Review: Christmas Greetings from the Presidents

president As we fly through the holiday season, I like to pick up a few different holiday themed books to keep me in the mood. When I saw this one, I knew it would be something right up my family’s alley. All things political are the theme around here lately, so I figured we could use a dose of the goodness, from a few of the past presidents, to bring a bit of positive back in.

Christmas greetings is a compilation of various Christmas addresses from Coolidge to Obama. Inside you’ll find tidbits about the world at the time, from the Depression to 9/11. It also includes pictures of the National trees and some of the activities that were happening at the White House. My favorite pictures are the family pictures, whether staged or candid. They show the lighter side of the presidents.

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If you have a history buff in your family, or perhaps you have a little Christmas nut, like myself, grab this book.

~Melpomene

Grab Christmas Greetings from the Presidents http://amzn.to/2fZy8bl

Review: Balancing Act (Chloe by Design #2) by Margaret Gurevich (illustrated by Brooke Hagel)


In Balancing Act, we follow Chloe at her New York fashion house internship that she won in Book #1 (Making the Cut). She lives in a dorm where one of her roommates gives her a hard time about not earning her way into the industry. But Chloe is so good at creating unique fashion, that her samples get chosen to be made into designs for fashion week. Her mentors even give her a gift bag at the end of her internship — and it contains a surprise that Chloe had only dreamed of. 

I really liked the full color fashion sketches in the book. When Chloe described clothing she saw, the next page would have a drawing of that item. The book illustrated many kinds of clothing, and I especially liked seeing all the different ways a simple shirt could be designed. 

I liked that the author made a few mean characters in the middle of all the happy friends, families, interns and mentors. The story seemed more realistic that way. Even though there were always those mean people trying to discourage Chloe, she focused on a good support system of people who encouraged her to go for her dreams. 

Now that Chloe is done with her internship, I’m excited to read Book Three when she is back in her California hometown. 

-calliope’s 11-year-old daughter 

Buy BALANCING ACT

Review: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

sand This book. Epic, emotional, real, powerful, romantic and moving. Writing a review has me in tears all over again. This book is gonna blow you guys out of the water. It’s been ages since I’ve been fully engulfed in a world that is so real and painful and yet my heart held on to hope. Gah! Buy this beautiful story and read it with a box of tissues, and maybe even a stress ball.🙂

I admit I know very little of world history. What snippets I can recall I get from tv or movies. I know what happened in 1943, but yet I only know a little bit. This story opened up a whole new aspect, of this time, that left me speechless and devastated. The last time I read a book of this magnitude was The Bronze Horseman. This book was just as epic. This book transported me to a time in which I cringe when I think of it. The atrocities that happened. The heartache that happened. The overwhelming evil that creeped in and touched everything. My heart hurts with this knowledge.

But with all the pain comes love. Love that held tight and wouldn’t let go. Love so powerful it made me heart race and caused my breath to stop.

Eva and Angelo’s relationship over the years was an all consuming love. No matter what happened, or what situation they found themselves in, in the end it was all about love. If they were terrified, all they had to do was think about each other and they would find a way through it.

“My faith is being drowned by my fear for you.”

I found myself on the edge of my seat quite often. As you can see from my updates, this book knocked me for a loop.

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Oh my gosh. My simple words can’t portray how much this book has left an imprint on me. I think about it almost daily, since I’ve read it. My heart weeps at the loss of a generation but at the same time at the courageousness of the people. And the love. The unyielding love. Read this book.

~Melpomene

Buy From Sand and Ash http://amzn.to/2gM7PWP

Review: Billy and Me (Billy and Me, #1) by Giovanna Fletcher

25663643** spoiler alert ** Oh dear…sorry….but oh dear….it’s time to admit that I don’t hate “chick lit”…okay maybe I hate that term…but I actually do enjoy a light-hearted romantic romp around now and again…

However, this wasn’t the book for me…

I suppose some people might have issues with how fast the romance progressed…ummm…not me…I met my husband and fell in love in four short days once on holiday…today, even on a bad day, I still love him more than I could ever express…more than I ever thought I could…

However, I just don’t think these two people belonged together. I just don’t think Sophie was ready for a relationship. At the end of the novel I still don’t think she was.

I kept trying to put myself in her shoes…and honestly, I can’t understand why she refused to trust Billy throughout the novel. He gave her no reason to distrust him…except for being the exact person he actually is…a famous, attractive movie star. He didn’t really even have much of a past of being a bad boy…sure he dated before Sophie, but he wasn’t portrayed as a dishonest person in those relationships…

Sophie’s only reason for distrust was her doubt of her own self worth…and that certainly wasn’t Billy’s fault as he spent the entire novel telling her how important she was to him.

I didn’t sense a lot of depth in Sophie or Billy either one. To be honest, they were both pretty boring to read about. The saving grace of this novel are two of the secondary characters. Sophie’s mum…who I actually disliked for the first half of the book, but came to appreciate…and of course, Molly….Molly was the best part of the book! However, once again, I felt like as great as these two secondary characters were, that there will still much more that could have been added to even them…

This was a fast and easy read…and don’t misunderstand, I did enjoy it. However, this is one HEA ending that I think would have been better to never have happened….sorry but true…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Review: The Hero by Donna Grant

hero What an exciting start to this new series!

Usually when I read a second chance love story, one of the participants is a little slow to embrace the re-connection. In The Hero, it seems that both really want a second chance. While it may not be the best of times, with a kidnapping, attempted murders and government conspiracies, but the heart doesn’t listen to anyone’s timeline.

Owen and his three brothers haven’t been home in over a decade, and when they do it’s to find their aunt and uncle murdered and their dad kidnapped. So now they must come together and put aside all their past feelings and find their dad and figure out what kind of trouble he’s gotten himself into. What it didn’t anticipate was seeing his one and only love after 14 years. How’s he supposed to keep his eye on the prize when he can’t take his eyes off of her?

Even though Owen shattered Natalie’s heart 14 years ago, seeing him again brought all those past feelings right up to the surface. She’s been dragged into the family drama and now must rely on Owen to keep her safe. Too bad he didn’t keep heart heart safe all those years ago. Kinda hard to trust him this time around too.

Donna Grant steps away from her usual paranormal stories to bring us a new romantic suspense series. This installment was non stop action and intrigue mixed in with a nice dose of romance. I am so very curious to see where this series is headed. I can’t until the next book!

~Melpomene

Book Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220643-the-hero

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2faUBSm
BN: http://bit.ly/1WiqBWU
Nook: http://bit.ly/1YIv2cC
BAM: http://bit.ly/1Tjsx1V
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1TuprXe
iBooks: http://apple.co/1WGpiSy
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1WGjJUX
Tantor Audio: http://bit.ly/2cIuTar

Pre-Order Incentive Information:
There are TWO pre-order incentives going on now for Donna’s new military romance series!!

If you pre-order THE HERO you will be entered for some seriously cool prizes including the **entire** Dragon King series (Dark Heat – Smoke and Fire – including novellas) signed to you, winner’s choice of a bundle of books, Darkest Flame (signed) and some swag, and swag and a coveted DK t-shirt!

But to be entered, you MUST FILL OUT THE FORM. All pre-orders are acceptable as long as you have an order number from the retailer you purchased from.

Pre-order form to THE HERO: http://bit.ly/TheHeroPO

If you pre-order THE PROTECTOR you will receive a bonus scene that features Owen and Natalie from THE HERO. The scene will NOT be shared anywhere else. It will be exclusive to those who pre-order THE PROTECTOR and fill out this form:

Pre-order form to THE PROTECTOR: http://bit.ly/TheProtectorPO

Links for THE PROTECTOR:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29875933-the-protector
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2g57DS7
BN: http://bit.ly/2d49mro
Nook: http://bit.ly/2cG4Ld5
BAM: http://bit.ly/2dmIe9e
iBooks: http://apple.co/2cUHbL7
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2d4a34e
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cG4ozv
Powells: http://bit.ly/2d49NSv
Tantor Audio: http://bit.ly/2d7g7Md

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Date: Thurs., 12/1/2016
Time: 7pm CST / 8pm EST
Link to the FB Event is https://www.facebook.com/events/267169100347430
Hash Tag: #TheHeroDG

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

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When a book keeps me up until after midnight to finish it, it’s a keeper.  Granted, it was a Saturday night with no school the next day but still.  And yes, it’s another story about a dysfunctional family.  Just trust me when I say it’s really, really good.

Jack and Grace are the perfect couple.  He’s handsome and charming, she’s beautiful and elegant.  His job as a highly successful lawyer allows them to have an exquisite home filled with luxurious furnishings.  Their dinner parties leave nothing to be desired with Grace painstakingly preparing everything herself.  And last but not least, they appear to dote on each other with no sign of their honeymoon phase wearing off anytime soon.

But when the doors close, it’s a different story…

So this is where I’m going to stop.  Yes, I know it’s not much as far as reviews go.  The question is, did I intrigue you?  Did my brief little intro make you want to go get the book immediately?  Because you should.

~Thalia

~Buy It Now:  Behind Closed Doors

Review: Fablehaven Book of Imagination by Brandon Mull

15135731_1299809816725483_7146308628241356337_n This isn’t my usual review. In fact, this was probably my least stressful review ever. A book of activities. No thought required. Easy peasy. Well, some did require thought, but don’t tell my kids. They may yell at me that they’re “learning” something instead of it being all about playing. When I first saw this Book of Imagination, I knew this would be perfect excuse to have fun and learn at the same time.

My kids have wanted fantasy books, that aren’t fill with romance, so when I stumbled upon the Fablehaven series, I knew this would be a hit. So far, I’m right. My daughter is reading book one right now and she is liking it. That’s huge in my house. We struggle to find books that they like, so we don’t have to force them to read.
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If you have tweens, or young teens, and you’re looking for something to give them a little escape from the real world, I recommend this activity book. Even if they haven’t read the series, they can still do activities. So add this to their stockings and make them happy. There’s recipes and activities to cure boredom and make the holidays run smoother. In fact, I brought this book with us when we went out to eat and it made the time pass much faster and there was no fighting. We all worked on a page and it was fun. We did one of the “How many words can you find?” pages and the next thing we knew, our food was arriving. Working your brain makes time fly.🙂

This is my favorite page, as I was scrolling through. That girl of mine is such a stinker.🙂
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~Melpomene

Grab the Fablehaven Book of Imagination http://amzn.to/2g7rvr5

Check out Sadie Mull’s video on how to make the wizard’s slime from one of the recipes in the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruaUdPKNmBY&t=6s

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