Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: Keys to Atlantis

Get it here: Keys to Atlantis

This is the second book in a trilogy. Following a letter left to him from the notorious Captain Blackheart in the 16th century (see the first book for how That happened), Jon sets out again across time and space to meet up with Blackheart and assist him in his search for the lost city of Atlantis. Before they leave we given some mysterious clues of how the time travel machine may have been left in Jon’s Grandparents hands and that his parents death may vey well not have been an accident after all.

We are treated to yet another wild ride across time and the globe and I love the return of Jon as well as a introduction of the sassy Haley! The characters have great details and individualizations and the transitions are (as in the first book) flawless! Another great story from Mrs. Copus and I will be keeping my eyes out for the next book in this series.

Book Review: Blackhearts Legacy

Get it here: Blackhearts Legacy

This book was a breeze! I practically swallowed it up in a day! Even though the tale is very suited to a younger audience I find that adults can find much pleasure in this as well.
We start the journey with Jon, an orphan taken in by his grandparents who have a unusual hobby: time Travel. After a trip goes terribly wrong it’s up to Jon and his Grandmother to keep their wits together to make it home before a terrible Natural Disaster destroys the area where they landed.

I really enjoyed this story and the flow was great. Although there are many different views (Jon, Gammy, Gramps, Captain Blackheart), your not left lost and confused between each change. The author does a fine job of smoothly transitioning us from one character to another and the story just keeps on rolling! There are a few loose ends at the end and an obvious setup for the next book (which I already picked up) so be prepared to get hooked!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: You are This!

Get it here: You are This!

This Spiritual Self Help book is written by an Expert in the Field. Mr. Harrison already has other successful books published and has an impressive resume within the field of Spirituality (as described in his bio). I’ve had some minor experience with the spiritual aspects and views of our Bodies and self, through my Mother who is a Reiki Teacher among other things. I was interested in this book and was pleasantly surprised to find a glossary of the main term used in the book right up front. This made it easier for me whenever I had to reference something.
Even with the little that I know, the book is very complex and at times I had to set it down to really meditate (or re-read) on what the author was trying to make me consider. This book (IMHO) is not a beginner’s guide. This book is for those who are well on the path to understanding their place in this world, self-realization and consciousness.

Book Review: One More

Get it here: One More

This book was about a solar flare that kicked out the world’s communications systems and everything that goes with it and the resulting chaos. It is a survival story, basically but there are elements of personal turmoil, strength and the perseverance it takes for Richard Evans to continue his journey to home to his wife and remaining children.
I’ve read apocalyptic stories before, but I really liked how this book was very realistic and fitting to what is currently going on in the world. We don’t get fed miraculous set of people who just happened to have the right skills and everything works out for them every time in this book. This is a real, gritty and down-to-earth struggle for survival and for humanity. What will you do when the power goes out forever? Will you have the strength to return to your loved ones? Pick this book up, you will not regret reading it!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

New items in the Shop!

I recently posted some new Product in the shop so here are some Photos: OfftheNeedle

Book Review: Behavioral Genes

Get it here: Behavioral Genes

Why do we react in certain ways? Why are we driven to different types of behavior? Is there anything that we can do to really control what and when we do something? These are some of the questions that Dr. Baird poses and answers within this book. It was very fascinating and at times eye-opening, making me go: Aha! So That’s why I reacted that way! The way we react to certain situations stems in large part from our genes, from the times we were Cavemen and those types of Right or Flight mannerisms do not apply anymore. Lets face it: when was the last time you had to run from a dinosaur? Or fight a lion for dinner?

This is not you typical “happy-go-lucky” Self help book, this is a serious book, for serious people who truly want to understand what makes them tick and how they can change. I found some of the tips and strategies that Dr Baird writes about very interesting and I will be trying to incorporate them into my own daily life. We will see how it works out. That said, it was well written and easy to understand for some one like me who is not from a science background, just an everyday person.

Book Review: Clutch

Get it here: Clutch

This was a fun, fast and quirky read. I loved the main character, even though I wanted to strangle her sometimes over her idiotic choices in men, I still was able to identify with her and I loved rooting for her in the end when she finally wised up. Our main Gal is Caroline Johnson, she has the Brains and a Bod for sin as the story so aptly puts it. She starts and owns her own handbag line and tends to compartmentalize her men into the different types of handbags (hobo, wallet, clutch, etc). She has one true friend who has stood by her through it all, not judging: Mike. They met on their first day in college and have stuck together ever since.

Like I said, a very fun and fast read. It’s a feel good romance story and that is exactly what I wanted when I picked it up.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review: Greylock

Get it here: Greylock

On top of Mt Greylock, Pianist seeks solitude to compose his beloved masterpiece, a symphony of Beluga Whales. He has been dreaming of this since his times in the Navy when he first heard their songs in the submarines he worked on. His family is originally from Russia and with that heritage comes a chest wherein he finds a brilliant sonata.. He claims it as his own and goes on to become famous with it. But it all has a dark side. His marriage to Ballerina Carole Anne turns sour and then she gets murdered. He seduces a local weather girl and is tormented by a ghostly dark apparition. His Aunt warns him to take the sonata and never play it again, to burn it before it destroys him.

This novel was full of passion, murder, mystery and despair. The main character is poised perfectly to fall into madness with his theft and then the murder. There are a few suspects and we are left wondering with little clues left here and there on who actually did it? The drive and sometimes single-mindedness of Alexei is very well written, it draws you in and even though I didn’t like him for it sometimes, I could still respect him. Excellent mystery Novel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: Clandestine

Get it here: Clandestine

I really enjoy spy/secret clandestine organizations starring in my novels, but this book was so hard to start. The first few chapters were nothing but information. Granted, it helped with following the story plot later, but I think that the author could have found a better way of integrating all that info into the story.

The book sets before you the idea that there is a clandestine organization operating towards one goal: a world wide democracy that is beneficial to all people and looks at long-term goals rather than short. But in there operations things go sour, such as Egypt during the Arab spring. It should’ve been the smoothest transition, but it wasn’t. Following along after agent Koshka and Andy, the reader is taken upon a wild ride of missions and top secret dealings sure to please the conspiracy theory reader. Apart from the beginning the rest of the book was well written and it moved at a fast pace.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Finding the Way

Get it here: Finding the Way

This was a really good book. The story is breathtaking in its historical details and the emotional tolls that Mr. Mueller goes through on his journey from Prussia to America, (and even through America) are riveting and enjoyable. Part Immigrants tale, part Western I think that the author did a fantastic job of weaving all the different viewpoints and characters to create an exciting tale.
Mr. Mueller leaves Prussia after time served in the military to make a life for himself in the USA. He relies upon skills learned in his home country to get by and starts expanding upon those as he moves deeper into the American west. The people he meets all touch his life in one form or another.

The fact that the author is Mr. Muellers grandson brings a personable feel to this story. Even though it states in the foreword that this is a work of fiction, I am wondering just how much of this might very well be true?

Book Review: Cold beer and a Hot Dart

Get it here: Hot Dart

I bought this book not so much for the positive message it contains (although that didn’t hurt), but more for the journal of his journeys. I have family in Australia so anything that has to do with Australia interests me. Aussie land wasn’t the biggest portion of his book; it seemed to me that Africa played the bigger role. And that was ok, because I was intrigued and ensnared in the storyline of this amazing and once in a lifetime journey from the jungles of Borneo.

The author set out to write this book as if we were two friends, sitting and enjoying a drink or two and he sure achieved this. It’s a frank and stark description of a world so completely different from our own (first world problems anyone?) that grips you and will leave you pondering how you live your life after you are finished with it. This book is great for anyone wondering what is truly out there.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Review: Sharing the Secrets

Get it here: Sharing the Secrets

Even though I’m from Texas I picked up this book, it seemed interesting and I haven’t seen or found any book that is pertinent to TX Laws. As such, the information provided herein is a great and useful tool to prepare you for the aftermath of an accident. There are a few rules in here the author mentions are based upon Florida laws, but I think that even from another state you get a lot of information that this book is really useful.

The information that is provided covers not only what to do in an accident, but also how to deal with Insurance Companies, doctors and lawyers. He gives good tips and explains on why you should not just accept anyone’s word that they are trying to help you. Sometimes it IS to good to be true. I recommend this book as a good intro and guide to any person wishing to familiarize and prepare themselves for the unexpected.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: One Great Goal

Get it here: Great Goal

This is not your typical self-help book in that it tells you how to figure out your goals and then tells you to go do them. No this book helps you align your goals with your soul purpose (not a typo). Your soul purpose is what the little voices inside are trying to tell you. I picked this book up since I recently started a small business and figured this could help me with realistic goal setting and achieving these goals.

Now this book did help me with that but it also helped me realize how to effectively prioritize as well as how to stay motivated while I work on achieving my goals. Ursula did a great job in putting this book together and giving me all the information and tools I needed without overwhelming me in the process. Once you realize that if you work towards your one great goal your secondary goals will fall into place thing will go much easier for you!

Book Review Goddess of Fortune

Get it here: Fortune

Goddess if Fortune is a small connected group characters dealing with an alternate history Timeline. If you like this genre then this will be a fantastic book for you. And if you’re new to the genre, then this book would make a good introduction. We start with a forward from our author, wondering if certain small events had not transpired, how would the world be different today? If an assassin would have stopped in a bakery a few streets down and missed his mark, would the world have gone to war? What if the Japanese had taken a different approach to their naval strategies?

The Characters of Louise, Kaito, Hermann Goering and Roosevelt, give us the perspective of different major players within the WW2 era and how the small things they do, no matter how insignificant they seem matter in the end. The writing style is smooth and fluid and moves the plot along nicely. The changing between the characters is seamless and doesn’t detract from the story. Excellent book.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Review: Dominion

Get it here: Dominion

A nice book full of Swashbuckling Pirates, Captains, crooked magistrates, slave traders and damsels in Distress. It s a romance at its heart and as such I found it to be a tad predictable in the plot flow but the story was still enjoyable. I was able to follow along and really connect with Atia and her losses, first her mother and younger brother who perish in the shipwreck and then when she is separated from her sister Livia. I also liked the selflessness of the doctor throughout the story as he rushes to try and save people who are hurt, or doomed by their illness to die and being poor the majority of his patients cannot pay him but he helps anyway. This was a heartwarming character for me, not many of these are seen in these types of books. This book is the first in a series and it does well to set the stage for the next books to come.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Book REview: The Game Master

Get it here: Game Master

This book reminded me of the SpyKids movies. It has a similar premise where a brother and sister get stuck in a game. The difference here is that we start out with two friends who are very competitive and they get enticed to play a virtual reality game wherein they have to figure out how people operate to “win” the game. This book was interesting in its ideas of using the virtual reality to switch us into other people, our friends and maybe even our enemies to see just how they differ from us (if at all).
Even though the book is geared towards young adults I think that it can easily be read by many generations. It is not childish and yet easy to understand. I liked the writing style
 And that there were no formatting issues which can really jar you out of the flow of the story was good too. I think this is a good book, well worth picking up.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book review: Twist

get it here: Twist

This book was a very good story although I had some qualms with how it began. Our heroine loses her virginity within 48 hours of meeting this guy at her new school she just started to attend. It seemed a little “loosey goosey” to me, but then the things with the FBI started happening, her dad being on the most wanted list and all, and the story took off. We are treated to Luke’s point of view for some chapters of the book and they bring a nice angle to the story. The questions about why her dad was wanted, why and how her Mom died, and what it all has to do with this secret organization sanctity are posed and answered. The writing style is smooth and helps with moving the story forward at a good pace. This is a good conspiracy story centered on a young Teenage girl and her Father, but I wouldn’t let my young daughter read it due to the alluded sex scenes I wrote about above. I think it is good for adults who like a good mystery.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: Melting Steele

Get it here: Melting Steele

The second book in a series, I enjoyed the first so I decided to pick up this one as well. Once again, Detective Jasmine Steele is the lead and she is a strong willed, stubborn Female character. She is perfect for this intriguing crime Novel. The novel deals heavily with the Internet and all the things you can find on it. It also shows how you may be able to find things on there that you didn’t expect. This was very Eye-Opening and thought provoking for me. The story picks up a little while after the first book ends and is a good continuation. I did get a little tired of watching her relationship totter with Frankie, since it was pretty much the same as the first book I felt there could have been some more progress, either, they start working together or call it a quits for good.

The writing style is once again very well executed and I find that I am looking forward to a third book in this series. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Craft Fair

So today was my first Craft Fair. After perusing tons of articles on tips and ticks, do's and don'ts The day arrived. And I think i did fairly well. It was a small fair, mainly for the teachers of the local Elementary school and the Neighboring school.
I made through Custom Order Requests than my actual Product. It's all good though, I can sell them in the Shop OfftheNeedle (for those who haven't been there yet)

Here are some pictures from my booth:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: Intelligent Design

Get it here: Design

Right off the bat this book was hard for me to really delve into the story. It felt disjointed and not until a good quarter of the way in did it start to make sense. The story starts off with what appears to be an alien talking to a AI about the ongoing “planetary Projects” within our sola system before the planet he is on is wiped out. Cut to current time and we get introduced to Perez, a young scientist in the Light spectrum field. She is somehow taken by these aliens and now lives among them (how this happens wasn’t clear till later).  She is tasked with saving them by fixing their holographic emitters. And I can’t say more about this otherwise I’ll be spoiling this book.

The writing and plot layout are solid and once I was able to follow the storyline the book took off in terms of depth and speed of the story. It was a nice change of pace from the usual Science Fiction stories and the characters are given enough details to truly become individuals to me. A good book with a rough start.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review: Nuclear Mission

Get it here: Nuclear Mission

This is an interesting twist on the whole “alien abduction” Genre. In this story Mark gets abducted but instead of prodded and probed he gets outfitted with an Invisibility cloak and a mission: Convince the Leaders of Earth to get rid of their Nukes. That way the aliens can evacuate to Earth. They are fleeing asteroids that are going to destroy their home planet. Besides the nukes, (and the convoluted politics of earth), our planet is just right for them. We are joined on this rollercoaster of how Mark goes about this mission by Marks, girlfriend and his co worker. The author, being a Veteran, has the Government and military sides of the story masterfully covered. Again, a interesting twist. I liked it.

All characters are fleshed out and you do get wrapped up in the story but I that maybe some more action (this is Sci-Fi after all) or some more conspiracy theorists would have made this story greater.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Book Review: Dangerous Brains

Get it here: Dangerous Brains

This was an extremely well written apocalyptic novel. In the veins of SkyNet, The TV show Revolution and all the other SciFi flicks, that always ask us what happens once machines take over the world; this book seeks to answer the hypothetical question of how do we get there? How do the machines evolve to that point of intelligence and how do we stop them from wiping us out of existence?
You are dropped in the middle of this book and it grips you from the first few pages, like a movie plot it is unrelenting in its tempo and just when you are comfortable with the info you have gained, you get new players and new circumstances thrown at you.
Regardless if this book is true or not (and I hope it isn’t) it was entertaining, and detailed. It used flashbacks to flesh out details that were important, but they did not detract from the story and it never even gave me pause while reading it. The twists and turns, of this story were brilliantly carried out (was Vladimir involved? What is Cronus’s mission exactly?) And the end was surely unpredicted. A great book, I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Business Cards!!

Just received my awesome Business cards in the mail today! Just in time for the craft Show next week!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Review: The Gift Knight

Get it here: Gift Knight

This story is full of court intrigue, centuries old clan feuds and youngsters full of hope that they can make a place for themselves amidst all of this in a world rich in detail. The author does a very good job handling the individual characters and their plot lines and weaves this all into an entertaining book. There is much information given, between Derek, and Chandra the two main characters and I find it leads the story well, throughout the entirety of the book. I know some people said that the book was slow to start, but I liked the flow. It was steady and well paced throughout.

I enjoyed the plotting, and the court scenes, (reminded me a bit of Game of Thrones) but the I love intricate stories full of betrayals and mysteries of who did what when… This entertaining tale will keep you awake waiting for “just one more chapter”. 

Book Review: Night Sea Journey

Get it here: Night Sea Journey

Wow, What a Story! I couldn’t put this one down and it’s been a while since a story has gripped me this way! I was unsure at first when the story seemed centered on two priests, both struggling with their personal burdens, but once it took off, man did it ever! There are Biblical Demons, Jewish Genealogies and Prophecies, a troubled young woman who you can’t be sure if she is experiencing hallucinations and Night Terrors, or actual real life Visions. And each new piece will have you questioning what came before, and if t all might be one big dream, and not reality at all. I know when Garcia came back into play I was thinking, ok here we go, maybe he was a hallucination as well, but I can’t reveal what did happen. Don’t want to spoil it. The ending let me down I wanted it to end different, but it was a good ending after all. Can’t always get what we want, right? So pick up this book, enjoy the story and get lost in it an d just maybe be a little bit wary of what your dreams may become…

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Review: The Sword and The Dragon

Get it here: Sword and Dragon

What a read! This fantasy tale has it all, sorcerers, imps, giants, dragons, elves, and brothers fated to be on opposite ends of Good and evil despite their love for each other.
Gerard and Hyden each have majestic destinies, but one is to die and live again only to bring doom and evil to the kingdom while the other will gather strong allies and rally the forces of good against his brother. Originally I thought that the two brothers would eventually unite and fight against the sorcerer Pael, but that stunning twist of betrayal in the middle of the book that set Gerards feet upon the much darker path foiled that plotline.

This read was refreshing in its telling. The story did slow here and there, but the pace in general was steady from one moment to the next. Even the different Point of Views did not detract as they so often can, but rather added the detailed layers to the individual characters. A fantastic story to pick up and cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate on these cold, rainy days!

Some items for the Craft Fair coming soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Book Review:The New Lease

Get it here: The new Lease

I really enjoy conspiracy novels so this was right up my alley. Fae is a interesting choice as main character since she has a history of mental illness, top that off with her unique assignment from her College Professor in Investigative Journalism you have the perfect plot. Why is there a sudden rush of “feel good” news over the world? How does this all fit together? The book jumped a tad bit too much for me in the beginning, I know it was trying to build the back story and the Indian Ashram was part of the “villains” back-story, but I find it could have been condensed a little.

Regardless of that, I did enjoy the story, the pacing was great (around the middle it took off) and the characters were really detailed. The end (as other reviewers have remarked), left me with a bit of an empty feeling, as if I missed something, but it was only because multiple plotlines were left open. 

Book Review: The busy Executive Diet

Get it here: Diet

This is not your typical Diet book where they tell you to abstain from one food and eat more of the other with no scientific reasoning. You can tell that the author really did her homework for this book. She has included all the references at the end of each chapter, making it easy to go and look at the individual studies that she was talking about.

Furthermore, the advice she gives is no-nonsense and to the point. She gives you the scientific and medical reasoning behind her advice and she is not trying to sell you some “miracle” substance that will magically make you slim. This is actually what got me interested in reading this book. I don’t usually pick up diet books, because this is a multi-billion dollar industry and our avg waist size is increasing in alarming numbers. This book helps you get over the excuses you give yourself that are self-defeating in the end and I am sure that this book, if followed carefully will help you lose the weight and keep it off. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: Romance with a touch of Love

Get it here: Romance

This book is a collection of poems and short (really short) stories that are all centered on Love. This might be a seemingly simple enough concept but the author is very good at what he does and there were a few I had to re-read to really get what he was saying, not just the overt, but the subtle meanings as well. He is able to really make you think about love, just as the description says. There are twelve poems altogether in this book that spans 16 pages.

The only thing I have to say that spoiled this book for me is how it was so short. I would’ve loved to have more poems, or short stories to immerse myself in, since this is a talented writer. This is the only reason this is getting only 3 stars. For, diction, tempo, grammar, structure and the heart of the poetry itself, this book deserves at least 4 stars.

Book Review: The High Price I had to pay

Get it here: High Price I had to pay

I picked this book up because I liked the Ms. Davis’s first book “She’s all caught up” so much. That story, her memoir, was very interesting. This story, is more about later in life, how she fought her legal battles, and wrongful trial, effectively being punished because she didn’t have the far-reaching and high up connections of the others that were involved with the Lehman fraud deals. What I found interesting was who had their fingers in whose pockets and how they all seemed to have each others backs over the years. I found it sad that Ms. Davis’s extremely harsh sentence was upheld time and again.

I did find some parts of the book to drag on because of all the legal terms, I had to look them up, or re-read some parts a few times to ensure I grasped what was being said, but as the book went on, I was able to keep up. At the end Ms. Davis closes with several of her own Poems, inspired by her time in prison and her experiences. Overall, I found this book interesting, if a bit hard to follow at times.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: A Monster Chase

Get it here: A Monster Chase

This book was a bit different, part fiction and part biographical is how I took it. The main character is Anna, a writer in the Healthcare System who is a patient of Dr. Helen Quaile and also does some editing work for her. Through the book Anna reflects on their relation ship as doctor and patient and when she finds out that Dr. Quaile’s license is revoked ends up researching the legal battle, courts, and all.
Dr. Quaile has this vision of how a practice should be run, but she is barely hanging on, often using her own paychecks to cover labor costs and other expenses. Sadly she falls victim of an overzealous prosecutor who is trying to make a name for himself.

This was a interesting read, very unique in its set up, using many flashbacks to cover and clarify points or data herein. The parts with the court transcripts took some getting used to but in the end it enriched the story, making me feel like I was sitting in the courtroom. A very interesting and thought-provoking read about our Healthcare system and how it treats the individual doctors (not those part of a hospital). I would recommend this book any day. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book review: Light Within

Get it here: Light within

This was a really good tale. Even though I didn’t read the first book in this series (this is the second, and I really need to start picking up the first books from now one), the story wasn’t hard to follow. The author did not swamp you with information either, rather she lest the story unfold and feeds you a bit of background information little by little. That is the best way to do this I think. I did feel a tad lost amidst the many characters and their relation ships from time to time, but never to the point of frustration.

The story follows Sara as she leads a team of warriors through earth and other parallel worlds in search of the three keys that will save Earth from the all consuming powers of the shadows who are directed by Tarsalon. Sara is an old soul and has been connected to Kevin, who remembers their past lives together, yet cannot reveal them to Sara for fear of distracting her from the mission and violating an agreement he has with powerful beings. This story brings the spirit of teamwork, compassion, bravery and testing your limits and it does this in a beautiful manner. I recommend this book.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: Think what YOU want

Get it here: Think what YOU want

I’ve never read James Allen’s book so I cannot compare this one to his. This book deals with the Law of Attraction and positive thinking. Pretty much if you are positive, then you will attract positive things in your life (a pretty simple way from me to explain it top you). The positive message that this book brings you reassures you that karma is there, and even though you might think otherwise, if you think positive, believe positive (as in spiritual), and live positive, then positive things will surely come your way. This book was an easy read. A first for me in this genre, so I was a little hesitant to purchase it but I am happy I did and took the dive into the “Positive Thinking” crowd. I am going to try and use all the tools the author provided within to stay on the right track and who knows? This might actually work

Friday, November 13, 2015

New Items

Here are some new items in my shop: OfftheNeedle

Pardon Crucifix Rosary
Christmas Rosary
Aventurine Mala
White Pearl Tasbih

Aventurine Tasbih
Lapis Lazuli Tasbih

Book Review Perfect for Him

Get it here: Perfect for him

This was a stirring and emotional tale of Harley as she deals with her approaching death. It does not stop there, and it follows her daughter’s and her husband on how they deal with her death and how they come out of it. This story is about family, loss, but also courage in the face of it all and steadfastness. The author was able to flesh each character out with enough details so that you truly started caring about each one.
I know one reviewer said this book was “rather ordinary”, but I do not think so. In all our lives we deal with death and loss and this book shows how one family dealt with it. This book wasn’t ordinary in my opinion. I enjoy reading about life and how other people live it (even if it is only fiction). This is a good story and well worth the read.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Coupon to the Shop!

Here is the link OfftheNeedle

Book Review: Face of our Father

Get it here: Face of our Fathers

This story about Angie and Stu, husband and wife who try to protect each other from harm, while they each set out to protect innocent people in their own unique way will grip you and will not let go. Poignant in its setting and horrifying in its attention to detail this is a story that could or rather, very well might be happening at this very moment. Honor killings? Check. Human Trafficking? Check. The story telling and writing is superb and you will be left pondering this book for a long time to come. Wondering, are your children truly safe? How close is this threat really to us?

I did like the story. I liked how the prologue, set hundreds of years in the past was incorporated and made relevant in the here and now. This was a fast paced and detailed story and it was a worldwide crime story, with wide reaching implications. This Thriller will keep you entertained until the last word.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: Atlantic Island

Get it here: Atlantic Island

(This is a review for the Omnibus Edition) I really loved this book. The Hypothetical What-If and Alternate history genre is right up my alley and so I am glad I picked this book up and I devoured it. Even though the story is focused towards the YA audience, as an adult you can still get something out of the story.

We find Theo and his friends enjoying their summer break down in Atlantic City, NJ and what was supposed to be a summer filled with fun, sun parties and girls turned into a horrific nightmare. Part of the Shoreline is ripped from the continent and transported who knows where, but there are questions about things that the group of resident “scientists’ have found, Philadelphia is under water with Swastikas on City Hall? Are we in a bad remake of Water World? But even as many questions as it raises and answers, the author does leave enough questions open ended so that you are left waiting and searching for the next book because this one has gripped you and won’t let go. Get this book and Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review Tips, Tricks and $ advice they didn't teach you in college

Get it here: Tips and Tricks

This book has lots of good advice, some common sense and some that are helpful even if you are not that knowledgeable in the financial world. Some things that I really liked was the simple explanations the author provided for terms such as: 401(k), Roth and traditional IRA, 457/403(b) Simple IRA’s and so on. He even goes on to explain Investment Accounts, Bonds, Mutual Funds and more. The advice he gives about Mortgages, purchasing Cars and even protecting your data both on and offline is very good and something that I think is really relevant in today’s interconnected world. He references a few other books within if you have some special circumstances so this would benefit you and save you time from browsing the book aisles.

I was surprised at the advice he provided about the Fixed vs. the AR Mortgages, but I think I am more comfortable with the fixed I have now. And the advice about setting a budget and limiting your spending on your credit cards unless you can immediately move the money into it and pay it off is valuable advice that we “know” but never follow. This is avery good book to give you a common sense look at some issues and give you ideas on how to get started with cleaning up your financial mess you are in.

Book Review: Cup of evil

Get it here: Cup of evil

The main characters might be Zoe and Garth, but Josh an attorney and acquaintance ends up becoming a major character as well. The bad guy, Mr. Beckman tries his best to thwart them in their plans of rebuilding a downtrodden neighborhood in Manhattan. Corruption, bribes, blackmail you name it he tries everything to get the major and anyone else who might be helpful to stand in their way. And Josh, at first out of a mislaid dutifulness helps Beckman, but once he uncovers the true and deep depravity of Beckman he starts to find his way to Zoe’s side and her cause.

This was a feel good story, fraught with dark moments, yes but a feel good story with a happy ending nonetheless. The characters were easy to love (and hate) and you feel a sense of commitment towards them as they fight for their respective goals. The writing is very good and helps carry the story. A great book!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: Detour Allure

Get it here: Detour

So here we are again, continuing the adventure of Tucker Blue and Mrs. Monika the flight attendant who now seems to be more than she first appears to be. And the ticket Tucker has found is proving to be more of a hassle than it is worth. On the run after they finally were able to meet up with their friends, Tucker and Monika must race to figure out just who this “Doctor” really is and why she wants them so badly. And why is the Secret Service tailing them now as well? Discover the answer to these questions in the story.

This is the second book in the series and it is much better than the first book. I truly enjoyed this tale, there is a faster pace throughout and there is definitely more believable chemistry that there was in the first book. Note that here are plenty of sexual scenes that may turn some readers off. Overall, a great comeback from a mediocre first novel to a really good second one. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review: Brothers and Strangers

Get it here: Brothers

This story about Cassie and Gareth who is his boss; but who eventually takes Cassie under his wing and becomes his best friend; was interesting and well detailed, but I believe that the pace being so slow made it harder to read than it could have been. There are mysteries and flashbacks and some things don’t make much sense until you come closer to the end but it is well worth sticking with this book. The author does recommend that you read the first book in the series, but if you don’t (like me), I think you can still find a interesting story here.
Over time Cassie travels from England to USA to become a professor, but still stays in close touch with Gareth, and starts researching something called Hughes gun. Meanwhile their close friend Marianne is investigating a suspicion that Gareth is not who he claims to be. Throughout his life and this quest, Cassie encounters some pretty interesting fellows and gals and we learn a lot about him through his interactions and his thoughts/reflections of events that have happened in the past.

The ending is a pretty good twist and certainly wasn’t obvious. Very superb writing overall.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Book Review: Nicolas Dent and the Mysterious Machines

Get it here: Nicholas Dent

This book was geared towards Young Adults, but since I enjoy reading them, this was a no brainer for me. Our hero is Nicholas Dent who lives with his Mother and sister. His father dies shortly after he was born so he never knew him. Nicholas survived a mysterious illness that almost killed him right after he was born and wants nothing more to be average, normal and unnoticed in his life. However, his mother starts dating a researcher, he starts suffering from unexplainable fatigue and funny things start happening (like who sacked his room).
Nicholas discovers some amazing and some horrifying things at the local Research Facility outside of town and in his Fathers storage unit (until now unknown) storage Locker he finally stumble upon some answers for his questions.

By the end of the novel you will be hanging onto each page, waiting to see if this fatigue will finally overcome him, Will Dr Sam or Dr Leach get a hold of him for who knows what experiments? What is hiding in the bowels of the Facility? And what are all those tiny things in his Cells? A very well written book full of courage, team work, angst and triumph. I would recommend this one to any of my teenage cousins. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review: By Design

Get it here: By Design

This Romance takes you into the fast paced world of Fashion where Margaux Channing is constantly setting herself up for failure when it comes to love. Once she meets Dr. Joshua Heaven (no pun intended) however, her luck seems to turn around. Wary of love and terrified of having her heart broken again Margaux, reluctantly allows Josh to “woo” her while she is on Vacation in Jamaica, but will it work out once she gets back to the Fashion world in New York (and in vicinity of her Ex Evan)?

I really loved to hate Margaux, she was egotistic, bullying, demanding, unreasonable and selfish. If you saw the movie: “The Devil wears Prada”, then you know what I mean. It seemed like nothing pleased her. Even when she was on Top of her game she would complain how the world hates her.  I don’t mind my characters being driven and a bit edgy, but I think that the author really strove to make this girl a hard cookie. Other than that, the story was nice, the people within were relatable and the ending was satisfying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review: Second Chance at Love

Get it here: Second Chance

For those of us, who have loved and lost, who have closed their hearts off to the possibility of new love so that we not are hurt again, this book is for you. If you long for a nice romance story that seems real and not far fetched, then this book is for you. 

The quirky choice of name for your main character here (frank as a girls name?) was a bit distracting but in the end not terribly so.
Frank and Colt are two people who have been through the “happily ever after” and are not looking for that hurt again so when their feelings for each other collide they are too bull headed to see how good they would be for each other in the long run. 

Since this is a romance it has a happy ending, although there is a little surprise (or two) thrown in there and it doesn’t feel like its just one more romance. I was able to emphasize with both characters, although I wanted to shake them out of their stubbornness on more than one occasion.

It was a fast and nice feel good book for me. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Review: 9/10 of the Law

Get it here: Law

What a weird thriller. Those were my first thoughts as I finished this book. It was a well written story (although, I could’ve definitely done without the extensive use of profanity and colorful descriptions of people's rear ends and such). If you think this will be your run-of-the-mill crime dramas, think again. The weirdness starts from the first chapter. Detective Ricci is living in Australia and gets called out on a gruesome homicide. Trying to detangle all the people who know “something” and figure out who did the crime is where it gets weird, (think possessions and supernatural feelings) and the story does take several macabre turns before finally leading up to the end and dropping you smack dab into it.

The story (minus the language) was pretty unique, and in itself gripping. It might very well have you questioning whether to turn off that hallway light at night. The descriptions are pretty graphic and there is some drug use depicted within the book. I know some people were saying the Australian slang was hard to follow but I didn’t think so. Nothing was so far out that I couldn’t deduce what the author was describing. A good book, but definitely not lighthearted.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book REview: A Different Breed

Get it here: A Different Breed

So this book’s story is based upon the premise that Vampires did not inherently stem from a curse from god, or that they are demons or evil incarnate. This book proposes the theory that Vampires are a form of Natural Evolution of the Human species. That one does not Die and then re awaken as a blood sucking tyrant, rather one falls ill and in this illness the person falls into a coma like state and when they awaken they are remade.

Reading it as a vampire novel only this book might not do it for you. It didn’t for me until I simply stopped trying to see the vampires that I have become used to and started to see this as the story and adventures of Kate Sutton a young girl who, through unfortunate events gets captured, tortured and turned into a half-breed. Reading it as a adventure for her, following her story, the vampire aspect falls to the background only reemerge here and there, staying relevant and not distracting from the main story.

The ending was good; however, since it is the first in a series, the ending does leave some loopholes that will hopefully be tied up in the next book. I truly enjoyed reading this book and will recommend it to others.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Review: Wake not the Hangman

Get it here: Wake not the Hangman

While this book on the surface seems to be your typical western novel, within the pages is a tale of courage, abuse, heartbreaking love and the ultimate betrayals. Thornton is treated just like a slave by his abusive father and made to work the farm day in and day out. He despises Slavery and when his father brings home three slaves to help out around the farm Thornton welcomes these new potential conspirators for a daring escape. However, when his cousin Ethan (who is as mean spirited as Thornton’s Father), makes a sudden appearance, it puts the entire plan and family at risk.

This book was so well written and the characters were so fleshed out that I was drawn into it quickly. The ending was superb and actually interesting since you sort of have the happy ending you would expect. Then again you don’t. The reflection by Thornton at the end is extremely thought provoking since it is still relevant today. What are the consequences of your actions? And do you let the fear of repercussions stop you from doing the right thing?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Book Review: Swimming with Sharks

Get it here: Swimming

As the title suggests, this is a story involving a mafia/mob group. I always enjoy a good crime related story so this was an easy pick. The story centers on Allison a divorced, single mom who keeps getting into situations she needs to be rescued from (be it by herself or someone else). This is mainly due to the fact that she cannot leave well enough alone and has to play at being a Private Investigator to solve the mysteries in her life.
The “tragic” back-story to her (in)existent love life was pretty fun and entertaining to read and it did flesh the characters out nicely, making me care about her that much more.

This is a book within a series but I didn’t think that it mattered in which order you read them, I only found out it was a series until the end. The book is good enough to be a standalone on its own. I didn’t like the cliff hangar ending; it left plenty of story lines open to where it almost felt as if the story was chopped off between chapters. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review Detour Paris

Get it here: Detour Paris

The story follows Tucker Blue as he hilariously tries to find his way to Barcelona after being bumped off the companion Ticket that he was using from his Flight Attendant Girlfriend. Coincidentally, another Flight Attendant got bumped as well and she joins him as he makes his way across the globe to meet up with Ebba his Girlfriend. 
All in all, after some misfortunes they are finally on their way. Some things that make this story interesting: The mystery around the raven and the one around the man who crashes through their compartment door and dies, where did the Lottery Ticket come from?

The author leaves a bit of a cliff hangar here, although there is an excerpt from the second book in the series at the end of this one, which starts to answer some of them. The story is a mix between a lust story and a murder mystery as you have these different angles that are there telling their story and then you discover how the different people meet and how they tie together.

I found this book entertaining, the concept of “divorced people dating” wasn’t all that new to me (I am divorced) but the Flight Attendant angle put a new spin on it and overall the story was sound. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review: Searching For Cool, Praying for Heat

Get it here: Searching for cool

The coming of Age story of Brian is set amidst the 50/60’s racial turmoil in the south. There is some language within that might be uncomfortable for some people, but the author mentions it within the foreword and their wish to keep the tone of the book as authentic to how it was back in those times. Thus hoping to fully immerse the reader within the story and I do say that this was a fantastic read. The main point of view is from Brian over the summer, and throughout the school years although you do get some chapters written from the view of others in the story, his parents, Angela (his crush) to name a few.
This story grips and shocks you right off the bat; within a few pages you are witnessing a young girl’s rape. This and the actions that it sparks play out throughout the novel and have a way of resurfacing. Brian and his family are “Yankees” from up north so they do not adhere to the strict segregation beliefs as much of the surrounding residents in town do, and Brian even participates in the Sit Ins, he rides around on a Motorcycle behind an African American man, “thumbing his nose” at the establishment so to speak. He ends up having a confrontation with the Klan that leaves him almost dead and then fighting for recovery afterwards. Brian struggles to really discover who he wants to be and what he wants to stand for morally, as a young man, all the while being constantly “distracted” by the pubescent awakening of his body (so to speak).

An intriguing read from front to back, this book is great for any history buff, and even those who enjoy some drama twisted into it all.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review: No greater Love

Get it here: No greater Love

What a wonderful romance novel! And it is such a current topic right now, with the refugee situation that the concept of this book intrigued me and I am glad I got it. The story follows Janan and Pieter how their lives start and ultimately intertwine and the love that blossoms from it.
Janans sense of duty and honor towards her family and friends was admirable and something that I was able to identify with and made me emphasize with her much more than any other character. Janan ends up asking Pieter for one night, and one night only, (mainly because she is under the impression that he will be leaving her small town and so the possibility of gossip or heartache of seeing him would be removed), but over the course of that one night they discover afterwards that they have lost their hearts to each other and so much more. After some predictable turmoil they find their ways back to each other and are united again.

Even with some predictable situations and plot turns (it is a romance after all), this story was refreshing and entertaining to read. Great book!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book Review: Wake me up!

Get it Here: Wake me up

Well, this book had a slow start for me. I don’t think it really took of until the story hit the third or fourth chapter. But once it did, boy did it ever take off. Talk about sweet revenge that is best served up cold.
The story starts with us being introduced to this perfect little family the Calley’s: Mary the stay at home Mom, Connor the son who gets skipped a grade ahead for being such a genius and Tony the investment banker who is at the top of his game. But are things truly as they seem? Tony ends up being addicted to gambling and a cheat and Mary is skipping her Thyroid meds (because they make her feel funny), ending her up in the hospital.

Over the course of the story, things keep getting more and more twisted until someone snaps, and “takes care of everything” and without spoiling the story that is all I can really say. Even with the slow start its worth a read, especially for the twisted ending.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Etsy stuff....

Get them all here: OfftheNeedle
glass bead rosary

Red Tigers Eye Rosary

Chain Tassel Tasbih

Knitted Hat

My DD Modeling the Knitted Hat

Tree of Life Bracelet

Leaf Bead Earrings

Craft Fairs

Am wondering ... Does anyone have a Do's and Don'ts for selling at Craft Fairs? Am considering maybe doing one to showcase the variety of items I have been able to make..

I know there are plenty in the area, and I have even been to a few, but I haven't thought about bringing my items to the masses in person before (other than at my Cousins Weekend Flea Market Stand)

Any ideas, tips, tricks, knowledge is greatly appreciated!

Book Review: The Thyroid Cure

Get it here: Thyroid

Be your own Health advocate with the guidance of this book! Take control of your life!
After being diagnosed with a Low Thyroid function I picked up this book thinking it will help explain to me what is actually going on in m y body and how I can fix it. Well this book did that and so much more. This book covers the basics of the Thyroid then gets more detailed in how it affects each and every part of our body. She also writes how the Liver and Immune System are important to the functions.
 It was a bit “new Age” in some spots as the author herself noted in the beginning of the book, but overall I found the wealth and breadth of information almost overwhelming. I have book marked and highlighted this poor book all over because I want to be able to refer back to certain spots as I need.

She has helpful tips that I haven’t even thought of, and discussion points to bring to your doctor as well as helpful examples of previous people who she has been able to guide on a healing path. I am encouraged by this book to try and start my own healing journey and maybe I too will be able to get my Thyroid Condition into remission if not Cured Altogether!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Review: Steele Resolve

Get it here: Steele

Wow, finally a different type of Crime Novel. If you were looking for those Main Characters in a book that are a member of the LGBT community, (because we all know there are so few out there and the ones that are, are completely overblown) then look no further. Detective Steele is a no-nonsense, down to earth, competent person, and yet she struggles with life’s hardball’s just as the rest of us. Recently she had to become the guardian of her nephew due to her brother’s death and she is reeling with the responsibilities while trying to solve what looks like a Serial Killer running rampant in her town.

The twists and turns in this novel, as well as the heartache, grief and compassion will keep you on the edge of your seat and will grip you until the very end. And what an end it is, I never saw the twist of who it was coming, and that made this book that much more enjoyable for me. I like it when a book can surprise me and I will certainly be picking up the next book. This will go on my series to watch list.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Etsy Find: Turquoise Pendant

Here is a Beautiful Turquoise Pendant:

Etsy Store: OfftheNeedle

Book Review: The Love Magnet Rules

Get it here: 101 Love Tips

Mr. Stone has created a compilation of tips for finding and dating that special someone. I found his book to be humorous in some of his word choices (don’t be a jerk, lol) and most of the tips were what I consider to be common sense. But there were plenty that made me think, made me realize I hadn’t considered that, and the section on Internet Dating as well as Social Media is a valuable tool for everyone in the Dating “Game”.

I have already given this book to a friend of mine and will hop that she takes these tips to heart, truly follows them and finds her true love. For myself, this book was a personal reminder (As I’m married) to continue to treat my husband as if he were truly that special someone, to not get complacent and slack off in the intimacy department. We all want to be treated well and as Mr. Stone says: If they are special, treat them as such. 

Book Review: For those in the shade

Get it here: Shade

So this is the second book in the dead bank diary series.  I wanted to give the series another chance even though the first book was a struggle at times to read.  I think with this book the author redeemed the series.  I was able to follow along and even though there are still sentence structure errors throughout the whole book, they are not as distracting (or I simply got used to them) as they were in the first book.

The story follows Anna the "middleman" and her new companion Marc as they try to unravel the mystery of who tried to break into Illya's bank, as well as what they were trying to do there.  The emphasis on financial information was less pronounced than in the first book and there was more intrigue and mystery and “who dun it”, which I think helped make this book more interesting to me and easier to read. If you didn't read the first book you can jump right in here, there is a little over view in the beginning that will help you figure out who is who. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: The Float Tank Cure

Get it here: Float Tank Cure


I recall hearing about this a few months ago, so I was curious about it and when I saw this book I figured, why not? I’m glad I got it because Mr. Scott truly explains what this is all about. Does it seem strange? Does the idea of disconnecting from the external world and lying in a dark room floating in a salt water tub even frighten me a little? Sure, but I am willing to give it a try after Mr. Scott has laid out all the benefits: a proven way to reduce pain, enhance your physical recovery and a way to disconnect from the world.

I’m also getting this book in the paperback format to give to my husband who suffers from anxiety and has never liked the side effects the medicines give him. He will be able to benefit from the wisdom imparted here. And maybe Mr. Scott will have persuaded him to give this a try? I’ve already looked up the nearest float center and will be giving them a call.

This book is not your typical “self-help” book, it is Mr. Scott’s story of how he discovered floating, the benefits he was able to reap from it and how he was able to eventually bring it to others in an affordable way. This book I think is best for us newcomers to take away that strangeness and get us acquainted with what Floating really is all about.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: the Heartbeat Thief

Get it here: Heartbeat

I'm Back from vacation and here is the first review and personally: What A Book!

I positively devoured this book. A weekend and it was over and I was left with a satisfying afterglow from the story. Even though the reading of this story was pleasant and entertaining, the premise of the story, the pondering upon the meaning of death, leaves you with a sense of reflection and makes you wonder how exactly you are living your life and how Death ultimately fits into your plans. Are you afraid of Death?
Young Senza, at the tender age of 18 makes a deal with the mysterious Mr. Knell and her life is never the same. Will she find love or ruin? Has she truly cheated Death?

Using Death as an old friend, an old lover, this topic has been done and written about before, true, but never in such a manner. This book was refreshing and at first I picked it up thinking maybe it might be a novel akin to a vampiristic theme, but it never went towards the macabre other when our main character met and dealt with a certain mass murdered in London. Even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to any of my friends. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: The Strange Attractor

Get it here: Strange Attractor

What a Plot! This one took me awhile to get into, to understand the characters and their relationships. Mr. Dobie is a strange fellow in my eyes, but that gives him a certain charm. There are some funny moments, such as when he is arguing with the detectives about the “other woman”.  It wasn’t until then in the story that I truly got into it and the book took off for me. Everything else beforehand seemed to drag on a bit. Maybe because Mr. Dobie, a Mathematics professor, was out of step with the rest of the world, he was perpetually looking at the rest of us through his mathematical viewpoint.

Once pulled in however, the mystery of the “who dun it”, why did his former student kill him self, how did the “other woman’s” body end up in his bedroom will keep you glued to the pages in an effort to figure out each minute detail for yourself. By the protagonist being a math’s professor, there is much mathematical language in here that might put some people off, but it is well worth it sticking it out until the end. I’m glad I did!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: Love on a boat

Get it here: Love on a Boat

What a great story! I really enjoy romance novels, in the Mediterranean, its sort of my thing having grown up in Europe, so this story was spot on for me. The characters drew you in and I was rooting for Flynn and Kate a few chapters in. The little details in the book; that flesh the characters out are believable and give it that little extra something.
It was the first time reading a romance that took place primarily on a boat/yacht and the pier, but I wasn’t left behind with unfamiliar terms or descriptions. I think the author really kept it simple and focused the plot on the relationships between the people and how it evolved and I loved that.

The romance in this book builds, like a crescendo until the very end and it survives some life and death situations. There’s also a minor romance in here between Steve and his wife Donna and it is nice to see how it works out for them in the end. A great read for the end of summer (kids off to school and you’ll have some time to read).