PHIL JACKSON                                      PETER RICHMOND
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2015

Phil Jackson: Lord of the RingsWith eleven championship rings to his name, Phil Jackson is internationally recognized as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA. Known as a defensive disrupter and a master fouler during his early days as a New York Knick and later celebrated as the “Zen Master” for his inspirational tactics as a leader, Jackson has had a long and storied career marked by constant self-reflection and reinvention. This is the man who led Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to six championships, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to five; who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame; and who retired in 2011, an official legend—and the most sought-after free-agent coach in history.
            As befits a legend, Jackson has written several candid, insightful books about his life and career, but now one of America’s most respected sportswriters turns an unvarnished light on Jackson’s strange and remarkable journey, from his sheltered childhood and adolescence in Montana and North Dakota, through his years playing at Madison Square Garden, to his experiences coaching Jordan, Bryant, and more of the greatest players of our time. New York Times-bestselling author Peter Richmond has written a personal, definitive, revealing biography of a veritable sports genius, and an American classic.

This is a fascinating book about Phil Jackson, about where he came from, growing up in Montana, to playing college ball at North Dakota. They are more known for hockey than basketball but that is the only place that gave him a scholarship. He is also a baseball pitcher and threw a one hitter against Arkansas State. It is also the place where he comes into touch with a book by William James, “The varieties of religious experiences”. Also about the Lakota Sioux Tribe and their teaching. He was drafted by the Knicks in the second round the same year they drafted Walt Frazier. He played on both championship teams with the Knicks though he was hurt for their first one and sat on the bench with Red Holtzman. Learning from him by watching, with Bill Fritch being his college coach he had two men who would one day be in the Basketball Hall Of Fame, learning the game early on. He goes on to coach in the winter league and he coaches in the CBA, and wins a championship. Wanting to make the jump to coach in the N.B.A. he accepts an assisting job with the Bulls. Doug Collins was the head coach and Tex Winter was one of the other assistant coaches. This was Collins third year and the team was expecting big things. They had traded for Bill Cartwright and a guard by the name of Hodges. The management also expected Collins to run the triangle offense that is why they brought in Tex Winter, but Collins was still doing his own thing. Then came a game on Dec 17, 1988. The Bulls went to up to play the Bucks in Milwaukee, the Bulls were 11-10 and the Bucks were 11-9. By hail time the Bulls were down by double digits points and Collins gets ejected and turns the game over to Jackson. He turns the game over to Hodges and the Bulls score 66 and hold the Bucks to 38 they humiliate Del Harris the Bucks coach and in the stands that night was Jerry Krause, Collins would be let go the Bulls would go on to six titles while Jackson, Jordan, Pippen and others were there. Jackson and Krause would also argue and Krause still believe that he does not get the credit he deserves for drafting Jordan, trading for some of the other players and for really hiring Jackson to begin with. The book then goes on with his time in with the Lakers and the falling out with Jerry West. This was not good but the Lakers were willing to let West go even though his player deals were the reason why they were even in the running for a title. Yes they would win but at what cost? Now they really don’t have a future or a person with the skill to get the talent they need. The book ends with Jackson staring his new job in New York and can he rebuild a Knicks team and bring them another title that they have not won since he played for them back in the 70s. Who knows? This book is filled with a lot of information and facts and was a very good book, whether you are into basketball or not, it is a good read. I got this book from net galley.


MOLLY GETS HER MAN                      JULIE ROWE
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2014

Molly Gets Her Man When flaky Las Vegas hairdresser Molly McLaren overhears a Russian hit man planning to kill a US congressman and take out Hoover Dam in the process, she becomes a target for murder. Now, on the run from the assassin and a dirty cop, she winds up in an eighteen wheeler with an ex-cop sporting a bum leg, a bad attitude, and a body built for loving.Grey Wilson just wanted to be left alone. No more Las Vegas. No more casinos. And no more floozy women like the one his best friend sent him to pick up on the side of the road. She talks fast, but her endless curves and sensuous nature make him want to slow down. Which is not in the cards. Grey knows he needs to unload his excess baggage. And quick.But when someone tries to kill the Vegas beauty, Molly captures his heart with her backbone of steel, and brains to boot. Now in order to grasp the future that had once seemed impossible, Molly and Grey need to keep Hoover Dam, the congressman, and their love from being blown sky-high.

In Molly gets her man, Molly is, Molly McLaren who speaks seven different langue’s and is working in a hair salon in Vegas, after being fired as a court interpreter. While working there she over hears a man name Petrov Gronzney, tell two of his men that he wants a certain elected official killed. Somehow they figure out that she can understand what they said and now she is in danger. She calls her brother but he is still in the Army on base and cannot leave. He calls one of his buddies and former Army brother, who is on leave from the San Francisco P.D. from an injury. His name is Grey Wilson, and he saves her there in Las Vegas but they are now on the run. They are also getting to know each other and for this difficult because she was in a bad relationship and she is now leery of big men and Geary is a very big guy. But as they work on saving her in a way she is saving him from some of his issues also and they find out that it is easy to talk to each other than any other relationship that either one of them had been in before. This is a fast paced story with a lot of action but I don’t want to give away what happens. I found this to be a quick read and a very good story. I liked the two main characters also. I got this book from net galley.


GOOD TOGETHER                                CJ CARMICHAEL
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2014

Good Together (Carrigans of the Circle C)Some love stories have to begin with a falling-out-of-love story. Mattie Carrigan's been helping her rodeo cowboy husband Wes Bishop run his family's Tennessee Walking Horse operation since they were married nineteen years ago. Blessed with twin daughters who've recently left for college, Mattie is looking forward to this new stage in her and Wes's life. But when she finds a strange key in her husband's jacket, she's forced to admit that Wes has been quiet and distant lately. Turns out he has been keeping secrets. And he's not the only one. Even the rancher next door, Nat Diamond–a friend Mattie could always count on in the past–seems to be holding something back from her. 

Good Together is for anyone who has ever pondered what it means to be married. Or had to reinvent her life when one breaks down. It's about having your heart broken but being strong enough to survive and love again.

     This story has brought me to tears and I am only at 47% of it read.  It reminds me how some fathers and mothers can be so callous in their actions.  Here in this story he wants to get into the pants of the mother of his children, even ask to marry them, yet years will go by and something will trigger in their head that “Hey wow, somewhere I lost my youth.  I am a father, provider, and/or husband. So, let me divorce, bail, shack up or disappear from the mother of my child, shaft her as I go, and neglect my children as I do it.”  Is that that what they ask themselves?
     Wow, does that make them a man?  Well, that is what Mattie Carrigan is asking herself right now.  You see she has been married 19 ½ years to her husband Wes, and she has just found out that he is planning on leaving her and selling all their horse from the horse ranch and selling the family ranch, where the breed and train Tennessee Walkers.  Their ranch the Bishop Stables is a generational ranch which was supposed to be her twin college daughter’s inheritance.  Portia and Wren were thrown for a loop too because their dad was supposed to be home at Thanksgiving and when he didn’t show that sent up many red flags.  So, that left Mattie to tell the girls their fathers plans which sadden them since their dad had always told them that it would one day be theirs and to be proud of that and all that it meant.
     Mattie doesn’t even know that he has already tried to sell it to her friend and neighbor Nat Diamond.  Which we’ll have to see how that will play out since she is starting to trust him and find him attractive.  He doesn’t know about Wes latest stunt so we will have to see how it will all play out.  Because Wes has broken all 3 of the most important women in his lives hearts.
     “Asking a wife to be responsible for her husband’s happiness was asking too much.”  For a lot of factors strain a relationship and for most wives it is out of their control.  But it seems to always be that the guy needs to feel needed and after so long the wife’s not new, the kids are off to college, and they all are going through some mid-life crisis that sends them into a tail spin.  For Wes, Mattie knew it was Dex Cooper’s death on the rodeo circuit but in what way?
     One of her sisters put it this way about her husband Wes, “Wes is one of those cowboys whose eye light up when he’s in the company of a beautiful woman.  I wanted my sister to be with a man whose eye lit up only for her.”  That in the end is what every woman wants.  This was a very good story.  I give it 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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PLAIN JAYNE                                            LAURA DREWRY
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2014

Plain JayneWorn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.
Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

     One very sweet love story is what I am calling this one.  That takes you over a 25 year span.  You see this couple actually met in kindergarten when Nick Scott was defending Jayne Morgan’s honor, well and cookie.  Why you ask?  Well, the class bully not only was once again calling her “Plain Jayne” he stole her cookie.
     Nick ran after the boy making him return it after they rolled around fighting about it.  When the young man reached in his pocket to give her the cookie there was only crumbs.  It didn’t matter to Jayne no one, not one person, not anyone, had ever did anything for her especially so nice.
     That day she fell for Nick, but it was the day they became best friends.  Against all the teasing and even his mother’s nagging they remained friends.  Everyone said there had to be more but they maintained nothing was going on.  Jayne in her heart she was in love with him but could never compete with the model type girls he always dated.  Nick well, because she was always so worried about what people would think he never asked her out.  A lot of her insecurities came from her grandma who always told her she didn’t like her.  In fact the after graduation was always the goal date for her to leave her grandma’s home.  Her grandma said her obligation would be over relieving her of her burden.
     Before boarding Jayne tells Nick she loves him and he doesn’t react so she refuses to ever utter them again, especially to him.  Jayne becomes a copy writer and Nick a contractor.  Nick marries a girl, Abby, who really never cares for Jayne she is jealous of their relationship and Nick’s mother never helped.  Then, the worse happens, Abby is killed in a car accident, Jayne goes to him.  He is so relieved but Abby’s mom sees her and needs to a sedative to calm her down.  So, Nick ask her to leave.
     Jayne never tells him but it crushed her.  He calls, emails, and writes.  She and Nick chit-chats but it’s not the same and he knows it.  Then, Tilly her grandma passes away.  Her lawyer sends her notice that her grandma that hated her left her the bookstore.  She, Jayne, loved the bookstore more than just about anything, next to Nick.  She knows she will have to make peace with Nick, the town, and get him to see reason and to stop hugging, touching, and giving her things.  Especially, since he has a girlfriend.
     Well, that didn’t work the first time he saw her.  The first thing he did was grab her up in a great big bear hug in the middle of the town square.  See what else is in store for these two pals and all that are connected to them.  I give this 5 stars.
Provided by Net Galley. 
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CLOSE TO HER HEART                       C J CARMICHAEL
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2014

Close To Her HeartDani Carrigan, the academic of the Carrigan family, has always relied on logic when making important life decisions. But when she discovers she’s pregnant—and that there’s a chance her baby may be born “not perfect”—deciding what to do isn’t so easy.

It would help if the father, Adrian Carlson, department head at the University of Washington in Seattle where they both work, would pop the question. But the widower seems more interested in protecting his six-year-old daughter than committing to his new relationship with Dani.

The last time Dani felt so alone and scared was when she was sixteen and her mother died in an accident at their family ranch, leaving Dani to raise her younger sisters with precious little help from her distant and disapproving father. She felt so inadequate then. But is she any more prepared to be a mother now?

Support comes from an unlikely source. Dani always saw her next-door neighbour and friend, divorce attorney Eliot Gilmore, as a charming, handsome, playboy-type. But with each challenge Dani faces, from pregnancy, to delivery and beyond—Eliot reveals himself to be more of a man than she ever guessed. Is it possible that in all the years she’s known him, Eliot hasn’t been playing the field—but waiting for her?

     Talk about intense.  This one had me in its grips from the very beginning.  Being a first time older mom my husband and I were faced with making the decision of whether to have amniocentesis or not.  Being we had been married 21 ½ years it was not like we’re going to return a defected child of God, that he gave us as a gift.  So for us, we opted not to have for fear I could lose our child.  She is a health 13 year old crazy like her mama. 
     So, to be Dani Carrigan, 34, PhD in Psychology, who was having or choosing, to make all these decisions alone was beyond me.  Fear can make you do a lot of things, even to the smartest of us.  Then, the mother instincts to protect this tiny being you haven’t even met yet is immense.   She did not get pregnant alone that was aided by her boss and fellow professor Adrian Carlson.  Who you could tell was playing her from the very beginning.  It was all about him, he was self-centered and he read her like a book, knowing she was needy.  So, when she tells him his reaction shouldn’t surprise me but in some ways it still did.
     She had her friends Miriam and Eliot were there for her since they knew that Adrian was such a tool.  They could tell he was playing the, “I’m a poor widowed single father torn and need a little love and understanding.”  Then Adrian shows his true colors.  See what happens and how his decisions shake up their happy trio. 
     You see there is a love triangle going on but with which characters?  You will have to read and find out.  Because Dani finds out that Eliot Gilmore from next door has more opinions for her about Adrian than she would like to hear and his not kind about it and why is that? I give this story 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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ELLY IN LOVE                                       COLLEEN OAKES
Posted:  Sept. 15, 2014

Elly In Love by Colleen OakesThe much anticipated sequel to the bestselling novel, Elly in Bloom, is finally here!

Curvy wedding florist Elly Jordan has had quite a year. First, she had to design her ex-husband’s wedding to the mistress who split them up, and then she broke up with the hottest musician this side of St. Louis. Three months have passed since then, and now Elly is primed for what promises to be the best wedding season of her life.

Helped by her loyal friends, Elly is on the verge of opening a chic flower boutique uptown when BlissBride, a popular wedding reality show, asks her to design the wedding of a famous—make that infamous--celebrity. Elly is about to get everything she’s ever wanted, when a stranger shows up at her store with a request that changes every aspect of her life--including her budding relationship with deli owner Keith. As she struggles to stay calm in the midst of growing chaos, Elly will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice. 

Filled with the heart, humor, and horticulture that made Elly in Bloom a bestseller, Elly in Love welcomes readers back to Elly’s big, beautiful, and messy life.

     This story has so much going on.  It starts off slow but that could have been me coming off a totally different genera then reading this.  Let me tell you though once I got sucked in I was all in.  Totally lost.
     The dynamics between all the characters is spell binding.  There is so much emotion under all the words being spoken you could cut it with a knife.  So, you really need to pay attention to what is not being said also.  Which is a lot.
     The story revolves mainly around Elly Jordon and her business she owns Posies Florist that she started after she moved away from her lying cheating husband she divorced.  She has turned the place into a thriving success.  Her mom taught her the love of flowers.  She has since passed from ovarian cancer.  Her best friend Kim is her rock.
     Kim married during the time her mom passed but then she had Elly’s God-son Hadley so it helped her with her grief.  She still missed her mom but needed to move on.  She still has Anthony part-time and Snarky-Teenager to help.  Snarky was as cranky as ever but a high school teen this year and pushing to be Elly’s store manager.  Being a royal pain in the ass about it too.
     A few stores down is Carcelo’s Deli and Keith the owner it turns out likes full figure women.  Which is great, since Elly finds him super handsome, and sexy too.  He starts asking her out but she finds him even more guarded than her.  He is always taking her out or coming over but every time she mentions going to his place he side steps and says it’s dirty.
     Then one night she gets an unwelcome guest at the store who ask her to make her an arrangement.  She tells him it will be ten dollars he agrees.  She does it while he watches her every move, he’s dirty, smelly, but something about his eyes seem familiar.  When she is finished he throws down the money and walks out, leaving the flowers behind.  Rattling her to the marrow of her bones.  When she runs after him to let him know he is too far ahead and she can’t chase him fast enough.  Keith sees her running and goes after her and catches up to her sitting at the curb trying to catch her breath.  She explains it all and he’s deeply concerned but the discussion is over and they talk about what they should do that night.  She says why don’t they go to his place again and he defers. Now the hairs on the back of her neck go up but she doesn’t or can’t even go there yet with Keith, because is so reliable nothing like Aaron, her ex.  He’s too kind hearted and honest to ever lie to her or hurt her.
     See where this tale takes you for there is so much more like a reality TV show and a celebrity bride, so get comfy in your bed, favorite chair, or on the floor by the fire and get reading.  You won’t be sorry, at all!
I give this book 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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