Saturday, March 31, 2012

Midnight Hunter

Title:
Midnight Hunter

Author:
Bonnie Bernard

Series:
Midnight Hunter Trilogy

About the Author: (book)
Bonnie Bernard is an alter ego of a feisty redhead who lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a dog, and two cats - one of which owns everybody and everything in the house. They share their old home with a ghost who likes to flip switches and throw power tools until he gets what he wants (bright, shiny objects to play with).
Bonnie spends her time writing, hiking, and having fun with her friends. She enjoys planting obscure specimens in the backyard garden to see what pops up, and she's fascinated by unseen forces and creepy-crawly things.
Midnight Hunter is her first full-length fiction work.
Find out more at www.midnighthuntertrilogy.com

Summary: (Amazon)
Donna McCormick is a smart, pretty college student whose twenty-first birthday is a week away. Unfortunately, so is her murder - unless the mysterious man from the darkness can reach her first.
Donna is pursued in her dreams by a man who claims to be her Eternal Partner. During her waking hours, she’s cornered by another who claims to be the same. There’s only one problem: neither is entirely honest. 
Or, for that matter, entirely human.
Eight years earlier, Donna’s life was dealt a terrible blow with the untimely death of a little brother who was left in her care. Ever since, Donna has yearned to get a normal life back – and despite her best friend Mo’s efforts to the contrary, Donna has almost managed it…at least until the Underworld cracks wide open, scattering chaos and spilling out every shifty force under the moon. Most of them want Donna dead, but some will stop at nothing to keep her alive. 
Too bad she doesn’t know which is which. 
With death following Donna like a shadow, she turns to her best friend for help. But instead of help, Mo offers only more mystery. And she knows more about the Underworld than she's willing to admit.
Now, Donna must choose: Cling to the mortal world where she feels safe, or embrace the Underworld where her dreams – and nightmares – come true.
One thing’s for sure - doing either one might get her killed in both.

I'd Recommend to...
High Schoolers, College Students looking for a fun read

My Rating:
4.3/5

My Thoughts:
Donna McCormick, the daughter of two attorneys, is really a reincarnate of herself for centuries and the Eternal Partner to a vampire named Hunter. His brother, Stephen, is a bad guy who haunts Donna's dreams causing nightmares that inflict real pain. It's Donna's 21st birthday and she's spending it by trying not to die - again. The next time she dies, there will be no coming back again; her soul has been harmed too much. Her vampire lover and her pregnant  best friend are both extremely overprotective for her own good, but thanks to them, she doesn't die again and is saved 3 times.
This book was a fun read. The vampire part was intriguing and there is something about the paranormal that appeals to me. I did think that it had a bit to much (or a lot too much) "R-rated scenes", but maybe I'm just not mature enough for those parts. The best friend connection between Mo and Donna was extremely relateable to me and my best friend, Kaitlin, except neither of us are pregnant and don't plan on getting pregnant anytime soon for like years and years and years and years and like ever. 'Cause that's gross.
But anyways, I think that everyone can relate to something in this book even though it is a book about vampires and such, because Donna is human and has human experiences, like her parents separating, her ex-boyfriend cheating on her, her ex-roommate stabbing her in the back, not being able to afford her college apartment and moving back in with her parents, wrecking her car, and of course, having a best friend that would do anything and everything for you. That's what makes the book as good as it is. The vampires and the romance pull you in, but the icky parts want you to turn away, but its the things that everyday people can relate to while reading it that makes you stay and finish the book.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Blogariffic Blog Hop Information Post!



The Blogariffic Blog Hop will take place from May 13th to May 19th, 2012. 
Any blog may participate, and there is no participation cost. However, each blog participating MUST have a giveaway up from May 13th to May 19th, 2012 with the ONLY requirement being that in order to enter, the participant must follow your blog. (Ex. If someone wants to enter PrincessReviews' giveaway, they must follow PrincessReviews and if they want to follow Captivated Reading's giveaway, they must follow Captivated Reading.) There is no minimum or maximum value on the giveaway prize, you just must be giving something away. A copy of the linky with all the participating blogs must also be on the giveaway post. 
If you have any questions, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post so that I may answer it publicly in case anyone else has the same question. 
Thank you!!

Sign up by using this linky. Sign up from March 30, 2012 to April 30, 2012. Emails are needed so I may remind you about the blog hop. 

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Land of the Gems




Title:
The Land of the Gems


Author:
Vanessa Rose Lee


Summary: (Amazon)
Kate Stanford hopes for a fun summer. Little does she know, but she is in for an adventure of a lifetime!
One day, Kate and her roommates open a chest and are taken to the Land of the Gems. Kate and her friends soon start to realize that the kingdom needs their help. Join Kate and her friends on their journey to the Land of the Gems!



I'd Recommend to..
Middle Schoolers and people who have a hard time believing in themselves


My Rating:
4.9/5


This book is all about believing in yourself and what you can do. That's definitely what I like about Vanessa Rose Lee's books - all of her books contain a message that should be taken to heart. 
In The Land of the Gems, Kate is going to summer camp for a month and a half. There she meets Meg and Amy, along with Nick, whom she already knew. Meg, Amy, and Kate go for a hike one day and Kate passes out where she has a dream about The Land of Gems. She must help save the land of gems by getting the royal purple gem back from Batmorva. Along the way she must get Poseidonya, Lord Ice, and Lady Ice to cooperate with her so she can defeat Batmorva and save the Land of Gems. She learns she must believe in herself and once she believes in herself she is capable of anything. 
This book was a nice read and I truly did enjoy it. I'd totally recommend for middle schoolers to read The Land of Gems! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Good Freedom DEBT FREE, "In Jesus' Name!": Book Review

The Good Freedom

DEBT FREE, "In Jesus' Name!"

by Min. Marc K. Vines

Now in Print! Check out the new cover and order yours today. The tax man cometh!

Book Review (originally posted September 2011)

Using the 500+ financial references in the Bible and his own life examples, Marc K. Vines explains the signs and mistakes that will lead you to debt. Once you know how you got into debt in the first place, you're less likely to make those bad choices again. With 25 years in the lending business and having been a landlord, Marc has more than a good idea on how finances play an important role in our lives. The author isn't just saying "do this" and "don't do that" based on research alone. He has actually walked the walk. He tells how he was once on top of the house-flipping game, to how he fell to the bottom of the title pawn hole, and his on-going trek out of debt with the Lord's help. Stress in our finances can take a toll on our spiritual, physical and emotional well-being. The Good Freedom, DEBT FREE in Jesus' Name shows a spiritual way to look at money, credit and how God wants us to live in wealth. And surprising to most, it starts with tithing. For whoever reads this book, I'm sure they will learn at least one thing they didn't know that could save them thousands of dollars and keep them out of "financial slavery." Yes, that's what the author says debt is, "financial slavery." This book is a candid look at the poor money management skills we have been given and are passing down to our children and how the basic guidelines for financial wealth, lending and borrowing haven't changed much since they were written in the Bible long ago. It's a quick, conversational read that opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn't know about finances, our country and how God is always at the center of it all. The Good Freedom is a great read and I recommend taking a look at it.

Available in print from Infinity Publishing www.buybooksontheweb.com

Also available in ebook on Amazon Kindle
Contact the author at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tangled Blood Lines


Title:
Tangled Bloodlines

Author:
Deborah Noel

Summary: (Goodreads)
This is not your sweet sparkling vampire story. Oldschool vampires have resurfaced, responsible for brutal murders and more blood than anyone can cope with. In "Tangled Blood Lines", Cianna Fitzgerald, a young but "retired" crime scene investigator, finds herself back in a world she walked away from some years ago. 
She grew up in twentieth century Pennsylvania countryside knowing she possesses superhuman powers from her "Irish pixie" bloodlines. She had retired after a particularly tough case where the victim was her husband's twin brother. After her brief respite from murders and homicides, Cianna witnesses a killing where the murderer is a vampire. Her daughter goes missing soon after the killing. Cianna and the love she had once pushed out of her life, her estranged husband Declan, travel halfway around the world to try to save their child. 
As the mystery unravels, she learns that although she is a halfbreed, the other half isn't "Irish pixie" as she grew up believing weaving her into a more tangled history and frightening future than she had bargained for.

I'd Recommend to...
Ages 15 and Up

My Rating:
4.8/5

My Thoughts:
First off, let me just say, what a cliffhanger ending!!! I knew that it was going to end on a major cliffhanger when I looked down at my kindle and saw that I was 90% through the book, but it seemed like it was just getting started. As Cianna mentioned repeatedly in the book though, there are always more questions. She was right. This book leaves me with more questions than answers and I truly hope for and cannot wait for the next book to be released!!
Okay, so let me get down to the basics now and tell you all what this story was about. Cianna is a 29-year-old retired crime scene investigator who is constantly having nightmares about these six murders that she was hired to investigate that were never solved. She has a 4-year-old daughter, Mattie, and her husband, Declan, doesn't live with them. One day her Uncle Sam comes up for a visit and convinces Cianna to look back into those six murder cases, since they were never solved. Her and Declan get back together and all is well for the family.
But then, Cianna witnesses a vampire murdering a young girl. Later, Declan and Cianna both witness the same vampire kill a couple. Then Mattie goes missing. This is when the chaos starts.
With the help of Remmie, a vampire, Shane, a wizard, and Brae, a witch, Cianna is able to solve the six unsolved murders, but more cases involving vampires arise and by the end of the book, you are still left with many unanswered questions. Will Cianna ever get Mattie back? Will Brae be caught by Oxmeade? What will happen with Remmie? So many questions, yet no answers.
This is why I need another book in the series.
But, back to this book, I honestly started this book two days ago and was unable to put it down since. It is definitely a book for more mature people, as some parts are definitely scary just reading it, and other parts get  a little sexual.
I think that Deborah Noel did an absolutely outstanding job with this book! She included such detail, but it wasn't so much that people would be like "OMG Too much nonsense. This is boring!!!" Not at all. And the plot flowed extremely smoothly,  unlike some books where the plot is choppy. I applaud Deborah for her fantastic work. I most definitely look forward to reading more books by her. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Final Destination 5 *RATED R*


Movie:
Final Destination 5

Rating:
R

Genre:
Horror, Thriller

Length:
92 Minutes

Released Date:
August 12, 2011


Director: Steven Quale
Writers: Eric Heisserer, Jeffrey Reddick 
Stars: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell and Arlen Escarpeta

Summary: (IMDb)
Survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse learn there's no way you can cheat Death. 



My Rating:
4/5


I'd Recommend To...
Late Teens / 20-ish year olds and parties 


My Thoughts:
I watched Final Destination 5 a few weeks ago at a friend's sleepover/birthday party. It starts off by this guy having a "vision" of the bridge collapsing and everyone except his girlfriend dying. Then, once it starts to happen in real life and he realizes it, he saves himself, his girlfriend, and 6 other employees of the company. But you can't cheat death. One by one, in order of how they died on the bridge accident's foreshadowing, the 8 remaining victims start to die by tragic accidents. Sam and Molly seem to make it out alive until they board the plane that starts the Final Destination 1 movie, bringing all the Final Destination movies together. 
This was my first time ever watching a Final Destination movie, so I didn't know that they were all connected, as it seemed to have been at the end. Shirley and Gabby, my the birthday girl and my other friend, were disappointed in how all the Final Destinations seemed to follow the same plot line with a different starting accident. But isn't that how all movie series are? But apparently this one was much more bloody than the others.
Since we were all together in a group at a party setting, it was definitely more like just watching a movie with friends who talk loud and eat snacks and you don't really get too into it, so you don't seem to get as scared. I wasn't scared at all during this whole movie, though parts of it, like when the girl's eye popped out, did freak me out a bit and I had to look away because it was so disgusting. But instead of being scared, I actually found myself laughing at times. We all did. I'm sure that that was just because I was with my friends, whereas if I were alone I would be scared out of my wits, right? Or was it just a funny movie? That's for you to decide if you ever watch Final Destination 5.
I must stress to you all though that it is Rated R so, only watch it if you are old enough / mature enough and/or have parent permission. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pretty Little Liars Season Finale



Pretty Little Liars is an extremely popular television show where I live. Everyone who's anyone is watching it. This past Monday was the season finale of the current season. Pretty Little Liars will resume in 10 weeks on ABC Family. 
Anyways, in the season finale, the big promotion for it was that we were supposed to find out who 'A', the omniscient being that is everywhere all the time leaving the girls notes and scaring them into doing whatever it is that 'A' wants them to do, is. People that haven't watched the show since the Pilot episode of the first season were tuning in to finally find out who A is. 
It used to be that each Monday I had to be home at 8PM so that I could watch Pretty Little Liars. But then reality took a hold, life got busy, and soon I was no longer making it home by 8 on Mondays to watch Pretty Little Liars. I would end up hearing what happened in it anyways, since, like I said, everyone around here watches it. But Monday, instead of going to Rita's Italian Ice for free Italian ice for the first day of Spring, I rushed home from Interact Club Inductions to watch Pretty Little Liars. 
In the beginning, I was a bit confused, as would be anyone who has missed the past few episodes, but I quickly got caught up, remembering what people had told me had happened in the previous episodes. I was drawn to my television and didn't want the show to end. Pretty Little Liars is a wonderful example of why people don't want to leave the television alone. It was like you were a part of the show, or reading a good book. Whether you were 'viewing from afar' or actually one of the characters, you felt like that was truly happening. It is a great way to escape the reality of the harsh world we live in today. 
I had predicted long ago that Mona would end up being A. (I did not read any of the Pretty Little Liars books that the television show is based of off and I did not have any idea that in the books Mona was A.) As soon as Spencer and Mona were in A's "lair", as Spencer called it, I knew we were getting to the A part. When Mona offered Spencer gum and then Spencer found a gum wrapper saving a page in Allison's diary, without even getting a good look at the type of gum Mona had, I immediately knew that Mona was indeed A. Spencer did, too. I felt so smart! But then Mona admitted she was part of A. Well, if she wasn't A herself, and not even a main part of A, just a lousy pawn, then who were the other people involved that called themselves A?? 
I knew that the producers were not going to just let everyone know who A was because then it would mean the end of Pretty Little Liars, and with so many viewers they would be out of their right mind to cancel the show, but the finale simply left more questions unanswered and leaved many of the viewers wanting more. What a great way to leave the season on a cliffhanger, but at the same time, advertising that everyone would find out who A was and not giving us all -or even most- of who A is, is false advertising in my mind. But it is still a good show and I think because of the finale and because of the people who watched it just for the chance to find out who A is, that Pretty Little Liars will gain even more viewers and watchers and PLL Addicts. 
The people in charge of the television show are some smart people, and the author of the books had some terrific ideas. I have no idea how similar the books are to the show, but based on the show's popularity, the books must've been doing something right. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beach Party Girls

Title:
Beach Party Girls


Author:
Vanessa Rose Lee


Summary: (Amazon)
Welcome to Miami. The city lights up at night and parties are endless. Meet the Beach Party Girls. Kim Bailey and Stephanie Cole enjoy living a fast-paced, glamorous lifestyle.
One day, an event changes their lives. What will they do to get by? Join the fun-loving Beach Party Girls and their adventures! 



My Rating:
2.7/5


I'd Recommend to...
Middle School-ers


My Thoughts:
Beach Party Girls by Vanessa Rose Lee is definitely a book for younger audiences. Not little children, but not teenagers either. I would say that Beach Party Girls is a book for a 6th-7th grade audience. 
Beach Party Girls is about Kim and Stephanie being these rich girls that just want to have fun. They don't have a job because they don't need one. They only went to college to meet boys, and are still single. But one day, Stephanie's daddy gets sued and loses money. The girls get real jobs. They make new friends and go to a speed-dating night where they meet Mark and David. To find out what else happens, read Beach Party Girls. 
I thought this book wasn't really written that well. I could write about as good as Vanessa wrote in this book when I was about 12. But I figure that that is the general age group for the wanted audience which would make the book relateable to the reader and so for a child that young, this could very well be a wonderful book. Unfortunately, if you are older and used to reading more advanced books, it is hard to go back in time and read this book and say "oh, that's a good book". I suggest only reading this book if you are in or about to go into middle school. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Victoria Willis Interview!

I got a chance to interview Victoria Willis, aka toriababy22. Check out the interview and check out her YouTube page!





1. What inspires you to sing?
When I have people, friends, teachers, and family that support me! I love hearing that people appreciate or like my singing! It motivates me.
2. Who is your favorite singer/band?
I honestly don’t think I have a favorite. I just find songs I like, but if I had to pick I would say Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney to name a few 
3. Who is your role model?
My cousin Michael… he started rapping awhile back and he’s gone through so many ups and downs throughout the process. He got me back into singing, without him I’d probably still be sitting at home recording myself but not putting the videos anywhere haha!
4. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate or mint chocolate chip!
5. Do you write your own songs too or just do covers?
I do both! I started writing and recording songs in November and I’m hoping to have a CD done by January of next year! I’m very excited about it.
6. What do you like to do besides sing?
Cheerleading and hanging with my friends and family. I’ve never been into the crazy wild partying scene. Give me a night with some girls or family members and I’m more than content 
7. Do you prefer cheese or pepperoni pizza?
Hmmm. Probably pepperoni but I’ll eat both.
8. What's your favorite TV show?
Pretty Little Liars and Sweet Home Alabama  I’m been in love with both since season 1 and these are the only two shows I’ve stuck with!
9. Tell us about yourself a little.
Well I’m Victoria Willis. I come from a small town in the eastern shore of Maryland. I’m an outgoing funny girl and I’ve sang for as long as I can remember. Cheerleading is another passion of mine and I’ve helped coach two teams in the past two years along with my high school team. My family means the world to me and if it wasn’t for them I’d be nowhere!
10. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Check out my youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/toriababy22?feature=mhee and take a look at my videos. If you like one PLEASE SHARE IT ON YOUR FACEBOOK/TWITTER/MYSPACE etc. Thanks so much!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Other Slipper: Book Review

May contain spoilers, but not details.
The Other Slipper by Kenechi Udogu

The story begins with the preparations for the great ball where (Cinder)Ella will meet her prince and live happily ever after. However, this story is not about her. It is about Jo, and to a certain extent, her brother Ron. When Jo stumbles across a pumpkin and glass slipper and takes them home, she alters her destiny. When the slipper starts to hum for its mate, Jo is forced to accept the rumor about Ella and an enchanted slipper. Hoping she can just return the slipper and go back to normal, she seeks out Ella who is now living in the palace. However, Ella's godmother Arla tells Jo that she must now return the pair to their rightful owner, the Lady of Ould. Jo can no longer doubt the existence of magic as everyone has heard of the great and powerful Lady of Ould. So in the company of her protective older brother Ron, Jo begins a journey that reveals truths about her family origins that expand her small world and leaves no doubt that magic does exist.
I was hooked right away. The author presents a good description of Jo as the too-tall awkward teenaged girl. The reader is immediately endeared to her. Although Jo can be frustratingly stubborn at times, her stubbornness does push the story forward. The story is an easy and quick read that keeps you interested. In one scene, Jo and Ron meet a stranger named Locke who offers to accompany them on their journey as protection when they are attacked by someone trying to take the slippers. When Locke reveals who he really is, the passage only explains the symbol he shows them and then the chapter ends. The reader doesn't find out what this all means until several pages later, and by then new surprises spring up to keep you reading.
Some of the explanations of characters' history are a little confusing. Others are long and seem a bit awkward for characters to be narrating them. I would have liked a little more "he said" or "Jo said" because in places it took longer to figure out who was speaking until the end of a long passage of dialog. There are grammar issues but not too distracting.
The description and consistency of prose really involves the reader. Jo's character is really perceptive on facial expressions, letting the reader "see" the reactions of other characters. Also, the humming of the slippers does not end when they are reunited and at first the constant reminder of this fact annoys, which is exactly what it's doing to Jo throughout the book until it just becomes background noise, again like Jo's experience. Great device to bring the reader in.
The ending, although neatly tied up left me desiring a bit more from Jo and the antagonist. There does seem to be room for a sequel. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, or 7 out of 10. Good reading for those who like fairy tale spinoffs. But don't be confused, this is an original story and not a retelling.

Available on Smashwords and Amazon

Review can be seen on Smashwords, Amazon and Goodreads

Friday, March 16, 2012

ToriaBaby22


Victoria (toriababy22) is a wonderful singer that I think you all should check out! She is great vocally and barely misses any notes. I love her takes on her covers. She sings from her soul which is a nice thing that is not found very often. She's a really nice and sweet girl and I think you should give her a chance.
Check out her YouTube page here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liz Botts Interview!

1.      I had the chance to inteview Liz Botts and here it is! 
PrincessReviews, Liz Botts

What inspires you to write?
I write because I hear a lyric from a song and it sparks an idea. Or suddenly a character jumps into my head and I have to work out the story. I find inspiration in the strangest places. Honestly, a lot of my inspiration comes from the world around me. I’ll read an article in the newspaper, and think of the perfect place to fit it into a story. I’ve even gotten inspiration from dreams.
2.      Who are your role models?
I really admire strong mothers. Women who would do anything for their children.
3.      What is In The Spotlight about?
Basically, In the Spotlight is a feel good story about discovering your place in the world, and falling in love in the process.
Here’s the synopsis:
When sixteen year old Hannah Brewster lands the lead in the school musical she hopes it will be the perfect chance to get the attention of her family and her long time crush, Kyle. The only problem is that school super star, Josh Larson, has been cast opposite her, and he seems to like her as more than just a cast mate.
As Hannah and Josh grow closer, things between Hannah and Kyle get complicated. When Hannah realizes that Kyle is not who she thought he was, she also realizes that she just might like Josh as more than just a friend.
Will Hannah and Josh be able to overcome their obstacles and admit their feelings before the musical ends?
4.      Do you go on vacation a lot?
My husband, kids and I have been a lot of places. When we have time (and money) we love to travel, even if it’s just close to home.
5.      What is your favorite place to travel to?
My favorite place to go is the Black Hills of South Dakota.
6.      Where would you love to go for vacation?
I’d love to take an extensive road trip to see the states I haven’t seen.
7.      What is your favorite food?
I love Indian food, curry, goat cheese, and strawberries.
8.      Can you speak any other languages besides English? What are they?
I can sort of speak French. I took French in high school and college, and I’ve been to Paris. Going to France actually improved my speaking ability quite a bit, but I’m awfully rusty now.
9.      What is your favorite movie?
This tends to change a lot. Some of the movies on my static favorites list include: Annie, Guys and Dolls, Bride and Prejudice, Thunderheart, and Ten Things I Hate About You.
10.  Which character, from any book, are you most like and why?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I’ve read so many books, I’m not sure I can pick someone. I can tell you, however, that growing up I desperately wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. I had dreams of living the pioneer life.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood




Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood
by Eileen Cook

Summary (from Goodreads)
Popularity is the best revenge.
In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.
But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.
Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
My Rating: 5/5

My Review 
For some really good reasons, this book became one of my favourite books ever. If you loved the movie "Mean Girls" then this is for you. It has some funny moments and the story line just went great. Just like a good Meg Cabot book, the characters, their conversations and thoughts are pretty realistic... and funny (I just had to point that out). 

The Talented Mr. Ripley Book Review


The Talented Mr. Ripley by Particia Highsmith is the story of Tom Ripley, a twenty-five-year-old con artist and forgerer. He is approached by Mr. Greenleaf and asked to travel to Italy to try to persuade his son Dickie Greenleaf to return to America because he has been gone a long time and Mrs. Greenleaf is ill. Although Tom had met Dickie only once, and tells Mr. Greenleaf as much, Mr. Greenleaf insists and offers to pay all his expenses. Wanting to get away from his dead-end life and start anew, Tom accepts. Neither of them knows that their arrangement will lead to multiple crimes.

Entertaining storyline. However, it was a long read. The pacing was good but it sometimes read like one of the classics we had to read in English class at school. Description was heavy but not burdensome. The life of these well-off Americans living in Italy was slow and lazy so I guess the story was matching that kind of living. Interesting plot device.

This is the first crime novel I’ve read outside of Agatha Christie. There are sequels but I doubt I will read them. I have yet to see the movie.

I originally gave the book 4 stars because the writing is superb. Ms. Highsmith describes Italy beautifully. The crime part is a little farfetched in places. But I chalk that up to the time period which I guess is around the 1950s. With all the advances in crime scene investigation, it’s hard for me to roll my mind back to a time where detectives just took people’s word for it. Also there was a certain amount of deference to Americans living abroad. So because of that I downgraded to 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kony 2012

Joseph Kony is an evil man in Africa who takes children and turns them against their parents and forces them to kill. We need to help spread the word to let people know that we care. Like the narrator kept saying, if this happened to just ONE kid in America, it would be all over the place and stopped within seconds. Well, this is happening to HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of kids in Africa, and no one has cared. Until now. Help spread the word. Together we CAN and WILL make a difference. Kony 2012.

Friday, March 9, 2012

People's Prize Book Voting Guest Post

This is a message I recieved via facebook from Neal James who would like people to vote for this book for the People's Book Prize 2012. It's up to you if you want to vote; I'm just helping him spread the word. Thank you. 


‘Two Little Dicky Birds’ (ISBN 9781905809936) has been nominated for the Peoples Book Prize 2012.

In order to progress beyond the first round and into the short list, it requires your vote.

Please follow the link below to the appropriate page on the award website, and add your name to a growing list:

http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=718


Please feel free to share this with any of your contacts, and accept my apologies if you have already voted
Thank you
Neal

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sparkle's Song Book Tour!


Sparkle's Song is a wonderful children's book! You can check out my review of the book here
I planned on doing an interview, but it completely slipped my mind and I am SO sorry about that!! I'll have an interview up soon, just not with the tour (though I missed my date anyway!) Please forgive me, and don't take my laziness out on the book! 
It truly is a wonderful children's book that I recommend. See the review for more!
Thank you! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Country Dance 2


Country Dance (2) is just like any of the Just Dances, except the only songs it has are country songs. So, if you can't stand country music, you might as well just not even read this post, though it's not what most people think it is.
I love my Country Dance 2; I play it all the time! I like it more than Just Dance 2, but that's only because I like the songs better. The dance moves are on the same difficulty level and some songs are harder than others. With Country Dance 2, you can play Freeze Dance, battle dance, or just dance by yourself. You can also do a rehearsal version where they teach you the dance moves, or an exercise dance to burn the maximum amount of calories. But even without the exercise mode on, Country Dance 2 is a mega fun way to get your daily dose of exercise done in no time!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two Poem Comparison

This is a comparison I did on the poems "Fireworks" by Amy Lowell and "It's Raining Love" by Richard Brautigan.

"Fireworks" by Amy Lowell and "It's Raining in Love" by Richard Brautigan are very similar in many ways. For example, they are both about love. Both speakers are unsure of love and afraid to admit their feelings. The speaker of "It's Raining Love" gets so unsure and confused about his feelings, he starts to distrust himself. In "Fireworks" the speaker covers her true feelings by stating she hates her lover. "Such fireworks as we make, we two! Because you hate me and I hate you" (Lowell 21-22). A common theme between the two is that love is not easy. "It makes me nervous" (Brautigan 5). "But whenever I see you I burst apart" (Lowell 3). As with any two items, anyone can find similarities. "Fireworks" and "It's Raining Love" happen to be very similar.
But, along with similarities comes differences. These two poems definitely have a few, too. "It's Raining Love" is more literal and the only use of figurative language in the whole poem is "it's raining somewhere, programming flowers and keeping snails happy" (Brautigan 22-23), while "Fireworks" is one big extended metaphor an has a completely figurative meaning. Her heard does not litterally scatter the sky and she does not actually burst apart; nor does she form shapes and colors in the sky. All that is figurative for her feelings toward her man. The literal meaning of "It's Raining in Love" and the figurative meaning of "Fireworks" add up to get the general tone of the story. Tone is another difference between the two. "Fireworks" has a passionate tone; however, the tone of "It's Raining in Love" is more melancholy. Both poems do contain a shift, though the shifts are of very different feelings. "But whenever I see you, I burst apart" (Lowell 3) switches the tone from hate to love, and later back to hate with "Because you hate me and I hate you" (Lowell 22). The speaker in "It's Raining in Love" goes from being nervous to relieved when he starts by saying "But if a girl likes me a lot" (Brautigan 25-26). Two poems, such as "It's Raining Men" and "Fireworks", even when the subjects are the same, can still contain many differences.

Just Dance 3 for Wii Review


"Santa" brought this for the family this past Christmas. We played it all Christmas day: from 9am until right before dinner at 6pm and then after. We love it!

I had seen a commercial for Just Dance with Dora the Explorer. I was thinking that this would be great for my daughter because (1) she loves to dance, (2) exercise, and (3) this was something active we could do when it is cold or raining out. I read the reviews for the Nickelodeon version and a lot of reviewers did not like the game because the real artists were not singing and the kids dancing on the game were kind of "creepy." Many recommended just getting the regular Just Dance.

"Santa" got ours from Target and the guy behind the counter recommended getting the latest version which was Just Dance 3. Although it did not have my daughter's favorite song on it, she has found many others that she likes including Laura Bell Bundy – "Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out), and Kiss - "I Was Made For Lovin' You." My favorite dance is the Mash Up for Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timberland. That may have something to do with the 70s guy who dances on the chorus. He so cool.

Anyway, the game is divided between playing songs and a sweat session where you can use it as an exercise regiment. There are also games where you have to freeze or shake the Wii remote in the middle of a song or risk losing points. You can earn points to unlock "gifts" and earn medals. "Gifts" include Mash Ups which blend together several different dancers from other songs into one particular song.

Value: It was on sale at Target for $35 before Christmas. I thought it was reasonable for 40 songs. Although this is my first experience with this type of game, I thought it was well put together. Some of the 40 songs are weird and we only have done them once, but the majority are good. Great dancers (from a non-dancer opinion). Three or so of the dances are awful and boring. But that's pretty good out of 40.

Fun Level: High. It doesn't feel like exercising until you're sore the next morning. It has single dancers, duets and group dances from 4 to 8 players. For the 4+ players, additional players have to hold the controller with another player. But I don't recommend you play the game every day. Just like anything else, it can get boring. But then you'll miss dancing when you hear the song on the radio and start doing the moves in the car. :-)

Difficulty: Easy to play and navigate (my 6-year-old does it). Not so easy to earn points as you need coordination to follow the dancers as if they are your mirror image. But just move the remote and sometimes you'll get points.

Features: You earn "Good" and "Perfect" by how well you follow. It gives you feedback throughout the dance. It also lists the words to the song and diagrams of the upcoming moves, all of which you can turn on and off whenever you like.

ESRB Rating: E 10+ There are some songs and dances that my 6-year-old daughter does NOT play because of dance moves. Period. But the curses are removed from the songs.

Highly recommend: I give it 4 out of 5 only because I wanted a greater variety of "add-on" songs from the Wii store. However, I like it and even convinced 2 of my sisters to buy it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yuki Japanese Restaurant Review


I went with my sisters for a Girls' Night Out to Yuki Japanese Restaurant. This was my first experience with the grill where the chef prepares the food right in front of you. I did not know what to order so I went with one of my sisters' recommendation and ordered Chicken and Shrimp Hibachi. I also shared an appetizer of sushi-like rolls but they had cooked salmon and chicken. I also had a virgin strawberry daiquiri. Delicious.

The server took our drink and food orders and then we were served in courses: drinks, appetizer, soup, salad, rice, meat. Everything was tasty and we did not have to wait long.

The chef went by the name of Rambo and he cracked jokes and made us ooh and ahh by starting small fires on the grill. But they were pretty fires. He kept us entertained and although he made the fires shoot straight up, I retained what was left of my eyebrows. A bit of advice: Don't get your brows arched while holding a kid on your lap.

But back to the meal. I was practically full by the time my chicken and shrimp were finished cooking. My overall experience was great.

Location: Right off the highway on I-75 Exit 221.
Atmosphere: Family oriented. We heard at least three "Happy Birthday" renditions that included tambourines and clapping and stomping. Casual attire or dressy if you're feeling it.
Service: Polite. We were seated immediately.
Price: Special occasion price, but not expensive. For me it would be a once in a while dinner out.
I'd go there again.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Yuki Japanese Restaurant
35 Mill Road
McDonough, GA
770-898-9854
www.welcometoyuki.com

Vote for Books - *NOT A REVIEW*

Hello! A great sponsor of PrincessReviews, Astraea Press, has two books in a Public Voting Contest! They are clean, Young Adult, fiction books.
You certainly don't have to, but it would help them if you did vote for their books! They are a great sponsor of PrincessReviews and would greatly appreciate any help we can give them with their books!
Thank you!

The Last Great Wizard of Yden http://www.ibookbuzz.com/Vote-for-Next-Book.html Contest ends 3-14
My Dad's A Paranormal Investigator http://www.sizzlinghotbooks.net/?zx=28ef820516bf00ea Contest ends 3-2