Search This Blog

Monday, June 27

Book Review - Darkwoods

BY: Marta Stahlfeld
PUBLISHED BY: Book Publishers Network
ISBN: 978-1-935359-77-7
Pages: 276
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this fantasy epic, mice, foxes, squirrels, and other land and sea creatures come alive in author Marta Stahlfeld’s debut. Darkwoods is forever changed when Scythe, the ruling oracle of the foxes, dies, causing feuds between the tribes. With the oracle gone, the animals wonder how the foxes will react, everyone agree that a bloody war will occur. The Wraith Mice, who can turn invisible, gather the squirrel, the Ranger Mice who guard the north border, the sea creatures, and the other tribes of Earth to help defend their land. A young wraith mouse, Princess Zuryzel, carries magical powers, and she is the next to become the a great leader, but can she overcome all odds and defeat the foxes.

The Darkwoods was an interesting, fun read in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Within reading the first chapter, you will realize that the author has a creative and unique imagination. I was hooked into the book, I instantly forgot that the characters were animals. The main character Zuryzel is a strong-willed, and every reader, young and old, can relate to her. I recommend the book to everyone.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.

Book Review - The Lady of Bolton Hill

Lady of Bolton Hill, TheThe Lady of Bolton Hill
BY: Elizabeth Camden
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0894-2
Pages: 335
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In the debut from Elizabeth Camden, as teenagers Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain were in love. Clara grew up at Bolton Hill as the a preacher’s daughter, but grew up to a journalist. Her love Daniel grew poor, as his father worked at a steel mill. After Daniel’s father dies in a tragic accident, Clara leaves for England. Over the next twelve years, their lives go in different directions. Clara’s journalism career is going strong, while Daniel has become a railroad tycoon. Circumstances occur causing Clara to leave England and is reunited with her long-lost-love. Daniel has changed since the last time they met. He is now a bitter man, wanting vengeance for his father’s death, and his faith in God has been lost. Daniel’s actions soon put Clara in mortal danger.

The Lady of Bolton Hill is an historical novel set in 1879 and spans England and the United States, and emerges in the booming technology era of the railroad. Unlike other Christian novels, the two main characters are already in love, and develops more on a plot than relationships. I, personally, had trouble getting interested in the novel. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters, which at times they felt a little bland. I did enjoy the historical accepts of the railroad boom, and Clara’s profession. It’s not a bad debut for the author, but I, overall, have mixed feelings for the novel. I would only recommend this book to other historical romance readers/fans.

*I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a copy to review.

Book Review - Meeting Your Match Online

Meeting Your Match Online: The Complete Guide to Internet Dating and Dating Services - Including True Life Date StoriesMeeting Your Match Online
BY: Tamsen Butler
PUBLISHED BY: Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-60138-152-1
Pages: 287
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Meeting Your Match Online: The Complete Guide to Internet Dating and Dating Services Including True Life Date Stories is an interesting take on the internet dating scene, that claims that 22 million people have visited a dating site in a month in 2008. That’s a lot of people, which explains why there are so many dating sites on the web. It seems that people are tried of the bar scene and would rather use the net to find a mate by narrowing down their age, religious affiliations, education, expectations, interests and hobbies before you ever meet them for coffee or whatever. But these dating sites have their disadvantages as well, like their personality is not as described, they don’t match their photo, or they have lied about their history.

Being single, I was interested in reviewing this book. There are dozens of real-life stories from people have successfully used dating sites and they give great tips on what to do and not to do in your profile. The book covers popular paid sites like eHarmony, PerfectMatch,com, Yahoo! Personals, and many others, even some you have never heard of. I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to anyone who has or is interested in online dating sites.

*I would like to thank Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc for sending a copy to review.

Saturday, June 25

Great Finds Issue #87

Here are my recent thrift store finds:


The Dragon Lord's Daughters
The Dragon Lord's Daughter
by Bertrice Small


Op-Center 01
Tom Clancy's Op-Center
Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik

Darkwood Manor (Harlequin Intrigue Series)
Darkwood Manor
by Jenna Ryan

Genuine Cowboy (Harlequin Intrigue)
Genuine Cowboy
by Joanna Wayne

An Affair Without End
Affair Without End
by Candace Camp

Spying on Miss Muller
Spying on Miss Muller
by Eve Bunting

Friday, June 24

Late Rambling & Friday Hops

Wow, this week has gone by fast. Where does the time go? I've been snacking on a few too many sweets this week, so I'm little scared to weigh this week. I got in my workout just before midnight. I plan on getting up early and doing my workout first thing in the morning. I hope that this will become a daily habit. I skipped a few workouts this week, which isn't good, and my diet hasn't been the best. Starting right now, I have to get myself back on track.

I know that I am behind in writing reviews. I'll have The Lady of Bolton Hill review written and posted later today. I'll write the review for Meeting Your Match Online tomorrow, too. I'm currently just started reading Darkwoods, which I hope to read a lot of tomorrow, because I want to start reading Dead to the World by Charlanie Harris before the new season of True Blood that starts Sunday night. Then, I'm jumping into all the e-books have to review for people.

Carte Blanche

Books in the mail this week: Colby Agency: The New Equalizers: Broken by Debra Webb; Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver; and Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans. I'm a fan of the latter, but I still haven't read several of his recent books. I'm excited about owning Carte Blanche which is the new 007 novel, since I'm a huge James Bond fan. I might read it after Dead to the World.

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of the picture book Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind! by Margot Finke. 

Blog of the Week:
Dead to the World (TV Tie-In): A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) 
Question of the Week: In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

My answer: I don't really have one, not unless the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris counts. I'm not that far in the series, but I do know that Sookie is a fairie, just like in the True Blood version.

Question of the Week: When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?

My answer: It was probably when I first started school as a child, and my teacher gave out a Scholastic book order form (I don't recall the exact name.) I would go through it with my mom and mark the books I wanted to order. (Books were a lot cheaper back then!) I always got excited when the teacher would carry a big Scholastic box into the classroom. She would pick a volunteer to help her sort through the orders. The teacher would call each student up to the table to pick up their books. I would be holding a pile a books in one arm, while opening a book with my free hand. I would be reading the first page before I returned to my desk.

Tuesday, June 21

World of Ink - Ruthie & the Hippo's Fat Behind & Giveaway

Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat BehindRuthie & the Hippo’s Fat Behind
BY: Margot Finke
PUBLISHED BY: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
PRINT ISBN: 978-1-61633-059-0
EBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-060-6
Pages: 16
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

After moving to a new town, the always nice girl, Ruthie, changed into a grumpy kid. Her moods were no longer happy, but were now ugly. Her parents don’t understand what is wrong with her, but Ruthie knows. She misses her friends and the life that she left behind. Its not just her attitude that changes, but Ruthie appearance changed too. She wore pants that wrinkled around her knees, her socks were mismatched, and she stopped brushing her hair. Ruthie no longer respected her parents, and said ‘no’ to them when they asked for help with something, and ignored her chores. Can Ruthie find happiness in her new life? Will she find a friend?

Sometimes adults forget that that children has emotions too, like with Ruthie. She is an angry little girl because she was ripped from the life and the friends that she has known. That is a big event for child and parents should look for signs of emotional trauma and help them get through the adjustments of moving. The author, Margot Finke, has cleverly written Ruthie & the Hippo’s Fat Behind, and has created a character, Ruthie, that every child can relate too. I recommend the book to all parents and kids.

1 copy of Ruth and the Hippo's Fat Behind
Open to followers of this blog with a US or Canadian mailing address
Ends June 28, 2011
You are not required to follow this blog to enter.
Followers receive one (+1) extra entry.

You must leave a comment to enter.
Your comment should also include any of the above actions for additional entries and your email (EXAMPLE: coffeeramblings AT

The winner will be announced in a seperate post on June 30th.

About the Author

Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. For many years she has lived in Oregon with her husband and family. Gardening, travel, and reading fill in the cracks between writing. Her husband is very supportive, and their three children are now grown and doing very well.

Margot didn't begin serious writing until the day their youngest left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day. Margot said, "I really envy those who began young, and managed to slip into writing mode between kid fights, diaper changes, household disasters, and outside jobs. You are my heroes!"

Her first books, a 7x book rhyming series, "Wild and Wonderful," offers fun facts about animals from the US and Australia. Educational and fun, eBooks can be read on a computer, laptop, or various color e-Readers. They are great for classroom or home schooling moms.


Write a comment on any participating blog during my June Book Tour,
and win a FREE COPY of this fun time-travel story.

One copy per person. Please leave your e-mail.
( Safe sample: mfinke AT )

Monday, June 20

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Currently Reading:


by Marta Stahlfeld


The Promise Angel
by Ruth Reid

I'm finally starting on this one this week!

A Modern Witch
A Modern Witch


Just Finished Reading:

The Lady of Bolton Hill
by Elizabeth Camden

Review coming this week!

Meeting Your Match Online
by Tamsen Butler

Reading Next:

Dead to the World
by Charlanie Harris

Goosebumps Hall of Horrors: Night of the Giant Everything
by R.L. Stine