Monday, February 11, 2013

A Dose of Tia by Dina Mauro

A Dose of Tia - How a Woman and Her Rescued Dog Embraced Life Through Volunteering - and How You Can, Too.

I don't normally read animal stories, they usually have me crying throughout much of the story. But as a staunch supporter of animal rescue, whether retired working animals, abandoned pets or wildlife, when I was approached to do an honest review, I knew I had to take this one on. One reason is the full title (as shown in the heading above).

This book is written from the heart as a journal. It taught me many things, but mostly that your heart never empties. The more you give of your heart the more your heart fills.

Looking for something to fill her time as her family grew, as well as their three rescued dogs, Dina Mauro began to think of what type of hobby she could do that would include her dogs and her love of children. Perhaps volunteering at a childrens' hospital would give her what she needed.

As it happened, after training with her dog Tia, an English Pointer, as a pet therapy or visitation team, she learns that there is a five year waiting list of volunteers who wanted to work with children. Dina, though disappointed, sets out to think through her interests in life, and how they would fit best as a volunteer team. She tries various hospitals, nursing homes and finally hits on the Swedish Medical Centre.

This book is uplifting, full of wonder and humor as this team begins to realize that they take away more than they give in blessings. The gift of life, good or bad, the gift of giving, the gift of healing and being healed in return. Often we think of hospitals as a place of sadness and pain, but one thing I take from reading this book is that hospitals are very much alive, and those fortunate enough to have a visit from a volunteer team will find their spirits lifted.

With each report she puts in to the lead volunteer, Jim, Dina adds a note telling him what she has learned that day. A heart-warming story and one that could be just what a reader could be looking for. How to live a rich and full life and embrace it. This animal story was truly well worth reading for everyone. For me, I was taken out of myself, looking at life differently. For those wanting more information, Dina has included a few resources at the end of the book.

Blonde Demolition by Chris Redding

Published by Imajin Books
Reviewed from e-book

Bombs, carnivals, terrorists, romance and a past that returns with a vengeance.

Chris Redding knows how to start a book off with a bang, and the action never stops. Firemen, carnivals, fundraisers and the past all mix together into a wild ride.

When Firefighter Mallory disarms a bomb in the beer trailer at the fundraising fair, her action and cool head creates questions. How did she know what to do and why did she seem so calm? Out of the past comes her old partner from Homeland Security, a part of her life she had retired from, and none of the firefighters are aware of. Trey shows up hidden in her car, and he is under orders to bring her back into the fold. No matter her former feelings for Trey, it is going to be a hard sell, much of which Trey is unaware.

This book is packed with danger and action, targetting children as an act of terror, but targetting Mallory specifically. Who is aiming to take Mallory out of the equation? How can she be a threat when she is no longer working for Homeland Security and to who? Along with the ramped up action, there is still time for humor and love, but there is also a tug-of-war for Mallory's heart. Will she be able to overcome the deep hurt that Trey is not even aware he has caused and return to her past where she is needed? Or will she continue building on a budding romance with Jesse? This book will get the adrenaline flowing, questions will be answered in unusual ways, all leading up to a tense but unexpected ending.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chasing Suspect 3 by Rod Hoisington

Our feisty protagonist Sandy Reid is back and about to face her most frustrating case yet. Excited to take on her first murder defense case, she is happy as a lark, but the sun sets too soon on this lark's happiness.

First she learns that faithful lover Chip may not have been so faithful.  She has found an intimate diary that describes far more about sex than she wants to know...especially since it is supposedly the extremely personal diary of Chip's "ex-girlfriend." From this point on everything goes downhill like a toboggan on ice, and learning that the woman of the diary is the sister-in-law of her client is the snow-bank Sandy crashes into. She finds it hard to focus on anything else.

In her usual go-for-it, sink or swim manner, Sandy is tackling a case that seems to commit itself to failing. Her client acts completely unaware of the trouble she is in, and half the time doesn't even appear to listen to what Sandy is asking or saying. Will this woman, in the midst of divorce with the deceased, be credible? Every time she opens her mouth something completely off-the-wall comes out. Is she delusional? Is she even aware that she is the prime suspect, possibly the only suspect?

Rod Hoisington has applied his heroine to a complicated plot and well-written story that covers more ground than one might expect; the case thought so simple swings around at a wild pace in different directions multiple times. Always intriguing, he brings in several new characters, some friendly, some dangerous, some you may want to wring their necks. Different jurisdictions play a part in the action, too. This is the fourth in the Sandy Reid series, each deals with distinctly different types of crime and villainy, and never disappoints. This one keeps its promise to the reader with a twisted plot and surprise ending. An entertaining and wild ride through the tantalizing legal world.