Tuesday, July 28, 2020

#Review: Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico #cozymystery #recipes

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

My review:
This book is a first of series for this author and a pretty good one at that.

Mia coming home from a terrible accident and being the number one suspect, comes home to help her father run a catering hall/ wedding hall. The only problem is her father was know as a mobster and wants to keep this place legit. No problem!

Her very first gig turns out to be awful as a dead person ends up in the huge cake set aside for a bachelor party. Bummer!  She hangs on to clues to help her father and herself to gain freedom while battling the police and the mob.

I found it interesting to see Mia trying to juggle the catering business while trying to keep the mob at bay. Of course, there had to be a love interest but it is a bit sad the way that went. I won't tell you except to read the book.

The police, as in many cozies, are inept and Mia's sleuthing helps to win the day. She is smart and family oriented which is nice to see. I like her strong character. Also, the supporting characters make a good all around book.

I love that the book includes Italian recipes in the back for the readers to try out. It is obvious the author comes from an Italian family as it shines throughout the whole book.

There is only one problem that I had with this book and it may not be the author's fault. The storyline with the cake and someone dead in it, I have read before with another author. This threw me off a bit but did not distract so much that the story was not still good. Fortunately, both stories were different enough that the book was not a direct copy.

4 stars.

Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book for my own collections. The views posted here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle

Where to find the author:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

#Giveaway for Author Rick Marino @mmhudson 1968 #Children'sbooks #plushtoys

Reintroducing, Rick Marino and his two book, ""I Love You Very Muchly" and "I Miss You Very Muchly." These are the tales of Nika who comes to live with her humans and the adventures she incurs. 

Nika is a real ShihTzu that the author owns and bases his stories from.

To reintroduce his children's books, Rick Marino is having this fantastic giveaway for both of his books on Kindle and a plush dog that looks just like Nika!

Giveaway: You must enter the first entry which does not constitute a win solely on the entry. You must at least enter one other entry to be eligible. This giveaway is open to US only and you must  be at least 18 years of age to enter. Prize will be drawn by Rafflecopter and will be verified. The giveaway will run from 7/26/20 through 8/9/20. Rick Marino is responsible for the giveaway prize. You must respond within 48 hours to an email or forfeit your prize. Good luck!

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This is a list for #giveaways...

  1. books
  2. cats
  3. dogs
  4. read
  5. write
  6. fairies
  7. cities
  8. genre
  9. children's
  10. YA
  11. hard back
  12. soft back
  13. horror
  14. spiritual
  15. self-help
  16. humor
  17. jokes
  18. romance
  19. serious
  20. fantasy
  21. magic
  22. historical
  23. women's 
  24. fiction
  25. non-fiction
  26. dancer
  27. Tardis
  28. laughter
  29. playwright
  30. tremendous
  31. review

Friday, July 24, 2020

#Review: The Menu by Steven Manchester #spiritual

A soul-awakening novel about love, faith and family. During Phinn Reed’s romantic quest, he discovers that even through great suffering and loss, he is never alone—not ever—and that we are all eternally connected.

My review:

God tells a baby yet to be born that his name will be Phinn and offers him a menu of the things that he can pick for his life. He picks the works and God sends him down to live his life. He will not remember being with God before birth but will live his life of design.

It has been said that if I like "The Shack", that I would like this book as well. The truth is, there is no comparison. "The Menu" has its own brilliance that cannot begin to be compared. I love both but on their own merits.

In this book, Steven Manchester, has taken quite the departure from his general writings to create a spiritual book that is spectacular. Phinn's life takes the human roads we all eventually have to take: birth, maturity into adulthood, and death. Peeks into marriage and another birth are included and play a sharp casting to his overall life and thoughts about God. The characters, both main, and minor characters are so well written that I felt as if they were friends. Through it all, God is steering Phinn into the life he wanted and let's the reader know that we "are never alone."

5 stars from the heavens.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. The words written her are 100% my own opinions and may differ from yours.  ~Michelle

About the author:

Steven Manchester is the author of the soul-awakening novel, The Menu; the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; the multi-award winning novel, Goodnight Brian; and the beloved holiday podcast drama, The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStevenManchester
Twitter: @authorSteveM

Thursday, July 23, 2020

30 years since ADA #giveaway #spotlight

Two nonfiction picture books: A Sporting Chance, by Lori Alexander and All the Way to the Top, by Annette Bay Pimentel, celebrate what people with disabilities can do!

This anniversary, on July 26th, is special to my heart because I am a woman who is deaf. I appreciate all people who can look at their disabilities and turn what could be a negative in their life into a positive! Let's celebrate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 13, 2020

#REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY: The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids 2 by Carole P. Roman #jokebooks #CarolePRoman @mmhudson1968

Calling all comedians! This is the super silly joke-book sequel you’ve been waiting for! Welcome to The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids 2—the second installment in this best-selling kid’s humor series that’s guaranteed to make you a local legend—or, at least, the cleverest coyote on your block!

My review:
Carole P. Roman has become the master of joke telling in her new book, The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids 2. With a combination of sidebars of facts, and more jokes than you can shake a stick at, this is her second go-to book for kids and adults alike to get a good chuckle. 

I loved the zany illustrations that were included which made this book funnier. Just looking at the cover makes me want to laugh, and that is before opening the book. 

This second book follows along somewhat of the first book but many more jokes to be had. Seriously, I did not know there could be 800 jokes to be told, moreover, 1600! As I said with the authors first book, I can just picture her trying these out with her grand-kids and laughing right along with them. I have no doubt the kids probably tried them out on their parents too.

Something new in this book was the last chapter were Carole P. Roman teaches the nuances of telling a good joke. She even leaves space for the readers to write their own jokes. How cool is that?

If you want a great book to share with your  budding comedian, then this is the book for you.

I give this book 5 stars.

Disclosure: I was given an advance copy of this book from the publisher. The review here is 100% my own opinions and may differ with yours. ~Michelle

Carole P. Roman is graciously giving away a copy of this book to one of my readers. I am only facilitator for this giveaway. The prize will be sent to the winner by the publisher. The giveaway begins 7/13/2020 and end on 7/26/2020. The giveaway is open to U.S. only. You must be at least 18 years old to win. All entries will be checked for validation. Winner will be picked by Rafflecopter. The winner has 48 hours to return information needed for the win. If not returned in allotted time, an alternate winner will be chosen. NOTE: YOU MUST ENTER THE FIRST ENTRY BUT IT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED AN ENTRY SOLELY ON ITS OWN. You must enter at least one or more entries for this giveaway as well.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

#Review Spiffy Kids Storybook of Feelings Collection by J.R. Robinson

Spiffy Kids are the crazy, fun-loving characters that stay by your side every moment of your day – they’re those wonderful things we call feelings. So whether it’s Mad, Happy, Sad, Shy, Worry, or any of the many other Spiffy Kids, at least one is always with you—even right now!
This clever little book describes a child’s various emotions in a fun and entertaining way, with bright illustrations and lots of humor. It also gives children ways of dealing with these feelings and lets them know they are not alone. Everyone struggles with being mad, having worry, and sadness, and everyone has moments of being happy.

My review:
This book is long for being a children's book, it boast 131 pages of colorful hand-drawn photos and poetry. That is pretty amazing to me but I am not sure kids could sit in one sitting to read this, at least not younger kids. 

I cannot say that I was overly fond of the drawings even though they were bright and zany. They were however, large and did depict each "feeling" character well, for that, I give it a plus.

The best thing about this book is the poetry. Each "feeling" has approximately six pages of poetry which is a real "wow" factor for me. I enjoyed the feelings it gave me.

This book gets 4 stars from me.

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

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

#Spotlight & #Giveaway: Arms of the Ocean by Jamie Webster & M.Dalton #YA #Fantasy

Arms of the Ocean
Jamie WebsterM. Dalto
Published by: Parliament House
Genres: FantasyNew AdultYoung Adult

Nineteen-year-old Tristaine lived a life of bitterness. When her mother abandoned her family, and her father began drinking, Tris discovered the only thing that truly brought her happiness: the sea.
It called to her like a lover and flowed through her like a life force. When her only peace is threatened to be taken away, Tris realizes there is nothing she wouldn’t do to remain with the ocean.
Even if it means taking her own life to do so.
But the sea isn’t done with her -not yet- and Tris soon finds herself submerged in a world where love, betrayal, and honor stand stronger than any other force of nature.


Jamie Webster is an Adult Fantasy writer who recalls writing stories as early as ten. She first began writing fanfiction, though she typically created an original character to follow. In high school, she began to create her own fantasy worlds and roleplayed on Yahoo Groups and AIM. In her adult years, she has completed four books as well as written for several publications including a blog, Trials and Tribulations, for her local newspaper as well as articles on writing and book reviews for Fantasy-Faction.
Jamie received her B.A. in English with a focus in Creative Writing from UMaine and an MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. She does most of her drafting during NaNoWriMo and fancies herself as the hybrid plantser. Her passion is reading, writing, crocheting and playing video games. She currently lives in Maine with her three children, Corgi, Mini Aussie, and a plethora of other animals that she’d rather not admit to.
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / 

M. Dalto is a bestselling New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, having won a Watty award for excellence in digital storytelling for her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, in 2016. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

Tour-wide giveaway (INT) $10 Amazon gift card ends Jul 30th: a Rafflecopter giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233748/

The Big Book of Silly Jokes For Kids by Carole P. Roman #review #jokebooks #caroleproman

This illustrated collection of jokes for kids is inclusive and family-friendly, with knee-slappers that kids will be bursting to tell every chance they get (parents, you’ve been warned). The jokes also get more challenging with each chapter, so this book will tickle funny bones of all ages.

My review: 

I remember, as a kid, telling knock-knock jokes to whateverooks adult would listen to them. Most of them were corny as this type of joke can be but adult would laugh and that would make me laugh too.

Carole P. Roman, in a departure from her children's book stories, has taken on the art of joke telling in her book of 800 jokes for kids. I am sure as she was researching and writing, she told these jokes to her own grand-kids.  I know I got a laugh and sometimes groan from all the jokes in the book.

 There are a variety of jokes to be found, that are not just knock-knock jokes but tongue twisters, riddles, and everything else in between. The book also includes sidebar "stats" that make this book unique.

If you have a budding comedian then get this book!

5 stars.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author to review. The statements here are 100% my own opinions and may differ from yours. ~Michelle

Monday, July 6, 2020

Keeping the Lights On For Ike by Rebecca Daniels #review #Giveaway #WorldWarII #memoir

Most people don’t realize that during the war in Europe in the 1940s, it took an average of six support soldiers to make the work of four combat soldiers possible. Most of what’s available in the literature tends toward combat narratives, and yet the support soldiers had complex and unique experiences as well. This book is based on personal correspondence, and it is primarily a memoir that creates a picture of the day-to-day realities of an individual soldier told in his own words [as much as he could tell under the wartime rules of censorship, that is] as well as giving insight into what it was actually like to be an American soldier during WWII. It explores the experiences of a non-combat Army utilities engineer working in a combat zone during the war in Europe and takes the protagonist from basic training through various overseas assignments—in this case to England, North Africa, and Italy as a support soldier under Eisenhower and his successors at Allied Force Headquarters. It also includes some reflections about his life after returning to Oregon when the war was over.

My review:
This is the story of two people in love. It is romantic, sensual, and sometimes is red-faced embarrassing. This could be anyone's story...maybe...but it isn't. This is the story of two people who were kept apart for four years by World War II. 
Mary and Alec are the prime characters in this true story that is told through their letter writing throughout the war. Gaps and historical references are filled in by their daughter but some is left untold due to the censorship at the time.
Their story is sweet as Alec's love for his beloved Mary is noted throughout the whole book. Alec tells of his faithfulness to her but also his severe loneliness. He tells of irritations of a war gone on too long and of people who were sometimes not so pleasant to work with. Photos are spread throughout the book of places he visited as well as the couple themselves, each continents away.
Alec, although a non-combat officer, (he was close to the battles)gives a clear picture of what life was like for those who had to support the combat troops and clean up after war ravaged the countries. His words reflected Mary's frustrations of American wives who were left at home to carry on and hope in wait for their military families.
The author did a fabulous job of depicting her parent's love which endured for years and giving accurate history. This book is a great read with a different perspective.
5 stars
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.  ~Michelle
About the author:

Rebecca Daniels has been a university professor for many years who has also simultaneously had a vital creative career in the theatre. Throughout her career, her work has always been a mix of performance, teaching, and her own writing.
Her groundbreaking book on women directors and the effects of gender on their work is currently still in print [Women Stage Directors Speak: Exploring the Effects of Gender on Their Work, McFarland, 1996], and she has been published in several theatre-related professional journals over the years as well. After her retirement in the summer of 2015, she was finally able to focus all her energies on this book.
Giveaway: Can be found HERE
This giveaway is for 1 print copy open to Canada and the U.S. only. There are also 2 pdf copies open worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends August 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Wally Runnels' July 4th Beach #Giveaway

Welcome to author Wally Runnels' July 4th Beach Giveaway!
This giveaway is being co-hosted by Reading Author's Network/Away We Go Media.

There will be two prizes:

A signed copy of his book, " Twisted Love", 
$10 Amazon card,
 and this Beach Blanket 

                                                                READ REVIEW HERE

A Kindle copy of any of his books 
and $5 Amazon Gift Card

About Wally Runnels:

Wally was born in San Diego, traveled through Mexico, and Latin America. He was raised on the border at his family's ranch, whose original deed was recorded in 1870. Hanging out between two countries, he met a lot of unusual people: Hollywood types, Border Patrol Officers, professional trackers, smugglers, and people he won't mention by name. He'll remind you no matter how weird a story can get, it'll contain some grain of truth.

Disclosure: This giveaway is being sponsored by author Wally Runnels who is responsible for prize distribution. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the prizes. This giveaway begins July 4, 2020 @ 12 AM MST and ends July 18, 2020. This giveaway is a U.S. Giveaway only. TWO separate winners for the prizes stated above. You cannot win both prizes. All entries will be verified and winners notified via email. NOTE: You must enter at least both of the mandatory entries to be qualified. The first entry is to notify winner(s) and does not constitute an entry solely on its own.
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