November 30, 2010

Giveaway: Unforgivable by Laura Griffin



One of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US 
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher

WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.
Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.

Review: Unforgivable by Laura Griffin


TRACING KILLERS IS MIA VOSS’S BUSINESS.
AND HER WORK JUST GOT PERSONAL.

At first, Mia Voss thinks it’s just bad luck when her already lousy day ends with a carjacking. But what seems like a random incident is followed by another sinister episode. A DNA expert, Mia has made it her mission to put away vicious criminals. Suddenly, she’s become the target of one. And the only way to protect the people she loves most is to deliberately destroy her reputation and risk letting a killer walk free.

Once, Mia trusted Detective Ric Santos. That was before Ric let his turbulent past ruin his chances with Mia, the sexiest, most intriguing woman he’s ever met. But he can tell when she’s lying—and when she’s scared. The key to catching a sadistic madman lies within a long-buried cold case that has haunted Mia for years. Only she can uncover the truth, but first, Ric will have to get her to entrust him with her secrets . . . and her life.
From Laura's website

I'm a sucker for a good detective story and Laura knows how to keep my interest.  Her books always have the right amount of romance and suspense.  I'm addicted to the Tracers series and Unforgivable is my favorite so far.  I can't wait to see what happens next!  Five stars.

Tracers
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
November 30, 2010
416 pages
$7.99 US

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Read an excerpt



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



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Review: Wolf Fever by Terry Spear


She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice...

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her.

Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders...

Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature-no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late...

From Amazon

I love werewolves and I love Terry Spear.  Need I say more?  Her books are always fun and never disappoint.  The plot was intense and the virus had me on the edge of my seat.  Carol and Ryan's characters made the story even better.  Four stars!




Sourcebooks, Incorporated
9781402237522
December 1, 2010
416 pages
$7.99 US

Visit Terry's website & blog
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



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Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto


Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great enough power against evil?

From Barnes & Noble

My first thought after finishing this book was, woah! I was captivated at the start and the book just kept getting better and better. I was stunned when I found out that Alexandra was 14-years-old when her first book was published. If you are a fan of the Young Adult genre, you HAVE to read Halo. It's truly a work of art. Five stars!



Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Feiwel & Friends
9780312656263
August 31, 2010
496 pages
$16.99 US

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


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Giveaway: Critical Condition: A Novel (Angels of Mercy) by CJ Lyons




2 of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US 
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher

WINNER'S HAVE BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.
Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.


Review: Critical Condition: A Novel (Angels of Mercy) by CJ Lyons



In the middle of a New Year's Eve blizzard, the staff and patients of Angels of Mercy Hospital are held hostage by armed gunmen. Their target is Dr. Gina Freeman, who is holding vigil over her wounded fiancé, Detective Jerry Boyle. Stranded outside the hospital is ER physician Linda Fiore, whose past holds the secret the hitmen are willing to kill for. With the cold-blooded killers in control, no one may live to see the New Year.
From Barnes & Noble

I enjoyed this book so much!  It was like watching an extremely in-depth episode of Grey's Anatomy - which is one of my favorite shows.  I loved CJ's writing and she kept me intrigued from start to finish.  The characters are real and I'm now addicted to this series.  Five stars!

Angels of Mercy Series
Penguin Group (USA)
November 30, 2010
304 pages
$7.99 US

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Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


November 29, 2010

Review: Coming Back (Sharon Mccone Mysteries) by Marcia Muller


In Locked In, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone was shot in the head and suffered from locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but with an alert, conscious mind. Now, as Sharon struggles to regain control over her body, she wants everything to go back to normal, but realizes that it may not be possible to return to her old life. Meanwhile, Sharon's relationships are suffering. Her husband is impatient with her refusal to accept help and some of her colleagues doubt her abilities after the accident.
 

From Marcia's website

Coming Back is the first book of Marcia's that I've read and I'm hooked!  Sharon is a fantastic character and Marcia's writing is addictive.  I've added her to my favorite authors list and now I need to go back and read the rest of this series.  I would give this book five stars. 

Sharon McCone Series #27
Grand Central Publishing
October 28, 2010
288 pages
$24.99 US

Visit Marcia's website



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Review: A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger's Guide


True Blood, Alan Ball’s critically acclaimed television adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ bestselling Southern Vampire mysteries, is HBO’s most-watched show since The Sopranos, averaging over 12 million viewers an episode in its second season. Thanks to its large, dedicated fanbase, it won the People’s Choice “Favorite TV Obsession” award in early 2010.

A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger’s Guide gives those fans something to savor between episodes—and whets their appetite for more. Covering the show’s first two seasons and released just in time for the third (with real-time online updates from the book’s contributors throughout season three), the book includes pieces on:

• Vampire Bill’s season 2 slide from hot to not
• Sookie’s mind-reading talents as a critique of our oversharing Facebook culture
• What a Louisiana setting adds to the traditional vampire myth
• Why the television series had to differ from the books (co-written by the Southern Vampire mysteries’ editor Ginjer Buchanan)
• And much more, from shapeshifters to maenads to Merlotte’s

A Taste of True Blood also includes a quick reference guide to the show’s first two seasons.

From Barnes & Noble

I'm a True Blood fanatic and this is a must have for any fan.  I enjoyed reading A Taste of True Blood because it got to the heart and soul of the show.  It made me want to watch the seasons again because all of the things I learned, so I'll probably do that soon.  This would be the perfect gift for your die-hard True Blood pals.

BenBella Books, Inc.
9781935251965
June 29, 2010
224 pages
$14.95 US

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


Blog Tour: Interview With Author Anjuelle Floyd

1. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?


2.  Who has been your biggest inspiration?


3. How do you create the characters in your books?  Are they based on people you know?


4. What is the one book you think everyone should read?


5. If you weren’t a writer, what be your profession?


6. If you could trade places with anyone in the world, past or present, real or fiction, who would it be and why?


7 . If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?


8. What is your favorite movie of all time?

9. What is the one thing that you want all your fans to know?


10. If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?


11. If you could use a time machine, would you go to the past or check out the future?


Thank you so much Anjuelle!


Visit Anjuelle's website
Add her as a friend on Facebook
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Disclosure:  I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.

Giveaway: The Gateway by Robert Sidell



3 of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US and Canada

THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND CONTACTED.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

You MUST leave a comment on my review.  It doesn't need to be a long drawn out comment, anything with do.

**Must leave an email address in comment or must be visible in blogger profile**

Giveaway ends: 12/13/2010

Winners will be notified via email.  The winners will have 48 hours to send me their mailing info or another winner will be chosen.

Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.




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Review: Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil




Discover the nature of Evil... and how to kick its butt!

These days you can't swing an undead lycanthrope without hitting a Minion of Evil. They're everywhere—TV, film, the basement...right behind you! It's never been more important to know what you can do to keep them at bay. Garlic? silver bullets? holy water? torch-wielding mob? 

From today's foremost experts on nightmares-come-to-life, this indispensible guide identifies and describes mankind's enemies—supernatural beasts, ghosts, vampires, serial killers, etc.—and unearths effective time-proven responses to each horrific threat. 

Separate fact from fiction, the deadly from the merely creepy. 

Learn when to stand your ground and when to run screaming for your life. 

Determine which monster-specific heroes to call and their likelihood of success. 

Consider your own potential as a Champion for Good, Conqueror of the Damned. 

Whether we're talking ancient vampire hunters or modern-day FBI profilers, it's good to know someone's got your back in the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. And this book, with over fifty illustrations, as well as commentary from luminaries like filmmaker John Carpenter, author Peter Straub, and the legendary Stan Lee, provides all the information and reassurance you need to sleep soundly at night. Just not too soundly. 

With 8 pages of color art .
From Barnes & Noble



I'm addicted to all things paranormal.  I just can't help myself.  When I received an email from Janice asking if I would like to review her book, I was honored!  I'm really glad that I agreed because reading Wanted Undead or Alive made for a perfect afternoon.  The interviews with some of today's hottest authors were amazing and the illustrations were magnificent.  Overall, this is one of my favorite books ever.  Go get a copy and then tell me what you think.



Kensington Publishing Corporation
September 1, 2010
320 pages
$16.95 US

Janice Gable Bashman has written for THE BIG THRILL, NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER’S MARKET, THE WRITER, WILD RIVER REVIEW, and many others. Her blog and website are  http://www.janicegablebashman.com. Look for her on Facebook, Goodreads, Shelfari and Twitter.


Read a Q & A here.


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



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Interview With Author Janice Bashman


When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

JANICE GABLE BASHMAN: Growing up, I loved going to the library and checking out piles of books to read. Although I imagined that someday I’d write one, I didn’t write outside of assignments for school until about four years ago when I began writing articles and short stories. Since then I’ve had many pieces published in both local and national markets. Most recently, my book, WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil (co-authored with Jonathan Maberry), was published. The book deals with the struggle of good vs evil in film, comics, pop culture, world myth, literature, and the real world. Everything from vampire slayers to paranormal investigators to FBI serial-killer profilers. It includes interviews with folks like Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Laurell K. Hamilton, L.A. Banks, Stan Lee, Mike Mignola, John Carpenter, Peter Straub, and many more; and the book is fully illustrated by top horror, comics & fantasy artists.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

BASHMAN: I am inspired every day by real-life ordinary people who strive to make our world a better place, people who I consider the heroes of this world. Teachers inspire me because they dedicate their lives to helping children. Law enforcement personnel, firemen, and those in the military inspire me because they risk their lives to save ours. Writers who have inspired me include Shirley Jackson, Walter Mosley, Maya Angelou, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, and so many others.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

BASHMAN: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. It’s a coming-of-age story that explores the issues of prejudice and fighting for justice during the 1930’s, issues that are very much alive and as prevalent today as they were when the book was written.

If you weren’t a writer, what would be your profession?

BASHMAN: I love creating, so it would either be something in the film, television or photography industries.

If you could trade places with anyone in the world, past or present, real or fiction, who would it be and why?

BASHMAN: That’s a hard one—there are so many good people to choose from and I’m not really sure I could or would want to pick one. I think I’d like to infuse myself with the intellect of Einstein, the creativity of a child, and the good health and longevity of the people of Okinawa, Japan.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three things, what would they be?

BASHMAN: An e-reader filled with books and an endless supply of energy to power it, my family, and food.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

BASHMAN: I’m going to cheat a little here and pick two: PLATOON and BIG. PLATOON (written and directed by Oliver Stone) is one of my favorites because of its brilliant portrayal of the horrors of war and the loss of innocence. BIG (directed by Penny Marshall and starring Tom Hanks) is also a favorite because it examines the innocence and excitement for life that is often attributed to youth but is found within all of us.

What is the one thing you want all your fans to know?

BASHMAN: I love writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. A first draft. A third draft. Or a fourth. There is so material out there to draw from, and it’s exciting to frame it in a way that resonates with readers.

If you could invite five people to dinner, who would they be and why?

BASHMAN: Assuming they would have to be alive and people I can’t normally invite to dinner, my five people would be: Alan Alda (I’ve always been a big fan of his writing, directing, and acting), Steven Spielberg (he’s a fantastic director whose work has influenced nearly everyone and whose work I love), Barbra Streisand (she’s one of my favorite singers, and I’ve always wanted to hear her perform live—maybe I’d get lucky and she’d invite me to a concert), Sir David Attenborough (he’s brought alive the spectacular world of nature to so many through his documentary filmmaking), and Robin Williams (I can’t imagine a dinner party without laughter, and he’s sure to bring some natural talent in that department with him).

If you could use a time machine, would you go to the past or check out the future?

BASHMAN: Although the past is enticing, I’d defiantly have to check out the future since I have no idea what it holds. The past can be understood to some extent through film, photography, the written word, and any other forms of historical preservation. The future, on the other, is fresh and new and exciting...and unknown. I’d be very curious to see what it holds for the world.

Janice Gable Bashman has written for THE BIG THRILL, NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER’S MARKET, THE WRITER, WILD RIVER REVIEW, and many others. Her blog and website are  http://www.janicegablebashman.com. Look for her on Facebook, Goodreads, Shelfari and Twitter.

Thank you so much Janice!



Disclosure:  I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.


November 26, 2010

Blog Tour Review: The 19th Element: A James Becker Nuclear Thriller by John Betcher


 Al Qaeda plans to attack Minnesota’s Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant as a means to return the down-trodden terrorist organization to international prominence.


In addition to their own devoted forces, the terrorists enlist some homegrown anarchists, and a Three Mile Island survivor with a pathological vendetta against the nuclear establishment, to assist in the assault.

James “Beck” Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota – just six miles down the Mississippi from the Prairie River nuclear facility.

Possessing wisdom born of experience, Beck suspects the terrorists’ intentions as soon as the body of a university professor turns up on the Mississippi shore – the clear victim of foul play.

He recognizes connections between seemingly unrelated incidents – the murdered agronomy professor, a missing lab assistant, an international cell call, a stolen fertilizer truck – but can’t piece it together in enough detail to convince government authorities that a larger threat exists.  Only his American Indian friend, “Bull,” will help Beck defuse the threat.

So it’s Beck and Bull versus international terror.

May the better men win.

The 19th Element is an heart-pounding, pure adrenaline rush.  I actually felt exhausted after reading it.  This is probably one of the highest compliments that I could ever give.  When I get so wrapped up in a book that I feel like I'm the main character, I know that I've read a winner!  I loved this book!

CreateSpace
June 23, 2010
328 pages
$17.95 US

Visit John's website



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

November 24, 2010

Giveaway: Thunder and Ashes by Z.A. Recht



2 of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US 
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher

WINNER'S HAVE BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.

Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.



Review: Thunder and Ashes by Z.A. Recht



A LOT CAN CHANGE IN THREE MONTHS:
Wars can be decided, nations can be forged...or entire species can br brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar virus has swept the face of the planet. infecting billions. It hosts rampage; its victims don't die, but are reborn as cannibalistic shamblers. 

SCATTERED ACROSS THE WORLD, EMBATTLED GROUPS HAVE PERSEVERED.
For some, survival is the pinnacle of achievement. Other hoard goods and weapons. And still others leverage power over the remnants of humanity with a mysterious cure. Francis Sherman and Anna Demilio want only a vaccine, but to find it they must cross a ravaged landscape of the infected and the lawless living. 

THE BULK OF THE STORM HAS PASSED,
leaving echoing thunder and softly drifting ashes. But for the survivors, the peril remains, and the search for a cure is just the beginning...
From Barnes & Noble


I love a good zombie read!  I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of this book and I couldn't help but hope for a cure.  If you're a fan of Dawn of the Dead or other horror movies, you'll enjoy Thunder & Ashes.  I give it four stars.

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
November 23, 2010
304 pages
$15.00 US



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


Giveaway: One Night in Scotland (Hurst Amulet) by Karen Hawkins



2 of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US 
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher

WINNER'S HAVE BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.
Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.



Blog Tour Review: One Night in Scotland (Hurst Amulet) by Karen Hawkins


New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins begins a sparkling new series with this thrilling tale of a desperate beauty on an urgent quest, a dark earl scarred by his beastly past—and the ancient treasure that binds their fates. 

A mysterious abductor . . . Someone is holding her brother prisoner in exchange for a gold-and-onyx box covered in mysterious runes, so Mary Hurst boldly sets out from the family vicarage to find the priceless artifact. But the man who possesses it, Angus Hay, the Earl of Erroll, is less than sympathetic to her plight. 

A forbidding stranger . . . Himself a prisoner of his dark past, Angus refuses to yield the box—or allow Mary to leave! Suspicious of the alluring lass’s mission, he vows to wrest a confession from her, but unearths a fiery temper and a will as strong as his own. 

An unbreakable curse . . . Passion flares between them, but now there is more at stake: an unknown enemy is hunting down the precious box, and will stop at nothing. Risking all for love, Angus must solve the mystery behind the runes . . . and trust the only woman who can awaken his forgotten heart.
From Barnes & Noble

One Night In Scotland got me going in all the right ways!  I was swept off my feet and entered the Mary's world.  It was depressing when the book was over and I had to go back to real life.  Romance lovers everywhere will swoon for Angus - but hands off!  He's mine!  Five stars, easy:)

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
November 23, 2010
368 pages
$7.99 US

Visit Karen's website



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



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Review: -able by Scott Ginsberg


Scott Ginsberg is celebrating his tenth anniversary. He’s been wearing a nametag for ten years in a row. He has never taken it off. That’s right, ten years = three thousand, six hundred and fifty days = 87,600 hours = 5 million two hundred fifty six thousand minutes = 31 million 531 thousand seconds and counting. He’s the world record holder. He has even tattooed his nametag on his chest and is the only person in the world who has made a career out of wearing a nametag.

Scott developed the nametag profession as a way to teach people how to overcome their shyness and the awkwardness of making that first introduction. In the process, he has become the authority on how to be approachable and turn being approachable into being profitable.

And now he’s on a new mission to see if he can help jumpstart the whole of humanity to evolve to a whole new realm of human ability.

“-able”, is the title of his newest book. In it you will find 35 strategies for increasing the probability of success in business and in life including:

How to be more findable than a smile at a nudist colony

How to be more referable than an attorney hoped up on sodium pentothal

How to be more sellable than a case of Coors Light at a Colorado Rockies tailgate party.

And more advance-able, more book-able, more brand-able, more buzz-able, more callback-able, sough-after-able and unstop-able in everything you are trying to achieve in life, and much more.

Scott Ginsberg is a human dynamo and what he’s is trying to do is sell you on his theory of the universe, which is this:

The only thing in life that you have control over is yourself, and that you can’t make anything happen- but you can greatly increase the probability of that thing happening … by making yourself more –able.

In –able, Scott Ginsberg offers up a collection of life learned practices for advancing things along with wit and humor and wisdom that will have your head spinning in no time flat. Here’s a sample:

1.     Ideas are free; execution is priceless. Anybody can wear a nametag everybody. But not anyone can leverage a simple idea into a six-figure enterprise. Lesson learned: Your biggest advantage is when nobody can keep up with you. You have to be dangerously prolific. And refuse to slow down long enough for anyone to catch up. That’s how you out-execute the competition. And here’s how: First, executional velocity. Take action quickly.  Second, executional volume: Take action prodigiously. Third, executional value: Take action exquisitely. Finally, executional vitality: Take action consistently. Are you an idea person or an execution person?

2.     Never be stopped by not knowing how. Accept that the planets will never be aligned. Don’t wait until everything’s perfect. Don’t wait until you’re experienced enough. Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Don’t wait for overwhelming evidence to trust yourself. Heighten your impatience; enter into the heart of action and jump off the high board hoping there’s water below. Otherwise procrastination – the redneck second cousin of patience – will rob you of the motivation you need to carry in the cavalry charge. Finished is the new perfect.  How will you leverage impatience as fuel for your motivation?

3.     Ambition without focus is bankruptcy. How you spend your day – literally, hour by hour – will determine how much money you make, how happy you are, how healthy you are and how successful you become. Especially if you’re like and you don’t have a real job. You almost have to force yourself to create a typical day. Otherwise you get cabin fever and your time not only manages you, it drives you insane. I’m not suggesting you choreograph every waking hour of your life. The challenge is designing a typical day for you, which enforces (some) structure and predictability, while still leaving room for spontaneity and playfulness. As long as you constantly ask yourself if what you’re doing – in this moment – is consistent with your number one goal. Have you pictured your ideal day yet?

4.     Anonymity is biggest barrier to success. I wear a nametag 24-7.  I literally have zero anonymity whatsoever. I’m not suggesting you do the same. In fact, I strongly suggest you do not wear a nametag 24-7. About a fourth of the time, it’s a flat-out pain in the ass. But consider the adverse relationship between anonymity and profitability. A good start would be to throw away your marketing plan and begin writing a visibility plan. Because it’s not who you know – it’s not who knows you – and, whose life is significantly better because they know you. How are you making people aware of you?

5.     Beware of the over-commitment trap. It’s like owning a truck: The week you buy it, everyone and their mother needs help moving. And you don’t want to feel like a bad friend, so you allow yourself become entangled in other people’s pointless wars. No wonder you never execute. You haven’t learned to be respectfully discerning about whom you give permission participate in your life. Ask these filtering questions: Is this person asking me to create a future that I’m going to feel obligated to be a part of? Is the level of help this person is asking me to offer commensurate with the type of relationship I have with them? If you don’t set healthy boundaries for yourself, other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And then they will tell all their little friends that it’s okay to do the same. All because you never set a precedent of time valuation. Are you sacrificing your life by spending too much time being everybody else’s dream machine?

6.     Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. Every day. That’s the two-word secret to executing anything. And it shouldn’t even have to be a secret, but I guess not everyone has grasped this concept yet. For example, when I talk to fellow authors, they’re always “working on their next book.” But when I ask them the only question that matters – “What did you write today?” – they fumble to give me an answer. Which means they’re not consistent. Which means they’re not executing. Which means they are going to be buried with their book still inside them. Tragic. On the other hand, when I talk to writers who discipline themselves to stick to their writing schedule – every day – the conversation changes. People actually carry out their ideas. People actually write amazing books. And they also tend to be cooler people to talk to. Not only is consistency the engine of exquisite execution, it’s also the conduit of character. There is no royal road to greatness except by constantly plugging, every day. What action have you taken on your idea, today?

7.     Strike a passionate pose. Executing without passion is nothing but a trash talker in drag. However, here are a few thoughts about passion that you’ve probably never considered. Passion without purpose is pointless. Otherwise your passion becomes nothing but beautiful blazing fire that burns you and everyone you touch. Also, ask yourself the following questions to gauge the relevancy of your passion: Is your passion cool, but irrelevant to the marketplace? Is your passion inherently interesting, but difficult to sell? Is your passion intrinsically appealing, but something you suck at? Keep these thoughts in your mind and you’ll prevent striking a passionate pose that nobody notices. Are you currently operating out of your passion in the most profitable, healthy way?

8.     Hacking isn’t cheating. In the game of life, you have a few options: Change the game so there are no rules. Change the rules so you can win at your own game. Play the game but become the exception to every rule. And the question to ask when faced with one of these “rules” is: “Can this rule be ignored, modified or changed?” By doing so, you give yourself permission to refuse to accept your current circumstances. This opens the floodgates to diligent work on creating a new set of circumstances. Lean the rules. Learn which of the rules are irrelevant. What could you do that is the exact opposite of everyone?

9.     Get comfortable with the risk of failure. If you screw up early enough, quickly enough and quietly enough – then make a conscious effort to extract lessons learned from those biffs – only a few people will notice. That’s why mistake is the mentor of man. The challenge is attending to your failures with a mindset of personal growth, life-long learning and never-ending improvement. Do this, and disappointment will slowly dissipate. Do this, and discomfort will become less threatening. Then, all you have to do is ask the two big questions: Why did the universe want me to make this mistake? What would I have to learn about this mistake to make it no longer a mistake? Remember: Humans aren’t averse to risk – they’re averse to loss, which is the result of risk. What can you lose today?

10.  Make a public and purposeful choice to play big. I started wearing a nametag twenty-four seven in 2000. I started my career as a writer, speaker and entrepreneur in 2002. But my company didn’t start to see profit until 2005. Why?  Well, success does take time. You’d be hard pressed to find a wealthy entrepreneur to disprove that argument. But what’s really spooky is that the year I finally started making real money – and, more importantly, making real meaning in the universe – was the same year I finally sacked up and got the nametag tattooed on my chest. When you publicize your willingness to commit with both feet – that is, to commit enough so you can’t turn back – providence will move to orchestrate the perfect conditions. At that point, executing what matters will be an unavoidable result. And people won’t just pay attention – they’ll pay money. Is your commitment unquestionable?


Scott's book made me want to go out and do all the things I've been wanting to do.  It's a great confidence builder because of his positive attitude.  After reading a little of -able, I realized that I had actually taken a lot of his suggestions without even realizing it.  You can use this book any way you want, it can help with things like relationships, money, happiness, anything really.  This is probably one of my favorite self-help books ever.   

-able by Scott Ginsberg
Hello, My Name is Scott
978-078-972-6497-8-0
206 pages
$19.95 US

Visit Scott's website
 


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



Interview With Author Scott Ginsberg



When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was seven years old. There was never a question. And there was never a "going to be," only an "already was." I've never not been a writer.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Three people come to mind. First, my parents. My life is a thank you in perpetuity to them. Second, my mentors. They've taught me everything I know. Last, people I meet each day. They fuel me with purpose to matter.

How do you create the characters in your books?  Are they based on people you know?
There is only one character in my books: Me. I write from experience. I make no bones about. And I write books as if I'm writing a letter to myself. I do this because I need to learn the material and because it assures I know my audience.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?
The War of Art is the single most important book on creativity in the history of time.

If you weren’t a writer, what be your profession?
Yoga instructor, therapist or rock star.

If you could trade places with anyone in the world, past or present, real or fiction, who would it be and why?
I want to be John Mayer for one day. The dude is a brilliant guitarist, has what appears to be a great life and does whatever he wants artistically.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
Journal. Ipod. Guitar.

What is your favorite movie of all time?
Shawshank.

What is the one thing that you want all your fans to know?
I have no intention of stopping. Ever. I will write until I die, possibly after I die.

If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?
Adam Duritz - best songwriter alive.
Robbin Williams - it would just be so entertaining
Lao Tzu - huge fan of his philosophy.
My girlfriend - her laugh makes my heart sing
Bill Jenkins - one of my mentors who is always right about everything


Visit Scott's website


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Giveaway: Suck On This Year: LYFAO @ 140 Characters or Less



One of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US 
Cannot mail to a P.O. Box
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher

WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.
Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Review: Suck On This Year: LYFAO @ 140 Characters or Less


One of America's most original and biting comic satirists, Denis Leary turns his irreverent eye and scathing humor on everything you love and cherish and now he does it with a hilarious, illustrated collection of Tweets! Like a quiver fill of arrows, Suck On This Year s barbs will hit you where it hurts and you ll love it.
From Barnes & Noble

I laughed so hard while reading this book that I literally fell to the floor.  There is no way to prepare you for Suck On This Year.  Fans of Denis Leary are in for a real treat.  I'm saving this book for my dad for Christmas, I'm sure he'll love it!




You can find Denis online:
   
Penguin Group (USA)
December 2, 2010
112 pages
$18.00 US

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


ZooBorns!: Zoo Babies from Around the World

Pulled from the pages of the wildly popular ZooBorns blog, this picture book presents the most charming critters ever: baby animals, ranging from the adorable to the zany! Featuring full-color photographs on every page and a cozy text perfect for reading aloud, this book is bound to become a must-have for animal lovers of all ages.
From Barnes & Noble

As I was looking through this book, I wanted to jump in the pages and hold these amazing creatures.  The gorgeous scenery and playful baby animals made for a very inviting afternoon.  If you're looking for the perfect gift for an animal lover, this is it.

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
October 19, 2010
40 pages
$12.99 US



Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Review: ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman & Chris Eastland


ZooBorns showcases the newest and cutest animal babies from accredited zoos and aquariums around the world. With interesting animal facts and background stories on the featured babies, ZooBorns illustrates the connections between zoo births and conservation initiatives in the wild.
From Barnes & Noble

As an animal lover, I have a slight obsession with baby animals.  I loved the information this book contained and the pictures were absolutely adorable!  This would make a great gift for children or adults.

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
November 2, 2010
145 pages
$9.99 US

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.


Review: Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera


Everything I Never Wanted to Be is the true story of a family’s battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Dina’s grandfather and father were alcoholics. Her grandmother was a pill addict. Dina is an alcoholic and pill addict, and all three of her daughters struggle with alcohol and drug addiction—including her youngest daughter, who started using heroin at age fourteen. Dina’s household also includes her husband and his unemployed identical twin, her mother who has Parkinson’s Disease, and her grandson who has cerebral palsy. On top of all that, Dina is trying to make it as a stand-up comic and author so she can quit her crummy job as a grocery store clerk. Through it all, Dina does her best to hold her family together, keep her faith, and maintain her sense of humor. 


Everything I Never Wanted to Be includes a number of horrific events. But in the end, it is an uplifting story with valuable lessons for parents and teens alike, and a strong message about the need to address the epidemic of teen drug addiction in our nation.

It’s a book that can change behavior and save lives—and make you laugh along the way.
From Pump Up Your Book!'s website

Everything I Never Wanted to Be is an emotionally charged, heartfelt work of art that will change your life forever.  Dina deserves a round of applause for her courage and willingness to share her story and help others.  I would highly, highly recommend this book to any reader.

Dream of Things
978-0-9825794-3-5
October 1, 2010
216 pages
$14.95 US 

Visit Dina's website and the book website.





Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.



November 23, 2010

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Giveaway: The Brave by Nicholas Evans


"There's little love in eight-year-old Tom Bedford's life. His parents are old and remote, and the boarding school they've sent him to bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. The only comfort he gets is from his fantasy world of cowboys and Indians. But when his sister, Diane, a rising star of stage and screen, falls in love with one of his idols, the suave TV cowboy Ray Montane, Tom's existence is transformed. They move to Hollywood and all his dreams seem to come true. Soon, however, the sinister side of Tinseltown casts its shadow and a shocking act of violence changes their lives forever." "What happened all those years ago remains a secret that corrodes Tom's life and wrecks his marriage. Only when his estranged son, a US Marine, is charged with murder do the events resurface, forcing Tom to confront his demons. As he struggles to save his son's life, he will learn the true meaning of bravery." Powerfully written and intensely moving, The Brave traces the legacy of violence behind the myth of the American West and explores our quest for love and identity, the fallibility of heroes and the devastating effects of family secrets.
From Barnes & Noble

One of my readers will win a copy of this book
Open to residents of the US and Canada
Cannot mail to a P.O. Box
The book(s) will be mailed out by the publisher


WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN & NOTIFIED.
Official Rules - *No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. *Entry instructions, additional eligibility requirements, prize information listed on individual giveaway posts. By submitting an entry, entrants agree to these rules and agree that they are eligible to enter.  The sponsor is responsible for sending the giveaway items.


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided for free.




HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Review: Sports Illustrated Kids All Access: Your Pass to Behind the Scenes Photos of Athletes, Locker Rooms, and More





The editors of Sports Illustrated Kids give you an all access pass to the world of sports...literally. Filled with pages of clear acetate, this interactive book gives readers a chance to peel away the layers, revealing what's inside a NASCAR hauler, the layers of a football player's uniform, and behind the doors of a baseball clubhouse. In addition, this 48-page book is packed with little-known facts and big, exciting photos to provide an in-depth and unique look into the coolest things in sports. Through this book, you're guaranteed to go to places in the world of sports that you've never been before.
From Barnes & Noble

This book is filled with interesting facts and great pictures.  The best part is that it's an interactive book, so you can see first-hand what goes into the sport you love so much.  Sports Illustrated Kids: All Access would make the perfect gift for the sports-obsessed teen or young adult in your life. 

Time, Incorporated Home Entertainment
October 26, 2010
48 pages
$19.95 US


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you make a purchase using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.