Mar 29, 2012

Review ~ The 5 Love Languages of Children

The 5 Love Languages of Children

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. Dr. Gary Chapman’s groundbreaking Five Love Languages series has helped millions of couples communicate love more clearly, and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. has applied the innovative system to children as well. The 5 Love Languages of Children gives practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love and creating a sense of security in which

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Mar 28, 2012

Review ~ Lunch Hugs ~ Creative Cards for Kids

Did you know that 99% of people cannot lick their elbows?

With LunchHugs® Creative Cards for Kids this fact and a multitude of jokes, brainteasers and mushy mommies complete with fantastic graphics can make sending notes in your child’s lunches a lot of fun, not to mention easy and affordable. Thinking outside “the lunchbox”, LunchHugs® make great gifts for grandparents, parents, teachers and friends. You can even use them as cards to send with gifts. The choices are only limited by your imagination!

My Review :
~    Although my

Review ~ A Perfect Pet for Peyton

This wonderfully imaginative children’s hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four-color illustrations (with hidden details!) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love. Based on Gary’s highly successful The 5 Love Languages®, A Perfect Pet for Peyton tells an entertaining and playful story

Mar 26, 2012

Protect Your Teens ~ Book Tour

 Have you thought of the dangers your teen could be in daily?  Texting . . . Facebook. . . Social Media sites. . . and more?  These books tell some ways to help protect your teen.

Safe Text is the first in a series of books on helping parents and teachers to protect teens from the dangers of technology.This book covers the dangers and legal liabilities of texting, texting while driving, sexting, and cyber-bullying. The book tells parents what they can do to dialog with their teens about this topic.
There are a growing number of teens who are engaging in seriously harmful texting on their cell phones that can have long-term repercussions, from emotional scars, to legal ramifications or even death. Help your teen text safely. 
From Back Cover :
In the ‘80s, parents would joke that if they wanted to know how to operate their VCR, they would just ask their teen. Fast forward to today, and the saying now holds true for cell phones. Teens are very adept at learning the advanced functionality and technology that comes standard with many cell phones.

Cell phones, with their access to the Internet and texting capabilities, are not in and of themselves dangerous. Cell phones have improved our ability to communicate and help us accomplish many positive things. However, when you put this freedom and accessibility into the hands of teens whom have limited life experiences and maturity, you are inadvertently creating a potential risk for them.

When you look at the numbers …

*             73% of teens have cell phones
*             54% of all teens text message daily
*             22 % of teen girls and 20 % of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves
*             24% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell   phone usage
*             26% have been harassed through their cell phone by voice calls or text messages
*             47% have sent a text message they regretted sending
… and when many teens have unlimited texting cell phone plans, the opportunity for at-risk behavior increases significantly. Fortunately, you have this book and a variety of tools to help you keep your teen safe when texting … the foremost being education and a mutual agreement on how to use a cell phone responsibly. Following this Conclusion, I’ve included a Resources section with links to sites where you will find additional helpful tools and information. On the last page, you will find a sample parent / teen contract.

While the data would suggest that your teen may become one (or multiple) of these growing statistics, it is avoidable through taking action. As a loving, caring parent, I know you don’t want your teen to become a statistic. Make a commitment: “… not my kid”.

…even if your teens are online at home while you are there, are you aware of who they’re hanging out with and what activities they’re engaging in online? 

    Did you know …
In 2008 only 10% of colleges checked applicants’ social media activities and now approximately 80% check
Excerpt From Last Page :

I hope after reading this you have several ideas of how you can easily create college admissions and scholarship attracting social media and get it noticed through social networking sites to give your college bound teens an advantage. If, however, after reading this you and your teens are thinking, “Is this really necessary? Can’t we just let teens be teens?” Yes, you can. However, letting your teens just be teens means they will just be additional applicants hoping to get into college. You want better for them!

Better takes some dedication. However, if you consider that over 95% of teens are active in social networks sharing social media, chances are your teens are already active. So dedication doesn’t mean you have to necessarily do more, it just may mean they have to do something different. Separate from making some videos and adding a new profile or two to some of the social networking sites mentioned in this book, your teens’ activities might be accomplished in the time they’re already spending online.

They may need to change some of their habits from just hanging out with friends and being typically teens to cleaning up their profiles and what they share to make them attractive to college admissions officers. Plus, as you’ve read earlier, so many of the social networking sites now make it easy for members to share information between them. Adding new profiles and participating in one or two more networks doesn’t take much extra work. Moreover, creating social media and sharing it through social networks can be fun.

Here’s something else to consider … people with goals achieve far more than those without. By helping your teens set appropriate goals for getting accepted into the school of their choice, succeeding at securing a scholarship (or scholarships), and defining what they want their post-graduate life to look like, you will be able to define healthy, necessary actions they must accomplish now. Giving them focuses and some guidelines will give them an advantage!

While your current focus is likely consumed by thoughts of how to get your teens into college and how to pay for it, and your teens’ aren’t likely thinking beyond the first semester, the activities you and your teens take with the elements I’ve laid out in this book will have a significant impact on their future.

As more undergrad admissions officers are using social networking to connect with applicants and as part of their decision-making process, business schools, law schools and med schools are getting up to speed quickly, too. If your teens decide to enter the work force after their time in a 2-year or 4-year program, the business world is far more competitive in social networking and media than academia.

The sooner your teens can become proficient at successful social networking and media, the more competitive they will become at getting accepted into a college of their choice and getting a job post graduation. When your teens graduate, you don’t want them to step out into the extremely aggressive, competitive world of seeking employment only armed with a piece of paper that states they’ve earned a degree. Give your teens better. Give them an advantage. Give them the secrets in this book.
Best Regards,

Diane Griffin
President / CEO
Security First & Associates, LLC
To Learn more about Security First & Associates, please contact us@

Author Bio:
 Diane Griffin is the founder and President of Security First and Associates. Ms. Griffin works with a variety of clients throughout  industry. Ms. Griffin has also worked in a wide array of fields to include training, facilitation, communications, human resources and industrial security management and Ms. Griffin is the current Chaper Chair for National Classification Management Society (NCMS), Chapter 26

* This promotional post provided by Virtual Book Tour Cafe.  This is not a review.*

Sponsors needed for Mother's Day Giveaway Hop Event

I am looking for sponsors for a huge blog giveaway promotion in May for Mother's Day (over 200 blogs will be participating with a reach of over 200,000 individual people).

All sponsors will have their button/ad run on my blog as well as the sponsor list on the host blog for the month of May.  Sponsors will receive mandatory visits from anyone entering the giveaway contest. Sponsors will receive a promotional post on my blog prior to and during the giveaway contest (May 1 - 18, 2012).

Looking for books, ebooks, swag, jewelry, candles, any items women would love, giftcards, discounts, etc. . . .

my blog:
giveaway host blog:

Please contact me if interested!!!

Mar 25, 2012

Review ~ Halflings by Heather Burch

What if Following Your Heart Meant Losing Your Soul?

About the Book :
     Split. After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

    In this first book of the Halfling Trilogy, Nikki Youngblood discovers
she’s the central force of a madman’s plan, and turns to three half-angel boys for protection. With the Halflings, she’s completely safe, except her heart. And Mace’s soul. Falling for him could ensure his eternal ruin.

My Review:
   I was quite intrigued by this first book of the Halfling Trilogy.  Author, Heather Burch takes the struggle between good and evil and makes it into a wonderful story of danger, forbidden love, and teenage woes.
I love the characters in this story.  Nikki is a somewhat normal, mixed up tomboyish, teenage girl.  Her best friend Krissy is the usual girly girl, who would love to glam up her tomboyish friend.  Unfortunately these girls find themselves intrigued by the three new "hot" guys at school . . . guys happen to be half-angel, half-human. . . halflings.  It is forbidden for them to love a human. . . actually to choose a human over their duty to Heaven would cost them their soul.
  The exciting twists and danger in this story, as well as the character's individual personalities kept my interest from start to finish. The emotional love triangle kept me guessing and wondering . . . what would I do? The parental issues, and personal struggles Nikki has to deal with just make it that much more believable.  Although there is an internal spiritual struggle going on with a few of the characters, this book is not preachy and can be read by christian fiction lovers as well as those who are not fond of preachy books.  Great clean fiction YA story.
   A well-written, kept my interest, YA paranormal novel.  I look forward to reading what happens next!  I plan to read more by author Heather Burch in the near future!

Where to buy:

Barnes and Noble

About the Author:
Heather Burch grew up in Branson, Missouri, where she learned to love fiction. She then married into a family of published novelists and quickly learned writing was her heart’s desire. When she’s not working on her latest book, Heather can be found watching a sunset at a beach near her home in Southern Florida, along with her sons Jake and Isaac, and husband, John—who is her hero in every way.

Books by Heather Burch:
Guardian (Hardcover)
Halflings (Hardcover, Jacketed Printed)
Halflings (Ebook, ePub)
11:15 (Ebook, ePub)

* I received a free digital copy of this book through Netgalley for this review.  All reviews are my personal opinion.  See my Policy & Disclosure page for more info.

Decorah Bald Eagle Watch ~ great learning for all ages

My daughter's first grade class is watching the Decorah Bald Eagles for their class science project.  This pair of adult Eagles laid 3 eggs and now one is showing signs of hatching soon.  Here is the live feed embed so you can keep watch with us ~

Live broadcast by Ustream

My daughter asked me to help her "keep watch" this weekend to see if or when the first hatchling will arrive!  She is so excited!

Mar 23, 2012

Lucky Day Giveaway ~ Winner's Announced!

Winners chosen through using  are:

(names that are crossed out did not reply within the 48 hour deadline, and another winner was chosen)
(Names with ** beside have replied to emails and have their info sent to the sponsors)

Prize #1  ~  Sherry   Leah D.**
Prize #2  ~  Stacie G.**
Prize #3  ~  Sandy V.**
Prize #4 ~ Holly   Michelle T.**
Prize $5  ~  Mary**
Prize #6  ~  Mikki**
Prize #7  ~ Marti**
& Tracy J.**
Prize #8  ~  Rita L.**

Big Bows & Tippy Toes ~ Review & More!

Jenni is a nurse turned stay at home mom with dreams of owning her own little boutique. The love of all things little girly have turned into a wonderful little business that makes people smile every day. I love giving those happy days to little girls and their parents alike.

Big Bows and Tippy Toes was merely a dream to me for years, until one day I decided that it could be more than that, if I wanted it bad enough. Through tons or hard work and determination, it came to be. We are located in East Texas with roots in Michigan and California. Most products are made as they are ordered, so please understand the need for the 7-10 day processing period before shipment, so this can be done for you. I hope you enjoy these most adorable girly clothes as much as I do.

***Big Bows and Tippy Toes has wonderful items for Infants through Girls 9/10, and adorable accessories as well! ***

-Facebook Page~ #/#!/pages/Big-Bows-Tippy-Toes/228044240605765

hot pink and leopard print pettiskirt set with pink topl

Review by Mom & Daughter:
My daughter, Allison, was so excited when we opened the box from Big Bows and Tippy Toes.  This is the hot pink and leopard print pettiskirt set with pink top in size girls' 7/8.   She had chosen this pettiskirt outfit as one of her top 3 favorites, and Jenni from BB&TT's ordered it made for her, for this review. 

She says this is now her favorite outfit, and she constantly is asking if she can wear it!  She loves the flowy skirt that swishes when she moves/dances. And she told me that the top and skirt felt very nice (on her skin).

I love the quality of the fabric, especially on the top.  It is silky and smooth and great for sensitive skin.  The skirt is well-made and the layers are absolutely adorable!  My younger daughter (age 4) wants an outfit just like her sisters!  

So far it has been worn several times with no rips or stains.  I've only washed it on gentle cycle, then hung it to dry once.  Hopefully It will continue to hold up as well as it  has so far!  We love the quality, and the look is exceptional!  A wonderful outfit for any girly girl!


** As a special for my readers/followers -  If you use the code READ2012 at Big Bows & Tippy Toes - you can save 15% off your order!



* I received a free sample of this product for this review from Jenni at BB&TT's.  See my Policy & Disclosure page for more info.

Review ~ Spiritus by Dana Michelle Burnett

Book #1 of the Spiritus series just .99 on!

A love that refuses to die...

"As I watched him vanish into a soft mist that faded away, I knew that he was no ordinary spirit...I knew that he was a dangerous entity that could be in some corner of another realm planning his revenge, but I also knew that I was hopelessly in love with him."
When Becca moves into her ancestral home in Corydon, Indiana, her life takes a puzzling and thrilling turn when she meets the ghost haunting the halls. As the seductive spirit lures her closer and closer, she learns about her own past and starts to understand that some mistakes are meant to last.

Becca McAllister has always been different from other girls her age. Never part of the "in crowd", Becca never really fit in anywhere. When her mother dies and her father moves them to the small town of Corydon, Indiana, Becca didn't expect things to change.
But things do change when Becca accidentally makes contact with a one hundred and sixty year old ghost, Alastor Sinclair, that haunts the halls of her new home.
To Becca, Alastor is a seductive spirit that seems to see straight into her soul. To Alastor, Becca is what he was waited a century for--A second chance.

But the closer they get, the more Becca realizes that this isn't the first time she and Alastor have known each other. Worse still, is she the one responsible for his death so long ago? And if so, did he come back for love or revenge?


It was a sweet moment, dancing together under the paper streamers and balloons.  I could feel the warmth of his skin through his shirt and jacket as we danced, reminding me that this was real.  This was now.
“What are you thinking?”  Jonah asked, leaning his head down so our foreheads touched.  I could smell the scent of mints on his breath and the woodsy scent of his aftershave on his jaw.
I inhaled the reality of him, “Nothing.  I’m just savoring the moment.”
I expected him to laugh, but he didn’t.  He pulled me closer, seeming to ignore how I stepped all over his feet.  He brought his cheek next to mine, caressing my skin with the youthful shadow of a beard.
“I like the sound of that.”  He whispered.
He tilted his head then, kissing me softly with boyish clumsiness.  His arm tightened around me as his lips lingered for a moment before he pulled away.
I fought the guilt that was trying to steal over me, but I shook it off.  I felt myself turning a deep red, humiliated by my lack of experience.  I was sure that was the worst kiss and that Jonah had ever had and he was going to realize he was wasting his time with me.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ashley watching us with narrowed eyes.  She would have known how to kiss him the right way.
If Jonah was disappointed, he hid it well, holding me in his arms until the song ended and then leading me off to the side of the room.  I followed him without question, painfully aware all of a sudden of how large my feet were and that my palm was sweating inside of his.
“Thirsty?”  Jonah asked with that charming smile that always made my heart stop and start in a crazy way.
“Sure.”  I answered with a nervous giggle and then cursed myself for being a complete goof.
As if he could tell what I was thinking his smile widened, “Punch okay?”
His self-confidence made me feel even more awkward.  “That’s fine.”
I watched Jonah walk away, calling and waving to his friends as he went over to the refreshment table.  I fanned my face with my hands, trying to make the redness disappear.
Ally, with Billie in tow, bounced up beside me.  “I can’t believe he kissed you!  Was it great?  Is he like the best kisser ever?”
“I don’t have much to compare him to.”  I replied, hoping to downplay the whole thing before the whole school overheard.  I couldn’t dare tell them that a century ago, I was kissed in a way that made my knees go weak and were a far cry from being boyish and clumsy.  “But it was nice.”
Billie nudged my shoulder, “What was nice was the look on Ashley’s face.  She was dying.”
I stole a glance over at Ashley.  She stood in a circle of her minions.  Despite her obvious and complete beauty, she was a picture of misery as she shot daggers in my direction.  It seemed even her upper lip twitched like a dog snarling.  I had to look away from her fury.
“She looks like she’s about ready to explode.”  I whispered.
I wasn’t admitting, even to myself, that I enjoyed seeing her like that.  It wasn’t every day someone like me got the upper hand on someone like Ashley.  There was probably a law about it somewhere in the natural order of things that went against this even happening.  It was the rarity of such an occurrence that made it all the more significant.
Just then Jonah appeared with two paper cups of bright red punch.  He smiled with ease, “Hello ladies.”
“Hi Jonah.”  Ally and Billie replied in unison.  They each gave a quick wave and walked away full of giggles.
I pretended not to notice and took the cup Jonah offered.  I couldn’t look up at him and I didn’t know what it was I was really supposed to do.  Was I standing too close to him?  Too far away?  Should I take his hand, or should I just let my hand hang at my side so he could hold it if he wanted to?
I took a sip of punch, more out of the need to do something than actual thirst, and felt the burn of alcohol in my throat.  I struggled to swallow, coughing until my eyes watered.
Jonah stroked my back gently, “I’m sorry.  I should have warned you that a couple of guys from the football team always puts a little something extra in the punch.”
“It’s okay.”  I gasped, humiliated beyond belief.  “I think I’ll just step out in the hall and get some water.”
I walked off before he could follow me, dying of embarrassment and certain that I had proved what a little kid I was.  He was just so perfect, and I was so—Not perfect.
I drank long gulps from the water fountain.  It extinguished the burning in my throat, but it did nothing to silence the voice in my head that was telling me I was doing everything wrong.  What was wrong with me?  Was I really this socially incompetent?
How hard could it be?  This is what I was supposed to want, right?  Jonah was good looking, popular, and charming in his small town hero sort of way.  What more could I ask for?
Alastor’s voice reverberated inside my head, “He’s not me…”
I jumped at the sound of his secret voice.  I looked around even though I knew that he wouldn’t be standing there, his tantrum earlier would have left him too weak.
“Go away,” I whispered aloud.  “Don’t ruin this for me.  Let me have this night.”
I waited, straining to hear if Alastor would answer, but there was nothing.  I turned to go back to the dance, knowing I should want to return to Jonah, but part of me wished Alastor would answer.
Ashley stepped from around the corner, blocking my way.  She crossed her arms and glared down at me.
“Talking to yourself Becca?”  She asked sarcastically, emphasizing my name. 
“What do you want Ashley?”
She shook her head and rolled her eyes, “I just wanted to give you some advice.”
“Don’t get too comfortable with Jonah.”  Ashley smirked, almost purring as she stepped closer.  “He’ll get tired of you.  You’re not his type.  He’ll come back to his own kind soon enough.”
I hated it that she was giving a voice to my own insecurities, “Whatever Ashley.”
She reached out and grabbed my arm as I tried to get past her, “Just remember, your day is coming.”
I pulled away just as one of the chaperones stepped into the hall.  I took my escape while I could, knowing she couldn’t say or do anything else at the moment, and headed back toward the gym.
I had no idea how long I had been standing in the hallway drinking water, talking to invisible spirits, and arguing with disgruntled cheerleaders, but when I got back inside the gym the music seemed louder and the flashing lights brighter.
At first I didn’t see Jonah.  The crowd kept shifting back and forth, blocking my view.  I finally spotted him off to the side, away from the bulk of the people.  Ashley found him before I did and had him backed against the bleachers.  I was just about to run away and find a nice dark place to cry when Jonah stepped away from her with a look of disgust.
“Why don’t you back off Ashley?”  He slurred as he staggered over to me.  He swayed a little from side to side as he smiled down at me.  “I was just about ready to send a search party out for you.”
“Sorry.”  I said as I reached up to stop him from falling right into me.  “Are you okay?”
He staggered a little to the right, “Yeah that Ashley just gets under my skin.  She doesn’t know when to shut up and go away.”
I took his paper cup from him and tossed it into the trash.  I was a bit taken back to see that it was a large metal drum lined with a large black trash bag.  Things in Corydon never failed to surprise me.
“That’s not what I was talking about,” I replied, wiping my hands on the front of my dress before I could stop myself.  “How many of those have you drank?”
Jonah blushed, looking vulnerable for the first time tonight.  “I am so sorry.”
I didn’t know what to say.  I helped steady him on his feet.  “Are you going to be alright?”
Jonah shook his head, this time leaning dangerously to the left.  He tried to smile with his famous charm, “I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Not really.”  He said with a stupid grin.  He pulled himself up straighter, “Why don’t I go splash some water on my face.  Will you wait for me?”
I watched him lurch off, trying to compose himself as he walked past the group of teachers by the door.  Even intoxicated, he was amazing to watch.  Jonah drew the admiring glances of every female he passed.  He was just so stereotypically high school perfect.
I had to laugh; he and I were like a bad movie.  The predictable one where the new girl, unpopular, falls for the school jock and then the jock takes her to the dance.  So that was it, tonight was my happy ending.  I didn’t want to think any further than that.
Happy endings never lasted.  I could vaguely remember a grand celebration where I danced with Alastor so long ago.  That was a very happy moment, but not long after that we were both dead.
“May I have this dance?”
I turned to see a much recovered Jonah holding his hand out to me.  Without a word, I placed my hand in his and let him lead me to the dance floor.  His strong arms pulled me close, holding me against his body.
“My beautiful Becca,” He said in a moist whisper against my forehead.
I waited for him to say something else, but he didn’t.  When I stole a glance up at him he had his eyes closed while his lips still rested against my hair.  I felt that there was something that I should say or do, but I didn’t know what it could be.  I shifted slightly away from him.
“Don’t.”  Jonah begged. 
Without opening his eyes, he lowered his lips to mine.  He brushed his mouth over mine with such gentleness that I wouldn’t have been sure that he even kissed me if it wasn’t for the tingling running through my body.
Neither of us moved, his lips hovered over mine.  He pulled me even closer, this time his lips lingered, making my knees go weak.  There was a sensual passion this time.  There was no trace of boyish clumbsiness.
I knew then and pulled away, terrified and not sure how he did it.
“Alastor!”  I gasped.
I looked up into Jonah’s face, searching his eyes for an answer, but behind his face, deep in the soul of those eyes was Alastor.
“How?”  Was all I could ask.
Pulling me close again, he looked down at me through another man’s eyes.  Images of old movies with tearful endings came to mind as he pulled me to him.
“Please don’t scream.”  He said against my hair.
“How did you do it?”  I demanded, nearing hysteria.
“Does it matter?”  He asked as we waltzed about the floor, so much more graceful than before.  “You asked for a kiss and I gave it to you.”
I tried to fend off panic.  I knew this was impossible.  I was shaking so badly that my teeth began to chatter.  “Alastor…I can’t…”
“Please,” Alastor begged.  “Please, you asked me to give you this one night.  I’m asking you to give me this one moment.”
My heart fell with his request and the tears came to my eyes.  I trembled in his arms.  How could I refuse him?
“What do you want me to do?”  I asked.
“Close your eyes.”  He whispered over my eyelids.
I did as he asked.  “Now what?”
“Just be.”  He said and lowered his face so our cheeks touched.  “Just be.”
With my eyes closed, I forgot all about Jonah.  I was dancing safe and secure in Alastor’s arms with my body remembering his touch even my mind sometimes couldn’t.  As long as I didn’t open my eyes, it was Alastor that was holding me close.  This is where I belonged.
“Kiss me again.”  I requested in a whisper, longing for the sensation of him touching me, of crossing that breach between life and death.
He took my face into his hands.  I kept my eyes shut tight as I reached up and covered his hands with mine.  The earth shifted beneath me as I remembered standing just like this the day that we were married over a century ago.
Alastor’s lips met mine, soft at first and then harder.  He was real.  He was alive. 
I wanted to feel his skin against mine.  I wanted his lips on my throat.  I wanted him.  It was a feeling that only the most primal part of me seemed to understand.
I kissed him again and again.  I kept my eyes shut tight and was afraid to let go.  I couldn’t breathe, part of me was still terrified and another part wanted to sob uncontrollably.
“I’m sorry.”  I whimpered, trying to hold on tighter.  “I’m so sorry for everything.”
He kissed me again and I knew that there would never be another.  There was only Alastor.  It was only Alastor that I loved.  It was only Alastor to whom I belonged.  It was Alastor to whom I was lost.

My Review:
Spiritus is a paranormal romance with some unique twists.  I wasn't sure when I began reading this book, how a romance between a teenage girl and a Civil War ghost would work out.  It has it's romantic 'awe' moments, and some scary ones as well.  Mix in a hot teenage heartthrob from school, and you get a mixed up teenage girl crushing on one guy and finding herself drawn to another. . . who happens to be an ancient ghost.  Strange!
I enjoyed Becca's character. I found her emotions and reactions to be believable.  Alistor's character was a bit arrogant and scary at times.  And Jonah, well though he was somewhat realistic, I found the constant descriptions of him being so 'perfect,' to be a bit annoying after a while.  But, then that is what young teenage girls generally think.
Overall, the story kept me guessing. . . which is rare for me. . . and kept my interest.  It ends with a little cliffhanger, of course and leaves the reader wanting more.  Good story for older teens and Young Adults alike.  I'm interested to see what happens in the next book. . .

For more info on Spiritus, and some great pictures of some of the hot spots in the book - visit ~

 *I received a free copy of Spiritus from the author for this review.  All reviews are my personal opinion.  See my Policy & Disclosure page for more info.

Guest Post ~ 4 Easy Ways to Get Your Son to Read More

Guest Post by Nadia Jones
4 Easy Ways to Get Your Son to Read More

4 Easy Ways to Get Your Son to Read More
Despite what you may think, it's not really a teacher's responsibility to get your child interested in reading. Sure, reading particular books will most likely be part of your child's curriculum, but getting your child to find an actual passion for leisure reading is yours, the parent. But unfortunately for some reason it's a lot easier to get girls to light a flame for reading than boys. In fact, a 2010 study found that boys are really lagging behind on the reading train, an issue that has greatly worsened over the last decade. Only 39% of surveyed boys found reading outside of classroom important, compared to 62% of girls. But leisure reading is important. Between building a stronger vocabulary, learning sentence structure, and learning new concepts, it will make your child a whole lot smarter—not to mention open them up to an entire new world. That said, to get your son interested in reading, try someone of these tips listed below.

Let a Male Figure Read to Them Aloud
Some experts argue that reading is just too easily stigmatized as a "feminine" activity. While men do read, young children really don't see it all too often. After all, mothers are the ones who typically read to their children as well as female librarians and female literature teachers. Shake things up a bit and let a male role model show your son that reading can be a masculine activity too—no matter if it's your child's father, uncle, older cousin or even a trusted friend, letting a male take the reading reigns can make a huge difference. 

Teach Your Child Women Protagonists Are OK
Many years ago, young adult novelists focused on writing literature for a male audience—the protagonist was male and thus more easily relatable to boys.  More recently the selection of modern young adult literature (fiction particularly) has shifted to a more female-centric audience: women are featured on the book jacket and story lines typically involve some kind of mushy love triangle. But let your son know that just because there is a woman on the cover (or written by a woman) doesn’t mean that it should be off limits—not all of them are so mushy and are worth a glance.  It's ok if your son wants to read books with male protagonists like Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, Star Wars, and Harry Potter , but let them know that a male protagonist doesn’t have to be in the equation—reading only male focused story lines might encourage close mindedness. A good book is a good book no matter what gender the central character is. 

Allow Your Son to Indulge in Non "Traditional" Books Too
Reading is reading. So what if your son is mostly keen to graphic novels, almanacs and encyclopedias with interesting facts, joke books or a manual on how to build a robot? Anything that requires your son's brain to process information can be beneficial to your child's intellect. In fact, it's a shame that most school districts consider these more boy-appealing books as inadequate reading. Let your son choose to read something that actually interests him.

Praise your Son For Reading
Lastly, similar to receiving A's on a report card, its ok to reward your son in the beginning for reading an entire book series for example to encourage your son to read more. This doesn’t necessarily mean it should be a monetary reward, but cooking your son's favorite meal or taking him to see a movie is more as a treat is more ideal.

Can you think of any other ideas to help boy's read more?

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at

*Guest post provided by Nadia Jones.  This is not a review by Susan @ Loves 2 Read.