Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

14 free books? Check out this giveaway!

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 at 9:32 am

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From Crayons to Condoms by Steve Baldwin and Karen Holgate

In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on June 24, 2008 at 7:06 am

  • Hardcover: 293 pages
  • Publisher: WND Books (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979267110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979267116
  • To purchase, click here.
  • Excerpt from the back of the book:

    What’s really going at your local public school? In From Crayons to Condoms: The Ugly Truth About America’s Public Schools, Steven Baldwin and Karen Holgate let parents, concerned teachers and students speak for themselves about the dismal state of government education in America today. The conclusion? Today’s schools are laboratories for disaster, where failed methodologies and policies continually find new life thanks to bureaucracies more interested in maintaining power than in educating.

    Lavishly armed with your tax dollars, government at every level encourages mass social experimentation on our kids – success optional. In From Crayons to Condoms you’ll discover…

      * The lesbian gym teacher who hands out a paper called “101 Ways To Do It Without Going All The Way” in every class.
      * The “Inventive Spelling” curriculum which demands of parents that they “avoid giving in to our natural desire to correct the mistakes” because it’s “harmful to the children”
      * The “innovative name-calling” program for kindergarteners and first graders that teaches new words and concepts like “dyke” and “faggot.”
      * The required courses in “death education” that actually encourage teen depression and suicide.
      * The math classes in which students write down how they “feel” about math problems…as opposed to learning fractions, algebra and multiplication tables.

    Today’s public schools are not just rife with bizarre, inaccurate textbooks and failed teaching practices – they encourage classroom activities that produce dangerous, even deadly, results.

    Can our schools be saved? Yes say the authors, but only if parents are informed and ready to fight for their children every step of the way. The stories in From Crayons to Condoms: The Ugly Truth About America’s Public Schools are sure to horrify and energize anyone concerned about today’s kids – and our nation’s future.

    I have two young girls and they have yet to reach the age where they will be going to school.  I have been fortunate to be able to stay home with them, but the time is drawing near where they will be leaving home to be educated.  This book was an eye-opener, but I must say that not all teachers or schools are run this way.  I do have 3 teachers in my family and I feel they do an excellent job of educating our children (granted, I am biased, lol).  Don’t get me wrong, I am not disregarding any of the information in this book.  It is truly helpful and will give you an idea of what can/may happen in your school district, just keep your eyes open because nothing is more important than the education of our children.



    About the Author
    Steven Baldwin
    is a long-time activist in the fight to reform America’s public schools. He served in the California Legislature, representing San Diego’s 77th District.

    As Chairman of the California State Assembly Education Committee, he initiated a series of hearings that demonstrated how fads, failed methodologies and political correctness have devastated the California public school system, the nation’s largest – and one of the worst.

    The co-author of “The Real Secret War,” Mr. Baldwin has appeared on numerous talk shows including Larry King Live, and has written articles published in the Regent University Law Review, Washington Times and Human Events. Mr. Baldwin is currently the Executive Director of the Council for National Policy (CNP).

    Karen Holgate became an educational activist after joining the fight against hardcore pornography. During public speaking engagements, she began hearing from parents concerned about the sex education curricula being promoted in the public school system.

    With her grandchildren in the public schools, she became involved in the myriad of problems besetting California’s education system. Soon she was traveling to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators to discuss the declining quality of education and the growing emphasis of non-academic content.

    Mrs. Holgate’s articles and policy reports have appeared in publications including the Congressional Quarterly, Investors Business Daily, the Washington Times, and Insight Magazine. She has been interviewed by local and national radio shows, and has appeared on CBS, NBC and Fox News shows.

     Once again, thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

    EW New 100 list of classics – I have a long way to go:)

    In Uncategorized on June 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I stole this from a friend of mine over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty.  Thom Geier of EW states up front that he expects disagreement with some of their choices. He explains that each of the selections were made with the idea that they have “endured in the public consciousness despite shrugs from academics.” They stand out in memory; some pushing the boundaries of what has come before. Regardless of whether we agree or not, it is an interesting list, isn’t it? A little bit of everything just about.

    Since the EW Top 100 New Classics list (books published between 1983-2008) seems to be making the rounds, I thought I would join in on the fun as well. The titles in bold are ones I have read while those in italics are sitting in my TBR collection waiting to be read.

    Since the EW Top 100 New Classics list (books published between 1983-2008) seems to be making the rounds, I thought I would join in on the fun as well. The titles in bold are ones- the rest will go to the TBR list, looks like the list just jumped up by quite a bit.  


    1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
    2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
    3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
    4. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr (1995)
    5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
    6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
    7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
    8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
    9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
    10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
    11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
    12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
    13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
    14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
    15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
    16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
    17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
    18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
    19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
    20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
    21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
    22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
    23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
    24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
    25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
    26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
    27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
    28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
    29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
    30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
    31. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (1990)
    32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
    33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
    34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
    35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
    36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
    37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
    38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
    39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
    40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
    41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
    42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
    43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
    44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
    45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
    46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
    47. World’s Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
    48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
    49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
    50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
    51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
    52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
    53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
    54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
    55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
    56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
    57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
    58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
    59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
    60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
    61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
    62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
    63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
    64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
    65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
    66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
    67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
    68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
    69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
    70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
    71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
    72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
    73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
    74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
    75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
    76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
    77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
    78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
    79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
    80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
    81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
    82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
    83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
    84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
    85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
    86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
    87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
    88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
    89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
    90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
    91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
    92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
    93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
    94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
    95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
    96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
    97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
    98. The Predators’ Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
    99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
    100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

    Mrs. Lieutenant by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

    In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on June 18, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Excerpt from the back of the book:

    They had their whole lives to look forward to if only their husbands could survive Vietnam.

    In the spring of 1970- right after the Kent State National Guard shootings and President Nixon’s two-month incursion  into Cambodia – four newly married young women come together at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, when their husbands go on active duty as officers in the U.S. Army.

    Different as these four women are, they have one thing in common: their overwhelming fear that, right after these nine weeks of training, their husbands could be shipped out to Vietnam – and they could become war widows.

    Sharon is a Northern Jewish anti-war protester who fell in love with and ROTC cadet; Kim is a Southern Baptist whose husband is intensely jealous; Donna is a Puerto Rican who grew up in an enlisted man’s family; and Wendy is a Southern black whose parents have sheltered her from the brutal reality of racism in America.

    Read MRS. LIEUTENANT to discover what happens as these women overcome their prejudices, reveal their darkest secrets, and are initiated into their new lives as army officers’ wives during the turbulent Vietnam War period.

    Vietnam was before my time.  I have heard the horror stories and one of my all-time favorite movies is The Deer Hunter.  It is frightening to think of what these soldiers endured, some drafted, others enlisted, but both seeing sights that no human being should be witness to.

    This book is about four very different women whose husbands are in officer training class in Kentucky.  As unlikely as it may seem, considering the background of these women, they become friends and bond during the six-week officer training course.   Thankfully they have each other, as the country is in turmoil due to the stress of being at war, a war that we were not wanted.  They each have a different set of circumstances they must overcome, but have their new found friends to rely on.

    The author has done an excellent job of helping to portray the other side of the war, the women behind the men who served and the hardships they endured.  Truly a wonderful read and an eye opener, I would highly recommend it!

     About the author:

    Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a former Mrs. Lieutenant and lives with her husband in Los Angeles.  The co-author of the Jewish holiday book “Seasons for Celebration,” she has written a success guide for teens (  She welcomes messages and visitors at

      Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for this book!

    A Special Summer by Victoria Wells

    In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on June 13, 2008 at 7:53 am

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979975778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979975776
  • To purchase, click here.
  • Excerpt from the back of the book:

    In love with the man of her dreams, Summer Jackson’s world is perfect bliss…so she thought.  Devestation rocks her very existence when handsome Nick Stiles walks out on her, leaving her to put the shattered pieces of her life back together again.

    Month’s later, out of the blue, Nick reappears and is in for the shock of his life!  A love that once was so pure is plagued by heartbreak, deceit, and betrayal.  Will Summer and Nick find true love again?

    A Special Summer is the debut novel by Victoria Wells.  I have to admit that I am not always the biggest fan of romance books.  I am not sure what it is about them that I don’t like, but I usually struggle to get through them.  That wasn’t the case in this novel, in fact, I can’t wait until her next as I will be anxious to read about characters introduced in this book.

    Some might think that Summer Jackson and Nicholas Stiles are a match made in heaven.  Summer has her act together as a nurse but is extremely selective when it comes to the men she dates.  The last thing she wants is to be treated like a sex object, so when she collides with Nick at a charity event she dismisses their meeting, even though the attraction is intense.  Nick does coerce her number from her, and after hounding her for quite some time she finally relents to a date with him.  Once they are together it is obvious that they are perfect for each other.  They spend all of their free time together, which is limited due to Nick’s work habits.  Summer truly believes that she has found the man of her dreams, so when he abruptly ends their relationship claiming it is due to the fact that he has a business venture in Canada, and doesn’t believe in long distance relationships she is devestated.  He totally ignores her calls and tries to put her out of his life for good.  But it just isn’t that easy.

    Eight months pass before Nick is back in town and he has realized one thing, stubborn as he is.  Summer truly is the one for him- he has been with no one else and has no desire to.  So, when he stops by Summer’s apartment unannounced he is shocked when she opens the door.  A secret has been kept from him, a secret they may not be strong enough to overcome.

    The writing is exceptional and the characters, although flawed at times, are very real and easy to relate to.  Ms. Wells has done a fantastic job with this debut and I wish her all the success in the world!

    Once again, thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for bringing this virtual tour!

    About the author:

    Victoria Wells is a Philadelphia native. She has been an avid reader since childhood. Wells’ interest in writing took root while taking a creative writing course in college. Her most memorable assignment was the rewriting of the last chapter of The Color Purple. Though she did very well in this course it would be years before she would pen a novel. 

     Professionally, Wells (Gaye Riddick-Burden) earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Nursing from La Salle University. Over her seventeen-year career as a nurse, Wells (Riddick-Burden) has written, lectured, and presented at national conferences extensively on sickle cell disease. Her dedication to caring for patients with this disease earned her the Regional and National 2005 Nursing Spectrum’s Nurse of the Year Nursing Excellence Award in Clinical Care. Nursing Spectrum wrote, “Riddick-Burden is a strong advocate for patients with sickle cell disease. She was instrumental in designing and implementing the outpatient Sickle Cell Day Treatment Unit for these often underserved patients. The program is driven by Riddick-Burden’s desire to provide timely and effective care to patients with sickle cell crisis – decreasing long waits in the ED and avoiding inpatient stays that separates patients from their families.”  

      Wells’ dedication to the nursing profession and work in the African American community organizing and running a free Hypertension Clinic at her church, Refuge Evangelical Baptist Church earned her another award. On March 19, 2006, Wells was awarded the Movers and Shakers Award presented by the American Women’s Heritage Society, National Association of University Women, National Association of Phi Delta Kappa, Top Ladies of Distinction and Two Thousand African American Women. At this ceremony the City Council of Philadelphia also presented her with a Citation.  

     Using writing as a tool to escape the hassles and worries of everyday life, Wells decided to pen a novel. In November 2006 she released her self-published debut romance novel, A Special Summer.  After receiving positive feedback and believing her story portrayed strong, intelligent, self-sufficient African American characters dealing with and working through relationship issues, Wells decided to submit her manuscript for traditional publishing. In August 2007, Xpress Yourself Publishing made an offer to re-release A Special Summer, March 4, 2008.


    Wells works as an adult nurse practitioner. She is married and the proud mom of three children.




    Prometheus Project : Trapped by Douglas E. Richards

    In book review on June 9, 2008 at 7:27 am


  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Dna Press (February 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974876542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974876542
  • To purchase, click here.
  • “The Prometheus Project: Trapped” by Douglas E. Richards is geared toward middle graders. Obviously, at 32, I’m a little outside that age group, but as a mom of two I think that I can ‘read like a child’ (if that makes sense).

    In “Trapped” Ryan and Regan Resnick are forced by their parents to move to Beaverton, PA, ‘the middle of nowhere’ according to the children. After 6 weeks of boredom the kids are ready for adventure and boy do they find it! I don’t want to give away too much, but these kids get into (and cleverly out of) some trouble. The great thing (in my opinion) is the science back in science fiction.

    Mr. Richards has a master’s degree in genetic engineering (and business). He is the father of two and wrote Trapped, as well as its sequel Captured, for his children after being unable to find an engaging sci-fi series for this age group.

    I highly recommend this book for all middle school libraries. If you have a middle schooler that is into science or sci-fi, buy this book. If you have a reluctant reader who has an interest in science or adventure stories, buy this book.

    Mr. Richards is currently working on an adult thriller and another kid’s thriller not set in the Prometheus Project universe. He hopes to write additional Prometheus Project books in the future as well.

    Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

    In book review, sunday salon on June 8, 2008 at 7:22 am


  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786018151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786018154
  • To purchase, click here.
  • I realized very quickly that I was in for an exciting thrill ride when I started Jonathan Maberry’s Ghost Road Blues. The very first chapter set the pace for what was to be an exciting chiller with some deadly and some undead villains that got my heart pumping. The first book in a trilogy, Ghost Road Blues won the Bram Stoker award for Best First Novel.
    The Town of Pine Deep Pennsylvania has become a hot tourist spot for those who are looking for a great Halloween horror ride. The citizens have built a business out of scaring the heck out of visitors every year. This year, however, Pine Deep is in for more than they bargained for. A secret past experience thirty years before had left something buried in the woods, something that terrified the town years ago. Now that something has returned and it is drawing into Pine Deep a monster of the human variety, Karl Ruger, who’s body may be human but without a soul. Now the citizens have a fight against evil on their hands and it’s one that they may not be able to win.
    I was exciting to read this book and it did not disappoint. With remarkable action scenes and wonderfully descriptive characters, I was hooked from the beginning and now I am more than anxious to continue the saga of Pine Deep in the following books, Dead Man’s Song and Bad Moon Rising.
    1. When you starting Ghost Road Blues did you have the trilogy already in mind or did they come one at a time?

    Ghost Road Blues was created and pitched as a series.  I knew from early in the writing of the first draft that I was telling a big tale.  I wanted to explore the lives and relationships of a fair-sized cast of characters, and to build a lot of intertwining storylines.  Knowing that it was a trilogy also gave me the time to develop realistic characters; I didn’t want to write a supernatural tale with just heroes and villains.  I wanted to explore how real people –with all of their foibles, flaws and fractured lives—would cope with an increasingly unreal situation.

    One thing that confused readers, however, is the fact that the publisher opted not to mention that this was a trilogy.  It was a marketing decision that I understand but do not agree with, and it confused a lot of readers who got near the end of GHOST ROAD BLUES and were wondering how I was going to tie up so many plotlines in the last few pages.  More got confused when they bought DEAD MAN’S SONG thinking it was a standalone book.  So, in BAD MOON RISING (due out May 8), I tried to buffer that for any new readers by providing an author note and a series of fake newspaper articles that provide the backstory.

    2. Wow, you won the Bram Stoker award for best new novel and where nominated for best novel. What does that do to a debut author’s head? Motivate you or scare you?

    It does a couple of things.   First, it gives you a big shot of confidence.  To have been nominated just for ‘First Novel’ would have been good enough but to have it then nominated as the best novel of the year really made me believe that I’d made the right decision in trying my hand at fiction.  To that point in my writing career I’d been a nonfiction guy, doing magazine articles and nonfic books. Now I consider myself as much a novelist as a nonfic author.

    But the experience is a reality check as well.  If you’ve been praised for your writing and won an award then you have an obligation to your readers (and yourself) to make sure that you continue to turn out quality products.
    One other neat side effect…I got to meet Stephen King.  He won the category for Best Novel with his critically-acclaimed LISEY’S STORY.  Which takes the sting out of losing, ‘cause if you’re a horror writer there’s no shame in losing to Stephen King.  After I won the Stoker for Best First, my editor at Pinnacle invited my wife and I to be her guests at the Edgar Awards (the mystery awards) at which Stephen King was being honored with the Grandmaster Award.  I got a chance to meet King and his wife, Tabby before the ceremony.
    One side note…I just won a second Stoker Award, this time for nonfiction –which is something of a twist.  The book is THE CRYPTOPEDIA: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange and Downright Bizarre, co-authored with David F. Kramer.  The awards were held at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, UT two weeks ago.

    3. As I mentions, Ghost Road Blues is the first in a Trilogy. Can you give the readers an idea of what they are looking forward to in Dead Man’s Song and Bad Moon Rising?

    Each book in the Pine Deep Trilogy has a slightly different theme and flavor.  GHOST ROAD BLUES was essentially a chase story and by following escaped killer Karl Ruger the reader is brought to the town of Pine Deep and there things go wrong for everyone as a bigger and older evil force begins to exert its will, so that by the end Ruger is a servant of this greater evil.

    DEAD MAN’S SONG is more of a mystery.  Several characters begin to investigate the goings on in Pine Deep.  One line of investigation starts with the events in the previous book and we follow Dr. Weinstock as he uses forensics to make a very unnerving discovery.  Another storyline follows the series’ main hero, Crow, as he and reporter Newton explore the town’s history of mass murder, and the supernatural legends associated with it.  At the same time the villains are moving behind the scenes preparing for a major attack on the town, the Red Wave, which they plan to launch on Halloween.

    BAD MOON RISING is an action book.  The Red Wave strikes Pine Deep during the Halloween Festival, when the town is crammed with thousands of tourists and celebrities.  Crow and his friends are outnumbered.  We also see tragedy strike our dwindling team of heroes.  This book is also about transformations.  Each of the characters in the story goes through a major change and how they manage those changes will determine whether Pine Deep, and the world, survive.  One hint: even with the good guys, not everyone gets out alive.  This book has some real surprises and it was a hell of a lot of fun to write.

    4. Ghost Road Blues received some great reviews by some heavy hitters of the horror genre (name drop Stephen King here), who are some authors you enjoy reading?

    I read all genres and I read a lot.  Even when I’m driving I have a book on disc playing.  My current favorites are Peter Straub, James Rollins, James Lee Burke, David Morrell, Jay Bonansinga, Randy Wayne White, John Connolly, L A Banks, Duane Swierczynski, D H Dublin, Gregory Frost, Kelly Simmons, Ken Bruen….the list just goes on and on. 

    Stand by Debbie Williamson

    In book review, non-fiction, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on June 6, 2008 at 7:55 am

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher:Souper Publishing (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980123402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980123401
  • To Purchase click here.
  • Excerpt from the back of the book:

    STAND one courageous woman shatters the chains of abuse that bound her family for generations and dares to:

    • brave the crippling memories of sexual abuse
    • shatter the illusions of denial
    • reveal her family’s bitter legacy of violence
    • reach for the healing and wholeness
    • take her place on a path to forgiveness and peace

    Reading books about abuse are always hard for me, but especially when children are involved.  How do you ever overcome such a traumatic experience and lead a life that is unencumbered by horrific memories of the past, memories that are sure to haunt your days and nights?  The amount of courage it must take to not only face your past but move on is amazing to me, and that is exactly what Debbie Williamson has done. 

    Debbie Williamson gives you and inside glimpse into her nightmare, a nightmare that includes being raped twice by her uncle at age nine, and a family that decides, through the advice of others, to just “let it be”.  After doing some research, Debbie learns that abuse is nothing new to her family – it goes back for three generations.  But, she is determined to break the cycle, and has done so!

    This story is about so much more than the rape of a young girl.  It is about how early abuse can effect so many aspects of your life, especially when your family chooses to turn a blind eye to the situation.  Debbie knows, after many rough years and experiences, that the only way to break free is to confront the man who has had control over her for so many years.  After seeing her uncle she is at last able to break down the walls he has created and open up to a new life, a new life that she now fully controls. 

    I truly recommend this book to anyone, and I mean anyone.  It is wonderful to read of one woman’s battles and triumphs when faced with so many people and things determined to see her fail.  Bravo!

    About the author:

    Debbie Williamson tours the Unites States speaking to groups about overcoming the effects of abuse.  She and her husband are the parents of 9 children and 11 grandchildren.  After generations of abuse, Debbie’s courage stopped the cycle before it was allowed to affect the next generation.

    Born in Salt Lake City, she grew up in southern California and now lives in Utah with her family and four miniature schnauzers.  Family is her number one priority and when not working with university and church groups, she can often be found golfing and sailing with her children and husband, Gary.

    Once again, thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the opportunity!

    Belly of the Whale by Linda Merlino

    In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on June 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher:Kunati Inc. (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601640188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601640185
  • To Purchase, click here.
  • Excerpt from the back of the book:

    Hudson Catalina has given up—having lost both breasts to cancer, she is emotionally and physically exhausted, no longer willing to endure the nausea and crushing weakness of her grueling treatment. Nothing in her life—not even her beloved husband and children, her best friend, or her passion for teaching high school—will sway her decision to terminate her treatment. On the eve of her daughter’s fifth birthday celebration, a troubled former student confronts her, hell-bent on violent revenge and then suicide. Facing certain peril, Hudson vows to do whatever she must in order to survive and see her husband and children once again.


    Hudson Catalina is up against “the beast” – that is what she calls the cancer that has taken both of her breasts and is threatening to take her life.  She has already lost her grandmother and mother to this awful disease, and even though she has fought hard, she is ready to give up and give in.  In the midst of a raging New England blizzard, she decides she is going to go and visit Ruby Desmond, the owner of Whales Market, to pick up some supplies she needs to celebrate her daughters fifth birthday, quite likely the last she will celebrate with her.  While there she encounters trouble in the likes of Buddy Baker, the town hoodlum.  Buddy is truly armed and dangerous, and it is unsure whether any of them will get out alive.  


    I don’t believe in spoiling the fun for everyone, but this one got a grip and wouldn’t let go.  Whether the breast cancer was front and center, or the drama among the family, or the terror that encounters the participants at the market, the author has a wonderful ability to keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for what is to come.  Excellent job! 

    Thanks again to Pump Up Your Book Promotion – you guys ROCK!


    About the author:


    Life is our daily teacher. One lesson begets another and then another.

    Once-upon-a-time life kicked me off my writer’s path and led me to pursue a more practical profession. My childhood dream of becoming a journalist was silenced.

    Years later, I became a single parent, not by choice but by necessity, and my most trustworthy partner became a ballpoint. The fiction in my head turned into words on yellow legal pad. I wrote anywhere, any time, on my dining room table, and on my lunch hour. No place was my sacred space. I wrote in my car during soccer practices, under an umbrella on rain drenched sidelines, in fast food restaurants and in chain hotels. I wrote during championship after championship in cities and states, from Jersey to Phoenix.

    The quieted yearning to be a writer reawakened onto the pages of a novel. My first was self-published after five years of juggling work, kids and day-to-day. A flawed but beautiful story emerged onto paper and “Swan Boat Souvenir” enjoyed local acclaim and success.

    I knew there was more to do, more to write and that the next book would be published traditionally, that the next manuscript would have the benefit of an editor and the advice of professionals. After months of writing, Belly of the Whale went from paper, to computer, to draft after draft and finally into the arms of Kunati Publishers.

    My children are grown. My passion to write remains a constant. Each book I complete is dedicated to the magic of believing in my dream, to my son and to my daughters.




    When a Man Loves a Woman by LaConnie Taylor-Jones

    In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion on June 5, 2008 at 7:32 am

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Genesis Press (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585712744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585712748
  • To purchase, click here.
  •  Excerpt from back of book:

    Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love.  She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life.  That is, until she meets pediatrician A.J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her.  A.J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test…but is this a fight she really wants to win?

    When Victoria and A.J. Baptiste (Vic and Baptiste) meet for the first time, sparks and words fly.  Sure there is chemistry, right from the very beginning, but they start arguing minutes after meeting, and continue their headstrong stubborn ways every time they encounter each other.  But, underneath all of this arguing, they both feel the heat and the connection, something Baptiste relishes in, and Vic fights tooth and nails to deny and fight.  After being betrayed and heartbroken by her husband, she isn’t willing to let another man, any other man, infiltrate her hard shell and get to the heart she has worked so hard to protect.

    While attending a party, Vic confronts Baptiste about his plans to stop her from relocating to Atlanta.  His goal is to do whatever he can to keep here near, and that means pulling out all of the stops.  As they are arguing, he begs her to let down her walls and let him in.  In a rush of emotion she breaks down and tell him why she has a hard time trusting men, a secret she has kept for over 8 years.  She is so distraught at revealing this information, she rushes out of the house and drives aimlessly, trying to get her thoughts and feelings in check.  She is distracted at a stoplight and is rearended when the light turns green, causing her to be pushed into the intersection and into a motorcycle being driven by none other than Baptiste.  What is she going to do?  And how will she explain this?  With a hit-and-run accident and drug dealing adding to the plot, there is enough to keep all readers satisfied.

    This is my first book by Ms. Taylor-Jones but will not be my last.  She has such a way of infusing suspense, love, drama and a familial bond you can’t help but being drawn in and wanting to find out more.  Great work! 

    About the author:

    LaConnie Taylor-Jones holds advanced degrees in community public health and has written for several scientific research publications for the past fifteen years.  An active member of the San Francisco Area chapter of RWA since 2003, Ms. Taylor-Jones has combined her writing skills with a twenty-five year passion for reading romance in the completion of her first full-length multicultural contemporary romance novel, When I’m With You.

    Once again, thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the chance to read and review another winner!