Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review - Die Again - Tess Gerritsen

Title:  Die Again

Review:  I love this series and have read most of the books in it - I think I missed a few early on - I have gone back and read past books, just not all of them.  But I have to say that I do love the characters and their interactions in this book.  Since the TV show came out the books now say 'Rizzoli & Isles' and yes in the past few books these characters have come central to this series - I never thought these two would be friends since they are both so different - but it seems to be working - 
On the other hand I tried watching the 1st season of the TV series and could not take the characters serious - they are nothing like the characters in the book series - Rizzoli is not the beauty in the books she is on TV and Isles is much to personable on TV then in the books - yes in the books the characters have developed a friendship of sorts, but it is not like the TV show at all - it is more of an acquaintance-work friend in the books- where Rizzoli is the one pushing to have Isles let her in a bit.

Back to this book review - I like this authors writing and like I said I love the characters - this book started out in Africa and built from there - I did enjoy reading this book, but it did not keep me up late at night like a few of her other books have.  I would give it 4 stars for that reason.  The African story line was interesting and mixed with the Boston chapters to keep you turning the pages.

It is a great story that weaves its way around the world and ends up right back n Boston again.  The new characters you meet and few old ones again are well written and the dialogue is authentic.  Rizzoli's mother and family are going through a tough stop that has been threaded throughout the last few books and it this book you don't see much change it that area - BTW: I guessed the end, but there was a twist I missed - it was a bit of a slippery twist that was tough for the reader to see coming.  The ending was good and the whole book kept my attention - I look forward to the next book in this series and will be reading that as soon as I can.

The book Ice Cold in this series is a definite 5 star read for me - 

I picked this book up at my local library.

Synopsis:  The latest enthralling case in Tess Gerritsen's New York Times bestselling Rizzoli & Isles series, the blockbuster books behind the smash hit TNT series.

Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case of a big game hunter found dead in his apartment, alone with the body of a beautiful white snow leopard he had recently been commissioned to procure and stuff for a high-profile museum in the area. 

Medical examiner Maura Isles connects the case to a number of seemingly unrelated deaths where the victims have all been found hanging upside down, the hallmark of a leopard's kill. 

Rizzoli follows the puzzling trail of clues all the way to Botswana, where she uncovers the unsolved mystery of a deadly camping safari six years prior. When she realizes the two cases are connected, Rizzoli must track down the sole survivor of the tragic trip to discover who - or what - is behind these gruesome deaths.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Ballantine Books

Tess Gerritsen

Author Information:  Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as "Pulse-pounding fun" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "Scary and brilliant" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "Polished, riveting prose" (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the "medical suspense queen".

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

Other Review:  \

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Product Review - Splash Math 2nd grade -

Product: Splash Math for Grade 2

Review:  Cute graphics that are make learning math fun for kids - lots of things to keep them interested and playing - win points and prizes for your work that can be used at different places on the app.  My kids love this game because I let them use anytime and its loads of fun while learning.  A great combination for anyone needing to learn something - math is so important and students need as much exposure to math and math concepts at younger and younger ages to stick with it - math and science jobs are a plenty - but there are very few qualified individuals to fill them.

Kids need math - high school's require 3-4 years of math and you need to pass those classes so getting your kids started early so that they can learn to enjoy math is a great plan - get your kids doing and enjoying math for life - start them young for sure.  Anything that gets a child to work on math is a great product.

I received this item for and honest review.


Topics Covered

  • Place ValueExtend place value understanding to hundreds place. Read and write three digit numbers in various forms

  • Number SenseCompare and order three digit numbers. Practice skip counting and recognize even/odd numbers

  • Add within 20Fluently add within 20 including word problems

  • Subtract within 20Fluently subtract within 20 including word problems

  • Add within 100Use place value understanding to add two digit numbers

  • Subtract within 100Use place value understanding to subtract two digit numbers

  • Add within 1000Add two three digit numbers based on concepts of place value and using models

  • Subtract within 1000Subtraction involving two three digit numbers based on concepts of place value and using models

  • TimeRead and set time to 5 minutes using analog and digital clocks

  • MoneyWork with money coins to count money and solve problems involving money amounts

  • MeasurementsMeasure and estimate lengths of objects in customary and metric units

  • DataRepresent and interpret data in up to 4 categories using line plots, picture graphs and bar graphs

  • GeometryIdentify two dimensional shapes including pentagons and hexagons, partition shapes into halves, thirds and fourths

Other Review:-
Simply Second- Splash Math: This is my most favorite! I have the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade apps. They are more spendy, but they cover the standards and the kids love it! It's organized by skill, so I can have students practice exactly what I want. I think it's great test practice with it's multiple choice format. It even has a built-in scratch paper feature. Twice a week I get 30 iPads during math. If a student finishes their work early I usually have them go on this app to practice our targeted skill. If I don't have the iPad lab I will sometimes just project the app and have the kids take turns.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review - Emira the Shadow - Olivia A Foust

Title: Emira the Shadow (Shattered Souls Book 1)

Author: Olivia A. Foust

Stars: 2 1\2 out of 5

Review:  Emira the Shadow the author calls a Novelette which I can only assume is because it is only 31 pages long. This novelette has great potential of becoming a great dystopian series but it lacks the ability to draw the reader in because it is only 31 pages long.

As the books starts I already feel lost because I don't understand why the world or society is divided into two groups. What caused the rift and why? We see the world though Emira’s eyes; a world of hate, anger and distrust. She only wants to save her people but in doing so much killing. She wants to kill as many Southerners as possible. When she goes into a Southerner camp to save a group of her people she finds a man she once cared for as a young child, Rou.  We also meet a Southerner who wants to help save Emira’s people and for some unknown reason she trusts him.  She brings him back to the camp where she develops a friendship.

I wanted to love this little novelette, I truly did. The outline is nothing new. You have conflict, killing, and rescues but something about her writing pulled me in. But the lack of editing takes a good story and ruins it.

For example "As an Ex-Felon Fezz enjoyed the pain of his victims and would more often than not kill them slowly, a hobby that my brother was relieved I didn't share." (Example from novelette)
 I personally would have gone with this instead: “As an ex-felon Fezz enjoyed killing his prey slowly, inflicting as much pain as possible before they died." Short simple and to the point.

At one point Emira leaves the Southerner with Fezz. Why would you leave someone you trust with an ex-felon who loves to kill Southerners? How does that make any sense? One of many issues that drove me crazy about this novelette.

 The author has Emira dealing with emotions that she kept hidden for years as she leads her merc’s to kill Southerners and saving her people, the Easterners. When she meets a Southerner who causes her to question everything she knows, she starts to deal with her emotions causing her to almost get killed.  However we never read about the battle we are only told about in a few simple words.  I want details! I want to know what she was thinking that caused her to almost get killed. The author instead writes her emotions are warring on her face. Not helpful at all. I need details to be able to connect with the character.

Author area of concern when it comes to this author is the fact that Emira can read people as if their thoughts are written on their faces.  This Novelette is written in the first person but most of the time she has Emira reading the person as if they are speaking. It bothers me. I would have rather had dialogue than her ability to read a person’s face.

The lack of development of characters, settings and plot makes this novelette pointless. If the author would take the time to develop the characters, setting, and plot, this book would be a novel I would have enjoyed more. I don’t understand Fezz. Why is he an ex-felon? What did he do to become an ex-felon and why would an ex-felon lead a group of people?

What set the Easterners apart from Southerners? Fezz has the ability to tell that the Southerner who helped rescue the Easterners was a part of the group? What sets them apart? Why call them Southerners? Why call them Easterners? The lack of detail causes the book to fall flat at times causing me as a read to want to walk away and the book is only 31 pages long.

This novelette again has great potential if it had the help of a good editor.

This book can be found on Amazon Unlimited. I love the unlimited program because it gives you a chance to find unknown authors.

Thank you Heidi for this review.

Paperback, 32 pages
Published December 5th 2014

Synopsis:  They took him. The Nation from the South who claimed our lands through violence. They came to our homes with the red of the setting sun and shattered our peaceful existence. My twin brother Caiel and I escaped with the help of a convicted felon from our jails. His crime was murder and I had found it abhorrent until that day. As I watched the Southerners drag my childhood love away from me, I found the idea of taking a life more than acceptable. There in that moment of blood and hatred, my soul shattered into a million pieces and I swore I would do whatever it took to bring the South to their knees.
Olivia A. Foust
Author Information:  I was born in Eugene OR, but claim Houston TX as home. As a child, I was always coming up with stories to occupy my mind and time, and now I write said stories- Although they are a bit more Adult now. 

My debut novel is Emira the Shadow; the first Novelette in a 'possible' series of six. the second book, The Red of Dawn, is set to be released within the first week of January 2015.

I'm always looking to connect and talk about writing, fiction, and possible ways to kill characters, so ask me a question and I will respond ASAP.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Product Review - Silicone Beverage Glasses - Set of 2

Product:  Silicon Wine Glasses - by Ramini Brand product

Review:  My children were not impressed - they did not like the smell of the glasses and they seemed to knock them over every time they used them.  The smell is better now that they have been washed many times.  They are soft and flexible - maybe a bit to flexible for some people.  The fuller they are the more then tip - I would say the pool yes as you are floating along sipping your drink - perfect - placing them in the cup holder - no risk of tipping there.

My suggestion for these glasses is for around a pool - no one wants glass in their pool or on the pool deck - so these glasses would be great for the pool.  No worry about walking on broken glass with these glasses.  I think for taking them with you camping or the beach they are terrific - small - flexible and non breakable - great for use with kids - no need to worry about broken glass when they are dropped -

These little glasses have a place in your life where they would be just what you need - for me that is not the kitchen - but the pool - or the camper - they would be at home where breakage of glasses would be an issue -

I received this item free for an honest review.  Check out the review at the bottom

Description:  PREMIUM QUALITY: FDA complaint, BPA-free and eco-friendly. These are the best reusable glasses made of food grade non-stick silicone. They are microwave, oven and freezer safe and can resist temperatures between -40 C to +250 C. Incredibly designed to prevent taste transfer and leaks. Ramini Brands® glasses won't break so the fear we all had when entertaining guests using our breakable glassware is gone. It is perfect for drinking any of your favorite beverages.

MULTI-PURPOSE TRAVEL GLASSES: They are ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, hunting, fishing or simply by the campfire. How about the outdoor BBQ or pool party? Kid's Birthday Parties? Sailing? Yes, they work! Fill it with your favorite soda, milk, juice, wine or spirit. Even water works! SAVE MONEY: They are reusable. No more plastic cups!

DURABLE, STRONG AND EASY TO CLEAN: In addition to its sharp design, Ramini Brands® best silicone glasses are eco-friendly, lightweight, and portable. They are easy to clean, strong and durable. Includes BONUS drink recipes and directions to brew your own beer! Washing is a breeze! They are stain-resistant and dishwasher safe.

PERFECT COMPACT SIZE: Ramini Brands® best silicone glasses come in an 11 oz. serving size. It is just the perfect size to sip your favorite drink! It easily fits in your front or back pocket so it makes it portable and easy to carry.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Your satisfaction is our priority. Ramini Brands® is so sure you will love your glasses that we offer a no hassle, no questions asked money back guarantee and you can keep the best BONUS recipes as our gift to you.

How many glasses did your guests break during your last get together? OK, stopped counting. Now your worries are over! You now have the Best Unbreakable, Freezable, Shatterproof and Reusable Silicone Glasses on Amazon by Ramini Brands® 


• Made of 100% food grade non-stick silicone which is BPA-free, FDA Compliant and Eco-friendly 
• Microwave, oven, dishwasher and freezer safe 
• Can withstand temperatures between -40 C to +250 C 
• Designed to prevent taste transfer and leaks. Who needs that! 
• Easy to clean! Wash by hand or throw in the dishwasher 

They have a pretty cool look, so don't have to hesitate about using them around your guests. They will certainly spark conversation and allow your friends and family to "wine" down! 

Perfect gift for any holiday, housewarming or just because. 

• Material: Food Grade Silicone 
• Capacity: 11 oz. / 330 ml 
• Size: Measures approximately 10.5 cm x 8.5 cm 

What's in the box? 
• Two (2) Silicone Glasses and instructions for use 
• Electronic delivery of FREE eBook with Wine and Spirits Recipes and How to Brew Beer at Home 

Other Review:
Food Fanatic  review - Clumsy wine drinkers everywhere, here’s your saving grace! This pair of silicone stemless wine glasses is unbreakable, squeezable, squishable, and designed for picnics, tailgates, campgrounds, and any other al fresco dining situation.
Of course, there’s no rule saying you can’t use these silicone stemless wine glasses inside too. Anyone with a tendency to send wine glasses shattering will fall in love with these stylish little guys. They store easily and can go into the dishwasher—two things you can’t say about too many wine glasses. I’ll take a dozen, please.
  • Unbreakable
  • Adorable
  • Easily washable (and dishwasher-safe)
  • none. ok, could we make them in orange?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review - Total Female - Douglas Ginter and Jason Sachman


Author:  Douglas Ginter and Jason Sachman

Review:  I enjoyed reading this book - there is a lot of information about the female body and how things work and when things are not working as they should WHY?  I think that most of the book gives you information you can use as a women - a young women - a women having babies - a women going into mid-life and menopause and everything in between.

If things are not working in the bedroom like you would like this book is full of ideas that can change that.  Shots, creams, pills, therapy, etc.  This book is about living your life to the fullest as a women - great ideas for questions to ask your doctor - Our body changes throughout our lives and this book explains those changes - it seems you finally get to know your body and BAM another change occurs-  So what to do?

Read this book and talk with your doctor about your concerns this is a great reference for questions you have.  If you are a women you can really use this information.  Why have an OK sex life if you can change that into a Great sex life.  Take the leap to a better place.

Synopsis:  One of America’ leading medical wellness writing teams releases Total Female, Take Charge of Your Sexual Health

San Jose, CA -- Who are you? What are you? How does your body work? Why is my body
changing? It’s easy to ask these types of questions, especially as you grow older. That body of yours – it’s unique – and sometimes it seems to do its own thing. How do you know what is normal and what isn’t?

There’s quite a lot that makes your female body so unique, and the subtlest of changes can mean big difference for you. Many of those can be welcome changes.

Have you lost your sex drive? Is sex painful? Then, Total Female is the book for you. It is here to let you know that what you are going through isn’t normal. You’ve probably heard that before: “Oh, honey, you have hormones. They get wacky. Get used to it.” But, why should you? You deserve better! You deserve a happy and healthy life, and that includes a healthy sex life as well.

That’s the purpose of this book. You will find out everything that makes you uniquely yourself. This includes sexual dysfunction and resolving hormone issues, menopause concerns, and more. You will also find out what you need to know about keeping your body young, even as you grow older.

Have you ever heard of the Vampire Facelift®? How about the “O” Shot®? Don’t worry if you haven’t. You will learn all about them here. They are just some of the ways you can look and feel young, while enjoying a rejuvenated sex life.

People have the wrong idea about what it means to be a woman, and Total Female is here to set the records straight. You deserve to enjoy your life without hormone imbalances slowing you down. So, do you want to know who you are and what you can do to make your life even better? Then you need to read this book!

ebook, 158 pages
Published October 2014

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.