Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

“Bad things are like waves. They’re going to happen to you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. They’re part of life, like waves are part of the ocean. If you’re standing on the shoreline, you don’t know when the waves are coming. But they’ll come. You gotta make sure you get back to the surface, after every wave. That’s all.” ~Phyllis, Look Again

Look Again by Lisa ScottolineHello, Dear Bloggites! It’s me again. 🙂 July’s book club book for the month is Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. I just finished the book last night in preparation for the next book club meeting on July 10, 2015 (Yes-I am an overachiever on most things I do).

This is my first Lisa Scottoline novel I have read and so I did not know what to expect. The story line was also not my normal optional reads (this is the greatness of being a member of a book club). The story is about a single mother, Ellen Gleeson, who is raising her adopted son, Will. Ellen is a newspaper reporter and always wants to get to the bottom of any story that presents itself in her life.

This is where the challenging journey begins for Ellen. She received a missing child advertisement of a boy who looks identical to her adopted son. Not being able to dismiss the eerie similarities between her son and the missing boy, Ellen sets out on a personal mission to find the mother of her son that was listed on her adoption papers and get to the bottom of who her son really is.

Throughout the story, you will journey with Ellen and hear about many unusual deaths associate with all the people involved in her adoption. These deaths would create a new dead end and put Ellen right back at the beginning on what to do next.

I read this book in I’d say three or four sittings. I was intrigued from the beginning, but at times I would catch myself getting distracted from the storyline. No negative reflection on the writer, Lisa Scottoline, it was more of me being used to my normal edge of the seat thrillers I love to read.

The setting of the book is in Philadelphia, PA (my Father’s family’s hometown) and also takes you into Florida on the journey to find out who Will really is. The author does a wonderful job at describing each character in her book, she gives enough background for each character, sometimes too much which kept me from utilizing my imagination as much I could have.

For anyone who has loved and lost, they will connect with the characters in this book. For anyone who has felt deceived, they will connect with the characters in this book. Anyone who has experienced the love of a child will feel complete and utter empathy for Ellen and the challenges she faces with the worry that her son might be this missing child. I do recommend this book to those who enjoy the occasional mystery.

I give Look Again 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading, Dear Bloggites! 😀

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

Traditional Marriage Defector

Before I start, please know that I am not writing this to offend anyone’s beliefs and if I do offend you, I am sorry but this is how I feel.  I write this out of love for all:

Today marks a historical day for the United States of America. The Supreme Court passed the law that Same Sex Marriage is legal across the United States.  The Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote on the matter.  It made me proud to be a Catholic. Associate Justice Kennedy is a Catholic who voted for equality among all sexes to get married.

Equality-that is the key word here.  Our Constitution has supported equality for all American citizens.  Our history has its black marks and its bright days and today is one of those bright days.  I used to lean towards being against same sex marriage for years until one year (a long time ago) a good friend of mine sat me down for a heart to heart on same sex marriage and homosexuality in general.  Mind you, I have never been against a person’s preference from one sex over another, but I have had the definition of marriage taught to me that it is between man and woman.

My friend is gay and she wanted me to understand that the desires of a homosexual versus a heterosexual is more the same than different.  They both desire love, marriage, family, and someone to witness their life so it meant something when they pass on from this world.  She pointed out that banning same sex marriage is no different than when people kept slaves (her words, not mine, and she has that right, she is black) or women being banned from voting.  The denial of a person’s rights is never okay, no matter the situation.

America believes in the freedom of choice and to deny someone the choice of marriage with someone of the same sex is wrong and unconstitutional.   Everyone has a right to choose in their life, be it guns, abortion, religious choices, or same sex marriage, everyone should have that right to choose and other people do not have the right to control another person’s choice.  That is what makes America so Great!

I love my Country and I love my Constitution and that conversation with my friend really opened my eyes that I was going against what I loved the most: freedom of choice!  My mind was changed.  People love who they love and that love should be allowed to be shared for the whole world to see.  Their choice to marry another of the same sex does not affect your life in any way shape or form.  It will not sway your foundation you believe in, it will only allow more happiness in the world; And isn’t that what we all want?  Happiness for others as well as ourselves?

I am a traditional marriage defector because I believe everyone has a right to choose who they spend the rest of their life with.  Just because I don’t believe in marriage for me (been down that road several times with the same results: divorce) but I will always believe in marriage for others: man and woman, woman and woman, or man and man.  It is their choice and I am a proud American to see our Constitution amended to allow that freedom and equality for all.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Born To Win by Zig Ziglar & Tom Ziglar

“For it is out of our souls that our attitude flows; And your attitude will determine your altitude in life.  The depth of your spirit will determine the height of your success.” ~Zig Ziglar

Hello, Dear Bloggites! 🙂  I just finished a wonderful self-help book that I wanted to share with you.  I am all about self-help and working toward the next level of you.  Zig Ziglar thinks along those same lines but uses different words. 🙂

Born to Win by Zig Ziglar & Tom ZiglarThis book review is on Born to Win by Zig Ziglar & Tom Ziglar.  I love how Zig Ziglar writes his books.  When you are reading them it is like he is standing in front of you talking with a casual, heartfelt conversational tone.  This book is no different.  I like the fact that he partnered with his son, Tom Ziglar, on writing this book.  Tom has succeeded in growing into the big shoes his dad left when he passed away a couple of years ago.

Born to Win is a compilation of all the different teaching tools Zig has provided over the years as a motivational speaker.  It is a bang for the buck, if you will.  There is a lot of great tools within this book to help you plan your goals and reach them.  The information given can be added into your personal as well as business life and it is easy to begin.

Zig, and now Tom, have the ability to break things down into simple, concise steps that utilize the best tool you have in your box-YOU!  The book helps you breakdown all the demands in your life and rank them to see how balanced your life is (or isn’t).  Once you do your assessment on your “Wheel of Life” you are given steps to help each section reach its highest level to allow you to live a balanced life.

The quote above is a favorite of mine from the book.  I truly agree with what he says about the soul and attitude.  You want a more positive life view, surround yourself with positive people.  No one has time for negativity.  We get that enough from everything shown or read on TV and online.  You cannot control the media, but you can control your immediate environment with who you surround yourself with.

This fact is one of many great tools provided and explained in Born to Win.  If you like to improve yourself and strive to reach the next level of you, give this book a whirl.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

I give Born to Win 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading, Dear Bloggites! 😀

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Finders Keepers by Stephen King

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too.  They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” ~Stephen King

“I thought you were good Paul…but you’re not good. You’re just another lying ol’ dirty birdy.” ~Annie Wilkes, Misery

Ohh, Stephen King, the one man who will always share my bed until the day I die. 🙂  Have I told you lately that I am a Stephen King Junkie?  Borderline obsessive in fact but I am no Annie Wilkes crazy obsessive by any means (for those of you who do not understand the reference to Annie Wilkes, pick up Misery by Stephen King and get acquainted with her). 😉

This book review is on book two of the Bill Hodges Trilogy, Finders Keepers.  I am praying to the Novel Gods that we will continue to visit the life of Det.-Ret. Bill Hodges in future novels to really see how this entire storyline ends: will it be with the good guy or the bad guy showing victorious?  Gets my book nerd panties dancing in a good way!

Finders Keepers by Stephen KingFinders Keepers by Stephen King delves into the world of an obsessed fan over a certain character in a book series of a popular novelist (the obsession is like Annie Wilkes for the character Misery Chastain but ends with severely different results for the author of said books).  In Finders Keepers, the obsessed fan murders the novelist and gets away with it.  Years after the murder takes place the hidden money & unpublished books  that were stolen after the murder are found by a young teenage boy whose life was changed when his dad became one of the victims of the Mercedes Killer who managed to survive his injuries but not able to bounce back on the financial front.

The boy, Pete Saubers, uses the money to help his family by sending a little bit in the mail each month.  The money helps his family bounce back from their financial issues and the novels give Pete hours of enjoyable reading from a literary genius that no longer walked in the world.  Years later, after the money runs out, Pete is faced with the dilemma of how he can now help his sister, Tina, find the money to go to a private school she wants to attend with her friends.  Now a teenager on the verge of graduating, Pete starts looking for a buyer who is willing to purchase the stolen novels while the murderer starts looking for him after finding the hidden trunk empty when he got out of jail for a separate crime.

Bill Hodges is “hired” by Tina to talk to her brother because she is worried he is in some kind of trouble.  Tina had her suspicions that the money was coming from Pete but now she is scared that whatever was found with the money is giving her brother a serious fright.  Bill once again partners with his haphazard band of helpers (minus one) to assist this frightened young girl and try to help her with the concerns over her brother.

Once again, Stephen King gives us a wonderfully written crime drama mystery with familiar characters that we all grew to love in Mr. Mercedes.  The intensity of the hunt by the killer for his lost treasure he stole will leave you wanting to turn to that last page and read the outcome before finishing the novel. 

I once again sat down and read this novel in one sitting.  There was one minor section that dropped the flow of the storyline but not enough to truly damage the overall movement of the novel.  I only state this because I don’t want you, Dear Bloggites, getting upset with me for not giving a fully disclosed review. 🙂  The characters that you met in Mr. Mercedes have grown and evolved deeper in Finders Keepers and the tease of the Mercedes Killer in the book will make you join me in praying to the Novel Gods that Stephen King will continue inviting us into the life of Bill and his haphazard band of helpers.

I give Finders Keepers 5 out of 5 Bookmarks and encourage you to read this book, Dear Bloggites.

Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

“People think that I must be a very strange person.  This is not correct.  I have the heart of a small boy.  It is in a glass jar on my desk.” ~Stephen King

I am a Stephen King junkie.  I admit it.  I will expose that vein to him anytime I know he is going to give me that sweet hit of storytelling.  I am writing two reviews tonight, both by Stephen King.  The reason for the double reviews: I just finished reading Finders Keepers which is the sequel to Mr. Mercedes and I felt I must be true to the author and review each book in order.

TMr. Mrecedes by Stephen Kinghis book review is on Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.  Since Stephen Kings “retirement” he has been able to write what he wants versus what the agency wants.  He has said in several interviews that his love for books came from those old school crime mystery stories.  I know a lot of the book reviewers gave him some crap about not writing a horror story because that is what he is known for, but Mr. Mercedes is not a horror, it is a crime mystery with some creepy images that only the Master of Horror can give.

In the novel, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, we are introduced into the world of retired detective versus intelligent psycho killer.  This is a true crime drama mystery storyline.  The premise is about this intelligent psycho killer taking out a bunch of people in a stolen Mercedes car just to see what it felt like to do it and the detective who could not solve the case before his retirement.  The storyline starts with the gruesome crime and then picks up with the detective now a retired washed out man with no purpose in life until the killer reaches out to him with a letter and starts taunting him to end his miserable life.  As the retired detective (Det.-Ret.) realizes that the Mercedes Killer is stalking him, he sets out to finally finish what he started while still on the force, find the Mercedes Killer.

The book is a great read.  I believe I read it in one sitting because I was drawn in immediately and could not put it down until I finished the final page of the 436 page novel. 🙂  I loved the way Stephen King not only makes you root for the good guy and his haphazard band of helpers but also makes you understand the mindset of the killer and how the murderous acts are justified in that crazy mind.  Only a truly talented writer can make you feel empathy for  not only the good guy in the story but also for the most evil of all people and Stephen King does just that by pulling you into the minds of the retired detective and the killer and their day to day struggles with life in general.

Det.-Ret. Bill Hodges is someone we can all relate to: retires after a successful career that engulfed his life only to find himself aimlessly wandering through life without a purpose anymore and too old to really find a new purpose to achieve in his life.  He lives with that one regret of a case that he could not crack before his retirement and it eats away at him because of all the lives that were lost or affected by this crazy act.

Mercedes Killer is an everyday person we can all relate to: steady job, home life, every day challenges of just living except for one thing, the desire to kill just to see what it would feel like, no reason, angst, or revenge motive, just because and that is it.

There is an awesome cat and mouse feel to the book, like the two foes are circling each other trying to size the other up and find some weaknesses.  The haphazard band of helpers consist of a smart up-and-coming college kid that likes to play around with his other “persona” he creates as a joke to tease Bill, a woman whom Bill is falling in love with, and her neurotic OCD cousin.

For those of you who have avoided reading Stephen King because you do not like reading “horror novels” I highly recommend you pick up Mr. Mercedes and give it a whirl.  I promise you, you will not regret it!

I give Mr. Mercedes 5 out of 5 Bookmarks and highly recommend this read to you, Dear Bloggites!

Happy Reading, My Friends!

~4-Ever, P