Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: The Gatekeeper's Trilogy by Eva Pohler

I received a free ebook to review.

Book Description:
A young adult fantasy about the ancient gods in modern times.

A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them, Thanatos, the god of death, wants his chance at love. He makes a deal with his father, Hades, to go to the upperworld to win Therese’s heart, but not all the gods are happy.

Part paranormal romance and part adventure story, this trilogy follows Therese’s adventures as she struggles to overcome the challenges the gods dish her in her quest to become like them.
Follow Therese’s adventures as she strives to become a goddess in the ancient Greek pantheon.


My opinion:
Even though I have always thought Greek mythology is pretty interesting I don't know very much about it. I only knew of the main Gods and Goddesses like Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Aphrodite, and a few others but just by reading The Gatekeepers Trilogy I learned about so many others I hadn't heard of before and I loved that. For example I didn't know the god of death even had a name but now I know his name is Thanatos and he has a twin brother named Hypnos but now I do. I loved the love story I loved the adventure but most of all I loved learning a little more about Greek mythology. 

The Gatekeeper's Sons is book one of The Gatekeeper's Trilogy and even though it is my least favorite out of all three books I still loved it. In this book you get introduced to Than and Therese and a bunch of other characters. The way Therese meets Thanatos and Hypnos is pretty sad but I think it is always good to know how any love story begins.

The Gatekeeper's Challenge is even better than book one. Therese has to pass 5 challenges from Hades if she wants to become a goddess. This book is full of adventure!

The Gatekeeper's Daughter is my favorite of all three. It seems like finally Than and Therese will be together but some of the gods and goddesses are still against their love. Therese has to find her purpose and keep fighting to be with Than. The books just keep getting better and better and I can't wait to read books 4-6! Overall I think these books deserve 5 stars!
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review with Giveaway: Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion by Madhu Bazaz Wangu


In this eloquent collection of stories twelve different people from different walks of life discover how one chance meeting with a stranger can change a person forever. Madhu B. Wangu draws from her own Indian-American heritage and examines the lives of ordinary people facing challenging circumstances—cruelty, prejudiced minds, twisted family relationships, unhappy marriages—and demonstrates how these situations transcend ethnicity and background as interactions with strangers force each character to look deep within themselves, often acknowledging painful truths and long-held secrets, in order to seize control of their own destinies and forge their own paths to independence and happiness.

Madhu Bazaz Wangu poignantly weaves a universal message that ties the characters in these stories together, one that applies to anyone who has experienced poverty, jealousy, fear, prejudice, disillusionment, and above all, the feeling of being a foreigner, even within one’s own family.

Ebook is discounted from $5.99 to $0.99 on all the retailers
Book available to buy from... 

"Beautiful, lush, lyrical stories and rhythmic language transports and transforms--each story is an unforgettable journey." - Kathleen Shoop, IPPY Award-Winning Author of The Last Letter and After the Fog

"A skilled practitioner, Madhu B. Wangu, writes from the marrow of her bones. In her collection, she conjures dream-like motifs of goodness, guidance, and the human condition. Her writing, infused with echoes of Hindu and Buddhist myths, is deeply satisfying and transformative." - Gwyn Cready, RITA Award Winning Author 

"Chance Meetings is an evocative and thought-provoking collection: A delicious blending of cultures, delicately rendered and rich with sensory detail." Meredith Mileti, Author of Aftertaste

Story Summaries: 

Secret Healer: One small town boy’s journey from the innocence of childhood to the injustices of servitude before finding shelter with an old man.

Cadmium and Crimson: Two sculptors, one goal—to make masterpieces in three dimensions. The older dedicates his life to art and his younger contemporary to success. Where do their intentions lead them?

Blackened Mirror: A successful artist discovers his authentic self.

A Chance Meeting: A young man treats a total stranger the way he wants to be treated without expecting anything in return to amazing effect.

Yellow Jacket: The protagonist is unable to resolve the guilt caused by the jealousy toward his younger brother as a result of his sudden death.

The Thug: In an intense, frightful hour, a woman realizes the folly of gossip.

A Precious Gift: After her son’s death, a distraught woman learns from her old mother how to cope with loss.

An American Dialogue: A synchronic event changes a prejudiced woman’s beliefs about a man from a religion other than her own.

Darkness Behind Eyes: At the age of seventy-two, the deep driving desire of a woman who has wanted to learn to read since her teen years helps her achieve her goal.

Gauri’s Freedom: An arranged marriage dramatically alters a young woman’s plans for her life until she meets another woman by chance who inspires her to take her life into her own hands through determination and self-sufficiency.

Cycle of Life: A young, idealistic woman learns why and how life goes on despite suffering, anguish and physical pain.

Portable Shrine: A writer discovers she is capable of more than she thought through the life lessons learned by the characters in her novel.

Read an excerpt HERE

My opinion:
Chance Meetings is not the usual type of book I read but it seemed interesting so I decided to give this book a chance. The first two stories Cycle of Life and Cadmium and Crimson were okay but I still wasn't convinced I would like the book. Since they're short stories I kept reading anyways and I'm glad I did because I loved Gauri's Freedom, An American Dialogue, and The Thug. These stories show how someone you meet can change your life or the way you think. I did enjoy reading these stories and thought most of them were sweet even though Secret Healer wasn't such a nice story until the end and almost made me cry. Overall I give this book 4 stars.

About the author

A Historian of Asian Religions and Indian Art, Madhu B. Wangu taught Hindu and Buddhist art at Wheaton College, Wellesley, University of Rhode Island and University of Pittsburgh. She has published four non-fiction books and numerous essays in scholarly anthologies. “Chance Meetings” is her debut story collection.

Find the author on the following sites...

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Review: Let's Change That! If Animals Can, We Can, Too! by Bashar Salame

I received a free book to review.

Book Description:
What if we had to change the ways we normally did things just to help someone who really needed us? Could we do that? Watch how Felix asks for help from the most unlikely characters and see their reactions. Will they all pitch in and help or will they refuse?

children's book for K-3rd graders that focuses on teaching tolerance, acceptance, team work and overcoming fears.  Using lovable animals, children better understand complex topics. 
My opinion:
My 7 year old daughter loved this book. She loved all the animal characters especially Felix. I loved the message in this book. It's great to see how animals that should be afraid of each other or are supposed to be "enemies"  want to change that and work together to help each other. I love reading books like these to my children! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: Grimm Chronicles by Isabella Fontaine & Ken Brosky

The Complete Grimm Chronicles
by Isabella Fontaine, Ken Brosky
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Page count: 1,800 pages

This is the COMPLETE collection of the award-winning Young Adult adventure series!

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. With the stroke of a magic pen and a deal with a malevolent force of evil, they forever changed humanity’s fate.

Now the characters of the Grimms’ fairy tales walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.

This is the story of Alice Goodenough, the last in a long line of heroes who have bravely given their lives to snuff out the evil force that does not belong in this planet. Her story begins during summer vacation, when she happens upon a magic pen and an invisible rabbit named Br’er who is tasked with teaching her the ways of the hero. With the help of the magic pen, Alice must vanquish the terrible creations of the Brothers Grimm, relying on her dreams to guide her to her next target. Cinderella. Fundevogel. A fisherman. An evil wizard. A trio of dwarves hellbent on controlling the world. But to become a great hero, Alice must give up her old life so that she may protect those she loves most. Otherwise, evil will find her.

And evil will kill her.

This book contains all 12 episodes of the series, as well as the bonus “Lost diaries” of previous heroes and all of the collected Grimm’s Fairy Tales … over 2,000 pages collected in one edition!

Book 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Book 2: Happily Never After
Book 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats
Book 4: The Orphanage of Doom
Book 5: Blood and Thunder
Book 6: The Order of the Golden Dragon
Book 7: The Giant Slayer
Book 8: Darkness Rising
Book 9: Malevolence
Book 10: The Black Towers
Book 11: A Dance With Death, Part One
Book 12: A Dance With Death, Part Two

My opinion:
Back in 2013 I read and reviewed The Grimm Chronicles Volume Three which is books 7-9 of The Grimm Chronicles series. I loved it but I wanted to go back and read every single book in the series from the beginning. Now that I have read books 1-12 my opinion hasn't changed, I still love it! I would definitely recommend that anyone who reads these books start from the beginning because they might  miss some things and get a little confused if they don't. I'm not sure I can choose a favorite book out of the 12. I loved pretty much every single character including the corrupted especially Alice, Briar, Seth, and Sam Grayle. The ending was great but I was a little upset when one of my favorite characters died but I'm over it now... I guess it's fine. I loved that the lost diaries of past heroes and the Grimm’s Fairy Tales from all the corrupted in this series were included. I give this book 5 stars!

I received a free review copy from the author through

Monday, June 8, 2015

Morning Pep Blanched Almond Flour Review

I received 2 free bags of almond flour to review. All opinions are my own based on my own experience.

Product Description:
MORNING PEP'S Blanched almond flour made from skinless almonds that have been finely ground, Are the perfect gluten substitute which tastes and feels like wheat.
Morning Pep Almond Meal/Flour is made from skinless blanched whole almonds. It lends a moist texture and rich, buttery flavor to cakes, cookies, muffins, sweet breads and a host of other desserts, It is also superb as a breading for meats and vegetables. Almond Meal/Flour is gluten free, low in carbohydrates and a natural source of protein, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium.
Chock full of protein and dietary Fiber, Almond Flour works well with many recipes while giving you a Limited amount of carbohydrate intake. Aside from being gluten free, our blanched almond Flour provides A savory Flavor, richness and smooth texture.
  • Made from 100% all-natural Gluten-Free blanched almonds
  • Substitute for wheat flour in cakes, breads, cookies, muffins and more
  • Great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin E, protein, iron, magnesium & calcium
  • Very finely-ground it Gives baked goods and sweets a rich flavor and moist texture
  • Certified Kosher And Gluten Free with No additives or preservative

✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour is low in carbohydrates and a good source of protein, Fiber, and vitamin E.
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour Finely ground with a powdery texture
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour is gluten free and is a perfect wheat substitute
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour is made from 100% whole blanched almonds.
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour is considered pasteurized by the USDA and The Almond Board of California.
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour Substitute for wheat flour in cakes, breads, cookies, muffins and more.
✓ Morning Pep Almond Flour is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, Great source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, magnesium & calcium.

My opinion:
I received a 2 LBS bag and a 5 LBS bag of Morning Pep Almond Flour. My very first experience with almond flour didn't go as planned. I was hoping to feed my children some pancakes made with almond flour but they were to watery and after cooking they fell apart. I was very disappointed but decided I should give it another try. I made chocolate peanut butter bars. The recipe is not mine I found it online at the you can check it out here. It was a little difficult to work with and I wish it came with a small recipe book because it would be great to have a few ideas of things that would taste great with almond flour. It tasted exactly how I would expect ground almonds to taste. It gives food a delicious nutty flavor. I really like it and will continue using but since almond flour is very expensive it will be mostly for special occasions.

5LB bag for $42.99 on Amazon
2LB bag for $22.99 on Amazon

Garcinia Cambogia Review

I received a free bottle of Garcinia Cambogia to review.

Product Description:
Make The Extra Weight Disappear Fast
HCA (Hydroxycitric Acid) found in garcinia cambogia extract is the effective component.People who use garcinia cambogia lose 2 to 3 times more weight than people who only exercise. The combination of exercise with pure garcinia cambogia extract results even in greater success.

Amazing Benefits Of Garcinia Cambogia Weight Loss Supplement
- Increases serotonin; the feel good hormone
- Suppresses appetite
- Eliminates emotional eating
- Blocks the formation of fat cells
- Converts fat into glycogen
- Enhances lean muscle
- Maintains healthy cholesterol level

Why New Horizon Supplements Garcinia Cambogia
- Only 2 capsules recommended daily dose
- 1500mg garcinia cambogia fruit rind extract with 60%HCA
- Chromium, potassium and calcium are added for better absorption of HCA
- Manufactured in the USA under FDA specified cGMP standards
- 100% Natural and safe with no fillers, no binders, no artificial ingredients

My opinion:
When I received a bottle of garcinia cambogia I was excited to try it out. After about a week there was still no weight loss so I wasn't happy about that. The product description says "People who use garcinia cambogia lose 2 to 3 times more weight than people who only exercise"  so I was really hoping to see results since I do workout. I was not happy with this product.

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