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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Dec 17 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I had a good week and I kept busy with reading and helping family members. I'm on a historical fiction binge as you will see by the selection of books that came into my house this week.


Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


For Review:

This one had me at the title...and it's the first book in a trilogy.




Free Kindle books: 

This is the first book of a historical mystery series


More historical mysteries...


This is a free follow-up to the NYT bestselling novel, Maybe Someday

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I read and/or featured last week:




Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Brain Health
If you want to read more on how to better take care of your brain, check out my list



 Currently Reading:

I'm half-way through this one and enjoying it



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Ghost by Henry Kellerman (Review and Giveaway)


I enjoy historical fiction and especially post WWII settings. This one has an interesting premise.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Ghost by Henry Kellerman
Category: Adult Fiction, 266 pages
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Barricade Books
Release date: August 7, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 26 to Dec 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (for f-words and crude language)

Book Description:

Assassinations, a love story, a kidnapping, and many twists and turns characterizes this riveting novel of historical fiction, circa 1958, thirteen years post World War II.

Events are uncovered where The Ghost, a powerful Vatican Bishop, is sending assassins to retrieve a secret tailpiece – a hidden extension of the 1942 Wannsee Conference Papers that underpinned the Holocaust against Jews. Only two copies of this tailpiece remain where names of thousands of high level Nazis such as Eichmann and Mengele are listed along with their future destinations – should Germany lose the war.

At the same time, New York City detectives working with British M16 secret service, and Israeli Mossad agents, get Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and his group, (including an Israeli sanctioned killer) involved in order to find and send the crucial coded microfilm to England’s renowned decryption center. Now, in 1958, these Jewish Nazi hunters will not forgive and not forget.

This story is newsworthy testimony regarding the villains who are actual historical figures and are named. Fitting it all together (as in the screenplay based on the story titled: “We Will Find You,”) is the avenging drama of the novel.

My Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The post WWII setting, finding a secret package related to the Holocaust against Jews, and the historical details with actual historical figures about what took place after WWII ended, were all elements that drew me to this novel. And for the most part, this is what made this book interesting, however, the execution of the story did not exceed my high expectations.

The story is told in the first person point-of-view of the character named Frank Carbone. He witnesses his 12 year-old nephew Willy being pushed off a window ledge from the 3rd floor of their apartment. This starts the search for who would do this and why. The answers lead Frank and a team of cops and agents to travel to Europe to discover a sinister operation, that includes the Vatican, to ferry wanted Nazis to other countries.

There is a lot going on in this novel but the plot is not hard to follow. What I found challenging was the way the story was written. It is made up of long dialogue paragraphs and consists of telling rather than showing. In many ways, it felt like a screenplay more than a novel. There was repetition, and the lack of creative descriptions prevented me from becoming emotionally invested in the story.

What I did find interesting was how some of the Jews formed ways to exact revenge on the Nazis. I've read a lot of books based on the Holocaust but not many based on the aftermath of the War and how it affected the Jews. I also thought that starting the story with the attempted murder of a young boy was clever and built up the mystery well.

If you are a history buff, I think this book would be appealing. If you are looking for a fast-action riveting novel, the writing style of the book does not lend to that even as the topic and plot are interesting and historical.


To read reviews, please visit Henry Kellerman's page on iRead Book Tours.



Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:


Dr. Henry Kellerman, psychologist/psychoanalyst/author, is a practitioner in New York City. His more than 50 years of treating individuals with a host of humanity's psychological/emotional struggles as well as his more than 30 books published, is testament to his virtuosity and skill in the telling of compelling stories.


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018


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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Brain Health

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it. You can do a list of 3 or 5 or 20, whatever you decide. And you can put a spin on the topic if you need to. Each week there is a new list to create. This week the topic is a freebie so I chose:

Books About Brain Health

For those of you who don't know me, I have a background in psychology and I'm fascinated with cognitive neuroscience and neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life).

Having worked with seniors with Alzheimer's and the prominent spread of this illness and others at younger and younger ages makes me keenly interested in taking care on my noggin. I have all of these books on my bookshelf. Some I've read and others I've yet to read. So here goes:

The Aging Brain by Timothy R. Jennings
This one is on my top list to read in 2019


Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzucki
Another one I'm itching to read


The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
I've read snippets of this one and I've met Dr. Doidge. He is amazing!


The Brain's Way of Healing by Norman Doidge
Makes one realize how marvelous our brains really are.


The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin
Perfect for this generation


Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
The right nutrition is key

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
Fascinating memoir of a woman who recovered from a stroke


Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Another book about the psychology of thinking


Rewire Your Brain by John B. Arden
I love books that focus on change being possible


Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf
This one was one of my best reads in 2013

Have you read any of these books?


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Dec 10 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I don't know what it is but lately I've been on a book buying binge. I need to stop. Actually, I'm taking stock of what's on my bookshelf and getting excited once again with the books I own that I forgot about.

I love being organized and I'm taking stock of what I own that I no longer need and donating. Yeah, I'm on a decluttering mission and so far it's going great. With kids in the house, stuff can accumulate, so it's time to get rid of things they've outgrown. 


Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


For Review:

I love books by this author and was thrilled when he sent me his latest


I loved the first book I read from this author and have been wanting to read all the books in the series

Bought on sale: 

I couldn't resist this time-slip novel set in 1938 as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna


This one's about the fascinating story of Laura Ingalls' daughter, Rose Wilder Lane

Yes, I know. Another book about decluttering...I've already started reading it and loving it

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I read and/or featured last week:


Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr (Audiobook Spotlight and Giveaway!)
Lauren's new series is now available in audio





This one made me bawl! If you're a dog lover you need to read this endearing book


This was an enjoyable read about one woman's journey through life written in a series of columns.


 Currently Reading:

This is the last book in the Watcher trilogy.



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Thursday, December 6, 2018

Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short by Jan Risher (Review and Giveaway!)


This book was an enjoyable read about one woman's journey through life written in a series of columns. Check out my interview with the author here and there's also a giveaway below to win a copy of the book.

Book Details:

Book Title: Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short
Author: Jan Risher
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 312 pages
Genre: Memoir/collection of essays that create a narrative
Publisher: Sans Souci Press, imprint of University of Louisiana Press
Release date: Oct 9, 2018
Tour dates: Dec 3 to 14, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Jan Risher took the long way to get from Mississippi to Louisiana with stops in between in Slovakia, Mexica, China, Burkina Faso and more than 40 other countries. Since moving to Louisiana, she has been a Sunday columnist for The Daily Advertiser and has written a column every single Sunday since 2002.

Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short is the collection of columns written over 15 years. Arranged in chronological order, the collection creates a narrative of one woman's aim to build her family, build up her community and weave the stories and lessons learned from the past into the present.

From her family's move to Louisiana, adoption of a daughter from China, covering Hurricane Katrina, travels near and far, author Jan Risher attempts, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, to do her small part to make the world a better place.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

With a catchy title, Jan Risher has published 15 years worth of essays together in a compilation that gives the reader a glimpse into the author's life as a mother, journalist, teacher, and a woman striving to do her small but significant part to make the world a better place.

As a writer, mother and entrepreneur I could relate to many of Risher's stories. I enjoyed reading these snippets that held a view of the world from her perspective. Risher includes memories of her childhood in Mississippi, the effects of hurricane Katrina, the kindness of strangers both on her travels and in her hometown when her house was flooded. But most of all, her children are a big part of her stories. From the adoption of Piper from China in 2002 all the way to her first-born Greer leaving home in 2017 to attend her second year in college in NYC.

Her writing gets better as the years pass in the sense that she is a more confident writer. Her stories sometimes tie in to her past ones. I found these columns easy to read since they were very short, while simultaneously wishing some of them could have continued or been longer since I was caught up in the story and wanted to know more.

I enjoyed the gems of wisdom Risher shares with her readers about what her life experiences have taught her. One which has stayed with me is "Acknowledge and move on", and that it's never too late for missed opportunities.

Looking to the Stars From Old Algiers is one of those books that you take your time to read. A couple of essays at a time so one can enjoy the message in each one. This was an enjoyable read about one woman's journey through life written in a series of columns.


Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:


Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.

Connect with Jan: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018


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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Darcy The Dog Who Talked by Liane Carter (Review and Giveaway!)


Last week I posted my review of Tammy The Little Cat With a Big Attitude by Liane Carter, which I found to be a gem. Today, I am posting the review of another one of Liane's books: Darcy The Dog Who Talked. Oh my, I loved this one even more!

Book Details:

Book Title: Darcy The Dog Who Talked by Liane Carter
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 152 pages
Genre: Pets / Memoir (told from dog's perspective)
Publisher: Independently published
Release date: June 18, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 26 to Dec 21, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild language - such as hell, bloody, damn)

Book Description:

I'd never adopted a dog before. I had no idea what to do and this dog needed someone who did. An abused dog and a clueless human, we embarked on a journey of love, struggles and joy.

"Every abandoned Darcy dog needs a Liane."
- Teresa Roberts, Veterinary Nurse, Hertfordshire, England

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Last week I posted my review of Tammy The Little Cat With a Big Attitude by Liane Carter, which I found to be a gem. Today, I am posting the review of another one of Liane's books: Darcy The Dog Who Talked. Oh my, I loved this one even more!

Liane and her husband Lee decide to adopt a dog. From all the dogs at the local kennel, the one they choose is a dog who had been abused. She was starved and smelly because her fear of water prevented her from getting washed. But to Liane and Lee, she was a dog who needed their love. And throughout the recounting of Liane's memoirs with Darcy, it was this strong and selfless love that transformed Darcy into a wonderful bright dog who flourished under their care.

My heart was so touched by this story! Like her previous book, it was heart-warming, funny and told from both the perspectives of Liane and Darcy. Truly, although Liane had never owned a dog before and did all she can to learn about dogs, it was her endless devotion and love for Darcy that created a strong bond between the two of them. I believe every dog needs to find the right owners and Liane and Lee were the perfect owners for Darcy. She needed their love to become the beautiful dog she was. The ending had me bawling my eyes out.

I highly recommend this endearing book to dog lovers, animal lovers and readers of memoirs. It's a story that will appeal to young and adult readers alike. Truly a beautiful and touching story.

To read more reviews, please visit Liane Carter's page on iRead Book Tours.



Meet the Author:



Devoted to giving her readers smiles, tears and tension in both her poignant non-fiction and fast-paced fantasy adventures, Liane Carter bares her soul. Author of The Chronicles of Joya, The Dream Devils, Darcy: The Dog Who Talked and Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude, she has written features and a weekly column for Costa Blanca News, articles for Writing Magazine, and has taught over 150 writing workshops. She pours her innate joy into her books and also expresses it in nature, playing instruments, creating art and dancing.

Connect with Liane: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 29, 2018


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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Interview with journalist Jan Risher, author of Looking to the Stars From Old Algiers (Giveaway too)

I've had the pleasure of reading Looking to the Stars From Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short by Jan Risher and doing a brief interview with the author. Her book is a compilation of her columns written every Sunday over 15 years for Louisiana's The Daily Advertiser. Look for my review this Thursday Dec 6. And enter to win a copy of her book!

An Interview with Jan Risher


LCR: Jan, welcome to Library of Clean Reads! Can you please describe your book in twenty words or less?

JR: Acknowledge and move on. Whatever the circumstances, Risher attempts to do her part to make the world a better place.

LCR: What was the hardest thing about putting together this compilation of your essays? 

JR: Believe it or not, the most difficult thing was actually finding all the columns! We’ve changed technology a lot since 2002. While I thought I had done a good job of archiving every column, I was wrong. I ended up having to go through microfilm in the university’s library to find some of the 2002 columns.

LCR: The easiest?

JR: The easiest piece of the puzzle was knowing a few favorites to be sure to include, especially the title column about the week after Hurricane Katrina when I helped the mother of a newborn find her missing baby.


LCR: What is the most important lesson you learned from your travels?

JR: The most important lesson I’ve learned through traveling is that finding common ground is easy to do.

LCR: What is the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?

JR: One night about 2 a.m., I reached Dakar, Senegal, and ended up in a taxi to my hotel. The driver pulled off the road into a field. I defended myself and yelled for help. People came running and then proceeded to run with me all the way back to the airport.

LCR: The funniest? 

JR: I once used charades to convey my request to a Polish bus driver to transport 11 friends and me from the place we were skiing back to the town where I lived at the time.

LCR: The weirdest? 

JR: Shortly after the Iron Curtain fell, for $134, I went on one-week guided tour of Spain — in Czech. I got on the bus and was ready for a fun trip. I had no idea the tour NEVER stopped at a single restaurant for food. Those people had packed every meal of the week — and I had none. Toward the end of the week, when we had all made friends, I learned that all the Czech school teachers on the tour had been afraid I was going to steal their stuff.

LCR: What do you want your readers to take away from your book?

JR: I’d like readers to be inspired to engage fully in their lives and realize that one doesn’t have to go far and spend lots of money on great adventures to have great adventures.

LCR: If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

JR: I would go back to Slovakia in 1993. My time there was a beautiful experience.

LCR: What was the last great book you read?

JR: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

LCR: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

JR: On the coast of Spain

LCR: Thank you so much for chatting and sharing your experiences!


About Jan Risher:


Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.

Connect with Jan: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, December 3, 2018

Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr (Audiobook Spotlight and Giveaway!)


Recently, I reviewed this book and loved it. You can read my review here. It is now available in audiobook!


Audiobook Details:

Book Title: Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, Unabridged Audiobook
Genre: Murder Mystery, Short Stories
  • Narrated by: Mike Alger
    Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
    Release date: October 23, 2018
  • Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)

Book Description:

In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.

A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.

Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly's antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn't his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman's son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)

Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he's in the dog house--or rather the boathouse--after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky's elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)

To read more audiobook reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy Spring Thaw:




Praise for Lauren Carr's books:


“Lauren Carr is a master storyteller who combines the humor of Janet Evanovich and the investigative skills of Patricia Cornwell. She is always at the top of my reading list."
- Sherry Fundin, Fundinmental

"Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!"
- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

"Lauren Carr's books are never boring, that's for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr's series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!"
- Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads

"She is an amazing author that draws you into the story, makes you fall in love with the characters (they feel like family!) and keeps you guessing right to the very end."
- Working Mommy Journal

"Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end."
- Every Free Chance Book Reviews



Meet the Author:

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

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s 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 three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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