The First Family, by Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer ~ 4.5 Stars

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‘Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

352 Pages

Synopsis: Cam Hilliard is, in addition to being the President’s sixteen-year-old son, a chess prodigy. A year into President Hilliard’s second term Cam inexplicably stops playing the game he loved and becomes withdrawn. The First Lady is convinced that the senior White House physician is wrong in diagnosing Cam’s issue as a psychological one, and she demands that Dr. Lee Blackwood be brought on to provide a second opinion. Lee’s opinion is dismissed, until Cam’s spleen ruptures and it becomes obvious that something is horribly wrong. 

Lee informs the President and First Lady that to make a diagnosis they need to find other people with the same symptoms to conduct additional testing. From there, it’s possible to to identify the the gene defects and correlate those to the missing enzymes. Only then can a diagnosis be made and treatment begin. For now, they must face the harsh reality that Cam’s genes are producing a mutation that appears to be entirely new to science.

As Lee delves into this medical mystery, he comes to believe Cam is not the first case of this presentation of an inborn error of metabolism. But when two young people Lee has found, each with exceptional gifts, are murdered, Cam’s condition suddenly takes on a terrifyingly new dimension. Is someone out to murder the President’s son? If so, why? As Lee searches for answers he will uncover unimaginable secrets and dark betrayals that breach the highest levels of security.

I’ve made no bones (please forgive the pun) about how much I love the medical thrillers of Michael Palmer and although he sadly passed away in 2013, his son Daniel (a respected thriller writer himself), has been doing a wonderful job completing his unfinished manuscripts. The First Family is the third book after Trauma and Mercy I’ve read by the duo, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first two. My only criticism is that sometimes the medical terminology gets to be a bit much and slows down what is otherwise a non-stop thrill ride. There are also some eyebrow-raising implausible situations, but with relatable characters you can’t help connect to, and the way both writers manage to make things like genetic anomalies, brain enhancers, and neurophysiology fascinating, these are minor complaints. If you enjoy cutting edge medical thrillers with plenty of mystery and suspense, I can’t recommend The First Family highly enough!

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Whimsical Wednesday ~ US Teacher Appreciation Week Edition

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Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it…well no mistakes in it yet.

~ Angelica M. Stacy, Anne of Green Gables ~

L. M. Montgomery 

“A serious mistake” President Obama’s Statement on Trump’s Decision to Pull Out of the JCPOA

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President Obama rarely responds to Trump’s crusade to wipe him from the annals of American history, so you know things are dire when he feels it necessary to release a statement in response to his latest insanity. Here is part of his response:

…Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium—-the raw materials for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.

Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust—-it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance—-the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

For President Obama’s entire statement, please visit:

https://m.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/10155854913976749

Max Boot Argues Why the President Should Not Blow Up Iran Nuclear Deal Bur He’s Not Listening

Thank you Gronda for putting this post together, because I for one, am too furious to gather together anything coherent. For the sole reason of pleasing his base and taking another knock at President Obama, Trump has just imperiled the entire world. While this decision isn’t surprising, it’s no less reprehensible.

Gronda Morin

MAX BOOT is a conservative Russian-American author, consultant, editorialist, lecturer, and military historian. He worked as a writer and editor for Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal in the 1990s.(Wikipedia)

Today’s the day, 8th day of May 2018, when the republican President Donald Trump plans to announce his intent to have the US back out of the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal despite the advice by his own Defense Secretary General James Mattis and the allied leaders of numerous countries.

The president is instead listening to the professionals whom he has recently placed in his cabinet like the National Security Adviser John Bolton and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all of whom are in favor of tearing up this deal and for promoting regime change in Iran.

See: The U.S. Will Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump Tells…

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The Diminished (Untitled Duology #1), by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

384 Pages

Synopsis: In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.

The singleborn.

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of those few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

The diminished.

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what’s left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthday approaches, Bo and Vi face very different futures—-one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.

The Diminished is a fabulous beginning to an as of yet, untitled duology. The chapters alternate between the two main characters, both who I found equally fascinating. I loved the way Bo being gay was depicted so matter of factly. There is no bigotry in this world regarding sexual identity. It’s an accepted part of society. Neither is there any racism. Unfortunately there is bigotry toward the “diminished”, those who have lost a twin. So, not only do they go through the heartbreak of losing their other half, but then they’re treated with abject cruelty. This is most detailed in Vi’s chapters and it can be tough reading at times. While it seems as though Bo and Vi have nothing in common, as the story continues their lives converge in the most interesting ways. 

The world building is rich in detail and I loved how the Alskad Empire shares societal issues that mirror those found in the real world. Between that and the characters, I was completely enthralled throughout the entire story. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book takes things. I highly recommend The Diminished for older teens and adults who are looking for a fantasy that’s unique and exciting.

*Update About My Family~Sorry About The Wait*

A Welcome Update From Dani!

Touch My Spine Book Reviews

I know that all my bloggy friends that have been following me or have seen me around are due for some kind of update regarding my life situation and what’s been going on. I am thrilled to say that I am able to eat again and that I have received my meds! Woot we also were able to get 2 sample pens of insulin from our doctor. Which is all amazing news! If you have no idea what I am talking about you can find it @ gofundme.com/needing-help-for-medical-and-rent-for-kids

Also some people have mentioned PayPal and I’m sorry I didn’t add a PayPal button but the email linked to my PayPal account is daniellepirok88@gmail.com and if you need anymore info about PayPal or for any other reason you can contact me through that e-mail as well. Sorry rambling again. Back to how things have been. Tries to zip mouth and concentrate…

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US Teacher Appreciation Week!

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I was blessed to have several incredible teachers during my childhood, but it was only as an adult that I realized how underappreciated they are. In honor of these tireless workers who take joy in passing their knowledge onto young inquisitive minds I’m sharing the following quotes. And for those of you who are teachers I’d like to say thank you.

Thank you for working long hours.

Thank you for working for not enough pay.

Thank you for buying supplies for your classrooms and students out of your own paycheck.

Thank you for not giving up despite increasing demands from parents and society. 

Thank you for inspiring us to be the very best we can be!

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world best inspirational quotes Lovely inspirational teacher quotes readers digest

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