November 29, 2013

Inherit the Dead by Twenty Thrilling Writers

Inherit the Dead was written by twenty thrilling writers including: Mark Billingham, Lawrence Block, C.J. Box, Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Stephen L. Carter, Marcia Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Max Allen Collins, John Connolly, James Grady, Heather Graham, Bryan Gruley, Charlaine Harris, Val McDermid, S.J. Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Dana Stabenow, Lisa Unger, and Sarah Weinman.

Book Description
More than twenty New York Times bestselling authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel—a collaboration among some of the most popular mystery and thriller writers in the English-speaking world today, producing a “well-told mystery that stands on its own two (or 40) feet” (Booklist).

Readers will enjoy an introduction by Lee Child, an afterword by Linda Fairstein, and chapters by bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark, John Connolly, Charlaine Harris, CJ Box, Mark Billingham, Lawrence Block, Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Stephen L. Carter, Marcia Clark, Max Allan Collins, James Grady, Heather Graham, Bryan Gruley, Val McDermid, SJ Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Dana Stabenow, Lisa Unger, and Sarah Weinman. What’s more, the editor, Jonathan Santlofer, has arranged to donate any royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensation to Safe Horizon, the leading victim assistance agency in the country—making it a worthy and winning triumph.

Pericles “Perry” Christo is a PI with a past—a former cop, who lost his badge and his family when a corruption scandal left him broke and disgraced. When wealthy Upper East Side matron Julia Drusilla summons him one cold February night, he grabs what seems to be a straightforward (and lucrative) case.

The socialite is looking for her beautiful, aimless daughter, Angelina, who is about to become a very wealthy young woman. But as Christo digs deeper, he discovers there’s much more to the lovely “Angel” than meets the eye. Her father, her best friend, her boy­friends all have agendas of their own. Angel, he soon realizes, may be in grave danger…and if Christo gets too close, he just might get caught in the crossfire.

This classic noir tale twists and turns down New York’s mean streets and along Hamptons’ beaches and back roads during a bitterly cold and gray winter where nothing is as it seems and everyone has something to hide.” – Inherit the Dead

My Thoughts
Inherit the Dead is a dark novel that was written cohesively with twenty authors. Not an easy feat! It is the type of book that would be fun to read on a dark and rainy night, or on a cold winter day next to a fire.

This is the first book I have ever read that used so many different authors to create one compelling story. I imagine it could have turned out as a complete mess, but this one was written by some of the best authors in the genre, and they followed a plan that was able to both tell the story and also add their personal touches to it.

I won’t go into details on the plot’s twists and turns because it should be read to find that out, and I don’t usually like to give spoilers. I did however, enjoy this book and think that fans of these authors and the genre will definitely enjoy reading it, too.

One of the best things about this book is that the royalties that are in excess of the editor and contributor compensations will be donated to Safe Horizon. This charity provides aid to the victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, homeless youth, and families of homicide victims.

Overall, this is a great book that helps a greater need with your purchase of it. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Inherit the Dead, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations by Jules Evans

Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations by Jules Evans is a look at how the famous philosophers of thousands of years ago can inspire our lives to be better today. Their theories were meant to be used to help people, and that is just what this author is helping us to remember through this book.

Book Description
When philosophy rescued him from an emotional crisis, Jules Evans became fascinated by how ideas invented over two thousand years ago can help us today. He interviewed soldiers, psychologists, gangsters, astronauts, and anarchists and discovered the ways that people are using philosophy now to build better lives. Ancient philosophy has inspired modern communities — Socratic caf├ęs, Stoic armies, Epicurean communes — and even whole nations in the quest for the good life.

This book is an invitation to a dream school with a rowdy faculty that includes twelve of the greatest philosophers from the ancient world, sharing their lessons on happiness, resilience, and much more. Lively and inspiring, this is philosophy for the street, for the workplace, for the battlefield, for love, for life.
” – Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations

My Thoughts
Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations is a remarkable book about the philosophies that the classical philosophers encouraged people to use rather than just theorize about. This book looks at not just the theories, but also how they are and can be used in everyday life today.

I am a nursing student that just took “Psychiatric Nursing” and really enjoyed it, so this book included a lot of topics I have already studied a lot about. I think that the author did a very good job researching and writing about such topics as anxiety, depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and much more. This is truly an excellent book on the topic that is very interesting to read about.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and will read it again in the near future. It is filled with so much information and inspiring words that it should be read again and again. I highly encourage everyone to read this, and definitely recommend it!

* Thank you to the publisher of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Boundaries in an Overconnected World by Anne Katherine

Boundaries in an Overconnected World by Anne Katherine is a book written for anyone who uses an electronic device. It helps the user of these products set limits and get back the time that these electronics take away from real life experiences.

Book Description
Over the past decade, 24-7 connectivity has given us not only convenience and fun but worries about privacy, intrusions into family time, and new compulsions — from shopping to tweeting and cute cat watching. Anne Katherine, one of the first authors to bring healthy boundary setting to a mass audience, has now written a book on how to do this with technology. Rather than rejecting online life, Katherine shows readers how to make social media, smartphones, and other innovations work for, rather than against, them. Readers learn to protect themselves online — from predators and data mining as well as from time-devouring friends and acquaintances — with an emphasis on preserving and optimizing meaningful personal connections. Anyone who has ever wondered if their cute little gadget was actually an enemy invader will welcome Katherine’s strategies for ensuring that “your life is truly your own.” – Boundaries in an Overconnected World

My Thoughts
Boundaries in an Overconnected World is a book that should be read by everyone who uses electronics. Smartphones, tablets, and computers are great devices. I use them all, too. However, I know how to interact with people and not be connected to it at all times. What I have personally seen happening with smartphones is a bit crazy. People prefer to be using those instead of interacting with others who they are actually with in real life. Personally, I’d rather be talking with someone next to me, instead of typing a text to someone else. That text can happen later, you know?

I’ve also seen the ridiculous use of oversharing on social networks. Seeing what someone is doing at every part of the day, including the pictures of the meal they are eating, or the random thought they are having is not necessary. I don’t care, and I seriously doubt anyone else does either.

Boundaries in this overconnected world need to be learned and maintained. This book really helps with just about every type of electronic situation that you could encounter, even online dating. Anne Katherine also has very helpful (and safe) tips on this as well.

Overall, this is an excellent book that should be read by everyone in this day and age. I highly recommend it!

* Thank you to the publisher of Boundaries in an Overconnected World, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Healing With Past Life Therapy by Lorraine Flaherty

Healing With Past Life Therapy by Lorraine Flaherty is a self help book that guides you on discovering your true self through past life therapy. It is filled with all of the information, stories, and exercises to help you discover the real you, and help you to reach your best self.

Book Description
Providing evidence to the validity of past lives, this self-help guide delves deeply into past life regression and offers a thorough understanding of each step of the process. Through detailed transcripts of actual sessions, ordinary people speak candidly about their experiences with this form of self-discovery. Confirming that she has gone through the same journey to healing, Lorraine Flaherty incorporates stories of her own past lives to illustrate the ways these insights can aid in clearing away mental clutter, help to form better decisions, cause one to become more empowered, and put one's life on the right path. With a compelling and down-to-earth approach, this remarkable discussion illustrates the ways that any reader—from the idly curious to the serious spiritual seeker—can develop a greater understanding of who they are, where they come from, and where they are going.” – Healing With Past Life Therapy

My Thoughts
Healing With Past Life Therapy is a book about past lives and how we can heal ourselves through understanding ourselves on a more multi-faceted level than we may have seen ourselves before reading this book. It is filled with stories, information, and the tools needed to actually help ourselves with the topics covered with past lives.

This book will help you to discover how to clear away the negative that is blocking your success, discover your life purpose, explore how to reach your full potential, and create the life you want to live, and much, much more!

This is one of the best books I have read about past life therapy. I especially enjoyed the exercises at the end of the chapters for us to try, too. This is not a one technique works for everyone kind of therapy, so having different ways to approach trying it yourself is very helpful and will benefit more people who read this book.

* Thank you to the publisher of Healing With Past Life Therapy, Findhorn Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 23, 2013

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a guide on completely making over your financial life to help you get out of the stacking piles of bills and debt. With his help, you can get back on track and actually start saving money to build a nest egg for when something happens, and of course for retirement one day. Read this book and get real with your finances before you find yourself in bankruptcy court!

Book Description
If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.
Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.

By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this—it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition, you’ll be able to:

·         Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt—meaning cars, houses, everything
·         Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
·         Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!” – The Total Money Makeover

My Thoughts
The Total Money Makeover is a real, honest book about finances. It might be the helpful slap in the face to help you stop making bad financial decisions, and start living the stress-free life you always wanted to live, without debt looming around every payday.

The information in the book may not be that groundbreaking. Obviously spending money you don’t have using credit cards is not a good way to go for your bank account. However, the money myths, tips, and advice for financial guidance is helpful and a good reminder for wise financial decisions in your life.

Dave Ramsey’s radio show and financial books have helped turn many people’s lives around, so if you are in trouble with your finances, give this book a try! I highly recommend it for everyone to read that needs help with their money.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Total Money Makeover, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review as part of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren is a beautifully written book about the extraordinary talents of working dogs and those who are lucky enough to interact with them. If you are an animal lover, this is definitely a book you’ll want to read!

Book Description
Cat Warren is a university professor and former journalist with an admittedly odd hobby: She and her German shepherd have spent the last seven years searching for the dead. Solo is a cadaver dog. What started as a way to harness Solo’s unruly energy and enthusiasm soon became a calling that introduced Warren to the hidden and fascinating universe of working dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many thousands of working dogs all over the United States and beyond. In What the Dog Knows, Warren uses her ongoing work with Solo as a way to explore a captivating field that includes cadaver dogs, drug- and bomb-detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs—even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs’ abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but Warren shows the multifaceted science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie the amazing abilities of dogs who work with their noses.

Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these remarkable and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, she discovers story after story that proves the impressive capabilities—as well as the very real limits—of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with dogs is woven into the fabric of society and why we keep finding new uses for their wonderful noses.
” – What the Dog Knows

My Thoughts
What the Dog Knows is definitely a great book for dog lovers to read. It is however, also a fantastic book for anyone who loves and appreciates animals. This is a well written and researched volume about the amazing qualities of “working dogs” that help aid us humans with many things, but in particular the cadaver dogs who help us to find the bodies of injured or dead people.

The author starts out with the account of her own dog, who was not the best behaved dog to start out with. She was able to help direct her dog’s talent into a useful purpose and became a skilled working dog on the Cadaver Recovery Team.

These dogs are more than just a four legged animal that are cute. They talented, help us in ways we can’t even imagine, and truly become a part of the family that they live with. They deserve our respect, and Cat Warren definitely shows us this in her work of love with this book. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of What the Dog Knows, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Forgiveness is Power by William Fergus Martin

Forgiveness is Power by William Fergus Martin is the book for everyone who finds forgiveness (of others or themselves) a hard task to do. This motivational and encouraging book is full of insight and ideas on how to find the forgiveness you have been searching for.

Book Description
Discover the Four Steps to Forgiveness Do you find forgiveness difficult? Would you like to be more forgiving? Then this inspiring, practical book has been written for you…

This accessible guide explains why it makes sense to let go of grievances instead of staying stuck in an unforgiving place. Insights, ideas and exercises invite you to transform your unresolved issues. Explaining what forgiveness is and how to deal with obstacles to it, the book shows you how to create better relationships with others and with yourself. You do not need to commit to any religious practice or philosophy; this book simply shows how to forge in order to enhance your self-esteem, break free from limitations and become a happier person.

Forgiveness can help you radically and dramatically change your life for the better. Through the unique Four Steps to Forgiveness exercise that the author offers you can experience this for yourself. Get ready to move on with the rest of your life!” – Forgiveness is Power

My Thoughts
Forgiveness is Power is a powerful book that not only teaches us how to forgive others, but also ourselves, which is oftentimes much harder to do. Learning how to forgive is not easy, but it can be done, especially with such powerful motivational guides as this.

This book explains why forgiveness is so important, the four steps to forgive, choose to blame or choose to learn, judgment, guilt, cynicism, apologizing, and much, much more!

Forgiving others can help make you a happier person, motivate you to live the life you want to live, and even enhance your self-esteem. It is really something that everyone needs to learn how to do to create the life they want to live. If you or someone you know needs to learn how to forgive and move on with life, this is definitely the book for them! I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Forgiveness is Power, Findhorn Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

What Happens When We Die by Echo Bodine

What Happens When We Die by Echo Bodine is a psychic’s exploration of death, heaven, and the soul’s journey after death. It provides the reader with a guide for your soul for insightful awareness on a topic that most people want to know more about.

Book Description
With her signature wit and fearlessness, beloved psychic and healer Echo Bodine offers answers to life’s biggest questions: Is there a heaven? Are there people who have been there and come back? Do we have souls? Can we communicate with deceased loved ones? 

Based on Echo’s personal experience of observing the souls of people nearing death and communicating with souls who have died, this comforting book shines light on the dying process and the afterlife. Her clear and fascinating stories demystify this universal experience and demonstrate that death is nothing to fear. You’ll learn about: 

• the stages the body goes through preceding death
• the white light and the tunnel that lead to the other side 
• how to make sense of the death of children
• what happens to those who commit suicide
• the nature of heaven 

Echo offers practical tools for being with dying loved ones (including what not to do), for grieving (through the poignant experience of her mother’s passing as Echo was writing this book), and for cultivating clear communication with the deceased. Learning what happens when we die can be inspiring, reassuring, and profoundly life changing.
” – What Happens When We Die

My Thoughts
What Happens When We Die is a well written and very readable guide on the topic of life and death, and how we deal with it all. Although this is a topic that interests many people, it is not an easy one to talk about for most of us. This book is a most helpful tool in exploring the topic and really makes you think about it on a much deeper level than you may have previously been thinking about it.

The topics in this text covers the soul, death, celebrating life, exit points, communicating about death, what it feels like to die, suicide, funerals, death of children, the white light, heaven, communicating with loved ones after death, and how to cope with the loss of loved ones.

I really like how Echo Bodine added in tips on communicating with loved ones on the other side, and also cautions on how you shouldn’t do it all the time. This was perhaps my favorite section in the book, although I enjoyed reading it all.

Echo Bodine is one of the best in this business, and her experience and wisdom in this field really shines through in this book. Her tips and suggestions and witty personality make this an excellent book that I definitely suggest for everyone to read.

* Thank you to the publisher of What Happens When We Die, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 21, 2013

Leaving Haven by Kathleen McCleary

Leaving Haven by Kathleen McCleary is the type of book that pulls at the reader’s heart while reading it. The type that makes the reader think that things like friendship, fidelity, marriage, and children are not just black and white, and sometimes things happen that there is no turning back from.

Book Description
Georgia Bing and Alice Kinnaird have always been there for each other. Eager to help her best friend have another baby after several miscarriages, Alice donates one of her eggs. When Georgia learns she's going to have the baby boy she's always wanted, she's thrilled—until a devastating discovery destroys her dreams.

While Alice is happy to help her friend get pregnant, she also feels a twinge of disappointment that her own life is missing something . . . something she desperately craves. On the surface, Alice has everything—a busy social life, a great job, a faithful husband, an amazing teenage daughter. But her well-ordered world is knocked off its axis when she's tempted by a forbidden passion that threatens the bonds of friendship, marriage, and motherhood that sustain her.

As the safety of their past is shattered, Georgia and Alice must embark on journeys of self-discovery—odysseys filled with surprising challenges that will test them and force them to confront the truth about their lives . . . and the choices they've made.” – Leaving Haven

My Thoughts
Warning: Leaving Haven is a book that does not follow a very straightforward progression. It varies on the timeline of being in the present and alternating it with the past. Sometimes this works out very well, but in cases like this book, it could have been done a bit better. It doesn’t make it an unworthy book to read by any means, but it is something you have to put up with to get through to the very good story.

The main characters of Alice and Georgia were developed very well, and you feel like you know them and the majority of their family struggles throughout the book. I can’t get into it much more than that without giving away the spoilers on the plot of the story. I would have liked to have read more about their husbands though, because that is an essential part of why things ended up the way they did in this story.

I like authors that push the boundaries on the stories they tell. Kathleen McCleary does that with this book dealing with friendship and marital infidelity. She is definitely a very gifted writer that I want to read more of in the future!

* Thank you to the publisher of Leaving Haven, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 8, 2013

Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review

Looking for a new wireless gaming mouse that can last for even the most intense gaming sessions? Well, I may have found one that can not only hold an amazing charge, have great gaming features, yet also be simple to setup and use. Check out my review of the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse and see it is the right wireless fit for your gaming needs.

Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Features
Enduring Battery LifeWith up to 250 hours of battery life, G602 sticks by you through game after game. Instead of the typical formula estimate for battery life, G602 was spun on a turntable until the batteries gave out. That is over 20 times better than the most popular competitor.* Two AA batteries delivered 250 hours of non-stop tracking. G602 will operate with one battery if you prefer a lighter mouse.

Wireless Gaming TechnologyThe nano receiver communicates wirelessly to both the mouse and over the USB at 500 reports per second. A deducted USB receiver means the G602 used the entire bandwidth for gaming-grad, lowlatency performance. This is four times faster than the fastest Bluetooth mouse. Wireless speed and sophisticated algorithms allows uninterrupted game play with G602.

11 Programmable ControlsGreat results are possible right out of the box with the default configuration. To make it your own, reassign any of the 11 programmable buttons for a customer experience. Custom settings can include one-button triggers, easy push-to-talk communication, or temporary DPI down-shift for snipping. To reassign a game command or multi-command macro, download Logitech Gaming Software (LGS).

Superior Sensor TechnologyTrack hand movements up to 2 meters per second and accelerate up to 20 Gs with Logitech Delta Zero technology. G602 delivers superior tracking precision, accuracy and consistency. Angle-snap free, your smallest aim adjustments are correctly translated onto your target.

In-Game Sensitivity SwitchingDPI is not a measure of precision or accuracy, but on-screen curser movement relative to mouse movement. When G602 is set to 2500 DPI, you can move from the left to the right side of a 1080p monitor with a 2cm mouse movement. 2500 DPI is fast; most professional FPS gamers use much lower settings, in a range of 400 to 800 DPI, to improve their aim.

Performance and Endurance ModesG602 offers two distinct operating modes—Performance and Endurance. Performance mode gives you up to 250 hours of battery life without losing any gaming-grade capabilities. When not gaming, use Endurance mode to extend the battery life for up to an impressive 1440 hours. The mode indicator on top of the mouse reminds you of the active mode—blue for Performance, green for Endurance and blinking cyan when the power finally runs low.

Intuitive, Comfortable DesignBe the last gamer standing with G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse. Its naturally-shaped, slip-resistant grip is designed for maximum comfort over hours of use. DPI shift controls are in easy reach of your index finger. Easily identify the six individually sculpted side buttons by touch.

Extreme Durability - Gaming conditions torture typical mice. G602 is designed to endure. Upgraded primary mechanical microswitches are rated to a 20 million-click lifespan. The low-friction polytetrafluoroethylene feet are tested to last an amazing 250 km.

Easy to Use Setup Software – Use the optional Logitech Gaming Software (LGS) to perfectly match its commands to your favorite games. Simple drag-and-drop settings allow you to customize button and tracking profiles for any game you play. Or, use pre-configured customizations with automatic game detection.*” – Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse

My Thoughts
I mainly used this mouse while playing “Guild Wars 2.” I also used it while browsing the web doing things I’d normally use a mouse for, on both my laptop and on my desktop. I also am not a person who has a huge preference for a wireless mouse. They are nice, but not something that is a deal breaker for me, either.

The biggest factor for me when it comes to a mouse is how comfortable it is. The best features in the world wouldn’t make me want to use a mouse that hurt my hand or wrist after an hour of use. The Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse was a winner in this department. The contours on it really feel like it is made for you to hold. It is comfortable and never once strained my hand or wrist after hours of use.

Another important factor for me with any wireless product is how long the battery lasts. Although I can’t say that I clocked the different modes at exactly how many hours they worked, I can tell you that they are pretty accurate. The “Performance Mode” lasted around 250 hours for me while I was playing video games. The “Endurance Mode” lasted for a long time. In fact, I am still using it. Logitech says it should last around 1440 hours, and I’d believe it. This mouse really holds the charge well and is definitely a worthy mouse based on this fact alone.

The software is easy to download and install to setup the features of this mouse, which you do need to do to really get the whole experience. The programmable buttons are easy to setup and are easy to use when holding and using the mouse. Based on the DPI setting you choose, it also performs this flawlessly and can be changed easily based on what game you are playing, or what you are using the mouse for.

Overall, I really enjoy using this mouse for gaming and also for browsing the web. It is comfortable, easy to use and gets the job done. If you want a wireless mouse for multipurpose uses, this is definitely one you should try out. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: Thank you to Logitech for providing me with the product for review. All opinions, experiences, and thoughts about the product being reviewed are my own.