Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Taking Chances and From Ashes - TLC Book Tour

Synopsis (from Amazon): Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit, she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate's brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she'd be happy.

My Review:  I enjoyed Taking Chances from the very first page.  I was pulled into the story and just wanted to keep reading.  There were times that I really liked Harper, really disliked Harper, wanted to hug Harper and wanted to tell Harper to get a grip.  I love it when a character does that to me.  I don't want to give it away the story, but I was really cheering for Harper and Brandon.  I may or may not have been disappointed with Harper's choice!  You will have to read it!

I like the way the story unfolded, changed directions on me and came full circle.  There were a lot of surprises for me along the way, which just left me wanting to read the next chapter, no matter how tired I was or how earlier I needed to get up the next day.  

The setting was perfect for the story.  I love books that take place at a college/university.  I loved my own university days and they provide me a great escape!  I didn't want Taking Chances to end.  

Synopsis (from Amazon): Aside from her dad, who passed away when she was six, Cassidy Jameson has only ever trusted one man: her best friend, Tyler. So of course she follows him to Texas when he leaves for college. She just didn't expect to be so drawn to their new roommate, Gage, a gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl. The only problem? He's Tyler's cousin.

Gage Carson was excited to share an apartment off campus with his cousin. He didn't mind that Tyler was bringing the mysterious friend he'd heard about since they were kids . . . until the most beautiful girl he's ever seen jumps out of his cousin's Jeep. There's something about Cassi that makes Gage want to give her everything. Too bad Tyler has warned him that she's strictly off-limits.

Despite everything keeping them apart, Cassi and Gage dance dangerously close to the touch they've both been craving. But when disaster sends her running into Tyler's arms, Cassi will have to decide whether to face the demons of herpast . . . or to burn her chance at a future with Gage.

My Review:  Another Molly McAdams books I really liked!.  From Ashes is very similar to Taking Chance.    However, From Ashes seemed a little more real for me.  It might be because I was really rooting for Cassi and Gage.  I will not tell you who Cassi ends up, but I will tell you it is either Tyler or Gage!!  

I really like the setting of From Ashes as well.  I could see the Texas ranch, the university,  and the coffee shop.  I felt I was right there in the story.  I couldn't get enough.  There were plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep me on my toes and left me wondering the outcome.  I flew through From Ashes and was left wanting a sequel.  

You can't go wrong reading Taking Chances and From Ashes.  I have never read anything my Molly McAdams, but I will for sure read her other books and look forward to future releases.  I really enjoyed her writing style and stories!

Meet the Author:  Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry, four-legged daughter. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom—surrounded by her laptop, cell phone, and Kindle—and fighting over the TV remote. She loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm ... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Connect:  You can connect with Molly online at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Purchase It:  You can purchase Taking Chances and From Ashes online at Amazon. 

TLC Book Tour:  Please make sure you check out the reviews on the Taking Changes and From Ashes from other bloggers!  I found some new blogs to follow!  Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Monday, April 22nd: Mom in Love With Fiction
Tuesday, April 23rd: From L.A. to LA
Wednesday, April 24th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, May 7th: …the bookworm…
Wednesday, May 8th: Hesperia Loves Books
Tuesday, May 21st: Giraffe Days
Wednesday, May 22nd: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, May 24th: Sweet Southern Home

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Spirit of the Heart - Stories of Family, Hope, Loss and Healing

Synopsis (from Amazon):  As one of America's former leading cardiac surgeons, Dr. Nuño healed patients' hearts. Fixing "broken" hearts gave him a unique and intimate view into the power of the heart. Even coming face to face with death and losing patients, there is a beauty that can exist even in loss. The Spirit of the Heart is a collection of heart-warming stories that resonate at the core of our humanness. He graciously offers the insights he has gained from occupying a front-row seat at some of life's most real and raw moments. These tender stories teach us about what it means to be human, to be connected to others, to love, to live, to forgive.

My Review: I really enjoyed The Spirit of the Heart - Stories of Family, Hope, Loss and Healing.  It is beautifully written.  Dr. Nuño just doesn't talk about The Spirit of the Heart from a doctor's viewpoint, but from the viewpoint of his own losses. It was deeply moving.

I also really enjoyed the honesty throughout the book.  Dr. Nuño is a very spiritual and caring man.  It comes through so loud and clear in his book.  Also, the book is written in very short chapters.  Each chapter could easily be a column in a newspaper, magazine or blog.  They are all individual chapters that stand on their own and deliver a powerful message.  

I work for a health care system and can't wait to pass this book along to our cardiologist group.  

Some fun facts:  His mother is from Guadalajara Mexico.  I had the privilege of visiting Guadalajara on a business trip.  A beautiful place with very welcoming people.  Dr. Nuño is a consultant to the script writers for Gray's Anatomy (love that show) and House.  Too cool, right?  I also can't believe all the places he has been and worked.  Totally amazing.

Meet the AuthorDoctor Nuño was born in Mexico in 1950. He received his undergraduate education at UCLA and obtained a BA in Zoology in 1972. He received his MD degree in 1976. Dr. Nuño received his training in General Surgery at UCSD and his training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is certified by both the American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is a member of many professional societies like The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, The American College of Cardiology, The Western Thoracic Surgical Association and The American College of Surgeons.

Doctor Nuño was in the United States Army for a period of ten years. He served as Chief of Surgery in Heidelberg, Germany and Seoul, South Korea. He was also on the teaching staff of the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. His duties included being adjunct surgeon for the White House in 1990. He was Deputy Commander of the 5th MASH Unit during Desert Storm in the Middle East. He left the military with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Doctor Nuño went on to receive further training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas with Dr. Denton Cooley. He then became a member of the teaching staff at UCI before moving to Los Angeles and establishing his private Practice at Huntington Memorial Medical Center. He joined the Keck School of Medicine at USC in 1995. He is was the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the LAC+USC Medical Center. His hospital appointments included the USC-University Hospital, Huntington Memorial Medical Center and the LAC+USC Medical Center. Dr. Nuño's expertise lies in the surgical treatment of bacterial endocarditis, the treatment of multiple valve defects, coronary artery revascularization, circulatory assist support and surgery for diseases of the aorta.

Current activity for Dr. Nuño includes being Medical Advisor for the Alfred Mann Institute of Bioengineering at USC, and also Medical Advisor for the St. Jude Medical Corporation for the Western United States. He was just elected President Elect and subsequently Chief of Staff for the medical association at the LAC+USC Medical Center. He signed a contract to be Medical Advisor for ABC television network for their medical serial programming. Dr. Nuño has a list of published scientific journal articles, book chapters and is very active on the medical speaker's network. He has delivered numerous lectures locally, nationally and internationally. He has a non-fiction book currently in publication.

Purchase:  You can purchase The Spirit of the Heart - Stories of Family, Hope, Loss and Healing online from Amazon for $24.95 ($7.99 Kindle version).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Green Beans & Ice Cream

Synopsis (from Green Beans and Ice Cream? At first glance, they don’t sound like they go together. But this groundbreaking new book from author Bill Sims, Jr. will change forever the way you deal with your family, customers, coworkers, students, and yes, even your spouse! 

In Bill’s thirty year history, he has helped design more than one thousand behavior change systems that have produced tremendous gains in performance and profits at America’s top companies including Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Motors, and Dupont. Hidden in this book you will find Bill’s “secret sauce”, and the recipe for rapid, sustainable behavior change and engagement--Positive Reinforcement (PR+) The book explains why positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. 

Use it wisely, and performance moves off the chart. Use it poorly, and the results can be disastrous. Green Beans & Ice Cream analyzes over 100 years of research in the field of human behavioral science, and compares it to “real world, in the trenches” true stories that Sims recounts. It points out clearly that the thing we need the most, is the thing we often receive the least—positive reinforcement and feedback from those around us. Using the techniques outlined in this book, you can master the remarkable power of positive reinforcement, and make a real difference in the world around you. This book is for everyone who must lead others. Whether in the family, the school, or the workplace, it is a “must read” for anyone who wants to improve the performance of their team. With this first book, Sims has dropped a stone in the still pond of leadership. The waves will only get bigger.

My Review:  Green Beans & Ice Cream came a perfect time....positive reinforcements are needed so badly with my team at work.  Also my company and industry are going through a tremendous amount of change right now.I learned a lot from this quick read.  I think the biggest thing I learned is that one size doesn't fit all.  I love cash as a reward for doing job above and beyond, however, most people don't.  There was a lot of discussion regarding company logo gifts....we do this all the time and I think I need to share Green Beans & Ice Cream with few others at work.  I really don't want to give away all the advice in the book.

I loved all the examples used in the book.  It really helped emphasize the point that was being made.  Green Beans & Ice Cream is a very, very quick read.  I can't wait to share this book with others at work and get started on making some changes at work!  Reinforce the positive and change behavior!

Meet the Author: Bill Sims, Jr., is President of The Bill Sims Company, Inc. For nearly 30 years, Sims has created behavior-based recognition programs that have helped large and small firms to deliver positive reinforcement to inspire better performance from employees and increase bottom line profits. A sought-after speaker, he has delivered leadership workshops and keynote speeches around the globe and has built more than 1,000 positive reinforcement systems at firms including DuPont, Siemens VDO, Coca-Cola, and Disney.

Purchase it: You can order Green Beans & Ice Cream today at

This review was made possible by the Cadence Group.  All reviews are my opinion.