Friday, November 16, 2012

Rock The Tea Coupon

Shopping Just Got Easier at Rock The Tea!  Girls shopping on-line store.  Rock the Tea offers crafts, dress-up clothes, make-up and jewlery for young girls.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Ghost of Christmas Present - Book Review

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Novel
Author:  Scott Abott
Publisher:  Howard Books

Book Description:
It’s the fourth Wednesday of November, and Patrick Guthrie is giving thanks. He’s giving thanks that his eight-year-old son, Braden, will finally have a procedure on his heart that will cure him of the same life-threatening condition that took Patrick’s wife several years earlier. But when Patrick suddenly loses his job teaching drama at a New York City high school, his already desperate financial situation becomes dire. Rebecca Brody, a social worker, shows up at his door with a judge’s order for him to appear before the city’s family court to determine if Patrick is financially fit, and Patrick realizes he is in danger of losing his son.
Patrick knows that he must somehow make it through the holiday season to a new job waiting for him in the new year. He also knows that Ted Cake, his former father-in-law, blames Patrick so much for the death of his daughter that he, a rich and disagreeable man, is the one pushing the city to call the custody hearing and give the boy over to him. Now Patrick has only three weeks before Christmas to somehow make enough money to pay his bills, present himself to the family court as a fit father, and keep Braden in his life.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I completely sympathized with Patrick in that he only wanted what was best for his son. It was bad enough to lose his wife to a heart condition and then find out his son has it too. Ted just made me see red in trying to get custody of Braden. You would think that he would be like Patrick and just want the best for Braden.

Why are there so many parents and grandparents that can’t get along for the children’s sake?
Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review The Ghost of Christmas Present. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review.

The Bridge - Book Review

The Bridge: A Novel
Author:  Karen Kingsbury
Publisher:  Howard Books

Book Description:
Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.
For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.
Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?
The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

My Thoughts:
The Bridge is a short story, unlike most that I read now. As a Christmas story it was what I expected; however, it didn’t rate as one of the top ten. It’s probably not one that I’ll re-read. It would have been nice to have had more background, which would have made it longer.

Molly and Ryan went to college together, became friends, fell in love, and split up due to family influences. They finally get back together in trying to help rescue the bookstore, The Bridge.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review The Bridge. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sugar Fork - Book Review

Author:  Walt Larimore
Publisher: Howard Books

About the Book:

This captivating story takes place in the Sugar Fork Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness during 1925–1926. Nate Randolph and his five unique daughters wrestle to survive after the death of Callie (his wife and their mother) as well as to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an evil lumber company manager seeking to clear-cut their virgin woodland.

A cast of delightful characters, including gypsy siblings, Cherokee Indians, a granny midwife, a world-famous writer, and even a flesh-and-blood Haint, join our heroine, sixteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, in her life-and-death struggle. Abbie falls in love for the first time, helps run the farm, and mothers her independent sisters while battling to preserve her faith when senseless murders threaten to destroy her family and way of life.

Will the Randolph family survive intact? Will the farm be saved? Only a miracle could make it happen.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It really opened my eyes to life in the Smokey Mountains in 1925. The story showed the people in the mountains weren't ignorant, backwards, or simple at all. Abbie has been through the mill even before this story hits. Her three younger brothers died while babies and her mother died last year. Then her father and fiance is killed. As she's only 16, her aunt and uncle come out and decide that her and her sisters will go to an orphanage.

There happens to be a law that says if she gets her drivers license, she'll be considered an adult; so, she gets her license. She's able to keep her sisters on the farm. I hope you'll pick this book up either for yourself or as a gift.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Sugar Fork. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Edge of Trust Book Review

The EDGE Of Trust
Author: K.T. Bryan

About the Book:

The stakes are incredible. Failure is unimaginable. The malice unthinkable.

Living a nightmare…
When EDGE operative Dillon Caldwell follows a direct order to bring down the Sanchez Brothers drug cartel, he never imagines that his wife, Sara, would be next on the cartel’s hit list.
Dillon thought nothing could match the pain of losing his wife, but when Sara mysteriously turns up twelve months later, beaten yet alive, he realizes he was wrong. She has secrets she’s unwilling to share, secrets that could cost them their lives.

Hunted by a relentless killer...
Rafael Sanchez has turned a vendetta into a war with no rules. He has taken retribution to an extreme and wants to shatter more than just Dillon’s life. He wants to destroy every reason Dillon has left for living. 

One way in, and no way out...
Trapped in a hostile jungle, Dillon and Sara have nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide, and they find themselves shifting from the shadows of vengeance into the sunlight of justice. In order to survive, they can trust no one, will betray anyone, and are determined to win at whatever the cost. 
Even if it means going over the edge.(less)

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It had good against evil, romance, danger, and suspense. It was war against drug cartel and the cartel lost. I can only guess how Sara felt when having Ellie and Dillion not by her side throughout her  her pregnancy and then finding out he thought she had died.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Forgotten Dreams Book Review

Author: Alexia Banks

Book Description:

Itching for adventure, Miami private investigator Shane Connelly heads for Swan Creek in North Carolina wine country. But she quickly discovers it’s anything but the perfect spot to while away the summer months. Her country home turns out to be a burned out hovel that she suspects is haunted. Discouraged, she plans to head home when a handsome stranger arrives at her doorstep. Before she can beat a trail off the mountain, Shane and her dashing neighbor Jesse are inexplicably drawn together as they dodge bullets, unearth ghosts, and unravel a dark town secret. In the end, Shane realizes it's not the high altitudes that are making her head spin, but her brooding lover with the penetrating dark eyes.

Here's the link to a 2-minute video for Forgotten Dreams.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Forgotten Dreams. I like reading about 'ghostly visits' if they are friendly!! I can't imagine how Shane felt upon finding out about her true past.The ending could have so easily been another nightmare. Alexia did a great job in putting together Shane's nightmares, the ghostly visits, and her discovery of her family. There was action, romance, and suspense in the story.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author, Alexia Banks, in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay Book Review

Author: Krista Holle 

Book Description: 

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Kait is woken unexpectedly by a beautiful selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

She obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

My Thoughts: 

I loved this book! I'll have to admit I was hooked from the very beginning and read it in one sitting!! I like paranormal books. Selkies are special in that their shape-shifting abilities are tied to their skin. I liked that Kait was not the one holding sway over her lover. It was a very nice change. The ending was a good surprise.

Krista contacted me about doing a review and I immediately knew it was one for me. She did a great job in keeping me into this story. I can't wait to read another book from her.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author, Krista Holle, in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Releasing Gillian's Wolves - Book Review

Author: Tara Woolpy

Releasing Gillian’s Wolves took place four years before Tara’s book Raising Wild Ginger; which I reviewed July 3, here. I read Raising Wild Ginger first and wish I hadn't since this book took place earlier; however, reading them in upside down order wasn't too bad!

Book Description:

Thirty years ago Gillian married Jack Sach, now a United States Congressman. Through the years she’s remained faithful. He hasn’t. Ever. She cooks to soothe herself and others, takes care of her mother-in-law, gardens, sneaks off to the studio to explode with angry paintings and tries to keep Jack’s dalliances secret. As she nears fifty, her friends think she should leave but she lingers, bound by inertia and fear of the effect media coverage of a divorce would have on her family.

Gillian shares a trust fund with Edward, her gay neighbor and best friend. Their grandfathers made a fortune together and left it to the two of them. Over the years, in support of Gillian’s marriage, the trust bankrolled Jack’s many successful campaigns. Not particularly interested in politics, Gillian survives by ignoring everything outside her kitchen, garden and studio. Edward has his own ragged past filled with bad relationships, drugs and alcohol. Through the course of a summer, Gillian’s marriage continues to deteriorate while Edward’s life finally starts to improve. He’s sober, stable and has just found life-changing love with Sam, a Biology professor at the local university. Their happiness shines a stark light on Gillian’s loveless marriage. Finally, when Gillian meets Jack’s latest conquest, twenty-year-old Ashley, she’s forced to confront the rot at the core of her relationship. She travels to Amsterdam, meets Luke, an intriguing Dutch sculptor, and discovers it is never too late for happiness.

My Thoughts:

This was a can't-put-it-down book for me. It brings up the stay-with-him attitude that I, personally, have never understood. Of course, I have not been in that situation; so, I can't say for sure what I'd have done. With Gillian's situation, I kind of don't understand why, at the latest, she didn't leave him after Aurora and John grew up and were on their own. I mean she didn't need his money as she had her half of the trust; so, money had no part of it. I'm glad she found love with Luke after all she went through.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author, Tara Woolpy, in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hidden in Dreams - Book Review

Author: Davis Bunn
Publisher: Howard Books

Book Description:

Dr. Elena Burroughs's life is spiraling out of control. Her controversial stance on dream interpretation has cost her a job, a romance, and all credibility in academic circles. Her literary agent tries to leverage the outcry into a publicity tour, which soon attracts a quirky following. Among the skeptics and mystics is a condescending scientist. But Elena finds his research holds ominous parallels with her own. A certain dream pattern has foretold every major catastrophe stretching back to the dawn of civilization. And now this dream is repeating itself in countless nightmares across the globe.

Elena is confronted with a harrowing realization: the clock is ticking down to a cataclysmic financial collapse. Her desperation mounts as the prediction infiltrate her own dreams. Will this scientist become an unlikely ally - and maybe something more? Could an ancient biblical secret about the power of dreams and visions offer them an escape?

My Thoughts:

Elena has faced being out of her comfort zone before being pushed into the press conference, seven years prior when her husband died and also when her house burned down. Each dream Elena has gets significantly worse in its prediction. The other dreamers have the exact dream the same day she does.

Most of the time, I don't remember my dreams. However, there are times when I do. The idea of finding out several other people that have had the same dream is scary. If my dream was, maybe, a foretelling of the future and finding out others have had the exact same dream is even scarier. I try not to think what my dreams mean, although some of my friends like to do so.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Hidden in Dreams. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Divine Alignment - Book Review

Author: Squire Rushnell
Publisher: Howard Books

Book Description:

You received a phone call out of the blue; or you bumped into someone who led you to a new job, a new relationship, or opportunity that totally changed your life. You probably even said, "Wow, what a coincidence I met so and so." But did you ever stop to ask what caused that person to be right there, at that exact moment, in your path? It was Divine Alignment: the arrangement of coincidences into a pattern of alignment so astonishing they could have come only from a higher source.

In this inspiring new work, Squire Rushnell shows readers how they can navigate life's thorniest hurdles, rediscover the deep meaning and impact of personal prayer, and develop the individual conviction and wherewithal it takes to reach their full potential and fulfill their most ambitious dreams by honoring the book's seven easy-to-follow steps.

In his charmingly avuncular and wonderfully optimistic voice, Squire shares moving stories from his own and others' lives to show the awesome strength inherent in what he calls God's Positioning System, or GPS. All of us, he assures readers, can use our own personal GPS to grow more closely aligned with God to become vastly more effective, successful, and fufilled in our relationships, careers, and everything we do.

My Thoughts:

Squire reminds us to talk to God about all things big and small. In today's rush-filled days, sometimes it's a challenge to pray about the 'little things'. It seems like we remember prayer when something major happens. Oftentimes, we have 'feelings' or 'urges' to do things, for example going a different route or make an unexpected stop. There are also times when we have choices between doing what's right and what's wrong. You have the urge to do what's right; however, at times, you choose the wrong action. This 'feeling' or 'urge' is your inner compass talking to you.

Overall, Divine Alignment  reminds us of what we were taught growing up. Say your prayers and follow your instincts.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Divine Alignment. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cottage by the Sea - Book Review

Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Publisher: Howard Books

Book Description:

Erin Bryce and her best friend, Sharlene, count the day they start their wedding planning business as a very happy day. So much so that they name their company The Happiest Day to reflect the fulfillment of their long-held dream as well as their clients' longing for a wedding celebration to match the exhilaration of being in love. As a bonus, the two women utilize their business to help Erin's son Jordan and his fiancee, Sierra, plan a grand wedding.

But the two friends aren't prepared for the cloud moving in to cover the sunny, successful start of their business. Erin's father, who lives in a small coastal Oregon community with his brusque, downright odd second wife, Delores, develops a medical problem that puts him in the hospital. Erin responds by rushing from Southern California to her father's - and oh, yeah, Delores's - cottage by the sea.

What greets Erin when she arrives sends her tumbling down a bewildering path to a different kind of happiest day. Her journey tosses her through highs and lows of hurt and healing, betrayal and renewal, wrong assumptions righted, and the brightest future one could ever hope for. All just around the corner, at the cottage by the sea.

My Thoughts:

I liked the fact that even though Erin and Sharlene had just started their business, Erin didn't hesitate to go to her father's side when needed. This story hit close to home for me. My mother passed away almost two years ago, after being sick for several years. There were several times when I'd get a call at work and have to leave with no warning. I was very thankful that my supervisor was as family-oriented as he was. Erin, like most of us, was quick to judge Delores when she left after Erin came to the cottage. Erin was reminded that things are not always what you think. Just because someone does different than you think you would in a situation, doesn't mean you know what really the full story is. 

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Cottage by the Sea. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Super Spud Trilogy - Book Review

Author: Michael Diack
Publisher: Pen Press

Book Description:
Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! Fun, quirky and totally original.

The personality of the Super Spud is determined by their flavour. Tuna flavours, enriched with omega-3 fish oils are very smart, while steak and spinach flavours are incredibly strong due to their high iron content.  The story is fast-paced and a series of non-stop adventures from one chapter to the next, encompassing locations including Egypt, Mexico, UK, Italy and the North Pole! I basically want to entertain the reader and let them read something truly original and quirky.It's a young adult, fiction book and contains many references to popular films and characters like: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Robin Hood, 24's Jack Bauer and Batman.  It's fun, quirky, strange and, hopefully, unlike anything the reader has read before ( it is walking, talking crisp packets afterall...)

My Thoughts:
This book is very different from anything I've read. Michael had a vivid imagination while writing this trilogy. I loved the different personalities and the way they differed depending on the Spud's flavor. I think this book will interest different ages from about nine or ten years all the way up. There are some serious scenes; however, for the most part it is a light-hearted and funny story. I like the human traits the Spuds have. 

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author, Michael Diack, in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Raising Wild Ginger - Book Review

Author: Tara Woolpy
Publisher: Bats in the Boathouse Press

Raising Wild Ginger is Tara's latest book in the series set in the fictional town of Lacland and occurs about four years after the end of Releasing Gillian's Wolves; however, but a reader need not have read the first to enjoy the second. Raising Wild Ginger is a meditation on what it means to be a family and is told from the point of view of Edward Rosenberg, Gillian's cousin in Releasing Gillian's Wolves.

Parenting is hard. That's what Edward Rosenberg has always assumed, although his only experience with children has been as the drunken uncle. Now the love of his life, Sam DaCosta, is yearning for fatherhood. Edward's been sober for years. He and Sam are in a good place. Why rock the boat? On the other hand, how can he deny Sam his dream of a family?

Then they meet Ginger. At twelve she's been through more than either Edward or Sam can imagine. She's seductive, secretive and dishonest. But somewhere between stealing his cash and alienating Sam, Ginger
manages to wind herself into Edward's heart. Can the three of them create a family? Or will Ginger blow them all apart?

Raising Wild Ginger can be purchased on Amazon, here, and Barnes & Noble, here.

About the author:
Tara earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature at Whitworth College and after spending a post graduate year at the Women Writers Center in Cazevona, New York, she did an about-face and went into Science, earning a PhD in Zoology and teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. For more about her and the novels, visit

My thoughts:
This story brings in the issue of a gay couple deciding to be foster-parents to a child and then adopting her. In many states, that's up for debate. However, to me, there are so many children waiting for a family in ways it doesn't make sense to turn them down just for that reason. Also, when the children are abused like Ginger, any family setting that can help them grow up in a loving home is so much better than what they came from. 

Edward and Sam gave her the love, dependability, and stability she needed. They taught her that in a family, you can make mistakes but still be loved.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author, Tara Woolpy, in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Summer Must-Have - Pambra's Bra Liner

During the spring, summer, and fall we do several camping trips. One thing I hate about summer is the perspiration in my bra. However, with Pambra's Bra Liners that changed. I'd never heard of Pambra before a friend told me about them.

Their original bra liner has been around since 1990. (How do we not here about must-haves like this?) It's a soft, cotton liner you just slip up under the edge of your bra. I received a 3-pack of Pambra's bra liners for review in white.With the temperature already at 100+ degrees in Arkansas, I've worn my liners several days now. They've definitely helped with keeping my bras from getting as sweaty as usual. I don't know how I did it in past summers. The first time I used the liners was on a weekend camping trip; however, now I wear them through the week. Pambra's Bra Liners are a must-have, especially during the summer/fall months. I haven't tried wearing one with an under-wire bra yet; however, I'm sure I will before the end of summer, as I always get at least one sunburn where I can't stand bra straps!! I'm sure the liner will help with the hated under-wire.

If you have a family member or friend that's had a single or double mastectomy, they have liners for them also. If you have a loved one that's nursing a baby, they now have nursing pads.

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Pambras for the opportunity to review this product.  No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review.  The views expressed above are mine. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Through Rushing Water - Book Review

Through Rushing Water
By Catherine Richmond
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
My Thoughts:
While reading the first few pages, I had a little trouble getting into the story; however, after the first chapter or two, I changed my mind.  I liked the way the Ponca worked their way into Sophia's heart. Of course, this started with the children she taught. I also liked the way Sophia stood up for the Ponca as a whole, not just the children that she fell in love with.

I've always felt the Indians were cheated, treated very unfair and of course in this story, that's true also in the way the government sent cheap material, not enough supplies and spoiled food and that's all before making them move to Indian Territory.

Of course, the ending was perfect with Sophia and Will being re-united with their friends, albeit a year and half after being separated.
For more about this book, click here.
Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through BookSneeze in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SoBe LifeWater with Coconut Water Review

SoBe LifeWater with Coconut Water Review

This was my first experience trying SoBe LifeWater. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was expecting it to be bland without much taste or too strongly coconut. It was good, not bland or too strong. It was a little sweet, but not too sweet. I enjoyed the taste and liked the fact the bottle was more than just one serving. SoBe LifeWater is one of my choices for something other than soft drinks.

In the 20 oz bottle, there's only 80 calories, 110 mg sodium, 160 mg potassium, 21 g total carbs with 20 g sugar. 

Disclaimer: Thanks to BzzAgent, I was given a sample of SoBe LifeWater to facilitate this review and coupons toward purchases for friends and family. This in no way affected my review in any way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mars on the Rise - Book Review

Mars on the Rise
by Rae Gee

Book Description:
A storyteller steps off a pier and into a world of steampunk oddities, fearsome weapons, and a dangerous man. Promised fame and fortune by the country's largest weapons manufacturer, Cedo gratefully falls into the arms of Erus Veetu. Dark, dangerous and with nothing to lose, Erus shows him that Svenfur isn't all Cedo thought it was. For beneath the streets is a dark, gas lit world of slavery, human sacrifice, and deadly machines. With the machines waging war in the East, can Cedo stop the country's deadliest man from bringing it to the shores of England? Or is he too late to penetrate the cold exterior of his Master and halt the cogs and gears of progress?

Set in a Victorian world of sex, drugs and steampower, Mars on the Rise tells a dark, gritty story of what happens when our dreams come true. Whether we want them to or not.

My Thoughts: 
I have to admit, this is different from my usual reads. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. It took me a while to get into this story. There were parts I didn't 'get' but there were also parts that I did. There is male/male sex, violence, and slavery included. In my 'dreams' I don't/didn't dream of destructive machines as is in this book; so, that part is hard for me to accept and understanding Erus just does not compute!! 

Mars on the Rise can be purchased on in Kindle format here or in paperback here.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book, from the author Rae Gee, in exchange for my review. My review is my opinion and is in no way affected by this.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Models and Lovers - Book Review

Models and Lovers
by Johnny Ray

Have you ever had love slip between your fingers? When was the last time you had a hero and heroine that you could really pulled for? 

This is a love story blossoming inside the world of modeling. In spite of the glamor and intrigue of this high fashion world, love is really about one guy and one girl finding each other. But wait, there is one more condition--they have to admit it to each other.

Thomas (Tommy) Conseco, the frightfully delicious owner of one of the top modeling agencies in New York City, demands respect which he has so rightfully earned. Aspiring models from around the world would sacrifice anything to become one of Tommy’s “girls” fully knowing he can make them a legend, or send them home crying. Tommy has one rule he has followed without exception. He never gets personally involved with anyone in the modeling industry, and as far as sex with his models and employees is concerned, it’s strictly off limits. As a result, his heart is immune to even the most beautiful women in the world. This rule has served him well in business, but has left his personal life and bed cold and empty. 

Enter Balarie Danson, the woman who is about to turn his carefully constructed world upside down. Balarie may not have the glamorous looks of a super model, but she’s bright, attractive and terrific at her job booking talent for the agency, especially the male models. Yielding to her charms, Tommy invites her to go on a business trip to Milan with more than business on his mind. When she turns him down, saying she’d prefer to concentrate all her energies in the New York market, Tommy assumes she’s refusing him and the possible chance at romance. The truth—Balarie is secretly terrified of flying and a long cross-Atlantic flight is more than she can face, despite her ambition in business and her secret attraction to her enigmatic boss. She’s heard the rumors, but the sparks flying between them are telling her Tommy’s looking for more than her talent as a booking agent. But Balarie is also looking for more than a one-night stand. So if Tommy intends to break his long-standing rule and seduce this woman into his bed, he’ll also have to let her into his heart because Balarie won’t settle for anything less than a love that lasts forever, and a hero who can help her conquer her fear of flying.

My Thoughts

To me, as a teenager, the modeling world was almost a dream world. If all you look at is the action on the catwalk, you see only a very small part of what really happens. Even as an adult, I didn't realize what really goes into it. This book shows a little more of what goes on behind the scenes; however, I think there's still a lot more to it.

The way Balarie squealed when surprised reminds me of myself. I found her willingness to bring up different ideas to the team courageous considering she was new to the position. Not many newbies want to 'rock the boat'. I liked the way Tommy found a way for Balarie to go to Europe with him without flying, as it showed his sensitivity to her fear of flying. I found his proposal on his yacht very romantic and her wanting to get married on it with his mother attending very sweet!

Models and Lovers can be purchased on Amazon at:

Disclaimer: I received this e-book, from the author Johnny Ray, in exchange for my review. My review is my opinion and is in no way affected by this.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Her Honor's Bodyguard - Book Review

Her Honor's Bodyguard
Johnny Ray

Book Description

 May 21, 2012

Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal 
that could have ruined her family. These secrets he would never let her know. Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force.  

After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life. As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.

She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison. Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request?

As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns. She wants the truth. He wants the truth. 

However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received. Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed this book, due to the action, danger, and suspense. We can't forget about the romance. When you include those elements, it seems to make the book. I liked the ideas that that Noella and Vance had done 'what was best' for each other in the past.

Doing 'what's best' for someone has a habit of coming back and biting you, usually when least expected. However, when Noella needed Vance, he was there for her. I liked the way the 'good' guys won, as did the love Noella and Vance had for each other.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book, from the author Johnny Ray, in exchange for my review. My review is my opinion and is in no way affected by this.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know - Book Review

50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know
By Kay West with John Bridges and Bryan Curtis
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

Help your daughter, granddaughter, or niece become a respectful, considerate young lady.
It’s safe to say that young women in the 21st century are exposed to more educational opportunities than any generation of women in history. But sometimes what gets lost in between ballet and biology, AP classes and piano lessons, creative writing and cross country, are the basic rules of simple etiquette and guidelines for appropriate behavior.
Progress is a good thing, but even an accomplished student, a gifted artist, or a brilliant young law clerk is at a disadvantage if she never learned to write a thank you note, understand a formal table setting, accept a compliment, make an apology, express sympathy, or respond to an invitation.
Topics covered in 50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know include:
--Making conversation with adults
--Accepting a gift you don't like
--Dressing appropriately
--Winning and losing graciously 

--Writing a thank-you note

This latest book in the GentleManners series was written especially for girls ages 8 to 14, to teach them the basic skills every young lady should have and every young lady's mother and grandmother want her to master.
My Thoughts
So many young people do not use very many of the manners I grew up using. This book is one for young gentleman as well as ladies.  I liked the chapters being short. That will help encourage the girls to read them, as they can read several chapters in just a few minutes. Shorter chapters may soak in better than longer ones, also. 
The first two chapters discuss two manners I think many young people have forgotten, saying 'Please' and 'Thank You'. Some young people have very good manners, some have okay manners, and some do not seem to have any. Hopefully, this book will at least get them thinking about manners.

Disclaimer: I received this book from BookSneeze in return for this review; however, my review was not affected by this fact. My review is mine alone.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Good Man - E-book Giveaway

Vanessa Morgan has graciously provided an e-copy of her latest book, A Good Man, to one of GrandmaToTwinsPlusOne's readers. You can read my review of it here.

Louis Caron is a good man – vegetarian, he feeds the homeless, takes care of animals and is concerned with the ecological future of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge – he's a vampire – and local detective Taglioni is becoming increasingly suspicious. Louis' attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not only forced to confront his worst fears, but also to destroy the lives of those he cares about most. 

All are optional; however, with each entry you must leave your email address so I know how to contact you in case you win. Leave a separate comment for each entry.
Follow Vanessa via twitter. (1 entry)
Follow Vanessa via facebook. (1 entry)
Follow GrandmaToTwinsPlusOne via twitter on right sidebar. (1 entry)
Follow GrandmaToTwinsPlusOne via GFC on right sidebar.  (1 entry)
Subscribe to GrandmaToTwinsPlusOne by email, on right sidebar.  (1entry)

This giveaway will end at midnight CST May 29.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interview with Vanessa Morgan

I'd like to welcome Vanessa Morgan, author of A Good Man. You probably remember the review I did of A Good Man; which, you can find here.

How do you select your book covers and do you use the same designer for each?

I have been using the same cover designer for The Strangers Outside and A Good Man. His
name is Allan Beurms and he is definitely one of the most talented people in the industry. I have
tried other cover designers before, but they have never been so fast and so professional as Allan.
For those of you who love comic books and cats, I’m currently also developing a comic book
project with him starring my cat Avalon. You can have a look at some of the try-outs at

At what age did writing 'grab' you?

Rather late, actually. I think I must have been 23 or 24 when I started to write. I think it’s all
about confidence really. I have always loved movies and books, but it took me a while before I
realized I was able to make them myself.

What genres do you enjoy reading?

I mainly read non-fiction, biographies, romance and drama; but, when it comes to movies, I’m
definitely into horror.

How do you decide on the story line?

It always starts with a vague idea that becomes more complex and multi-layered with each new
draft. For Drowned Sorrow it was the look of the village and a lake with ghosts crawling out of
it and The Strangers Outside started with the idea that dark humanoid figures would suddenly
show up all over the planet and bring with them a sense of impending doom. The development
of A Good Man was different because I wrote it for the production company that is now making
the movie. All I knew was that it had to be about a vampire and that the vampire was going to be
played by the 50 year old actor Pierre Lekeux. I observed the actor during his daily activities and
imagined what challenges he would face if he were a vampire.

Vanessa's Bio

Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'.
You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog http://

Books by Vanessa Morgan

A Good Man
Do you like Dexter and American Psycho? Then chances are you will love A Good Man.

Louis Caron is a good man – he's a vegetarian, feeds homeless people, takes care of animals and
is converned with the ecological well-being of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge
– he's a vampire and local detective Taglioni becomes increasingly suspicious of him. Louis'
attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not
only forced to confront his worst fears, but where he will also destroy the lives of those he cares

The Strangers Outside
Two sisters, Jennifer and Louise, return to their remote holiday cottage after a day at the seaside.
But little do they know they're being surrounded. Soon after their arrival, the girls will come face
to face with the strangers outside. When the assailants make their intentions known, things take
a shockingly terrible turn and an intense battle for survival will begin.

Drowned Sorrow
Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight
Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping that a change of scenery might help to put her
life back together. But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the
village, the inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the village deserted with the first rays
of sunshine. Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal
a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors. By the time
Megan realizes that her daughter is in danger, it might already be too late.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

After All - Book Review

by Deborah Raney

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal.
But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave.
A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been.
For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?
Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters
who lost their lives that awful November night.
Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy?
As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

My thoughts:
I loved this book. The only thing is, I haven't read the first two books; so, I've got to get them! Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I'd love to see another book with Susan and Peter, maybe later. In After All there were lots of twists and turns and you never knew what was going to happen next. The ending was different than I expected.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Darkroom. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of facilitating this review. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Good Man by Vanessa Morgan

I'm very happy to be part of the book tour for A Good Man by Vanessa Morgan.The book was released April 15, in French and English. At this time, it's being turned into a French film by Radowski Films.

About A Good Man: Loved Dexter and American Psycho? Then you'll love A Good Man. Louis Caron is a good man – vegetarian, he feeds the homeless, takes care of animals and is concerned with the ecological future of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge – he's a vampire – and local detective Taglioni is becoming increasingly suspicious. Louis' attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not only forced to confront his worst fears, but also to destroy the lives of those he cares about most.

About her previous books, Drowned Sorrow (novel) and The Strangers Outside (short story): Drowned Sorrow is the story of a remote New England town where water has become a supernatural element that can think and kill. And in The Strangers Outside, two sisters return to their remote holiday cottage near the seaside. But little do they know they're being surrounded. Soon after their arrival, the girls find themselves face to face with 'the strangers outside'. When the assailants make their intentions known, things take a shockingly terrible turn and an intense battle for survival will begin.

A Good Man sounds like a book I'll have to pick up.

Here's where to find Vanessa: