Category: book review

The Healer’s Daughter Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Can these three women defeat ISIL terrorists, criminal oligarchs, and corrupt officials? Can they even survive?

About The Healer’s Daughter

A terrorist bombing in Bergama, Turkey kills twenty-three people including three children. Modern Bergama is built on the site of ancient Pergamon, a city whose art and wealth and culture rivaled Athens. It was also the home of the Aesklepion, the world’s greatest healing center, and the birthplace of Galen, the Roman Empire’s most famous doctor.

Tuğçe Iskan, a Turkish Ministry investigator, finds evidence that links the terrorism to a powerful criminal family and to Galen’s life and Pergamon’s lost treasures. But Iskan is alone, an outcast in the Ministry because she is honest, diligent, and a woman.

As Iskan delves more deeply into the heinous attack, she needs allies outside the Ministry. She must turn to Özlem Boroğlu, a local archeologist, and Boroğlu’s daughter Elif, an artist with an affinity for ancient Aegean goddesses. Can these three women defeat ISIL terrorists, criminal oligarchs, and corrupt officials? Can they even survive?

My Thoughts

The Healer’s Daughter is a thrilling novel that takes you on a political, cultural and historical journey. It is the type of novel that you just can’t put down as it pulls you right in with the injustice and corruption.

The novel takes place mainly in present time but pulls in historical events through Galen, the Roman Empire’s most famous doctor. The novel starts off with a terrorist bombing in Bergama, Turkey which kills twenty three local residents and tourists. From here, we plunge right in to this fast paced story.

The novel has several layers as we learn about Galen (his teachings), archaeological findings and plundering by black markets to sell these artifacts, as well as terrorists and an element of spirituality. The story centres around Ozlem and her family. Ozlem is a local archaeologist who finds evidence of a long hidden treasure. This sparks interest by several wealthy collectors who want to sell this item on the black market. These same individuals are protected by local and international government and use ruthless methods to get what they want.

This finding sets off a series of events that centre around Ozlem, her family and her colleagues that involves betrayal, murder, bombings, deception, greed and so much more. Ozlem and her daughter have to think several steps ahead and keep themselves firm in their beliefs in order to stay alive.

This novel had an excellent pace and the plot was incredible. I have never read a book like this before and it kept me engaged throughout the whole novel. I loved how we had glimpses of the past that connected to the present and even had meaning and guidance for our future. It is a truly special novel that you will not want to put down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Amika Press.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Jay Amberg is the author of twelve books. He received a BA from Georgetown University and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has taught high school and college students since 1972. His latest book, The Healer’s Daughters, is now available from Amika Press. Amberg has also published Bone Box, Cycle, America’s Fool, Whale Song, and compiled 52 Poems for Men. Prior to Amika Press, Amberg published thriller novels Doubloon (Forge), Blackbird Singing (Forge) and Deep Gold (Warner Books). Among his books on teaching are School Smarts and The Study Skills Handbook, published by Good Year. Amberg wrote The Creative Writing Handbook (Good Year) with Mark Henry Larson and Verbal Review and Workbook for the SAT (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) with Bob Boone.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

The Root of Murder Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case.

About The Root of Murder

Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case. Each mystery is special in its own right—especially for the family of the victim.The homicide of a successful executive, husband, and father seems open and shut when the murder weapon is found in his estranged son-in-law’s possession. The circumstantial evidence is so damning that when her step-son, J.J. Thornton, agrees to act as the defendant’s public defender, he assumes his first murder case will be a loss. Only the report of a missing husband proves that this case is not as open and shut as it seems. Strap on your seat belts for a wild ride in this mystery rooted in decades of deception that sprouts into murder

My Thoughts

Root of Murder is another incredible story from Lauren Carr that you will not be able to put down. She leaves you biting your nails, guessing at every turn and never truly kowing what is coming next.

In this book, we have a murder that looks like it should be open and closed very quickly with one very guilty looking son-in-law. But as the story unravels, we find many twists and interesting turns that brings some dark family secrets to light and forces you to question every person’s motives. What seemed like a simple case becomes so much more with many different layers.

Without giving too much away, Lauren has a magical way of intertwining different plots at strategic points throughout the novel that keeps you on your toes. While there are many characters, you don’t feel overwhelmed or lost at any point in the novel (she also includes a list of characters that you can refer back to if you do get lost). You do have to pay attention as the plot unravels, otherwise you may miss key parts that may have a major impact on the way the story turns out. I loved that throughout the whole novel, I never saw the end coming – the book was far from predictable.

I love the way Lauren writes and this novel is one of her best. She has a way of taking a story and making you laugh, cry, worry and feel sorrow. You don’t want to put her books down – which was the case with this story – I had to read it in one sitting! I love how she brings her characters to life and you become connected with them. Each new novel, you get to learn a little bit more about them and you can’t help but feel a deep connection to them.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, 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, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

How To Love a Duke in Ten Days Book Review

Love takes no prisoners in How To Love A Duke in Ten Days.

About How To Love a Duke in Ten Days

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past―one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

My Thoughts

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is an excellent story from start to finish – I could not put it down!

We follow the story of Lady Alexandra Lane – who is strong, independent and fearless. She also holds a secret that she fears getting out, although it is a secret that is not her fault and that she should not be ashamed of. It is a secret that has followed her and has negatively affected her relationships and confidence in herself. On top of all of this, she is being blackmailed about this secret! She would do anything to keep this a secret – even marry one of the richest bachelors – who also has quite the reputation of being evil.

Piers is a misunderstood character – where people see a monster, Alexandra sees him for who he truly is. He may be a bit dark and damaged but he is also kind, compassionate and sees Alexandra and loves her for who she is. Their chemistry in this story is incredible and leaves you craving more. They have such an intense spark!

This is a well written, exciting novel that I could not put down. I loved the two main characters – they find forgiveness and healing through their love and this allows them to put their past behind them and move forward. It is also a story of survival – Alexandra may have been a victim and this changed her view and the way she interacts with the world but it also made her a fighter. I loved how she grew and developed throughout the story.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is a definite must read novel that you will not be able to put down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Big Breath Review

Calm your worries and build your bravery — or relax during a busy day or wind down before bed.

About Big Breath

All day long, you breathe — in and out, in and out — without even thinking about it. But did you know that you can play with your breath, use it to take you on an adventure? All you have to do is find a comfy spot and close your eyes.

Does your breath sound like ocean waves? Like the wind before a storm or a breeze at the start of spring? Can you feel it all the way down to the tips of your toes? By the time you open your eyes, you might just feel a little lighter, calmer, more relaxed.

Our Thoughts

I did not start mediating until I began yoga roughly four years ago. I remember being in my first yoga class and unable to truly unwind and relax enough in order to be present in the moment. It was in that moment that I realized I was letting life take over, I was not present, I was stressed out and not appreciating the tiny moments. It took a lot of practice but eventually I was able to learn how to breathe properly, how to turn my mind off and be present in the moment. This is a skill that I can not stress enough – life is too hectic and busy to not know how to calm the mind. It can be done anywhere, at any time when needed.

This book is beautifully written and illustrated. I read it alone at first and I loved the calming tone of the words. It felt natural, easy to follow, easy to read and fell in a natural progression. I was so excited to practice it with our youngest, who participates in mediation at school but it is not something we do at home on a regular basis. If I am being honest, this is mostly because I don’t know how to help him through the process.

After work and soccer practice, we found a quiet space in our basement and sat across from each other. I read the book aloud to him, slowly and with purpose – giving him the time he needed to follow the directions. We did this without any noise but I do remember how much I loved listening to my class instructor walk me through a guided meditation with the sounds of nature in the background. If you think this would be distracting for your child, this may not be the best idea but if you think it will help – go for it.

This book was incredibly helpful for me as a parent, it helped give me the skills and words to use to help my child through his meditation. He found it relaxing and helped calm his mind and focus. It also helped bring us closer together, as we spoke about his day and his feelings. This is a definite must have book for parents and their children as we look for ways to bring calm and clarity in a rather crazy busy world!

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

About the Author

William Meyer is a high school teacher, longtime meditator, and author. The author of the newly released Three Breaths and Begin: A Guide to Meditation in the Classroom, he is currently working to augment his MA in education from Harvard with a PhD from NYU. He lives in Mamaroneck, New York.

About the Illustrator

Brittany R. Jacobs is a librarian and the author-illustrator of The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends and other children’s books. She lives in Westminster, Colorado.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

The Fighter’s Kitchen

DK Canada

Real training starts in the kitchen – get ready to be inspired and learn 100 muscle building, fat burning recipes with The Fighter’s Kitchen.

The Fighter’s Kitchen

100 muscle-building, fat-burning recipes, with meal plans to sculpt your warrior body.

Ever wonder how professional MMA fighters in the UFC prepare their bodies for fights? The real training often starts in the kitchen, where the right meals at the right times can give fighters everything they need to be ready for their next match.

Fighters fuel their bodies with precise nutrients delivered at specific times to achieve their functional physiques–and now you can too. The Fighter’s Kitchen provides expert guidance on what and when to eat, and it helps you understand how our bodies use what we eat to burn fat and build lean, strong muscle. Through phased weekly meal plans, expert insight on how and when to take full advantage of your body’s muscle-building capabilities, and 100 delicious recipes, you’ll find yourself looking ring ready even if you have no plans to step into one.

Our Thoughts

There really is a science to eating well and gaining muscle mass and losing weight. When I lost the majority of my weight, I had to really watch my macro nutrients – I kept track of how much protein, carbs and fats (as a percentage of my total calories in a day) and needed to ensure I kept in a very specific ratio for both losing weight and maintaining muscle. It worked really well for me.

This book dives into a greater knowledge of those macro-nutrients, why they are so important and how to use them to achieve your body goals. You can choose from one of four plans: maintenance, strength, muscular endurance and power and explosion. You are told your total calories for the day and the percentage of carbs, protein and fats. For example – the strength plan sees your carbs at 40%, protein 30% and fats at 30% of your daily caloric intake (when I was losing weight my protein was 40%, carbs 30% and fats 30% for example). The key is in counting and keeping track. While this book has a breakdown for each recipe – if you don’t track everything you intake, it wont be helpful.

After a sound background into the meal plans, nutrition, sample meal plans – Chris gives us 100 recipes that are easy to make, full of nutrients and help you meet your goal. There are sections for: breakfast, entrees, salads & sides, sandwiches & steaks and smoothies, shakes & desserts (my favourites!). Each recipe is on its own page and also comes with its own nutritional break down for calories, fat, carbs and protein. The recipes are for the most part very simple to follow (usually only a few steps), some items you will have to purchase specially but if you follow a healthy diet you should have many of these items at home.

This is an excellent resource and recipe book for men and women, who are looking to improve their health, increase their nutrition knowledge and focus on giving their body the fuel it needs to meet their goals. While easy to follow (mostly because of the fantastic writing) – it is jam packed with knowledge and tools that you need to succeed with your goals. A must have for every health conscious individual.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About Chris Algieri

Chris has over 13 years of professional fight experience – the Former World Boxing Organization Jr. Welterweight Boxing Champion, ISKA World Welterweight Kickboxing Champion and WKA World Super Welterweight World Kickboxing Champion.

Chris has a Bachelors of Science in Health Care Management and a master’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology. He is a certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sport Nutrition and speaks at conferences, seminars and summits on various topics of human performance and nutrition.

From his website:

“Aside from the performance and sports science aspect of food, I love to cook and share meals. I come from backgrounds (Argentinean on mother’s side and Italian on father’s) that stress the importance of food culture and community. I grew up with a sense that the food we prepare and share is more than just macros and micros. My passion and understanding of food preparation comes across in my cooking. Anyone who enjoys cooking, loves to share their creations with others!” “ – Chris Algieri http://www.chrisalgieri.com/about-2

Disclosure: I received the above book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading