The Dragon Stone Trilogy: The Complete Box Set: Dragon Stones, Return of the Dragon Riders, Vosper’s Revenge by Kristian Alva

The Dragon Stone Trilogy: The Complete Box Set: Dragon Stones, Return of the Dragon Riders, Vosper's RevengeThe Dragon Stone Trilogy: The Complete Box Set: Dragon Stones, Return of the Dragon Riders, Vosper’s Revenge by Kristian Alva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like reading about dragons then this series will likely satisfy your yearnings for a good read with dragons. The first book starts out a bit rough but soon smooths out for an enjoyable read. The second book shows improvement with the author’s skill and incorporates a better development of characters and plot lines. The third book is considerably better than the first two up until the very end where the ending feels a bit rushed. Overall the read is enjoyable and light with few noticeable mistakes. I received an e-ARC through Masquerade Tours in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Black-Eyed SusansBlack-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best book I’ve read in quite a while and the best psychological thriller I’ve read that I can recall. That’s rather high praise from me as I don’t give out five stars very often. I thoroughly enjoy the way this book is written and the flow is spot on. The story starts out from a point that draws in the reader in such way that you want to keep reading. I found this book to be very difficult to put down once I started reading. The story is intriguing and the characters, especially Tessie, to be very well developed. I can easily recommend this book to readers of mystery, suspense, psychological, thrillers, or who just want to read a very good book. I received an e-ARC through Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Science of Swimming Faster by Scott Riewal

Science of Swimming FasterScience of Swimming Faster by Scott Riewald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone who gets into the water to swim can benefit from even a light reading of this book. The section on nutrition can be used by anyone in any sport. The book is set up with various sections devoted to that particular topic so finding what you want to learn about is easy. I like that it can be used by the swimmer, the coach, the parent or just about anybody with no complicated high-tech ways of saying things. I was eager to be able to read this book since my son (10) is an avid swimmer and swims in USA Swimming sanctioned competitions (meets). This is a reference I am sure I’ll be coming back to time and time again. I like everything about this book and feel I can easily recommend it to others, swimmers or not. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way has influenced my opinion although seeing my son smile upon hearing he can learn ways to be faster sure has.

Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady

Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every DaySeven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While this is a fantastic cookbook to flip through and makes a excellent conversation piece -just leave it on the coffee-table and see how irresistible it is to pick up and talk about- don’t expect to pick it up and start cooking right away. The ingredient lists are chock full of things I have never purchased or things I wouldn’t know what to do without a cookbook like this one. There are several beautiful pictures although I could have used a few more. I like the organization except that the sauces are added on at the end like an afterthought when they should couple with the recipes they are used with. I am comfortable in the kitchen and love to try new things so I’m sure I’ll be using this cookbook more often. Overall this is a beautiful book that just about anyone can use. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review through Blogging For Books.

Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alex Kershaw

Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied ParisAvenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alex Kershaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As memoirs go this one is well written and enjoyable to read, if you are into reading about personal experiences and triumph during times of often terrifying ordeals. The topic is one that should be visited more often or else it will be repeated. I don’t think enough people realize just how wide-spread the Nazi regime was or how horrible life was during that time in history. Too many people either turn a blind eye or swear it never happened. Well it did and it needs to be taught on a broader scope. That said I’ll step down from my little soap box and tell you that this is actually interesting reading and the author did a fine job telling the series of events in a personal way. Overall this is an excellent choice in the memoir genre and one I can easily recommend. I received an ARC through Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Exploring Christian Theology: Creation, Fall, and Salvation by Michael J. Svigel

Exploring Christian Theology: Creation, Fall, and SalvationExploring Christian Theology: Creation, Fall, and Salvation by Michael J. Svigel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The title should tell you just what is inside. The information is logically presented and organized with quite a few tidbits I didn’t know. I feel it can be read and studied regardless of which flavor of Christian you might be and that it has something for everyone. It’s not a read in one sitting type book nor is it a read and put away type book. It’s meant to be digested in your own pace and referred to on a regular basis. Overall this is a very informative book well worth keeping around. I received an ARC through Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Sword and the Song by C.E. Laureano

The Sword and the Song (The Song of Seare #3)The Sword and the Song by C.E. Laureano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laureano is back with the third installment of the fantasy series The Song of Seare and it is quite popular with my fellow Christian Fiction readers. If you are looking for some exciting yet clean fantasy this is the book (series) to read. It didn’t feel preachy to me which is a bit issue. I enjoyed the plot and the pace felt good. It was certainly difficult to put down once I started reading. The characters are well fleshed out and continue to develop at a well thought out pace. I couldn’t find anything I disliked about the book or the series, which is rare. Oath of the Brotherhood and Beneath the Forsaken City are well worth picking up even if you’re not typically a Christian Fiction or Fantasy reader. Overall I feel this book (and series) is well organized and planned out making it a very enjoyable read. I received an ARC through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

A Slice of Quietude by Sharon Cho

A Slice of Quietude (Woven Myths #1)A Slice of Quietude by Sharon Cho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My son (22) picked this book up from my to-be-read pile on his way through my library, er, I mean, the living room. When he returned it he said, “You really should review this one before all those others. I loved it. It’s really great.” He then launched into a near-speech about the main character and her powers, the various other primary characters, the adventures they went on and how hilarious parts were. He then asked for the next book in the series. While this may not seem like a huge deal at first, once you understand that this is not someone who enjoys reading, it really is a big deal. 95% of books he picks up are quickly tossed to the side or returned to the pile with a groan about how awful it was. Clearly this is a very well written book with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. I skimmed the first chapters and actually found myself chuckling and almost didn’t put it back down. So while I can’t say I read and reviewed it myself, I can say that it earned very high marks from a very picky reader and that’s enough for me to feel good about five stars. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion (or my son’s).

The Call of Agon (The Children of Telm #1) by Dean F. Wilson

The Call of Agon (The Children of Telm, #1)The Call of Agon by Dean F. Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Call of Agon. For me this is what the fantasy genre should read like. The writing is solid and well edited. The characters feel well fleshed out and authentic with flaws and goals. I like how each character sounds as though they speak with their own voices, not the voice of the author. The plot feels fresh and well conceived with a good flow throughout the book. I expect to be seeing this author’s name again. I received an e-ARC through Masquerade Tours in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion which may or may not mirror your own.

One Creepy Street: The Spider on the Web by Lee Jordan

One Creepy Street: The Spider on the WebOne Creepy Street: The Spider on the Web by Lee Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With so many children’s books out there how do you know which ones your child should read? I have often asked myself that while raising my own three and especially so now that my youngest is drawn to the internet to play games with friends. Not every parent is equipped with the tools to teach their kids the dangers of such an enjoyable place. Kids are not naturally afraid of what is out there and some kids are overly trusting. I was excited to be able to read and review this book because I strongly feel anything parents can use to help teach their kids without turning them into a mess of phobias is vital. I let my son (10) read it to get his feedback as well. His first comment was “I already knew that mom.” That did my fuel my pride and my feelings about this book. We both noticed the indirect reminder to delete things you don’t want others to find. My son thought that was a good idea until I explained that’s how the police can find missing kids. I’d love to see this as part of a school reading program so more kids are enlightened about a possible danger in a light-hearted memorable way. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Windup GirlThe Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It should have been a solid enjoyable read but sadly it isn’t. Well, unless you enjoy reading about objectified women who serve no purpose but to insert a reason to write about rape. Oh, and this same woman has to suddenly kill someone without understanding the reasoning behind it or the ramifications because of it. The world building was a bit shaky in that it is there but so much is left unexplained. The plot has great potential if not for the various loopholes that just don’t make sense even in a SF novel. Even if you cut out the rape, fix the world-building and repair the plot holes you are still left with things that just don’t add up or are cheap writing techniques I despise. If those things don’t bother you then you’ll likely love this novel and rave about how great it is. Perhaps my dislike of this read is purely due to my standards of what makes a great book. I invite you to read it and make your own opinions as everybody has different tastes. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion, which may or may not mirror your own and that’s fine.

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Speaking in Bones (Temperance Brennan, #18)Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Reichs book I’ve read although I have seen several episodes of the show that is based on the book. Typically I avoid crossing between books and movies or shows based on books but my curiosity has been elevated about who Temperance was supposed to be so I dived in with an open mind. The writing is very well presented and edited with an air of intelligence and a deeper understanding of the content. The plot moved along at a steady pace with only a few small surprises or “ah-ha” moments. The characters are well developed and fleshed out, as though you were reading about people you knew instead of flat portrayals of humans which is refreshing. I didn’t feel like there were any gaps in the story from my lack of reading the first 17 books but I’m sure reading them would provide more information on things that were hinted at now and then. Overall I’d say this is an excellently written book great for those quiet afternoons by the pool or however you relax. I received an e-arc through Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion which may or may not mirror your own and that’s fine with me.

Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel, #3)Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first venture into a Janet Evanovich book although I’ve heard about her enough through those who swear she’s the best author out there. I can’t say I feel any one author is “the best” although I do prefer some over others purely due to my personal taste. That said, I can honestly say that Evanovich has a very good handle on the English language. Her writing is intelligently comprised with appropriate humor keeping the overall read light and enjoyable. The characters feel like I’ve known them for ages, very well fleshed out and a joy to experience. I’m not so sure how fresh and unique the plot is but at least it is enjoyable to follow. Overall this is a well conceived book with a complete feel to it. I received an e-arc through Random House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith

The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1)The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I generally prefer my novels full of character creation, fleshing and development I actually didn’t find the lack of this nearly as bothersome as I thought I might. It’s not to say there isn’t any fleshing out or development, just that there isn’t a whole lot of that going on in this particular book. But then again this feels like a YA urban fantasy/paranormal type read with enough maturity to appeal to older minded readers. There’s just enough provided about the world they are in for the reader to know where and when. Griffith does a fine job with the action sequences making it easy to visualize everything in my head, which I appreciate since this isn’t a heavy read. Overall this is a fun easy and enjoyable read when you are looking for some darker fantasy without the heavy load. I received an e-arc through Random House Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion which may or may not mirror your own – and that’s ok!

How To Force A Redirect To The Classic WordPress.com Editor Interface

Jenn:

For those of you struggling with the beep beep boop or who just want to stay with the classic editor, read this. If you are one of the few who love the beep beep boop, well, enjoy your visit.

Originally posted on Diary of Dennis:

classic editor wordpress

The Solution To Use The Classic Editor

If you are blogger at wordpress.com, this post here will help you to solve a big problem. As you have noticed, the decision makers at WordPress want to force you to use the recent new editor interface that is purely designed for mobile devices and for users who only create short-form content. This is of course a pain if you are desktop user and if you like to create long-form content as well. In this post you will learn how to get back to the classic editor permanently.

In the new editor form, we had a link back to the classic editor but that link is now gone too. WordPress does not have the intention to give us the link back as you can read here in the forums. If you go through this huge forum thread, you will find out…

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