Wednesday, June 17, 2015


pic and bio taken from Goodreads


From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyle's kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.


I have heard so much about this book.  I never even heard of this man until his passing.  Then there was all this up roar and I had to find out why.  I started reading articles about Chris, and became quite interested in his career.  I don't particularly like war books.  They made me sad, and I don't like all the inner conflict that goes along with it.   While reading about Chris though I didn't get that he was tormented from his interviews.   He sounded like a very patriotic man.  I cannot imagine what a soldier has to go through, but it sounded like he went through a lot and came out better for it.  Might have been a long road, but he made it work.

That brought me to hearing that a movie was coming out.  Yes, I am a little behind the times.  hehe.  I decided I had to read the book first before I could decide if I wanted to watch the move.  Let me just say, if the movie reflects even half of what was represented in this book, it's going to be intense.

Chris's story is absolutely amazing.  It's heart wrenching, and intriguing, and completely fascinating.  I love so much that he decided to write this book.  My heart aches that he is not longer around to enjoy what life had to offer after service.  He scarified so much of himself, and was finally making a life with his little family.

This book documents so much of the crud he had to go through as a SEAL and sniper.  The story was so intense at times, that I found myself holding my breath on several occasions.  Chris was the epitome of what a soldier should be.  Dedicated, responsible, and 100% sure of what he was doing was the right thing.  He was a man of great integrity, and sense of duty.  I don't know if I agreed with the way he put his priorities.  His were Country, Family, God.  I just wish he would have seen it as Family, God, Country.  Anyway he saw it I guess it doesn't really matter, because he was effective at all that he did in life.

The fighting Chris saw was absolutely mind boggling to me.  It was just so sad, and he took everything with such grace.  He worked hard, and he did what was necessary to keep our country safe, and his men.  

He is such a sweet father, and husband.  We didn't really get to see all of that in this book, but I am currently reading Taya's version, and have found that this man was even better than I  thought he was.

After serving his country for so long, Chris finally decides to get out.  He gets quite famous outside of the military as well.  Best selling book, and movie.  Then he is gunned down in a senseless act of violence.  It breaks my heart.  This is the kind of man I would be so proud to have my daughter bring home.

This really was an amazing story.  It's kind of graphic, and has lots of language, but I have to admit that it didn't bother me at all.  His story was so intense, and so mind blowing that I stayed so focused on what was happening in the book.

If you like patriotic books, that are right from the horses mouth, you will like this book.  I have to say this is one of the best books I have read in a while.  I have read lots of great books, but this is such a great non fiction book.  So great.  Sad, intense, inspiring, loving, but also down and dirty in the fighting.  So good.

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Chris Kyle  Scott McEwen  Jim DeFelice
Chris Kyle                       Scott McEwen                                  Jim DeFelice

Chris Kyle is a former United States Navy SEAL, who with 255 kills, 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon, is the deadliest marksman in United States military history.Kyle served four tours in the second Iraq war, and was awarded the Bronze and Silver Star medals multiple times. In addition he was awarded two Purple Hearts. He served from 1999 to 2009. 
Chris and a friend were killed on February 2, 2013, at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range in Erath County, Texas.

Scott McEwen is a trial attorney in San Diego, California. He grew up in the mountains of Eastern Oregon where he became an Eagle Scout; hiking, fishing, and hunting at every opportunity presented. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Oregon and thereafter studied and worked extensively in London, England. Scott works with and provides support for several military charitable organizations, including the Seal Team Foundation.

Scott's interest in military history, intense patriotism, and experience with long-range hunting rifles, compelled him to accurately record the battlefield experiences of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history.


Jim DeFelice 

My latest book, CODE NAME: JOHNNY WALKER was hailed by Kirkus Review as a “fiery, insightful memoir from the former Iraqi translator who fought alongside U.S. Special Forces during the recent war in Iraq.” They also “a harrowing personal journey of courageous self-empowerment during wartime.” called it an “invaluable insider’s perspective of Iraq.

I wrote it with the real "Johnny Walker," who was born and raised in Iraq. His dream of building a better country after the ouster of Sadaam Hussein was dashed by religious and sectarian violence. He risked his own life to help US military track down religious terrorists who targeted innocent Iraqi civilians and American military installations. I first heard about him from Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (who I wrote AMERICAN SNIPER with, who credited Johnny with saving many American and Iraqi lives. Chris noted that Johnny had an uncanny knack for defusing volatile situations, uncovering the right perpetrators who might be hiding in plain sight, and saving several American team member’s lives under fire. With the help of concerned SEALs, Johnny and his family were safely relocated to the U.S., where they are now, as Johnny likes to say, “living the dream.” 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


pic and description taken from Goodreads


Who is Hope Wilson? 

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her
father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf,
Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.


I saw this book going around in the book blogger world, and I had to go buy it.  It sounded so cute and was getting some great reviews.  I am so glad I bought it.  It was just so cute.  

When hope leaves Canyon Creek she doesn't leave on good terms.  She makes everyone think she wants nothing to do with them.  That includes her long time boyfriend Luke Carter.  She breaks up with him, and cuts all ties to him.  

When she finds out she has to return to Canyon Creek she is very apprehensive.  She doesn't want to face all the pain that places brings back to her.  She didn't want to do what was required of her to get an inheritance.  She just wants to continue running her dog shelter, and not worry about her "past" life.  When she decides that going back is the only way she is going to get the money to save her shelter, she does so, with a very heavy heart.

I really enjoyed this story.  I enjoyed the growth that the little town of Canyon Creek goes though, and I love how much Hope grew.  She was faced with a lot of obstacles.  I love the story between Luke and Hope.  It was so frustrating at times, but so very sweet also.  

This is a sweet book about love, loss, forgiveness, and acceptance.  It's a fun, fast read and it just gave me that "awww sweet" feeling when it was over.  Just an all around good book.

Source:  I bought this book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Kate  James
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate's goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers.

Monday, June 15, 2015


 I was reading a book the other day and realized while reading a certain part I was doing the same thing the character was doing.  For example:  "He was holding his breath trying not to kiss her"...Then I realized I was holding my breath.

Next I kept reading and there were comments like, "he raised his eyebrow".  Then I realized I was raising my eye brows.  Really?  

Am I the only one that does this?  I have tried  to pay more attention to myself while reading.  Every time I find myself doing exactly what the character is doing.  Emotion wise, or facial expression wise.  When I realize it, I always look around to see if someone is watching and observing my "super nerd" moments.

Hey, nerds are fabulous.  Just saying :).  I just wanted to see if I am the only one that does this, or if I have other fellow readers that find themselves doing silly things while reading.

Monday, June 1, 2015


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Hope In Every Raindrop

Hope In Every Raindrop
by Wesley Banks
NA Contemporary
ebook, 202 pages
May 26th 2015

“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.

Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.

When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.


I read the description and was instantly drawn in.  I started reading and was loving Katie's story.  I love that she is a writer.  My heart ached as she mourned her father.  She hit a writers block, while going through this hard time, until she found a map, and a note.  

Katie had a dead line coming up and had to get something to her editor in just a few shorts weeks.  When she happened upon the map, she decided to do what her father had done in the past.  She turned the map backwards and hung it up.  Throwing a dart at it, she turns it around to see where her story is going to take her.  It happens to be a small town in South Carolina called Bishopville.  Just the name makes it sound small ;).

I love that she encounters Earl and Pearl, owners of Pearl's Place first.  They are just what I would have imagined in my head if I was a writer.  Small town folks who are just searching for people to love.  They were such a funny couple.  After Katie reveals why she has come to their small town Earl tells her she should seek out the "dogs".  Earl has to explain that they are not just the run of the mill dog, they are something special.  Katie decides it's worth a try to see if she gains some more inspiration.

When Katie happens upon a house with a nice barn on the land, she decides to pull up and see what it has to offer.  It had to offer Kyle.  Yummy, yummy Kyle.  Oh, and Doc.  Kyle's Uncle.  hehe.

This is when the story gets even more interesting :).  Katie, wanting to learn more about these dog's that Kyle trains, Kyle insists she learns more about them.  How?  By taking care of everything.  Cleaning out pens, scooping poop.  Sounds glorious right?  hehe  

Kyle and Katie seem to form a sweet bond even if Kyle doesn't talk much.  Katie learns to love the animals just as much as Kyle, and that is when their relationship really blooms.

This is a sweet story, about loss, love, hope, and finding inspiration through others.  It really is such a sweet read.  

Source:  I was given this book as part of a tour in return for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.



Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he’s love so much. He lives with my wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.

Wesley’s debut novel, “Hope In Every Raindrop,” is set to be released May of 2015.

Follow the Tour

May 21st - Launch
May 24th - Writing Pearls
June 3rd - Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

3 ebook copies of Hope In Every Raindrop
Open internationally
Ends June 8th