Monday, August 31, 2015

THE BEAST'S GARDEN by Kate Forsyth (A Review)


Kate Forsyth
Random House Australia, August 3rd 2015
eBook, 512 pages
Historical Fiction, Fairytale Retelling, Romance, WWII

Kate Forsyth is not new to the fascinating world of fairytale re-tellings.  In Bitter Greens (read my review), she unraveled the allegorical threads of a traditional folktale, better known to most of us as 'Rapunzel', she bared it down to its archetypal simplicity, and on that thematic structure she spun her own riveting story. In her latest re-telling, The Beast's Garden, Forsyth reaches a new high : Ava and Leo's tale of courage and love, "even when all hope is gone", is wildly romantic and utterly suspenseful.

The stage scene is a World War II Berlin, at that time when Germany seemed to be in the grip of a collective madness. The fairytale chosen by the author as inspiration for her story is 'Beauty and the Beast', not the most popular version written in 1756 by the French novelist de Beaumont, but rather the German variant, 'The Singing, Springing Lark', collected by the Brothers Grimm in the second volume of the 'Children's and Household Tales' (1819). The Grimms' rendition of Beauty and The Beast tells the story of a daughter who marries a beast (a lion) in order to save her father, but to that well-known motif the German writers added the search for the lost husband. In The Singing, Springing Lark, in fact, the daughter grows to love her beast but unwittingly betrays him and he is turned into a dove. She follows the trail of blood and white feathers he leaves behind for seven years and when she loses the trail, she seeks help from the moon, the sun, and the four winds. Eventually, she will save her husband battling the enchantress who turned him into a beast and the spell will be broken.

(Photo Credit:

In Kate Forsyth's historical novel, a young woman (Ava) marries a Nazi officer (Leo) in order to save her father, a professor who has been unjustly accused of subversive activities and is doomed to sure death in a concentration camp. Ava hates and fears her new husband, but she gradually comes to realize that he is a good man at heart and part of the Red Orchestra, the German underground resistance movement that aimed to kill Hitler and overthrow the Nazi party.

Leo von Lowenstein and Ava Falkenhorst met in the dark under the winter-bare trees, the night the Nazis first showed their true faces to the world and the Jewish persecution began - that  night of furious clamor and destruction fatefully brought them together, but the distance between their backgrounds couldn't  have been bigger.

Ava is the beautiful nineteen year old daughter of a kind natured professor and friend of the Jews; Leo is a high-bread aristocratic  officer of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence.

Ava is dark haired and olive skinned, hardly an Aryan specimen; Leo has fair hair and eyes of a blue as pale as the winter frost. Tall and athletic - if it wasn't for the crooked line of his nose, his face would be the very ideal of masculine beauty.

To Leo, Ava is an exotic flower, "the only beautiful, true thing in a world of ugliness and lies". Mistakengly, Ava thinks that Leo is just like any other German officer, a war-mongering hawk with blood on his claws.

Ava, a gifted singer, frequently joins the Hot Club, a secret group of jazz lovers and swing dancers, mainly Jewish and Mischlings. Listening to jazz and swing was banned at the time as if it was some kind of disease. She loves Hollywood movies and Billie Holiday's raspy voice. Her favorite reads are fairytales and her father's philosophical disquisitions.

Of aristocratic descent, Leo's family owns a castle in Bavaria. His life has been mapped out for him since birth. The von Lowensteins live to serve Germany, with faithfulness unto death. Leo cannot choose desire over duty.

Despite the disparity of lineage and upbringing, despite the dangerous clash of their respective affiliations, the chemistry between these two brave souls is palpable and undeniable. No matter how ardently Ava tries to avoid the intensity of his regard, their destinies and the fate of an entire country are intrinsically intertwined. While the world seems to be irreparably entranced by the imperialistic ambitions of a mad man, Leo's love for Ava will cause a monumental shift in his loyalty to the Third Reich and its Fuhrer.  Leo is not what she expected and feared: he's actually part of a conspiracy to stop the insane carnage of Jewish and German lives. Ava's realization comes too late. She has unwittingly exposed Leo's role in the conspiracy, and must find some way to rescue him and smuggle him out of the country before he is killed.

The Beast's Garden brims with climactic scenes of spine-tingling suspense and heartwarming romance. The historical references to the ethnic cleansing enforced by the Nazi regime resonate with chilling authenticity and do not spare the crudest descriptions of the labor camps' atrocities: they do serve as a powerful foil of human devastation against Leo's and Ava's heartrending love story. A shining addition to the wartime romance genre.

My rating: 5 stars

***Review e-copy graciously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BETWEEN THE TIDES by Susannah Marren (A Review)

"What does it cost an intelligent, creative woman to give up the life she has made for herself to follow her husband and his career into the heart of the American dream? And what dark secrets may lurk, concealed behind the scenes of that affluent picture-perfect suburb where every man is a success and every woman seems to be a beautiful winner at the game of life?" -- Leslie Bennetts, New York Times bestselling author of The Feminine Mistake

Susannah Marren
St. Martin's Press, July 2015
Hardback , 292 pages
Women's Fiction

In Northern European folklore, selkies are said to be mythological creatures, half human half seal. Legend has it that they live in the frigid waters of the Norwegian Sea and occasionally shed their skin to become human and live on land. If a man steals a female selkie's coat, she is in his power and she is forced to marry him, helpless and unable to shift back to her real nature. Selkies make excellent wives and devoted mothers, but because their element is the ocean they will keep longing for it: once they retrieve the seal skin, these water creatures return to their true home, even if that means leaving their beloved children behind. 

The many versions of this shape-shifter folktale (myths of mermaids, swan maidens, and doves are spread around the world) are typically romantic tragedies but they hold a much more complex and atavistic cultural subtext: marriage as loss of identity, marriage as a deceit, marriage as a social compromise that historically, and still to this day, penalizes women as the weaker subject of the relationship bargain. Between the Tides can be considered a new rendition of such a tragic tale as it offers a modern-day, true-to-life take on that elemental tale of loss and self-sacrifice. Conceived by the fluid imagination of a gender and relationship expert (Susannah Marren is the pen name of Susan Shapiro Barash, author of The Nine Phases Of Marriage), Between The Tides adheres to the basic plot of the Nordic legend, strips it of its magical folklore while retaining its cultural symbolism. In Marren's deft hands, the selkie becomes  a Manhattan upper middle class wife and mother, beautiful and ethereal, with an obsessive love for water and art inspired by the sea. The ocean, the beach, the jetties are her element. Her paintings are her selkie skin, her way to freedom, and yet she slowly and unredeemable shrinks under the pressure of the man she loves, and she will leave her world behind, without a compass or a guarantee she will ever get back.

Lainie Smith Morris loves what she has: four beautiful children, a handsome surgeon husband, a stunning Upper West Side apartment, a toe hold  in the door of the downtown art scene. Her artistic ambitions, her life as she knows it, are suddenly shattered when her husband, Charles, announces that he couldn't turn down the offer of a plum job in Elliot, an affluent New Jersey suburb. The entire family needs to relocate. Lainie is heartbroken, but she dutifully stands by her husband's decision, even if that means displacing their kids and putting her own dreams once again on hold.

"Of course you will be fine" Charles says , "what a move for our family! This is what people aspire to, Lainie. More space, a more gentle life...the city has become...tougher and we need a bigger will have a real studio. No more painting in the alcove or the laundry room...". Lainie has a radar for false promises. She has been in a marriage for too many years not to see the smart bait in her husband's sales pitch. She settles.  Charles wins. "He who earns the gold rules."

As she tries to re-structure her family life and regain a sense of peace for herself in the anti-septic suburban town, Lainie struggles like a fish out of water to keep up with a host of educated and attractive wives whose only responsibility in life is to stand on the sidelines of their husbands' successful careers, arrange playdates, and organize charity soirees  - until, serendipitously, she reconnects with an old frenemy turned current Elliot resident, Jess Howard.  Jess, who has always been jealous of Lainie's talent, beauty, and quiet elegance since their college years together, is pleased to demonstrate  her own hard-won social superiority by helping Lainie find her place in the community. The tide has turned in Jess' favor. She  has become the prom queen, the "it girl" who has a voice in the town, while Lainie is now the outsider. Jess will take her old rival under her protective wing, but what looks like friendship is quickly supplanted by deception and Lainie is once again set adrift in shifting tides. 

With dark secrets hidden beneath the glistening surface of picture-perfect marriages and an acute portrayal of a 'Stepford Wives' suburban heaven and its hypocrisy, Between The Tides is a revelatory and trenchant tale - fans of the latest literary frenzy known as 'the marriage noir' will feel right at home as Marren's debut novel echoes themes and motifs successfully exploited by her fellow authors Meyers, Flynn and Moriarty. Technically flawless, frequently lyrical, unbearably heartbreaking. Emotionally gratifying? Not enough for my taste. 3.5 stars

***Review copy graciously offered by the Publicist in exchange for an unbiased and honest opinion.

Friday, August 21, 2015

"Not Rejected After All" (Guest Post by Valerie Joan Connors, Author of A PROMISE MADE)

"Not Rejected After All"
By Valerie Joan Connors, Author of A Promise Made

I always knew I would write books one day. All I needed was the right inspiration.  For me, the inspiration came in the form of a small bundle of letters between my mother and grandmother during a five-month period of 1952 when my mother travelled to New York, hoping to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer.

When my mom died, on January 3, 2001, she left me a box filled with all of her poetry, personal journals, and letters. For years that box sat on the same shelf in the studio in my parents’ house, where she used to paint and sew.  When Mom got sick, and it looked like she wasn’t going to get better, we discussed the box, and what I was to do with it after she was gone.

In early 2001 when the box arrived in Atlanta, I put it in a closet, unable to bring myself to go through it. The box remained unopened for eight more years. In the spring of 2009, when I found myself home alone for a long weekend, I finally felt like I was ready to open the box and look inside.

As I was going through the box filled with my mother’s memories, I came upon the handful of letters that were tied together with a pink satin ribbon. The letters told the story of a courageous young woman, and were my inspiration to start writing.

Also among my mother’s things was a rejection letter from Harper’s magazine for a poem she had submitted for publication.  The poem was tucked inside the envelope along with a very polite letter of rejection.  When the novel was published, I was able to include her formerly rejected poem in the text of the story, along with the exact language of the rejection letter.  So although it was sixty-five years later, her poem was published after all. I like to think she’d be pleased.
About the Book

In A PROMISE MADE, Eva Larkin is a bright, vibrant seventeen year old when she meets Leo Maguire. He’s home from WWII, handsome and seemingly forthright. It doesn’t take much for Eva to swoon. But the sweetness of their marriage soon sours. Leo can’t manage anger or alcohol and certainly not the two combined, and he begins to hit Eva. When she escapes with their son to New York, she makes tentative steps toward the life she had always imagined, that of being a writer. Eva charges toward her dreams during a time when most women were encouraged to stay home, when divorces weren’t easy to obtain, and when being a single mother was even more difficult than it is now. How she fulfills her dream, though, is an ending not even she could have written.

A PROMISE MADE is a story about power, perseverance, and hope. It’s also a story of triumph, a heart wrenching, ultimately uplifting tale.

About the Author

Valerie Joan Connors is the author of Shadow of a Smile (Deeds Publishing, June 2014), In Her Keeping (Bell Bridge Books, 2013) and the first edition of this novel, Give Me Liberty, which she self-published in 2010. She is the Vice-President of Programming for the Atlanta Writers Club, an organization with more than 700 active members and a 100-year history in the Atlanta area. During business hours, she’s the CFO of an architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Valerie lives in Atlanta with her husband and two dogs. To learn more or to find event information, please visit    
Selected Praise for A PROMISE MADE

“Eva Larkin kept me up at night. She is a character who slips in the back door of your consciousness and suddenly every woman you meet, might be her. If there’s ever been a character I cheered for, feared for, grieved for or ultimately hoped for, more than Eva, this novel has made me forget her. Valerie Connors has created a timeless woman’s story in A Promise Made.”—Kimberly Brock, 2013 Georgia Author of the Year for River Witch

"Rich with detail, A Promise Made is the heartfelt journey of a young woman surviving and thriving despite an abusive relationship in the post-WWII era, with lessons equally relevant for women of today."—M.J. Pullen, author of The Marriage Pact and Every Other Saturday

"Intrepid Eva Larkin copes with and then overcomes abuse by her husband, setting her on a path to help others, but this is much more than a novel about domestic violence. A Promise Made showcases strong, courageous women—and men—who dare to defy the 1950's norms of silent suffering and hypocrisy."—George Weinstein, author of The Caretaker, The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno, and Hardscrabble Road

"Eva Larkin longs to be a writer. Escaping an abusive relationship, she finds true love and discovers that her own life is the real story. A wonderful novel about a strong woman, a loving child, loyal friends, and a family that binds them all together."—Michael K. Brown, 2015 Georgia Author of the Year for Somewhere a River

"From the very beginning, the characters and situations that Valerie Connors creates, leap off the page and into my heart, where I will carry them forever. This riveting story offers a meaningful message for everyone who reads it.”—Terry Segal-Author of Hidden Corners of My Heart and The Enchanted Journey: Finding the Key That Unlocks You

A riveting tale about a courageous woman! A Promise Made throws open doors that hide purple bruises, broken bones, and broken hearts, the all-too-common dark family secrets before women could find safety in shelters and police could intervene in domestic matters. It reminds us how recent these protections are and how domestic violence haunts us still. Hurray to Valerie Connors for this inspiring story!”—Jennie Miller Helderman, Pushcart Prize nominee, author of As the Sycamore Grows
Photo Credit: Author pic by Patrick Connors


Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Something Borrowed, Something Blue": Guest Post by Eliza Redgold, Author of NAKED (A Novel of Lady Godiva) & GIVEAWAY

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released by St Martin’s Press in July.

For a brief second I swore I caught sight of a woman standing by the window. I blinked. It must have been a trick of the light, yet longing overwhelmed me.
Unshed, I gulped the tears that threatened. “Oh Aine. I wish my parents were here.”
Would I have been marrying Leofric if they were? Or would I have been marrying Edmund?
“Your mother would have been proud.” Aine said, as if sensing my unspoken question.  “You must be a peace weaver now. But remember, my lady, the threads of the marriage cloth are strong. Your vows will bind you to the Earl and he will be bound to you. You’ll have to take the joys and sorrows that come once you are wed.”
Joy and sorrow. I had witnessed both in my parents’ marriage.
“Lord Radulf and Lady Morwen - their love was tested, through trial and time,” Aine went on. “That’s the way marriage grows. It must grow through grief, it must grow through pain, and it must grow through anger.”
“Through anger?” This was unexpected advice. I grimaced. The way we had already begun, it seemed anger would certainly be part of a marriage to Leofric of Mercia.
Aine smiled. “You don’t think anger fiber of the marriage cloth? It’s one of the strongest strands. Don’t be afraid of its power.”
Standing up I reached for my belt, a thin leather plait to waist my long linen tunic, woven fine and embroidered around the yoke in patterns of green leaves and gold thread. A broad band of blue around the hem in honor of Our Lady. Made creamy with age, it had been my mother’s. Remade to fit me. Aine had tutted over it, wishing she had more time.
But it was beautiful.

Quote from NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” goes the old wedding rhyme. Something I discovered while writing Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva is just how old this rhyme really is.
In Lady Godiva’s time, over a thousand years ago in the eleventh century, it was a Christian custom for brides to wear a band of blue on their wedding gowns. This was in honour and to invoke the protection of ‘Our Lady’ Mary, mother of Jesus, in prayer for a happy and blessed marriage.
Over time the bridal band of Mary’s blue became intertwined with the tradition of a bride wearing a blue ribbon garter. Legend has it that the motto of the knightly Order of the Garter was based upon words spoken by the fourteenth century King Edward III of England: ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ which means ‘Shame on him who sees evil in it’. Edward said these words when defending his own lady, Joan of Kent, from the laughter of the court when her blue ribbon garter slipped from her leg. Edward picked it up, tied it around his own leg, and the noble garter was henceforth the emblem of the most chivalrous and valiant knights who defended lady and love.  
In Naked, Godiva is given a gift before her wedding by her husband-to-be, Lord Leofric of Mercia. She wears it as part of her wedding attire and it becomes a symbol of their marriage, after some passionate conflict.
To find out what Leofric gives Godiva and what it means, you’ll have to read on!

02_Naked A Novel of Lady Godiva_CoverNaked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction
Add to GR Button    

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don't know her true story. We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for 'peeping Tom') and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax. Naked is an original version of Godiva's tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.


"Redgold's variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance." (Booklist)

"Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people." (Romantic Times)

"NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It's a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!" (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA)

"A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love - everything a fan of medieval romance could desire - plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been." (RT Book Reviews)



03_Eliza Redgold_AuthorABOUT THE AUTHOR

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia. For more information visit Eliza Redgold's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+.



Monday, August 10
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, August 11
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, August 12
Guest Post at The Maiden's Court
Spotlight at A Book Geek
Thursday, August 13
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Friday, August 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Saturday, August 15
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf
Monday, August 17
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, August 18
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation
Wednesday, August 19
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Thursday, August 20
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Friday, August 21
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Review at Let Them Read Books
Monday, August 24
Review at I'm Shelf-ish
Review at Please Pass the Books
Guest Post at Bibliotica
Tuesday, August 25
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Review & Interview at History Undressed
Guest Post at Curling Up By the Fire
Wednesday, August 26
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at The True Book Addict
Thursday, August 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Guest Post at Romantic Historical Reviews
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch
Friday, August 28
Review at A Book Drunkard
Review at Book Lovers Paradise


To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below. Three winners will be chosen. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Blog Tour

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Monday, August 10, 2015

STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen (Excerpt)

Title: Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!
Author: Lisa Tillinger Johansen
Publisher: J. Murray Press
Pages: 275
Genre: Nonfiction/Nutrition/Health

Purchase at AMAZON

The Paleo.  The Zone.  The Gluten-free.  Another day, another diet.  We’re caught in a never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors and companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion industry.  But do these diets really work?  And how healthy are they?

Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on medical facts, not hype.  And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies, relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach efforts.  With insight and humor, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off shows that the best answer is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our health and our waistlines.


Book Excerpt

The idea for this book began at a wedding.
Who doesn’t love a good wedding? The clothes, the flowers, the romance, the food…
Ah, the food. As we moved into the banquet hall, the culinary feast was on everyone’s minds. It was all anyone seemed talk about. But for some reason, guests weren’t conversing about the dishes being served; they were swapping stories of diets they had heard about from friends, magazine articles, even celebrities on talk shows.
I’m a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional science and years of clinical and health education experience. I’ve counseled thousands of patients and clients on all of these diets. But hearing the guests only momentarily distracted me from my horrible faux pas of wearing white (gasp!) to a friend’s wedding.
“I’m on the Blood Type Diet,” said a woman with an impossibly high bouffant hairdo. “You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? It’s the one where you choose your foods based on your blood type. I’m an AB, so I’ll be having the fish.”
“Really?” her friend replied. “I swear by the gluten-free diet. I’m on it, my daughter’s on it, and my granddaughter’s on it.”
I happened to know her granddaughter was six and didn’t have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Then there was the stocky guy who was trying to impress one of the bridesmaids. “I’m a paleo man myself,” he said, piling his plate high with beef kebabs. “It gives me more stamina, know what I mean? It puts me in touch with my inner caveman. There’s a restaurant near my apartment that’s paleo friendly. Maybe we can grab a bite there sometime, or…Hey wait, where are you going?”
And there were three Weight Watchers sisters who typed furiously on their phones and argued over their meals’ point values. Apparently there was some discrepancy between their various apps, and the sisters’ discussion was becoming more heated by the moment.
I’m past the point of being surprised by the wide range of weight-loss strategies—
some worthless, some crazy, some quite reasonable—being tossed around. In the past few years, there has been a tidal wave of diets washing up on the shores of our nutritional consciousness. Celebrities prance across our screens, promoting a variety of weight-loss schemes on talk shows and infomercials. Medical doctors star in their own syndicated television programs, exposing millions to weight-loss techniques, often unsupported by medical research. Other diets get traction on the Internet, racing all over the globe in social media posts, YouTube videos, and annoying spam e-mails. It’s hard to walk past a shopping center vitamin store without being approached by salespeople trying to pitch the latest weight-loss supplements. It seems that everyone wants a piece of the pie; the American diet industry tops $60 billion annually.
It’s classic information overload. You can’t blame people for being confused by all the diets out there, even as crazy as some of them may sound. I didn’t speak up to my fellow wedding guests that day, but it occurred to me they would benefit from some hard facts about the diets they so ardently follow.
So during the toasts, I thought to myself, I should write a book.
I counsel clients on these matters each week, giving them information they need to make the best choices for their health and waistlines. I find that all too often there’s nothing to the diets that are presented to me in my counseling sessions and classes. They just plain don’t work, particularly over the long term. And some of them are harmful, even potentially lethal. But it’s also unhealthy to carry extra weight on our frames. So how do we separate good diets from the bad?
In the chapters to come, we’ll take a good, hard look at the various weight-loss plans out there. I’ll pull no punches in my professional evaluation of some of the most wildly popular diets, both bad and good, of the past few years. And along the way, I’ll explore tried-and-true strategies for losing weight, based on my years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars, and community outreach efforts. More often than not, the best answer is not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but instead a few easy-to-follow guidelines that I’ve seen work in literally thousands of cases.
Enough is enough. It’s time for the madness—and the diets—to stop.


LISA TILLINGER JOHANSEN, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients on a wide range of health issues. Her debut nutrition book, Fast Food Vindication, received the Discovery Award (sponsored by USA Today, Kirkus and The Huffington Post).  She lives in Southern California.

Her latest book is the nonfiction/nutrition/health book, Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!

For More Information