Thursday, April 19, 2018

Muscle Car Barn Finds

Muscle Car Barn Finds
Rusty Road Runners, Abandoned AMXs, Crusty Camaros and More!
by Ryan Brutt
Quarto Publishing Group – Motorbooks
EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780760353592
PRICE $35.00 (USD) 


It’s no secret among car collectors and enthusiast that the pursuit of “lost” cars is what drives many gearheads. Finding an abandoned, restorable car is one of the most common dreams among collectors and a touchstone for the hobby. Top shows like the Pebble Beach Concours and Chicago’s Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals have added special classes devoted to original and barn find vehicles.

Author and photographer Ryan Brutt is the “automotive archaeologist”, author of the CarsInBarns blog, and a monthly columnist for Hot Rod magazine. Brutt has selected his best muscle car images for Muscle Car Barn Finds. No searching the back roads required--just kick up your feet and begin your barn-finding adventure by turning the page.

These old warriors aren’t dead, just resting. A drive in the country or through a small-town back street will reveal them lurking under tarps, hidden behind garage doors, stashed behind fences from prying eyes.

My Thoughts

Ok! I admit it. I picked up this book and looked through it and thought how HOT is this. I mean, just think, how cool it would be to travel around the country with the automotive archaeologist, Ryan Brutt, looking for Muscle Cars.

Honestly, Muscle Cars are always a sight to behold.  What I like best about Muscle Car shows is when you walk from vehicle to vehicle many will have a flyer in the window and some will even have a poster board that shows the car when they first purchased it. So, you get the then and now - the before and after.

This book is pretty much a little bit of both. Here, you'll see a lot of junkyard cars and cars sitting in barns, and fields. You know with a little bit of work what they can become because you are aware of what they once were.  And, you'll find photos of them sitting in garages being restored.

If you want to read about random parts, nose pieces, 6 barrel intakes, Hemi's and the like this book is full of them. It also includes a great piece of history on some of the models. 

Of course, when Ryan got to the Mustangs, that caught my attention. Alright! It wasn't just any  Mustang- not- that - that has ever stop me from looking. But, it was a 1969 MACH 1 that caught my eye. 

Yes! There is more than just Mustangs in this read.

There are the cars that we all see at the Muscle Car shows. Cars like the  Barracuda, Camaro, Challenger, Torinos, Talladega, Bellaire, Hornets, GTX and GTO's and the list goes on. But if you want to look for more rarety this book also includes a 1972 Dodge Charger Rallye, 1972 Demon, 1970 Superbird and a 1969 Hurst SC / Rambler.

It should not be surprising that some of the images you view may need dusting off. Yes, some of these treasures have crusted over and will need work and some will need a lot of work. But, that's what our spare time is for - right? And like the image listed on page 36, if these cars could talk, they would just say, "Finish Me." 

I reviewed for Quarto Publishing Group - Motorbooks.

The Watchmaker’s Doctor: An Erase and Rewind Novella

  • The Watchmaker’s Doctor: 
  • An Erase and Rewind Novella
  • G.M.T. Schuilling
  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouseUK (April 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1546291105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1546291107
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces


Anaya, a disillusioned, thirty-five-year-old doctor, has been looking after Gregory, a retired watchmaker and resident of an aged care facility. On her last visit, he gifts her his final creation, an exquisitely-crafted watch, knowing she will die tragically that very day. It will turn back time.

But what if, after one small change, her life would become much worse than it was? Or unthinkable disasters result from a single step off her path? When the alternative is die now, her choice makes itself. And so, Anaya’s story begins with her last thought. Would I have done this if I had any option but the grave? 

Would you?

My Thoughts

The idea of time travel has always been intriguing to me. I mean, I spent countless hours watching Quantum Leap and was upset when it only lasted five seasons. But what if instead of correcting historical mistakes, we could correct our own? 

This story begins with Anaya Jones in the present day. She is a busy doctor. She's on her way to the retirement home to see her patients. Gregory is a resident there and a retired watchmaker. 

As Anaya approaches Gregory, his watch mesmerizes her. She is late and explains to him, “I’m sorry, Greg. Time got away from me, again.” She has a brief conversation with Greg. He tells her that she needs to stop squandering her life and she realizes he is correct, with bipolar II, she frequently lacks energy and often struggles to get out the door on time. To assist her in keeping track of time, he offers her his watch. She accepts and is amazed when the watch coils magnetically around her wrist. 

She hurriedly leaves Greg and is involved in an accident. She realizes her injuries are severe as Greg is there and appears incandescent. He tells her there is little time left and explains to her that he's created this watch and it allowed him to time travel. The watch is hers now. But, she only has a few minutes before her death to choose a time to travel back to.

 If you had a second chance, where would you travel back to?

 Anaya chooses to travel back eighteen years to be a teenager again. Seventeen to be exact.

What Schuilling, relates so well in this read is a concern for details, combined with the mixture of unpredictability we often feel as teenagers. I felt myself give a deep sigh as many of the descriptions were familiar. We see summer holidays, notes from family, exams, and trying to cram everything into a small timeframe and imagining what someone else would do if they had that same schedule. 

We watch as Anaya relives her life differently and we view how this affects those characters around her to varying degrees. More importantly, we see that time is not as easily modified as people think. 

I received this compelling book of suspenseful events for review from Melissa Robles Review Coordinator with Kate Tilton's Author Services, LLC. The Watchmaker's Doctor is the first novella in Erase and Rewind, a collection for new adults that delves into the biggest regrets of the dying, and follows their stories of what might have been. 

The Book trailer: is available at 

I love that 10% of G. M. T. Schuilling's proceeds from The Watchmaker's Doctor will go to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. The Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding scientific research grants to improve treatment. Their vision is to ultimately develop cures and methods of prevention to enable people with mental health issues to live full, happy, and productive lives. To learn more about them, please visit:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Onions by CY Young

CY Young
File Size: 460 KB
Print Length: 100 pages
Publisher: Cy Young
Publication Date: August 21, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


Waiting for more J.D. Salinger? 'Catch' this coming-of-age, can't put to down YA novel about 12-year old misfit Charles Wesley Onions who, under the tutelage of senior retired circus performer Sandrine Fuller, learns to love books, to have a life-goal, and how to play the trumpet.  A tragic event propels Onions to rise above the chaos and reach a high point he never dreamed he could reach.

My Thoughts

Twelve-year-old Charles Wesley Onions has been through many foster homes. At school, he gets bullied and the kids make fun of him. It seems like he goes from one bad experience to another, never knowing how long he might stay in one place. 

We see things start to change for him when he meets eighty-year-old Sandrine Galano Fuller. She is a former high-wire circus performer and hires him to help her out. In return, he tries to help her save the town from a pro-dome that could bankrupt the county. 

Mrs. Fuller has a love of books. She admits that she has been collecting them since she was a little girl.  Her walls are labeled and she tells him a little about the books. He soon starts reading a book a week. Mrs. Fuller likes that he is reading. She notices his mood swings have improved, too.

She also teaches Onions to play the trumpet, mentioning that Maynard Ferguson and Eric Miyashiro play the octaves. When Onions asks who they are. She responds, "Two of the best jazz musicians in the world.” He is so enthused, he plays until his lips are numb. 

Later, she shows him, "The Silver Cross" and "The Medal of Honor ".The author tells us, "Suddenly he felt something strange. A chill knifed through his body. It was as if he was in the presence of something beautiful, something greater than he was, something honorable, something sacred."

Throughout this read, we see a young man growing up and taking a stand.The different perspectives and events switching back and forth follow along with the ups and downs of life's transitions. And the beautiful melody "Over the Rainbow", is a reminder that the paths we take in life are never easy but are frequently filled with a wistful affection for the past and hope for the future.

I received this beautiful story through the generosity of the author.

Here is the Book Trailer:

Monday, April 16, 2018

White Chrysanthemum

White Chrysanthemum
by Mary Lynn Bracht
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 30, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735214433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735214439
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


In the spirit of Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.

Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Suspenseful, hopeful, and ultimately redemptive, White Chrysanthemum tells a story of two sisters whose love for each other is strong enough to triumph over the grim evils of war.

My Thoughts

In this read Korea is under Japanese Occupation and young women are in danger of capture. If captured they are transported to Manchuria and end up servicing the Japanese Army as Comfort women. 

From a young age, Hana's mother would state to her, "Look for your sister ( Emi) after each dive. Never forget, if you see her, you are safe." 

The whole situation of Hana watching the soldier along the bank, from the water, was riveting. Hana distracts the soldier and saves her sister. But, she is transported to Manchuria and forced to be a sex slave. 

This harrowing story offers Hana's life beginning in WWII and her sister Emi's in 2011.

This book was well written. And, the details are horrific. I seldom walk away from a read but I did multiple times throughout this. I feel this story will be the topic of many book club discussions.

I'd reviewed ARC for Net Galley

This begins a new week. The top 10 audience last week was United States, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, India  and South Korea

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Retention Connection

Honestly, I wish I could recall all the books I've read over the years. I'll sit down to write a post and be scrolling through Goodreads, browsing Net Galley and LibraryThing, checking a synopsis, while chatting on the phone, and I get an email asking if I've read this book yet and occasionally, I'll have to check my READ HISTORY to see if I have. 

When people ask, they often give me the title or tell me about the cover. This seldom works for me as my concentration is on something quirky I've fallen in love with during the read. 

Below are some practical techniques for retaining information and a few of the ways I go about using these techniques. I hope some of these may be beneficial to you. But do whatever works best for you. Just engage yourself to READ as it increases your creativity, empathy, and it's often good for a laugh. 

Take Notes

I try to jot things down and think many readers would do this. When I don't, I often butcher the spelling of names. Take for example my name Lori. Also spelled, Lorie, Lorrie, Laurie, Lory. I'm sure you get the idea. 

Analyze the Book

Honestly, I am terrible at analyzing. I once asked an author about all the locals is the book because the timelines and miles from here to there didn't seem to be matching up. Believe me - I mapped them out in my mind and then on paper.  

Skim the Text First 

I am not a skimmer but I know plenty of people who are. I truly like the clumsy awkwardness of interactions that start at the beginning of some of my reads. Plus, I have a vivid imagination and like surprises, so I turn each page starting at the beginning and working my way through to the very end unless I have no interest. If this is the case, I put the book down, and try to make a connection with it at another time. 

Impress, Associate, Repeat, and "When do I do this ?" 

Generally, I do these three, more frequently, on those sections which are thought-provoking or touch close to home base. 

Introduce Information to Others

This is done by my review on my blog or more recently by sharing information on Instagram. But, prior to blogging book reviews, I use to speak with patrons and book clubs about books, and I've voiced countless storytimes too. Sharing stories is fun!

Read Out Loud

I do this all the time and would suggest if you are doing this to be considerate of others. My husband often asks from the other room, '"What did you say?" I respond, "I'm READING."  

Read Paper/Print. 

I LOVE paper and print!  Hence, my growing collection of Antique books. When reviewing for author/publishers, it is convenient to receive reads by download. I truly think, for me, reading is all about FOCUS. So, when I read, it is typically where there are very few distractions.

Become Familiar with the Topic

I like a broad array of genres. When an author or publisher approaches me, I usually check out the synopsis but that's about all before I decide if I am going to place them on the 'to read list'. 

Be OK with Putting a Book Down 
Be ok with putting a book down and picking up a different book to read. You will likely find you will retain something you enjoy. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Surviving the Twenties Transformation: Empower Your Soul and Change Your Life

Surviving the Twenties Transformation: Empower Your Soul and Change Your Life 
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Waconda Books (October 31, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998961000
ISBN-13: 978-0998961002
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces


An identity crisis is not a new concept. A midlife crisis, commonly occurring in middle-aged adults, is a time when an individual is plagued by doubts concerning his or her identity and future purpose. What you might not know, however, is that you’re just as likely to experience the same struggle in your twenties.

The media and society have traditionally taught younger generations to focus on the “surface stuff” to combat feelings of self-doubt or dissatisfaction. Once you have it all—career, friends, marriage, a home, kids—the conflict will supposedly work itself out, and you’ll eventually know who you are. Many young adults are now realizing this narrative is false. Even after achieving “success,” you may still feel unfulfilled and conflicted.

Surviving the Twenties Transformation is an informative, motivational guide that exposes “quarter-life crisis” symptoms and offers spiritual solutions: recognizing your soul, trusting in God, identifying your strengths, and replacing your false ego with your true self, your soul.

 Learn to listen to your intuition, and make the right choices through conscious living.
Crises will always come and go. By discovering your truest self, your soul, in your twenties, you will gain an inner strength that will sustain you for a lifetime.

My Thoughts

I found the twenty-one chapters in this motivational guide are a quick read.

Per the author, "This non-fiction book is directed to twenty-somethings, encouraging them to address the "spiritual crisis" of the soul that is really going on, not just the "identity crisis" of the self."

Chapter One begins with the quote, "Unlike any other Time during Your Life, the Choices Made from Your Late Teens to Your Late Twenties Will Profoundly Shape the Rest of Your Life. Guaranteed."

I think at one time or another many of us have been asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" 

One of the key points that the book makes is that true identity is not about the surface stuff and if we are looking to other people for our identity, we'll be disappointed.

A strong theme is knowing who you have involved humility and a willingness to sacrifice.

What is holding you back? 

This motivation guide lets you know you can do anything you need to do with perseverance.
With a conversational tone, this guide leads one to seek out a moral context with meaningful thoughts, purpose, and activities, so when the surface stuff collapses you're prepared. 

Here’s another quote that stuck out to me: To Live Consciously is to be Alert, Awake and Aware to the Details of Life that Everyone Else Ignores.

This book lets the readers know the importance of knowing what your gifts are and shutting out negative thoughts of “what if?” or “why is this happening?” After all, faith is the evidence of things not seen. 

While I was reading, I was aware the author speaks to the importance of God, prayer, family, and levels of love while knowing who you are.

Currently, this book is part of the Goodreads Book Giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win a free copy of this motivational book.

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Dark Alignment

Dark Alignment
David Haskell
Paperback: 450 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 15, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1986407691
ISBN-13: 978-1986407694
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


A mysterious force is ripping people to shreds. Experts are pointing to outer space as the likely cause. Only researcher Dean Eckert has the knowledge to stop it. When governments and terrorists alike look to exploit this effect, aiming to turn it into a doomsday weapon, Eckert and his companions must bring ‘the solution’ to the masses, as they embark on a grand scheme to save the world. 

In the town of Joffrey, Police Chief John Masters and his fellow citizens work a desperate plan to thwart the horrific effects. In an effort to save their homes and their lives, they employ a clever workaround, all the while battling cyclone winds and powerful tremors alongside the ever-present threat from space. This gravimetric effect could spell doom for the people of earth, while rogue nations take advantage of the instability to instigate full-scale war.

 May Container Spoilers 

My Thoughts

This story begins twelve years prior to the anomaly with many people perishing because there was no cover sufficient to save them. By chapter two, it's twelve months before anomaly and I'm sitting here in awe, wondering why few people realize how serious this is. At this time, readers also see a letter pertaining to a project of national security. This letter is addressed to Colonel Shane Douglas making him aware he is to be a liaison between scientific staff and researchers, the SFO Contingency Crew. The letter closes, "Your fellow citizens are counting on you.Chapter three begins twelve weeks out from anomaly. 

Meanwhile, during this time, Government agent Jo Osborne has been looking for some normalcy in her life so she's been hanging out at gun shows. She's called away by Director Zellweiger who tells Jo she must go on main assignment to see what they are up against. But first, there's an 'outsider', Dr. Dean Eckert, Jo must deal with. Jo's ordered to go down to the seabase, once she has Dr. Eckert in custody.  

Jo meets Dr. Eckert and learns he is anything but normal. Dean is aware of a secret only government agent, like Jo, should know. Shortly after meeting with Jo, Dean is traveling with her at the wheel. Dean claims they stole his research. Jo explains they have a safe copy and she reminds him he has everything he needs in his head and that puts him in danger. Realizing they are on a pier, driving into water, Dean screams. Jo accelerates and flips a few switches, and the vehicle becomes a submersible, transporting them down to Wilkerson Seabase.

One would think Wilkerson Seabase would be amazing, but the liquid walls that hold back the ocean, soon become a stale cage. Dean and other scientists, brought there, undergo intrusive interviews, prior to the concussions that cause the facility to flood.

The story is definitely thought-provoking. When Dean is later kidnapped, we learn what containment measures are put in place to avoid exploitation. Meanwhile, Police Chief John Masters and the town of Joffrey devise their own plan. Soon, all will learn, if they got to Dean in time and if the crew on board Space Force One succeeded.

I liked the pace at the end as it showed the patience that is needed for the undertaking involved.

In closing, this suspense thriller is intense!  People on earth are living a hellish nightmare knowing that prolonged suffering is eminent for those afflicted. There are triage, evacs, and eulogies. We see hypothesis and some excellent analogies which got me in the mood to read more thrillersA vitally important theme of this book is that containment, contingencies, and concessions must occur if nations are to come together to allow humanity to be saved.  

I received this book through the generosity of the author for an honest review.