Friday, March 25, 2022

Who Was Harriet Tubman? #whowasbooks #review #HarrietTubmanDay #kidLit

I have always known about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. She is one of my heroes and a fascinating character in history. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about her. Wrong!

I learned that she had many more "jobs" than just the conductor on the railroad. One of her jobs was to be a spy for the Northern Army during the Civil War, she was a nurse, she was a caretaker on land she purchased, and raised money by selling vegetables. She was also a speaker for the Suffragist Movement.

The book starts from her very humble beginnings as a born slave right on through her death as a free woman living at least 92 years old. The town she lived in at her death gave her honors by lowering the flag and placing a plaque about her. WOW!

Harriet Tubman Day was March 10th and I am honored to have read about her and learn more.
This is highly recommended at 5 stars!

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle

Saturday, March 12, 2022

GUEST POST & #Giveaway: Hippie Wagon Homicide by Mildred Abbott #cozymysteries #guestpost #giveaway


As a writer of cozy mysteries, I’m certain I am supposed to say my favorite part is the mysteries themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I do love them, the twist and turns, the big murder solved in every book, the little mysterious threads which go from installment to installment that tie the series together.  Those are all great. They’re not my favorite thing, however.  Without a doubt, and the thing that keeps me coming back over and over and over again to my most beloved cozy series are the characters who feel like family.  The kind of characters you think about, characters you miss between books.  Ones you can’t wait to catch up with at the next new release.  Even the loud, bossy, annoying characters that make you roll your eyes in the back of your head so hard you almost sprain something (you know the ones). After a few installments, you realize you’re in love with them too, and when they enter a scene again only to be cantankerous, disapproving, or too nosy for their own good, you’re excited  to see that they’re still there, comforted that you can roll your eyes at their shenanigans.

 That was my goal, front and center, as I crafted and planned and daydreamed over my new Twister Sisters series.  I want the mysteries to be tight, compelling, and shocking.  But more than that, I want you to fall in love with the people who make up Willow Lane. I want you to fall in love with our three Twister Sisters.

 This goal seemed even more important as the three main characters of the series are women whose ages are rarely represented on page. Cordelia and Wanda are both sixty-six, and Pamela is fifty-nine.  It’s these three women who make the business of Twister Sisters--delivering their casseroles to the townspeople in need, and, as luck would have it, discovering dead bodies and solving their murders. 

 These women have lived full, dynamic, and meaningful lives.  With over six decades of life experience and relationships built in their cozy little town, there’s a lot of history to pull from.  You’ll get to travel along with them through their explorations of those relationships, both with family and friends.  Find out why Minnie Wells, the master knitter, is always so cantankerous. Discover what makes Pastor Trout so worried about her teenage son.  Help Cordelia uncover some of the relationships she thought she understood her whole life are actually sinister puppet masters, who’ve wielded more control over the events of her town than anyone ever imagined.  

That’s the other thing about these three women--often when characters of a certain age are featured, it only deals with the past, what they did, who they were.  Life doesn’t end at sixty.  These women are still doing, they are still becoming, and they are changing their town of Willow Lane and the lives within one casserole and one mystery at a time.   Along with them, are the people and characters who have traveled life’s journey with them side-by-side. Wanda’s assistant baker who dreamed of Hollywood but stayed in the little Ozark town.  Pamela’s son who overcame addiction and came home to start anew.  And Cordelia’s first love, who moved back to Willow Lane after fifty years away.  Everywhere you turn, there’s a character to fall in love with, be suspicious of, and make you laugh and cry.  Characters you’ll be excited to catch up with in the next book!



GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras by James Rice #review #childrensbooks #holidays


Gaston the green-nosed alligator has returned from the swamp and is taking adventurous readers on a tour of Mardi Gras.

My review:

This book is simply what it is, a review of what Mardi Gras is and is not. It seems odd to me to have a book on Mardi Gras to begin with as it is really an adult ideal. However, children do live in New Orleans and experience the many parades and balls as do the adults, thus the reason I wanted to read a children's version.

I thought when I started reading that this (again children's book) would be a dumb-downed book explaining the holiday. The cover version I read has a cartoonish alligator on it. In the book, it makes him to look like any other revelers. What really happened was a larger detailed version, complete with a list of the krews, what they do, and the parades they host.

Overall, though, it is the illustrations that make this book. The story itself is so-so. It is also why I can only throw out a 3-star review to the crowd.

Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book from my local library. My review here is 100% my own opinion and may differ from yours.

Peace Train by Cat Stevens #peace #songstobooks #childrensbooks #review


Hop aboard the Peace Train in this picture book adaptation of Cat Stevens’s legendary anthem of unity and harmony in time for the song’s 50th anniversary! With illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

My review:

Peace Train is a bold, beautiful, colorful book aimed at what the world needs at all times, peace. The original song was written in the 1970's by the author. 

The song translated to the book is simple and heartfelt. If you are looking for major substance in a children's book, you won't find it here because it is in the simplicity that makes the message.

However, what really makes this book come alive is the illustrations. The main character singing is of course, the author himself running to joining the train. The cast of characters that follow in the turning of pages, come from all walks of life. The old, young, different religions, cultures, sexes, abilities, all join in love and harmony. all sing the main concept...peace.

This is a book worthy of showing to young children but the young at heart. It is worthy of sharing.

In this review I am sharing his original song as well.

For the book, I am giving 4 stars not for the writer but for the illustrator.

Peace, love, and books,


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Nat Geo Kids Spring Book Bundle #Giveaway @DeliciouslySavv @NGKidsBks


Welcome to the Nat Geo Kids Spring Book Bundle Giveaway!

1 Winner ($95 TRV)

This giveaway is part of our Spring Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products.



Michigan Savings and More,


This giveaway's Sponsor is:

Sponsored By


1 Winner

1 Lucky Winner Will Win A Bundle Of Nat Geo Kids Books With A TRV Of $95!

Books Included In Bundle: (So Cute: Puppies, We Love Babies!, My Weird But True Fact-a-Day Fun Journal, The Big Book of Bling, Adorable Animals Super Sticker Activity Book, Just Joking 3, Little Kids First Big Book of Baby Animals)

Read My Review



This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 3/31/22. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to mcushing7 at hotmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contest are responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Bone Deep by Charles Bosworth and Joel J. Schwartz #Giveaway #spotlight #murder/truecrime


Bone Deep: Untangling the Betsy Faria Murder Case

The explosive, first-ever insider’s account of a case that continues to fascinate the public—the shocking wrongful conviction of Russell Faria for his wife’s murder—a gripping read told by New York Times bestselling true crime expert Charles Bosworth Jr. and Joel J. Schwartz, the defense attorney who battled for justice, and ultimately prevailed.

On December 27th, 2011, Russell Faria returned to his Troy, Missouri, home after his weekly game night with friends to an unthinkable, grisly scene: His wife, Betsy, lay dead, a knife still lodged in her neck. She’d been stabbed fifty-five times.
First responders concluded that Betsy was dead for hours when Russ discovered her. No blood was found implicating Russ, and surveillance video, receipts, and friends’ testimony all supported his alibi. Yet incredibly, police and the prosecuting attorney ignored the evidence. In their minds, Russ was guilty. But prominent defense attorney Joel J. Schwartz quickly recognized the real killer.
The motive was clear. Days before her murder, the terminally ill Betsy replaced her husband with her friend, Pamela Hupp, as her life insurance beneficiary. Still, despite the prosecution’s flimsy case and Hupp’s transparent lies, Russ was convicted—leaving Hupp free to kill again.
Bone Deep takes readers through the perfect storm of miscalculations and missteps that led to an innocent man’s conviction—and recounts Schwartz’s successful battle to have that conviction overturned. Written with Russ Faria’s cooperation and filled with chilling new revelations and previously undisclosed evidence, this is the story of what can happen when police, prosecutor, judge, and jury all fail in their duty to protect the innocent—and let a killer get away with murder.


Charles Bosworth Jr. is a New York Times and Amazon bestselling author of six true-crime books, with millions of books in print, as ebooks, and audiobooks. He wrote about crime and the courts in twenty-seven years as a daily newspaper reporter, including twenty years with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He also has reported for the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He lives in Southwestern Illinois in the metro St. Louis area.


Joel J. Schwartz earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and has spent thirty years as a criminal defense lawyer in the St. Louis region as a principal in Rosenblum, Schwartz & Fry. He has been selected to the annual Super Lawyers list, is a member of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers for the American Trial Lawyers Association and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, 60 Minutes, CBS Morning News, CNN, Fox News and numerous local news affiliates.


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Blue Fire and Crimson Phoenix by John Gilstrap #Giveaway #spotlight #bookseries #Thriller


Blue Fire

A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book 2 zz

 . .

They call it Hell Day—a world war that lasted less than twenty-four hours. Nations unleashed weapons that destroyed more than a century’s worth of technology. Electrical grids cannot generate power. Communications and computers cannot run. And the remnants of the U. S. government cannot be depended upon. Those who survived must live as their ancestors did, off a land ruled by the whims of nature.    
One-time congressional representative Victoria Emerson has become the new leader of the small town of Ortho, West Virginia. She has been struggling to provide food and shelter for the town’s inhabitants, while coping with desperate refugees. An autumn morning’s calm is shattered when her teenage son sounds the alarm with the cry “Blue Fire”—the code phrase for imminent danger.
A band of National Guardsmen intends to take Ortho and its resources for themselves. They have enough soldiers and firepower to eliminate anyone who dares to stop them. But Victoria swore an oath to defend and protect her people, and she isn’t about to surrender. It’s time to tap into the traditional American values of courage, ingenuity, and determination – and fight fire with fire.

Add to Goodreads


Crimson Phoenix

A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book 1

 . . .

Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.
A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.
Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .

John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of award-winning action novels including the Jonathan Grave Thrillers and the Victoria Emerson Thrillers. A master of action-driven suspense, his books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of an International Thriller Writers’ Award for Against All Enemies, the ALA Alex Award for Nathan’s Run, and a two-time ITW Award finalist. A nationally recognized weaponry and explosives safety expert as well as a National Shooting Sports Foundation member, John Gilstrap frequently speaks at conferences, events, clubs, youth programs, and military bases. He is a former firefighter and EMT with a master’s degree in safety from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. John lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway