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Friday, April 25, 2014

Compelling People

Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us InfluentialCompelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential by John Neffinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review.

I struggle with the issues in this book. The authors talk about strength and warmth as 2 competing things everyone needs to master. The book describes what they mean by strength and warmth, then goes into detailed examples of how these work in real life. We all have elements of each. The trick is to balance them out. Too much strength without warmth can leave people behind, while too much warmth without strength can leave people vulnerable. One area the authors discuss is public speaking, and how it can be difficult to practice. One thing they didn't mention was Toastmasters, an organization that allows people to practice public speaking in a controlled environment. I realize now why this book is required reading at Harvard. They also mention the 1988 presidential debate where Michael Dukakis answered a question about his wife's rape and murder as though he'd been asked the time of day. The problem isn't reading about this, the problem is putting this into practice. That's the part I struggle with. Overall, a good book.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Unbeatable: Notre Dame and the Last Great Season in College FootballUnbeatable: Notre Dame and the Last Great Season in College Football by Jerry Barca
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I lived this book. I was a 3rd year law student in the fall of 1988. I'm what's called a Double Domer. I got my undergraduate degree in 1986. I was there throught the Gerry Faust years, which weren't all that great. Then Lou Holtz came in, and turned everything around. That's what this book documents. I was familiar with the story, but it was nice to hear the retelling. The book describes the down years, and then the comeback. I always wonder, if overtime had been around in 1988, would Miami have just tried for the extra point and taken their chances in overtime? Who knows? And yes, I was there for the Miami game when Pat Terrell batted down the 2 point try at the end of the Miami game, which helped propel Notre Dame to the national championship in 1988. This book goes through all the games, and describes some of them in detail, including Michigan, Miami, and USC. Sadly, this was Notre Dame's last national championship. We came close in 2012, but we can be back soon. Great book for any Irish fan, as well as anyone who wants to know about the last great college football season. Go Irish!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Chasing Mercy (Mercy, #1)Chasing Mercy by Stacy Claflin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for this review.

Who you gonna call? This book was a cross between Ghostbusters (1, not 2) and the Ghost Whisperer. The title character, Mercy, was the sole survivor in a car accident that killed the rest of her family. Along the way, she meets Kit, a boy who comes from a family of ghost whisperers (although that term isn't used in the book). Together, they try to outwit a ghost she names Creepy, who tries to steal her dad's soul. I won't say more about the plot, since that would give too much away.

This is a YA book. Both of the main characters are 18. The plot twist at the end was a little surprising. I did not see that coming. It ends with a setup for book 2. Part of me likes to have each book somewhat self-contained. I understand a series, and I understand the whole "to be continued" concept. I just would like to know there's an ending, so if for some reason I can't get to the next book in the series, I know there's closure for this one. Overall, a good book.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

How’s a District Attorney Supposed To Make a Living Without a Corpse? Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates write as Dee Wilbur (a combination of their middle names). We write together on our mystery novels. And, to get the ideas for them, we sit around and say, “What if this happened?” Or, “Do you think that that could ever happen?” We got started wondering if someone in a small town in Texas could be convicted of a murder even if they didn’t have a corpse. So we did some research and some thinking. In most cases proving someone has been murdered is easy enough. A skilled pathologist does an autopsy on the body and determines the cause of death. Usually no problem. But what if you have no body? What if the person seems to simply disappear, to cease to exist? Has the person been killed and the body hidden or destroyed or has the person just gone away on their own? English common law had a rule that a body was necessary to prove a murder. This seems to have stemmed from a case in which a local official vanished and three men were hanged for his murder. A short time later the official returned alive and well. He had been kidnapped by parties unknown. Some murderers have attempted destruction of the body hoping to use the “no body, no murder” defense. John Haigh attempted to dissolve his victim’s body in acid. Unfortunately, her dentures didn’t dissolve, and her dentist was able to identify what was left of her. With modern forensics the use of circumstantial evidence has become more compelling. DNA evidence has played a large role in this. As of April 5, 2014, there have been 399 trials for murder in the United States ( in forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. There have been 47 dismissals, acquittals, or reversals. The overall conviction rate is eighty-eight percent. Even so prosecutors are still reluctant to try cases where no body is found. Of those charged, 91 % were males, and 58% of the victims were female. 54% of the cases involved domestic violence. Victims under 18 accounted for 16% of the cases. In the United States case of People versus Scott, it was stated that “circumstantial evidence, when sufficient to exclude every other reasonable hypothesis, may prove the death of a missing person, the existence of a homicide and the guilt of the accused.” In every T.V. show you see where there is no body, somebody says “If there’s no corpus delecti, we ain’t gotta case.” Corpus delecti refers to the “body of evidence,” not the “body of the victim.” (The Charley In A Foolish Plucking one follows a murder trial in which the prosecution has to depend on circumstantial evidence because no body has been found. Hope you like the fun of the puzzle it presents. Let us know when you solved it by posting on the Dee Wilbur Facebook page, please.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The 6 Steps Plan to e-Publishing (Kindle ebooks): How to Write, Publish in kindle format and Market your Kindle Books with Amazon KDPThe 6 Steps Plan to e-Publishing (Kindle ebooks): How to Write, Publish in kindle format and Market your Kindle Books with Amazon KDP by Ally Nathaniel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for this review.

This is a great book about e-publishing. It's very concise and direct. It walks you step by step through the process. It focuses on Kindle and KDP, but that is what the author knows. There are other e-book publishers out there, but Kindle is by far the dominant player in the market. It goes into details about subcontracting work to outsiders, and also illustrations for those who need it (especially for illustrations other than the cover). The e-book contains links to help you get started. One thing to mention is that with any contract, it's always buyer beware. Read contracts carefully before signing them, and especially before transferring money. It touches on pricing and royalties as well. Much of this information is available elsewhere, but it's nice to have it in a concise location. All in all, if you're going to publish a book, this is a good reference.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

About this blog

Hello, everyone! I'd just like to take a minute to welcome my new followers, and to explain something about how I use this blog. First of all, I'm trying out some new things. If the blog looks a little messy now, rest assured I will clean it up. I'm trying to decide what I want on here, as well as where it should go. I'm a tax accountant at H&R Block, so I'm busy until April 15. I will try to adjust as I can, but until April 16, it will be hit or miss. Second, you can follow this blog either by bloglovin or NetworkedBlogs. I'm working to add more. I don't have an e-mail subscription just yet, so these are the best ways to follow me. Third, as you can see from my Goodreads links, I read a lot of books. I've started reviewing to state what I like or don't like about a book in order to help someone else. I try not to make my reviews too long, because I don't want the review to be as long as the book. I do accept free copies of books for review. In accordance with FTC guidelines, I will disclose that I received a free book in exchange for the review. If you notice, I may post the same review here and on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N. I am not yet a member of Amazon's inner circle, so reviews of books that haven't been published yet will not appear on Amazon or B&N until publication date. Also, I occasionally receive either galleys or ARCs for review. When reviewing these, I overlook any formatting or spacing errors, as I believe these are cosmetic issues that will be addressed before final publication. I focus on the content of the book, since that's what will be the book's legacy after publication. Right now, this is a hobby for me. I get no compensation for this other than the free books. If someone gives me a book to review, I try to read it and get a review in as soon as I can. As I said, right now I'm winding up tax season, so things are busy for me at work. I will definitely have more time starting April 16. Finally, I am also on other social media websites. If you invite me to friend you, I will friend back. I will try to follow you on Twitter, but right now I am at my limit of 2000. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus. Search for Joseph McGarry I'll be talking to you later. Keep Reading!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kindle Fire Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner's choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter. Kindle Fire April

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
    Giveaway Sponsors: I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader Inspired Kathy Author Rachael Anderson Author Carolyn Cooper Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE Fabio Bueno, YA Author A Book Lover's Retreat Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews Becoming Books Fae Books Author Christie Anderson Author David Pandolfe Jetpack Dragons Clutter Your Kindle Crossangels Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke Alexandrea Weis Author Addicted Readers Author Alecia Stone Tressa's Wishful Endings Author Rae Z. Ryans Bella Street's Weird Romance Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance Author Inger Iversen Author M.A. George Theresa DaLayne Buried Under Romance Author Myrna Mackenzie Owl Always Be Reading Jacqueline Diamond Author Joan Leacott Free Bookster Emma Michaels Jennifer Laurens - author My Nook, Books & More LOVE. WITHOUT YOU The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl Bound 4 Escape Reviews from a Bookworm The YA Buzz Claudia Burgoa Lynda Raymond Books for Young Children A. Wrighton, Author Author Niki Danforth Lori's Reading Corner Hearts On Sleeves Book Blog The Forever Girl Series Author Crystal Donahue A Leisure Moment : A Casual Conversation about our love for Literature Author Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows Me, My Shelf and I Author FA Michaels The Reporter and The Girl Author Ashley Stambaugh Extaordinaryreads Laurie Treacy, Author Faithful Acres Books   Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash. Ends 4/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway