Thursday, January 31, 2019

#MMBBR #Interview with @johnpavlovitz and #Review of #hopeandothersuperpowers via #partner @SmithPublicity & @simonschuster who provided a #free #reviewcopy


Overwhelmed by the news cycle and the state of affairs in our world? Pastor, blogger, and powerful voice in the Resistance, John Pavlovitz has the answer: this rousing and inspirational guide, drawing from lessons of our favorite superheroes, for how we can band together, live more heroically (and meaningfully), and save the world. 

It’s exhausting to give a damn these days, isn’t it? Perhaps you’re feeling anguished about what you see on the news or in your social media timeline, or by your personal circumstances, and are paralyzed waiting for political or religious leaders, or celebrities, to rescue us from it all.

But what if you didn’t have to wait for someone else?

What if you could be the hero?

This book—a spirited call to action—shows you how.

In these pages, John offers a path away from the vitriol and toward com­passion, and a plan to transform our burdens into dreams and our outrage into activism. Drawing from lessons of beloved fictional superheroes, John shows us how to identify our origin story, build protective suits of armor, guard against our personal kryptonite, and vanquish our villains. He also identifies ten specific “superpowers” that we can enlist to make our lives and our world better. Along the way, he shares inspiring anecdotes and profiles about ordinary people who saw a gap in the world in empathy or kindness or gratitude and decided to fill it.

Hope and Other Superpowers is an invitation to anyone hoping to be the kind of person the world so desperately needs—the kind who can save it. In other words: it’s an invitation to you.

John Pavlovitz

In the past two years, Pavlovitz’s blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, has reached millions of people across the world with his outspoken distaste for a number of President Trump’s policies and confrontation of the larger national vitriol about immigrants, guns, and many other hot button issues.

His popularity is not surprising, given that his core message is one that so many of us are yearning to hear (myself included): that hope is still possible, and that kindness, inclusion, and compassion are the way forward. 

A former megachurch pastor, Pavlovitz now preaches a much less-traditional Christian message dedicated to radical hospitality, mutual respect, and diversity of doctrine that has earned him the nicknames “The Pastor of the Resistance” and “The Atheists’ Favorite Pastor.” He wants to help those of us who feel hopeless recognize ways in which we can change things for the better.

“Hope isn’t found in a celebrity, religious leader, or politician,” says Pavlovitz. “It’s found in the mirror.”

by Sara Bell and Emily Lewis who jointly interviewed John and wrote with article.

There are many things that I love about being a book blogger, but nothing beats being able to actually talk to a writer that you both admire and aspire to be more like. That kind of opportunity recently presented itself when I was lucky enough to conduct a phone interview with pastor, writer, and activist John Pavlovitz. Yes, you read that right - the one and only! John’s blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has an average monthly readership of over a million people and, if are not familiar with his work, it is definitely something worth checking out. His most recent book, Hope and Other Superpowers: A Life-Affirming, Love-Defending, Butt-Kicking, World-Saving Manifesto was just released in November of 2018.

I have ready many of John’s blog posts because my sister Sara shares them frequently as he always seems to be able to capture what we are feeling, whether it is his reflections on what life is like after losing a parent or his insights on any number of other topics related to the state of affairs in the world. Through all of his writings, John’s consistent message is focused on the importance of being a compassionate, ethical, and decent person; he is not afraid to call it like he sees it when people are demonstrating anything but kindness, empathy, and integrity. Knowing that my sister is a huge fan, I asked her if she wanted to interview John with me. She was obviously super excited (and a bit of a fangirl about it). The three of us ended up having an awesome chat about his new book and a few other topics that are near and dear to our hearts.

Hope and Other Superpowers is touted as a “spirited call to action” that will inspire people to transform their burdens into dreams and their outrage into activism. In short, the take-home message from the book is that we can all be a force for good if we choose to. John shares stories of several “real-life superheroes” and how they have come through times of adversity to be more than they ever thought possible. The experiences that these individuals have endured are both heartbreaking and inspiring; they have all learned important life lessons on how to take negative events and use them as the catalyst to find new purpose and impact the world in an incredibly positive way. John also adds in anecdotes and personal stories to highlight his own reflections in an emotional, engaging, and often humorous way that makes this book one of both laughter and tears.

Thinking about everything we read in Hope and Other Superpowers and on John’s blog, the first question Sara and I asked him was about finding balance. As John expresses in his book, giving a damn is exhausting and it can certainly become very overwhelming at times. So, we wanted to hear his advice on how people can find the sweet spot between caring deeply and passionately about world events but not getting so pulled into all of the negativity around us that it eats us up. John shared some thoughts on how to best manage this, based on approaches that work for him.

John suggests that it may be beneficial to break things down into an almost hourly process of taking information in and then purposely stepping away. It is valuable to be engaged in the world around you so you are well informed and able to advocate when needed but it is also important to be intentional about withdrawing at regular intervals to renew yourself by simply enjoying some silence, spending time in nature, or connecting with friends and family. Although we may want to keep on top of all of the day’s events and dedicate ourselves to defending the principles we hold dear, we still have to live our lives and we won’t be good to anyone if we are totally drained.

If you are actively engaged in advocacy or community improvement work, another possibility is to shift energy between different aspects of the causes you care about. For a period of time, perhaps you can focus on legislation or policy reform and then switch to more directly supporting the people who are impacted. Varying your activities can assure you continue to feel like you're making a difference without getting burned out on one thing.

John’s final thought was to keep coming back to the question “what is my why?". It can feel insurmountable when you think about all of the opportunities there are to get involved, share your voice, and make an impact. Try to start with one issue you are super passionate about and just focus on that. You don’t need to have it all figured out and you don’t need to tackle everything. Just start somewhere.

Another topic Sara and I wanted to talk with John about was the loss of his father. John has shared very openly through his blog and in his book how losing his dad has impacted his life. My siblings and I also lost our father suddenly 5 years ago so the immense vulnerability and raw emotion that John has expressed is something that really hit home with us. Sara has shared with me that she has read several of John’s posts multiple times, as his writing brings her comfort by capturing the feelings of grief and the aftermath of the loss in a very heartfelt way. We wanted to know how this experience has changed John for the better and allowed him to grow, as we continue to navigate a similar path day by day.

John said, as he began to write only a few days after his Dad passed away, he realized that what he was going through was not a novel thing. People are enduring all kinds of losses and hardships every day. However, only he was experiencing that exact loss in his own way. No matter what is happening, we all have unique insights​ and as he started sharing and putting his words and feelings out into the world, others also began to share. His learning was that we can ultimately find commonality when we embrace being our authentic self. Sara and I can attest that this is true, as we feel a strong sense of gratitude and kinship with John for so often expressing (much more eloquently than we can) what we and many others are feeling.

When asked what prompted John to write Hope and Other Superpowers, he said that he really just wanted to write something simple and somewhat elemental about how easy it really is to be a good human. John stated, “Cruelty is trending - it is easy to see all the vitriol that is perpetuated because it grabs people's attention. However, there are also beautiful things happening in the world and I wanted to give a voice to that.” Like so many of us, John believes that the world is full of good hearted people and it is easy to forget that when we are inundated by negativity all the time. At the most basic level, John wanted to encourage people who are exhausted by caring so much and give them hope.

​In the time we were lucky enough to talk with John, he was warm, humble, down-to-earth, and insightful. Just as in his writing, John's spoken words were touching and profound. After we wrapped up, Sara said to me “Over the last few years, John’s messages have consistently been just what I needed to hear at just the right time. He is able to clearly articulate so many of the exact thoughts and feelings I have in a way that I never could. He does it on his blog, he did it in this book, and now he did it again on our phone call.”

Hope and Other Superpowers accomplished everything John set out to do and it’s definitely a must read for anyone who is searching for beautiful, inspiring stories of perseverance, resilience, and triumph over negativity. This interview was a really incredible experience for both Sara and me. I’m confident John’s writing will continue to be a source of hope for us and millions of others, especially now when it is needed the most.

#MMBBR #Highlight #FirstLine #IntoTheNight by @sarahbaileyauthor via #partner @HachetteUS #GrandCentralPublishing who provided a #free #reviewcopy


Into the Night(Gemma Woodstock #2)

#FirstLine ~ Freezing air slices my lungs every time I breathe. 


After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim's friends and family can be trusted--and who may be the killer.

Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she's had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can't help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence. 

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor's life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can't imagine a pair of victims with less in common--and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths. 

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.


​Sarah lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has two young sons and one very old cat.

Before she wrote The Dark Lake, Sarah worked in advertising as a business manager. These days she splits her time between writing and working at Creative Projects Company, Mr Smith. Sarah is working on her third book which will be published in 2019.

​This is how she looks when she writes.

#MMBBR #Highlight #FirstLine #TheAffliction by @BethGutcheon via #partner @HarperCollins who provided a #free #reviewcopy


#FirstLine ~ To say that things were tense on the Hudson River campus of the Rye Manor School for Girls would be to understate the case fairly recklessly.

The New York Times bestselling author of More Than You KnowLeeway Cottage, and Death at Breakfast delivers the second installment in her clever romp of a mystery series combining social comedy and dark-hearted murder a novel set at a girls’ boarding school in a picturesque Hudson River town with more than its share of secrets

Since retiring as head of a famous New York City private school, Maggie Detweiler is busier than ever. Chairing a team to evaluate the faltering Rye Manor School for girls, she will determine whether, in spite of its fabled past, the school has a future at all. With so much on the line for so many, tensions on campus are at an excruciating pitch, and Maggie expects to be as welcome as a case of Ebola virus.

At a reception for the faculty and trustees to “welcome” Maggie’s team, no one seems more keen for all to go well than Florence Meagher, a star teacher who is loved and respected in spite of her affliction—that she can never stop talking.

Florence is one of those dedicated teachers for whom the school is her life, and yet the next morning, when Maggie arrives to observe her teaching, Florence is missing. Florence’s husband, Ray, an auxiliary policeman in the village, seems more annoyed than alarmed at her disappearance. But Florence’s sister is distraught. There have been tensions in the marriage, and at their last visit, Florence had warned, “If anything happens to me, don’t assume it’s an accident.”

Two days later, Florence’s body is found in the campus swimming pool.

Maggie is asked to stay on to coach the very young and inexperienced head of Rye Manor through the crisis. Maggie obviously knows schools, but she also knows something about investigating murder, having solved a mysterious death in Maine the previous year when the police went after the wrong suspect. She is soon joined by her madcap socialite friend Hope, who is jonesing for an excuse to ditch her book club anyway, before she has to actually read Silas Marner.

What on earth is going on in this idyllic town? Is this a run-of-the-mill marital murder? Or does it have something to do with the school board treasurer’s real estate schemes? And what is up with the vicious cyber-bullying that’s unsettled everyone, or with the disturbed teenaged boy whom Florence had made a pet of? And is it possible that someone killed Florence just so she’d finally shut up?

Beth Gutcheon

Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Academy Award, and she has made her living fulltime as a storyteller (novelist and sometime screenwriter) since then. Her novels have been translated into fourteen languages, if you count the pirate Chinese edition of Still Missing, plus large print and audio format. Still Missing was made into a feature film called Without a Trace, and also published in a Reader’s Digest Condensed version which particularly pleased her mother. Several of her novels have been national bestsellers, including the most recent, Leeway Cottage. All of the novels are available in new uniform paperback editions from HarperPerennial. 

#MMBBR #Highlight #FirstLine #TheSongbird by @MarciaWillett via #partner #ThomasDunneBooks & @StMartinsPress who provided a #free #reviewcopy


#FirstLine ~ All through the spring, early and late, the thrush sing in the ash tree below the cottage.

When Mattie invites her old friend Tim to stay in one of her family cottages on the edge of Dartmoor, she senses there is something he is not telling her. Having left behind his old life in London in a rush, Tim is unusually quiet, as if he is holding on to a painful secret.

But as he gets to know the rest of the warm jumble of family by the moor, Tim discovers that everyone there has their own secrets. There is Charlotte, a young navy wife struggling to bring up her son while her husband is at sea; William, who guards a dark past he cannot share with the others; and Mattie, who has loved Tim in silence for years.

As Tim begins to open up, Mattie falls deeper in love. And as summer warms the wild Dartmoor landscape, new beginnings take root . . . But can fresh hopes bloom where old secrets are buried?

Marcia Willett
Before begining her career as a novelist Marcia had been an avid reader and had never considered writing. When her writer husband Rodney suggested that she should she laughed and dismissed the idea out of hand. However after months of nagging she agreed, for the sake of peace and quiet, to see what she could do and has never looked back!
Since her first novel Marcia has written numerous novels under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym Willa Marsh.
Success has not been limited to her home country, she is published internationally and has been on the best seller lists in both Germany and Greece.
Marcia is a born storyteller and her books are beautifully written which makes them easy to read. Even though they will challenge the thoughtful as they deal with the eternal problems that face everyone and often call for great strength of character to overcome.
Two of Marcia’s books, ‘A Week In Winter’ and ‘The Childrens Hour’ were both selected by Readers Digest for inclusion in their ‘Of Love And Life’ series and Marcia won the Magnum award for their most popular writer in 2002. Perhaps the title of that series says it all.
Marcia was born in Somerset but spends most of her time in Devon where she currently lives.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #LoveYouSmore #Series #BookThree by @bethmerlin80 via #partner @fireflyhillpr who provided a #free #reviewcopy


Having successfully designed the wedding gown of the century, Gigi Goldstein is on top of the world - that is until it all suddenly comes crashing down around her. When the paparazzi captures her and Perry Gillman in a compromising moment the night of the royal wedding, she finds herself entangled in a scandal of global proportion. Convinced her carelessness has ruined every relationship in her life, she's surprised and moved by her boyfriend, Gideon's, sudden proposal of marriage and accepts it without a second thought. Four months later, Gigi's living at Badgley Hall contemplating an entirely new kind of life, while guilt, regret, and obligation keep calling her back to her old one. Will Gigi stay in South Gloucestershire, marry Gideon, and become the Countess of Harronsby? Or, will unfinished opportunities and an old flame bring her back across the pond to confront her past and reclaim her future?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
#FirstLine ~ Damn the United Kingdom and their bloody roundabouts!

A sensational book, that was both well plotted and character driven. It was sweet and fun. I adored the setting and the dialogue was quite fantastic! I cannot wait to go back and read the other books in this series!

#MMBBR #Feature #FirstLine #illwill by #MichaelStewart via #partner @Harper360 who provided a #free #reviewcopy #PubDayLove #NewRelease


#FirstLine ~ You are walking through Buther's Bog, along the path at Birch Brink.

I am William Lee: brute; liar, and graveside thief.

But you will know me by another name.

Heathcliff has left Wuthering Heights, and is travelling across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past.

Along the way, he saves Emily, the foul-mouthed daughter of a Highwayman, from a whipping, and the pair journey on together.

Roaming from graveyard to graveyard, making a living from Emily’s apparent ability to commune with the dead, the pair lie, cheat and scheme their way across the North of England.

And towards the terrible misdeeds – and untold riches – that will one day send Heathcliff home to Wuthering Heights

Monday, January 28, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #Dumplin by @andimjulie via #partner #Baltz+Bray who provided a #free #reviewcopy


DUMPLIN’ (Baltz + Bray; November 27, 2018; Paperback; ISBN:978-0062934673; 400 pages; $9.99)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.

I loved this book so hard. It was so so so so so good. It was one of those books you want to become a movie and in this case it did. Then after you see the movie your heart breaks just a little bit because the movie did not capture the awesomeness that was the book. It did not show all the details that made you swoon in the first place and they changed the book a bit too much. It was a good adaptation, don't get me wrong, but I wanted to see every detail played out on the screen!

This book did make me swoon, like A LOT! It is true what they say, that books are ALWAYS better than the movies (the truth is just the truth). In this case, EVERYONE needs to read this book (and watch the movie), like RIGHT now! 

I love that this book really captured the ways friendships crack under the pressures of growing up, but the best ones find a way to mend. It shows how first loves follow no set of rules and are completely irrational and beautifully complicated. It highlights all the ways friendships (in various forms) bring out the best, and at times; the worst in us. That we are always just trying to find the best versions of ourselves in the skin we are in. 

I feel like I am not really capturing all the ways this book is awesome, so just go read it yourself and you can then experience it too! A awesome book club pick!

Julie   Murphy

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she can be found reading, traveling, or watching movies so bad they’re good. Her debut contemporary young adult novel, Side Effects May Vary, is out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins and has been well-received by Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, Booklist, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Dumplin, Julie’s sophomore novel has received glowing reviews including two stars from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Film rights have been optioned by Disney.

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine by @Sally__Thorne via #partner @WmMorrowBooks who provided a #free #reviewcopy


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
#FirstLine ~ Nobody taught me this when I first started as a bartender, but luckily, I was a quick learner: When a group of men are walking in, you should work out which one is the alpha.

I might be one of the only people on this earth who has not read THE HATING GAME. With that being said, this was my first read by Thorne. I loved this book. It well paced, with characters that I really love (like really loved). The story was original and had great depth. I was engrossed right away and was so swept up in the story I read it nearly in one sitting. I know that this book will be a perfect book club pick and one to snuggle up with during the polar vortex!

#MMBBR #Review #13ThingsMentallyStrongWomenDon'tDo by @AmyMorinLCSWvia #partner @WmMorrowBooks who provided a #free #reviewcopy


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great book to help you navigate through life using you own gifts and powers. It also helps you to become an authentic person who has authentic relationships. I love that it is well laid out, with some great tips, in an easy to reference way. You can read this book cover to cover or reference tips along the way. I think this book is fantastic for those woman wanting to instill more confidence into daily interactions and to face challenges with some fierce and helpful techniques.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

#MMBBR #Reviews #FirstLine @Harper360 ( #partner ) #Thrillers #Darling by @RachelDEdwards #SchoolgirlMissing by @suefortin1 #TheLastLie by @Alexlakeauthor


Darling by Rachel Edwards
A teenage girl clashes with her new stepmother in this debut thriller with an unforgettable twist
I knew she was trouble from the moment I saw her. I felt it as she stood in the doorway that day: disaster. Not just because she was so different, that skin and that hair, as different from me as it’s possible to be. There was something wrong about her. Wrong for us. It was never going to work.
Now she is dead and only I am left to love him. She is dead, and it’s all my fault.


Darling by Rachel Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#FirstRead ~ PART 1: I ran.

This book was quite good There were so many themes that are both timely and meaningful; race, family bonds and relationships, and loyalty mixed into a tense and hard to put down thriller that will keep you buzzing through the pages. A great book club pick!


Schoolgirl Missing by Sue Fortin
Discover the dark side of family life
When fourteen-year-old Poppy vanishes on a family boating trip, suspicion soon turns close to home—to the two people who should do everything to keep her safe: her parents, Kit and Neve.
Neve has a secret. Kit is lying.
Everyone is watching. Who do you believe?


Schoolgirl Missing by Sue Fortin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ Neve looked up from the toast she was buttering as her daughter came into the kitchen.

This book was such a thrilling and tense read. It was filled with lies, twists and turns. It was a captivating read that kept my interest throughout. I think book clubs would enjoy this title!


The Last Lie by Alex Lake
Everyone lies…but some lies are deadly.
For Claire Daniels, life is good. She has everything she’s ever wanted – a career she loves, friends she can rely on, and a husband who dotes on her. All she needs is to start a family of her own and things will be even better than good. They will be perfect.
For Alfie, it couldn’t be more different. His life with Claire is built on a lie. A lot of lies. And she can never find out.
Because Alfie has plans for her. Plans which must never come to light. But lies have a way of taking on a life of their own, and when his do, the consequences threaten to destroy everything.


The Last Lie by Alex Lake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ Part One: Claire Daniels stood on the tiled floor of the bathroom ans stared into the mirror.

This was an intense read. I love it cover to cover. Not only was it well paced, the characters were those worth reading about! I was completely entertained from cover to cover. I also enjoyed that it was a fast read. You could read this in one day because you won't want to put it down!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

#MMBBR #Reviews #TheMindfulnessForKidsMandalaDrawingBook and #TheDrawingBookForKids via #partner @WooJrKids and @andemom who provided a #free #reviewcopy


Feel relaxed & mindful while drawing beautiful mandalas with this fun, creative and approachable mindfulness book for kids! Part activity book, part art journal, this book gives kids practical tools to put mindfulness into action.The Mindfulness for Kids Mandala Drawing Book includes:
Full step by step mandala drawing instructions A mandala design library Mandala templates to make coloring and drawing mandalas easy and fun Journal prompt pages to encourage readers to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings
Mandala art activities are used frequently in art therapy to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and a encourage a meditative experience. Brought to you by best-selling adult coloring book illustrator and mom of 3, Wendy Piersall, and Woo! Jr. Kids Activities, who has been fostering creativity for kids since 2008. We promise that no artistic ability is needed to produce beautiful results!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So funny story. I got this book and The Drawing Book for Kids 365 Daily Things to Draw: Step by Step for review quite a while ago and then gave them to my son for Christmas. I instantly watched him get lost in the book. I loved watching him embrace the prompts and instructions and focus in on his creative expressions and mindful moments. I got so caught up in watching him be creative that I TOTALLY forgot to review the books! I would say that is pretty perfect review right there! But as a parent, there is more to this book that makes it amazing. I loved the journal prompts and the instructions. It is such an amazing way to way to past the time; both for the children or for parents to do with their children. A must for home and school!!!


The most comprehensive how to draw book for kids! This children's drawing book gives you 365 things to draw every day for an entire year - animals, objects, food, plants, vehicles, sports, holidays and more. Every mini drawing lesson is broken down into easy to follow step by step instructions, so that all budding artists can create a masterpiece. This book is perfect for kids 9-12 +, but kids age 6-8 with a high interest in art will be able to follow our diagrams easily as well. The Drawing Book for Kids is the only book you'll need to turn your kids' creativity into artistic confidence! 

The Drawing Book for Kids: 365 Daily Things to Draw, Step by Step by Woo! Jr. Kids Activities
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So funny story. I got this book and The Mindfulness for Kids Mandala Drawing Book for review quite a while ago and then gave them to my son for Christmas. I instantly watched him get lost in the book. I loved watching him embrace instructions and focus in on his creative expressions while making amazing drawings. I got so caught up in watching him be creative that I TOTALLY forgot to review the books! I would say that is pretty perfect review right there! But as a parent, there is more to this book that makes it amazing. I loved the how easy the instructions were and how successful and talented he felt right away. It is such an amazing way to past the time; both for the children or for parents to do with their children. A must for home and school!!!

View all my reviews

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #SnowfallOnLighthouseLane #HoneymoonHarborSeries by @JoAnnRoss via #partner @HQNBooks who provided a #free #reviewcopy


SNOWFALL ON LIGHTHOUSE LANE (HQN Books; on-sale October 30th, 2018) is the latest novel in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Ross’s wildly popular Honeymoon Harbor series. Perfect for cozy reading this holiday season, SNOWFALL ON LIGHTHOUSE LANE is a sexy, swoon-worthy story about taking a second chance on love.

About the book:
Former LAPD officer Aiden Mannion is back in his hometown of Honeymoon Harbor after losing his partner in the line of duty. His old flame, Jolene Wells, is also back in town and still remembers when he broke her heart years ago. But amidst the romance of the holiday season, old feelings are stirred up, sparks reignite, and Aiden and Jolene find it harder and harder to deny the chemistry between them. Together, can they find the courage to give love another shot?

JoAnn Ross is the New York Times bestseller author of over 100 books. A member of the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of best-selling authors, she’s won several awards, including RT Reviews’ Career Achievement Awards in both category romance and contemporary single title.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
#FirstLine ~ Life, as Aiden Mannion knew firsthand, could be dangerous.

I know this book is set around the holidays, but is really good for anytime. I just finished it and adored it! I loved the story line, it was beautiful, heartbreaking and one I will not forget anything soon. It was beautifully fleshed out, in a setting that will make you swoon with characters you want to read about...sounds amazing right?!?! It really is completely charming and delightful. I could really see it being turned into the Hallmark movie, which I would LOVE!!! A must read for a feel good, warming story that will remaining in your heart well after the last page!

#MMBBR #Reviews #HowNatureWorks #OneIguanaTwoIguanas via #partner @The_BookishType who provided #free #reviewcopies


How Nature Works: Don’t Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures by Paul Erickson and photographs by Andrew Martinez (ISBN 978-0884485513; Grades 3-7; 48 pages; Hardcover $17.95) teaches young readers the role of venoms in nature … and in human medicine.

Why are toxins so advantageous to their possessors as to evolve over and over again? What is it about watery environments that favors so many venomous creatures? Marine biologist Paul Erickson explores these and other questions with astounding images from Andrew Martinez and other top underwater photographers.

GREAT for teaching STEM Marine Biology.

Scorpions and brown recluse spiders are fine as far as they go, but if you want daily contact with venomous creatures, the ocean is the place to be. Blue-ringed octopi, stony corals, sea jellies, stonefish, lionfish, poison-fanged blennies, stingrays, cone snails, blind remipedes, fire urchins―you can choose your poison in the ocean. Venoms are often but not always defensive weapons. The banded sea krait, an aquatic snake, wriggles into undersea caves to prey on vicious moray eels, killing them with one of the world’s most deadly neurotoxins, which it injects through fangs that resemble hypodermic needles. The Komodo dragon, an ocean-going reptile, tears into a water buffalo with its blade-like teeth, then secretes a deadly toxin into the open wounds.

Don't Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures by Paul Erickson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, this book was really cool. My son loves the creatures of the ocean, so this book was right up his alley. It was really something to learn about these venomous creatures. The facts in this are really very strange, which makes it all the more intriguing. With amazing photographs and facts this book is sure to be a hit for kids and adults alike! A must for home and school library.


One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution by Sneed B. Collard III (ISBN: 978-0884486497; Grades 3-7; 48 pages; Hardcover $17.95) is a much-needed contribution to the children’s literature about evolution.

Natural selection and speciation are all but ignored in children’s nonfiction. To help address this glaring deficiency, award-winning children’s science writer Sneed Collard traveled to the Galapagos Islands to see for himself, where Charles Darwin saw, how new species form. The result is this fascinating story of two species of iguana, one land-based and one marine, both of which developed from a single ancestor that reached the islands millions of years ago. The animals evolved in different directions while living within sight of one another. How is that possible?  

One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution by Sneed B. Collard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was fantastic! My kids and I were fascinated with all the facts within this amazing photographed and detailed book. I could not get over how much interesting information there is about iguanas. I actually was really blown away by it. I think that this book will be of interest to those that love nature, history and beautifully put together book that keep you fully engaged!

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