New from James Patterson – Humans, Bow Down (giveaway ends 3/27/17)


Here in the Northeast we are expecting a blizzard tomorrow (March 14, 2017). Needless to say none of us are planning on leaving our home tomorrow. Thankfully I work in the local school district, so I follow their schedule. I have no doubt that we’ll have a snow day tomorrow. That’s fine with me. I just assume curl up on my couch with a snugly blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book.

Author James Patterson has penned a new book, which is currently available, entitled Humans, Bow Down.

James Patterson has written a lot of best selling books, and I have no doubt that Humans, Bow Down will be another one. The book was written by James Patterson and Emily Raymond and illustrated by Alexander Ovchinnikov.

I love how Mr. Patterson can write for just about any genre including comedy and children’s books. He’s an amazing and talented author.

James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. He holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers, and his books have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide.

A tireless champion of the power of books and reading, Patterson has created a new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: “We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say, ‘PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.’” He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and funds over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at twenty-four colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing his proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Author James Patterson

In his new book, Humans, Bow Down, the future of the entire human race is in jeopardy as robots try and take over.

In a world run by machines, humans are an endangered species.

The Great War is over. The Robots have won. The humans who survived have two choices—they can submit and serve the vicious rulers they created or be banished to the Reserve, a desolate, unforgiving landscape where it’s a crime to be human. And the robots aren’t content—following the orders of their soulless leader, they’re planning to conquer humanity’s last refuge. With nothing left to lose, Six, a feisty, determined young woman whose family was killed with the first shots of the war, is a rebel with a cause. On the run for her life after an attempted massacre, Six is determined to save humanity before the robots finish what the Great War started and wipe humans off the face of the earth, once and for all.

I have the book, and admittedly I haven’t started to read it as of yet due to health issues. Tomorrow during the blizzard might be a great time to start it, that is if I can get the book back from my daughter (she is currently in possession of the book and is reading it).

Humans, Bow Down sounds like my kind of book. I am totally into Sci-Fi, fantasy books. I also like that the book’s main character is a strong woman.

Look for Humans, Bow Down where ever books are sold.

For more information, you can visit James Patterson’s Official Site. You can also follow James Patterson on Twitter & Instagram and “like” James Patterson on Facebook.

The official hashtag for the new book is #HumansBowDown.

In honor of the book’s release I have a wonderful giveaway for a lucky reader. One (1) winner will receive the following;

  • Copy of Humans, Bow Down
  • $100 Visa gift card to stock up on survival supplies.

Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on March 27, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win this prize package and/or what is your favorite James Patterson book?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a copy of the book and a gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.

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Book review – My Little Leprechaun


Can you believe that St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Seriously… wasn’t it just New Year’s Day? Valentine’s Day seems like it was yesterday. Sigh… time flies way too quickly.

St. Patrick’s Day seems to be more of an adult holiday. It’s not something that most kids (especially little one) look forward to. That is unless you make it something fun to look forward to.

When my kids were little (elementary school age), they used to try and capture a leprechaun on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Each year the came up with a new and inventive way to capture the mischievous little fellas.

So that their creative efforts were no in vain, I would sneak into their room at night (or where ever their trap was laid out) and disrupt it. I would knock things over and make it look like the leprechaun was at one point trapped (then escaped) or nearly trapped. In addition I would sprinkle a little bit of green glitter in the area. The glitter eventually ended up all over the place because my kids would make a mess of it.

I also left a little gift behind (from the lucky leprechaun of course) which were usually stickers or some kind of a small St. Patrick’s Day toy (I would find goodies at the local dollar store) or green beads/necklaces.

I think it’s fun for little kids to think that jolly little leprechauns come out to play on St. Patrick’s Day. As an adult I think it would be both fun (and perhaps a little creepy) to see these legendary creatures in person.

What happens if you are are lucky enough to catch a leprechaun? In the book, My Little Leprechaun, a little boy finds out the hard way what can happen.

The book was written by a seven year old boy name Levi Johnson (co-authored by his mom Christa Johnson). The book is based on a short story that Levi write all by himself.

The book is illustrated by Rabia Gelgi.

In the book My Little Leprechaun, a young boy finds a leprechaun in his back yard and was able to capture it using a trap he devised.

Initially the leprechaun was fun to have around, but the young boy soon realizes there is a good reason why people shouldn’t capture leprechauns.

This is a fun bed time book that parents or grandparents can read to their child and get them excited about St. Patrick’s Day. Parents can even use this fun book as a segue into creating a trap together to capture a leprechaun (a fun bonding experience to bring the family together). Although after reading about what mischievous things leprechauns do when you capture one of their own, you might not want to capture one. Ha Ha.

The story is accompanied with darling illustrations too, which really add to the story.

For more information about this book, you can visit the official website, MyLittleLeprechaun.com.

You can purchase the book on Amazon too.

Does your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you have any fun traditions that you do together? Have you ever tried to capture a leprechaun?

The authors: Levi & Christa Johnson


*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Adorable Easter goodies from Koh’s Cares


I know that Valentine’s Day just passed, but it’s time to look ahead to upcoming holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) and Easter (April 16th). St. Patrick’s Day is not much of a kid’s holiday (I think that one adults celebrate the most), but Easter sure is. Easter is definitely a family holiday.

I wish my kids were young enough to enjoy Easter like they used to. I loved it when they believed in the Easter Bunny. They still enjoy Easter, but more so for Easter dinner and for whatever candy I give them.

Growing up I made sure NOT to stuff our kid’s Easter baskets full of candy. I know that Easter is all about the candy (when you are kid), but I didn’t want my kids to gorge themselves on a lot of candy, most especially because their grandparents always gave them A LOT of candy for Easter.

Instead of candy I would fill their Easter baskets with coloring books, a new box of crayons, reading books, small toys and some candy. One year both our kids got scooters for Easter (and a little bit of candy). My kids never complained about not have a basket overflowing with candy.

If you are in the market for some Easter basket ideas – check out what is new with Kohl’s Cares.

If you are not familiar with Kohl’s Cares it’s a special program that Kohl’s offers to consumers that helps to raise funds for children’s charities.

A few times each year, Kohl’s Cares offers consumers books, plush toys and other goodies for only $5.00 each. The proceeds from the sales of these products goes towards children’s charities. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of the net profit to Kohl’s Cares charities that support kid’s health and education programs nationwide.

Since 2000 Kohl’s Cares has raised and impressive $257 million dollars. Talk about a “win-win” situation. You get wonderful products and the proceeds goes towards children’s charities.

I am a HUGE fan of the Kohl’s Cares program. I love that they are raising so much money for children’s charities. I also love the products available as part of the Kohl’s Cares program. I especially love their books and matching plush toys ($5.00 each). For only ten dollars you can have a wonderful gift for a child. The products available from Kohl’s Cares would also make great, affordable Easter basket stuffers.

Check out what is new from Kohl’s Cares.

These are just SOME of the products currently available in the Kohl’s Cares program.

The Dr. Seuss books are hardcover books. They sell for over $10+ elsewhere, but with Kohl’s Cares they are only $5.00.

The plush animals are super soft and snugly. Quality plush toys sold elsewhere are easily $10 – $20 each, but with Kohl’s Care they are only $5.00.

I love getting the book and matching plush toys and keep them for gifts. The “set” makes a perfect gift. It costs you only $10, but they look like you spent double, if not more, than that amount. Plus the proceeds goes towards children’s charities, so it’s a “win-win” situation.

Kohl’s Cares has a super adorable bunny with a small book for only $5.00. This would make a PERFECT addition to any Easter basket.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the photo I uploaded of the sweet bunny and adorable book.

I smile each and every time I look at him. The book is darling too.

I have a few of the current Kohl’s Cares products (Thidwick book and plush, Sneeches book and plush, Bunny and book and 100 Cool Simple Science Experiments). I donated the books and plush to a kindergarten program (the plush are used as “reading buddies”), which is why I don’t have a photo of them. They look exactly like they do on the website.

I work as a teacher’s assistant and I brought the science experiments book to work with me so that we can try some of the experiments with the kids. There are some super cool experiments in the book. I am looking forward to trying them out.

The bunny and book I kept for my family. The bunny will make a cute Easter decoration, and the book is a nice addition to my family’s library.

You can purchase Kohl’s Cares products on the Kohl’s website (Kohls.com). In addition they are also sold in stores. Look for them near the check out lines.

To find a Kohl’s location near you, visit their website. You can also look for Kohl’s coupons and promotional codes on places like Coupon Sherpa.

Kohl’s can also be found on social media. All of the links are found on their website.

Have you ever purchased (or received) a Kohl’s Cares product?


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Easter is just around the corner! Get ready to celebrate with HarperCollins Children’s Books


Our son gathering Easter Eggs taken approx. 12 years ago.

Our son gathering Easter Eggs taken approx. 12 years ago.

This time of year you expect to see Valentine’s Day cards, candy and decor. After all, stores started to stock their shelves with Valentine’s Day stuff practically the moment the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day (or so it would seem).

Believe it or not I have seen EASTER candy on store shelves already – and Easter is not until April 16th of this year. We have a very long time to think about it.

Our kids are 17 and almost 20 years old. Needless to say it’ been a while since the Easter Bunny stopped at our home delivering Easter baskets (although my kids still wand candy on Easter).

We never put too much candy in their Easter baskets because we knew their grandparents and great-grandparents would spoil them like crazy with candy. Instead we put in the basket a small plush toy, coloring books, crayons, a movie and a book. We also included some candy too.

If you are like us and you like to include a book in your child or grandchild’s Easter basket, you should check out these titles from HaperCollins.

I work with Kindergartners and I think these titles look (and sound) adorable for young children.


Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes

9780062408723 — $17.99 —Ages 4 to 8 

The multiple-award-winning and national bestselling author Kevin Henkes’ 50th book for children is a graphic novel for preschoolers about four eggs, one big surprise, and an unlikely friendship. Egg is not only a perfect Easter gift but a classic read-alone and read-aloud for all year round.


The Runaway Bunny: A 75th Anniversary Retrospective 
Written by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

9780062489944 — $19.99 —Ages 4 to 8 — On Sale 1/24/2017

A 75th anniversary edition of the bestselling classic story, The Runaway Bunny, with a historical essay by Leonard Marcus, featuring archival materials all presented in a beautiful linen case cover with a commemorative foil sticker.


The Story of the Easter Bunny Board Book

Written by Katherine Tegen, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert

9780062381552 — $7.99 —Ages 4 to 8 — On Sale 1/24/2017

Everyone knows who the Easter Bunny is, but not everybody knows where he comes from. This fresh, innovative story describes how one little rabbit became a legend. Now in board book!


Otter Loves Easter
Written & illustrated by Sam Garton

9780062393395 — $9.99 —Ages 4 to 8 — On Sale 1/24/2017

For her next paper-over-board picture book, Otter celebrates Easter with a little too much chocolate and a lot of creativity.


How to be a Bigger Bunny
Written by Florence Minor, illustrated by Wendell Minor

9780062352552 — $14.99 —Ages 4 to 8 — On Sale 1/24/2017

Perfect for springtime and Easter, Florence and Wendell’s joyous picture book celebrates the powers of persistence and learning from good books. Featuring lots of adorable bunnies as illustrated by the inimitable Wendell Minor!


Fancy Nancy and the Missing Easter Bunny

Written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

9780062377920 — $4.99 —Ages 4 to 8 — On Sale 2/7/2017

Fancy Nancy can’t wait for Easter… and this year, the family is in for a treat. Join Fancy Nancy in a fabulous storybook adventure about Easter, complete with fancy stickers!

Are you gearing up for Easter?

What do you put in your child’s/grandchild’s Easter basket? Do you often include books?

This is an Easter cake that I make often.

This is an Easter cake that I make often.


*I was not compensated for this post. I shared this information for the benefit of site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Tiny Dinosaurs, Big Adventures: Chapter Book Series for Daredevils & Dino Fans



Most children are fascinated when it comes to dinosaurs. I was when I was a young girl. Even as an adult I still find them so interesting. I often think about what life would be like back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Growing up I had a lot of books pertaining to dinosaurs. I wanted to be an Archaeologist when I grew up. I thought it would be amazing to travel around the globe discovering new dinosaurs.

If you have a child or grandchild in your life, you might be interested in learning about a new chapter book series from video game developer and illustrator Dustin Hansen called Microsaurs. Microsaurs combines fun thing that many kids enjoy – dinosaurs, skateboarding, and fun gadgets – for unforgettable adventures.

Dustin Hansen was raised in rural Utah, where he drew great inspiration from the outdoor and the rich history that surrounded him. To say that Utah was once a dinosaur playground is an understatement. He has been writing and creating art for the video game industry for more than two decades.

In this first Microsaurs adventure, “Follow That Tiny-Dactyl,” Danny and Lin follow a tiny pterodactyl to a secret laboratory, and find themselves shrink-ified and surrounded by dinosaurs. Soon, they’re enlisted by Professor Penrod, the paleontologist who discovered the Microsaurs, to watch them while he goes looking for more. Who knew that tracking one tiny pterodactyl would open up such a giant world of adventure?

The book features amusing illustrations, cool gadgets, and best of all, informative facts about the real-life dinosaurs on which the Microsaurs are based upon.

This new chapter book series is sure to appeal to dinosaur fans, daredevils, and young scientists alike.

The next volume in the series is called “Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack.” It’s due to be released in July 2017.

I have a copy of the book (and some other fun dinosaur goodies), but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet due to the holidays. Once I’ve had the opportunity to read the book I will update this post with my thoughts.

From what I can tell it’s an easy read. It’s targeted to 2nd – 5th graders (ages 7-10) and has 224 pages.

Look for “Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl,” where ever books are sold. I do find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.



*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fire & Ice Book Series by an up and coming new author (giveaway ends 12/31/16)



Do you have a “Bucket List?” I do. In fact, my list is probably a mile long (if not longer). There are so many things I want to experience like sky driving, going face-to-face with a Great White Shark in one of those diving cages, visiting the Pyramids of Gisa, Egypt and seeing one of my photos published in a magazine or book. Chances are 99.99% of my Bucket List items will never be completed, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.

One of my Bucket List items that has been on my list since I was in 5th grade was to be a published author. In 7th grade I wrote a great story. My teacher loved it and it won an award from my school. I still have a copy of the story some where. I have always wanted to turn it into a book for children or maybe even ‘tweens.

I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a published author. I wouldn’t know the first place to go or how to begin. It seems like a difficult road to travel – taking a book from an idea to seeing it on a bookshelf, and I’m an adult. So imagine how incredibly impressive it is when a teenage can accomplish that very same thing.

Erin Forbes, a young lady who lives in upstate New York, has published her first book in a planned series of books at the “ripe old age” of 17. That is am impressive feat if you ask me. I’m a forth-something-year-old and I wouldn’t even know how to psyche myself up to sit down and get started, let alone already have a book published.

Erin discovered her love of writing at a very early age. Her Fire & Ice book series has been in the works for some time now.

The first book in the series, Fire & Ice: The Elementals, is available at a book store near you, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Fire & Ice: The Elementals, would probably be considered fantasy for young adults. I’m an older adult and I found the book to be entertaining and engrossing, so slapping a YA (Young Adult) label on it might not be appropriate.

Here is the official book synopsis;

Welcome to Aisling, an enchanted realm where each individual is born with a unique and magical Gift. For centuries this realm has been slowly crumbling due to an ancient curse set on the land. However, the moment that Alice and Emery Hanley step into the Academy for Gifted Youth, their lives are forever changed. Amidst the disappearance of a fellow student, the twin sisters discover a prophecy that could save the realm of Aisling from destruction.

The description alone I found to be intriguing. It brought to mind other stories like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. There are people with magical gifts, fairies, evil being (unseen “beasts”) and more.

First and foremost I found Erin’s use of descriptions amazing. She is very descriptive in her book, so much so that she vividly paints a picture for you in your head based on the words you read on the pages of the book. It’s like watching a movie of the book as you are reading it in your head. She describes every nuance and every vivid detail from people’s hair is to the way the sunlight reflects off of something. Everything is described in great detail.

The descriptions also stem from the main character (Alice) being very observant about her surroundings. She is very in tune with everything around her.

Both girls are “gifted,” as are their classmates at the academy. It’s hard enough being a teenager and learning your way through the world. To add a “gift” on top of that, makes things a bit more interesting. For that reason I think this book has a lot to do with growing up, accepting yourself and your abilities and coming to understand and appreciate who you are, which is a powerful and important message for any young adult (or even adult for that matter). It also has a lot to do with friendship and family.

At the academy the girls learn about a curse that threatens the magical realm they inhabit. Unlike similar fantasy novels, I don’t consider it “dark” or scary like Lord Voldemort and his “death eaters,” in the Harry Potter series.


It’s hard to put into words. I’m not as descriptive as Miss Forbes. This is an adventure story, with its twists and turns, but it’s done in a more “gentle way,” for lack of a better description. Hopefully that makes sense.

The “beasts” in this book are unseen, which could be pretty scary when you think about it.

The characters in this book are not only likable, I find them easy to relate too. I also think that the girls in this book are positive role models for young girls who might be reading the book. Girls can be heroes just as much as boys can be.

This is the type of book you could probably finish reading in a day or two. Sadly, I don’t have the time to sit and read like I’d like to. I have piles of magazines in my living room waiting to be read (and those articles are just a page or two). This book took me about a month to read ONLY BECAUSE I don’t have the physical time to read most books, except for a chapter here and there if I’m lucky.

For her very first book, Erin comes off as a professional writer – meaning – you would think she had been writing for many years. It’s hard to believe such a young lady can write such a well written, incredibly detailed, enchanted story like Fire & Ice: The Elementals.

I like how the story ends off too. You could read just this one book and feel “satisfied.” Or you can wait for the next book in the series. The ending can go either way (complete the story or segue into the next volume). The book left me wanting more – which is exactly what you want in the first book of a series.

I am a big fan of gifting books for the holiday season. Books make great stocking stuffers too. If you have a young adult in your life, a book like Fire & Ice: The Elementals would be a great gift option. Or if you just want to “gift” yourself a great read for a chilly winter night, this book is a great option for you as well.

If you would like to learn more about Fire & Ice: The Elementals, visit the official website, www.FireandIceBookSeries.com. You can also find the book series on social media. All of the links are found on the top of the website.

Be sure to check out Erin’s blog for new illustrations, updates, events, and even contests. If you live in upstate New York you may even be able to attend a book signing.



Speaking of book signings, I have an autographed copy of the book, Fire & Ice: The Elementals, and some fun buttons, to give to a lucky reader. 

These giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 31, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win a copy of this book and/or who the book would be for (you or someone else).

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a free copy of this book for review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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