Full Service Blonde (A Copper Black Mystery)- Megan Edwards

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Twenty-four year old aspiring journalist, Copper Black,  left the comfort of the East Coast to accept an offer at a newspaper, the Las Vegas Light, as an Assistant Editor. This was in spite of warnings from her mother, who believed the city’s sinful reputation.

She wouldn’t be alone there, though. Her brother, an Episcopal priest and his wife already live there. Her brother is making it his life mission to help the homeless and the less fortunate. He is close to opening a homeless center, but is impeded by his lack of business sense.

When Copper interviews a legal prostitute, Victoria, who later winds up dead in a suspicious accident, Copper can’t leave it at that. As she delves into this further she comes across the names of powerful Vegas people who could be cheating her brother. Some of these people also have shown up at the brothel that Victoria worked at. Could they have been involved in her death? As Copper snoops around she is suspiciously followed and her apartment is even broken into.

Full Service Blonde is closer to a “cozy” mystery than a gritty, dark thriller that I favor. However, what I particularly enjoyed about this book were all of the sub-plots and the lack of “black and white” . Copper learns how to deal with her misogynistic co-workers, but then finds out that there’s more to one in particular on a personal level. She also finds shocking details about her family . Needless to say, the characters and their distinct personalities actually make the story.

Personally I don’t care for Las Vegas, but there’s a lot to like about this Vegas-based novel, Full Service Blonde.

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The Wealth Attraction Factor: Your Path To Infinite Abundance – Darren Burton

(Reviewed by Jeyran Main)

This short book, The Wealth Attraction Factor: Your Path To Infinite Abundance, explains ways to increase your income. The author demonstrates that by using the correct mind-set one can achieve a very wealthy life. The book discusses how to monitor your thoughts and learn how to be logical and practical in order to learn how to effectively apply the law of attraction. It teaches you to attract wealth into your belief system and it will come.

I particularly enjoyed the part where the author asks you to not focus on things you don’t have. It may sound really simple but we, as humans, naturally get stuck on the things we are limited in and use that as an excuse to not move up the ladder of success. I particularly learned this lesson a few years back when I was working at a place where they expected high performance with limited recourses. I kept asking myself, “How can I accomplish what they are seeking when I have no tools to do so?” That is when I changed my mind-set and I give credit to the book for reminding me of this lesson.

This isn’t a ‘How to get rich’ book but what it does offer is the most valuable lesson of all, and that is the power of the mind. The chapters are clear on what the discussion matter is going to be about. It is easy to understand as there are no complicated graphs or mountains to climb in order to achieve wealth. It is very realistic and true to the nature of things and if one really gets on board with what the author is trying to say, then I believe they will be the true winners.

I recommend The Wealth Attraction Factor to anyone that wishes to better themselves in life.

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Food Pharmacy: A Guide to Gut Bacteria, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Eating for Health – Lina Aurell and Mia Clase

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Stig Bengmark, Md, Phd maintains that about 80% of our body’s immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. So accordingly we can influence our intestinal flora and the way we feel in the short and long term by our food choices.

Authors Lina Aurell and Mia Clase are ardent followers of Dr. Bengmark’s studies and present the application for the real world in their book, Food Pharmacy. They explain the scientific research and infuse it with humor to make it relatable to the rest of us. They list anti-inflammatory superfoods, promote intermittent fasting and suggest lowering the temperature in cooking your food. Eat meat sparingly, base your plate mostly on raw vegetables and strive to eliminate sugar. They go into detail on how to do all of this and include recipes.

Yes, we should strive for the “perfect plate”, but both of them realize that we live in the real world. The two of them aren’t perfect. One even likes to indulge in chocolate and margaritas!

It took me a few chapters to get into the book, even though they state from the beginning that we should do what we can and not stress on the rest. It finally sunk in after they continually remind us to take baby steps and only do what we’re ready to do.

“Only you know what works best for you. Do everything at once or concentrate on one chapter at a time. Or one recipe. Or just one word.” For instance, they suggest eliminating bread. Though they provide compelling evidence, I love bread and don’t want to give it up. So they suggest baking your own. If that’s too much, then buy from a bakery instead of a grocery store. OK, I can do that.

Finally they go into the politics of health and food. They live in Sweden so I imagine they don’t have as far to go as we do in the United States.

I will refer to Food Pharmacy often and see if I can incorporate at least something into my lifestyle. That’s all I can commit to, and that’s all they’re asking for.

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Life After America: A memoir about the wild and crazy 1960s -Joseph Mark Glazner

(Reviewed by Don Jung)

How does a young twenty-two year old learn to live in an unfamiliar land with no friends or family and make it his home?

Joseph anticipated being drafted into the Viet Nam War and, like so many American college students who wanted to avoid the military, he chose to leave the United States. So instead of showing up for his military physical exam, he flew to Montreal in November 1967. He applied for Canadian citizenship, but it turned out to be more difficult than he ever anticipated.

Unlike some Canadian immigrants, he had no relatives or even a master plan on how to sustain himself in a strange new setting. In his memoir, Life After America, Joseph Mark Glazner talks about his difficulties in getting by along with his various jobs and romantic affairs.  For example, as a writer by profession, he went from job to job with little success.

Though his parents lived in New Jersey and could visit him, he couldn’t return to his home state since he landed on the “FBI Wanted” list for failing to report after being classified “1-A.” I found this sad as he could not be a part of major family events or be available when his family needed him.

There are some humorous moments though. He finally landed a job as a staff writer at a tabloid similar to that of the National Enquirer. He found himself creating wild stories about alien sightings and exposing romantic issues of celebrities that really never happened.

I found the bigger issue to be that when you don’t believe in war, you have to decide what you think is best for you and how you will ultimately live with your decision.

Just when the story seems to slow down, he writes about his chance to participate in the John and Yoko Lennon’s Bed-in for Peace on May 24, 1969 in Montreal. As a friend of famed publicist Derek Taylor, he got involved in a major “anti-war” protest with one of rock’s pioneer legends. It’s a memorable event that made him realize that the war was over for him, though not for Americans.

Life After America will appeal to those interested in the tumultuous times of the late 1960’s. For me, it allowed me to relive it.

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Siphon – A. A. Medina

Reviewed by JD Jung)


Hematopathologist Gary Phillips continually pulls all-nighters at the hospital and hates his job. He has no girlfriend or social life, though he has an infatuation with a female co-worker who is at least ten years his junior. Yes, part of the problem is due to his work schedule, but the major reason is that he never developed social skills, even though he’s in his mid-thirties.

His parents died when he was too young to remember and he has been living with his abusive grandfather, a disabled Vietnam veteran, ever since. Maybe that’s the problem.

In any event, Gary’s life, perspective and actions suddenly change when he breaks a vacutainer filled with blood. This is when the story gets weird. His obsessions take over his life and a bizarre set of events occur all because of Gary’s newly-acquired sense of enormous power.

This psychological novella hits you from the beginning with its spine-chilling action and vivid detail. I got sucked in from the beginning and couldn’t put it down. At only eighty pages it is surprisingly complete in both character and plot.

Siphon is exactly what I’ve been dying to read. It’s perverse, bizarre and gritty. OK, what does that say about me?

If you enjoy the same, this is the book for you. I’m looking forward to a lot more from this author.

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Hardly a Celebration of the Oscars…The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema – Michael Vaughn

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“Welcome seeks of the odd and the strange! What you hold in your hands is not merely a book but a map to the sublimely weird, the wonderful, and the grimy side of cinema from all over the globe. It’s a labor of love and the result of a lifelong love affair and obsession.”

This is what Michael Vaughn claims in his book The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema and he sure delivers! This is the ultimate guide to cult cinema from around the world.

Each chapter deals with a genre: Action/Adventure (with a sub-category on cannibalism), Cars/ Trucks / Chopper, Comedy, Crime/Thrillers, Drama, Fantasy and Horror. He gives a synopsis, photo, relevant history and review of each film. Each entry isn’t just a few lines, but multiple paragraphs. If you can’t get enough of a specific film, he suggests another movie that it will go with.

I remember a few being nominated for Oscars, but not too many. Not all these are great movies, but they represent a specific niche in the genre. In fact, some are way over the top.

There are many movies that I remember, such as Russ Meyer’s 1965 sexploitation movie “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”,  David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet”, “The Skin I Live In” by Pedro Almovador , “Glen or Glenda” starring Bela Lugosi, and the weird comedy, “Eating Raoul” from 1982.

Most I haven’t heard of though, such as Werner Herzog’s 1970 “Even Dwarfs Started Small”, Fassbinder’s “Satan’s Brew” (1976), “I’m a Cyborg But That’s Ok” from South Korea, the wild action/ horror-comedy “Dead Sushi “-2012 from Japan and, well, there are hundreds.

Unfortunately, most of these films cannot be streamed. However most of the ones that I looked up are available in physical DVD rental.


If you only watch blockbuster hits and Academy Award Nominees, this is not the book for you. However, it you’re like me and a fan of Grindhouse cinema,  you’re sure to enjoy The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema. In fact, I will be referring to this often and may just go “old-school” and rent actual DVDs again.


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40 Day Shift: A Journey of Karma and Giving Back – Infinity Stone

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“Rather than turn away from problems and wait for others to fix them, I need to uncover what can be done within my reach.”

Infinity Stone works in insurance sales. She was raised Catholic where she was taught that faith should be combined with doing good works. She is also interested in New Thought philosophy (she is aware of the inconsistency of the two) and was motivated by some of the teachers to implement spiritual concepts for forty days. So she decided to spend a minimum of one hour a day working towards gratitude, connecting, and giving back.

Stone documents each of the forty days in her book, 40 Day Shift: A Journey of Karma and Giving Back. Since it was her busy season at work, much of her giving back was in the form of monetary contributions. However, she did find time to help out and volunteer, such as in senior assisted-living and food banks, in addition to donating blood.

I found that I regularly donate to some of the charities she gave to. However, there were new ones that I was unfamiliar with. I checked out the ones I was interested in on Charity Navigator, a charity “watch-dog” site.  Though those charities received top ratings, I can’t assure the legitimacy of all of the charities mentioned.

More importantly, I  learned of all of the different ways I can monetarily give to charity without writing a check. One is by adding an extension to your home page, another is checking in at certain restaurants. These are just to name a few.

Personally I wasn’t interested in her religious or New Age studies, such as opening up the third eye, Reiki and the rest. However, since the entire book is only forty-six pages, I didn’t feel that I wasted my time.

I recommend this book to everyone whether you have the financial means or not. We can all give back in so many different ways. This book will help you discover how. After all, as Infinity writes,

“What if everyone in the world behaved the way you did, what would the world be like?”

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The Bone Curse (Benjamin Oris Book 1) – Carrie Rubin

(Reviewed by Jeyran Main)

Ben Oris and his friend Laurette go to Paris together and visit the excursions into the catacombs. Ben touches a femur and cuts his hands causing him to show symptoms later on that are medically unsolvable.

To make matters worse, what he has contracted is also contagious. Ben needs to try methods far from logic and reason in order to cure himself and his loved ones around him. Their life and the life of his unborn son becomes at risk alongside his own. That is when this suspenseful novel begins to unravel some voodoo and medical practices that are very intriguing and amazing to read.

The Bone Curse is the second book I have read from Carrie Rubin and she certainly does not disappoint. The author has a medical background and so she uses that in her novels which make them absolutely wonderful to read.

I really enjoy the author’s literary ability to explain and describe a story. Besides the fact that her story-lines do not have loopholes, it is very obvious that she takes care of what she writes and publishes.

I recommend this book to people who revel in quality supernatural thrillers as well as those who enjoy novels in the fields of medicine and voodoo.



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Complete Guide to Foam Rolling – Kyle Stull

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“Beneficial for movement by increasing flexibility, range of motion, and some performance; helps reduce pain from higher intensity workouts; and speeds recovery,…”

OK, I’m game, but what can do all that?

Foam rolling can increase performance in sports, reduce fatigue before a workout and decrease soreness after a workout. I can attest to that personally, and author Kyle Stull’s Complete Guide to Foam Rolling shows us how it is accomplished.

Stull holds a doctorate in health sciences, a master’s degree in rehabilitation, and a bachelor’s degree in sport management. He is a licensed massage therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, holds NASM-CPT and NASM-CES certifications, and has more than fourteen years of experience in personal training, corrective exercise, and manual therapy.

Part I states the benefits of rolling, types of rollers, sticks and massage balls; when you use a massage ball versus a foam roller. Part II shows the basic anatomy of joints and muscles and their function as well as how to roll each body part. Stull maintains that “…An ideal foam rolling program should be based on how you move and not on how you feel.” Hmm, I never thought about that before.

Stull is frank about how foam rolling isn’t the “cure all” for injuries and alignment problems. You need to address the root cause. Some muscles need foam rolling and stretching while others need strengthening. He stresses safety when it comes to foam rolling and which areas should not be rolled.

Later on in the book he explains how to perform a body assessment so you can address the cause of an ache or injury, like back pain. He goes into detail on how to analyze your squat form as a lot can be determined by it.

That said, I believe that an assessment should be performed by an experienced trainer. I have worked out for years and still have problems analyzing my form objectively.

While helpful illustrations are included, I think that people should take a class or one-on-one personal instruction on how to foam roll.  However, this book will serve as a wonderful supplement to that.

I did learn a lot from the book though and since I want to continue my active lifestyle,  I will keep Complete Guide to Foam Rolling in my library as a constant and important reference.

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A NIGHT IN JAIL: A story about drugs and mental illness, inspired by true events – H.A. Swan, K. Anderson

Reviewed by JD Jung)


“One day, marijuana is going to be legalized and this “punishment” will all be for nothing.”

Yes, getting pulled over while high was the first “Reality Rush”. The second one came when his parents refused to bail him out. Eighteen year- old Danny had plans to become a lawyer. Now, he’s sitting in jail with Captain, a delusional, drug-addicted, homeless man.

In his twenty-four hour stint in jail, we learn a lot about Danny‘s life as he reminisces in between Captain’s rants. Danny wondered what kind of family Captain came from; that is, how did he wind up homeless and so boring? Yes, Danny thinks he is “boring” because “Captain’s life is all about hustling money to get high.“

A Night in Jail is not a “scared-straight” story. At barely one hundred pages, it’s a riveting tale based on true events. Readers will be hooked at every page until the surprise ending.

Most importantly, it’s daring enough to bring up a topic that very few will discuss: the effects of marijuana use on those with a predisposition to mental illness. A family history of mental illness is often unknown and I personally know those who didn’t see links until tragedy struck.

For that reason I encourage adults to read this, no matter what their views are on legalizing drugs. Then I think that they will want their teen and pre-teenage kids to read it also. It will open up an engaging discussion for both adults and children.

And remember, it’s a captivating story also.

(For more information check out the website: http://anightinjail.com/)

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