Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thursday Ramblings

Another DawnI've been feeling ill for the last few days, and, no surprise, I now have a cold sore. I'm behind in my wirting, reading, and reviews. I'm planning on catching up and writing some reviews tomorrow afternoon. I'm ready to start Another Dawn by Kathryn Cushman, I hope to finish it quickly.

Despite feeling ill, I have managed to do Tae Bo everyday, and have lost 3 pounds. I joined, which is a great site to track your daily exercises and keep a food journal.

The Art of Romance (The Matchmakers)Wanted (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)I saw part of the movie Wanted on FX several weeks ago. I had never heard of the movie before, and liked the parts that I saw. I bought the DVD and have watched the movie twice. I also watched the Tourist and Salt, which all star Angelina Jolie. I enjoyed Salt. I thought the Tourist was a little boring, but I liked the ending.

In the mail this week: The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus. It looks like a good read.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thursday Ramblings - April 21, 2011

MissingI can't believe the cold weather this week. I thought this was spring! I had to bundle up just to mow the yard. I stopped making up excuses this week and decided to get back into shape. Today was my second day of the Tae Bo DVDs, and I'm a little sore, but motivated.

To writers/publishers: If you have a review request, I will get to it when I can. I'm a little behind on my reading/reviewing, but I'm trying to catch up as fast as I can.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book OneIn the mail this week: Colby Agency: The New Equalizers: Missing by Debra Webb; and Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott.

I bought the book Games of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, which is now a new series on HBO. I enjoyed the first episode, and I'm looking foward to the new show on Sunday night.

Review - Hungry for You

Hungry For YouHungry for You
BY: A.M. Harte
PUBLISHED BY: 1889 Labs Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1926959047
Pages: 84
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I never thought an author could combine romance and zombies, but that is exactly what A.M. Harte has done in the anthology Hungry for You. Yes, even in an apocalypse, zombies need love to. The book is a fast read at under a hundred pages, covering eleven beautifully written stories of love, heartache, and the dead rising. Over the last few years, there have been countless zombie books and movies, so it was nice to read a new take on the genre.

The anthology starts out with Promises, a haunting tale of a newly turned zombie and his soon-to-be zombie love. My favorite is Hungry for You, taking place after the dead has risen, and where there is a ZombieAide helping the dead and zombie prostitutes walking the street. Other great reads is Dead Man’s Rose, a tale you will remember long after you finished reading it, and A Prayer for Garlic, a twisted tale.

I do not read many anthologies, mostly because it is difficult to review them. Normally, by the time I am finished reading the book I have forgotten what the stories where about. Hungry for You is a short read, and the stories are memorable. I recommend the anthology to horror readers, and zombie lovers.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Review - Joe-Joe Nut & Biscuit Bill

The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut & Biscuit Bill
Case #2: Mineral Mischief
BY: Renee Hand
PUBLISHED BY: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-87839-415-9
Pages: 74
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

After saving a young lion, Arsalean, from bullies, Detective Joe-Joe Nut and Detective Biscuit Bill are called upon by the Moo household. Maple Moo’s rare mineral, a combination of benitoite and neptunite minerals, is missing from her collection. The mineral is very valuable. The last time Maple Moo saw the mineral is when she showed it to her friends, Candy Cardinal, Brutus and Betty Blue Beaver, Liam the Llama, and Huckleberry Moose, who all collect rocks. The detectives suspect foul play is at hand.

Detective Joe-Joe Nut and Detective Biscuit Bill visit each suspect, looking for clues to solve the mystery. Who stole the valuable mineral?

The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill: Case #2: Mineral Mischief is a fun mystery for both children and adults to read. I enjoyed each illustration of the animal characters, especially the squirrel detective, Joe-Joe Nut. The plot is simple, Maple Moo’s mineral is missing and the detectives are there to solve the mystery. Besides being a fun story, children can learn amazing things about minerals. There are two fun experiments, parental supervision is required, in the back of the book, along with a rock cycle chart. Overall, I loved reading about the Mineral Mischief, and I recommend the book to everyone.

About the Author
Renee Hand is an award-winning author, educator, tennis coach and various other things. She has been writing for over twenty years and has been a published author for five years with six works published. She writes for various chronicles and newsletters, as well as writing book reviews for various authors of children´s books on her blog,

Renee has also received awards for her works. For Magic Hearts she won a Best 2006 Fantasy Romance award. Her second romance novel Seduction of the Lonely Heart won a National Literary Award for Best Romance of  2007.  She is thankful for these two awards. Book 1 of her new children's series, The Crypto-Capers in The Case of the Missing Sock, won a preferred choice award for 2009 by Creative Child Magazine.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Review - Sweet Valley Confidential

Readers, Beware! This Review Contains Spoilers.

Ten years has passed since the blonde California twins, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield graduated from Sweet Valley High, and many things have changed. Elizabeth, now 27-years-old, has been living in New York for the last few months working as a writer for the online magazine Show Survey: Off Broadway, a weekly magazine that is struggling to survive in the rocky economy. Elizabeth moved away from Sweet Valley eight months ago after she learned that her on and off again high school boyfriend, Todd, and love of her life, had a one-night stand with Jessica. To make matters worse, Jessica and Todd are in love. Even more shocking, is that Elizabeth’s best friend is Bruce Patman.

After a short-lived marriage to an older man, Jessica is struggling to enjoy her life in Sweet Valley with her fiancé, Todd. Elizabeth will not return her calls and Jessica feels the guilt of betraying her. Their Sweet Valley friends are gossiping about the affair, and question what Jessica has done to her sister.

Elizabeth wants to return to Sweet Valley for her grandmother’s birthday, but does not want to see Jessica and Todd. Elizabeth comes up with a plan, well it is more like revenge. She brings along a good-looking male actor friend, Liam, who is just like every other boyfriend Jessica has had. Elizabeth’s plan backfires, as Liam actually finds Jessica attractive. Todd gets jealous and causes a big scene. In the end the twins make up, Elizabeth ends up with Bruce and Jessica marries Todd.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Review - Miss Hildreth Wore Brown by Olivia deBelle Byrd

Olivia deBelle Byrd has compiled together over forty tales from her southern life. She uses stories about her husband, children, relatives, and friends. Her stories ranges from weddings, to shopping at Victoria’s Secret, trying to find a wife for her son, a trip to New York, her crush on Robert Redford, and to finding out why Miss Hildreth was wearing brown. You’ll even read about the do’s and dont's in the south.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Friday 56 - Courting Miss Amsel

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Courting Miss Amsel

Hank was one of the men who had told Joel he was
addlepated for digging irrigation ditches and letting some
of his soil rest each year rather than planting every acre.
page 56, Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Thursday Ramblings - April 14, 2011

Wow! This week has gone by fast. It is currently storming, and the KC Royals have just one their 8th game of the season. I have fallen a little behind in my writing, but I am hoping to catch up in the next few days. I will write a review for Sweet Valley Confidential and post it next week; I will also write/post a review for The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut & Biscuit Bill: Case #2: Mineral Mischief, the review will be posted on April 19!

Sweet Valley High: Three NovelsIn the mail this week, The Judgment by Beverly Lewis, and Sweet Valley High: Three Novels. I need to read the first book in the Beverly Lewis series and I still need to read her previous series. The Sweet Valley High books are Double Love, Secrets, and Playing with Fire. The cover is somewhat misleading; Francine Pascal is credited as the author instead of the creator. If I am correct, Kate William, who is not even mention in the book’s contents, ghostwrote these books. I do like the new enhanced cover.

You may not know this, but I am somewhat of a horror movie fan. I grew up on Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween movies. Surprisingly I never saw Hellrasier 1 & 2 until I was an adult, when I watched the cut version on AMC, in which the movie was very confusing. Hellraiser is based on the novel Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker. I stumbled upon Hellraiser on DVD around Halloween a few years ago, and finally understood the movie. There were several missing and out-of-order scenes in the AMC version. I bought the second movie a few months later, and liked it more than the TV version. Last year, I bought Hellraiser: Hellworld, one of four (soon to be five) made-to-DVD low-budget sequels. The movie was just okay. Pinhead had a small part, and it just felt like the producers were forced to throw Pinhead into a bad, random script.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth / Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
I have always been curious as to why Pinhead and his minions were molded into the statue at the end of Hellraiser 2. Today I was at Walmart; I glanced into $5.00 DVD bin and came to a stop. Guess what was in the bin? Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth! I grabbed the DVD eagerly and I noticed that it was not just one movie; it was a double feature. Hellraiser: Bloodline was also with it. I watched Hellraiser 3 earlier tonight, and I enjoyed it.

Review - I Love You, Be Careful

I Love You, Be CarefulI Love You, Be Careful
BY: Judy Snider and Joan Dickow
ISBN: 978-1-4535-6115-7
Pages: 36
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Not counting the introduction, “I Love You, Be Careful” are the only words repeated throughout the picture book written by real-life sisters, Judy Snider and Joan Dickow, with beautiful illustrations by Cady Driver. The theme of the book is that from the moment we enter into the world there is someone there who loves you and wants you to be safe.

The picture book takes you through the life of one girl. From birth, her first time walking, playing on a slide, holding her baby brother, riding her first bike, her first day of school, graduating high school, getting married, and so on.

I enjoyed reading and rereading I Love You, Be Careful. If you are having a bad day, reading the picture book will put a smile on your face. I recommend this book to both children and adults. And with Easter and Mother’s day just around the corner, this would make the perfect gift.

Author Website:

Author Bio:

Joan Dickow, Judy’s sister, lives in Berkley, Michigan wither husband, Fred and their cat, Coffee. This is her first book and she is currently working on her second picture book, The Porch Fairy.

Judy Snider, Joan’s sister lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, Gil, and two silly cats. She is the author of the CWA award-winning children’s picture book, Goldy’s Baby Socks, and on a team of authors of The Scared Purse.

Cady Driver paints portraits and murals, teaches art and donates her work to charitable organizations. She has also illustrated Icky, Sticky Pancake World by Patrick Wynn. You can view more of her work online at or contract her at She currently resides in Raleigh, NC wither husband and homeschools her three children.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Friday 56 - Sweet Valley Confidential

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later
The moment passes, and I feel like it would be awkward
and unimportant to correct them.
page 56, Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Thursday Ramblings - April 7, 2011

I hate the weather here in Missouri, one day it is warm and next day it is in the 40s, and when the weather goes cuckoo, so does my sinuses. I've been taking things easy over the last few days, but I have planned out a steampunk plot that I hope to get started on this weekend. I hope to have my time-traveling story finished in a few days, and I plan on editing the Trick-or-Spells story.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Review - Beside Still Waters

Beside Still Waters: A Big Sky NovelBeside Still Waters
BY: Tricia Goyer
PUBLISHED BY: B&H Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-14336-6868-5
Pages: 258
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

A horrible accident occurred the night Marianna Sommer was born. Eighteen years later, her parents are still grieving over that night. Marianna is looking forward to being baptized into the Amish church. She hopes to marry Aaron Zook, who promised her they will date the following year.

Her older brother, Levi, refuses to join the church, and he decides to leave the Amish community. Their parents decide that it would be best off if they move away from Indiana. Marianna doesn’t want to leave her friends, her future beau and her brother. Her mother is expecting another child and Marianna has no other choice, but to travel with her family to Montana.

With letters, she keeps in touch with her friends and Levi. She soon learns that the move will bring her closer to God.

I have read dozens of books about the Amish, but Marianna Sommer is probably my favorite character. She is a sweet, innocent girl who wants to honor her family, but she is a constant reminder to her parents of that horrible night she was born. My first thought was Levi was your typical Amish fiction character who loses his faith and leaves the community, but there is more depth to him. Throughout the story are neat journal entries and letters written by Marianna that help the book standout from other Amish fiction out there today. Overall, I enjoyed reading Beside Still Waters, and look forward to reading more from Tricia Goyer.

Blog Tour Schedule:

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. Visit for more info.