October 22

Eccolo 6 x 8 Inches Refillable Journal

Notebook shown in Black Fleur-De-Lis
Review2

It doesn’t feel or look anything like leather. There aren’t a lot of pages, but that’s why it’s great that it’s refillable, and you can buy the notebooks that go inside, from amazon at their store. I will probably buy the insert once I’m done with the one it came with. Only wish that it had more pages, and that it was college ruled. I really like that the notebook came with a ribbon bookmark. I give this notebook a 5/5! I recommend it to all you notebook users who are flying through your notebooks that are not refillable.

 

 

 

 

5Elizabeth
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September 27

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Seders {Review}

Review2
This is a story of the quirky family David Sedaris grew up with and how it made him the person he is today. He has a crazy family that is described with some very interesting and fun stories. I did find some of the stories to be frustrating to the point where I wanted to shake him and some of his family/friends. The things they would say. The numbness are easy to relate to and inevitably you will relate to at least one of the stories in this book.

I’ve heard this isn’t one of the better books by David Sedaris. I cannot compare since is the fist book of his I’ve read, but I do plan on giving some of his other books a chance since I’ve heard great things about them. I’d love to read what your opinion is on David Sedaris and what books you might recommend after reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

The final rating for this book is a 3/5.

3

Elizabeth

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September 26

Homeland Conspiracy by Gary Fuller {Review}

Review2

I did not read Mr. Fuller’s previous book to the conspiracy series, and I did not have any difficulty while reading Homeland Conspiracy. It’s pretty fast paced and everything flows really nicely keeping the reader intrigued for the entire book. The plot is all over place and I found it very difficult to predict. I always enjoy books that keep me on my toes, never knowing where the next page will take me. Steven Grant can do it all! He can fight bad guys while being suave and smooth in his romantic life. He’s the perfect character to love! I give this book 5/5.

 

 

5

Elizabeth

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September 17

A Journey in Time by Maureen Francis Doyle {Review}

Review2 Don’t fear if you don’t know much about the potato famine that occurred during the 1800’s in Ireland, because reading this book will catch you up to what happened. A Journey in Time takes you up close and personal to the difficulties that occurred during that time period in all aspects of a persons life. I love that it’s based on actual events. Knowing that what I’m reading actually happened somewhere to someone, makes it that much more emotional, making it easier to empathize with the characters agony.

It definitely had enough substance to keep me from putting the book down, and I finished it in one sitting. I am going to recommend this to a a few people who love history, that will absolutely enjoy this book. I give it a 4/5.

4

Elizabeth

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September 16

The Portable Door by Tom Holt {Book Review}

Review2J.W. Wells & Co. Book One

This is the first book I’ve read from Tom Holt. His imagination is unlike anyone else.

The plot that involves The Portable Door, doesn’t come until the second half of the book. It gives time for the main characters to believe that the bizarre events and things around them are now part of their ever day life. Their lives change drastically the moment Paul and Sophie are hired at J.W. Wells & Co. and sign a contract sealing their fate. In fact the only ones who don’t seem to know about Paul and Sophie’s fate, are Paul and Sophie themselves.

Anything and everything can and will happen in this book. It’s full of mystery, suspense, and most of all, fantasy. With a wild imagination and the talent to piece it all together in one book, Tom Holt proves he can take you on an adventure like no other.

I already added the rest of Tom Holt’s books to my giant stack of books to be read. I give The Portable Door a 4/5.

4

Elizabeth

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August 7

The Science of Why by David Forbes {Book Review}

Review2The Science of Why: Decoding Human Motivation and Transforming Marketing Strategy

This book dives into a whole new world of marketing. The things advertisers to appeal to a certain person or a personality type. Mr. Forbes plainly knows what he is talking about, as he is founder of Forbes Consulting, working for over twenty years as a strategic marketing research consultant, dedicated to creating business advantages through psychological consumer opinions and reactions. He even has a Ph.D in cognitive psychology. Dr. Forbes has won many awards and has been recognized for many years.

It really is quite fascinating how you can change the idea or the perception of an advertisement based on how you promote, what your main focus is on, and the personality type you are engaging. At times the book read like a textbook, but I was intrigued enough to doodle some notes. David Forbes does a good job at keeping your attention focused on the book, while also being educational and direct. A main topic is explaining how to make an emotional connection with the consumer, so it would only make sense that he would be able to do so with the consumers of his book.

I always knew about the things Mr. Forbes discusses in his book, but I have yet to read a book that describes and explains it so well, that I walked away knowing I learned something, that is until I read The Science of Why. This isn’t just a great book for an advertiser or someone who works for marketing, but also the consumers who are affected by the advertisements you view on a daily basis. Without a question, this is a 5/5 book.

5

Elizabeth

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July 29

Looking for Alaska by John Green {Book Review}

Review2

I haven’t been a huge fan of John Green’s writing, and for majority of this book I didn’t think my opinion would change. It wasn’t until I read the Readers Guide from the Collectors Edition of this book. There were many questions that I had concerning the writing style of Mr. Green, and his answers definitely gave me a new perspective on his method of writing.

Let me share with you one of the questions from the Readers Guide.

  • Alaska wasn’t introduced as fully as the other characters even though the book largely centers around the effect she had on people (like the Colonel). Is that intentional?

I found this to be quite odd the whole time I was reading the book, and I wrongly assumed it was written unintentionally, making me think wrongly on the author. His answer is exactly what I needed to make me look at the book in a whole new light. I appreciate the intent he has in his writing style, and I actually enjoy the book much more after this specific question.

After reading Looking for Alaska, I am probably going to go back and re-read his other books, and give them another try. As for this book, I give it a 4/5. Since the collectors edition with the readers guide was a last minute purchase I realize that the questions I enjoyed so much, were not part of the book, and if it weren’t for the questions, I would have a different opinion on this book. I’ll probably re-read the book and see if my rating changes from there.

4

Elizabeth

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July 28

Rational Polemics by Richard Todd Devens {Review}

Tackling the Ethical Dilemmas of Life

I doubt that anyone can read this book and not find at least one topic to be very controversial for them. The topics were brought up with the intentions of being thought provoking regardless if you agree with the authors points of view.

I know I found myself questioning what I actually believe in, versus what I think I’m supposed to or feel obligated by society, to believe in.

I did find it a bit tedious to get through the whole book, not just because it was full exhausting questions, but because almost all of it was written in opinions and had very little to do with any facts. I finished the book none the less, and I’m glad I did. This is for the reader who isn’t concerned about the facts of dealing with ethical dilemmas in life, and just wants to exercise your mind and questions what is and is not, than this is the book for you.

This book can be read in any order since the chapters are basically comprised of a different topic for each. Skip one, come back to it, read them out of order, it’s all up to you which makes this a great read to be picking up every now and again.

I’d give this book 3/5. Definitely worth the price of the book, and worth the time I spent reading it. I know quite a few people who love this kind of book and would really have fun with all the thought provoking topics discussed.

3

Elizabeth

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July 25

The Dom Around the Corner by Christine D’abo {Review}

Review2

Surprisingly, this BDSM novel has a gentle side to the plot. The connection between Simon and Gavin. It starts off innominate between them but slowly they begin to see each other for who they are in and outside of the club.

They each have baggage and insecurities that they deal with differently throughout the book, but together they work well together. Their characters are sweet, and flirtatious but also provocative, and enticing.

I normally don’t read this specific type of erotica, but I did find it risqué and seductive. The plot is simple and straight forward, with little to no twist or excitement, but the sex is abundant and kinky. It was a quick read that got straight to the point from the very beginning.

I think it needed a bit more plot to the story, it wouldn’t have needed much more to make this a read where you could get more attached to the characters. I give this book a 4/5.

4

Elizabeth
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July 24

Live Your Balanced Life Now by Subhashree Rout {Review}

Review2A Guide to Finding “True” Balance, Enjoying More Time and Living a Life of Abundance, Pure Joy and Love

With chronic stress comes pressure, and fatigue. In times of economic downfall and job availability, it causes a wave of stress and depression that can affect almost anyone in society. It takes a toll on us emotionally and even physically.

At some point everyone will feel the pressures of life. Stresses in the workplace, at home, our social environment, and medical issues, can all lead to an unbalanced life. Focusing on yourself first, above everyone else is most important and key to starting the decline of the stress in your life, which can be spread to others in your family, or social groups if not controlled.

This book goes into explanation of leading a balanced life, and explaining how a balanced society is a shared responsibility. This book is easy to read and comprehend, making it a book for anyone and everyone. The paragraphs are short and to the point with great description and examples. The book is short enough for a plane ride, or even a waiting room. It’s easily rated at a 5/5.

5

Elizabeth

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July 12

Hierarchies of Greed by Michael Patrick Clark {Review}

Review2
This book takes place during the Cold War, with the first chapter taking place in London with a Russian spy. This book is definitely a book of espionage and thrill that will have you turning page after page, on the edge of your seat.

It’s very well written with great detail, that displays a perfect image of what is taking place during the bard times of the Cold War. Misery and sorrow are definitely portrayed properly in this book, as I felt strong and sad emotions during this read.

The author is going to throw a lot of characters at you, so I’d recommend keeping track of the names mentioned. I took a lot of mental notes, and even added a few in my kindle. It’s a book I am going to recommend to my grandfather, because I know he likes these types of books. I give it 5/5.
5
Elizabeth

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July 11

Leaving Time Sidekick by Jodi Picoult by Katherine Miller {Review}

Review2This is not only a sidekick to Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult but also a good summary and detailed explanation of what the book is about. It’s definitely something that would come in handy for book clubs, or just overall having a conversation with a friend while discussing the book.

Katherine Miller does a great job at going in depth and explaining difficult or confusing parts of the books. Since parts of the book can be taken in different directions, Ms. Miller goes over the different aspects and what different points of view there are on each chapter.

I found this book to be very informative, and wouldn’t mind re-reading Leaving Time again, along with this sidekick by Katherine Miller just to get the full experience of the book. It really helps you understand the characters and what they represent and who they are at their core.

I wouldn’t read this book if you hadn’t already read Leaving Time because it would ruin a lot of great moments in the book. It’s definitely something you should read along side one another. The chapters are all broken down so its easy to know what part of the book Katherine Miller is discussing and what she is specifically explaining.

This is especially great for those who have already read Leaving Time but didn’t get everything from the book, or ended the book feeling like they didn’t understand everything. The sidekick doesn’t leave anything out, and is a perfect companion to the book by Jodi Picoult. I highly recommend this and rate it at 5/5.

5

Elizabeth

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July 10

Finding Purpose and Joy by Roger Ladig {Review}

Review2Feeling a void inside of him, Roger and wasn’t willing to follow the lifestyle of Christianity, that he was raised with. It wasn’t until his wife got sick that he accepts Christ as their savior. This is just the beginning of his journey to finding purpose and joy.

This book is filled with helpful information. I especially liked when he discussed the repercussions to holding on to hurt and anger.

Roger Ladig is direct and gets the point across without being over-wordy. At the end of each chapter there are bullet points on what to ponder about, concerning the chapter you just finished.

I found the book to be informative and quick to read. I would rate it at a 5/5.

5

Elizabeth

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July 9

Are They Bad Girls or Brilliant? by Aphrodite Phoenix {Review}

Review2

The Truths Behind the Fight for Independent Prostitutes’ Rights
This is a non-fiction book containing graphic sexual tales from the authors point of view. She explains her reasons behind almost every action. Coming from her point of view, as someone who sells herself in exchange for sexual encounters, the reader can get a better understanding of what it’s like to have her job, why she choose the profession she did, and how she felt about the experiences that stick out the most in her memory.

The author goes into detail on how she became good at reading people, with body language and speech, and how she sexually accommodates each individual differently, based on what she can perceive and learns from them.

She makes it perfectly clear that her choice to exchange money for sex, is her personal preference. She isn’t being exploited. She simply works on her own, and enjoys the profession. There are many pros and cons to being labeled as a prostitute and she goes into detail on each one.

It was an interesting to read about the challenges and excitement of being a call-girl. People judge so quickly, but I doubt anyone knows about most of the information contained in this book. It doesn’t give the go-ahead on becoming a prostitute but simply explains them, giving the reader a better understanding on a judged and misunderstood profession.

I do warn that she goes into great detail on her adventures with different clients, and is absolutely an X rated book. Considering the author does a great job at explaining without leaving anything out to be misunderstood, I would give this a 5/5. It’s written in a way, that even the most prude of people, could possibly change their viewpoints on this industry.
5
Elizabeth
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July 8

Kimjongilia by Victor Fox {Review}

A True Story of Romance and Sacrifice from North Korea

Review2

Victor Fox gave me a whole different perspective on the society in North Korea. This story is based on true events, and some of it gives me the chills knowing horrific things happen in different parts of the world. It has an abundance of Korean culture that I found to be very interesting, and enjoyed reading each new piece of information.

With all the emotions portrayed and revealed, I couldn’t help my heart racing and aching for the pain endured in this rollercoaster of a story. Fox has a unique way to bring romance into the story which is beautiful and touching.

There books hits almost every single genre, with thrill, romance, and historical fiction. It kept me on the edge of my seat, with drama and the sense of adventure. It’s very well written, giving any reader a great mental picture of the experiences each character encounters.

I normally do not initially go for a book like this one, but something about it intrigued me, and I’m glad I tried something that was sort of out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait to recommend this to some of my friends and family and discuss the book with them. Absolutely a 5/5.

5

Elizabeth

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July 7

Sinners Heart by Ann Marsiliano {Review}

Review2Johnny is one of the main characters, and he is the most selfish person you will ever read about. He believes everyone around him is there to serve him and give him everything he needs or wants. Because of his horrible selfish behavior, his father gives him the choice to shape up, or get out. In his father’s eyes, Johnny is his only.

As Johnny’s life spirals out of control, despite his fathers initial financial help, he is still determined to show everyone that he isn’t who they think he is.

At times I found this book to be a bit confusing, but I was impatient, and didn’t let everything come together with the plot as the pages went on. It wasn’t the typical writing style you see today, but it kept my intrigue enough to finish the book, and I found it wasn’t half bad.

It wasn’t normally the type of book I find myself reading, but I did enjoy it. Especially when all the puzzle pieces finally came together. I’d rate this book a 4/5.

4

Elizabeth

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July 6

Kate’s Escape from the Billable Hour by Petula Parker {Review}

Review2Kate’s in search of a much needed “sanity break” from her job at  Krapp & Lipschitz, L.L.P.,”Scottsdale’s Law Firm with Arizona Values.” After her annual review going unpredictably bad, receiving a smoked ham and concealer, a nice reminder that she looks to juvenile in the workplace and should be covering her freckles.

Kate’s coming to the conclusion maybe she’s not as happy as she thought she was with her life in and out of her job. Kate suddenly heads Barcelona with a one way ticket and no real direction, except for an idea that she should find the foreign exchange student, Diego Salazar who stayed with her family many years ago.

She doesn’t leave before she does some immature havoc on the office; switching family photos from desk to desk, saving porn as screensaver, throwing up in a urinal, squats and scans her ass sending to all the attorneys, and even tags the witches wall with the concealer “saying conceal this bitch.”

Kate is a quirky and can be a bit snarky giving you a good understanding and feeling of her character. She has quite a good deal of comedic antics and thoughts that really build her up throughout the book. There are quite a few times I heard myself actually giggle at the things she says, and the incidents she inevitably finds herself in

It’s a fun, light, enjoyable read that I believe most woman, especially woman attorneys, will find this a very funny book. Great for beach reading. For anyone interested in this genre and type of book, it’s a 5/5.

5

 

Elizabeth

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July 5

Moscow Venture by A.K. Celer {Book Review}

Review2
This story takes place during the fall of the Soviet Union, also involving the CIA, KGB, and complete with details of the main points of the Cold War. Of course the Cold War, with the CIA, and KGB have lots of conspiracies, spies, and secrets.

This isn’t a book about action and adventure, but can be better categorized as a thriller or suspense. It didn’t have enough to keep me completely hooked, but enough for me to want to finish the book and see how the book came to an end. There is lots of information on Russian Politics, which must be comprehended to fully grasp what is happening in the rest of the story. Of course with fraud and murder, you’re bound to be intrigued as to what happens next, and it was this aspect that helped the story to go by much easier.

There are a lot of plots and different settings that occur during this read, and details are spread evenly throughout the whole book, giving you a little piece of the picture, chapter by chapter. The characters are described well enough to predict their next move based on personality type.

Overall considering the amount of information thrown at you, the main plot, and the writing style this is definitely a book worthy of 4/5.

4

Elizabeth

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July 4

Bully by Emme Dunn {Book Review}

Review2Emme Dunn is putting her name out in the world with quite a unique reputation with this book. It can only be categorized as LGBT, gay and lesbian, legal thriller. It will events based on true events that will show the reader how the American Justice System and the LGBT community go together, and reveal the struggles between the two.

Emme Dunn seems to know quite a bit about the Justice System and how the LGBT community is being affected by it’s prejudice, rules, and laws. It takes place in the 1980’s so the times are a bit outdated compared to what is going on in society today.

The pace of the story was a bit slow for me, but considering the topics, it was important that things were explained for everyone to understand, regardless of their knowledge of this particular subject. Plus, the characters needed quite a bit of description to get a full grasp on what type of people they were, and what their struggles were during this time. Once you get past the half way mark in the book, things start picking up, after you’re familiarized with everyone and the situations around them, after that the reading should be a breeze.

I found this to be an educational and interesting read, and is definitely worth recommending to many of my friends who I know will enjoy this read. I give this a 4/5.

4

Elizabeth

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July 3

The Wizard and the Warlord by M.R. Mathias {Review}

Review2

The Wardstone Trilogy Book 3
Mathias did a great job at concluding the series in the last book The Wizard and the Warlord. He introduces us to a very magical world. This book in particular was very descriptive, or maybe I already had a clear image of everything so reading the third book was a breeze, either way I really enjoyed the last book of this trilogy.

As a fantasy book, this book and series did not disappoint. It has great descriptions making the story very easy to visualize. I found the ending to the series to be very dramatic and captivating, making reading the whole series a well worth adventure.

At times it felt like it was becoming a bit rushed, with excitement to the finale. Again, it could have been my own excitement trying to fly through the pages to conclude all the build up that occurred throughout the trilogy. There were some characters I had grown very attached to during the three books, that had no definitive conclusion making me a bit frustrated, but maybe it’s a clue to a spin off series by Mathias.

This book, being the last in the series, could probably even be read as a stand-alone book considering how much information is given, but I would still recommend starting with book one, since Mathias takes you on quite a long and fun ride. It includes new characters, as well as continuation of the characters from the previous books.

I did notice a few inconsistencies throughout the book that were distracting, and left things unexplained. It wasn’t enough of a problem for me to not say I loved this series, and will probably read it again in the future to fill in the spots I probably missed by my own excitement flying through the pages. I give this book and the entire trilogy a 5/5.
5
Elizabeth
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The Wizard and the Warlord (The Wardstone Trilogy, #3)

Check out other books in the trilogy

Book 1: The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias

Book 2: Kings, Queens, Heroes, and Fools by M.R. Mathias

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March 22

Unbound by Kara Jaynes {Review}

Review5

Oppressors go into the forest where the savages live, and kidnap the people that live there. They claim them as slaves and take them back to the city where they live. The savages have a collar that is connected to their masters arm band which can shock the slave at anytime. Initially the savages are broken in by shocking them and breaking them of their ways of the forest.

Adaryn is a savage that lives off the land, until she is captured by Aaric who feels he needs a slave to meet social acceptance. Fortunately for Adaryn she is not broken in like other slaves are in the city. She is cared for, and deep down inside she knows she will not be harmed.

It’s a story about the connection between what is supposed to be an oppressor and a savage. They find that they are both just humans and grow closer. He does not see her has a savage, despite what society has taught him, and she learns that he is not like any other oppressor she has heard of.

This is a short novella, which makes it a quick and fun read. It’s really very sweet and I enjoyed the read. I give it a 5/5 and look forward to reading more from Kara Jaynes.

51

elizabeth

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March 17

TJ by Boris Beedle {Review}

Review2

A young actor is intrigued on who his father is, and hires a private investigator to search him out and report back. TJ and his father share a first name, and that’s all TJ thinks they have in common. To TJ’s surprise, his father, Tony actually shows up to the hotel they had arranged to meet at.

Tony isn’t surprised at the choice of hotel the private investigator told him to meet his son. It’s extravagant, and luxurious, a lifestyle Tony isn’t used to, but he knows his son is, from reading the many tabloids over the years.

This is a book about Tony who abandoned his son and daughter at age six because of the insanity TJ’s mother, grandmother, and aunt put them through. Finally TJ and Tony can both agree that his mother is a hard woman to live with, and his aunt and grandmother are just as bad.

When TJ and Tony finally meet, it’s a lot of back and forth conversation that leads to a lot of defensiveness. Tony thinks TJ wants a meaningful relationship, with a heart felt apology. TJ wants…well, I don’t think TJ knows what he wants.

Throughout a big portion of the book, they share different parts of their lives with one another. In between almost every subject they come upon, they argue a bit. I wondered what would be Tony’s breaking point, that he finally cut the conversation off and left.

TJ and Tony are interesting characters that seem very similar in personality and opinions, they just don’t know that. Their dialogue was sometimes so choppy it was difficult to tell who was speaking. A large part of the book is just the meeting they have in the hotel, and the conversations they had during their first introduction. I felt like the book repeated itself, bringing up the same subjects with the same expressed opinions. Overall, it’s a good book for those that don’t mind a lot of dialogue, and a limited amount of settings. I’d give it a 3/5.

3

Elizabeth

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March 13

Whorticulture by Marie-Anne Mancio {Review}

Review2

Four women who have never met, or even know of each others existence, but yet they are all connected through one man. It takes place during antebellum period, which was a much different time period than today’s time, so the subject matter wasn’t as controversial as I once thought before opening the book.

You can tell that a lot of research and studying went into the making of this book which was full of detail and realistic scenarios that might have happened during this time period.

At first I was concerned that this book was going to be about nothing but whores, but it turned out to be so much more. Its about survival as a woman, and doing what they felt they had to, in order to get through life and make their life work.

The book categorizes men and other people into one large group, which I found a bit untrue and a bit jaded like. They go over how all men are bad people, and to me that is just over categorizing.

Overall I found the book to be accurate to the time period, entertaining, and dramatic to the point of intrigue, but not to the point of being over the top. I’d rate this book at 5/5.

51
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Death And Disappearances: An Urban Paranormal Mystery

Steve Madden
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March 12

Death and Disappearances by Richard Smiraldi {Review}

Review2
A Tale of Horror and the Occult
I could not categorize this book into just one category. Its a psychological thriller and a mystery with a paranormal twist. I think it will appeal to quite a wide range of readers. It also has quite a dark tone that I found to be the most exciting part of the book.
The beginning of the story starts off kind of slow, but if you can get through the first two chapters, you wont be let down. Eventually you will be sucked in by intrigue and thought provoking. Smiraldi paints a great picture in my head with his creative use of words.
The story is a complicated twist of events, but you definitely had to make sure you were paying attention to all the small details, because they eventually come back around later in the book. The whole book is full of twists and turns that were all very unexpected, but enjoyable.
Richard Smiraldi has a great imagination that I found to be the aspect to keep me hooked on the book. He develops the characters in a strong and realistic way. They are all relatable and I felt like I knew each and every one, on a personal level. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the mystery, suspense, thriller, or paranormal books and give this book a 5/5.

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March 11

Prince Leather 14 inch Treasure Chest {Review}

Review2

I was looking for a trunk, or box of some sort for my essential oils, and other supplies. I had been searching for days for the right size with the right price. I fell in love with this one the second I saw it. It was a great size, and the price is great!

It was delivered very quickly, coming just as described in the description. I am seriously considering buying from them again. Maybe the same box, or I might change it up and get a bigger one.

I love that it has a handle on the top, making it easy for me to carry around without any of the bottles inside tipping over. It’s lined on the inside, making it very fancy. I really love it! I would definitely rate this trunk at a 5/5.

5

Elizabeth


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