• Exciting News To Share

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    There is a secret that I have been keeping from all of you. You may have seen little sneak peaks, if you are paying close attention. But I am ready to let the cat out of the bag (no pun intended), and officially announce my HUGE news!! Are you ready for it? Do you think that you can handle it?

    Confessions of the Perfect Mom has launched its first book. Yup you read that right! There is a new parenting book on the market, and you are going to love it!

    Confessions Of The Perfect Mom: Baby and Toddler Years is all about those not so perfect moments during the first few years of being a mom. Everything from yelling at nurses during labor, to stinky diapers, to temper tantrums and everything in between. I am pulling back the curtain on the facade of “perfect” moms everywhere. It is a quick, witty, laugh out loud funny glimpse into the life of motherhood.

    You can get a copy at the following places:
    Amazon
    Barnes and Noble
    Books A Million
    Goodreads

    Enter here for a signed copy:
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     One more secret, there is no such thing as perfect!

     

  • Aoleon The Martian Girl- Part 1

    Aoleon The Martian Girl PART 1

     

    From The Back Of The Book:

    “Mars wants our cows (yes, cows!), and they’re sending an invasion fleet to take them from us. Only Gilbert and Aoleon the Martian Girl stand in their way! Gilbert always longed for adventure, but now that he has it, he’s not sure that it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

    Ever since the night he met Aoleon the Martian Girl sitting in the middle of a crop circle in Farmer Johnson’s field, it’s been nothing but one wild ride after another. From fighting off swarms of giant killer robots to dealing with strange aliens from another world – never mind trekking across the vast Martian desert and skyboarding deep into the center of a (hopefully) extinct volcano – Gilbert has had his hands full just trying to keep up with it all. And now it’s up to him and his new friend, Aoleon, to face off against the evil Martian overlord and keep our cows safe at home where they belong. The launch of this exciting and innovatively illustrated new series takes the reader deep into the heart of an unforgettable and out-of-this-world friendship in a story full of hijinks, hilarity, and good old-fashioned fun.

    Join Gilbert and Aoleon in this exciting middle-grade science fiction adventure today!”

    About the Author:

    Mr. LeVasseur (love this name btw) enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

    Connect with Brent:
    Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

    This is a quick read, my girls and I finished it in about 3 nights. It is right around 150 pages, but there are lots of graphics and illustrations. So the good and the not so great.

    It entertained all three of my girls. They did look forward to hearing about Gilbert’s adventures with the martian girl. My youngest was captivated with the way the illustrator captured Aoleon, and could not get enough of her. (As a side note, she has even started making her own stories about Aoleon. Telling them to Belle and having Belle write them down. It is very cute.) The story line moved along at a steady pace, and while there is a cliff hanger at the end, it is does not just drop out mid sentence. A huge pet peeve over here in the Ryan house.

    So the not so great. We had a hard time figuring out who it was written for. My oldest would be age wise what this book claims to be aimed for, but there was not enough meat to keep her fully engaged in the story. While my middle princess was more entertained, the verbiage used was over her head. And she often had to ask what words meant. To me the book would have been better, if they made it closer to a 4th to 5th grade reading level as opposed to shooting for that middle grade read. HOWEVER, that being said….. I have girls and they most want to hear about princess falling in love with a prince. Or the nerd girl winning the heart of the jock (for my oldest). There is a chance that this book, being so outside of what they want to hear about, never really stood a chance.

    While they were good, and everyone enjoyed part one of this story; we did not immediately jump into part 2.  My recommendation would be to get part one, it is only $1.00 on Amazon; you can’t go wrong at that price point. See if YOUR kids like it and go from there.

  • Witches Bounty

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    LOVED this book!! It was so well laid out, like it was actually pretty to read (well once the ARC watermarks are removed). Which actually makes the ready experience so much better. And you can tell that she put a lot of time into the editing of the book. Even with it being an ARC copy, I think there were only two sentences that I had to re-read. So structurally the book is very sound.

    This book deserves all five stars because-

    -the characters were well developed (and I actually cared about them)
    -the plot had twists and turns that I did not see coming
    -it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened
    -LOVED the ending

    While I have to admit, it took a while to get into the book. I was hoping that it was going to come out and bite me, it didn’t. But once it started to get rolling I did not want to put it down. The names of the characters took a bit to get use to, they are not your normal Matt and Katie type names. And I wish that there was a pronunciation guide (that sounds really weird, but I have no idea how the names are suppose to be pronounced). But that did not take away from the character development and the background that went into each one. She does a great job of letting you get to know each character, with little tidbits coming out at just the right times.

    Overall though, I am looking forward to more books coming out by Ann Gimpel.

  • Mystery Book Review- Z-Train

    F Train_Weber

    From The Back Of The Book

    Beneath Brooklyn’s wintry streets, seven people are dead, slumped in their seats on an F train. Fast thinking and good fortune prevent the subway car doors from opening, spilling poisonous gas into the station. It’s not long before a frightened metropolis of eight million demands answers: if this was an act of terror, where will these cruel killers strike next? NYPD detective Flo Ott looks closely at the victims. Each of their stories leads to another, one more colorful and complex than the last. A few of these quintessential New Yorkers catch Flo’s attention: a mysterious off-duty FBI agent; the beautiful woman next to him, who may have been his lover. Then there’s a Russian mobster with more than his fair share of enemies. As Flo battles false leads, conflicting witnesses, and meddling politicians, her investigation delves into the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Flo becomes convinced that this wasn’t a random act of violence, and she fears something much worse may be rumbling down the tracks.

    About The Author

    Richard Hilary Weber, a native of Brooklyn and a Columbia University graduate, has taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, and has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers. He lives in Provence, France.

    My Thoughts

    Honestly I struggled with this book. Back in the day, I use to love mystery books. They were my all time favorite; any more I just don’t need that edge of my seat, biting my nails, staying up till the early morning terrified because of a book. That being said….. It was really good. My struggles were just that it was not what I was wanting to read.

    It was very well written, the characters were great, it took twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. It had me on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of it. If this is the type of book that you like, then you are going to LOVE it and should immediately add it to you must read list.

    Where to Buy

    Penguin Random House: Penguin Random House
    Amazon:  Amazon
    Barnes and Noble: B&N
    iBooks: iBooks
    Google play: Google Play
    Books a Million: Books a Million
    Goodreads: Goodreads
    Kobo: Kobo

  • The Divorce Papers

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    Are you looking for a good summer read? Something to read happily by the pool, or the beach for the lucky ones? Are you needing some good chic lit? Then this is for you.

    I loved this book!!! While I was worried about the topic of the book, a couple going through a rough divorce complete with a daughter in the middle. It gripped me from the very first chapter, or should I say email. This book is written in a completely different format then every other book that I have ever read. It is written in a series of emails: emails employee to her boss, her boss back; emails to their client, the client back; emails to friends; and a few handwritten letters from a little girl who is very scared in the middle of this story.

    The characters in this book are so well written that you feel that you know them. You understand their motives, you understand their thoughts, and most importantly you care about all of them (well maybe not all, there maybe a few lawyers in there that you don’t like). They become your friends, and you need to know what is happening to them.

    Back Of Book-

    “Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old-line New England firm, where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are trapped behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one week, with all the big partners out of town, Sophie is stuck handling the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client.
     
    After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. Mia is now locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Mather Medical School, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane. Mia also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. The way she sees it, it’s her first divorce, too. For Sophie, the whole affair will spark a hard look at her own relationships—with her parents, colleagues, friends, lovers, and, most important, herself.
     
    A rich, layered novel told entirely through personal correspondence, office memos, e-mails, articles, handwritten notes, and legal documents, The Divorce Papers offers a direct window into the lives of an entertaining cast of characters never shy about speaking their minds. Original and captivating, Susan Rieger’s brilliantly conceived and expertly crafted debut races along with wit, heartache, and exceptional comedic timing, as it explores the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails—as well as the ever-present risks and coveted rewards of that thing called love.”

    This was one of those rare books, that pulls you right in. I laid in bed, while my husband was working next to me, and I was just going to start it. Maybe read the first few emails, then call it a night. Around 1am, my husband started complaining, saying it was late and to put the book down. I couldn’t. This whole book was read in less then 24 hours and I needed more.

    It will have you laughing, it will have you rooting for the lawyer that didn’t want this case, it will have you in tears reading how this affects the little girl.

  • Never Argue with the Dead

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    Confession time… I LOVE getting my fortune read, I love ghost stories, I love visiting haunted places. Basically anything that has to do with the “Other Side”, I love. So when I got the chance to read “Never Argue with the Dead” I jump right on board!

    Thomas John is a world renown medium. As a medium he is able to connect with others that have passed on. Or in a less PC version, he can speak to ghosts. Whether you believe in ghosts, mediums or that some people can communicate with them, this has some amazing stories.

    From Amazon

    “Manhattan Medium Thomas John has been hailed as “the Hollywood psychic with the highest batting average” by The Hollywood Reporter, and a psychic medium with “an impressive connection that impresses even the most skeptical minds” by The Examiner. Now he shares what he’s seen and heard on the Other Side.

    What happens when we die? Renowned psychic medium, Thomas John is one individual who is able to answer that question with a fair degree of certainty because of his special ability to communicate with the Other Side. Through his communications with the dead, he has learned a number of life lessons that he shares in this book.

    John shares with us 15 fascinating stories of what happens when clients ask him to contact their dead friends and relatives. In each story, we learn about life on the other side and the lessons the deceased have for the living. Each chapter is a felicitous combination of good story telling and healing wisdom. Among the lessons are:

    1. The dead understand what our ultimate purpose is on earth―and they are eager to share their knowledge.
    2. Our dead family and friends are with us and watch over us.
    3. When we die, we begin again. We continue to grow and evolve on the Other Side.
    4. We are accountable for the way in which we live our lives. Karma is real.
    5. The dead are capable of tremendous and profound forgiveness.”

    I find it amazing, how right he is about so many things. It seems like he knows everything there is about everyone. The details that he is able to find with very little information, just blows my mind.

    So what are your thoughts? Do you think stories like this are real? Are they just gullible people wanting to believe that their loved ones still watch them?

  • Flying Mutant Zombie Rats

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    This was a really well written book. The characters were awesome, and believable, the storyline moved fast without any weird plot holes or jumping around. It was easy to understand and follow. And while the ending was not what I was hoping for, it wrapped everything up very nicely. Perfect for a fourth to fifth grader boy, in my opinion. And a fantastic summer read.

    Now the other side, my girls did not enjoy it. After the first chapter my two little ones opted not to read any more. While my oldest did finish the book, it won’t be one that she will be re-reading. **SPOILER** Tink did love the talking cat, though. She thought that he was quite funny, and loved his very nonchalant attitude. She was not a fan of the amount of the book that takes place in the sewer. She kept asking me, “Why would boys go down there? Eeww.”

    Back of the Book

    Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!

    But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.

    But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten.

    If you have boys, I think that this would be a good read for them. However, those with girly girls (like my three), you might want to keep looking. Do your little ones read books that are gender specific or do you stick with neutral type books? Would your girls like a book like this? Let me know your thoughts.

     

  • 99 Keys To a Creative Life

    99 Keyes To a Creative Life

    I had a hard time with this book, to be honest. But in all fairness, I didn’t have any idea what to expect; so the fact that it missed the mark with me is really here nor there. Since it would have been next to impossible to be on mark. Does that make sense?

    So the Pro’s:

    • There are tons of great ideas.
    • Building on that, not only are their awesome ideas; they are then explained.
    • The book is broken up into sections, that those ideas fit neatly in.

    The Down Falls:

    • The entire book is basically just a list.
    • While she does a great job explaining each idea, there is not much to help you put the plan in motion.

    Overall, while I am not thrilled with the book; I would recommend it to someone who was in need of getting more “in touch” with themselves. Some of it was pretty common sense stuff, but even then it is nice to have it all be reminded once in a while.

    So what are your thoughts? Would you read a book of ways to be more creative? Even if that book is just a list of bullet points? How would you like a book on this topic laid out?

  • Book Review- Far End Of Happy

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    OMG this book was amazing! It was so powerful and moving. Then I find out that this is not completely fiction. While it is certainly not a light read and deals with major heavy issues (mental illness, suicide, and trying to protect your children); it needs to be on your summer read list.

    From Back Of Book

    The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband. Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.

    “Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Jounral).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.

    When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.

    Kathrn Craft

    Kathryn Craft:

    Kathryn Craft, a former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.

    The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

    Excerpt from The Far End of Happy:

     Ronnie already wanted to rewrite this story. To edit the cop’s words. To distance herself, change “husband” to “the man.” The man now staggering around the property with a gun; the man who may already have taken a shot; the man whose angst was seeping into her own nerves. Her husband—the gentle soul she’d married—would never have acted like the man she’d engaged with earlier today.

    “Call him Jeff, please,” she said quietly.

    “I’m going to need you to recount all that transpired this morning with your—” He caught himself. “With Jeff. Leave nothing out. You never know what will be important.”

    The recitation she gave was devoid of animation. She felt empty and prickly, like an October cornfield in need of nutrients and a long, restorative winter. An evacuation from her home, beneath the cover of a helicopter dispatched from the state capitol, to protect her from her own husband? Ronnie felt as if her family had suddenly been thrust into an unwanted audition for a high-stakes reality show. Every few moments, as she delivered facts, she looked over at her mother, who was speaking quietly to Janet. She wondered if Beverly’s version differed. If her mother, or Jeff’s, blamed her. Because to them, and the rest of the world, it must look as if Jeff had been knocked off balance because Ronnie had decided to leave him.

    It even looked that way to her.

    The officer told Ronnie their primary goal was to locate Jeff, since he was armed and dangerous.

    “Please don’t say that in front of his mother,” she said. “Or the boys. Jeff isn’t a dangerous person. He’s sweet. Everyone would tell you how nice he is. Very laid back.” Too laid back. He never cared enough. “It’s just that we’re getting a divorce, and today was the day he promised to move out. He’s…”Drunk off his ass. “Agitated.”

    Ronnie rubbed her arms—the room suddenly chilled her. She hadn’t thought to grab a jacket. The room’s narrow, high-set windows, made of glass bricks, were meant to obscure natural light. This was a room designed to allow sparkles from a mirror ball, gropes in the shadows.

    And so what? She was cold. She felt selfish thinking about it, with Jeff frozen all the way to the center of his soul.

    “Could you give me a physical description of your husband so we can identify him by sight?”

    All that she and Jeff had meant to each other, all the intricacies of their marriage, boiled down to the same physical attributes that had first attracted her to him. “Five foot ten. Dark brown hair, thick, trimmed over ears some might call large.” Soft ears that lay flat against his head beneath her kisses. “Blue eyes.” Eyes that used to pierce her through with their naked honesty. “Broad hands.” Strong hands that always needed a project, now wrapped around a gun.

     

     

  • Gummy Bears Should Not Be Organic

    Gummy Bears Should Not

    Ok I really wanted to love this book. I really wanted to like this book. I LOVE Stefanie’s Nick show Parental Discretion, and was excited to read one of her books. While I was hoping to have the same type of laugh out loud humor, there was something missing when it was put into writing. The book was missing something and it was just not there for me.

    From the back of the book:

    “From the popular mommy blogger and seasoned author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay andNaptime Is the New Happy Hour comes this hilarious book of honest, no-holds-barred musings on motherhood.

    Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is officially fed up with the endless mommy fads, trends, studies, findings, and facts about how to raise children. Tiger Mom or Cool Mom? Organic or vegan? “TV is the devil” or “TV is a godsend”?

    The mother of three young girls, Stefanie has finally decided to hell with Google—she’s going to find out how to be a mom all on her own. In this latest mommy book from the popular blogger, author, and TV personality, Stefanie will share her secrets for achieving a balance in motherhood between being protective and caring, and downright bats**t crazy. She’ll debunk some of the looniest parenting myths and reinforce others; she’ll describe how, through as simple a process as good old trial-and-error, she’s learned to pick and choose what works for her and her family, and tune out the rest.

    Filled with sage advice, laugh-out-loud stories, and Stefanie’s signature wit, Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic is sure to appeal to any and every renegade mom who’s forged her own path to childrearing.”

    It covers a very large range of topics, which is great. It sheds a lot of light on a lot of topics. There are moments where it is completely relatable, and where you smile and think, “Oh yea. I have been there and done that.” But then it takes a turn to the dark side.

    I like parenting books that encompass a right there with you feel, then give you some advice on how to make it better. This particular book, has a the hell with it feel. So it talks about how moms dress, and that she likes her yoga pants (and lets be honest who doesn’t), but instead of then talking about how you could dress them up a bit and make yourself feel a bit more put together, all while staying comfy. It takes the hell with it feel, and encourages all moms to look dumpy in their yoga pants and forget about doing any hair or makeup with them.

    Now don’t misunderstand me here, I am all for those days when you are just needing to not worry about anything other then a ponytail for your hair, and forget about doing any makeup. But I don’t want to read a book telling me that not only is that ok (which it totally is), but that, that particular look is what all moms should strive for.

    When you are reading fun fluffy mom books, what do you want in them? Do you like having the right there with you feel? Do you want practical advice on making the situation better? Are you striving for verification that it is ok to be your own type of parent? Let me know, I am so curious to see if I am just odd wanting a different spin on these books.

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