Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter

This was a good historical fiction book that starts with the deaths of Marc Antony and Cleopatra on August 12,30 BC.

The three children of Cleopatra, Kleopatra, and Marc Antony are taken to Rome after the death of their parents. Cleopatra's Daughter is Kleopatra Serene and Serene is the narrator of the book. Her twin brother is Alexander Helios and the youngest of the children is Ptolemy. Serena and Alexander are ten years old and Ptolemy is six years old. They are taken to Rome and paraded before the Romans wearing golden chains. The children go to live with the sister of Octavian, Octavia, who was the former wife of Marc Antony.

I do want to give more details because I did not know that Cleopatra and Marc Antony had children even though I have read a lot about history and watch the archaeology programs. (Learn something new every day). The details in the book are close to history, even though this is fiction and the author has taken some liberties in her writings.

This is my first read by Michelle Moran and I am really impressed in her knowledge and research. She has many tidbits that bring the reader into the era. I was a volunteer at a Pompeii exhibit and I appreciated the descriptions of the people, clothing and living areas as they were so simlar.

Maps are in the beginning of the book and always an added bonus for me as a reader. There is List of Characters and a Timeline front of the book and a Glossary, Afterword, Historical Notes and Acknowledgements in the back.

I give this a five star. It is certainly a re-read for me because of so much history.

I am now reading Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.

You can find her on

Leona Olson

Friday, October 21, 2011

When Midnight Comes by Lori Handeland

When Midnight Comes by Lori Handeland

A short story that moves quickly and emotionally. The story is based in New York City in 1869. Jack has been murdered and wants a second chance at life. His love, Lucia, comes to him and walks him through what he did wrong to achieve his accomplishments in life. It reminded me of Mr. Scrooge and his past, present and future. Being alone and unloved is the biggest punishment when one is alive is a part of the book that seemed so true to me. This is a story of emotions, love, punishment, selfishness and a second change which most of us would like. There is a religious tone in the story and I think a Catholic one such as Purgatory.

A good read. There is one sexual portion of the story so I recommend this one for adults. I personally think some of it could be left out of the story and have it a great read for young people because of the theme of the story.

A reader can purchase this e-book on and for .99.

Find the author at and also on Facebook.

I want to thank and Lori Handeland for the complimentary copy of this e-book and the opportunity to read and review this story. The opinions are my own.

Leona Olson

The Box of Rocks

Box of Rocks by Karla Telega
This is a mystery/adventure and "where am I in life" type of book. Two women, Maggie Gorski and Cheryl Anderson are at a mid-life crisis and need something to keep them busy. They have made a list of things to do such as rock collecting, a book club, ghost hunting and target practice. Maggie is married and Cher is divorced. Both have a dog that are also part of the book and I think helped make the book with the extra activities that dogs bring to daily life.
Maggie and Cher head for the hills to search for gold and find themselves involved with a murder.
A college associate of Paul Lakeland has been murdered and Paul is arrested for the murder. Paul found a clay jug that he believed was Native American in a cave and wanted to do his thesis on it for his doctorate degree in archaeology.
Twists and turns keep the reader surprised. There are laughs and also some serious matters.
I liked this book, it was an easy read and kept me interested. The f word was only used one time and I could have done without the almost sex scene. The characters, Maggie and Cher, were like friends one might know; a little eccentric but likable characters and the reader can relate to some problems the women had.
I would have liked to see more of the characters who were brought into the book with no ending for them. Possible they might be in a future adventure of Maggie and Cher.
I liked the descriptions of the area of South Carolina because I am not familiar with the state and it's history.
I give Box of Rocks a four star for a different and fun book to read..
I wish to thank the author, Karla Telega and Smashwords for the complimentary copy of Box of Rocks and the opportunity to read and review. The opinions are my own. This will be a great series of books on Maggie and Cher and their adventures.
You can find Karla at
Leona Olson

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life, How to Get Through Life's Holes Without Getting Stuck in Them

Review of "The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life, How to Get Through Life's Holes Without Getting Stuck in Them" by Judith A. Belmont, MS and Lora Shor, LSW.
I received a complimentary copy of this e-book to read and review from the authors. The opinions are my own.
The acknowledgements tell a lot of the authors of this book and you can personally get to know something about them. Both authors are speakers and counselors.
The purpose of this book is to help one get their lives together, no matter how you feel about what is happening to you or those you love and know. We all have our ups and downs.
The chapters are The Ten Digestible Slices of Life.
Chapter One: An Introduction to Swiss...With All Its Holes.
Chapter Two: First Slice; Fondue Can Never Turn Back Into a Block of Cheese. Giving Up the Habit of Regret.
Chapter Three: Second Slice; There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Slice of Cheese. Transforming Mistakes and Failure Into Success.
Chapter Four: Third Slice; No Whine With the Cheese, Please! Healthy Thinking for Life!
Chapter Five: Fourth Slice; If the Cheese is Ripe, DIG IN! Be proactive, Not Reactive!
Chapter Six: Fifth Slice; Living Whole Despite the Holes! Mindful and Spirituality
Chapter Seven: Sixth Slice; Enjoy the Wine and Cheese Party! Making People Connections
Chapter Eight: Seventh Slice; Cheese Lite! Welcoming Wellness for a Healthier YOU!
Chapter Nine: Eighth Slice; The Cheese Wheel of Life- How Do You Slice It? Achieving Life Balance.
Chapter Ten: Ninth Slice; Mastering the Cheese Wheel of Change! How to Be a Stress Manager...and NOT a Stress Carrier!
Chapter Eleven: Tenth Slice; Smile and Say Cheese! Forgiveness, Gratitude and Optimism.
Chapter Twelve: An Extra Slice; You Can't Miss With the Swiss! Final Words From Our Guides.
There are many quotes from people of all walks of life. Some are Ghandi, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Shakespeare, Julia Child, Helen Keller, Plato and Henry Ford. Two quotes I chose : "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why they call it the present" from Eleanor Roosevelt and "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs" from Henry Ford.
There are color cartoons mainly from Randy Glasbergen that certainly adds to the book and it gives the book a sense of humor.
This book has three "personalities" that speak to the readers. The Swiss Wiz which is usually wisdom, the Swiss Cheese Fairy of Life that is comforting and the Stinky Cheese that is negative. The Stinky Cheese says "Misery Loves Company".
The following are some notes I took as I read:
1. Opportunity is NOWHERE. What do you see as the reader? Opportunity is NOW HERE or Opportunity is NO WHERE?
2."I" is in Illness and "W" is in Wellness.
3. Even small steps can get you to your goal if you move forward.
4. Jack LaLanne began the fitness center we know as Ballys.
5. Serve others, smile and give of yourself.
6. Stress is not good or bad, it just IS.
7. Spend 15 minutes a day reading something positive.
8. Add a Smiley sticker to things.
9. Put a can on your desk or table to show you can.
10. Happiness is a choice.
I enjoyed this book very much. It is a good book to give as a present to one that needs some help.
Check their site: where you may purchase the book as well as on
I want to thank the authors, Judith Belmont and Lora Shor for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I will post my review on,,, and I will post the information on also.
Leona Olson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, Felix J. Palma and Simon & Schuster to read and review. The opinions are my own.

The book has been translated from Spanish to English by Nick Caistor.

I was first interested in this book because the cover said the book would have characters such as H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, two of my favorites.

Interesting read but a little confusing at times. I actually was reading this book and put it aside then began to read again. The review is just a touch because the reader must read the book to get the real details and content of the book or "Tale(s)" as the author has said.

H. G. Wells was one of the main characters in this book. His book, The Time Machine, was all the rage in Europe.
There are three parts of this book. Part One goes into the past, Part Two goes into the future and Part Three goes way into the future as well as a lot of this section stays in the book's time period of the late 1880s.
Andrew Harrington in Part One wants to go into the past to kill Jack the Ripper before he kills his love, Marie Kelly by using the machine that took the character, George, into the future with his Time Machine which is described in the book written by Wells, The Time Machine. Andrew is suicidal and his cousin, Charles, takes Andrew to see H. G. Wells so Andrew could travel back to the past. Marie is a prostitute in the Whitechapel area in London. I did some research and find the names I checked are the women Jack the Ripper killed except the name was Mary Kelly, not Marie. This section is very descriptive in the gruesome acts of what Jack the Ripper does to the women.
Part Two of The Map of Time journeys us into the future and time travel. Gilliam Murray has developed a program that takes men and women of London area from 1896 to the year 2000 and it is called Murray's Time Travel. The passengers are transported into the fourth dimension on a tram where they find automations are trying to take over the world in a legendary battle between humans and automations. The hero is Captain Derek Shackleton and his job is to defeat the king of the automations.

Claire Haggerty has decided to go to Murray's Time Travel with her friend, Lucy, but makes plans not to return to her time period. Claire has decided that the century in which she lives is boring and she has no interest in men in her time era. She believes the future holds more for her. When the passengers are getting ready to depart, Claire hides and see Captain Shackleton without his helmet, which had hidden his face during the battle. She tells him she loves him and wants to be with him in this time period. The man in charge of the group finds Claire and tells her she must leave with the rest of the group; Derek Shackleton rushes out of sight.

The tale is interesting and there are many details of people and events. H.G. Wells and his wife, Jane, are brought into the tale closer to the end.
Part Three has a Scotland Yard detective who believes that someone from the future is committing murder in London. This section is mainly about Wells but also has Henry James and Dram Stoker. H.G.Well's book, The Invisible Man, is part of this tale.

This book is difficult to read because there are so many different occasions happening and the book seems to jump into different areas but the author still brings the tales together. It is a page tuner and so many details and people are in this book, even if only a mention. After I started the book again, I started with Part Two and went back to Part One. The "Map of Time" is described in Part Three and well worth waiting for the meaning. It pulls the book together.

Some names are Jules Verne, Dram Stoker, Henry James, German chemist who developed aspirin (Felix Hoffmann) in the late 1800s and the chemist who invented Coca Cola.
Felix J. Palma has done a remarkable job on The Map of Time. It seems like he is in London and for the readers who have been to London, it puts the reader there but in another time era.

Anyone interested in time travel will find this a good read.

I have to give this a five star plus because of all the details in the book/tales.
Leona Olson

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Most Unsuitable Match

A most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson.

The story begins in St. Charles, Missouri in 1869 and takes us to Montana. The main characters are searching for family, Fannie Rousseu is searching for her aunt and Samuel Beck is searching for his sister. After the death of her mother, Fannie and her servant, Hannah, take a riverboat to Montana to find the twin sister of her mother. The sisters were estranged and Edith is the only family member Fannie has left. She meets Samuel on the Delores, the riverboat, where he is working for passage. He is searching for his sister, Emma, who left home after their abusive father came home drunk again.

The journey takes them through loss of loved ones, accidents, sorrow, storms and new friendships. The descriptions of places in the book are great and the characters in the book make you feel you know them personally.

A most Unsuitable Match has Bible verses at the beginning of each chapter. Samuel carries his mother's Bible with him and reads as much as he can. He influences many people who not otherwise be exposed to the Bible and it's teachings.

Some other main characters are Hannah Pike, Lamar Davis, Abe Valley, Doctor Edmund LaMotte, Patrick LaMotte, Captain Otto Busch, Lame Bear and her best friend Minette who is in St. Charles.

Patrick and Minette are blind and this story tells how they overcome some of the problems of being blind.

No f words, no a** words and no sex. What a pleasure to read a love story of a man and a woman and love for others. Keep a tissue close to you in this heartwarming and sometimes sad book.

I give this a five star and look forward to another book by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I wish to thank the author, Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of A Most Unsuitable Match to read and review.

You may reach Stephanie at and and contact her at .

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vocalpoint Register
Go to Vocalpoint and register for posting your opinions, get free products and read message boards.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Cereal

I received a sample of this cereal today and we snacked on the pieces. Tasty and light on the cinnamon. I will buy next time I need more cereal. Organic whole grain wheat, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cinnamon, natural cinnamon flavor.

Monday, August 22, 2011

J. R. R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne is a small, 5 " X 7 ", powerful book about the author who wrote The Lord of the Rings and more.

Mark Horne begins this book when John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was in South Africa as a child of three years of age. Tolkien was born in South Africa on January 3, 1892 and he dies on September 2, 1973. The book takes Ronald, as he was called by his parents, through his young years, college years, his time spent in World War l, his marriage to Edith Mary Bratt, his children, his writings, his Catholic religion, his being a professor at Oxford and his close friends. There is a lot of information about World War l and how some of the war influenced some of his writings.

The author does a good job of using the names of Tolkien's associates and dates of activities. Tolkien knew several languages and liked to read a book in the original language when he could. His mother, Mabel Tolkien, home schooled Tolkien and his brother, Hilary before they entered formal schooling.

Because this book holds so many details, I am listing some names, places and occasions.

Beowulf, Viking Club, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Book of Lost Tales, Midgard of Norse Mythology, Middle English, Icelandic Language, Merton College, Oxford, England, Fredo and Sam, Fairies and Elfs, World War l and World War ll, C. S. Lewis, Germanic mythology, Father Francis Morgan, T.C.B.S. Club, Beren, Luthein and so much more.

Chapters are:

1. Between the Shire and Mordor, Part One (1892-1909)

2. Between the Shire and Mordor, Part Two (1892-1909)

3. Coming of Age (1910-1911)

4. Growing Up in Oxford (1911-1914)

5. The Coming of the Shadow (1915-1918)

6. Language and Legend, Part One (1918-1925)

7. Language and Legend, Part Two (1926-1937)

8. Hobbits and Epic Heroism (1938-1948)

9. The Worldwide Best Seller (1948-1973)

10. Legacy


Appendix: Bibliographical

About the Author

I liked this book and will give it a five star. There were so many details, I feel the author has encouraged the reader to read more on J.R.R. Tolkien and other writers that are mentioned in the book.

I received a complimentary copy from booksneeze to read and review. I wish to thank Mark Horne, Thomas Nelson Publishers and booksneeze for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions are my own.

Find Mark Horne at:

Leona Olson

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Petra: City of Stone

Petra: City of Stone by T. L. Higley

First, I would like to thank the author for the complimentary electronic version of the book, this is my first time to read T.L.Higley.

The book begins with Julian leaving Rome because of religious persecution and the next chapter is about Cassia who has left Damascus with her son Alexander because of the death of the father of her son, Aretas. Cassia knows that Aretas is from Petra and wants to find his family.

Julian and Cassia meet at the Nymphaeum Fountain in Petra where Alexander and Julian quickly become friends. Julian also meets Malik at the fountain; Malik plays an important part in the lives of Cassia and Julian.

Cassia is robbed and attacked the first night in Petra and awakens to find herself and Alexander under protective care of Malik and his followers. It is here she finds that her son is the grandson of the king, Rabbel and heir to the throne. Alexander's father was the estranged son of Rabbel. Rabbel's first wife, Gamilath, Aretas' mother died; King Rabbel remarried and had a son with Hagiru.

Cassia takes Alexander to the Royal House to see the King but his wife, Queen Hagiru, refuses to let them see him because she said the King was unavailable; later the King comes into the room and does acknowledge Alexander is his grandson. Hagiru is upset because she thought her son, Obadas, would be the heir to the throne. The King leaves the room and Hagiru tells Cassia her son would be raised by them and she should leave Petra.

Julian finds Cassia injured and takes her to Malik. From there the story is based on trying to get Alexander back to Cassia and the finding of Christianity for Cassia.

I liked this book and the history of Petra was evident. I thought it would be more on archaeology but found it is based on Christianity. My major is Anthropology/Archaeology and I always have an interest in this subject. I read somewhere that Petra:City of Stone is a book for adults but would highly recommend it for young Christian adults. This is a good book for a book club for a church group or one interested in history.

Some tag words I found are Jesus, one God, sandals, amphitheater, death, sacrifice, suffering, strength, stone sculptors, power of Jesus, figs, triclinium, incense, siq and gods which bring you into the time era of the book. Some historical names are Petra, Damascus, Jerusalem, Nymphaeum Fountain, Temple al-Uzza. Petra and Paul of Tarsus. Faith and love are two words used quite a bit. Jesus is very involved with the characters in the book and the reader could sense that with feelings. At one point the "faces" are described as peaceful and there was singing from the Christian group.

I found the last chapters of the book more powerful and emotional as Cassia and others try to rescue Alexander from the evil Hagiru.

The book definitely has history and encouraged me as the reader to do more research on Petra. Check out some sites on the Internet for more information. I did find T. L. Higley (Tracy) on Facebook. She has traveled through Greece,Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy to research. I look forward to reading more of her books. ( )

Nov 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Talon of the Unnamed Goddess by J. R. Tomlin

Talon of the Unnamed Goddess

This was not a good read for me. I hate to begin negative but felt there were so many names and I tired of the war scenes.

Aisha is a Talon, one who is prepared for war and protection of others. Aisha is contracted to protect Rhiannon who is the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Grayna. She has been prepared for the challenge by training for ten years; one of the few women who accomplish this. I found her a strong character and very qualified in her tasks. The book focuses on protecting Rhiannon and helping her to regaining the kingdom of Grayna after the death of her father.

The book has plenty of descriptions of the battles and wounding and death of the warriors. There are no heavy intimate scenes and what was there was well done.

I liked the main characters of the book but would have liked more personal and less battles. I think the book was well written and good descriptions on places, food, herbs and people.

I give this 3 stars.

This is my opinion and hope I do not prevent others from reading this. I have enjoyed other works from the author but not this one as much as I had hoped. I want to thank the author, J. R. Tomlin, for the opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions are my own. I received a complimentary copy from Smashwords, LibraryThing and J. R. Tomlin.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Hardest Thing to Do

The Hardest Thing to Do by Penelope Wilcox

This book is the fourth in a series about a 14 Century Monastery and the lives of the monks that lived there. This is the first of the series I have read but did not take long to know the characters. When Father Peregrime was described in the early part of the book, my mind pictured the High Lama in Lost Horizons, portrayed by Sam Jaffe. The author has the names of the characters in the front of the book and their positions at the Abby; this helps connect the characters. She also has a glossary of terms and a Liturgical Calendar in the Catholic Church's year. This book dates the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. The preparation of Easter and the food and sacrifice one does during Lent walks the reader through some of the requirements of Lent. Food was a major factor and I loved the descriptions of the types of foods and herbs.

Brother John now is the new abbot and is now called Father John or Abbot John. The old abbot, Father Peregrine died and John in now in charge and working at preparing himself to serve as he feels an abbot should serve God and run the Abby at St. Alcuin.

There is a monk from an Augustinian religious order that has come to St. Alcuin for refuge. He is Prior William from a nearby monastery, which had burned down; a place that was more evil than good (as I read into the story) and a problem to the St Alcuin Abby; not all the monks welcome him and he becomes a big factor in the story. One monk uses the word "hate" for his feeling for Prior William. The book has emotion and feelings that brought me, as the reader, into the book.

There are so many human factors in this book such as forgiveness, hate, love, compassion, work, family, death, sin and Church; it keeps the reader interested in the story and the men at the Abby. I appreciated the Latin because it is no longer used in Mass and I for one, miss that. I would have never called a Priest by his first name, taught to us at an early age, and this was new to me to read. I found the book easy to read and a page turner for me. Not too much religion but enough for any faith to read. This would be a good book club choice.

I found what I personally think the Hardest Thing to do was but I will let the reader determine what they feel is the Hardest Thing to Do would be for them.

I received a complimentary copy of The Hardest Thing to Do from Net Galley to read and review. The opinions are my own.

I wish to thank the author, Penelope Wilcox for the opportunity to read and review The Hardest Thing to Do.

Leona Olson

Sunday, July 31, 2011


"Good Housekeeping says thyroid's just the "disease du jour", a TSH under 10.0 doesn't warrant treatment, and women should refuse treatment and instead drink more coffee, do puzzles and take spinning class to deal with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism". This is from i wish coffee and puzzles would help me because I had surgery and part of mine was removed. is a great site for people who have thyroid problems.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal from General Mills

I recieved a complimentary box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal from the Psst General Mills Program to eat and review.
I liked this product and so did my husband. The smell is nice when the box is opened and the cereal is tasty. I could taste the touch of honey, the cereal was crisp but not too hard and 3/4 cup satisfied me. This can be a snack eaten without milk. General Mills' cereals all are whole grain which means all three parts of the grain are used.
Fiber One 80 has 80 calories for 3/4 cup, 1 g fat, 25 g carbs,10 g dietary fiber and 3 g sugar. Fiber One 80 Calories is naturally & artificial honey flavored.
Look for it on your grocery shelves. The box is colorful and shows a bowl of cereal with strawberries (4 strawberries is approximately additional 25 calories) and shows the Daily Value of Fiber is 40 %. The box is also marked NEW!.

The following is from General Mills:
10 Tips to Get your Daily Fiber

Most Americans are not getting the recommended 25 grams of fiber each day. With Fiber One cereal, it's easier than ever to increase your daily fiber intake. Try using these 10 simple tips to help reach your fiber goals.
1) Scan for Bran
Look for “bran,” “whole grain” and “whole wheat” on product packages and ingredient labels. These ingredients can help boost fiber intake.
¾ cup Fiber One® 80 Calories = 10g fiber
2) Grab the Whole Food
Munch on a whole piece of fruit in place of drinking a glass of juice. You’ll get the nutrients and the fiber too.
1 medium apple = 3g fiber
3) Savor the Skins
Eat fruit and vegetables with the skin on. Eating the skin helps to bump up the fiber, plus it provides texture and a bonus of other nutrients.
1 medium baked potato with skin on = 4g fiber
4) Screen for Beans
Replace your typical side dishes with high-fiber dried peas and beans, such as kidney, pinto, lentils or black-eyed peas. These fiber-packed legumes make it easier to meet daily fiber goals.
½ cup canned red kidney beans = 8g fiber
5) Go Nuts
Jazz up salads, vegetables, snacks and desserts with almonds, sunflower seeds or soy nuts. Nuts and seeds add fiber and fun-to-chew crunch to foods.
1 ounce roasted almonds = 3g fiber
6) Be Berry Wild
Choose raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries to add variety to your cereals. These berries have twice the fiber of many other fruit selections.
½ cup fresh raspberries = 4g fiber
7) Bring on the Brown
Use brown rice instead of white. Switch to whole wheat pasta, whole wheat flour, whole wheat breads and whole grain crackers instead of regular white versions.
1 cup brown rice = 3g fiber
8) Skip the Chips
Select snacks that are a good source of fiber. Instead of potato chips, go for low-fat popcorn, whole-grain pretzels or oven-crisped whole-wheat pita triangles.
3 cups popcorn = 4g fiber
9) Drink Up
Water is a healthy beverage choice—especially as you up the fiber. Your body needs more water to help process the added fiber you eat.
Aim for eight 8-oz glasses of water each day.
10) Sneak in Some Fiber One cereal
Incorporate Fiber One cereal into your favorite side dishes or use to top yogurt, salads or oatmeal.
¼ cup Fiber One Original cereal for sprinkling = 7g fiber


Monday, July 4, 2011

Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster

I recived a complimantary container of Downy's new Unstopable In-Wash Scent Booster from Vocalpoint.
There are two scents, Fresh (Clean, Airy, Crisp) and Lush (Luxurious, Relaxing, Romantic) and I received the Fresh. They are little pellets that dissolve in the water; put  in before the water, add the clothes and it may be used with or without Downy fabric softner.  Safe for all colors, fabrics and loads; great for active wear and  towels.  I really like this product and will use it especially for whites and towels.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Iron House by John Hart

Iron House is the orphanage where Michael and Julian lived as small children, After the death of one bully by Julian, Michael takes the blame and leaves, His story of living on the streets of New York end when he is taken in by a mob boss, Otto Kaitlin. Michael is a killer but has never killed for hate but always because of a reason, he feels.

Elena is the pregnant girlfriend of Michael and does not know of his past life. Michael wants out of the life he now has and wants to marry Elena and begin a new life. Otto Kaitlin has died and now the mob wants to kill Michael.

Julian has been adopted by Abigail, a senator's wife. She had gone to Iron House to adopt two boys that had certain criteria but Michael had already left and she adopted Julian, a fragile and weak boy.

Both become adults in different ways; Michael is strong and Julian is weak.

This book is filled with surprising twists and turns; about the time the reader thinks they understand what is happening, there is someone or something added. Everything falls into place and the reader finds the connections. As a reader, I could feel the emotions of the characters, good or bad ones.

"Iron House" is full of violence and death; it is also filled with loyalty and caring.

I personally do not care for the language or violence in books but it seems to fit the characters and it is what helps makes "Iron House" such a thriller.

This is my first book by John Hart and I did like the book and the suspense it held for me.

I wish to thank John Hart for the opportunity to read and review "Iron House".

I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from the author to read and review. The opinions are my own.

Monday, June 20, 2011

TRESemme Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated Hair

I have tried the TRESemme Color Protection Shampoo and Conditioner. I received a complimentary full size (15 fl oz) from BzzAgent to try and review.  I like the product for my thin hair and color treated hair.  I like this product and find I can buy it at Walmart and Shopko at a reasonable price. I give it a five star. My daughter, who used to be a beautician, highly recommends these products.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Quotable Rogue, The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words

The Quotable Rogue, The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words has quotes by Sarah Palin beginning in 2005 and ending in 2010. The book was published in 2011. It is edited by Matt Lewis.

A foreword by Matt Lewis and praises about the book from people such as Tucker Carlson, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller; Ken Blackwell, Former Ohio Secretary of State, Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council and Governor Rick Perry, 47 th governor of Texas and 4 other people.

The quotes come from a number of interviews Sarah Palin had with FOX, CNN, Peoria Journal, Associated Press, Larry King Live,, The Tonight Show, On The Record With Greta Van Susteren and many, many more.

Some topics are: On living in Alaska, On Barack Obama, On Being Sarah, On Faith, On Family, On Gun Control, On The Media, On Tina Fey and On Taxes to name a few. There are 32 chapters and the quotes are dated and most short.

Some short quotes taken by random: "I was raised in a family where gender was not going to be an issue. The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that's quite commonplace" from chapter on Living in Alaska and from Times (U.K.), August 31, 20008; "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change" from Republication National Convention in Minneapolis, September 3, 2008 from chapter On John McCain and also "Americans get it. In Washington, they don't get it" from Orlando Sentinel, March 12,2010 On Washington chapter.

The last chapter is " What Others Say About Sarah Palin" with remarks from Carly Fiorina, Nikki Haley, James Carville, Sean Parnell and many others.

A good read and a good insight into Sarah Palin. I hope liberals will give it a change with an open mind to read what she has to say. No one agrees totally with what someone has to say, but is helps to know the person and how they feel about many topics such as America, Family and Home.

You can reach Matt Lewis at He is a blogger, writer and commentator based in Alexandria, Virginia and is the Senior Contributor to the Daily Caller.

I received a complimentary copy of The Quotable Rogue, The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words from booksneeze to read and review. The opinions are my own. I wish to thank Matt Lewis for the opportunity to read and review this book; I personally liked it very much.

Leona Olson

Monday, June 13, 2011

Interview with Evan Ostryzniuk

The blog,, had an interview with Evan Ostryzniuk about his new book, Of Faith and Fidelity.  You can register to win a copy of the book.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Lean Belly Prescription Book by Dr. Travis Stork

Doctor Travis Stork is on the TV show, The Doctors. His book is a "prescription" on how to lose weight and maintain a healthy life style.

The contents of the book are:

viii: Foreword by David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health and Editorial Director of Women's Health.

x: Acknowledgements

xi: The Killer Fat Within

xviii: The Lean Belly Prescription At-A-Glance

Chapter 1: The Promise of Living Lean

Chapter 2: All Your Weight Worries-Solved!

Chapter 3:Change Your Body, Change Your Life

Chapter 4:Your PICK 3 TO LEAN Prescription

Chapter 5:Perfect Life Belly Foods

Chapter 6:The 24-Hour Fat Burn

Chapter 7: The World's Easiest Exercise Plan

Chapter 8: Countdown to a Lean Belly

Also Sections on: Special Bonus Strategies, The Lean Belly Prescription Kitchen Makeover, Lose Weight 24/7 and Workouts That Don't Feel Like Work

Doctor Stork is an Emergency Room Doctor and sees every possible health problem. His program has benefits such as losing weight and enjoying life more.

The Prescription allows one to choose her/his own plan. The plan is to Pick 3 to Lean and there are 8 options for you to choose. 1) "I love cheese and yogurt". 2) "I love pasta and rice". 3) " I love soda". 4) " I love to graze". 5) " I love breakfast" 6) "I love to snack". 7) " I love milk shakes". 8) "I love fatty foods.". He suggests that you begin with three picks.

There are recipes in the book that comes with the grocery list. The exercises have pictures to show one how to do the exercises and there is a section on 20 ways to stick to your workout. Stock your kitchen and change your life is a helpful and healthy section on page 68-79.

The Conclusion on page 255 is "Where do you want to be 4 weeks from now?". "The investments you'll make today will pay off tomorrow, next month, and for years to come. Now's the time to seize a healthier, happier future- and make it your own.".

I recommend this book, it is a lifestyle not a diet book.

I received The Lean Belly Prescription from Pssst, a General Mills Site when I entered a contest. The opinions are my own.

Leona Olson

"At General Mills, we value the feedback we receive from our consumers and we recognize the importance and relevance of your emails and calls. Pssst…is another way for General Mills to reach out to consumers and tap them for input on our newest product launches. We want Pssst…members’ honest opinions, and we hope they’ll help spread the word to family and friends when they discover various products they like. Pssst membership is free"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

No He Can't: How Barack OBama is Dismantling Hope and Change

 How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change

This is a very factual book and good read for anyone no matter what party they belong or like.

Kevin McCullough has facts on Barack Obama since he became Senator of Illinois. He has dates, figures and statements that the reader may or may not remember.

I did not realize one of Obama's first votes was to let babies die from late term abortions. Page xviii'

Over and over the author the uses the term "We the People" in his book.

There are four sections: Part One: Economics; Part Two: National Insecurity; Part Three: Erosion of Rights and Part Four: Accountability to Caesar. At the end of most chapters, Kevin McCullough has a section of "Time for a Bit of Clarity". The author has facts to stand behind what he is writing.

Cash for Clunker facts on page 25, tells how We the People spend 2 billion for 250,000 junk cars.

On Health Care, CNN/Opinion poll from August 2, 2009 reported that only 23 percent wanted this bill. Page 64.

On page 150-151 is when the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly".

Many name are in this book of people and places and organizations. Some are: Ronald Regan, President Bush. Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Kevin Jennings, bin Laden, John Kerry, Kevin Jennings, Major Nidal Hasan ( Fort Hood), Warren Buffet and Megyn Kelly(page 180 for her toughness). (( I picked these names from the book and they are not in any order-Leona)).

I think this is a book for old and young. Hopefully it can get through some heads that America is We the People. Kevin McCullough is a Conservative and it shows in is writings.

I first saw this book on Huckabee on FOX and requested it from Thomas Nelson Publishers to read and review. This book was complimentary but the opinions are my own. I laughed at the title because I felt it was telling Obama he can't take from us. This is a serious book. Read it and share your opinions.

Mike Huckabee wrote a foreword for No He Can't: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Galileo by Mitch Stokes

This is a book about Galileo Galilei and some other men of science. I always thought of Galileo being an astronomer but find he was so talented in mathematics and physics. His father wanted him to be in medicine but that was not where Galileo's interest was. This was a very detailed book on theories and methods of experiments. Math and physics are not at the top of my list so I had problems with some of the details; my husband could understand the physics when I read part of the book to him.

I liked the personal touches about his family and his devotion to the Church; it made the reader understand the man himself. References like: He played the flute which probably reminded him of his father. Galileo had poor health and still continued to write by dictating his books after he was blind. That was so impressive think that someone was so positive in what he believed. Galileo was a faithful Catholic to the end. I finished this book during Holy Week. Galileo was allowed go to Mass during Holy Week but could not talk to anyone; the Church had a lot of control in those days.

Some names in the book that we have read in our history and science books are Aristotle, Euclid, Newton, Plato, Pope Urban Vlll, Archimedes and Copernicus to name a few.

Galileo is a detailed book and there is so much in this small book of less than 200 pages. I think anyone especially interested in science and math should read it. It is a re-read for the readers who have an intetest.

Mitch Stokes is a Fellow of Philosophy at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. His classes must be very interesting with the knowledge he has. I look forward to reading other books by him. The book, Galileo, peaks an interest in reading more of the Copernicus Theory.

I received a complimentary copy of Galileo from Thomas Nelson Publishers and The opinions are my own. Go to www. for a list of the Christian Encounters Series.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Story Teller Magazine

The Story Teller Tymes by Irish Monahan.

I received a complimentary copy of this online magazine to read and review from LibraryThing. The opinions are my own.

I reviewed the October issue about Halloween and things in the Fall Season. Lots of poetry and suggestions to help keep the children safe. There is a small charge for the magazines and can be in print or pdf.

This is also a free site for young children between the ages of 8-12. It is so educational and fun. There are sections for education, parents, exercise and more. The magazine may be downloaded or in print for a charge. There is so much on this site a young child could be kept busy for hours. They use U Tube for exercise and videos (I watched the one on sharks and it is a little strong) but the company suggests that you do his with your child and learn together and the parents can talk to their child/children about the topics.

The Index is: Playhouse News, Story Garden, Learning Center, Entertainment, Coloring Book, Irish's Backpack, Parent's Place and Contact Irish.

I am a grandmother and will check on some of the publications in their Book Shop for Christmas and/or birthdays.

They are looking for submissions.

Go to their site for more information. There is so much, I cannot put all the information here. This is a wonderful magazine and I do not think a parent or grandparent will be disappointed.

Leona Olson

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doctor, Doctor by Lori Handeland

Doctor, Doctor by Lori Handeland is a nice romance about the boy and girl who live next door to each other in the small Wisconsin town of Pine River. As adults, they are rekindling their relationship they had as childhood friends.

This is a love story not only about a man and woman but also about love of a parent and a child, love of animals and a lost love. A fast reading book than has some love scenes which, I think, are well done.

Gwen Bartelt has moved to the city of Milwaukee and is an ER doctor. Her father is the doctor in Pine River, breaks a leg and needs her help. She takes over his practice for a month and only for a month she said as she is needed by her fiancee who is also a doctor at the same hospital in Milwaukee.

The boy, or man now, next door is Eli Drycinski who is a veterinarian in Pine River and loves the small town atmosphere. He has always been in love with Gwen and wants her to stay.

I liked the references to Eli's dogs, Elwood and Jake. These dogs, as my daughter's Golden, loves their tennis balls. At one point in the book, Eli is leaving and the dogs are hanging out their tongues and almost saying "Car Ride, Car Ride" and they get into the car.

Lots of memories of the childhood of Gwen and Eli, Gwen's mother who dies when Gwen was 2 years old and the school teacher whose age was unknown.

The story revolves around a number of characters who are all involved in some manner.

The author brings in the personal attributes of Wisconsin: the Polka, beer, families and food. Lori Handeland lives in Wisconsin. I live in Minnesota.

Not a real deep novel but one who most readers can relate. This is different than the author's series of the Moon books. I will give it four star.

You can order the e-book from for $2.99.

I received a complimentary copy of Doctor,Doctor from Smashwords. The opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl

Review of another Triple Threat Club book by Lis Wiehl with April Henry.

Three professional women in the book all have a personal story which captures the reader's heart and emotions.

Nicole Hedges is an FBI agent, Allison Pierce is a federal prosecutor and Cassidy Shaw is a TV crime reporter. The three met in college and one time shared a Triple Threat Chocolate Cake and so named themselves the Triple Threat Club.

The mystery is not who has done the crimes but makes you wonder how it will end. A page turner with many twists that will keep the reader interested. Elizabeth, or Sissy, is a cold blooded woman whose has a heart of ice as the book title refers. The reader is not sure what she will do next and how.

Murder, conceit, hate, love, tough love, guilt, worry, emotions and prayers and some of the tag words to describe Heart of Ice.

I could relate to the bruised arm in archery, I did that also when I was in high school and that brought back a memory for me, not a good one because it does hurt and sting. I also relate to turning on the TV and FOX comes on; happens in our house all the time.

The author really describes the breast biopsy of Nicole and you are almost with her as she describes the method. Your heart goes out to her.

Lis Wiehl is an attorney and it shows in the descriptions of grand jury and procedures police and the FBI use. I personally like a book when I can learn something.

No swear words (that I remember) or ones that begin with the f word that I am seeing so much now. God is mentioned a number of times and one I liked is when Allison is praying because of her sister, Lindsay, " Lord, give me a loving heart. Help me to see my sister through Your eyes". It is not a religious book and not a steamy book. A good read.

The last book, Hand of Fate, Allison had a miscarriage that broke your heart and in this book, Nicole faces the possiblility of breast cancer. The characters in these Triple Threat Club mysteries leave you with the feeling that these three women could be your sister, your best friend or someone you know at work.

The books, Face of Betrayal, Hand of Fate and Heart of Ice need not be read in order. There is a reading group guide at the end of the book that can be used for a book club.

 I received a complimentary copy of Heart of Ice to read and review from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Reviews are on The opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Ash Spear by G. R. Grove

The Ash Spear is based in medieval Britain in the 6th century, the Dark Ages, and is the third of the series.
The other books are Storyteller and Flight of the Hawk written by G. R. Grove.
Gwernin Kyarwyd is an apprentice bard, or storyteller, and this is a story of his journeys and trials. He is telling the story which begins in his seventeenth year and his second year of being an apprentice to become a harper and bard from his teacher Talhaearn Tad Awen. Talhaearn is the pencerdd (head poet) and harper to Cyndrwyn, prince of western Powys in mid-Wales.
Gwernim has a love, Rhiannedd, who is "the dark-haired delight of my heart" and she is carrying his child.
There are a number of characters in this book that have a close connections and loyalty to each other. Some other characters are Taliesin Ben Beirdd, Ieuan, Ugnach of Caer Sean and Neirin. The names are Welsh and hard to understand at first.
I had to go back and read the first chapters to get the names straight. I have not read the other two books and think they may have helped but this can be a stand alone book. I began to pull the pieces together.
The book is after the time of King Arthur and Taliesin tells the story of when he was the bard for Arthur and the final battle.
One character in the book, Neirin, is going to walk the Dark Path and needs the help of three bards. The Dark Path is a Druidic spiritual rite of passage. It is becoming a true bard. They go to the Island of Mon,
The Ash Spear was "the symbol of warfare and manhood but also stood for awen, the poet's inspiration of the bards". I had to find this on researching because somehow I missed the definition in the book.
I liked the saying after most chapters" O, my children, is a story for another day" which encourages the reader to keep reading. It was like a bard leaving you waiting.
G. R. Grove does an excellent job of descriptions and helps the reader know where the characters are and what they feel. There are emotions, pain, food, drinks, people, daily lives and worry. I really liked this book and look forward to reading her other books. I give it a five star because of the details and leaving me to want to do more research.
Go to the authors blog on to see what she is writing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Marked by the Moon by Lori Handeland

This is the first boook I have read by Lori Handeland and found it different and page moving. The main characters are Alexandra Trevalyn and Julian Barlow and the electricity between them is very emotional. Alex is trying to klill werewolves and find the killer of her father. She, as her father, belongs to the Jager-Sucher, whose main purpose is to kill the werewolves. Juilan Barlow is the alpha or leader of werewolves who live in Alaska. He makes werewolves, who accept the change, and they are part of his group that live in Barlowsville. Be prepared for some sulty scenes and also some language the author uses. I want to remark that she does a good job using the word, Inuit instead of the common word Eskimo. The book mentions some of the words we no longer use and Eskimo is one of them. (I personally feel it is a matter of becoming educated on words and when people use them, they are used to using the old terms.) Read her book to get a different type of book and "feel" the feelings of the charcters. Lori Habndeland does a good job of bringing the reader into the book. I look froward to reading her other books. Look for her on Facebook.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Precious Moments Storybook Bible Book Review

This is certainly a Precious Moments book with the wonderful illustrations. The stories are from the Bible that can be read to children.
The table of contents has Favorite Bible Classics, Words of Praise and Wisdom, More Stories of the Faith and Songs and Prayers. There is a Family Tree section and as one who does genealogy, I like this. The scriptures are taken from the Bible and are simple for a child. The Lord is My Shepherd on page 70 is in words children can understand.
The stories are not in order but the book does not need to be read in any order. Pick and choose a section to read to your child as they are very short.
This is a wonderful gift for new parents and one they can read to their child when he/she is young.The last chapter has songs and prayers that a lot of us learned as a child. Page 174: God is great, and God is good. Let us thank him for our food. By his hand we all are fed; Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread.
There are 191 pages and the book is 7 3/4 " X 10 1/4 ". The cover is hard.
A recommended book. This copy will go to my 3 year old great-grandson.


I received a complimentary e-book copy of Galveston from LibraryThing and the author P.G. Nagle.
The book is about the Civil War and the personal emotions of the characters in the book; the book works up to the Battle in Galveston, Texas on January 1, 1863 and the retaking of Galveston by the Confederates from the Union.
I also have a new e-reader and prefer a book because it is easier to find a passage in the book when checking details but must say I liked this version because I took it on a cruise and also had other books with me.
I liked this book and since it has been a long time since I had Texas History in school, it taught me something about the Civil War in Galveston and this area. I found the facts in the book interesting and books like this always encourage me to check deeper into the subject. Two examples: Albert Miller Lea has a town in Minnesota named after him ( I now live in Minnesota) and John Bankhead Magruder's middle name is the name of the highway in my hometown of Monahans, Texas; US 80 and now Interstate 20.
The book begins with so many characters, I had to reread the pages to get organized. The Russell family are the main characters in the book and names fall into place; even the horse that belongs to Jamie (James) is named Cocoa. I personally think the names bring you closer to understanding the characters. Emma, sister of Jamie, lost her fiance, Stephen, in the Battle at Valverde and her emotions show in the wiping the tears from her eyes as an example. He is mentioned throughout the book as one really would remember a loved one in real life.
Jamie takes Emma to Galveston to be with the sister of their mother, May, and new characters are brought in to the book. Emma has worked hard on the family farm with her parents and brothers and now in Galveston takes music lessons as well as learning needlework. "She turned over her embroidery hoop and began to pick at her knot with her needle". Anyone who has done needlework knows of this problem.
The actions in the Battle of Galveston felt real and were very detailed. One ship the Harriet Lane is a boat in history and the battle.
The author has a Union Lieutenant, Quincy Wheat, a main character in the book and the chapters go back and forth between the main characters; this gives the reader gets a look into the feelings of both sides.
Reading this book is an opening to gain information about the history of Texas and the Civil War in another area we usually do not think of the war.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011