraries, and book clubs.

Find Karen online: websiteTwitterFacebook

Books in the Golden Gate Chronicles Series
#1 Out of the Ruins
#2 Beyond the Ashes

Be sure to check out Litfuse Group to see more reviews.

July 2, 2015

What did Jesus Drive? by Jason H. Vines


I received this book from Waldorf Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review

What Did Jesus Drive? by Jason H. Vines
Published: September 27, 2014
Genre: Self-help

Synopsis:
What Did Jesus Drive, Is mostly about crises in the car industry, but then it's so much bigger! It's about being on the front-line of one crisis after another, offering incredible insight in what to do and not do when the "you know what" hits the fan. It's not theory; it's real. Vines' brutal frankness and lessons learned in the book are both shocking and refreshing, and often times hilarious. Vines' points out, if vaunted enterprises like Toyota and BP can get caught off guard, any organization can. What Did Jesus Drive? is a breathtaking wake-up call and a wild ride. Buckle up. This book is the first "tell-all" of its kind!

What did I think about the book:
I have enjoyed cars since I was little so I thought this might be a good book to read. I wanted to know more about the politics of the industry. This book was very informative and thought provoking. I also like how the author used a bit of humor in writing. This book read very quickly for a non-fiction book. I am glad I got the chance to read this book. 

What did I think about the cover:
I did not care for this cover. I get the tire tracks across the cover but I would have liked just a little more of a picture from the car industry. 

My rating:
4 stars

About the author:
Jason Vines, 55, is an independent communications and government affairs consultant specializing in crisis management, reputation management, brand rehabilitation, product launch and automotive issues. Vines has counseled General Motors on issues surrounding the Chevy Volt, the U.S. Government divestiture of GM stock, the revival of GM's European operations and other corporate and product issues, including the recent recall conundrum regarding the ignition switch issue. In addition, Vines has been involved with public policy issues regarding the electrification of the nation's automobile fleet. He has also counseled a chemical client in reputational restoration, a major Native American tribe currently under attack by various agencies inside the federal U.S. Government and the U.S. auto dealers' national association.

July 1, 2015

How to Get People to Scream Your Name and Beg For More by Tom Morrison


I received this book from Waldorf Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review
Published: July 4, 2015
Number of pages: 250
Genre: Self-help

Synopsis:
In college, everyone has this dream of what their quality of life is going to be as they grow up. The challenge is most people's actual life turns out to be less than what they hoped for.  One day you wake up and you've lost 20 years of your life waiting in the rut of work, kids growing up and just life happening. Your soul feels lost, your heart passionless and your energy tank is on empty. How to Get People to Scream Your Name and Beg For More is a Masters Degree in life that will teach anyone from college students, single parents to company executives how to make profound change and start living the "best life possible" personally and professionally each and every day no matter what your circumstances. This book unpacks three major components and reveals twelve major elements you need to live the BEST LIFE POSSIBLE. Most people want the best life possible, they just don't know how to get there. How to Get People to Scream Your Name and Beg For More shows you the way and gives you a plan to follow.

What did I think about this book:
I thought this was a good book for both young adults and adults and from all walks of life to read. This book will help you to learn how to lead the best life possible for you. The way the author wrote this book made it very easy to read and understand. I like that the author includes his own life stories to help others. 

What did I think of the cover:
Personally I did not care for this cover. I am a person that if the cover does not look good I may not pick up the book. Luckily I chose to read this book before I saw the cover. 

My rating:
4 stars

About the author:
Tom Morrison is a 1990 graduate of Florida State University with a B.S. in Finance. Throughout his life he has enjoyed a personal journey where he has been mentored and networked with some of the best minds life has to offer. It is through his network that he has been able to sustain the various valleys life has brought to him. Through his life experiences, lessons learned and his beliefs about "living the best life possible, Tom has successfully risen above his circumstances each time life provided some serious challenges like divorce, financial issues, being unemployed and having his children move to a different city at a young age.

Tom has used those valleys and his ability to rise above his circumstances as motive to help others do the same. Tom has had a 20-year career in association management touching tens of thousands of people's lives across North America to seek out their passions and create a better quality of life. Tom further reaches people with his "live the best life possible" message as he travels and speaks across the country. Through his passion for people and being a "student of life," Tom is called by his friends a Life Coach for his thought provoking wisdom on how to move through the maze of life to reach your life goals.

June 30, 2015

The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Petersen


I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review
Published: June 9, 2015
Number of pages: 320
Genre: History


Synopsis:
A groundbreaking look at the strange friendship between George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin, who together defined what it means to be an American.
They were the most famous men in America.  They came from separate countries, followed different philosophies, and led dissimilar lives. But they were fast friends. No two people did more to shape America in the mid-1700s.
Benjamin Franklin was the American prototype: hard-working, inventive, practical, funny, with humble manners and lofty dreams. George Whitefield was the most popular preacher in an era of great piety, whose outdoor preaching across the colonies was heard by thousands, all of whom were told, ôYou must be born again.ö People became excited about God. They began reading the Bible and supporting charities. When Whitefield died in 1770, on a preaching tour in New Hampshire, he had built a spiritual foundation for a new nationùjust as his surviving friend, Ben Franklin, had built its social foundation. Together these two men helped establish a new nation founded on liberty. This is the story of their amazing friendship.
What did I think about this book:
This was a very interesting book. I enjoyed reading Benjamin's biography as well as George's. I did not know who George was before reading this book. I have learned some more history  by reading this book. There were parts of this book that read quickly and parts that were kind of dry. But the book was packed full of information and a good book for a history lover like me. I am glad I got the chance to read this book. 

What did I think of the cover
I thought the cover was ok. It was nice to see pictures of both people on the cover. 

My rating:
3.5 stars

About the author:
Randy Petersen has written more than fifty books on subjects ranging from history to relationships, psychology, sports, and even word games. Formerly an editor and writer with Christian History magazine, he also prepares curriculum for small-group Bible studies. Apart from his writing, Randy teaches public speaking at a community college, preaches occasionally at his church, and directs in area theaters. He lives in the Philadelphia area.