Thursday, August 30, 2018

Book Review - Crochet Animal Rugs: Over 20 Crochet Patterns for Fun Floor Mats and Matching Accessories by Ira Rott

Photo Credit - Amazon

 This book is packed with tons of fun, cute and quirky items to make for "kids" (but, really anyone can enjoy them). The book is loaded with over 20 fun animal-themed designs to crochet with in-depth instructions and photos. Animals include a panda, crab, bear, dinosaur, cat, elephants, monkey, giraffe and a cat. Each theme includes a rug, pillow, and an accessory to match. I found the designs to be fun and very cute. I haven't made anything but, I can't wait until I have some time to begin working on a few of the designs.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Review - Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Alex and Michael Nicholas were never really close. They both had different career paths, life goals, and even personalities. However, when Alex was murdered, Michael decides to help run Alex's business. Micheal works with his cousin, Fat, and Skinny Lester to help keep Alex's business afloat.  Shortly afterward, he runs into a few complications that might cost him his life.

I wasn't sure what to expect when the book was listed as a "technological thriller". I honestly thought it was going to be a killer program running loose. However, jokes aside, the novel had an interesting concept and idea. While the book was interesting, it was a bit slow for me. I found myself impatiently waiting to find out more and what will happen. Overall, a good read but, a bit slow.

Book Details:

Book Title: Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon
Series: Michael Nicholas Book 1
Category: Adult Fiction, 291 pages
Genre: Thriller & Suspense., Technothriller
Publisher: Endeavour Media (UK)
Release date: July 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (contains f-words, religious profanities and crude language)

Book Description:

Where does life end, and death begin?

Brothers, Alex and Michael, weren’t particularly close in terms of their careers in their later years. But when Alex is murdered, Michael finds it necessary to keep Alex’s business running, at least for the foreseeable future.

With very little knowledge about what Alex actually did for a living, little does he envisage the level of complication this entails. Working closely with his cousins, Fat and Skinny Lester, Michael starts to get a sense of what needs doing … in whatever way Alex would have dealt with things.

But, when Alex’s current wife, and his two ex-wives, surface and start to dish out demands, Michael finds himself going deeper and deeper into Alex’s personal space. All his ex-wives knew there was money left hidden … but only Alex knew of its exact location.

When Russell, an old friend of Michael’s, and Alex’s most trusted person, offers to help Michael find the money, Michael feels he can start closing up on Alex’s loose ends and move on with his own, increasingly complicated life.

Until … Russell is brutally murdered …

Someone else is after Alex’s money … and it’s not a friendly person.

But is Alex really dead? Or is he as dead as he has prepared himself to be?

Michael is beyond confused … is he imaging the conversations he’s having with Alex? But Alex was shot dead in his own restaurant, one filled with policemen. Surely, Alex is dead?

Whichever way Michael tries to rationalize things in his head, Alex’s support is beyond what he needs. Finding himself face to face with a crook, Sharkey, one who has no qualms about killing people, one Alex was in debt to, Michael takes on Alex’s advice … dead or not!

As the number of deaths rise, Michael and his wife, Samantha, are left on their toes. Would they ever feel safe again? Is anyone safe? And how far did Alex go with his new venture?

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

E. J. Simon is the author of three commercial fiction thrillers, Death Never Sleeps, Death Logs In and Death Logs Out. He has just completed his fourth manuscript, Death in the Cloud.
He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America and the North Carolina Writer’s Network. He holds an M.A. in Corporate & Political Communications from Fairfield University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. He lives with his family in Cary, North Carolina in the United States. For more information, visit his website:

Connect with E.J.: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

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Ends Oct 20, 2018

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Review - The Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks by Susan Shapiro and Peter Catapano

Photo Credit - Amazon

For the past two decades, writing professor Susan Shapiro has taught and inspired thousands of students. In this information-packed book, Shapiro shows writers how to crafting and selling short nonfiction pieces at every stage. The novel provides details on how to submit your piece, how to get it accepted and get paid.

I found this book to be very detailed while delivered in a humorous way. I thought this would be the perfect companion for anyone who is looking to get published in five weeks. It is also a good guy for anyone no matter their experience level.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion**

Friday, August 24, 2018

Book Review - Toby's Trouble by Carole Brown + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon
Toby Gibson is well loved by everyone in his community. He is an active member in the community and owns a thriving antique store. However, Toby thinks his store, Undiscovered Treasure, has a ghost.  When a few disturbances occur, he believes it could be an intruder. His childhood friend, Amy Sanderson, is drawn into the search for the culprit when her store, Bloomin' Life, was broken into. Amy and Toby must work together to solve the mystery but, Amy is deeply in love with Toby. However, Toby only sees Amy as a friend and a little sister.

The cozy novel is a fun read for those who like the genre. The mystery is easy to solve but, the reason behind the crime is revealed towards the end. Toby was a bit of a character that he keeps thinking of Amy as a sister and friend but, gets jealous when she does things he doesn't like. It was fun to read the first few times but, it got a bit repetitive after awhile. This is the fourth novel in the series and while it could be read alone, it would be more helpful to read the series in order for more background on the characters.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

About the Book

Book Title: Toby’s Troubles
Author: Carole Brown
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Release date: July 1, 2018

Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectables and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church’s youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it’s just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what he is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he’s wanted forever, but is in love with him. And he’s not interested.

Amy Sanderson who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin’ Life—is drawn into capturing Toby’s “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby from childhood, she’s more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or like a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendences to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who’s determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he’ll stop at nothing.

About the Author

Carole Brown 
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize that includes winner’s choice of one of the two attached mugs, winner’s choice of a print or kindle copy of Toby’s Troubles and a tote bag!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book Review - The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Michelle Taylor has always been able to adapt to each situation. She arrives in Lancaster County with no money and nowhere to go. An elderly couple confuses Michelle for their long-lost granddaughter, Sara. With nowhere to go, Michelle assumes the identity of Sara Murray and goes home with her new Amish friends. As the months go by, Michelle grows to love the Amish couple and is devastated to tell them the truth about her identity. 

I thought this story had an interesting premise about identity. I thought the story would have two main storylines about each of the main characters. However, I was deeply disappointed that the "real" Sara Murray barely had any story and was more of an afterthought. I would have enjoyed knowing who her father was and having the two women connected in the end as friends. I felt the novel was a bit drawn out boring in certain parts. I also didn't really care for Michelle Taylor because she seeks her prayer to be answered but, continuously does the wrong thing. I found her to be very selfish and thoughtless. Overall, I like the idea of the novel, I just wished it had more story instead of just fluff.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion**

About the Book

Book Title: The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars, Book 1)
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Amish Fiction
Release date: August 7, 2018
A Brand-New Series from New York Times Best Selling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

About the Author

Wanda Brunstetter 

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card, jar-shaped notepad, and a copy of The Hope Jar (with an autographed book plate inside).
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Review - The Austin Paradox (Miracle Man Book 2) by William R. Leibowitz + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

In the Austin Paradox, Austin is coming to terms with losing his intellectual powers. He tries to live the ordinary life with his wife and children. However, when he visits a hospital, he feels something is missing from his life. He feels that since he is no longer doing research on curing diseases, he has lost his sense of purpose. As he takes a journey through self-discovery, he has to overcome several obstacles. 

The Austin Paradox is the second novel in the series. I thought the first novel was a bit too long and I felt the same way with this book. About halfway into the book I lost interest in the book and didn't think it was worth my time anymore. If you like reading minute details along with no twists but, until the end, then you might find this book enjoyable. 

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Book Details:

Book Title: The Austin Paradox by William R. Leibowitz
Series: The Miracle Man Series Book 2
Category: Adult Fiction, 461 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Release date: May 2018

Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Some profane language, some use of the word 'g*ddamit', mature subjects including pandemic disease, terrorism, sex abuse, suicide)

Book Description:

The Austin Paradox continues the remarkable saga of Robert James Austin in a gripping emotionally-charged thriller that explores the most compelling issues of our time.

Having lost his extraordinary intellectual powers in a laboratory explosion that was intended to kill him, Dr. Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in history, whose medical cures saved countless millions, struggles to find meaning in a life that has become devoid of purpose.

As he embarks on a journey of self-discovery in an effort to regain his abilities, Austin battles private demons, otherworldly forces, and a government obsessed with controlling him. When ruthless political and business interests align to pose an existential threat to humanity, Austin is thrust into the maelstrom.

Doubted even by those who love him, Austin is confronted by a harrowing paradox as time runs out to save mankind from extinction.

The Austin Paradox is the sequel to the critically acclaimed, award-winning novel, Miracle Man, which was named by Amazon as One of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, a Top 10 Best Selling Thriller and a Top 10 New York Times/Amazon Best Seller.

Buy the book:

Watch the book trailer:

Meet the Author:

William R. Leibowitz practices law internationally and prefers not spending too much time in any one place. He is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Law School.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Book Review - Crypt Quest/Space Battles: A Play-Your-Way Book by Gabe Soria

Photo Credit - Amazon

While everyone is asleep, you and your friends sneak out to complete a dare. You climb a fence and enter an abandoned shopping mall, where you discover a video arcade managed by a ghostly attendant. With a magical token, you can decide to play Crypt Quest or Space Battles. After you make your choice, you have to continuously make choices as the game progresses.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of creating your own adventure books. I am still a huge fan but, this book left me a bit disappointed. The first few pages set the mood and then readers can choose how the story unfolds. However, after a few decision points, I felt annoyed that there was only"one correct" answer and all the other options lead you back to the previous decision point. I don't understand what the point is of having multiple options if only one progresses the story. I stopped reading after a few decision points after having to repeat the same decision point multiple times.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review - The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Sunnybrook used to be home to a top-notch cheerleading squad. Now there are no more cheerleaders.

On a dark rainy night, two girls were involved in a car accident leaving both of them dead. The scene was so gruesome that the paramedic team had trouble identifying which girl was which. Shortly afterward two more girls were murdered by their next-door neighbors. However, the police shot him, so why he murdered the girls will go with him to his grave. The last cheerleader, Monica's sister, committed suicide.  After the death of the five cheerleaders, the squad was disbanded.

On the five year anniversary of the girls' death,  Sunnybrook High faculty and students want to create a memorial for the cheerleaders.  Monica just wants to forget but, once she discovers her sister's cell phone, she is dragged back into the drama that happened five years ago. She meets a strange new friend and discovers sometimes, the past won't stay buried. Who is behind the murders? Are the deaths connected?

I found this to be an addictive and thrilling read. I couldn't put this book down. It was full of suspense and drama. My only qualm about this book is that in the beginning, there were a bit too many characters to keep track off. Overall, it was a thrilling and exciting novel to read.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

About the Book:
Author: Kara Thomas
Pub. Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe. 

About Kara:
Kara Thomas is a true crime addict and the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, LITTLE MONSTERS, and THE CHEERLEADERS, all published by Delacorte Press. You can find her on Twitter (@karatwrites), Instagram (@kara__thomas), or at

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE CHEERLEADERS, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week Three:
Week Four:
8/13/2018- The Young FolksReview
8/14/2018- BookHounds YA- Interview
8/15/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
8/16/2018- Moonlight RendezvousReview
8/17/2018- Two points of interestReview