Friday, September 27, 2013

Best Western Plus Oak Forest, IL Hotel Review

My family stayed at this hotel last year, but this was my first stay there. This is a two-story hotel with an indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room, and Internet room. The rooms were comfortable. We had a suite so there was a twin pull-out sofa and desk in the sitting area. It was spacious and clean. There was a small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, and two televisions, one in the sitting room area and one in front of the two queen beds. The sitting room area television was not working so we did not use it. The beds were comfortable and clean. One thing I did not like was that the pool water was freezing and there was too much chemicals in it. My eyes were burning by the end of twenty minutes. Also it is a bit hard to find. Make sure you look out for the signs once you're off the highway. But once you find it, it is easy to get back on the highway and there are plenty of shopping and eating options nearby. The breakfast was adequate. I would have liked a little more fresh fruit choices. The staff I encountered were polite. It was a decent stay and I would recommend the suites for families.

Tip: Turn left at the Wendy's and follow road around to stop sign. Turn left. It's a little hard to find.

Rating 4/5 stars

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Collateral Damage Blog Tour

Go back through August's posts to see PrincessReviews's review of Collateral Damage! :)

About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Collateral Damage! Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  3. Leave a comment on my blog
  4. That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Collateral Damage tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

    About the book: When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancĂ©, Salvatore? The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual. Annie's problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late. Get Collateral Damage through Amazon.

    About the author: Frederick Lee Brooke is the author of the widely-acclaimed Annie Ogden mystery series, which includes Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage. The books do not have to be read in order. Having lived in Switzerland for the past two decades, Brooke has taught English, run a business and learned French, German and Italian. You can find him online at Sign up for his newsletter and read all about his travels, recipes, and upcoming works! Connect with Fred on his websiteFacebookTwitter, or GoodReads.

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    Friday, September 20, 2013

    Springmaid Beach Resort Review

    We stayed here for our summer trip in June 2013. We drove from the Atlanta area. It was a straight shot for the most part. It was only when we got close to the beach that we had to drive on state roads and make all sorts of twists and turns to get to the beach. But once we made it to Myrtle Beach the resort was easy to find. It was apart from the main hotel strip and proved to be quieter and more relaxing.

    The standard hotel room contained two queen beds, a table with two chairs, a dresser, a microwave, full-sized refrigerator, and an in-room safe. It was clean and looked recently upgraded. There was a balcony with a great view of the ocean. All the rooms opened to the outside. The building we stayed in had a number of floors with elevator access. There is one  building that is only two stories and has no elevator. There was also a parking garage.

    We ate at the pier restaurant for breakfast one day. It was just ok and we did not return. The pier was long and we took a quiet walk to the end. There was plenty of opportunities for fishing.

    We paid admission for the luau on Wednesday evening. It included an outdoor meal and show. I was entertained, but my husband wasn't that thrilled. The luau was run by a company contracted by the resort during the summer months. It was a bit too pricey for what we got.
    We also tried the buffet for breakfast at the resort. I believe the food quality and taste were lacking. We chose to eat at local restaurants from then on.

    My children enjoyed the pools. They especially liked the lazy river. The water was clean and not over-crowded. Each building had their own pools so that kept the use in check. The beach was clean and we didn't have to worry about anyone trying to sell us anything while we were there.

    There were also resort activities and miniature golf, but we did not participate because we had tickets to other attractions in Myrtle Beach.

    It was a nice, quiet trip. The hotel was nice and we would like to go again, but the food was lacking.

    We booked this trip through the Pirates Voyage website and chose Springmaid from the list of approved hotels. Check in and check out went smoothly and the staff were polite.

    Rating 4/5 stars

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    Friday, September 13, 2013

    The Twisted Truth Book Review

     *****SPOILER ALERT*****

    Michelle found the man of her dreams. He says she is the woman of his dreams. But something is out of place.

    Not to tell too much about the plot, but 10 years ago Michelle was sexually assaulted by two men, brutally beaten and left for dead. Her faith in men is shattered and she has spent the last years building a non-profit shelter for abused women.

    When Michelle meets Tyler, a wealthy realtor who only has eyes for her, he treats her like a queen, and she effortlessly falls for him. What's the problem? The problem is that Michelle can't tell if her own hang ups about men are getting in the way of bliss or if Ty is not quite Mr. Right.

    I read through this book in a state of disbelief. Early on, the reader can figure out where the plot is going. The thing that keeps you reading is: IF or WHEN or HOW will our heroine discover the truth? Michelle's ability to make poor decisions throughout actually moves the plot along. Things just get more and more shocking. What a group of characters! This is "normal" meeting WAY past "crazy." The pure scandalous actions involved in this book and how it all unfolds is what kept me reading.

    I recommend for readers who like daytime soaps like General Hospital and prime time dramas like Revenge; the more outrageous the better.

    Rating 4/5 stars

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    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    No Hope for Gomez

    Unfortunately for Graham Parke, I don't see any hope for Gomez, either. At least not with this book. Don't get me wrong, it's an enjoyable book, it's just more in the direction of "potato chips" as opposed to "nutritional" reads, as my former AP Lang teacher would say. This book didn't really have a main point to it, it just developed and expanded upon Gomez's drug trial and relationship and then once the trial and relationship were over, so was the book. There wasn't really much to it, at least not that I could see. Other people who've read the book (and love it) like it because they say it really gives someone insight on how a person thinks and behaves. It's basically the journal of Gomez as this is happening to him, which some people like but I do not. I did like how it was written that way, though. Each little blurb started with Blog Entry:  or Blog Note: which I thought was cute. Parke did a great job of keeping the book in character and using a unique style that I will certainly remember for a while after I forget about the story line.
    Just because I'm not a fan of this book doesn't mean you won't be, so feel free to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. If you have read this book, please share your thoughts about it in the comments below. I'm curious as to how others responded to this book.

    Product Details: Amazon

    • Paperback: 194 pages
    • Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 12, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1432752480
    • ISBN-13: 978-1432752484
    • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces 
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,053 in Books 
    Winner of the Forewords Book of the Year Awards, nominated for the International Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards, featured in the Kirkus Best Indie 2011 list. 

    It's the age-old tale:
    Boy meets girl.
    Boy stalks girl.
    Girl already has a stalker.
    Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.
    We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly. 
    When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy research assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced delusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan. 
    Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Huffman Helicopters Review

    Huffman Helicopters, Myrtle Beach, SC

    We decided to do the helicopter rides when we saw $20 per person. We thought, "Sure!" But when you get there. The $20 is for like a 2 minute ride. You blink and it's over. So we upgraded to a 6-7 minute ride I believe. It was about $36 per person and it only seats 3 extra people with the pilot. The staff was polite and our pilot was skilled and personable. Our safety was in the forefront at all times.

    They took our picture next to the helicopter (which is an extra fee) and up we went. My 7-year-old, who didn't like WonderWorks because the building was upside down and creaking, jumped into the front seat next to the pilot. :-) My 3-year-old had to sit on my husband's lap and we had to cover his ears with our hands. Everyone else received a headset.

    The children loved it! Our flight took us around the area where our hotel was and out over the Atlantic Ocean. We saw for miles. It's an interesting experience. Sort of surreal. I knew I was in the air, but I didn't really register it. I felt fine, and I usually get nauseous looking down in the car.

    It was a bit of a splurge in our vacation budget, but it was worth it. The children are still talking about it. If you can, everyone should try this.

    I recommend to everyone.

    Rating 5/5 stars

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