Stainer: A Novel of the “Me” Decade by Iolanthe Woulff (1546647120)

51FWJV6m-TL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“It is a poignant truth of our heedless youthful years, that the events and encounters of a single night can so alter the course of a young person’s life that it will be changed forever”.

Benjamin Steiner, spoiled Columbia undergraduate, devout Orthodox Jew virgin meets two women who will change his life forever.

P.T. Deighland, snarky Princeton undergraduate, drug dealer, player and Benjamin’s means of rebellion.

Rebecca Glaser, new N.Y.U. transfer to Columbia, intelligent, Jewish and is leaving for Israel for a month to Benjamin’s surprise and frustration.

Anthea Montague, Ford model, Southern, beautiful and Benjamin’s yaitzer ha’ra (Hebrew for ‘evil inclination’).

Does he, or doesn’t he?  This is a coming of age story which seems predictable, but with Woulff’s gift of prose and character detail, it comes to life and putting it down is not an option.  As always, a great read!

Thank you to Ms. Woulff for giving me the opportunity to review her book.

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The Dog Walker’s Diary by Kathryn Donahue (9781635839029)

cover116146-mediumI recently started a book challenge list that asked me to read a book with the word “dog” in the title and to my delight when searching the NetGalley list The Dog Walker’s Diary came up first.

Daniel Ashe is a literary agent who has never fell in love and is looking for an awesome story to get his career moving.  Oh, and unbeknownst to him, he is looking for a dog walker for his dog’s Sparks and Eddie.

Annie Doherty is a beguiling, red-headed, Irish dog walker/witty short story writer who is Daniel’s unexpected nemesis.

Daniel and Annie’s story is enjoyable with the lure of attraction and intrigue.  The witty repertoire between the two is refreshing and Annie’s stories written on behalf of the dogs are hilarious.  The mystery thrown into the story was a surprise, and I really thought the other characters worked well.  Overall, I read it in one session and thought the humor was energizing.  I actually laughed out loud several times!

Thank you to Ms. Donahue and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review the book.


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Book review: The Other Side of Him by Alice Rene (0996949003)

othersideofhimClaire is a young woman with a dream. A dream to go to college and get a job of her very own. Growing up in Chicago with her older brother and her German mother in the 1950’s have been hard and she wants more. When she hears her brother Tom will be moving to California, she uses her scholarship and goes to university in San Francisco. She enjoys her studies at the hospital and enjoys her time with Greg, a handsome surgeon and friend of her brother, until Greg starts to change and things start to happen.

I appreciate seeing such a strong character in Claire and how Ms. Rene was determined to keep Claire’s strength throughout the story even though the time and setting would not necessarily have required it. The story is fast-paced, engaging and refreshing with little violence and no sex.

This book has won a 2016 IPPY Award, a Bronze Medal in Regional Fiction and was a Finalist in the Category of Suspense in the Beverly Hills Book Award 2016 Contest.  Thank you to Ms. Rene for giving me the opportunity to review her award winning book!

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Book review Scapegoat: A Flight Crews Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption by Emilio Corsetti III (9780997242119)

Scapegoat bookThis is a clear case of negligence.  After 3 years of interviews and research, the author tells the true story of Flight TWA 841 which almost had a near fatal crash on April 4, 1979.  After reading the pilots’ details of the event, the interviews of the pilots by FAA agents and others, the false allegations picked up by the media, and the investigation into the near crash, the biased investigators and review board found fault with the pilots.

After reviewing the documents that Corsetti provided in his book, the negligence would fall on Boeing, TWA and the media instead of the pilots.  After 37 years and finding the same mechanical flaws in other flights with fatal crashes, the board still stands with their decision against the pilots even though they have improved the flaws that almost caused Flight TWA 841 to crash.

An engaging read about pilots hoping to clear their names from an event where they should have gone down in history as heroes.  Instead, they are scapegoats for Boeing, and TWA to some extent, to hide a mechanical flaw that causes fatal crashes after the 1979 event so they can continue to make billions of dollars and save their reputation.

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Book review: Learn French with Stories for Beginners Volume 2 by Frederic Bibard (eBook w/MP3 audiofiles)

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEI took two years of French in high school 30+ years ago and wanted to brush up on it for a trip to Quebec, Canada, this summer. After reading Mr. Bibard’s book, I found it easy and practical to use and also found the audio files to be especially helpful.

I was able to pick up the language again after so many years of not using it by using the short stories and new vocabulary words highlighted in each of them. I especially found the audio files to be most helpful since I will be speaking more with people face to face instead of reading the written word. The audio files were easy to download from both my PC and my Amazon Android App and the files were very clear and audible.

If that wasn’t enough, I also found a link ( to a free French learning package in my eBook that has a collection of free resources that will help me learn French must faster, and Mr. Bibard also has a Facebook page at with tips and information about interesting French topics such as French cuisine and of course, more new French vocabulary words.

In all, I hope to become more fluent in French before I leave for Canada in late July and I think this tool will assist me significantly in that goal.

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Book Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter (9781939106445)

1939106443.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Ashley is an artist and has become accustomed to being ridiculed for simply being herself.  Would she feel differently about herself if her mom thought differently of her?  Does she make choices based on how she perceives how others expect her to behave, and does she subconsciously draw their attention to her flaws?  She’ll never beat them at their own game.  Will Matt ever know how much she cares about him?  “Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop when you grow up.  It just looks a little different.”

The author, Aimee L. Salter, was a victim of bullying herself and has written a very personal story to inform others that there is help and that there are people out there who value them exactly as they are.

This is an emotional and very raw story that shows bullying at its worst which is a serious issue in society today.   One feels the pain and fear of the main character and I couldn’t put this book down.

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Book review: Rekindling the Flame (Den of Sin #22) by L.V. Lewis (2940152202854)

2940152202854_p0_v1_s300xL.V. Lewis takes us on another erotic ride in the Den of Sin Series in the Beaudelaire Hotel where Sabine Beaudelaire meets the “Hot IT guy”, Xander Fishbourne.  Both are have been burned in the past, but the chemistry cannot be ignored and they set a course for the inevitable.  My first book in the series, “Rekindling the Flame” has good character development, great settings and very hot sex scenes.  This is an erotic, short story that is great for a nice summer read.

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