Book Review: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Volume 2

daron2Volume 2 of the guitar chronicles was about twice as long as volume 1. But I kind of liked it better that way (once I got over the fact that it meant it was over 400 pages).  I seemed to get hooked on this book a lot faster than the first and felt more immersed in the story.  I felt like I was sitting around with Daron and he was telling me this story about how his band was on the verge of getting signed, they had a new singer and found a drummer and they were on tour… and everything that comes along with it.  Once the band gets signed things really start moving, Daron is hooking up with the lead singer but doesn’t want the rest of the band to know that he is and isn’t sure that Ziggy can keep his secret.  But then their relationship seems to be losing their on stage chemistry and messing with Daron a bit.  Daron’s Dad comes back in the picture and although the 1st book had Daron trying to avoid him at all costs, he ends up hiring him to help out the band this time.  It was fun to follow the ride of M3 and everything behind the scenes from Daron’s point of view.  This book didn’t end with quite as much of a cliffhanger, but Volume 3 is out there and I am looking forward to getting back into Daron’s world some day soon!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

It’s the summer of 1987, and Daron Marks is trying to make it big. His band is starting to attract attention from major labels, which is good, but his own attention too often strays to the band’s lead singer, Ziggy. Daron already struggles with being gay, he doesn’t need a relationship with a band member to make things worse. He resolves to keep his crush a secret. But nothing stays a secret for very long in the white-hot spotlight of fame.

Volume 2 of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles encompasses over 80 chapters of the popular online serial (over 300 book pages), the most tumultuous year of Daron’s life yet.

Book Review: Dangerously Dark

darjkDangerously Dark is the second book in a series. I had previously read the first, Criminal Confections. The third, The Semisweet Hereafter is coming soon. After reading the first I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with the series, but figured I’d give it another chance. Unfortunately it still fell flat for me.

In this book, Hayden is supposed to go meet her financial advisor whom she has a crush on based just on his voice.  But he ends up reminding her that instead she needs to go to Portland for her friend Carissa’s engagement party.  Then Carissa’s fiancé turns up dead. Everyone seems to think it was an accident, but since Hayden seems to stumble upon murders as a hobby now, she thinks he has been murdered and is trying to solve it.

Once again, I didn’t really like how everything just went along as normal in the book when people were dead. Although, I guess if you think it was an accident there’s no investigation needed… unless you’re Hayden.

Not sure I’ll stick around for book 3 in this series.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Chocolate-whisperer Hayden Mundy Moore has just arrived in Portland, Oregon, where she’s about to scarf soufflés and sip cacao-based cocktails at her friend’s engagement party. Fresh from nabbing her first candy-covered killer, the last thing Hayden wants to do is mix her love of chocolate with criminal mischief again. But then the groom-to-be turns up dead before beginning his renowned Chocolate-After-Dark tour. . .

Hayden’s friends insist that Declan’s death was a freak accident, but she knows there’s no mistaking the bitter aftertaste of homicide. In the midst of habañero hot chocolate and mocha-chunk gelato, a choco-crazed killer waits to strike again. Hayden will need to use more than her extraordinarily gifted taste buds to bring this murderer to justice, but she just might have bitten off more than she can chew in the process.

Book Review: White House Kids

whitehouseWhite House Kids tells the story about the President’s children who have lived in the white house. It is sort of like a scrapbook with a lot of fun pictures and illustrations throughout.  I found the section on “white house firsts” to be interesting – I didn’t know that two President’s children married their first cousins… in the white house.  I also enjoyed the section on the “most daring stunts” that were done by the white house kids!  This was a very interesting book and while it is geared towards kids, I think that adults would enjoy it as well – whether they be presidential history buffs or just interested in learning more about the President’s kids!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the book

Living in America’s most famous residence might seem glamorous at first–it’s the most fun place any kid could live! There’s a bowling alley in the basement, chefs are always available to prepare whatever you’re craving, and sometimes presidential aides will even help you with your homework! But life isn’t always easy for the youngsters who call the White House home. They’re always in the spotlight, and those pesky Secret Service agents are always around. For every perk, there’s a problem. From Washington to Obama, see the White House through the eyes of the children and grandchildren. Filled with wacky, weird, and wonderful stories, it shows what it’s like to call the president Dad (or Granddad or Uncle). Find out what schools they went to, what mischief they caused, and what pets they had. There are first-person accounts from letters and interviews, fascinating photos, original illustrations, and even a section that follows the children after they left the White House.

Book Review: Wake Up Happy


Wake Up Happy is a book by former NFL star and current co host of Live with Kelly and Michael, Michael Strahan. Each chapter of the book starts with one of Michael’s “Rules” and then that chapter goes on to tell a bit about himself in relation to the rule and some cases where the rule worked for him or maybe how he learned to make it one of his rules.  In addition to being an autobiography it is also a bit of a self help book in helping your achieve your goals like Michael has.

His brothers used to call him “BOB” when he was little – which stood for “booty on back” because he was heavy.  Once Michael found out that is what it stood for and his brothers were teasing him, he worked hard to lose weight.  He grew up in Germany but ended up going to school in Texas and then was drafted by the Giants. Where he was terrified to leave his hotel room in NYC.

The book has a lot of great tips and information. One thing that stuck with me as that by the time you go to bed each day, you have made 35000 decisions that day.  I found this number to be crazy, but considering how often I spend deciding what book to read or if I should write a review or nap –  I guess it makes sense.  A lot of the decisions you are making you don’t even realize you are making them!

You don’t have to be a fan of Michael to read this book and gain from it.  His rules work for all walks of life, whether you are trying to get a promotion or want to follow his footsteps and play in the NFL.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From America’s favorite football player turned morning talk show host—a man who makes just about everything look easy—a mélange of stories and motivational advice to inspire the reader to turn up the heat and go from good to great in pursuit of their personal ambitions.

Michael Strahan spent his childhood on a military base in Europe, where community meant everything, and life, though idyllic, was different. For one, when people referenced football they meant soccer. So when Michael’s father suggested he work toward a college scholarship by playing football in Texas, where tens of thousands of people show up for a weekend game, the odds were long. Yet he did, indeed, land a scholarship and from there a draft into the NFL where he scaled the league’s heights, broke records, and helped his team win the Super Bowl as a result of which he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. How? By developing “Strahan’s Rules”—a mix of mental discipline, positive thinking, and a sense of play. He also used the Rules to forge a successful post pro-ball career as cohost with Kelly Ripa on Live!—a position for which he was considered the longshot—and much more.

In Wake Up Happy, Michael shares personal stories about how he gets and stays motivated and how readers can do the same in their quest to attain their life goals.

Here are a few of “Strahan’s Rules”:

1) Listen to other people, but don’t take their opinions for fact. Have your own experiences. Draw your own conclusions.

2) You can’t change other people but you can change how you act around them. Usually, that’s more than enough.

3) Don’t pre-judge. Help can—and will—come from the most unexpected places. Be open to everything around you.

Inspiring and chock full of advice that will help the reader make significant strides toward pursuing his or her dream, Wake Up Happy is a book no one, young or old, male or female will want to miss.

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