Sunday, March 7, 2010


by Kip Kreiling
TransformationHelp Press
ISBN: 9780615320557

From an early age, Kip Kreiling stole from his family, set fires, was arrested, and ended up in juvenile detention centers. He spent time in group homes, street shelters and living with foster families and, between the ages of 11 and 26, moved 34 times among these facilities. By the time he was 16, he had been arrested 13 times and was a drug dealer and small-time crime operator. His mother was told by a counselor that Kip would most likely spend most of his life in prison and to let go of her son. So, how did Kip go from this traumatic, damaging lifestyle to obtaining a master’s degree in business and working for companies highly regarded in the business world? The author explains his eight principles of transformation in this insightful, moving book.

This isn’t your typical self-help book heaped with platitudes and banal statistics. The author uses his life story as an exemplar as he explains the principles he utilized to transform his life. His story is intriguing and the historical anecdotes he presents interesting and on-point as he takes his reader on his journey toward changing negative behavior to positive in an effort to lead a better, more productive life. His plan doesn’t limit itself to those dealing with addiction but reaches out to everyone. Even those who may feel their lives don’t need changing or improving will benefit from reading this book. Its positive format and didactic message are uplifting and eye-opening and truly inspiring.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review of THE SCULPTOR by Gregory Funaro

by Gregory Funaro
Pinnacle Books/Kensington
119 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
ISBN 9780786022120

A hunt for a deranged killer begins when a replica of Michelangelo’s Bacchus, formed from human corpses, is discovered in a topiary garden. FBI Special Agent Sam Markham contacts art historian Cathy Hildebrant for two reasons: she published a book on Michelangelo’s work and the killer dedicated the sculpture to her. Hildebrant is brought into the investigation as a consultant, working closely with Markham. Both grieving the loss of their spouses - Hildebrant through divorce and Markham through death - are somewhat surprised at their attraction to one another. The media quickly learns of the macabre sculpture and dubs the killer The Michelangelo Killer. When another statue is discovered, this one a replica of the Pieta, the killer leaves a message calling himself The Sculptor. Through extensive research, Markham and Hildebrant begin uncovering clues as to The Sculptor’s identity. The killer, now seeing Hildebrant’s aid to the FBI as betrayal, begins to plan his next sculpture, one utilizing Hildebrant’s body.

Funaro delivers a galvanizing thriller, packed with suspense around a mystery readers will enjoy trying to solve. Woven into the story are intriguing historical facts about Michelangelo and his works of art which enrich the read. Characterization is exceptional and the plot moves at a fast pace and with such intensity the reader will be vested throughout the book. An excellent debut thriller.

Review of BAD TO THE BONE by Bo Hoefinger

by Bo Hoefinger
Citadel Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
ISBN: 9780806531298

Bo Hoefinger is a 1’10”, 63-pound dog who claims to be a “mutt on the outside” but “a purebred on the inside.” Bo takes the reader on a delightful journey as he relays his life, beginning as a shelter dog who finds his forever home through a “revenge adoption”. We meet Bo’s feline sister Moose who suffers from constipation, canine sister Copper who passes gas when she walks, and Bo’s owners, a naïve young couple who don’t know what they’re in for when they adopt Bo. This dog blogger’s antidotes about his family and furry friends are heartwarming and filled with humor. Sprinkled throughout the book are Bo’s lists, including his favorite non-food smells (we can all guess what the first one will be), ten things he’s had in his mouth, and states he’s peed in. From the preface to the interview at the end, this dog biography is zany and so laugh-out-loud funny, the reader will be reluctant to put the book aside. Bad to the Bone is sure to be a favorite among animal lovers and those who enjoy a fun read or simply want (or need) a good laugh.

Important to note is that the book is dedicated to rescue and shelter workers and a portion of the proceeds is donated to help homeless dogs. Bravo!


by Alex Ong
OCL Publishing
P.O. Box 5618
Villa Park, IL 60181
ISBN: 9780980155662

Author Alex Ong incorporates the disciplines he learned in martial arts into his guide to naturally losing weight, improving health, having more energy, boosting confidence and reducing pain. He begins by relaying the dismaying statistics about America’s poor health, moving on to the worst foods and drinks Americans consume and how they negatively affect our bodies, physically and mentally. He stresses the difference between organic and processed foods and the damage processed foods can cause. He provides a Letter of Commitment for readers to sign and read twice a day. He discusses the power of positive thought; mental, physical and financial burdens of eating unhealthy; the role stress plays in our lives and ways to combat it; the importance of getting enough sleep and drinking enough water; and provides simple breathing and physical exercises to do. His color belt strategies (white, green, purple, red, and black) are simple and easy to follow as the reader progresses from eating mostly junk food to eating light and healthy.

The program Ong has devised is by far the best this reviewer has read simply because it’s basic, pragmatic, and very easy to follow. No superfluous data or advice is given, providing a guide book packed with essential information readers can use as they go about their daily lives. This is one book that should be in every home.

A KILLER'S KISS by William Lashner

by William Lashner
Harper Collins
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
ISBN: 9780061143465

Although Philadelphia defense attorney Victor Carl’s fiancée left him for another man, the flame for her has never completely diminished. When she steps back into his life, claiming regret, Victor once more finds himself falling for a woman who never reveals much about herself. When her husband is murdered, the evidence initially points to Julia, but Victor becomes a person of interest because he was with Julia the night her husband was killed. It isn’t long before the case takes a serious turn as more evidence is garnered, with Victor now the primary suspect. Victor’s goal is to prove himself and Julia innocent, but his efforts are hampered by a Russian thug and his hit man, who want Victor to find the 1.7 million dollars Julia’s husband stole from them.

This seventh installment of the Victor Carl series is as entertaining and fun to read as the first. Victor Carl is a man of cynicism and wit, with a high sense of self-awareness as to his flaws, yet who is not invested in changing his, at times, unethical behaviors. Lashner inserts the usual cast of quirky characters in a plot that moves at a fast pace and is amusing throughout. This reviewer is disappointed to read this series is going on hiatus while Lashner pursues other writing endeavors. Hopefully, fans will see Victor Carl in print again soon.