Saturday, November 30, 2013

Children's Book Review Roundup


1121882Cranky Pants is a lovable story that appeals to both adults who can relate to cranky days and to children seeking assurance. Remember the Inchworm riding toy...Weebles...Holly Hobbie? This fun picture book is filled with vibrant illustrations of these and other nostalgic images from the ‘70s. Parents and grandparents will enjoy finding the subtle references to their own childhoods woven throughout the book’s illustrations and sharing them with children.

My Review:  I loved this book so much.  We are all cranky pants from time to time.  It just takes the right person to turn things around with a story or a favorite food.  I can't wait to use this book in my classroom. 4.5 stars.


18281639Cranky Pants is back—but much to his chagrin, his joyfully rambunctious little sister is along for the ride. "The Little Stinker never gets in trouble, has mushy oatmeal hands, sticky grape jelly hair, a runny nose, and smelly feet." When she goes missing in a department store, her big brother realizes that life without her just wouldn’t be the same. Can he save the day? Little Stinker welcomes back the lovable, albeit cranky, protagonist from Cranky Pants and celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Adults and children alike will delight in exploring the book’s vibrant, retro-inspired illustrations featuring 1970s icons like Holly Hobbie, GI Joe, and LiteBrite. Little Stinker is sure to become a bedtime-or-anytime favorite.

My Review:  Siblings are tricky business.  Cranky Pants and his little sister (Little Stinker) have times when they just can't seems to get along, but but when something happens and Little Stinker goes missing Cranky Pants discovers all the the things he loves about Little Stinker! 4 stars.


17333561Presented in the format of Top 10 lists, this book is a comprehensive yet fun look at the greatest aspects of Pro Sports. From the top athletes to the most popular teams in the world, SI Kids ranks a variety of topics covering every professional sport. Readers are guaranteed to love the big, exciting action photos from the Sports Illustrated collection and the insider knowledge of SI Kids. Filled with trivia and information, this dynamic book will be the definitive kids sports book. 

My Review: I love this book. It is a sports fans dream book.  My boys cannot stop looking at it.  They love reading all the tidbits of information and the pictures are awesome!  It is new and fun every time you pick it up, since the book is jam packed with all the best in sport! 5 stars!


Suze Perry-Hinkle has created a coloring book from her masterpiece in miniature, the Chateau Bidaine. Based on the real chateau, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, this architectural miniature is meticulously appointed down to the mini Cavalier King Charles spaniels that are the owners' pets. The book has text in English and French, with 43 pages to color. Printing is single-sided to help avoid problems with bleed-through. Not just simple line drawings, these sketches to color are made from photographs of the actual building, and retain some of the original details, shading and textures. Captions on the sketches help tell the story of this remarkable building, making it part storybook and part language lesson as well. The result is an enchanting coloring experience for older children and adults alike. We recommend this book for ages 8 and up, but we have found detail-oriented 6 and 7-year-olds enjoying this book when they thought no one was looking.

My Review:  My son loves art.  He craves spending endless time coloring.  He was so excited to get this book.  It is not only an amazing coloring book but an interesting story about the real Chateau Bidaine. Such neat information with a intricate drawings.  4 stars.


18705624At the Window is a quiet, sensitive story that invites readers to consider the undeniable nature of love. Henry and his little sister, Emily, are orphans who live under the care of Ms. Agnes at St. Peter's Orphanage. One wintry night, Henry notices a bright, shining light tear through the sky-but he is the only one who notices. The following week, he sees the light again and Henry now begins to think this is more than a coincidence. The burning light sets a spark inside of Henry's own heart and he begins to search for answers. Patience and an open spirit ultimately lead him to the truth, where the warmth and light fully embraces him.

My Review:  A touching story about finding hope in even the most distant things.  Henry see a shooting star and cannot get it out of his head.  With an amazing story, with compelling and kind characters this heartwarming story is great for kids and adults alike! 
4 stars.



18173195"Oh, but Mama!" Thomas sighed, "I can't sleep - I really tried! All my friends aren't tired, too. There's a lot we have to do." Thomas has many compelling reasons to put off sleeping, and each of his bedtime friends can attest to his very thorough care. "One More Thing" is a beautifully illustrated picture book for young children that will put a smile on the faces of all its readers.

My Review:  I loved this book.  One More Thing is a story I can relate too.  Every night when it is time for bed my boys come up with one more thing.  I loved how the mother responded to the kids, so sweet.  My boys also loved this story.  It has made it into the bedtime story rotation! 5 stars!


Grrr...Night!"Grrr Night, Sleep Tight, eat a bedbug tonight," says Woolsey's granny as she tucks his moss quilt around him. But this little monster isn't quite ready to go off to nightmare-land. He has to rub his fangs, read a ghoul-time story and count the bats. And while he dawdles, his pet worm, Slinky, is busy collecting colorful items to hide under Woolsey's bed. Finally Granny tucks Woolsey into bed and he drifts off to sleep, dreaming of deliciously scary things. For a monster, that is. A delightful new take on bedtime stories!

My Review:  Such a sweet and funny story about bedtime with a twist.  Your child with delight in the little creatures bedtime routine and will get lost in the interesting illustrations.  Such an original and fun story.  4.5 stars.


18587800When ten-year-old genius Emery Jones accidentally sends Chippy 190 million years back in time, he’s not sure he can reverse the process—or if he even wants to. Chippy, his crew of bullies, their teacher, and even Emery's dad don't seem to understand Emery's genius. Will Emery Jones risk traveling to the Triassic Period to rescue a bully like Chippy? You never know what can happen when you have the brains and the technology for bending time…

My Review:  Kids with expand their imaginations while reading this book  There are very interesting elements in which kids will enjoy!  3 stars. 



Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday deals!!

300x300 Black Friday Sale - Ends December 1st

Black Friday Giveaways!!!!

 Inline Image
Dark City is the second of a new prequel trilogy, Repairman Jack: The Early Years by F. Paul Wilson.

It’s February 1992. Desert Storm is raging in Iraq but twenty-two-year-old Jack has more pressing matters at home. His favorite bar, The Spot, is about to be sold out from under Julio, Jack’s friend. Jack has been something of a tag-along to this point, but now he takes the reins and demonstrates his innate talent for seeing biters get bit. With a body count even higher than in Cold City, this second novel of the Early Years Trilogy hurtles Jack into the final volume in which all scores will be settled, all debts paid.

“This second chronicle (after Cold City) of the formative years of Wilson’s long-running series character Repairman Jack begins with an adrenaline-pumped chase across the top of a moving subway train, and the thrills don’t stop until the final page… Any reader who has followed Jack’s exploits over the decades will find this book an entertaining addition to the series.”
Publishers Weekly

F. Paul WilsonFrancis Paul Wilson is an author, born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He writes novels and short stories primarily in the science fiction and horror genres. His debut novel was Healer (1976). Wilson is also a part-time practicing family physician. He made his first sales in 1970 to Analog and continued to write science fiction throughout the seventies. In 1981 he ventured into the horror genre with the international bestseller, The Keep, and helped define the field throughout the rest of the decade. In the 1990s he became a true genre hopper, moving from science fiction to horror to medical thrillers and branching into interactive scripting for Disney Interactive and other multimedia companies. He, along with Matthew J. Costello, created and scripted FTL Newsfeed which ran daily on the Sci-Fi Channel from 1992-1996.


Book description:
Alissia Roswell had worked hard to overcome her past, and she took immense pride in her independence. Just when she thought she was truly satisfied with her life, she wakes up to find herself in another reality. As she searches for answers, her body begins to change in mysterious ways, and for the first time in her life, she is forced to rely upon others. As everything spins out of her control and danger lurks around every corner, her heart begins to betray her, and her mind haunts her with memories of her past.

Join Alissia on her perilous quest full of adventure, magic, and romance as she travels the challenging road of finding one self, maybe even love along the way.

Book Excerpt:
            Luke stared at the men thoughtfully for a long moment before saying, “You do understand I have a problem, now that you know where she is and who she’s with.”
                Alissia stood frozen and watched as both men looked up into Luke’s eyes and began to beg for their life. They promised they would tell no one they had seen her. When their voices began to rise in panic, Luke struck each of them in the mouth and warned them to calm down. He put restraints on them, and they looked at Alissia, whimpering as if begging her for their life. Nolan was crying by now, and Alissia could stand no more. Hurting them was one thing, but killing them was another.
                She quickly crossed the short distance between them.
                “Stop this. L –”
                Luke’s head shot up, and he interrupted her in a warning tone, “If you say my name, I will kill them now.”
                She cringed beneath his cold stare. By the time she could think of a response, he was already tying a long sock around Nolan’s mouth. Instead of demanding him to stop what he was doing, she decided to try talking to him as if she was talking someone down from a ledge. In a soothing voice, she said, “You really don’t want to kill them. We can find a way out of this. I promise. We can figure something out. Just talk to me.”
                He grabbed his shirt and put it on without buttoning it, and then he looked at her.
                “Alright, we’ll talk about it.”
                Her relief was short-lived as he swiftly picked her up and replied, “But not here.”
                He was fast, and he was strong. Within an instant, she found herself being carried down a narrow hall. His left arm was under her bottom, and his other arm held her firmly in place with her chest against his. She tried to lift her head, but his hand held it securely in place. As she struggled in his arms, she wildly kicked both of her legs. She heard him excuse himself to someone, and he explained that she was a very passionate lover. She wondered why her feet had not made contact with anyone.
               “You know how Gazzerian women are,” he said to someone, with a laugh.
                She felt herself being carried up a flight of stairs, and that is when she was able to turn her head just enough for her teeth to find flesh. She then found satisfaction in hearing him groan as she bit down.
                Her bite did not last long because she soon heard him unlocking a door. Her teeth let go of him, and she held both of her legs out so that they caught each side of the doorframe as he tried to walk through. After a short struggle, he was able to get inside the room and close the door, and then they fell on a bed with him on top of her. He caught both of her hands before they made contact with his face, and he dodged the head butt she tried to give him as he pinned them down. As she struggled beneath his body, she realized they were in the same position as the first night they had met when he had tackled her. She was pinned beneath him, and he had his forehead on her shoulder while breathing heavy into her chest. Everything within her hoped the bite she had given him was more painful than the kick in his groin.

Tianna HolleyTianna Holley lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and children and has always been an avid reader of fantasy novels. She began writing poetry and short stories in her youth but did not pursue her passion for writing until later in life. 

Although her writing tends to have strong violence and romance, she considers herself a PG-13 writer. Her novels do not contain curse words, and her sexual content is limited to heated kissing. You can learn more about her writing style in one of her blog posts at

She enjoys talking to her readers and offers free Skype chats to book clubs that have read her writing.

When she's not typing on her laptop or running after her children, she can usually be found in her kitchen baking and teaching others how to cook with healthy and natural ingredients. 

You can learn more about Tianna and sign up for her monthly newsletter to receive exclusive insights into her current work in progress by going to

or buy the books below:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris


In this richly emotional novel, acclaimed author Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother’s bond with her child, and the power of personal histories to echo through generations.
Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying—but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.
As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound—and perhaps, at last, to heal. 
Certain stories grab you and hold you tight.  Others are ones you wish would never end. Others are stories that have the most captivating story, others engrossing characters.  The Pieces We Keep has all that and so much more.  I was so wrapped up in all the layers that I lost track of time and become part of the story myself.  The Pieces We Keep is a 5 star hit!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Highlight: The Memory Plot by D. W. Carver


About the book:  Two years after the car crash that killed her family, mental health counsellor Jill Garvin’s memories of the events surrounding the tragedy are beginning to resurface. And with them, a painful and ugly secret that will shatter the way Jill views her late husband. The threat of reality may be more than Jill’s fragile mind can handle. But handle it she must, because a much darker force is at work: a man who would do anything to keep her past a secret, including destroy the new family Jill has found for herself.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mandy's Review: Encounter by Douglas Wickard

San Francisco
Five men
All mysterioulsy disappear...
No clues...
No ransom notes...
No bodies...
All vanished...without a trace.

Do you know where your husband is?

You know him...
known him...
You met in college...sweethearts, lovers, remember?
He wasn't your first...
But, you vowed he'd be your last.
For over fifteen years you've been married to him...
had children by him...created a life with him...
he takes a business trip.
Nothing out of the ordinary for his profession,
a normal occurrence.
The problem is...
He doesn't return...

Are you available tonight for a...thriller?
Image of Douglas Wickard
About the author:  Amazon Kindle Bestselling author of the SAMI SAXTON series A PERFECT HUSBAND and A PERFECT SETUP. Soon to be released: ENCOUNTER, a dark, psychological thriller based in San Francisco, introducing FBI Agent DAN HAMMER and Inspector Vanessa Sanchez. 

WOW !!!!!  I MEAN WOW !  This book absolutely blew my mind.  It is awesome, brilliant, and enticing.  Douglas Wickard did a fantastic job of writing this thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat through out the entire book.  I could not put this book down (seriously, I would go hide from my kids so I could finish a chapter).  Married men are dying in San Francisco.  Who is killing these men, where are their bodies, and how do we catch this killer ?  Inspector Sanchez is determined to solve this mystery.  Will she catch her killer?  I read a lot of books (all sorts of genres) but this book, this book seriously just became my number #1 book of the year.  This book was beautifully written with multiple story lines that all come together in the end to bring this thriller to an exciting conclusion.  I have to say, I did not figure out who did it, not until the very end when it was revealed.  You have to read this book.  I mean it, you really, really have to read this book. Douglas Wickard you did it again.  I give it 5 stars.  

Amy's Review: Living in Dog Years: A Reflection on High School Hell by E. Bell


Listina Bello has been on a perpetual search for happiness ever since she graduated from high school ten years ago. Legal assistant by day and partier by night, Listina thinks she is functioning perfectly fine. She drinks a bottle of Pinot every night, but still manages to keep her dead-end job, her Manhattan apartment, and her social life. Unfortunately, she could not be more wrong.

With a bottle of wine as her companion, Listina trolls Facebook one night, finally landing on a photo she thought she blocked. As she stares at the old yearbook picture of the smiling girls who relentlessly bullied her back in high school, she suddenly realizes she has been suppressing her emotions for years and hiding behind a myriad of distractions, hoping to numb, or even kill, her feelings altogether. With no other way out but up, Listina relies on old diary entries to dig deep inside herself, return mentally to her seemingly perfect hometown, and finally face her harsh label, relive the taunts, and experience the heartache all over again.

In this poignant novel, a young woman torn between her past and her future must finally shake the identity she was unfairly given in order to begin to find her own.

Normally I write a review very quickly after finishing the book.  But this book stuck with me for many days after reading it and I felt like I needed additional time to process it before writing my review.  (And, if you know me, once I finish a book, it is forgotten about and onto the next.)

This book speaks the honest truth about being bullied.  It is brutal and, at times, hard to read.  The main character Li, is very hard to like because her back story and overall personality and demeanor.  Li is in therapy and reliving her life through her old diary entries.  I loved how the diary entries drew out Li's past. You may see yourself within this story, as either as the victim or the bully.  How often have you said something to someone that you shouldn't have?  I give this book 5 stars for how thought provoking it was, and for its wonderful writing style.

Mandy's Review: The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2) by Kristan Higgins


Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there… or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done. 

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind. 

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….

The Perfect Match by Kristin Higgins

Honor Holland has always done the right thing.  So when a British professor Tom Barlow needs her to marry him so he can stay is the states to be near his step son she steps up to the plate.  Kristin does a wonderful job of making the reader root for Tom and Honor to really make a go of this.  Tom is a funny man who really cares for Honor and ends up falling for her.  I loved this story because we see Honor stick to her word and be there for Tom when he needs her.  Kristin brings her wit (it made me laugh out loud)  and brilliance into this book as she has done with every other book she has written.  I give it 4 stars.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mr. Mommy Booknerd's Review: AMERICAN SNIPER by Chris Kyle with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen


From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.


Chris KyleSEAL Team 3 Chief Chris Kyle (1974-2013) served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. Additionally, he received the Grateful Nation Award, given by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Following his combat deployments, he became chief instructor for training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. A native Texan, he served as president of Craft International (, a world-class leader in training and security, while devoting much of his spare time to helping disabled veterans. Chief Kyle is survived by his wife and their two children.

Image of Chris Kyle

Every generation has iconic heroes that emerge as a result of war.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven no different.  In the coming years we will continue to uncover acts of bravery and selflessness displayed by American patriots while serving in foreign lands.  Chris Kyle is one of these men.  AMERICAN SNIPER allowed us to enter into a world that is observed by many but truly only experienced by a few.  Set his accomplishments on the battlefield aside, the greatest takeaway from this book is the sacrifices made by the individual to their own safety and time with their family.  The book exposes the constant struggle Kyle deals with in being an elite member of a team dedicated to the safety of fellow Americans while at the same time knowing his membership to this team has an adverse affect on his wife and children.  The strongest moments of this book are when Kyle fully exposes his hardships and the mental toll his career inflicted upon him.  He does not hide behind a tough guy image and is a great example to others to say it is okay to get help.  Identify the problem, develop a plan, and solve it.  Chris Kyle even in death will be role model and mentor to many.  Craft International will continue to train and ensure that his legacy lives on.  It is our duty to ensure that the accomplishments, impact, and sacrifices made by individuals like Kyle do not fade into the past.  4.5 stars

Highlight: Bargain Fever: Our Obsession With Getting More for Less by Mark Ellwood


A spirited investigation into the phenomenon of bargain hunting, now bigger than ever.

When Coca-Cola offered the first retail coupon in the 1880s customers were thrilled. But today's shoppers, plugged into Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, and Living Social, see sales and discounts as the norm, not the exception. The relentless pursuit of deals has totally changed the relationship between buyers and sellers.

In this playful, well-researched book, journalist Mark Ellwood takes readers deep into the discount game, both high end and low. From the haggling markets of Istanbul to Black Friday in a suburban mall, to pinnacles of global luxury such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton, companies and consumers are engaged in a constant game of cat and mouse. Some companies now change their prices literally second by second. Consumers, for their part, turn to coupon apps and strategic Twitter analysis to find great bargains.

Today's unorthodox tactics range from “secret” sales for frequent shoppers to brands going so far as to destroy unsold merchandise rather than slash prices. Ellwood offers fascinating insights into the twisted economy of bargain hunting, with more than a few shopping tips for readers.

Mark  EllwoodAbout the author:  British-born, New York-based Mark Ellwood has lived out of a suitcase for most of his life.

After studying for an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Cambridge University in England and a Masters on a scholarship to the University of Chicago, he spent several years as a tour director leading art tours around cities like Florence, Rome and Paris. After college, Mark moved to New York to become a print and broadcast journalist, specializing in luxury goods: travel, fashion and contemporary art.

He has written regularly for the Financial Times Weekend and How To Spend It Magazine, T: New York Times style magazine, Wall Street Journal Weekend, Bloomberg Business Week and Departures among others. He has interviewed the world's oldest supermodel (she's 75 and counting), trekked to a $10bn art island in rural Japan that looked like a Bond villain's lair (he brought his own white cat) spent a weekend in an all-psychic town (and yes, they did know he was coming because he called) and confirmed where & when men first slipped into a speedo (Sydney, 1961).

Ellwood's new book Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World will be published by Penguin-Portfolio on October 17 2013. In this book, he examines our culture's newfound obsession with deals, discounts and never paying full price (like the unadvertised discount savvy shoppers can wrestle out of Prada staff with a few choice words or the woman who earns more than a $1m a year reselling coupons).

As a host and producer, Ellwood was one of the longtime onscreen talents for luxury network Plum TV. He hosted Plum's first ever travel show, Local Currency: Mark hopscotches around Europe learning from residents of cities like Amsterdam and Vienna what it takes to pass for a local and then testing out the tips first hand with a hidden camera chronicling every one of his bungled mistakes. As a correspondent for the weekly lifestyle show Plum Daily in its key markets from Miami Beach and Aspen to the Hamptons, he wrangled interviews with everyone from Calvin Klein and Alison Janney to Russell Simmons and Mario Batali. Ellwood learned how to play croquet from a pro (yes, they exist) and spent a Thursday evening at the Manhattan offices of some upscale dermatologists who cater to last minute gala-goers in need of pre-Hamptons Botox and fillers. Mark also hosted and produced live special coverage of splashy events from Art Basel Miami Beach to Aspen's Food + Wine festival.

Favorite assignments have included hitting the nightclubs of Maputo in Mozambique with Europe's twentysomething jetset, watching the cowboy poets of Wyoming rap by the campfire, and judging the finer points of vodka-swigging at the cocktail set's answer to Miss World in New Zealand. He's also spent a weekend trawling through the menswear stores of Tokyo trying to find something large enough to fit.

There was a lot of great information in this book regarding Groupon, hotels and travel discounts.  There is a new wave a savers and the craze has created almost a whole new sector of the population.  This book gives the history and information in a well researched book about bargain fever.   The book, at times, was slow to me....I ended up skimming through some parts. 

I thought this would be a how-to book, but it turned out to be more about the craze of bargain fever and not a go to guide on saving big.   I found it interesting however....with the craze producing shows, websites and the such.  Worth the read for the die hard shopper 3.0 stars.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Highlight: From Kings Park to Omaha by Bobby Haney


"From Kings Park to Omaha" by Bobby Haney, 136 pages, $15.00

FOREWARD By Erika Watts, Editor

Like all kids who play baseball, Bobby Haney had a dream, and that dream was to be part of a national championship winning team, and more importantly, to spend his life playing baseball.  With the support of his family, friends and hometown, Bobby made it from high school to college,  where  he  would  become  a part  of  college  baseball  history.

In 2010, all 290-plus division I college baseball teams knew that they had one last chance to make it to Omaha, Nebraska and play in historical Rosenblatt Stadium before the College World Series was moved to a new stadium, TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.  Only eight teams would go on to make it to Omaha, including the team Bobby played shortstop for, the South Carolina Gamecocks.  Prior to 2010, the Gamecocks never managed to win a national title in any major sport, so not only did the 2010 baseball team have a chance to make CWS history, they had the opportunity to make school history as well.

The South Carolina Gamecocks take their nickname from Thomas Sumter, a notable figure and war hero in South Carolina history.  Sumter was given the nickname for his fighting techniques and tendency to never back down.  Bobby Haney and the 2010 South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team epitomized that nickname.  When they found themselves with a loss in their first game in Omaha and one loss away from being sent home, they went on to win six straight games, securing their spot in college baseball history. 

Today, Bobby is still playing the game he fell in love with as a kid, and is proof that with enough heart and determination, a childhood dream can be turned into reality.   

Buy the book HERE

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mandy's Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

About the book:  When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

WOW!   I read a lot of books, and I mean a lot of books and this book by Josh Grayson is magnificent.  Sia is a senior in high school who wakes up on a bench in the park and can't remember anything. The tale that follows is intriguing and inspiring.  Sia finally makes it home and discovers things about her past that she is not very happy with.  Grayson does a great job of making Sia take a look at herself, to really decided on the person she wants to be.  She inspires herself to be a better person, even if it is the hardest thing to do.  Sometimes in life the right thing to do is the hardest and the decision within the story is brilliant.  The words weaved are believable, address real life issues and make you want to be a better person.  Josh Grayson - Rock On my Man !  I give this book 5 stars.

Josh GraysonAbout the author:  Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.

Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, admin. assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).

Sia is his debut YA novel. (Available 11/20/13)

Highlight: Innocence Lost by JD Selmser

Cover for 'Innocence Lost'Everything was perfect for the "star-crossed" lovers until a supernatural twist changed the magic of their fairy tale romance. Somebody had to pay the ultimate price. In every lovers triangle one must die, but what if the dead refuse to die. Zahir never thought that falling in love and stealing another's life would trap him. He never considered the consequences that murdering Milan would have on his life. With time running out he must win Natinha’s love before he destroys himself and her. Milan knows who killed him. What he does not know is why or how he ended up sharing his body and the woman he loves with him. He cannot let go of the dreams he dreamed or the life he planned for them. In a world filled with fallen angels, hell hounds one man loves a woman so much that he refuses to die. The darkest romance where everybody wants their happy ever after only in order for them to get theirs nobody else can get theirs.  Innocence lost is the ultimate lover’s triangle. One fell from heaven, one is headed for hell and a woman's soul and the fate of the world hang in the balance.

Where to find JD Selmser online

Buy the book here

Highlight: 10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership & Characterby Al Gini, Ronald M Green


What makes a good leader? Ten leaders, ten key virtuesThis readable distillation of the core common features of successful leaders shows how an individual's character, and especially their virtue, is the defining factor. Without these ten vital virtues, leadership becomes "misleadership." The authors, both renowned business ethicists, combine theory with fascinating biographical detail on exemplary leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Oprah Winfrey. The result is an accessible text on the ethics of leadership which, unlike many publications that claim to reveal the secrets of success as a leader, is informed by a wealth of exceptional academic experience.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CLP Blog Tour: Miss Kane's Christmas by Caroline Mickelson

Follow the tour and enter the giveaway HERE


With Christmas only three days away, Carol Claus agrees to her father’s request that she leave the North Pole on a mission to help save Christmas. Joining single father Ben Hanson and his children for the holidays seems an easy enough task until Santa informs her that Ben is the man behind the disturbing new book ‘Beyond Bah Humbug: Why Lying to Your Children about Santa Claus is a Bad Idea’. 

Posing as Miss Kane, the children’s new nanny, Carol pulls out all the stops to show Ben how fun Christmas can be, all the while struggling to understand how one man could hate the holidays so much. How could she, Santa’s only daughter, be so attracted to a man who refuses to believe her father exists? 

**Please note - this book was originally titled Carol's Christmas**

“I cannot believe you’ve banished me from the North Pole.” Carol Claus glanced across the sleigh at her father. “What have I done?”
“Don’t be so melodramatic, my dear.” Santa smiled at his daughter. He hopped down from the driver’s seat and motioned for Carol to join him. When she did, he put his arm around her shoulders and gave her an affectionate hug. He gestured across the moonlit neighborhood of Indian Village. “This is a beautiful place for you to spend your first Christmas away from home.”
Carol looked down on the snow covered street. Each two story home in the cul-de-sac was bedecked with strings of colored lights, nativity scenes, plastic gift wrapped lawn ornaments, and pine wreaths on the front doors. The seventh home just under their feet was the exception to the neighborhood’s festive spirit. A white clapboard colonial with black shutters, it gave no indication that its owners knew Christmas was only three days away.
She fixed a pleading expression on her father but, while his blue eyes sparkled with his love for her, he showed no sign of going back on his decision that she spend her first Christmas with a family of his choosing. It was a Claus family tradition, and Carol, as the youngest child, was over-due for her turn. Still, she made one last ditch effort to change his mind. “You’ve said yourself that no one excels at elf management like I do.”
“True, I said it and I meant it. But your absence will give your brother Nicholas a chance to work more closely with the elves. Besides, you deserve some fun this year. You work too hard.”
“I love every moment of it.” Carol tucked a strand of her dark hair behind her ear. She shared her father’s blue eyes and his love of Christmas. “I’ll miss you, Daddy.”
“I’ll miss you too, my girl. I know this won’t be easy, Carol, but it’s necessary.” He dug into the pocket of his red down jacket and pulled out a sheet of folded paper. “Read this.”
She reached out for the paper. “What is it?”
“Just read it. It’s the reason you’re here.”
Carol unfolded the slightly crumpled sheet of lined paper and instantly recognized that it had been written by a child. Fortunately the moon was bright enough to allow her to easily read the words that had been neatly printed in crayon.

Dear Santa,

My Daddy doesn’t know I’m writing to you. He would say I can’t write a letter to someone who doesn’t even exist but I know you are real. My Mom told me so before she died. My little brother Patrick doesn’t remember her saying that but that’s only because she was gone before he was even in preschool. I’m not writing to ask for anything for Patrick or me. But Santa, can you please bring my Daddy some happiness? I know the elves can’t wrap it, and it’s nothing you can bring down the chimney but he needs help. I don’t know who else to ask. I know you’ll think of something Santa.

from Hillary (age 8)

p.s. Patrick likes to play with cars and my favorite color is pink

Carol finished reading the letter, refolded it and handed it back to her father. “I take it we’re at Hillary and Patrick’s house?”

Many people know I am a sucker for all things Christmas...books, movies, decorations the whole nine yards. So when given the opportunity to read this novella, I jumped at the chance. I love it! The whole time I was reading Miss Kane's Christmas it was like a movie was playing in my mind. I could see the characters, the setting the whole story playing out! I just adored it cover to cover!!! This book is romantic comedy mixed with the miracle of Christmas and makes for a cheerful and fabulous Christmas read! 5 stars!!

Author Bio:

Caroline Mickelson loves her family and loves to write. She also loves a good adventure, among her favorites thus far were attending graduate school in a Scottish castle, riding a camel around the Pyramids in Giza, and taking a best-in-a-lifetime road trip to Graceland. Caroline lives in the American southwest with her husband and their four children, affectionately known as The Miracles.

Connect with Caroline!




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