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Review: Buckley’s Story by Ingrid King

Buckley's StoryMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Buckley’s Story was a heartwarming story of a cat and her person.

From the author’s website:

Buckley’s Story is the story of how one small cat changed the author’s life in ways she never could have imagined. In this warm-hearted memoir, Ingrid King shares the story of Buckley, a joyful, enthusiastic and affectionate tortoiseshell cat she meets while managing a veterinary hospital. When Ingrid leaves her job at the veterinary hospital to start her own business, Buckley comes home to live with her and Amber, another tortoiseshell cat who had adopted the author several years earlier.

Buckley is diagnosed with heart disease after only two years of living with Ingrid, and caring for Buckley through her illness only deepens the bond between cat and human. Interspersed with well-researched information about cat health in general, and heart disease in particular, the author describes the challenges and rewards of managing illness in a feline companion, and ultimately helping her through the final transition. Ingrid shares both the day-to-day joys of living with a special cat as well as the profound grief that comes with losing a beloved animal companion.

Buckley’s Story is a celebration of the soul connection between animals and humans, a connection that is eternal and transcends the physical dimension.

I really enjoyed reading about the connection between the author and her special kitty. Even as the story turned more serious, the link between them was wonderful. Buckley (as well as her “sister” cat Amber) was lovingly described, and I felt I got to know this sweet, energetic little tortoiseshell kitty.

I also liked looking into Ingrid King’s life as she followed a new career path, and explored alternative medicine as it applies to animals. As a normally skeptical person, I admit to an interest in Reiki and the power of energy to heal. The book briefly passed my comfort level as Ms. King consulted a (psychic) animal communicator, but it wasn’t enough to impact my enjoyment of the story.

The author’s strength isn’t as a writer (although she did a competent job with the book) but as a cat lover with a story to tell, and as an insightful person looking at the relationship between people and beloved pets.

I’d recommend this book to animal lovers willing to walk this path into illness and inspiration.  Consider buying this book as a Christmas present for someone in your life that appreciates the bond between a cat and her special person.

This is a review stop for Ingrid King and Pump Up Your Book Promotions.   Thank you to them for this opportunity (and the copy of the book).  Check out the other tour sites on Ingrid King’s blog!

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Posted by on December 8, 2009 in books, reviews, tour

 

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Tales for Delicious Girls by Barbora Knobova

Tales for Delicious GirlsMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

My rating may not quite be fair, since I think it is based largely on me not being the target audience for the book.  Tales for Delicious Girls was cute, funny and had entertaining stories. If it had been a straight memoir, I would have enjoyed it immensely.

Instead, she’s telling these stories as inspiration for dealing with dating and men. There are a few chapters that deal with female friendship and with loving yourself, but the primary focus is the ins and outs of new relationships.

I married my college sweetheart.  My high school and college dating life was much less interesting than what she described.  I’ve never really dated as an adult. I’ve never lived the life she describes, and neither have any of my friends.

I’m still stinging from one of the few references to a life like mine. It was in a chapter about men who are attracted to smart, intelligent, educated, independent women, but then are intimidated by those qualities; who don’t want an equal partnership. She refers to a man who dumps the wonderful woman described above, and marries a homemaker. He finds her boring, and has an affair with another smart, intelligent, educated, independent woman. What’s a smart, intelligent, educated, independent mom at home (like me) to take from this?

Most of the stories examine differences between men and women, or look at the role men play in a woman’s life.  A message about staying true to yourself comes through strongly.  Most of the stories are funny and well told.

I’ll pass my copy on to a single friend. I think she’ll really enjoy it, but I don’t think I’ll need to pick it up again.

This is a review stop for Barbora Knobova and Pump Up Your Book Promotions.   Thank you for the opportunity (and the copy of the book).  For other viewpoints, check out the other tour stops.  Other people had very different opinions of the book, and Barbora has guest posted at many sites, so you can get a taste of her writing and her viewpoint.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2009 in books, reviews, tour

 

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Review: A Note From An Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker

Note From an Old AcquaintanceMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A Note from an Old Acquaintance was a good read, and I enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard the story too many times before.

From Goodreads:

Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega- selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair.

Everything changes the morning an e- mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short- lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book- signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

The initial setup was very well done.  I was drawn into the story, and to Brian in particular.  I really liked Brian, both as a person I’d like to meet, and as a well drawn character.  I wanted to follow his story both in the initial 2006 section, and when we went back to 1991, when Joanna and Brian initially met.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Joanna.  I was intrigued by her in the 2006 part of the story, but once we went back to the start of their relationship, I didn’t understand her character and the decisions she made.

I did love the descriptions of her as an artist, and of her art.  These felt very real, and gave her character depth.

When the story started, I honestly didn’t know where it was going, and I liked that.  In the 1991 section, it didn’t take long to figure out exactly what was being set up.  Knowing what was coming didn’t make it unreadable– the book was well written enough that I enjoyed watching events unroll.

Still, I was relieved to return to 2006, where the book had been going so well.  Again, I wasn’t as clear where events were leading.

I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll just mention that there were two places I was afraid the story was going, and both of those possibilities were avoided.  Several other clichés weren’t.  The ending was weaker than I was hoping for.

Even with all that, I ended up satisfied with the book.

OA BookmarkI wanted to comment on the cover.  I really enjoyed it, which isn’t surprising– Bill Walker is a book cover designer  (check out his web page for information on his cover designs and on his other books).  I decided I needed a coordinating bookmark.  Here’s what I came up with.

I read this book as part of a blog tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotions.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in books, reviews, tour

 

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Review: Laced With Magic by Barbara Bretton

Laced with Magic My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book without reading the first book in the series, and now I regret it–not because I had any trouble with this book.  I didn’t. The author did a very good job of filling the reader in on everything that happened before.

Now I’m torn! On the one hand, I enjoyed this book so much that I’d like to read everything related to it. On the other hand, I feel like I already know about most of the events in the previous book.

From Barbara Bretton’s website:

Knit shop owner and sorcerer’s daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise—including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke’s ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie—a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.

Steffie’s spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free—free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn’t, Steffie won’t be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe’ll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.

This was a really fun read. I don’t have a lot of experience with paranormal romances– the only ones that I’ve read before are by Nora Roberts, who has written a little of every sort of romance, I think.   (Well, and then I’ve read Twilight…)

I think Laced With Magic is on the less edgy side of the paranormal genre, in some ways it is as much a supernatural cozy mystery as a romance. Only the fact that we know very early on who is the troublemaker keeps me from wanting to cast it that way. Yes, the book focuses on the relationship between Chloe and Luke, but their relationship feeds the plot, rather than the other way around.

I think a strength of this book is in the world it sets up– I enjoyed the details, from the yarn store to the vampires that have given up the old ways.

I enjoyed the characters (including the cat!). The plot was interesting. I liked how the chapters skipped back and forth between Chloe (lead character, sorceress), Luke (love interest, human) and Karen (Luke’s ex-wife, human, drawn into the story by a series of phone calls from their dead daughter).

I’ll be checking out more of Barbara Bretton’s books.   Since there are quite a few that sound interesting, I’ll probably try something other than the first book of this series, which I now wish I’d read before reading this one.

Barbara Bretton has the other tour stops on her website. I’ll particularly point out Booking with Bingo since she’s hosting  giveaway of the book and a tote bag with a surprise in it!

Thank you to Barbara Bretton and Pump Up Your Book Promotion for sending me this book and allowing me to participate in this blog tour.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2009 in books, reviews, tour

 

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