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Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love reading stories about the British aristocracy, and I am especially fond of stories set at country manor houses. I was very excited about the opportunity to read Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell. The story is set in 1918, and although peace has been declared across Europe, everyone is still feeling the effects of the war.

It is Christmas at Foxwood Hall, and one of the guests- a dashing young Marquis- has gone missing. The next day, his fingers are found in several Boxing Day gifts distributed to various household servants and residents of the small village. The police are brought in, and after conducting interviews, an arrest is made. Continue reading

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Thinner in 30 by Jenna Wolfe

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I received a copy of Thinner in 30 from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received my book on November 25th, and have spent the last month reading it and implementing the steps.

I have seen Jenna Wolfe on The Today Show, and I love her enthusiasm, and her sense of humor.   This book arrived at the perfect time; with three children and a busy schedule, it isn’t always easy to find time for exercising. I used to push the stroller around the neighborhood with my oldest daughter, but when my twins arrived two years later, pushing a double stroller with two babies and a toddler seemed too daunting. Well, the “babies” are now in first grade, the big girl is in third grade, and I no longer have any excuses. This book was just what I needed.   Continue reading

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Escape From Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth

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I received a review request for Escape from Witchwood Hollow from someone on author Jordan Elizabeth’s marketing team. I was intrigued by the premise, and so I happily agreed to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As the story begins in October 2001, Honoria has just moved to the small town of Arnn with her older brother, and her aunt and uncle. She has just lost her parents in the September 11th terrorist attacks, and her new guardians feel that it is in everyone’s best interest to leave the city and start anew upstate. They move into a historic home; her aunt dreams of converting their new abode into an inn, and Honoria starts school. Her new classmates tell her about the town folklore about the woods around the town, and how they are inhabited by a witch. People who have gone into the woods have remained last forever. After being dared/tricked into going into the woods by her new classmates, Honoria feels drawn to the woods wonders if the stories are true.   Continue reading

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The City of Light (Secret of the Tirthas) by Steve Griffin

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I received a review request from author Steve Griffin regarding his novel The City of Light. I was intrigued by the premise, and so I happily agreed to the request in exchange for an honest review.

The City of Light is the first book in The Secret of the Tirthas series. As the story begins, Lizzie Jones is settling into her new home; her great uncle has died, and left her mother his property. Lizzie, whose father died in the previous year, is ambivalent about country life, but she is drawn to the elaborate gardens. She discovers that one particular statue in the garden serves as a portal between her English village, and the Indian city of Kashi. It’s scientifically impossible, but Lizzie cannot deny that she is actually traveling to India each time she journeys through the portal. But she barely has time to process this fantastic secret before she realizes that there is a terrible killer afoot; not only does she need to stop the creature, but she might be its next victim! Continue reading

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Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood

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My three girls have been big fans of Deborah Underwood’s “Cat” series since we first discovered Here Comes Easter Cat almost two years ago. The girls were delighted by the mischievous and sarcastic cat, who just happens to have a heart of gold under his snarky façade.

Here Comes Valentine Cat follows the format of the other books: the narrator speaks directly to Cat, who responds by holding up signboards with his responses. Because cats don’t talk, of course!

Valentine’s Day is coming, and the narrator wants to know if Cat has any plans. Cat indicates that there is a dog who lives next door, but he thinks the dog is annoying. Cat plans to make some mean valentines, and to send the dog to the moon- but is the dog really as annoying as Cat says he is? Continue reading

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Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger’s (ASD) by Cornelia Pelzer Elwood & D. Scott MacLeod

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I have three daughters, and two of them are on the autism spectrum. They are high functioning, and sometimes, people in our community are unaware of the diagnosis because the girls often “present” as neurotypical. This is, perhaps, not the blessing that it might appear to be, because meltdowns and other displays of frustration can be jarring to people who are not close enough with us to know about their diagnoses.

We are grateful to live in a town with a wonderful school system. The teachers we have worked with have extensive knowledge and experience with children on the autism spectrum. On my oldest daughter’s first day of kindergarten, she got up from the table to speak to a friend at the next table. She was not aware of the rule about staying in her seat. The next day, her BLA (behavior learning assistant) provided her with a laminated paper with the cafeteria rules.

This is exactly the sort of thing that authors Cornelia Pelzer Elwood and D. Scott McLeod are hoping to foster with their new book Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger’s (ASD). By the end of the book, you should be able to create a personalized roadmap/guide tailored to your child’s unique situation. Continue reading

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Pippa Morgan’s Diary by Anne Kelsey

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was not familiar with the Pippa Morgan series when I received the opportunity to read the first book- Pippa Morgan’s Diary– but I fell in love with Ann Kelsey’s middle grade series almost immediately.

Pippa Morgan is undergoing some major life changes: her best friend moved to Scotland, and her parents are getting divorced. So when Catie, one of the most popular girls in the class, befriends Pippa, things are looking brighter. There’s just one problem: Pippa may or may not have told a small lie about having auditioned for a popular reality singing competition. Catie is so impressed that she signs Pippa up for the school talent show. There’s just one tiny problem: Pippa cannot sing at all! And now she’s afraid that if she tells the truth, Catie will no longer want to be her friend, and Pippa truly values Catie’s friendship. With the day of the talent show approaching, Pippa does not know what to do, and she is running out of excuses!  Continue reading