Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Raise a Smart Ass

This autobiographical nonfiction book about author Lucia Walinchus’s experiences with raising young children opens with a prologue describing that her oldest daughter Chloe snuck out of the house at just five years old to visit a friend’s house, carelessly leaving the front door ajar. She opens the main chapters with mention of the celebration of her first pregnancy with “fat clothes,” and how she and her husband moved to Rochester, New York three weeks after the birth of their initial daughter. Her naval spouse ultimately gets a job necessitating they move to Virginia, where she becomes pregnant again, noting that the second time is usually more dreaded than the first.

The author briefly breaks from the main action to tell a story about her Italian heritage dating back to the winter of 1919, before returning to the modern era and telling about the birth of her second daughter, fast labor, and passage of the Virginia bar exam. She follows with how she toilet-trained Chloe, remodeled her bathroom after said instruction, and how she grew impatient with her children’s cleaning, feeling that she could do a quicker job. The fecal sections and humor were a bit of a turnoff for this reader, although she mercifully moves to other matters such as children’s television and literature, not to mention the potential horror of shopping with kids.

She proceeds on how adult norms can confuse children, her enrollment of Chloe in preschool, and how children tend to be fairly inquisitive. Then comes the potential stress relief of “crying rooms” in churches, how she wanted to get her daughter into sports by enrolling her in gymnastics, and how driving with children can be chaotic. Next comes the author’s move to Oklahoma, where she finds her husband wants to get back into engineering, discusses her second daughter Concetta, and pregnancy with her first son. Overall, this is a fairly humorous tale recommended to most parents, although this reviewer didn’t care much for the occasional and somewhat offensive fecal humor.
Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.

​Upcoming event:  Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Killer in the Band Spotlight

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Michelangelo's Ghost

In the fourth installment of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series, author Gigi Pandian acknowledges her editorial team, beta readers, parents, and significant other James. Though not the initial installment of its franchise, readers will be happy to know that they need not read its predecessors to enjoy the story, which focuses on sundry things such as art from India connecting to the Italian Renaissance, a murderer connected to a ghost story, and a secret in Italy’s sculptural Park of Monsters. Protagonist Jaya’s former teacher dies in strange circumstances, and she and her brother are on the hunt, venturing from San Francisco to Italy, with plenty twists, great historical detail, and so forth. The result is an engaging mystery that fans of prior books and even newcomers to the series will likely digest.
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s debut novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” debut by Suspense Magazine. Her fiction has been awarded the Lefty Award and short-listed for Macavity and Agatha Awards. Sign up for her email newsletter at

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Corporate Citizen

In the fifth installment of author Gabriel Valjan’s Roma series, a plea for assistance brings Alabaster Black, also known as Bianca Nerini and a former accountant for the secret American agency Rendition, and her companions, to Boston, while on a break from her relationship with Dante Allegretti, an investigator for the Italian police agency Guardia di Finanza (GdF), which investigates criminal transactions such as money laundering and drug transport. Bianca ultimately meets an enigmatic new companion who understands her traumatic experiences, having been through his own trials, with a hacker codenamed Magician challenging the team, and Bianca finding it difficult to leave her past with Rendition behind. Overall, this is an enjoyable sequel that fans of the series will definitely enjoy, although those who haven’t read prior books will definitely be lost.
Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. Gabriel has also written numerous short stories and essays found online and in print.

Connect with the author:  Website ~Twitter  ~ Facebook

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Murders at Astaire Castle

In the fifth installment of author Lauren Carr’s Mac Faraday mystery series, Spencer police chief David O’Callaghan, son of a former police chief and both Mac Faraday’s friend and half-brother, orders the retired and divorced homicide detective to avoid the southern side of the town’s mountaintop, for therein lies the enigmatic Astaire Castle, ranked as one of the most possessed locations in the United States, what with a number of suicides and murders there. Despite his half-sibling’s admonishment, Mac is lured into the castle, with more murders occurring, and Mac running into many peculiar characters. As with other books in the series, a list of dramatis personae precedes the main text, and those that haven’t read prior books in the series will be happy to know that they need not have read them to enjoy this one, which is as with other entries in its pantheon, is a suspenseful and entertaining read.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Drop of Water Spotlight

In this extraordinary book, Yvonne reflects upon her past experiences, grief, and losses to find her way back to her spirituality and strength. She bares her soul, yet is able to use water as a lighthearted, uninhibited, and fun way to express how we are all connected. It is a spiritually inspired book about healing, grief, and personal growth.

It becomes a beautiful poetic journey as she discovers her love of water as part of what led her towards her spiritual path. Through her writing she expresses how she found her way through several tremendous losses, including the loss of her husband. In her ability to endure, she found a strength she never knew she had.

This book is for anyone that has ever struggled with depression, grief, or loss of any kind. It is for anyone interested in personal growth and healing. By sharing her personal story she is able to remind us that we are never truly alone. Water connects us all.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Yvonne Williams Casaus is a Mom, Wife, Author, Counselor, and Play Therapist. She is an independently licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC), a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She specializes in Depression, Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has a private practice in New Mexico and has been helping adults, children, adolescents, and families for over eleven years.

Yvonne’s areas of expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Divorce, Panic Attacks, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Sexual Abuse, Rape, Physical Abuse, Grief, ADHD and other issues. She also specializes in treating traumatized children with issues such as PTSD, Sexual abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~ Instagram

Monday, October 3, 2016

Flight Club Spotlight

Flight Club is a call to rebel, reinvent, and thrive! The book shares the journey of women who "leaned out" of corporate to launch their dream business.

Felena Hanson, founder of Hera Hub, shares her personal story and rise to entrepreneurship. The book also features the journeys of and advice from six courageous female entrepreneurs: Debby Eubank, Linda O'Keefe, Lorin Beller, Sara Clark-Williams, Deirdre Maloney, and MaryCay Durrant. Each shares an exercise to help you craft your flight path.

The final section of the book includes access to an online platform ( which walks you through 17 foundational steps of launching a business. Book buyers will receive three months free access!

This book is for you if ...
You are tired of building someone else's dream
You want to pursue your passion as a career
You are over the corporate politics
You want more control of your time and life
You don't want to build your dream business alone!

Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven. Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and community for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provides a productive environment for growing businesses. Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to meet with clients and to connect and collaborate with like-minded business owners, thus giving them the support they need to be prosperous. The company has three locations in San Diego, one in Washington DC, and continues to grow nationally via a licensing model. Her goal is to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their business by 2020. Felena and Hera Hub have been featured in Inc Magazine, the BBC News, Forbes, and the New York Times. She is a published author and international speaker. Her book, “Flight Club – Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business” is available on Amazon.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dance Diaries #2

Author Catherine “Katie” Harrison, writing as The Girl with the Tree Tattoo, acknowledges that ballroom dancing can be an expensive hobby, and thus wrote this second entry of her Dance Diaries to help fellow dancers fit lessons into their budget. She poses the question of whether it’s worth it, even in later chapters, and provides example spreadsheets of her income and expenses, further elaborating on how to increase income through a combination of effective timing and balance transferring. She gives commonsense advice on planning ahead and saving, particularly if a prospective dancer wants to participate in competitions, and concludes with a link to spreadsheet templates. Overall, although this reviewer doesn’t really have an interest in professional dance, he would definitely recommend this book to those that do, and has family that would definitely benefit from this memoir and self-help guide.