Monday, January 28, 2008

UnBreak Your Health: The Complete Guide to Complementary and Alternative Therapies by Alan E. Smith

ISBN: 9781932690 - Loving Healing Press (2007)
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher for Reader Views (7/07)




Are you a person who is frustrated by lack of results in the traditional medical approach to illness?  "UnBreak your Health" is the most comprehensive and reader-friendly guide for alternative health solutions that I have ever read.  The author, Alan E. Smith, through personal experience presents a compelling argument for the power of our bodies to heal themselves if we would give them the opportunity.  However, Smith is not an opponent of conventional medicine, and states that this book is meant to give hope and options to complement healing therapies.


The reader-friendly format of the book provides an introduction to alternative therapies, the best way to use this book and chapters on overall alternative health concepts and working with the body, mind and spirit.  Topics include acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, and environmental medicine. Other therapies covered are mind-body therapies, manual healing therapies, and herbal remedies.  The methods listed in this book include therapies that have been around for thousands of years to life changing new devices. 


I was amazed at the number of alternative therapies that are available to a person.  Our technology-based culture can learn so much from the cultures of ancient lineage around the world following these time-honored systems. The Western approach often fails to treat the whole patient – mind, body, emotions and spirit, and treats the symptoms instead of finding the root of the problem.   Additionally, the author has included user comments throughout the book that are testimonials of healing from people who have given up on conventional medicine.  I recognized several of the therapies and was pleasantly surprised to see the Network Spinal Analysis included, a chiropractic technique that uses specific touches to heal.  I was introduced to this technique several years ago and was able to avoid surgery by using it.  I was also really glad to see the Radical Forgiveness Technology listed, an amazing technology that I started using several months ago.


"UnBreak your Health" would complement any home-based or business library.  I applaud the author for creating such a comprehensive guide.



The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Broad Abroad in Thailand by Dodi Cross

ISBN: 9781419672354 - Four Ways West/Cross Publications (2007)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/07)




"A Broad Abroad in Thailand" promised to be a book that I could relate to in several ways. Being an expat myself, I always find what other expats have to say about their new countries fascinating; I've always considered myself a broad and I absolutely adore Thailand. So at a first glance I found it hard to imagine that the book could live up to my expectations…


Having read a fair number of books about expat life and experiences, I mostly found them quite imbalanced and superficial. Granted, most of the authors were rather young, but in the majority of cases I was just not overly impressed by them. Dodie Cross' "A Broad Abroad in Thailand" is definitely an exception. The author never tries to hide the fact that she was no spring chicken when she headed to the Land of Smiles, which certainly gives an interesting spin to her observations. We get to learn more about orphanages and healthcare than we do about beach parties and bars, which in my opinion is a nice improvement. Ms. Cross also nicely balances the funny-to-hilarious misadventures with more serious issues and her 'who-could-ever-understand-those-habits' moments with her obvious admiration and respect of Thailand, its culture and its people.


Ms. Cross' memoir begins with a hasty marriage to a golf instructor, which is needed in order for her to be able to accompany him to his new position in Thailand. Although she is not totally certain that marrying Dick (and oh, what an appropriate name for him!) is such a great idea, she decides to go forward with it. Their move to a new country is very eventful – as those moves tend to be… Very soon she is battling not only a badly cracking marriage to a sex addict, but also countless rules and regulations imposed by the wife of Dick's boss, the overpowering Ms. Anorexia. Ms. Cross would rather get to know her new country and meet the people, but all such attempts are considered by Ms. Anorexia as against the rules. Then along comes the near-fatal accident on the infamous Sukhumvit Highway – which truly is at least as bad as described by Ms. Cross as well as a bladder surgery with unexpected results. Dick is not thrilled by Dodie's restored virginity, the boss is not thrilled by Dick and Ms. Anorexia is just generally not thrilled with anything, particularly not with Dodie. Such is the sorry state of affairs overall, which will only lead to more trouble. You will, however, have to read the book for yourself to learn how Dodie resolves the situation.


Having seen that Ms. Cross has also lived in New Orleans among other places, I will definitely keep an eye out for a book about those experiences. According to the little addendum, she is already working on one about her life in Iran, so I can only hope that the New Orleans one will be next. As for "A Broad Abroad in Thailand," I found it well written and very enjoyable. If you need something to brighten your day, just read one of the funnier chapters, maybe the one about mastering the use of Thai toilets or the joys of buying underwear in a strange country. You will feel so grateful that you do not have to deal with any of this that your day will immediately improve. Great read for expats, expats-to-be, wanna-be- expats, travelers and just about anybody else with a sense of humor.

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The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Winter Blossoms and othe poems by Mamata Misra

ISBN: 9780595443727 - iUniverse (2007)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (10/07)




"Winter Blossoms" is a collection of poems depicting the inequity faced by women who are caught in a cross-cultural journey. These women are destined by society to experience the complexities of indignity, hostility, and domination. Mamata Misra has captured a yearning for change, and a call for understanding. In a courageous bold voice she uses her poetry to speak loudly with a message of hope to these courageous women.
 
The illustrations by Indira Chakravorty vividly reinforce the message of the poetry.  These poignant words and pictures tell the story of the restlessness of communal violence, offer a prayer for peace, describe the loving presence of a mother, and relate the bravery of Seetha walking into fire to prove her chastity to prove her worthiness to be queen.
 
The book is arranged in a topical format. Pen and ink drawings coinciding with the words of the poem impact and enhance the message conveyed through the written word.
 
The topics include "Mother and Child," "War and Peace," "Questions and Answers," "Hope and Despair," and "Sound and Silence." The final chapter entitled "Poems and People," includes a brief background on each of the poems, the time and circumstances of its origin, and a brief comment or two regarding the message being conveyed. A biographical sketch of the author and the illustrator are also included.
 
The poems in "Winter Blossoms" reveal the amazing insight, of the author, into the nature of the struggles faced by South Asian women.  Mamata Misra brings to the forefront the need to speak out against the reality of family violence, and abuse. She faces squarely the incongruity of the power struggle of war in the guise of establishing peace.  I was deeply moved by the poem, "Despair."




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The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Adopted Paws by Retz Reeves

ISBN: 9781424169412 - PublishAmerica (2007)
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views (10/07)




Retz Reeves was a native of Oakdale, Pennsylvania till she accepted a job in Florida with an investment firm. Living in Miami, Florida, Retz pursued her investment career during the day and studied Microbiology and Business at night. After almost a decade Retz graduated from Florida International University, after which she obtained her MBA from Nova Southeastern University, married Randy Reeves and started adopting stray animals.


"Adopted Paws" was a humorous read and I immediately fell in love with it when I read how Retz met her husband's dog. It was such a common response with most hounds and I could picture the dog making her acquaintance. Retz does a very good job in telling her story of learning to live with a new husband and his dog...then, some additional cats, and more dogs, and more cats. The hilariously funny story continues when they decide to look for a place close to the ocean. Retz and her husband Randy had wanted a place to get away and decided to look for a place in the Florida Keys. Their struggle to find the perfect place is hampered for a while but finally comes to an end. They find their sanctuary on a canal in the Florida Keys.


While at the vets one day with her cat Molly, Retz was informed that Molly had Feline Aids. This was not contagious to humans but could be to other cats. The diagnosis was devastating to Retz. There was nothing that could be done for the animal and Retz and Randy had to cope with the thought that Molly's time was limited.


When Mom and Dad wanted to go to the house in the Keys they naturally had to take the family with them. Not an easy task when you have to load cats into cages and a couple of hounds. Retz relates a few of these incidents in the book and I could just picture the funny scene as she described the pitfalls of traveling with pets. Cats getting carsick and vomiting on the seat, big dogs needing to go number two and when you're on the highway there is nothing you can do.


"Adopted Paws" was one of the funniest and most interesting animal books I have read in a long time. The book was well written, PublishAmerica did a nice job with its publishing and it was a great read. I give it an A and recommend it to all animal lovers.




The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Adventures of Pink Elephant by Christine Amamiya

ISBN: 9780979533204 - Rococo House (2007)



Christine and her sister, Mandy Evans loved to make up games, so when a pink elephant with unusual abilities falls into their pool, it’s the beginning of a challenge to protect and keep their new friend.

The girls have a lot of questions, and so will the reader. Where did the elephant come from? Why did he drop in on Christine and Mandy? Will he stay? Will the girls be able to hind him?

Christine Amamiya is a youngster herself, and a very intuitive one with an entertaining imagination. I will predict that Ms. Amamiya will have a good future in children’s books if she chooses to follow that path. Just think what she could do with an adult story in another ten years.

Review by Wanda C. Keesey (author Lost In The Mist release May 2008) www.wandakeesey.com

Vinny the Bug Man: The Journey Begins by Chet Spiewak

ISBN: 9780978582715 - CWS Studios (2007)
Reviewed by Ian McCurley (age 13) for Reader Views (11/07)




The story begins when Vinny Mazola gets a job with his exterminator uncle, Guy.  While exterminating at a government research lab, Vinny accidently shrinks himself down to the size of a bug while using his Bug Whacker 3000.  After being thrown out the window, captured by ants and brought before the queen, Vinny is thrown in jail for bad humor.  Vinny escapes to team up with an aphid, Lester, and they set out together on a journey to recover the Magical Seed from the tarantulas. 
This is Chet Spiewak's first book in the "Vinny the Bug Man" graphic novel series.  The book is full of quirky humor and colorful characters such as the oblivious main character, Vinny.  It is perfect for the target age group.
"Vinny The Bug Man" is for children ages 6 to 10 who enjoy reading about bugs and have an atrocious sense of humor.
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The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

The Thin Wall by Cheryl Anne Gardner

ISBN: 9781430312567 - Twisted Knickers (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/07)





Once again, Cheryl Anne Gardner managed to sweep me right into her passionate, erotic tale.  She first did this to me with her novella, "Le splendor de l'antiquite."  "The Thin Wall," is a novella about five close friends, Julian, Laleana, Cecile, Tom and Ioan.  They are in their late thirties.  Each one is experiencing success in their area of talent.  They have been meeting at a pub every Friday night for years. They all carry a special tie to each other in that they know and understand each other's dark sides.  None of them leads a traditional type of life that would be expected of someone at their age.  There are no marriages, children or little white houses with picket fences. 
           
Julian and Laleana have been carrying on with each other for years.  They bonded twenty years before over their attraction to sexual bondage and submission.  They found each other at a library over the works of the Marquis de Sade.  Their other friends worry that they take their roles too seriously.  Julian enjoys giving Laleana wounds during their erotic encounters.  Ioan is a tortured artist that likes to capture the images of tortured women in his art.  Laleana is one of his favorite models, but even he is concerned about her wounds.  Laleana finds herself attracted to Ioan and his mysterious ways.  Initially Ioan is afraid to surrender to her because he is worried about acting on his darkest thoughts.  He also has a fascination with blood.
        
Cecile and Tom managed to find each other and fall in love.  Tom is a recovering addict, who they helped get off the streets.  He and Cecile also have their own special erotic encounters with submission and dominance.  They recorded a video of themselves in action which they shared with their friends.
           
The story revolves around their lives and the ties that keep them connected.  In addition to the passion, there are also feelings of love among the friends and the lovers.  They are satisfied with their lives as they are and are not looking to make changes that will cross them over in to the mundane world. 
Laleana's character has taken to writing fiction. At the end of this story is a short story written by her character entitled, "The Muse and the Alchemist."   Looking at Leleana now as an author, this story takes you further into her mind and shows you another creative outlet in which she is able to express herself.   I thought that including this story added a great touch to the whole book.
         
I found "The Thin Wall," to be totally engrossing and intense.  The close relationships among the characters allow them to take their acts to deeper levels because they know and trust each other. This makes them feel like they have a safe place in which to act out their darkest fantasies.  This can make it even more exciting and dangerous for them.   If you enjoy dark romance, do not miss out on this story!


The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Landmark Status with Alan Rolnick

ISBN 9780595681426 - iUniverse (2007)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (11/07)




Walter Marsh, owner of the historic and legendary Century Club found himself in a dilemma. His deposit from an out-of-state investor's group on their option for the club property was nearly all spent. The option was ready to expire. Business was at its lowest ebb.  A major convention center complex was in the planning stages.  Local political forces were in a battle for control and needed Walter's property.
 
Rolnick has fully developed a cast of colorful characters to keep a fast-paced plot moving forward.   Walter Marsh calls on lawyer Benjy Bluestone for advice. Smart and stunning, Delia Torres represents a local developer.
 
Add a few high rollers in Miami real estate and political circles, a mentally-challenged bodyguard chauffer, a novice newspaper reporter, a Bahamian-American politician, and a Cuban cigar importer, and you get the idea of the complex direction and zany antics that follow. Greed, political power, legal maneuvers, and romantic trysts are interwoven into an engrossing plot that replicates the TV series "Miami Vice," with an on going comedic, satire and tongue in cheek humor.
 
The setting is Miami with Ponzi schemes; investment fraud and real estate deals draw people from the Midwest, the Northeast, and the state of Texas to get into the action and to own their bit of Florida's paradise. The plot is powered by quick-witted dialog which reveal the character of the protagonist. Benjy is laid back, with a basic inner sense of doing the right thing. He is loyal and stubborn in addition to laid back but has a fear of failing by following in his father's footsteps.
 
Alan Rolnick is a practicing attorney, influenced and motivated by the writing of Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, and Dave Barry. Alan feels that the legal profession produces natural storytellers, and felt compelled to write a novel.  "Landmark Status" is the result.
 
Alan's writing is entertaining, and witty. Transitions flow naturally, his characters are easily recognizable and memorable.  I was pleasantly surprised at the insight I gained into the land development and real estate industry in South Florida. Another aspect I enjoyed was a glimpse into the historical origins of Miami, and the ethnic influence in the politics of Miami.
 
I was hooked from the opening wrecking ball to the final explosion.
I am sure that in the near future, attorney Alan H. Rolnick, will be reviewing contracts for the movie rights to "Landmark Status" and will be moving on to write a series of stories based on the legal shenanigans of lawyer  Benjy Bluestone. I am looking forward to the sequel.
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The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.