Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: ‘The Return of the Ripper’: Anna Elliott & Charles Veley


I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

Book 7 of 8 in A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery (8 Book Series)
SYNOPSIS: October 1897. Diamond mogul Cecil Rhodes wants Sherlock Holmes to break up a smuggling ring. Lucy James is preoccupied with her role as an actress and her upcoming wedding. And then, London’s most infamous murderer makes a most unwelcome entrance.

The Baker street team soon find themselves enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy, with tentacles that reach far beyond the shadows of Whitechapel. Lucy and Holmes will need more than their usual deductive brilliance to defeat their latest adversary, or else the case of the Ripper will be their last.

If you love a strong heroine, a touch of romance, and a classic Holmes, you’re going to love this fast-paced adventure.

MY THOUGHTS: I was thrilled to see that Holmes & Lucy were set to work on the elusive Ripper phenom. There’s been a resurgence of interest in Jack the Ripper in recent years, fueled by theory & the hunt for the ‘one who got away’. Part of the entertainment value, if one can call it that, in the Ripper’s legend is that so many people think they know who he was and there are so many suspects!

It’s timely that two of the finest detectives to ever grace the pages of a novel are now involved! Now, that alone would have made an incredible novel, but there’s more! We are also treated to Holmes taking on a smuggling ring and Lucy is getting ready for her wedding. There’s never a dull moment in their lives.

As always, our favorite father-daughter author duo has brought their ‘A’ game. There is so much to love about this book. It’s the kind of detective story that readers will want to read more than once because it’s so much fun to watch the plot unravel. Again, we have the iconic Sherlock doing what he does best while remaining true to the roots planted by Doyle in his original works. Lucy once again proves her skills at being a Renaissance woman as she solves crimes, maintains her acting career, and still has time for a productive social life. Dr. Watson is proof positive that the limelight isn’t necessary in order to make a difference or to be a great friend.

With a unique twist on all things Jack the Ripper along with the great diamond smuggling side plot, our authors hit yet another home run with this incredible, 5 star novel. I highly recommend this series and hope there are many more installments to come! Bravo!

Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 3/28

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Posted in Health

Guest Post: 21 Essential Items to Pack in A To-Go Bag

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN ITS ENTIRETY BY Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019].

No marriage or relationship is perfect, but if your spouse is physically abusive, or becomes physically aggressive, such as getting too close and violating your personal space while screaming, it’s time to think about leaving. Every woman should prepare a to-go bag with essential things she’ll need in case she needs to get our quickly.
Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019], has prepared a list of items to pack in a to-go bag.

21 Essential Items to Pack in A To-Go Bag:
Emergency cash
Your driver’s license,
Your credit cards
Your checkbooks
A list of your assets and debts
A set of clothes for you and the children
Diapers and a few toys if you have young children
Court papers, such as a temporary restraining order, if you have one
Your passport
Birth certificates
Marriage certificate and pre-nuptial agreement, if any
Social security cards
Medical and immunization records
Medicines
Insurance information
Welfare documents
Immigration papers
Other legal documents
A list of important phone numbers, such as friends, relatives, doctors, and schools
Information on local resources, including your local battered women’s shelter
Journal of any verbal or physical abuse recording dates, threats, and events-start this now if you haven’t already!
“Put your go-bag in a very safe place or give it to someone you trust to hold it for you,” suggests Lombardy. “Keep the driver’s door to your car unlocked in case you need to escape in a hurry. Make sure you have gas in the tank and keep a spare key hidden inside your car in case you don’t have time to grab your key chain before leaving—or in case your husband takes away your keys. When you leave, grab jewelry, pictures, and other items of value if you have time, but leave them behind if staying longer jeopardizes your safety or that of your children.”

Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 3/27

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Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Mosquito Creek Inn: Sherrie Todd-Beshore

I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

SYNOPSIS: “Eleven-year-old Sonia Molosky’s quiet summer and that of her close friends begins to shift after an insurance investigator arrives in Mosquito Creek to settle the vast estate of a young heiress who disappeared seven years before. When Sonia discovers the contents of a suitcase behind a hidden door at the back of her mother’s closet, she convinces six of her pals to help her search for new clues to the unsolved mystery. Curiosity soon escalates events to an unexpected discovery that challenges their untested resourcefulness and courage in order to outwit and expose a cruel and cunning foe. While attempting to retrace the path the missing girl rode her horse the afternoon she disappeared, history begins to repeat itself…”

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Mosquito’ is Book 1 of 7 in the Mosquito Creek Detective Club series. From page 1, it was engaging and gripping. Although it is marketed as YA and rightfully so, I had great fun reading it! Good mysteries are timeless and ageless.
As a lead character, Sonia is capable and intelligent. All the children in the series are respectful to each other as well as their elders. Adults aren’t portrayed as imbeciles as is so often the case in YA fiction. It’s a clean read. I found no cursing or violence making it more than acceptable for middle school through adults. In fact, I’d recommend it to adult readers in need of a new series.
As for the plot, it is original and a good, old-fashioned whodunit. Messages throughout the book related to teamwork, having a sense of community, and the importance of family. I recommend this series and give ‘Mosquito’ 5 stars.

Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 3/26

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Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 3/25

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Posted in Uncategorized

The End of An Era & Start of Something New

After 22 years together, 20 of them in marriage, it’s over. My husband suffers from Bi-polar disorder and it has taken its toll on the family. Without too many details, I’m not ready to share, I had to leave. There really wasn’t a choice. Unfortunately, he is not willing to allow us to take the dogs. Both are microchipped to him. I know they are well cared for and loved. Perhaps one day, my son & I will reunite with them both.

So, I ended up in the one place that I could end up, back at home. My mother & aunt welcomed us in. We’ve been here 2 weeks now. My son is happier, healthier, and doing better all around. I am grieving the loss of a two decade long relationship and the figurative death of the man I once knew. Of course, I miss my pups. They were a big part of my heart. But, life has to go on.

My son & I have decided that when we are settled into a new place, we will rescue one or two dogs again. In the midst of this mess, we can certainly save two more doggie lives. My husband says he is getting help. I hope he does. There are 2 sides to every story. His would include blame towards me. I have a clear conscience, though as does my son.

So, that explains the new title and tagline. We are looking for a home and a vehicle. In the meantime, my aunt is playing chauffeur and I am playing cook & bottle washer as my mom calls it. We are staying close to Jesus & one another.
More to come…

Posted in Arts/Crafts/Hobbies, Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: A Colorful Tail: Finding Monet at Giverny: Joan Waites

I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

SYNOPSIS: A young red fox living in Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, admires the collage of colors in the landscape that surrounds him. More than anything, he wants to make the colors last as the seasons pass and the winter turns cold and bleak. Try as he might, his creations are blown away, flooded, and even eaten by a deer, until the sight of Monet at his easel and an unexpected encounter with a bumble bee show the gentle fox how he can make the colors last all year-long. This brightly illustrated tale is a delightful introduction to Claude Monet.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘A Colorful Tail’ is a beautifully illustrated book for younger readers (say ages 2-K). I love that fact that on the opening page there is a brief Monet biography. It’s a good, first introduction to famous artists. Art is often an afterthought in education. Introducing artists’ names early on is a great idea.
We also have a message of appreciating the beauty around us. Fox is fortunate enough to have a patient, artistic friend who allows him to express himself without judgment or reprimand. By having this freedom to create, Fox is able to show his love of nature & color through painting. To parents, the message is simple: let little ones try. If their paintings aren’t Monet-quality, that’s ok. At least, they tried.

‘A Colorful Tail’ would be a good snuggling up, storytime book. Little eyes will definitely pay attention to all the details on each page. I give it a 4 star rating.

Joan Waites is an award-winning author-illustrator with more than 45 titles published for the children’s trade and educational markets. A former adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design, Joan now operates her own art teaching studio for children, and has been a featured speaker at schools, conferences, and artist-in-residence programs. She has served as the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator for the past 17 years, is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC, the Picture Book Artist’s Association, and the National Association of Art Educators.