51. Nobody Has to Know



Nobody Has to Know Book Summary:

Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him.Nobody Has To Know is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.
Well I thoroughly enjoyed Frank Nappi’s Nobody Has to Know.  I read it in a day and could have read it in a lot less time if I hadn’t had so many other things to do.  The main character of this thriller is a high school English teacher which intrigued me since I’m an English teacher as well.  There’s nothing like a story where the main character is heading for a collision.  You know it and he knows it but he can’t help himself.  I found myself thinking, for a man that’s supposed to be so smart gosh he’s dumb.  I wonder if Nappi was trying to show how some men can be easily manipulated by beautiful, young women.  Control and common sense, that is what Cameron Baldridge was missing.  The story will definitely give you second thoughts on trying to get to know your students too closely.  Nappi does a good job depicting the descent of Cameron Baldridge, the young, attractive, well-liked, perfect teacher.  All the characters in this story have complicated, tortured lives and their backgrounds drive their actions.  They all hook up quite well together.
The writing style is smooth and entertaining, but there were some word usage problems, missing words, and changes from third to first person at inappropriate moments, but all in all the story holds together.  However, part of the ending was predictable early on.  Even though, Nappi threw in a surprise twist at the end that left me a little disappointed.  I would have preferred an ending that dealt with all the principal characters and not just Cameron.  It’s true Cameron is a piece of work, but the others shouldn’t have been left out.  Essentially, it’s a good book and I rated it 3,5 stars on Goodreads.  It’s straight forward and to the point and not too long.  Nobody Has to Know is an easy carefree read that deals with a subject we’ve heard in the news lately- teachers having love relationships with their students.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Frank Nappi has in store for his next book.  Check it out guys!  Happy New Year and Happy reading!
Frank Nappi’s Bio: frank
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA’s silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story “A Mile in His Shoes” starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story, and is presently at work on a third installment of the unique series. Frank lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
Price/Format: $3.99, ebook
Publisher: G Agency LLC
Release: October 16, 2012

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49./50. Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed

Well I finally finished them.  They nearly bored me to death and I wasn’t sure to finish them. I kept picking them up and putting them down.  I still think the same thing about these two as I thought about Fifty Shades of Grey.  Wow is the writing to be desired!  I’m sure her vocabulary isn’t as limited as she makes it look in this series. I can’t believe whoever edited it didn’t notice or didn’t even bother to try to propose new words, expressions, and scene changes.  As far as character development is concerned, there isn’t any.  The characters still remain one-dimensional.  Christian is an arrogant, insufferable, controlling, sex-crazed, ego maniac all the way until about page 460 in Fifty Shades Freed.  This is a spoiler free review so I’m not telling why but I’m sure you can figure it out.  Fifty Shades Freed is 579 pages and to be frank it’s 250 pages too long.  The series does get a little better overall concerning the story.  Something other than sex does happen.   Unfortunately, there is too little of it.  I did like the way EL James ended the story by having us read accounts from Christian’s point of view such as an earlier scene in Fifty Shades of Grey when he meets Anastasia in the hardware store where she works.  I can see why critics and journalists are calling this “Mommy porn”.  It’s seems to be clear that middle-aged women all over the UK and the US are the ones who have found this series to be nothing more than a charming, sexy love story.  I would say there is more sex than story.  I wonder if Christian would have been described as an attractive thirty-something minimum wage mechanic that had a penchant for BDSM if all those women would have still found the book to be a sexy love story.  Somehow, I think not.  I keep hoping that the majority of women are smart enough not to get sucked into a relationship with a controlling, attractive, billionaire dominant because he’s rich and good-looking.  It’s said that women desire a man who can take care of them and that knows what they want.  This is not a story for feminists, nor for impressionable young teenage girls.  I feel women should be able to choose what kind of sex they want to have and not have it forced on them in a manipulative way.  I just wanted to slaughter Anastasia’s inner goddess and got sick of hearing how hot Christian was and the both of them not believing the other was in love.

Anastasia is made out to be unbelievably naive and has no idea what she wants. Of course, she needs Christian to tell her what to eat, what to wear, what job she’s going to do, etc.  In Fifty Shades of Grey, she doesn’t have an email address, doesn’t know what a Macbook Pro is, and has never shaved herself.  It’s only in the last two hundred pages of Fifty Shades Freed  where she miraculously becomes intelligent, knows how to fire a gun, and saves the day.  Things are wrapped up in a neat package at the end of this series.  You’re going to think it’s a fairy tale.  It’s done much too perfectly.  It’s not possible that someone with the difficult background of Christian Grey won’t need some lifetime therapy to succeed in his family life.  He’ll need more than a pretty, young, fresh girlfriend, who will do everything he wants.

As for EL James, she got lucky on this one, staggeringly lucky.  How many expert erotica authors are out there trying to get their first real break?  I haven’t got a clue but they are all wringing their hands trying to figure out how someone can get published for a poorly written trilogy full of boring, repetitive sex, marketed as BDSM and get famous for it; so famous that she’s sold more copies of her books than the Harry Potter series.  We’re all reeling from this conundrum.  I’m sure it won’t happen for her again.  In another year we’ll have three movie adaptations to look forward to and more occasions for EL James to make even more money off the Fifty Shades series again. Click the link below and you’ll get a good idea about the frenzy of the Fifty Shades series, who is head over for it and how EL James absolutely doesn’t understand at all the frenzy around it.  The You Tube clip is a funny video of the comedian Gilbert Gottfried reading an excerpt from Fifty Shades of Grey.  Enjoy! It’s pretty funny.  Happy holidays and Happy reading!


Easy reading is damn hard writing.

                                 —-Nathaniel HAWTHORNE

48. Blissful Lies

15867068 Blissful Lies Blog Tour

Blissful LiesBook Summary:

Things are often not what they seem in the decadent lifestyles of the rich and famous. Life can be messy and at times people do what feels wrong, because in the end it may turn out to be the best decision ever made. A close bond between 5 lifelong friends, now of college age, find the limits of their relationships are tested when multiple secrets and lies begin to surface, which ultimately leave them wondering if it is all too much to move forward as the family they once were. Forbidden love, drug dealing, date rape, betrayal, cheating, and more begin to unravel the strong ties between friends. Can they overcome secrets which warrant a very difficult life altering response?
I decided to read Blissful Lies because it isn’t at all the kind of book I’m used to reading.  I felt like reading something a little different and light.  The cover pretty much tells you what kind of book it is.  I guess it could be categorized as chick lit, romance, and maybe even new adult (ages 18-24).  The story is predominantly plot driven.  There are too many characters to do much character development.  The first half of the book turns primarily around Addison and Jackson.  There was a lot of back and forth between them about their relationship.  Should we? No. Maybe.  Yes.  Addison is 43 and Jackson is about 22.  Now you see the dilemma.  Yes there is a bit of “cougarism” in this book, but apparently true love “cougarism”.  The second half of the book takes a different turn but didn’t go the way I would have liked it too.  I found it disappointing that Spencer is taken out of the picture conveniently and that Addison and Jackson don’t have to face much difficulty to stay together.  The story is unfortunately tied up too neatly and conveniently for my taste.  The average reader will probably think this story is slightly unrealistic and frankly it is.  Those readers who want a beach read or romantic novel will enjoy it.  This is Brown-Thomas’ first novel and she’s tried to make a good attempt at an interesting romance novel, with some added intrigue.  I prefered largely the second half with the secrets to the first half.  I think that was because I’m in my forties and I would find it just a bit much if a 23-year-old started to profess his love to me.  Unbelievable!  If you’re a reader of romance novels do check it out.  I’d love to know what you romance readers think of this one.  The movie adaptation should be released in the near future.  You can see a trailer of it below.  It looks a little soap opera-like.  I wish Brown-Thomas good luck on her writing career with her new book release, Vindictive Grounds.
Jennifer Brown Thomas‘s Bio:

At just 25 years old, Jennifer Brown-Thomas is a celebrated book author and movie director. Her first novel, Blissful Lies, combines both of her passions.At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, she presented Blissful Lies (the movie) starring Emmy award-winning actress, Leann Hunley. YTINIFNI Pictures is working to bring the film to DVD and on-demand television this spring.Jennifer is a married, Texas Christian University graduate and mother of one. Her newest venture, LBT Enterprises, is set to launch a fragrance, a children’s clothing line and more.Watch for more novels from Jennifer – the next on its way is Vindictive Grounds. In February, Jennifer will begin directing the film version of this novel. She says, “It definitely has more of the explicit sexual contact comparable to Fifty Shades of Grey.
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Prices/Formats: $15.00 paperback, $8.99-$9.99 ebook
Publisher: Helm Publishing
ISBN: 9780985048839
Pages: 234
Release: January 3, 2012Amazon buy link ($15.00):
Barnes and Noble buy link ($15.00):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blissful-lies-jennifer-brown-thomas/1110455024Kindle buy link ($8.99):
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The Fart That Saved Christmas

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Tribute Books Blog Tour – The Fart That Saved Christmas

                                                                                                            book FINAL-rev 2-22-2012

The Fart That Saved Christmas Book Summary:

The behind the scenes story of what really happened “The Night Before Christmas.”It’s Christmas Eve. The reindeer go on strike with a list of demands for Santa, the elves and Mrs. Claus. Santa gets “loaded” and threatens to cancel Christmas, fire the deer and divorce Mrs. Claus. But, just when all seems lost, Christmas is saved by a timely fart.
When Tribute Books asked me to review The Fart That Saved Christmas, I really didn’t know what to expect.  Farting and Christmas are two words that I have to as yet perceived as relating to each other.  When I saw a picture of Jacob Morningside who has a uncanning resemblance to Santa Claus, my curiosity was peaked and I immediately accepted.
I was happily surprised.  This 40-page graphic novel attempts to make you laugh about Christmas in a different way but in rhyme, borrowing a bit of inspiration from the famous Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  This will either put you off or win you over.  Honestly, it’s not for everyone.  Who would have thought some festive flatulence could save Christmas?  The reindeer are threatening to strike, mischievous elves up to mayhem, controlling Mama Claus with all of her rules, and worst of all an overeating Santa Claus with a penchant for the drink.  Not to mention, he’s getting fed up with the job.  It’s told in good fun and the illustrations drawn by Nadja Andrasev are the icing on the cake.  They are comical, colorful, and well drawn.  When I finished it, I suddenly started to imagine people I knew who would find this story humorous and a few names came to mind.  Mom if you’re reading this post, you should pick this one up for your boss.  I think he would get a kick out of it.  I know he would.  So, if you’re looking for an unorthodox Christmas present for someone who loves to laugh and won’t scoff at a little Christmas political incorrectness (Santa Claus & Co. are an institution), The Fart That Saved Christmas is it.
Jacob Morningside‘s Bio:   JacobMorningside

Born into a body inhabited by multiple muse personalities, I create stories by stretching the “normal” beyond the boundaries of the absurd.  The result is a worm-hole ride to the Far Side.  I love a good story — so, I wrote one.  Enjoy it with my wishes for a happy holiday season.

Price: $4.99
Format: Ebook
Pages: 40 illustrated
Publisher: Publish Green
Release: September 6, 2012iBookstore buy link ($4.99):

The blog tour’s official site is:

47. The Devil’s Garden


Tribute Books Blog Tour for The Devil’s Garden

The Devil’s Garden Book Summary:

A Marine’s past is never far behind him, but sometimes it’s a lot closer than he thinks . . .After years of enjoying the soft, quiet, civilian, family life, former Recon Marine Brandon Colson still has a large price on his head…only his family doesn’t know it. That is, until a heavily armed squad of terrorists breaks into his house and tries to kill him and his family.After swiftly dispatching the would-be assassins, Colson realizes the ghosts from his past have somehow managed to come back to haunt him. His worst nightmare has come true. His identity—a secret until now—has been mysteriously compromised. Something he did years ago, while on a recon mission during his tour of service, has kept anger burning in the hearts of powerful Arab adversaries. And the men who attacked his house are simply an omen of what is to come.With his family in hiding, Colson and local detective Sam Collier set out to locate and neutralize the remainder of the terrorist cell. It’s a race against time, and the plot they uncover along the way defies all expectation.Their fates in the balance until the last second, the two men must fight for their lives as they navigate a trail littered with bloodshed and revenge that leads straight to hell on earth: The Devil’s Garden.

I’m really not so sure where to start with this review.  I don’t think I’ve read any novel like this before.  Unfortunately, The Devil’s Garden was a real disappointment for me.  The first thirty pages had me intrigued, but the rest was much too one-dimensional for my tastes.  Marine Brandon Colson, the main character, was an arrogant, self-righteous, ego maniac.  He’s supposed to be the hero and main protagonist of the novel and I couldn’t stand him and all of this started right in the beginning when Colson is being interrogated by Collier.
Another thing that bothered me was that as some parts of the novel are entertaining there are parts that drag on.  In fact it’s the dialogue which seems to be a little flat.  It wasn’t real enough for me.  I found the dialogues resembled more of a manuscript written for television.  Speaking of which, I can imagine this story as a movie.  Dialogues usually help the reader learn more about the characters, however as readers we only seem to learn more and more about my favorite friend Colson.  All the other characters remain quite sketchy, including detective Sam Collier who seemed to be slightly stereotypical in my opinion.
The good thing about this book is the author, Brady Christianson.  He’s used every bit of his experience as a United States Marine to fashion an engaging plot, with a lot of action, which at times can be violent.  For example, in the beginning he compares hitting a fastball with a baseball bat to beheading someone with a Japanese saber.  Ouch!  No worries the rolling head belonged to one of the bad guys.  So yes there is some graphic violence but that should be expected in a thriller.   Despite all of this, the writing style flows somewhat and is easy to follow.   It’s just too bad the characters weren’t developed enough and that there wasn’t enough real, rich dialogue.  It’s because of this that I’m not sure I would have finished it if I hadn’t agreed to review it.  The Devil’s Garden isn’t for everybody.  The constant religious theme that runs through the novel tends to be just a bit preachy and I would imagine some readers would get a little tired of that aspect.  The last good thing about the novel was the humor.  It’s amazing that their could be anything humorous in the story after reading the summary, but there is and that shows the balance of the thriller.  I rated The Devil in the Garden 2 stars on Goodreads.  It’s ok, but not my cup of tea.  Nevertheless, I say check it out if you want to read and experience a very different kind of thriller.
Brady Christianson‘s Bio:

Brady Christianson is a former United States Marine Corps Recon Marine whose military service and Christian faith has shaped his writing.
Price: $14.95
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
ISBN: 9781938690167
Pages: 391
Release: November 11, 2012Amazon buy link ($14.95):

MyBookOrders.com paperback buy link ($14.95):

Christmas Blog Hop Giveaway Winner!

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12/12/12 was a great day for blogging and of course for discovering new blogs.  I’m happy to announce the winner of my Christmas Blog Hop giveaway is

Adrianne Russell from The Writer’s Republic!  Adrianne just send me a message to dididborie@dartybox.com with your address so that I know where to send your copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Thanks to everyone who participated and I will definitely be having more giveaways next year.  I urge all those bibliophiles to keep a close eye out.  I’d also like to thank Steph again from “http://bloginfrance.com for hosting this Christmas Blog Hop.  It was a lot of fun and I along with all the other bloggers and readers have discovered some great new blogs and made some nice connections. 🙂

                                             I wish you all Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

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