I use both a Nook and Kindle so if you see a book you wish to borrow just let me know and let's be

August 24, 2015

Book 29 of 2015

A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in AmericaA Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in America by Terrance Zepke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in America by Terrance Zepke (book #2 in Most Haunted Series) is definitely a stand alone book. This is a no-nonsense book that gives places, history, story, and how to (if allowed to) see it and/or contact information so you can go to their individual sites for more information and tickets.

This is a go-to book for anyone planning a 'haunted vacation' since locations are given. It even tells if there are night tours, private tours, and sleep-overs. While it is great for travelers to see where to go or even if they are interested in stopping there to begin with. Some people may not want to possibly meet ghosts who are known for physically touching living people, they may feel better with a ghost who has not been known for physical contact and are just seen or heard instead.

Reading the history and what happened is not only entertaining in a creepy sort of way but it is educational. Not only was the history of the house given but a history of the people/family who built/lived in it so when the events are explained, it all makes sense. In other words, it doesn't just list a house and say a family was killed there, much more detail is given but in a short, factual way. The descriptions were great and easy to understand what was being said, even about the 'staircase to a nowhere.' What's even better is that some photos are included so reading about and understanding it goes to a whole new level with seeing photos of it.

The book is really to the point, informative, and it isn't just for travelers, this is for anyone who likes hearing and learning about haunted houses.

*I received a free copy of this book for my unbiased review.

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August 23, 2015

Book 28 of 2015

Essential Oils: Complete Essential Oils Guide and 50+ Essential Oils Recipes: (Essential Oils, Essential Oils Recipes, Essential Oils Guide, Essential Oils Books)Essential Oils: Complete Essential Oils Guide and 50+ Essential Oils Recipes: by Brenda Blackie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first thing that came to my attention is this is not a "Complete Essential Oils Guide" other than by the name which to me was misleading. While it does cover many oils, it certainly don't cover them all so to me it's not a complete guide. In addition to that, I am still looking for the "50+ Essential Oils Recipes" unless the blurbs telling me to add a few drops to my shampoo (typo was on this part and cracked me up, they used another 'a' word) or to put it in a diffuser is what they are referring to as a recipe.

Another thing I notice is it seems to contradict itself at times such as when it states to look for Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils but then goes on to say that there is no official industry standard that grades oil. So what that tells me is that it is telling me to look for and buy a product that any company can claim to have. There is no mention of reputable companies for first time buyers to even consider buying from if even just to have an one-time purchase and use this reputable oil as comparison for future purchases. In addition, this is two 'books' in one and there is a lot of repetition between them.

But the book is not all bad, it does have some good information in it especially for people who are thinking about trying essential oils for the first time and have no idea where to start. It does go through some of the most common oils, their health benefits, and some cautions to take. It also does a good job explaining what they are and the techniques used to extract them. It does go through the grades of oils which we established really means nothing but are marketing terms (except food grade since they would be subject to certain restrictions by law) but it does make the point of stressing that the buyer should be aware. Also touched on were carrier oils, storage, and usage tips.

So, although the book does have some good information in it and the price was great (I got it free on Amazon), I felt it was misleading. I also expected true recipes, not just to add so many drops to my favorite lotion or bath water.

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Book 27 of 2015

Sophia (Stone Magic #1)Sophia by J. New
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sophia (Stone Magic #1) by J. New is a fictional YA, Witches and Warlocks, Mystery, that captivated me from the beginning. It is book one in a series and I can't wait to read book #2. Sure, there is romance that is blooming and I am sure many more genres that it can fit into but no matter where or what I call it, it is a page turner for sure. There is already a great description written so I won't recap the book but there are a few things I'd like to expand upon.

The characters are developed with their own personalities and I really like the way they were developed in the book. I wasn't bombarded with all the information at once and there are mysteries in the character's life which isn't entirely told in the beginning but as the story progresses, these mysteries are faced and dealt with in the characters' own time which reveals more information about the characters and brings them even more to life. The characters are believable in the setting of the story and I couldn't help but 'feel' for several of them.

To me the pace of the book was fast and steady. Little time was spend on non-eventful things and it was always on line with the plot even if I didn't realize it at the time. At the beginning, I thought it was a 'little off' but soon realized it was just because this is a multi-leveled story and it was all going in the same direction. There were some twists in it which I did not see coming at all so the surprise factor was present for me as well.

Between wanting to know the answers to; the mysteries of who, how, and whys in the book, who had what powers, and of course the outcome of story, it was a truly entertaining easy read that I recommend.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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August 18, 2015

Book 26 of 2015

Hail to the Chief: An Inauguration PoemHail to the Chief: An Inauguration Poem by Tanyo Ravicz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hail to the Chief: An Inauguration Poem by Tanyo Ravicz and it is based on a true story: research was done with the sources listed in the book. The whole book is a poem that tells the story of the Clintons, from prior to Bill Clinton being president to Hillary being the 45th President and more. Naturally, a great deal of it is about the scandal with Monica Lewinsky so lets just say this is for adults. Some really 'naughty' words are totally spelled out while another will have only the first and last letter used with "**" for the center which makes it very easy for adults to figure out.

Although it isn't written like a story book where I can talk about characters and how believable they are, I can say this is believable since most of it is history and I remember it well. (Except the Hillary Clinton being the 45th President part). Even the famous lines are in it about not having sex with her (Monica Lewinsky) and smoking pot but not inhaling. I just loved the humorous poetry lines and amazed by the rhyming. Although I can't share my favorite lines because of the language, this demonstrates the style and the sheer genius of the book:

He looks the camera in the eye
(The surest sign of probity),
Wags his finger, thumps the lectern-
"I do not have sex with interns!
I never ever told a soul a lie!"
This was Bill's recipe for Humble Pie.

This is a fun, poetic read and I do recommend it for adults.

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August 16, 2015

Book 25 of 2015

Willing (The Namesaken, #1)Willing by Michaela Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Willing (book one of The Namesaken Series) sounded sort of interesting by the author's description since it was about Jack the Ripper but I had my reservations about how much I would like it since the main character was a prostitute and to use the author's word, it was also "steamy". Not that I am a prude but I just don't enjoy books centering on aimless sex (smut books) and by the description it sounded like this could be one of those with Jack the Ripper thrown in so when one prostitute was killed, it gave a reason to change from one explicit scene to another. On the other hand, I have read books about prostitutes that were good so I took a chance on this one and I am so glad I did.

Constance is a prostitute and a well developed main character. She's intelligent and not a prostitute by choice but more so out of necessity due to her personal circumstances and the economy. When she is summoned by the wealthy, handsome, Lord Alisdair, she is treated like a queen and prepared for the ritual that takes place during the full moon. Constance always knew there was something special about her and it is after she is summoned by Lord Alisdair that this becomes obvious.

Lord Alisdair is also a main character and developed. He has some strange beliefs, rituals, and he believes Constance is the only one that can help achieve his goal of receiving the gifts of the Golden Rite. He is a bit of a mysterious character early on which lends to all kinds of assumptions of his true intentions. He almost seemed like the opposite of Constance: she is realistic, cautious, and down-to-earth, whereas Alisdair is confident, mysterious, and proper.

This fast paced story reminds me a little of the movie "Pretty Women" but add supernatural powers, a coven, rituals, deceit, murder, betrayal, romance and more. Another fascinating aspect to the story is it explains who Jack the Ripper was and why the prostitutes were killed which I never saw coming! I know this is fictional but the time, place, characters, and events make this story seem so real and had me turning page after page. As far as the 'steamy' parts in the book, they were explicit at times but done in a very tasteful ways. I also love the cover of the book, it is nice to see visually the style of gown and putting a face to a name even if Lord Alisdair is seen only in shadow (of course he is, it is that mystery about him). It was very well written and I only noticed one typo. I definitely recommend this book to adults.

*I received an ARC for my unbiased review.

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August 11, 2015

Book 24 of 2015

IlluminariumIlluminarium by Truth Devour
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What a cover and what a book! Illuminarium: Book 1 - Soliloquy's Labyrinth Series by Truth Devour is a book that goes beyond a page turner. This book had me glued to it and I didn't want to put it down: I had to know what was next and where it was going. This fictional, urban legion type book is not for the faint of heart as it does contain some gore and adult subject matter but even the swearing is done in a way that it is somewhat what you would expect in the situation and is realistic for the characters.

Something that makes this book unique is that it is a story within a story. When the main character, Harper, finds a book and starts to read it, it tells a story of what is happening to York, the main character who is eventually taken to mental institution instead of an orphanage when his mother had to split the family up. Although what happened to York had happened in the past, Harper reading it throughout the story makes both these stories happening simultaneously. The way it was done is not confusing, brilliant the way one story affects what is happening to Harper, and it is amazing the way these two stories have connections. That doesn't even take in account for the supernatural, crime, mystery, and everything else involved in the stories.

Everything in the book is not dark, at times it even makes me laugh since Harper is quite the comedian. She strikes me as the kind of person who can tell someone off without them even being aware of it. She is serious and all business at times while she can be quite the prankster and comical at others. She is extremely intelligent and knows things that most do not or even believe in: possessions and reincarnation being some of them. I don't want to write any spoilers so I am limiting it to just that but there is much more.

Speaking of characters, all the major ones (both in the story and the book Harper is reading) were developed into multi-denominational characters although not everything about them is known (after all this is a series) while the minor characters were certainly developed enough to make sense out of who they were and what was going on, time wasn't wasted developing them instead it was concentrated on keeping the stories forward moving and interesting.

The multi-plot on all its levels were easy to understand and the book always stayed on focus with it. At times I may have questioned if I was just taken off in another direction but after reading on I realized I was not and it was always on target. Because this is a series, some things may not be clear yet but enough is known to totally make sense and have satisfaction with reading this first book.

If there were any errors in the story, I was so engrossed in it that I didn't notice any. I do know the different characters were all with their own drawl or way of speaking so some 'off' sounding sentences were done on purpose because that is the way they spoke: 'fer' instead of 'for'. I did not notice any format issues either.

I recommend this book to all adults who like supernatural, urban legion type books that have mystery, gore, and thrills.

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August 3, 2015

Book 23 for 2015

Songs of the Deliverer: A Modern Day Story of ChristSongs of the Deliverer: A Modern Day Story of Christ by Elvo Fortunato Bucci
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing story! What if Christ was walking among us in the modern times? Songs of The Deliverer: A Modern Day Story of Christ by Elvo Fortunato Bucci is a story that does just that. It takes the events in the gospels and sets them into a modern day setting. It is easy to understand and has the same attributes as those in the Bible.

Emmanuel does a lot of miracles as in the Bible: the lame, walk; the sick, well; etc. Some of the most memorable to me is when he walks on water, brings the dead back to life, and is baptized. (I cant state them all since I do not want to spoil it.) However in this modern day setting he is still a mystery (in a way) as many answers is not answered directly (some but not all) and because of this, it is hard to grasp what the answer really is. Better way of explaining it is by the way he answers, it is in your interpretation of what he is saying. An example of this is when Jonny asks Emmanuel if he is the who Jona refers to as the Deliverer. Emmanuel replies by saying, "Jona brings joy and hope to the world. And his witness is true. But my witness is not about me, but about the one who has sent me. I do only what the Father commands. I testify to him alone." This answer left me perplexed if he was or wasn't. With that being said, this is also true in the Bible so I thought the author did a fantastic job of carrying over that mystery and way of his speech into this modern day setting.

Toward the end of the book are sections; About The Book, About The Songs, and About the Author which were really enjoyable. It is the last section, 40 Bible Reflections which I thought they were a great bonus. It explains the part and where it was referenced in the book.

I didn't notice any typos/errors anywhere throughout this book and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in the Bible. Even if you never read the Bible before, you will enjoy and understand what is going on but for those who did read it before, this is a fantastic read!

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August 2, 2015

Book 22 of 2015

Dyslexia Isn't an ObstacleDyslexia Isn't an Obstacle by Firdevs Dede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dyslexia Isn't an Obstacle by Firdevs Dede is not your average book, it's actually an academic book written to empower students with reading, writing, and critical thinking skills as well as a host of other learning and what I would call life skills. It is designed in a fun and interesting narration in a story form. Although the book was written for people with dyslexia, I found it educational. I always thought dyslexic people just wrote their letters backwards and had a hard time reading but this book opened my eyes to some of what dyslexia is and that it is not really an obstacle or a disability, as so many label it, but rather a unique understanding of connections in the world we live in.

The book tells the story of Felix, a young man who is dyslexic. He is a very well developed character (in fact, all the characters are) and the story starts with him at a rough time in his life when he is homeless and in trouble with the law. Felix never finished school, couldn't read or write well, and his future looked bleak. As the story went on this all changed with the proper therapy and learning techniques which the book does touch on.

I found the book was detailed. When it takes a page and half to make and put a cup of tea on the table, I tend to get anxious for the story to continue. However, the book wasn't written just for me and those like me who are not dyslexics but for those who need to read the details. I even became aware that in these details were 'lessons' for thinking, decisions, and time management, just to name a few. I found as I read further that my anxiety to move on with the story turned into wonderment. I was interested in finding out more about dyslexia and the way that using the right side of your brain effects the way you perceive the world and people around you.

Speaking of details, I couldn't help but noticing typos or missing words such as 'the' but it doesn't change the fact that the story itself was interesting, humorous in parts, and educational. It doesn't matter if you are a student who is dyslexic or not, I would recommend reading this book. It will open your eyes to a whole new way of learning and seeing things.

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