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Book Review: For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone

Title: For the Love of St. Nick
Author: Garasamo Maccagnone
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Booksurge
Pages: 61 pages

Purchase your copy here!

About the Book:

Two California boys, coping with the loss of their mother, find themselves uprooted when their father, a Navy Commander, is transferred to a base in northern Michigan.  With the youngest boy continuously sick, the family must survive military life and the northern elements as they dwell in their little hunter’s cabin on  Lake Huron.  When the boy’s father, the commander, must leave prio to Christmas to fulfill his secret mission for the United States Military, the boys are surprised by a chance encounter that saves a life, and reunites a family.

My Review:

Garasamo Maccagnone weaves a nostalgic tale of two boys and their father living in a remote cabin out in northern Michigan while the father is fulfilling his duty in the military.  Immediately, the book grabbed me.  The characters became real to me as I journeyed through little Tiger’s life as he spoke of helping his little brother, Johnny, through illnesses as well as triumphs as they dealt with the terrible Michigan winters.  Hockey became the love of their lives as they tried to find ways to occupy their time despite the cold wintry weather.  What I loved about the book was the undying bond the two brothers shared – Tiger being the overprotective brother and Johnny being the child he felt he needed to take care of since the passing of their mother.  Maccagnone is a great storyteller which makes this the perfect Christmas gift this season.  For the Love of St. Nick is a page turner which you won’t forget.  Read a book excerpt here.

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Book Review: Football is For Lovers by Robert Brooker and Kathleen O’Dougherty

Football is for LoversTitle: Football is For Lovers
Author: Robert Brooker & Kathleen O’Dougherty
Publisher: Mill City Press
ISBN: 193424869X
SRP: $14.99 (U.S.)

Okay, I have to admit it. I don’t care much for football. However, Football is For Lovers by Robert Brooker and Kathleen O’Dougherty has changed all that. Or at least they made me rethink the game.

Let me back up. I never really understood football. God knows, I tried. I at least wanted a stab at it, but as hard as everyone tried, no one could make me fall in love with a game that involved grown men throwing a pigskin at one another and having other grown men drooling beer down the sides of their faces as they yelled, Go, Go, Go Redskins!

What I did understand was how sports-oriented everyone was so I knew I was in the minority as I sat on the sidelines being totally ignored. Had I read Football is For Lovers back then, I certainly would have realized how the game of football can turn into a game of intimacy, romance, sex and M&Ms. Yes, M&Ms.

The authors, Bob and Kaye, show us strategies in which to do this. They go through the game in easy-to-understand technology that someone like me can understand. If you’re a football-mistunderstood-notice like me, I believe you will enjoy it. If nothing else, you will learn how to take something you don’t understand and find passion in it which will enable you to enjoy each others company instead of dividing off into separate directions. That I believe is what Bob and Kaye intended with this book.

If you don’t know a pass interference from a personal foul, you’ll enjoy Bob and Kaye’s Football is For Lovers.

A little splattering of some words of wisdom from the first few chapters of Football is for Lovers:

From the Introduction
. . . before we launch into the ‘why-you-should-learn-the-game-of-football’ pitch, those of you who are already motivated, have more torridity in your lovelife than you can handle, are blessed with mirth-laden relationships, and have only gotten (or been given) Football is for Lovers so that you could understand the game of football, feel free to jump on down to Chapter V, Football Pre-101 (the really basic basics).

From Chapter I
In this chapter, we will begin to explore the underlying reasons for your aversion to football. Well, other than that your lover completely ignores you during the game, spills beer on the rug when his team does something great, completely ignores you during the game, spills beer on the rug when his team does something awful, and completely ignores you during the game.

From Chapter II
. . . now that we’ve established what’s in it for you, the next question is: how do you go about getting it?

Well, it seems to us, while halfway decent sex may be available to most of the people most of the time, great sex goes deeper than that. We’d say no pun intended, but what the heck.

From Chapter III
Ah, yes. The delicious implications of that lascivious question: what are you wearing tonight? You know it’s coming, and you’re already tantalized by the possibilities.

You check the TV guide to see who’s playing. If you’re lucky, it will be the Oakland Raiders. They have these really hot basic black uniforms. And you know how good you look in basic black.

From Chapter IV
. . . if you drag your prejudices to the game, the result will be similar to dragging your lover to a Dubuffet exhibition. That is, you will not get the candy. Nor will you get the candy by faking it. When you ask what inning it is, people know.

From Chapter V
If the guy who is about to catch the ball notices that the opposition is close enough to hurt him as soon as he does, he’s allowed to signal for what’s known as a ‘fair catch.’ That is, the other guys are not allowed to hit him, and the next play will start at the point where he wussed out . . . er, called for the fair catch.

From Chapter VI
. . . it’s really a matter of logic: big guys in front (they’re called linemen . . . as in guys on the line of scrimmage); smaller (also fast and quick) guys behind them (called backs . . . as in guys in back of the linemen in front). Geez! Could this stuff get any easier? Dew Drop Inn.

Football is For Lovers can be purchased at Amazon by clicking here.

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Book Review: Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza by Cherie Burbach

online-dating-is-not-like-ordering-a-pizzaAuthor: Cherie Burbach
Title: Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Bonjour Publishing
Genre: Nonfiction; Relationships
Language: English
ISBN: 0978974751
Purchase at Amazon here
Visit the author’s website here

When it comes to going through all the trials and tribulations of online dating, Cherie Burbach has been there, done that. A single girl in her mid-30s who had a great life, but no one to share it with, she shared a common statistic among women her age. A great job, outside interests, but no one seemed to fill those gigantic shoes of the infamous Mr. Right.

Despite her wonderful and active life, Cherie couldn’t help but to feel something was missing. She tried ignoring it, but it was a void she knew must be filled.

Cherie took to the Internet after finding out that guys who fit her criteria were a dime a dozen in the offline world. Before long, she found her Mr. Right who she married not too long afterwards.

But here’s the thing. Not everyone is that lucky. Finding love over the Internet takes much more than placing an ad or conversing with strangers in chatrooms. There are horror stories that could fill a book (in fact, I started one myself a few years ago, but never finished, and those stories would curl your toes).

So how did Cherie find her knight in shining armor?

Cherie’s newest book, Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza, is a tell-all on how to look for love online and be successful.

She covers such topics as:

  • Having the right attitude
  • Creating the right profile (very important)
  • Where to meet safely
  • How to pay attention to your gut instincts
  • Body language
  • Why you should never give out any financial or personal information
  • Why you shouldn’t look for someone who is on the rebound (I know a no-brainer, but her points are worth reading)
  • Advice on what to say and not to say
  • Why you should put all your negativity in the baggage department where it belongs in the first place
  • And much, much more

As Cherie says, “Remember the title of this book. Internet dating is not like ordering a pizza. You can’t just pick up the phone or log on to a site and have the perfect person sent directly to your inbox! You do have to spend some time in order to see if someone you’ve just met might be right for you. Invest that time. you won’t regret it when you do finally meet the right one. And you will.”

Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza is a reality check into the world of online dating. I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about going to the Internet to find their Mr. (or Ms.) Right before you get yourself into an uncomfortable position. Follow her advice and you may find the person of your dreams, too!



4 Turning Pages


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Easy Entertaining for Beginners
Patricia Mendez
Cooking; Entertaining
Maple Heights Press

Purchase your copy here!

Readers don’t have to be gourmet chefs or nervous wrecks to host casual at-home entertaining. Beginners will have all of their questions answered, from what to serve to what to do. Included are 13 delicious complete menus with easy-to-follow recipes, full color photographs, ideas for music, activities and drinks. Checklists ease readers step-by-step through every phase of planning, preparation, and presentation. Readers will gain confidence and have a terrific time putting together successful celebrations.

What can you say bad about a book that not only gives you mouth-watering recipes, but tips on entertaining, too? Easy Entertaining for Beginners by Patricia Mendez gives us such tantalizing recipes as Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Savory Sauce (perfect for dinners with the in-laws!), Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling (perfect for themed children’s birthday parties!) and for the holidays approaching, such delights as how to cook that Thanksgiving turkey complete with instructions and how to make that perfect pumpkin pie.

But that’s not all. Inside this beautifully designed book complete with color photos, you get such great tips such as how to plan your first cocktail party, how to set a budget and prepare for special events, mistakes to avoid when entertaining and tips to ensure success with any dinner party.

Easy Entertaining for Beginners has everything you can imagine inside to help you when planning your next dinner party. An excellent book and I look forward to more books from the talented and gifted Patricia Mendez.

I just had to try out the Cadillac Margaritas. Ymmmm! Patricia gave me the exact ingredients to make two full pitchers and it was a hit at my last dinner party! What I loved about this book is that never have I come upon a book that was as good as Betty Crocker’s cookbook. Serious!

Also, I loved her writing style. Being a past editor, I pick up on typos, grammar mistakes, fluff to fill a book just to fill it with something and there was no sign that this book wasn’t excellently edited. And it’s always so much nicer to read a book that didn’t distract you from the contents because of all the mistakes and, believe me, there are a lot of them out there.

Sorry, not a thing.

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Book Review: A FULL HOUSE – BUT EMPTY by Angus Munro

Angus Munro
249 pages

Filled with anecdotes, lessons learned, and an inspirational message for everyone who believes that hard work breeds success, this moving autobiography shares the remarkable story of Angus Munro.

Munro is just three when he suffers from appendicitis and spends several weeks in a Vancouver hospital as his family struggles to survive the Great Depression. After finally arriving home, Munro asks his sister, “Where is Mummy?” and is promptly told his mother doesn’t live there anymore. It is this traumatic event that changes the course of Munro’s life forever. His father is suddenly a single parent while simultaneously turning into Munro’s mentor and hero. He teaches Munro the motto, “Always do the right thing,” while raising his children in an environment that is at the very least hectic, and more often completely chaotic.

Through a potpourri of chronological and heartfelt tales, Munro reveals how he learned to view incidents in life in terms of responsibility, recognition, personal conduct, and consideration of others. Despite dropping out of school at a young age, Munro perseveres, eventually attaining professional success.

Munro’s memoir is a wonderful tribute to his father’s legacy and the greatest lesson of all – whatever you do, follow through.

Anyone who has ever had a parent leave them as a young child will be moved, deeply affected, and emotionally pulled into Angus Munro’s beautiful masterpiece, A Full House – But Empty. I know I was. From the very first page came tears. However, this isn’t a sad book; instead, it’s a book about a man who grew up in the Great Depression by a father whose wife was caught cheating and left the home without so much of a goodbye to little Angus (that’s the sad part), and also who beat the odds and turned out into a man with extraordinary integrity and morals. It is through the pages of his book that you lose yourself and you find yourself walking the same path and that’s what I believe the author wanted his readers to do.

At three-years-old, Angus was brought home from the hospital after having his appendix removed only to find out his mother had left his father to be with another man. The author says he was a shy child, but I didn’t see it. His journey from childhood to manhood only reaffirmed my belief that this was a very strong and extraordinary man and to relive his life through reading his book was such a pleasure, I would pick the book up and read it all over again.

His father played a major role at the beginning, then as Angus started spreading his wings, he became a minor role but I believe that it is because of his father, he turned out to become the man he is today. Angus recounts other members of his family throughout the book, and I believe his sister was the # 1 person in his life and became his rock.

What I really loved about this book was that it was was set in the Great Depression in the early beginnings of this book and it’s few authors alive today who can give a first-hand experience of what it was like back then and Angus does an excellent job of describing this.

Overall, I came away from the book satisfied, and am looking forward to the next Angus Munro memoir which is in the works. I would fully recommend this book to anyone who would like to slip back in time and relive a life when life was simpler; yet, so much harder than it is today.

Angus Munro’s writing style was what I loved the most about this book. As a past editor, I subconsciously look for typos and grammar errors and there were none to be found. Impeccably edited. I also loved the book because I found myself relating to a lot that was inside. I didn’t grow up in the Great Depression, but I remember my grandmother talking about it and it was a terrible, terrible time. And, I also had an absent mother some parts of my childhood (that’s the part where I cried). I also loved it because as he got older and moved to California, it brought back memories of living there with all the glitz the state had to offer. Angus’ book had a lot to offer me, but more than anything, it was an enjoyable read and not something I found myself forced to do. His words took me back in time and for that, I am deeply indebted to him. But aside from all that, what I loved the most about FULL HOUSE – BUT EMPTY is that I realized that Angus Munro is an extraordinary human being and at seventy-seven years old, this is a big accomplishment for a first-time author and for him to do this well in bringing me into the story and keeping me there and not wanting to let go, I say it says a lot about his future as an author.  This man is going to go far.

l wouldn’t call it hate, but what I would have loved to have seen was more about his life as a child; in fact, I would have loved the whole book set in the Great Depression as a child. With the economic times being as bad as they are and the country heading into a recession, wouldn’t it be neat to read about how those in the Great Depression survived so that maybe we can take pointers from them? But, if the whole book was only that, then a lot of the author’s message wouldn’t have come through and that’s a big part of why he wrote his book. But, I’m wondering…he has a new book in the works..maybe…maybe?

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