Thursday, October 29, 2015


While yesterday I might have posted my 136th book review for this year here on my blog; yesterday I posted my  200th  review on Amazon.

I've loved reading/reviewing those books as it gives me something constructive to do instead of doing nothing. I've been retired about 5 years and 8 1/2 months now and while second career as an author has slowed down to a crawl; my 2nd second career as a Book Reviewer has become something I couldn't imagine when I began about 14 months ago in earnest. I know I've done a great review when the authors compliment me regarding the review I'd written for their books.  

With the holidays coming in less than two months, if you're considering giving a book to your child, a friend, a family member. or even yourself; you're always invited to check my reviews out on Amazon. 

THANKS for following my blog.

Have a GREAT DAY !!!  :-) :-) :-) 


Robin Leigh

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I received a free download of this book through The Romance Reviews website  []   in return for my honest opinion

How would you feel if the wonderful guy you’re about to marry suddenly ups and dies just a week before your wedding day, then you’ll know precisely how Anna felt when her fiancĂ©, Murray, had died. Unfortunately since that tragic day, on a daily basis she would receive an onslaught of condolences, gazing looks of sympathy, etc. from both friends and strangers alike.

Eventually Anna had taken all she could bare and decides ditch her current environment and move to the cottage she’s inherited from her fiancĂ© and his family in Regina Beach.
As a child of the 1950’s I can remember those autograph books we used to use when we graduated junior high school [9th grade at the school I went to] where we would say congratulations to our friends. etc. Sometimes we would write little fun things like:

2 B

[which was written as an addition problem] or things like:

“Don’t make love by the garden gate. Love is blind, but the neighbors ain’t.”

This is the kind of place Regina Beech is, a place where everyone has to know everyone else’s business; and this is especially true when it came to someone who’s just moved there.

Along with Anna who’s here to recover from her drastic loss, we have Nick, a Sergeant in the Canadian Army who came home to recover from his tragic accident where he lost a limb due to an IED explosion. Both of these two main characters were there to find some sort of solace from their own predicaments, and it’s a chance meeting her first night in Regina Beach which and brought these two “lost” souls together.

I loved how the relaxed dialogue shortly ensued soon afterwards and then eventually led their relationship to blossoming into one of a more serious nature. However, this could never grow into a truly open relationship since she refuses to talk about her past, and he refuses to talk about his future, especially where it concerns his desire to return to active duty. Who will be the first one to break the silence and share their secret? Will their relationship become a happy ever after one?  I’m not saying, but I am giving Ms. Bower’s book 5 STARS !!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


About two weeks ago I got something in the mail which for the lack of any better words, reminded me of old I am. I received my Medicare card. YES, I’m going to be 65 shortly.

Having worked for the City of New York it means changing the health insurance my dear OH and I have. There’s a window of time in which I have to make my decision as to what I should take, otherwise I’ll have to wait an entire year to make any change.

This is something you can’t go blindly into, so last week I spent Monday arranging to go to the city to the union I’d belong to for counseling. Luckily I’ve got the best plan to be able to split out and calculate the new family insurance plan rates.

On Tuesday, since we go to the nearby senior center, along with the home attendant my OH has, for lunch; I couldn’t take the bus until after 1:00 PM. Needless to say, given my luck these days, when I got to where I needed to be, I found out they close at 3:00 PM for any new arriving individuals. This meant I wasted an entire afternoon, having to go back home empty-handed. The next day, I caught AN EARLY bus, and arrived at my destination to be the first person to be seen.

The day turned out to be to my advantage since I learned the two of us can have our own individual insurances because neither of us has any dependent children. Because of this my pension will increase slightly because it will be offset by having to pay for my Part B Medicare payments, and the good news is I’m supposed to get most of/if not all of these payments back the following year around August.

With two days spent taking care of this, I’d created a huge backlog of things I usually do. Spending every moment I could I’ve cleaned my backlog of books to read/review - - - only have 1 book now on my TBReviewed pile.

As for my writing endeavors are concerned, my two major WIPs are still on the back burner; my short story still needs some tweaking, and my endeavor to write something outside of my “comfort” zone needs a total rewrite, mostly because of a lack of any dialogue.

With all this, even with the help of a home attendant, I still need to look after my love. But at the same time, I’ve once again making myself available for interviews and guest blog posts.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I don’t know why but I find something special when I read a romance novel where love is found, lost and found again. While losing a loved one is bad enough when he/she dies from an illness or having their life snuffed out due to an accident or even worse at the hand of someone else; having it happen through divorce results in a devastating, traumatic effect on the individual.

I loved how Ms. Hale wasted no time in getting to the apparent reason for emotional split between Emma and Ryan which culminated in their getting a divorce; both had made a mistake in their rushing to be married.

Naturally, after this Emma wanted to get her life back to the way it was, and to the job she once had in the movie industry before she’d entered this dismal period in her existence. Soon after she rejoined actress Norah Jackson as her personal assistant, she meets Jack Brandon who’s a sexy, young, inexperienced actor.

Although each had a kismet-like attraction to each other the moment they first met, each carries baggage from a previous love affair they once had. Both Emma and Jack are hesitant in allowing themselves to experience the kind of love they’re both seeking, which in turn creates them having an almost rollercoaster-like relationship.

Does their relationship in the happy ever after? I’m not going to say as I’d like you to share the emotions I’d experienced in reading this book. The story is well-developed without any of the sex scenes you might expect, which is why I’ve given Ms. Hale 5 STARS.


Sunday, October 25, 2015


After being sort of a recluse for several months due what's been going in my life especially when it comes to my dear OH, today I'm finally doing a guest post in which I tell the story of my transition from writing non-fiction commentaries for a community newspaper for several years to writing my first novel, a MG/YA Paranormal romance entitled "I Kissed a Ghost"

Here's the link to my Guest Post on Kim Cox's Blog - "The Writer's Journey" where I'd love to read your comments, ctc

If anyone would like to interview me or have me post my story on their blog/website, please feel free to contact me

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I received a KINDLE Edition of this book in connection with the first book of this series, “A Kids in the Tree House Book” which I’d won through a giveaway on LibraryThing, and the following is my honest opinion.

Ms. Cole has once again written an early reader children’s book revolving around the activities of two young boys around six years old, probably due to the inspiration she’s received from her own two sons and her own experience as a girl their age.

In this story Caleb and Logan want to go bug hunting. They gather various materials and construct two nets to use to catch their bugs, and after each has caught one, Logan suggests they need a natural habitat to place their bugs in. He gets a large empty pickle jar from the recycling area of their house, punches holes in the lid so the bugs can have some air to breathe and places leaves and twigs in the jar to complete the habitat.

They’re now ready to begin their hunting in their backyards. The bugs they found under a rock moved too fast for them to catch. Logan, apparently the smart of these two, knew a butterfly’s wings were too delicate to be caught and that some caterpillars can be poisonous.

Naturally Caleb’s young brother wants to join the hunt but is delegated to holding the bug jar and closing the lid tightly after the bugs are caught. All is well until they decided to catch bees, and when they realized the jar is full of now angry bees and decided to open to the jar to let them go. What happens next is exciting and almost deadly; but somewhat humorous to Caleb’s twin sister Isabella.

While the story is quite suitable for boys around the age of six, it can also be enjoyed by girls who want to read something about how weird they feel boys can be at this age; which is why I’ve given the author and her book 5 STARS.

Friday, October 23, 2015


I received an ARC [Advanced Reader’s Copy] of this book from the publisher through a GoodReads giveaway; and the following is my honest opinion.

My dear OH and I are cat lovers and have at least one cat for over 20 years.  And no matter what you might think you might out, as the author of this book found out, a cat adopts/owns you and not the other way around.

Shortly after the author and his wife return from a trip to Namibia in Africa a small kitten appeared at their bedroom window. The kitten kept on appearing in their garden before Mr. Uddenberg realized it must have been spending the nights in the shed he had, sleeping curled up on his gloves. After returning home from a two-week trip to Stockholm he figure it would no longer be there, and would have gone back home. However it was still there, and began to increasingly endearing itself to the author.

Once he allowed it to enter their home, he began to use his experience as a psychologist to analyze its behavior. The author never had a pet, and didn’t expect to have one now, but he did. The author wrote this book to show how their relationship grew and both developed a need/respect/understanding for each other. This is endearing book for anyone who loves the relationship they share with their own cats/dogs.

When we adopted another cat when our second cat had died, we were taken into one of the rooms the shelter had their cats in and while there were several beautiful young cats there, one in particular came over to me and gave me head-butts on my hand demanding my attention to rub it and to take it home.

In reading/reviewing the ARC copy of this book several things had to be kept in mind. First and foremost is the fact that it’s an UNCORRECTED proof copy of the book; meaning errors might be found throughout the book. Furthermore, since this book is the English translation from the original Swedish, errors might be found regarding the translation as well. When I looked at the preview pages of the German translation of this book, I read the first paragraph, and given the knowledge I still have from my college days, I found it to be more of what the English translation should look like.

There’s been no change in the preview pages for this book from what I have in my ADVANCED UNCORRECTED PROOF copy so I’ve got to wonder if the necessary changes have been made, which leaves me to give this book 3 STARS. However, I love the endearing story which has been presented here I would like to give it 5 STARS. In the end, given the quandary which has presented itself here, I’m giving this book 4 STARS.


Monday, October 19, 2015


I received a e-book version of this book through a giveaway on LibraryThing from the author, and the following is my honest opinion.

To set the record straight I’ve been a Book Reviewer since last August and when I saw Ms. Abbott’s book being offered as a giveaway I decided to enter it basically to see if I’ve learning anything through my own experiences writing reviews. Surprise it to say I’ve not, which means the author has done a thorough job in presenting the information contained in this book.

I didn’t start being a Book Reviewer, I started as an author almost three years, and currently have two books written and self-published. I began reading/reviewing books as a way of increasing my writing knowledge with books I’d obtained through giveaways throughout the internet.

Ms. Abbott is correct is saying authors are always looking for reviewers of their books which is why many times they use giveaways. The unfortunately thing is while they hope they get a review for each book they giveaway, they seldom get it.  So if you happen to receive a book through a giveaway, kindly right a review for the author in return. And if you do write a review for such a book, there is a FTC regulation which states you need to disclose this information in the review, just like I have here.

There are several kinds of reviews prevalent on sites like Amazon, and they run the gamut from quick one sentence jobs to those are filled with spoilers [giving away the plotline/detailed information about the book].

The real function of a review is to whet a potential reader’s interest in the book; that they wind up buying. One of the things I try to do in my review is to personalize it or to give a reference to a movie or even a song which someone reading the review can relate to.

While the author had mentioned authors being published by traditional publishers have an advantage over indie authors is the publishers handle promotions of the books. The fact of the matter is many times these authors at times have to do quite a bit of the promotions on their own.

How can you tell if you’ve written a good review? One of the ways is the HELPFUL votes your review has review. As for myself, it’s when the authors sends a THANK YOU message telling you how much they’ve enjoyed reading your review.

For educating others in becoming a book reviewer, I’ve given Ms. Allyson R Abbott 5 STARS.

NOTE: The author has used the British spelling of certain words and phrases in writing her book.



I received a mobi.File [KINDLE] copy of this book from the author through a recent giveaway he had on LibraryThing and the following is my honest opinion.

One of my best subjects in high school was history where I had about a 92/93 average, and American History was my favorite of all the history classes I had.

One of the main reasons I can see this defeat has been repeatedly passed over is the lack of flamboyancy General St. Clair had when we compared him to General Custer. This is in spite of the fact that General Custer’s massacre had been only a fraction of the one St. Clair and his army experienced.

Native American history has for too long been swept under the rug and forgotten about. Although the historical documentation exists it has, in my opinion, been tucked away in archives gathering dust. I know how hard it is to research a particular event in history, as I’ve helped someone doing research on such an item, and had gone with this individual to Washington, D.C. where I was given access to the stacks of the Library of the Library of Congress for a given range of the LC classification system for books.

One interesting thing about this event is, if you recall all the history you ever took, while any major event in history has been usually been named for its location, this event was named for the person most responsible for it happening.

It is for this reason I admired the tenacity Mr. Walker had in gathering the information contained in this book and for presenting it in readable form which is so prevalent in most history books. Not only has this author merely given the information pertaining to this tragic event in American History, he has given the readers of this book some insight about the event. This is why I’m giving this book the 5 STARS it so richly deserves.


Sunday, October 18, 2015


I received a mobi.File [KINDLE] copy of this book through a LibraryThing giveaway held by the author and the following is my honest opinion.

When I saw the title of this book I immediately got a nostalgic memory of my childhood, watching episodes of the original Hal Roach’s “Little Rascals” on the Black/White television we had at home. The particular episode was entitled He-Man Woman Haters Club and got started because no boy got invited to a certain party given by a girl. Spanky wanted to elect Alfalfa because . . . no need to go into any further details here.

While this story’s plot is not as complex, I loved the innocence portrayed by Logan and Caleb with their separation of the sexes by wanting to form a secret club which would allow no girls to join; even their rules excluded them. Boys and girls of this young age tend to keep apart from each other.

They ran into problems when it came to selecting their President. Ultimately they allowed Logan’s sister, Isabella, to join their secret club and somehow she got elected as their President.

It’s interesting; this is how the episode of The Little Rascal episode ended, with Darla Hood, Alfalfa’s “love interest,” getting elected as the President of their club. I know many grandparents will the connection between these two items, and will have the same kind of nostalgic memory as I have.

I found the language used in this book when it came to the dialogue to be authentic for the ages of its characters, and well suited as a whole for the audience this book has been written for; and is the reason I’ve given Ms. Cole 5 STARS for her endeavor here.


Saturday, October 17, 2015


The best kind of children’s books I love to read/review are the ones which teaches its young readers important life lesson in an entertaining manner, while at the same time doesn’t hit its readers over the head with the lesson.

Patricia Lowry or Patty Cakes as she’s known to her friends is a sweet girl who unfortunately has the tendency to be blame for things she didn’t do. Being a child of the 1950’s, this became somewhat nostalgic for me as I remembered watch a TV series segment of the Mickey Mouse Club entitled “Annette” in which Annette Funicello played a country bumpkin living with her upperclass relatives. She gets picked on by her classmates and at a party gets accused a stealing an expensive necklace worn by her school’s most liked and admired girl during a party, which ruined her existence. At the end of this series, several months later, at another party, the necklace is finally found when someone is asked to play a song which had been played at the first party. The girl who had blamed Annette for the theft apologize, and the two became good friends.

When Patty’s brother, Thomas, loses his “treasured” lacrosse ball naturally she’s the one who gets blamed for its disappearance. An interesting thing is, Patty seems to be able to skillfully reduce serious problems when she’s faced with them. However, she apparently can’t do the same when it involves him. Needless to say, at the end of the story the missing lacrosse ball is found in a place no one seemed to bother to look previously.

Ms. Carr’s simplistic writing style in this book, reminds me of the Dick and Jane reader I read in first grade, which lends itself perfectly to the way many children talk amongst themselves and brings them into the story and the important lesson it attempts to communicate.

For the reasons I’ve attempted to address in the above, I’m happy to give this book 5 STARS.

Friday, October 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW # 2015-128 - DONALD GASKIN - The Meanest Man in America

After having three books written by Jack Rosewood in his “True Crime by Evil Killers” series; when I found he had added this book to the series, I had requested an e-book copy of it in return for my honest opinion and which he’d graciously honored my request.

Donald Gaskins didn’t earn the title of “The Meanest Man in America” for nothing; just read the life destiny had “forced” him to live. Try to imagine if you will being brought my a mother who had totally neglected you in your formable years to such an extend you didn’t even know your own name until your first appearance in court when they called your name and someone had to tell you it’s you.

Having no supervision from his mother he became a wild animal and the fact he received regular beatings from his various “stepfathers” didn’t help matters either. Given his relatively small stature he got the nickname of “PeeWee,” which is the probable cause of his getting repeatedly raped at reform school.

To Gaskins, killing became a way of life; he killed because of a variety of reasons which even included getting paid. He even killed a death row inmate for money. In his autobiography, Final Truth, Gaskins wrote about his having a mind which told him he had the "permission to kill" certain to kill.

Once again this author has succeeded in culling out all of the unnecessary information regarding this infamous serial killer to give his readers a concise biography. For giving all those who read this book, I’m giving Mr Rosewood’s endeavor here 5 STARS.


Monday, October 12, 2015


In the past week I’ve read/reviewed a total of 7 books from four different genres, which for being a Book Reviewer is quite refreshing experience.

With two WIPs still sitting on the back burners, why am I looking at releasing the recycled short story I’d mentioned last week? Perhaps it’s my wanting to have a bigger variety of books of different genres published under my belt.

If this isn’t enough, having reviewed 190 books so far, from picture books for children to erotic romance novels, with one being actually being pornographic in nature, I figure it’s about time for me to step out of my comfort zone and write a short novella in the GLBT/Erotic category. So far, since yesterday, I’ve written about 750 words. I’m not going to give any details of it, but I’m going to post my progress on in each Status Report here on my blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


How many of you have written something which you've tossed aside only to go back to it at a later time to revamp it so it could be used for a different purpose than you had previously wanted to use it for.

The same thing is happening to me right now. 

In the middle of November of last year, as far as I can recall, I started to write a third W.I.P, see, to see what my other two WIPs are. This endeavor novella would have been a NA [New Adult] Contemporary romance novella entitled "It Had All Been a Game" with a second chance romance as the story line. But after writing several chapters the creativity ceased as a terminal case of Writer's Block took over and needless to say this manuscript soon became R.I.P.

The thing about R.I.P. manuscripts is that sooner or later if the creative spirits will it, a resurrection can occur with a new purpose for its existence. This is what happened to me when  I learned that the RWA [Romance Writers of America] wanted to compile a second anthology with submissions from its gifted membership. I revamped the story to fit the submission requirement regarding length and had submitted it towards the end of the submission period. The announcement of the winning submission had been scheduled for the end of May.  May came and went as did June, July. August, September; and it wasn't until a few days ago when the announcement emails got sent out. Unfortunately, my submission didn't get selected,

With the death of my endeavor occurring a second time I wasn't going to wait for a new opportunity to arise again. Using the knowledge I've gained since becoming a Book Reviewer, and seeing the length of many of the KINDLE items out there, I've decided to self-publish this endeavor as a Short Story.  This is something I hope to release in about 8 - 10 weeks.

Friday, October 9, 2015


As an author with two books under my belt, and two more in the processing of being written, like practically all other authors I’ve come down with the dreaded condition fondly know as WRITER’S BLOCK.

I suffered from this condition several times as I wrote my first novel and needed to find something which would stimulate those little cells in my mind. Luckily I found a site which would supply me with a weekly prompt word for which I had to respond by a FIVE SENTENCE story. Eventually I compiled the ones I’ve done and other which I had not into my second.

I currently have two WIPs which are currently on hold. I’m definitely going to come back to this book when I return to working on these endeavors. The reason for this is Ms. Pacelli’s endeavor here gives her readers not one kind of writing exercise to stimulate their creativity, but 60 of them, and each one can used over and over again.

Do not let my talking about this book helping authors get over their writer’s block deter anyone else from reading this book. This book will be of a great use to anyone who has a creative mind and wants to have something to stimulate; whether or not the end results will be published.

For aiding the creativity all of us have, I’m giving Ms. Pacelli’s book 5 STARS.

I received a KINDLE Edition of this book from the author through her LibraryThing giveaway, and the above has been my honest opinion.

Monday, October 5, 2015


I won an e-book edition of this book written by Amber Daulton through her giveaway on LibraryThing recently and the following in my honest opinion.

This story is an updated version of the old folk tale which practically very young girl has read as a child and since that day has dreamt of finding someone who would become her own Prince Charming. Have you ever have this dream?

In her book, Annalise Gallagher is Cinderella and Elijah Burleigh is her Prince Charming. But unlike her who was beautiful, but wore rags; Annalise had beautiful clothes looks quite ordinary.

One night Annalise and her three girlfriends find a magical locket and each make the same wish to look extremely beautiful and wake up the next morning, their wishes fulfilled. However, the magic will only last for 24 hours, midnight to midnight.

When she wakes up Annalise and see her wish has been granted, goes to him and is totally surprised when he invites her to be his guest at his friend’s wedding later that evening. When she meets him later she’s dressed in a haute couture gown straight from Paris, vowing to make the most of the time she has left to be with him.

But with no Fairy Grandmother around her appearance to the way her Prince had seen her the previously night, but what will happen Annalise awakes and Elijah sees her the way she normally looks like?  Will he demand to know what happened; or will she wake to find him waiting for her to wake and ask if he can do anything for her?  Until you read this book, you’ll just have to dream about what happens.

As I read this book the author’s writing has been such that at times I felt as if I’d been a shadow watching what’s transpiring in front of me, which is why I’m giving this book FIVE STARS.




I received a set of four books [PDF.file] from his author’s The Great Book of Animal Knowledge series centering on CATS through his giveaway on LibraryThing, and the following is my honest opinion for it.

Each of these four books

VOLUME 4 – CHEETAHS: The Fastest Cats on the Planet

VOLUME 5 – TIGERS: Deadly Predators of the Jungle

VOLUME 6 – LIONS: Powerful Kings of the Wild

VOLUME 9 – LEOPARDS: Stalkers of the Wild

while brief in length this book offers its young readers a clear and concise description for various aspects of this cat and its life, which is aided by each of the 20+ photographs above each description. And for this, I’m giving each of these books 4 STARS.


I obtained a copy of this book through a giveaway on GoodReads and the following is my honest opinion.

My dear OH and I, having no children, have been cat lovers for years, which is why I couldn’t resist trying to win a copy of this book.

Ms. Petrova has done a marvelous job with her book, beginning with the tragic death of her dear mother and how Zarathustra became her cat and had her come out the depression she found herself in. The author is quite fortunate to have bonded with her cat the way she has because of their independence and elusiveness. She is also fortunate to have had a mother who taught everything she knew, as well as curiosity and willingness to look at different fields, this ultimately led her to develop the artistic skills used in creating the art which is displayed in this book.

However, this book wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for her cat, who loved to be a show-off by posing in different positions on his own so he could be photographed by Ms. Petrova. The author then sought out the perfect masterpieces painted by all the famous artists in the world which she get high resolution images of, and then artistically and painstakingly photoshop the photos she had of her cat onto.

To add to the enjoyment of each of her finished pictures the author has combined the historical points about each one as well as having the cat presence in the now improved masterpiece explained.

I believe this book makes for a pleasant reading experience for all cat and art lovers. Given the pictures in this book and the quality of the paper being used, this price is quite reasonable when compared to other books out there. I’m therefore happy to give this book 5 STARS.


As promised, I hope to post some sort of writing tip each Monday starting today. I felt the best way to start is to handle the issue or problem regarding names for the characters in our books.

Every author in writing their book(s) has to face the dilemma of what to name our characters, luckily for us if our story takes place in the United States, we have a superb tool to help remedy the situation. When we name our characters, we want their names to be appropriate for the time period the story is taking place, and of course it would be wonderful if we can know what the most popular names were for our characters when they were born.

In my debut MG/YA Paranormal Romance novel, "I Kissed a Ghost", I wanted my characters to be around 13 years old which would mean they were born in 1997. And since my story has a time travel element to it, I would also need to know the most popular names in 1897.

There's a lot more fun stuff can LAO find out how popular your name has been since you were born. Here's the link to the site.


Things have finally begun to slow down in my life as my dear OH is improving every, and hopefully we’ll no longer need a 24/7 home attendant by the beginner of next year.

My status as a Book Reviewer is improving on a regular basis. As of today on Amazon my approval rating is 95% based on 184 reviews and my ranking is 6,408; but some reason there appears to be no change in anyone’s ranking for the past week.

On August 25th as you know I got accepted as a Book Reviewer on The Romance Reviews website and I now have 2 reviews posted there, both of which are already proving helpful for visitors to the site who are interested in these books. If anyone is interested in reading these reviews you’re welcome to visit me there, here’s my link:

I’ve already myself being interview on one site in November and I’m looking to do more. If anyone is interest in either interviewing me or have me do a guest post, please feel free to contact me.

Starting this week I’ll be posting a tip each Monday which I hope will help you in your writing endeavors.