Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review - Cool Science Experiments for Kids by Sumita Mukherjee


Children’s Learning and Education
Date Published: June, 2017


 With this book all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. Meant for kids between six to ten, it is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction book for children. It introduces kids to the magic of motion, energy, chemistry, art, games, math fun; understanding basic scientific principles and most importantly, having a blast making them. Inside this book you will find projects that bursts, glows, erupts, spins, runs, ticks and more!

There is also a BONUS: A FREE downloadable book on young kid inventors and their inventions. 



My Review
Cool Science Experiments for Kids contains some great school holiday or just general boredom busting activities for kids of the ages 6-10.

Most of the activities in the book contain materials that you would have hanging around the house and each one contains very clear, step by step, instructions with pictures that show each important stage of the making process. For any of the other materials that you don't have on hand, they are all easily obtainable with a little planning beforehand.

I have a 6 year old son who loves building and making things at home and there have been quite a few experiments in this book that he's enjoyed which have been nice and easy for him to do. Most of them can be done unsupervised as well but there are some that are a little bit more technical or use some tricky materials so some adult supervision may be required depending on what your child chooses to do.

About the Author


Sumita Mukherjee is a NASA STEM certified leader and children’s book author. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the globe, explore many countries and meet different people. Mysteries and adventures have been captured from there in the form of Keiko and Kenzo’s travel adventure series. These books are to inspire young readers to know and appreciate various countries, develop a love for discovery and learn about the world around them. Her series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) books encourages kids to invent and explore, to empower themselves and see themselves as world leaders and problem solvers. Her books celebrate diversity, spark curiosity and capture children's imaginations! Sumita currently lives in Toronto with her family.

Her website, WizKids.Club was created with a vision to raise the next generation of creative leaders. WizKids.Club offers highly engaging kids activities, educational books, experiments, hands-on projects, DIYs, travel stories and engineering books perfect for children 4-12 years to spark creativity and scientific learning.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review - From A Killers Mind - Jason Helford

From a Killer's MindFrom a Killer's Mind by Jason Helford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition242 pages
Published July 29th 2013 by Jason Helford
Source: Author for Review

Synopsis:
'John has been a successful serial killer for his entire adult life, committed to his craft without detection or disruption. He’s spent years perfecting his process and meticulously planning out each kill, honing his abilities to horrible heights; however, when one kill doesn’t go as planned, his confidence is shattered, and his dark life starts down an even darker road, to either his salvation…or his ultimate downfall. John finds his private sanctum infiltrated by chaotic characters from the most unlikely of places, putting him through an existential crisis of the soul. As John loses control, his true crucible begins.

From a Killer’s Mind, the debut novel of writer Jason Helford, is a mind-bending, scary, and emotionally honest trip through the life of a serial killer, laying bare the killer’s soul for all readers to see. The remarkable twist at the core of this novel is something that will leave you open-mouthed, shocked, and completely hooked, until the very last page.'

My Thoughts:
First up I just have to say that this book would have to be one of the most disturbing books I have read in a very long time.

The mental pictures it put into my head while I was reading it were so unpleasant at times that it actually made me feel ill during certain scenes.

The level of psychological abuse and violence in this book was uncomfortable to read at times and it really did make me wonder about the imagination of the author and how one thinks about writing such things.

I struggled at times to decipher if what was going on was actually real or just happening inside the mind of the main character. It really did stop and make me think a few times about what it really would be like inside the mind of a serial killer, especially to know how they internalise and justify their own actions to themselves.

If you like to be shocked or disturbed in your reading, then this is the book for you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review - Networking Thoughtfully by M. Wheadon

Networking Thoughtfully: The 30 Minute Read That Could Change Your LifeNetworking Thoughtfully: The 30 Minute Read That Could Change Your Life by M Wheadon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition
Published January 26th 2017 by Troubador Publishing
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:
'Networking Thoughtfully is a short guide for people who need to build relationships, but do not know where to start. Martin Wheadon takes readers through a step-by-step process to help achieve positive results. The reader is provided with over thirty thoughts and clever remedies to boost their confidence and communication skills. Although the book has been written with businesses in mind, Networking Thoughtfully can also be used to aid and abet personal development, as learning how to start conversations is beneficial when meeting new people, regardless of the circumstances. 
Networking Thoughtfully draws from Martin's own experience of developing a successful marketing facility, called the High Tea Club. Wheadon provides clearly-written advice in a conversational tone, encouraging the reader to believe that he understands their anxieties and talks from personal experience, using examples to illustrate the guidelines provided. The book also provides space for the reader to write their own thoughts or answers to various tasks suggested by the author. It is a book that can be read in parts, or as a whole in only half an hour. Networking Thoughtfully will appeal to readers of all ages particularly those that are new to networking or want to improve their skills. It will also appeal to businesses and organisations looking to improve networking skills.'

My Thoughts:
Networking Thoughtfully is a very quick read and as it states, it took me only around half an hour to get through it.

It contains some good tips, especially for anyone who is new to networking or has a bit of a fear of getting themselves and their business out there.

It contains short and sharp steps that give the reader ideas to put into practice before, during and after any networking or social event they attend.

The points are all easy to understand and implement and are nice, practical ways to improve or fine-tune you networking skills.

If you are a business owner who struggles with networking or have a fear of these types of events, this book may give you a bit more confidence and some practical advice to implement at your next event.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review - The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4 by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hardcover430 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Macmillan Australia (first published October 8th 2016)
Source: Own Copy

Synopsis:
'There are sixteen contestants, but only one will survive.

The last thing Jack West Jr remembers is arriving for a meeting at a top-secret military base with his family in tow.

Now he awakes to find himself in a hellish scenario. Jack has been selected to take part in the Games, a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual. If he chooses not to compete, both he and his daughter will be killed.

With the fate of the Earth at stake, Jack will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight ruthless assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him to the limit.

In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.'

My Thoughts:
So if you've read anything by Matthew Reilly before, especially the first three books in the Jack West Jr series, you'd have an idea that you were in for another wild, action filled ride with this one. And, yes, you would be 100% correct!

This instalment in the Jack West Jr series was definitely, hands down, my favourite one so far. I literally could not put it down and spent so many nights forcing myself to stop reading because my eyes were closing and losing focus. I haven't felt so invested and excited while reading a book like I did with this one in quite a while.

This book is your typical Reilly with non-stop, totally unbelievable action from the beginning all the way to the very end.

I really liked how human Jack West Jr was in this book. He got injured and felt tired like a regular person and wasn't always the absolute best at everything. Due to his intelligence and determination though, plus a bit of Reilly's typical over-the-top, cliffhanger moments, Jack managed once again to come out on top.

I also loved the historical aspects of this book and I thought they were inter-woven into the story so well again just as they were in the first three instalments.

There is no argument that Matthew Reilly is my favourite action/adventure author and I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series to be released.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Spotlight - Split Second by Kelli J. Miller


Biographies and Memoirs
Date Published: April 4, 2017

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When does the American Dream turn into a trap?
What does it mean to succeed?
What really gives meaning to our lives?
 Kelli Miller never had to worry about it – she had it all: a family, a career, a sprawling home, even an executive title.  She thought she’d escaped her Midwestern roots and was sailing towards a golden future.  Then, in a pivotal moment, confronted with the shadow of death, she found herself suddenly awake to the grim reality:  the dream had consumed her life, and left her lost and alone.

In Split Second, Kelli tells the story of how she set herself free, and recommitted herself to the most important pieces of her life:  family, community, and a new openness to experience.  It is the story of one woman’s journey to find out what really matters and where her happiness ultimately lay.



About the Author


Kelli Miller is a business executive specializing in Information Technology.  Her career includes thirty years working for some of the largest, most successful companies in America.  Kelli recently returned to her roots, farming her family’s farm with her husband, while continuing her technology career with a local mid-size manufacturing firm. Kelli is the mother of three. She loves to travel, hike and spend time in the simplicity and raw beauty of nature. 

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review - Talk of The Town by Rachael Johns

Talk Of The TownTalk Of The Town by Rachael Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition416 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by MIRA
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis:
'Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.
But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.
Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.
But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?
A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns.'
My Thoughts:
Talk of The Town is an Aussie romance that contains just the right amount of drama, twists & turns, sadness and of course happiness in the end.

It also contains a slight paranormal aspect that I found intriguing and I would have loved this part to have been explored a little bit more within the story.

Overall I liked the main character Meg, but every now and then I did get slightly annoyed with how she took so long to say certain things about what she was thinking or feeling. I know this was to build suspense and give the story more to stand on but I felt that with this character her secrecy became a bit much after a while and every so often I'd find myself wanting to just shake her with frustration.

The plot itself was a believable enough story and it definitely kept me engaged until the end. I really like how Rachael Johns has the ability to write a romance novel without it being too ultra-sappy with enough interesting back story in addition to the romance angle going on. In my opinion this makes her stories a lot more relatable.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Promo Blitz - Dragonhunters by Garon Whited

Fantasy
Date Published: April 2017

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You don't become a hero for the money. The money's nice, sure, but you become a hero because something inside compels you, drives you to it. Defending people from monsters simply doesn't pay well enough to make it a good career move.

As for hunting dragons... well, the money is usually good, but the job really bites.

A group of five professional heroes goes into the lair of the dragon. Who will win?

Spoiler: The dragon.

But it turns out killing a hero sometimes does nothing more than make him even more determined.

Sometimes, heroes are never more dangerous than when they're dead!



About the Author

Garon Whited was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1969 or 1970; the original birth certificate is suspiciously unavailable and other records do not agree. After following his parents around the South for several years, he finally caught up to them and settled somewhere in Texarkana. Garon attended Texarkana College, the University of Fayetteville, and Texas A&M. While he was in college, he studied physics, math, robotics, religion, philosophy, psychology, and of course, girls.  Sadly, his grades were excellent in all but one of those categories. He is presently single.

He has also written novels and various short stories and shows no signs of stopping. Having fought zombie dolphins, quasi-corporeal spirits, and brain-sucking mole rats, he is uniquely qualified to write fantastic fiction. His first book, “Nightlord: Sunset,” features a human physics teacher who is turned into a vampire against his will and proceeds to go on fantastical adventures.

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