Tuesday, August 28, 2012

COWS!! by Martin Rothery

I must sound like a broken record, I am always going on and on about how important it is to read the most fascinating, the most extraordinary, the most imaginative books out there, to your little ones. I have a strange fear that someday we will no longer have books, (Thanks to Rod Serling and his creepy Twilight Zones;) and I get worried that soon there will be a shortage of people who can even use their imaginations anymore. I think that's why when a book like this comes along, i get slightly hysterical when I try to tell friends and people online, just how amazing of a book it really is!
I don't even know where to begin with this book! I must say that Martin's writing style is very, very rare and unique and reminded me a tiny bit of Roland Dahl (one of my all time favorites!) In the way the story was written, and how colorful it was and how without pictures, the characters, and well, of course the cows, came to life before your eyes!
My 3 youngest children's ages are: 2,5, and 9, and they all enjoyed this book and giggled and giggled the entire way through.
Again, without illustrations, especially for the 2 youngest, the adjectives and descriptions and personality that came from the pages, already painted vivid pictures for them so much that they even remember the way Jimmy and his sheepdog looked, and of course the crazy cows who are planning to take over the world!
I especially thought it was a nice touch to add the witty, little narrations throughout the book from the author. Not only was this terribly clever, and funny, but it added the author's own personality to his ever so hilarious and fascinating book!
We recommend this to anybody who has an imagination, young and old, and even more so if you are still a child at heart!
You should check out the Cows Facebook page here!
You can also read more about the author and these looney cows, on Martin's blog!

** We received a copy of this book in return for our honest review **
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School Giveaway!

Pearl Mountain Technology has an amazing offer for all the back to school moms out there! of course most of us have been snapping tons of pictures, (we were this morning), and sending out all the pictures to our Facebook pages, grandmas and grandpas and dads, and friends.
We always grab the cool new school outfit pictures, new haircut pictures, and getting on the bus pictures and then these pictures kind of just stay stored on our phones or computers. So, Pearl mountain is offering, everybody, the chance to grab their latest, Picture Collage Maker, for mac or Windows, absolutely FREE!
This is only good until the end of August, but really only takes a few minutes to download.
There are over 100 adorable templates, for all occasions, that will help you and your little ones, create collages, scrapbooks, calendars, invitations, greeting cards and much more! There are also tons of professional effects, cliparts and frames for you to edit all of your pictures.
You can save and print or email to your family and friends and you can save files and set as wallpaper or post on Facebook;)
Please share this post with your friends and family and let them know this FREE offer is good until the end of August!
You can click here to grab this super sweet deal;)
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Imposter For Hire: A Dr. Cory Cohen Mystery by Sandra Levy Ceren

This is the second book I read from this author, and I enjoyed them both quite a bit.
I have to start out by saying that the author is a great storyteller, and does a splendid job introducing the characters in her books, and this one was no exception. She does a tremendous job with detail, sometimes, I think maybe to much for some readers, as the only issue I have with this book, is that it seems it starts to read more like a textbook, then a mystery novel. As much as I enjoy learning and reading facts and watching shows that explain disorders, serial killers, all those crazy psychological documentaries, and books, I feel that this specific series leans a little more towards that realm, then a mystery novel.
Which is not an issue with me personally, but I believe potential readers may want to know that along with a good, solid story, comes a lot to be educated on and as much time as the reader enjoys this book, they will possibly feel they are in a college classroom, at times.
I would normally say a "women's sleuth", or a "mystery novel", would make a good "beach read' or one of those books you read at your lunch breaks, or at home in bed. I can't say that with this one, for all readers, because this may require some re reading and or backtracking. But either way, it is a fine book with a fabulous character, Dr. Cory, who will end up being one of your favorite private investigator's when you are halfway through the book.
Dr. Cory, and Ben Fortuna, met previously, and partner up to start investigating a case, involving an anorexic, young woman, and her Iranian husband. The husband is a prominent petroleum engineer who has a special method that grabs the attention of a desperate oil company executive, who will stop at nothing, to steal his secret method. This story picks up right from the beginning, and possesses all of the good stuff a mystery should have, terrorism, murder, kidnapping, international disasters, and even a little bit of a love story:)
The story itself is most certainly a thriller, full of suspense, and full of edge of your seat drama. The characters are easy to like, Ben is just charming, and the love that he and Dr. Cory share is just so sweet and innocent and will make you smile!
I like this idea of the psychologist turned investigator, what better profession then these 2, to go hand in hand. I also like how the author's own experience is tied in with this series.
I would recommend this book to anybody who loves a good mystery novel, and also likes to read a book by somebody who has done their homework, (Sandra Levy Ceren, certainly has the experience to cover this!)

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

More Then A Memory: Reflections of Viet Nam edited by Victor R. Volkman

Just as many Americans, I am a big supporter of our troops, and I am in constant shock and sadness when I read and see the news each day. I grew up a little later then Viet Nam, but have always been fascinated about this time, our soldiers, and how many disturbing stories and problems our troops had to deal with. Especially when they came back home.
This book is filled with so many wonderful people, their personal stories, terrifying poems, horrific events and so many problems that still haunt them everyday. It is awful and unfortunate what they have gone through, and it makes it worse when there are still people out there who certainly don't give these men and women the respect they deserve so much.
They are living nightmares, it doesn't matter which war, which battle, which time period they served, they are all going through so much more then most of us could ever even begin to imagine.
I sat in absolute horror as I turned the pages and looked at some of the pictures inside, read about their losses, their lives that were ripped apart, and the agony they are still trying to cope with. One in particular, Marc Levy, really pulled and tugged at me, and not that I have been through anything near what he was, and is, but each day since I read this book, who's poems have been permanently branded inside my mind.
These heroes have tons of talent, and it definitely isn't hidden in their writings. Very creative, and exceptional work, and so much gut wrenching stories, this is a rare gem of a book.
I would never recommend this for anybody who can't stomach gore and horror. This is all very real, and colorful and could possibly make some very disturbed. I can usually handle quite a bit, and being a fan of war movies, I figured this would be an easy, simple book to read, and well it wasn't. You can't put it down, and you can't stop re reading certain stories and poems.
I hope for the sake of the author's, that writing provides some sort of therapy, and I hope the same for any vet who may want to read this book to become inspired or maybe see how many are out there who are going through the same pain.

I Thought I Saw A Dragon Late Last Night by Clayton Liotta

I always love these books that help stir creativity in children, and make the little motors start moving, and gets their imagination flowing! This book provided, literally, hours of discussion, and thinking, and dreaming and drawing and we all had a blast with this book. Especially our 5 year old and 9 year old, since dragons are most definitely cool!
Even our 2 year old, had a fun time checking each page for the dragon and pointing and saying, "There he is!" He giggled the whole way through, each time too;)
I know it may seem so simple, but that is all your children need to have a place to escape to, and to start new ideas and when they have this, anything is possible.
This book is an excellent addition to any child's bookshelf, and it will be read over and over again, just like it was at our house.
The illustrations are cute, and our kids loved the little dragon, and really had a fun time finding where he was each time we turned the page. Aaron, our 9 year old, always loves to read to his little brother and sister, and this is a very easy to read book, even for children much younger then him. He likes to hold the book up and read to them and they enjoy when their big brother reads to them, and just as much as they bug and bug for me to read a book, they do the same to him. So far, this has been the most picked book, by both the littlest ones!
We recommend this book to kids of all ages, and teachers, day cares, Sunday school, any place where kids are read to, and where reading is an essential part of their day. I remember those books that were hard to get at the school library, and this reminds me of one of those books!

** We received a copy of this book in return for our honest review **

Powerboat Racer by Thomas Hollyday

At first when I picked this book up from the shelf, I wondered what to expect. The cover didn't seem to draw me in as much as other covers do, (this is always something I make note of, even when like in this case, the cover ended up being quite fitting for the book), and I have to admit, it wasn't the kind of book that jumped out at me from page 1, or even page 2.
I can usually finish a book in a couple hours, depending on how long they are of course, but sometimes when they seem slightly, "boring", I tend to start doing other things and come back to it later. Which was what I thought I would be doing with this book. But, it really started to pick up after a few pages, and you start to get to know the main character well.
Harry Jacobsen, is a well, regular guy, with a regular life. he is an editor for a small weekly paper on the Chesapeake. Harry is from New York, and recently was fired from an investigative reporter job, which seemed to embarrass and upset him pretty much. So, he decided to leave the Big Apple, for a much quieter town in Maryland.
Like many other towns, not much really happens there, especially anything real interesting. When a few teens come across the sunken hulk of a racing boat, that was 30 years old, he didn't really expect near what he got from this small town story.
The book really starts to take off, and ends up being about, Walker John Douglas, and the 2 women he killed 30 years earlier, burnt down half the town, and crashed his vessel.
There were a lot of parts of this book that reminded me a lot of a long time favorite of mine, To Kill A Mockingbird, not that the author tried to re do that story by any means, but it is a similar type of book. Racism and racial unrest, are a common issue in the world, 30 years ago, and today. I admire this author for writing such a book, due to the fact that not everybody would accept it, nor would they want to read a book about racial unrest. But this shouldn't upset anybody, as it is written very well, very carefully and professionally.
Harry's presence in this little town, and his investigations of what was once thought and believed to be true about this ordeal, ends up really stirring the place up and ends up being quite a suspenseful book.
The way this book was written, fascinated me, since it started so slowly, and ends up being a story you wish would never end. I've read many, many books through my life, and this is truly one of a kind in this sense.
I often say, never judge a book by it's cover, and I apologize if you read my book reviews and you may have seen this said before, but this is one of those books. It may look like just a book, a story about racing boats, but there is much, much more to this book!
I was curious about this author, and wanted to see if there are more books out there that he wrote. Sure enough, I found his biography on Amazon, and found that he really has an awesome set of books that sound nothing but interesting!
You can read more about Thomas Hollyday here, and scroll down to check out the rest of his books! He has quite the busy life, and seems to have a knack for writing books that have their own distinct, challenging type settings that the author is very passionate about. Anything from nuclear war, to homelessness, to racial issues, Thomas Hollyday has a rare talent with starting off with what you think is just a book, and yet turns it around within a blink of an eye, and now you're reading what will most likely end up being a classic novel.
** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Cancer on the Brain by Jay Lafevers

I started this book, expecting to need some tissues close, and to just have a terribly sad day after I finished it, but that didn't really happen. Not because it wasn't upsetting, or sad that this wonderful person and family went through this, but because the author has an amazing sense of humor.
This is a wonderful book, one of those kinds that leaves a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and Jay Lefevers, really does an excellent job conveying his feelings through the pages of this book. I commend him for his whole attitude during this whole ordeal, and as much as he is a hero to his baseball team, he will end up being a hero for you when you read his book.
Of course, there were several sad parts, and very crushing moments. Especially when he had to tell his wife about what the doctors had found. But, even through all of it, he kept his humor, his positive attitude, and held everything together, as much if not more then anybody can expect from a cancer patient.
I really enjoyed reading his story about how he met his wife, about their children, his baseball team, and I could relate to the sections about the goofball doctors, the odd things that happen at the doctors office, and the weird phone calls that sometimes seem to make no sense at all. I was happy to know I wasn't alone in thinking doctors are a bit "weird" sometimes;)
I can't say we have anybody in our family that has had cancer, but we have had our share of medical mysteries, and medical issues. We have always taken a positive approach, even though it is very hard to keep that going all the time. The author and his family are admirable in many ways, and I am grateful for having read this book, and being reminded just how strong and powerful, people really are.
I would recommend this book for cancer survivors, patients, families of cancer survivors, any disease or illness really, as this book may just provide a fewe laughs and smiles along the way!
You can read more about the author on his blog!
** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quest for Light Adventure of the Magi by Byron Anderson

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book for review, and although I expected a very Biblical, Christian based book, that really isn't what I read. ( Not that I would have minded, I just was surprised with this one)
 Something about taking a story, and creating a book, with a new twist, and through the eyes of the Magi, is very alluring and will probably grab many readers attention with this story.
 I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, as Byron Anderson, took an already beautiful story and elaborated on it and made a genuinely, charming book that will take you on a whole new adventure.
 The Three Wise Men, are the main characters in the story, and we get to see, first hand, the events that took place before, during and after the birth of Christ, and all through their eyes. Byron Anderson does a tremendous job with real history, and real religion and adds a whole new light, which in turn makes an amazing book that will not be forgotten. Quest for Light, was probably one of the most interesting and beautiful stories I personally have ever read and for those who do not often read the Bible or for those that do read the Bible, this is definitely a book for you!
The descriptions and exquisite details of the road they traveled and the bandits, the merchants and all of the people that the Magi, crossed paths with, will stay with you forever and will be an absolute joy to read and picture in your mind. It certainly takes you along the road with them, as if you were there, because the author does a splendid job painting very vivid pictures of all of these amazing events and people. I would be more then happy to see in the near future, that this author chooses to write another book of this type about another part of the Bible.
 I would recommend this for the coming season for sure, this would make a great gift and the perfect book to read to get you in the spirit for the holiday season, and to share this wonderful story with family and friends.

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Ultimate Guide to Greening Your Home Review

I know we are all trying to save some money, especially since electricity rates are so high now, and they are only going to get worse! Unfortunately, it is still summertime, and this summer was terribly humid for our area, and air conditioners were on sometimes 24 hours a day! I did receive our electric bill for July, and I would really appreciate ANY tips for saving money on electricity after this bill! I have to say, honestly, it is the highest we have ever had!
This eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Greening Your Home, is an excellent guide, complete with a checklist! The other neat parts of this book, is that they do all of the research for you! Not just research on tips on how to green your home, but also about how to save on your homeowners insurance, tax rebates, tax deductions, and the part about how it will increase the value of your home, astounded me. I really never thought about that, but it makes perfect sense.
Inside you will also find, a tax rebate, tax credit, and green financing guide. It is a small investment, ($9.95), to learn how to save money, several different ways. Really, the fact that all the research is done for me, and the rebates and all the info and the checklist is all there, is enough for me to grab a copy;)
There is also a generous sample of this eBook here...

One thing we most recently tried to do, in order to better, "green our home" was to switch out harsh household cleaners, and replace with all natural. I love the cleaning products we have been using, and it is certainly much safer around little ones and pets!! This is just another example for grabbing a copy of this book, and switching just a few simple things around at home! You will be surprised at how much healthier and how much more clean and green;) your family and home and little ones are!
This book does go in depth on pretty much every aspect you need to green your home, how to make the switches and how it will save you money, and is a perfect choice for a gift and for yourself. You can download it instantly in PDF, iBook, or Kindle formats.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anytime Costumes Review

Halloween has always been my very favorite holiday. I especially love anything scary, horror, whether it's ghosts, monsters, zombies, demons, anything that is classified as horror, (within reason), has my full attention! The same rule applies for celebrating Halloween, and Halloween costumes.
So, of course I was thrilled to be accepted for this review opportunity!
I was given the opportunity to choose my costume to review, and since my ancestors were actually gypsies, and I have always been fascinated by gypsies, I immediately starting searching for some cool gypsy costumes.

I chose the one above, I thought it was the prettiest out of all f them, although it was very hard to choose just one!!
We have a Halloween party at my pt job, so I intend on wearing this for that night. (Even if I will be working;)
After my recent transaction, shipment and questions, conversations with customer service, I have to say, I am more then pleased and impressed with this website. Not only was my order correct, it was shipped much faster then I expected and the actual costume is truly the exact costume I saw on the website. ( Yes, I have had some frightening experiences in the past with costumes and other sites, including major retailers! )
The little ones were helping me choose a costume, and of course, they found tons and tons that they are interested in for this year's Trick or Treat and after reviewing this website, and the speedy delivery, accuracy of my order and courtesy of staff I came in contact with, we really won't be going anywhere but here.
The size is perfect, and fits very well, so this was a big plus! The price was more then reasonable and I seriously can not get over how quick they were!
They have a large selection of costumes, for all ages, it will be hard for you to choose what you want to dress up as for Halloween! They also don't just have the costumes, they have the accessories, the shoes, boots, whatever you need, they will carry it! Actually, like the site and company are named, Anytimecostumes.com, costumes anytime is a good name, and it is true!
Each costume has an accurate detailed description of the costume, along with what comes with the costume, so the shopper doesn't get confused. Some actually do come with extras, so just check out the descriptions before you choose your costume!!
My next favorite thing about this site, are the prices. They have lots of sales, even clearance costumes, and the regular prices are just right.
I would recommend Anytimecostumes.com for all ages, and families, espcially those on a budget, and those who maybe want to wear the costume more then once.
You can follow Anytimecostumes on Twitter here!
and check out their Facebook page here!!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Woolite Don't Torture Your Jeans

I recently received a sample pack with some coupons from Crowdtap, for this new Woolite detergent, geared for jeans.
At first I was a little concerned since I don't really like or care for dark jeans, although I figure it must be one of the newer trends.
I love faded jeans and even some with holes in them, lol, the more worn out, the better!
What I did find, is that this stuff works wonders for ALL darks! So, any concert t shirts, black capris, stretch pants, skirts, ( Yeah, I am a little old I guess:) But, I love the scent, the availability of coupons and sales, and the price isn't as bad even though it is a bit higher then other detergents. If you think about the amount of money saved by saving your dark clothes, and not having to replace as much.
I really have lots of darks, and between the 5 of us, I can certainly make at least 1 load per week where I can use Woolite Extra Dark Care.
If you are a fan of Woolite on Facebook, you can grab a super high value coupon here!
I received 12 samples, 1 for me and 11 to hand out, and really, I kind of thought they could have been just a tiny bit more generous with the samples since it takes more then 1 load to do a proper review before you buy. Although, they did include a $1 off Woolite Extra dark Care with each sample pack, so it wasn't that bad. (PS The coupon on their Facebook page is for $2 off!!)

Just in case you are a Rob Zombie fan, (I love his movies!!!), here is a super reason to love Woolite, Rob Zombie is the director of their newest commercial!! Super creative and original!! I love this ad!!
So, I made a purchase, using my coupon of course, and it has been almost 3 weeks, and I can still say I get more impressed with each load of darks that I wash with Woolite.
Besides already being a fan of the brand, I recently have been re structuring how we make purchases, what we "invest" in and how we go about house and vehicle repairs.
We own our own trucking company, very small, just 1 truck and my husband is the driver:) But, we are responsible for all of the repairs, fuel, taxes, tolls, everything you can think of and plus more, is what we pay. We always are looking for steals and deals on anything for our business. Just as we do for everything else.
What we recently learned from this, is the fact that we can go ahead and pay less at first, but it certainly doesn't mean we are getting top of the line repairs or parts!
You get what you pay for, and it does not pay to grab the least quality for less money when you will end up replacing this a few months later. Compared to paying a little more and replacing maybe in 2 years. You always end up spending more for the cheaper version. This recently became true with coupon clipping scissors that I purchased from the same cheaper store, 4 times! The handle just literally fell apart right in my hands! What did I do? Well, I wanted them replaced and so I ran back to this store and bought another, and another and another, because they were almost half the price as a good quality pair at a different store. I ended up going to the better value store and paying the higher price after I already paid more then 2 times what they would have cost for the better pair! Why am I blabbing about this? Because something as important as our families clothing and making them last as much as possible. If I pay $40 for a pair of jeans, (well that is to much in my book, lol, I will wait for a sale for sure!! ) But, you know what I mean......
I want those jeans to last a few years if possible!! The same with keeping concert shirts and things nice and new looking. I don't want to have faded, old, worn out clothes, and if that means I have to spend more on detergent, and look for better deals and coupons for Woolite, then so be it. But Woolite Extra Dark care, is now a regular staple at my house and will continue to be.
You can check out Woolite on Twitter here!
and check them out on Facebook!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Noxicare Natural Pain Relief Cream Review and Giveaway

Some of you might know a little about me, and my diagnosis with RSD about 6 years ago, (among other chronic pain issues), so I guess it wouldn't come as a surprise that I would have a review and giveaway for some pain relief cream;P
I have to be honest, I haven't heard of Noxicare natural pain relief cream until this review opportunity, but I will say that out of all of the ointments, creams, roll ons, and all these supposed topical pain relief products, I certainly will be adding Noxicare to my mix of RSD HELP!! I also am not so sure that I ever really seen any other brand claim they would help RSD type pain, but I asked them and they said yes indeed, and they are right...I actually started this review, with an attitude, I really never would have imagined that a cream would provide any amount of relief whatsoever. Of course I will never find a cream, a pill, anything, that will take all of the pain away! It unfortunately is not possible. But, when a few things are taken, done, together, and they all add a little bit of actual relief for chronic pain/RSD/CRPS, you will be certain to keep those items as close to you as possible;)
Noxicare is an all natural pain relief cream that can be used for several types of pain. Tension headaches, neuropathy, arthritis, athletes, Musculoskeletal Pain,and fibromyalgia. I have quite a few things going on, which leads to a lot of problems, since there is always something that something is for, and then I have to take a different pill, or get another procedure, for the next pain dilemma. Noxicare actually just about covers all of it, with just this one cream.

These videos will have plenty of information for you, and there are many more on their site. You can check them out here!
One of the things that fascinated me the most about Noxicare, (of course the fact that it really did help me with my own pain), is what is actually in the stuff!
Turmeric ( root ) Turmeric has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
Willow Bark ( bark ) Willow bark has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties.
Ginger ( root ) Ginger has digestive aid and herbal catalyst properties.
Holy Basil ( root ) Holy Basil has anti viral and anti microbial properties.
Rosemary ( leaves ) Rosemary has pain reliever properties.
Alpha Lipoic Acid ( found in vegetables and animal protein ) ALA has antioxidant properties.
Boswellia ( leaves ) Boswellia has anti inflammatory properties.
taken from Noxicare's site:
Noxicare is based on 7 proven natural remedies that have been used for centuries. Founder Dr. Reza Ghorbani chose each centuries-old ingredient not only because of its proven singular effectiveness for different types of pain, but understanding that each ingredient served as a catalyst to the other ingredients to boost the effectiveness of the formulation as a whole.
Well, makes perfect sense to me, and anything is better then most of what a chronic pain patients options are, so....
Again, I can not say that this cream took away all of my pain, and I was able to run and walk and skip and jump! Noxicare doesn't make that claim anyway, but what this product will possibly do for you, is together, with any other pain remedies, work together, much like the ingredients in Noxicare, when combined, and provide you with a much more painless day.
My other favorite points about Noxicare, it is NOT greasy, it does NOT smell bad at all, matter of fact, the cream is pleasant smelling and very light, definitely not what I was expecting. (Considering others I have previously tried)
I noticed they also have capsules on the way, the website says summer of 2012, so I am going to be checking back for those!!
of course there won't be enough to cover half of my body, or anybody who has full body RSD or any kind of pain, but I use this mainly while on the computer, after working at the bar, or when I will be doing housework and things. I use it for the tops of my feet, which are typically the worst pain, and my ankles. It would cost a fortune to get enough of this to cover both legs, and feet and ankles and my lower back, lol, so maybe we can talk Noxicare into selling vats at a discounted rate?
I am pleased with this product, and the fact that I will get relief from some of my sharp pains, sudden stabbing pains, and even a little of the electrical shock and fire, burning pain, when in my ankles or feet, have been letting up a bit when I apply this cream!! (Thank you!!!!)

I don't have an issue with the price, ($19.95 for a 3.5 oz tube) although, I wish it were a little cheaper but compared to others, this is more then reasonable.
Plus, I did notice that they have a Facebook page, and a Twitter page, and I was happy to see an active giveaway and a tab for savings, so.... I will just be sure to grab when I see deals;)
I would be very interested in any ideas, thoughts, your reviews, what do you use for pain relief? What have you tried? What pain syndrome have you been diagnosed with? (if diagnosed at all)
I know it sometimes, like in my case, takes several years, before you can find a dr you can trust and who knows what is going on. I am very content with my current doctor and my pain management team. Although, there are a few things I wish I could try, but with no referral, approval, or even insurance payments, some "experimental" type procedures are not acceptable. I am thinking very hard about doing something about Calmare Therapy, which is not covered by insurance and not well recognized. But I have been seeing and hearing many good things about this!
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NOVICA Review and Giveaway!!

I am delighted to have recently worked with such an outstanding company, and am even more thrilled to have learned about them and what they do!
If you aren't familiar with Novica, please check out their site,and if you are anything like me, you will be drooling over all of the gorgeous jewelry and fascinating gifts!
I especially am in love with these amber earrings, although I don't have pierced ears, lol, I love amber and these are just to charming!
Novica is an amazing site that allows artisans from all over the world, to showcase their talent, and earn money by selling their creations online for the rest of the world to see. They have several different artisans, and opportunities, and you can read all about the lives that have been changed with Novica's help here.
Actually, Novica is quite modest and will say that we have changed the lives of these artisans, and this is also another reason to choose this company and make gift purchases, or when shopping for yourself. We can together, help families overseas, and help them own businesses, have nice homes, buy cars, and become financially stable and independent. Plus, you are getting some very beautiful jewelry in return:)
Another very cool option from Novica, is Novica Live.
Much like other work from home opportunities, you purchase a kit for $199 and with your kit, you will receive over $400 worth of samples, AND $150 worth of business materials! Not only can you use this kit to start your own business, and having in home parties, but you can earn a living for your own family! All while helping other families from around the world. It's a win win situation, you can earn free stuff, money, and free trips!! the artisans you and your customers support, can keep their businesses going and be financially secure.
Novica, and all of the wonderful Novica consultants, work together to also provide artisans in need, of microcredit loans. Microcredit loans are loaned at a 0% interest rate and Novica also gives you a 15% repayment bonus, for loaning to an artisan! You can read more about this option here, if you would like to learn more about loaning to artisans to help with their small businesses.
I received a gift credit in order to post about Novica, and review the site, customer service, and magnificent work!
This is what I chose to buy with my gift credit! I never would have thought I would fall so much in love with anything made with pearls and leather... but for some reason, when shopping on Novica, this is what stood out right away!
It arrived in a handmade box, made from saa paper. Saa paper is a handmade mulberry bark paper that has been made in Thailand for over 700 years! Each year when the trees are harvested, the smaller branches are cut and the outer layers of bark are peeled from the branches to make the paper. That way, the trees are not cut down! Brilliant! and Beautiful! The box also came with a little story card, and a fluffy pillow for my new bracelet to sit on.
I was happy to have also helped, Panapha, a 33 year old who was born in Bangkok. She is the 3rd of 5 sisters, and just like us, got in trouble when she was little for drawing on the walls lol! She also graduated from art school!
I actually like a lot of Panapha's work, and hope to buy some more in the near future!
All in all, I had nothing but a very pleasant experience with Novica, customer service, ease of shopping, quicker then average shipment, and tremendous value!
Now, on to the fun part;)
Novica is sponsoring a giveaway for our readers!! You can win a gift card for $37.50!! You can use this to shop on Novica's website and choose whatever you would like! There is so much there, so grab some coffee and start shopping!!
First, if Novicalive is something you feel you may want to do, (becoming a Novica consultant), if you do sign up with them, please let them know you heard about them through a blog, and give them my links;) I would appreciate this very, very much!!
Visit Novica on Facebook!
and you can also find them on Twitter!
Ok, onto the giveaway.......
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala

Intriguing and crafted perfectly, is an understatement. So is: Interesting, unique, and written so well. I am kind of at one of the first times in my life, at a loss for words.
I have to start by saying that I am not a big church goer, my family kinda lives like a lot of average other families, where when one of us works through the whole week, the other works straight through the weekends, and this is just a shame, but reality. So, no, I am not I guess an avid church goer, although when I was young, we certainly went to Sunday School. For a few years at least. But I am aware of some Bible stories, David and Goliath being one of them.
I was very much into reading this book, even more I received it, and from just reading the descriptions, I don't usually apply to read and review a book very often. They sometimes just come at me, but this was one I could not bear to not review.
I was anxious to see how the story was written, was it going to be boring, would it be very much like reading the Bible? The way this book was presented, even here on Amazon, was terribly interesting, mysterious, and I looked for it each day in the mailbox until it finally arrived!
From the first page, a pretty grotesque first page, but just the way I like it;), the author's skills were already made known. With the first sentence, she grabbed the readers attention, and from there will take you on a journey you will truly never, ever forget!
Rachelle Ayala, really tells a wonderful story, a beautiful story that I don't think anybody will be forgetting very soon.
I thought it was a sensational story, she is very descriptive and what an awesome idea to tell this story through the eyes of Michal, in this way! I think this will certainly be a favorite amongst moms, and females of course, but it sure provides a beautiful place to escape too...
I enjoyed reading about the author as well, and all of her hard work that was involved in creating such a book, I appreciate her time and effort, and it certainly shows how much time and how the time was so well spent, through her book.
I noticed there is an issue with some people with this being slightly "pornographic". I have to say, I am not ever a romance type, no matter how "pornographic" it gets, book fan. I enjoy history,different writing styles, and imaginations, and this book does have it's fair share of intimacy, I didn't see it as being pornographic at all. I also don't believe the author painted David as a vicious and cruel individual and I sure don't think this book was meant to replace any part of the Bible, this is one person's view of a story and how it was seen, and felt through Michal's eyes and heart.
I would recommend reading the reviews for books like this, and the description before you make a purchase and get a book you thought maybe was about something else instead.
I do recommend this book to moms, females, anybody who enjoys a good, solid, action packed, thrilling ride, laced with love, betrayal, heartache, and pain that you will feel right from the pages.
** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Little Sprout by Muse

We received an eBook version of this book to write a review, and we will be grabbing a paperback copy. (I love real books and we always purchase the paperback or hard cover version of all of our favorite eBooks we receive for reviews) Even as an electronic version, the illustrations are very vivid, and truly one of a kind! You can't help but spend a lot of time just staring at these vibrantly colored pictures! They are drawn so well that they tell the story all by themselves!
My children just loved this story, the little sprout and his mommy are just like little ones and their mommy. (My 5 year old daughter said:) The little sprout in the story is so cute and does act just like a little one who is so anxious to grow and see the world!
Books are a very important part of bringing up children. We always read to our children as early as just a couple days old, and all 4 of them have grown up to respect books, and enjoy them and look forward to story time. This is a book that should be treated as gold, and given to children, new moms, newborns, as I am certain they will love the bright colors and adorable illustrations!
It is also a sweet book, as it shows how a mommy loves her baby and watches them grow, watches them create and think and dream and imagine and how they can aspire to be and do anything they set their little minds too!
We recommend this book for any house that may ever have a child visit or a home where a child lives:)
You can find Muse on Facebook;)
** We received a copy of this book in return for our honest review **

Escape to Mars by Greg Krehbiel

Aaron, my 9 year old, is just in love with this book. He sat at the kitchen table giggling and giggling and having the best time. Especially with Billy's chapters. On top of being a hilariously funny book, Escape to Mars, has some very cool and sneaky way of teaching a little bit about science and outer space. This was a big hit with me, since I adore anything my children can learn from. Especially when it comes in such a creative form. ( After reading about the author, and learning he has children, this made so much sense! We parents have to always "sneak" clever little ways of teaching lessons)
The story is imaginative and invites the readers (mainly kids) (although us parents love to dream and imagine too!), to discuss what they would do in this situation, what would they bring with them to Mars, how would they pack? What about Earth would they miss?
The story starts with Billy's family, his father comes home to try to explain about the black hole he helped create, that was in the center of the Earth, and how the Earth would be swallowed up by this black hole. The chapter is written by Billy, which is a unique way to present this book, through the eyes of a 10 year old boy. After we are introduced to Amber, a 10 year old girl, we get to read her side of this amazing adventure!
Billy and Amber's families, and a few other people needed to help start a new civilization on Mars, start their journey to outer space. They pack some food, some animals, different things needed in order to survive on Mars, and grab a space shuttle to start their adventure.
The print in the book changes with each 10 year old's writings, which helps to distinguish between the 2. I thought this was a neat addition to this fun story!
This is the perfect bedtime story, and your kids, any age, will love it! What little kid doesn't like outer space, space ships, Mars, and all the funny things that happen to Billy and Amber. Well, not everything is so funny. They certainly have their fair share of mishaps and some scary situations that they must. as a team, brainstorm and try and figure out. Billy and Amber included.
The author does a fine job creating this story, the characters are scenes are vivid and colorful and crafted well! It certainly has a lot of twists and turns and will be sure to keep your little ones attention.
We were thrilled to see there will be another book coming in this series and we can't wait!
Note to the author from Aaron, my 9 year old:
This would be so cool if you would make a movie or tv shows about this book!! It would be my new favorite show!
Lol;P Kids just love outer space, anything funny, and books written in their language. I have to agree with Aaron though, this would be a great mini series!

** We received a copy of this book in return for our honest review **

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chalk City® Activity Kit Review and Giveaway!!

This is one of the most creative and most useful outdoor toys me and the little ones have seen in a long time!
We had the privilege of reviewing the Chalk City outdoor activity set, and the kids are still having a blast with this toy!
The kit comes with enough chalk to last for quite some time, which comes in handy. We were pretty impressed with the contents of this kit and everything is very well made and will stand up to a few little kiddos arguing over who uses what, lol!
The Chalk City Activity Kit includes:
1 Road Maker® Holds two pieces of sidewalk chalk and creates roadways or courses for kids to run or ride around on their favorite riding toy.
3 Road Sign Stencils: Between the Road Maker® chalk lines, kids can learn the rules of the road with the Stop Sign, Turn Left/Right, and Straight Ahead Stencils
3 Obstacle Course Stencils: Between the Road Maker® chalk lines, kids can enhance their outdoor physically active play time with the Jumping Jacks, Spin Left/Right, Hop Both Feet/Left Foot/Right Foot Stencils
20 pieces of Sidewalk Chalk
1 Activity Booklet Offers a variety of additional games and cities to enhance the Chalk City toy experience

Unfortunately when we received this in the mail, we were in the middle of a few days of rain, so we had to keep this hidden after the kids opened it, because they wanted to start in the laundry room, and on the walls!!
Finally, after about 5 days of rain, the kids woke up and immediately saw the sky was clear, the sun was out, and this was the very 1st thing they wanted to do! Luckily, we have a big cement slab in the middle of the yard, and the size was just right for them to create their own little city.

Aaron and Genevive each made different parts of their chalk city, complete with driveaways, neighborhoods, and Aaron even had a farm in his little town. Genevive had a few stores and a house with a mailbox, and they would take turns with Deegan, and drive back and forth to visit each other.
It was very neat to watch the little wheels in their brains, turning and moving like crazy, and how their little towns operated. Aaron traded Genevive, produce from his farm, for some postage stamps and snacks at her store, lol, and they also had a gas station and a school and Genevive had so much fun drawing some of her friends houses so she could go visit them.

Of course after a while, the lines started getting crossed and the streets were intersecting, but it rained again that evening so they were able to start all over again the very next morning!
As a parent, I am thrilled with this product! I love finding new ways for my children to express themselves, and I especially love when they are learning when they don't even know it! Chalk City will provide hours and hours of fun for your little ones, and maybe even mom and dad!
It is so nice to get them away from the Tv and video games, (we try to do that as often as possible!!) But, they beg to get out the door to play with their city and their chalk. Deegan is 2, so of course he is a little limited as to what he can do with stencils and things, but he is learning. Genevive is 5 and she was perfectly able to use the stencils, and Road maker. This product is very user friendly.
My husband and I had fun sitting on the porch, watching them create their city, and playing together, AND getting along! It was amazing to see how much the kids pick up on, and how they worked together to make something very neat and fun for them to play with. They shared, and brainstormed, and discussed different parts of their towns, and really, they didn't miss a thing! They had stores, a post office, Aaron's farm, lol, a school, and everything a little town needs to get by. I believe that was the best part for us. To watch them behave and work together and shock us with all they actually know about the world around them.
You can check out Chalk City's website here, and enter your zip code to see where you can buy this awesome kit!!
Chalk City is also on Facebook!

Enter for your chance to win a Chalk City® Activity Kit for your favorite little ones!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Save Big on Back to School Shoes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everybody is back to school shopping right now, and all of the stores have been doing a pretty reasonable job with all of the promotions and sales that are going on.

We just spent a small fortune on back to school supplies, and a few other odds and ends, but the clothing and shoes are the big thing for us this year!

We have Genevive, who will be starting kindergarten, and then Aaron, who is going into 3rd grade, and then Deegan, he is only 2 but decided to outgrow all of his clothes and shoes at the same time! Bethany is 20 now and well, she can find her own deals, (she is a new mommy and will soon be learning why her mommy always shopped with mounds of coupons and sale flyers)


I am so happy to have found this deal because shoes and sneakers are really what cost the most for us. i am a sucker for name brands, mainly because I have found from past experience that when buying better quality shoes and clothes, they last much longer. So rather then buy a few pairs per person every few months of a cheaper brand, we spend money once per year on a few pairs of a good name brand, and they last the whole year. (Of course we have the random pairs we may have to grab here and there, due to somebidy outgrowing them, or the baseball cleats). But all in all, I have found that this works best for our family. It is just so hard to find shoes that are in our price range. But with this back to school promo, we can grab up to 21 pairs of shoes at Famous Footwear, and they will be, buy 1 get the 2nd for half off! Plus, the coupon is for 15% off!! But I am signing up for the Famous Footwear rewards program, which will make our coupon an awesome, 20% off!

BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon

If you aren't a member of the rewards program, here are some reasons why youi should sign up asap!!

• Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in-store or online
• Accumulate points to earn certificates up to $100 a year
• Discount offer just for signing up
• Other special inside discounts and perk

Even if we do just buy a pile of shoes, once per year, this program will help us a great deal! My favorite part is, I can buy online! The coupons above are also good for online shopping, whether they are delivered to you or to a local store! (Which, by the way, is free of charge to you!)

This coupon is only good until August 18th! Which gives you plenty of time to quick print it out and go get the best deals you can find! Check the coupons for the codes you can use for online shopping!



Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm Not Weird I Have SPD by Chynna Laird

I personally have never heard of Sensory Processing Disorder before I read this book. I have heard of many illnesses and disorders that affect children and their families in so many ways, and it is always just so sad. Especially when the baby or child, can't really communicate about their feelings with their parents. I often wonder how horrible that would feel, and wish nothing but the best for these families.
One thing I found out is that SPD is a little similar to what I have, which is RSD, and in some ways, we have some of the same issues with touch. (RSD affects your nervous system and is also known as chronic regional pain syndrome) So, I felt very sad for this little girl because I do know how it feels to have pain and how it feels when hugs and touch actually hurt.
I wish more books like this would be written for all the different things that our children have to deal with, maybe if they were kept in classrooms and libraries, and more people were aware of these disorders, the ignorance and making fun, and misunderstandings would stop. This goes for adults just as much as children.
This book was written very well, and the pictures are adorable. This cute little girl and all of her struggles and story have touched our hearts and i am sure will touch many more.
This would be an excellent book for any child, of any age, who also suffers from SPD, as well as any family who has a child or friend or relative who has this. Education is the key with things like this and the more people who become aware, the better we become as people and as a society.
There are many children who could use this book as a way to help them explain how they feel, how things hurt, and how things look to them. The most important part for these kids I would believe is for people to understand and listen to them, rather then think they are so "weird". I think this book should be at every doctors office and hospital. That way, when a family finds out what is happening with their children, the doctor can hand them this book as a reference and it will be the stepping stone for the healing process. My granddaughter was recently diagnosed with Downs, and when my daughter had her at her new doctors office, they handed her a book all about Downs, written by a boy who had Downs, and this has been a tremendous help for all of us! I hope this book becomes well known amongst the medical community for that reason.
I would also recommend this book to people who work with kids, around kids, have kids, maybe this will also help children accept and ask questions and learn, rather then make children who are a little "different", feel "weird"

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thorne Manor by Diane Wing

I am a huge, huge, huge fan of horror, scary, all of the psychological thrillers, gory even, the scarier the better. So, I am normally a bit to hard to please I believe, since in at least 26 of my 38 years, I have been an avid horror fan and have seen and read some that are the very best and some of the uh not so much of the best!
I have also been very pleased and shocked by some of what I have read and seen, (don't judge a book by it's cover) Although, the cover of this book is very cool. However, it doesn't lead me to think, hmmm, this oughtta be a real crazy and scary book. But it was! I loved the stories in this book quite a bit! I did of course, enjoy Thorne manor, probably the most, but the other stories in this book are very entertaining and real spooky and wicked, which is a good thing!!
The Quiet neighbors was very good, Guardian at the Gate was another excellent story, Dream State was super spooky and probably my favorite, and very well could be my all time favorite short spooky story!
By Invitation Only was real crazy actually! The Black Sheep and Good Riddance were both insane and quite gory, to say the least!
I enjoy Diane Wing's writing style, she does an outstanding job with adjectives and descriptions, and makes it an art. She is a great storyteller, and would be the best camping guest! ( scary stories around the campfire... I am hoping people know what I mean here;)
Diane does a fine job engaging the reader and keeping you literally, on the edge of your seat.
I actually read these stories between 10pm and 2am, on my back porch with some coffee. (this is when I read and get things done on a normal day) and I have to say, there were a few times I was so into the book, that when I heard a noise, I was pretty creeped out!!
I would recommend this book to anybody who likes some good stories for the campfire, and anybody who is a fan of the unexplained, horror, or just spooky, scary stories!

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

The Politics of Emerging Strategic Technologies: Implications for Geopolitics, Human Enhancement and Human Destiny (St. Antony's Series) by Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan

I am actually really shocked at the other reviews I have read about this book! I have to give this book 5 stars, not just because I enjoyed it very much so, and not just because I enjoy books like this, and discussions like this, but because it was very well thought out, explained well, (maybe entirely TO well), but from what I gather, it seems that we do have to explain and re explain again and again, so that people can understand.
Which brings me to the only issue I had with this book, and that is, each section, from page 1, the whole way through, was sometimes explained to much, period. But, I can't take a star away for just that, simply because well, I know why it was written this way.
There are times like with my children, (who range in age from 2 the whole way to 20), I have to explain in a few different ways so that each one grasps the point I am trying to make! So, I am giving this book 5 stars and that is what I am sticking with!
I do not think this is a book that is easily read in a day or a night, however, it does hold your attention rather well, and it will be hard to put down, at least until you are finished with the chapter.
I think a lot of this is of course already known and a lot of us do see how this works, and so a lot of the book is basically things you already can gather on your own, from well, technology and the media, etc.
You have to be a hermit if you don't already see or think about how the lawmakers, (either party), the UN, other countries governments, sway how technology works, what we find, learn, investigate, research, they sure won't put money into, or want any kind of scientific discoveries that would prove them wrong on anything they run on, anything they want to sell, and so on.
For instance, medications, and cures. Don't you sometimes wonder how in the world can we fly to outer space and do so many other amazing things, but we still can't find a cure for the common cold, cancer even, chronic pain? Look into this even further, and find what big wigs have how much into what stock, and you may see that certain cold medicines, pain medicines, are owned by some of the very elite. What will happen if we indeed had a cure for the common cold? Well, we wouldn't be buying cold medicines anymore, would we? So, who loses out? Who is more important?
The author also details, very fluently, how different countries and different religions and societies, have different have different belief systems. We use technology to make these amazing wrinkle creams and make sure that when we are older, our skin still looks as though we are in our 30's. But in other parts of the world, technology is not swayed by the people's need to look younger, because they are not infatuated with being younger looking. Why? Because they look at the elderly as very wise, and they look forward to being the same and receiving the same respect.
There are so many parts of every aspect of our regular day to day lives, that are run by technology, and technology is managed by the people who "run things". Sure, if you take a look at it country by country, religion by religion, technology is different everywhere. We have doctors who claim that if you take these key minerals and vitamins, that you will be this healthy and never need this or that, never go to a doctor again, blah blah blah... Or is it "blah blah blah"?? Just maybe, they are telling the truth, but they are not millionaires, which leads to the lack of advertising, the market is just to lethal for a claim like that. But why don't we hear more of it? Unless you are listening or reading or looking up some obscure book, radio show, tv show, you never heard of it! And if you did for the first time, you probably automatically assume it is a lie. Because you weren't "raised" to think that way, or you just don't think "outside of the box" or you just don't believe things people say or do because it isn't the norm for our society. It very well could be though for another society.
This book goes into great depth to provide you with many, many reasons, explanations, as to why we just do and see and hear what we do. Who does run technology? Somebody has too.

About the Author
NAYEF R.F. AL-RODHAN is Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK, and Senior Scholar in Geostrategy and Director of the Geopolitics of Globalisation and Transnational Security Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Switzerland. He is a philosopher, neuroscientist and geostrategist. A prize-winning scholar, he has published seventeen books proposing many innovative concepts and theories in global politics and security.
** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Putty Buddy Met My Kids Expectations (and Mine)

We received an order of Ruby Red Putty Buddy in the mail, and the kids tore the package open asap!! They went crazy and I kept thinking, really?? LOL! Kids love all kinds of crazy things, and things that seem so dull to us, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, (well, ok, I do like bubble wrap too;) But I often wonder what in the world and how in the world, do some of these companies stay above water?
Well, Putty Buddy is one of those things I thought of course the kids will like it, but what does this guy think he's doing? I have been proven wrong, by the reaction from my kids, all 3 of the youngest ones, (2,5, and now 9), and I am very pleased with how much time I have freed up by this little container of Ruby Red Putty Buddy!

Genevive, of course always makes hearts out of everything, and she especially liked the color and how easy it was for her to shape it without any help from a brother or mom or dad!

Aaron, always likes to make people and monsters and animals, and his little brother is always so proud of Aaron's creations. He thinks he is super cool:)

This stuff is quite interesting and very versatile! They were able to do and make everything that it claims to do, bounce, stretch, mold, it is pretty much endless, and really does provide hours of entertainment!
The kids were thrilled to get this in the mail, and they were anxiously awaiting it's arrival! They had already watched the videos on the website and were freaking out about how cool it was!
Putty Buddy comes in 2 colors, (and I can assure you, it does not stain a thing!!) Groovy Green or Ruby Red.
The price is reasonable, especially when you are going to grab more then one.
1 cost $9.99
2 for $15.99
OR you can grab 3 for $19.99! (that is the best deal, you buy 2 and get 1 free!!)
You can check them out on Facebook here!!
I would love to read any comments from our friends!! Did you order any? What did your kids think?
I am aware that there are a lot of recipes out there to make our own homemade gobbly putty playdoh clay gak slime stuff, lol, but I like this price and the deals, and as much as we love making our own of everything, I have to say that the cost of ingredients is about the same if not more. Plus, I really never had any come out quite as nice as this stuff. So, this is one of those things we would rather buy then create on our own!
Plus, we love to support small business!! I think it would be cool to have maybe a couple new colors added in the near future;) HINT HINT!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Sultan of Monte Cristo by Holy Ghost Writer

This was a fascinating time period, well written and detailed so much that it took you right there, so much that you can smell the wines, the macaroons, and see the places, all the while, the characters also come to life right in front of you.
I am a fan of the Count of Monte Cristo, and this was a splendid addition to such a fabulous story! I am anxious to read more from, Holy Ghost Writer, and I also would recommend possibly not only purchasing this book for your Kindle, but in paperback as well. (I am a big fan of real live books that I can put on a bookshelf;) and this book is definitely no exception to this rule!
I am normally a bit leery about who writes sequels to stories, movies or books, when it is not the original author. This is something I always have a hard time with because I don't believe it to be original, or the intent or imagination of the first director/filmmaker/author, but the author here, sets the first example I have ever seen for being most likely exactly how this was to be.
I am sometimes amazed at the writing skills and imaginations of certain authors, and this is the first I have read by, Holy Ghost Writer. I am adding him/her to the top of my list of favorites!
The story is well told, and the author has a very cool style and blends all of the words so perfectly! If you are a fan of The Count of Monte Cristo, this will be a great addition to your library. If you are not, well then you are missing out on a beautifully written book by an author who is as mysterious and fascinating as the story itself.
I like how the book description is read on Amazon, which is what led me to be interested in this story:
"Since the Count of Monte Cristo saw himself as divine providence we speculate that the word 'holy' in the Ghost Writer name was inspired by this fact, yet there are some unexpected twists in this sequel that may also contribute to the name.

Although those and other plot shifts come unexpectedly in this sequel, they fit seamlessly and grow out of some small seeds planted in the original story that never took root therein. One of those small seeds is the word 'hemp' found in the first chapters of the original story by Dumas."

A quick summary of the original story that Holy Ghost Writer so charmingly grew these seeds from:
19th century France, Edmond Dante is a sailor who is in love with, and engaged to the love of his life, Mercedes. His enemies, one of which is Ferdinand, is in love with Mercedes and wants to marry her. So, he and a shipmate wrote a letter accusing Edmond of carrying a letter from Elba to the Bonapartist committee in Paris. Edmond is then arrested on his wedding day and he was imprisoned for 14 years.
He decided to try and dig a tunnel to escape, and in the process, found a very close friend in an elderly prisoner, Faria. The 2 became very close, and Faria taught Edmond, and they met daily.
Faria passed away, but before doing so, he told Edmond about an incredibly large, buried fortune, and Edmond decides to replace Faria's body with his own, which was then dumped in the sea, and he starts his escape.
His main goal of this escape? To grab the fortune and to get revenge on everybody who wronged him and imprisoned him. (Slow and painful punishments)

I recommend these books, to anybody who has read the other, or to anybody who enjoys history, and powerful novels.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Power of Habit.....in 30 Minutes

I haven't read the book by Charles Duhigg, although, after reading this clever summary, I am very interested in doing so.
I do enjoy books that are practical, common sense, philosophy, and well, maybe aren't so common, since people tend to sometimes not grasp or comprehend these things. It is fairly simple and easy to understand, and once you think about it, you should be able to fully understand the entire book, and this should be something that people take seriously.
This summary would be a great benefit for anybody who doesn't have the time to sit and read, The Power of Habit. It really does only take 30 minutes or less to read, and the author did a tremendous job, outlining what the key points were in the original book and explained everything thoroughly.
He goes into detail about business, and what drives the customer towards your products, what worked for the "big" corporations, and what companies like, P&G learned about their customers.
All in all, there is something in this short summary, which is packed full on information, for everybody. Business owner or not. Maybe you are into advertising, where this would also be an essential tool. Or you could simply be a blogger, somebody who makes bows, tutus, jewelry, even authors, you will also finish this book feeling a little bit more focused, and enlightened!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Fall (The God Slayers Trilogy) by David L Dawson

I have to say, I have only ever read a few other books that fit into this dystopian fiction category, and out of all of them, I found this to be the most original. I also will be picking up the next book in this series when it is complete.
I thought the characters were introduced very well, especially the main character, Ben. He is a unique character,and it is hard not to like him.
This story takes place in 2026, (they guess), and the planet Earth has been taken over by 2 warring Gods. The crazy dangers out in this brutal place are very well imagined and described in the book! (kind of no different then what we have going on in today's world if you ask me!)
Ben Casper's father is the Mayor, which is what 14 year old Ben must get ready for.In this story, you get married at 15, and Ben is no different other then he will be taking over as Mayor. He does get several bids for marriage, but doesn't really love or even want to try to love any of them. Because he is actually in love with his best friend's brother, Brian.

I thought the way that section was introduced was also perfect, and it fit naturally with the rest of the story. The author also did not go overboard, and there really isn't anything that is awkward or to out of place. It just fit in nice, and is a part of Ben and this story.
I also thought it was a nice touch to add Ben's mother having the response that she had, which was simply no different then a mother finding out that her son had a crush on the next door neighbor girl.
So anyway, Ben has a pretty big weight on his shoulders, and that is the responsibility of saving the world.
I actually very much enjoyed the way the author made the fighting scenes, and the adjectives and how it is one of those books where you can see the people and action, in your head since it is written so well.
This book is a comfortable length, not to short, not to long, it is just right and suits the story well.
The only recommendation I would make would be to maybe push the age limit of this book up a couple years, I would say 14 maybe, rather then 12 years of age.
There are some violent scenes, and I just know personally, as much as I love gore and violence, this is written much like books I read as an adult, and I would think some children may be a bit young for this yet.
Why only 4 stars?
I really appreciate this author's imagination. I also believe he is very fluent with his words and sentences. I just had to take away 1 tiny star for grammar and editing. But please don't let that be a reason to dislike or not read this book. This author has much potential with this series!!

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The RX Factor by J. Thomas Shaw

If you like the types of books that grab you from the first page and keep your heart racing all the way until the end, then you will most definitely love this book! I do love those books, of course, and this rates up there with the best! I also enjoy Government conspiracy and well, real true Government thrillers.
Fortunately, I believe more people are really aware of what goes on behind the scenes and J. Thomas Shaw, does an exceptional job at this type of suspenseful, and pretty creepy, storytelling. The characters are well thought out, and introduced quite well, and I do adore his writing style, action packed, thrilling, and just all in all, great story line.
 Dr. Ryan Matthews, loses his family after his cancer cure that he co develops, backfires and ends up speeding the disease's progression and takes his wife's life. Of course this is devastating, and he takes a 5 year plunge as an escape.
He meets a new friend, Jordan Carver M.D, who has a plan to open a medical clinic that will help treat terminally ill cancer patients.
Oh, wait, it gets much better! There are other medical clinics that treat terminally ill cancer patients, but what is so odd and yet strangely familiar, is that these "clinics" are using a drug that is eerily close to the cancer treatment that Dr. Ryan Matthews helped create, that ended up killing his wife and causing all trials to halt completely. The FDA has apparently allowed the drug to be used in Mexico, in these so called clinics that cancer patients come to with hopes for a last resort. Very creepy, and yet, so realistic.
 Ryan, and his new friend and fellow researcher, end up jumping into probably the most wild and crazy ride of their lives, when they take it upon themselves to research and investigate what exactly is going on in these "clinics", what is the FDA doing? and most importantly, what is The United States Government doing? Why is this even being done? They are fully aware of the outcome, it really makes you think of all of the strangeness we hear throughout the years, medical trials, clinics, our military, what is being experimented with and who is it being experimented on??
The RX Factor, will keep you at the edge of your seat,(kind of like a Die Hard movie) and questioning everything, even in real life. If you didn't already wonder about what, how, where and why, our Government does what it does, you certainly will after you read this book!
The whole concept and reasoning behind what is happening is enough to send shivers through your body, and you will second guess most everything after this book, (again, if you haven't already!) The ending is well laid out, horrifying, and pretty gruesome. As a whole, I would recommend this book to everybody. maybe it will wake some people up as well.
Why did I take away 1 star if I loved it so much? I did like the ending, I believe it was the perfect ending to the terror. I did think it was an easy ending to figure out, although, I'm not sure how else it would have ended, since any other way would have possibly taken from the intent. I also think this is a fairly original story, although, I have seen and read this "type" before, and I have to say, again, the author's intent was clearly to write a book about exactly what he wrote about and he didn't take from anything that I am aware of. Nonetheless, that is my reasoning behind a 4 star, rather then a 5 star rating.
 ** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **