Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Gate of DawnThe Gate of Dawn by M J Neary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting book and I was able to identify with Renate, in so many ways. She is a independent young woman, who wants nothing to do with the silliness of the rest of the society and their norms. She wants to be left alone to help her father in his textile factory and take over the business. When her father is murdered however, her life is abruptly taken into a very different direction and she has to come to terms with her new life. This story is not however just about Renate, it is also about Benjamin, a young Jew who is in love with her, about Sebastian, the family lawyer who has suddenly lost his best paying customer and Sebastian’s sister, who plays at being detective, trying to figure out what all happened and who did it and why.
An intriguing story and plot. I couldn’t put this book down and as said truly enjoyed the story and the characters. The author does a great job in bringing the characters with all their flaws to life.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All my recent projects:

So this past month I've been pretty busy... Making different things for different people but here's a snapshot of what I got done:

A hat for me to accompany the Drachenfels Shawl :

I made two of these summer outfits, pants and headband included:

And some more hats:

Now I'm going to cast on for a Baby girl Dress in yellow yarn, (crochet since it goes faster) and try and get two of those done and maybe also some Bear inspired hats??? A lot on my plate and to do list to finish this month!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Finished this month...

I just finished the sewing on of the buttons on this adorable little baby cardigan. I actually have enough yarn left over to make a matching hat and booties...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Knitting!

So I finished the short Shawlette for my StepMom:

Its the Armstrong Tartan Plaid colors and I know its not 100% exact, but its the closest I've come so far. I combined two patterns, one for how I actually knitted the piece, and one for the combining and construction.

Now I have a 3month old size sweater on my needles with some of my self dyed yarn for the new baby Insha'Allah we are expecting in late this year.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Yarn Dyeing Take two...

So, yesterday I dyed the yarn in the pot with easter egg coloring and today I am "hand painting" the yarn with Food Coloring.

Original color, I used the same 100g yarn I used yesterday

I neglected to take pictures while it was all on my table, but I had the kiddos, running around it trying to grab the dye colors so I couldn't get to it. :)

After the table, the carefully wrapped yarn went into my Pyrex bake dish and into the oven at 250Degrees for 2 hours.

Out of the oven to cool, then I touched up some colors and did a quick microwave reheating. (2min on, 2min cool, 2 min on)
Waiting to cool

Rinse and hang up to dry... ( had to use the upstairs bathroom this time since the kids were trying to get into the yarn again. What is it with toddlers and Yarn that seems so irresistible
Finished Skein
finished skein

repeat of colors
I must say, I really like the brightness of the colors in this skein much better. I wasn't sure iof the orange and I am glad I took the leap since it turned out so wonderful. Orange, various shades of Green with a hint of blue, very bright and cheerful colors!

I will definitely be trying the self dyeing again (already have 3 skeins of wool in the house, but will wait to dye them once I know what project I want to use them with.)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Yarn Dyeing

So I've been fascinated with dyeing your own yarn for awhile now and have decided yesterday to try my hands at it:

This is the first try, dyeing the yarn with easter egg colors.
Original Color

All dyes in the pots, blue, yellow, green, and a red (accidentally)

Starting to re-wind the dried colored yarn

little helpers

I'm using a paper towel holder to wind the yarn, it make it easier on my hands with giving me a wider base to hold

The finished yarn..

I'll have to knit something up to show you the color flow, but it came out all in woodsy muted tones, green, moss green, some brown (or mud color lol), and a spo or two with some red. It reminds me of a forest in a warmer moist climate with ferns and lots of undergrowth... Pretty happy with how it turned out for my first try..

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: Girl Soldier

Get it here: Girl Soldier

We start the story meeting Rain as she tracks a Deer she shot and is lumbering through the woods. As she finds the Deer and shoots it, we are treated to a softer, merciful side of rain. One that may or may not carry throughout the story (read the book if you want to find out if she is truly merciful, or takes after her ex-CIA Father). I liked Rain and could identify with her, she comes from a broken home (estranged mom), is responsible even at an early age in taking care of most of the things around the rural farm she and her father live in. But shortly after the story starts, Rain sets out to Russia to try and find her mother who is either missing or gone rogue. This story is aptly described as a cross between James Patterson and The Bourne Identity, fast paced, full of intrigue and family mysteries, Rain has a hard task on her hands, and she is only eighteen! Rather than fall into the typical pitfalls of being an airhead teenager, she is smart and resilient, able to use her skills and make the most out of harrowing situations. A really good story!

Book Review: Debt Cleanse

Get it here: Debt Cleanse

The author in this book relies on personal experience of how he eliminated the hassle of Debt Collectors calling trying to collect on Debts owed. He also shares how he was able to dispute old debts, or even how to effectively renegotiate your contracts in your favor, so that paying off your debt (or even only a fraction thereof), is done in the easiest and best way for you.
I liked the premise of this book and having a few debts myself that I want to see eliminated, I am going to try many of the techniques and strategies laid out in this book. I am not a numbers person, or even a person well versed in legal matters, but the writing and content was presented in such a manner that even I was able to make sense of what he was trying to tell me. I think this is a very good book to have, to fall back on when things get rough and you need that extra bill gone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book REview: The Puzzle

Get it here: The Puzzle

I have reads some other books in the Samantha Jamison Series and simply had to go back and start from the beginning. So here we are, Sam is trying figure out the mystery surrounding her husband Stephens’s death. She heads to Highland, his home town to try and unravel even the little secrets he kept while they were married. She meets some interesting people and the way they fit into Stephens’s life is pretty intriguing and definitely kept the story moving for me.

I read some of the reviews about editing but most of them seemed to be older so I am glad I gave this book a chance. It must be a newer version since the editing in the Kindle edition was fine. I liked the flow and the premise of the story and found that it was a good introduction into the series. The character Sam was (as in the other books I read) sassy, smart and tenacious in her determination in solving this mystery. A great Read!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Review: Muscle Health up to 40

Get it here: Muscle Health up to 40

This was such a dearth of information. It has workout routines, fitness plans, explanations on how to combine them all, as well as a Training Schedule to help you plan the most efficient weight training workouts in the shortest amount of times. I just completed a High Intensity Interval Training month and was looking for something to help me keep the momentum and this is definitely it.

The exercises are detailed and easy to understand, and the many levels (1 to 65) give me something to strive for and I am sure not to get bored easily. The fact that anyone can pick this book up, beginners or advanced is a major bonus because as you advance in skill, the book is still relevant, you can’t “outgrow” it. The book is geared towards Weight Training, so if you are looking for a cardio book this isn’t it. However, don’t let that deter you, we all have stood in front of the weight room at one point intimidated by all the options, but no more! I think if you give this book a chance you will feel more confident in picking up those weights and keeping them up.

Book Review: Shearwater

Get it here: Shearwater

Forget what you have always thought of mermaids, if you like supernatural novels, filled with suspense, romance, the characters maturing and growing up before your eyes, mystery, then this novel is for you. The idea of mermaids (or should I say Merrows) being real is done in such a unique and interesting way, not cheesy that I think you will like this book.
After a deadly car accident kills Clara’s parents she is shipped off to her grandfather in Ireland, someone she didn’t know existed. Thrown into a whole new school and country, she tries to make friends and solve the mystery of why her mother lied and left the country all those years ago. When intrigue and murder starts happening and unexplainable events shatter her worldview she is forced to accept some supernatural explanations. How she deals with those concepts will be the question. And will she ever get all her answers? Great novel for young and older adults.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: Mail Order Bride

Get it here: Mail Order Bride

This review is for the Boxed set of Mail Order Bride. I truly enjoyed these stories. As it says in the title, this is CLEAN Romance, no raunchiness will be found herein and you will truly come to care for the individual characters that the Author introduces. They are relatable as real people since each one is flawed, but they are also good in their hearts and truly care for what would be best for each other. Set in the 1800’s, in the Old Wild West the stories reflect a more difficult, but somehow more purer time than what we live in now. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Lost in the Forgotten South

Get it here: Lost in the Forgotten South

Set in South America, this is a tale of Father and Daughter and their perseverance to stand back up and keep living over and over. We become acquainted with Aldo in his childhood where some key characters that will shape his life are introduced and then fast forward through his life until his daughter Stella appears. She is a willful, imaginative and thoughtful child and grows into a beautiful, smart and driven woman. Their lives are shaped through pivotal moments for each him, when he is interrogated as a communist spy, for her, when she goes to live with her older brothers in Italy.
This book was very interesting, I liked the pictures and art that preceded each chapter and the way the story unfolded over the years was fluid and did not drag. It was interesting to see the world through the eyes of a young girl from Chile and how it affected her self views and reactions to situations around her.

I do think that this book could have used a final round of editing since the present, past and future tenses were mixed up sometimes and I find that a little irritating. Other than that, I liked the story and am happy I decided to pick this book up.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review: The boy who walked away

Get it here: the Boy who walked a way

It’s the year 2162 and a Young boy named Jal is caught up in the violence that permeates his everyday life. With the guidance of an invisible protector, he is convinced to set out on a journey towards a sanctuary that will last seven days. It might not sound like a long time, but the details are ion the journey. The encounters that he has, the friendships that he builds and the experiences that he is exposed to shape this young boy like nothing before.

A fantasy tale that is very intellectual and philosophical at the same time. Faith, courage and patience are tested and the reader can easily get caught up in the tribulations of Jal. A good book for young adults and Adults alike, I think this book is a tale that will pose thoughtful questions for us in how we view our surroundings. Many allegories, but I like those so that’s a plus for me. 

Book Review: Courage, Passion, Wisdom and Grace

Get it here: Courage

I picked this book up because the title and the plot interested me. There seemed to be a discord here: it is described as a true story and yet there sounded to be elements of Science Fiction (read angels on earth and other worlds). So, intrigued I started reading and it is a good story. I am still a bit unsure if it should be put in the True Story or the Fiction book shelf but reading a little about the author’s biography and description makes it sound as if this truly is a true story.

The story is centered on Sharon, an Angel and Empath here on earth whose mission is to help people in finding their true purpose in life and she sometimes has a hard time with the mission since with light also comes dark and as an Empath that takes a toll. She has a good friend named Jack who is her confidant and her anchor in this world. Interesting, but a bit confusing at times. Maybe I’m not enlightened enough?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: A Secret Muse

Get it here: A Secret Muse

Well Written and fast paced, a great book!
Synopsis: Abhorring secrets and preferring to stay away from the secretive organization The Allegiance, Coco Rhodes just wants to live in peace working as a UCLA Professor and enjoy the Arts. But after a mysterious letter from her dead Mother arrives on her birthday and Coco is attacked, she turns reluctantly to her older brother who in turn guides her to Italy and The Allegiance. He insists that she will find answers there and so she heads to Italy to seek them out.

This book was intriguing, and not at all like the other supernatural stories out there. If you want your vampires to sparkle in the sun, then this is not the book for you. These supernaturals are dark and broody. Throw some horror, thriller, mystery into the supernatural pot along with some Enigmatic vampires and what do you have? A supernatural tale that is sure to have you turning page after page, trying to figure out how each player fits into this intricate puzzle. 

Book Review: Pallbearers and Gamblers

Get it here: Pallbearers

What an interesting story. I originally picked it up because of the connection to Vietnam, and the excerpt that spoke of how Michael’s views changed on the war once he came home and started to be active in the Honor Guard for fallen Soldiers. My grandfather was very tightlipped about his time in Vietnam and immediately after his return, so I was really interested. Knowing this book is a fictional story, it was still able to shed some light on the conflicting emotions our soldiers must have had in these tumultuous times.

The second half of the story, when Michael gets involved with his Brothers “scheme” of revenge, was interesting as well, drawing heavily on Mafia references and quid pro quo life mentalities. I thought that this book was very interesting and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The writing style is neat, with no major editing flaws and the author really brings out the emotions that Michael is conflicted with throughout his story. 

Book Review: The Garan Divination

Get it here: The Garan Divination

This was a good story. I loved the fact that the heroine (albeit reluctant one), was a everyday woman like me, mother, married, trying to be a good person in her everyday life, steady job. She didn’t ask to be singled out, or to have a latent gift suddenly awake within her. But, it all happened and now she is left with it all and has to come to terms with what it might mean and how she will deal with her gift of Dream traveling (ergo time travel?) and how she will use it. Erin, inadvertently uses her new talents to visit a relative in the past and speaks to them and this action brings her to the attention of the Garan.

An interesting fantasy tale and plot set in our present time and it spans globally with the influence of the “Garan Dream Travel Council” who keep track of it all. I liked the story, wasn’t overwhelmed by it but still a good book.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


So I am almost done with the cardigan for my daughter, one sleeve to go then blocking and weaving in the few ends is left:

Also started on the Drachenfels Shawl Pattern.. We will see how it turns out:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Book Review: Seanchai

Get it here: Seanchai

I Love Love Love Old Folks tales, anything to do with Irish/Scottish heritage and Ghost stories, so I had high hopes for this short novella and it sure did not disappoint. The writing was gripping and drew you in quickly and the plot was intriguing enough that over the course of the book I did not get bored or try to skip ahead. However, I did end up staying late to finish (or rather devour) this book, so beware of that when you get it.
The story begins with a couple traveling through Ireland in the Ring of Kerry area. One night they are visited by a traveling Storyteller (Seanchai), who turns out not to be completely human after all. The stories he tells them, sound familiar and they realize that their own past is woven into the stories they are being told and through this unique perspective, they are moved to action. For Dan this means to start putting his own “ghost” story to paper, and for Kay, she travels back to the small village where she reconnects with her roots: the good and the bad.

This is a very intriguing and unique story. I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves themselves a good mythical tale.

Book Review: Lazarus

Get it here: Lazarus

I picked this book up, intrigued by the brief description of having been clinically dead for a bit and then brought back to life. Afterwards he started to experience memories that were buried and put them down into this book. So I think this book can be seen as a cross between autobiography and a philosophical story.

Lazarus is at the gym, doing his normal workout routine, when afterwards his heart stops. Once he is brought back to life, this near death experience has a profoundly deep impact on how he views his daily life. Throw into that the fact that he is now able to seemingly at random recall the vaguest memories about anything and everything; he is left questioning his life and the purpose of existence. Throughout his life, we follow him through ups and downs, embarrassing moments and triumphant victories, and all of this made this book that much more real to me. I love it when a biography does not concentrate on the good, or on the bad, lie is a mix of both, but it is up to us to shape how we react to outside influences around us. Poems were not my cup of tea, was surprised to see them at the end, but then I’m not a fan of poetry anyways. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review: Oranit

Get it here: Oranit

An excellent mystery Novel in the crime section, this book is set in Israel, to be more precise, in a little Israeli settlement called Oranit along the Green Zone. When a Arab Collaborator is found dead, no one blinks twice at making the body disappear and hushing the whole thing up. But a few years later, when a new piece of this puzzle is found, the case is reluctantly reopened and Jeannie, an employee at the Shin Bet Security service is tasked with closing it again as soon as possible. However, the convoluted trail of black market smuggling amongst other crimes, leads Jeannie to suspect almost everyone in town.
This murder mystery is entertaining, and grips you at the right moments. You get all the mystery and political machinations of the minor politicians who want to keep their hands clean and other nefarious, evil people, but along the way, the author throws in enough humor to keep this book from getting too dark. I do agree with the other reviewer that a little more editing would have made this novel much better, but other than that it is a solid story.

Book Review: Reason for Existence

Get it here: Reason for Existence

This book is so much more than just a typical Sci-Fi/ Romance/ Philosophical/ Thrilling novel. There is so much here that makes you think and it really tries to set you to ponder the deeper things in life. You can certainly read this book and not take much away from it but I think anyone who picks it up will get more than they bargained for (in a good way) and I certainly was pleasantly surprised in just how much I started reflecting on certain parts.

Our story revolves around David Jordan who is an alien masquerading as a human. He has an important mission: resolve a nuclear crisis here on earth. Ergo: Stop World War III from wiping out every single living organism here on planet earth. This Sci-Fi might not take you completely into outer Space for the entirety of the novel, but instead it gives you enough of a mix to keep it interesting. At times the philosophy was a little too much and the story did flow at a steady but not fast pace, so those would be the only two negatives. I liked it, 4 stars.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Review: Moon Zoom

Get it here: Moon Zoom

Danny and his best friend Nat are on a quest to try and retrieve a special mineral called Moon Zoom. It powers the saucer’s (BOB) anti-grav Drive and the two friends are the best bet the saucer has at getting the mineral back. The adventures that the three go through are entertaining, fun and most importantly, age appropriate. This book is geared towards kids in Middle School, so I was happy to read it and see that there is nothing in here I wouldn’t want my child to read.

With humor and adventure, this book is actually quite educational and will easily set up your child to become familiar with space flight and anything to do with the Moon,. I know my daughter took this book as a jumping platform and now she is looking up stuff that is related online and is very excited about the science of Outer Space. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review: The man in the Blue Fez

Get it here: The man in the Blue Fez

Having read two other “Birth of an Assassin” Novels, I was looking forward to reading this one as well. Author Rik Stone doesn’t disappoint. The characters are extremely detailed and so interconnected that you could really feel for them and identify with what is going on around them. His writing is very very good and his story (as the others) flowed from one chapter to the next, in a steady pace, building up each plot twist and clue until you reach the end.

Jez Kord is again a courageous, intelligent and hardy individual, perfect for leading this book. His tenacity and survival instincts are put to good use and amidst the violence that ensues; he is able to slowly piece together a clearer picture of who is a true friend, and who is not. Once again, our hero is set up to take down illegal empires and we are left to wonder throughout the book, is this new hero and his Team up for the challenge? Will they succeed or go under in a hail of bullets and betrayal?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: The Lush Life

Get it here: The Lush Life

This is book number 8 in the Samantha Jamison series, and having read one of the other ones a few weeks ago (book: No Hope in New Hope) I really was looking forward to reading another. Another great book I must say, the author blends, humor, mystery and sassiness together to give you this awesome mixture of characters that just happen to stumble into the perfect situations. The writing is great and the wit of Samantha and her friends help keep this story alive from beginning to end.

The story picks up after Book 7 when Clay leaves Samantha house sitting for his friends vacationing in Europe and suddenly Samantha is beleaguered by her friends and other shady/suspect characters keep showing up and Sam suspects that they are trying to search the house for this first edition print book that is “supposedly” hidden somewhere in the house. But with all the funny/weird things that keep happening she is still just trying to housesit and ultimately keep alive. 

Book Review: Moscow Venture

Get it here: Moscow Venture

International Espionage thriller is what I would call this book if I had to sum it up. You got action, secrets, hand to hand combat, International plots and John Baran, our main man ends up in the middle of it all when he wants revenge for his friends death.
His friend, David Chernov dies mysteriously and John gets bowled under by the family who wants to hear nothing of autopsies and just want to bury their son. John ends up in Moscow, taking over Davids job and trying to figure out just what happened to him here.
This story was pretty intense all around. It had plenty of mystery to go around as well as plenty of suspense and action. The writing is great and it is evenly paced throughout, no slow lulls anywhere to be seen which I love. This is a great book; pick it up if you want something to keep you turning pages over and over.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Book Review: Red Zone

Get it here: Red Zone

The story starts off in an alternate history in Australia, or rather the divided country of New Austoria and Republic of South east Asia. There is a wall dividing the two countries (think of The Berlin Wall, or more currently the Gaza Walls) and they are in a constant state of conflict. We meet a young teenage boy named Blake Sanders who is kidnapped from the Red zone and taken to the wealthy New Austoria. He eventually becomes a hero figure, due to his exploits in battle and as such becomes the target of a terrorist group, the PRA. He is fighting for his life and fighting for the life of one of his troops who was kidnapped in his stead. But is he only a pawn for the Government? Why was he truly kidnapped all those years ago?

This was a very interesting, raw and gritty story to read as it reflected some very real situations from our history and present day. Taken together and combine them and you are left with a deadly, volatile powder keg just waiting to erupt. The emotions and details are really well done you can almost feel like your in the room as Sanders is told to do things by Jay Jay that are not for the weak hearted. But ultimately his is a fast paced, action packed story, well worth your while.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Current Projects

So this year I've been busy, I've made several Boot Socks for customers:

I've also started knitting a cardigan for my older daughter:
This is only the yoke, I am now well below where the sleeves are separated, working on the body. I am pretty proud of myself, it is looking good so far. The last time I attempted to make something to wear (other than socks) was a vest back when i first started knitting. I remember it turned out so lopsided that I just stopped knitting (until last year) and started crocheting blankets. That was always much easier. a square piece of fabric doesn't care about gauge, no need to stitch seams together. so this cardigan is my comeback so to speak. If I can complete this successfully, I think i will attempt many more clothing items in my ravelry queue.

Book Review: Prison of Souls

Get it here: Prison of Souls

This was a pretty interesting story. The story begins in a prison, when we meet Joshua and his wife (who happens to be his attorney as well) where they have lost the murder trial against Joshua and he is now in jail. He suffers from severe epilepsy and hallucinations (that’s even how they met) and apparently during one of his fits he drove upstate and murdered a professor. Early in the story we find out that the professor might have actually performed experiments on Joshua as a kid so the link is there. But it doesn’t explain some of the hallucinations and the story just gets weird from there.

An interesting concept and well written Thriller, this one will keep you turning pages just to try and figure out the clues of what is real and what is in the mind. It was thought provoking and the author obviously enjoys making us think about the deeper meaning of our humanity.

Book Review: The Tegen Cave

Get it here: Tegen Cave

This book was right up my alley, the suspense, the mystery; the thrills of the questions in the plot were fantastic. I loved the spiders as delivering the deadly toxin as a particular horrifying touch. I have several friends who suffer from arachnophobia and so I know that some people would truly be freaking out just by the description of the book. However, our heroine, is on the run after she figures out her boyfriend is not as innocent as he seems. He is part of a big bad mafia family and they are deadly. Hiding out in Billings, she hopes that she has lost their trail but when a friendly lady, helping her find an apartment is killed mysteriously by spider bite, she knows something is amiss and she needs to think fast.

I loved Sara Jones, she was intelligent, compassionate, at times yes I wanted to tell her to stop trying to help everyone and save herself, but that spunkiness was what made me like her. The twists in this story are surprising and entertaining and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong female lead!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Review: The Lies that Bind

Get it here: Lies that Bind

Ally is a single mom, looking for a new start in life for her and her daughter Melanie. After a dismal childhood and a worse short marriage to a cop, she has moved in with her best friend, and pretty much Mother in every other sense of the word Frannie. Working in Frannies Café also gives her a new sense of purpose as she tries to piece together some semblance of a life. When a local murder happens and Ally just happens to be at the scene, the mystery really starts get going. Throw in some childhood friends who might have some secrets of their own and a handsome, long-lost love (who is also a cop, go figure) and you really have a good twisting story.

The characters in this story are realistic and each is flawed, no perfect people here. This is great because it helped me identify with each (mostly ally though) much more. Good Story!

Book Review: For the Love of Anna

Get it here: For the love of Anna

A tragic love story between Guido a philosopher and anarchist and Anna, a prominent dancer in the New York Ballet Company. Thrown into the mix is a Judge Jeremiah who thinks that the wrong people won in WW2. The elitists had the Superior thinking and the Democrat’s had more guns to put it in his words. He tells his granddaughter about the scum of the earth and “riffraff” that isn’t worth anything and how she is better than them in every ways. This thinking permeates his entire life and attitude so that one night when he hits Anna in a drunken driving episode he sees no blame in his doing. This incident emotionally destroys Guido with grief and rage and he starts waging a private war against the judge.

A beautifully written sad love story that is emotionally gripping and very well written. You truly feel for the two youngsters as they go through hard times and can really hate the judge even early on when his elitist and “I am better than you” attitude comes to the forefront. I pitied the young girl Esme for having to be brought up by him andI again enjoyed this story. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book Review: Project Anan

Get it here: Project Anan

An interesting SciFi story. Take an Oil Rigger, A farm Girl and a Marine, throw in some Aliens (the ones who originally messed with us leading to our evolution) and you have a thrilling new Science Fiction Space novel that could lead to the salvation of all our Races (Or the destruction if things go wrong). We are led on a journey that is at times funny, but full of adventure and intrigue.

I liked this story, it is the first in a series, so some things like fleshing out certain characters who are a tad bit one dimensional right now, are sure to come (I hope). I certainly think the author did a good job with how he transitioned the story, giving us enough tidbits of information to keep me reading along. The writing was easy to follow, and the grammar and editing had no problems either. I would certainly give the second book a try as well. 

Book Review: No Hope in New Hope

Get it here: No Hope

This was a great Mystery novel. It is the seventh book in the series but I had no issues jumping into it. I would imagine that you can read all these books as standalone if you want. We are introduced to the Mystery writer Samantha Johnson as she is (cautiously) optimistic about a romantic getaway in the quaint tourist town of New Hope, PA. But quickly she realizes that her getaway turns into (yet again) an adventure involving her on again off again lover Clay and the troubles he gets her into. Along with her three trusty side kicks (older, sassy and nosy should be a warning sign) she starts trying to unravel the mystery of the art Galleries, the forged art and puzzling sales receipts as well as the spooky (?) house she’s staying in…

Fantastic writing style, short chapters and plenty of self deprecating humor thrown in made this a fast, easy and pleasant read. I’m definitely picking up another book in this series, highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Review: The Benwarian Fix

Get it here: Benwarian

What do you get when you take our current situation (Global Warming, epidemics, over population, deforestation, etc…) and flip it with an alien twist? You get an intriguing Sci-Fi adventure. The Benwarian race has fled their dying planet. By not interfering with another race that lived on their planet that was destroying it, they were forced to build a space ship and flee. They arrived at Earth, a suitable planet for their survival only to find that the dominant species here (humans) are destroying the planet with much of the same disregard as what happened at their old planet. What are they to do?

This was interesting and certainly pulled you in pretty quickly. The twists with Ship and Logis, the Leader of the Benwarians and their connection, plus the drastic measures that Logis takes to ensure the Earth will survive are obviously going to be controversial. I do think that some readers forget that this is a Science FICTION book, and it only mimics the current Global situation. I still think it is a story worth telling and the author did a fine job.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Review: My Ladybird Story

Get it here: My Lady Bird Story

I have been looking into this topic of Transgender and especially growing up Transgender in America and came across this book and I am glad I picked it up. I don’t have family members who are but I have been curious ever since this has become okay to talk about in main stream America. The author tells a coming of age story about John and how he struggles throughout high school and into college with who he really is. He doesn’t feel accepted truly in any gender definition of straight, or gay, but he is confused and disgusted when his brother well meaning tries to show him some YouTube videos.
Not until College does he get to find out who he is, and what could/would make him happy.

Now, the author did make the vast majority of family and friends very accepting and I think that in the real world this may not be so clear cut. (I know my family wouldn’t be), but nevertheless John is frank and honest with his struggles and seeks therapeutic help to really get to the bottom of his feelings and I think that that is very important. A good and eye-opening book about growing up transgender, or even just growing up not fitting into the societal norms. 

Book Review: Severed Threads

Get it here: Severed Threads

We are treated to an adventure complete with twists, romance, mystery, some supernatural occurrences all during the hunt for the mysterious sunken ship Wanli II. The Chinese government denies its existence but for Treasure Hunter Chase Cohen, his crew and his former lover Rachel Lyons, that ship can hold the key for all their problems. Chase is in over his head and dodging calls form bill collectors and Rachel’s brother has been kidnapped by a ruthless gangster and wants a lot of ransom money. Chase and Rachel called it a quits shortly after her father dies while on a dive with Cohen and their relationship has never fully recovered.

This story was enjoyable; the author is able to bring together, an old Chinese myth about star crossed but ill fated lovers, a relationship that is on a rocky road as well as an intense ride from one point to the next while dodging close calls. I liked the premise and the formatting and grammar was great, no glaring errors of mistakes that distracted me from reading. I think if you are one for wild adventures you will like this one. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: The Origins of FORCE

Get it here: The Origins of FORCE

What a ride! The Sci-Fi Universe has just found a great new Author! Sam has created a fantastical tale that is very real and believable. What if there was truly only a limited amount of time to prepare the world for the colonization from Aliens? How would we avert our destruction? As well as getting ground up into food paste for the aliens while we are at saving things. To that end the Pentagon has assembled an eclectic group of scientists and some Military commandos into FORCE, The Federal Organization for Response to Celestial Enemies. Great name and great team, and I haven’t found very much to make me not like this story. A couple of Lucky strikes for us humans mean we might have a fighting chance at survival when they come back.

Gives this book a chance and you will be swept away by a daring and brave attempt to save all of humanity!

Book Review: How to lose the last 10 Pounds

Get it here: How to Lose

This book is awesome! The author makes some frank and stark observations about our Current Epidemics of Obesity and how all the Weight Loss advice we receive is not working because it is a recycled version of the same advice we got last time. Even our Doctors and Dieticians are overweight she observes! This should make us pause. And I agree, I am a grown woman who doesn’t need someone babysitting my meal plans. I need some helpful advice, some no nonsense, get your butt in gear motivation by someone who has been there done that and can tell me, how to do it. And this book does that. All the while the fantastic attitude and humor from the author helps me with taking a critical look at just what I am doing and maybe, just how to fix it in productive (and efficient ways). Oh, and I agree that the food is the Devil! 

Book Review: Bubble Up

Get it here: Bubble Up

This story came off to a slow start. I felt like the Author was a bit all over the place talking about different events that did not pertain to the story (near miss with a great white), but other than that you have a good Horror story. It has tense moments, lots of description of gory details while leaving your imagination to fill in the rest. The story is about a few cousins who happen to be best friends in a small town and love to spend their free time outdoors. They all agree to go diving in a local backwater hole that apparently hasn’t been explored yet.

The story moves along (after the beginning) at a steady pace and we encounter some terrifying beings and some extraordinary circumstances by which the Teens are barely able to escape with their lives. It has a good premise and plot, some more work could’ve been done on some grammar errors throughout, but overall a good story.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: Crossing in TIme

Get it here: Crossing in time

Wow, I was captivated by this story. If you’ve ever watched a apocalyptic movie you’ll be familiar with some of the plot lines, but each time I thought I had a handle on how the story would end, the Authors threw another curve Ball. Now, I think this I s the first in a series (well at least I hope so) and the ending is certainly a cliffhanger. There are so many unanswered questions, what happened to Isabel? Was her mission successful? What happened to the people back in her Universe? So many questions unanswered I sincerely hope there is another book coming.

The writing style is smooth and transitions from character to character without any hitches. This is even more noteworthy when you consider that this book is written by two authors. I’ve seen books by two really well-known authors who couldn’t pull this off, so Kudos to the authors for making us truly believe that the world is ending of one thing only to pull it out from under us again and again in a sort of “gotcha” moment. I hope you pick this book up because I don’t think you will be sorry you did!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book Review: The Kiev Connection

Get it here: Kiev Connection

Follow along as Matti, an artist working for the Forensic Department as a facial reconstructant, finds and then solves the latest crime scene. The story twist and turns as she tries to figure out just how are the Russians involved and how much does her on again, off again Lover really truly know? The story alludes to it but never really says it but Matti is a medium and her ever constant ghost friend Abby an “in-betweener” can be sure to pop up at any moment. Mattis dog can also sniff “in betweeners”, making him a useful cadaver dog.

The story was pretty interesting, I like following along the different plot lines but was never truly lost in the story. I also like that the relationship between her and Joe, (while being important in the story) never took center stage and we were able to enjoy this story as a Crime/supernatural mystery with a Dash of Romance. Well written and plenty of humor to balance out the crime and gruesomeness of the murders.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

DFWCraftShows: 2016 Highlander Spring Craft Fair

I am so Excited to Announce that OfftheNeedle will be at this Fair selling our awesome and unique Wares!!! Come out if you are in the area!!!

DFWCraftShows: 2016 Highlander Spring Craft Fair: "Our 2nd Annual Highlander Spring Craft Fair is going to be even better than last years. Find the perfect mother's day, wedding, b...

Book Review: Detour Amour

Get it here: Detour

The third and final installment in this unusual Romantic trilogy, finds our main Guy: Tucker again (or still?) in some steamy, exciting and dangerously mysterious situations. Tucker is still trying to unravel the who, what and how’s of the recent events he has undergone (please read the first two books or you might be a little lost at first), but we are soon right in the swing of things again and this time Tucker is taking charge and not just hiding out.

The Romance (after divorce) from a Guys Point of View is pretty interesting. Don’t look for page long anecdotes about a guys pectorals, this book, is straight to the point but still manages to leave some mysteries and humor to give this book a interesting twist on it all. I enjoyed reading the final installment after reading the first two, since it did close up loose ends and answer some questions I had about certain ladies involvement amongst things…

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: Art of Remaining Calm

Get it here: Remaining Calm

I picked this book up because my Husband suffers from Anxiety and I wanted to get him a helpful book in understanding how it works and how to maybe work around the issues. This book certainly provided us with the information of how anxiety happens, all the different causes and influences throughout our daily lives that can trigger attacks.

The author then goes into helpful ways of managing and (hopefully) reversing the Anxiety by reducing the stress and other triggers in your life. The book was well written in easy to understand language (no page long research journal citations here) and that in itself made it easy for my husband to read. I could’ve done less with some of the repetitive sentences (almost word for word), but maybe they were there to drive the point home that they were making. Overall, an interesting, and informative book and we will see how the tips the author has provided will help us.