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Seal RF_Official_Reviewer

 ( KRISTY V. )

 

 

Kindle Edition

Babies At Coconuts (Coconuts Series Book 3) by Beth Carter

Babies At Coconuts (Coconuts Series Book 3) by Beth Carter is a heartwarming story about a lively bunch dealing with the ups and downs of life’s little surprises. Suzy loves planning weddings but this particular wedding has her sweating bullets. It has to be perfect…it’s her son Jon’s special day with his equally special fiancé, Fernando. But getting through this occasion won’t be easy with Fernando’s over-the-top mother, Mama Gia bossing everyone around and testing everyone’s patience with her outspoken opinions on everything. If that weren’t bad enough, this crew of characters seems to be dodging one blindside after another and the question is…will they get through it all stronger than ever or come apart at the seams?

Babies At Coconuts by Beth Carter is the type of read that will have you rooting for all the characters at once. You’ll laugh, cry, laugh some more, and most likely relate to every single one of these very different personalities on some level. I was thoroughly entertained and invested right from the first paragraphs and couldn’t put it down from there. Modern and edgy, I could picture every moment as if I were watching it on screen. I loved that there was one bombshell after another and the story will most certainly keep the reader on their toes. I seriously had no idea what was around the corner. Great dialogue, plot, writing, and the ending was the best. I’d recommend this fun book to anyone who loves romance, friendship, family, and the element of surprise.

 

Flowers On Her Grave by Jennifer Chase

Flowers On Her Grave by Jennifer Chase is the third installment in the captivating crime thriller series, Detective Katie Scott series. When Detective Katie Scott is faced with a shocking and brutal crime scene, she’s not sure how she’ll ever get over the shock of seeing her aunt’s lifeless body. One thing she knows for sure deep down in her gut is that it could not have been her uncle Wayne that did it. But how in the world was she going to prove that it wasn’t her beloved uncle, Pine Valley’s esteemed sheriff, with his prints being all over the knife and crime scene? In her heart she knows that her aunt and uncle were crazy for one another and she must get to the bottom of this tragedy and fast, not just for her aunt and uncle, but to protect other innocent people and potential victims out there from a crazy psychopath. Katie sets out to discover the bitter truth, no matter what that might be or what it could ultimately cost her. And what comes out in the end just might shock them all.    

    Flowers On Her Grave by Jennifer Chase is a thrill ride of a mystery from start to finish! Great storyline and interesting characters fill the pages of this suspenseful page-turner and I couldn’t put it down the moment I began reading it. Detective Katie Scott is an intelligent, likable personality that fits perfectly for this kind of story and series. I thought the entire book/story was awesome but the end was phenomenally written. Five stars!      

 

 

Progeny's Promise by Kenneth Wick

Action-packed and well-written, Progeny’s Promise is definitely worth five stars. As Sci-Fi/fantasy as it is, I can actually imagine this coming true. Mankind is greedy, we’re not alone in this universe, and perhaps one day, some ‘being’ from another galaxy may need to step in and save this beautiful Earth from further damage. Everything about the book was great. The writing, plot, technical research, the characters…great job, author. I’m definitely sharing this book with my husband. (He’s in the energy business. He’ll love it.) *****

 

Heroic Parenting:

An Essential Guide to Raising Safe, Savvy, Confident Kids by CJ Scarlet

Heroic Parenting: H An Essential Guide to Raising Safe, Savvy, Confident Kids by CJ Scarlet is the ultimate ‘stranger danger’ book and a worried parent’s new safety bible. But it’s so much more than that! Danger expert CJ Scarlet provides a wealth of invaluable information that includes nearly everything your child could face in these predatory times, and she means business! With hard facts and humor, Scarlet supplies the tools necessary to combat the elements that families face today without stunting your child’s psychological growth. Here are just a few of the things you’ll learn: how to communicate effectively with your child overall and discuss hard topics, help them recognize dangerous situations and people inside/outside their circle, how to trust their intuition and develop skills to defend against things like grooming, ‘child’s play’, bullying, digital dangers, kidnapping, sexual abuse, and much, much more. This must-have book should be read and re-read by every parent if they want to have safe, confident, empowered children.     

 Heroic Parenting: An Essential Guide to Raising Safe, Savvy, Confident Kids by CJ Scarlet is parent/grandparent/family/child safety gold! I couldn’t believe how much information was in this book from start to finish and I haven’t read anything like it before. It covered so much! Facts were spot on, and many were shocking, but Scarlet writes in a way that is both truthfully raw and full of spunk. It didn’t feel like I was reading some boring instructional guide but like I was talking to a down-to-earth, here are the facts, here’s what to do, funny, caring, family member. The whole time I was reading I thought, I’d love to send a copy to my adult son, several of dear friends with small children, a teacher friend, they’ll all love this five-star, fantastic book that every family should have. Great read!

 

         

 

Then... by Carol Marrs Phipps

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps have done it again with this fantastic dystopian fantasy read! ‘THEN’ is the second installment of the Timewalker series and I absolutely loved it. (I loved ‘Wham’ too.) Pandora and the World Alliance wreak havoc, as sisters, Tess & Nia (and many others) do everything they can to save the world from their evil agenda. If you like Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian stories, you’ll love this excellently-written read. Well done! *****

 

Learn to Read From Sounds by Florence Barnes

Learn to Read From Sounds by Florence Barnes is a comprehensive guide meant to teach children (and adults) the invaluable skill of reading through phonics and sound. Phonics, a centuries-old tried-and-true method of educating readers, has been viewed by some as outdated, unnecessary, even boring. By others, it’s still regarded as one of the best ways to develop a new reader of any age. (I couldn’t agree more!) Throughout history, the ways to teach children to read has not been without controversy, but the use of sound and phonics has more than proven its effectiveness. Between the pages of this easily-understood book, the author provides the tools necessary to become familiar with the sounds of each consonant and vowel so that the reader may piece together words, sentences, and paragraphs; to ultimately experience the joys of literacy and reading! 

Without a doubt, Learn to Read From Sounds by Florence Barnes is an excellent tool for helping someone become a top-notch reader. It was so easy to follow! I remember when I was helping my son with his first-grade homework, I was shocked to learn that they weren’t teaching him to sound out vowels and consonants. In fact, he had no idea what a vowel or consonant even was and insisted, “we don’t do it that way, mom.” When I spoke with his teacher about my concerns, she told me phonics was outdated and would only derail him. What!? I watched my son struggle day after day, unable to sound out letters and build words so I took things into my own hands (despite the derailment warnings) and created a few homemade workbooks for him to practice. Well, it must have worked because he is now a writer and teaches English. Phonics works! I wish I’d had this book back in 1996! What a perfect learning tool for parents or anyone beginning to read. Five stars.

 

 

Wild Willful Heart by W. Boone Hedgepeth

Excellent read! 

Humorous, insightful, raw, poetic, and inspiring are just a few words to describe Hedgepeth’s journey through the depths of self-discovery. He writes about his good times, as well as the trials and tribulations of what it means to be human with such detail & honesty, it felt like I was talking to a dear friend. 

Hedgepeth’s charm, perseverance, open mind, and authenticity oozes from the pages and I realized very quickly just how much I admire and respect this author and his story. His excellent writing and ability to convey his truth to the reader with creativity and ease make this a five-star read all the way. Also, I loved the inspiring quotes and humorous references sprinkled throughout (the Munsters one had me laughing out loud). I highly recommend Wild Willful Heart. Great job! *****

 

 

The LoveLock by Eichin Chang-Lim

 

 

Gillyflower by Diane Wald

Gillyflower by Diane Wald is a tender and magical story about two sensitive souls who cross a unique kind of path. When Nora Forrest, a talented artist, learns that her longtime crush, Irish actor Hugh Sheenan, will be in Manhattan for the production of The Lion’s Share, she cannot believe her luck. At the theatre, something peculiar occurs and touches them both in a way they can’t begin to explain. Nora decides to mail Hugh the hauntingly beautiful scene she captured in her mind, attached with a letter. Her only hope was that he’d frame the drawing and it would be a lovely reminder of his days in New York so Nora is taken by surprise when Graves, Mr. Sheenan’s personal secretary, reaches out to invite her to lunch with Hugh. She’s both nervous and excited, having no idea what to expect, but she didn’t see coming was his blatant rudeness, and things take a turn in a way neither could’ve imagined.

Gillyflower is an intriguing, romantic, mysterious tale told from Hugh, Nora, Leon, and Rick’s perspectives. The perfect combination of suspense, romance, mysticism, and fantasy make this unique plot that much better. Gillyflower starts off strong and stays that way the entire way through, making it the kind of easy-to-read, well-paced story you won’t soon forget. Diane Wald does an excellent job of giving each character their own personality and viewpoint with just the right amount of back story to understand them well. I really enjoyed this book and am quite certain that any reader will feel like they’ve walked right into a dream with this one. Great job. Five stars!

 

 

Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut! by Anu Misa

Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut! by Anu Misa (the second installment in the Ella Says series) is a colorful book where science meets imagination all wrapped in one adventurous tale! After learning about space in school, it’s all Ella can seem to think about lately and spends much of her time looking out the window and up, up, up at the stars, and feeling quite small compared to the vastness of it all. One evening, after Ella had just finished sharing some fun space facts with her brother Parker, an unforgettable adventure of begins! When Ella, Parker, and their trusty sidekick, Ollie, meet a lost alien pal named Leelo, gutsy Ella knows just what she must do. Planet by planet, they must cruise the solar system and help Leelo make it back home safely. But will their mission work? And what will Ella ultimately learn about space, the galaxy, and herself?        

Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut! by Anu Misa is the perfect combination of science and adventure. With ‘out of this world’ illustrations, tiny mice, and well-researched scientific references scattered throughout, Ella’s story is an adorable and entertaining one. She’s inquisitive, friendly, brave, and full of brilliant imagination. The colorful descriptions of each planet make learning about space super-fun and I absolutely loved the resource links in the back of the book to find out more. This is such a sweet tale and I really enjoyed reading it. It’s most definitely a five-star read and anyone between 1 and 100 years old is sure to love it!

 

 

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Mr. Boggarty The Halloween Grump by Tevin Hansen

Mr. Boggarty The Halloween Grump by Tevin Hansen is a comedy/suspense story about five friends, Trixie, Frank, Darren, Darby, and Preston. Halloween is here again, but this year, the friends decide it’s time to play a little prank on mean ole Mr. Boggarty. He’s so mean, he never, ever gives out Halloween candy even though everyone knows that sugar is a must-have staple in children‘s diets. The friend’s prep five cartons of rotten eggs for their prank and finally make their move. Things don’t quite go as planned and nothing could have prepared them for what was inside Mr. Boggarty’s. Along with a lit pumpkin, they come face-to-face with the Lime Green Ghost of Lincoln County and it has stolen the soul of Mr. Boggarty! They quickly learn that they have a terrible fate awaiting them at 6 o’clock when the ghost’s brothers and sisters arrive. As the children sit, afraid of what will happen next, the ghost sure has an awful lot to say about a lot of different things, and they soon discover, not everything is as it seems.

Mr. Boggarty The Halloween Grump is downright hilarious! Original, imaginative, and full of silly jokes both adults and children will appreciate. This really is a fantastic (and educational) Halloween story and a classroom must-have. I think the layout is brilliant and the different background stories of each friend make it that much more enjoyable and relatable to children. The ending was a great surprise and couldn’t have been better. Excellently written, flawless grammar/punctuation, a well-deserved five stars.

 

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The Curse of The Ancient Temple- India by Sumita Mukherjee

The Curse of The Ancient Temple- India by Sumita Mukherjee is a delightful mystery/adventure about siblings, Kenzo and Keiko, their pet squirrel, cousin Meera, and one super-cool Subscooter. When their father, Mr. Kimura, has an underwater project meeting in Kerala, the kids travel with him to explore India. During Deepawali, Keiko remembers their Uncle Murthy had told them a story about a treasure that had been found in one of the ancient temples nearby. While eating, they hear on the news that robbers have broken into yet another one and that’s when Kenzo, Keiko, Eji and Meera decide to sneak off for a canoe ride and check things out. After arriving on a tiny island they hop into the underwater Subscooter built by their fathers, and off they went on one unforgettable journey. After a few zany adventures and some wild run-ins, they soon realize, this is a trip they won’t soon forget!

The Curse of The Ancient Temple- India by Sumita Mukherjee is the kind of story you could read to your kids anywhere, anytime. It would make a fantastic classroom read, as it’s chock-full of interesting facts that shine a positive light on the beauty, mystique, and folklore of India. The illustrations are adorable and I learned a lot from the educational tidbits sprinkled throughout the pages. Nice touch! The Curse of The Ancient Temple has an imaginative storyline, witty dialogue, and is filled to the brim with adventure. The sweet ending adds to the charm of this well-written, entertaining adventure. Four stars.

 

 

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Arranged by Jennifer Kittredge

Arranged, a contemporary romance novel, is the second book in The Dare To Dream Series written by Jennifer Kittredge. Sydney Alexander’s co-worker/friend, Emily, needs a small favor; show one of her clients a property while she’s on vacation. The client? Notorious ladies man and serial-dater, Sam Andrews. Although he’s the last thing she’s in the mood for, Sydney has quite a bit of debt to pay off and knows she’d be foolish to pass up the opportunity. After showing Sam the property and then lunch, he invites her out for a much-needed night on the town in sultry Miami. After having one of the greatest nights of her life, Sam stuns her with a proposition beyond anything she could’ve ever expected. 36 yrs. old, in debt, a past full of heartache…what’s a girl to do? Take a chance and hold on for the ride, that’s what!

Arranged by Jennifer Kittredge is a romantic, entertaining read about a woman just starting to come out of her shell after years of heartbreak. Sam Andrews is handsome, exciting, a tiger in business, and exactly what Sydney needs right now. She hasn’t been this happy in years! The question is, is Sam really falling in love with her or is it just an act for his grandfather’s inheritance? After some run-ins with his hateful cousin, Marcus, and a few ups and downs, Sydney soon learns if it’s real love or simply arranged. This is a well-written, descriptive, steamy story with a fun plot. I highly recommend this book to any romance aficionado. Five stars!

 

 

Travel Secrets by Shar Lemond

 Travel Secrets: Book One – Rio de Janeiro

 Hardworking travel writer Rachel Moore wants more than anything to keep her job. So when she is sent to exotic Rio de Janeiro for business, she gets way more than she bargained for! After meeting sexy tour guide, Otavio, (who does more than show her around) Rachel discovers much, much more about life, culture, and herself. A smart, steamy story for any chick-lit lover who also enjoys traveling to, or dreaming of fabulous locales. An enjoyable and easy read. Well done!

 

 

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The Green Heights by Zhila Berenji

The Green Heights by Zhila Berenji is a tale of love, loss, spirituality, and sacrifice. Julia Brooke and Liam Moore are young, in love with life, their futures, and each other. Out of nowhere, they’re dealt a blow so devastating, they’re positive their lives will never be the same. The sudden news of Liam’s Pancreatic Cancer thrusts them into a tailspin and both are holding on by a thread, unsure of what to do next. How much time do you really have together when you’ve just learned you have the fourth deadliest disease in the world? As the pair try navigating through the sickness and despair, their families, and Julia’s mixed feelings about her love’s own brother, no one could fully understand what Julia’s going through personally and spiritually. How exactly do you tell your friends and family you’ve been hanging out with angels? Through it all, will Julia learn that true love exists beyond the boundaries of time, space, and dimension?

The Green Heights by Zhila Berenji is a lovely change from the typical kinds of young adult romance books out there. This imaginative, original, colorful story paints a different perspective of young love and the kinds of sacrifices one must make to have it. The meaning of love is different for each individual, and no two loves are ever the same. I really enjoyed reading the vivid descriptions of the Isle Of Light, its occupants, the other world, the angels- it definitely added a sci-fi element to a sweet, well-written, down-to-earth romance. Well done!

 

Natural Disasters (A Love Story) by G.F. Cantrell

Natural Disasters (A Love Story) by G.F. Cantrell is a captivating tale about love; past loves, new loves, self-love. Intelligent and optimistic Maggie Chisholm, knows she’s in big trouble from the moment she lays eyes on her new contractor, Finn. Their easy-flowing conversations are full of humor and depth, something she can’t imagine having with her controlling, tyrannical husband, Martin. In fact, he’s the complete opposite of Finn’s down-to-earth ways, which only confirms what Maggie has been avoiding for so long; another dreaded divorce. Unable to stop thinking of one another, the two are filled with the giddiness and joy of newfound love, but also hesitation as they wonder if they’re in way over their heads. Could they have found the greatest love either of them has ever known? Told from both perspectives, their accounts of how each encounter bonds them further and further into the depths of their souls are quite different. Does true love and happily-ever-after really exist? Or will they discover that it just might mean something different to everyone?

Natural Disasters is a thought-provoking read that drew me in from the first paragraph. Many married adults find themselves in these types of unforeseen circumstances, and I loved that it wasn’t based off a group of twenty-somethings, but actually seasoned, experienced adults who’ve been through divorces, raising children, health issues, and yes, dealing with contractors when renovating your home. Well-written, full of twists, and I liked that it was told from both character’s viewpoints. (And we all know that men and women think very differently!) I’m always happy to read books that support self-love and lifelong happiness. Five stars.

 

 

Are There Bullies On The Buddy Bench? by Mary E. Lader

Are There Bullies On The Buddy Bench? (Life Lessons With Little LeaLea) by Mary E. Laders is a heart-warming story about the relationships and challenges between elementary school children. LeaLea didn’t think she had very much to worry about the year before, but now that she’s in the third grade, things are a bit more complicated. For one thing, she had no idea that there were things called ‘cliques’. For some, that could mean real trouble or worse…the dreaded Buddy Bench! One day LeaLea’s friend, Ruth wanted to play on the monkey bars where the class bully happened to be playing. LeaLea and Lindsay thought that was a terrible idea and Lindsay decided that if Ruth went over then they just wouldn’t play with her either! LeaLea’s heart sinks, as she doesn’t think that’s very nice to do to their friend and feels caught in the middle. Until she can figure out what to do she begins avoiding Lindsay altogether. All she wants is for everyone to get along! Will LeaLea decide to do what’s in her heart? Or will she go along with what someone else wants just to keep the peace? One thing she knows for sure is, third grade is tough!

This story is absolutely adorable and one that will resonate with every child in their never-ending struggle to fit in and stay far, far away from the losery Buddy Bench. Although bullying is a serious topic, the book is laced with charm and silly humor that lightens things up, making it an excellent book to read with any classroom for a fun time as well as a learning tool. I enjoyed this book very much. Well-deserved five stars!

 

 

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Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps is a fantasy/adventure about the ongoing, grueling battle between elves in trolls. It’s a tale that holds as many beautiful parts as brutal ones (as sometimes life can be) and I couldn’t put this book down. if you’ve ever wondered what might be happening deep within the forest beyond your wildest imagination, this is a read you’ll absolutely love! It’s fast-paced, vividly descriptive, original, and filled with creative, easy-to-follow language. (And I loved the character’s names and world-building.) Elf Killers is quite an adventure! Five stars.

 

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You Can’t Force Love (Locked Hearts Book 1) by Marie Drake

You Can’t Force Love (Locked Hearts Book 1) by Marie Drake is a touching story about Kimberly Orvine and Jordan Fry, and their desire find love and healing after years of trauma. In the most tender years of their lives, they’d been overworked to exhaustion, exploited, abandoned, and cast aside. Dominated by thoughts of dangerously uncontrolled lust and painful secrets, each is searching for one thing; happiness. In their efforts to find peace, process the past abuse, and wrangle with their individual demons, the pair struggles to make sense of what they really want from the other and why. Eventually, there comes a time where they must face the reality of who they’ve been and who they want to be in this world. Will Kimberly and Jordan learn that when they begin to make decisions that aren’t coming from a place of pain, longing, and desperation, they just may find what they’re searching for? One thing’s for sure…It won’t be easy deciding which path to take, who with, and what to do with the shameful secrets they carry.

I found You Can’t Force Love to be an easy-flowing, interesting read full of realistic situations and characters. The powerlessness and naivety of those who’ve been damaged by people who should’ve loved and cared for them is spot on. The author does an amazing job at expressing the inner thoughts of traumatized children and their efforts to cope with confusion, self-hate, repressed anger and sadness, as they’ve never been shown the tools to manage those emotions in a healthy way. A five-star read all the way.

 

The Divorcee by Treena Wynes

The Divorcee by Treena Wynes is a tantalizing tale about the realities of a broken marriage and what happens when a frustrated, yet optimistic wife tries to rediscover life as a newly-single woman. Allie Madison has it all; a great job, loving children, a beautiful home, and enthusiasm for life. There’s just one thing standing in the way of her happiness-her cold and moody husband, Steve. Starved for affection and tired of feeling humiliated, she finally decides she’s had all she can take. It’s time to plan her escape, take control of her life, and leave the emptiness, resentment, and misery behind. In the midst of breaking free, Maddie meets fellow counselor, Marcus Reimer. He’s charmingly handsome, intelligent, sensitive, and just the thing she needs to awaken the sleeping butterflies within her. Will Steve let her go willingly? Or will he attempt to sabotage her every attempt at happiness?

Reading The Divorcee was like bearing witness to one of my girlfriends’ messy divorces. Realistic, entertaining, and sexy-steamy, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next! Many times women communicate their desire to fix problems within the marriage only to be ignored, and finally, when the woman says, ‘I’m outta here’, they do what Steve does. They blame everyone but themselves, become overwhelmed with jealousy, play mind games, promise to change…anything to gain back the control. It was great to see Maddie push through the self-doubt and remain hopeful that there just might be a happy ending out there waiting to be had. 

 

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Redeeming Lies by Samantha St. Claire

Redeeming Lies by Samantha St. Claire is the fourth installment in the Sawtooth Range Series. Lovely and intelligent Madison Alexander wants one thing only; to live an honest life. So when she finds herself boarding a train with her con-artist father, having to leave behind the only normalcy she’s ever known at Miss Emma Willard’s School For Young ladies, she can’t help but feel angry, disappointed, confused, and unsure about the future. Will the lies and broken promises ever end? How could Maddie possibly think clearly when she isn’t sure who might catch up with them first; The Pinkerton Agency or the vindictive Sicilian family? When her father dies suddenly from a heart attack, she’s left to figure it all out on her own. Still in shock, Maddie meets a handsome young doctor named David Reynolds and thinks that this may be the perfect way to blend in. When the train stops at Ketchum, will she start a new life that she can be proud of or be forced to carry on the legacy of lies and deceit to survive?

Samantha St. Claire delivers a well-researched historical romance-mystery that had me smiling through tears as I turned the last page. The characters are likable and full of depth, and I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the terrain, era, and the overall canvas of the story. My favorite character, Maddie, is fiery, intelligent, honorable, and ready to handle anything that comes her way. A true survivor. I highly recommend Redeeming Lies to anyone who enjoys a smart, romantic read. Five stars!

 

 

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Daddy’s Arms by Fabian E. Ferguson

Daddy’s Arms by Fabian E. Ferguson is a children’s rhyming book about the loving bond between a young boy and his doting, playful father. The story is written from the perspective of the child whose imagination runs wild with fantasy during father/son time. Whether it’s playtime, bath time, or bedtime, each moment the two spend together becomes a new, colorful, exciting adventure. No matter where he’s at- pretend climbing a mountain, in an airplane, elevator, or hurling through space– one thing is for sure, there’s no safer place than his favorite place…daddy’s arms.

Daddy’s Arms is such an adorably sweet story about the bond between father and son that simply melts your heart and brings a smile to your face. The safety and coziness of a father’s embrace is so special, and Fabian E. Ferguson does an excellent job at capturing and expressing those feelings straight from the heart of a child. I love to see books out there devoted to the importance of the relationship between father and son, as there seems to be a shortage of positive books celebrating fatherhood. It’s great how the author intertwined their activities with the fantasy aspect, reminding us that if children are given the safety of a parent’s loving presence, their imaginations are free to roam. The illustrations are colorful and detailed, and the rhyming adds an extra bit of fun to a well-thought-out, lovely book that’s sure to be a hit with children and parents alike. Well-deserved five stars!

 

 

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A Rubber Face With A Stripper’s Name by Katja Berg

A Rubber Face With A Stripper’s Name is a heartfelt memoir about the life of single Danish mother Katja Berg. Katja had hit rock bottom. Lonely, afraid, anxiety-ridden, put through the emotional ringer, and full of insomnia, she knew that she must find a way to pick herself up, dust herself off, and rise again like the Phoenix from the ashes. Somehow. It was then, by the suggestion of her therapist, that she record all of her pain and anguish in a journal as a way to jumpstart the healing process and begin her journey toward self-discovery. Katja gives detailed accounts of her struggles as a woman, single mother, and entrepreneur in order to help lift other women who are experiencing the same difficult issues.

Being a single mother is hard, hard work. When I read this book, Carly Simon’s ‘Haven’t Got Time For The Pain’ came to mind. (I actually found myself humming it.) Katja Berg’s raw honesty about pushing through the toughest times of her life in order to become the best mother she could be, as well as a learning tool for others in the same boat, is quite inspiring. No matter how hard things became, I got the feeling that somehow, through it all, she never lost her sense of humor and optimism. This book is wonderful for anyone out there needing to be reminded that they are not alone, things will get better, and you are in charge of your own happiness. Inspiring, insightful, five stars

 

 

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Sun Storm by Marlow Kelly

Sun Storm by Marlow Kelly is a story of determination, survival, and passion. Dedicated scientist, Dr. Marie Wilson has spent years tucked away in a self-funded, lonely, garage-lab designing her solar panel prototype. She thinks Montana will be the perfect place to test her product and redeem her reputation for having half-baked (previously stolen) ideas. As she tries to keep warm in her newly-rented cabin, she has no idea of the terror she’s about to face. PDE’s president, Marshall Portman, wants that prototype and dispatches a hit squad to get it. Ex-decorated soldier, David Quinn, thinks he’s been hired for one thing only; to retrieve a stolen prototype. When he realizes the other men plan to kill the terrified woman, his protective instincts kick in and the battle begins. PDE is powerful and David and Marie can trust no one. The bickering opposites make quite a team, and during their quest for survival, discover that their desire for each other is much more than either of them can resist.

This is an exciting book full of red-hot love scenes, fast-paced action, and I was drawn in immediately. The cover and title for Sun Storm couldn’t be more perfect. There is something around every corner and I had a hard time putting this adrenaline pincher down. Lonely, but determined souls, Marie and David, are such kind-hearted, likable characters that you can’t help but cheer them on the whole way through. Solid writing and plot, Sun Storm contains just the right balance of romance and suspense to satisfy your need-a great-novel thirst. A marvelous read you’ll undoubtedly recommend to your fellow readers and book club members. Five stars!

 

 

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It’s Cool To Be Kind by Linnea McFadden

It’s Cool To Be Kind by Linnea McFadden is a story about bullying and what can happen when the situation is approached in a positive way. Things couldn’t have been going better for fourth-grader Beckett Barnes, that is until Porter Reed comes to Rock Hill Elementary and Beckett’s world is turned upside down. Porter is not a happy kid and takes it out on everyone in his path, including Beckett. Beckett’s unsure of how to handle this bully and begins avoiding his favorite activities, his friends, and even taking his frustrations out on his brother. After sharing his troubles with his family, he takes to heart their encouraging advice and things unfold in a way that Beckett had never expected.

It’s Cool To Be Kind is an uplifting, charming read geared toward empowering children to be kind to one another and to speak up for themselves, as well as others who may be struggling with bullying. McFadden writes an enthusiastic, engaging story that’s relatable to many, as most of us have experienced some type of bullying, and there are plenty of encouraging messages scattered throughout. It’s Cool To Be Kind should be on the shelves of every home and classroom, not just for the great story, but also the various resources provided in the back. One thing’s for sure, each child will be inspired to share their own experiences and think up new ways to spread the simple, yet powerful message, it’s cool to be kind! What a wonderful message to share! Five stars.

 

Tummy Revolution 21

Tummy Revolution 21 (Gut Health Made Simple) by Sara Chadwick is a comprehensive guide to better digestive health. Sectioned into three parts, each one is designed to guide you through the process, making it easy for low-FODMAP newbies to adapt quickly and navigate their way from start to finish. Want to know why your belly looks like your eight months pregnant after eating an apple but you’re fine with dark chocolate? It’s those darn monosaccharides and Polyols again! Wait, what are those? The answer to that and more are between these pages. The book explains what FODMAPs are exactly, the importance of eliminating them in order to push the belly (reset) button, and become aware of what you’re most sensitive to and to what amount- eventually healing your gut. Tummy Revolution 21 is mapped out in such a way that you’ll eventually gain enough knowledge to customize your own variation of a low-FODMAP diet based on your individual needs and tolerance levels.

This is an excellent book with tons of factual information, tips, meal plans, and colorful, easy-to-follow recipes. Having my own FODMAP and food sensitivity issues, I’ve followed a low-FODMAP diet for years, and when I don’t, I know it! Tummy Revolution 21 is perfect for anyone who’s had digestive issues, brain fog, chronic fatigue, joint pain, migraines; a healthy gut is vital to good health! I loved the added meditation and yoga sections, for de-stressing plays a huge part in healing the body. I give this positive, well-written book five stars!

 

 

The Infinity Mantle

The Infinity Mantle by Elaina J. Davidson
The Infinity Mantle (Lore of Arcana Book 1)
by

Elaina J. Davidson (Goodreads Author)

Kristy Jo‘s review

Jul 22, 2018  
The Infinity Mantle by Elaina Davidson is the first book in the Lore of Arcana series, and exactly the kind of story you hope it will be when you purchase a fantasy novel. Well-written and beyond imaginative, Davidson takes the reader on a journey far, far from this world. Great characters, world-building, action scenes, and plots, this is one fascinating fantasy read! I also like that there was a backstory added because it really does create a better understanding of things overall. I always want to be mindful of spoilers, so I won’t reveal too much more, but if you’re looking for sorcery, magic, folklore, sci-fi, survivalism, and much, much more, I highly recommend The Infinity Mantle. Looking forward to reading the next installment. Five stars.
 
 
 

The Millennial Playbook by Raphael Enrique Collazo

The Millennial Playbook: Secrets to Living a Rich Life (The Personal Development Edition) by Raphael Enrique Collazo is a self-help guidebook created expressly for the millennial generation. It is the second installment of the Millennial Playbook series, and although the book is tailored for those born between 1982 and 2000, people of all ages will take much from the positive, action-oriented concepts designed for maximum personal and professional growth. The Millennial Playbook focuses on such things as, challenging one’s self to take action, have insight and awareness of goals, habits, mindset, obstacles, positive and negative belief systems and choices, evaluation of the relationships in your life, and redirecting/shifting energies for optimum outcome; success! 

I couldn’t put this book down and even passed it on to my husband. Neither of us are ‘millennials’ but this read is fantastic for anyone who wants to be their best self and better than the day before. I’ve read my fair share of self-help books in the course of my life and wish I’d read this exact book years ago. It touches on subjects like, regret, gratitude, philanthropy, grit, courage, things that go much deeper than, “hey, I want more money”. I especially loved the timeless quotes that were selected and sprinkled throughout the pages from legends like, John Wayne, Muhammad Ali, Theodore Roosevelt, Dale Carnegie, and Buddha (to name a few). Brilliantly written, this inspirational handbook for the mind, body, and spirit is one that I will absolutely read again and again. I highly recommend! 

 

Tangles of the Heart by Anastasia Alexander

Today I’m reviewing the young adult romance, Tangles of the Heart by Anastasia Alexander. Darlene Britain has dreams of love, adventure, saving the environment, and one day untangling her boyfriend, Austin Chambers, from his clingy, drama queen of a mother so they can finally begin building a life together.

When Austin drops a bombshell with his decision to take a job offer in Tucson, Arizona, Darlene is thrown completely off balance, creating a brew of confusion, anxiety, and disappointment. Asking her to come along means shelving the plans they made for the future, crushing Darlene’s hopes, and shaking her faith in the relationship. What’s a girl to do? But things are about to get even more confusing when she meets the handsome and romantic race care driver, Cactus Ronnie, leaving her young heart to question everything she thought she knew about life and love.

Tangles of the Heart is a delightfully charming story that many readers will surely relate to. As we all know, things aren’t always easy when it comes to matters of the heart and the choices one must make regarding them. I found Darlene, the main character, to be smart, funny, relatable, and full of life. Extremely well-written, descriptive, and the romantic parts were tasteful and beautiful. A quick and easy read, this sweet, romantic story made me smile the whole way through. The book is just long enough to tell the story and leave the reader feeling warm all over as they turn the last page. A well-deserved five stars!

 

 

The Popcorn Tree by Catherine Green

Today I’m reviewing The Popcorn Tree An Adventurous Tale by Catherine Green. This tender and imaginative story begins with five-year-old Claire waking up to find herself all alone. With the sudden disappearance of her beloved family, she is frantic with worry. Where could they have gone? Did they go to Nan and Papa’s house without her? She’s never been alone like this before and is full of anxiety and despair. As young Claire does her best to soothe herself and figure a way out of this dilemma, her imagination (and hunger) runs wild! As her adventure continues, she meets a few friends and distractions along the way that help her navigate through the anxiety of feeling left alone.

I thought the author did a remarkable job at capturing the inner-most thoughts of a five-year-old child and how they process naturally occurring fears. The writing, grammar, and proofreading are flawless, and the story grabs your attention right away from the very first line. The colorful illustrations depict the story quite perfectly and are detailed enough to where kids that are too young to read the words would still love the book and understand what’s happening. I think children between the ages of 4-8 will love it, as they can surely understand the anxieties of being left alone by themselves and the uncertainty of what to do if that should occur. The book is a nice length, imaginative, engaging, and I was quite hungry for caramel popcorn after reading it! #FiveStars

 

 

Wham!

Wham! by Carol Marrs Phipps
Wham! (Timewalker #1)
by

Carol Marrs Phipps  (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

An imaginative, epic story!

WHAM! Is the first book in the Timewalker series and I can’t wait to read the next installment! I enjoyed everything about this book. The action-packed beginning, overall story, characters, the introduction ‘Time Does Not Exist’, and even the added glossary meant to help readers navigate through the (easy to get used to) beautiful language.

The corrupt World Alliance has taken over, and the Greenwood sisters must wade through some dark waters in order to survive. In their quest to reunite after Children and Family cruelly tears them apart, they run into some unforgettable, remarkable characters. (No spoilers.)

A well-written, imaginative, exciting, dystopian/fantasy. #FiveStars

***

Kinnara

Kinnara by Kevin Ansbro
Kinnara
by

Kevin Ansbro (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s Review

Jun 12, 2018   
 
An enchanting, exotic read! 
Kinnara is a marvelous blend of mystery, romance, mysticism, crime thriller, and the exotic, all rolled into one spellbinding read. I love the type of book where you have no idea what will happen next and are anxious to return to the story. The characters were charming and believable, and the descriptive Thailand setting adds an enchanting, magical element to this imaginative, well written story. Can’t wait to read more from this author. Well done!
 

 ***

 

 

The Second Coming

The Second Coming by Grant Leishman
The Second Coming
by

Grant Leishman (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

May 09, 2018   
 

Lighthearted, thought-provoking, inspiring!This super-original, quirky book has it all…comedy, action, spirituality, universal lessons, even love. (The cover for this book couldn’t be more perfect!) It begins with ‘JC’ waking from a coma with no memory due to a bus accident and goes from there. A well thought out, creative, modern day spin on an ancient story that has the author’s sense of humor shining all the way through it. I found it to be a lighthearted, thought-provoking, and inspiring read. Fantastic book! Five stars~

 ***

 

Broken Dreams

Broken Dreams by Martha Perez
Broken Dreams
by

Martha Perez (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

May 05, 2018 
 

A Sizzling Read! Kindle Version: If you enjoy a good passionate story, this book is for you! Martha Perez writes a fast-paced, dramatic tale about life, love, regret, & triumph. Descriptive and emotionally raw, this book is packed with so much heat the pages are practically on fire! I MUST read the other two books in this series.

 

 ***

 

Getting Home

Getting Home by Wolfe Butler
Getting Home
by

Wolfe Butler (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Apr 09, 2018   
 

A Touching Read

I found Getting Home to be a touching, soul-searching read about a man’s personal journey toward self discovery. At each turn of the page you see the evolution of the main character, Tom, as he bravely struggles to peel back the layers of himself in his quest for self realization and healing. Five stars.

 

 ***

 

Orion’s Belt: Birth of the Hunter

Orion's Belt by John Peter Ferris
Orion’s Belt: Birth of the Hunter
by

Melanie Saxton (Editor)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Apr 09, 2018  

 

Action Packed!

I read the Kindle version and want to purchase the paperback for my nephew. I’m sure he’ll love this action-packed, sci-fi/military themed book as much as I have. Out of all the books I’ve read in the past year, this would be the one that most belongs on the big screen. Excellent writing, fast paced, engaging, witty dialogue, likable characters, Ferris delivers an original. I’d highly recommend this book for any military buff as well as fantasy & sci-fi readers. Five stars.

 
 

***

 

Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman
Call Me by Your Name
by

André Aciman (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Mar 24, 2018  
 
Supreme read! I absolutely loved this book! I can’t recall the last book that moved me to tears. I saw the movie & read the paperback, both are phenominal. I highly recommend. Beyond 5 stars!
 

 ***

 

Love Sex & Money

Love Sex & Money by Sharleen Cooper Cohen
Love Sex & Money
by

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Mar 09, 2018  
 
Love, Sex, & Money is a book I’ve been reading every few years since I was in my early twenties. This is a fantastic read about the lives of three college friends, Pamela, Trish, and Hillary. The book chronicles the lives of all three and how they grow and change through the years, never wavering from their friendship, in good times and bad. The pain and hardship of life and what blows it can deliver reminds us all that we are, in fact, human. And nothing helps heal a broken heart more than the strong arms of a best friend around you. Excellent read!

  ***

 

CORPORATE SUPERPOWER: Cultivating A Winning Culture For Your Business

CORPORATE SUPERPOWER by Oleg Konovalov
CORPORATE SUPERPOWER: Cultivating A Winning Culture For Your Business
by

Oleg Konovalov (Goodreads Author)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Mar 09, 2018  
 

A Bible of Culture Management for modern leaders.

Corporate Superpower by Oleg Konovalov is an exceptionally valuable guide to culture management full of examples and practical recommendations. By looking into such critical factors as symbols, values, employee engagement, corporate ID, ideology, leadership, and other important factors this book keeps engaged from the first page. The view of cultural properties as metaphysical resources is ground-breaking.

This book is well-structured to allow insights into different facets of culture and people-centered management as a property of the Knowledge Era. A Bible of Culture Management for modern leaders. Great read!

 

 ***

 

Love: A Tangled Knot: New Adult Romance

Love by Eichin Chang-Lim
Love: A Tangled Knot: New Adult Romance
by

Eichin Chang-Lim (Goodreads Author),
Nikki Busch (Editor)

 

Eeva Lancaster (Goodreads Author) (Editor)

 

Kristy Jo‘s review

Feb 10, 2018
A heartwarming read
Ordered this book through Kindle Unlimited, enjoyed the story very much. Eichin Chang-Lim is a talented author. A lovely, heartwarming read. Five stars.

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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