Archive for June, 2013

Grilling from Your Garden

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Guest Author: Judith Fertig

JudithFertigGardening and grilling are all about having foods you like. You might grow pots of patio tomatoes because you love the taste of fresh-picked. Or you might grow fava beans or edamame  because they’re difficult to find fresh in the pod in your area.  Likewise, you grill foods because that cooking process makes them taste better.

In our new book The Gardener and the Grill (Running Press), Karen Adler and I show you how to take those garden-fresh foods and grill them for maximum flavor and color.

Grilling is a very easy way to cook vegetables and fruits to retain their color and flavor. A simple brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt are all you need.

Herbs from your garden can also go into condiments, marinades, sauces, and vinaigrettes that add an easy  “wow factor” to simple grilled foods, such as hamburgers, chicken, steaks, fish fillets, shellfish, pork tenderloin or chops, and lamb.

Fresh-picked fruit from your garden and the heat of the grill can be a Gardener_and_Grill_cover_jpgfabulous combination. Grilling fruit intensifies its flavor and sweetness. The look of grilled fruit is appealing, too, with deep brown grill marks that indicate caramelization plus a rustic appearance.

With more and more people talking about “farm to table,” we think it’s time for “garden to grill to table.” That said, it’s important to keep things simple. Gardening means you’re already spending time doing that, plus harvesting and readying the herbs/veggies/fruit for the grill. We’re going for techniques that are easy for beginners but satisfying enough for the experienced gardener and griller. We’ve also included some gardening tips, especially as they address the area around your outdoor kitchen or grill.

Our Grilled Peaches with Lemon Balm Gremolata shows just how easy it is to go from garden to grill, simply and deliciously.

Grilled Peaches with Lemon Balm Gremolata

Adapted from The Gardener and the Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (Running Press).

This recipe is very simple, yet full of flavor. A traditional gremolata has parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, but this is a sweeter version delicious with fruit. If you don’t have lemon balm in your garden, substitute mint and add more lemon zest.

Serves 4

Lemon Balm GremolataGrilled_Peaches_Lemon_Balm

1/4 cup packed lemon balm leaves

1 tablespoon packed mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

4 peaches, halved and pitted

Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.

On a cutting board, chop the lemon balm, mint, and lemon zest together until very fine. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the leaves and chop again. Set aside in a small bowl.

Place the peach halves cut side down on the grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until the peaches are tender and blistered.

To serve, place 2 peach halves in each bowl and sprinkle the Lemon Balm Gremolata over all.

 Author Bio:

Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig lives, cooks, bakes, grills and writes in Overland Park, Kan. She is the author of “Heartland: The Cookbook” and “I Love Cinnamon Rolls,” and the co-author of “The Gardener and the Grill” and the IACP award winning “The Back in the Swing Cookbook.”

Check out her website for more information:

R.I.P Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

richard_mathesonLegendary American fantasy, sci-fi author and screenwriter Richard Matheson, much of whose work was adapted for the television and big screen, died on Sunday in Los Angeles, after a long illness at age 87. This very sad news was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Academy of science Fiction.

The celebrated writer is best known for his seminal work I Am Legend, a 1954 horror novel that has been inspired three different film adaptations, including 2007’s American post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller movie of the same name starring Will Smith. Along with I Am Legend, he penned 16 episodes of the original “Twilight Zone” television series for Rod Serling. He was also the screenwriter of Steven Spielberg’s 1971 TV movie debut “Duel“.

Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian parents, prolific Robert Matheson began his 6-decade-plus career in 1950 with a short story “Born Of Man And Woman,” that was published in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction and his first novel Someone is bleeding was published in 1953 by Lion Books. As a youngster, he displayed an interest on a musical career, but his eager craving for fantasy ignited his imagination and blazed his passion. He crafted several stories that skillfully transitioned to both the big and small screens.

Several of his well-known works were adapted into movies, including Hell I Am LegendHouse (1953), I Am Legend(1954), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1956), A Stir of Echoes (1958), The Omega Man (1971), and What Dreams May Come (1978). Internet Movie Database credited him as the writer of at least 80 film and television productions over the course of his career.  

Richard Matheson’s also helped inspire a generation of genre writers. One of them was Stephen King, who dedicated his novel “Cellto Matheson, along with film producer George A. Romero. Moreover, American Gothic fiction writer Anne Rice cited him as the biggest influence on her own work.

During his lifetime, Richard Matheson received various awards. He won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for The Incredible Shrinking Man, which he shared with director Jack Arnold. He received both the World Fantasy (1984) and the Bram Stoker (1991) Awards, both for Life Achievement.

Matheson was scheduled to receive the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films’s Visionary Award on Wednesday. The award will be presented posthumously. Moreover, the organization declared that 39th annual ceremony will now be dedicated to him.

Richard Matheson live in our hearts and will forever be remembered for his contributions to the world. 

Click here to see all of Richard Matheson’s books


The Round House by Louise Erdrich: A Bittersweet Coming-Of-Age Story

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Round HouseThe Round House, National Book Award winner, is a riveting, moving and emotionally compelling story by an unbeatable, generation-spanning chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich. In this page-turning masterpiece, Erdrich illustrates that how racial abhorrence, old crimes, and a history of social injustice can reverberate for generations. Second book in the planned trilogy, The Round House repeats the same characters from her 2008 novel “The Plague of Doves.”

The author’s 14th novel plunges the reader back to a fictional North Dakota Ojibwe reservation that she has plotted in so many of her earlier works and made as indelibly real as Joyce’s Dublin.  As the novel opens, we are made to experience 13-year old Joe’s perspective about the brutal rape and beating of his mother, and of his suspicion that the police investigation has been less than thorough, and realization of his father’s limited power to rescue his own family.

The horrible and traumatic event took place somewhere in the vicinity of the round house that gives the novel its title. It was built as a sacred place where Ojibwe practiced their religious ceremonies. The Joe, his father and mother are Chippewa Indians, but the suspect is non-native and tribal courts can’t prosecute him, until it’s known where jurisdiction lies. When Joe comes to know that his father, a tribal judge, can’t do anything in this case and is helpless before absurd laws, he determines to track down his mother’s attacker with the help of his trusted friends Cappy, Zack, and Angus.

What is so compelling about the novel is the sexual assault against Native women, its investigation and its consequences that how a premature Joe is jarringly ushered into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. Louise Erdrich has created an intense portrayal of real-world injustice and turned this bedrock truth into a powerful human story in this novel. Erdrich clarifies in her afterword that the complexities of heritage and law have long made it difficult to take legal action against whites for crimes committed on or around reservation land.

Erdrich writes so thoughtfully and brilliantly about the vibrant community and gives out the details of the life of an Ojibwe reservation that is unfamiliar to most of us. Moreover, her novel is not only wrenching and tragic but also embraces a touch of comedy, while she instills the teen crushes with a sense of potential and optimism. The most noteworthy and pleasing aspect of Erdrich’s writing is that while her stories sometimes grows slack or rambling, the language is always tight, witty and lyrical.

This novel shines for many reasons, mainly because of deep and vivid descriptions of American Indian life. All the characters in the novel are realistically drawn and author brings the characters and tales together with refinement and certainty. Moreover, the aftermath of rape is explained in unflinching and lively prose without any manipulation.

So, all in all, The Round House is a gripping tale of justice and revenge with an earnest message that touches on the hearts and souls of us all.

To grab a copy click here


The New Grief: The Transformation of Death and Dying

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Guest Author: Dr. Joseph Nowinski

My maternal grandfather died suddenly when I was in high school. He was in his late fifties and died, I only later learned, from emphysema—a condition had its origins in his youthful work in Pennsylvania coal mines. My grandmother, in contrast, lived to the age of 100, but suffered a long, slow decline. She was, it turns out, a harbinger of what modern medical technology is able to do, which is to stave off death for longer and longer periods of time.

A colleague, Dr. Barbara Okun, lost her husband to cancer after a prolonged struggle. His story, too, was emblematic of modern medicine. It’s a story we’ve all come to know well, either from personal experience or by reading about the struggles of well-known people like Steve Jobs and Elizabeth Edwards.

A mutual acquaintance of Barbara and myself—an editor at Harvard who herself is a cancer survivor—came up with the idea of getting us together to see if we might be able to write something about this “New Grief” that is the result of medical advances. It is, in a sense, the dark side of these advances, which is a long and protracted crisis that ensnares not only the person who receives a terminal diagnosis, but his or her entire family.

What Barbara and I discovered, through informal conversations with other colleagues and friends, was that virtually everyone we knew could personally relate to this process that is the new grief. It is remarkably different from the grief a person typically experiences when a loved one dies suddenly, as was once much more common than it is today. We also learned that this new grief was akin to what several people described as an “emotional roller-coaster” that had the potential to wear down even the most devoted caretaker, the most loving spouse or child. The challenge we faced, however, was to see if there was any way to make sense of this process, or, to put it differently, to see if there was any way we could construct a sort of “road map” that others could use when they find themselves in this situation—as they surely will.

The method that Barbara and I chose was to seek permission from several major cancer and medical treatment centers to recruit and confidentially interview both patients and family members, either as they struggled with terminal illness, or afterward as they looked back on the experience. What we found, somewhat to our surprise, that there was in fact a great deal of commonality across the stories we heard. Though each story was of course unique, we were nevertheless able to discern clear patterns, and even “stages” in the new grief, the first of which we simply named crisis, because a terminal diagnosis immediately throws both the patient and the family into a crisis.

The book that emerged from our work, Saying Goodbye: A Guide to Coping with A Loved One’s Terminal Illness, presents the collected wisdom we were able to distill from those who generously shared their experiences. Our hope was that it will in turn be a source of information, comfort, and sound advice to others as they enter into the new grief.

 Author Bio:

Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist. He has held positions as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco,  Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and Supervising Psychologist, University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Nowinski currently has a private practice and does consulting.

Dr. Nowinski is the author of numerous books, both for professionals and the general readership, as well as articles and book chapters. He is the principal author of Twelve Step Facilitation Therapy which is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Dr. Nowinski’s most recent books include Saying Goodbye: A Guide to Coping with a Loved One’s terminal Illness, and Almost Alcoholic: Is Your (Or Your Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem? For additional information visit

Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven: The Perfect Blend Of Romance And Suspense

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Author : Sherry Helms

First published in September 2010 and translated into a feature film in 2013, Safe Haven is an epic love story by New York Times Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks. Known for his sappy romance novels, Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven has everything-drama, romance, mystery, suspense, pain, and tragedy that simply made this novel a joyful read.

Nicholas has written 17 novels; seven of them have been adapted into movies, which have brought in more than $650 million. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why Hollywood loves doing business with him. Safe Haven is his eighth novel that is recently made into a movie. He wrote this huge 365-page novel in a short frame of over 6 months and needless to say, he has done it brilliantly.

This is a wonderful love story, introducing us to a mysterious 27-year-old woman Katie Fieldman with a dark past, who has just rocked up to a small North Carolina town of Southport where she can just live life on her own terms, secure from all fears. Meek and gorgeous, Katie catches the eye of a widower named Alex- retired army officer and the owner of the biggest store in the Southport- and his two lovely kids. She also becomes friend with her outspoken neighbor, friend and supporter, Jo.

From the very starting of the story, it seems clear that Katie is skittish and hiding something and this dark secret preventing her from getting happy in the close-knit community. Despite her fears, she gradually realizes that the love is the only right safe haven in the darkest hours and therefore she starts to let down her guards and with time becomes more and more emotionally involved to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, her dark secret still creeping up slowly and steadily to create havoc in their lives.

Although the beginning of the novel keeps steady pace yet towards the end of the book, everything starts to go by faster and faster. However, the author’s portrayal of the sudden mood swings and suspicious behavior of the main character- Katie- is terrific. Even all of the characters in Safe Haven are presented so well that by the end of the novel, the reader feels as though they have known them.

Slightly different from his earlier novels, which embrace the usual overdose of romance, Safe Haven is an interesting and skillfully plotted novel that eschews all of the normal love story formulas. Sparks expertly dealt with the two psychological maladies of domestic abuse and death very well that inspire both compassion and antipathy. The ending of the novel is quite tense yet exciting that makes you feel a part of the storyline.

Overall, Safe Haven is a fantastic novel that is well written, well organized and has a power to satisfy and hook the reader until the end.


Pukka’s Promise: The Quest For Longer Lived Dogs

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Guest Author: Ted Kerasote

For many of us dogs are our most important relationship, touching us in a way that fellow humans do not, something I found out firsthand in 1991 when I met a half-wild, ten-month-old pup on the San Juan River in southern Utah. Golden in color, shading to fox red, he was of indeterminate ancestry and had strong Lab features — the tall rangy Lab, the field Lab — with perhaps a bit of hound and Golden Retriever thrown in. I liked his looks, and I very much liked how collected and intelligent he was, an individual with refined survival skills and a good sense of humor.  I named him Merle and he came home with me to Wyoming, where we spent the next thirteen years together.  When he died, he broke my heart.

As a way to get over my grief, I wrote his biography, Merle’s Door:  Lessons From A Freethinking DogThe book spent nine months on The New York Times bestsellers lists, and I received thousands of letters from readers who told me, with a torrent of emotion, that the book had made them face an uncomfortable but in the end uplifting truth:  they had never wept as much for their gone husbands or parents as they had for their gone dog.  Often, these readers closed their letters with a plaint: “Why do our dogs die so young?

After a few months, I felt that could no longer ignore the letters nor what I had come to realize: I wanted another dog, and I wanted him to live longer than Merle had, if possible. 

So I set out upon a five-year quest, combing the veterinary literature and interviewing veterinarians, dog breeders, and shelter workers about the factors that affect dog health and longevity. Six factors were on almost everyone’s list:  inbreeding, nutrition, environmental pollutants, vaccination, spaying and neutering, and a shelter system in which too many dogs end their days.  One factor that wasn’t frequently mentioned, but which I believe is also important, is the amount of freedom dogs enjoy.

The book I eventually wrote, Pukka’s Promise:  The Quest For Longer-Lived Dogs, examines all these topics while interweaving the quest for my own new dog, a quest that took me across the United States and Europe until I found just the right pup, whom I named Pukka, which means “genuine” or “first-class” in Hindi.  Along the way, I discovered some key information about how to help our dogs live healthier, longer lives.  In a nutshell, the book’s message is this:

Choose dogs who still have their historic conformation—longish legs and a real snout through which they can breathe—and who don’t share many similar ancestors, which can lead to a higher incidence of genetically transmitted diseases.

Don’t feed dogs grain, like corn and rice.  It tends to spike their blood glucose levels and the scientific literature has shown that animals who keep their blood glucose levels low tend to have fewer chronic diseases and live longer.  Today, it’s easy to feed a dog its historic high-protein/low carb diet.  Numerous pet food manufacturers offer such no-grain diets in kibble or frozen form.

Vaccinate a dog minimally against parvo, distemper, adenovirus-2, and rabies.  Then, every three years, have your vet take a blood sample and titer it to see if the dog still has immunity.  If it does, no need to revaccinate.

Consider leaving your dog intact, if you can reliably control its sex life or, if you can’t, give it a vasectomy if it’s a male, or a tubal ligation or hysterectomy if it’s a female. Unlike spaying and neutering, which remove a dog’s testes or ovaries, these procedures leave them in place so that the dog retains its full complement of beneficial sex hormones, which protect against cancer, orthopedic injuries, and endocrine dysfunction.  

Keep your dog away from environmental toxins, like lawn chemicals, give it a stainless steel or glass bowl instead of a plastic one (many forms of plastic contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates), and make sure that your dogs gets to run off-leash at dog speed with other dogs several times a week.  Such exercise helps to keep your dog both physically and psychologically healthy.

All these points are described in greater detail in Pukka’s Promise, as well as the story of how this new little golden pup opened the door to my heart once again.

Author’s Bio

Ted Kerasote is the author of many books, including the national bestseller Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog and Out There: In The Wild in a Wired Age, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. Ted’s writing has often focused on the interrelationship between people, animals, and the natural environment, and during his four-decades-long career, his essays and photographs have appeared in magazines as wide-ranging in their subject matter as Audubon, GeoOutside, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Afield, and The New York Times

To find out more about Rick, you can visit

Inferno by Dan Brown: A Breathtaking Roller-Coaster Ride with Robert Langdon

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Inferno” is Brown’s latest Langdon installment masterfully fused with art, historical references, codes and symbols. In the very first week of its release, the book topped the UK’s book charts and became a bestselling novel in USA. In this riveting new thriller, Brown packs the pages with picturesque attractions of Florence, Venice, and Constantinople, and he has used these landmarks deftly in his novel. Moreover, the most admiring thing is that Brown has never forced his tale comes to a crashing halt in his scrupulous research of the rich history and numerous historical sites of these cities. Inferno’s codes are largely inspired by Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy”, which details his ride through hell.

The story revolves around the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon who is hospitalized in Florence, the city in “Inferno”, with mild amnesia, incapable to recall how and why he got there. Luckily, Dr. Sienna Brooks- a former child prodigy and Zobrist’s former lover helps Langdon to figure out the highly contagious airborne virus created by Zobrist- the main antagonist of the novel, who has hidden the virus in an unknown location. However Sienna’s former relationship with Zobrist somewhere makes her loyalty toward Langdon doubtful until she read Zobrist’s last letter. She determines not to let his new technology fall into the wrong hands. Langdon runs away with the lady and reaches his flat where he discovers that his Harris Tweed Jacket contains a small projector that displays threatening message of Dante’s vision of Hell. Well, the future of the world is at stake and only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets can ward off a disaster contrived by a crazy man.

Like other Robert Langdon novels, Brown’s Inferno amidst the clotted prose is a collection of odds and ends from top Western culture. Unfortunately, the novel reads more like a movie treatment with some glittering factoid about a past that may appeal to those who are unknown with it. There are plenty of dusty books and musty passageways in the novel to make people believe the reality of ancient global conspiracies.

The best part of it is Dante’s treatment in the novel that helps to bind the reader who is unfamiliar with the Commedia. Moreover, the whirlwind tour to the famous and beautiful sights of Florence will definitely captivate the readers. As with Brown’s other works, it’s more easy and enjoyable to read “Inferno” when he presents effective dialogue, facts, and back story in digestible chunks that don’t take readers out of the story.

If you like Dan Brown already, you will certainly love “Inferno” although it’s a little exaggerated.

You can grab a copy of this book from our online bookstore,


Books on Fatherhood: Father’s Day Special

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Author : Sherry Helms

Father’s Day is a special occasion to honor fatherhood, paternal bonds as well as the noteworthy influence of fathers in our societies. It is a time to acclaim father’s eternal and unconditional affection and devotion.  

With Father’s Day, 2013 around the corner, we are helping you by suggesting a few inspirational yet widely acknowledged Books on Fatherhood that we believe would come out to be of great help to all the men, who are fathering veteran or entering the trenches of fatherhood.

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads: Be Prepared is an ultimate guide for men who mastering the first year as a dad. With exceptional insights, MacGyver gives no-nonsense advice, and teaches men all the stuff they really need to know about fatherhood. Engagingly written, cleverly demonstrated and filled with witty and humorous anecdotes, this book is a great gift for any expectant father. The book teaches how to stay awake (or at least upright) at job, make a baby diaper out of a towel, and so much more to develop a lasting parent-child relationship.

Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child: A pioneer in the field of fatherhood research and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Kyle D. Pruett shows how fathering affects both men and children. A perfect resource for all dads- including stepfathers, divorced fathers, fathers of special children, as well as moms who wants kids who are mixed and meaningfully attached to their fathers. Fatherneed is a great book that will help enable fathers to give their kids the skills they need to grow into cheerful and healthy adults.

The Single Father: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting Without a Partner: A trustworthy and helpful book for dads, who are divorced, widowed, gay, or never-married to face the special issues of parenting alone. The latest in the “New Father” series, Brott’s book comprises the personal experiences of single dads along with the practical and encouraging advices from experts on how to take a constructive approach to unravel general problems following a divorce.

That’s My Girl: How a Father’s Love Protects and Empowers his Daughter: This is true that the father commonly has as much or more influence than mother on every aspect of his daughter’s life. In today’s time when relations have become progressively more complicated, it is often difficult for parents to stay connected with their daughter and especially so for fathers. In this exceptional and invaluable guide, parenting expert Rick Johnson reveals men how to cultivate the close relationships with their daughters that they both long for.

Be a Better Dad Today Ten Tools Every Father Needs: The Honorable Gregory W. Slayton has written an inspirational and practical guidebook for every dad who desires to become the best father he can be-not only for the sake of family and society but also for his own development. Jam-packed with humor, compassion, reasonable, tough talk, and gripping stories from his personal experience, Slayton provides wise insights and practical advice and simple but dynamically effective strategies that will assist every dad to carry out his God-given duties.

What a Son Needs From His Dad How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life: Warm and fuzzy, anchored in values, and filled with encouragement, good and time-tested advice, and words of wisdom, What a Son Needs From His Dad provides everything that a father need to become a role model for his son. The book contains all essential practical topics including developing boys for work, friendships, wedding, and their relationships with God. Author-cum-dad, Michael O’Donnell believes that no one can prepare a son for life better than his father and motivates dads to become a kind of men that they want their sons to become.

The above-mentioned books are just suggestive. You can grab all these books and browse through a wide range of books on Fatherhood by viewing our official website

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen: Author’s Perspective

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Guest Author: Bill Crider

Writers find their subjects in odd places. I found mine in a small East Texas county with several small towns, the largest of which has seen its downtown become almost deserted over the course of the years as all the businesses move out to the highway to be near the local Wal-Mart. I’ve been writing about Blacklin County and the town of Clearview for nearly thirty years now, and I continue to find its citizens and its stories compelling.

 One of the few business establishments operating near the old downtown is the Beauty Shack, which is not just a place to get a haircut or some coloring. It’s also a place where there’s plenty of gossip, and in this case a lot of the gossip happens to be about a young woman named Lynn Ashton, who was one of the beauty operators. “Was” is the operative word, because someone has bashed Lynn in the head with a hair dryer and killed her. As it happens, Lynn was quite attractive and had made any number of conquests among the men of the town. Quite a few of them become suspects in her murder, including the mayor.

Sheriff Dan Rhodes has investigated a lot of crimes in his time in office, and some of them have involved city or county officials. Not a single one of them has appreciated being a murder suspect, and one of them was even convicted. The mayor is determined that he won’t be the second. He gives Rhodes a bad time, and doesn’t do a thing to help with the investigation other than to protest his innocence.

If investigating a murder were all Rhodes had to do, his job would be a lot easier. However, even in a small town there are plenty of other crimes to deal with. They aren’t as vicious as murder, but they’re all part enforcing the law. There are copper thieves, for one thing, and possibly crooked junk dealers who buy from them. And someone is stealing car batteries, too, not to mention the occasional catalytic converter. To top it off, a pregnant nanny goat is terrorizing the town.

Rhodes has a small department, but he’s sometimes helped (or hindered) by Dr. C. P. (Seepy) Benton, an amateur sleuth and college math professor whose idea of a good time is to sing songs about mathematics. Benton fancies himself a crime-buster of the first order, and occasionally does come up with a good idea, much to the sheriff’s surprise. This time, however, it’s not Benton but good old-fashioned investigation that leads Rhodes to the killer, someone no one in town would ever have thought capable of the crime.

Some writers look to put across a message to their readers. Some want to make people ponder life and the universe. And some want mostly to entertain. I’m in the latter group. I want people to read my books and get a smile, to recognize people they might know, and to think a little about the things we do to each other and the way life is in a small town. If I can accomplish that, I’ve done my job.

 Browse the book ” Murder of a Beauty Shop Queenat   (USA)




Author Bio:    

Bill Crider is the author of more than fifty published novels and numerous short stories. He won the Anthony Award for best first mystery novel in 1987 for Too Late to Die and was nominated for the Shamus Award for best first private-eye novel for Dead on the Island. He and his wife, Judy, won the best short story Anthony in 2002 for their story “Chocolate Moose.”  His story “Cranked” was nominated for the Edgar award for best short story.  Check out his homepage at ,or take a look at his peculiar blog at Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


Top Heart Touching Memoirs That Will Leave You Awestruck

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

It is really difficult to unfold the darkest moments of our life as it requires a lot of guts to relive a moment, which you never wanted to be repeated in your life. But a few Bravehearts dare to narrate such traumatic tales. Some of them have expressed it so vividly that their accounts received wide acclamation and have occupied a space in the most prestigious bestsellers’ reading lists worldwide.

This post is dedicated to touching and heartfelt memoirs of a few such bravehearts whose lives are marked by harrowing unusual experiences but they continued incessantly to create history.

Smashed Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas: Eye-opening and completely enthralling Smashed became a media sensation and a New York Times bestseller. This is a heart touching memoir of Zailckas, who initiated into the world of drinking with one stiff sip of Southern Comfort at a very tender age. From then on, she started drinking fanatically. Smashed is an astonishing literary debut of a girl  that how she got in an unfamiliar apartment in New York City, and after a decade of getting drunk, having blackouts and smashups, what it took her to realize that she had to give up drinking.  Zailckas has written coherently about her past, showing the devastating effects of her lifestyle without ever trying to invoke pity for anything that happened to her in the past.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers: This is the heartbreaking memoir of a college senior and a terrifically talented writer, Dave Eggers, who at the age of 22 loses both of his parents to cancer within the space of five weeks. This is an exhilarating and poignant memoir of Dave that depicts how he becomes an unofficial guardian of his eight-year-old brother, Christopher. The story mainly concentrates on the ethics and desires of Egger who feels robbed of his youth due to untimely death of his parents and his responsibility to take care of his brother.

Against All Odds by Paul Connolly: Heartbreaking and inspiring, this is the success story of Paul Collony’s life started as an abandoned child in an orphanage and became a successful entrepreneur in his later life.  This book gives the real insight of what happens in children homes and how someone with such an awful start in life can take a turn for the better and go on to be a successful businessman.

Switching Time: A Doctor’s Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities by Richard Baer: Karen Overhill walks into Psychiatrist Richard Baer’s office with her strange complaints of having vague physical pains and depression. Her problems were so insidious that she often  feels like an impersonator in her own life; she even doesn’t distinguish the people who call themselves her friends, and she can’t even remember being intimate with her own husband. After realizing that Karen has multiple personality disorder, Baer faces the intimidating task of generating a therapy that will make his patient whole again.

Lucky A Memoir by Alice Sebold: What happened to Alice Sebold should not happen with anyone else. This is a harrowing and heart-wrenching memoir by Alice Sebold revealing that how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman at Syracuse University, she was brutally attacked and raped in a park near campus, forced onto the ground in a tunnel “among the withered leaves and broken beer bottles.” And what was more surprising and disturbing was the statement of police who said she was “lucky”. At least she wasn’t killed and dismembered like a young woman before her. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer: This is ghastly and harrowing memoir of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the autobiographical account of a young boy who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who isolated him from the rest of the family and who played tortuous games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s torturous games in order to survive because she treated him not like her son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.”

The Watchmaker’s Daughter: A Memoir by Sonia Taitz: This is funny yet stirring memoir sheds light on Sonia’s life, the daughter of holocaust survivors growing up in America. This legacy, combined with Sonia’s ambition and intelligence, directs her to lead an audacious life in which she probe to heal herself and her parents through travel, achievement and daring love affair. Sardonically, this is due to her marriage to a non-Jew that brings her parents the stillness and fulfillment that they have longed for.

Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer: This is a tragic and harrowing memoir of Mende Nazer who lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold as a maid to a wealthy Arab family. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when she was snatched by Arab raiders, raped and shipped to Khartoum. Slave is a heart-wrenching story of almost beyond belief that portrays the power and dignity of the Nuba tribe. It recounts the savage way in which the Nuba and their ancient culture are being shattered by a secret modern trade of slaves. Above all, the core of the book is the unbreakable spirit and incredible courage of a young woman.

We hope our readers will like reading these remarkably written and uniquely gripping memoirs, and if we have missed your favorite, make sure to chime in with your own picks in the comments.


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