Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Too Big to Miss

Too Big To Miss by Sue Ann Jaffarian is a murder mystery with a plus size heroine. Odelia Grey is a never married middle aged paralegal who feels like her life is in a rut. She then receives news that one of her close friends has committed suicide. Odelia soon learns that her friend,Sophie London, has many secrets that she was not aware of. As Odelia goes through Sophie's things she begins to suspect that there is more to Sophie's suicide, she begins to suspect murder. The question is not only who but how since Sophie's "suicide" was seen live over the Internet by 45 or 50 people.

Odelia Grey is a great character. I loved that she is plus sized. I felt that Sue Ann Jaffarian had the insecurities of a plus size woman down pat. Even though I figured out who down it halfway into the book; I still was not sure until the end. There are a lot of suspects that I was left wondering to the end. I loved this positive role model for women of any size and of any age. This is the first book in the Odelia Grey Mystery series. I have the next book The Curse of the Holy Pail from the library and I am looking forward to reading it. 4 Stars
Happy Reading

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Obama Revolution

I was very excited that I got a chance to review The Obama Revolution by Alan Kennedy-Shaffer. I was looking forward in reading a book about the Obama Campaign.

About The Book:

The first book to be written by a campaign staffer and offering rare insider glimpses, The Obama Revolution explores how a generation of believers and the politics of hope won the presidency for Barack Obama and changed the world.

The Obama Revolution carefully examines what Obama plans to do as president, how Obama clinched the Democratic nomination and won the general election, and why Obama’s evocative rhetoric inspired millions of Americans to create a political revolution that toppled the status quo and changed the face of American politics forever.

Drawing on both first-hand campaign experience and scholarly analysis, the author delivers everything from personal stories of grass-roots organizing and grueling all-nighters to candid assessments of the Obama campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. Insightful and powerfully written The Obama Revolution offers an enlightening, annotated, documented overview of Obama’s path to the White House and what it means to every American.

Learn how Obama used policies of change, strategic vision, and the rhetoric of hope to transform the campaign into a political movement. Discover how field organizers (most under 30), using cell phones and the Internet, mobilized and energized a whole new generation of voters. Follow the author as he registers voters, spreads the word and is touched by the people he meets.

Anyone wondering whether America's flame still burns brightly needs to read this book and be inspired by the hope, the promise, and the ardor of Barack Obama and “Generation Change”—the future of America—as they work hand-in-hand to fulfill the legacy of change that is the Obama Revolution.

My Review:

I found The Obama Revolution to be eye opening and thoughtful. It was very interesting to see the Obama campaign through the eyes of one of the people who lived it. Kennedy-Shaffer puts in a lot of facts to support his statements. He also put a lot of time and effort into writing this book and it shows.

Kennedy-Shaffer looks in the past to show that this is not the first time that a presidential candidate has run on change and won. He shows us how the campaigns of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were similar to Obama's and how Obama takes his campaign to the next level. I found this very interesting.

As I was reading The Obama Revolution I thought that the Obama Campaign was the perfect storm. The Campaign was doing the right things at the right time and of course the right candidate. How staffers incorporated the old with the new. Staffers going out and making personal contact with potential voters as well as using the Internet to get the Obama rhetoric out. Even when mistakes were made Obama learned from those mistakes, which made his campaign better.

Kennedy-Shaffer puts in 10 speeches that Obama delivered during his campaign. These speeches were considered important to the campaign.

If you want to learn more about the Obama Campaign and how Obama was able to win the Presidency this book is for you. A very good introduction to the rhetoric and what happens in a presidential campaign . 4 Stars.

About The Author:

Alan Kennedy-Shaffer served as a regional field director for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in Virginia. Educated at Yale University and William & Mary Law School, Kennedy-Shaffer is the author of Denial and Deception: A Study of the Bush Administration’s Rhetorical Case for Invading Iraq. Kennedy-Shaffer’s writings have also appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Patriot-News, the Daily Press, and the Virginia Gazette. Alan lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

You can visit Alan on the web at

Happy Reading

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How to Write an Eye-Catching Profile by Cherie Burbach Guest Post

I am glad to welcome Cherie Burbach to ReadingMama. Cherie is the author of the book Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering A Pizza. Wether you are dating or not, I think that you will find what she has to say about profiles very helpful especially since the internet is full of social networks that one has to write profiles for.

How to Write an Eye-Catching Profile
© Cherie Burbach 2009

When Internet daters tell me that they've tried dating online and given up, one of two things is usually the problem: their approach or their profile. Today, let's talk in greater detail about how to write a profile that gets results.

One of the biggest mistakes daters make is rushing through a profile just to get it up. One reason they do this is because they are so enthusiastic to search for their dream guy or girl, they neglect their own profile. I've even seen a few folks with near empty profiles actually email people for a date.

While this enthusiasm is admirable, it actually sets up new online daters for failure. Why? Because without a profile that truly reflects who you are you won't be able to attract the right people to you.

Even if you aren't the best writer, you can still craft words that will reflect your personality. The key? Writing about one or two things you are passionate about. If you focus on a couple of your favorite areas, rather than making a laundry list of things that end up meaningless, your natural personality will come through.

The tendency some daters have is to write a list of things they enjoy doing, so it sounds like they are going to the grocery store rather than trying to attract their match. The reason that strategy is all wrong is because in order to get someone interested in you, he or she needs to get a sense of your personality. So rather than listing several items, choose one or two and go into detail about why you enjoy that particular hobby or activities. Here are a couple examples from my book, Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza:

Instead of saying "I play tennis twice a week" say something like:

"Playing tennis is the one time each week where I get to focus on myself. No
work problems, no family issues, just me, the ball, and the little white net."

Here's another example:
Instead of saying "I'd like to see France one day" say something like:

"Architecture and culture intrigue me. That's why I'd like to visit Paris one day. What
could be better than walking along the same streets Napoleon, Hemmingway, and Colette all
strolled down as well?"

In describing your hobbies, go into some detail as to why you enjoy them. For example, if you have a favorite type of restaurant or place to hang out, say something like:

"I enjoy sushi and Thai food especially, but hey - a quaint little place with a great atmosphere
will always lure me in. I like the charming, dimly lit places where you're about six inches from
the people next to you and then end up talking to them throughout dinner as if they're long
lost friends."

With these examples, do you notice how the personality of the writer comes through? It's that spark that will draw someone in. We're all interesting people once you get to know us, but with online dating you've got to give someone a glimpse of that spirit before they meet you in person. That's one of the keys to attracting the right person to you.


Cherie Burbach used her experience with meeting her husband online to pen At the Coffee Shop, a humorous look at the world of Internet dating. Cherie went on over 60 coffee dates in just six months. She met lots of great people and one of those turned out to be the guy she would marry just one year later.

She is the Dating Feature Writer for Suite101, an online magazine with over 10 million views monthly, and also the author of three poetry books, including A New Dish and The Difference Now. Her latest, Father's Eyes, has received the 2008 Editor's Choice Award by Allbooks Review. Cherie blogs at Jennifer Lopez, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Career and Kids, Celebrity Apprentice, Gossip on Sports, and Diabetes Notes.

For poets looking for a review of their book, check out Cherie's new site Bonjour Poetry Reviews.

Readers have resonated with Cherie's honest and inspirational "This I Believe" essay, which is the second-most popular out of over 32,000 entries on the NPR website. For more information, please visit Cherie's website at or

About Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering A Pizza:

Have you become frustrated with Internet dating?
If you've tried online dating and given up, or even if you thought the Internet wasn't right for you, this book will give you the courage to try again, this time armed with specific illustrations on what really works - from the profile through the dating stage. Don't waste another minute wondering why some people seem to have Internet dating success while you're still waiting for a response to your online ad. Through dozens of concrete examples, dating expert Cherie Burbach will show you how to write an eye-catching profile, search for, and meet the right person online.
Happy Reading

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between

About The Book:
A collection of short stories, each a splinter's reflection of the human condition, firmly centered upon our oft tenuous, sometimes tensile bond with Hope, and careening flirtation with Love.Fifteen stories: From the wispy fog of a love lost at sea, to an orphaned child who delivers a present of her own during a war-torn Christmas. These stories are gentle reminders to each of us of what it is to be human, and certainly of our affinity for the slightest glint of Hope.

From One Washington Diner:

The interior lights punched holes in the dead of night, and in the stillness I could hear the buzz of glowing neon from the sign above. I’d hoped there would be the slim chance of some distraction from the empty, laughing darkness that taunted me. Pinching the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger, I shuffled through the front door, greeted by the hostess/cashier/night manager, who apparently was thriving on the not-so-delicate thrush of caffeine. Her uniform bore the hallmarks of traditional diner-dom: bobby sox, her skirt hemline right around knee level, and wide, flat lapels on her blouse. She looked me over for all of two seconds before making her vocal appraisal.
“Let me guess…can’t sleep?” Her voice was disarming, welcoming, like a puppy that jumps in your lap. Managing a frustrated grin I hoarsely replied, “That obvious?”
“Your eyes, your body language—yeah.” I should have had some snappy retort, but my mental haze precluded any such response and subsequently I let slip my small window of opportunity for any suitable comeback.Instead, I yawned.
“Jeez, my only customer and I’m already boring you,” she blurted out. I thought she smirked, but couldn’t be certain in my unwillingly wakeful state. I glanced around the empty dining room and motioned from left to right. “Looks like you’re swamped. Should I come back later?”
Soft brown curls played upon her left shoulder as she turned her head slightly. “Early a.m. sarcasm—I like it. Sit wherever you like, I’m good at finding people in a crowd.” Even in my sleepless haze, I had to admit she was delightful.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll sit at the counter,” I croaked. “I’ll try not to be a bother.” Her hair gently fluttered as she shook her head. “Works for me. Cop a squat and I’ll be right with ya’.
”My mind was made up—she was indeed delightful, in a common denominator kind of way. Having never exceeded the mathematical scope of algebra during my academic career that suited me just fine.

My Review:
I usually don't read short stories, but I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and read The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between. When I read the first four stories my thought was all of these stories would be about lost but each story would end with hope. As I continued to read the stories I saw different types of love. Not romantic love but hopeful love, destructive love, caring love, helpful love and love for country. Each story did have some touch of hope except for 10:18.

All of these stories touched me in some way. Some of these short stories made me angry especially 10:18. ( I will not explain way, because I don't want to give to much away). Some of these made me hopeful especially Emissary. And then there is One Washington Diner, which spoke to my heart.

As I read these stories, I was drawn into to them. I give The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between 4 stars.

About The Author:
J.W. Nicklaus resides in a place not entirely fit for human habitation about five months of the year. No pets to speak of, only the apparitions from which all romantics suffer.

An Arizona native, he’s been from one coast to the other, and a few places in between. College brought an AA in Journalism with a minor in Photography, and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. His work experience has run the gamut from Creative Director for a small advertising firm in Tucson to a litigation support bureau in Phoenix (and assuredly some awkward stuff in the mix).

Snow has been featured prominently in his stories, perhaps because of the seasonless cli-mate he lives in. Nature was meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not hidden from the senses. So to that end, he hopes someday to live amongst those who are able to live through four true seasons, and not just blast furnace and warm.

He enjoys the occasional Arizona Diamondbacks game with his son, as well as watching him grow up. The experience of being a single dad has taught him far more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Within the expanse of every waking moment, he hopes his guardian angel keeps its arms open wide and heart ever watchful, for there but for one true Hope goes She.

For more about J.W. visit
Happy Reading

Premio Dardos Award

DeSeRt RoSe over at DeSeRtRoSe BoOkLoGue is so kind she has given me another award. It is the Premio Dardos Award. She is so good for my self esteem. Thanks for this award DeSeRtRoSe.

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.
The rules to follow are:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are my Award winners:

Beth F. at Beth Fish Reads

Booklogged at A Reader's Journal

I know that it is 9, but I don't think the award god will mind. I guess this is sign that I must expand my horizons.

Congratulations to everyone.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Zombie Chicken Award

Thank You Yvonne at Socrates' Book Review for giving me this great award. I am not sure if readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens to read my reviews, but the thought is appreicated.

This is what the award is all about:

“The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…”

I am happy to pass this award on to the following:

Please check out these five to see what makes them Zombie Chicken worthie.

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

I was at the library today browsing when I found the book How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks. When I read the back cover, i remembered that I read this description somewhere before on the Internet. I had added to my wish list a long time ago. Of course I checked it out and I am glad that I did.

The title How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is deceiving. This book is not a how to book, where the heroine is trying to fine and marry a rich vampire. It is about Roman Draganesti, a very wealthy vampire, who has lost one of his fangs. He has to find a dentist, before his natural healing powers closes the wound.

He finds a dentist office that is open 24 hours. Shanna Whelan is the dentist on duty. Shanna has her own list of problems. Her best friend was gunned down in front of her. She is on the Russian mob hit list. How can she continue her career as a dentist when she is afraid of the site of blood.

Roman arrives just in time to save Shanna from an assassination attempt on her life. He decides to put Shanna in his protection esp seeing another vampire was hunting for Shanna. Causing the wrath of the other vampire when he finds out.

A better title for this book would have been The Dentist and The Vampire.

How to Marry a Vampire is a humorous and exciting read. When Shanna woke up next to Roman and she thinks that he is dead. She then tries to convince everyone in the house that he is dead. All of Roman's support staff are telling her he is not. I was laughing out loud when I was reading this part. Very funny at least I thought so.

How to Marry a Vampire is the first book in the Love At Stake series. I believe that there are seven books in this series. If they are as fun as the first one it should be a good series. I am looking forward to finding and reading the rest of the books in this series.

I have to rate this book 5 stars. As it did met the criteria. I only put it down when I went to eat with my husband and when I had to go to the bathroom. Oops was that to much information. Sorry.

Happy Reading