Book Review: Out of Practice

Out of Practice (Breakup Doctor #4)Out of Practice by Phoebe Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so happy to read this fourth and final installment of the Break Up Doctor Series. I have loved every book and this one was no different.

Brook Lyn has grown over he series and this time, things started coming apart for her. After being ambushed on the morning talk show of her high school nemesis, Brook starts losing clients. Her mom is having a hard time with the loss of her father, her best friend, Sasha, is struggling with new motherhood and Brook, herself, can’t seem to figure out what she wants in her wedding to Ben. Ben thinks maybe she just isn’t interested.

Through it all, Brook comes to realize she needs to take some time out for herself and decide what she really wants in life. I’ve laughed and cried with this character and I’m going to miss her. Terrific book, terrific series.

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Book Review: The Candidate

The Candidate (Newsmakers #2)The Candidate by Lis Wiehl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lis Wiehl is a smart gal and her book is a smart book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

I couldn’t put this book down once I started it. Erica Sparks is the host of the top-rated cable news show. She wants to host the presidential debate but her boss thinks her ratings are slipping and makes her feel like she needs to do something to raise them.

In preparation for moderating the debate, Erica decides to do in-depth profiles on the two candidates. While the Republican candidate seems to be what you see is what you get, the Democratic candidate, Sen. Mike Ortiz, seems to be a little “off”. Ortiz is married to the billionaire heiress Claire who has, along with her best friend Lily Lau, orchestrated Mike’s rise to the top.

When people don’t fall into line to help them achieve their goals, lives are lost and there’s a trail of dead bodies by the time Erica is snatched.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and you read to find out if Erica makes it out alive, if the Ortiz’s take the White House, and if the people behind the scheme succeed.

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Book Review: The German Girl

The German Girl: A NovelThe German Girl: A Novel by Armando Lucas Correa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! A deeply moving family saga that tells the story of Hannah, a young German Jew from the second World War and her great niece, Anna, a young girl who lost her father (Hannah’s grandson) in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2011.

Much of the book was Hannah’s story which Anna was so drawn to. Hannah left Germany with her family on the St. Louis on route to Havana where they had bought residency visas. As the ship full of nearly 1,000 Jewish passengers sailed closer to Cuba, it was learned that Cuba didn’t plan to accept the entire passenger list and, in the end, less than 30 passengers disembarked for their new lives in Cuba. Hannah and her mother were among those who settled in Cuba. Her dad and best friend were sent back. Her dad ultimately died in Auschwitz.

Although their situation seemed dire through the entire book, I grew to love this cast of characters. Excellent book! I hope to read more from this author.

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Book Review: Small Great Things

Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. The funny thing is, sometimes I read the blurb describing the book and think I won’t like it and end up loving it. This book surprised me as it’s told first through the eyes of a black person.

The book is about racism, very topical for today.

Ruth is an accomplished labor and delivery nurse with 20 years on the job in the same hospital. She’s the widowed mother of a 17-year-old son, Edison. She’s worked her whole life to be successful. Her mother was a maid until her death and her sister lives in the projects. She wants better for herself and her son. Her son is also a high achieving student-athlete on track for college.

When Ruth is removed from a baby’s care by his white supremacist parents, she finds herself monitoring him after his circumcision because she was the only one available to do it as the unit was short-staffed. When the baby starts having difficulty, Ruth is torn because of the parent’s wishes and her training and desire to be a good nurse. She tries to help the baby but he ultimately dies. The parents bring suit against her.

The book covers the trial through her eyes, the eyes of her attorney who is learning what it’s like to see things through Ruth’s eyes, and the baby’s father.

The book is very thought provoking and an excellent story. The characters are wonderful and there are twists and turns you don’t see coming. I highly recommend this book.

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Book Review: A Shoe Addict’s Christmas

A Shoe Addict's ChristmasA Shoe Addict’s Christmas by Beth Harbison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I’m a big Beth Harbison fan but not normally a Christmas book fan but I’m glad I read this one. It was so cute!

Noelle works for an upscale apartment story and finds herself unexpectedly locked in during a snow storm on Christmas eve. She’d been so busy working that she didn’t realize that snow had started falling heavily and that the store had closed and everyone had gone home. After checking in with her boss and assuring him she’d stay safely there all night, she settles in. She shops and as she’s trying on a nightgown to wear for the night, she hears a loud crash.

When she goes into the shoe storage room, she finds an old woman, Charlie, who claims to be her guardian angel. Noelle is suspicious but over the course of the night, Charlie takes her through her past to see where she could have made choices that would have been happier.

This story is cute and like A Christmas Carol. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a sweet, holiday read. 🙂

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Book Review: The Wangs vs The World

The Wangs vs. the WorldThe Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! Funny, crazy, loveable.

The Wangs are a rather disfunctional, rich Chinese family living in LA. Charles, the dad, has made his fortune in cosmetics but made bad business decisions and ends up losing everything but his family. His wife Barbra, oldest daughter, Saina, youngest daughter, Grace, and son, Andrew.

Saina, is an adult, a respected artist that has had some business troubles of her own and has moved to an out of the way town in New York. When he realizes everything is gone, Charles loads up Barbra, Andrew and Grace and they head on a cross country trip to get to Saina’s house.

Ultimately, Charles has plans to regain family land in China that was taken over by the Communists. Charles grew up in Taiwain and has never set eyes on the land but feels it’s his destiny.

What follows is a madcap adventure of the four, and sometimes three, of them driving across the USA. In the end, after all of their troubles, the family draws close.

This is a fun book and I’d have finished it way earlier but I had trouble getting a copy in a format that I could easily read. Excellent book! Highly recommend. 🙂

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Crossing Off #58

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I have a goals list. One of the things I added to my goals list was to meet my twitter friend, Mariam Kobras. I added that goal a few years ago and yesterday, I crossed #58 off my list!


I’ve been so looking forward to meeting Mariam for a long time. We’ve been tweeting for around 8 years. We were trying to figure it out yesterday, but it’s been a long time. She is on a trip around the US and she is staying with another twitter friend, Sharon, in Fort Worth for this week. We planned to meet in Ardmore, OK, (sort of a halfway point) along with Nita, who I met for the first time when she came to see me at the Listen To Your Mother Show. 

We met at 2 Frogs Bar and Grill which is a really cool place. They sometimes have live music and there is a lot of rock memorabilia on the walls. I ordered a salad to eat but we did order dessert. Ever since I saw the menu, I was obsessed with the idea that they had cotton candy on it. I’ve never been to a restaurant that serves cotton candy. 


We were not disappointed! It was so huge and we laughed so hard at it. Even though we didn’t really eat it, it was worth whatever I paid for it just for the entertainment value. 



It was so awesome to have lunch with these ladies. To finally meet Mariam and Sharon and to see Nita again. For me, this is the very best part of social media. When you finally get to meet people IRL and you get to skip past all the awkward “getting to know you” stuff because you already know them really well. 🙂

The People in Your Neighborhood

We’ve been driving around Belize City and David has been having trouble with the one way streets. To be fair, some of the markings aren’t so good. As he was getting ready to turn into another wrong way, a man stopped us and motioned that it was the wrong way.

He motioned for us to roll our window down, which I did. He started to tell me who he was. “I’m Prince Charles Perez. Google me!”

When we got back to the wifi, I did and lo and behold, there he was! 

He’s an amateur historian and it appears that a lot of people run into him and he will share his knowledge about Belize. I asked a local friend about him and he said, “oh yes, one of the smartest guys out there”. 

Such a colorful, friendly guy. I’m glad we ran into him. 🙂

Miss Belize Universe Pageant

We found out we were going to Belize and they told us that the day after we arrived was a national holiday. I took to Google to find out what the holiday was and found that after almost ten years, they were once again holding a Miss Belize Universe Pageant!


Of course, I wanted to go. David talked to the people there and they secured tickets for us. I think this was a good idea because at the pageant they mentioned they had sold out quickly.

It was fun to attend a pageant in another country. The entertainment was awesome. There were no artists I’d ever seen but everyone else in the building seemed to be very familiar with them and their works. 


It was the standard Miss Universe preliminary pageant including an opening number, 

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Swimsuit competition.


Evening gown competition. 


And onstage questions.

In addition, each girl had to create a national costume based on the theme Made in Belize. This was my favorite part of the pageant as the costumes were amazing! I thought it was cool that, not only did the contestant win the prize, the prize was also awarded to the costume designer. 


It was really, really hot in the PAC  (they are going to be getting an air conditioner upgrade soon, I understand) but other than that, I really enjoyed seeing Rebecca Rath of Dandriga crowned Miss Belize Universe 2016.


I picked her as the winner  from the opening number. She just lit up the stage. I look forward to watching her at Miss Universe!


Book Review: Pancakes in Paris

Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in FrancePancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France by Craig Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a cool book. It was fun to watch Craig find himself. It was also awesome to see his persistence to follow through on an idea he knew would be a really great one, all in another country.

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