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T's Stuff too

I love to read and actually read books from several genre's. My favorite is paranormal though. I also have been blessed with 11 Grand Children from our 4 kids, so I do read a lot of Children's books as well to the kids. i have a regular blog where I post tons of book tours. Check it out if you enjoy books: http://teresanoel.blogspot.com/.


This blog is for reviews of the books I have read. I do also accept books from authors to read and review. Contact me if you have a book you would like reviewed at my email: mshogrider67@gmail.com

Elgin Park: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24th scale by Michael Paul Smith, Gail K. Ellison

ELGIN PARK: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24th scale - Michael Paul Smith, Gail K. Ellison

I am in shock and awe of what one man has done with a folding table, a toy car, and a doll house. This book is basically a behind the scenes look at how Michael Paul Smith builds his photography town of Elgin Park. What goes into making the houses and buildings. How he comes up with his backstory for the town. And a small introduction into the mind of a Photography Super Hero. Anyone who is into photography who sees this book will probably agree with me when I call him a Super Hero.


When I first saw this book I was thinking I was just going to get a book of photographs but I got so much more. I loved reading about how Michael Paul Smith came up with Elgin Park, how he builds his backdrops, how he twists a photo into a meaningful story.

I have a true love of photography.


I have well over 100,000 pictures on my hard drive I have taken myself but nothing like this. I see, I like, I take a picture of it. Michael Paul Smith see's with is imagination, takes a toy car from his vast collection, builds a house or building then goes out in the town he lives in to find the perfect backdrop for his photos. Whether it is a bridge, a set of trees, another building, or just in his driveway.


Michael Paul Smith has invented his own town called Elgin Park. He bases it on the town of Sewickley Pennsylvania, where he grew up.

Michael Paul Smith builds his own houses to 1/24 scale. He completely furnishes most of them all hand made mind you. He has thought of everything from the tiniest napkin holders in the diner to the tarps to cover cars.


His photos have no people but his captions added to each photo tells the story of the lives of the people in Elgin Park without their faces. Your minds eye can picture this town with people everywhere doing their day to day thing, shopping, working, kids playing, dogs barking whatever. It really makes you want to pack and move to this small imaginary town.


If you were to see these photos without knowing they were props you would think they were real life photo's taken in the 20's to the 60's when life was simpler. some of these photo's are taken on Michael's kitchen counter's but you would never know. Everything is done to scale. You cannot tell where reality and prop begin or end in the photo's. They look so real. This a a book I will be cherishing for years to come. I may even try some tips I learned in the book just to see what and if I can come anywhere near accomplishing even the tiniest bit of what Michael Paul Smith has.


I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

Kisses for Kindergarten by Livingstone Crouse

Kisses for Kindergarten - Livingstone Crouse, Macky Pamintuan

Stella Isabelle Harden is trying to decide if she wants to go to Kindergarten or not. At first she thinks no because her puppy told her so. As she rethinks her day at school she imagines all that she will do. Everything is going great until it is story time. Stella decides then she has to go so she can read her puppy Buster stories. Buster also gives the best wet kisses. 


This book would be great for any child fixing to start school. It is written in rhyme. The pictures are spectacular. It is a short read but really will help a child who is afraid of starting school.  


I received this book from the author or publisher on netgalley.com to read and review.

Feliz Pascua, Querido Dragon / Happy Easter, Dear Dragon by Margaret Hillert

Feliz Pascua, Querido Dragon / Happy Easter, Dear Dragon (Dear Dragon Bilingual) - Margaret Hillert, Jack Pullan

This is a great book in so many ways. It as a cute easy and quick to read story. But it also features the story in both English and Spanish on the same page. The pictures are very nicely done throughout the book. The words are easy words for beginning readers. I like that the child can learn to read  the book in the chosen language and then when they have that mastered they can learn it in either English or Spanish.  Also at the end of the book their are teaching tips fr the parents to make this book educational for the child.  Younger children from 2 to 5 will enjoy the story itself but from 5 and up can use this book for learning as well.


The story is about a boy and his pet dragon. In the beginning they are outside enjoying all the newness Spring has to offer from brightly colored flowers to new baby ducks. Then they go inside and decorate Easter eggs, decorate an Easter tree, have a egg hunt, go to church, and enjoy Easter. 


I received this book from the author or publisher on netgalley.com to read and review.

A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson

 A Loud Winter's Nap  - Katy Hudson

This really an adorable story for the little ones. I would say ages 1 to 6. The pictures in the book are awesome. They really grab the kids attention. It is a very short story great for a bedtime story or just a few minutes of time with your child. 


The story is about Tortoise. It is winter time and Tortoise just wants to nap until Spring. Every time he thinks he has found a nice comfy spot the other forest animals are close by making a lot of noise. So poor Tortoise packs his stuff and moves to another place just to be awoken again by more forest animals playing.  Tortoise finds what he thinks is a perfect spot. It just happens to be a sled at the top of a hill. By the time Tortoise's ride to the bottom of the hill is over he is no longer sleepy and decides he loves winter. 


I received this book from the Author and Netgalley.com to read and review. 

Remember No More by Jan Newton

Remember No More - Jan Newton

Julie Kite with a new promotion to Sargent is leaving big city life as a cop to follow her husband to a small town Mid-Wales. Her husband decides he needs a change and Julie decides in order to save her marriage this is what she must do.


When you put a big city cop into a small town things are bound to shake up a bit. Julie is used to going after the big crimes but must settle into small town life and small town crimes. She has a lot to learn about small town life to fit in. But her big city police training comes in handy when they get a huge case that none of the small town force is equipped to deal with.


This is a great mystery to read. It is full of twists and turns during the investigation. it is a pretty fast moving story and kept my attention.

Treasure in Paradise (Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery #7) by Kathi Daley

Treasure in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery) (Volume 7) - Kathi Daley

I have read other books by Kathi Daley and other books in this series. I really like Kathi's writing style and love the characters. I really like that these books can be read as stand alones. Like I said I have read other books in the series but when I picked them or this one up I did not really need the full back story to keep up with the book. There are a few references to other books but they are explained so you are not lost. I like how these are mysteries with a touch of romance. There is very little colorful words and no sex in this book and the others of her's I have read. I don't mind sex and cussing but these books just don't need it to make for an interesting read.


In this book Tj takes her family of 2 young sisters, Grand Pa, Doc a family friend, Kyle her best friend, 4 cats and 3 dogs from Arizona to Gull Island on the east coast for the summer to help a family friend who has had a stoke by overseeing renovations to his resort.


As they arrive the first thing they discover is a dead body in the attic. Tj who has a nose for investigating takes it upon herself to figure out who killed the man in the attic. She is also trying to sword off the efforts of a big corporation who is trying to buy the resort and turn it into a mega resort.


I love the feel of Gull Island that Kathi gives. Sounds like a wonderful place to go spend some down time. It is small town at its finest. Every one knows everyone and sounds like it would be a great lace for a stress free vacation, minus the dead body of course. The story moves along nicely it bounces between TJ's investigation and family life. Which lends a sweetness to an otherwise terrible murder mystery.

Sorrow's Turn (Marker Chronicles, #3) by Danielle DeVor

Sorrow's Turn (The Marker Chronicles Book 3) - Danielle DeVor

I have read the first 3 books in this series so far. Book 1 was really good, book 2 I wasn't all that crazy about book 3 (this one) was pretty good. I do like the pretense of the series just not crazy about the lead character Jimmy. Boy needs to man up and get serious instead of being a whiny baby.


Jimmy Holiday is a reluctant exorcist. He is all a defrocked Priest and is living with Tabby a witch, 2 spirits Lucy and Doc, and a cat. I have to say my favorite part of the book was when Tabby told him to quit whining. Jimmy is a real whiner he goes on about everything all the time to the point it really distracts from the story. I guess it a personality trait Danielle Devor has given him but it gets on my nerves. I think if he didn't whine quite to much I would love these books more.

In this book at first Jimmy is getting ready to go to Italy to begin his exorcism classes. he will be taking Lucy with him since her soul is attached to him. Doc will be going to wherever he goes to recharge and Tabby will be staying home. Right before he is to head to Italy they find out that Lucy's body has passed away. Jimmy wonders what will happen to her soul now.


I really don't want to go into much more detail of the book as there are twists and turn in this one and If I go into to detail it will take away from someone who reads my review and then the book. I do lie that in a way this book is more centered on the rest of the main characters we get to know them a little better.

Mama's Knight A Cancer Story of Love by Aurora Whittet

Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love - Aurora Whittet

I would give this book 1000 stars if I could. As a cancer survivor this book is very special to me. My children were not small but were still young when I battled my cancer. I wish this book had of been round to share with them. The book will make a child feel special during a horrible time in their families life. The book is also kind of like a log, that you fill out. The Child is knighted as on the first pages. So they have a special place in the journey.


The story is from a Mama with cancer to their special Knight. To give them love and support as well as helping them to understand the battle. I cried while reading this book and am crying again as I write this. Cancer is a horrible time for anyone and their families. Children especially since they want to help but cannot.


Aurora Whittet has done an amazing job with this book. She can help so many families with her special story and by making every child feel special. This will also help the Mama's by giving them a way of helping them help their child through their harrowing journey.

Sorrow's Edge bk 2 The Maker’s Chronicles by Danielle DeVor

Sorrow's Edge - Danielle DeVor

This is the 2nd book in the series. The series should be read in order or you will be a bit lost at times. In this book Jimmy and Tabby are moving in together and trying their relationship again. Tabby does not know at first Lucy has tagged along as well. As in the 1st book Jimmy gets a phone call at 3AM asking for help. Jimmy gets a package in the mail of a Old Flask and then one morning Jimmy wakes up and finds an IPad on his kitchen table. It is from the Order. Jimmy, Tabby, and Lucy get on a plane for Tombstone Arizona to find the caller asking for help. He gets to meet his Ancestor Doc Holliday as well as the Devil himself. Things are not always what they seem in this story.


I personally did not care for this book near as much as I did the 1st book in the series. I really liked the 1st book. Jimmy does not really want to be an Exorcist and does not want to be in Tombstone and lets you the reader really know it all the way through the book so much so that I felt almost like Danielle DeVore was was sending a subliminal message that she did not want to write this book. At times the story drug on so much I almost put it down and other important parts raced on and was over and done with way to fast. The book was not terrible, don't get me wrong it just wasn't near as good as I hoed it would be. I am starting book 3 next. I have high hopes for it.

Sarah at the Wedding by Pauline Oud

Sarah at the Wedding (Ian and Sarah) - Pauline Oud
Cute and short picture book. There is an actual story about the kids getting ready for the wedding and the wedding itself. It also questions that your small child can answer by pointing at the pictures. Like What did Dad loose? They would point to the picture or say socks. Also at the end of the book are some cute craft projects, a wedding veil and hat, that could really get the little ones into the story.


Penmort Castle (Ghosts and Reincarnation #1) by Kristen Ashley

Penmort Castle - Kristen Ashley

I have to say I chose this book for the Ghost factor. I was a bit disappointed that there was very little ghost until the very end. It is still a okay book if you are into romance though. I wasn't really crazy about the lead characters at all actually all of the characters had flaws. Cash the leading man needed kicked in the nuts a time or 10 and Abby the leading lady needed a good dose of reality upside the head. I just was not as enthralled with this book as most of the other reviews.

Abby has lost her whole family in the last 6 years. Both parents, Grandmother, and then her husband. She decides to leave America and start over in her Grandmother's house in England. She is in desperate need of money to save the house she loves, and ties her to her families memory. A friend of hers tells her about becoming a paid escort for extra money. So she gives it a shot.

Cash is a rich international spy hunter. He is looking for revenge on his Uncle. To get the revenge he needs a professional escort to be his girlfriend for 1 month. Cash hires Abby. He has a long list of requirements Abby must agree to in order to get paid. Reluctantly Abby agrees. Cash is very dominating and has Abby bending over backwards to fill his commands, but she needs the money so goes with it. Shortly after their arrangements begin Cash and Abby both start feeling more for each other then Boss and employee, but neither are willing to admit it to themselves or each other.

The Ghost haunts Penmort Castle. This is Cash's family home and should rightfully be his but his Uncle and family are living their. Cash has recently bought all of his Uncle's debt which includes the Castle but has not told his Uncle. The Ghost is said to kill the true love of each of the men's as her revenge of her death. Abby does not believe she is the true love so figures she is safe. Cash does not believe in ghosts. When Abby gets hurt they both try to explain it away.

Abby ends up calling her Friend, her neighbor, and a few other people in to help send the ghost on and to save her life.

Sorrow's Point (Marker Chronicles, #1) by Danielle DeVor

Sorrow's Point - Danielle DeVor

Sorrow's Point is book 1 of the Marker Chronicles. I don't call it scary but it sure is creepy. We get our first meeting with Jimmy Holiday. He is an Ex Catholic Priest. He chose a woman over the church, and not just any woman but a witch. After the witch Tabby and his relationship did not work out Jimmy is now a graphic designer living alone. One night at 3 AM his phone rings, reluctantly he answers. It is Will an old friend he grew up with. Will is in a state of despair. He asks Jimmy to meet with him to talk. Little did Jimmy know Will made the phone call from his driveway. Will asks Jimmy to hep him with his daughter who is possessed, thinking he is still a Priest. Jimmy decides to go with Will and determine for himself if 6 year old Lucy is possessed or not. After arriving he decides he is going to need help so he calls his Ex Tabby. Jimmy contacts the church with proof of the possession but is told they must wait 6 month to get a exorcism. Jimmy knows Lucy cannot last that long so takes it upon himself to perform the exorcism.

The book was pretty good and help my attention from page 1 throughout. I liked how they mixed both religions, Catholic and Pagan. I wish the reactions between Jimmy and Tabby had of been a bit more realistic. I did not particularly care for Will and Tor, Lucy's parent. Their parts in the book could of been improved upon. I get that they were at their wits end but they were really unrealistic. I also felt like the end was rushed. The whole book leading up to the exorcism and it was over in just a couple of pages. The very end is left wide open for book 2, I'm okay with that though since I will be reading it next.

Deep Blue (Deep Blue Trilogy #1) by Kathleen Duhamel

Deep Blue (Deep Blue Trilogy) (Volume 1) - Kathleen Duhamel

After surviving cancer, divorcing her cheating husband, and starting her own art business, 58 year old Claire Martin has another thing on her to do list. She wants to find an older man with a young spirit and have the love of a lifetime, even this late in life. During an art show Robert Silver, the lead singer of Claire's favorite band Deep Blue stops by her booth and chooses not only one of her paintings but her as well. 


Robert is everything Claire has dreamed about in a man. He takes her places, they do things she could only dream of. He even asks her to marry him, which she says YES!! But then his world starts crashing down around his ears. I Clair strong enough to hold them both up?


This was a really good book. I loved the how Kathleen Duhamel brought all the characters together and made them true to life. The story as well as the relationship was a whirlwind but not hard to follow. I did listen to the audiobook and thought it was good. I do wish Laura Witek had of pt a bit more feeling and emotion into the narration but it was still good. 

Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee by Christopher K. Coleman

Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee - Chris Coleman

I recently went to Tennessee to visit my Daughter who lives in Chattanooga. While there as with any city I visit I looked for and found a book about hauntings in the area. This is the book I found. This book contains 28 stories from all over Tennessee, not just Chattanooga where my Daughter lives. While it is not as good as a lot of the Haunting books I have collected over the years it is not bad either. I liked that addresses for some of the haunted locations are included. Most do not come with addresses. I like that there are some fist hand accounts of the hauntings in the book, instead of just the lore. I like that there is some history. Some of the stories were a bit vague though. And in a state the size of Tennessee the writer only came up with 28 stories. I will be taking this book with me next time I go visit my Daughter though and hopefully we can go to some of the places listed. I would love to experience some of the hauntings myself.

Hernando Epitaphs: Cemeteries and Memorials of Hernando County Florida by Linda Welker

Hernando Epitaphs: Cemeteries and Memorials of Hernando County Florida - Linda Welker, Linda Welker, Jan Kalnbach

We live about an hour from Hernando County Florida. My husband and I took a weekend trip to visit some of the museums. While at the Train Depot Museum I came across this awesome book. The book is about each cemetery in Hernando county. Most give directionsn to the cemetery, there are pictures taken from the cemetery, it gives a bit of history for the cemetery, and even some pictures of headstones in the cemetery and some have epitaphs from the cemetery. The book is beautifully written by Linda Walker, who I got to meet while at the Train Depot. She even autographed my book for me. Linda was amazing to talk to, she knows so much about these cemeteries and the area. If you love history or Hernando County this is a great book to have. Even if you are not into cemetery history it is a very interesting book to read.

Haunted Chattanooga - Jessica Penot, Amy Petulla

My Daughter got me this book for Christmas. She now lives in Chattanooga and knows how I collect Haunted books from every town I go to. I really enjoyed each story in the book. I loved the history of each place. I do wish there was a bit more about the haunting as well. The book is very well written and next time I go visit my daughter I will be taking my book as part of my Travel itinerary. I hope we can visit some of the places listed int he book. I have been to Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga, and we have already talked about going to Raccoon Mountain. All of which of mentioned int he book.