Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

Sky Zone: A Novel (The Crittendon Files #3)Sky Zone: A Novel by Creston Mapes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fair warning...if you plan on reading this book, clear your schedule!! From the first page to the last, Creston Mapes keeps you on the edge of your seat in his newest release, Sky Zone: A Novel!!

Jack and Pamela Crittendon are back again and have hit some major breaking points in their lives. Jack is no longer working for the paper since he exposed the plant in town causing a lot of problems (read Poison Town if you haven't yet!!). Instead he is working part-time for EventPros as an usher. Pamela has had to find work to supplement what Jack wasn't bringing in while being very pregnant with their third child.

The big event coming up is a speech by upcoming Presidential candidate Martin Sterling. Senator Sterling is a controversial candidate as his platform is dealing with terrorism. He will go to any length to get rid of it entirely. While he has a hearty group of supporters, as with any candidate, he also has his enemies. He pairs up with singer Everett Lester for this event. A few hours before the event, a threat is issued that there will be a possible terrorist attack. Jack is working alongside his "Doomsday Prepper" friend Brian Shakespeare.

When Jack gets a surprise text message from Pamela, the night becomes more intense and things begin to get out of hand. Can they save those attending the event? Will they survive the Sky Zone?

As I read this book, I found myself reflecting back to a time when I was asked to accompany an usher during a concert. It was the year of American Idol with Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington and they came to tour in Atlanta. About 5 songs into the concert, an usher got my husband and I's attention and asked us to come with him. Not really sure what to do, we followed the guy. At first, it seemed like we may be getting an upgrade and going backstage to meet the stars. I was so excited!! Before we knew it though, we were in an elevator with men in black suits and dark sunglasses (Men in Black moment!)The elevator opened to the parking lot and it was then that I realized why we were escorted out. My van was parked in the parking lot and had caught fire!! We didn't see the rest of the concert but we were given complimentary tickets to return for their encore show. It was a very scary night of my life. It's not quite the same the as what the participants went through in this book but I do have a concern of something like that happening to me again at a concert. These event goers had no idea what would happen to them and it was a night they will never forget, much like mine was. Have you ever been evacuated from a large venue? If not evacuated, were you told you couldn't leave? What are your thoughts on that?

Many thanks to David C. Cook publishing and Creston Mapes for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts on this book!

View all my reviews

Review: A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter

A Heart to HealA Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book by Allie Pleiter that I have read. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!!

In A Heart to Heal, we meet guidance counselor Heather, who is working hard to make high school easier for Simon. She hopes to accomplish something by gaining the assistance and mentorship of Max Jones, who is with Adventure Access. Max, however, has a pretty wild streak even considering his mobility limitations. Can he be trusted? Will Simon's parents be ok with someone like Max teaching him the ropes of getting around in his chair and dealing with bullies like Jason Kikowitz?

First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Ms. Pleiter was not afraid to write about people with mobility issues!!!! That is not a common thread in reading these days!! I applaud her for taking the chance to write Max and Simon's stories. Her descriptions of having issues reaching certain places (like tables in restaurants) is a real issue and she wrote it well! She also conveyed the raw emotions and feelings that a caregiver faces when dealing with someone with mobility issues. For the past 33 years, I've watched my mom face these challenges with her wheelchair (she has Muscular Dystrophy). In a particular restaurant scene with Heather and Simon, I could empathize with Heather...the stares, the fear of what others think, etc. It made my heart really feel for her.

The second thing that I loved most about this book was the redemption found within, for all the characters. Even though this is a work of fiction, this is a book about healing. I do think that many could find hope and healing through this book.

Many thanks to Ms. Pleiter for bringing another great story to life as well as providing an autographed review copy of this book in exchange for my personal thoughts.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Alone at Midnight-A Collection of Horror Stories by Scott Zavoda

This is my first exposure to Scott Zavoda and his writing. This is a collection of short stories that are rather intriguing. I personally don't scare easily so I didn't see these as "horror" stories but some definitely would. There is actually quite a bit of humor infused into his writing which helped give it some levity. 

In the first story, "Oh Christmas Tree", we meet Randy who is struggling with some major addictions in his life. He has also been accused of stealing a Christmas tree. This one shows how addiction can cause some other issues in a person's life. 

In "Bobby"....this one got to me. I wanted to reach through my Kindle and show those boys "what for". Having a disabled mother, this one really disturbed me. Bullies are horrible!!

To those readers who enjoy the beach, you may want to skip over "Beneath the Sand"! This one was probably my second favorite because it was a little more mystical to me than the others. Sand seems to pile up in the house at odd times of this Vietnam Vet. Will the beach ever carry the same meaning again? 

"Castle Point" was a story that I just didn't get. Not sure what it was about it. 

"Fright Flight"  was my favorite story. This one is more along the lines of what I enjoy reading. I don't think I could ever fly a plane, let alone ride in one, with a corpse in it....at night....through a thunderstorm. My favorite character in this one? The corpse! ;) 

"Flowers for Mom" and "The Calling" were the remaining two stories. I struggled a little with these as well. Keep in mind I'm not generally a scared person when reading books or watching movies though. 

Some things my readers may want to know is that there is some strong language throughout this book. It's not "excessive, every page" kinda strong language but it's still there. Just a side note for those of you wondering! 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I appreciate receiving a complimentary copy from the author and Tomoson in exchange for my personal review and thoughts. 

If you enjoy horror stories, I'm sure you'll find at least one story in here that will resonate with you!

Alone at Midnight Collection of Horror stories  #HorrorStories

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CFBA: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sky Zone
David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)
Creston Mapes


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions. 

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier. With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sky Zone, go HERE.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Product Review: Propressor Garlic Press

I've decided to change a few things up here in My Own Little Corner of the World so you will begin to see some product reviews, along with more book reviews!

The first product I will review is the Propressor Garlic Press from Orblue. I have to admit, I have never used a garlic press before so I had to do some research on how to use fresh garlic before I could operate this! It didn't take me but just a minute or two to figure out how to prepare the garlic clove prior to putting it into the Press. This garlic press is so easy to use, this first-timer did it with no difficulty! It's also super easy to clean up and your hands don't end up smelling like garlic all day. I will say that I'm loving the fresh garlic smell of my home right now though! :)

I opted to use this garlic press with the skin still on the garlic clove. The garlic minced perfectly while the skin was removed very easily from the basket.

This Propressor Garlic Press would make a lovely housewarming or bridal gift for that someone special on your list!! Keep this in mind when shopping for new and different ideas! It's also very lightweight and sturdy! I love it!!

The company also has an amazing lifetime guarantee so you really can't go wrong on this item!

To purchase the Propressor Garlic Press, it's pretty simple! The link for purchasing on Amazon is http://www.amazon.com/70-OFF-TODAY-Propresser-Stainless/dp/B00HHLNRVE 

Do you want to see how easy it is to use? Watch this short video!

Thank you to Orblue and Tomoson for the opportunity to review this product! I have written this review from my own opinion without any pressure for a favorable review in exchange for receiving this garlic press free of charge.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Do you have a product you'd like to see reviewed here? Contact me with details!

Monday, August 4, 2014

CFBA: A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart to Heal
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
Allie Pleiter


Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.


The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Trust Your Heart by Sharon Drane

It's love at first sight for Joshua and Amelia. They have to separate though, as Joshua has to go off to war and Amelia to boarding school. However, they vow to write to each other and they did. Suddenly though, Amelia's letters stop coming. Joshua's letters stop coming. Amelia marries Clayton, although she always pines for Joshua. After Clayton's death, Amelia vows she will only love the only other man in her life, her son, Dougie. Then, Joshua shows back up. Can love survive a second chance?

This was a very short read that I found enjoyable. The story is set in the 1800's, one of my favorite time periods to read about. I did find this book to start out a little slow but it quickly picked up and held my attention to the end. I would recommend this book to those wanting a short, enjoyable read as well as to those who enjoy historical romance!

Thank you to Sharon Drane and Salt Run Publishing for providing a copy of this novella for review in exchange for my honest opinion.