Book Review – Flashback

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger –

I would never have read this book if it hadn’t been chosen for my book group. Even now, I can’t believe I read this garbage! It should make for an interesting discussion!

The reason I gave it 1.5 stars is that she did actually make two good points (along with all the baloney).

First – your husband is not a mind-reader. Tell him what’s going on. Don’t expect him to guess and then be mad when he guesses wrong.

Second – if you are having trouble, talk to your husband first, then a therapist or clergyman. Don’t talk to your girlfriends. Male bashing is NOT the way to solve your problems. It may relieve a little stress and help you vent, but it will backfire and cause even more hostility. Your husband deserves your loyalty.

Other than that, I really couldn’t believe that this kind of stuff was being advocated in this day and age! For example, don’t expect your husband to help with the housework. After all, you don’t go to work with him and help him with his job, do you? (It’s not like women have anything to do besides stay at home and clean the house, right?) And don’t get too fat – you have no right to overeat. And don’t ever tell your husband no. He has a right to expect sex whenever he wants it.

As I talked the book over with my husband (of 26 years, almost. We must be doing something right!) we agreed that the most annoying part of the book is that she sticks men and women in these stereotypical gender roles and just leaves it at that. Men are big, dumb, simple creatures who basically want a hot meal, a hot wife, and a pat on the back. Women are supposed to be content to keep the house clean and please their man.

And yet, I see that other women have rated this book much higher than I have. What can I say? This is NOT the kind of relationship I want. It’s not the kind I want for my children. I want them to see a healthy partnership, where each partner is loved and valued as an INDIVIDUAL, not as a type, and where both partners are allowed, even encouraged, to express their feelings and desires and have them validated. Where there is a firm commitment to working together to solve problems when they come up, where neither partner is responsible for all the work in any category, but where flexibility is stressed. I DO NOT recommend this book in any circumstances. I think it perpetuates an unhealthy definition of marriage and if followed will cause a lot more problems than it resolves.


In this updated review, I want to include some information about the author. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is indeed a doctor, but not of psychology or social work. Her degree is in physiology. She is licensed in social work from the state of California, but only got some training in the subject.

She also had a conservative talk radio show that aligned with Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the like. She’s had a messy personal life with directly contradicts the advice she gave in her column and show. She is an anti-feminist, in case you can’t tell. She’s also made anti-gay comments and racial comments, apologizing afterward, but with an air of “sorry you’re mad” rather than “sorry I said it in the first place.”

This was one of the most popular reviews I did at the time. It still makes me ill that she was able to profit from such negative and destructive advice. If you are hearing stuff like this, turn away. Marriage is a partnership between two individuals, not between categories or stereotypes. If you’re having trouble, talk to each other first, then to a credentialed therapist.


Blog Tour: White Water, Black Death


Title: White Water, Black Death

Author: Shaun Ebelthite

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense/ Mystery

Book Description:

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”

These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

My Review:

Aaron Atkinson is taking a cruise because his mom insisted that he come along. He doesn’t mind, of course. At least, he’s having fun until the storm hits and a waitress dies. They also rescue a stranded boat in the storm. Then the deaths on board start. Aaron can tell something is wrong, but he doesn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, reporter Geneva Jones is under pressure to both get the story and make the cruise line look good. She has the sense that she’s on to the story of her career, but is she being manipulated? Who can she trust?

The story is told from various POV, including Aaron Atkinson, adopted son of the CEO; a young housekeeper with a child; Geneva Jones, a reporter digging for the dirt; and the captain of the cruise ship. That lets the author tell the whole story, which would be impossible if you only followed one character. It made the book more suspenseful as I waited to see what would happen next.

I enjoyed this book, but I must say it didn’t make me any more anxious to take a cruise! The behind the scenes look at what went on, even when things went right, still made me realize how much the cruise industry exploits its workers. When things go wrong, it was truly horrifying. Normal food poisoning is enough of a trouble, but a real plague, with no way to get to safety – that’s the stuff of nightmares.

I had the chance to read this one for free in exchange for an honest review, but my opinions remain entirely my own.

This book is available for free from Kindle Unlimited right now or for purchase at the links below.

On Goodreads

On Amazon

Do you Library Thing?

I know most of you are on Good Reads, Twitter, and Instagram. But have you heard about Library Thing? I love it over there! It’s a great site for serious book lovers. It also has a way to catalog your library, features libraries of famous writers, fun facts, and a great community.

One of the boards I follow is a 2018 Category Challenge. The idea is to organize your reading into categories that you choose and then share what you’ve been reading. How many categories you have, what they are, and how many books you read in each category is up to you. I’ve done the challenge several years, even hosted in once, and I really enjoy it.

Here are my categories – (I went with a “crime” theme)

Cold cases – book that have been on the shelf too long

First Timers – new books

Repeat offenders – rereads

Serials – books in a series

Isolated occurrence – stand alone titles

Minor infractions – YA and kids books

Eyewitness accounts – nonfiction books

Advance warning – ARCs

Most Wanted – best books of the year

Petty crime – boring and DNF

I figure that will cover everything I read next year. BTW, if you want to check it out, I’m CMBohn over there.

Writing Contests!

Plenty of time to enter any of these contests. Good luck!

January 2017 Genre: Fiction Theme: Family Matters Website: Glimmer Train Deadline: January 2, 2017 Entry Fee: $18 Prize: First place – $2,500 Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry Theme: N/A Website: Glass Mountain Magazine Deadline: January 9, 2017 Entry Fee: $5 Prize: $100 Genre: Fiction Theme: N/A Website: Literal Latte Deadline: January 15, 2017 Entry Fee: […]

via January/February 2017 Writing Contests — Rachel Poli

Book Club This Month

51i-h33m4kL._SY346_ I’m so excited for our book club this month! Partly because I missed last month and I hate it when I miss, partly because it’s our Christmas book exchange, and partly because I picked the book this time! I loved it too. We’re doing Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. If you haven’t tried this one, you’ve got to give it a read. Alosa is not your average pirate. She’s fierce and in charge. She’s got serious skills and a deadly wit. She definitely meets her match in Riden, first mate on his brother’s ship. The only question is will they both survive to give romance a shot? The ending is a great cliffhanger and I can’t wait for February’s release of the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen.

What are you reading?

December is here and I’m back to routine. I survived writing all November and now it’s time for the holidays. Like I said yesterday, my mental health is a bit weak just now, but I’m trying to keep up with the blog as much as I can. I worked some more on my book yesterday – it still needs an ending – and got to research how to escape a car trunk!



I’m currently listening to two audiobooks, one at home when I’m sewing and one in the car. At home I have The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson. It’s the second of his series about World War II and it may be contributing to my grim mood. This book is about the war in Italy. I knew nothing about it at all before starting the book, but like I said, it’s pretty depressing. The allies have learned a bit since the fighting in Africa, but they are still not working together very well. Atkinson’s writing is great, but I don’t know why I always get books like this on audio when one of the things I enjoy is looking at the maps and photographs. Ah, well. I’m still recommending it, but read with discretion.

Then in the car I’m listening to A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King. This is book three in the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series. I’ve definitely been on a Sherlock streak lately; I just can’t seem to get enough. This one seems like it will be set in the Middle East, but it’s largely set in academic and upper class England. I’m not enjoying it as much as I remember the last time, it just seems too slow. I think I like them on location better, although the first book in the series is really extraordinary. If the premise intrigues you, I really encourage picking it up. I love the way the writer pulls Sherlock into the modern age. Just don’t start with this one.

34218720 I’m also working on a collection of short stories from Net Galley, The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen. Many of the stories take familiar fairy tales or folk tales and give them a new spin, like the title story about Dorothy Gale of Kansas. There’s one about Wendy and the Lost Boys, one about Hans Christian Andersen, and one about Wonderland. But there are other stories too, about witches and parents and children and legends of old. I’m about halfway done and it’s been great to have something I’m really enjoying. I think I’ve read one or two of these stories before. I didn’t know this, but Yolen has written 300 books! Can you even believe that? I’m struggling to finish one!

Are You Invested in Your Book?

A Writer's Path

by John Briggs

When you finish writing your book, few people will doubt you’re committed to your writing. You’ve spent months or years putting it on paper, and hopefully poured your heart into every word. If the work is personal enough, you’ve invested a great deal of yourself. If nothing else, you’ve invested your time and talent.

But now that it’s done, are you truly invested in making your book a success?

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Madam Tulip: A Review

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions remain my own.
Title: Madam Tulip

Author: David Ahern

Setting: modern Ireland

Summary: Madame Tulip is the first in a series of Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

My review:

Derry O’Donnell is an actor, but acting hasn’t been paying the bills lately. Now her super successful mom is putting her foot down – Derry needs to get a job and start paying the rent. On a whim, she invents a new character – Madam Tulip, medium.

It’s not entirely a lie. Her father is the seventh son of a seventh son, and Derry is somewhat psychic. But when she agrees to her first paying job, things don’t go exactly as planned.

Normally I don’t like cozy mysteries very much, but every once in a while one stands out. This one was much more fun because of the Irish setting and Derry’s entertaining parents. Derry herself is a good character, although the romantic angle was disappointing. I found the mystery angle a little confusing. But all the secondary characters are fun and I loved reading about Derry’s transformation into Madam Tulip. This book is the first in a series and I would love to read more. Thanks for the chance to read this one.