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A Cold and Broken Hallelujah (Long Beach Homicide)
A Cold and Broken Hallelujah (Long Beach Homicide)
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A crime novel with a message, September 9, 2014
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I was drawn to this book because of the title. Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah", is one of my favorites and I thought that the song might pop up somewhere in the book to justify the title, and it does. The author, Tyler Dilts, didn't just give a title to the book without meaning.

I loved this book. Main character, Danny Beckett, is a member of the Homicide division of the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach, CA. Danny has seen some grisly cases but the one he is called out for this time is one of the worst. A homeless man has been burned to death by three teenagers who are now in custody. Danny doesn't just throw himself into solving a case and putting people behind bars, but also takes an interest in the victims. Who they were, what their stories might have been and what the remains and their possessions say to him helps him to know the person not just as a victim who died a violent death, but as someone who had friends, family and dreams. How this particular victim died hits very close to home with Danny.

The author did a very good job of developing his characters and keeping the storyline flowing. I was caught from the first page and really cared about the characters, some of whom are homeless people who made their way into my heart. Other police personnel are interesting, human and supportive to Danny and to the story.

I liked this book so much that I downloaded the first and second books in the Long Beach Homicide series. "A Cold and Broken Hallelujah" is the third book, but it reads well as a stand alone novel, too. The other two are A King of Infinite Space (Long Beach Homicide) and The Pain Scale (Long Beach Homicide).

Dilts is an author that I will keep my eye on for new releases since I liked his style of writing and the message that comes across from Danny Beckett as he goes about his investigations. I'm glad I've found another author to look forward to reading.

Price: $13.22
40 used & new from $6.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice first solo album, September 6, 2014
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This review is from: Solitaire (Audio CD)
Charlotte Jaconelli was part of Jonathan and Charlotte, a male and female duo on Britain's Got Talent. With differing interests in music, they have each gone their separate ways and "Solitaire" is Charlotte's first solo album and a very good one.

Where Jonathan's choice is opera, Charlotte is more interested in musical theatre, so on this album there are songs from shows and two opera pieces. Her lovely soprano voice is maturing and getting stronger and it seems to be better than it was on the duo album "Perhaps Love." I enjoy listening to this album for the showcasing of Charlotte's voice and I also love the songs she chose for it. Most of them are slower songs and more subdued, but the last song, "I Could Have Danced All Night" is a real showstopper and a great ending to the album. Charlotte really hits her notes right on key, no matter how high or low they are. Her voice is versatile and lovely.

The album cover is pretty, too. It has a beautiful picture of Charlotte and brings the idea of solitary home with the title of "Solitaire" and the fact that she is wearing a diamond solitaire pendant and solitaire earrings. It's like she's saying, "I'm on my own and loving it."

Highly recommended.

Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle For Survival at the South Pole
Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle For Survival at the South Pole
by Jerri Nielsen
Edition: Paperback
344 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A story of finding home, friends and belonging, September 5, 2014
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I've always been interested in life and exploration at the Poles and in other cold places, so Dr. Jerri Nielson's story of her year as physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in 1999 was a perfect book for me. I remember when this story made the news. The book is detailed and tells the story much better than any news report could.

Dr. Jerri Nielsen was a bit dissatisfied and uncertain about her life as an emergency room physician in Cleveland, Ohio and needed a change. She happened to glance at an ad for a doctor needed at the South Pole for one year and made the decision to apply. She was off to one of the harshest places on Earth to be the physician for the people who wintered over at the South Pole's scientific station where temperatures reached -100F. It was there that she found the warmest and most important people and experiences of her life.

From her BioMed clinic, which was very outdated, she treated the ills of those who worked at the Pole and became one of the most-loved on the staff. The friends she met there became friends for life and the big machine mechanic,"Big" John Penney, became her dearest friend. I think that Dr. Nielsen found what she craved at home and that was a sense of belonging. She often felt that she never wanted to leave the Pole or her newly made friends there.

While there, Dr. Nielsen found a lump in her breast. It needed to be biopsied, so she did that herself
with the help of others there who she had trained to know some medical procedures in case she became too ill to function. Supplies were dropped off by plane in order for her to do the beginning chemotherapy along with the aid of a doctor back home and this was accomplished by satellites and computers allowing Dr. Kathy Miller to instruct the procedure for the chemo. After a while it became apparent that Dr. Nielsen had to be "rescued" from the Pole in order to get the care she needed for what had been determined as breast cancer. When the temperature reached -58F a plane could then land to evacuate her.
No planes can take off or land if the temperature is below -58F. When the polar winter was over she was evacuated.

I can easily read this book over again. It is written so that I felt that I was with Dr. Nielsen and the others at the Pole and could feel her love for all she did and had there. The book is very hard to put down and if not careful, one can zoom through it and miss a lot, so reading it more slowly is advised. There is a lot to this book that is unforgettable. Very highly recommended.

Perhaps Love
Perhaps Love
Price: $11.88
52 used & new from $6.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the finest, August 23, 2014
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This review is from: Perhaps Love (Audio CD)
I absolutely love this album. I'm disappointed that Jonathan and Charlotte have gone their separate ways, but considering the caliber of their voices, it is inevitable that these two highly talented young people with beautiful voices need their own solo careers. But on this album they sing together so well and complement each other's voices that it seems natural that they might go on forever as a duo. Their song choices are varied with opera and pop songs in the mix. I was very happy to hear that the orchestra keeps it a bit subdued so that there is no competition between it and the singers, and each can be heard for its beauty.

Where these two voices really shine is in their solo pieces. Jonathan's tenor voice soars and his education in classical music so far becomes apparent. Charlotte's lovely soprano voice rings crystal clear as she shows her range and ability.

Jonathan and Charlotte sing not only with breath and vocal chords but with their hearts and emotions which makes their music very real. I can't wait to hear more from these two fine talents.

by Dick Francis
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.09
49 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Dick Francis is the Best, August 16, 2014
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This review is from: Nerve (Mass Market Paperback)
"Nerve" by Dick Francis is one of his earlier novels and so far, from the ones I've read of his forty or so horse-racing mysteries, this one and "Banker" are my two favorites. In this one we meet a young steeplechase jockey named Rob Finn who has been on a winning streak. Rob comes from a family of sophisticated, accomplished and well-known musicians who tend to look down on Rob's chosen profession as a waste of time.

Although winning was nice for a while, coming in last on horses that are expected to do well becomes discouraging to Rob and some others who have lost their jobs as jockeys and their entire livelihoods. It just doesn't make sense. Working as hard as he can to get these horses to win just isn't working. Rob intends to find out why.

Written in the first person and narrated by Rob Finn, I love what I always love about Dick Francis's books. His characters are what really make the stories and I never fail to love the main protagonist. They are always likeable and someone I'd love to know and talk with in real life.
Dialogues are so natural that one can forget about reading a book and seem like part of the story and conversations. Francis takes a while to get to the heart of the mystery, but in doing so he introduces his characters and makes sure we know them well enough before putting them in the middle of a crisis. When the real elements of the mystery and plot do hit, the reader has no regrets over a few extra pages of getting to know the characters and essential parts of the setup.

I'm on my way to reading all of the Dick Francis novels and can't wait to read the next on my list. Highly recommended!

Caribbean Fire (Book 7 in the Manny Williams Thriller Series)
Caribbean Fire (Book 7 in the Manny Williams Thriller Series)
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manny's Vacation in Cozumel, August 12, 2014
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If I were Rick Murcer's neighbor, I would be afraid. Very afraid because of the diabolical plots that such a creative mind comes up with. We'd have to sleep in shifts. "Caribbean Fire" is the seventh book in the Manny Williams series by thriller writer, Rick Murcer, and it's enough to keep you up all night reading until the end to find out what happens.

This book was just up my alley because of my interest in the Maya, Aztec and Inca cultures. "Caribbean Fire" centers around the Maya but only when Manny and Chloe decide that it's time to take a much needed vacation, just the two of them, to Cozumel, Mexico. No work, just fun and time to enjoy each other without Manny having to run off to solve a crime. When Sophie and the rest of the crew find out about it, it isn't going to be just Manny and Chloe, but despite a little bit of disappointment on Manny and Chloe's part, they all set off for a great vacation time in Cozumel.

Manny's fame as a profiler is well-known, and he is asked by the Mexican police to spend just a few minutes with his team looking over a crime that has been committed and to reach a quick decision about a profile for a killer who is on the loose in the vacation spot. They do just that, and come up with more ideas than the Mexican police have thought about, and their resources are limited for several reasons. A little extra help doesn't hurt. It might just take a few more minutes away from vacation than what the BAU group had expected.

Back at home, Jen, Manny's daughter, Ian, the new baby that Chloe and Manny recently had, and Chloe's mother are all at Manny's home with the baby being cared for by Jen and Chloe's mom. For most of the time they are out of touch with Manny and have their own set of serious problems that they must handle in order to stay safe and to keep the baby from harm. The family dog helps, too. Going back and forth from Cozumel to Michigan keeps the suspense rolling since each chapter is a cliffhanger of its own. In Cozumel, the descriptions of ancient ruins and the jungle atmosphere allow the reader to step right into the scenery that Manny and the others view, and the beach isn't bad, either.

In "Caribbean Fire" a new character and member of the BAU is introduced. Belle seems to be an interesting and very smart new member, but I felt as I read that she may be hiding a secret or two. So far she seems to be integrating herself into the rest of the group pretty easily and is not intimidated by Sophie's actions or her driving.

This is a very enjoyable and often frightening, suspenseful book that I highly recommend. However, if you haven't read a Manny Williams thriller, I suggest starting with the first in the series and read them all. They're that good!

Thread Heaven - Protectant and Conditioner
Thread Heaven - Protectant and Conditioner
Offered by SewNotRetail
Price: $4.19
14 used & new from $2.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and useful product for stitchers, August 1, 2014
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Somewhere in my house is a whole bunch of little blue squares of Thread Heaven that marched away and went AWOL. When I go to work on a cross-stitch project I can never find it, and I'm always sure it's at the bottom of my stitching tote. However, it never is there. Due to the good price and the excellent uses for this product, I had to order yet another one. Our needlework shop closed long ago, so there went that.

Thread Heaven is wonderful to run embroidery floss through either before or after you've threaded your needle. It makes threading easier. It coats the floss with a light covering of a waxy substance and stitches lay nice and flat and even. It protects the floss and conditions it. If my needle seems to be having trouble getting through the fabric, I dip it in Thread Heaven and it's as smooth as can be.

It truly does make stitching more "heavenly.".

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 -- 1 oz / 30 ml
Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 -- 1 oz / 30 ml
Offered by Mayflower International LLC
Price: $6.75
10 used & new from $1.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for individual resale, August 1, 2014
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I'm sorry to have to give this product two stars because it is a product I've used several times before and it works well. However, my observation and the seller are mainly at fault here because I didn't realize that the 1 ounce size was going to say on the back, "Not for individual resale." It is either a part of a free gift or part of a special gift that can be purchased at certain times of the year and I paid $6.99 for it. I thought that the larger size was a little pricey for this two-week budget, so I went for the smaller size.

The product does your hands good, though. As for the actual product itself, I'd give it 5 stars. It does lighten any dark spots on the top of the hands and is a good moisturizer. Free shipping was good, too, but I would not recommend buying the 1 ounce size.

by Erica Spindler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
280 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller!!, July 29, 2014
This review is from: Copycat (Mass Market Paperback)
Erica Spindler's "Copycat" is indeed a thriller that sits you on the edge of your seat and demands that you read it either in one or two sittings.
Fast-paced, scary with a serial killer theme, "Copycat" makes you wonder if someone is watching as you read.

Kitt Lundgren is a recovering alcoholic police detective whose own daughter died five years ago of leukemia at the same time her marriage to Joe Lundgren was falling apart with the stress of working on a case of a serial killer who murdered three ten-year-old girls, posing them as his "little angels" complete with pink lip gloss. Now the killer is back and is calling Kitt to let her know he's back, but that the new killings are just a copycat killer. Without her former partner, a new detective comes in to be Kitt's partner, M.C. Riggio, a younger woman who is from a large Italian family where her mother rules the roost. Neither Kitt nor M.C. totally trusts each other as they go through the chilling steps to find this killer as fast as possible to stop the killings.

Erica Spindler has done an excellent job of writing this mystery/thriller/romance. The characters came alive for me and were well-developed and the storyline also took shape well, but there are a lot of red herrings to get by. I really liked Kitt because when she was about to throw her hands in the air, throw in the towel and give up, she always found the strength to keep going, no matter how exhausted or how much of a failure she felt at that moment.

I will definitely be reading more of this author's books. Generally I don't read romance, but it doesn't take over the story. There is just enough to make the story more interesting and the ending of this thriller is a real shocker--another thing I loved about it. Any thriller/suspense reader should love this book.

The Hypnotist's Love Story: A Novel
The Hypnotist's Love Story: A Novel
by Liane Moriarty
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.67
79 used & new from $2.71

5.0 out of 5 stars A new name on favorite authors list, July 23, 2014
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After enjoying "The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty so much, I ordered a copy of "The Hypnotist's Love Story." The title is intriguing enough, but the book is a gem. Ellen O'Farrell is not so far out of a relationship with former boyfriend, Jon, but she has met Patrick, a very nice man who seems to be grounded, employed and nice-enough-looking. He has a problem, though, and that is that his former girlfriend, Saskia, is stalking him. She turns up everywhere that he goes and now everywhere that Ellen and Patrick go. Saskia's story is told in first person alternating with Ellen's story, and Saskia's is very interesting to the point that the author made me understand and even like her, but in a few scenes Saskia becomes a real annoyance, worthy of a call to the police. Patrick fiddles while Rome burns getting a restraining order against Saskia, though.

I was particularly intrigued by the scenes in Ellen's office where she did her hynotherapy with her clients. She has her office in a quirky beach house in Australia that her grandparents left her, and I found the hypnotherapy sessions to be fascinating. It was all very believable and well-researched by Moriarty. The setting by the ocean is perfect and Ellen is sometimes naive, but she is an interesting character that I really liked. Ellen kept her cool in some situations with her mother where I never would have kept mine. I found the mother and the mother's friends to be the characters I liked the least and cared about the least.

Overall, I loved this book and have ordered two more of Liane Moriarty's books. In the two I've read so far, there seems to be a theme of family, love and redemption running throughout and that I like. A hard to put down book!

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