Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scott Hurst Guest Post

This post was brought to you by Scott Hurst

J. Golden Kimball is as happy as a pig in spring mud until he receives an unexpected mission call to the South. In this fast-paced story filled with holy high jinks and missionary mayhem, Golden squares off with his characteristic cowboy sense of humor against everything from spiteful preachers to the threat of death at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. Join Golden a he takes on the South with these unbelievable but true stories.

Scott graduated from Brigham Young University and is currently enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. He is a nomad who claims his home in Utah, California, Hawaii and wherever else in the world he happens to be. The closest thing he’s ever done to being a cowboy was dude ranching for a day. He couldn’t sit down for two weeks afterwards. Like Golden, he’s tall and skinny. He also shares some of Golden’s colorful vocabulary and his immense love for the gospel.

Here are a few reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars LDS or not, this is a great story!
By Tinna
This is a well-written partial biography of a great CHARACTER in LDS history. I should think anyone would enjoy this glimpse into the life of an early missionary in the post civil war south. At that time the KKK, some suspicious clergy, and others, made these faithful men one of their main targets. This book is interesting, filled with humor, tragedy and inspiration too. What more could we ask?

5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, well told

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wish: Book Review

Wish by Deby Adair is about a young girl called Rielle and her faithful dog Pud who meet a unicorn named Benny and his herd. Rielle is quickly welcomed into the herd. And as Benny and Rielle get to know each other he discovers Rielle has been wandering around with no one but Pud for company. She has a broken heart.

Benny immediately takes up her cause because "to be sad is to crush the heart of God." (Beautiful) So with the blessing of the herd and the help of Hoot the owl and Bobs and Bibs, two Imperial Guard snails (funny and cute), they set off to find Hope in the land of Wish to ask if Rielle still has a dream.

This is a delightful tale with a hard-headed but loveable little girl and her simply adorable dog. It has so much heart and love in it. I enjoyed this story because it is refreshing to read a book about hope with decent and entertaining characters in it.

It has a great introduction to Rielle and Pud's story. I thought maybe this should've begun the book instead of the prologue about the knight, unicorn and old lady. The "adventure" was a bit simplistic. But since it is part of a trilogy, it is just a step in the larger plot.

I liked the description. It creates emotions and lovely mental pictures. My favorite is in the first chapter:  "worry put eagles on her heels."

The story does slow down a little when Rielle tells Benny why she wanders. It is a long exchange. But one thing that made me smile is Benny. I had no idea unicorns had so many facial expressions. They can grin, look puzzled, and roll their eyes. This was very entertaining. I recommend it to all readers.

Rating 4/5

The WISH trilogy - by Deby Adair. – Book 1: WISH-Dreams Beginning, Book 2: WISH AGAIN-Dreams Truth, Book 3: The THIRD WISH-Dreams Honour.
Benny’s Blog: Tips for young creators
Purchase the WISH trilogy: ,
eBooks and paperbacks sold from the 28th August 2012: ,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cute HomeMade Tropical Necklace

This is a necklace that I made myself from items found in Michaels Craft Stores!! The lighting was weird in the pictures, it looks a lot better in person. The giant white things are actually tropical flowers, and they are separated by wood beads, all on a rope string. It was really easy and fun to make and definitely has that ocean-y vibe I was going for. I put it next to some of my Hawaii necklaces and it fits right in! If you want instructions on how to make this, just let me know! 
Thanks, and have fun making your own jewelry with Michaels items!(:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gary's Gray World

Gary's Gray World

Ryan J. Cunningham

Crissy Fanslau


I'd Recommend to..
6-8 year olds

My Rating:

My Thoughts:
Gary's whole world is gray - his baseball team is called the "Gray Sox", his mom's car is gray, the clouds and sky are also gray - ever since his dad started working more and hasn't had time to hang out with him. His dad even forgets about Father Son Baseball day and when his friend's dad pitches in, they leave him in the baseball field while it's raining! But Gary's father ends up ditching work to come hang out with Gary, and a bright rainbow fills Gary's world up with color once again.
Before even reading the book, I look at the cover and see that in Gary's gray world, it is raining, and even his tee shirt says "Gray Socks" and his shoes are grey. He's outside on a baseball field and sad, because it is raining. I feel like Chrissy Fanslau did a really good job at creating visuals for waht Ryan J. Cunningham wanted, just by looking at the cover, and I am excited to read it.
Then, I flip through the pages real quick, not reading yet, just previewing, and I see that the words are big, which is good for a young audience, especially so they can follow along and/or read it themselves, but I also see that some pages don't have images. It starts off having a picture page then a writing page, but there are some pages where there are a few pages of nothing but words. This makes this book wonderful for transitioning readers, where you're past the whole 'picture on every page to help you guess what the words say' reading level, but not quite to the chapter book or 'book without pictures' reading level. I think this book will truly benefit kids who are trying to learn how to read.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cody Reel Guest Post

Check Cody Reel out on Amazon(:

Cody Reel

Image of Cody Reel
I'm just your typical smart, socially anxious, bipolar 20 year old. I have many passions, the main of which are sports, but I also love to teach math and learn mathematics. I'm a dark fiction writer: that means I include elements of sex, blood, gore and violence. My writing also includes elements of the supernatural, realism, satire and human psychology, including getting inside of the heads of people that commit various crimes, critiques of societies that I observe, how societies define crime, and how they handle crime. Death, destruction, and man's desire for power are some of my various themes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Moonlight Dancer Book Review

Moonlight Dancer by Deb Atwood is a paranormal novel with romantic elements about Kendra JinJu MacGregor a 23-year-old half-Korean (on her father’s side) college student. Following her father’s death a few years before the opening of the book, Kendra learned two things: men always leave and there is no such thing as ghosts. She is challenged on both these views on the first page when Kendra meets an antique Korean doll and a man named Hiro Peretti (half-Japanese on his mother’s side). Both send her life reeling.

Kendra is drawn to the antique Korean doll and impulsively purchases it from the young handsome, antiques business owner, Hiro. From there, all their lives are intertwined. The doll somehow creates a bridge from 16th century Korea to present day California. NanJu, the spirit of a lower class 16th century young Korean woman, crosses the gap to reach Kendra. NanJu has an agenda and soon Kendra has to choice in the matter.

Reading Moonlight Dancer is like when you see something in your peripheral vision and you turn to look and don’t see anything out of the ordinary. The book also felt claustrophobic. Although there were several different locations, they all led back to Kendra’s bedroom. It was like the hub from which everything in the book happened. It was the sanctuary she retreated to at every major junction in the plot.

Kendra is a solitary figure. She trusts no one and is fiercely independent to her detriment. Her decisions are made from a position of distrust. By the time she figures out that she does have support and love, it is almost too late.

I got a sense of Kendra’s relationships with her father, her mother, her friend Anna; but they’re all vague. Her father is dead. Her mother, adopted younger sister and grandfather have gone abroad for a year to Shanghai, leaving Kendra in the family home alone. Anna, who could have been her confidant, is incapacitated early on. Kendra is alone except for her dog Akira. So when the ghost of NanJu enters Kendra’s life the only thing standing between them is a stranger and a man at that, Hiro.

Hiro has his own obstacles to overcome in his pursuit of Kendra, not including NanJu’s presence. Because of Hiro’s Japanese heritage and NanJu’s horrific experiences during a Japanese invasion of her Korean village, she frequently stands between Kendra and Hiro’s developing relationship.

Moonlight Dancer has great imagery and I was able to get a good sense of NanJu’s village, her struggles and her loves and losses. The book follows Kendra for the majority of the story, but it gradually merges with NanJu’s story. There is a major portion where the reader is completely submerged in NanJu’s tale. It was interesting, entertaining and could really have been its own book. This leads me to the fact that the book was a bit long for me. There were periods of the plot slowing down and then something exciting happens to kick it back up for a little while, then slow and then exciting again. There is always a hint of the something big that is supposed to happen, but it takes a while to get there.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend to readers who like a bit a of romance with their ghost story.

Rating 4/5

I received this book to read in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Witches Book Review

The Witches
by Roald Dahl

I read this book before and saw the movie starring Angjelica Houston. It is a very good story and heart-warming. The witches is about a little boy and his grandmother. When his parents die in a car accident, the little boy goes to live with his grandmother in Norway. From his grandmother, he learns that witches not only exist, but that they detest children and are trying to rid the world of them. His grandmother tells him how to spot a witch. So when the little boy encounters his first witch, he is saved. In his second encounter he is not so lucky. But that is not the end of our little hero. He triumphs over his predicament in a fun and entertaining way. This was a great read...again.
Rating 5/5

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Father's Dragon Triology Book Review

My Father's Dragon
By Ruth Stiles

This is a wonderful story I read a long time ago and recently found on audio-book. I listened to it with my 6-year-old daughter and it was great adventurous fun. My Father's Dragon is about a boy named Elmer Elevator who finds a stray cat and brings it home. The cat tells Elmer all about her adventures on Wild Island where there is a baby dragon held captive by the wild animals and being used as a type of postal carrier. The dragon flies over a big river taking animals and packages back and forth. Elmer decides to help the dragon. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to all readers of adventure who love intelligent characters who come up with inventive solutions to problems.
Rating 5/5

Elmer and the Dragon

This is a great follow-up to My Father's Dragon. Elmer Elevator has rescued the Dragon and the Dragon is now flying over the ocean to take Elmer home. But a big storm forces them down. Fortunately they land on Canary island and so begin another adventure to help the canaries with their problem.
Rating 5/5

The Dragons of Blueland
This is the final book in the My Father's Dragon series. Elmer finally gets home and the Dragon makes his way home to Blueland only to find his family in danger of capture. The Dragon knows that only one person can help him so he turns to Elmer for help. This is another great adventure with imaginative resolutions to problems.
Rating 5/5

Saturday, October 13, 2012

American Eagle Shirts

 American Eagle is changing up styles, getting ready for fall and winter and trying to get rid of some of the summer stuff. That means Sales!! I got all 3 of these shirts (and the teal jeans) on sale at American Eagle! So hurry into an American Eagle today to see what you can find, whether it's an outgoing sale item or a new winter outfit!

I really like this Dip Dye tank top that I have on in the first two pictures! It came in White/Blue and White/Red. It's definitely something I'll be wearing a lot of in the summer and on vacations.
The loose pink shirt is another cool shirt I got at American Eagle! It's very comfortable and great for a long day in classes.
The outfit I have on in the last picture, the grey top and teal pants, both came from American Eagle! This top is more fancy and could be worn in a variety of places, dressed up with heels and jewelry, or causal-ified with a pair of jeans. Whatever your style, there's some way you could work it.
Get all these tops and many more at American Eagle, in stores or online at

Friday, October 12, 2012

Illuminate-Alive, She Cried: Partial Book Review


Illuminate-Alive, She Cried

by Jamie Haden

I can't really write a proper review because I was not able to finish this book. I only got to 24% on the eBook. This is the second book in the Talisa Santiago series so I think that starting with this one contributed to my inability to finish. I felt like I had come in the middle of a conversation.

Illuminate-Alive is about a girl named Talisa Santiago who has some kind of spiritual power. I am not quite sure what. She is called a Spirit Seeker (title of first book) with beliefs steeped in Native American culture. She has three "blood" brothers who have sworn to protect her. In this book, she has already acquired her powers but she needs to know what they mean and how to use them. She and her blood brothers go to a remote Native American community in the mountains not only to learn about her ability but also to escape some group that wants her dead because of her ability. And that was as far as I got.

I did not like Talisa very much. She is needy and indecisive. She leans too much on her "blood" brothers for validation. Also, I did not like how she spoke to or about her mother. She is disrespectful to her mom before she leaves and then spends the remainder of the time wishing her mother is there with her. She also seems to be in the heat of puberty because every single guy she meets turns her eye. It is even pitting two of the "blood" brothers against each other.

As a YA book I was concerned about the level of alcohol drinking and other "behaviors" by these "under-aged" characters. There is also a pregnancy issue going on that I was uncomfortable with. (Guess I'm a prude.) Although if you read the book, you come to find out that some of them only "seem" under-age. Which brings me to the fact that there is a part I read about the "blood" brothers' origins which just came out of nowhere to me. One minute they're talking about leaving home for the mountain community and then it launches into a history of the "blood" brothers that was all spooky and cryptic, speaking in a somewhat prophetic tone. It threw me. It was so narrative that their conversation sounded staged.

So I will have to read the first book in the series, Spirit Seeker, before I can form a proper opinion. But right now, although the concept seems interesting, the book was dragging a bit and Talisa's I'm-confused-who-I-love and low self-esteem personality are sounding a bit too familiar. It may be a while before I pick up Spirit Seeker.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Day No One Played Together Book Review

by Donalisa Helsley

This is the story of sisters Genesis and Jadyn who want to play together, but they don't want to play the same things. So the day is starting out horribly. But after talking with Mom, the girls soon discover that they both can have fun if they compromise. This is a cute little book. The illustrations by Sarah Harkey are vivid and colorful. The girls' facial expressions are very well done. The story itself is simple and clear. Although it was lacking in originality, it is a great starter book for discussing how to compromise and being creative in play.
Rating: 3/5

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Silent Gondoliers Book Review

by S. Morgenstern

The Silent Gondoliers is the story of Luigi who always dreamed of singing with his whole lungs, his whole heart and his whole soul on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy as he rowed his gondola. He is an expert gondolier, but his singing has made people lose consciousness. 

This was a cute book. Not as good as The Princess Bride by any means. However, it is a funny and quick read, only 110 pages and a good number of them are great illustrations.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wicca & Witchcraft for DUMMIES Book Review

by Diane Smith

This is a good informational book about Wicca and Witchcraft and what it's all really about. Wicca seems to be a spiritual journey that helps one become closer to their deity of choice. There are very few rules and/or ruling body. But followers of Wicca do believe that whatever we do in life comes back to us so that we must do what is right because we are all connected. Good starter book for those who have absolutely no idea about what Wicca really is. I was surprised.
Rating: 4/5

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coraline Book Review

By Neil Gaiman

Coraline is about a little girl who travels to another plane of existence. It is identical to her own home except much better. It is a world where her "other" mother and father are more loving and attentive to her and she has everything that she could want. However Coraline feels an underlying sense of evil in the other mother and decide to leave, intending never to return again. However when her parents are kidnapped by the other mother, Coraline must return to the other home to rescue them and make sure they all get out alive. I enjoyed this story. 

Coraline is a likeable, courageous and resourceful little girl. And even when she goes against advice and what she should do, she does so with bravery. Her habit of doing things when others advise against it is what causes her troubles, however that same quality helps her solve the problem. The only thing I had trouble with were long sentences separated by several commas that had me re-reading them. 

The story is a little scary for younger readers in that there is a closet-like door Coraline goes through to enter the other world which will remind readers of monsters in their closets. It is an entertainly creepy story.This was a quick read and I recommend it to ages 8 and older.

Rating: 4/5