Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: Promissory Payback & Unrevealed by Laurel Dewey

A while ago I joined a book tour from “Partners In Crime Tours.”

About Partners In Crime Tours:

Partners In Crime Tours was founded in  2011. We are a Virtual Book Tour site that helps new, rising and popular crime/suspense/thriller/mystery authors promote their books in the virtual world. We are dedicated to helping YOU sell the books and spread the word!

Every eBook received for review on the tours for Partners In Crime is given in exchange for an honest review.

I received two eBooks called “Unrevealed” and “Promissory payback” by the author Laurel Dewey.

Book Synopsis:

In UNREVEALED, Laurel Dewey gives us four indelible portraits of Detective Jane Perry:

Anonymous:  One of Jane’s first AA meetings leads her to an encounter with a woman in need of her detection skills…and a secret she never expected to uncover.

You can’t judge a book by its cover:  Forced by her boss to speak at a high school career day, Jane meets a troubled boy and finds that his story is only the beginning of a much more revealing tale.

You’re only as sick as your secrets:  An early-morning homicide call introduces Jane to a mystery as layered as it is unsuspected.

Things aren’t always what they seem:  Jane finds herself sharing a 2:00 am conversation at a downtown bar with an old acquaintance. Will the bloody night that preceded this moment complicate Jane’s intentions?

My opinion:

Dewey seems to be a master in twisting plots and surprising story endings.  She definitely makes it more than a who-done-it;  her character Jane is a very straight forward person with a cynic, but humorous look at life events.

However, one shouldn’t mind her profanity and use of some strong language.

The writer takes you into a situation that becomes clearer while you read on, but just when you think that some pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, it turns into quite a different picture than you thought. I love that! Nothing is as boring as halfway knowing how the story is going to end.

Some stories are written in the “I”-form, which bothered me for some reason I couldn’t make out.

In Jane, Dewey has created an interesting character; someone you want to follow to know what happens next in her life and career. It makes me want to read her earlier novels. A great accomplishment, I think!

I wonder, though, how Dewey is going to continue the twisting plots, without becoming predictable in her unpredictability or boring in the expectation.

Book Synopsis:

In PROMISSORY PAYBACK  detective Jane Perry is called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a woman who profited greatly from the misfortunes of others. The case leaves Jane with little question about motive… and with a seemingly endless number of suspects.

My opinion:

Promissory Payback is a very enjoyable novelette to read. It’s great getting to know Jane Perry better, how she thinks and works. The plot is very good, carefully build up and keeping you at your toes till the end.

She is without doubt an excellent writer and I hope to read more of her novels in the future!

Book Details:

  1. PROMISSORY PAYBACK and UNREVEALED
  2. Number of Pages:  Promissory Payback (80); Unrevealed (94)
  3. Genre:  Suspense
  4. Publisher:  The Story Plant
  5. Publication Date:  Promissory Payback August, 2, 2011;  Unrevealed October 4, 2011
  6. Books are available in Print or PDF for reviews
  7. Reviews, guest posts, interviews or any combination of those are available. Click here.

Author Bio:

Laurel Dewey was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the author of two nonfiction books on plant medicine, a Silver Spur-nominated Western novella, hundreds of articles, the Jane Perry novels, PROTECTOR,REDEMPTION, and REVELATIONS, and the Jane Perry novelette, AN UNFINISHED DEATH. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, where she is currently working on a stand-alone novel.

Connect with Laurel Dewey:
Website
Facebook

 

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Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Cron: A book review

This book … “is a record of my life as I remember it – but more importantly, as I felt it”  is how Ian himself describes his memoir… of sorts.

Somehow, Ian is able to not just look back at his life as a little boy and teenager,  but rather he becomes the boy/teenager again, viewing his life through their eyes.

He grows up with what later turns out to be lies or at best half-truths.  The mantra of his family is ‘don’t ask (specifically about his dad’s work) and absolutely don’t tell (about his dad’s drinking)’.

At 16 year’s of age, Ian learns that the innuendoes his father dropped from time to time are true and he indeed works for the Agency since before his birth. It leaves him bewildered since he sees his father as an uncommitted, untrustworthy alcoholic who is not able to take care of his family.  How on earth could he be useful to the Agency?

This double life his father leads,  the personality he plays during his assignments, catches up with him when he becomes the one he pretends to be.  A harmless, shallow American who drinks too much.  Later in life Ian learns more about the mental background of his father giving him a deeper understanding of who he really was and how that affected the family.

His mother, who didn’t sign up for this type of life, but stuck with it till her husband passed away, is a strong woman who picks up the slack when her husband lets them all down.  However,  motherhood doesn’t come naturally to her and Ian receives more love and compassion from his nanny.

As a young boy Ian experiences God at his first Holy Communion,  impacting his life profoundly,  even tough he later gets angry at God for not answering his prayers.  Ungrounded and convinced he is not lovable,  he mostly parties his way through high school and college.  But Jesus stoops down to him and at long last he reaches a measure of peace regarding his faith.  He continues to grow as a believer and later becomes a priest.

Even though Ian touches many tough life issues,  he manages to write his memoir with a lightheartedness and humor that entertains and gripes you from the start.  Often times,  you don’t really know if you should laugh or cry. It is an amazing read that keeps you captivated till the last page!

Jesus,  My Father,  The CIA,  and Me:  a memoir … of sorts
By Ian Morgan Cron

Thomas Nelson Inc.
Nashville, Tennessee,  USA
2011,  257 pages
USD  15.99
ISBN  9 780849 946103

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the book from Book Sneeze.  My obligation is to write a book review.  My opinion expressed in this review is my own and in no way influenced by Book Sneeze.

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Book Review: "Bipolar in Order" by Tom Wootton

No,  the title is not a mistake,  this book is written to show that there is much more available to those of us who,  by the traditional standard,  are ‘disordered’. 

The author and his mission
The author of two other books:  “The Bipolar Advantage” (2005)  and “The Depression Advantage” (2007),  Tom Wootton is currently writing the sequel to “Bipolar in Order” (2010).  He began teaching workshops that he designed for bipolar and depression in 2002.

Tom founded Bipolar Advantage with the mission to help people with mental conditions  (note: not disorders!)  shift their thinking and behavior so that they can lead extraordinary lives.  He is a widely recognized and passionate speaker in the USA,  advocating change in the field of mental health.  He desires to see a change of paradigm of how we look and treat mental conditions.

My search and struggle
Having searched the web for a long time looking for useful information to help manage and get in touch with other people with BD,  I came across Tom Wootton’s website www. bipolaradvantage.com.  His approach was an eye-opener to me as I finally came to understand why I was dissatisfied with so many other websites about BD I had come across. 

My main struggle appeared to be the traditional view on how to treat BD.  Including the general understanding that one is a victim of the disorder.  Meaning you can’t help it that you have it,  you have to suppress the symptoms with medication and be afraid (for triggers and) for the next episode which will come sooner or later. 

My view and goal
While I agree with the first statement,  that we are not guilty of having the disorder,  I unconsciously disagreed with the two following statements.  While medication certainly has a place in the treatment of BD,  especially in the crisis stage,  I am convinced there is more available to us to fight with.  I certainly don’t want to live in fear of my next episode.  I want to learn how to manage my disorder and live my life to the fullest,  fulfilling my dreams  (which includes living abroad in a country where medical treatment will not be so readily available).

From day one when medication was prescribed,  I knew I was gonna fight to get to the point where I could live either without or with as few meds as possible.  So I strived to get to know my symptoms,  my triggers,  my responses,  and work on traumas I experienced and which aggravate my condition,  in order to improve my overall well-being.  This is still ongoing.  I am blessed with an excellent counselor who has recognized my fighting spirit from the beginning stimulates and encourages me on this road and is teaching me tools to fight with.

Back to Tom
In Tom Wootton I found an author who is saying what I think and believe.  He himself is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I with hallucinations and delusions,  but lives without taking medication unless it is absolutely necessary.  He has much to teach us,  since he is himself the prime example of what he teaches.

This book
His book challenges the overall perspective held by many – professionals and BD’s – of how to manage BD.  He shows us how to set up a Life Plan addressing the following areas: Physical,  Mental,  Emotional,  Spiritual,  Relationships,  and Career/Financial. 

What do we need to get BD ‘in order’ ?
For us to get our disorder ‘in order’ we need insight, the ability to recognize our condition and all of the aspects associated with it.  Through gaining deep insights we become free to choose our reactions based on the wisdom we have developed.  To reach real stability is not to be ‘in remission of symptoms’,  but to be able to perform the intended action under duress.  These steps lead us to self-mastery,  when every word and deed is based on doing the right thing instead of habits or emotion.  Finally we reach the state of equanimity,  meaning being even-minded under all conditions.

In other words,  it is possible to learn to live and function no matter what episode we are in!  Of course this is a road we walk.  It’s important to keep the goal in mind,  but equally important to realize it is a process that takes time and to appreciate the growth we experience on the way.

The tools to reach Bipolar in Order 
The rest of the book Tom deals with certain understandings we have that might stand in the way of our growth.  Half of the book is dedicated to ‘how to get there’ and ‘the advantage program’ which is an integrated approach developed by a team of professionals.  This program covers every aspect of life,  describing the tools we can use and the people who can help in our support network,  to achieve the maximum result for our lives.  Fourteen different authors share with us their specialty insights and expertise. 

For more information, please look at www.bipolaradvantage.com ,  and tell them you heard about them from  me.  Thanks! 

I highly recommend this book.  It is available through the bipolar advantage website,  Amazon (for USA)  and bol.com (for the Netherlands).  For us Dutchies:  for the moment it is only available in English.  I have hopes to change that at some point…

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