Battle Of The Book Cover #2 – Winner Announcement

Last week we pitted two book covers against one another and asked people to vote for their favorite. We had a lot of interest and a lot of votes! “Desert Flower” won by a landslide. I would like to thank everyone for voting! Congratulations Zohra Saeed, you have won a free Book Spotlight!

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Zohra runs a blog of her own. Check it out HERE. 

Keep an eye out for her Book Spotlight and get your voting caps on for the next battle.

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The Booklist – 5 Books You Should Read

Since it’s well known that I’m a voracious reader, I often have people ask me for book recommendations. Due to this, I’ve decided to start a weekly list of books that I have personally reviewed. Each book has received a minimum 4 star rating from me. If you have read any of the books I’ve listed, please let me know what you thought of them in the comments! Click on the covers to be taken to the review.

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Have you read any of the books on my list? Drop your thoughts in the comments!

Book list

Ways To Earn Money Online

As a single income family I am well acquainted with stretching every dime into a dollar. There are tons of these articles online and I’m glad for them. Every time I’ve really needed some extra cash those articles helped me wade through the overwhelming amount of crap and get right down to making some actual money.

The sites I’m going to share with you are sites that I personally use to earn a little bit of extra money. You aren’t going to make a lot of money. No one is a millionaire from doing online surveys. Lets be real.

Each site does pay you. I’ll explain how.

1: Swagbucks

There are multiple ways to earn on this site. Its a points based system and 100 points is basically one dollar. Now, it takes awhile to get the points built up but you do get them and you can swap them for gift cards to lots of different places. Be patient. It’s going to take a bit to earn money. 

2: Slice The Pie

I’ll let you know upfront that you don’t make much at this site. It takes awhile to build up enough stars to up your earning potential. You will get paid though. Really, that’s all that matters. Basically, you write reviews for songs, clothes ect… The reviews have to be coherent and constructive. 

3: Inbox Dollars

This one is my favorite right now. I’ve made the most money off this site but like the others it does take time and patience to do. This site has multiple ways to earn money and its actual money….not points. You have the option of taking surveys or watching videos as well as just searching the web. The payments are small but they add up fairly quickly.

 

What sites have you made money from? Let me know in the comments!

 

Book Review “There Was An Old Sailor” Claire Saxby & Cassandra Allen

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This playful, rhyming picture book offers a fresh and fun new take on the song There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. In Claire Saxby’s telling, a white-bearded, big-bellied sailor sets things in motion by swallowing a krill. He then goes on to swallow progressively larger sea creatures, each meant to catch the preceding one. Every new introduction is followed by a retelling of all the previously eaten animals, and I don’t know why he swallowed the krill — It’ll make him ill. The sailor’s tale finally ends when he swallows a whale, then with a burp … set sail. The burp allows all the other creatures to be released out of his mouth and back into the sea, presenting the surprise of a happier ending for the sailor than for the old lady in the song.

The story is perfectly complemented by Cassandra Allen’s jaunty, simple and playful illustrations, which provide a terrific source of visual clues for pre-readers looking to recognize words. The rhyming and repetition will make this a favorite read-aloud choice for storytime, as children will happily participate in reading the repeated sections, which are so easily and quickly memorized. In addition, there is a ?Fishy Facts? spread at the back of the book that contains a true fact about each animal in the story (including ?A blue whale can eat millions of krill a day!?), which would make for a fantastic introduction to a discussion on the size of sea creatures and the food chain.

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I love pretty much everything about “There Was An Old Sailor”. From it’s clever cadence to it’s fun illustrations you and your child will have a blast reading this story!

My three year old son has even memorized some parts and loves to say them with me. The story is silly but will make your kid do plenty of thinking and not just about sea animals. My son flat said that swallowing some of these animals whole is impossible. When I challenged his statement with “He could of chewed them”…my son hit me back with “No Mom, it pacifically says SWALLOWED not CHEEEEWED”. Yes, I meant to put pacifically….that’s how he says it.

I love that this is an actual story instead of information dumping. Kids want to learn but they also want to do it in fun innovative ways. Not just repeating over and over the same facts in the same ways.

This book is unique and fun! I’m glad we found it! You never know, this book may sneak it’s way onto the Christmas list.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: There Was an Old Sailor  | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s):  Claire Saxby & Cassandra Allen |Publisher: Kids Can Press / Publication Date: 3-1-2014 |Pages: 32 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1771380225 |Genre(s): Children’s Fiction |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-20-2016 |Source: Copy from Library

This Weeks TBR

How goes it my book besties? Here’s a sneak peak into what I’ll be reading this week! I’ve received some e-mails from a few antsy authors wanting to know what’s next in my queue so I’m going to bring back the weekly TBR post. Just a reminder, I review books for free and am also the mother of two very small children…. so it may take a while to get a review out. However, as you may already know…when I do review a book I take care to explain any issues I have with the book as well as heap on praise when a book blows me off my feet! I love reviewing books and I hope that by doing so I am connecting readers with awesome stories! Click on the covers to get more information about each book! If you have read any of the books on my list hit me up in the comments and let me know what you thought of it! No spoilers though! Ain’t nobody got time for that.

To Be Read

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From the first page, Hands Across The Sky draws the reader into an intoxicating tale of mystery and hope, beautifully told.

When Ezra Quinn, a San Francisco techie, gets a call one Saturday morning, he has no idea that his life is about to change beyond his wildest imaginings. Quinn is offered a lucrative position in the Middle East in his field of wearable tech. A week later, he’s on a flight to Dubai.

In Dubai, Quinn meets beautiful, cosmopolitan Leila, who orients him both to his work and to the political complexities in the region. Though the Middle East is on fire, Leila drops a hint that there is another way … the way of the Open Hand.

Leila accompanies Quinn to Cairo, where he meets Alif Zahir, the passionate, intelligent official at the center of the operation. As Quinn begins working on the project, he starts to become suspicious. Is Alif Zahir really who he says he is? And is the project truly aimed at peace? Soon events will spiral out of control, and Ezra Quinn will find himself caught up in a web of violence and treason from which there seems no escape.

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What if you could hold a memory in the palm of your hand?

In the Mirage, you can. Reachable only by leaving the physical body and entering the out-of-body state, the Mirage allows all within it to trade memories like souvenirs and create structures that defy physics. And now, after centuries, even the memory of the devastating Vakragha attack on their world has all but been forgotten, and most have lost touch with the physical world altogether.

Jyana is different. Driven by her desire to understand the natural world, she dedicates herself to studying the sea below Mirage City. Yet when she finds that the coral reef is being decimated by an unknown cause, no one will take her seriously, not even Torin, whom she loves more than anyone. Ambrosia supply shortages are getting worse, and Torin fears a crisis is brewing. Its formula a state secret, ambrosia gives architects the power to form colossal structures, and without it, their ancient civilization would surely collapse.

In the midst of this, everyone is shocked when a refugee from before the attack returns. Filled with questions, Asha has come with a secret mission which may destabilize their entire planet, causing the end of the Mirage itself.

A fast-paced, out-of-body Sci-Fi adventure, THE MIRAGE ON THE BRINK OF OBLIVION is the triumphant 3rd installment in the EPIC OF ARAVINDA.

To Be Read

Battle Of The Book Cover #2

Hello everyone! Welcome to AlliesOpinions BATTLE OF THE BOOK COVER! 

How does it work? Well, I will put two different covers of the same book or different books and you must judge which book you would most likely pick up based ONLY on the cover!  Don’t forget to explain your choice.

The winner gets a free book spotlight! 

Put your vote in the comments!

Desert Flower Cover  A Howl for Mayflower Cover

Let the odds be ever in your favor!

P.s. You can click on the covers to get more information about the books!

Book Review “All Her Secrets” Kate Avery Ellison

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Nothing is as it seems in this psychological YA thriller set in a not-too-distant future

A GIRL WITH SECRETS

Eighteen-year-old Victoria, the daughter of inventor and visionary-genius Bill Faraday, was almost murdered by a stranger four years ago. She’s been trying to forget the incident ever since.

When Victoria discovers something that might explain why she was brutally attacked, she heads home from college to uncover the truth. Then, she’s kidnapped.

A GUY FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS

Sam’s just a poor kid from Valley City, but he knows who Victoria is as soon as his cousin Craig drags her from the trees. He doesn’t want anything to do with what appears to be a revenge kidnapping, but Craig has a gun and needs someone to take the fall if things go wrong.

A DESPERATE PLAN TO SURVIVE

Craig and his buddies imprison Sam and Victoria in an abandoned mountain cabin to await ransom. Putting aside mistrust for tentative friendship, Victoria and Sam form an unexpected bond. They conspire to escape together, and the close quarters ignite a startling attraction between them. Then, they discover strange tunnels beneath the cabin. And what they find inside the tunnels proves more bizarre.

With a plan in place to escape, freedom seems within reach. But Sam and Victoria are both keeping secrets about their past.

And secrets can be deadly.

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First lines: I’d always thought I’d probably die suddenly, unexpectedly, a car wreck on a foggy morning or a brain aneurysm during a workout. I could never imagine a slow ebb into the other side, a gradual slide into death brought about by a wasting illness or old age. I figured it would be fast. 

“All Her Secrets” begins with the memory of a rather horrible event in Victoria’s life. Her paranoia from this near death experience sets the tone for the rest of the novel. Things are tense from front cover to back. Victoria may appear to have it all with her high profile family and luxurious life but, her father is well hated by the populace. His inventions have destroyed a town and the lives of many within it.

Everything that happens next is one twist after another until finally all is revealed. Some of the twists are a bit predictable but others will completely blow you away. Most I never saw coming. I was thoroughly entertained.

The world this book illustrates is the fruition of what many scientists and civilians have speculated on for decades. When factories become automated there was public outcry for the prospective loss of jobs. This story is in many ways that fear brought to life in vivid detail. It was interesting to see the world through those eyes.

Victoria is a very likable character. Though she is rich and well connected her life is far from carefree and I feel like this brought the reader closer to her as the main character. Her humility and depth added yards of realism to the story. People are layered and I enjoy when authors understand an implement that philosophy. 

This was one heck of a Scifi book. I hope to see more from this author in the future.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: All Her Secrets  | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s):  Kate Avery Ellison |Publisher: Kate Avery Ellison  Publishing / Publication Date: 10-18-2016 |Pages: 290 (Print) | ISBN: B01L5557NS |Genre(s): Science Fiction |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-17-2016 |Source: Copy from Netgally

Book Review “I Become You” Thomas Hughes

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A sometimes horrifying, sometimes hilarious post-modern, gothic fairy tale for people who don’t believe in fairy tales, I Become You is the tale of Sheep, an empathic lab experiment gone bad, desperate to do good and incapable of doing much of anything at all. Join Sheep as it learns to become itself while it becomes us, for better, for worse, and finally, forever.

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First lines: Doctor Bertram Engel cradles my tiny head in long, agile fingers. He examines my eye, human in all respects, the deep blue of the Sinclairs. The pressure of his fingers initiates some small connection. A spark is struck upon the rock.

“I Become You” is just as the summary presents. With elements of Gothic culture, Buddhism, and the exploration of extreme mental illness, “I Become You” is a long and winding tale of the human condition. 

For those of you who have lived hard lives, I don’t suggest this book as it may be triggering on a lot of fronts. With tales of extreme abuse ranging from rape, child abuse and self harm I will put out the warning that the scenes in this book are graphic and you may wish to steer clear.

This book is an honest gritty look at the inner demons humanity battles. With pages of deep introspection and the exploration of Philosophies great questions, “I Become You” will entertain and enrich you. That’s high praise.  

Magical realism is one of my favorite genres and “I Become You” definitely does it justice. I will admit that the story is definitely drawn out and at times can be a bit long winded but for those who enjoy this kind of tale it isn’t bothersome. Each character is intricately developed and hauntingly real.

There are some really interesting twists to the story that I did not see coming. Especially the ending. Whew, that threw me for a biiiiig loop.

All in all, “I Become You” is a very good book. Hughes put his heart and intellect into every word of this story. It’s unique and will be a story that sticks with you long after you have turned the last page.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: I Become You  | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s):  Thomas Hughes |Publisher: Create Space Indepedant Publishing / Publication Date: 6-22-2015 |Pages: 274 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1508424383 |Genre(s): Magical Realism / Science Fiction |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-17-2016 |Source: Copy from Author

TTT – Names From Books I Would Use

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

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1: Ophelia – This is from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Lately, it has become a rather popular name in songs and movies. If my husband and I ever have another daughter, this is on the top five names we may choose for her.
2: Hazel – This name is from “The Fault In Our Stars” book. I think it’s beautiful and would be a really pretty middle name.
3: Minella – This is a shortened version of the main characters name in “The Devil On Horseback”. 
4: Arya – This comes from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.
5: Emma – This comes from Jane Austen’s book “Emma”.
6: Rhett – “Gone With The Wind”
7: Scarlett – “Gone With The Wind”
8: Josiah – “Hard Times”
9: Luna – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” 
10: Marius – “Les Misérables”

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What’s on your list?

 

 

 

My Beloved Pet Has Died

Six years ago my husband and I were lucky enough to be dog-mom and dog-dad to a very special dog named Chevy. From the moment we met her we knew something was very different with her. She was afraid of everything and incredibly anxious. We knew she would need lots of patience and love. 

She never grew out of her fears. As she aged she withdrew from everyone but me. Even I could only pet her with the tips of my fingers. No matter, we loved her anyway. We tried everything we could to make her happy and help her with her issues. Multiple medications failed before we finally accepted her for who she was and let it be. 

Saturday morning, before my husband went to work, he went outside to love on the dogs and he found Chevy dead. He woke me up and with trembling words told me she was gone. The few times my husband and I have dealt with the death of a pet it has been emotional to say the least. We love our animals deeply. Chevy’s death was a bit different because of our protective relationship with her. We do not know why she died because we could not afford for the Vet to do an examination. I wish we would of had the money. I would like to of known what happened.

Our hearts are broken and we miss her very much but I am also happy that she is now free of her all consuming fears. 

One of the hardest parts of her death was explaining to my three year old son that Chevy was gone. He was upset but said the sweetest thing. He told me that now Chevy doesn’t have to be afraid anymore. 

We are very happy with the time we had with her. 

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