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Genre: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Crime Thriller

Synopsis: Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson - until a client with a rather unusual hobby - painting the private parts of his female liaisons - reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favorite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt. 

The Congressman's daughter is not the only one interested in the map: yakuza, bent cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels. 

So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.   

 

Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before everyone else does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption.

 

Rating: 5 stars *****

My thoughts:

 

My first thought when reading the title, was that this book was going to be weird, maybe even funny or comical in some way. I know I judged wrongly before even reading. Gaijin Cowgirl is a mixture of historical fiction, vividly packed scenes and a bite of suspense that will leave the reader on edge.

 

We follow Val Benson as she peruses through Tokyo connecting with old friends all the while making new ones. It is here that she gets her hands on an old map that leads to unspoken treasures. While I don’t agree with her methods of retrieving the map, I was a little bit peeved with the artist who made a habit of painting female genitalia; I thought this act of thievery gave the novel a more sinister appeal.

 

And it didn’t stop there.

 

Val finds herself hunted by others as she uses the map to seek the treasure in the Thai Jungle. As I do not want to spoil the thriller packed suspense of this novel, as going into more detail will do, I will tell you this. If this had been a movie, it would definitely not disappoint.

 

Jame’s writing style is fascinating; he gives the reader a thrill ride type story line before packing them with a heavy punch. He doesn’t leave anything left unturned and his book was very satisfying.



 
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 Genre: Women's Fiction, Relationships, a Dash of Supernatural



Synopsis: When her newborn baby Lily dies suddenly, Claire Edwards runs away to live in a lighthouse she had fallen in love with as a young child. The lighthouse is reputed by some to have magical powers, but Claire isn't looking for a miracle. She just wants an escape from her husband Jim's colder way of grieving, and from their apartment filled with the tiny clothes and stuffed animals they had collected over the past few months. But once Claire is situated in the lighthouse, it begins to illuminate things for her in a new way and she's suddenly forced to rethink her views on life, death, and her marriage. 

Rating: 4 stars ****

My thoughts:

One of the most heartbreaking occurrences in life is to lose a child. While the storyline brought me to tears, I followed Claire as she struggled to grasp the inevitable, her crumbling marriage, her grief and her future.

Who could really see what their future will be when they have lost something as close to their soul in nature so drastically? I loved the flow of Lisa’s writing style and how she capitalized on the exploration of grief and loss and how it affects one’s life, relationships and purpose.

It was a delicate topic to touch but she did so eloquently. This is definitely a book where tissues should be close at hand. It is also one that opens the mind to situations and occurrences one would not dream possible, but knows it happens. I loved this read.

About Lisa Ellis: 

Lisa Ellis is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines. FINDING LILY is her first novel. She has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and provides health content regularly for hospitals and websites in New England and the tri-state area.

Lisa's Website: LisaDEllis.com

Lisa D. Ellis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisadellisauthor  

Lisa D. Ellis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaEllisauthor  


 
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Synopsis: A nationally recognized expert on compulsive behaviors explains the phenomenon of craving and gives us tools to achieve freedom from our seemingly insatiable desires by changing our actions to remap our brains.

When we find ourselves wanting something strong enough, we'll do just about anything to get it--sometimes at the expense of our bodies, brains, banks accounts, and relationships. So why do we sometimes have the irrepressible feeling that we need something--such as food, cigarettes, alcohol, or sex-- that we really just want? And how do we satiate that feeling without indulging it?

In Craving, Omar Manejwala, M.D., translates the neurobiology of this phenomenon into real and accessible terms, explaining why we just can't seem to get enough. He then gives us tools and guidance to find satisfaction without giving in to our cravings. Dr. Manejwala explains:

how and why our brain drives behavior

how to change the part of our brain that fuels our cravings

the warning signs that craving is evolving into addiction

why craving is the most difficult component of addiction to address

why certain groups are so effective at changing behaviors, receiving encouragement, and remaining accountable

 

 

Rating: 5 stars *****

 

 

My Thoughts:

I was very excited to get into this book. While many like myself crave for things, it is hard to understand why and how it can be an unbearable occurance.

I am a mother, I remember back during my pregnancies my friends never understood why I had the urge to eat “Mustard” or why if anyone touched my flaming cheetos chips I’d be so quick to tell them off.

While that phase was very understandable, I found myself intrigued about how I still had cravings even after my pregnancies were long over.

Dr. Omar Manejwala not only breaks it down for his readers, he gives infinite insight and details into this natural phenomenon that most people mistake as a minor thing, when it can be more than that. Dr. Dr. Omar Manejwala also gives the reader insight into harmful addictions and why they are so uneasy to cure, why the addicts have relapses and how the brain can set these addicts up for failure.

I had never thought that much about my compusilve eating and I can admit I have been one to self diagnose and be like “oh I’m fine after I eat my craving I wont take in any more bad calories, I can manage this” but after reading Craving, I was able to not only embrace the faults and set backs I have given myself, but also appreciate that I am not alone, I have tools now thanks to Dr. Manejwala, and can work on finally knocking that hump off my shoulder.

For any one who has a family member or friend suffering from an addiction that is both harmful to their health as well as affecting the structure of the relationship, I highly recommend this book. Because you will gain a better understanding of the disease and the affected persons mind set, you will also understand why they keep bouncing back and falling under the drugs spell worse off than they had done before.

Craving is not only a guide, but a constructive tool in understanding the human mind and how to overcome certain obstacles one may face with addiction whether it is food or alcohol. And for those who do not believe food is an addiction, I dare you to pick up this book and think again.

Link:

http://www.manejwala.com/#!craving/cmqf


 
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Judging a book by its cover is something we all do. How can we not? When there are dozens of books that pop up when you search for your favorite genre and you don’t have time to read every synopsis, you look for an eye-catching cover and start there. Authors don’t like to believe that their captivating writing and intricate characters might be passed over because they might not be as creative as others and may not be able to afford a professionally designed cover, but it definitely happens.

When my novel, “Inquest,” was first published, it was published with a traditional publisher. Unfortunately, that relationship ended prematurely and I was faced with republishing on my own and not having much time thanks to being in my last year of dental hygiene school. I had promotional commitments I didn’t want to miss out on and ended up having to rush through the cover design. I wasn’t completely pleased with the new covers, but I knew they would have to do for now until I had more time to redesign them after graduation. That planned changed when a lovely reviewer made the comment that even though she loved the book, she thought the so-so cover wasn’t going to draw new readers because they just didn’t grab anyone’s attention. Obviously the redesign couldn’t wait.

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The original covers all featured people, which is hard because you either have to find the perfect stock photo, or find a model willing to work within you budget. I didn’t want to hassle with either option, so I decided to nix the people and go with a symbol instead. This took some serious Photoshop hours to design the three symbols used for the covers in the trilogy and a search for the right kind of fire to use as a backdrop, but in the end I felt much more satisfied with the redesigned covers than I did with the original.

So, what do the symbols mean?

The first book in The Destroyer Trilogy, INQUEST, features the chaos symbol. The chaos Libby is thrown into after her Inquest reveals her as the hated Destroyer, forces her to hide her talents in order to keep herself alive.

SECRET OF BETRAYAL, the second book in the series, features the symbol for renewal and rebirth. Once Libby makes her decision, rebuilding her life to fit her new purpose means rescuing the group of Ciphers being held in the spirit world and claiming them as her army.

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The final book in the series, DARKENING CHAOS, features a new symbol, a combination of chaos and rebirth. At the end of Libby’s journey she struggles to balance her dual purpose without everything falling apart around her.

Thank you so much, Krystal, for inviting me to your blog today!

Links:

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Bio:

DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually teaching yoga, coaching gymnastics, reading, painting, sewing, or studying about teeth as a Dental Hygiene student. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, and The Destroyer Trilogy. DelSheree's newest series, The Godling Hunger Series, follows Vanessa and Zander Roth, siblings with an uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering that will either gain them limitless power or lead them to their deaths