Saturday, July 30, 2016

One Big Turkey By Anne Vittur Kennedy

One Big Turkey By Anne Vittur Kennedy

Count your blessings! Join one big turkey and his forest friends as they celebrate the harvest season.

Children will count along with big turkey, squirrel, and their forest friends all the reasons they have to be grateful. Sweet, rhyming text will help children count everything they have to be thankful for, including food, friends, full tummies, and most of all, God! This board book presents parents with an adorable and simple way to teach their children about giving thanks.

With sweet rhyming verse, lots of fun images to count, and warm, charming artwork, this book will surely be a favorite every holiday season!

No turkeys were harmed in the telling of this story.


This is a very simple book for very young children like those just learning how to read. The book is perfect for toddlers through kindergarten. The pictures are stunningly drawn with a lot of detail. The words are easy to read and understand. I liked that there were only a few sentences on each page. God was only mentioned on the last page which I liked as it brought God into the book, but did not overwhelm young children with the concept.  

***Disclosure: I was sent this product for free for test and review purposes for only my honest and unbiased review; I was given no payment or any form of compensation for this review. These views are 100% my own and were not influenced by anything, but the product itself.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish

Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish is a well written young adult historical fiction novels set in 1860. 1860 was a year where slavery was still a part of the American culture. Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish follows two main characters; one that lives in the North and one that lives in the South. The perspectives of Saoirse Callahan and Westleigh Kavanagh provide an interesting contrast to each other. Saoirse Callahan sets her life on a different path when she begins to investigate dangerous fires that have been being started in the areas surrounding her home, not realizing the amount of danger she is putting herself and her family in. Westleigh Kavanagh is an abolitionist who has to make the decision between telling his father, the sheriff, that their boarder is an escaped slave or to keep the secret.

Mover over Abraham Lincoln Vampire hunter and make room for Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish; a much more interesting read that is actually historically accurate. Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish is a book that I would have enjoyed reading during the portion of history class that studies slavery in America during the 1800’s. Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish really pulled me in and kept me interested while also inspiring to want to learn more about that period of history. My favorite aspect of Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish was the fact that the book would switch between the two perspectives and it allowed me to understand how different thing were between those that lived in the North and the South during the 1800’s.

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers Favorites 

Dark Dreams and Dead Things

Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee is an amazing well written young adult paranormal book.  Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee is book best suited for young adults who enjoy paranormal book series. Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee follow 17 year old November Lonergan as she learns about being a reaper while still being a high school student. Martina McAtee has her two cousins Kai and Tristin to work with in order to fulfil an ancient prophecy that says that they will save the supernatural world from a great evil known only as the Grove.

                Move over Sam Winchester and Dean Winchester it is time to make room for a new supernatural hero and her name is Martina McAtee. Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee reminded me a lot of the Supernatural books as they both focus on supernatural creatures like reapers. Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee moves at a steady pace that allows for complete character development of the characters.  Rhys ended up being one of my favorite characters because he really grows into himself as he gains confidence during this book. One aspect of Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things Series Book 2) by Martina McAtee that I found very helpful was the character list as it helped me to understand who each of the characters were and it allowed me to refresh my memory of them throughout the book. I also found it interesting that many of the characters had different sexualities; I personally found that this made the book more interesting.

Reviewed my Sefina Hawke for Readers Favorite 

Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lover

Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lover

rom the daughter-father duo that created Brooklyn's beloved live pun competition comes Punderdome, the "Punderful card game [that] will replace Cards Against Humanity at your next party" (

One part game, one part conversation starter, you don't need to be a pun master to master Punderdome: the goal is to make bad jokes and have fun along the way.

A player (the prompter for that round) draws two prompt cards from the deck, and then reads the prompts to the rest of the group, who have 90 seconds to create a single, groan-worthy pun that combines the two prompts.     

When time is up, pun makers share their puns with the prompter, who awards the prompt cards to the player whose pun he or she likes best. The winner then draws the next pair of prompt cards and the process repeats. Players win by obtaining 10 pairs of cards.

Every Game Set Comes With:
·         200 double-sided cards (100 White and 100 Green)
·         2 Mystery Envelopes with fill-in prize slips
·         2 80-page pads for drafting puns
·         1 instruction card and 1 pun example card
·         A stu-PUN-dous time for 3 or more players

My Review
This game is an interesting word game that really makes you think. The instructions are easy enough to follow. The group that you play with really makes or break the game. I had a lot of fun playing this game with family as we played it rather loosely, strict playing could be boring. 
  ***Disclosure: I was sent this product for free for test and review purposes for only my honest and unbiased review; I was given no payment or any form of compensation for this review. These views are 100% my own and were not influenced by anything, but the product itself.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Flight (Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, Volume 1) by C. A. Allen

Flight (Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, Volume 1) by C. A. Allen is an epically written fantasy novel with exquisite attention to detail. C. A. Allen created a whole world where magic existed before A Dewdrop Away. Flight (Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, Volume 1) by C. A. Allen is a book best suited to young adults and adults who enjoy fantasy books where the characters are animals. Tiallin Stormskiln is a squirrel of eleven seasons who has been honored by being given a position working for blind King Sirius. However Tiallin Stormskiln is tasked with investigating King Sirius’s suspicions his whole world becomes forever shaken when he learns that everyone has their own secrets to hide and protect even those he would trust most.

Move over Nemo, Blue, and Dory there is a new animal adventurer in the jungle and his name is Tiallin Stormskiln. Flight (Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, Volume 1) by C. A. Allen has a very well developed plot line without any plot holes. Flight (Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, Volume 1) by C. A. Allen follows three different squirrels as they all embark on separate adventures and yet eventually all three adventures collide bringing Tiallin Stormskiln, Edelle, and Lut together to face a danger worse than they ever imagined. While I has to love Tiallin Stormskiln as the main character I quickly found myself liking Lute who as a former thief and an all-around misfit. My favorite aspect of the book was how realistic the squirrels all were and how ingeniously C. A. Allen crafted each squirrel as his or her own character.   

           "Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite"

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch

There are certain things in the world that are real and others which belong in the realm of minstrels' fancies. Elsabeth and Brother Hieronymus quickly find these lines becoming blurred when they accept a job to escort a youth named Maerten and his guardian to the Navarrese village of Checy. It is said that a powerful wizard dwells in the wilderness nearby, and Maerten is seeking him out in hopes that his magic can reveal the truth about his past. Despite her skepticism, Elsabeth finds herself unable to refuse the boy's request, and soon she and Hieronymus are drawn kicking and screaming into the tale of a destroyed kingdom and a long-lost heir. Along the way, Elsabeth struggles to balance her growing affection for the boy in her charge with the knowledge that they must part ways when they reach their destination, and the reality of the disappointment he will face when he learns that rumors and tall tales are seldom what they seem.

My Review

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch  is a well written novel that pulled me in right away. I love books that take place during times where people used more primitive weapons like swords instead of guns. I especially liked the fact that the book also had magic in it. My favorite aspect of the book my was the fighting scenes they were just so realistic that I could actually picture them happening. I also really liked the fact that Elsabeth was very much her own woman and yet she was still kind and approachable. I enjoyed reading about how she began to come to care about the boy in her care and dread the thought of leaving him. 
My Interview with D E Wyatt. I was sent a free copy of this book for only a honest and unbiased review.

What inspired you to write this book?

Bait And Switch was conceived while I was still in the process of developing the first book in the series, No Good Deed.... Originally, the plan was to write a series of short stories, but No Good Deed... ran long and ended up as a novella, so I decided to just go for it and finish Bait And Switch as a full-length novel. The idea I had was that I wanted to chronicle the ongoing adventures of the heroine, Elsabeth Soesten. I actually conceptualized the whole thing more like a television series: Rather than one multi-part story, each would be self-contained, with a loose overarching theme encompassing the entire series.

Did you ever consider writing yourself into your book? If yes did you and if no why did you refrain?

Not directly. The main part of me that found its way into the book was my interest in Western European swordsmanship, which forms one of the central focuses of the series. But I never considered myself for an author insert.

Which part was the hardest for you to write and why?

From a technical standpoint, the hardest part is the fighting scenes. As a student of Western Martial Arts, one of the important things I set out to do with the Elsabeth Soesten books was to present things right because of how pop culture tends to mix up how it works. So I try to incorporate what I’ve learned into the fights. Where it gets a bit tricky is sometimes that means working through what’s happening myself, which isn’t always easy to without having a sparring partner to play off of. How a sword and body moves in a fight can vary drastically, and there’s times where what I wanted to do didn’t work simply because of body mechanics or physics, and that can be difficult to pick up alone.

Which part was the easiest for you to write and why?

I would say the banter between Elsabeth and Hieronymus comes very naturally. I’m a bit of a sarcastic person in real life, so that certainly helps.

Which character was the hardest to write and why?

Sinopus, the wizard Elsabeth’s charge is seeking out. There was a fair bit of research required for his introductory scene.

Which character was the easiest to write and why?

Because I’ve already written Elsabeth and Hieronymus in No Good Deed..., they were the easiest characters to write because they personalities were already established.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There’s a character introduced later in the book, by the name of Robin de Carcassonne, that was a lot of fun. But you’ll have to read to find out why for yourself, because there’s a bit of an Easter Egg and joke I don’t want to give away.

Were there any characters that you did not like?

I would say that Husson is particularly unlikeable. I found him to be a rather unpleasant individual, and he isn’t someone I’d enjoy spending a lot of time around in real life.

What made you choose to write a book on this topic?

One of the things I knew I wanted to do with this series was to play around a bit with the conventions of the genre. No Good Deed... was a bit of a light political thriller, and with Bait And Switch I knew I wanted to do a bit more of a straight heroic fantasy. However I also worked in a bit of a heist. This is really something that’s going to be present throughout the series, taking the low/heroic fantasy genre and blending it with others. The next book, Prize Play, is a bit more of a straight fantasy. However the fourth book I have planned will have a bit of spy fiction in it, while a fifth will have elements of noir.

Did you base any of the characters off of real people?

One of my main influences in the creation of Elsabeth Soesten was the 17th-century adventurer and opera singer (yes, opera singer), Julie d’Aubigny. That influence is most evident in Elsabeth’s behavior in this book, however she did also inspire some of Elsabeth’s actual background, as well.

What made you decide to become an author?

I first started writing before I even hit my teens, beginning with fan fiction. However the Quest for Glory series by Sierra not only fueled my interest in fantasy in general, but my desire to actually write it myself. It’s still my favorite game series of all-time, and I love to load it up on DOS Box every now and then to play through it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford

AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford is a terrorist thriller novel based on the quote: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford follows FBI Agent Alex Troutt in Boston as she tries to uncover who is behind the bombings, if her boss is a mole, and who she can trust. AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford is a book best suited for those who enjoy fast pace thriller novels filled with terrorism, agents, and suspense.

 AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford reminded me of the 24 TV series and books from the very beginning with the differences being a female lead character, less torture, and a unique plot line.  Alex Troutt is a strong female agent who has been tasked with the impossible and yet she is not a woman to give up instead she throws herself into her assignments with a steady determination. In addition to having amazing characters AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford is a well written book with a breath stopping plot that truly pulls the reader in deeper and deeper with every turned page. I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering who would live and who would die after every attack. By the end of the book I was very glad that AT Once (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book 3) by John W. Mefford was a part of a series as it means that John W. Mefford will hopefully write more on Alex Troutt!

           "Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite"

Premonition of Terror (A Paranormal Thriller) by Kathryn Orzech

Premonition of Terror (A Paranormal Thriller) by Kathryn Orzech is a science fiction novel about how regular everyday people can share paranormal experiences as an extracurricular activity and what the experiences eventually lead to. Premonition of Terror (A Paranormal Thriller) by Kathryn Orzech is a book best suited for those who enjoy science fiction that focuses on the paranormal. Premonition of Terror (A Paranormal Thriller) by Kathryn Orzech follows people who go to Dreamwatch to share paranormal experience for fun. Kate Kasabian is a psychic whose revealing of a prediction once led to people being harmed, however with thousands of lives at risk she has no choice, but to share her vision her brother who happens to be an FBI agent. The warning goes ignored until a well-known counterterrorism agent briefs the FBI on a credible threat that matches Kate Kasabian’s prediction.

Move over Jack Bauer, Sam Winchester, and Dean Winchester and make room for psychic Kate Kasabian. Kate Kasabian is a character that I found to be particularly well written she seemed the perfect balance between psychic and investigator. However my favorite character was most definitely Matt Chase. He really reminded me a lot of Jack Bauer from 24, though he was a bit less willing to resort to torture then Jack. Premonition of Terror (A Paranormal Thriller) by Kathryn Orzech is written at a steady pace that makes uses of technology and psychic skills in order to stop the threat and save the day. When I finished the book the only thought left in my mind was please Kathryn Orzech write a second book!

Reviewed for Readers Favorite by Sefina Hawke 

Red Rover, Perdition Games by L.E. Fraser

Red Rover, Perdition Games by L.E. Fraser is quite the fast pace novel that lives up to its subtitle: “Death is the prize in a twisted game”. Red Rover, Perdition Games by L.E. Fraser truly begins with the death of an ex-football player and the suicide of a National Ballet dancer with Dr. Roger Peterson at the center of both deaths. Dr. Roger Peterson is a bestselling author who is also a well-known psychiatrist and a childhood friend of PI Samantha McNamara. Toronto PI Samantha McNamara tries to see her once friend as the innocent party, but as more and more facts come to light she finds in harder and harder to trust in the innocence of her once friend. Red Rover, Perdition Games by L.E. Fraser is a book that would appeal to readers who enjoy fast pace fiction with a terrifying killer.

Mover over The Following, Criminal Binds, NCIS, and Blue Bloods there is a new PI in town and her name is Samantha McNamara. Samantha McNamara is a character that I sympathized with she need to find out how the deaths were connected, but she did not want to think the worst of Dr. Roger Peterson. Yet when push came to shove she stepped up and faced off with a terrifying killer with only her fiancé, Reece Hash at her side. The pair made quite the team and it was interesting to see how their romance affected their professional lives. I really enjoyed the whole “trust no and stay alive” aspect of Red Rover, Perdition Games by L.E. Fraser as it kept me guessing on what was going to happen next.

Reviewed for reader's favorites my Sefina Hawke 

Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) by Douglas Mears

                Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) by Douglas Mears is a well written novel that takes place in Egyptian during the Bronze Age. Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) by Douglas Mears is a book that will appeal most to those who enjoy historical fiction that takes place in Egypt as well as those who enjoy a strong female as a main character. While Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) by Douglas Mears is a fictional book it remains historically accurate. The story line follows Khefra, a young woman who is a Nubian doctor and an archer. Her career as a doctor eventually leads the young Nubian woman to seek her fortune in the royal court. The young doctor quickly finds herself entangled with the conspiracy at the Egyptian capital.

                Douglas Mears has amazing attention to detail with how he manages to keep Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) moving at a fast pace and historically accurate while still keeping the story line enthralling. The fast pace of Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician)  was one of my favorite aspects of the book as it kept the story from becoming stagnate. created Doctor Khefra quickly became my favorite character as she went on many adventures; my favorite of her adventures was when she was a field surgeon for the army of Egypt as she became involved in an interesting bit of espionage. The ending of Ramses and the Harem Conspiracy (The Nubian Physician) by Douglas Mears surprised me a bit as I did not expect it, but I hope that Douglas Mears decides to write a sequel!

Herbal Lore a Guide to Herbal Medicine by K.J. Simmill

Herbal Lore a Guide to Herbal Medicine by K.J. Simmill is a unique book on the applications of herbs in medicine and magic. This book will appeal to those with an interest in herbal medicine as well as those who are intrigued by how herbs are used in magical practices. K.J. Simmill has also written easy to follow instructions on how create encompassing creams, herbal bags, incense, salves, tinctures, and poultices for personal medical uses. Comprehensive background information on the herbs and practices allow the reader to full understand the rich history of herbal lore as well as the practical uses of herbs in the modern world. Herbal Lore a Guide to Herbal Medicine is organized in a manner that makes it simple for the reader to locate the section and page to refer to in order to find the information that they are seeking.

Doctors, nurses, and traditional medical practitioners make room for a whole new generation of witches, wiccans, herbalists, and individuals interested in herbal magic and medicine! K.J. Simmill wrote a complete herbal lore guide that is both informative and interesting. K.J. gives a breakdown of the medical and magical uses of each herb, but does not promise results as different people have different reactions to herbs and remedies. It is clear that K.J. is a person that is passionate about herbs and that she did extensive research on herbal lore before publishing Herbal Lore a Guide to Herbal Medicine. I only wish that she had decided to include pictures of the herbs as it would have made it easier to identify the herbs on sight. I found the section on making rubs/salves to be interesting as the recipe could be customized to fit my personal needs depending on the situation I needed the rub/salve for. I am very excited to try out the herbal remedies in this book and I have become inspired to try herbal magic as well.
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Conscious Entrepreneur by Laura C. Cannon

 The Conscious Entrepreneur by Laura C. Cannon

Book Description:

In this profound introduction to conscious entrepreneurship, author and business coach Laura C. Cannon teaches you how to harness your unique gifts and the power of your own consciousness to maximize your satisfaction - and deepen your enjoyment - of your business and your life. Grounded in research from the fields of modern psychology, eastern philosophy, and personal development, this book explains six core principles necessary for radical, transformational change - personally and professionally.

By teaching you to use your business as the vehicle for your personal growth, The Conscious Entrepreneur delivers timeless wisdom and practical exercises to help you think, act, and live the path to your highest potential - without adding to your already-packed schedule. Forget work-life balance, get ready to shift into work-life integration for more happiness, stronger relationships, and a higher return on your investment in every sense of the word.

Get Laura C. Cannon’s free new video and workbook.

Buy the Book: Amazon  ~  Author Website

Author's Bio:

Laura C. Cannon is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and coach with a deep passion for bridging the worlds of spirituality and business. In her new book, The Conscious Entrepreneur, Laura showcases a collection of practices and perspectives for entrepreneurs and business-people to change their relationship with their working life.

A member of the prestigious National Speaker's Association with more than 15 years of experience as a professional public speaker, Laura has a knack for delivering engaging and informative presentations. She's spoken to groups ranging from 12 to 1200 on a wide range of topics, from office productivity to motivation and empowerment to mindfulness and meditation. Her true passion as an author and speaker lies in bridging the gap between business and spirituality, finding practical, down-to-earth applications for timeless universal wisdom. She has been a guest speaker for colleges, civic organizations, businesses, and associations.

Laura holds a B.S. from Towson University and an M.A. in Human Sciences (Psychology) from Hood College with a specialization in Thanatology and Grief Counseling. A lover of all things that blend the practical and the spiritual, Laura is also a 200hr RYT yoga and meditation instructor.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Instagram
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1) by E.P. Clark

                The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1) by E.P. Clark is a fantasy novel reminiscent of the classical Russian fairy tales stories. Slava is the younger sister of the Empress of all of Zem’ and a clairvoyant. This combination makes Slava both the most and least powerful woman in a world where woman are the dominant gender. Slava’s personality leads her to seek out more through escaping the Empress of all of Zem’s kremlin in order to set out on a journey North to the Midnight Land.  Slava is forced to evade ambushes and bandits as she wrestles with her clairvoyance.  Is it a gift or a curse?

                The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1) by E.P. Clark may be a fantasy novel, but to me it seemed more like a novel on self-discovery. E.P. Clark crafted a new world between the pages of The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1), yet the book seemed to focus more on Slava’s emotional growth as she grows into a woman during her journey and begins to understand her clairvoyance.  My favorite parts of The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1) was when Slava would communicate with animals or spirits. By the end of the Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight (The Zemnian Trilogy Book 1) by E.P. Clark I was left feeling glad that I had decided to read E.P. Clark’s novel, yet I felt no great desire to seek out the sequels.

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

ArcPoint Traveller (Book one) by John Wozniak

ArcPoint Traveller (Book one) by John Wozniak is a Christian Fiction book that is well written with a unique story line that is set mainly in the Mojave desert during the 23rd century. The story follows Arcon, a member of a community of people who have been living in seclusion since the early 21st century, as he tries to escape the community and find love. The other main character of the story is Elaina a woman who helps rescue lost travelers and who assists Arcon in his escape attempt. The story is broken up with flashbacks into the 21st century when the facility and the community were set up as well as the reasons behind the creation of the community. ArcPoint Traveller (Book one) by John Wozniak would be of interest to those who enjoy love stories, dangerous escapes, and Christian literature.  

                Move over Tarzan there is a new tree climber in the jungle! Arcon was by far my favorite character; he has this sort of naïve nature and a determined belief that there is more in the world for him then a community with a declining population. The ArcPoint Traveller (Book one) by John Wozniak switches between multiple character perspectives to allow the reader to know how the story is progressing for each character. John Wozniak includes the perspectives of the main characters, Arcon and Elaina, as well as the perspectives of some characters from the 21st century (flashbacks). The way that John Wozniak wrote about the community made it truly seem like its own ideal world in the past and like a beautiful prison during the present day. At the end of the book I was left feeling a sense of excitement that the ArcPoint Traveller was only book one; meaning there will be a next installment!
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beyond the Blood by Gaetano Brown

Beyond the Blood: Do you Believe in Fiction?

Beyond the Blood by Gaetano Brown is an exceptionally well written novel with an ingenious plotline. Beyond the Blood will appeal to those who enjoy works on the concept of immortality.  Lucius Freeman is an author who desires success so that he pleases both his wife and his father in law. Mara is Lucius Freeman’s wife and a woman who has become disenchanted with her life as the wife on an unsuccessful author.  Lucius and Mara’s lives are altered forever when Gloria, a fan of Lucius’s writing, gives him the gift/curse of immortality. Beyond the Blood by Gaetano Brown makes both Lucius and the reader truly question whether immortality is a gift or a curse and whether mortality is more desirable then immortality.

Move over Twilight and make room for Beyond the Blood; there are new vampires in the world! Gaetano Brown has created brand new approach to vampires as he creates a world in Beyond the Blood where vampires are a part of the world and have their own immortal lives which require them to drink the blood of others. The story in Beyond the Blood takes place mostly in Utica, New York and Gaetano Brown truly does a wondrous job of making the setting and the vampires realistic. Gaetano Brown clearly spent a lot of time considering her characters, their dialogues, personalities, and the inevitable conclusion of Beyond the Blood. The amount of detail Gaetano Brown put into his vampires really blew me away it was like he truly created a different species of people.  My favorite quote in Beyond the Blood was told to Gloria by a complete stranger the quote reads: “while we might spend years in nothing but utter loneliness, in the end, we find a way to get what we want.” This quote really spoke to me and I found that it also really described the premise of Beyond the Blood by Gaetano Brown perfectly. 
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Ghost Princess by M. Walsh

The Ghost Princess (Graylands) (Volume 1)

The Ghost Princess by M. Walsh is an interesting novel that takes place in an entirely different reality.  The Ghost Princess by M. Walsh is a book best suited for adults and young adults who enjoy the fantasy genre. Katrina Lamont is a woman who was once considered a chosen one, but is now a resident of the Graylands (a neutral where people who don’t wish to be found reside); she might have once been a great hero, but it left her alcoholic drifter who is forced to hide from the demons of her past. Jacob Daredin is an evil sorcerer who might just make Katrina Lamont draw her sword once more to prevent him from fulfilling an ancient prophecy that would give him the power of a god.

                Move over Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon and Leia Skywalker and make room for a new chosen one, Katrina Lamont. Katrina Lamont is not your typical chosen one who is a young person who is chosen for a great destiny instead she is a drunken women trying to hide from her past in the Graylands. Yet when evil comes she steps up to the plate to face off against Jacob Daredin and his forces to keep the world safe. M. Walsh truly creates a new fantasy world in The Ghost Princess and he has created a new type of chosen one. I found that I enjoyed Katrina Lamont as a character because she is not the a-typical chosen one instead she eventually because a strong woman who can and will do what needs doing to keep the world safe. 
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale (Airedale Diaries) (Volume 2) by P. J. Erickson

 Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale (Airedale Diaries Book 2)

Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale (Airedale Diaries) (Volume 2) by P. J. Erickson is a humorous book on the adventures of an Airedale named Alf. In the Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale Alf shows his intelligence, sense of adventure, and mischief as he nears his second birthday. Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale is a book suited for those who love dogs and enjoying the feeling of laughing until one cries. P. J. Erickson might have classified Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale as fiction yet a reader can easily gain a new understanding of their furry friend within these pages.

Move over Astro, Buster, Blue, Dudley, and Goofy and make room for Alf the Airedale! Alf is an Airedale on a mission of humor and mischief as he gets into trouble, adventures, and straight out hilarious situation. Alf is a dog that keeps his people on their toes as he forces them to be prepared for whatever situation he will enter or create next. I literally found myself with tear leaky out of my eyes as I read about how Alf puts his nose on the glass door when he wants to go outside so as to avoid barking and being polite to his people then his owner’s got a sticker the reads “My windows aren't dirty. That's my dog's nose art”. My dog does the exact same thing with his nose all the time and I am always having to clean the glass; after reading this I am planning on getting my own sticker! My two favorite aspects of Diary of an Airedale: a terrier's tale (Airedale Diaries) (Volume 2) by P. J. Erickson is the fact that Alfie is the narrator of his diary and the fact that there are so many true facts mixed in the book which actually taught me new things about my dog.
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Monday, July 11, 2016

Blood Matter by M. V. Ghiorghi


Blood Matter by M. V. Ghiorghi is a well written novel that follows FBI Agent Joe Vasquez, also known as the hound, on a relentless hunt for a sadistic serial killer known only as Viper. Viper is a serial killer whose victims do not all fall into one type. Blood Matter by M. V. Ghiorghi will appeal to those who enjoy shows like Criminal Minds and The Following. Joe (the hound) is an agent out not just for justice, but also for revenge for the death of his partner. Joe’s only lead is the brilliant and beautiful profiler, Dr. Gabrielle Lubovich, who also happens to be on Viper’s kill list.

M. V. Ghiorghi has succeeded in writing a novel with a serial killer that is terrifying, captivating, and mystifying. Ghiorghi did an amazing job in creating truly realistic character; Joe, Viper, and Gabrielle were particularly well written. I enjoyed the way that Blood Matter moved at a consistently fast pace without losing any of the softer elements that made me come to care for some of the characters. Blood Matter is a story that offers the reader all the pieces to the puzzle and yet withholds the vital connecting piece until the very end. That one piece is what truly makes Blood Matter come to an unpredictable and yet satisfying conclusion. After finishing Blood Matter I was left reeling from the surprising ending and hoping that Ghiorghi would decide to write a sequel to Blood Matter.
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Doodletopia: Cartoons: Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Fun Cartoon Creations by Christopher Hart

Doodletopia: Cartoons: Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Fun Cartoon Creations by Christopher Hart

An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.

Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.

From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes, 
the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up 
and start doodling!

About the Author
CHRISTOPHER HART is the world’s bestselling author of drawing and cartooning books. His books have sold more than six million copies and have been translated into twenty languages. Renowned for up-to-the-minute content and easy-to-follow steps, Hart’s books have become staples for a new generation of aspiring artists and professionals, and they have been selected by the American Library Association for special notice. Visit his website at
My Review
Above is a quick preview of the book that I took. I found the book to be an interesting guide to doodling. The book teaches the reader how to create all sorts of cartoon doodles. The book is broken into sections with each section being a different lesson style. The first section teaches how to draw doodles, then there is the section on filling in faces, half drawn doodle finishing, and shadowing. The book is a decent guide, but I wish it had more on how to draw the doodles. I was sent this book for free for only my honest review. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Lil' Defenders

The Lil' Defenders 
The Lil' Defenders by [Hope, Jaimie]
About the Book
Who says kids can't be superheroes? Don't believe it's true? Follow these kids on their first mission, they make a believer out of you too. Inspired by real life children achieving extraordinary feats using everyday items, their brainpower, and teamwork.

My Review
The idea behind the Lil' Defenders  is sound, but I feel like it could have been better executed. I felt that the book was extremely rushed and the "bad guys" were a joke. The "bad guys" were random thugs littering in a park who the Lil' Defenders beat up. I understand that this is a kid's book, but the bad guys should have been introduced sooner and been more bad. For instance the thugs could have been littering while they were robbing kids of their lunch money and maybe roughing them up a little bit. I found the illustrations to be sub-par for the adults. The pictures of the kids were okay, but the adults looked rather ugly in the book. This is not a horrible book, but it could have been developed and written better. I was provided with a free copy of this book for only my honest and unbiased review of the book. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Brotherhood of Merlin: Book One by Rory D Nelson

The Brotherhood of Merlin: Book OneThe Brotherhood of Merlin: Book One by Rory D Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Brotherhood of Merlin: Book One by Rory D Nelson is an epic fantasy book. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read and I have always had a special love for Arthurian fantasy books. I was skeptical at first if this book could succeed in having a cohesive with the many elements it possesses yet it was a truly well written and amazing read. I loved how the story line fit together perfectly without any plot holes. I also really enjoyed how the author wrote the characters they seemed so real that I could picture them in my head clearly. I was amazed by how this author not only create whole new world, and made it sound realistic, but also created brand new creatures and a language. My only disappointment was finding that book two was not available yet. I can not wait until the author releases the next book.

View all my reviews

Something Eternal

something_eternal Blurb Life without love is fire without flame.... In our time, wonder has disappeared. Most believe in what is seen, others in what is heard, yet a few know something eternal guides them. When Vincent steals his older brother’s girl, Noemi, someone is going to die. Three lives, once ascending to greatness, are pitched into chaos. Jak, after months of searching, finds his younger brother, Vincent, while Noemi faces certain death. On one hand, Vincent can save her, yet others will die for their love. Hearts prided on rational choices waver. Logic conflicts with reality, and emotion, not reason, decides the future.   A Note from the Author: To breathe life into this book, I am asking for your support. During the month of July, Something Eternal will be in the running for a Kindle Scout publication contract. My book needs your nomination. If Something Eternal wins, you’ll receive a free copy compliments of Amazon. Links for nominating Something Eternal will be made available in July during my month-long nomination period. Please check out the Kindle Scout program and discover how readers are making their voices heard.  
abnaAuthor Bio Joel T. McGrath is a proud member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. He is a four-time top 20% choice for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award with four different manuscripts. He has sold foreign rights to his first novel through a literary agent in Turkey. Joel is currently working with a Disney illustrator on a graphic novel and hopes to release portions of the work in summer 2017.   Author Links: Website | Facebook    

Sweating heavily, Vincent threw the blankets off his bed. The room was dark, yet emitted sunny splices of midday heat. Beams of light shot through his blackout curtains. The temperature in the tiny, empty room rose with each passing minute. His eyes shifted back and forth beneath closed lids. He was dreaming, but not just dreaming, something eternal was guiding his dreams, feeding him purposeful, random memories of recent days.
Vincent’s eyes shifted rapidly from side to side.
Random words and pictures of his brother, Jak, his girlfriend, Noemi, and his master, Malum, sped through his mind in echoes along with his own confused thoughts and feelings. Most of all, he dreamt about that terrible night not long ago in the New York City subway station. His bitter memories and sweet dreams merged, returning nightmares upon his unconscious soul.
Vincent dreamt about the golden wheat fields. He was hand in hand with Noemi. She smiled with a sort of playful lust. He grabbed her hips and kissed her inviting lips like a man that wanted something more. He held her by the waist, but she disappeared from his hands. Falling droplets of cold rain descended from a sea of dark clouds. An ominous sky choked out the last remnants of the sun’s glimmering rays, and thunder rolled in on him.
Vincent was suddenly in a foggy haze by himself. Words and pictures floated around on all sides, but none stayed very long.
“I love you more than anything, Noemi.”
“Have you ever wanted something so badly, but no matter what, you couldn’t have it?”
“I’m the one that loved you like no one else ever could.”
“Vincent, help me!”
Suddenly, Vincent found himself in a black room and then in an abandoned subway station. The dream broke from memory for a moment, and whispers cluttered, fading low and loud in a never-ending circle.
“Noemi’s filling your head with lies.”
“She loves me. I bet that just kills you, doesn’t it, bro?”
“Stop being an arrogant little prick.”
“Don’t forget, little brother, I win. I always win!”
“Stop calling me little brother!”
“You are a lost soul in a lost world.”
“I’m not obsessed. The Shroud, the knights, they’re all lying to us.”
“You’re selfish.”
“Don’t go back. Malum will kill you!”
“I’m sick of your empty promises.”
“Malum’s too powerful.”
“I’m risking my life to be with you.”
“I certainly don’t need a man to save me, never mind a boy.”
“What other stuff are you hiding from me?”
“You’ve changed. Jak never treated me like this.”
“Well, I’m sorry I’m not him!”
“I bet you really did kill Jak.”
Vincent’s heart raced. He tossed and turned. His arms and legs kicked and punched the empty bed. He kept dreaming. Some things were clear while others remained jumbled
Out of their proper place and time, random memories mixed with images and insights not previously known by Vincent. It was dark, and then broken lights hummed and blinked on and off inside a deserted subway station. Vincent knew the script, yet was powerless to effect change. He knew what was coming, but he could not stop himself or warn Jak. He was trapped in a memory so real, it was haunting the conscious portion of his unconscious mind.
Vincent, sitting, held his skateboard and looked straight ahead. “Are you still mad about us?”
Jak, in a trench coat and sunglasses, at first, refused to answer. He clenched his teeth and glared sideways at his younger brother, yet took a deep breath as he put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “It is true. I loved her once, as she loved me. However, Noemi’s heart grew cold with deceit. Her treachery became daggers to my soul. This thing she offers you, it is a lie.”
Memories of angry, emotional banter ensued. Vincent’s dreams turned ever more distressing. He felt an upsurge of hate and rage while he slept. Pictures flashed and words shot back and forth between the brothers.
“You’re mad because we’re together now, and that’s eating you up. I can feel it.” Vincent reacted to benign comments with hasty perceptions.
Jak struggled to remain calm. “You don’t actually think you mean anything to Noemi, do you? I was always her first choice you know. She had a crush on you, little brother, but she loved me.”
“That’s a lie!”
“No, Vincent. The Shroud’s evil deceits have twisted your mind. But you are not beyond redemption. You need to be noble and have faith as you were taught by the knighthood.”
“The humans aren’t like us. Lord Malum says they are beneath us. We’re perfect. They’re not.”
“These words are not your own. They are the ramblings of a mad man who would rather see everything burn than have peace. You must see reason, little brother.”
“Poor, poor, Jak. You’ll never change. You always think you’re right about everything.”
“Vincent, your emotions are being manipulated. I feel another immortal’s presence.”
“You’re delusional. It’s all lies, lies, and more lies.”
“It is not. I swear to you.”
“It is. And you have a funny way of apologizing.”
“I cannot ask for forgiveness if you will not tell me why I should ask for it.”
“Noemi said you’d say things like that. I didn’t believe her. How stupid could I be for trusting you?”
The dream became clearer, almost coherent. Vincent wrestled with his sheet as he thrashed about. Yet no matter how much he convulsed, he kept sleeping.
Inside the subway station, Vincent clenched his jaw and flung his skateboard at Jak. He then summoned a pair of translucent red katana swords from nothing.
Jak twisted his body, avoiding the skateboard. “Do not do this. Withdraw your strikers!” he yelled.
Vincent braced for battle. His face devoid of emotion, he wrapped his fingers tightly around the swords he summoned. “You are no longer my brother. You are now my enemy.” Vincent thrust the glowing strikers toward his brother’s stomach.
Jak somersaulted backward. “I will not fight you like this!”
“Why? Is it too real? It’s one thing to play gallant knight in the confines of the temple, but it’s another thing to fight for your life. Now summon your striker or I’ll put you down like a dog.” Vincent waved his pair of translucent red, blazing strikers through the air. The heat from the blades swirled waves of trailing light as they moved.
Jak opened his palms, displaying no weapon. “I will not fight you. Why do you resent me so?”
“Get over yourself. You will fight, or you will die.” Vincent paused. “Wait. I remember. The code. What was it? Oh yeah, how did it go?”
Jak extended his hand toward his brother. “Don’t!”
Vincent smirked. “Until the last enemy…”
“Has been brought to nothing.” Jak hung his head, as he was obligated to finish the rest. “Why did you say that? I have no choice now.”
“One thing I know about the knights, they keep with tradition. Even when it kills them.”
“Tzzzztt.” Vincent’s blades hissed with electric energy.
Jak looked down, closed his eyes, and waited.
Vincent charged with a battle cry and raised strikers.
Jak summoned his translucent blue sword just as Vincent chopped his katana blades down toward his neck.
Vincent huffed. His blade radiated sparks against Jak’s sword.
Jak grit his teeth. His biceps strained from the pressure of two swords against his one. “We are family.” Jak grimaced.
“Stop pretending that you care!” Vincent shouted. “You don’t know anything about me!”
Jak grunted. “You have a choice.” Vincent’s strength pushed him to the ground. “We all have a choice. No matter what others might have us believe.”
“I… I want to…” Vincent felt an emotional tug, and in his heart, there arose a conflict.
Jak’s arms started to weaken from fatigue. “Good, now remove your strikers so we can talk.”
At that moment, Vincent also sensed a presence urging him onward. “Lord Malum will…”
“Do not fear Malum, for he is no lord. His only true power lies in the illusion of fear,” Jak said. “Come now, release your grip,” he urged his brother, “and let us talk of a reunion like in times gone past.”
“I don’t want to talk anymore! You always get your way, and I’m sick of it!” Vincent pressed his strikers harder.
Jak soared backward. “That is enough! I am not indulging you any longer. You are nothing more than an ill-tempered child. I will drag you home if I have to.” Jak charged toward his younger brother with a determined, focused stride.
Vincent braced.
The blades of the brothers clashed together in violent fury, causing an onslaught of blue and red sparks. The mystic currents sizzled and hissed with each violent blow of the swords. A transcendent clash between two immortals began in a mortal world that was ill-prepared for what was secretly unleashed upon it.
Vincent was relentless. He kicked and swung his blades repeatedly.
Jak fended off Vincent’s overcharged, explosive attacks. He coiled his entire body through the air, landing with a knee to his younger brother’s stomach.
Vincent fell on the ground. He cradled his abdomen. He spread his fingers and reached out to the side. He moved his hand toward his brother, causing a trashcan to fly toward Jak, who promptly sliced the solid metal container in two.
“Is that the best you can do, little brother? Because I have to say, I am not impressed.” Jak casually walked toward Vincent who remained sitting on the grimy subway floor. “Why do you not remember all of the good times that we had growing up together? All of this just for a girl…”
Vincent interrupted. “She’s not just a girl to me. Maybe Noemi was just some girl to you, but not to me. And for the record, you had way more good times than I did.” Vincent hid his tears. “Maybe this will impress you!” Lying on his back, he reached into the air, straining his entire body until his skin reddened and quivered. With invisible power, Vincent pulled the broken subway lights and some of the ceiling down on top of Jak. The concrete piled over him with dust and debris several feet high.
“Shrak-ak-ak-a. Screeech. Shrak-ak-ak-a. Screeech” The faint sounds of a distant train broke the eerie silence.
Vincent, shocked by his own powers, withdrew his blades and rushed toward the pile of debris. “Jak, Jak, are you all right? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” The fear in his voice resembled that of a younger brother rather than a mighty equal. He frantically dug through the mess.
A bloody hand reached up and grabbed his arm. Jak emerged from the pile of dust, fragments of ceiling, and shattered glass that covered him. Miniscule drops of crimson red flowed along his sleeve, down his pinky finger, and dripped off his hand as globules of deep rose blush on the ground. Jak seized his brother by the arm, easily lifting him off his feet. Without hesitation, he abruptly threw Vincent across the subway floor.
The momentum carried Vincent until he skidded off the safe confines of the platform and plummeted onto the tracks.
Jak looked down at his trench coat and dismissively flapped it off. Clouds of chalky, powdery dust consumed him. He coughed and hacked from the concentrated residue that engulfed his senses. “If you will not stop this petty rivalry, I will.” Jak, so preoccupied, failed to see how Vincent had fallen onto the tracks and into the path of the oncoming train. “I see the Shroud has taught you a couple of new tricks. But they are simply that, tricks. You are no more a match for me now than before, little brother.” He coughed and kept dusting his clothes off.
“Shrak-ak-ak-a. Shrak-ak-ak-a.”
As the train neared, the sound captured Jak’s attention. He looked up and saw his brother slumped over on the tracks.
Vincent was semi-conscious. “Aeeee. Agggh.” He rolled and moaned.
“Vincent, wake up! Come on, little brother! Get off the tracks!”
The lights of the train filled the dark tunnel ahead.
Vincent groaned. He blinked through a set of blurry eyes. He sluggishly shook his head, but stared idly at the train. Finally recognizing the imminent danger, he staggered to his feet. Yet, he remained between the tracks as the train barreled toward him.
Jak ran to the edge of the platform. “You are injured. Give me your hand!” Jak got down on his hands and knees. “Whatever you do, do not touch the third rail or you will get electrocuted!”
Vincent slowly reached for his brother’s hand as Jak extended it toward him. He squinted at Jak’s hand and then withdrew his. He looked behind at the third rail and up at the oncoming train. His eyes remained fixed on the train’s glaring light. “No, Jak. I can’t let you win again. I’ve worked too hard for this. I won’t let you have Noemi. Unlike you and the other immortals, I’m not afraid to die.” He briefly paused. “That’s why I’ll win this time.”
“Stop it! Just stop it!” Jak shouted, pounding his fist against the concrete platform. “This has gone on long enough! If you want to win so badly, then fine, you win!” His arm nervously shook as he reached his hand out again.
“I can’t win like that. Not like that.” His face lost all emotion. “No, today, I’m taking what’s mine.”
Vincent reached over and gripped the third rail, causing the train to jump its tracks and slam the subway wall. The ground quaked. The lights blacked out in the station. Then they flashed on and off before bursting like sparklers. The lights popped one after another in grand fashion.
Slowly, and with a painful wince, Vincent screamed as he pushed his free hand toward Jak. Seven hundred and fifty volts of electricity exploded from Vincent’s hand, and he directed a thick, electrified current at his brother.
Jak summoned his striker and deflected the massive surge. The electricity parted, blasting the sides of the walls behind him.
“KA-BOOOMMM!” A deafening pop thundered through the station and resonated up to the streets above, shattering windows and tripping car alarms as sound waves pulsed throughout the city.
Vincent released another wave of voltage. It pushed Jak beyond his physical limit, forcing him backward from the platform’s ledge. Beneath Jak’s feet, the cement floor buckled and the ceramic tiles busted like a series of spastic dominos until he was pinned against the far wall at the back end of the station.
“Ha! Do you like that?” Vincent laughed devilishly. “You never respected me! But after today, you’ll never win again!” He pushed even more lightning bolts toward Jak. “You’ll have to go home and tell them that you were beaten by your little brother. Everyone will see that you’re not so perfect after all.”
Jak’s blue striker crystallized from the intense heat of the electric bolts. “Aaaahh!” he screamed. He tried to deflect the powerful torrents.
“You are nothing!” Vincent yelled.
Jak wheezed with the last of his strength. His words strained from the bottom of his diaphragm to the tip of his tongue. “It is a shame. Your first victory will be our last moment as brothers.” His face tightened. His brows merged. Moisture soaked his forehead. His knuckles whitened around his striker. His muscles locked up. “You need to know two things.” Jak paused to catch his breath. “I love you. I always have… Aaaahh!” A chilling scream bellowed forth before he could finish.
Vincent’s anger softened once he had won. He tried to release the rail and stop the flow of electricity, but something from beyond held his hand on the track. He vigorously struggled to let go, but it seemed an invisible force kept his hand there against his will.
Jak’s power met its limits. His striker could no longer take the electrical assault. It exploded into fragments of tiny blue shards. The lightning bolts devoured him.
Everything went dark as Vincent collapsed.
A strange, uneasy silence fell.
Face down, Vincent clumsily groped his way through the pitch-black tunnel. With a remorseful tone, he called out to his brother. “Jak, I’m sorry.” He began to stutter. “I was just… I don’t know… I was being stupid and mad about dumb stuff. I’ve never felt that kind of anger before. I didn’t know what I was doing. I swear. I’m really, really sorry. ANSWER ME!”

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