Saturday, June 29, 2019

Review The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?

Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster... or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen — and usually does.

When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

My Review:

The Warrior Maiden is book nine from Melanie Dickerson’s series, Hagenheim. In this installment, a reader gets a retelling of the fairy tale of Mulan. I thought this was a fun and unique retelling of a tale that I do not normally see being retold. I thought Mulan’s story was great. 

I give The Warrior Maiden five plus stars. It is definitely my favorite of the series that I have read. I highly recommend it. 

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma

About the Book

Book: The Pink Bonnet  
Author: Liz Tolsma  
Genre: Christian Historical, Suspense  
Release date: June, 2019  

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child  

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.

More from Liz

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series. In book two, The Pink Bonnet, Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child? Find out in The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma. The True Crime Behind the Story Georgia Tann was a woman who ran an adoption agency in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1924 until 1950. It is estimated that, in that time, she kidnapped over five thousand children and sold them to the highest bidder. She even advertised the children in the newspaper, especially around the holidays. Some of the nation’s biggest celebrities adopted through Miss Tann, including Joan Crawford, Dick Powell, and June Allyson. Learn more about Georgia Tann HERE and visit for more exclusive content.

Blog Stops

The Becca Files, June 20

Livin’ Lit, June 20

Mary Hake, June 23

Moments, June 24

Remembrancy, June 26

Emily Yager, June 26

Genesis 5020, June 27

Changed by Him, June 28

Bigreadersite, June 28

Pause for Tales, June 29

Hallie Reads, June 30

By The Book, July 2

amandainpa, July 3


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Pink Bonnet!! Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My Review

The Pink Bonnet is part of the new series, True Colors, which is of historical stories of American crime. It tells the story about widow Cecile trying her best to take care of her daughter. To her horror, her daughter is taken away and given to the Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society. She joins forces with Percy to find out where her daughter has gone to. In doing so, they find themselves in some dangerous situations that put their lives at risk. Will they find her little girl before it is too late?

The Pink Bonnet has got to be among my top five books I have read this year to date. I cannot believe this is based on true events. It is hard to imagine the horror that parents had gone through when they lost their children and not knowing where they went to or ever seeing them again. How sad and tragic.

I would give The Pink Bonnet one hundred stars. I highly, highly recommend this book.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: The Gingerbread Houses: A Charlie Bars Thriller by Benedict J Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A dark secret lies at the heart of the British government; a secret so appalling that they will kill to protect it.

Charlie Bars is back in London and has taken on a missing persons case. Easy money –or so he thinks. The man he is looking for is inextricably linked to the evil perpetrated in the Gingerbread Houses and as Charlie's search progresses, he finds himself drawn into the seedy underbelly of the capital; a world of abuse, exploitation and deviancy that threatens to destroy his soul.

Others are looking for the missing man too and hunter soon becomes hunted as Charlie finds himself the target of an insane torturer haunted by the ghosts of his military past.
As he descends into the darkest depths of human depravity, Charlie desperately tries to stay out of prison, on the right side of his morality and, most importantly, alive as he seeks to uncover the buried secrets of the Gingerbread Houses. 

My Review: 

The Gingerbread Houses is my first introduction to Benedict J Jones's writing. It will not be the last I read by him. This book is part of his series, The Charlie Bars Thriller. I enjoyed this book. It is full of adventure, action and suspense, mixed in with some humor. It is quite a thrilling ride that took me no time to read to the end.

I am giving The Gingerbread Houses four and a half stars. I look forward to more from The Charlie Bars Thriller series in the near future.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Setpoint Diet by Jonathan Bailor

Book Details:

Book Title: The Setpoint Diet by Jonathan Bailor
Category: Self-help/ Weight Management, 311 pages
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Publisher: Hachette Books
Release date: December 2018
Tour dates: June 17 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG+M

Book Description:

Join the 27,000 people who have achieved dramatic and long-term weight loss with The Setpoint Diet, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Calorie Myth.

Your body fights to keep you within a range of about 15 pounds--also known as your "setpoint weight." New research reveals that you can lower your setpoint and end that battle for good by focusing on the quality of calories you eat, not the quantity. With The Setpoint Diet, you will reprogram your body with a 21-day plan to rev up your metabolism, eliminate inflammation, heal your hormones, repair your gut, and get your body working like that of a naturally thin person--permanently.

The Setpoint Diet is a lower-carb menu that focuses on specific anti-inflammatory whole foods, including tons of produce, nutritious proteins, and therapeutic fats. Its creator, Jonathan Bailor, founded SANESolution, a weight loss company that has reached millions of people. Proven to help you lose weight naturally and maintain it, The Setpoint Diet is your new blueprint for healthy living.

About the Author:

JONATHAN BAILOR pioneered the field of wellness engineering and is the founder and CEO of one of the world’s fastest-growing permanent weight loss and diabesity treatment companies, SANESolution. He authored the New York Times best-seller The Calorie Myth, has registered over 26 patents, has spoken at Fortune 100 companies and TED conferences for over a decade and served as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, where he helped to create Nike Kinect Training and Xbox Fitness. His work has been endorsed and implemented by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and UCLA. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside Seattle with his wife, Angela, and daughter Aavia.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 19, 2019

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Play to Live by Brian VanDongen

Book Details:

Book Title: Play to Live: Life Skills and Joy Through the Natural Talent to Play by Brian VanDongen
Category: Self-help/ Inner Child; creativity, 119 pages
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction (18+)
Publisher: BVDPlays
Release date: April 30, 2019
Tour dates: June 17 to July 5, 2019
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Play To Live: Life Skills and Joy Through The Natural Talent To Play by author Brian VanDongen takes you back to your childhood to remind you about what being a child is all about. Playing! We all have those fond childhood memories of growing up playing with our friends in social settings. Developing social skills and learning how to handle friendships and relationships.

What we didn't realize at the time was that those skills we learned for the building blocks which lay the foundation for the rest of our lives. What are our children learning right now? How are they playing now and what part are we playing in how our children interact with the world around them.

For many children, their idea of play and playing now consists of talking to friends online and playing with electronic devices, staying safe indoors, and not venturing further than their own small safe world which we have created.

Inside Play To Live you'll discover:
  • Understanding what it means to play.
  • Where play has gone and what has changed?
  • How playing inside the box promotes the simplicity of play.
  • Why risky play is not the same as dangerous play. Are we too overprotective?
  • That climbing up the slide is just as important as sliding down.
  • Getting muddy outside and rediscovering nature is imperative.
  • That play is serious business and so much more.
Inside Play To Live: Life Skills and Joy Through The Natural Talent To Play you'll read about case studies and reports followed by tips, tricks, and information to help you. If you would like to rediscover what it means to play, then grab a copy of Play To Live right now!

To follow the tour, please visit Brian VanDongen's page on iRead Book Tours.

​​Meet the author:  ​

Brian is a life-long "parks and rec kid." Now, he is a parks and recreation professional.

Brian has created, designed, and implemented transformational recreational programming for thousands of residents. ​ Through his work as a park and recreation professional, Brian helps people play and find their natural talent to play.

He believes everyone has that talent, but it is sometimes hard to find or even suppressed in today's society. ​ Fortunately, play at its most basic level is easy, fun, healthy, and desirable. That playful talent just needs to be unleashed.

Brian has helped thousands of people find their natural talent to play and become happier and healthier people through the power of play.

Connect with the author: Website ~  Facebook ~  Twitter ~ Instagram

Guest Post


Obviously, play is an important topic to me. After all, I did write a book about play, its importance, and how to live a more playful lifestyle.

When my book was an Amazon #1 New Release for a week after its launch day in late April, I realized that play is an important topic to many other people as well.

While everyone can benefit from living a playful lifestyle and facilitating play for others, this list of people hold a crucial and valuable role in the promotion of play for children.

  • Parks and Recreation Professionals: The gatekeepers of play for the community. By having passionate parks and recreational professionals serve municipalities, play in the communities will thrive through facilities and varied and diverse recreational programming.
  • Teachers: The gatekeepers of play in school. Play in school should be more than just recess. Play can help self-initiated learning, problem solving skills, and independent thinking. By incorporating play into the classroom, children become eager to learn. Moreover, physically activity children generally perform better on tests.
  • Youth Sport Coaches: The gatekeepers of play in sport. At young ages, youth sports participation should represent play more than high-level, high-competition sports. By incorporating playfulness into practice, children are more likely to return to play the next season. Young children are still learning how their bodies move, and active play helps gain those physical literacy skills. In addition, with some creativity, drills can be reimagined with playful elements to keep them interesting and exciting.
  • Librarians: The gatekeepers of play in literacy. By encouraging reading and having fun activities to go with the books, children can gain an appreciation for reading. Also, libraries can offer playful programming which can help children gain more than just literacy skills at the library.
  • Parents: The gatekeepers of play at home. By providing play opportunities for their children, parents can help their child develop social skills, emotional skills, cognitive skills, and physical literacy skills while reducing anxiety and stress.

This list certainly is not inclusive of everyone who needs to be a gatekeeper of play. Ideally, everyone is. Play is a vitally important aspect of everyone’s life, and we all need to partake in and support play.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 13, 2019

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